Friday, March 27, 2015

New project on the table

While the sun is streaming through my window, there's a new project on my table. It feels like I'm on a sewing-roll at the moment. One thing finished, starting a next thing right away. Go me!

So let me introduce to you: KnipMode - Aug. 2014 - nr.23 - Jacket! 
 





The lining, it has clear lines in reality....
 
 
 
 








I'll be sewing a size 46 but there are a few adjustments I made to the pattern, some of them standard, some of them are the ones I discovered quite recently.

High-roundback-adjustment
(Sorry for the unclear picture, the pattern is lying upside down).
Because I think a jacket will be more loose-fitting than a blouse, I decided not to use the 2 cm I did in my previous blouse, but just 1 cm. The dart (from the shoulderline pointing to the shoulderblade) is a bit long for my taste, but is necessary.
Sloping-shoulder-adjustment.
I took off 1,75 cm of the height at the shoulderpoint, tapering to the neckline. I lowered the original armscye by the same amount.


Waistline and length.
These are my usual adjustments: lengthening the pattern above the waist 3 to 4 cm, and thereby lowering the waist, and adding another 5 cm to the length at the bottom.















And now fingers crossed, that all these changes will help to make a nice jacket. I'll keep you updated of the process.

See you next time.
Lilian

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Black blouse finally finished

 

 


There you have it. The black blouse, which has been on my sewing table for way too long. I'm quite happy with the outcome. I managed to tackle some fitting-problems -  not all though - and will be handling future projects in the same way.
It's not a blouse to get very excited about, but it's a nice addition to my summer-wardrobe. One can never have too many choice of clothing right?
 
Yesterday I suddenly remembered that more than a year ago I bought a piece of white fabric (we call it nurse-linen, translated from Dutch to English) to make this same blouse. White fabric can be so terrible see-through, but this fabric doesn't have that problem. I played with the idea to make that my next project but I think I'll go ahead as planned with the jeans-jacket. If I manage to make that a - reasonable/wearable - success, I'll have a mini-wardrobe to show you, together with a simple white top and a skirt, the two pieces I didn't blog about.

This will be it for now. If I want to I can spend hours typing a blogpost but today there are other things that need to be done as well. One of them starting the jacket. In my next post Í will give more details.

Better get on with it.

See you next time.
Lilian

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Preparing for a jeans-jacket (and other stuff)

Hi everyone. It's been a while. What I've been up to? Not much really. Still looking for a job, so no change there. The temporary job I had since last august, ended at the end of january. I must say that job-seeking is by far the most annoying and frustrating thing I have ever had to do in my life. But on the other end it's an experience that makes me - somehow - grow as a person. Having never been unemployed since I left school in 1985 (I had 3 successive jobs), getting fired (due to economical reasons) has forced me to look at things in a different way and broaden my view. You see, I'm still trying to give it all a positive swirl. That's me...always positive. Well, almost always. One of the things I don't like is that I've become rather synical about a lot of things. But I guess that's just a logical consequence of all this. But don't worry, I know that I must work on that because synicals don't get jobs right?...

Enough of that. On to the sewing!

First I want to react on a comment on my last post from Digs (Straightjacketmuse). Digs, don't know if you are reading this post but I want to give you this - way overdue - reaction anyway.
First of all, thanks for your comment. The fabric I used for the top has a diagonal print. That's what I immediately liked about it. You get the effect without the effort. Nice!
The pattern is from the KnipMode special October 2013. There are only a few patterns in it.

Mini-swap
In december I wanted to start a mini-swap. And I did. The plan was to sew a skirt, a top and a jeans- jacket. The skirt and top are finished. (See? I díd sew!...Pictures will be shown when the jacket is finished). For the jacket I bought a second peace of jeans because I had high doubts about the first one I ordered from the internet. It seemed too thin.
I want so badly for this jeans jacket to be a succes that I knew I had to tackle the fitting-problems I have with my upperback first. Or else this would end as a wadder, like so many jackets did in the past.
Testing the alterations to fix the problems, I am working on a second version of the yellow blouse I made in July 2014. This time I altered the pattern with a high-rounded back adjustment and I must say there is definitely improvement in the fit of this blouse. It's not perfect yet. There is still a dragline under my arm, pointing to the shoulderblades as you can see in the (crappy styled) picture below. That's probably (??) due to the fact that I have sloping shoulders. I'll need to make another adjustment on the pattern for that. But hey, there is improvement. Hooray for that!

July2014

And then, after long deliberation, maybe I am finally ready to start this jacket.
But first there is the black blouse to be finished. Sleeves, collar, buttons, hemming.
Better get round to it.

Have a nice weekend everyone!
Lilian

p.s.
If anyone has advice on the draglines in the left picture (still there after a high-rounded back adjustment), that would be very, very much appreciated.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Colourful top - KnipMode Special Oct. 2013


This top is really cheering me up with its great, vibrant colours. Something we could all use in these, most of the time, gray and cold days. At some places the colours look faded, but that's the print.
The pattern is from a KnipMode special, which I can't find anywhere by the way. The original has a little strip of fabric that goes through a hole in the front, just beneath the drape and then you tie the ends together and by that gather the drape. Boy, does that even make sense to you? Anyway, I didn't use it. Nor did I use it in the same top I made about a year ago. And that's a colourful one as well.


