Sunday, August 31, 2014

Personal style

I'm having trouble defining what clothes are "me" and my sewing is reflecting this. 
I made a pussy bow blouse out of red cotton lawn from eBay which was intended to wear for work. I decided after finishing the whole thing minus the sleeve hem and shirt hem that I didn't like it.
It looked and felt like something you could buy in the shops.

I know a post of sewists like to fill their wardrobe with me mades and basics but I just don't have the time to replace sewing with shopping. Although admittedly I definitely shop less than I used to.

All the clothes I have made and loved have had two things in common; 1) made from expensive fabric and 2) unusual designs.

The fabrics above arrived from Merchant & Mills yesterday, a gorgeous blackwatch linen, chambray and black denim which has a gorgeous grey back which I almost prefer. There's not a lot of colour in my A/W wardrobe. 

In my head floating around is a Tilly Clemence skirt

I envisage it made from a dark chambray with red heart buttons down the front.
But then! Anxiety, what if I make it and don't wear it? What if it's not "me"?
I like to wear clothes that reflect how I feel and my own style, which has always been very personal to me.

It's much harder to decide your style when there is so much choice with sewing, you choose the pattern, then variations, then fabric type then colour/patterns. If just one of these things is wrong then you have an outfit you hate. There is so much of yourself that goes into a garment you want to really love it at the end, and if you don't. Well it's a bit shit.

How do you sewists decide your personal style?

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Stylish dress book dress E

I've had the stylish dress book for a while but the lack of seam allowance and the fact that there's about a thousand patterns on one side put me off for months!
I finally bit the bullet and traced the pattern (it really didn't take that long) of dress E.
I'm usually an 8 on top and 10 below and for this dress I cut a size 10, it fits well in the arms and bust but the neckline is a bit loose.
I don't tend to toile patterns because the only bit of RTW clothes that don't fit is the bum! Anything that just fits around the shoulders and bust doesn't usually need any adjusting.

Sans sleeves, I left the sleeves and the hem until the next day thinking they were going to be complex and they weren't. I really enjoy sewing sleeves in, they're tricky but not too tricky.

Love a bit of topstitching (not that you can see it!)

I found the pleats quite tricky in this dress, this was mainly due to the fabric. I was impatient and didn't wash it first, if I had I don't think it would have been so stiff it kept repelling pins. Also the gingham kept messing with my ability to judge distance, I'm usually quite good at keeping things even.

This dress is perfect when you've eaten 5 slices of pizza the night before and you don't want everyone to see your pizza belly.

One thing I would probably change is the amount of fabric in the fabric, it's quite swingy and tent like, I would just have the back going straight down without the pleats. Also I don't know why that sleeve indents in like that. Sewing sleeves is like putting eyeliner on, one eye goes perfect, the other you end up with eyeliner halfway down your face.

Aaaaanyway the fabric is from Merchant & Mills the red natural gingham, but don't do what I did and order 147 cm wide thinking it would be enough (it is but only if you want your back to be in two pieces).

I wouldn't mind making this dress in a nice grey linen but I would definitely reduce the fabric in the back and maybe size down.

My next project is Sew Over It's ultimate trousers! Wish me luck....

Friday, August 8, 2014

Selfish sewist

I often think about where sewing will take me. As a society we tell children to do a job they love and they will never work a day in their life. Which is very true.
However do you have to make a job out of something you love and have a talent for?

I was asked recently if I would make a dress for someone, I asked for an exorbitant sum due to fabric costs and she agreed to think about it. I hadn't expected that reaction and it got me thinking about sewing for others. Would I do it? Could I?

I love sewing, specifically dressmaking but I'm a very selfish sewist. I love making things for myself and not so interested in making things for others (yet). I think this is mainly a time factor due to resembling the undead during term time which leaves me school holidays and weekends to sew. 

I would love to spend more time sewing but I'm not sure that it includes sewing for others (yet). I don't have the skills to do so (I think) but this has been on mind for a while after setting up an etsy shop and leaving it (metaphorically) gathering e-dust. 

For me, for now, sewing remains for me, friends and family but who knows where it will lead me. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Summer Holidays

The start of the summer holidays saw the birth of another dress, this one made from Cabbages & Roses new penny blue fabric that I won from eBay.

I also made a linen bag for our holidays;

We've just come back from Zante in Greece and we had the most wonderful time, it was the perfect mix of relaxation and adventure. 

I would definitely recommend Greece as a holiday spot, and I can't wait to go back!

We were only away for a week but I had crafts on the brain and so when we got back I immediately started on an English paper piecing project I couldn't stop thinking about. Using Tilda fabric and templates from The Homemakery I started a blanket for Christmas.

It's so relaxing and I absolutely love it! I'm going to find giving this blanket away very difficult!

If you're on Instagram check out #craftyaugust it's the first photo a day I've taken part in and it's all craft related, there's still time to catch up!

There's two weeks left of the summer holidays and I hope to spend it by carrying on with my Hexie blanket, a couple more dress ideas and finally learning how to knit (it's proving to be difficult but not as hard as I found crochet!).