Friday, July 31, 2009

Top and purse

We're leaving for two weeks' vacation tomorrow.

I finished one more garment for the Craving Color Wardrobe (do three garments count as a wardrobe, now?). The rest of my colorful fabrics have been put back in the closet, to be taken out again next spring - I don't expect I'll feel like more summer sewing when I return in the middle of August. And no, this time I'm not taking my sewing machine - I'm counting on sunny weather and very little time spent inside the house.

This top went rather fast; I just traced around an existing garment, added two darts, plaited three unfinished strips of the fabric and attached at empire seam height. Violá!

To satisfy the rest of my color cravings, preferably all in one, I started this last-minute purse:

I hope to finish it and get all packed up and get some sleep tonight, so wish me luck!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

And the winner is...

Send me your details (see my last post) and I will put it in the mail asap!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Brigitte skirt and giveaway!

How do you know sewing has become really, truly popular? When the big German women's magazines, the biggest to my knowledge being "Brigitte", start publishing sewing patterns. Another magazine has recently published a selection from the BWOF summer issues. I prefer Brigitte, because at least the patterns are original. Also, they are very simple, which is a boon when doing fast and dirty summer sewing. As in this skirt, unironed but finished in a couple of hours:
After sewing it up, I realized two things:
One, yesterday's post was my fiftieth.
Two, I'd just tossed a second Brigitte magazine with pattern sheet that I had.
So, combining one and two, I decided to retrieve the magazine and host my first (possibly last, who knows) giveaway in honor of my 50th post. If you'd like the Brigitte magazine, leave a comment indicating so. I will randomly choose a winner and post the name in the next couple of days. Afterwards, please send your post address to little dot el at gmx dot net. I will mail the magazine (anywhere) before I leave on vacation next week, but I won't promise a date!
There are 14 sewing patterns on the pattern sheet; instructions are very short (just the sewing order, basically) which shouldn't be a hindrance (the same with knowing no German) as the patterns are very simple. The patterns have to be traced; if you've tried BWOF or Ottobre, you're fine. Brigitte has no measurements table in there; I cut the skirt in size 40 and it's a little roomy, which is where I'd be with Burda also. Sample instructions:

Monday, July 20, 2009

Au revoir, Christian Lacroix!

I spent a good part of today at the doctor's, waiting for test results (sinusitis, not fun). Flipping through magazines, I read about what was probably Christian Lacroix` last fashion show. Due to financial difficulties, he will have to close his fashion house.

As you may know, Lacroix is the master of bold patterns, gorgeous colors and, yes, quite a bit of folklore (Russian and other) as well as all the beautiful handiwork that goes into clothes/couture like that. I love Lacroix`style, which is so feminine and womanly, and I love that he has a personal style. No changing for fashion; grunge or heroin chic were ignored, and Lacroix could always be depended upon to celebrate what is beautiful.

I'll take this as a reminder to go look at some of his wonderful clothes again.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Matryoshka girl's skirt

DS loves to draw. So I kept him company last night, doodling matryoshkas.

This morning I decided I'd try out making my own matryoshka appliqué from fabric scraps. I'd seen a beautiful example on this blog, which had been taken from an Ottobre pattern. I wanted to follow my own design (a.k.a. didn't feel like digging for my old Ottobres). As soon as this was done, I had visions of a girl's skirt - that DD has been asking for for weeks, but I'd lacked the mojo.

So I pulled out some fabrics and DD's measurements, haphazardly drafted a skirt with a yoke and pleats, and got going. By lunch, I had this:

DD's happy, and I feel I've made the best out of a very rainy Sunday!

A rough sketch of what I did:

Took a measurement of the length, divided into yoke (about 1/3) and skirt. Added length for an elastic casing to the yoke. Took DD's waist/hip measurements (amost equal) and added about 10 cm/4 inches ease on the yoke, and doubled this whole width for the skirt. Put four asymmetrical folds in the skirt part. Sewed together, appliquéd the matryoshka, et violá!

Regarding the dress from my last post, Wendy asked about the pleats lying flat. Since I used a fairly weighty knit, the fabric of the skirt is quite heavy and sort of drags the folds down, so they lie perfectly flat. I suppose this would work with every knit; I'd only expect differently if you used a stretch woven, in which case I'd strongly recommend a muslin; the pattern as is requires a lot of stretch. So go for it, Wendy!

I wish you all a sunny Sunday!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Dress BWOF 03/2009 no. 102

A short post in between enjoying the sun, shooing the kids around, and a little summer-sewing.

You may recognize the fabric from my "Craving color" post. I contemplated naming this the Craving Color Wardrobe Part I, but who knows whether in between summer pastimes, and fall cravings as well, there'll be another CCW garment?

I took my usual low-tech approach and sewed

- a knit without ballpoint needle
- the hems without a twin needle, and
- my first invisible zipper, with a regular zigzag foot, of course.

It's all not perfect, of course, but I'll enjoy wearing it, and expect not to be called out on it ("Hey lady! That's homesewn, isn't it?) too often. I intended it for our vacation and the beach, but I really like it and might wear it more than that. Although the décolletage might benefit from a swimsuit top underneath!

I hope you're all enjoying summer, sewing or not!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Fall cravings in July

I knew this would happen. But not how soon. I've hardly started on my summer wardrobe, for brightness' sake!

For anyone who like me can't resist some little girls (and boys) fashion eye candy, here's the new Ottobre Kids Design. With a Russian Peasant theme. (Fainting noises.) Russian! I loooove Russian folklore! (I also knew how to understand the language once. Which was 20 years ago, unfortunately. But fashion needs no language, right?)

Now how do I keep from doodling Matrjoschkas, singing Kalinka and ordering heaps of velvet and fake fur?

Hard times.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Dress BWOF 3/2007 (non bridal)

I'm in love. Maybe the issue isn't children's versus adult sewing, but utilitarian versus dress sewing? (There may be such a thing as a utilitarian dress, but I haven't sewn it yet.)

I'm in love! I haven't had a dress this twirly since... school graduation? At least. See how the wind makes it billow out? Perfect for dancing, eating ice cream, anything else worth my summer-time.

It's actually a bridal pattern to be made with lace, and only partially lined on top. I changed it by cutting the lining like the fashion fabric on top, and adding seam allowances where the lace edges wouldn't need any. I forgot to take an action shot of the back which is a shame really, as the back is cut lower (about middle back) and very pretty. A hanger picture will have to do.

Also, I'm so happy with how the dress went together. I have labelled myself as a slow sewer. Not voluntarily, though, not as in "I'm so meticulous I need to go slow". It just took me so long to line everything up, figure everything out, think through all three dimensions of the pattern.

I won't say "no more" and jinx it, but it seems that sewing quite a few fast and easy kid's clothes has increased my speed even when not sewing fast and dirty. This dress took me about a week of non-intense sewing - a couple of hours here and there. A big improvement over last year when it would have taken about a month!
Also, I find that sewing stresses me out less these days, a lot of steps are becoming routine, leaving more energy for finishing the project.
Let's hope the momentum lasts through my planned summer wardrobe!


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