Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Dresses and skirts

Frolicked about in my yard last week taking pictures while it wasn't raining or cloudy :)

red plaid dress and a silly face

yellow gingham chantilly

can't really see the dress, but I'm cute, haha

relatively normal skirt in the front...
fancy lace up bustle in the back!
the ivory lace skirt i never wear cause my slip is too tight
more red plaid, half circle skirt and jacket
the stripe are horizontal in front and vertical in back :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Time to play catch up, part 1

I finally remembered to get new batteries for my camera, so I'm back, and with four months of sewing projects to photograph and post. I couldn't resist getting some of it out of the way right now, forgive the poorly lit nightime shots in my kitchen :P. I did the tops now, and I'll do dresses tomorrow when there's some daylight to work with :).

blue sorbetto front
I think I already posted a picture of this, come to think of it, but well, here's another one, haha. My first sorbetto, no pleat, blue drapey fabric with a black and white pattern of flowers or leaves or something like that.

...and back
In retrospect, I wish I had made self binding instead of what I had on hand, because the weight is different and it sits funny at the neck and arms because of it. It was still very nice to have around in the hot summer days though.

red sorbetto front
This was more of a refashion in a way, I had used this fabric for a skirt last year, only I cut it with the slight stretch going up and down (facepalm), and it ended up sitting really weirdly because of it, so I never wore the damn thing. It makes a lovely sorbetto though, also with no pleat, and I even got the stretch right this time :P.

...and back
And with this one I learned from my mistakes and made a self binding. While the blue one had inside binding, I did this one on the outside to show off the fun bias  check pattern. It's a bit of visual interest, and this one sits much more nicely.

pink lingerie top front
Somehow I ended up obsessed with Japanese pattern books, and had to buy one. And then it came, became a good excuse for me to finally start learning Japanese (I'm half way through the first alphabet/syllabary :)), and was so cool I had to buy another one. This is the first thing I made from that second one, a bias cut camisole in some weird pale pink slinky fabric that my boyfriend says looks like lingerie because it is so shiny.

...and back
It has narrow straps that cross in the back, and I added a casing with elastic between them because the whole thing ended up way to loose across the back. I mostly like this top because it goes well with the thing I made right before it...

plaid bolero front
This super adorable little half jacket. I've had a few of Wearing History's patterns for over a year now, but this is the first one I got up the nerve to trace off and use, and I have to say it was a quite pleasurable experience. The instructions where brief but sufficient, and the fit is lovely. I find it funny, a lot of people seem to have problems with vintage patterns in regards to modern body types, but I always find that they fit me much better with less alterations that modern patterns do.

...and back
These were my first inset sleeves that didn't have pleats or gathers in the pattern, and I was rather nervous about the whole idea, but in the end they went in like a dream. Not a wrinkle or pucker in sight, and now I'm itching to try more sleeves, haha. Be prepared to see a lot more of this fabric, a co-worker gave me 6m of it, and it's extra wide so I'm squeezing loads of things out of it. I already have this, a dress, and a half circle skirt cut out, and there's still 2 1/2m left! I'm debating how silly plaid trousers would be. And making a dress for me Dad's super cute two year old god-daughter.

polka dot cami front
And finally, this afternoon I felt like I should get something done other than read on this lovely long weekend, so I started a second shirt from pattern book number two. And then it went together so easily that I finished it too! I hadn't thought there was enough of this fabric to make a whole shirt, and had been planning to use it as a big contrasting collar or something, but I just managed to squeeze this out of it. Giant polka dots! And the binding/straps are black with small white polka dots too. This pattern used the same midriff pieces as the pink one, but cut on the straight grain, so I knew to take about four inches out along the centre back this time. It's a little harder to wriggle into, but the fit is much nicer.

...and back
I think I'm going to have to make a whole bunch of cami tops, and a selection of cute boleros to go with them for at work (no bare shoulders allowed). And skirts to match the boleros! And maybe trousers too, all Marlene Dietrich chic. Oooh, I'm getting excited, haha.

Tomorrow, an ode to my new love of dresses: When you just can't be bothered to find two clean pieces of clothing ;)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

sometimes i'm nice to people :)

I realised that there aren't any pictures up here yet of the things I have made for other people, and it's high time that was rectified.

Mostly I stick with garment sewing, but for x-mass last year I ventured out of my comfort zone and made a quilt for my mom. I think it turned out pretty well for a first attempt, although of course it wasn't particularly complicated.

