Monday, 19 February 2018

Basic and Repeat

2017 was a year of many repeats and there are actually several reasons for that.

I almost stopped buying RTW. I am not participating in any RTW fast of anything because I still prefer buying two types of clothing – lingerie and sportswear – and I do not want to venture into sewing them. I find lingerie very fiddly and the accessories rather expensive and most importantly, I found a brand which fits perfectly, so why bother. I really like nice lingerie but at the end of the day, I alternate between the same model in different colors because it is the least visible under my clothing. And now, that VS ships to EU without charging taxes and high shipping costs, I really do not have a reason to get to sewing underwear.
As for sportswear, this is a different story. I do at least 3-4 hours of sports every week, so my sportswear needs are important. On the other side, I am already very well equipped and get a new t-shirt any time I participate in an official run (4-5 every year). So even though I throw then from time to time, I always have a lot of them. In addition, sportswear being stretchy, the fitting needs are less important.

I am sewing a big majority of my clothes, which means that I also found out what works for me and where I should concentrate my efforts. I of course dare to try new patterns and expand my sewing skills, but for the basics I will not change what already works

It has been some time I have been sewing, therefore, I have already thrown away things I have sewn because they have shrunk in the washing or because they have been worn to death (or because of a poor material choice).

This basically brings me to this repeat dress. It has been made to replace this basic shift. The original version was sewn once just because I did not have a better idea on what to do and I just pulled out a piece of black cotton remnant for that. It was in a regular circulation for some time, the fabric was no longer black around the seams and the back seams were almost disintegrating. (normally, I do not need any back seam or zipper on my shift dress T&T, but I was distracted then and cut out 2 back pieces. I knew that I could not live without it so set out to replace it.

The new dress is made out of some embroidered cotton which was stiffer than expected and at the same time really difficult to iron – a big problem because a basic black dress needs to be practical. I decided to interface it with some black light silk-cotton voile which helped a lot to the creasing/ ironing problem but at the same time added bulk. So I abandoned the idea of lining the dress and just finished the main seams with some bias binding (the original dress had neck facing and I never really liked that).

I also sewed pockets because I was too lazy on the original version and missed them too much. In this picture you can also see nicely the fabric.

And basically that’s it – it was done in just a few hours and hopefully will serve me for some time now.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Brown Wool Skirt

This one was an extremely quick project. I have seen this skirt pattern in my Burda Classics edition a few years ago and I kind of like the silhouette. I was always hesitant on whether it is a right one for me, since I am not the tallest one over here and also I do not have a significantly pronounced waist. After a lot of hesitation, I decided to just sew it and see afterwards. Sometimes it is difficult for me to estimate whether a certain style is suitable for me since I have never had a piece of that particular clothing in the right size, so sometimes my apprehension just comes from poor fitting of RTW clothing.

For this skirt I used an exquisite brown wool-cashmere I bouhgt this year in Thailand. It has just a very nice touch, and a certain glance on the daily light, so even though I was worried in the beginning that it might appear rather granny's, bacause of the fabric, it does not.

I sewed a muslin, because you never know and I do not sew skirts so often. And then, the skirt was done in just a few hours, I could not almost believe it was sooo quick. I even took time to sew the belt and the belt loops properly.

The skirt is more or less a semi circle one, so I let it hang for almost a week, working on another project in the meantime. This is strange, as I am usually very mono-project: start muslin and cutting during the week, sew the maximum on Saturday and do some finishing touches on Sunday. Done. Next please.
I found out that this rhytm works perfectly for me. And it got rather broken by this skirt hanging for a week in the middle of my living room where I could see it every day.

Buuut, it got finished in the end :o)

Friday, 2 February 2018

When it is really cold outside..

I am always chilly. Like anywhere and anytime. I admit that I no longer endure the Central European freezing winters and the Parisian one are just full of clouds and some rain (and against all odds I often miss the time when it is -10, with snow and so sunny that it hurts your eyes, but that's life).

But whatever the place I am, I get chilly. So I always have a few dresses/skirts in wool to keep me warm when times are hard.
Two years ago I sewed these two basics from a Burda pattern 110-09-2015 (grey version and black version) and mainly the grey one just got worn to death (actually, the wool flannel or whatever it is ended up shrinking a lot over the time) so I had to give it away. And I was clearly missing it.

You see, I just had no choice and had to sew it again. This time, with longer sleeves, so that it becomes basically a copy of the black version. (btw: the dress is a pain to photograph)

I do not think I have something more to say about this dress. I love the semi-fitted version, you can wear some jewellery to spice it up and the wool flannel combined with silk is my little bit of luxury for every day. It is just a perfect basic and hey yeah, a girl needs that as well.

I think this is one of the biggest learnings from the last two years' sewing - it is always fun to make unusual projects, challenging sews etc, but at the end of the day, I also need my little grey basic because that's what will get worn a lot on normal days.