Sunday, 30 April 2017

April in Review...

Sewing:

Woo Hoo!  It looks like I accomplished a lot this month but to be completely honest that coat, the biggest project I blogged about took a lot time to finish and most of the work was done fifteen minutes at a time over last month.  

Clockwise (Top L to R):  Green knit lace panties, Simplicity 8229; cotton dress, Simplicity 2372; blue wool coat, Vogue 9219; cotton knit pullover dress, McCall's 6886; back ruffled A-line dress, Vogue 9237; and cotton jacket, Simplicity 2372.

This month was all about easy sewing projects as I negotiated sitting comfortably, recovery / physio exercises, job hunting, soul searching, and searching for my sewing mojo.  


RTW & Fabric Fast:

The ready to wear fast is just like Carolyn from Handmade by Carolyn once said, it get easier as time goes on. I was proud to report on Fashion Revolution day that 

.

It felt good to realize that most of my clothes are hand-made and fit better than anything I can find at the stores. I still have some fitting techniques to learn but that is the fun part of the journey.

The fabric fast once again proved to be challenging as I fell pry to some beautiful cotton knits and that black and gray fabric that I used to make Mama R's dress. That cut of fabric was purchased last year but I picked up another piece for me when I spotted in the discounted section of the store. I'm thinking about making another Lynn Mizono dress.  

I have yet to complete one month without purchasing any fabric and just "shop" from my fabric stash. Oh my that sounds disappointing, but I'm willing to give it another try this month. On a positive note, I've resisted purchasing any couple books or fabric store memberships. Baby steps.

The Stats:


Supplies
Quantity Used from the stash this Month 
Quantity Used this Year
Added to the Stash this year
Basting Tape
0.50 metres
2.72 metres
0
Bias Tape
1.3 metres
3.1 metres
0
Buttons
6
28
42
Chain

0
0
Cord Stopper

0
0
Elastic
2.8 metres
8.3 metres
6 metres
Fabric
15.8 metres
46.8 metres
42.5 metres
Fusible Tape
2 metres
12 metres
0
Hand needles
1
2
0
Hook and Eyes

0
0
Interfacing
3 metres
5.3 metres
6 metres
Lace trim
2.6 metres
0
Pattern (new)
4
9
11
Pattern (previously used--TNT)
2
8
0
Ribbon

0
0
Serger needles

0
0
Serger thread

3
12
Sewing machine needles
2
2
0
Snaps
5
5
0
Thread
2
9
18
Trim
1.2 metres
2 metres
7 metres
Velcro

0
0
Zipper
2
4
3



Happy Sewing! 


Thursday, 27 April 2017

Sometimes You Just Need to Sew For Others

Sewing for Mama R brought back my sewing mojo. I'm so thrilled with how this turned out.  


If you're having a moment of déjà vu don't be alarmed, it's another dress made with trusty Simplicity 2372. Hmm, maybe it's sewing something familiar that sparked my sewing mojo? 

Back to the dress, my favourite part of this dress is the patched pockets, they're lined. I haven't typically lined most of her pockets in the past. I should though, they feel wonderful and give the pockets a neater look. Besides adding lined patched pockets, the typical changes to the pattern were made, eliminate the centre front seam, insert an invisible zipper at the centre back, lengthen the sleeves, shorten the hem length and raise the neckline.  


And I made a matching jacket. This is only the second time I've made her a matching set using this pattern. No pockets on this piece. The length on the jacket was shortened by three inches and the sleeves were shortened an inch. No loop and button added and the centre back pleat was eliminated.  


The best part of this outfit has to be the quality of the fabric. It is a medium weight twill weave in a 100% cotton. I found this fabric at Fabricland last year and it is currently in the discounted home decor section. It also comes in blue and orange. It was pretreated with a tumble through the wash and dryer and a good steam pressing before it hit the cutting table. It handled a pretreatment process without any issues and sewed beautifully. Would you believe that I was able to squeeze these two pieces with just over three metres of fabric. 


The Stats:  

Fabric:  3.2 metres 

Interfacing:  1.2 metres of fusible interfacing

Zipper:  22" invisible zipper

Thread:  polished off one spool of thread 

Pattern:  Simplicity 2372

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Sewing machine, serger, threads for the machines and hand-stitching, needle, invisible zipper foot, regular zipper foot, blind hem foot, seam ripper, cutting table, pins, iron, ironing board, tailor's ham, sleeve ham, good tunes, lots of breaks to stretch and make tea and what not. 

Happy Sewing!  

 



Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Day 2 Photo Challenge: Positive Changes

For my photo challenge today I have to acknowledge Peter Lappin's blog [Male Pattern Boldness] post from 2012. This post set me on a reading journey that I didn't think would lead into a collection of books on fashion. It all started with Overdressed:  The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion and it didn't stop there.   


These books have shaped and changed my view on sewing and consumption since reading Cline's book. Without this kick in the pants these books, Thanks Peter, I don't know if I would have participated in RTW Fasts prior to gaining this knowledge. I'll admit, the RTW Fast have been challenging, especially in the beginning but it has forced me to try to sew items that I have previously feared. These books are not easy reads, they're heartbreaking but they will open your mind to positive changes.   


Happy Sewing!

Monday, 24 April 2017

Is Green the New Black?

Today is the forth anniversary of the tragedy at Rana Plaza. On this day in 2013, one thousand one hundred thirty-three (Laverne, Michael, Fitting Fashion:  Rethinking the Way We Make, Market and Buy Our Clothespeople died when the factory building where they were working collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh. International attention focused on the cheap fast-fashion clothing produced by many of those who died. As international attention grew, it gave birth to the Fashion Revolution movement which asked questions and raises issues of worker's rights and the fractured fashion supply chain. Fashion Revolution would like us to ask and investigate one question today, "Who made my clothes?"

