Saturday, 16 January 2021

Some Other Non-Garment Sewing

This is just to document some x-mas gifts and some non-clothes sewing I did at the end of the last year.

Honestly, it was quite fun to sew something else than my usual dresses, as I was not very motivated to continue adding new standard clothes to my wardrobe, knowing that I only wear my collection of jersey dresses in the end. Full time home office became a norm again at the end of October and we are nowhere close to getting to the office on a regular basis before.... hmmm... end of March or possibly April, I would guess.

However, I got to do some other projects:

In preparation for December, I whipped up a quick Advent calendar for us - nothing super fancy, just 24 fabric bags, sewn super quickly on the serger. But this project used up a piece of black poly I would never ever use for a piece of clothing, as well as some nice ribbon.

I only sticked the numbers with washi tape, so that I can keep the little bags afterwards.

Next were some merino t-shirts for my parents, I actually used the same pattern for both of them, just adjusted the size little bit. I also added a little something on each of the shirts to make them more unique.

Last but not least, the big fashion in my Facebook sewing group this year: the reversible octopus. I used some velvet scraps from my 2 new velvet dresses which was a good and a bad idea. The octopus is very soft, but it was a pain to sew. The fabric frayed or disintegrated very easily and I had to resew several seams, as I was discovering new holes when filling the octopus up.

Also, I was not sure how much it should be stuffed, enough to hold its shape but not too much to be able to reverse it. It took only one evening to make but is rather cute :-)

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

2020 Hits and Misses

My usual recap for 2020:

As for the hits, it was rather difficult to choose only 5, because when looking at the year, I quickly adjusted my sewing to the new normal and focused on what I would wear immediately. But here are the ones who made it to the top5.

1. Turtleneck dresses - a big hit: here. Worked pre-pandemic, works during the pandemic as well. Such.A.Great.Staple. Also, I used this pattern for so much more than just 2 dresses, for turtlenecks, as well as normal dresses.

2. Merino anything - our Iceland tops, my black sweater. I still have some in my stash, so hopefully will continue sewing with it. It has an amazing drape and is so soft and nice. The real home luxury.

3. The spring coat - while I had no plan to sew a spring coat in these colours, I found the fabric, mostly by chance and chose the pattern from some old Burda. It was the first lockdown project, it kept me occupied and I basically wore it anytime I was going out in autumn.

4. Viscose summer dress - using only a scrap of fabric, I created and amazingly comfy and nice dress. Wore it the whole summer at home and outside.

5. Black fleck dress - in spite of some pooling around the neck, this dress is a secret pyjama looking like a very classy outfit. Soft on the inside, it gets worn at least once per week.

As for the misses, I do not have so many this year which is a good sign.

1. Ochre tencel dress - never worn, honestly, I am not a fan of the fabric touch and the colour is just way to much. Maybe if it was just a top, I could pair it with some dark bottom and it could work. Otherwise, it is just too much of ochre for my liking.

2. The Klimt dress - again, the fabric is not the best choice. I made the mistake of buying a quilting cotton for a dress, which is rarely a good idea. It is too stiff and not comfy enough, especially in 2020. It got worn maybe twice last summer.

3. The black jumpsuit - this was a resolution for 2020 and I thought that having the pattern, the fabric and finally the time to do it, there was no reason not to do it. It got sewn, I learned new things, but even though a jumpsuit could be cool to wear at home, I do not reach for it. First, there is the toilet issue, second, it does not have sleeves which means that I would either be too cold or would worry of getting a sunburn on my shoulders. So it is a version which could work in summer in the office, maybe.

4. Flight attendant dress - I was happy that I found a project for this fabric and I like the collar very much. But it got sewn in autumn and I was not in the office since. 

So that's it, quite a successful year. In total I have sewn:

71 pieces + 131 masks (not counting the ones made for my town)

Out of which: 31 pieces for others!!! That was a big surprise, there are mostly kids clothes, 2 pieces for my BF and a few gifts. 

It also includes 5 non-clothing items, quite a big number as well, actually

As for the used patterns:

35 Burdas (a half!!!, but expected)

9 Ottobre and 5 LaMasionVictor - kid's clothes

3 Knipmode, 3 Closet Core Patterns

1 Butterick, 4 McCall's

1 AppleGreen, 1 Moneta, 1 NewLook

And a few which were just my own mash-ups or following some tutoriels

Sunday, 3 January 2021

Baby X-mas

To progress on my overdue posts about x-mas gifts sewn, here is a little batch of baby clothes for a little 4-month guy. 

