Tuesday, December 31, 2013

End Of December Wrap Up

End Of December Wrap Up

Super Dress
Pattern $8.00
Fabric $10.00
Total $18.00

Denim Skirt
Pattern (used before) $0.00
Fabric $2.00
Zip (from stash) $0.00
Button (from stash) $0.00
Lining (remnant) $0.00
Total $2.00

Waterfall Jacket
Pattern $8.00
Fabric (Gifted) $0.00
Lining (Remnant) $0.00
Total $8.00

Tiny Pocket Tank
Pattern $0.00
Fabric (Remnant) $0.00
Total $0.00

Total $28.00

RTW $177.06

Best And Worst Of 2013

Let us start with things I could have done better or perhaps not done at all.  

I think the biggest fail of the year had to be this dress.  I have so many nicer things in my wardrobe, that I can't see it being worn at all.  I will have to think how I can reinvent all that fabric.

My second biggest fail had to be this dress.  I really liked the dress but didn't line it. It ended up with a seat in it and in the end met with a nasty bleach demise.

My third biggest fail is this version of Sewaholic Alma.  I really don't like the colours on me and it just feels too tight across the shoulders.

Now for the fun part, my favourite makes of the year.

The floral Sewaholic Thurlow shorts, always make me smile.  They are comfortable, made of quality fabric and I love the print.  What more can I say!

This version of Sewaholic Alma has to be my all up winner of 2013.  I love everything about it.  I love the fit, the shape, the colour and most of all I love the silk metallic fabric.

As far as jackets go, this has to be the clear winner.  The dress version of Simplicity 2443 came in as one of my most worn items of 2012 and this jacket which is also part of Simplicity 2443, I think has to take the title of most worn jacket.  I suspect though, that it may have competition now with my newly made waterfall jacket.

The tangerine dream blouse, hasn't been worn a lot yet because it was made at the end of winter, but I love everything about it.  It was beautiful to sew and I love the colours.  Usually I can't wear orange but the combination of orange with the black and pink just somehow works with my skin tone.  I am usually really critical of the quality of my work but unusually I can't fault my workmanship on this one which probably has quite a bit to do with it's inclusion here.

Vogue 1027 has to be the best marriage of fabric and style of the year.  I love this fabric.  It has a metallic sheen to it and drapes beautifully.  This dress proved to be the perfect transeasonal piece with a cardigan.  When I made it, I kicked myself because I attached the sash incorrectly and it is now sporting a hand stitched repair which I try very hard not to notice.  Despite the design feature, I love it.

I could add so many more happy marriages of fabric and style but these are my favourites.  I hope that next year, I find it just as difficult to leave items off.

I might have had issues choosing my favourites of the year but my greatest challenge was actually a no brainer.  It was and remains, Courteney's formal dress.  I had so much fun making this but also found the construction draining.  There was a lot riding on this dress and it had to be right on the night.  It fit her like a glove but her one complaint was that it 'grew' as the night went on.  If, and I hope I do, get the opportunity to make her a dress for her 2014 school formal, I will need to find a way to avoid this issue.  There may well be a length of silk stuffed unceremoniously into her backpack when she returns from India in early January.  The pressure to create something incredible will then be on!

2013 Statistics

Pants x 10
Tops x 28
Dresses x 13
Underwear x 3
Jackets x 5
Skirts x 4
Cardigan/Jerseys x 3

My me made total for 2013 was $963.84 which was slightly lower than 2012.  I put this down to working 5 days a week this year.  I also put this down to a number of favourite makes from 2012 resurfacing regularly this year.  My RTW total for 2013 was $607.05 and was about 90% footwear.  My total for everything this year comes to $1570.89.   All in all I think I have had more successes this year and definitely have a number of tnt patterns in my collection.  These will again become favourites in 2014.  I did a little add up a few weeks back and I have in excess of $400.00 of fabric in my stash so I will try to continue with my fabric diet until most of this is dealt with.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Creation Of A Different Kind

Callum and I were in K-Mart the other day and he expressed an interest in making a gingerbread house.  We briefly considered making a kit but bought the cutters instead.  While I was at work, he got baking.  This was no simple task requiring, rolling refrigerating and precise measurements.  Obviously his hard materials class at school accounted for something this year, because he has done a pretty good job of getting this to a house that actually fits together.  It did however take him most of my 4 hour working day and that was just for the gingerbread.  The construction was very much a two person job and involved most of the glasses in my cupboard.  The following day, while I was again at work, he decorated it.  I think he enjoyed having the kitchen to himself without the constructive criticism of an older sister.  The gingerbread house will take pride of place as part of the decorations on my table at lunch tomorrow.

