Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Skirt finished

Burda 2010-09 / 106B

Phewww...that was a lot of handsewing. But it was worth every stitch. I'm really pleased with this skirt.
In the picture I combined the skirt with my 'Vincent'-top, ánd my new boots.
It's just a pity that the picture won't show the details. And believe me, I took a zillion pictures of me wearing it. Trying different light, flashlight - no flashlight, but it just wouldn't work. A close-up of a flat skirt however will do the trick (colour is a bit washed-out, due to my camera not doing what I want it to do):

And an even closer close-up:

And this is me, posing as a real model, LOL. (Makes the skirt look a bit awkward though....):

The inside is not really interesting but just to show you that I lined the skirt completely:

This was the last of  4 (!) posts about this skirt. So that will do.
Time to look foward.

I already mentioned I'm thinking of making a knit-dress next. I have three great knit-fabrics, especially bought for dresses so I'd better get this party started.


Blogger is really doing my head in. If I upload 1 picture, I can only upload the next if I first close my account and then reopen it. And so on..
Does anyone of you have (had) the same experience, and were you able to do something about it? I'd love to hear because this is utterly annoying.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Slow sewing and learning to love it

Just as I predicted, it has been a busy week with no time or desire to blog or sew. But today I have the day off and, even better, the coming week I'm free from work also! That means no more excuses to not work on the skirt.

I'm sewing this skirt really one step at a time and I'm beginning to love working that way. Most of the time I'm in a hurry to finish so I can start something new. Now I feel like I'm putting my time and love in this project just to get it as perfect in the end as possible.
Another thing is that I'm thinking more about the process. How to solve problems and how to do things. How I want it to be and what I'd like to change to get there.
And I must say that all your blogs have been the reason why I've started thinking about sewing like this lately. There's so much love for fabric, patterns and the process of sewing out there. It's just such a big, big inspiration. Thanks!

I guess you now want to know where I stand with my skirt, right? Then take a look at this:

(Don't let the machinestitches fool you. I did not take the easy way out. I wouldn't dare!)

I'm at the point where the fun starts: sewing on the embroidery. I had to decide how big I wanted the stitches to be and how far apart from each other.  And think of a way to make sure that all the stitches were of the same length.
And this is the solution:  I used a big stitch on my machine to use as a guideline. I tried out some different lengths and found one I liked. The dark lines are done with a marker. At the top on the right is the version I like best. On the bottom you see the what it's gonna like like afther the white stitches are removed. The length of the white stitches is 4 mm. The grey stitches will have the length of 2 white stitches, then skip one white stitch, and so on. They will be placed as close to the white stitches as possible.

I used the same stitch-length (obviously....duh!) to sew around hems and slits, 2,5 cm from the edge. The 'point' of the stitches sits also 2,5 cm above the top of the slit.  Et voila, my guideline is finished and now I can easily sew the real stitches.

I hemmed the skirt invisible, by hand. I think I've done miles and miles of hemming this way in my life.

This is how I handled the corners at the slits. I'm sure there's a way to do this more couture-like but there will be a lot of coverage from the lining so this will be just fine.
The diagonal and vertical seam is also handsewn but you can't see the stitches.

I have serious doubts about the lining I have bought for this. The fabric of the skirt has quite some stretch and it does really stretch when you put it on. So it's probably better to choose a lining with stretch as well.

So, all in all there's not very much progression, but I should have more time now to work on it. And I will. Step-by-step, with a lot of love..  And after this:  a knit dress! Yummie!!

Have a very nice weekend everyone! It's gonna be genuine fall-weather over here, so time to curl up on the sofa under a warm blanket!


Friday, October 15, 2010

Progress on the skirt

Today I worked a bit more on my skirt. It's coming along nicely.
But before I tell you about the progress, I'd like to answer Gail's question on my previous post. She asked:

Are there no side seams - hence the zip in the back panel?
A: Thanks for your comment, Gail. No, there are no sideseams. The skirt has only 4 vertical seams and those are the ones you see in the front and the back. The fabric goes around the hip in one piece, so to speak. This means that the zipper has to be placed off-centre.

Of course I made a few obligatory mistakes and some things just didn't work right away. The zipper for example. I'm practising at the moment to sew an invisible zipper but I've only just started so it's not working perfectly. And untill the day it will be, I'm sticking to what I know: an ordinary, good-old-fashioned zipper. It's always a challenge to make it look right. But after two attempts, it's up to my standards and I'm very pleased with it.

The fact that the zipper is at an 'odd' place means it's gonna attract more attention than when it's put in the centre- or sideseam. That's why I was a bit nervous about the outcome. But there was no need to worry. I can see that now.

This is the backside of the skirt. Apart from the zipper on the left side, it's the same as the front. EXACTLY the same, because the patternpieces for the front are also used for the back. You could wear this skirt with the zipper in the front, it wouldn't have any effect on the fit.

I'm pretty chuffed with this perfect seam-matching:

Now I'm gonna focus on the 4 slits. They are of course what this skirt is all about. I'm gonna follow the instruction to put some embellishment around the seam and bought some embroidery yarn, in a colour as close to the colour of the skirt as possible. I want it to be a subtle detail.


