Tuesday, 31 December 2019

2019 review - Top Five Hits

As it is the tradition (and as almost everybody in the blogosphere), here is my 2019 review.

In terms of sewing, it was a great year. Strangely, I now have a longer commute and also work longer hours, but I still managed to sew quite a lot. I sewed a big total of 56 items (kid's clothes and a cat box included). There was an interesting mix of jersey and non-jersey items, which means more or less difficult items.

As for the patterns, I sewed a lot of Burda (28 pieces), as usual, but also some La Maison Victor (8 pieces). I was offered the subscription of Knipmode/FashionStyle for the whole year, but only sewed 1 pattern from it. However, I stikk like a few patterns, so hopefully, will get something more sewn. There are also 7 pieces from Ottobre which is mostly due to the kid's sewing and most of them come from only kid's issue.

Of course, I kept buying a lot of fabric, but I also used up a lot. My aim was to decrease the stash from 100m to 90m and I am happy to announce that I almost managed that  arriving at 90,15m on 31st December and I am not going to cheat by cutting up a new project just today :). I sewed up over 74m and bought 65.
I will probably keep the same aim for next year because it is doable without feeling restricted and I know that a long term stash goal should be something between 60-70 m.

Also, I was quite proud to use up long term stash residents - the two flowery fabrics for Carolyn pyjamas, some little remnants for the kid's clothes, tops or winter shorts. It is still important for me to use up the little pieces, but with a little effort, I can continue.

As for the top five hits, I must say it is really difficult to choose, because obviously I must have sewn quite successful pieces:
N°1: LMV Bella Dress (both, my black and red version)

N°2: the Green Coat - this is a piece I really did not need at all, but I loved the fabric and I love the coat

N°3: the Bouclé jacket - even though I did not wear this jacket much, I love the result, the way how it is sewn and the fit

N°4: Turtleneck dresses (not yet blogged) - such a basic, but so useful. I finally managed the fit around the neck and the shoulders, so yay.

N°5: Black/White Silia dress - La Maison Victor again :) It has just the right proportions and honestly, I reach out for it quite often.

Sunday, 29 December 2019

Carolyn Pyjama - Second Version

Just because I can, I also sewed a second version of the Carolyn pyjama. (Actually, this was the first one, if we really talk chronological order.)

And as for my white version, I was able to use up a cute fabric from my stash for which I had no other idea. It is a yellow/red paisley cotton satin, bought years ago in Malaysia, incredibly soft and little bit shiny. Such a lovely fabric, but not very suitable for me in terms of colours.

So when the idea of sewing Carolyn pyjama hit me, I was really happy. I just forgot how this pattern is a fabric hog and I found out I did not have enough of this magic to sew long trousers, so I just winged it and sewed what I could. I still managed to squeeze a long-sleeve shirt and shorts.

The pattern is perfect, it fits me well, and in terms of piping there was much less hesitation. The red piping works really great.
Again, I used some buttons from stash which fit great with the fabric.

I must say that sewing the Carolyn pyjama is the right pleasure, the instructions are clear, I can now sew thew without the instructions on the side, the piping fits in greatly, and is just cute. Also, sewing with coton feels like heaven compared to most of my last sewing projects.

Thursday, 26 December 2019

Carolyn Pyjamas - For Me

It is this season when all the sewing bloggers prepare their x-mas and sew Carolyn pyjama. I think I have already seen almost 4 of them, so it was high time I made some as well.

So far, I have sewn the Carolyn pyjamas only for my sister. And since we are about the same size, I was able to try them on and really liked them. So I promised myself to sew some for the winter season.

To be honest, I do not like sleeping in pyjamas, but I like wearing some home wear. And my last collection is clearly showing some wear and tear so it was high time I sewed something new.

Also, it was a great opportunity to use fabric which is in my stash, which I love but cannot see myself sewing something for daily wear from that.

I pulled an old stash resident: white cotton with little flowers, of which I had 3m, hoping I would sew at least two pyjamas from it. But the pattern really eats up the fabric. I managed to squeeze in the long-sleeve shirt, long trousers and a pair of shorts. So far, so good.

For a long time, I was looking for the right piping, first wanting to use a mustard one, then a green one and in the end, I used a dark-brown one which is the right one. I pulled some old buttons from my stash, so that is a win as well.

Now, I am ready for the winter classy season and really happy that this fabric got sewn.

Sunday, 15 December 2019

Baby X-mas Sewing 2019 - The Little Guy

Let's get to the little guy:
The little one is just one year old, so I could really use up many scraps, because it is easy to fit in the pattern pieces.
Especially, I had a 30cm remnant of this gorgeous Stof and Stil orange cotton jersey I was keeping for such a project.

I used a T-shirt pattern from Ottobre 03/2019, just extended the sleeves to make them long, since we are in winter and user a piece of velcro for the closing. The funny thing with this jersey is that it really works with many patterns and I think it ca work even for a little guy.

