So lately I have been working on a few different projects. And I have gotten around to finish one of them. It is the tulip skirt by sew over it. Since the pattern does not come in my size I graded the pattern up a few sizes. I have graded a patter before with good result. This time it worked so/so. The waistband suddenly didn’t fit the skirt (luckily it was too large). I am unsure wether it was due to an error I made, or wether the grading method I used just did not work very well for this particular skirt. But what ever it was it was not really a problem. I just removed the excess of the waistband after making sure the skirt would still fit me, if I did so. I can still fit the skirt fine. It just sits a bit further up than I har imagined. Which I do not think hurts the look of it, at all.
If you are not familiar with grading, grading is about sizing the pattern up or down. This way you can get to wear and sew a pattern that does not come in your size. Grading might seem daunting, but it really is not very hard to do. There is some good tutorials out there to figure out how to do it. the one I used was one I had read about in Mrs. Huges blog. Besides from the “easy method” which I am linking to, she also has another method you can check out, if the easy one, does not work for you.
If you use another method I would love to hear from you, I am always curious to learn new things.
While the skirt is an easy sew, I did have some trouble adding a concealed zip. Some of the trouble revolved around me seemingly not thinking straight when putting the zipper in, so I had some bad placements. One time, I had even managed to get the skirt twisted around on itself! I finally got it put in right, but I still noticed that there seemed to be an issue with the centering of the needle. I still see a little difference in the centering of the needle in relation to the zipper foot. I am not sure how to fix this issue. Have any of you guys had trouble with this? And if yes, how did you solve it?
I definitely think I will sew it again. I got a grey wool blend I think might be very nice for the shorter version.
I guess that is all for this time. Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to leave me a comment and tell me about your favourite skirt so I can check it out.
A couple of days ago i was my birthday and I got some new sewing items. So I thought I would share those with you, plus a few other things I have picked up lately.
So the first couple of things to show you is a couple of new feet for the sewing machine (Brother DS-120)
The first one is a walking foot for my machine, so hurray for that. Have been wanting one since I tried sewing those “faux leather” trousers. The second, green one, is an alternative concealed zipper foot. I got it recomended in the sewing machineshop, when I complained that mine were “taking sides”. I mean it sewed closer on one side than the other. I tried it out today on the Sew over it tulip skirt I am working one. It was great.
The second sewing related present I got for my birthday, is a years subscription for the dutch sewing magazine Knip mode, from my sweet boyfriend. In Knip mode all the patterns have a high size range. I got my first number a couple weeks ago, but I have not yet sewed anything from it. I will let you know how I get along though. So far the language is not really a problem. I always thought dutch seemed like a combination of danish, english and german, so I can sorta make most of it out. And what does not make sense, google translate helps with. He also sent me some beautiful flowers because he couldn’t be there with me. He is a soldier and a couple of weeks ago he got shipped off to Africa for the next five months.
The last items I want to share with you is this stack of magazines. About half of them are Burda Style and the other half is a danish craft and sewing magazine. I found about 15 of them in my local thrift shop. All of the magazines had their patterns, completely unused. They were recent too.
I got three magazines for the price of one liter of milk. It was crazy. I could not believe my luck.
I also found the little embroidery pattern book (It was the same price as the magazines).
Do you guys read sewing magazines? Which ones do you prefer?
I haven’t been very active for a while, so first of all, sorry about that, and thank you for your patience.
The reason I have been so inactive is because I am in hospital at the moment, having undergone surgery for a big prolapsed disc in my lower back. I have been struggling with this issue for some time now, about a year actually. And in the end, it was decided that the conservative approach (pain medication and light training for stability, while allowing my body to heal it self.) was not working.
My condition had deteriorated to the point where there was concern about lasting nerve damage and damage to the control of my bladder function. So suddenly everything happened very fast, and I underwent surgery. The surgery was succesful, but there is some concern that I might have re-prolapsed after the surgery so I am current waiting for a MR scan to attempt to determine weather the nerve disturbances I feel is part of a badly irritated nerves healing proces or signs of a re-prolaps.
Hopefully soon I will get some answers and a solid recovery plan can be made and I will be out of hospital.
I haven’t told you guys about this before but having this issue has had a major influence on my life, suddenly being badly injured and not being able to do simple things like sitting on chairs, going out to dinner with friends, going to the movies, standing up for more than 5-10 mins at the time. I bet you didn’t know, but all this time I have been sewing lying on the floor, propped up with pillows as necessary and as long as I could at the time. But now it seems I can finally imagine a future where I can sit down when I sew/eat/socialize/work etc. It will most likely be a while before I get there, so I will probably be sewing on the floor for a while yet. But just knowing it is finally a posibility feels great.
I cannot wait!
So this is why I have been so quiet lately, but hopefully I will soon be feeling well enough to resume with sewing (even if on the floor), taking pictures etc. I have finished my first ten challenge, but still need to take some pictures to show you of the last couple of items. Which are all button down shirts. I Can not wait.
