My item number ten was supposed to be the Harrison shirt from Cashmerette. And while I have sewn up a Harrison, it does clearly need some alterations. So I am procrastinating. And the best way to do that is to sew yourself something completely diffrent, but lovely.
So while I gather my courage, I sewed up this lovely hacked version of the concord. The fabric is a lovely jersey called Milano jersey, and I think it is a polyester/cotton blend, but there might also be some spandex or something in the mix. I got both colors for cheap as scrap-cuts in my local fabric shop.
So I had done some sleeve alterations on this version, (trying to increase the width of the sleeve without tinkering with the arm scythe by creating a curve on the bottom) and to check it before giving the final okay, I just basted the sleeves and sides together to start with. The sleeves were pretty good. I will probably do a little tiny alteration next time, and make the curve slightly less sharp, but for now, it is a great improvement. However I thought it seemed a bit tight around my hips/belly. I also thought that the way I had placed the colors made it look like an old t-shirt fashion. So I decided to try and add some triangular side panels, both to give some more width and to change the look a bit.
Looking at the pictures of my finished result I am very happy, I know I will be very comfortable in this t-shirt. However I am wondering if maybe I need to remeasure myself, because I do see some draglines at the side of my breasts, and it was a bit to snug around the hip/belly area. Oh well, we shall see, it is no big deal.
Well that was it for this time. I hope you all are enjoying yourself.
Feel free to leave me a comment, I appreciate and welcome them all.
I am happy to report that I am now finally back home. And today I got around to finish up some projects that I have been waiting forever (since before the trip to hospital) to share with you. But let me start with giving you an update about my stay in hospital.
As I wrote in the previous post I underwent back surgery to remove a prolapse in a my lower back, but it seemed that my symptoms had returned after a being violently sick from the medicin the same evening. To see if I had re-prolapsed or my nerve was “just” in bad shape, the gave me a new MR-scan and it turned out I had indeed re-prolapsed.
The next day I underwent surgery again. And I am happy to say this time there was no reprolapse. Two days later I got discharged and I was already walking again. I went to my mothers place to recover for a weeks time and a few days ago I came home. I am happy to say that while I am still a bit weak and taking it easy I feel better than I have felt the last year.
I can sit down now, lie on my sie, stand and walk around with little to no pain or problems. I get tired, and sometimes feel little tiny sensations that I would not even call pain. But that is it. I feel like I have gotten my life back, and I cannot stop smiling.
Okay, I will move along to the sewing.
So this is view A, the sleveless version. Which I guess is a bit of a weird choice, heading into the scandinavian fall season. But I really love sleveless shirts and I think they work great as layering pieces.
I made this garment in a viscose/acetate mix, which feels very soft and slightly shiny. I got the fabric online from Stofkiosken.dk where it was on sale for 20dkk/meter (3,5 USD). Which in danish prices is very cheap! And only now after completion of the shirt do I realize I am not supposed to iron it. I have been ironing the shi(r)t out of it, and will probably continue to do so, because it wrinkles really badly. Oh well, I guess we will see how long it survives.
I have kind of been dragging my feet regarding this make, having had both fabric and pattern for a while. I guess I just felt apprehensive about the number of alterations I would have to make, the new construction details (collar, button placket, full bust adjustment) as well as the amount of precision sewing to make neat tucks on the front.
I started out with a size 20 to match my top bust measurement and then following this tutorial made a full bust adjustment for a pattern without a dart. I added about 4 cm in the FBA, and decided to keep the dart it created. Next time I will shorten the dart though, I somehow managed to make it to long, and I didn’t pick up on my mistake before in the proces. Also the FBA added 4 cm alle the way down, which kinda changed the proportion of the fronts seaming details, so the tucks seem much less noticeable on my garment. Next time I think I will try lengthening them. Also I think I would like a little more ease next time, especially over bust and hips. Also I think I might have a bit too much ease about the waist, but I think I need to wear it a bit more to make that decision. I had planned to grade out the sizes to a size 24 over the hips, but initially I forgot, which I guess was a good thing, since the FBA also added quite a bit over the hips. So I ended up just adding a little more over the back-piece. Next time I make this I might experiment with having a starting off point of size 2o bust, size 18 waist and size 22 hips, then do the same, or a slightly bigger FBA. Other things I might change is the interfacing I have used for the collar, it is probably a little too stiff for my liking.
