WIP: Fancy Phoebe

Untitled

My apartment is tragically lacking in good, natural lighting – especially after 4ish in the afternoon. This made it hard to take good pics of the materials for my Phoebe Dress before I cut into it. The pic above is quite accurate when it comes to colours, so it will have to do for now. The purple is a lovely, medium weight silk twill, and the grey is a thinner silk to serve as the lining. I’ve been way too precious about these fabrics for much too long… they have been in my stash for probably three years. I thought they were from my 2013 Paris trip (the only reason I remember when that was, is that I blogged about it), but the post with all the fabrics from that trip does not contain these fabrics. To my great shame that means that this fabric is probably even a year older than this. To my even greater shame, looking back at that post made me realise that I haven’t used ANY of those fabrics.

UntitledBecause I have 3 metres of the main fabric, and I’m no longer very attached to it, I’m not going to make a muslin. I did a quick tissue fitting to see if there were any major problems, but I think it will be alright. I will, however, baste the whole dress together for a fitting before stitching it properly.

Based on my measurements (34/27/38) I graded from a size 2 in the bust to a 4 in the waist and to a 6 in the hips. This dress will probably be way too fancy for any everyday occasion, but the other day I had to go to a fancy party, and realised that I got rid of almost all my dresses. Hopefully this will be a good addition to my closet again.

2016 Make Nine

2016Make9

Seeing everyone’s #2016MakeNine posts pop up on blogs and Instagram, has me inspired to do some planning ahead myself. These are the nine items that will probably appear in my closet at some point in 2016.

  1. Phoebe Dress by Colette Patterns.
    The sewalong for this dress has just kicked off, and I’m excited to join it. Pattern has been printed and traced, and the fabric is ready to go.
  2. Archer Button-Up by Grainline Studio
    My main quest for this year is the perfect button up shirt. Judging from all the pictures I’ve seen of it, this one might just fit the bill!
  3. Cascade Duffle Coat by Grainline Studio
    I need some sort of winter coat for the coming winter, and I’ve been desiring a duffle coat for a long time. I have some plaid and some purple wool in my stash for this.
  4. Zinnia Skirt by Colette Patterns
    I really like the small darts, and think this will look lovely a wide variety of fabrics.
  5. League Sweater by Veronik Avery
    Can’t say much about this, other than that it looks awesome! It will be hard to find other colour combinations that work for this though…
  6. Watson Bra & Undies by Cloth Habit
    Here I’m most likely to draft my own pattern instead, but as I already own this I might as well see if I can get this one to fit.
  7. Scout Tee by Grainline Studio
    Even if I find the perfect button-up, I don’t want to be wearing only those all year. Especially for summer, this seems a cute, simple top!
  8. Cascades Sweater by Michelle Wang
    Not 100% sure if I will make this exact sweater, or if I will design my own cabled sweater to go over button-ups, but some type of gorgeous cabled sweater will be created at some point in 2016!
  9. Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Files
    Although they’re last on this list, they’ve jumped to the top of my sewing queue after I ripped trough the knees of my only pair of jeans.

FO: Paxson Sweater

Paxson Sweater

Behold! My first sewing FO in a long time that is actually wearable. I’ve worn it twice since I finished it last Wednesday, and I see a few more Paxson sweaters in the future. The fabric is also lovely, even though it seems to be mostly synthetic. It’s a thin knit that is slightly heathered. It reminds me of those stylish men’s sweaters, which I can never find in a size small enough for me. They had the same fabric in dark red, petrol and brown, so I might go back for another colour. I used only 1,5 metres (at 150cm wide) instead of the 2 metres that the pattern stated.

However, the total process was much longer than the 1 hour it states on the website. My time spent was something more like this:

  • Cutting, taping and tracing the printed pattern: 1 hour
  • Cutting the actual fabric: 0,5 hour
  • Fighting with my serger: 1,5 hours
  • Actually sewing: 1,5 hours

Usually, most of my problems with any sewing machines are fixed by simply changing the needle, so I thought to be proactive and change out my serger needles before even beginning. After 1,5 hours of swearing at the machine – or as I referred to it by that point “piece of junk” – I decided in a fit of desperation to switch back to the old needles, and guess what: apparently the new needles were not exactly the correct type.

