Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Slow sewing

I'm slowly sewing the mermaid dress, and have decided to make the front appear to button down. That takes more buttons than I had so I either had to hope the shop still had some 2+ years later (they did) but before I could get there I realised the buttons I got with/for a linen/cotton dress would be even better.

These (larger) look less intrusive on the pale colours. Hence another trip on Sunday to get another 10. Scanning the buttons I picked out what I thought were these but realised they are the same style and size but with purple. As they weren't expensive I got 10 of each and can decide once it's time to use them.  They may also go with my African wax cotton grey stingrays on purple.

Sunday, 11 August 2019

Sewing Sundays

This year I'm trying to do sew every Sunday that I'm not away,  at an event or sick.

No beating myself up if I don't, as it's more about being mindful and clearing up some of my unfinished projects.

Sadly,  my green tweed cloak disappeared from my shopping trolley in the supermarket before the vintage clasp arrived in the post - thankfully.  I've cut out the red wool in the same c1800 pattern,  but longer and as I had more fabric, fuller. Wish I'd seen it straight away as this weekend & next week is a cold,  windy snap.

Today I finally got the red floral vintage style dress hemmed,  it's going straight to the work roster.

I also finished the bike shorts I was making last year when ky machine needed a service due to a burr on the bobbin hook.

Next under a new sharps needle is the mermaid print dress that I cut out 2 years ago. There's more to sew on this than the martini print, but that needs freshly altered bodice pattern pieces to be drafted and cut out to replace the missing piece.

The darts are almost all done, and will be tonight.

Thursday, 6 June 2019

progress on the green tweed cloak

I'm pantsing* my way through the cloak - there are generic instructions in the book but most of it is obvious. The only thing I had to unpick was a small section of the hood so it's working out well. I did that unpicking/repinning on the train to work yesterday, and when I got home added the front sections to the main part.

The other oops was in cutting - I counted squares (inches) on the grid and chalked and cut. Forgetting to write numbers down between steps and cut the front bands 3" shorter than the main panel.  It's not a disaster but a reminder to measure twice, cut once and make notes.

I'm really pleased that I managed to machine stitch all 3 sides of the lining in place on the front panel. Not all in the same seam though. I sewed the hem, then the front edge, then burrito rolled the main panel between the front panel and lining.  I was suprised how easy it was.  My hands got too cold and I couldn't find my fingerless mitts (why where they in the laundry?) so didn't finish it last night.

On the train to work I worked out the pleating onto the neckband - which isn't in the pattern but I choose to have one. Fortunately mirroring the pleats went effortlessly and I can quickly stitch it tonight. I flatlined the neckband with the cotton print, and will recut another neckband lining.  I'll quickly get this seam and the hood added to the top edge, and can do the hand sewing in the car tomorrow morning. I've got large hook/eye to fasten the neckband and will add green tape/ribbon once I find some.

* I first heard this term about writing cos although I don't write I easily read 100+ books every year and read blogs by a few of the many writers I'm a fan of.

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Green tweed cloak is cut out

The cold snap is upon us,  and I really need something for the wait on the open air platform each morning. Also at night if it's windy. Plus TeslaFest is late in July so I may need it over a steampunk outfit.

I still can't decide if I'll dye the pink wool before making it,  so I cut out the green houndstooth tweed.  The lining for the hood/front sections is also from stash,  and thankfully in the to be folded pile.

A silky smooth lining isn't a good idea in the hood as that would slip right off your head. I also have some trim in the stash that I'm deciding whether to use or not.  There's @1.5m left from one piece,  and two small rolls of 2.1m.

Over half the woven fabric is folded and shelved

I took a couple of nights off from folding fabric after I reached the half way point of fabric folding. I think all the remaining fabrics (not in the discard pile) will fit in the cupboards. I might even fit in a shelf of mock up fabrics - selected from the discard pile; or possibly some of the notions also.

Now two thirds are folded and in the shelves, and its very satisfying. It's also a bit horrifying that with 620 metres done I still have over 300m to be folded.
Having to take a longer break as a ligament is hissy fitting.