Of other points of interest, the shirt gave me a chance to use my edge stitch foot for the first time, which was really neat. All in all a very succesful make that I am sure I will get lots of use out of.
Quickly after finishing this version I started my second version, having enjoyed the proces very much. This time it is in a khaki linen/viscose blend. I decided to not mess around with the basic size of my pattern, but I made the following alterations.
I shortened the darts and moved them a little down.
I tried to solved a fabric bunching problem in the back by moving the shoulder seams a bit foreward. This fix did not work. Next time I use this pattern, I should undo this alteration.
To fix the fabric bunching in the back, after having cut my pieces I made a centerback seam and removed fabric on the top as if it was a big dart. This worked fine.
Also I paid much more attention to precision when cutting and constructing the collar, as well as grading the seams on the inside to remove bulk. I also omitted a little bit of the top stitching, when I could see that the result just would not be great.
I forgot to lengthen the side pleats
Overall I am very happy with my second make. The only thing that I am really regretting is that I forgot to prewash to fabric and I think it has shrunk the first time I washed it. I stille fits, it is just more snug, and there is a tiny bit of gape on the boobs. But oh well.
Over all I really enjoyed the process of sewing these shirts/button down blouses, and all the details. I never thought of myself as someone who would like to sew fiddly things with lots of details. But I guess I am. I also really feel I learned a lot from this project and mastered a lot of new techniques.
Well the is about it for this time, thanks for stopping by, all comments are of course welcome and appreciated.
I figured it was about time I got around to getting some pictures taken og some of my projects, . These two projects are both versions of the Cashmerettes concord t-shirt, and have been lying around for a while. I have kind of been waiting to do a third and “perfect version” before uploading it. But I figured that would probably take a while, so I might as well upload.
The pattern I cut out for the first version was the V-neck view in the medium length with long sleeves, with no buttons. I adjusted the size so I was a 16 top and 18 bottom (cup E-F) and I also made a full arm adjustment (I think they are called), Adding in 2,5 cm (1 inch). I had ended up writing to Cashmerette for a hint on how big their arm sizes were, since I was unsure about working with a knit pattern, and the magical concept of negativ ease when using knits. I got a helpful reply within half an hour. Excellent service.
The instructions were great and easy to follow. But just to be sure I looked at a few tutorials online when it came to sewing the V-neck. They all suggested using some stabilizing tape, but my pattern just wanted stay stitching for the V-neck. A quick check told me that I had no clue where my stay tape had gone, so I decided to just do the stay stitching.
Sewing up the V-neck went like a dream, it looked so good I could not believe I had made it. Until I noticed I had put it on the inside of the blouse. Oh… Ya, I definitely made this. An hour of careful unpicking later I tried again. This time it seemed I had stretched the seam, damn it. I left it and finished the rest of the t-shirt while pondering what to do. First I thought, that I have blown it. But after sleeping on it I decided to unpick it again and try once more.
After unpicking it the neck hole still seemed stretched out, so I trawled the internet for a way to re-shrink it. In the end I asked Gilligan from Crafting a Rainbow, and she gave me some helpful tips. In the end i tried washing and tumble dry it, and it seemed to work. However I realized that it was still very low cut, to low cut for my taste. So after pondering this for a while I got a new idea.
I made a new collar much wider (total with of 8,5 and then placed it on fold, so my final product was a foldet band 7,5 cm wide). So instead of it becoming an edge-finish it became a feature. I am really happy with the idea of the collar, but I think next time I make it, I need to cut it another way, so it does not sit and “flap” but rather sits snug around my neckline. So in the end I am a bit torn about the result. I might still try and save it, but not sure. Sometimes you just got to call it a day.
The plan for the second version was to make it with a high neck this time. Besides from the V-neck just being to low for my taste I also figured it would give me a better idea of the size and fit, without a big “hole” in the front. So there is not much to say, I pretty much followed my patterns with the alterations from last time and I am really happy with the result. The only thing I will change next time is the fit of the sleeve. Even with the full arm adjustment it sits tight. I am used to tight sleeves so it is okay really, but a part of me want an even fit, that is part of the reason I got into sewing anyway. Next time I will definitely make a much larger sleeve adjustment.
