Thursday, November 29, 2012

Finishing an old UFO

Dear readers - I'm sure that most sewists have UFOs lurking in their closets. But I think it's safe to say that I take it to a whole new level of laziness and procrastination. These pants have been sitting in the UFO pile for almost a year, simply because I needed to sew a hook and eye and a button to fasten the pants. I'm serious. Everything else was done - the zipper was in, the cuffs were finished - everything except a freaking hook and eye that took me less than 5 minutes to do today.

I think atleast a little of the procrastination was due to the fact that these pants are slightly too tight on me. But still.

These are the same pattern as my SWAP pants - basically, an old RTW pants that I traced out. Apart from the too tight bit - I'm reasonably happy with the fit - there's a bit of wrinkling around the crotch and the fly front, but the back's pretty good. Atleast a bit of that wrinkling has to do with operator error - I'm still to figure out the ideal way to stitch lined fly fronts.

Excuse the wrinkling - the pants have been sitting in the UFO pile for close to a year. 

I'm currently in the midst of cutting out a jacket. It's been trying. The fabric is very prone to distortion, and I think I'll need to interface the entire jacket to give it some stability. Of course, I don't have enough interfacing, so cutting and sewing is a bit stalled. Hopefully, a bit of time over the weekend to buy some interfacing, and I can get to work - I'm looking forward to the challenge of sewing a lined jacket.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

SWAP 2013 - Initial thoughts

Here's some stream-of-consciousness thoughts.

- I sew lots and lots of simple clothes. For this SWAP, I'd like to challenge myself and sew more complicated things - lined jackets, shirts with collars and buttons and sleeve plackets, lined pants - that kind of thing.
- I did my wardrobe transition (winter clothes brought up, summer clothes put away), and sheesh! I have lots and lots of summer dresses, and hardly any winter clothes. I'm pretty much wearing the same set of 4-5 RTW winter pants I've been wearing for the last 5 years. All of them are just about worn out - I desperately need to sew myself replacements.
- I hate cutting. But - largely - that's cause I have a terrible cutting set up. I cut on my dining table - placing two cutting mats side by side, and cutting with a rotary cutter. For pattern weights, I use rolls of pennies, which unfortunately, roll around, fall on the floor, break open, strewing pennies everywhere... I do own a proper full size cutting mat, but it's in my parents' basement. Now that I have room for it, I need to just bring it to my house and set it up.
- Burda. I need to use the patterns, or stop buying the magazines. Same goes for my new copies of Drape Drape & Shape Shape, my Pattern Magic books, and all the other assorted sewing books that I buy and don't use.

So - all of that stuff is influencing the wardrobe plan.

Basically, the rules this year are:

- to make two 4 or 5 piece collections, with a single other garment that can be worn with both capsules. 

Each collection is either 3 tops and two bottoms, or 2 tops, 1 bottom, and 1 dress, which all form a cohesive group.  The 11th garment should be a jacket or other piece that coordinates with both collections, both in style and color.

Which is simple enough.

Here's what I think I'd like to make.

- 4 bottoms - all of which are lined pants. I'm ok using the same pattern for all of them - but I really need pants!
- 2 sets of twinsets. (I'm not really sure if I that will count as 4 pieces - there's something in the discussion threads about whether a jacket is a top - and the ruling is that it is not - which suggests the same logic will apply to my cardigan portion of my twin-sets. However, I do need these for the wardrobe, and so will make them anyway - and have the inner shell count as a top.)
- I might make a cream collection - and if so, I'd like to make a white/cream winter lined dress. Just a basic woven sheath dress with sleeves.
- Raincoat. I need one. Also a fall/spring jacket, and a trench coat, etc. I need to start sewing more outer pieces - I'd get a lot of use out of them, and I'm not sure why I don't sew more of these (laziness about cutting is atleast part of the answer.)

That's not quite everything I need to make - but it's a start. The thinking process will undoubtedly evolve as time goes on.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Mu-mu time!

Sentiment is widely against this 'before' dress, dear Readers. My parents winced, my brother looked aghast - it's not a popular dress. I think it's rather perfect for the Pattern Review Refashion contest that I'm hoping to enter.

Interestingly, this dress is hand-made. I feel good about using it as an ingredient in my own hand-made dress.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Butterick 5206 - So nice, I made it thrice!

This is my third version of Butterick 5206.

Dear readers, I love this pattern. I really, really do. It sews up easy, it has sleeves, the neckline is flattering, it's easy to wear, I love everything about it.

Version 1 was a dark print. Version 2 was a black solid - which unfortunately has a big fabric fade right in the middle of the skirt. I'm planning on dyeing it though - it is super flattering, and I want it to work.

This light print is version 3. I've had this fabric in stash for atleast 3 years - I think it was a Fabricland buy. I didn't have enough fabric to make the sash (which is a serious fabric hog), so I left it out, and am wearing it with a store bought belt.

I made my usual modifications - I shortened the bodice by an inch, and the skirt by a bit to get it to hit right about at the knee.

Pattern instructions - a bit silly, really - they wanted me to bind the edge with knit bias binding. Umm - it's a knit. It really doesn't need to be cut on the bias. I used a strip cut from straight grain (the less stretchy side), folded the strip into half, and then sewed the raw edge of the strip to the wrong side of the fabric - then flipped it to the front, and top-stitched on the right side. This way is much better, really, if I say so myself.

Once summer rolls around, I'll definitely made the short sleeve version! Probably, many times!

Now, for a spot of UFO finishing. An easy one - all I have to do is hem! 

Monday, November 05, 2012

SWAP 2013 - the rules are here!

Yes! I've been impatiently lurking the Stitcher's Guild SWAP boards for about a month and a half, and the rules are finally out!

As much as sewing a SWAP wardrobe gets tiring, the clothes I make there really do get used. I've worn my hoodie heaps of times,  my purple flowered dress became one of my most-used summer dresses, especially to work, and my pants! It's been cold here, and I've been reaching for these lined pants every other day, practically.

Which makes me pretty excited about another SWAP. Wardrobe holes - lined pants, lined sleeved dresses, fun little tops - all of these can be filled by the SWAP.