Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

... and this and that. A lot of sewers do end-of-year recaps; I didn't last year but might now since I'm a bit dissatisfied with my own output. Although I know it's for all the right reasons. Sigh.

(Christmas present no. 1)

So this was 2010:

Garments for me: 12
Garments for children: 9
Other: 4 tote bags, 3 pillowcovers (not blogged), 2 hats, 1 costume

Altogether: 31 items

UFOs: 3 (Christmas dress, navy skirt suit I haven't blogged about)

To compare, my output as put on this blog in 2009 was:

Garments for me: 7
Garments for children: 19
Other: 2 capes, 2 costumes, 1 table runner, 2 bags, 1 hat

Altogether: 34 items

UFOs: 2 (blouse, chanel jacket)

- Okay, 2010 didn't compare as badly as I'd expected. I think my dissatisfaction has to do with two things: First, I didn't make much during the last quarter of 2010 (except for my Christmas crafting extravaganza). Second, I made quite a few involved projects (three coats/jackets) that took some time and energy but didn't translate into "I made a lot"! -

As you've probably read between the lines, I didn't finish my Christmas dress in time. In the end, all that was left for sewing was the middle of the night, and I feel a bit too old, eh, tired for that. I'm not sure when I'll finish it; that probably depends on when I get another occasion to wear it (and enough pressure to sew it!).

I got 2 little sewing gifts for Christmas. Don't feel sorry for me; the fabric cupboards are full, and I have more sewing books than I can use at the moment (not to mention no space for new machines). So the thimble pictured above was the perfect, space-efficient gift! I also got a sorely needed pair of embroidery scissors. (Until now I cut my bottonholes open with nail scissors. I'm not sure you wanted to know that!)

I also received some money for personal (read: sewing) use which would be just enough for a Burda subscription that is now offered with a complimentary (at greatly reduced price) dress-form. (I hope to finish my sewing room early next year so I'll have space for it.)

It's the Prym "Prymadonna". Does anyone have experience with this dress form? My personal fitting challenges on top are mostly a long torso (do dress forms adjust for that?), skinny neck, square shoulder. I'd love to hear your input!

I wish you all a happy, healthy New Year. May the spirit of the holidays and the excitement for a new beginning carry you through the next twelve months!

(Next up: sewing resolution recap)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas (Dress)!

This is the sad state of my current Christmas dress.

What is taking me so long?

First, I resolved not to add to my to do-list by planning to sew another dress.

- As I've hinted before, knowing how to sew for me leads to delusions about having to DIY pretty much everything, especially during the Christmas season. I made decorations, photo calendars, a photo book, cards, gift tags, pillowcases, gingerbread houses, cookies, and we recorded a family Christmas tunes CD (complete with CD cover artwork). Phew. -

Then, I thought scrap that, after making all sorts of stuff for others I really deserve a dress for myself. I even found a suitable wool-mix crepe in our town's tiny, obscure, remnant-roll-filled fabric shop. And a real silk lining.

- When I asked about the fabric content of the crepe (I thought it felt like wool), the shop's little saleswoman cut off a small piece, whipped out her lighter, and made the famous burn test (that I'd never seen nor done). Wool with poly, she says. -

I really, really wanted to make the infamous tulip skirt dress from BurdaStyle 8-2009, but couldn't for the life of me find that magazine (which I have!). Time was slipping away from me, so I settled on BWOF 11-2008-112 and got started. I try to steal an hour here and there which might not be enough to finish by Thursday night (Christmas festivities commence early on Christmas Eve here in Germany).

What do you think, dear sewing friends?

Can I get the dress done?

And are you a creative specialist yourself (only sewing) or a jack-of-all-creative endeavors?

I would like to thank all of you, my readers whom I consider my sewing friends and who have made my year so enjoyable, and wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Teaching, Fudging and Old Dresses

This post shall be about teaching and fudging, mainly, but since I don't have pictures of either, and a sewing post just isn't all that attractive without pictures, here's a Christmas dress I made, uh, ten years ago or so?

(Sorry for the ten-years-in-the-closet wrinkles.)

It's a BWOF pattern that I made after having loved 60s style dresses for quite some time, and deciding it was time to make one. I didn't sew regularly then (although I believe this was the Christmas I cranked out the dress, a girl's tartan Christmas dress and two fleece pullovers). The interior finishing is terrible, definitely fudged, but I'm not going to show it to you!

I also have acquired two sewing students. One is my husband's niece who just turned 11. When I show up at her house, armed with pattern magazines and an idea how to proceed slowly - you know, one session to choose and copy the pattern, one to cut and prep the fabric, one or more to sew - she informs me she would like to make this (pulling out an RTW garment) in whatever fabric, today.

Thus, last session, I made my first pattern copied from a finished garment (who's the student then?), in this case a very simple shrug with long sleeves. She cut it out, sort of leaving seam allowances, sewed it together, sort of straight, hemmed it and happily wears it now. Definitely fudged, but she had fun, likes the result, and who am I to say sewing a garment should take longer than a scant day?

My other student is my age, has taken a sewing class and made a couple of garments before, and likes to quiz me on "the right way" to do the next action. Half the time I have to admit that I just sorta, kinda do it like this or like that, and yes, fudge it. She is undeterred and says that she hopes a less perfectionistic approach to sewing will mean more fun and more frequent sewing for her!

What do you think? Would you prefer a perfectionistic sewing teacher, or a more laid-back approach?


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