On another note, my brain obviously have not stopped working, even though my back has been too bad to be sewing or modeling for pictures, so instead I have been planning a lot of future projects! So I have purchased a lot of new patters, and the rest of this post will therefore be a pattern haul! Hurray! Most of the patterns are variations on the shirt/blouse theme, which seems to have captured my liking in a big way.
Here is the haul:
The first pattern I am excited about making is Butterick 6099
I want to make view C or D, but maybe with the mandarin collar. I have been making quite a few normal shirt collars lately, so I feel I might need a change of pace.
The next pattern I am excited about is this one. I want to make view B (the orange dress version with cute little sleeves). The pattern is intended for summer garments though, and the fabric should be thin and light. So I am unsure weather to leave this for the spring or to try and give it a go with a slightly more heavy fabric so I can wear it in the fall/winter.
For this pattern I want to make view A (the yellow one), and I think I will make it, in this lovely white/ivory modal fabric that I got a while back. I initially got it for another project, but it never really felt right. I just wasn’t yet happy with my pattern and the alterations I had made to it, and unsure how to get the result I wanted, so I kept putting it off. I think it will be perfect for this pattern though.
Another pattern I cannot wait to sew up is this one! I just think the different high-low variations is great and very elegant. Im drawn especially to view C and A, but I have a feeling I might end up making several of them.
I also think some of them might be cute with a little belt.
For this pattern I was drawn to the neck ruffles and shoulder details. I think it will make a super cute dress as well as maybe a blouse with a little hacking. The pussy bow blouse i might make too, but I have another pattern i might like more for that.
Another pattern I am really excited about sewing up, is this one. I think I will be making some really nice layering pieces to be paired with lovely cardigans or blazers. I especially like the versions in the solid colors, so the details really stand out. I got som navy poly see-through something which I might be using. But first I think I need to get my hands on a walking foot, so I can handle the fabric decently. So it probably won’t be made right away.
Dresses have not been something I have been sewing so far, and to be honest I feel more drawn to separats. But I do like wearing dresses so I decided to get a pattern and give it a whirl. Empire waist is usually a great thing on me, so thats what I picked. I just hope it will not be too revealing.
This is another pattern I have been drooling over for a while. I really like the bodice and especially the variation in the pink fabric. I really want to sew it in a similar fabric. I also like the sleeve variations on A and the peter pan color, which is something I have yet to try sewing.
This pattern I do not have a specifik plan for yet. I got in a sale, mainly to have some more blouse/top variation possibilities.
I think several of the versions are really sweet, but I am kinda concerned about how it will sit on my body with no darts. Perhaps It is not necessary, or perhaps I can do something clever. We will see.
Yes, what can I say? A custom cups wrap top, seemed a good idea. It almost have kinda Karate Gi style vibe, which is okay with me.
This is my last pattern for this haul, it is the before mentioned pussy bow blouse. I think it is just beautiful. I love the yoke, which extends over the shoulders. I might make this in the blouse version or in the mini dress version.
So ya, that is all I had to say for this time. But I would love to hear about it, if you have made any of these patters, and how they worked out for you.
So do you guys know how when you are working on a project, that sometimes it starts one place and ends up somewhere else. That was how my last project was.
I started out planning to make a pair of simple tights from this odd stretchy faux leather, but after several mis-cuts (cutting on the wrong way of the stretch, cutting to small because the fabric had to little stretch) I had to change my approach.
So I formed a new plan and got my trouser pattern out (the one I had made for the grey trouser that was item 1). It could work if I cut each front and back leg into two pieces, an upper and a lower part (also called a design detail, in case you were wondering). So I re-cut everything again and sewed them up. After having constructed the trousers I started modifying them, slimming in the legs for a tighter fit.
I also noticed that the back waistline sat lower than the front and also gaped like I had noticed on the original pair of trousers I had sewn from my pattern. I decided to try and fix it. One more seam hardly mattered at this point. So I attached a piece of fabric to the back piece, from side seam to side seam. Then I sewed up from the CB seam and made a big dart starting in the top of my back pieces and moving up into my new “flap” (is it a kinda yoke I have made?). Then I trimmed the top of my flap. Now they sat into my back following the curve of my behind and sway back and I got a horisontal waistline all the way around.
A zipper, a waistband and a couple of quick hems later, done! Then I made the appropriate adjustments to my pattern, which was just as satisfying knowing I got one step closer to a great fitting pattern.
No, actully they looked terrible. Like biker pants, and not in the sexy bad chick way, but in the ill-fitting, pot-bellied midlife crises way. There was all sorts of strange baggyness going on in the front, and I had no clue how to fix it. I kept looking for answers online, and eventually almost gave up, thinking my shape was just to weird to fit too.
So I spent most of the weekend in depressed sew-frustration thinking about my shattered dreams of well-fitting pants. It wasn’t until I had a good sparring season with my boyfriend (who does not know much about sewing, but somehow have an intelligent eye for all things crafty), who kept suggesting removing fabric here and there. We also talked about other pants I owned that did fit me (so obviously it was possible), I tried them on, pondered about how they differed from the ones I had made and thought some more.
