Wednesday, October 19, 2011

lots of sewing, no blogging.

Or Sew weekly challenges round up

It's been a while since I posted anything. I promise I haven't forgotten you, and I haven't stopped sewing: in fact, I've been caught in that weird dance of lots-of-sewn-things-to-post-about-but-no-time-to-photograph-or-blog.

So, in leiu of longer posts which I plan to write later (perhaps much later... November maybe? My life is a little manic until then...) I'm just going to write this post. It's a round up of sorts, publishing part of a list I have on my computer. The Sew Weekly Challenges list.

As I have written before, I'm trying to get caught up with the Sew Weekly Challenges. I'm using some things that I sewed earlier this year, but if it wasn't sewn this calendar year, I'm not including it in the challenge. I'm nowhere near caught up with the sew weekly challenges (so far, there have been 41 challenges, and I certainly haven't done all of them). But, I have begun the process of getting caught up. Self-Stitched-September helped me out with that.

So far, I have completed the following challenges:

Challenge #3: Something Floral, Something Blue. (Blue floral burda style drape dress)
Challenge #4: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. (Day After Dress)
Challenge #6: Seeing Red (Red 1950s style gathered dress)


Challenge #7: And the winner is... (Ruby shorts)
Challenge #12: UFOs (1950s skirt with bound button holes)
Challenge #13: Kiss the cook (J's apron)
Challenge #15: What's on television (Inara insipred bias dress)
Challenge #20: Embellish This! (Obi Wrap Belt)
Challenge #23: At the Races (Black and white stretch dress)
Challenge #29: Ahoy, Matey! (Nautical outfit with kasia skirt)
Challenge #30: Go West (Wild West dress with new underskirt for decency)
Challenge #37: Autumn Palette (Bias strip skirt)
Challenge #38: Pink (strawberry shortcake dress)


Challenge #41: Lounging Around (tara top and collette bloomers)

If my maths is correct, that makes 14 challenges completed since the beginning of September - not bad if you ask me.

And, I have the following things lined up, which have to be completed before November 8 when I am heading across to Perth for a family wedding:

Challenge #5: Stash busting: Toile for D's wedding dress and brides maid dresses.
Challenge #18: Mom: Going in the reverse direction, a wedding outfit for Mum.
Challenge #27: Cover Me: Mixed Blood, Gotye. Big patches of colour on album cover. Make a jacket to go with the strawberry cheesecake dress.

On top of which, I have the things I am sewing for school, and I have just gotten a new job. EEK! Wish me luck!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Self Stitched September Wrap Up

Do y'all remember my pledge, made at the very last minute to participate in Self-Stitchted-September 2011? No? Well, let me refresh your memories. (Let me just confirm that no, I do not, nor have I ever, lived in the south of America. But, I did live with a lovely Texan girl for a year when I went on exchange a few years back, and picked up y'all from her.)

Here's my pledge once more:

'I, fyre fairee, sign up as a participant of Self-Stitched-Sept '11. I endeavour to make at least 6 clothing items, and wear them in September, as well as wearing an additional two self-stitched garments each week for the duration of September 2011'

In other words, I need to wear 8 existing self stitched items, and sew an additional 6. I did okay with the challenge, although for the first two weeks I kept forgetting that I was meant to be wearing extra outfits AND should be photographing them.

I actually managed to sew 9 new items, and wore 7 other items, so I managed to exceed the 14 I wanted for the month.

So, let's break it down.

Self Stitched September 2011

 Self Stitched In September Items

1.Bias Tape Skirt 
2. Strawberry Cheesecake dress
3. 1950s skirt
4. machine embroidery feather (to be turned into a betsey bag)
6. Ascot Dress
7. Day After Dress
9. Nautical outfit
10. Blue Flowers Dress
13. Ruby shorts

Self Stitched Items

5. Duke of Edinburgh Skirt
8. Lace skirt + overskirt
11. navy swirl skirt
12. Olive Dress
14. Red lace-look dress

I also wore, but didn't photograph

15. Kimono tee and jeans
16. white upcycled singlet skirt

self-Stitched-September Item 6


I'm a little in love with this dress. It was really easy to make, and didn't take long - all made on the overlocker!

The only change I made to the pattern was to shorten the sleeves and not include the ruffles. Otherwise, I actually followed the original pattern.

This dress is for the At the Races (Ascot) sew weekly challenge.
The Facts
Fabric: .5 metre Black knit $12.95/m, 2 metre black and white knit $12.95/m
Pattern: thrifted McCalls 5408, view C $1.00
Year: c. 2007
Notions: Thread
Time to complete: 2 hours
First worn: September 2011
Wear again? YES! It was super comfy
Total Cost: $33.40

Self-Stitched-September Item 7

Although I'm trying really hard not to buy any fabric, and to use the things in my stash (unless I'm buying things like linings and underlinings that I need in order to finish something from stash materials), I have to admit that I bought new fabric for these shorts. Or at least, I bought thrifted fabric, with the sole purpose being making a pair of denim shorts. I had seen the denim in the thrift store closest to my house, and had left it there, because I didn't really have a use for it. And I'm not adding to my stash, remember?

