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!)