This afternoon, I cleaned off my sewing table and packed up all my projects and plan on not touching any of it before the New Year. We will see how that goes!  To all of my readers, have a lovely Christmas and New Year and stay safe!  I will be back in January.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Ticking Boxes

There has been a lot of ticking of boxes going on here of late.  Ticking boxes so I could finish up at work for the year last Friday, ticking boxes on gift lists, ticking boxes on grocery lists, ticking boxes on cleaning lists, the ticking box lists are just about extensive enough that they need their own ticking box list!  Among all of those mundane box lists is also however a self imposed sewing box list.  On this list, was all of the projects I wanted to complete and write about before the end of the year.  I think I have met my target with the sewing, but the writing.....well, we will see!

The Grainline Tiny Pocket Tank was high on my wish list to complete the year.  Fortunately for me, this project was a quick make.  In fact I think it probably took longer to tape the pattern together than actually construct the top.  I didn't follow the instructions that came with the pattern because they really weren't that necessary for me so I don't know what the recommended binding application was but I chose to use self made bias binding using my Clover binding maker.  

There is not much to say about this top.  It is what it is!  I made it out of the leftovers from this top.  It is a very drapey rayon fabric which is lovely to wear but a little hard to get straight for cutting.   Also, I note by the photos above, very billowy in the wind!

On reflection the top is just about identical to this self drafted top that I made for Courteney a while back, except hers had a placket and mine a pocket.  My only real complaint with this top is the depth of the neckline.  It is so low that it is impossible to wear it without the addition of a singlet or camisole for decency.  While camisole wearing is not ideal for staying cool, it does however give the opportunity to wear a coordinating camisole underneath.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Waterfall Jacket

After the 'Superman Fiasco', I was left scratching my head about what to wear to the impending Christmas function.  I didn't want to wear one of my very much thrashed work dresses but wanted something that wouldn't slot into the white elephant category either. 

 Enter this dress, which while I love it, had remained unworn.  I felt
thought that I needed something else.  McCall's 6611 had been on my planned makes for some time since both Lizzie and Leith made their fabulous versions.  The only stumbling block was which fabric to choose.  Sensible me would have chosen black, but I realised that I had the perfect shade of blue crepe in my stash to go with this dress.  Better still, it was a piece my mother gave me and was free!  

Excited about my revelation, I set to work.  I knew I didn't want this in a double layer as the pattern suggests because it would be too warm for a summer jacket, so lining it was the obvious choice. 

 I had some white with blue spot satin lining left over from another project which became my lining of choice.  I made the jacket to size 10 and actually changed nothing.  I am really stoked with the finished product and the icing on the cake came with these fabulous matching leather sandals, that I found on Styletread.

 Here is my dress and jacket worn in situ last weekend on the balcony of our hotel  in front of the Auckland Sky Tower.    In case you were wondering, this was as far as I would go on this balcony on the 8th floor before vertigo set in, hence the bracing pose! 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sorbetto Scout

After seeing my Grainline Scout tee, my mother, who is a sewer herself, asked me to maker her one.  Nothing is ever simple though.  She effectively wanted  a Colette Sorbetto with sleeves like the Grainline Scout. Now, I had seen a tutorial online about how to add sleeves to the Colette pattern but I wasn't keen on the shape.  My mother also has narrow shoulders unlike myself and had recently broker her collar bone, causing one shoulder to  slump so the fit in the neckline and shoulders had to be spot on.  I felt the neckline on the Colette pattern was a little wide, so I used the Grainline neck and armhole openings but the same basic shape as the Colette.

The fabric my mother gave me to make the top out of, and one for myself, turned out to be the stuff that induces cursing in my life. You know the type, moves all over the place and when you think you have it correct you cut it and it moves all over again!  Anyway, eventually I wrestled the dreaded fabric into a finished version of the top and although I liked the print, I handed the remainder of the fabric back and thanked her for her generosity and declining the offer of any more of that fabric, high tailed it home as fast as my legs would carry me.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Staple In Denim

I am trying to focus on wardrobe staples at the moment.  As tempting as it is to make cute summer dresses, my needs really lie more with separates.  This is where a denim skirt comes in.  I made this a couple of years ago but the style wasn't really suitable for denim and I found myself constantly adjusting it as it worked it's way around me. 


Version two is made of equally heavy op shop denim that I picked up for $2.  This time I used my Vogue 1247 pencil skirt adaptation.  To mix things up a little I used the Sewaholic Thurlow pocket bag and added jean style pockets to the skirt.  I left the darts in the front of the skirt which is not a regular feature in a denim skirt but flat fronted skirts do not tend to work well for me.  I also like my zips at the back of the skirt, so I left the zip at the back as per Vogue 1247.  

I used a left over piece of cotton poplin to line the waistband and pocket bags.