So today I got the pants out again and following my gut instinct, I started working on the CF/crotch seam taking them in as I went. In the end I think I took them in 7 times, but every time I could see it getting better. It was amazing! All in all I think I removed about 2,5 cm (1 inch) and more where it curves “under me”.
Satisfied with the fit I attached a waistband, or tried to. The rubbery faux leather didn’t go smooth through under the foot. So it was a huge struggle getting the waistband on. I gave up hemming them and just decided to leave them unheeded. I haven’t put in a button either, because I am not relishing putting it through the buttonhole maker. I think it will be hook and eye instead. As you can see in the images, the legs ended up a bit short too, so i might ad some fabric there. Also there is still som folds/wrinkles, but It looks much better in real.
Also I think I got to get a walking foot.
Well that is it for me for this time. Have you tried sewing with kinda fabric? How did it go? And do you have a perfect pants pattern? How long did it take you to perfect it?
Since I have started reading sewing blogs, I have heard descriptions of what people thought their style was. A lot of sewers seem to like vintage, but besides from that, there seems to be a great variety of styles out there in blog land.
This has of course made me think of my style. What is my style really? Do I have a style, like just one, or combinations of several different styles? Or am I just a chaotic mess of impulse buys and practical wear?
I know I think about what I need to wear for work. In the workplace outfits I always aim for trying to look a combination of competent and approachable (for pretty much all age groups). Someone you would feel safe to ask a question in your moment of doubt, and someone you would feel confident would give you a competent answer. Sometimes more one of these aspects, than the other. Going into work in jeans can be fine for one type of day and a blazer the next. Nothing sexy, provocative or too elitist or artsy. No-one should feel under- or overdressed in my company.
In my free time I just wear what ever is comfortable and practical. I do not really feel I have a set idea of style. I do not go out much, so it is so/so with the party frocks.
I guess clothing never mattered a lot to me. I grew up a chubby girl, and I have stayed that way most of my life. And being a chubby kid, does make it more difficult to find clothing. I also developed early, and genrously, so there was that whole dreaded bra situation. Meaning, the bras i could fit were pricy, so I did not have enough, and most they didn’t fit well or was uncomfertable.
So for a big chunk of my life picking clothes was not about “what I liked”, but more about “what fit”. I could not fit anything slightly fashionable, and what I could fit tended to come from the same shops my grandmothers also frequented. So that was definitely out. That sorta led to that for most of my teenage years, I resorted to hiding out in jeans, t-shirts and hoodies, feeling completely uncomfortable with myself and my femininity. I hated buying clothing and especially I hated buying clothing for special occasions, where I could not trump, that a hoodie and jeans were “just fine mum!!!”.
So luckily a lot has happened since then. The selection and availability of plus size clothing and underwear has boomed, and especially in the underwear department I have gotten my own back with a vengeance. I wear nice clothing now, no hoodies or baggy t-shirts in sight, and my relationship to my body is fine now. But shopping for clothing is still just a necessity for me. Because even though, I can get prettier clothes now, they still fit pretty awfully most of the time, even though it is my size (it is just never my size on all of my body at the same time).
But now I am here. I can sew it all (with greater or lesser success, but all in due time).
So what do I really want? Now that I truly have the power to pick, and all that is holding me back is such trivial things as imagination, budget and skill?
Inspired by Emeral Erin quest for style and wardrobe certainty (she got a great blog by the way, check it out. And she makes lingerie!)I also decided to try and think some more serious thoughts about my style. So I went on Pintrest and tried to create myself a look book for the fall/winter. And it seems I really like white shirts, chunky nits and dainty layering pieces. I also seemed to like soft woolen dresses, tan leather skirts, eyelet fabric, and a few pieces with some really stunning details, that would absolutely make me feel like the world was mine to have and to keep. Here is a couple of examples:
When it comes to colours I think what suits me well, are some cool pastels, I think you would call me a “summer-type” perhaps with some wintery tones. Which suit me fine, I like those colors.
When it comes to cut and design, I find myself a bit torn between, what I like and what I know will suit me. These last years I have been wearing more clothing that I liked but that I knew was not flattering on my body. I have just had this feeling of exhaustion, in regards to always trying to use some kind of optical illusion (vertical lines is slimming! This black cut out really enhances… Singed in waist is so good for all curvy… BLA BLA BLA). Why do I constantly want to go around trying to trick people with fabric optical illusion, or flattering cuts? Sometimes why not let my body be my body without constantly having to try and hide or enhance things.
I do want to look good, but there must be some middle road here, and I am hoping I can find it with sewing.
Feel free to check out my fall look book lookbook efterår. I love Pintrest. If you got suggestions for something (a piece of clothing, a sewing pattern, a website etc.) you think I might like, then I would love to hear it.
Do you have a set style? And do you pick mainly on the basis of what suits you or how do you pick clothing? Have you made a fall look book that I can be inspired by?