Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sewing Check-in

Sans pics, I'm afraid.  I've been doing a ton of sewing, and sewing related activities, but haven't been photographing much of it.  My waist has exceeded the size of my current dressform (ahem, need to think about getting back into my exercise routine!), so all the skirts I've been sewing at my Garment Sewing - Skirts course don't look...blog-worthy when I do take pictures of them.

Then there was Snowmageddon 2013 in London (Ontario) this past weekend, in which I got snowbound at my parents - um, yeah, we woke up to 70 cm, yup, that's right 70 cm!!! of snow on Sunday morning.  The snow plow didn't get to their subdivision until Monday morning.

Most recently I've been working on my Christmas sewing.  I actually took Monday off (my last holiday day from work) with the hopes of spending the entire day in L'Atelier (aka The Sewing Room), but with snow making a huge change of plans, I only got to spend the afternoon sewing.  I did manage to cut and sew three pairs of flannel jammie pants, and a robe that I had cut out in 20...ahem...something-or-other.  Fortunately, my girls are relatively the same size as they were then, so they will still fit.  The robe is from a Minky type fabric (SOOOO soft, I almost don't want to give it away!)

I'll try to get pictures shortly, but I wanted to pop in and let you know I'm still here, and I'm sewing (and knitting too!)

Friday, November 15, 2013

I blinked. And a Winter Wardrobe.

Whew - how did that happen?  I *thought* I posted something and then when I checked this morning...I realized that Nope, I didn't actually post anything since November 4th, almost two weeks ago!  Hmmm...

The last two weeks *have* been busy, with loads of local travel for work (and many, many hours of driving), and I've been studying like mad for an upcoming exam for a work-related course I've been taking.  Hopefully I will write this exam on Sunday (that is if my proctor receives my exam in time, which I really hope he does, at this point I just want the darned thing over with!!)  Anyways...that's what's been keeping me from posting.  Excuses, excuses, I know.

In a few posts in the recent past, I've vaguely alluded to the winter wardrobe I've been planning, and last weekend during a cutting frenzy on Sunday (yeah, in the name of HOMEWORK for my garment sewing class, wink, wink), the plan kind of took a turn of it's own.  Anyways, here's the fabric that I started with for my Winter 2013 collection (gotta come up with a better name than that).

Fabric #1 - lightweight suiting fabric of undetermined fibers from Fabricland.  I have a thing for leopard print, or any animal print for that matter.  This suiting fabric is fantastic, and it has a bit of a sheen to it as well.

Fabric #1 - Reverse side.  I love this fabric even more when I realized I could use either side, or both!

I've already cut this fabric out in a tapered knee length skirt from one of my own self-drafted patterns.  I haven't decided which side to use as the "right" side but do know that I will be using red lining.  I am also searching for a jacket idea, but I don't think I will wear them together as a suit look.  It seems a little busy to me for that.

Fabric #2 - excuse the wrinkly picture, it's only that way because it was fresh out of the shopping bag after being in there for...ahem...a while, and I'm lazy.  This is a creamy beige lightweight faux snakeskin pleather which is backed with a lightweight polyester knit, that I also just could not resist.  It is also from Fabricland.  I LOVE it.  A bit of shine, and ALL animal print.

On Sunday, I cut this fabric out into McCalls 6171, view B, and an OOP New Look pattern (I'll have to look up the number), but essentially it's a below the knee wide skirt with box pleats at the waist - I'm planning on stitching them closed to just below the hip.  As much as I love shiny, and as much as I love animal print, I don't think I will be wearing the two together.

McCalls 6171

Fabric #3 - a poly blend knit, which has already been sewn into McCalls 6513, view C, and the review can be found HERE.  It was also purchased from Fabricland.

Fabric #4 - a heavy weight stretch crepe in cream (this photo is coming up a lot more taupe/beige/yellow than the fabric really is). Again, purchased from Fabricland.

I've made this into a skirt already, Vogue 7076 and the review can be found HERE.  I have enough left to make at least a pair of pants, and maybe a jacket, but I'm searching for the perfect pants pattern (I'm thinking maybe something a la Katherine Hepburn).

