March 30, 2012 § 3 Comments
With the weather warming up here in Denmark (finally!), I can’t help thinking about all the things I would love to have in my closest for summer. All pictures are clickable to see where they came from.
High Waisted Bikini
First on the list as I have been seeing so many popping up in the spring/summer lines for 2012. They just look so flattering on real women curves. And who doesn’t think summer when they see a bikini?
Since the wind never stops here, there are many days in summer where something light is needed. The jackets that stop right on the waist are more flattering than the ones that reach for the hips. Again another thing that looks good on curvier girls (I’m seeing a trend here) since they highlight the waist and don’t make the top half look like a box
Print just seems to scream summer, especially the bright ones that seems to be back on trend recently
I think that they look great on tops that are fitted. They highlight the waist without being tight on the tummy
The look of having a skirt with chiffon, or something like it, over top means that you can have something longer without being swallowed whole like with a maxi, if you’re a bit on the shorter side like me.
Just like the red one that Jess from New Girl wears in the opening song/credits, like the blue on below, just bright red. Come to think of it, any thing Zooey Deschanel wears on the show is great.
Fingers crossed this helps me find some inspiration for my next project!
Till next time
March 19, 2012 § 2 Comments
My boyfriends younger sister loves purple. If she had her way, most of her clothes would be some shade or another of purple. Since she has gone through a growth spurt recently, she had to get rid of a lot of her favourite dresses. So for her up coming birthday, I decided to make her something of a replacement.
When I went down to the fabric store, they were having a sale on cottons, which was perfect since it was exactly what I wanted. Despite the fact that I was starting the dress 2 months in advance, I felt this was destiny telling me “It’s ok, I will forgive you for buying MORE fabric”.
The skirt is just a basic straight skirt that is fitted through the waist to minimize any possible balloon effects. It finishes about 5 cm above the knee on me, but since this budding 12-year-old is quickly out growing me, I thought it would be a good length in case she does get any taller and it won’t suddenly be too short. I added pockets too, because I love pockets and since she is still a kid, it’s good to have somewhere handy to stick things. They’re deep too to stop the dreaded “Oh no! I lost it! It must have fallen out of my pocket” moments. I used a light cotton canvas (again translated from Danish) that I’m finding I really like to sew with. It doesn’t drape at all but for pencil skirts or skirts like the one above, it’s perfect. The only problem is that it frays like, like….. something that frays a lot. Since I’m not really a big fan of zig zagging and a serger/overlocker is WELL out of my budget, I tested out using french seams. I know they probably aren’t meant for something this stiff and heavy, but they worked like a dream! No sign of fraying threads and a much tidier finish. I think they will become my seam of choice from now on.
The top is from this one from Burda Style Magazine, I just left off the lower panels and voila! Empire line top ready to go. I also raised the front neck line since I had heard a lot about it being too low. I lowered the back neck line too. I’m quite liking the trend of high front neck lines, but lower back ones. It gives a dress a little somethin’ somethin’. I used embroidered voile that had these pretty flowers all over it. I lined the top with a plain light cotton so the voile wasn’t see through. Since I lined the top, there was no need for facings and the neck line and sleeves looked really tidy. Despite the extra work that facings are, I think I will be using them a lot more since it just looks a lot nicer in the end.
As you can see from the above photo, I used buttons to close the top and a zip for the skirt. The initial plan had been to use the zip right up the top as well, but the colour wasn’t exactly that of the skirt, so I thought it might look a bit out-of-place. The buttons are really nice and I’m glad I used them. The only problem is is that I have this fear of going anywhere near a button-hole. I have no idea how to do them and my basic sewing machine doesn’t have that, now seemingly vital, function. I used bias binding to make button loops and they look good but I think I will need to get over my fear sometime or another and stop making loops. Maybe my next project will be the perfect opportunity!
Now, what to do next?
March 5, 2012 § Leave a comment
Since I am delving in to making children’s clothes for my boyfriend’s younger sisters, I have been doing a bit of research on drafting patterns for smaller humans. I came across these fantastic tutorials about drawing basic body slopers for children, BUT they can be easily adapted to adults and LiEr even includes little hints about how an adult female’s sloper differs from a child’s sloper. Only days a go, I was looking for a simple tutorial with pictures (just so you know you’re doing it right) with fewer numbers and calculations than the ones on the Burda site, which I’m sure are correct and work great, but they confuse the heck out of me. LiEr’s tutorials have answered my sewing prays!