I might also make the neck-opening less wide.
All in all I think this second concord was a succes! Hurray!
Since I so far have thrown myself into sewing with knits and stretch fabrics, I thought that panties, could be a fun project to get familiar with. So after the idea rippening for a while and having looked at some tutorials online I decided it was time and ordered some some stretch cotton. I also had some black and white stretchy cotton-ish fabric that I had made a little sleeveless top from long ago.So I jumped in, and I am obsessed. It is so rewarding!
I started out finding a free pattern online, but that did not work out. So I set about making my own panties pattern, based on a pair I already owned and felt comfertable in. After making the pattern I followed this tutorial from Silver Linings Atelier for the actual construction and the sewing of the elastic, which was a new thing for me. And I must say it was a steep learning curve, so the first pair was not a great succes (but still totally wearable!), I felt confident that my next pair would be even nicer to look at. So I plowed on, and the first day I made two more pairs in a pretty pink stretch cotton I had gotten for this specific purpose. It was a great success.
I really had not thought through how much elastic even one pair of panties would take, so while I thought I had pico-elastic enough for plenty of pairs. In fact there was enough for two pairs. I had some plain old elastic too, so that worked out to. I have ordered some more, both pico elastic and fold over elastic.
I had however a long piece of dark raspberry-ish color stretch lace, so I have also made some lace hipsters following a free pattern from sew so easy which I graded to suit me (worked really well).
Sewing panties is seriously fun, and I am really happy with the results. I cannot wait to get some more elastic and then chop up some old t-shirts I do not use anymore. I have also thought about some ways to change my original design for some fun details. As soon as my elastic arrives I will experiment with making more variations. Thongs and laced back panties are next in line. I am also thinking how I can alter my pattern for other types of more fun and flirty variations. Rouching? colorblocking? See through panels? I have made a new pintrest board for panties-inspiration. Feel free to look!
I also plan on sewing a little camisole out of the pink stretch cotton.
So a while ago I went to the fabric shop, and there was a sale. And well. I am a sucker for a good sale. So I came home with a little extra, if you know what I mean. That extra included a weird grey fabric, with some silvery shine to it, and a little stretch. The sales person didn’t really know what it was made of, but we agreed it seemed pretty synthetic. It was at the insane price of 3 meters for 50dkk (7,5USD), and i am pretty sure that was most of the reason I got it. Consumerism, god damn you. I am your bitch, it seems.
At the moment I got home and unpacked my wonderful bounty of fine fabrics and notions (and well, the grey one…), it was instantly clear I had no idea what to do with this strange silvery fabric. Mostly it made me think of listening to Boney M – night flight to Venus and hanging with my cousins in our childhood moving box spaceship (There it would have been more than appropriate! Mandatory even).
In the end it lay in my fabric stash for something like a month while I worked on other projects and nervously eyed it from time to time. It finally struck me that, space ship wibes aside, it kinda reminded me of the fabric some of my training tops, were made off. I double checked with a training top, and bingo!
So I decided to make it a princess seamed work out top, with slightly longer sleeves than regular (it just works better for my arms. The shape of my upper arms often makes the sleeves roll up). So I watched some video tutorials on youtube and referred to my pattern crafting book. Got my basic block, allowed for less ease, rotated some darts into the princess seams and this is what turned out!
I plan to make one for my for boyfriend too (twinsies!!), for some reason we both have this little love-hate-loooove relationship with being dressed the same. It is disgusting I know. Disgustingly good! So this weekend I got out my measuring tape and measured him top to bottom so I got his measurements ready for when I am ready to make his top, or anything else really. Believe you me, we got aaaaall the measurements.
Evaluation:I am really struggling with my collar making. This final collar is the third attemt and honestly it is not very nice. But the fabric is too damaged from the seam ripping for me to feel comfortable to give it one more go. So this will be it, and I will continue to work on my collar skills with other garments. The princess seams turned out great – no sweat, I will do this again! By accident I made the sleeves a bit to tight by using the wrong seam allowance so I let them out. Seam ripping a three point zigzag well… it did a bit of nastiness to the fabrics, with a few snags, even tho I was fully focussed on being careful. So next time more attention, less ripping. I have not tried working out in the top yet, but I have worn it bit around the house, and it seems good.
