Monthly Archives: September 2012

Sewing With a Plan: Fall/Winter 2012

I love making lists! I have lists for everything; it’s how I keep my life organized & on track.

Trouble is, my lists are always changing, so making a list for sewing is tough because my whims and inspiration can change overnight. Also, my wardrobe is so severely limited (like I mean REALLY – I have NOTHING to wear!) and there are SO many things I both need AND want to sew, it’s hard to narrow it down to a realistic level. I’m so desperate to just have clothes to wear, it’s hard to decide what should take priority.

Up til now, my sewing was organized mainly around sewalongs, as I was just learning the basics, but I haven’t come out with a whole lot of wearable pieces, or very much that feels like ME 🙂 Now that I feel a bit more competent in my skill set, as well as having a clearer sense of my personal style, I want to sew now for me, with a purpose 🙂

Having recently discovered StephC’s blog through Sunni at A Fashionable Stitch, I immediately fell in love with her candid way of speaking and her way of approaching fashion… and pretty much every topic, for that matter!

Steph did a series of posts on planning a wearable wardrobe using basic pieces and colours that harmonize with each other. My feelings towards colour have always been pretty much in this vein, so it felt very organic to me. This one gives a guideline on where to start and I decided to use it as my inspiration to narrow down my choices for Fall’s plan 🙂

My colours weren’t hard to choose, as I’d pretty much already chosen them, but I didn’t follow the suggested pattern exactly because I’m doing two sets instead of one – one wardrobe, split into two sections: Fall and Winter. But it will essentially operate the same way as the sample wardrobe (only double!) interchangeable coordinating pieces that make it easy to dress: just throw anything on, and always look put together, cause it all matches!

My colours are black, red, navy, and blue-grey. Here is my plan for the first set (Fall):

••• black linen dress pants
••• blue Anise jacket
••• navy print jasmine
••• red renfrew
••• navy wool skirt or shorts
••• vintage gray shirt dress

In my second set, (which will essentially become my winter plan) the colours are the same only instead of blue-grey, my accent colour is cream:

•• black wool pencil skirt
•• black wool blazer or jacket
•• cream blouse
•• navy cigarette pants
•• red cardigan
•• black wiggle dress

Now I’m hoping I can actually stick to this plan and not get distracted by pretty new patterns or other sewists’ stellar creations!

How bout you? Do you plan your sewing or do you just wing it? 🙂


Fabric Shopping for the Environment!

In my beautiful city of Vancouver, there is an amazing non profit movement to help keep waste from the apparel and movie industries out of landfills. It’s called Our Social Fabric, and these wonderful volunteers host a sale every month to local crafters & fabric enthusiasts.

The fabrics are generously donated by various companies, and OSF volunteers then take them and set them up for each monthly sale.

Fabrics in remnants are sold by the bag, and on the roll by the yard. Like thrift store shopping, you really have to dig through everything; it takes time but is so worth it!! It was pretty crowded but everyone was so nice and polite ^___^

Large paper shopping bags are provided and believe me, they hold a LOT!! Check out what I got for a mere $25!!!!

3m plus two half meter remnants of black cotton batiste – so awesome! Not ‘fun’ perhaps but always useful for lining/underlining 🙂 Check it out; one of the remnants is already partly interfaced! lol

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Some lovely medium weight wools:
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5 m of a linen cotton blend; I wasn’t sure on the colour but couldn’t pass up such a large cut; most fabrics are only a meter or two at best; the rest are remnants.

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Some interesting coating material which upon burning, revealed itself to me as cotton (maybe enough for an Anise?)

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Couple more cottons:

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And some various mystery fabrics:

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All in all I spent less than $2/meter!! Considering my recent financial downfall, this is great news for me! And I'm helping the environment! Thanks OSF! 😀


From Triumph to Frustration

AARRGGHH!!

Ok had to get that out.

So after my last triumphant post I forged ahead and finished my dress. Tried it on and BAM! Front neckline gaping. WTF!! Am I cursed to never have a properly fitting neckline??

I think it showed a little on the muslin but not nearly this much and once I tucked in the seam allowance it went away. My fashion fabric is a bit heavier than my muslin but it shouldn’t make THAT much difference.

More importantly I really am baffled at what is causing this problem & it’s really driving me CRAY-ZAYYYY!

Anyone have any knowledge to share on this one? HELP!!

Update: pics of my neckline:

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After I took these pics, I unpicked the facing and shoulder seams & smoothed out the excess. This resulted in a narrower shoulder seam and a much better looking fit. I’ll have to adjust the back shoulder seam of course, to match – let’s hope this fixes it!

Other than that I have to say, I REALLY like this dress! It’s simple, chic, and flattering. I can’t wait to get it finished so I can show you! 🙂

Update again:

So after much unpicking, the aforementioned adjustment resulted in me cutting off a section of the shoulder that looks like this:

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It works but a part of me suspects there must be a less convoluted way of getting there lol. Oh well, every experience adds up to a little more knowledge! Onwards and upwards!