So what's next on this skirt's worklist?:
  1. Fold the seamallowance and baste it into place.
  2. Decide how deep I want the slits to be and reinforce the seams at the top of the slits.
  3. Baste around the seam and slits.
  4. Unpick the closed slits
  5. Sew the seamallowances in place. This has to be done invisible, I don't want any stitches clashing with my embroidery of course.
  6. Embroider exactly 2,5 or 3 cm (?? haven't decided yet) along the seams and slits, just like it's done on the model
  7. Prepare the lining. (I want a complete lining for this skirt)
  8. Sew the lining to the topside of the skirt and fold it inwards.
  9. Hem the lining all around and handstitch to the seamallowances of the skirt.
  10. A final pressing....and DONE !

I'm well on my way with this one and I hope I can bring it to the finish. What seemed like a rather simple skirt turns out to be quite a handfull....

Speaking of handfulls: 

Let's just say, he approved of the skirt   (.......)

Have a nice weekend y'all!!


Monday, October 11, 2010

Dear skirt, don't make me hate you!

Finally, this evening, I had some time to start on my skirt. After 1,5 week of very long and exhausting workdays, I was completely ready for some relaxing sewingtime.
The fabric was cut out yesterday so I could start with sewing right away. Here's a little reminder. I'm making version B:

Burda 2010-09 / 106


It took me about half an hour to get my serger threaded. It just wouldn't work and my fingers were quite stiff today which didn't help either. Then, no matter how I changed the tension on the different threads, the serged side kept pulling, making it about 1,5 cm shorter than it should be. After an hour  I had only serged the side of one little piece and was far from happy with it. Aarrrgghhh.....
I decided to turn my back on the serger and check out how my sewingmachine behaved with this fabric. (A grey gabardine with a little stretch). No problem there. So I sewed some pieces together, just to make some progress and ironed the seams flat. That looked quite ok and promising. And that's the one and only reason I'm gonna pick up tomorrow where I left today.

I'm still thinking about how I want the lining sewed in. The original pattern calls for a shorter inside with the hem just above the slits, but I want to line the skirt completely. This requires a lot of handsewing around the slits, but that's something I'm not worried about.

Anyway, I'm gonna tackle this skirt, one tiny step at a time and put in all the effort it takes to finish this in a satisfying way.

And if I want to take a break from sewing I can always spend my time watching this:

Signé Chanel (dvd)

It's from the library so it has to leave my house again at some point. But I'm really enjoying it for the time being. It contains the five episodes: 1. Expectation / 2. Doubts / 3. Rituals / 4. Sleepless nights / 5. The collection. An amazing and wonderful insight in the making of the 2004 fall/winter collection. Eye-candy, from finish to start and a big inspiration for everyone who loves to sew.

That's all for now. I hope there will be some positive progress on the skirt soon so I can show you some pics. And there will be some pictures of new fabric as well. Just because you don't have time to sew, that doesn't mean you can't buy fabric. Right?


Friday, October 1, 2010

KnipMode 2010-02 / 19 Top finished.

I finished this top today and couldn't wait to show it to you. I'm so happy with it. It's the second time I used this pattern. The first top I made is a winner in my wardrobe. And now it has a twin!!  And there is still room for triplets, if you know what I mean, so who can tell what the future will bring.
The fabric is gorgeous. It's one of my Antwerp-purchases (the 'Vincent-fabric', remember?). It feels as soft as melted butter and has a lovely draping-quality. I just lóve working with jersey.

This top is very easy to make and it's a real quick project. That it took me a whole week to make has other reasons, like long days at the office and working at home in the evening till late. When I got up this morning I felt like a wreck and could have stayed in bed the whole day easily, but I chose not to and finished this project. And I'm glad I did. It really gave me back some of my energy.

I'm wearing my favourite piece of jewelry in the picture:  "Johnny Walker". Yeah, that's his name.

Isn't he just adorable? He comes with me almost every time I'm wearing something with a V-shaped neckline.

My next project could be this skirt. It's Burda 2010-09 / 106

I'ts been a while since I worked with a Burda-pattern and I'm looking forward to it.
I'll be making it in a grey gabardine and I'm going for the longer (B) version. It will make a great pair with my new top ánd my new black boots. I hope I'll have something to show you soon but I'm afraid the coming week won't be any better than the past one. Ah well, Que Sera, Sera.....

And now for something very, very unimportant....a.k.a. a parting shot:
These two clouds remind me of 2 cones of strawberry icecream, or in other words: of summer, though they are definitely telling us that fall is knocking on our door.

Have a great weekend everyone!


OH MY GOODNESS!!!! I know I live not far from a military airport and I do have experience with cargo planes and fighters crossing the sky above me but just moments ago a big cargo plane (or I think it was) flew SICKENING LOW over my house. I had my camera next to my laptop so I grabbed it and ran outside to take pictures. But they don't even begin to show how low it really was. Damn! I'm still shaking. 

(Ok....I'm cooled down a bit now......I guess this 'monster' has to take wing also, so I'm keeping my camera close at hand, just in case)

Anyways my sewing-friends, I'm wishing you all a great weekend!!