Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I am a wimp

It's Self-Stitched time, dear Readers, and I'm feeling a wee bit of regret about not participating.

A while back, randomly clicking on blog links, I found the uber-awesome Karen at Did You Make That. Her blog was interesting, her pictures were pretty, but the part that totally blew me away? That she took photos with random strangers during Me-Made-June. And she looked like she was having a ton of fun with it.

How cool was that? It seemed like a perfect way to get past the most painful part of the challenge - the taking of the photos.

Anyway. Yesterday, I wore my white shirt to work. As I put it on, I realized that I'd never taken a photo of the completed shirt for my blog. I was going to meet some friends in the evening, and I resolved to take my camera with me, and get one of them to take my picture. (Tuesday is trivia night, where a group of us gather at a local bar and do trivia. It's fun and I learn random things.)

Now, all/most of these friends know I sew. So, it totally would not have been weird for me to say - hey, would you take my picture? I want a picture of my shirt for my blog. Not weird at all.

And yet, I couldn't do it. These are friends I hang out with *every single week*, people. They would have been happy to take a photo. But it would have (a) felt strange asking someone to take your photo in the city you live in, (b) go through all the fuss about going outside, taking a photo, making sure it looked fine, etc and (c) ask someone to stop drinking/socializing long enough to take my photo.

And so, dear Readers, twinge of regret about Self-Stitched September or not, I know me. I'm a wimp. I really hate asking people to take my photo. (Family is the exception to this rule, I have no issues asking my mom/brother to take my photo.) No Self-Stitched-September* for me.

*Though I might still participate silently, with no photos at all. Maybe.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Simplicity 2594 - View E

Unexpectedly, I had a photographer this morning. My brother, me, my new shirt and my camera were all in the same location at the same time. Hence, photos not taken on my tripod. Nice! So much less effort!

Anyhoo, this is Simplicity 2594, View E. It isn't a complicated pattern, but I complicated it a bit by using French seams (the fabric looked like it would unravel.) The fabric is a synthetic, courtesy of my friend Anna, who was uber-thoughtful, and gave me a fabric gift certificate for my birthday. (How awesome!) I went a little overboard during the subsequent shopping trip, and bought a ton of fabric.

Up next, blue cardigan, I think.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Fall Travel Wardrobe - Planning

Thank you all most particularly for your very nice comments on my three Vogue dresses. Wouldn't it be great to carry some fellow sewing bloggers in your pocket, so you could pull them out when you had body issues, and they'd tell you how nice your dresses were? You guys are the sweetest, seriously.

Thanks as well for the comments on my musings on what to sew next. A couple of you suggested rolling the three - Fall PAC, travel & tops all into one set of clothes, which is a really good idea - I should do that!

As it happened, I ended up following Clio's (and others as well) advice to make a top while I was pondering. I cut a version of Simplicity 2594. I've made a different variation of this pattern before, but this time, I cut a simple v-neck (thankfully, not on the bias) in a drapey synthetic. I have a tiny bit of finishing work to do on it - hemming the sleeves and the top. Hopefully, by tomorrow night. (Narrow hems on slippery fabrics are a bit of a PIA, no?)

Also in the meanwhile, I wrote a list of what I called "Essential Wardrobe Pieces" that I needed to sew. Here's what I think I need for my fall wardrobe.

- Grey flannel pants. I'm thinking straight legged and cuffed.
- Black woolen pants. I actually own the fabric - bought early this summer.
- Cream skirt. I'm thinking of BWOF 08-2010-127 for the pattern.
- Black woolen A-line skirt. I do own a RTW version, but it is unfortunately entirely too tight. I'm not going to magically lose 20 lb by the start of fall, so I might as well sew myself a replacement skirt.

- A navy blue cardigan. I'm envisioning the cardigan in BWOF's August issue - which I recently bought the fabric for, while shopping with Connie, Sue & Claire.
- A cream cardigan. I need to scout around for fabric for this...
- A biker jacket. I've wanted to make one similar to Christina's jacket forever. Perhaps this fall?

In addition to the above basics, I went over to ModCloth, and pinned a ton of tops (and a few dresses and other garments) onto my Fall Travel Wardrobe board.

