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.

Monday, September 15, 2014

OWOP/ Self-Stitched September Week Two Round-Up

One Week, One Pattern; go!

Sunday, September the 7th

Top: my poppy linen Sorbetto
Skirt: a microsuede skirt with uneven godets. Made pre-blog.
Worn to church and lounging around the house before work

Monday, September the 8th 

pretty much the same thing I wore on Saturday, but with a Target jacket for warmth. Worn around the house before work.

Tuesday, September the 9th 

Wednesday, September the 10th 

Thursday, September the 11th 

Friday, September the 12th 

Confession? I mostly wore jeans and both of my Sorbettos (I just changed them out each day) for the rest of the week, in part because the temperature highs dropped about 20 degrees overnight and I had a few days of feeling groggy and uninspired (which didn't help while I was trying to plot another Sorbetto). So I technically did complete the challenge of wearing Sorbettos all week, but lost steam in creativity. Hopefully this week will be better.

SSS '14 Week 1 Round Up

At last! (Excuse the bad pictures, I've had camera problems and just wanted to get the photos up. Hopefully I can improve on later photos).

September 2

Shirt: acquired from TJMaxx
Shorts: Me Made from before the blog.

I really really love this fabric. It combines understated colors with temperature-wise coolness (cotton), and a slight slubby-ness (which is why I have a ridiculous stash of poly shantung). Wish I could find more fabric in this color.

The construction is lousy so we aren't getting any closer than this!

September 3

Top: cotton peasant blouse
Skirt: Old Navy navy rayon, found on the clearance rack
Worn for a walk, reading email, and general home things before going to work (which has a uniform).

Given the 81 degree farhenheit weather I didn't look twice at my jeans and went with the skirt, in part to experiment with Summer wearability. Not a look I prefer for everyday life, but it worked for the day (and because I needed to do laundry).

September 5

Dress: altered from Old Navy
Worn for the same things as on the third.

I altered this before I knew much about sewing, which might be part of why it gapes a little in the back and is a little tight around the arms. Nice and cool, though!

September 6

First day of  One Week One Pattern!
Top: my batik Sorbetto
Worn celebrating a friend's birthday by exploring the nearby book shops

Well that's the first week done! (Full disclosure, I had to take these photos all in one day because of camera issues, but I do promise that I did wear these this week).

Monday, September 1, 2014

Self-Stitched September

Has Self-Stitched September lost it's appeal or usefulness?

(Image taken from So Zo)

In a quick Google search I found that SSS was last mass observed in 2011, back when I was new to sewing and pledging to wear all self-made clothes every day was a daunting task. Well my stash is now mountainous (it may have collapsed one of the shelves on my bookcase) and I can fairly confidently pledge to wear handmade a few days every week, so here goes:

For September 2014 I, Laura of Creating Distractions, pledge to wear at least one Me Made, altered, or refashioned garment at least four days a week.

Housekeeping details:
1. I will post weekly round ups.
2. Mirror photos are entirely acceptable.
3. I am allowed to repeat items, but only after I've worn all my handmades (ugh).
4. I'm going to try something, mostly as an experiment because I haven't figured out all the details and because it appeals to me for some reason. I'm assigning points for wearing my handmade garments: 1 for every garment worn this month, 2 for newly finished items worn. I was thinking of allowing myself some sort of prize at the end of the month if a certain number of points is met (22), but am indecisive. Instead I might use the points as some sort of statistic.

We'll see how all of this goes.

Oh! And I found evidence that at least one other soul plans to participate in in SSS '14: Jennifer at Sorting Buttons. Blessings and good sewing to her this September!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Linen, Light, and Bright

 With this photo shoot I have learned something about myself:
I don't like taking photos by myself.

 Before I realized that I needed to move myself.

Or taking photos in general.
But I digress.

I present my first Cambie. A wearable muslin (because I'm refuse to spend sewing time on something that I'm not going to use... although I haven't yet started fussing with button holes...) 
squeezed out of 1.33 yards of light blue linen...

(I suddenly remembered to smile...)

...and having been abandoned for the better part of ten months-- 
after completing half of the construction. 
I think I got distracted:
 1) because I was deciding whether to change the construction of the waistband, 
and 2) Fall weather came. 

I picked her back up because:
1) I wanted to have one finished garment after having two three months of UFOS and little sewing,
 and 2) The color matched the April stashbusting theme of "vibrant color." 

The construction was simple and lovely, even though I goofed 
by cutting the lining a size smaller than the shell fabric.

Don't think you can really tell, though.

Now for a little photo dump 'cause I'm not sure what else to say.

I've got to remember to stand straight next time.

Been waiting for the weather to warm up so that I can wear this to church.

(Photos, when cropped, in Pixlr).

Basic Facts:
Pattern: Sewaholic Cambie
Shell Fabric: light blue linen
Lining Fabric: a white poly-cotton sheet
Notions: 24" zipper

Fabric History:
Acquired the linen back when the only fabric I bought was from the remnant section, so at least two years ago. Chances are that was during my obsession to only make solid colored dresses. 
I was fortunate that Hancock's decided to call it a remnant even thought it was over a yard, 
otherwise I'm not sure it could have become a Cambie. 

The lining was part of a garage sale haul.

