Saturday, January 30, 2010

New fabric

After another energy-consuming week I must admit that I only looked at my sewingmachine but I never touched it. I have some things (nothing major) hassling me and I have to get them out of the way first.

But I did however have some time left to buy new fabric! And if there's anything that can make me happy after a so-so week, it's new, gorgeous, fabric.

After finishing the bathrobe I wanted to sew the pyjamas. But there really are other clothes I lack at the moment, especially skirts and trousers, so I decided to rearrange my plans and first sew up a skirt (or two). I really want to loose some weight and I always find that skirts are more forgiving when it comes to fitting when you get thinner. Trousers usually get too big very soon and there's nothing forgiving about that. That's the reason why I haven't sewn trousers in ages......because I'm trying to loose weight for ages now...hahaha... Well, they'll get their moment eventually. And I'm more a skirts-person anyway.

The plan is now to sew up two long, narrow skirts with a slit in the back, and to throw in a top as well. (The latter wasn't planned but when I laid my eyes on some gorgeous jersey.....ah well, you know how it goes).

Now without further ado:

First skirt:
a beautiful petrol-blue boucle. I bought black lining as well to give it more body.
This is gonna combine so well with my new grey shoes ! (To be honest, I had those shoes in the back of my mind when I bought this).

Second skirt:
A classic, black pinstripe. How can you go wrong with this?!!

A fluid, viscose-jersey. I  l-o-v-e  it !! And it combines great with the pinstripe.

Aahh...this was what I needed, something to sooth the sewing-mind. I haven't decided yet which fabric I'll start with. I'm leaning towards the black, but the blue is also interesting. Ah...decisions, decisions.

But I'm a happy girl now.

Hope you all are having a great weekend and wishing you lots of sewing-fun!


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Bathrobe finished

The bathrobe is finished. I already traced and cut the pattern a few weeks ago. Yesterday I cut into the fabric, started sewing and today I finished it.
Talking about instant-satisfaction! I'm super-glad with it. It's everything I hoped it would be. I made it extra-long (I'm tall). It's thick and warm. Everything a bathrobe should be imo.

I played with the idea of modelling it for you, but decided on 'don't think so'.
The pictures of this post tell you everything you need to know, anyway. Here's a more detailed picture:

It's a very easy pattern. The hardest part about this garment was cutting through 2 layers of this fabric. My hand really hurt when I was finished. 

As you can see in this linedrawing there are only a few details. No ingenious collar or anything, just a clean line with a facing all the way around.
The pockets have cut-on facings you only have to fold over and stitch through.

Don't tell anyone, but I cheated on the waistband. I didn't want to sew it in the usual way. That would mean having a seam at one (long) side with 4 layers of fabric, and the other (long) side only 2, and therefore much thinner. I used the finished edge of the fabric by cutting the band alongside it. Then I folded the band in three. The raw edge on the inside and the finished edge flipping over. Then I stitched the finished edge in place and continued to sew all around the band. Because the fabric is so lush, it doesn't show at all that I cheated.

You can tell from the linedrawing that the front is curved at the height of the waist. Usually I have to lower the waist to make things fit better but this time I just couldn't be bothered. So my curve starts a bit above the waist.

Wow, I am mucho happy with this!

Next project.....PJ's!   Stay tuned.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Blouse finished and a little tutorial on rounded pockets

My first project of 2010 is finished. Considering it's already the 18th of the month, you can't really say that I've been very productive. But that's ok. I'm not gonna pressure myself. Sewing should be fun, not work (for me, that is). And I'm sure speed will pick up once the weather starts to improve.
This blouse is a nice addition to my wardrobe. I'm not over the moon about it, but it's ok.

This is the best picture I can give you. Photographing this fabric is hell. I've tried everything but the details just won't show well:

And these are all the details you can't see in the picture:

This blouse was almost a wadder. I wanted to iron a seam flat. It was quite wavery but I was sure I could fix that. So I ironed on the inside, stretched the fabric a bit and it looked better already. Then, without thinking, I turned the fabric and put my iron on the outer side. Immediately feeling that horrible sense you get when an iron is too hot for the fabric. (I'm sure some of you know what I'm talking about..) I removed the iron at once and saw that there was already damage to the fabric.
If you could have seen what followed I'm sure you would have laughed: I ran away from the ironboard, started jumping up and down (hard!), shouting about 10 times a very ugly word, not to be repeated here.
Then sense took over again (thank God!) and I went back to take a closer look at the damage. I used a wet cloth to brush the fabric in the hope something could be saved. It worked a little, but not enough. Was this the end??? No. Because I saw to my surprise that the collar would cover everything. Wow....I call that being lucky. Here's what's hidden under the collar (only for you guys to know):

It looks a bit like the Nile-delta don't you think? I must say that for once the camera shows more than you can see in normal light. It's not this bad really.

The buttons are really off-centre! But that's part of the design. Here a closer pic of the button-loops (I hadn't yet finished the front-facing in this picture so it looks a bit wobbly at the edge):

* * *

Anyone interested in a little tutorial about how to sew rounded pockets??

First mark the seamline with contrasting thread. That's the line going all the way round. Then use a slightly thicker thread to make little stitches in the corners which you're gonna use to shape the rounded edges.