Next are the trousers - the pattern is Raf trousers from La Maison Victor 11/2019.  the fabric is the now famous lila ponte. Actually, I had bought 2m of it and already sewn a dress for myself, a skirt and a top for my sister, a body for the little guy in summer and now these trousers.

And I can now confirm, I do not have anything left. The pattern is rather fun, shirred in the back and top-stitched everywhere. It was not always very easy on the ponte, but hopefully, it looks ok.

To top it up, as for his big brother, the little guy also has a ponte bomber. I think the sweat/bomber is really my favourite piece: there are so many great details, starting with the cuffs and ending with the little hood. Also, cute little pockets which will probably never be used!

The pattern is from Ottobre 03/2019 and is reaaaally great. It also has a girly version with frills (which I sewed as well, but can only appear on the blog after x-mas).

Sunday, 8 December 2019

Baby X-mas Sewing 2019 - The Big Guy

So last year x-mas sewing for babies was such a fun that I decided to whip up something this year as well. Also, it helps me to use up remnants. And this year in particular, as I sewed a few things in jersey, I had some remnants set aside for sewing for family kids.

The first set is for my cousin's sons: the little one is one year old, his big brother 2,5 years. Of course, sewing for little guys is less fun, but I tried to find interesting patterns and mix and match unusual fabrics. Also, having bought a few La Maison Victor magazines and this year's Summer Ottobre, combined with Burda, I am starting to have a significant pattern stash even for kids.

For the big guy, the things were more complicated, because at almost 3 years (yes, he is a big Czech/Greek guy), the clothes use up some fabric already. For the t-shirt, I used a black/white cotton jersey form my dress.

I exceptionally bought 70cm of grey corduroy for the trousers which almost arrived too late. The trousers are also from Ottobre, with the real fly (my first actually, which caused me some head scratching, obviously, I like to learn things when they are little), top-stitching, patch pockets and normal pockets in the front. The corduroy is very soft and I was constantly afraid of burning it with the iron. Hopefully, it is looks better on the end result than it did during the process.

Then there is a sweater/bomber. I used a remnant of black French terry, complemented with a coloured trim, pockets, zip and a lot of top-stitching.

I must say I was kind of puzzled with the instructions both in Ottobre and LMV. It might be partially because these are kid's patterns, or because I am so used to the quality of techniques used by Burda. Honestly, I know most sewists criticize Burda for the lack of detailed instructions, but actually, the quality of their patterns and the logic of the sewing steps (once you understand them) is really exceptional. I feel like both, Ottobre and LMV sometimes force you to follow steps which could be done in a different, and easier, order.

Friday, 6 December 2019

The Test Dress

It is funny how sometimes when you are not interested in a fabric, you end up sewing something cool from it. This is a very good example. It is one of the few fabrics I got from the rest of my mum's stock. From the feel of this fabric, I would say it is some kind of viscose jersey, in colours totally not suitable for me. However, since it was not a fabric I was in love, I figured I could try to sew a test dress.

And I got a quite cute dress; so I am probably regretting I did not use a nicer fabric :) Oh well.

The pattern comes from Burda August 2017 and it is basically a simple wrap dress with a few pleats in the front. And I am sorry to say that but this is probably the BEST wrap dress I have ever sewn. It might be because the fabric is of just the right weight and it drapes beautifully. The pleats add to the wrap silhouette and the front V is just enough. I stabilized the bias heavily with laminette and it actually worked magic. There is no gaping, not a single centimeter too large, it is just perfect.

It has been two months since I have finished the dress, but I still remember that I did not have enough fabric for the waistband. I used really the last remnants, so I probably lace the dress on the opposite side, but it actually works rather well.

Because of the wild and way too rosey colours of the fabric, I only wear this dress at home, but I like it very much and hope to find the right fabric for a similar version for everyday use.

Sunday, 24 November 2019

The Story of Not Enough Fabric

I cannot believe how quickly we lost summer and how suddenly the weather changed from nice and warm mornings and days to chilly in the morning and okay during the day. That being said, I actually like autumn. No risk of sunburn, no more mosquitoes and I can start layering and wearing little boots and tights.

This year I feel I really started sewing autumn clothes as early as beginning of September, so when the temperatures went down, I already had a new autumn dress and have planned a new autumn coat. I know that I have sewn two mid-season coats in spring, but actually the black one really needs replacing. There are too many things bothering me, so even though I wore it almost every day, I know that I need a new one. I already have my pattern printed out and both, shell and lining fabric bought and pre-washed, but I did not start sewing yet. But... when I went to buy the lining, I found a piece of this gorgeous 80% wool which I just could not leave behind.
I tried to inspect the fabric and I would say it is some kind of jersey, but it does not stretch, like at all, so honestly, no idea what it is. I just know that it is very soft and I love the colors.

