Monday, May 16, 2016

Busy Summer!

Yep, I'm late with my Me-Made May posts but I just wanted to quickly note the plethora of sewing  activities for the Summer.

June is Indie Pattern Month on The Monthly Stitch! 30 days of four themed sewing contests:

And there is another Indie Pattern Month week contest in July!

Also starting in June is the Outfit Along hosted by Lauren of Lladybird and Andi of Untangling Knots. This contest/ sew along/ knit along runs from June 1st through July 31st and features the Sewaholic Hollyburn skirt and Andi's Zinone top.

Currently there are discounts attached to both sets of events:

  • Indie Pattern Month May Discounts (some of these have already expired, but there will be another round in June)
  • "To celebrate the Zinone's launch, Andi is offering 20% off up until the official OAL start of June 1. Use the code OAL2016 to get you that discount!"(quoted from Lladybird)

And The Monthly Stitch has a pattern swap sign up running until May 20th.

Whew! Summary over!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Blossoms on the Bike Path

Yay! Another Monthly Stitch challenge met!

This here is the Shwin Lane Top in "specialty cotton" per Joann's. I had two separate yards (remnants) that were officially 44" wide with the floral design being closer to 40" across. But I obviously had enough for this shirt! 

As per The Monthly Stitch sub-theme, Flower Power, I have two floral fabrics, the 3D floral for the front, back and back yoke, and sleeves, and another white fabric for the inside yoke (so I wouldn't be pressing two bumpy layers at once) and as bias binding for the neckline and hem.

This is actually my second Lane iteration. The first will hopefully be blogged soon. I present this one first so that I could get my Monthly Stitch contribution in before the month's end.

The construction instructions are pretty simple, though there is one step that I could not make heads or tails of just by reading. Both times I made this top I had to play around with the pieces in order to figure out what the instructions were trying to convey.

On another note I need to make this top without bias tape hems because I think that the specialty cotton has more drape than the quilting cotton, which makes the hem flair out more than preferred.

Aand today's photography session is brought to you by the Rookie Photographer! She can't figure out what makes some photos blurry and/ or washed out and she was constantly looking for interlopers because she chose the public bike path for the location. Thankfully the location is on a bridge that offers some privacy, and it was 40 degrees out, so most of the population was indoors. In fact there was one interruption, which caused the Rookie Photographer to ditch the last few shots of the 10 shot burst to try to hide what she was doing. (Chronicled below, which very nicely shows more fabric detail).

Fabric: Specialty floral cotton, (presumably) quilting cotton
Notions: self-made bias tape from quilting cotton
Adjustments:  XS graded to medium in the hips, elastic in lieu of button and button tabs, bias tape for hem and neckline, no pocket

The sewing queue:
1. Simplicity 2154 Pencil skirt (partially sewn)
2. White Belladone  (partially sewn)
3. Blue-green bottom weight Lisette (Butterick) 1419 (cut out)
4. A green microsuede Simple Shift Dress (on the brain)

Oh, and my Me-Made May pledge:

"I, Laura of Creating Distractions, pledge to wear at least three handmade garments a week and to finish making at least two more during the month of May."

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Belladone Skirt No. 2

Fabric: Tobacco Twill (possibly the same used for Andrea's pencil skirt) and a black and white cotton batik for the pocket lining that I failed to photograph
Notions: 8" invisible zipper, craft fuse(?) interfacing
Pattern: Deer and Doe Belladone (dress)
Adjustments: Chopped off the top :P

Bad photography abounds. (I suppose I could blame the fact that I haven't done any project photos since September or so, but that's kind of a cop out as I could have prolonged the photo shoot but felt self-conscious).

This project was started late last year (November of so) and then it languished out in the open for months. (It was folded in a stack of papers that would fall over every so often).

'Course November is in the thick of the holiday season, coupled with procedures on the hand digits led to minimal sewing until late January when I really needed a new pair of pajama bottoms (waiting to be photographed and blogged).

Then comes The Monthly Stitch theme: UFO Showdown. Perfect motivation!

Not much to say about the construction, other than the interfacing was a test in hand strength. That stuff is thick but super strong. I'm still debating whether to keep using it for waistbands.

