Sunday, February 24, 2013

Toronto Sewing Blog Meetup - best Saturday afternoon ever!

Ok, can I gush a little, and talk about how much fun I had yesterday afternoon? Toronto Sewing Blog Meetup - best idea ever! About a million thanks to Gillian and Adrienne, who took the initiative and did the hard work to get a bunch of us GTA residents together!

I had such a blast!

I'm rather shamelessly stealing Gillian and Adrienne's photos - I was too busy having fun, I think I took one photo.

Rather than try to list everyone who was there, I've added a link of my fellow GTA bloggers on the left - that way, I can blog-stalk them!

Ok, everyone who's ever met a sewing blogger in person will attest to this - the sewing community is so incredibly nice! I'm always a bit nervous when meeting new people, but I think this lasted about 10 seconds yesterday - Catja handed me a cake pop, Gillian handed me a name tag, and I promptly forgot to be nervous, and just had a blast instead.

We shopped (ahem, I'll get to that bit in a moment), and then did a super-fun fabric/pattern swap at a bar, accompanied by beer and food. (In that order, I'm afraid, beer on an empty stomach is a very bad idea!) I scored! My first Colette pattern (the Crepe), a Vogue pattern, and a vintage pattern with a very cool mock-wrap blouse (which I must make!). Also, a metre of some soft black poly (I think), which will be perfect for a blouse, and one little bit of some Art-Deco printed cotton, which will work well for a quilt.

Ok, now for the shopping confessions - it actually wasn't too bad. On my way down there, on the subway, I wrote a little list of what I was allowed to buy - things that were actually holes in the stash. I ended up buying just one piece of fabric, a piece of stretch faux leather, that I'm going to make leggings out of.  (Guys - I live 30 minutes from the fabric district, there's no need to stash, seriously! Or so I have to remind myself.) Also, I bought interfacing, but that's practical and necessary!

Best afternoon ever! There's talk of a summer version, and I can't wait!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A sweater attempt with Simplicity 3568

Dear readers, I've been pretty good about keeping the fabric purchases under control (only lining bought so far in 2012, no actual fabric yet!), but I'm coveting sweater knits. It's partly the cold, it's freezing outside, and not that much warmer inside my house. Also, all my sweaters/cardigans were purchased about 5 years ago (or more) and I desperately need to make myself replacements. (Without making a thing out of it, I've largely given up on store-bought clothes - I bought a pair of jeans last year, some lingerie this year, but that's it, I think, in terms of RTW purchases recently.)

However, I did have this mustard fabric that was suitable for sweater making, and so I pulled out Simplicity 3568, and got to work yesterday. The pattern wasn't ideal - for starts, it seems to have been drafted both for knits and wovens, and the cowl neck instructions are frankly insane. The sleeves are also crazy-wide, and the fit is more boxy than I wanted. 

Still, it had the basics of what I wanted, and so I got to work - I sewed it up, tried it on, and then pinched out width from the sleeves and the sides. Except, unfortunately, I got a bit carried away - the fit is now too tight in the under-arm area. Sigh. It's wearable though, and unbelievably toasty - just not exactly what I wanted. 

You can see the fit issues here - lots of wrinkling around the under-arm, extending to the bust. Meh.

Friday, February 15, 2013

The 2013 Goal Tracker

I want a post where I can keep links to all the 2013 goals in one place, so here goes.

Sew something from every Burda magazine I buy. 

Jan 2013 Burda - Black wool pants, Red dress (that went to Jeeva)
Feb 2013 Burda - Brown t-shirt
March 2013 Burda - 
April 2013 Burda - 
May 2013 Burda - 
June 2013 Burda - 
July 2013 Burda - 

Finish a quilting UFO once every 2 months. 

Jan/Feb quilting project - 9 patch quilt.
Mar/Apr quilting project - 
May/June quilting project - 
July/Aug quilting project - 

Stashbusting Sewalong - using 25 pieces of stash fabric

1. Backing for 9-patch quilt
2. Crazy jungle print leggings and sleep set.
3. Simplicity 2938 green print top.
4. BWOF 01-2013-??? Red dress
5. BWOF 02-2013-126 chocolate brown t-shirt
6. McCalls 6112 purple dress
7. McCalls 6551 orange dress
8. Backing for Dave and Erin's quilt.
9. Black McCalls 6510
10.Blue McCalls 6566
11.Simplicity 2246 - Green shirtdress

- Make a raincoat. 
- One project from each of the 6 Japanese pattern books I own 
- Participate in the 2013 SWAP, and in 3 Pattern Review contests

Crazy cubed

There I was, moaning on about how my jungle-print leggings wouldn't qualify for the Stashbusting sewalong, when I decided to do something about it.