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Looking at this wardrobe plan, I just realized that it leaves me with a distinct shortage of tops, with an abundance of skirts and jackets.  I will have to do some searching for fabrics for tops within my own stash - lately I've been craving the simplicity of a crisp fresh shirt.  I know for certain I have black shirting fabric in my stash which would fit in with these fabrics nicely.   I wonder what other colours I can introduce - maybe French blue, rusty orange, deep red, chartreuse or cream? Suggestion are welcome!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Weekend of Sewing!! FO and Pattern Review Vogue 7607

Wow - what a weekend with TONS of sewing related activities.  I haven't spoken about it much, but I'm currently enrolled in a part-time continuing education European pattern drafting certificate program at our local college.  There are a number of 8 week modules/courses I think 8 in total) and on Friday night I had my fourth pattern drafting class for the skirt component, which is the first course of the certificate program.  We drafted a godet skirt pattern and a gored skirt pattern this week.  I cannot believe how easy this is coming to me!  I'm absolutely loving it.  The best part is that when I'm making the mock-up skirt, it fits beautifully without any adjustments!  And I have no issue with doing the homework, it is so much fun!!

On Saturday, I started my Garment Making - Skirts course, which runs in conjunction with the Pattern Drafting - Skirts course.  We take the patterns we've drafted and learn how to sew them into actual garments.  I get to sew all day on Saturday (9 am - 4 pm) with others who are interested in sewing.  It's like a big sewing retreat/party!  The excitement and enthusiasm of both my teacher and my classmates is contagious!  I'm so impressed, learning new tips and tricks along the way to improve my sewing skills.  Though I've been sewing for over 30 years, I've never had any formal training so this is something of a breath of fresh air!  I have one skirt completed to the point of hemming from my very own pattern!!  I will include pics once I've finished the skirt in next week's class.

Sunday afternoon, I buried myself in L'Atelier (what I've decided to call the room otherwise known as "The Basement" where my sewing area is set up.  Doesn't that sound so much more romantic?)  Anyway, I digress...I finished four skirts and hemmed the drapy cardigan that finally finished growing.  I'll do posts of the full reviews for all of the skirts and the drapy cardigan over the next week or so, but all that sewing knocks off Sewing Goals 1, 4, 5 & 6 from my last post, leaving me with two unfinished goals (and it's only November 4th!!)

I finally finished my cream skirt - Vogue 7607, view A.  As promised, here's the review:

Pattern Description: Misses' Skirt has contour waist, lined yokes, size zipper, narrow hems and shaped hemlines. A,B: A-line, bias, below mid-knee and mock wrapped front. C: Bias, slightly flared. I made View B.

Pattern Sizing: 6-22, I made the size 14.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, it certainly does.

V7607 View A, Front

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, the instructions were very easy to follow.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  I like that this is a distinctive skirt, different from the norm.  I'm not certain how practical this skirt will be, the drape doesn't seem to flow the way I envisioned it would.  I've ironed it flat to see if that would help it a bit.

Fabric Used: a cream polyester heavy weight crepe, with a bit of stretch.  This fabric is part of my Winter 2013 collection (more on that in a later post, but I think I need to come up with a better name!), and it coordinates with the top I made that can be seen here.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I added a lining from Bemburg rayon.  I prefer lining in my skirts as I often wear them with nylons/leggings/tights in the winter to stay warm, and the lining keeps the skirt from sticking to my legs.  As there were no lining pieces included, I used the pattern piece for the back of the skirt for both the skirt front and the back lining, shortening it by four inches (so it wouldn't show below the front wrap portion).  This piece is cut on the bias, and as there is also a yoked waistband, I didn't need to fiddle around with adding darts to the pattern front.  Worked like a charm!

V7607 view A - back

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I don't know that I need two identical skirts like this in my closet at the same time, particularly when it is so distinctive.  I am thinking of sewing view C though because it is a little bit different.

Conclusion: a distinctive, easy to sew skirt pattern that is unique.

That leaves Sewing Goals #2 and 3 from my last post, which were:

2.  Cut and sew beige pleather/snakeskin jacket, M???? (It appears to be OOP and off McCall's website)
3.  Cut and sew grey doubleknit leggings.

I've got the beige pleather/snakeskin jacket pattern and fabric sitting in my kitchen (I cut on the dining table but can't stand the clutter of sewing stuff in the kitchen so it's good incentive to just cut the stuff out!), along with the grey doubleknit and leggings pattern.  Once I've finished studying for an upcoming exam (yet another course, this one work related), my goal for tonight is to cut both out.