So, that's a lot of ambition, and I know I won't get even a fraction of these done before I go on vacation. But it's good to have goals, and I'd find it incredibly useful if I even get one or two pieces done before I head off.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

At an impasse - what should I sew next?

I'm in the rare position, dear Readers, of not having a project in the pipeline. Usually, when I'm posting about a garment, the next garment is already cut out, and I've started work on it. But right now, there's nothing on the sewing table. (Though, of course, there's no shortage of fabric in my closet.)

My problem is that I'm torn between several long projects:

- Make several tops. There's a serious lack of tops in my wardrobe. I've skirts I can't wear because there's no matching top. My oft-worn black t-shirt, bought way back in 2006 is finally too ratty to wear. I need tops!

- Do the Fall 6-PAC. I blame Carolyn for this, really. However, sewing with a plan, while difficult to stick to, always produces those wardrobe basics without which I could never get dressed in the morning.

- Early October, I head off to the south of France for 10 days. I'd dearly like to sew myself a proper travel wardrobe. The French are intimidating dressers, and I crave that Je-ne-sais-quoi! that the French do so well. Perhaps if I sewed a travel wardrobe?

- Or should I forget about all of this, and continue my current pattern of sewing whatever strikes my fancy? There's merits to this approach. Sewing is, after all, my hobby, and sewing randomly is quite fun. However, I tend to randomly sew dresses, not separates, and I do desperately need separates.

So, dear Readers, what should I do? Personally, I'm leaning towards the travel wardrobe, but we'll see.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Three versions of Vogue 1250

Am I perhaps the last person in the world to have made this dress? I guess I made up by making three versions of it.

Now, this is where you can call me stupid. I thought the first version emphasized my tummy in a way I definitely didn't like. What do I therefore do? Make 2 more versions. Call me stupid, people.

I guess I'll wear it when I've lost weight. In other words, when pigs fly. (Ok, I have worn the first dress out, but I ended up being self-conscious about my tummy the entire evening.)

Fabric - both the blue-green print and the red solid are from Fabricland - ~$3-4 a yard, part of the most recent Fabricland binge. The black & white narrow stripe was from Montreal, I paid ~$8? a yard for it.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Sewing updates...

Thanks for all the nice words about my easy jersey dresses. These have already become wardrobe staples - they look professional enough (especially the navy one), but are as comfortable to wear as PJs. I love them!

Other sewing updates:

Summer sewing: A few months ago, in a desperate attempt to clean my apartment, I took all my fabric and gave it to my parents to store in their basement. The stated goal was that I would keep with me only the next 2-3 projects. Of course, that just wasn't feasible. 2-3 projects turned to 20-ish, but it still helped organize my sewing.

Last week, in addition to the pink jersey dress, I also cut out a graphic black & white skirt, and a mustard t-shirt, 2 projects in the to-sew-this-summer pile. These are both pretty simple projects to sew (especially since I decided the skirt didn't need to be lined), and so in the bits and pieces of time I had available, I actually managed to sew them up.

The top is McCalls 5105 view C, the bottom is Simplicity 4047, which I've made before here and here.

Fabric buying: I haven't been to a Fabricland in ages. This is a good thing, since I have no restraint when it comes to buying fabric. Fabric is relatively cheap, and even if I go overboard on fabric, it seldom costs much more money than a night out in Toronto. The only way to control the fabric buying is to never enter the stores.
But alas! Fabricland was having a sale on Vogue patterns, and I really wanted to make the cowl-neck dress that everyone in Blogland has been making with fabulous results. I went to a Fabricland Friday evening, and I'm sad to say I lost my head a little bit. I bought 7(!) pieces of fabric. Bad Reethi! It was all on sale, and so very irresistible.

I cut one of them out last night though - I'm making the Vogue dress.

Upcoming fabric buying:
Of course, it was tremendously stupid of me to buy a ton of fabric last week, since on Thursday, I'm meeting Connie, Sue and Claire for an afternoon of sewing talk and fabric shopping! I'm incredibly excited. I love talking about sewing!