Sew Colette 2.0 – Fitting the Peony Bodice

This is just a quick post to share a wonderful revelation I had!!

Ever since I started sewing (as an adult) just under a year ago, I’ve been questing for the perfect fit. I learned I DEFINITELY needed an FBA, and most often, a waist adjustment, but I’ve been struggling with this elusive fit problem: back neckline gaping.

I managed to reduce this problem a bit by taking 1″ off Center Back at the top, tapering down and then trueing the grain, darts, etc. But the problem was still there.

So when I made the muslin for the Peony bodice and the gaping was still there, I vowed “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!” and I turned to a post I read not too long ago, by Madalynne, on the relationship between front and back neck width.

In it she states that the back neck width should be 1/2″ wider than the front (so 1/4″ on the pattern). I didn’t know if this would help but I decided to try just in case. Lo and behold, my back neck width was 1.25″ wider than the front! So I re drafted the back neckline to be 1/4″ wider than the front, keeping the height and shoulder seam width the same.

As I said, I had no idea what would happen but to my shock, IT FIXED THE PROBLEM!!! Picture me in a bodice muslin, staring stupidly into the bathroom mirror in disbelief, then suddenly it clicked in that this was real and I did a ridiculous dance of joy!!!

I’m so grateful to Madalynne for the wealth of information she shares so freely with sewists like me who aspire to her level of greatness 🙂 Thanks Maddie!! You’re AWESOME! 😀


Revising, Updating, Planning

A day of mini projects and news!

Just like everyone else I pre-ordered Gertie’s Book back in April, and it arrived the day before my birthday – Happy Bday to me!!

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I’m a big fan of Gertie – especially after taking her Bombshell class & really relating to her love of couture & vintage details. I was SO happy to see the book focuses on these kind of advanced techniques, as I feel ready to progress past beginner skills; I’m craving more advanced stuff!

There are a ton of projects in this book I’d love to attempt, and I even have a plan to incorporate one of them into my very first hybrid (or Frankenpattern) project!! I also want to see if I can do the Wiggle Dress in ponte knit instead of wool – anyone know if I omit the zipper and back vent, would this work?

In other news, I’ve refashioned my Hazel because the dirndl skirt gathers were extremely uncomfortable for me, so I unpicked the front skirt, and converted the gathers to three small soft pleats on each side:

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I also took a few minutes to catch stitch the facing to the seams because it has a tendency to want to escape lol.

Then onto the next mini project: I chose the Hazel, my Mission Maxi, and my Bombshell dress to be the first to carry my custom tags, as they’re my only makes I actually wear:

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And last but not least, I shot & posted my vintage patterns for the Patterns & Postcards Swap, over at The Perfect Nose. View my collection up for grabs here.

Happy Friday!


Patterns & Postcards Swap

Hi All! I have a ton of patterns up for grabs for the Patterns & Postcards Swap hosted by The Perfect Nose.

These are all patterns I received as a lot, so the outer envelopes are damaged in some cases but they should all be intact, as they came from a reputable source.

I’m open to trade for vintage Vogue designer and Couturier patterns, interesting pattern magazines/books or contemporary items. I’m even open to trade for fabric & notions! 🙂

If you want more info on any of these please feel free to message me 🙂

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Love & Loss; Fun & Games

Hello friends!

It’s been a heckuva 2 weeks or so!

So after my last post I haven’t done a darn thing in terms of project work. The last day of my job was approaching and honestly, it was too hard for me to focus, with trying to figure out finances & job searching.

Then last Friday was my birthday, and my partner and I (who are huge gamer nerds, FYI) trekked down to Seattle (just a few hours from here) to attend NA’s largest public gaming convention, Pax Prime!!

Here’s us on the bus very early Friday morning:

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Pax Prime is 3 days of gaming bliss: nonstop panels, shows, parties & demos – we had a blast!

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We even attended a party held offsite for a game we’re both super excited for; Dishonored – the party was a murder mystery held in the mansion of Lady Boyle; a character from the game.

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It was an awesome weekend but I’m glad to be back home – I missed my kitties so bad & my fluffy one (Mama’s boy, Starsky!) still hasn’t forgiven me entirely yet ^__^

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Now we’re back & reality must set in. But before I became a hobo (LOL) I had ordered some custom labels with my logo on them – very nice quality embroidered damask – and they arrived today to help cheer me up!

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I love them & can’t wait to start adding them to my creations! I know this will help me really focus on attention to detail & think of my clothing as I do my design; as representing me and my quality 🙂

It’s still hot here – summer isn’t through with us yet! Hopefully I can get back my focus & deal with all the business-y stuff so I can get some project work done too! 🙂

Hope you’re all well – I’m trying to catch up on posts missed so forgive me if I’m a bit behind! 🙂