Due to the second covid wave I had some real bad luck in fabric shopping. I ordered some cotton velvet for me and for the baby and little pieces of cotton jersey at the beginning of December thinking I was way ahead of time. Unfortunately, the cotton jerseys (with very cute cars on it) were out of stock which I only learned mid December. The velvet was another story: it was dispatched from the German warehouse but due to the German lockdown, DHL no longer delivered to France. Fortunately, their customer service proposed to send the same fabrics from their Danish warehouse which I agreed to and the packet finally arrived on 23rd December!!!

Because of all this, I had to change my plans and pick up a cute animal jersey I had bought earlier in the year and not used up yet. I only had about half a meter, so I squeezed in a small body and a full body overall and had almost no scraps left. The body is my favourite Burda pattern and the overall came from this year Burda as well - with footies added.

As for the velvet, I wanted to sew a larger overall from it (Ottobre 2020), so when the fabric arrived, I quickly washed it up, tumble dried and started sewing as well. The fabric behaved really well, fortunately, because otherwise, I would have probably given up.

I finished my sewing on the 24th in the morning, adding press buttons only in the afternoon (I must say I really hate that, I always fix some on incorrectly and I was under time stress so not fully concentrated either). In the end, everything was finished and packed god 3 hours before we left for X-mas Eve, so all is good.

I also added a few bibs as well, as the last time, the parents were crying for not having enough bibs.

Saturday, 2 January 2021

Resolutions Review

Since I am a planner and a big fan of new year's resolutions (I do have 10 of them every year and manage to fulfill 7-8 of them regularly), let's review the list from 2020, shall we:

1. Stash reduction - decrease stash by 10m

Almost there - I reduced my stash by exactly 9m, which represents 10% of the total stash at the beginning of 2020, so definitely a win. I am proud of 2020 being the 4th consecutive stash-reducing year.

I managed to use up some old fabrics, mostly cottons, as well as some cotton scraps, as I sewed 130 face masks from my own stash this year. I do not want to say "thanks covid", however, it helped :)

Also, I sewed up all fabrics bought in 2018, please do not ask how I managed that. For all other years, the split is quite even, except the purchases in 2020 where I did not have time to use up everything.

2. New sewing skills - learn sewing with jerseys

A big win. Because of covid and working from home for the most part of the year, sewing jersey was THE THING to do this year.

Merino t-shirts for our winter trip to Iceland, merino shirts for my family for x-mas (I actually made a big order of merino jerseys which helped not achieve my 1st goal completely), casual jersey dresses were the best thing of this year, as this is what I wore the most, so it was the most logical thing to sew. I still have quite a lot of things to blog about, including kid's clothes and velvet x-mas dresses for me, as well as my new sports outfits.

It definitely helped that I purchased a combined overlock/coverlock machine in January. It took me some time to learn to thread it properly and start really sewing with it, but once I have mastered it, I cannot stop. Sewing jersey is just super quick and nice with this machine, I do not even mind switching from overlock to the coverlock mode.

3. Follow the wishlist

  • Black winter coat (Burda) - done, not yet blogged though
  • Black mid-season coat (Burda) - not done, but I sewed another midseason coat from Burda 
  • Pair of jeans (Closet case) - not done
  • Black jumpsuit (McCall's) - done, even though not worn as much as I have imagined

2 out of 4, but with me staying at home all the plans got somehow changed, so the result is not so bad in the end.

4. Burda challenge

Hmmm, so I sewed a lot from Burda this year (detail to come in my hits&misses post), but for the exact 2020 number, not so sure. I had to check my sewing excel and the result is actually better than I had thought:

2020 Burda used: March (2x), April, August, September, October (4x), December (2x)

So that is half of the issues received. I have however, had quite some issues with receiving them and they also arrived later than they were available on the newsstands which is quite a disappointment and which means that I am no longer a subscriber and will continue buying an occasional issue now and then.

All in all, that was a great year, sewing wise. I spent a lot of time at home, and sewing actually helped me stay focused and concentrated and as usual, it was a great way to destress after work. In general, I do not consider 2020 such a horrible year, as everybody is trying to suggest, I managed not to catch the virus, and still have my full time job at the end of the year, I feel rather privileged, as the only constraint to that was not being able to travel as much as I would have wanted and staying at home. 

I do not want to go too much into detail, as this is a sewing blog and in terms of my sewing, I have really expanded my skills with my serger, I sewed some more kids clothes and some sophisticated and complicated garments as well.

