Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Advice for Beginners

There is so much I need to post about. I've tackled 3 of the 6 patterns I posted about recently and I need to ask for your help and opinion on one of them, but in the same time frame, the memory card on my camera crapped-out, I've started the candida diet (anyone who has done this knows how traumatic it can be), been given a diagnosis of thyroiditis and had to deal with some stress at work (put your hands in the air if you've ever wished for pregnancy so you could get a year off of work). None of these things alone is really that dramatic, but together, they've really sent me off track.

In the next week, I'm going to attempt to put myself back on track—get a new memory card and take some pics so I can get caught up. As a final thought for the day, I leave you with this:

As someone who keeps fairly close tabs on what the online sewing community is up to, I've come across this question a number of times and never had the perfect answer:

"What advice would you give to a sewing novice?"

Tonight, after sewing my sleeve into my bodice inside-out and backwards, my answer is this:

"Know when to quit and go to bed."

Good night y'all.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sewjo shirt

I finished my attempt at a grossly modified peplum top. I became tired of it in the end, and realized that if I'm going to be spending a lot of time on one project, I had better love the fabric. The final fit isn't 100% in the chestal area so I'm giving it a rest in my closet for a while... at least until the sweater I want to wear it with comes out of the wash. I'll review in the near future.

On to the new love of my life... Burda 10/12 #117. SO EASY TO SEW!!!. Come on... three pieces, cotton shirting, interesting but easy construction. What's not to love? I thought that I had a white zipper in my stash, and I do, but not quite long enough or invisible. I guess I don't have to squish my hips through it (your welcome for that visual), so probably a slightly shorter zip would be okay.... What am I doing sitting here? I have a shirt to finish! (Actually, I have to do the dishes, and work-out, and then probably go shopping with my sister, but believe me when I tell you that I'll be thinking about sewing the entire time.)

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Nuts for Downloadables

There was a sale on Lekala patterns on I've always wanted to try them. I also paid for my first Burda downloadable pattern off of I have a tonne of patterns in my stash already, but you know how it is. My only regret is the printing and taping.

Lekala takes about half of the headache out of downloadable patterns. Unlike Burda, they give you your exact size from a set of 6 measurements (height, bust, underbust, waist, hip/belly, and hip). Also unlike Burda, they give you a seam allowance (either 1/2" or 1/4" depending on the style). Taping was made easier, because I could just match up and tape where the pattern pieces intersected, not necessarily the entire sheet of paper. Unfortunately, the instructions for these are shite. If you are an inexperienced sewer or have trouble thinking in three dimensions, you probably don't want to attempt these. As it is, I'll be faking it the whole way through. We'll see how it goes.

Here's what I got:

1. Lek4097: The bunnyhug (a.k.a. "hoodie". I'm trying to see if I can get this term to catch on outside of Saskatchewan). 
I pretty much live in these. I'm not a fancy dresser and most days I want to be comfortable and WARM. I'll probably use this pattern numerous times (whenever I can score fleece on sale). I love the shape of the hood. Construction seems pretty straightforward.

2. Lek4105: Asymetrical knit top. 
I like that it's different. I may change the sleeves, or make one with straight sleeves (without cuffs) and one as drafted. I can see this in a bamboo knit? Any other suggestions? I'm not sure about how the neck is finished, but if it uses a facing I may try to finish it with a bias strip.

3. Lek5870: Casual swing jacket. 
I have a jacket almost exactly like this in my closet already but it's shorter and red. I probably bought this one because I was wearing the red on a the time. I think it will come in very handy if I made it up in a neutral like khaki or grey, or even denim as shown.

4. Lek5913: Tunic. 
If I only saw the line drawing I wouldn't give this a second look. This is pretty shapeless, which I usually try to avoid, but I've been looking for an excuse to wear leggings and I have a couple of patterns for skinny jeans/leggings that I could pair with this as well. Any thoughts on what fabric I should use for this? Would Ponte knit be too heavy? A lighter weight sweater knit?

5. Lek4042: Cross-neck top. 
If I can get this to work out, I'll probably make a bunch of these. I think it will probably be a very easy make, and I can most likely serge together the entire thing.

6. Burda Gathered Shirt Blouse 10/2012 #117:
I've been inspired by Kristy . I have two very different plaids in my stash already that would work with this. One of them was purchased at Mood almost four ago. Originally it was to be a shirt, but on reading the reviews for that pattern I chickened out and it has been left as "too good to cut" for a long time. On our last trip to NYC, I found it again in Mood and realized that it is silk. I like that it is made from a woven fabric and it has an interesting design. This pattern comes as the full dress with cutoff lines for the top.

Right now? I'm finishing up a peplum top. I used a vintage 60s/70s pattern (I'll check the year when I post the finished product) that I graded down two sizes, gave an sba, changed the darts into shoulder princess seams, cut off at the waist and drafted a peplum. I really like the Vogue peplum top everyone is making now, but I prefer a v-neck and like to make things hard for myself. sigh.

I'm not sure how this trend will fit into my life so I didn't want to invest a lot of cash. I used a cotton chintz I got at a second hand store a year ago for probably $2 and everything else I had in my stash. The only investment was a crap-load of time. So far it looks like it's going to turn out. Fingers crossed.

If any of you have sewn Lekala patterns, please comment and let me know how it went. If you have any suggestions for fabrics for any of these, please let me know. I've been reading Tasia's posts about knits, but I'll take all the info I can get.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Megan Nielsen Sewing Gallery Anniversary (and Birthday)

This is just a quick note to let people know that Megan Nielsen Sewing Gallery is one year old (and it's her birthday too!). To celebrate, she's got a huge giveaway. Check it out: