Friday, 31 October 2014

Regaining my 'Sewjo' with some simple makes

My boho maxi dress outside the cathedral in Seville


Happy Halloween everyone! Has anyone made their own costume this year? Sadly I have not, I'm just going to cobble together bits from my wardrobe, which luckily for me is more or less a dressing up box anyway!

Again I've been on a bit of a break- I've lost my 'sewjo' a bit recently which is very frustrating as my mind is crammed full of all the projects I want to make, but when I get home from work I'm just to tired to think about getting prepped and doing things that require accuracy! It doesn't help that everything I plan to make is going to require a lot of fitting adjustment to get the result I want. Basically if I'm not sewing regularly I'm not blogging regularly!

I did the 'wardrobe switcharound' (summer dresses away, jumpers out) after coming back from my holiday in Spain and rediscovered my first ever Anna, made this January. Oh dear, she is quite a mess! I'm not sure she really counts as a wearable muslin, knowing what I know now! And her fabric's a bit bobbly and has some shiny iron marks. However I wore her to (her premature) death when I first made her so I may make use of her again for fitting purposes as I want to make an Autumnal Anna out of some gorgeous fabric I picked up last winter that I need to use up and de-stash! But should I go slash-neck or V-neck? Draft in sleeves or keep them short?

I'm also very sad to announce that my Air Hostess Megan dress should probably be given to a better home- I whipped her up straight from the pattern measurements and as a result she is painfully tight across the old bust. I'm really gutted about this as I took the time to make her well and try to get the pattern aligned right and the dress came out exactly as I wanted- just that bit too small! I can't bear the thought of taking her apart to cannibalise the fabric so may have to give her away, though it is a wrench. If I do take the plunge and do this it will be to someone who doesn't mind if I call them to claim dibs on wearing it as I plan to make one exactly the same but bigger soon! And one in tartan!

I also made the impulsive step of buying the Ginger Jeans kit from Closet Case Files. It's not impulsive as in a bad idea per se- it's just a little crazy for me as international postage is crippling, but the loving description of the denim really sold me! The jeans pattern is the perfect style for me too, especially as I have a couple of pairs of shop-boughts that have recently worn through. It is a little ambitious for me- I haven't even got the Ultimate Trousers pattern right yet (although I have fabric lined up for my next pair of those too- just need to spend some time tweaking the fit)! I plan to make a pair of Ginger Jeans in black stretch corduroy to start with before I sink my teeth into the good stuff- the 'S-Gene' denim of legend.

So what have I been making? Don't laugh- I've been making cushions! We were gifted this lovely furnishing fabric as a housewarming gift, and I picked up the cushion pads ready to get cracking straightaway. However, when I was working on a more exciting pattern (and had loads of sewjo) these got neglected. But, in an attempt to tidy up the overflowing pile of bags of fabric, mending and notions that are taking over a corner of the flat I decided to be proactive and whip up the cushions. They're just a simple 'envelope' style, I didn't even add buttons (although I wish I had as this would have been prettier and they do gape a little at the back). But they were so quick and simple to make and our flat is a lot cosier (and less messy!) now they're done. And they were a great project to get my sewjo back a little.

I've also just completed one of the projects I had cut and planned for my holiday but didn't finish- a simple t-shirt from the Great British Sewing Bee book 2. As the weather is really mild I can still wear it, but I wasn't rushing to make it when I got back as it seemed pointless! I've made up in the same lightweight jersey that I made my Plaintain out of. It's by no means a perfect make, but again something non-fitted and fairly simple to get my sewjo back! (I took the photos myself with one of those mini spider tripod things, which is why they're rubbish, sorry!).

You can see the hi-lo hem a little more here. More precise cutting would have been better given that I overlocked the edges, but oh well!
The neckline is bound with bias binding and this was my first go at that in jersey. It's a bit of a mess actually so I've oversewn with zig-zag to hide it a little, but it took the actual making for me to 'get' what it was I was supposed to be doing. As it didn't turn out so great I decided to not bind the sleeve openings and hemline as I was supposed to, as although I could do with the practice I didn't want it to look uneven compared to the neckline and I wasn't about to deliberately muck up the other bindings in the name of symmetry! So instead I had a go with the overlock foot that came with my machine, and I love it! I also used it to neaten seams on the inside and it's great, it'll definitely get a lot more use from me. It's just an edge neatener, it doesn't trim at the same time like an overlocker/ serger would, but I still think it's a great little tool.

I think as well that this t-shirt is supposed to be made in a woven fabric so it is very loose and the neckline is massive! It's just a wearable muslin really (luckily for me artfully sloppily finished t-shirts seem to be in style) but now I've made it I'd like to have a go at making more as it's a great basic.

I also have a box-pleat skirt cut out in the fabric I originally intended for my Ultimate Trousers (I've gone with a darker colourway for them). It's also from the Great British Sewing Bee book but I wanted a midi so have added a good 30cm of length on that I hope will come out right! Annoyingly though I've messed up my box pleat placement (and realised this AFTER I've sewn the side seams!). They're way closer together at the back than at the front, and at the front they kind of highlight my round little tub belly. It's not too late to fix but hasn't been super appealing to go back to the drawing board with this, as the matching up the print is a little bit of a chore! It's worth making right though as it's a very on-trend style and I'm sure will be a wardrobe staple. I keep seeing others in midis and sighing with jealousy!

What do you make to get back into the sewing groove? Happy Halloween everyone!

NorseOtter xxx