Then, I was looking through the challenges for the Sew Weekly. In particular, I was looking at the 'And the Winner Is...." challenge, celebrating the costume designers nominated for an Oscar. I went through the list of all the nominations, and discovered that I have seen a very small number of the films listed. And even fewer of them spoke to me in any sort of way. The list was narrowed down to Moulin Rouge, Across the Universe and Pleasantville. A nice cross section of styles, wouldn't you say?

I pondered using my red corset, full circle skirt, can can petticoat and calling it Moulin Rouge inspired. But although I sewed that outfit as a costume for a Moulin Rouge dance party, it seemed lazy somehow. Which left Across the Universe and Pleasantville. For Pleasantville, it would have been fairly easy to make the walk away dress, but for the life of me, I couldn't find my copy of the pattern.

So, my decision was made. Across the Universe it was.

I did a quick search for images and realised that while I loved the film, a lot of the costumes were too much part of the era for me to comfortably wear them. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against wearing vintage and vintage inspired clothing. But I just didn't think I'd wear anything that was inspired by the film. It was almost back to the drawing board for the challenge. I decided to give Across the Universe one more chance, so I youtubed a bunch of clips from the film. And realised that for the most part, I was right. I wouldn't wear most of the costumes.

Until I got to the 'Dear Prudence' scene. Lucy is wearing a plain white tank, and denim cut offs. And my mind strayed back to the denim I'd seen in the thrift store.

I went back, (and as three days had passed, and decent fabric tends to get snatched up) hoped the denim was still there. And, just my luck (or perhaps, luck was on my side for this one?), it was!

You get a good view of Lucy's outfit at about 55 seconds. It's a really simple outfit, but I like it. And, there is the contrast between the simplicity and normalacy of the costumes and the surreal sky they end up in.

The pattern for these shorts are another one of my love-hate relationship with BurdaStyle magazine patterns. On one hand, the patterns usually end up looking fairly good. On the other, the instructions suck and they don't always include seam allowances (luckily this one did). For the ruby shorts, I read and re-read the instructions, and I'm certain that at no stage did they talk about how you attach the placards and facings for the buttons. But the do give fairly long and detailed instructions about how to put in the bound picket (which I decided not to to put in).




I added a second patch pocket on the back. I use back pockets usually for my keys and phone, so I like having two of them. I lined the patch pockets with a paisley fabric - I still love this fabric, and even though no one else will see the lining of the pockets, it makes me happy to know it's there :) .



I also didn't include the belt. I folded the hems up to the outside, so the overlocked edges were exposed. I graded the pattern so that the hips were a size 40, and the waist was a size 36.

I'm happy with the way these turned out, but they are just a touch tight. I should probably have made a 42 hip and 38 waist. But that's okay, I'll just make 1cm seam allowances next time I sew it.
Fabric: Thrifted denim, $9.00
Pattern: Burda Style Ruby shorts pattern $3.00
Year: 2011
Notions: Thread, from stash; Thrifted Buttons, $3.00
Time to complete: 
First worn: September 2011
Wear again? Yes
Total Cost: $15.00

Self-Stitched-September Item 5

One of the most recent challenges for Sew Weekly was the Autumn palette challenge. As it's going into Spring here, it seems a bit silly to be putting together a Autumn palette, so I've put together a Spring palette. I have been buying three colours lately: oranges, pinks and reds. So, I have three palettes: Burnt, Rose and Blood


I've been thinking about making a bias tape skirt for a while now. I've seen them worn by people a few times, but I've never seen one for sale. So, I thought I would make one myself. I fell in love with the fabrics I used to make the bias tape while standing in line at Spotlight. It's quilting cotton, and were pieces designed as 'stash builders.' And, perfectly suited to my 'burnt' palette. I ended up making 44m of bias tape for this skirt, and used almost all of it - I think I have about 2 meters left.

I used my A-Line skirt pattern for the basis of this skirt, and just held the bias strips in place as I sewed. I sewed the bias strips on closer together near the hem, and further apart as I got higher. (Please excuse the rumpled shots: I had worn the skirt on Friday night, forgot to photograph it, and it spent the weekend crumpled at the end of my bed)





The Facts
Fabric: for bias tape: 3x 110x70cm pieces@ $7.00 each, total $21.00; remnant of orange poplin, $ 3.50
Pattern: Self drafted A-Line skirt pattern
Year: 2011
Notions: Zipper, $3; thread from stash.
Time to complete: 4 hours
First worn: September 2011
Wear again? Yes
Total Cost: $ 27.50