Friday, 26 May 2017

Where is the World Going?

America voted for Trump, Britain to leave the EU, the French had an extreme right candidate in the presidential run off and I made a jumpsuit! And I am really considering wearing it.
Ok, I know these are not very comparable, but the French presidential elections were rather stressful for myself, being an EU citizen living in France, an election of Marine would have serious impact on me staying or not staying in France in the future.

So while watching the "Grand débat"- big discussion between the 2 candidates which was extremely hard to follow, I needed a project to occupy my hands. And while my sewing queue is full of little dresses in order to prepare summer (in case we have some this year), I decided to sew up a jumpsuit. Yes, you hear me well, I sewed a jumpsuit.

Just to explain little bit: for me jumpsuit is like wearing pyjamas outside and even though I have seen cute and very elegant ones (on real people, not in the fashion magazine), I was rather skeptical. Also: how much time do you need to spent at the toilet taking it off and on again?

Anyhow, I bought the May Burda (looking into my archives I buy May Burda every year, there must be something about it then) which featured 2 jumpsuits again, one for standard and one for plus sizes. Started thinking, looked into the previous Burda magazines which ALSO feature jumpsuits (is it like: February - carnaval, September - dirndls, May - jumpsuits - go figure...) and found my favourite.

So mine is a model 129 from May 2013, with a simplified bottom from this year May Burda. I was rather surprised by how little adjustments were needed. Basically I only shortened the length of trousers and closed the cleavage by 2cm on each side.
I found this blue/turquoise viscose in my stash. It was originally bought for some homewear/pyjamas. I tried to sew a shirt from it two years ago which was a pretty bad idea: the fabric is slippery and stretches very easily. For the jumpsuit I interfaced the front diagonals, as well as pocket openings, I also staystitched the sleeve curves and it worked magic.

I did not put any pressure on myself, this was supposed to be more of a wearable muslin, if it turned well. And actually I kind of like it. It looked fine already without sleeves, but eventually, I decided to set them as well, any protection of my shoulders against the sun is always welcomed.

The end result is pretty good: it is comfortable, the viscose is very light and feels nice against the skin, it has pockets and the colours suit me well. I put a little snap to keep the cleavage closed, just in case.

The worst thing: I am actually thinking of sewing another one, as I have another piece of viscose in my stash I do not know what to do with it :o)

Sunday, 14 May 2017

I Made a Jacket!

Or a blazer ... whatever... it is tailored, lined and fits!
While I am very confident in sewing and fitting dresses, the jacket/coat thing has always been a little mystery for me. I had tried sewing a spring coat 2 years ago but without much success, the whole thing ended up being thrown away. So this time I decided to do things right. I was offered 3 sewing courses by my dear BF which did not have a specific topic. You just came with your project and asked as many questions as necessary. Of course, all this meant I had to be sewing in between the courses to bring my jacket-work-in-progress at the right time: fitting the muslin, inserting sleeves, inserting the lining. I was under pressure and sewed till the late hours several times but it was definitely worth it.

So here it is: my very first jacket, from Burda 103-04/2014, a model with detailed instructions in the magazine. I used some cotton-linen, as this should be a summer light jacket, lined with black silk. The fashion fabric behaved very well, I also interfaced the whole front which helps avoid some linen-creasing. The lining is probably too light so was not so easy to sew. However, once in, there is nothing to say.


In general I am very happy with the jacket: maybe the fit around the shoulders could have been a little tighter, but on the other hand it feels really comfortable like that.

A few details:



So what did I learn during my lessons: I need to be more precise when sewing this kind of things and pay attention to the markings - one of the teachers kindly requested I resew my sleeve and she was totally right.
Jacket is no longer an issue, I am actually planning to sew another one, on my own now :o)

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Scrap-busting

This spring I manage to sew a lot, and did not have much time to go fabric shopping. So most of my sewing actually happened based on my stash which not only got me on 2015 levels (yay!!!) but, and I think I am even prouder of that, I managed to use some remnants from previous projects.
I am not done yet, and main scrap-busting projects are still to come, but I am really happy when I see the little pieces gone from my stash.

Most of these were rather simple projects, based on TNT patterns, so I will not bother you much, just show a few pictures.

Yellow top: pattern  based on the Anna dress By Hand London, yellow cotton-silk in double layers


Green top: Burda 116-04/2016, green linen mix, underlined with black cotton-silk


Black top: Burda 115-07/2015, black silk


However, I went also little bit out of my comfort zone by sewing Burda 110-05/2017 bound top.