She lovely gardening, so I appliqu├ęd veggies, flowers, and insects onto half of the squares. (this sounds fancier than it was, I just stuck them in place with chunks of steam-a-seam tape, and then zig-zaged around the edges with contrasting thread). The background is all green/brown toned for the dirt, and the backing is sky blue flannelette so that it's nice and cozy to use for curling up on the couch is she wants. I used the thickest batting my local big fabric shop had, which was a pain to work with, but ended up nice and fluffy. The layers are quilted together around the edges of the squares. It was quite the learning process, and there are things I would do differently next time, but my mom loves it, and that is the important thing :). (I kind of want to make myself one of the same style, but made to look like a chess board, mid game).

I do a fair bit of sewing with/for one of my friends, usually in lovely up-half-the-night marathon sewing sessions full of girly-ness, bad tv, and junk food, haha. Unfortunately, I didn't think to take pictures of the two sun-dresses I made for her last summer, but I do have some of the corset/bustier we made from the leftover dress fabric. It was loosely based on simplicity 9769, and altered for fit and length.

While I'm looking for dramatic waist reduction in a corset, she wanted one that was snug and supportive, but not too tight (slender thing she is there isn't much "squish" to her waist anyway). It's boned with rigilene, and has a lining/strength layer of cotton twill. We bound it with black satin bias tape I had lying around, and closes with black satin ribbon laced through a printed black lacing tape.

When I finally get around to making some for myself, they will be constructed rather differently, but as this doesn't have to stand up to tight-lacing, we went with looks over industrial strength durability :).

And finally, not exactly for someone specific, are these cuties.

I mostly made them to avoid working on a Chantilly in the same fabric (damn procrastination). I saw scraps, an early seventies bikini pattern I had lying around, and couldn't resist. However, they do not even remotely fit me, so I will either by seeing if one of my skinny friends wants them, or throwing together the matching bikini top and saving them up for when I get around to getting a credit card and opening an etsy shop, haha.

Oh right, I guess this counts too. Using the same pattern as the purple one, but with no alterations except for lacing up the front as well as the back, I made myself a little white eyelet corset with pink binding and pink ribbon laces.

It was mostly a test piece, and did not fit me very well (too big in the bust, too small in the hip, an awkward mid-bust height, etc). So instead of letting it languish unworn in my closet, it went to join it's purple companion in my dear friend's wardrobe. This one has spiral steel boning and proper grommets, but is otherwise the same construction as the other one.

Sometimes it's nice to share :).

I'm back!

I may have been absent from this site for a while now, but I swear I've still been making things. I hope to get better picture of some of them at a later date, but for now, this is what I have to show:

Self drafted skirt made out of ivory coloured eyelet. The weird picture of it hanging in my kitchen doorway is because, being completely devoid of slips, I can't actually wear this yet (stupid eyelet and it's being full of holes, haha). I used the scalloped salvage edges for the hem, so cute.

It has twelve pieces that are sort of right triangles. My original idea was that this would make the hem line lower and pointy at every other seam (does that make sense?) but my triangles ended up being to small for that to really work. That's ok, maybe in the future I will try to make this idea again. In the mean time, I'm quite happy with this one, althought I have yet to see what it's like to wear. There is a vintage half slip in the mail to me though, so soon we shall see :).

I got bored one day, realised I had been sewing for over a year without a pin cushion, and decided to do something about it. I used these instructions, found through the lovely Jo from Bridges on the Body, and whipped this baby up in a couple of hours of hand sewing. Then came the fun part of cramming torn up quilt batting scraps into it and then trying to sew the last side closed without them popping out, lol. I can't believe I waited this long, it's very nice to have something to stab when I get frustrated with unruly pattern pieces somewhere to keep my pins. ;)

In sudden impending need of having something better to lounge around the house in than undies and a tank top, I went on a pajama making spree. Above, we have a nightdress made out of some weird slinky knit stuff I found in the clearance bin of my local fabric shop (100% unknown fibres, haha). The pattern was a ?forties? slip pattern that wouldn't normally have fit without alteration, but this stuff is so stretchy it was fine as it came :). It also pulls on instead of zippering as per instructions. Who would want pjs with a zipper? psha. After some frustrations with skipped stitches, and subsequently discovering that one truly does need to use ballpoint needles for knits, it went together pretty painlessly.

But sometimes a girl need seperates, so I threw together some pj pants as well.