Pin down the seamallowance at the side and the bottom, at the straight parts.
Then pull the thread you stitched at the corners until the fabric is completely ruffled. Then you use the tip of your forefinger to gently ease the corner to the supposed shape by moving it gently back and forth. You reach that point when the stitches with which you marked the seamline lay flat against the corner of the pocket. 
At that point start pinning the seamallowance and after that handbaste it so everything stays in place. 

After that remove the pins and the thread you used to mark the seamallowance and the thread you used to shape the corners.
Now your pocket is ready to be attached. (In this picture the facing of the pocket is already sewed in place, unlike what you see in the first pocket-picture. And my hand wasn't trying to hide something, it's just that somehow the picture got more contrast when my hand was in it as well).

I hope this tutorial was helpful, but if it raised any questions, feel free to ask them. I'm definitely not an expert but I would like to help wherever I can.


Friday, January 15, 2010

Chinese.....anyone ?


Does anyone have a clue what's written here? It's a comment on my latest post. Placed by someone, or company?, named RING.
Clicking on the name leads you to a blog with very few words. In Chinese. Only one page, no pictures. Name of the blog: RING.

After the comment a series of dots are typed. I saw that they were a link and I was too curious not to check what it was linked to. That appeared to be something like an over-18 kind of site. In Chinese.

I read on many of your blogs that you were (or are?) being bombarded with all kinds of advertisement comments. I guess they found me too now. But it's really annoying that I can't read it.

I deleted the comment already but I copied it to this post.

D*mn........can't stand not knowing.

So if you can help me out here?

On a much more sadder note.....some of you may have noticed that I have placed 'counterflag' on my blog. A funny tool to see how many persons visited your site and which country they're from. If someone visits you and he or she is the first of their country, their flag is placed on a map.

Guess from which country I got a visit for the first time on the 12th of January?
We all know what happened on the 13th. I just can't help but wonder....


Saturday, January 9, 2010

It's been a slippery week

I'm treating myself on this:

because of this:

I think they can cope:

And I hope théy can too:

It's bloody cold (pardonnez le mot), and the snow is not falling down but it's blowing horizontal as the wind is quite strong. Which makes it feel ever so cold. I really hope all the animals are coping. I hung some birdfood in the trees but it seems so little to be really helpful.
I did my grocerie-shopping yesterday-evening, as we were warned for this kind of weather. Boy, am I glad I did!! (The weatherconditions in our country are nothing compared to the ones some of you are experiencing right now, but bear in mind that we are not used to extreme conditions here).

I wished these four pictures were pictures about sewing. Well, what can I say? My first week hasn't been very productive.

I'm glad it's over though and I hope the next one will be a bit better.

Why was my week bad?
On monday I had my car checked according to the obligatory vehicle-testing-regulations. It set me back about 650 euros because of repair that was needed.
On wednesday, that same car almost *kissed* another car as I started sliding on an extremely slippery road. My car stopped just a few inches before it hit the other (parked) car. Phewww.....  On thursday, on that same street, they were iceskating. Iceskating!
On friday I heard some bad news (not directly affecting me) and was irritated by a lot of other things. Work was hell that day and my mood went in all directions. Not good ones.
To top it all off, my boss called me this saturdaymorning. He asked me if I could do something for him on the computer because he had no access to his mail and there was some urgent matter that needed to be taken care of. Not a problem at all, I'm glad to help any time. But in the end it took me 1,5 hour to finish it. And at that point all the positive energy was drained from me and the negative energy of the week before was restored. I knew there and then I could kiss my sewing-saturday goodbye. 

But tomorrow will be a good sewing day. I just know it. 
And I promise you a high-spirited post about sewing and no more nagging about bad weeks. How 'bout that?

Have a nice weekend!


Monday, January 4, 2010

New year, new plans.

Can I say I'm glad things are starting to go back to normal? The end of the year festivities certainly put a hold on my sewing and I'm glad I can get back into gear to start with all the things I have planned.

And these are my plans for the near future. In the order in which I have planned to make them. (Sorry for the sometimes crappy layout).

1. Blouse / KnipMode 1998-12-23.

I love this blouse for its slim fit and the way the buttons are fastened: with little loopholes made from the same fabric. I made this one before but I now have to go up 2 sizes. It wás rather small than to be honest.
The green fabric I bought in my local store some time ago. Don't know what kind of fabric it is but it feels soft. It looks a bit like suede and has just enough body for a nice blouse.

2. Bathrobe / Knipmode 2003-12-01

I have been wanting to make one for a long time, and am now also desperately in need of one as the old one starts to get holes in it. Not much to say about the fabric. It's soft-pink, cotton terry-towelling. (I hope that's the right word for it). It's a simple pattern (one dot) so it should be a quick fix.

3. Pyama / Knipmode 2003-12-03 and 04

The fabric is 100% cotton. Quite thin so probably best worn in spring.

4. Dress / KnipMode 2009-06-20
This is a pattern I've been wanting to try since I first layed eyes on it. It was hard to find a fabric I liked. Some time ago I actually purchased fabric with this specific dress in mind, but I'm afraid it's too thick which will ruin the effect of the draped collar. This new fabric seems more up to the job. It's a viscose (96%)/lycra(4%). This kind of fabric never let me down before. I hope that successtory continues with this dress.

Oh, and there are also plans in my head for a skirt, blouse, coat, trousers and a knit top, a.k.a. my mini-SWAP. All of them burda-patterns. More on that later. I'm trying not to bite off more than I can chew.

I'm really looking forward to read about your plans for spring/summer 2010. It's gonna be a great sewing-year don't you think? I can feel it in the air already.