Also when I look at my pictures I notice things I didn’t notice before. Lately I have been reading a lot about fitting clothing. Been wearing ill fitting clothing most of my life, it is not something I have thought about to that degree before, but now I start to notice. I can see the sleeves are still to tight and I got some draglines in various places. Maybe the bust area is also to tight, even though it does not feel it, or maybe it will fall into place when I get the sleeve size right. Also there seems to be an awful lot of fabric on my lower back, so next time I guess I should do some kind of sway back adjustment. Frankly I am new to this, so if you know or have a suggestion about what the problem is, every hint and comment will be appreciated.
What about you, do you sometimes fall victim to the consumerism ritual of “sale” and end up coming home with things you could have sworn did not belong to normal-sane-you? And what did you do with it then?
So today I wanted to tell you about my item number four, which I finished a while back. I finally got around to photographing it today, because I realized I could do it myself, since I am not going to model it. Item number four is a flowing strappy summer top in a rectangular design. In this item my challenge was about trying to clone an item of clothing.
This is the summer top which I already own, and love to bits. And therefore wanted to clone. It was also meant to be a refashion of a kind, where the new garment would be made of thrifted mens shirts. However that part did not work out.
The plan was to make a pattern from the top, which I did.
However there was a little trouble in paradise, since it seemed that the original item had warped a bit with use and some places it was hard to get some sane measurements. In the end I think I did a good job, and managed to figured out some measurements which seemed plausible.
The blouse itself was based on a rectangular design, divided into 10 pieces (2 front pieces, 2 side pieces, 2 back pieces and 4 bottom edge panels, and 4 spaghetti straps). After making my pattern my plan was to redo it using some old mens shirts I had founds in the thrift shop. However before I cut into the shirts, I decided to make a muslin first to see how the pattern had turned out. I decided to use an old duvet cover, that I didn’t mind cutting into and which I figured came close to the shirts fabric wise.
Good thing I did. Because after completing the muslin I realized two things.
It was too small for me (which is also why I thought no reason for me to model it so I could talk about the fit on me)
The fabric had completely removed the flowing element i cherished about the top. And if anything the planned shirt fabric would be less flowing.
So I have decided to cancel the project for now, if it was just about the size I would have continued and altered my pattern, but I simply do not have the right fabric for it, so I will put it on hold for now. I debated wether I should do the pattern alterations now, so I have a functioning pattern, but I decided to wait until it was relevant, so I don’t have to change it again, if I gain or loose a bit of weigh by next summer. Also I think the days of summer is running out for this year in Denmark, so light flimsy tops is just not top of my list no more.
I still count this as a completed project even though I don’t have a wearable item completed. It was a good learning experience, and I think both the pattern drafting and the construction of the garment went very well.
Not sure what I will do with the mens shirts. My seam ripper suggest trying to make one of them into a me-shirt. Could be fun. We shall see.
Very nice speaking at ya, have a lovely day and see you soon.
So here we go. After my two first homemade patterns, I decided it was time to try a commercial pattern. So I picked Burda Style Scoop neck blouse.
It is a simple design, containing bias binding (new to me) a few pleats and raglan sleeves (also new to me). the blouse is loose fitting, so I figured no big alterations were needed, except a upper sleeve adjustment. So it was the right beginners pattern for me.
And here is my finished result! I have worn it several times now, and I think it is definitely good. I especially like it tucked into some high waisted trouser.
Evaluation: In regard to the design/fit, I think I will change a few things next time I make it. The sleeves are kinda long, nothing major, but why settle? So I will make them shorter (I think I will make these shorter too). Also, I think the scoop neck is fine but I think it is a bit to wide on me, showing my bra-straps, if I do not stand perfectly still. So I will alter that (I think it should be possible to just lay out the pattern pieces and tape them together as were they sewn, overlay some tracing paper and draw the new neckline there, cut it out and stick it on the pieces, right?).