Love the pink check :). So much so, in fact, that I used the leftovers to try out Colette's free madeleine mini bloomer pattern. No, I'm not modeling that one :P. But aren't they cute?

I still have some of both the pj fabrics left over, so look out for more coordinating pieces still to come.

I have another skirt and Colette's new sorbetto top pattern to show off too, but those will have to wait for daylight so I can get good pictures.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

out of action

I have a new skirt to share, and two almost or half finished projects too. however, i'm off work with a hand injury, and as it's pretty hard to sew one handed, im not sure when the will get finished and modelled. grr.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

something soon?

So I:
- have been keeping up with Me-Made-March, although not documenting it.
- haven't gotten a bit of sewing done since last week, other than cutting out two pieces of bodice lining for my next project.
- hope to get working tomorrow morning, and have something to share by the evening (fingers crossed).

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I think I'm in love...

...with Colette Patterns. I just finished my first Sencha blouse, and it went together so nicely. The instructions are detailed and easy to follow, the pattern was well drafted (everything matched up like it should), and most importantly, it looks really nice finished.

so cute!

The only thing I will change for the next one is an added a couple of inches to the length above the waist. I should have thought to do this to begin with, (for someone so short, I have a strangely long torso) but I didn't, so the waist contouring and the tucks are all about two inches too high.

I might also as a little bit of width along the center front, because the bust has no real ease, and the sleeves sit a little strangely if I stretch my arm up high and then down again (which probably isn't a problem for most people, but I do it all day at work). Or maybe I'll just try cutting a 6 instead of a 4, see if that fixes it.

But anyway, I used a poly/cotton blend black gingham, and some super cute buttons made of faceted clear plastic with a metallic backing that makes them extra sparkly. 

ooh, shiny

I almost went with some red vintage buttons I have in stash, but it makes me so happy looking at them that I couldn't bare using them on the back of something, lol.

I love these so much

And now that I've shared, it's off to bed :).

Friday, March 18, 2011

finally moving on

The pink and grey plaid shirt is finally finished! There are a few things about it I would have tried harder to make perfect (like the very weirdly fitting sleeve caps) if it were a fabric I loved, instead of just liked, but in general I'm pretty pleased with it. I used simplicity 8399 (from 1968), with a few alterations.

I took in one inch from both the front and back pieces between the arm and waist, and added back waist darts so it didn't hang like a pillowcase (ha ha).

And most exciting, I made my very first fabric covered buttons! I used a kit from my local fabric store, and it worked quite well. The buttonholes ended up right on the grey block of the plaid, so I used that part for the buttons to match. One of the back pieces didn't want to stick, so I had to take pliers to it. It got a little mangled, but I just used that one for the bottom, as it will be hidden when the shirt is tucked in.

I'm pretty happy with the pattern matching on the front too (I didn't even try to match the side seem or the shoulders, maybe next time). I was nervous about putting in a collar, but it was actually quite easy.

And that's it! I even finally got a tripod, so taking pictures of finished projects no longer involves a stack of boxes on the kitchen table and hope that they won't fall over. Tomorrow, on to a black gingham Sencha.


Just so you know, I haven't been forgetting about my Me-Made-March pledge, I just haven't been photographing it, because at this point all the outfits are repeats. It is an enlightening project, I'm realising just how few clothes I actually have. And I keep almost getting tripped up by a couple of skirts that are not me-made, but also not ready to wear, rather hand made to my specs by a lovely online store called In the Starlight, which is sadly no longer in existence. I love those two so much I assume when I'm half asleep and getting dressed that I made them, ha ha.

Now for the running out the door to work :P.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Between work and being completely thrown off kilter by the time change, I haven't made much progress in any sewing this week. I have hopes for this weekend though, because of all the wonderful spring sewing supplies that came in the post for me this week! So much inspiration, I can't wait to make (and wear) some nice spring dresses.

Pretty fabrics from fabric.com

four dresses, two shirts, and a petticoat to be

My Colette Patterns order showed up!

Ceylon, Lady Gray, Chantilly, and Sencha

And I finally got my sewing scissors sharpened. Why didn't I do this a year ago when I started sewing again?! They even sound sharper, and it was only 6$. the store is on the way home from work, it wasn't even out of the way, and they where done in about 5 minutes. I can't wait to cut something out. (maybe a black gingham Sencha?)

So the plan is: finish the silly plaid shirt tomorrow, and then have all weekend to start on something fun, colourful, and perfect for spring :).