With that top I made a belt (not shown in the picture, couldn't find that either :-(
I left out the belt this time and instead took in the sideseams, and now it's a more fitted top. (You got to trust me on that. I don't feel like taking a picture of me as I am down with a cold and not looking too well.)
What I like particularly is the fact that the drape in the neckline is modest but at the same time looking really great. It looks even better when I wear it.

I warned you in the previous post that it would be a simple top again. And it is.
Trust me to make it diffcult...
When I sewed the shoulderseams, after painstakingly ruching the seams and basting everything together, I realised that it was not right. Something in the back of my mind told me that the first top looked different in that area. So I checked it and yes, it was different. I should have read the instructions even though I made it before. But hey...when the sewingmojo strikes, I usually fly without wings. Well, lesson learned.
The shoulderseam of the back should be hidden between the shoulderseams of the front and facingpiece, instead of showing the raw edges. Here's what it looks like after I fixed my mistake.
















So the next job to do was unpicking the stitches and ruching and do it all over again, but now in the correct way.
It paid off. Now it's finished neatly and I love it. The instruction tells you to ruche also the shoulderseam of the facing, but I didn't bother with that. Just made two pleats and that works fine.
The facing is attached to the frontpiece at all sides, except at the bottom. It stays in place very well.

Nice.

Now I am in desperate need of a denim skirt to pair it with. Once I will feel a bit better I will pay a visit to the fabricshop. It's been too long. Too long...

Talk to you next time.
Lilian

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The facing that wanted to come out and play.

Yes. Another simple project... I almost feel the need to apologise for the fact that my sewing might seem a bit boring lately. But for me it isn't. No matter how simple it looks, there are always some problems to overcome and when I do, I am quite happy with the outcome. This top is a good example of that (first picture is a bit crappy though...)

 
 
As you can see, my top has no sleeves. Here's why.It all started with a piece of fabric I bought at a local fair for only € 3 ($ 3,80 / £ 2,30). Soon after that the idea came up to sew a trendy, oversized shirt with short sleeves. It took some time to find a matching pattern. (MUST NOT BUY FABRIC WITHOUT A PLAN - I REPEAT...MUST NOT etc.)
This pattern is from a magazine called 'Diana'. (More about that later). When that was solved too it was time to cut the fabric. It was then I discovered a big yellow stain, which eliminated 1/4 of the fabric I could use. Bummer.....
So what was I to do? Start looking for a new pattern (which would cost more time) or make do with what I had? I choose the last option and decided to eliminate the sleeves. I could still use this top to wear under jackets, cardigans etc.

With full steam ahead I started to sew. Then I saw that the shoulderseams were not matching. The back was way smaller than the front. (This probably has to do with the fact that I had to draw a new size between the patternlines of size 42/44 and 46/48). I had to recut and reshape the front neckline in the shoulder area. That meant the facing had to be reshaped  as well.
Once that was done I attached the facing to the, partly ruffled, neckline. Because of the ruffles, the facing was behaving in a bad way. It kept creeping up from behind the neckline and I didn't know what to do. Downstitching the facing meant stitching through the ruffles. That didn't appeal to me at all. I was about to throw the whole lot in the bin when I had a (ahum) briljant idea.Why not give the facing what it wanted - it's own little place in the sun?
And there you have it. The little stripe of fabric you see above the ruffles is the facing, crawling to the surface. It almost looks like a designfeature. As if it was meant this way. Yay!
The facing is stitched down all the way round. I used the 'stitch in the ditch'-technique in the front.

Pffff....problems overcome...very happy sewist!


Because I wasn't going to put in any sleeves, I had to redesign the armscyes as well, but that was a quick fix. I finished them in my favourite way. When hemming, I left the back a bit longer than the front. And from a certain size up, the pattern has bust darts. Nice!













This magazine - 'Diana' - is, I believe, a German magazine but sold in the Netherlands completely in Dutch. The pictures have a Burda-feel to it but the patterns are much nicer and wearable (in my opinion). For example:
Picture taken from sewing-magazine 'Diana'
Can you feel the Burda-vibe of a long, long time ago??

And now, probably with sweet Burda-memories filling your head, it's time for me to go. Next up will be another jersey knit top in quite thrilling colours. And yes, I'm afraid it's simple again ;-)
Better get started.

See you next time.
Lilian

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Alterations

First of all: a big, big thank you to everyone who left a comment on my last post, suggesting what could be the problem I was having with my yellow blouse and possible ways to solve that. This is so much appreciated! Sometimes in life you need help and you don't know who to turn to. But ask fellow-sewers for help and they all come to your rescue. That's so kind and sweet! So again, from the bottom of my heart: THANK YOU GUYS!