In this version, I got kinda confused and I accidentally made tucks instead of pleats. I liked the result, so I did not change it back, but perhaps next time I will do it with the pleats. Also the blue floral cotton fabric I used wrinkles like noones business, and it does not drape to well (I think this is why it worked well with the tucks). So in hindsight, not the best fabric I guess.
Speaking of next time… Well I have actually already purchased some fabric. I kinda wanted something with a better drape and more classic of look. I found this white modal which I will combine with some burgundy satin ribbon instead of the bias binding. The modal is smooth to the touch, and I think it will drape well. Also I was thinking of putting cuffs on the sleeves. It will be awesome I think. Cannot wait to make it and show you!
It feels like even though the blouse is done, the process of making “the good blouse” from this pattern is just beginning.
Fabric picking and handling is hard, but Im learning!
Here is my butt. It is its internet debut and it is a little nervous. So be kind to it.
The first thing I sewed this time around, and as part of my “The First Ten” was a pair of kinda high waisted trousers. The trousers come from a pattern I have made myself, using this book.
I do not know if you can find it in english sorry, but basically it is a book about how to draft your own patters, how to alter patterns and why you
would want to do it. So it covers everything from how to do your own basic block (sloper?) to rotating darts etc. It also includes som basic patterns and a lot of way to alter them to more specifik designs.
One of my biggest challenges with clothing have always been
finding clothing that fit me well. Generally I am different sizes depending on where you measure me. Especially my upper arms and thighs tend to be an area of challenge for RTW clothing. So to be able to wear trousers that was NOT super tight on my thighs, while being gaping loose in the waist, not to mention too long.. Well that would be great actually.
So trousers was top of my list. I work in a semi-casual office environment, so office appropriate trouser was my aim. I had purchased some dark blue/black trousers fabric, I am not sure what the fabric really was (next time ill be sure to ask). The fabric had a little stretch, which I asked for. Somehow stretchy fabrics always seem like a little miracle to me, in the aspect of fit in ready to wear. Thinking, if I screw up the sizing, the stretch will save me! Because stretch always saves you – stretch fabric is like the jesus of fabrics. It will forgive you and accept you, if you dont quite fit in.
I’ll take the stretch, thank you sir!
I think the stretch kinda worked against me in this case. Since my sewing experience is limited, I figured since it was not a lot of stretch, it wouldn’t matter to much. Like I would not have to account for it. But err.. Ya.
I drew up my basic pattern. It was a very simple design, with a side zipper and button, a waistband and a few darts. I made all my alterations, widening thighs, shorter length, changed curve over hips (i have that secondary hip/thigh curve… se picture). It turned out, that all the extra centimeters I added, I ended up removing again, after the first fitting. I wanted the trousers to be fitted without being tight, but they initially ended up quite loose all over so I took them in.
In the end, I am pleased. They are definitely not perfect, but for a first attempt I am more than satisfied. And they are probably the best office trousers I have. I have worn them quite a bit since then. With the wear they have loosened a little bit around the tummy/waist and when I took them in on the hips, I did not have a french curve tho, so it created a few bumps on the side (I do now!). Also I am a bit unsure about how to design for having to “bumps on the side”. Next time I will try to account for these things. I also had a little trouble with my zipper, but I guess practice will fix that one for future creations. Oh and pockets next time too.
This is also my first experience with taking photos for blog posts – wow it is harder than you guys make it look. So many things to account for. Can you believe I had just ironed the trousers, neither me or my friend taking the pictures thought they looked wrinkly, but with the flash everything seem to change
The snuggle blouse
Garment number two was meant to be a blouse-sweatshirty thing. I got this off-white stretchy fabric with an outer layer of some lace thing. Semi transparent. My ideas was to make a blouse, that was snug fitting below the bust (a double layered tube thingy piece) and loose and flowy on the bust (the blouse shape it self). I also made my own pattern for this project, with much less success, I am sorry to say. I used a sweatshirt basic shape and did the alterations I thought necessary, for size and fit. When it had sewn it up, it did indeed have the sweatshirt look. More than I liked. I hoped it would be better when I attached the lower part. However, that did not really work out because the stretch was just to stretchy and so the snug fit didn’t hold up, and it just became a weird addition. Also my proportions were kinda off. I had made the top part pretty long so I could adjust it in the fitting, so in the end I decided to loose the tube part and just let it be an oversize kinda snuggly blouse thing for the coming fall. I still like it, even though it was nothing like I had planned for it to be. It is very soft, so I am pleased to wear it.I also had some collar issues, god damn. It is incredible how hard something so simple can be! I think maybe it had to do with the amount of pressing i gave it (a lot), it sorta seemed to go from fine, to not so fine somewhere along there. So the collar didn’t turn out exactly like i wanted it too, but the fabric is insane to unpick, so I have left it. Maybe it will improve in the wash.