When I saw this top in the magazine, I thought it does not make much sense. I have read a review on one of my favorite blogs where it was rather criticized. At least, it made me thinking. Then I saw this kind of tops on the fashion shows (a sign, that this is not some Burda craziness, but actually a trend, hahahahha). So I just figured I would give it a try and I definitely do not regret.

The violet cotton was great for sewing, it has just the right amount of crispness to show off the features of this top. I have a ambiguous relationship with violet, though. I like the idea of violet with my hair colour, I like it on myself, but I do not tend to reach for violet clothes often, so hopefully this top will help to change my mind because I just love it!
First, the top is sewn very quickly, I only made minor adjustments in the shoulder area (a must for Burda for me) ad shortened it. On the waist, any adjustments are done with the binding. The top is a fabric hog, though, as I needed almost the whole meter I had, quite a lot for a top for me.
But most importantly, I really like it in real life. It looks muuuuuch better than in the magazine. I just need to sew some white shorts or trousers to complete the outfit.

Were it not such a atypical top, I would try to sew another one! Frankly, a great win for me here!

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Me Made May 2017

Which I am not participating in this year and here are a few reasons why:
- I already wear a lot of me-mades mainly because they represent a big part of my wardrobe (even bigger when it comes to dresses, skirts and tops), so making sure I wear me-mades every year is not a challenge
- I often get tired of thinking I need to take a picture of myself every day
- as every May I will be travelling little bit which makes taking pictures every day more complicated

Also I am currently on a good sewing wave so I do not want to break my rhytm:
I am sewing almost constantly since February
I managed to use up a lot of small pieces of fabric in April sewing mostly little tops (more on that later) and I am really happy about that.
I managed to use up a few pieces of fabric I did not have much ideas on what to do with it and the result has more than surprised me every time.
For your illustration, here is the evolution of my fabric stock, I am only 1.3m from the stock level of April 2015 for a total of 114m. If all goes well, I might even get under 100m this year!

I still have a few ideas for the scraps, including a quilt blanket, so hopefully this good vibewill continue.
Also, on my sewing queue:
Burda panel dress

Kay Unger summer dress

Some basics like this one
I might need to get to sewing some shorts because GAP just stopped selling basics for petites.

And then whatever I might come across between now and summer...

Saturday, 29 April 2017

International Dress

This was supposed to be a surprise b-day present for my sister, so I was worried about whether she would like the style, the fabric and the colours.
I was pretty clear on the pattern to use (Burda 115-04/2016), it is not particularly fitted, I have already sewn it as a top, so just a few slight adjustments would be needed and the dress would be OK.

The fabric is a real batik bought two years ago in Indonesia and therefore, it was a nightmare to match :o) In addition to the flower pattern, there were big eagles every 30cm or so.

So I decided to cut the front and back in two pieces and avoid the eagles which somehow did not go well with the rest of the fabric. But a sewing line in the middle of the dress meant pattern matching. Pattern matching supposes you have a regular fabric, and I had everything but...



You can see that on the detailed photos: sometimes the regular flower intervals become ... just less regular. I did my best, but on a close view, the matching is not always perfect. For the record: the sewing line runs horizontally in the middle of the photo, but you can also see the fabric irregularity on the horizontal line.
There were two lines on the fabric where the flowers were much closer to each other than on the rest.

I also wanted to add pockets and as you can see, pattern matching on the sides was out of my possibilities - somewhere it worked, somewhere it worked less.
Closed
And open

The pockets and the back neckline are stabilised with vliseline, and I did not bother to hem the dress, as I cut it on the fabric selvage.

Overall, the result is not so bad.
And the fit seems fine.

So here we have a dress made from Indonesian fabric, made in France, travelled to Czech Republic, on order to be worn in Berlin

Sunday, 23 April 2017

50's Red Flower Dress

This was just a quick make before attacking a big-blazer-project (finished now, but yet to be photographed).

This pattern appeared in the February issue of Burda and even though it seems simple, I kind of liked it. In the end, I only used the top from Burda and cut out a 3/4 circle skirt, which I drafted directly on the fabric.

The fabric is a very light cotton, pretty suitable for the almost circle skirt.
The top is self-lined, I very much like the V neckline and the little coverage of shoulders - this comes always handy to protect them from the sun and not to freeze at work. The skirt is sewn with French seams, all others are covered by the lining.


There is not much more to be said about this dress, it was extremely quick to be done. I might have taken it in a little more around the waist in order to accentuate the contrast between the full skirt and and the bodice. At worst it will be worn with a belt, we will see.

