This is a long overdue catch-up and therefore a long blog post. Feel free to scroll down to the end for the Babs & Donna disco classic, it's what I would do! But I started this blog as a way to record (and remember) the things I make, so I have a few projects to talk about below.
My last blog post was prior to starting Project Mrs Santa and Lady Elf, which is going to have to be blogged separately, cos I can't be arsed writing about it today and I've got loads of pics to go through for that one.
I didn't sew a lot after the costumes were done and dusted because a) I was knackered and b) my t-shirt etsy shop was mental during December and I spent more time at the post office than any human really should in the run up to xmas. Thankfully the staff are mega nice! In fact, I just have to veer off the sewing path here to recall the day that I was making my daily pilgrimage to the post office and I'd just been reading, and watching, about the terrible tragedy which happened in my hometown of Glasgow days before christmas (and which several of my friends narrowly escaped). I'd been crying but had to get to the post office to meet a postal deadline. When the lady behind the counter asked how I was today, well I just blurted out that I had been crying all morning, and why. We chatted a bit about it (aware that there were hunners of people waiting in the queue behind me) and I left. I was crossing the road from the post office when I heard a shout (I had got a fair distance before I heard her)....well had the wee woman from the postie not ran after me out the shop, came up to me and gave me a Starbucks gift card and said 'that's so you can get a hot drink to help you feel better', and ran back as soon as I blurted out a huge heartfelt thank you. It was cold and dark and she was just in her short sleeves. I still can't believe she did that. Tearing up thinking about it now! She was only in to cover the xmas post rush, so I will need to track her down to say thank you properly. The kindness of strangers indeed...
During early December the Curvy Sewing Collective had organised a Santa Swap gift-giving thing, where you got partnered up with a fellow sewer (you could choose someone from your own country or not - I did choose from Canada to ensure that I could meet the deadline for posting the gift). I got paired with a cool lady called Sandi, who lives way over on the other side of this gigantic land. She doesn't have a blog (yet, but I think she should start one!) and has been sewing for much longer than I. She gave me a few ideas for things that she has been thinking of buying for herself, and with the set budget of 15 american dollars which we all had to stick to, no matter what country you were in, I was able to get her a kaftan pattern from designer Tina Givens, who is one of her favourite pattern designers.
|Even Miss Havisham got the sewing blues sometimes|
I got my sew-jo back in the second week of January thanks to The Makehouse, my wee sewing home from home, and a leggings workshop that I attended. In the space of a few hours (the fabric had been pre-cut in my size, and was ready to sew), I made a pair of leggings which fit pretty much perfectly (I might need to put more of an arse curve in the next time to accommodate my Kardashian) from gorgeously comfy bamboo jersey knit.
|Triple zig-zag stitch used to attach elastic directly to leggings (ie not in a casing)|
|I love this way of finishing the leggings at the ankles - that's knicker elastic!|
|After: yeah, I know it looks the same as the before picture!|
I'll cut an already over-long blog post short by saying I literally finished it with 7 minutes to slap some semblance of make-up on my face and get out the door. To which I was faced with pouring rain, having not registered it in my total head-down state of the past few hours, and only a denim jacket on. My dress' boob darts are mis-aligned and my hems were held together with Wonder Tape (yes, I didn't even have time to sew them!), but I made it through the theatre show and drinks at a pub afterwards (and no I didn't even get a photo with it on). Talk about fast fashion. And which way to Project Runway, by the way?
|Look at that fabric...weird wild stuff!|
|Wearing my heart on my sleeve, kind of|
|And then there were thirteen|
|What a dickie looks like|
So the next day I started watching Sewing With Knits. Meg is bubbly and very sweet but a wee bit long-winded. Doesn't bother me as I can fast forward if I really want to, and find her style to be quite charming and personable which is even more important. Again, I got as far as Lesson 3 (of 10) before I wanted to stop watching and just get on with sewing.
Among the introductory sections, the fabric primer is most useful and I'll be re-watching that. I still struggle with telling the difference between different types of knit fabric and it makes a world of difference as to how your garment turns out: use something with not enough stretch and no 'recovery' and your item will bag out; use something with too much stretch and it may sag and lengthen your garment ('mini to maxi dress in 3 easy steps!').
Different clothing items demand different knits, eg what will work for a stretchy skirt, won't work for a hoodie, etc. Anyway, I'd recently scored 5.5 metres of a gorgeous turqoise sweatshirt fleece for 7 dollars and fleece is a nice stable knit (not too droopy or stretchy) to get started with...and let's face it, I could mess it up and not have wasted too much money!
|My first finished overlocked garment, yay!|
|I left a gap in my serging so I could turn the hood inside out, because I serged the bottom hem of the hood which I didn't need to do, as the hood will be closed up when attached to the bodice. Perils of working the process out myself!|
|That magic Wonder Tape again! Followed by top-stitching which I realised after is too close to the seam|
|Had to remember not to sew the curved parts onto the bodice front, or else wee hands won't get in to the pocketses, will it my precious?|
|The topstitching is a bit too narrow for my liking|
|Can't see it much in this pic but the back is much longer than the front, maybe I need an FBA?|
|The hood is a bit Jedi, could do with reducing it next time|
|I love the navy with the turquoise, it was just navy cotton jersey I had in my stash|
|Look at those serged seams, bloody love it!|
|The only seam I didn't serge. Can't remember why, think it was just cos the wrist opening was too small|
|The most comfy of comfies!|
|Completely engrossed in drafting our skirt blocks|
There were two girls in class who had taken the Bodice Patternmaking class previously and they found it all making much more sense, being able to practice drafting again during the Skirt class. So I think it's one of those things that clicks the more you do it. I am definitely interested in the principles and theories behind patternmaking, without feeling any great need to draft anything yet....although it might save me trying in vain to trace round a favourite piece of clothing in future!
The next big project on my list is to make the Jade skirt, also from Paprika Patterns. I bought this PDF pattern last year after seeing it blogged on the Curvy Sewing Collective by Sylvie, but I was right at the edge of the sizing at that time. This week the pattern designer, Lisa, has updated Jade to include plus-sizing going up to 41.5" waist, which reflects the sizing that Jasper already goes up to. I'm not sure the skirt will suit me, but I would like to try the technique involved in creating the folded effect, and can always make it for friends and family if I don't like it on myself.
Okay, enough is enough. Till next time!
|Bow before your queens!|