As can be seen by the wrinkles in the photo, this skirt has already seen it's fair share of wear.  Like a favourite pair of jeans, this skirt is my go to piece when I really can't be bothered thinking about what to wear.  In this photo I am wearing it with the twin version my Grainline Scout tee this time though in red and navy.

On a side note, I have had trouble focusing on well, anything, at the moment because with year 12 exams finally over,  I waved Courteney off on a holiday to India on Monday.  It was all rather stressful but I did send her on a mission! I am quietly hoping there may be a piece of silk in my Christmas parcel this year.  We will see in mid January when she returns!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Just Super!

I have a Christmas function to attend and wanted, as opposed to needed, a new dress.  I have had McCalls 6553 waiting patiently in the wings to be made up for quite some time.  I like that the style is a complete departure from the ordinary dress and is a little edgy.  It was this fact that scared me a little as well.  Could I carry off a style that was such a departure from normality and more importantly would I be comfortable in a dress that was a complete departure from what I would nomally wear?  I decided to throw caution to the wind and armed with my pattern and a large piece red crepe fabric I had procured at one of my op shop hauls, I set to work.

This was for the most part, a pretty quick project going together in just one evening.  I sat down in front of the television and hand sewed the hem which took ages because of the fullness of this dress.  

The instructions called for a hand made loop and button closure so I found one of my late grandmothers vintage button kits in my stash, pinned as she left it when she last used it and sacrificed it for my project.  I then set about creating my loop for the closure.

I was feeling rather pleased with myself and tried it on for it's final fitting when my husband walked in having been to a function.  He was none too impressed with my dress and likened it to a Superman cape.  Feeling a little deflated, I took the dress off and threw it into the corner for a week before rescuing it and pressing it for these photos.  Perspective is sometimes a good thing because actually now, seeing these photos, once again, I can see why I was drawn to this dress and actually, if I was a caped crusader, this would be just my sort of costume.  I am wondering though, what would my super power be!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

One For The Boys

After trawling through boxes of tangled threads one too many times, I asked my husband to make me a thread rack.  I did a bit of internet research and found some photos of what I was after.   He promptly disappeared down to Mitre 10 in search of dowel.  My husband then took the dowel to my brother in law and together they built me this little beauty.  Never again will I need to fossic through tangled boxes of thread.

I took this photo a couple of weeks ago and my husband has been asking me regularly since if I have blogged the rack yet, so here it is!

The smallest male member of the household needed more swimwear for swim squad.  Chlorine eats into lycra in quick time so these togs do not last long!  Young J is no longer satisfied with my self drafted offerings and desperately wanted  Funky Trunks but at $47 per pair for only 6 weeks worth of use,  I was keen to find an alternative.  Jalie proved to be a lifesaver!  I ordered Jalie 3242 which strictly speaking is an underwear pattern, but fitted the brief (excuse the pun).  I traced size 9 as per young J's waist measurement and the fit is perfect.  The only change I made was to lengthen the rise to accomodate an encased elastic with self tie.
After trying them on, he admitted, he wasn't sure whether he would like them but apparently they are exactly like Funky Trunks....score!

What I like about this pattern is the front and back are in one piece and joined at the gusset and the leg binding is perfect for swimwear.  There are a couple of versions on this pattern that I can pretty much guarantee will never cross my sewing table but there looks like three that could be in regular rotation.  Not only does this pattern make great swimwear but hopefully it will put my large collection of unloved tee shirts to good use as well.  Since my two experimental pairs are a success, I am keen to order some boy appropriate printed lycra swim wear fabric in the New Year.

Monday, December 2, 2013

End Of November Wrap Up

End Of November Wrap Up

Brown Dress
Pattern (used before)  $0.00
Fabric $9.00
Total $9.00

Green Jersey
Wool $15.00
Pattern $0.00
Total $15.00

Black Burda Tee
Fabric $10.00
Pattern (used before) $0.00
Total $10.00

Green Burda Tee
Fabric $8.00
Pattern (used before) $0.00
Total $8.00

Pink Burda Tee
Pattern (used before) $0.00
Fabric $8.00
Total $8.00

White Thurlow Shorts
Pattern (used before) $0.00
Fabric $6.00
Zip $2.49
Buttons $3.00
Total $11.49

Vogue Floral Dress
Zip (from stash) $0.00
Pattern $16.00
Fabric $29.00
Grosgrain Ribbon $4.99
Total $49.99

Colette Sorbetto
Pattern $0.00
Binding Maker $16.90
Fabric $2.00
Total $18.90

Turquoise Scout
Pattern $8.20
Fabric $6.20
Total $14.40

Red Scout
Pattern $0.00
Fabric $8.85
Total $8.85

Total November $153.63

RTW Total $0.00