As there is not much to be said about this dress, I will at least show you my stash level evolution since the beginning of the year, as I am extremely proud of this.

Minus 10m since January, at this speed I will soon be entering the levels not seen since some time. Strangely though, it is less visible on my stash storage which seems to be full the still the same way. I will try to take some time to re-fold everything which might help as well.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

My B-day Dress

Or... a Bathroom Dress. What a strange name for a dress. The story is when we found our new home last year, we were pretty excited by everything in it, except for the colors in the bathrooms - green and violet combination in one and turquoise and violet in the other. In the beginning, we wanted to repaint them or just DO something with it, but we ended up getting used to that and it is not a priority anymore. I even found bathroom rugs which go perfectly with the bathroom turquoise - thank you Ikea! And yes, this dress matches perfectly our bathroom.

I rarely sew for specific occasions. More often I just sew a dress and then the right occasion occurs for the first outing of the new dress. And this was exactly the case of my birthday dress. Basically I wanted to reproduce the same dress I made for mast x-mas, but in a lighter and more colorful fabric - it is a very comfy and versatile dress so I figured I needed one for spring.

The fabric comes from my Malaysian batch (which is getting thinner and thinner) and it is quite a change from my usual brown-red-orange color combination. It is a very fine silk which under some angle was even transparent. In addition, it has the terrible tendency to stick to your legs - not quite the needed effect for this kind of dress. I lined it with a very fine black silk which has exactly the same problem and it worked magic: the fabrics ended up sticking to each other so it is like they have become one "normal" fabric which behaves correctly.

As for the pattern - it is just a copy of this dress (which itself is a copy of an old RTW :o). I think this time I made the skirt slightly longer, just in case.. Apart from that, nothing special to add. I put a small elastic in the waist, as well as to the sleeve finish. I stabilized the neckline area with some silk organza which worked pretty well.

The dress is a quick make: the only challenge is not to overstretch the neckline and sew together both layers in order to form the waist casing for the elastic.

As already said, the dress was first worn on my birthday evening and we even had time to take some pictures. I must say that it was a very appropriate outfit since we went to an amazing Indian restaurant.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Non-Selfish Sewing - GBSB Dress II.

For the first time I did sew something for somebody else. When I created my GBSB dress, the first comment from my little sister was that this was not a dress for me, but for her. She had some ideas behind that reflexion, but actually she was right. I was ruminating too much about this dress and the truth is it was perfectly her style.

X-mas getting close, I decided to sew a copy of this dress for her as well, I still had some of the wool crepe, as well as the underlining cotton-silk.

My sister lives some 1000km far away, and I was not going to meet her before x-mas, so not fitting possibility. We are of a same height, but she is thinner than me, so I just figured out that if I take in 1-2 cm, the fit should be OK. Anyway, the dress is supposed to be large.

I was paying more attention to making sure the pocket opening is not too large and the dress hem is not too narrow - two little things I can see on my version.

Honestly, I do not know if she is wearing it but I would say the fit is pretty much OK here :o)

Sunday, 26 March 2017

2016 X-mas Dress

Apparently, my sewing tradition for my x-mas dress is always the same:
- I have plenty of time to do that (like: almost one week sewcation before the day D),
- I finish it on that last minute (like 1 hour before leaving home)
- and I blog about it late (like in summer next year).

2016 was not different. The thing is I did not want to sew a special dress for this occasion this year, I have enough dresses to choose from, I wanted to concentrate my sewcation on other stuff. But then somehow, I came across the rest of this black wool crepe and thought that I could make a simple dress from it. It is actually inspired by an old RTW dress which was made of polyester crepe and which I liked the idea but it was always difficult to wear: it looked great with boots in winter but I was totally freezing in it.

So there we go: the pattern is vaguely based on Burda 115-07/2015 and the RTW dress which I threw away, it has not longer any reason to stay in my wardrobe.

The only problem when sewing the dress was the fact that the crepe is quite see-through. I decided to line the dress body properly with some silk, but left the sleeves as such. The original dress did not have any waist definition, I always wore it with a belt, for my version I encased some elastic between the fabric and the lining. The inside might not be 100% kosher, but the outside is OK so I an live with it.
I did stabilize the shoulder seams and the neckline with silk organza and it really worked magic.

As for the sleeves' finishes, I was hesitating between elastic and little cuffs. In the end, I just created two folds and it looks like a very clean finish.

This dress is definitely a winner, it is extremely comfy and yet, ensures a polished look. I might even be considering sewing another one in a different colour.