As you might be able to tell from this small range of photos, I had trouble getting decent shots. I've been trying to find better backgrounds than the bedraggled and weedy backyard (with its assurances of greater privacy) and tried the front of one of my church's buildings. I waited till after services and the concurrent classes and took advantage of this nice outdoor seating area, complete with metal lawn chairs and a brick wall.

Getting the exact color of the skirt was tricky, as was getting any shots that didn't chop off my head, wash me out, or were just taken from too far away. Couldn't win on that score, it was was always two out of three.

But it was kind of fun. I've got a few ideas of things to try for the next photo shoot and I finished another garment!

(This last photo makes me happy. Reminds me of old hobbies.) 


On the sewing queue:
1. Blue Belladonne
2. Pencil skirt?
3. ?

Monday, January 11, 2016

2016 Creative Plans

I stated one major goal for this year is balancing crafting with intellectual pursuits. Now let's set some more goals for the year.
  1. Stashbusting will happen as it happens, as inspiration strikes and fizzles, or strikes and storms through to a new make. There will be no quantitative goal in order to allow leeway in balancing life pursuits.
  2. Blogging was always sporadic and mostly dependent on makes (and a working camera!). This year it shall be much the same. We will see if this is a productive a year.
  3. Have fun! Create with no regard to contests or themes.
Currently on the sewing queue:

1. A Belladone skirt partially sewn
2. A pair of Simplicity 8022* pajama bottoms partially sewn
3. A blue Belladonne dress cut out
4. A Simple Skirt on the brain, the fashion fabric chosen

Hopefully they will make blog appearances soon!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

The 2015 Sewing Assessment

Well, checking in with at last year's recap tells me I was minimally successful.

So, what changed from last year?

A. The camera woes were remedied by buying a new picture-taker: a Canon PowerShot SX400 IS affectionally named Elsa (not because of Frozen. I just like the name, watching the movie makes me restless with boredom). She's not a fancy machine, but she serves my very basic purposes of being a working camera with the burst setting and not breaking the ole bank account.

B. There are only seven blog posts in 2015, versus the eight of 2014. That comes to an average of one post per fifty-two days, with only two being actual project posts!

C. I failed the Stashbusting goal by one piece of fabric (though I'm not fully sure why I count it as pieces of fabric when everyone else measures in yards or meters. Oh, that's because of how making partial circle skirts affect what is leftover). I also added approximately ten yards to the stash, mostly with pretty strong ideas of the intended projects.

D. Projects-wise I finished two UFOs,

Homespun half circle skirt
Simplicity 2314 in khaki twill.
Oh the learning experiences!

a top to wear at The Brother's graduation,

the Sorbetto in bird printed shirting from Jo-Ann's*

the Blue Porcelain Belladonne,

and a linen skirt that will hopefully make a great summer option.

*Oh, and the dress form is a Simple Fit from Dritz (can't find it on the website or I'm just that dense). Belle came into the CD creative house from the 60% off sale at Jo-Ann's Black Friday weekend sale.

It was a slow year for creativity, mostly due to personal events and the nagging question of life direction.

Of late there have been constant reminders of my finitude as a crafter, as a thinker, as a reader, as a worker, as a person.  I have grown up in a pretty intellectual family and consider myself to be the dumb one. This is not to say that I am a dummy or I have no self-worth, but that I'm probably the least intellectual while also being the most DIY craft-minded.

I recognize that I have the potential to be more intellectual, but that means more time away from the craft projects.

On the other hand to be at my peak of happiness and production I need to be working on those craft projects.

So comes that struggle between disparate desires: crafting and intellectual pursuits.

One of my plans for the coming year is to try to find that balance.

Friday, October 9, 2015

SSS '15 and Wrap Up

Okay, here is the belated last post for Self-Stitched September.

September 20 -- linen Sorbetto and un(b)logged microsuede skirt (Simplicity 1690) worn to church.
Fabric: polyester microsuede
Notions: 7" zipper, interfacing for the waistband
Notes: none, other than it's comfortable.

September 26 -- cotton peasant blouse worn for running around the house.
Notes: I actually really like this blouse! It's super simple but so wonderful.

Self-Stitched September reminds me how little I wear me-mades, save for Sundays. I have also observed that I wear more me-mades in Summer than any other season; reason being is that very few of them are easy to wear in layers (I get cold easily). So the brain is on how to incorporate more layer-able items in the sewing queue.

Off to other things now, tallyho!

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.