Thursday, September 24, 2015

Sew Long Summer: Fabulous Fall Skirt

So I suck at project photos.

(I was also in a hurry and feeling a slight bit under the weather, so there are those factors as well.)

Here be a submission for Sew Long Summer Fabulous Fall: a linen half circle skirt, lined in quilting cotton (forgot to get photos, hopefully I'll remedy that soon) with a 7" zipper and elastic in the waistband. All fabric and notions are from the stash.

The reasoning for this to be a transitional garment is that it is composed of linen and cotton, lovely fabrics to wear for Summer, and it's the very Autumnal brown.

However, it is also 18" long, which is 4" shorter than my other half circle skirts.

The pockets are semi-drafted (I took the pocket pattern from Megan Nielsen's Veronika, placed it over some of the pieces of linen leftover from cutting out the skirt and waistband and did some finagling) and not-quite-topstitched (I hand sew) onto the skirt. The pocket opening is edged in bias binding and strengthened with selvage to avoid stretching.

Not much else to say as this is such a simple skirt and I've already made two like it, which bored me a little, which is why I tried new pockets. I'll report later about how I rate them.

I can, and will, talk a little about the effort I put into this skirt.

Sewing is an enjoyable hobby; it's creative, relaxing, a great activity while listening to lectures or audio books, and it's a hobby that has tangible results. (Wearable mistakes!)

But it is only a hobby.

In the week before finishing the skirt I same across The Great British Sewing Bee and I half watched, half listened to all three seasons while doing a mass purge of my belongings. In the watching I became a little guilty about my messing around with sewing and decided to try to up my game a little.

I will endeavor to:
- Stitch evenly and straight
- Hem evenly
- Use the notches indicated in patterns
- Use 5/8" seam allowances (I start out well but tend to peter out to 1/4" seam allowances)
- Learn a little more about fit
- Make casings and thread elastic through them
- Gather fabric using dental floss (I tend to gather and not baste and then stitch while I hope for the best)
- and other sundry challenges

I don't have the inclination to attain great skill or technical excellence; I don't want to spend the time and energy.

In essence I don't care enough.

Sewing is a wonderful and relaxing hobby and my life does not depend on my technical excellence.

So this skirt has an uneven waistband, slightly uneven hem, and lots of wobbly stitching.

But some straighter and even stitching around the hem.


Sunday, September 20, 2015

SSS '15 Third Week

Sunday September 13 -- jewel toned Belladone worn to church
Notes: I finally fixed the "sag" in the back cut out (actually the zipper was not inserted in straight).  Since the release post I had to let out the sides for breathing purposes.

Saturday September 19 -- cotton batik Sorbetto worn around the house, then at an event at a friend's  before work
Notes: the armholes are too small (something I already knew), but it's not too uncomfortable to wear.

Monday, September 14, 2015

SSS '15 First and Second Weeks

September 2 -- unblogged half circle skirt (first project finished this year) worn for book weeding and running around the house before work.
Fabric: stashbusted cotton homespun, multi-colored suiting for lining
Notions: 7" zipper, 1.25" tall non-rolling elastic for waist
Notes: love the elastic and zipper combo for these skirts! I can keep the small waist and flared skirt silhouette while not having to mess around with interfacing!

September 3 -- my first Sorbetto worn for room weeding.
Notes: linen is a great fabric for hot summer days!

September 8 -- unblogged third Sorbetto worn for room weeding (as seen in the background). Also my third finished project for the year.
Fabric: stashbusted cotton shirting
Notions: self-made bias tape
Notes: For some reason my Sorbettos made from batik and shirting have a tenancy of riding down low enough to flash the bra. As this doesn't happen with the linen version, I'm attributing it to the drape of the fabric.

September 10 -- cotton peasant blouse worn for room weeding.
Fabric: ivory cotton eyelet
Notions: 0.25"(?) elastic
Notes: No comment. It wears well. :)

Yeah, there's photography experimenting going on. ;)

Monday, August 31, 2015

Self-Stitched September 2015

Am I really going to do this again?

Yes. ;)

I'm really not sure why I want to put myself through the stress and difficulty of Self-Stitched September, but some masochistic yearning calls. (Or I just want to up my blog post count).

1. At least two handmade garments a week and repeats are welcome.
2. Weekly round ups.
3. Photo quality doesn't have to be spectacular, but I shall make efforts to learn how to use my camera well.

Anything else to note? Don't think so. Okay, over and out!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Blue Porcelain Belladone Date Dress

This dress has been on my brain for a while.

Ever since I saw the fabric I was mesmerized by the blue and the white and the loveliness. 

I was also mesmerized by figuring out what pattern to use.
Early on my mind caught on the Belladone. This would partially be because I have not actually successfully 
made many dresses via a pattern, but I also really loved the silhouette. 

Due to concerns about the darts I swapped out the skirt for a derivative of 
The Selfish Seamstress' Coffee Date Dress skirt. And as I wanted maximum fullness of the skirt, 
as much as the fabric allowed, I used the waist curves at the top of the pattern pieces 
and with the help of my trusty yardstick and pins cut out a slightly wider skirt.