In hindsight I think the big flaw lay in my tubedesign, that the tube was just a bad design for stretchy fabrics. Having puzzled some more about it, I’ve come to the idea, that instead of using a tube piece, next time I will go with a three piece design. With a back piece and a front top and bottom piece, so the back piece keeps things in place in the right spots. I got some coral more stable stretchy fabric I will use for this I think.
Oh well, that is it for me for this time, talk at you soon!
So this is it, my first blog post. Hurray me. After a long time of snooping around other peoples sewing blogs and marveling over their wonderful creations, feeling inspired and awed, I have finally decided to become a blogger my own self. As you have probably noticed, my blog is a work in progress, in time, I will make it awesome. I promise, really I do.
So far I will just say. I like it! The whole internet to speak to, and all about sewing. This will be a welcome relief for my boyfriend as I am sure you can imagine. I got lots to say, but I shall try and pace myself and instead just say a little about what I am working on at the moment, and what is upcoming for me.
So as the blog title sorta implies, I am new to sewing. My mom sewed some when I was a kid, and still sews sometimes but somehow it never became that thing “my mother taught me how to sew” – more like “youtube taught me how to sew” – Thank you wonderful members of youtube. I guess I had to grow into it. But the inspiration from my mother was definitely there.
I bought my wonderful sewing machine about a year or two ago, and after a passionate start I stalled due to a shoulder problem, and my machine got stored up on a shelf. One day, not to long ago, I looked around, and there my machine was. I dont remember why I thought about it again, but suddenly I did. Since then, I pretty much haven’t stopped thinking about it. My sewing machine has gained a more permanent position on my desk, and sewing blogs has invaded my browsers bookmarks.
Sewing has become not just a passion, but an obsession! Everything sewing in magazines, books, blogs and on youtube I swallow in great amounts and in turn I excrete little bits of colored pieces of sewing thread everywhere I go. My eyes constantly roam the bodies of my fellow men, to unlock the divine mysteries of their clothing construction, or the elusive type of fabric. It is like I have stumbled into another dimension, where tings previously unnoticed, but present, have taken new shape and mening in my life. And it is just… Wonderful.
So what am I working on right now?
I have been very inspired by all of the challenges, pledges and social sews I have seen out in sewing-blog land, and at some point I am sure I will join one. But for now I am working on my own little challenge. Which i plan to update about regularly.
The First Ten
The first ten challenge, is simply just that I want to sew ten items of clothing, of my own patterns or commercial. After that I will give myself a little reward for sticking in there when it got rough and I had thought I had bitten of more than I could chew.
It is just my way of motivating myself and having fun, to set myself little goals and challenges, to monitor my progress and remember to be proud of all the work and time I put into it. Right now I am about to finish garment number 5. which is a sports top, with princess seams (I will post about it separately). The first ten is all about separates and basics. things suitable for the home, an active lifestyle og in an office-ish environment. Pretty much, just what I generally wear. As of yet, I have felt no urge to make big fluffy lace gowns, but who knows what the future will bring!
The first ten is also about “just doing it”. Not letting the desire for perfection cripple, but getting over the starting line, and accepting that things will be flawed, that sometimes my mind can imagine things, my experience can’t yet produce. That the product won’t always be like the dream, but always trusting that with effort and practice, it will be worthwhile and in the end, get better.
The first ten, is essentially about embracing being new, and throwing myself into the fray.
I am no great photographer, but I will try and get some more camera competent people to take some pictures of what I make, and show you here (no more lazy-eyed-drunken-hippo-shots, thank you!)
Maybe you are an experienced sewer, maybe you are new like me. How did you get started sewing? And did it become an obsession for you too?