Monday, 28 May 2012

First UFO

It's not a big thing, it is really more of a muslin, because the fabric contains like 70% of polyester and I don't really like the feel of it. Having said that, the colour is stunning.

I started this on Mother's Day and had all but the hemming left to do. Then I thought I might just take it in a little, because it was very bulky on the back and I had been very lazy and just used the existing tube shape (apparently, my behind is not as large as I thought it was ... who knew).

Anyway, then things got busy and it was just sitting there and now it is bloody freezing here and I honestly cannot get myself to change into what is essentially a summer dress even for just a few minutes. Note to self: when husband suggests to move to hot country, do check that the houses do actually have heating for the colder months, because 12C inside a house still feels really cold (even if it is 15C outside in what would be the middle of December)

So I have packed it away and hopefully in September I'll take it out again and finish the hemming and the seams around the arm. It is putting me into a bit of a conundrum as to what to do next though. I had intended to try StephC's T-Shirt, but I think I'd rather make some flannel PJ pants for my son so he gets a good amount of wear out of them before the heat returns.

Although not quite as triumphant an ending to the M-M-M-with-a-difference as it could have been, nonetheless, this month taught me quite a bit. For example I can't really sew for the future at the moment, I can only motivate myself to sew for the here and now. Also, a month is a bit long for me to just concentrate on myself or any one person really, maybe I should start with 2 weeks next time and work my way up :-)

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Sewing is contagious

Whilst I muddle my way through the sewing process, my family eagerly observes. Apparently I am not doing so bad, because for my son's school costume challenge (he is 7) he decided he wanted to make himself a Jedi Robe. I thought he meant he would drape some brown fabric around himself and be done with it, but no, he meant he was going to sew it himself with my sewing machine.

So we went to Spotlight and picked up 3m of brown broadcloth (they were out of brown fleece). He them washed it and iron it. We drew his outline and he cut it very carefully.

He pinned the sides, whilst fearfully looking at the pins to see whether they were going to march up to him and prick him.

We had to get a step for the foot pedal, because his legs were too short to reach it, but otherwise he was a star. We didn't do any seam finishes, because I didn't want to make it too fiddly for him.

He did find it a lot of work, but he did like the actual sewing part, so perhaps he'll do it again in the future. Now, what to do with the left over 1.5 m brown broadcloth, because only after we purchased the fabric, he announced that he wanted a short robe rather then a long one :-)

Sunday, 13 May 2012

the not-so-mummy skirt

After the success with fitted-almost-pencil skirt, I thought I give the pattern another go, but this time with a stretch fabric. I had this off-white stretchy corduroy a while, hence the title not-so-mummy, because off-white or any kind of white is not a mum's friend (I already have chocolate stains from an enthusiastic hug on it). It was a remnant from Spotlight decor fabric for exactly one dollar, so I thought if it fails I haven't lost much there.

I looked through all my books for instructions on how to sew with knits or stretch fabrics and the only note I found in the Sew Everything book was that it is not recommended for beginners. Well, thanks for that. Anyway that Internet seemed to repeat 'ballpoint needle' and 'zigzag stitch' over and over, so I cut it out and practised on the left overs. I think it looks quite good :-)

This time I still doubled up the yoke, but I also used some lightweight interfacing on the yoke. I used the actual overlocker stitch this time, but did this after I sewed the seams together is a zigzag stitch. For some reason the zipper gets stuck occasionally and in a few days I might have a closer look to figure out why. The back and front  yoke (where they meet on the side) still don't line up inside (probably because I am not as strict with the seam allowances as I should be), but nobody can see that bit so never mind.

I also omitted the side slits this time and made it less fitted, so more of an A-line shape. It is also shorter by about 3 inches. The hem line was perhaps the trickiest bit. It experiences quite a bit of stretching whilst I move about. I did it in the lingerie stitch first time around, but whilst it was really stretchy, I didn't really like the look. I then remembered that on one web page a lady was explaining what to do if your machine doesn't have a zigzag stitch. So I picked a straight stitch with a slightly longer stitch length and sewed the hem whilst stretching it. It worked and looks beautifully.

So now I am debating what to do next. ANOTHER skirt or perhaps a try of Cation Designs' Easiest DIY Maxi Dress Ever. Sew many choices :-)

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Skirt 3.0

At the beginning of making stuff for myself (aka me made with a difference) May I thought I make a pencil skirt. It is in the Sew Everything book, clearly described, what could go wrong. Well, the muslin set of to a bad start when despite numerous tutorials I couldn't figure the invisible zipper out and ended up hand-picking it instead.

Then I tried it on.

It fitted, well, mostly fitted, the darts in the front needed lengthening, the sides needed adjusting, and it was about 10 inches too long, but other then that it was fine. Except ...  I realised that I don't like skirts that sit on the waistline. Thanks to IBS, my stomach can go from flat to 5 months pregnant in 10 min flat, so high-waisted inflexible skirts and pants don't really work for me. I prefer skirts with a yoke that finishes at my belly button. After a search online I found a pattern at Modern Sewing for the aptly named Yoke Skirt. It looked okay and best thing ever, it was free :-)

After a muslin, debating different options for the slits and having a friend show me how to insert an invisible zipper, ta da ...

I was quite pleased with it all. Yes, it needed to be adjusted on the sides and it was far too long, but that was expected and it feels really comfortable. I cut each yoke twice and sewed it like an envelope, because I thought it feels nicer that way.

Even though it's not clear in this picture, I used my overlocking foot for the edges. It quite a nifty little thing. I switched from using the overlocking stitch to just a normal zigzag stitch after some tests, because I prefer it, but either way was an improvement to my previous haphazard ways.

I didn't do the corners as neat as I would have liked, so that is something to be improved on the next skirt. I finished it off by writing a 30 step set of instructions for the next one so I don't forget anything I learnt :-)

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Boy Shorts or Stripes Aplenty

It's a bit late but last week I worked on some shorts for my (not-so little anymore) son. It is a self-drafted pattern made with the help of a pair of exiting shorts and Dana's wonderful tutorial over at Dana Made It. The white and beige stripey ones were a trial version and I had just had enough fabric (so matching stripes or anything like that possible). Still, my son was very excited and whilst I wanted to give them to charity, he was visibly shocked by that idea :-)

For the final version I straightened out the pattern a little and made the legs slightly narrower, but overall it was perfect as it was. Now my little daughter wants some too :-)