Sunday, 28 January 2018

Black Blazer

The last project of 2017. Actually, I did not plan to finish it and I did not finish it in 2017. I was not even sure that I would start it. I was done with X-mas presents sewing by the end of November, then I spent a few week-ends out, 2 weeks sick and the rest of my time baking a few hundreds of x-mas cookies. So I woke up the week before x-mas with no special project in mind. The 2017 was a very productive year so I felt like I have sewn everything I wanted to sew and had no special wish for the rest of the year.

 Also, quite exceptionally for me, I did not want to sew a special X-mas dress, as we were going to my in-laws, meaning in the middle of the French countryside where I am always freezing, so I knew I would wear one of my wool dresses with nice jewelry.

A week before x-mas when job got less crazy and all the baking was done, I just pulled out this pattern without overthinking things. I liked it since I bought this Burda (2015!), but never got to sewing it. Now I also had a nice wool/cashmere suiting bought this summer in Thailand I wanted to use. It is a less-formal blazer, which suits perfectly my work wardrobe. I have my eye on another blazer from this year Burda so I hope I will get to it soon.

I like the rather unusual darts, no pockets, and quite short jacket style (I am pretty short, so not a big fan of large jackets, however in vogue they might be). Also, it still creates a nice silhouette and simulates a waist, even for those who do not have it, hahaha. And... the pattern is a petite size, so a great bonus.

As I did not have any pressure on, I traced the pattern on Tuesday, sewed the muslin on Wednesday (in a terrible green old sheet fabric, btw) and got totally psyched out. No adjustments needed in the shoulder area, is that even possible?!?! I shaved 3cm off the sleeves length, added 1cm on each side around the waist (did I tell you I have no waist?) and shortened the front by 2cm - this was pretty easy because there is basically a double dart in there, so a lot of opportunities to incorporate these adjustments.

Oh yes, and I had to explain my BF that no, this green is just a muslin and I am not counting on sewing the blazer in any colour, I just need a nice basic black one. (He loves any colour on me as long as it is not black, oh well...).
On Thursday evening, I cut out everything from the fashion fabric. I was on vacation on Friday and basically, sewed the outer vest and lining during the week-end (apart from preparations for x-mas, of course). I was really excited how everything fitted and I liked it a lot.

However, it stayed in that status till 2018, since I was rather exhausted from the x-mas celebrations and we flew away to Sicily to spend a few vacation days and more importantly New Year's over there. On 2nd of January I was already back at work and life caught up slowly. I finally had some time to attach the lining (on the machine for most of it and by hand on the back hem and the sleeves).

I am very happy about the result: I used more interfacing than recommended and honestly, I could have put it even on the back and it would have worked too. There is no pulling or creepy lines, if I am really picky, the sleeve head could have been slightly larger, but I am really searching for bugs here.

I know this is a basics and that's what is great about this blazer, it will just work with everything.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

X-mas sewing - Part II.

X-mas is now entirely over and I can publish the second batch of me-made gifts.

The first one is a silk kimono I sewed for my mum. Last year, she was disappointed, as my sister got a new dress and she nothing, so this year she had some as well. The challenge is that we are not of the same size and it is rather difficult to guestimate her size on distance.
Then I had the idea of sewing a kimono for her - I have seen so many of them this year and liked the idea of a silk colourful one. Then I found this violet silk fabric in my stash (Malaysia, 2 years ago) and there were no more doubts.

I did not use any commercial pattern, just tutos on Pinterest and I used all of my fabric. All the seams are French-seamed and I used a piece of the remnant to do a little double-facing. The sleeves' hem is just a fabric selvedge, so I left it off as such.

It looks little weird on myself, as I am slightly smaller than my mum, but on her it was quite cool actually and definitely her colours.

The last gift I sewed is this kind of cape-sweater for my sister. It is Burda 120-12/2016 pattern I bought separately and loved since I first saw it. However, when I sewed the muslin (in the smallest size), it was more than oversized. I think I had to take away 7-8cm on each side and on the length as well.

I used some wool crepe which is a little more flowy than the recommended bouclé but works perfectly as well. There is nothing special to say about theused techiques, I used large French seams and hand stitched the hems, it was a quick and very cool make.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

2017 Hits and Misses

I have realized that I tend to forget what I actually sew during the year. Some pieces of clothing become such big hits that it seems I own them since ever. So it is always nice to go through the year again and remind myself what worked well and what did not as it definitely helps my planning.

Let's start on the positive note - my 2017 hits:

This dress has everything - it is very simple, yet very intricated. It is sewn in dark blue linen which is not a usual colour for me but I like it a lot on myself. It is a shift dress so quite comfy even in the worst heat waves.

Ok, so officially, 2017 was a year of the sleeve and this is the only funny sleeve I did. Another shiftdress, in rather dark colours, it quickly became a wardrobe staple for me. In addition, I used some oooold fabric for that.

I still do not understand why it took me one year to motivate myself to sew this cape. In the end, it was such an easy make and I am very proud of the details, such as the zip, the arm openings etc. It is not a thing to wear every day, but I love it.