Saturday, March 12, 2011

progress, finally

With Betty-the-Janome happily back in her place on my coffee table, I'm finally making progress on the pink and grey plaid shirt. I catch: I can't seem to care about it. I know I need more shirts, and that it will be very cute, etc, but all I can think about are pretty dresses with matching half jackets, fourties trousers, sweet little tops in brightly coloured silks. Spring is popping up all over, and it's whispering to me to make gingham dresses, not flannel shirts. Unfortunately, all of the projects I'm excited about have either the pattern or the fabric (or both) still in the post, so I'll just have to bide my time.

shapeless box of a shirt

So far, I have the darts, side, and shoulder seams sewn and edged in bias tape, with the sleeves about to be put in. I'm a little nervous about those; not only have I not set in sleeves since grade nine home ec, but after unthinkingly taking in the side seam on the blouse body, my sleeve hole is two inches smaller than it started out being. Pinning that much out of the arm seam made for awkwardly snug sleeves, so I'm going to try either gathers or tucks in the sleeve cap to take up the extra slack. With some luck it will look like an interesting design feature instead of a slapdash fix, ha ha. My first attempt at pattern matching didn't work very well, I will have to read up on it in my lovely new sewing books before trying it again.

side seam pattern matching = fail

After that I guess I'm done for the night, as I realised when I went to cut it out that I'm right out of interfacing for the collar and button strips. Oh dear, that means it's off to the fabric store for me tomorrow morning, with all their pretty spring fabrics... and a fifty percent off everything sale... Somehow I think I'll be coming home with more than interfacing ;).

As far as me-made-march goes, I've been good about remembering to do it, but not so much about the photographing. Days 6, 7, and 11 somehow got missed, but here's the rest of the week:

day 8/12

Me made pink peasant skirt, with black/white striped shirt on day 8, black/pink striped shirt on day 12.

day 9

Me made pink ruffle shirt, with a lovely pink skirt from the now closed In The Starlight website.

day 10

Me made red peasant top with me made grey corduroy jumper skirt.

And next week I'll try to remember pictures every day, and hopefully some new wardrobe additions to show off :).

Thursday, March 10, 2011

back soon, I swear...

There hasn't been a lot of action on the sewing front in Sarah land this week. My machine is in the shop, having some divets in the bobbin case case thing (technical, I know) filed smooth again, and I'm going a little bit stir crazy from lack of sewing, but hope to be back in business soon. The pink plaid shirt is all cut out and ready to go, and I'm going shopping this weekend for experimental panty-making-experiment supplies, so there's lots to do once I have poor old Betty (otherwise known as the Janome mystyle100) back.

Also, I finally bought a bunch of Colette patterns that I had been ogling from a distance for a while now, and fabric to make them in, all in the mail and being impatiently waited for. Get ready to be inundated with different variations of these once they show up :). If you haven't heard of Colette Patterns, go check them out, now. So very pretty. And their blog is full of helpful hints and tips to make your sewing even more lovely, as well as designer bios and all sorts of other goodies.

I was just going to at least post some me-made-march pictures, before realising that my camera batteries are too dead to even copy pictures to my computer. We've pretty much run the gamut of my wardrobe at the moment though, from here on it's just the same things in different combination anyway.  Definitely time to get on sewing more everyday staple pieces.

It's not a post without some eye candy though, so here's a sneak peak of my most recent etsy finds.

Butterick 6582 repro wiggle dress

McCall's 9755

Don't you just love the scalloped neckline? And the jacket! It makes me swoon just thinking of the possible fabric combinations.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

challenge outfits

As I have yet to get up and do something productive with my next project, here are days 3 to 6 of the me-made-march challenge.

day 3
Full length, self drafted, ruffled peasant skirt, made from my christmas present fabric, and a matching blouse (new look 6599) with ruffled lace trim and heart buttons. I still have some extra fabric left over to make a matching corset and shrug, one of these days. 

day 4

And this is when I ran out of self made shirts, ha ha. Self drafted corduroy and satin kilt with black eyelet trim.

day 5

 One of my first sewing projects, two layer ruffled skirt with ribbons sewn into the waistband on top and between the layers, which can be tied together to gather the top skirt layer at each side seam. I rarely use it, but it's nice to have in case I feel like dressing like a bar wench, ha ha.

Day 6 (today) is just day 3s skirt and a rtw top. 

Bonus Jewellery shot from day 2, self made dangley earrings and super cute octopus pendant from etsy.