So I temporarily forgot the planned black coat and set to sewing a green cosy one. I wanted to have something different from my usual "Kate Middleton style". The big cosy coats appeared in a few Burdas I own, as well as in some other magazines. Honestly, hunting for the right pattern was much easier than anything else; and for once, I will have something right in fashion :)
I have found 5 patterns quite similar to each other and chosen the n°19/23 from last year's Fashion Style. It had the perfect lapels, side pockets and the right size.
I traced out the size 34, hoping that the oversized will compensate for that, eliminated the pleats on the sleeves (honestly, I do not need that additional volume), sewed a muslin, taken away another 3cm on each side and adjusted for my height, as usual.

I was totally right to do that because I realized that I did not have enough fabric. Or almost. Or did I ? Well, I only bought a coupon of 1,5m (actually, they had a coupon of 3m, which I asked to cut and they do not do cuts bigger than the half). And honestly, there was some serious pattern tetrising. I had to cut one of the facings in 2 pieces, which you can barely see, because the seam just blends in the busy fabric. The side pockets are also cut from a piece of black cotton-silk. Once I was so happy with myself that everything got cut out, I realized that I did not account for the waistband. At that point of time I only had a few scraps, so I got to some serious piecing. Again, the fabric hides a lot of seams, so I managed to obtain a waistband of 1,3m which is enough for me. And I think that the only remnant I have now is a piece of fabric of a few square centimeters.

I interfaced the fabric with a quite light fusible vliselin which helped a lot to keep the body of the fabric. I must say that it frayed like crazy, so I zigzagged all the internal stitches, even though I usually do not do that.

And then, the same story happened with the lining. I used barely a 1m remnant of black silk lining, no piecing required here, but only a few little scraps remaining.

Once the cutting adventure was behind me, the sewing was pretty straightforward.
No special closing, I just sewed a little press button to keep the waistband attached to the coat, so as not to lose it, but in the end, I prefer it without the waistband.

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Double Gauze Dress

This dress is a mix of controversies for me.

First, let's start with the fabric. I know that double gauze has become extremely popular with in-style sewists lately. I was not attracted to it so much, but found a coupon of this black double gauze with little golden dots during the summer sales at Marché St.Pierre. I think I paid maybe 4 euros for a little more than 1 meter of fabric, so I figured out I could at least try to sew something with it.

Sewing with double gauze was a first one and an interesting one, I must admit. They tell you everywhere that you should iron the fabric properly, which I could only to on the fabric reverse. The little dots melted under direct heat, so I had to be very careful with them. Apart from that, the fabric behaved properly, so I did not have any difficulties. Of course, it frays like mad, so I used French seams everywhere and did a baby hem.

Second, the pattern. When you google double gauze dress, all you can see are casual dresses, mostly large - just a style I do not wear at all. Then, I saw McCalls 7381 sewn by one of my favourite bloggers and thought that was the right one. And that's where I discovered that McCall's is now offering pdf patterns! I mean - WHAT?!?!?! Since when did the Big4 entered the 21st century. So even though the pdf pattern was more expensive than the paper one, with freight costs I usually pay from the US, I bought the pdf for the instant gratification.
The printing went ok, the pages are well numbered, so I could only print out the pages which were related to my version of the dress. However, the pages did not always fit together perfectly, or I did not understand everything.
Anyhow, I managed to trace out the pattern, muslin the top part and got to sewing.

I had to pay attention on not to overfit the dress. I tend to do this, already because I like fitted dresses, but with this pattern and this fabric, I wanted to keep it casual.

And I think it really works well together. It makes for a different dress, but I can see myself taking it to work on Fridays.

Saturday, 12 October 2019

La Maison Victor - Again

I have this strange relationship with LaMasionVictor patterns. I have sewn a few of them, always with a big success. However, anytime I buy their magazine, I feel like cheating on Burda and like I am a sewing beginner. The patterns are always rather easy and simple, so in terms of sewing challenge, I do not feel like getting enough of it, but the result is always great, so I somehow continue to sewing some LMV patterns.
In addition, the magazine contains way less patterns than Burda and way too many instructions.

The morality: I continue sewing from La Maison Victor and enjoying my makes. Case in point: The dress Silia from the last issue.

When I saw the magazine on the newstands, I really liked this pattern. It is a jersey dress, but larger than usual and with an interesting twist. Also, I had just found a cute black cotton jersey with little white triangles which was rather similar to the one in the magazine. So it was meant to be.

The twist was kind of a puzzle, I do not think I have understood the way how it is really constructed, but I followed the instructions and it all ended up just right: not many adjustments done, apart from my usual "petite" shortening of the bodice (to make sure my twist ended up on the right place) and narrowing the shoulders.

The dress has become one of my favourites for the season: it is a real secret pyjama, extremly comfy, but still looking professional enough.