March 3, 2012 § Leave a comment
I’ve been AWOL for a while now but really I have good
excuses reasons. The first is the aforementioned two-week long ear infection. The second is that I went on my first ever vacation solely for the purpose of going Skiing and the third is that I was trying to catch up with my Danish class, after missing a week due to Skiing, and friends after a three-week long absence. See good reasons, no?
But while all this has been going on, sewing has also taken a back foot. Procrastination, why do you haunt me so!?! I am determined that I have to finish one garment at a time after spending my childhood surrounded by my mothers unfinished garments. I know it is something that is unavoidable in a busy life, where you get excited by new things and just have to start them before the excitement leaves, but I am trying my hardest to fight it. This of course means that the simple little fiddly bits at the end are tripping me up. I hate hems and topstitching but that’s all I had left to do until…
I bit the bullet and made today “fiddly little bits at the end” day. I had to pick up the girl I look after occasionally, from school and then take her to swimming. Swimming includes lots of fun time for her and three hours of “what to do time” for me. I knew just the thing! When I first pulled out the nearly finish garment, the father sitting next to me stared curiously, maybe thinking that it was clothes for my young charge, but then when I started taking out needles, buttons, scissors and pins, his stare became less curious and more bewildered. “But a teenage/20 year old-looking girl bringing sewing to do while waiting?!”. I could see and sense his gaze out of the corner of my eye and even when I actually looked at him, he continued to stare. I found it quite amusing. I enjoy bewildering people.
Despite this, three hours at the pool seemed like it was just the kick in the pants that this procrastinator needed and all hand sewing was completed. What to do time will now be renamed “fiddly little bits at the end” time.
5 buttons, one row of hand-stitching, a lot of staring and 2 hems later, I give you one pair of floaty, skirt like culottes!
These have taken up MUCH more time than I intended but they turned out pretty great. I made a pair while I was back in New Zealand from an old culottes pattern that my Mum had in her stash. I shortened them and they instantly became my new favourites. All the femininity of a floaty skirt but without the obvious disadvantages they carry whilst walking in the wind. But after two summers, one of which was under the scorching sun of Italy and the other under the unprotected sun of New Zealand, they are now a very faded pair of culottes. I could also have put A LOT more effort in to making them so in some places, mostly on the inside, they are looking a bit ratty.
I drafted a pattern for the new ones from the old pair. I took measurements instead of tracing them as the pleats make them very hard to trace accurately. By taking the length, waist, pleat, dart and finished leg width measurements, I was able to draft a basic pattern. After three hours of playing around with it, including many “Duh, Amelia” moments, I had a pattern that worked.
The crotch length was the most difficult part. I usually make skirts and dresses so I’ve never really played around with the length before. I know from high school sewing class that my proportions are usually smaller than the pattern, except for one very obvious bust area, and I have to adjust accordingly, this is no exception, but does anyone actually know how to adjust it? I would love to be able to make shorts that don’t look like they would fit better on some low riding Hip Hop star.
I should have added interfacing in to the waistband as well but I didn’t have any on hand at the time and the translation google was giving me, was far from accurate. Instead, I faced it with a stiff satin fabric that I had on hand. I think it will do the job.
I managed to try out a new technique for hemming as well. Since I learnt to sew from my mother, I don’t really have any proper “techniques” so I tried out the rolled baby hem because it was a flimsy fabric. I liked this tutorial as it had a guide stitch to do the final row of stitching. It made things a lot more simple and the finish looks just as good as any other. I need to work on getting it as small as possible, as mine is a bit wider than that in the tutorial.
Now, on to the next project. My boyfriend’s little sister is having a birthday in April so I think I will make her a dress. I made two skirts for the young sisters for Christmas and they loved them, so I think I will keep going with it. After these took so long, I have a plan to start now so they will definitely be done in time. I’ve probably jinxed myself by saying that but I will keep you posted!