First - I planned to sew a little tank-top. But then, a bit of genius (or insanity, take your pick) struck - I'd make a tiger print tank-top and shorts as a sleep set. Genius.

I barely had enough fabric to make the shorts - in fact, the front of the shorts has a bit of selvage showing. It isn't really visible when I'm wearing it though.

While I thought this outfit would look seriously insane - strangely enough, it actually looks quite good on. Less crazy than you'd think.

(Incidentally, I had to use a lot of restraint in terms of a blog post title. Every combination of "tiger print" and "clothing to sleep in" was rather risque, though very funny.)

Oh, and the title - chosen for alliterative effect - is also because I now have 3 garments out of this crazy bit of fabric.  

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Cake? This is so utilitarian, it's almost bread

Dear readers, is there anything more practical than a pair of black wool pants? I don't think so. Forget cake and frosting - this is bread.

And I couldn't be more pleased. I love bread. These pants will get a ton of use, and I love sewing things that get a ton of use.

(Apologies the more-or-less crappy nature of these photos. It's Feb, you get indoor photos of a black pair of pants on my more-or-less crappy camera.)

Also - this is from the Jan 2013 Burda magazine (pattern 123, I think?) so yay me! Sewing resolution? Check. Possible SWAP garment? Check again.

In less fun news, I think I need to go up a size in my BWOF sewing. There has to be a consequence to all the food and drink I've been indulging in with abandon, but damn! I hate proof.

Stuff about the pattern:

- I traced a size 40, which was a bit tight, so I narrowed all my seam allowances through the waist and hip to add another inch or so.
- I took an inch off in length between the hip and the crotch, shortening the crotch - which I'm pretty pleased about, because these pants now fit really well.
- There's an error with the waistband length measurement, I think - I cut it to the right size, but it didn't work (before my alterations to the side seams, of course!)

- Apart from that - these are the easiest pants in the world to sew - no pockets, no fly front - just one little invisible zipper - a perfect beginner pattern (also a perfect pattern for a lazy intermediate seamstress.)

Stuff about the fabric:

- Black wool, bought at LA Fabrics in Toronto - about $10 a yard? I have many yards left, unfortunately, but perhaps that will mean that I can make a jacket as well.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

A matter of semantics

Please ignore the daft look on my face, my paint-spattered jeans, and my ridiculous pink flip-flops. There was something going cooking on the stove behind me, and I was afraid it would boil over - leaving me time for the quickest photo ever!

So, this is another Burda 11-2012-136A top. (My first one here.) I cut it out in 2012, and finally finished stitching it up a week or so ago.

In my mind, this doesn't count for the Stashbusting Sewalong, which is fine - seems reasonable, blah blah, blah.

On the other hand, I'm evidently an idiot - because here's what my pledge reads:

I commit to using 25 pieces of stash fabric in 2013. I also commit to buying new fabric only if I will use it up right away.

Not 25 garments. 25 pieces of stash fabric. Which means the fabric must be used to a point where no other garments are possible with what's left. (The leggings therefore now don't count as a full use, since I think I can eke out a tank top from the rest.)

Stupid, stupid Reethi. Way to make your life extra hard. :)

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

A little extra crazy!

Umm - these are a bit bolder than most of my regular clothing, dear readers. But I really do need casual clothes, and I was looking to quickly try out the McCalls legging pattern (6173) before I try to make a fleece-lined version (it is *cold* here in Toronto.)

This camouflage/animal print has been in my stash since about last summer. I bought it on impulse, when the Fabricland on the Bloor-Yonge line was closing, but it wasn't a very good impulse. The fabric is a cotton knit, very little lycra, meaning I was always a bit dubious about how good the stretch would be, and whether it would recover ok.

It worked out ok though - I've been wearing it for the last couple of hours without any serious wearability concerns.

I've only complimentary things to say about the pattern. I read that it ran large, so I made a small, altering at the marked petite lines. It fits pretty well, and is easy! (One pattern piece - no side seams. Nicely done, McCalls!)

I do need a longer top though - my ass does not need to be seen in leggings, and demands to be properly covered up.

One more picture - I took a billion photos  - this one shows the pants better, with with a bit of my head cut off. It's a sad commentary on my photo-taking skills that these were the best three.