Necklace made from up cycled clothing labels and wool, cotton
knit top (Vogue 9056), and black wool pants (OOP Vogue 1325)

In a 2013 article, Ryerson School of Fashion professor, Osmud Rahman acknowledged "the average person doesn't have enough information at hand about where and how their clothing is made." It's not just the clothing, the same can be asked of the raw materials that are used to make our clothing. The stories behind ready-to-wear clothing are not just the stories of the garment workers sitting at a sewing machine but also the farmers growing textile crops, the scientists working on new textiles and the people decorating our fabrics with dyes and chemicals.


I can say that I make my own clothes but I honestly can not tell you much about a majority of the supplies I use to make my clothes. Fabric stores are selling fabrics that are labelled and marketed as organic but not much more. There is little transparency in labels to back that up or list the material's organic percentage. And it is rare that I stumble on a fabric's country of origin unless I'm buying high quality wools from Italy or England.

There is so much to learn about our supply chain and the materials that end up in our sewing tables. I have to admit, I've made mistakes through my own ignorance when purchasing lesser quality fabrics. But I hope to continue to learn and educate myself and cherish the work of those who share their craft rather than fall pry to marketing of fashion fashion trends.

So who made your clothes? As if I have to ask on a sewing blog. And what tough questions do you ask on this day?

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Kitschy Home Decor Dress

This is my kitschy home decor dress made with Vogue 9237. Don't you think that this print just screams spring?


I found this 100% cotton fabric at the home decor department at Fabricland. It is a medium weight cotton. I have to admit that I do enjoy shopping in the home decor department. On several occasions I have found lovely cottons and silks that I've used to make clothing. This medium weight cotton is no exception. Yes, I do like the Parisian look with it's upscale simplicity but I also get a kick out of a kitschy look now and then. A pair of espadrilles and I'll be ready to go once the weather warms up. The fabric was pretreated with a tumble through the washing machine and dryer and a steam pressing before I got to work cutting out Vogue 9237.  

It is my first time working on this pattern so I basically cut it out of the envelope except for adding three inches to the length. The back button and loop was replaced with an eight inch invisible zipper and it was after I sewed the shoulder seams I realized that the neckline was not for me.  


If I didn't already install the zipper I would have widened the neckline all around. The 1 1/2" lowered in the front worked but if I were to make another one would like to add an longer zipper. Maybe it's the back injury but I find this fitted at the bust area and think it might be easier to get out of if the opening had a more generous opening. 


The dress is cut as a medium (12-14). I would agree with the "loose-fitting" description only in the lower half of this design, across the bust and the sleeves I wouldn't consider it loose-fitting at all. 


I'm out of practice sewing set in sleeves and had to go back and smooth over a few spots. Thankfully, it worked out in the end because I really like these sleeves. I wish I cut a size small at the armhole though but that is just a minor complaint.  


Love the pockets on this dress! It has side seam pockets and they are the perfect shape. So happy with those pockets and the gathers in the back, swoon. Those gathers are the reason I picked up this pattern. I'm glad I did.   
  

The Stats:

Fabric:  2.5 metres 100% cotton

Zipper:  8" (20 cm) invisible zipper

Bias tape:  1.3 metres of single fold tape

Basting Tape:  21" length double sided tape

Pattern:  Vogue 9237

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Iron, ironing board, cutting table, pins, sewing machine, invisible zipper foot, regular zipper foot, serger, threads, tailor's ham, tailor's sleeve, scissors, thread clippers, seam ripper, vary form curve ruler, sewing gauge, coffee, good tunes, breaks to stretch and do physio exercises, breaks to stand up and walk around, breaks to eat biscotti cookies and warm up coffee.  Yes, lots of breaks!  

Happy Sewing!


Neckline Fitting Issues

Vogue 9237 presented some neckline fitting issues. It may be the changes that I made to the pattern that has contributed to the I-feel-like-I'm-choking feeling of this jewel / round neckline.  


The pattern calls for a button and loop closure at the centre back but instead I installed an invisible zipper. And now there is the issue of wrinkles across the base of the front and back neck suggesting that the neckline is too high.  

The plan is to establish a new neckline shape. Since there is a zipper at the centre back seam most of the reshaping will have to start away from the zipper and increase towards the centre front. Or maybe the issue can be solved by letting out the shoulder seam a bit at the neck edge tapering to the 5/8" seam allowance at the armhole edge.  

Something to think about for now. Until tomorrow... 

Happy Sewing!  


Saturday, 22 April 2017

Planning for Some Spring Sewing!

The new Vogue patterns that I ordered arrived last week. And in the pile is a very easy Vogue that might be the ticket to kick-start my sewing mojo. Vogue 9237 is a loose-fitting dress with a gathered back feature.  

It might not so much be the simple design of this dress but this fabric that could be what my sewing mojo needs to turn in it into sewing mo-joy.  Oh goodness, that was really cheesy. My bad.  


I plan to make it up in this 100% cotton that I found in the stash. I picked it up last year with plans to make Mama R a dress but she didn't care for the print or colours. I on the other hand, think it's a fun print. This might just be the project that works at getting my focus and sewing mojo back. I'm just working on pre-treating the fabric before I get to work on this one later today.  

Happy Sewing!  




April in Review...

Sewing : Woo Hoo!  It looks like I accomplished a lot this month but to be completely honest that coat, the biggest project I blogged abo...