(beautiful inside of my spring coat)

Sunday, 27 December 2020

X-mas gifts sewing, 1st batch

And so comes some X-mas sewing - as usual mostly little boys collection :)

I was really wondering what else do little guys wear in winter, as apart from trousers, t-shirts and sweaters, I really do have difficulties finding something original to sew for them, so I try to at least

- sew outfits

- sew from funny or unexpected fabrics

Are you ready? Here comes the small version (2 year-old):

His mom was sending me hints on the last linen trousers I sewed for him, as she really loves them and as they seem extremely comfy, unfortunately, my linen remnant (which was reserved for this guy for some time) was not big enough. Also, at two years, it is quite difficult to find patterns for real trousers, as the size falls right in between baby sizes (and mostly leggings) and kids sizes (too big). 

In the end, I managed to match two patterns and improvised linen trousers with elastic in the waist and, of course, big pockets. The linen was already used for a summer dress for me, a dress and a handbag for one little girl and now, I can officially confirm, I do not have any more.

For the t-shirt, I used last year Ottobre Kids issue (10-03/2019). I own exactly two issues but I use them for maybe 90% of all my kids sewing. They have funny, diverse patterns, they have an equal amount for boys and girls (!!!) and more importantly, their patterns cover really large size ranges, contrary to Burda which is often limited to one age group (and usually not the one I need).

As for the sweater, it comes from Ottobre 08-04/2020, I told you... Both fabrics were purchased with some kids sewing in mind and I am really happy that they works so well together.

For his almost 4-year-old brother, the outfit is rather similar.

The trousers from LMV, already sewn this summer.  This time from a sturdier gabardine, the one I used for my BFs bermuda (yet to be blogged). 

Both, the t-shirt and sweater pattern come from the last Ottobre, I just did not have enough fabric for the hood, so the sweater is finished with some simple rib.

Sunday, 20 December 2020

Black Fleck Dress

I must have felt that the second covid wave was coming (well, seeing people behaviour in August and September helped a lot), because I passed a quite large fabric order just at the end of September to have it at home in October. Actually, browsing Stof&Stil website proves rather dangerous, because I totally love their online catalogue and get inspired, probably too much inspired.

So while this order threw me quite far away from my stash reduction goal, I am not desperate (yet), I still have some two more weeks in 2020 to go and it looks like I will be spending them at home a lot, so let's stay positive, I have all my chances to get close to the goal level.

One of the fabrics I bought (and somehow forgot between the moment I paid my order and it being delivered) was this exquisite black French terry with little white flecks. Not only is the fabric nice and quite classy (for a French Terry, that is, hahahaha), but it is also extremely soft on the inside. 

The choice of the right pattern was rather quick, as I was eyeing the Burda 111-01/2019 since I had the magazine. It is a simple jersey dress with a high neckline and very simple lines. 

Since I can now master my serger and since I already had black thread in it, this pieces just flew through it and was sewn in no time. I realized that batch sewing is really the way to go with a serger because you feel more productive.

Back to the pattern - I actually did a few modifications - the dress is supposed to be closed with a zip on the back which I omitted, but kept the back seam. The dress itself has absolutely no shaping opportunity in the back, apart from the back seam, so I played with it a little bit. Since my fabric was not extremely stretchy, I was afraid that I could not get my big head through the funnel neck, so I improvised a little opening in the should seam with 3 press buttons.  

In terms of shaping, I took in a few centimeters on the front as well so that the dress is adjusted without being it too tight.

And the result is just awesome. I am not yet sure if I would wear it to work, even though it looks ok in the black and white, but somehow, unconsciously, I still have the feel of the French terry on the inside and so think of the dress as a casual one.

Sunday, 6 December 2020

The Success of Procrastination or the Dark Green Dress

 I always like dresses from ponte, but find it quite difficult to buy some in not uni version. So when I came across this dark green flowery fabric, I just had to buy it. The only issue is that printed pontes are usually more poly than viscose and you can easily feel it, oh well.

I ordered the fabric last year in winter months so obviously, had no intention to sew it during summer. Then September came in and I tried to find again my sewjo by muslining 3 dresses at the same time and cutting out 2 of them right afterwards. This one was one of them. I chose Burda 102 from 12/2019 issue, a dress which was originally sewn from a woven but I figured that it would work from my stable knit. 

I am really happy that I batch cut out my projects because I would have probably hesitated still some more and this way, the fabric was prepared, I only had to assemble it. I even motivated myself to use and rethread my serger, therefore, the dress took exactly one after-work evening to sew. 

I tried some pattern matching and there are places where it really worked well, like in the front, so I am definitely proud of myself. The dress was very quick to assemble and since I muslined it, there was almost nothing to adjust during sewing (except the sleeves' and overall length). I still tried it on during the construction process and that is when I realized that I was going to really like the result.

Once the dress was finished I was really excited - the fit is really perfect, I can put it on without any closing and the colour is great on me. So a great WIN, in the end.