Monday, 18 January 2016

Slow Sewing

The act of sewing is something I do for me, regardless of who I sew for. It is my happy place, my recharging station and my creative outlet all in one, and I love it. Sometimes I just want to slow down and enjoy a project as it is coming together.

This was one of those projects.

This is M6696, the #1 sewing blogger pattern of 2015. It's a classic and cute shirtdress with both vintage- and mens-wear inspired details and variations, perfect for the intermediate or advanced sewist. 

It may not look that special from afar, but this dress is full of little hand-stitched details.

The most striking feature is perhaps the yoke, being covered in navy sashiko-style embroidery. I first saw this kind of embroidery on Purl Soho, and liked the idea of the simple lines of stitches creating a much more complex pattern. I drew the pattern myself based on the "hana bishi" design and transferred it to my fabric with a transfer pencil. I found the stitching very calming and meditative - just what I needed.

All topstitching is also done by hand with a running stitch to mimic the embroidery. I used a contrasting navy broadcloth to make the piping, bias tape and inner facings for the yoke, collar stands and waistband.

The main fabric is a cotton chambray from my stash, bought 2 years ago at Stoffmarkt Holland as 2 coupons of 1,5 m each. I used one up entirely and a small corner of the second. I think one piece of 1,7 m had been enough for the whole dress. The buttons are from City Stoffer here in Aarhus.

This was not my first time making this pattern. Last summer I had a week long sewcation with my mother and had her help me with the fitting before I made a full, wearable muslin. My measurements put me between size 14 and 16, but based on the flat pattern I made the muslin a size 10 bust with 12 waist/hip. For this version, I took the waist in making it more like a straight size 10.

My only other fit alterations was to remove 3 inches of gathering from center back, rounding the vertical bust dart a smidge and to take a 1 cm wedge out of the bottom corners of the yoke to fit my naturally protruding shoulder blades. In fact, the gathering is not very blousy at all when worn because it sinks into the vale between my shoulder blades. Genetics can be a fun sometimes.

I used the "burrito" method to finish the inside yoke and this tutorial for the collar. The side seams are the only visible seams on the inside, and they are finished on my overlocker.

I really love the finished dress, and more importantly, enjoyed every minute of making it.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Goals and Resewlutions 2016

Goodbye 2015!

There is no denying that my poor little blog was neglected a bit in 2016, with only a handful of blog post being spread thin throughout the year.

Looking back at my "resewlutions" for 2015, I DID manage to sew almost everyday and used mostly stash fabric for my projects. My fabric stash size sadly does not show signs of this, as I bought a bit of fabric in London and got to shop the "trash" when we culled and cleaned my mother and grandmothers stashes this summer.

Both the Historical Sew Monthly and the Vintage Pledge turned out to be major fails for me. I managed to finish 6 historical items covering 3-5 HSM challenges, but only 2 have made it to the blog so far.

Hello 2016!

My goals for this year are mostly the same as last years. I will continue to sew a bit every day and use stash fabrics and notions whenever possible, and will participate in the Historical Sew Monthly as time will allow me. My biggest new goals will be to photograph and blog my makes more regularly, and to be less critical of myself and my sewing (see these posts by Karen and Heather)

Also, being inspired by Rochelle and Ginger, I have made a list of 9 new-to-me patterns I'd like to try in the coming year. 

From left to right and top to bottom, they are

1) Ohhh Lulu "Sarah" Longline Bralette

2) Orange Lingerie "Boylston Bra" (Christmas gift* from my boyfriend)

3) Named "Asaka" Kimono (Christmas gift* from my boyfriends parents)

4) Christine Haynes "Emery" Dress

5) Vogue 9040  Jacket, view A (with help from the Craftsy class)

6) Lekala 4263 Dress

7) Tilly's Love at First Stitch "Mimi" Blouse

8) Deer&Doe "Plantain" T-shirt

9) Sew Sweetness "Kennedy" Bag (or another bag)

* I also got a straight stitch needle plate, a piping foot and fabric shopping money for Christmas.