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!
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…
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.
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.
I’ve been making the most of the few free days I have before I have to lock myself in the library to finish my thesis, so here’s my first version of Hawthorn!
Pattern: Colette Hawthorn
Fabric: Thin cotton sateen
Time: around 7 hours (including taping/cutting the pattern)
Total cost: around €15,- (€11,- for the pattern, barely anything for the fabric & notions, because they’re left-overs.
For this initial version I cut a straight size 2 and put it together without any alterations. I did a quick fitting of the bodice before attaching the collar and everything, but it seemed to be quite fine. I’m pretty happy with the result. It’s an adorable little blouse that went together without any real problems. On the photos it seems to pull a little bit in the back, but that’s probably just how I’m standing.
The only thing that I have a problem with has everything to do with me and absolutely nothing with the pattern: I don’t know how to wear it. I’m so used to wearing my shirts tucked into high-waisted skirts, that this new silhouette looks really weird to me. For these quick photos I’ve matched it with a red pencil skirt, which looks nice, but somehow I have the feeling that I look a bit dowdy and matronly (which I know is probably just my perception). I will start wearing it though, because I’m sure it will grow on me when I combine it in different ways.
(Please ignore my “straight-out-of-the-shower” face and hair, the sky was getting very cloudy and I don’t think there would’ve been much more light left later).
Anyway, I am reconsidering my coral/white dotted fabric for this one. If I already find this version a bit too girly and dainty, I’m sure that will just be too much. I am going to make a black sleeveless dress version though, because I do really like this pattern.
I’ve taken a trip to the fabric market and found my choices for the Hawthorn sew-along! All I’ve planned for now are two blouse versions, but I also have a black eyelet that would look lovely as the sleeveless dress version. It needs buttons and underlining though, so it might not be finished on time.
This is the “real” fabric. I fell for the bright coral colour immediately, even though it doesn’t really fit in my wardrobe. I guess you could call this one “frosting”. I might use the white ribbon for a waist stay or something… not sure yet. I’m also debating whether to go for the short sleeves or the cuffed ones. I love the cuffed ones, but thing it might look too prissy with this colour…
The navy on white dots will be my wearable muslin. It’s an amazing fabric, so I really hope that it fits, but since I already have a blouse made out of it (which somehow didn’t make the blog) it’s no big deal if it doesn’t.
I also have a big floral I’m unsure about. It’s white, navy and turqoise and I bought it on an impulse, but I don’t know if it’s suitable for this one… I guess it depends on how much I like the cut of the blouse to begin with. Peplums are a new thing for me, I usually tuck in all my shirts.
As of today, I’ve traced and cut the pattern, and am ready to start sewing my “muslin”. I cut a straight size 2, which matches my bust and waist exactly. Because it’s cut very wide at the hips, I decided not to grade up to my usual size 6 from the waist down. Here’s to hoping it fits right the first time around!
Because I’ve got my heart set on making the blouse version first, I’ve scoured the internet for nice peplum blouses to combine into one perfect one! Here’s a selection. Perhaps you’ll feel inspired too! (And by “scouring the internet” I mean typing “peplum blouse” into the Pinterest search bar.)
Right now, I’m thinking of doing lace on the yoke and sleeves, and probably making the whole thing mustard coloured. Or perhaps I’ll go for dots, or something else, or whatever I find on the market Saturday!
Mixing transparent and opaque fabrics?
From Honey mi Honey, but I couldn’t find it on their website anymore.
Another take on the lace yoke/sleeves.
No idea where this one’s from… People on Pinterest aren’t great with linking to the original source.
I have a thing for mustard, and lace…
Can’t go wrong with dots, but perhaps a bit safe?
A Lauren Conrad blouse, if the info was correct.
Oh my… when the going gets tough (or busy, more accurately) the blog most definitely does not get going. But it’s almost time for the summer holidays! (Which in my world is known as the “weeks of hellish thesis writing and translating a book”, but for now I’m pretending it is actually a holiday.)
Anyway! I’ve decided to give myself a kick in the pants, buy the latest Colette Pattern (Hawthorn) and participate in their sew-along. The pattern is gorgeous, but to be honest the magnificent selection of prizes gave me the final push! Tomorrow I’m going stash shopping to see if I have anything that is suitable and enough, or if I have to make a trip to the market next Saturday.
I’m probably going to make the blouse version first,and then a dress version with a pencil skirt. I have fabric lying around for at least 5 blouses and I need more separates!
I have managed to finish some pieces over the past weeks, so hopefully the weather will clear up a bit and I’ll be able to get some good pictures soon!