Stashbusting Piece Count: 2 of 10 (I won't count it because it was a UFO from last year)
Garment Count: 2 of 12.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Plantain Muslin... Ivory Knit and Cornstalk Suede

Here it is! My first attempt at Deer and Doe's Plantain.
 (Yes, the bookshelf to my left is mostly full of stash fabric. Heh heh... uh oh).

I am not much of an elbow patch person, but as I unexpectedly loved the pleats in the Belladone skirt 
I was quite willing to see if my opinion could change (still deciding)... 
...and it didn't hurt that the pattern is free... Thanks so much, Eleonore!


The main fabric is an ivory rib knit.
The elbow patches are a polyester suede.
(Yes, a woven on a knit.)

I spent a bit of time stressing over this. I really wanted to use suede for the patches (my traditional conception of elbow patches) and I really wanted to use all stash fabrics, so I decided to 
blast possibly good sense and give it a whirl. 

It also helped that this is my wearable muslin of the pattern.

(Accidental photo of elbow patch. Sew them patches on lower next time...)

Oh, and in other bits of happy news, I used a sewing machine for the first time in one of my projects!
I know that sewing machines are old hats for most people,  but I started without a
machine, started with needles and pincushions and some vague ideas of how this all works.
I enjoyed (still do) the simple and mostly mindlessness of handstitch after handstich
while listening to a nice lecture or audio book.
It is relaxing, I don't have to worry about a machine stitching through my hand,
and I have such control over the stitching.

But now that I've tried a machine. It is not as intimidating as it once was, and it stitches far faster
than I ever could.
There will be more machine stitching in my future.

The majority of the seams are sewn via machine, a few by hand (and with a stay tape), and I didn't
finish the sleeves and hem because I liked the raw edges.

A new garment to celebrate a good pattern, a fun challenge, and stashbusting!

Basic Facts:
Pattern: Deer and Doe's Plantain
Fabric: ivory cotton rib knit and cornstalk polyester suede
Notions: stay tape

Fabric History:
2 pieces of rib kit under a yard in length, acquired at different times at least a year ago.
Probably intended for a sweater.
Polyester suede acquired perhaps two years ago, intended for gloves.

Stashbusting Piece Count: 2 of 10 
Garment Count: 1 of 12

Monday, January 20, 2014


Stashbusting 2013


(Sorry for the uneven arrangement. I am still learning formatting capabilities).

So let's see if I can't make some sewing (related) goals for the year:

1. Finish one garment, alteration, refashion, or UFO per month. Try for to make a dent in at least 10 stash pieces (up from 6).
2. Blog each item, even if there are more photos than words (sometimes the best posts!).
3. Participate in at least one challenge for the year, other than Stashbusting 2014.
4. Participate in a Me-Made or Self-Stitched month! Which means I need to buffer my wardrobe with more shirts or just start wearing more skirts.

I have no major observations from the year, although...

1. The reason I was able to meet my goal was that I had (and still have) 
a lot of fabric pieces shorter than a yard.
2. I did make more of an effort not to buy new fabric.
(I thought more about what I bought, but still bought a decent length of fabric.
Maybe next year I'll be brave enough to refuse buying any more fabric.)
3. I was often digging through my stash, looking for fabric that I was not afraid of cutting into. 
Try to be more fearless this year!
4. I like making my muslin with a new pattern and then moving on to another pattern so that I 
have time to digest the alterations to make on the next iteration. 
Thus my me-making plods along.
5. There were many things I intended to make in order to fill holes in my wardrobe.
Never got to any of them.
This is a year for at least two of them!

Okay, there's some thoughts for the past year. Not very interesting, but helpful in 
thinking about what to watch out for in the next eleven and a half months.

And the pledge for this coming year (rather unambitious compared to others, but
as I am yet to learn how to use a machine I am very slow sewer. 
I am also in a period of transition, so sewing time might be hard-found).

"I, Laura of Creating Distractions, commit to: finish one garment, alteration, refashion, or UFO per month. Try to make a dent in at least 10 stash pieces (up from 6)."

Contrary to this bumper sticker:

Onward! Happy sewing!

Partial Circle Skirt, Take 1

One of my last projects finished this past Summer (2013).  (Yeah, I'm posting this realllly late...)

It's my first attempt at a partial circle skirt. The fabric is a cotton batik of pink, turquoise, 
white, mud-green, blue, and purple on brown backing.

Should try ironing moleskin...

Lined with grey moleskin for warmth in Fall/ Winter and a general desire for opacity.
Yes, the lining is asymmetrical because it was also made from a remnant 
(and in order to stay with the partial circle skirt theme).  

The waistband is a simple straight strip with polyester ribbon used as a very stiff "interfacing."
I have not worn or washed this skirt a lot yet, so I'll still have to test whether this was a good move.
Waistband is shut with a skirt hook and eye. 

This fabric was a bit of an impulse buy. Now that I've made it I am hard pressed to find a lot of pieces in my wardrobe that go well with it. I have some ideas (black top obviously, denim jacket?...) and am wondering if I'll have to make some garments to wear with it. But I can still dig through my closet and see if there's anything I've missed or need to reconsider...

Basic Facts:
Pattern: partial circle
Shell fabric: cotton batik
Lining Fabric: polyester moleskin (JoAnn Fabrics)
Notions: skirt/ pants hook and eye, polyester ribbon for interfacing (experiment!)