Again, not a dress I would wear every day, but an achievement in terms of sewing skills. I was too intimidated by the complexity, but once I did the muslin, everything was pretty clear.
Lesson to take with me to 2018: challenge myself more - I can sew a lined and fitted dress without asking many questions because I do it often. So I need to gain the same confidence on other types of garments, such as jackets.

Burda top
This top, because it got worn even though I do not have many white things to complement it. It is simple, yet comfy and creates a nice silhouette.

2017 misses:

The colour tops
Not all of them got worn, not because they are not nice, but because I tend to wear mainly dresses and miss some bottom separates. Actually, the only time I really wear tops is on summer vacation when I spend my time in shorts. So the take for the next year should be to sew more skirts and shorts to take advantage of my tops.

Red jumpsuit
While the first jumpsuit was a success and got some wear on vacation, I did not manage to take this one out of my wardrobe. Perhaps because it is too revealing or because I only remember the overexposed pictures on my blog which certainly do not do it favour. I think that the revealing back combined with shorts was a bad idea, it looked rather elegant in the original long version, while the short one is just blaah. However, I might try to sew another jumpsuit this year as I consider them quite cool and practical (once I solve the "toilet issue")

The 50' dress
I like the result, but it does not fit into my wardrobe. I do not have many opportunities to wear such kind of dresses, I will always prefer a nice shift to a large skirt. Also, the fact that the skirt is not lined feels like the dress is a cheap one.

This year's UFO
I usually do not produce UFOs, but this one was hanging on my sewing dummy for too long. It is my x-th attempt to sew a wrap dress (and definitely not the last one because I.need.a.wrap.dress). The fabric is some poly and I have to be really careful not to burn it during ironing. I am very happy with the cross-over which sits nicely, but am really bothered by the sleeves. Also, while the fabric looks cute on the black dummy, it is less appropriate on myself. I have considered black piping to break it. I am still convinced that I should try to finish this dress and that it can work. The aim overhere is to have a T&T pattern for a wrap dress.

Green-brown dress
Not yet on the blog as I have to adjust it. There is something about the proportions really bugging me; the bodice sits nicely, but the shoulder area seems strange, maybe if it was a V-shape, it would be nicer.
I like the colour of this suiting (not very clear in these pictures) too much to throw it away, so this went to my re-do pile.

All in all, it was a very positive year. I am not sure if I will be able to do so much sewing next year as well, so I just enjoy the new clothes in my closet :o)

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Review of 2017

Originally, I did not want to write an overview of 2017, but the year finished rather beautifully, and I actually like reading the reviews from other bloggers so I will write mine as well.

First, to remind ourselves with the objectives of 2017 - I wanted to sew and I needed to decrease my stash by 10% while still buying fabric. I found out that being on a buying diet does not work for me - sometimes I just see the amazing fabric while on vacation or need to buy lining to finish a project. But buying while being careful and decreasing the stash at the same time works pretty well.

We went to Thailand on our big summer vacation so buying fabric over there was a must. However, I learned from my past mistakes and bought fabrics I would easily use up for my daily wear, not only those colourful cottons with Asian motives. I brought a few meters of some basic wool-cashmere suiting, as well as silks for linings. In total I bought 56,7m of fabric during the year which was A LOT. I need to be more careful next year, mainly at the beginning of the year, while "saving up" for the vacations.

On the consumption side, this was probably my best sewing year. Work was less crazy than usually, mainly in the second half of the year, so I had time and energy to sew.
  • I sewed my first patchwork - a large one - which used up a lot of my stash. I managed to use a lot of cotton coupons I had brought from the US or Indonesia a few years ago and which I liked a lot but which were not suitable for clothes. Also, I could use some of the large scraps I have left. Clearly a winner. It took me crazy hours but fits nicely into my piano room.
  • I used some little coupons for a few summer tops
  • I started sewing from the fabrics I bought on this year's vacation - a good proof of the right choices
  • I sewed up 78m of fabric, so the decrease is of 21,3m, which is largely above the planned 10% (I did not get under 100m of total stash, ending at 106, but that is okay, I will get to that soon)
  • I sewed a few of x-mas presents which enabled me to sew things I would usually not make for myself, I still have one post to publish on that
  • I got to sewing items from my long-term wishlist, such as some Vogue dresses or a cape
In total, I have sewed 38 pieces:
18 dresses
2 skirts (not blogged)
1 cape
7 tops
1 blazer
2 jumpsuits
2 pairs of trousers
1 short
1 patchwork
3 x-mas gifts

As for the pattern company stats:
I mostly sew from Burda (22 pieces), followed by 4 repeats of one NewLook and 3 different Vogue patterns and I did not have to do the statistics to know that, haha. I bought a few Burda numbers, as well as a few patterns. It still does not justify Burda yearly subscription; in addition, I know feel that I have a good stock of basic patterns in case I need something rather standard.

I am also quite happy with my blogging, as I have published 34 posts and I do not have a major blogging delay.