Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Me-Made-May: Inventory

I took inventory of my me-made wardrobe suitable for May. I think I'll be fine. If I spend the month in equal parts at: social occasions and: holiday resorts. That's my plan, and I'm sticking with it! (Missing: one skirt and one dress, equally in holiday spirits!)

(In case DH resists said plan, I'm sewing a blouse. Right now.)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I've been given my first blog award, the "Premio Amigo Artesano". Thank you, Sewing Spots!

I've seen others struggle with passing on awards... Whom to give it to, when there are so many inspiring, wonderful sewers out there? Sewing Spots decided to nominate new (-ish) bloggers. I will alter this new-ish (to me) sewers/bloggers and will add a bit on why they inspire me. Maybe you will discover someone new to you, too?

  1. Steph from 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World. She sews classic, classy, lasting garments. Her series on Sewing Habits and Practices is enlightening.
  2. Mikhaela from Polka Dot Overload. I love her colorful and exuberant style!
  3. Zoe from So Zo... See my last post. Enough said.
  4. Sinje from Mighty Mouse. She's fearless, creative, and German.
  5. The Cupcake Goddess. I like her style! (Anybody else have a cheesy 90's song playing in their head now?)

Happy sewing!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Me-Made-May and Girl's Pants Ottobre 1/2008 no. 11

I mentioned in passing that I joined Me-Made-May, as created by the, well, creative Zoe. I loved following her adventures in homesewn garments during Me-Made-March, probably because I could relate to her - while she may have (had) more self-made garments than I did, she hadn't been one of those sewers, admirable as they are, who have sewn the bulk of their wardrobes for many years already. She challenged herself to wear only me-made clothing for a whole month, which meant wearing homemade garments that hadn't made it out of the closet (often), sewing hard to fill the holes in her self-made wardrobe, and combining creatively. She also managed to look gorgeous throughout the process, which may be a reason why so many sewers have signed up for Me-Made-May! (Don't we all want to be irresistible in, Oh, this old thing I made myself (twinkle in eye)?)

I couldn't realistically clothe myself in all-me-made garments for more than a weekend (full of parties preferably, given my weakness for sewing dresses). So I signed up for Me-Made-March-Lite, meaning to wear one home-sewn garment per day (someone mentioned pajamas; well, I'm not going there anytime soon!). Zoe clarified today that the point about Me-Made-March is for it to be a challenge, not to set up strict rules that apply to everyone. Excellent concept! As it is, the (original) idea of MMM-Lite of one garment per day is enough of challenge for me, so I'm sticking with it.

Actually, it is quite the challenge! As you know me, I've been planning and revising, but of course, since signing up for the challenge, I haven't sewn a single piece for myself. A pair of girl's dungarees/overalls, yes, but I'm not fitting into them, and aren't we glad for that...

- Interrupting the regularly scheduled sewing for this kiddie clothing message:

Pattern: "Iguana Dungarees no. 11 from Ottobre 1/2008"

Alterations: many.

Re-Alterations: countless.

Relief factor on being done: v. high! -

What I'm hoping to gain from Me-Made-May:

  • Fun! I'm not usually the playful type or one to run with the masses (unless in blogging, ha!), but this seems a wonderful way to enjoy our craft, dress creatively, and all in the company of fellow sewers who inspire!

  • Wearing my (already) made garments more often and, as follows, more creatively.

  • Making up some more garments under the pressure, erm, challenge, of MMM, and thus upping both my wardrobe size and sewing skills.

In true Zoe spirit, I'm hoping to make some progress on my blue SWALP before and during May, adding a few vaguely nautical pieces to my wardrobe. I always loved this style, and Zoe showed some great navy blue and striped styles. So this time around, instead of sewing nautical dresses for DD and pirate jeans for DS, I'm joining the navy myself!

If you haven't already, head on over to Zoe's blog and get inspired!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Spring Fabric Markets

Instead of sewing, I went to the market today. My mojo has taken a beating because I had to alter the boy's pants; DS was positively swimming in them. My mojo doesn't take well to altering/repairs, whether in RTW or homesewn garments!
So, instead of starting on my blue SWALP, I've been buying more blue fabrics to add to my SWALP fabric pile. They won't all get sewn up this spring, but it sure is fun looking at them!
Top to bottom:
A silk twill (the first I've come across that isn't a tie print); two dotted poplins (that might become part of the lining of a trenchcoat I'd like to make but realistically won't until fall); a smooth firm cotton (that might become the trenchcoat shell); and some soft denim (for more last-minute kiddie pants)!
Some cute cotton prints (can't completely resist although the fabric cupboard is stuffed with cotton prints):

Buttons (from top left) for the planned SWALP jacket, the trenchcoat and the SWALP blouses:

I'd like to start on a blouse next. Trena remarked it would be a nice change from coats and jackets, and I think she is right. (Besides, who wants to contradict the Queen of Cute Blouses, aka The Slapdash Sewist?)

