Friday, January 21, 2011

Progress... sort of.

Well folks, the infamous Burda turtle that everybody loves is... not my favorite. For me, on me. And I've made some alterations that help with this, but my pretty grey-blue version? A wadder. One of my first. And it was supposed to be a SWAP garment, albeit not one integral to any planned outfit. At this point, I'm working on the first essential garment in the plan- the half-sleeve tneck dress. The changes?
I took off a ton of width in the waist and hips, as well as a little in the sleeve. I left BeeBee's 2 inches in length in, as it looked nice. I took width out of the neck- it looked too slouchy for my taste, but I could see a case for widening the neck to make more of a cowl as well...
I narrowed the shoulders to get the sleeves to sit in the right place.... which is funny, because shoulders on jackets always seem to be the place I want more space, but here it just looked sloppy.
And I took some height out of the sleeve cap to remove some poof that seemed to form in the original sleeve.
Oh, the trial and error... the basting, the stitching, the seam ripping... I am liking the way it's working out though, and the dress will be done this afternoon, minus hems. A special little belt to go with it and one fix from altering too much are also in the plans, but we'll see about them. And expect a garment count ticker to pop up soon... more site modifications are in the works as well.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A long weekend means sewing!

First up, from basting to a garment... I've marked up the Burda tneck, and it'll be wearable, albeit not as well fitting as I'd hoped. I added some space in the first version, and I'll be taking most of it out again.
After a salad, my sewing machine is moving to my kitchen table for the rest of the weekend. And oh, does it feel good to type that... I am kinda psyched. I started out my MLK weekend with a day of doing nothing, a night in, in bed early, and after church I am ready to SEW! 3 garments, 2 definitely SWAP and one possibility, are calling my name, and if I'm being really honest I want to get going on February's stuff too!

If we're lucky, pictures later today... I hope your long weekend gives you time to do something you love.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Keeping my Sewing Resolution...

Oh yeah! I made a sewing resolution, and no far I am well on my way to keeping it... I decided I will make 3 things a month. The goal is to complete 3 things, mostly pre-determined, every month. I am allowed to get ahead if I finish one set of things, but I really hope not to get behind.With the whole SWAP thing and kind of knowing what the months of May and June will look like in the rest of my life, I have planned out my sewing from now to April with certainty and May and June with some definiteness, and even have a non-SWAP bonus for the months of January, February, March, and April... SO EXCITING.
There are pictures too.

January: We're starting out with the non-pictured turtleneck, then going to the skirt, then the dress, and the bonus makeup bag IS something I would really like to get to... I am customizing it as a belated Christmas present for a dear friend, and I want to have it ready before the end of January.
Progress reports right now... everything minus one set of bias is cut, and I am only missing brown thread for the dress. The bonus project is missing a zip and some contrast for bias... I can't bring myself to do it with hot pink, and can't decide on another color.

The suit that started it all is on the docket for the plan for February, paired with a really simple
sweater refashion. I want to do both pieces together and already have some mojo and stam going, so this seemed reetty perfect. I have all notions and threads for both, and will need to come up with a pattern for the sweater, probably drafted, and a cutting layout for all those suit pieces.

The Bonus for February is where it gets a little rough...
I'm committed.
Men's Shirt Sew-Along over at Male Pattern Boldness for W's shirts that he is getting from Christmas. I just am not sure about doing my first button-down shirt without moral support, and seriously, who better to give it than this guy? He's awesome, comical, and very thorough with his instructions, so I will make a better shirt for his presence in the process, and the cameraderie is another aspect of it I can't pass up.
And dear readers, I may cheat, and start on February early... It's a lot, but I don't have class the last week in January, so I'll have time... January sewing's been pretty manageable thus far.
On with the SWAP. It'll (hopefully) be starting to warm up, so the dresses, a modified Simplicity 3678 in the pink knit and already-started McCall 5801with a border print, will make their appearance. I knew when I got the fabric (blogged about here) it was destined to be a dress, probably for Easter 2009, and it WILL be for Easter 2011... MAN am I glad my size hasn't changed.
Rounding out the month will be a white woven top, possibly button-down, upcycled from a giant men's button-down.
The bonus will be some alterations I will have had in hand for some time by this point, but will see more wear in the spring and summer months. Oh, and these photos wouldn't be complete without my knees sneaking into at least one shot. There it is!

SWAP crunch time. There will be 3 SWAP tops: green, turquoise, and another grey or a tan or a blue. The bonus, which I'd like for Easter, is a petticoat. No idea for patterns yet. It'll happen. But the petticoat pieces? Already cut. I'm hoping to do a thin little slip out of some tricot or lawn and then just attach the layers to one another, finishing the layers with white ribbon at the seams, and putting that right on the slip.

Edited in order to get pictures to behave. Please forgive me!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My break in pictures

Before Christmas: a pageant, work at the Christmas tree lot, a formal, and Christmas Eve service
During Christmas: opening presents, filling up my new sewing box from W's grandmother with supplies, and cutting out a dress
After Christmas/this past weekend: Going to a GA youth conference and watching youth grow in God and seeing old friends again. How awesome!
Now to go make use of snow day number 2 and sew... one Burda turtle is basted, the dress is next, and the skirt after that.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Well friends, I’ve been silent, but that certainly doesn’t mean I haven’t been doing anything. The Christmas season is always busy in churches, and mine was no exception. We had an absolutely beautiful Christmas Eve service, and then I was off to W’s parents after dinner with a family from church. My Christmas gifts were things for my apartment and clothes, and all of them were things I can use and will wear. But W’s grandmother made sewing boxes out of old cheese boxes… They are quilted and soo useful. I said goodbye to the Tupperware that held the supplies I’ve been carrying with me before the morning was over!

Since the day after Christmas has rolled around, I’ve cut out and begun to sew 3 garments… a top, a dress, and a skirt. And here’s the fun part. They will give me 2 whole outfits by themselves and combine well with things in my wardrobe to make many, many more. I’ll start with the tops(the dress is a combination of patterns). Both are the infamous Burda turtleneck… but neither have long sleeves- the dress is a half-sleeve and the turtleneck is a short-sleeve. I suppose I’m incapable of actually making a pattern as it stands the first time out of the gate, but I think that’s also the same reason I sew. I like to make things the way I want them.

The first garment, the Burda Turtle- which is just a top- was my way of testing the waters with the pattern, so I used a blue-grey knit of undetermined fibers from the bargain table at Hancock’s. Right now the sleeves are basted in and I’m seriously considering just basting the whole thing to see how the fit is, because I, while writing this, am away from the sewing machine. And I want to know the first one fits and I like it before I get to the second one. Even though I have already cut it out.

The second is the dress, which is a Frankenstein mishmash…You know the top is the Burda turtle, cut off to be a high-waist/low empire length. The skirt is a shortened half-circle courtesy of Vogue 1027. I’ll join the two with a band that will provide a great place to showcase belts, and give me my waist.

The third garment is probably the most involved, but I’m hoping it’ll see the outside of my closet enough for me to say it’s worth all the time I’m taking with it. Remember that wine twill? I cut out the skirt and about 17 yards of 1-3/4” bias, which should be more than enough for the 2 laps that it has to make around the bottom and the facing on the waistband… I will interface the skirt itself, so hopefully the waist won’t grow too much. In between bias laps will be the loop of continuous bias tape I plan on finishing to the pint of stitching tonight. My first try with this method.

On the docket: a pattern for a makeup bag that will hold brushes too, a pattern and some cutting for 2 totes: One for me, one for Mom, and some flat pattern measuring and adjusting on a dress shirt.

Pictures as soon as life normalizes. Hope your holidays were splendid!