Thursday, January 28, 2010

Blogging break

First of all, thank you so much for the wonderful compliments on my jacket! I may consider sewing another one, after all...

Second, just a short note to say I'm off on vacation. As far as spending two and a half weeks with two little ones (DH is only coming for a couple of days) at freezing temperatures by the stormy North Sea counts as a vacation! We're doing this for the third time, hoping that the rough climate and clean air help DD with her frequent lung infections, as they're supposed to.

Anyway, I'm taking my sewing machine again, and although I don't have many or ambitious plans, if my mojo decides to return, I'm armed and ready! I will not have any internet connection there, which is just as well since an internet fast does me good from time to time, and it makes me look forward to all the great things you are going to show on your blogs when I return.

Happy sewing!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Jacket Burda 9/2007 no. 105

I made DH take pictures of the jacket on me, which is a good thing, because seeing the pictures I like it even more, and am more likely to forgive and forget all the hard work that went into it!

(Details. The pocket lining peeks out and needs to be tacked on!)

I don't have the heart for a full recap, including the back stay (sewing book: "Cut the back stay according to the back stay pattern." Me: "???), but I put quite a bit of tailoring in it, and I think it shows. From the front, I absolutely love it; the back, although it feels like it fits, doesn't look quite as good, but I'll take it as is and keep this filed away for the next time: Take a picture of the back during the fitting process.

(Back: with buttons open at left, buttons closed at right.)

Another lesson learned: Towards the end of such an involved project, take steps to avoid sewing ennui (which steps, I'll have to figure out yet!)

All in all, it looks like I imagined it would, goes well with the rest of my wardrobe, and will hopefully get lots of wear!

Have a great Sunday, everyone.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

SWALP patterns and jacket progress

My mojo has, resolutions notwithstanding, been lost for quite some time. Whether this is due to sewing in gray and navy since December, the slight seasonal blues that always strikes right after Christmas, or DD's not having been well since December... I'm dragging my (sewing machine) feet.

See this?

Looks like a finished jacket, doesn't it? And it IS finished, except for the tiniest amount of handsewing. And it fits. And I like it. So why do I have to force myself to do a little bit of hem sewing every evening, instead of rushing to get it done?

I had visions of showing the finished garment beautifully styled and shot, on me instead of the hanger one of these days. Maybe that will happen. Maybe I'll need to sew something bright pink before that, to get myself out of this funk.

(Thankfully, DS has wished for a Winnie the Pooh costume for carnival. Sewing all that bright yellow and red ought to set me right, don't you think?)

Instead of swinging the shears and needles, I have been organizing my pattern magazines by copying all the pattern overview pages in my Burda and Ottobre magazines and putting them in a ring binder. Happy hours have been (and will be) spent leafing through these while putting my feet up and nursing a hot cup of tea!

So, without actually making progress, I feel like getting on with my SWALP by circling possible patterns. The thicker olive green wool knit might become one of these:

The patterned rayon knit may become one of these:

And finally, the skirt to complement the jacket, not from the same herringbone wool, but a heathered dark gray woven:

(As a side note, I considered making up a quiz "guess the year these BURDA patterns are from". Some are quite obviously dated, but some not, I think.)

Obviously, I have my favorites, but I'm not decided yet. Which do you think would fit well with my SWALP?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

SWALP Continues

I am, as always, in awe of real, grown-up SWAP sewers. As mentioned before, SWAP isn't going to happen for sewing-ADD-addled me anytime soon, but Sewing With A Little Plan continues.

To make the most my resolutions, I used today's 30 minutes of sewing (resolution no. 3) to work on the jacket lining, and to think about how to get the most use out of the jacket once it's finished. I pulled out my winter fabrics, laid them against the half-finished jacket, and chose two fabrics for matching tops, and a dark gray wool for a matching bottom (more mix-and-match garments, resolution no. 4).

Left to right:
The light green olive knit is wool. In winter I like to layer my sweater knits over classic woven shirts, so I might look for a pattern that enables this.

The green-gray patterned fabric is a thin jersey knit, rayon lycra I'd guess. I should be able to find a pattern for that. I love surplice looks, so it might be something like that.

The bottom weight will likely become a skirt. I'll have to look for a pattern/style that goes with the distinctive lines of the jacket. A pencil skirt would be a safe choice, but I'd like a bit of flare. I photocopied all my Burda pattern overviews of the last ten years or so, and will take a good long look at those!

That should be doable before winter ends, don't you think? I also pulled out the red-and-gray plaid fabric that didn't make it into a jacket (yet). A plaid dress would match the herringbone jacket very well, but how often would I wear it? And wouldn't it enforce my solitary garment sewing tendencies? So, it's on to the separates first. Once the jacket is finished. I'm optimistic.

Parting shot:

DH gave me a miniature porcelain bell with sewing motifs for Christmas. Yes, I like my kitsch. Especially sewing-related!

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Well, I am a bit late, but since I almost never make New Year's resolutions (lots of March 20th... June 2nd... anyday resolutions, though!), this is as good as ever. No pictures, since my laptop died after Christmas (too much marzipan?), but I hope this will be rectified soon.

I read a lot of sewer's resolutions, and was equally impressed and overwhelmed. I know that if I resolved to sew more, or more complex garments, sewing would start feeling like a chore, and since I purposely took it up again to take my mind off some stressful situations, that would be counter-productive indeed .

Even without concrete resolutions/goals, last year I sewed much, much more than I ever had or than I'd expected. So, here's my first resolution:

1. Keep at about the same level of productivity.

Last year I sewed a lot for my children, and I'm starting to question whether that is the best use of my time and energy. Yes, I absolutely enjoy the creative freedom and cuteness factor in sewing kids' stuff. But, without counting, I'm pretty sure I made much more for them than for me. Which wouldn't be so bad, but they grow out of it so fast, and I don't. So here's resolution the 2nd:

2. Limit sewing children's stuff, ideally to one outfit per kid per season, or special occasion wear.

I am plodding on with the jacket, excruciatingly slow, since I haven't quite gotten into my usual daily/weekly rhythm again. Usually, I reserve at least one morning a week while the kids are in Kindergarten, about four or five hours, for sewing. At night, I'm often too tired/can't be bothered to pull out my sewing stuff/takes too long until the kids are truly asleep, so I sew only one or two nights a week. When my one morning of sewing gets eaten up by other stuff, like this week, I hardly sew at all, fall out of the rhythm, forget where I was at, get intimidated by starting up again. I hope to solve this by implementing this resolution (shamelessly stolen from Summerset, no less):

3. 30 minutes of sewing a day, on most days.

Unlike the children's stuff I sew, my garments often stand alone, either by type (dresses), or because I sewed a color/pattern I loved without looking at the rest of my wardrobe too much. Don't get me wrong, they're usually wearable, but not as mix-and-match as the rest of my wardrobe. So, to get the most out of my sewing I make this resolution (actually I made it sometime late last year, which is why I'm sewing the jacket from gray fabric!):

4. Sew more mix-and-match garments, either by sewing neutral colors, and/or simpler patterns, and/or several garments planned as a wardrobe.

So here we are. January 7th and my resolutions are complete. I wish you all a year of happy and successful sewing!


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