Anyway, once I got everything to work  the actual sewing was fast and painless. I made a size S without any adjustments, and I’m very pleased with the fit. The only change I will make to any future versions is to lengthen the sleeves by approximately 2 cm because they are just a bit on the short side.

Overall verdict: Lovely sweater that will get a lot of wear! It was the perfect choice to get back into sewing.

Up next: Wearable muslin for the Grainline Studios Morris Blazer in a black stretch cotton.

 

Sweater Inspiration

After a solid year of not sewing, apparently all it took to get back into the swing of things was one successful project. I haven’t yet managed to catch any daylight in order to take pictures of my first finished Paxson, but I absolutely love it. Hopefully it won’t be pouring with rain this weekend so I can get it photographed and blogged.

In the mean time, I’m getting excited about making many more versions of Paxson because it is exactly the kind of sweater I like to wear.

RagBoneColorBlockDakotaSweatshirt_428847

Rag & Bone Color Block Dakota Sweatshirt – Photo from La Garconne, now sold out

I found this sweater on Pinterest, and I think a colourblocked Paxson could be absolutely lovely. I especially love this one because it has neutral colours, but is exciting enough with the different panels. You can’t see it on this picture, but the sleeves of this sweater are also white on the underside. I’m not sure if I would include that in my version, but either way the pattern should be very easy to adapt.

Another idea I’ve had, but haven’t been able to find good pictures of, are contrasting shoulders – perhaps some type of leather together with a slightly heavier knit.

2016 Sewing Plans

sweaterandshirt

Basically my uniform on weekdays. Picture from Mango, but not available there anymore.

Not only has it been over a year since my last post, it has also been over a year since I have sewn anything at all. Between finishing my studies and working full time, I simply haven’t had the energy. However, I have now graduated and moved to a new place, and I finally want to get behind the sewing machine again.

Because it’s been such a long time, and because I have so little time, I want to focus on thoughtful and practical sewing. Considering the way my style has changed over the past year or two, this means three main things: button-up shirts, sweaters, trousers, and – if I can find one – the perfect blazer.

Combining this with the fact that I’m a bit rusty, and don’t want to dive into something complex immediately, I’ve settled on Paxson from Seamwork by Colette Patterns. Tomorrow I finish work early, so this is the perfect day to buy fabric and get started!

Hawthorn Sewalong: WIP Update

Hawthorn WIP

Eep! The last two weeks have been very stressful and have really cut into my sewing time and mojo. But luckily the most pressing issue (that of a job after the summer) has been resolved, so now only my thesis remains as this continuous looming presence…

Anyway, I’ve managed to be quite productive on the thesis-front today, so I figured an hour or so of sewing would be fine. As you can see I don’t have much to show for my final Hawthorn yet, but it’s slowly and steadily getting there. Actually, seeing as I have changed the pattern so as not to have a peplum, I’m not even that far behind! I’m doing the version 2 sleeve, so I have another 3 days to get ready to set in the sleeve. Sewing the side seams somewhere in the next few days should be doable…

FO: Zipper Pouch

Zipper Pouch

Yesterday I realised that coming Friday will be my very last day at my internship school and that I really wanted to make a little something for my supervisor, who has helped me a lot throughout the semester. I almost hesitate to call this a proper FO because it is so little and was so quick, but it’s an object and it’s finished so I guess it qualifies.

I used this tutorial, which is really great because it shows you how to nicely cover the zipper ends. I’m kind of amazed at how this is considered a perfect first sewing project, because somehow I found it kind of tricky to get everything neat. My machine had quite a bit of trouble with all the layers, but in the end it worked out decently.

Zipper Pouch

The fabric is a quilting cotton by Laurie Wisbrun, whose name always makes me think of Lawrence Fishburne, which in turn kind of makes me hope that he has a line of quilting fabrics that he designs under a pseudonym… Anyway, I used some lightweight fusible interfacing to give it all a bit more firmness and lined the pouch with a light grey cotton.

Nothing exciting to tell about this one, really. Hopefully in the weekend I’ll have time for a more elaborate progress post on my Hawthorn, because in between attempts at writing it is coming along quite a bit.