Hopefully my SWALP won't fall victim to overplanning, since I've been thinking about it for a while!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

SWALP Considerations

First of all, thank you so much for the nice comments on my coat and dress, and the kids' pants. It's so motivating to get compliments from people who know what it means to sew. So thank you!

I'm contemplating where to go next. (Other than some kiddie pieces that will most probably get thrown in in between!) Some considerations:

1. I'd like to branch out in color.
Yes, it's spring and I love pulling out the bright greens, soft pinks, buttery yellows that reflect the spirit of the season. But I already have quite a bit of these colors in my wardrobe, and I don't necessarily like them in jackets and pants, which I need more of - in spring weights - in my wardrobe.

A color I've been wearing very little of, unless it's denim or leisurewear, is blue. Since I have so little of it, I've been wary of sewing blue things, thinking they won't go with anything in my wardrobe. I will need to sew a few pieces/a SWALP, which gives me a bit of apprehension, but after the sewing successes of the last year, I'm half convinced I can make a go of it!

Exhibit A: These fabrics from the stash.
All bought at different times, they would go together very well I think! The blue (in the navy colorway, but not very dark) fabric is a lightweight wool if I remember right, enough for a suit. The red-white-and-blue print is a cotton voile, and the light blue polka dot is a lightweight poplin. I also have a white-on-white embroidered eyelet cotton that would fit in here.

2. I need to get into sewing blouses.
First, because I wear them a lot. Second, because I've never sewn them so far. Third, because the voile and poplin above are shouting "Sew me up already!" (Can't you hear it?)
And fourth, because dedicated sewer and refashioner Zoe, who impressed by dressing all-handmade in all of March, has just announced Me-Made-May, and I want to take part in it. If only in the "lite"version, meaning one of the garments I wear on any given day will be made by me. At least, that is the plan!

(I'm trying to convince myself Zoe with her lovely navy wardrobe in Me-Made-March isn't the reason I'm getting into blue. No no. I can't be imitating another sewer every second garment I make, right?)

3. Chanel style jacket anyone?
Prominently featured in my sewing hall of shame is the Chanel-type jacket I never finished (so far). All that handsewing overwhelmed me, and I appreciated having more than one finished garment at the end of the year, even though that meant leaving the jacket for someday.

Although I don't feel up to the task of completing said jacket, I have another Chanel-style bouclé fabric in my stash (in spring-y yellow too!) and I may have thought of a method to get a bit of Chanel style into a machine sewn jacket: by adding an organza underlining and quilting this to the fashion fabric, then sewing and lining it like a regular jacket. Tell me it can be done!
Exhibit B: Bouclé fabric, silk organza and lining (the lining is less brown and lighter, although not the exact orange of the bouclé):

This jacket would possibly provide more immediate gratification than the blue SWALP, but it would also need a few more pieces for company, and other than a pair of white pants I'm out of ideas. I don't want too garish a color combination, but most neutrals don't go with the bouclé either... Must go contemplate some more.
Happy sewing!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

"Zoom" Pirate Jeans Ottobre 3/2009/26

The kiddos are in desperate need of pants (aren't they always?). Since I'm getting more and more stubborn about buying RTW when I can just as well make that, and from the stash (never mind the hours it takes!), I decided to sew up a pair for DS.


I took this cute ribbon/border by Farbenmix,

a self-made patch created with the border in mind, and the "Zoom" pirate jeans pattern by Ottobre that I already made these pants from.


I lengthened the legs, added a bit of width, left off the darts and tabs on the pant legs, and abandoned the instructions. Oh, and I added a carabiner hook (?) for attaching odds, ends and bike keys that can be left hanging outside or put in the pocket.

Yes, the topstitching/seam matching is a bit wonky here and there, but I really can't be bothered ripping apart perfectly functional seams on a pair of kids' pants that will be worn one year, max! One more thing on topstitching: I'm a bit cheap when it comes to buying notions - really, the thread, interfacing and fastenings can ruin the best fabric deal! So instead of buying the fantastically expensive topstitching thread I've switched to using two strands of regular thread (and one strand in the bobbin). It works just fine and looks good, I think!

The pants might be a bit wide-legged I'm afraid. DS will return from a sleepover soon to try them on, and I hope the legs won't need altering!

(back pocket detail)

I made the first pair of pirate jeans from the same fabric. Ottobre had a tutorial on giving the jeans a worn look; I decided to leave them be and see how actually wearing them (and washing... and wearing...) would affect the fabric. Here's the original pair and today's pants for comparison:

I think "life" ages them just fine!

I wish everyone who celebrates Easter a blessed holiday with their families, and everyone else a happy (sewing) weekend!


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