Before the skirt there was an annoying period of trying to figure out how to match the side and back seams of the bodice before cutting into the fabric. An evening or two was/ were spent engrossed in this challenge until I realized that there was a dart in the side which would skew any pattern matching so I threw up my hands,  matched only the back seam, and whipped out the scissors. 

Do do do. Along goes the bodice: shoulder seams; stay stitching along the neckline; stay stitching along the armholes to hold the back pieces together; visible stitching* of the back pieces when I decided to shift the zipper to the side seam; waistband; bias tape for the neckline, armholes, and cut out. 
The bias tape took quite a bit of more time due to contemplating whether it'd be visible or act as a facing. 

*Didn't want to try to match the pattern by turning the right sides together and stitching

Attach skirt, side seams, detour into pockets. I actually made pockets and was all ready to add them when doubts about pocket contents weighing down the skirt arose. The mind was made up when, as a test, I actually dropped my phone into the pocket which dropped both on the floor with a small thunk.

Lining: half circle skirt attached at the waistband.
Inner waistband to cover up the interfacing. 
Other alterations include 1" vertically removed from the bodice, 14" zipper instead of
whatever the instructions call for, ignoring the vertical bodice darts, lowered the armscyes by 1",
and stitching down the back pieces so that the cut out doesn't shift.

Next time I might add back that inch removed from the bodice, just to see what it looks like. 

I started with a little over two yards of a quilting fabric (yeah...) and in the space of less 
than a week** turned out this lovely frock.
Wee, now I'm going to rejuvenate by... not stitching?
(Blogging might take a hit from the sheer frustration of photo taking)

**Thank you The Monthly Stitch!
(EDIT: Of which I was too late to submit for the Indie Pattern Month Dress category)

Thanks also to:
and the Dress Up Party!

Basic Facts:
Pattern: Belladone bodice, Coffee Date Dress skirt
Fabric: quilting cotton (named Porcelain Blue) for fashion fabric,
 blue poly-cotton(?) pillow case for waistband and bias tape,
sparkle quilting cotton for lining 
Notions: 14" white invisible zipper

Stashbusting Piece Count: 3- 5 of 6 

(EDIT: the first publication of this post was a rush job regarding photos)

Friday, January 16, 2015

2014 Photo-less Recap

Wow it's been a long time since I last posted!

Many things have happened since: some projects finished, my accidentally putting the camera out of commission, my kinda going off of the Stashbusting pledge, and the normal things of work and the holidays.

I'm going to try to get the camera fixed and get photos of the finished items. But in the meantime, some reflections and plans for the blog.

And just cause I'm a bit lazy and I have a thing about the simplicity of lists, here's a list of observations and thoughts:
  1. I doubled my number of posts this year over last year (8 to 4!).
  2. I got tired of the pressure I put on myself to follow some of the Stashbusting themes because I kept wanting to sew up things that didn't meet the themes so I'm putting absolutely no pressure on myself this year in stashbusting.
  3. I will try to post once every month.
  4. Last year I started working full-time (finally!), but not as I expected in an office. I work retail with a provided shirt so my wardrobe change is minimal. In the time spent working in this position I've realized that my style tends toward casual, movement-allowance garb, though it hops into office-like garb at times. I'll try to sew more items that fit in this vein.
And for some accountability and a central place to keep some lists:

UFOs to hopefully finish:
  1. Khaki skirt
  2. Denim Sureau
  3. Red plaid homespun half circle skirt
  4. Grey Burda Danielle tunic
  5. Blue floral pintuck Sorbetto
  6. Blue tone Partly Sunny Frock
  7. [to be discovered]

A list of planned garments (with no pressure to actually sew, save for one or two):
  1. One or two dresses or skirts and blouses to wear to the brother's out-of-state graduation.
  2. Blue Porcelain Belladone (hopefully to be revealed this year!).
  3. Sky blue Belladone.
  4. Some warm flannel or flannel-like shirt(s).
  5. A shirtdress for the Autumn of 1000 Shirtdresses.
  6. Some skirts, dresses, and tops for Summer. 

My pledge for this years Stashbusting Challenge:

I, Laura, commit to using 6 pieces of stash fabrics in 2015.

Yeah, this post will not be noted for its beauty or its full-minded organization (how many so far have?) But it will serve for a later reminder of my state of mind around this time.

Friday, October 3, 2014

SSS '14 Weeks, Four, and Four-and-a-Half

Well I fell off the mark for week three, just wearing Me Made one day:

Tuesday(?) the 16th:

Top: Old Navy sweater
Skirt: Batik partial circle skirt

Worn for internet wandering and other sundry home things.

Sunday the 21st:

Dress: Light blue linen Cambie

Worn to church and then lounging around the house before work.

Tuesday the 23rd:

Top: denim camp shirt from Wal-Mart
Skirt: pre-blog black gathered skirt

Worn on a walk to the library and later for running around the house.

Sunday the 27th:

Cardigan: Old Navy aqua colored cardigan
Top: crinkled white JC Penney button-up
Skirt: To-be-blogged Simplicity 1690 skirt

Worn to church and sundry things before going to work.

Monday the 28th:

Top: green Old Navy t-shirt
Skirt: unblogged paisley microsuede skirt

Observations and thoughts coming soon.