Now. On to the alterations.
Some of you suggested that maybe I need to create more space in the upper-back. I started to take a closer look at pictures of me from the side, and I was surprised to notice that I do have a rounded upper-back. Why didn't I notice before?! Besides that, I Always feel that my tops and blouses are hanging shorter in the back than the front. That may also be a result of the fabric pulling up at the top. Wow. This does make a lot of sense.
I definitely have sloping shoulders. That could be part of the problem too. But I am curious to find out if a rounded-back adjustment could do the trick. I found a very useful instruction here by 'Surefitdesigns'.

Rounded-back-adjustment
I used the instruction mentioned above, and this is what I came up with. Yeah, there is a dart in the shoulderseam but if that's what it takes, than that's what I am gonna do. Because you want the dart to end on top of your shoulder, I had to replace the shoulderseam. In the original, the shoulderseam is about 4 cm more to the front. I simply cut of the extra of the back and taped that to the frontshoulder.

The amount of extra space is absolutely a guess. The best way to find out how much I need might be to cut up the yellow blouse and see what happens when I put it on. Obviously, that's not gonna happen...


Full-bust adjustment
I also had a little trouble with full-bust draglines. This pattern has a princess-seam so that makes it a bit difficult to do an adjustment. But I found the perfect instruction for an fba for princess-seams by 'byhandlondon'. Unfortunately my apex is located on the front part so I had to be a little creative.
You see the red arrows? When I looked at the altered pieces I was worried that that extra space as to where the red arrows are pointing, was gonna be a problem. Then I suddenly realised that I was completely thinking in the wrong way! The extra space in the frontpiece is a (mini)dart, of course (!). And therefore, the extra space in the sidepiece can be eliminated. Pffff.....what was I thinking..... ;-)

I do not want the extra space that an fba creates at the bottom, so I let the two pieces next to the vertical cutting line, meet again at the bottom.


(The third piece on the right is the back-pattern....)
Now. I can hear you think. Where is the result of all these alterations?! Sorry, don't have that yet.... (hangs head in shame....) I want to make this a wearable muslin, but I don't have the right fabric for that at the moment. As soon as I do, results will follow.

* * *
 

There were more plans to do some summer-sewing but I just waited too long I think. The weather has really taken a turn for the worse over here and I am already wearing my fleece sweater. So I guess it's time to turn the focus to fall-sewing. Which means making new plans. Yesterday, while doing the dishes, I had a thought... Why not do a mini-swap? The one I made in 2010 was so much fun and it could be fun again. It's been a long time since I heard about any swaps but hey, who cares. The more I think about it, the more fun it seems.
But there is also the need for new pj's, a new jersey top, and I want to make an apron, and sew some home-dec, and..... Well the list goes on and on. Time to set priorities!!

Talk to you soon!
Lilian


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I need some sewing-advice

First the good:
 
 
Then the bad:
I have a problem. And I need your advice. Please! I can't go on sewing blouses like this.
Everytime I sew a blouse in a non-stretch fabric, the same problem occurs, namely this:
 
 
You see the draglines in the back, pointing from the neckline to as far as under the arm?
I'm sooo tired that this happens every time. I just don't know how to make them go away.
It looks like my arm is pulling the armscye down, like it's too high for my body. At first I thought I could solve this by lowering the armscye as a whole. I once tried this on another blouse. It helped maybe a little bit, but unfortunately, if I moved my arms, the complete shoulder/neckline moved upward, like someone had put a clothes hanger in it and lifted that up. Not a good thing.
I also don't think that the armscye is too small. There's enough room to move.

So yeah, I need your help. If anyone knows a way to solve this, I would love to hear it!
Feel free to point out some body-imperfections. For the sake of getting a good fit, I don't mind.

In spite of this all, I do like this blouse enough to wear it. 
After all, just look around and you see a lot of people wearing clothes that have this exact same (or other) problem. Still, it's proof of an ill-fitting garment.
Sometimes I think we are too critical on our own work. More than once I see on other people's blogs they aren't happy with the result of their sewing, when all I can think is: Wow, that is just so lovely!
Maybe it is because we believe, or...let me rephrase that: I believe, that by making our own clothes we have the chance to attack these flaws and make sure the endresult is nothing less than perfect.
Not a very realistic thought, I know. And one that can give you a lot of headache. And quite frankly, that's not worth it. Sewing should be fun!!

KnipMode - May 2009 - 2c
I accidentally forgot to cut/sew the seamline in the waist. It would have been a nice extra accent. If I will ever make this blouse again, that will be added, but not before I have a solution for the above-mentioned problem.
I also tried to fiddle with the princess seam to eliminate some of the fullbust-lines. But there was not enough fabric to work with (1,5 cm wide seams) so I eventually stopped trying. Should have thought of this before I cut the fabric >:-(
The midcenter backseam is taken in a bit to do a swayback alteration.
 
 
 
 
At the moment I'm sewing with my stash, which is mostly built with pieces that I bought without any particular plan. I always find it hard to find a match between those pieces and a pattern. The amount of fabric is limited and I always seem to choose a pattern that requires a bit more (or much less). I think I will return to my original way of planning: choosing a pattern and than buying fabric that works for that pattern. This works best for me. But before I start buying new fabric, first I'll be doing some more stashbusting.
 
Talk to you soon.
Lilian