There's a now heaping pile of assorted notions/scraps/patterns/unfinished projects in the middle of the room, and I need to tackle them too. I'm tempted to toss every notion into a large plastic tub and then sort them out to trims, elastic, closures, zippers, piping cords etc. I'll give that a go and see how it turns out.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

A productive sewing weekend

For a few reasons including migraine and Eurovision semi-final, I didn't get as much done as hoped but I did complete two older UFOS. Well one needs the hem length checked before sewing, and I can get that done this week.

A couple of forgot-to-pack items (elastic to finish the PJ pants, and red thread to sew on buttons) had me d'oh. I thought I'd packed the first but it didn't even occur to me that I needed red for red buttons on a print dress being sewn with grey.

Didn't get a photo of me in either dress so I'll get around to that later in the week.

The older UFO was from March 2016, and had been sidelined for a couple of reasons. I'd originally had black fabric for a contrast collar but it felt too heavy a contrast. I eventually realised that the fabric I bought for the mermaid print dress was far better for this dress. Preferring 3/4 length sleeves, I drafted a contrast + shaped band for the sleeve hem.  If I'd thought about adding more of the lapel fabric before the dress was cut out, I could have added a shaped angled fake-pocket flap to the skirt.  I'm the rare woman who doesn't like pockets, so it didn't occur to me when I avoided the pattern's pockets. I even remembered to include a loop in the waist seam for my work's building/printer pass.

The 100% finished dress is the  February 2017 dress in the Lost at Sea print, originally finished in the same room/retreat back in 2017.  It was very demoralising that it didn't fit, and when I tried taking in the bodice it became clear that the neckline didn't suit me. As it couldn't be altered due to already cut buttonholes, I eventually threw more money at it and got more fabric.  I think that one reason I've procrastinated on finishing the new bodice to attach the already made skirt, is the fear that it still wouldn't look good on me. But you know, even if it doesn't look perfect it's still better than I could buy in RTW. I've included the waist loop (nearly forgot) and as it was done just in time for packing up, will press it before getting a photo.

I need to make a cape/cloak before tacking the next UFO dress-a-month - the mermaid print.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Red, Pink or dye+pink cloak decisions

Yesterday I forgot to take the red wool to work to cut out on the large meeting table after work. Ugh.  Last Sunday I pre-shrank 5 woollen fabrics - these 3 are on my cloak list.  The red for scarlet regency,  the pink for a backup wool cloak and the green tweed check for steampunk as we've got a new event this July in Sydney.

I'll use any of them in real life in our few weeks of winter, as I find it easier to regulate how warm I am than a coat. I haven't even had a coat for around 25 years,  and it was teal.  No black coat or suit for me,  much as I love crows and ravens.

The pink is 100% wool and dyes really well,  so I can change it if I don't want to be a short wide vibrant pink blob on the horizon. Then I could make it a colour more likely to be worn c1800. That's the cut I'm aiming for.

If I don't dye it,  then I have two short lengths of vintage cotton I can use for lining the facing and hood. Back in the day they used silk (pics look like taffeta not crepe de chine) and my stash only has ecru,  putty green and cyclamen pink satin IR crepe de chine. The wrong pink for this.  Decisions.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Sewing retreat To-Do list revision

Forget the apron,  my Wonder Woman flanellette nightie needs to be finished.  Plus I have a cute hoodie that is too tight in the boobs,  hips and bicep.

Back in January I was looking for some plain fleece to do a gusset up each side into the sleeves when I found the linen print fabric that I still haven't used. The sleeves on the hoodie are too long as well. Though that's a quicker fix.

Tonight I start packing the projects,  cos my lounge is a disaster zone with them scattered around.

My updated sewing list is:

  • 3 pairs flannelette PJ pants - all they need is elastic in the waist.
  • Wondy flannelette nightie - 25% done.
  • lost at sea dress - 75% done
  • retro print 40s red floral - about 50% sewn
  • mermaid dress - cut out, no sewing donewool cape - cutting it out tomorrow, cos I need it for real life as I don't own a coat
  • altering Marie Antoinette fleece hoodie

And depending what that looks like in a pile possibly including

  • martini dress - all cut out, but front bodice is missing so far, will sew what I can