Sunday, 3 January 2016

Dress finish, embroidery finish, Xmas gifts, 2015 review and looking ahead to 2016

Happy New Year to all

Now that Christmas gifts are all given I can show some photos of mug rugs that were given as gifts.  I put these inside coffee mugs along with some biscuits.
 These were fun to make and I spent a lot of time making them to each persons interests.  I do like these, but have yet to make myself one.
I also finished my embroidery project.  This was an owl from the adult colouring book Enchanted Garden.  I adapted it to an embroidery design and finished it with some crazy quilting in a hexagon shape.  At the moment this is hanging on the wall of my sewing room.  Hopefully one day, more hexies will be added and I'll make a quilt out of them.  That is well off in the future though.
I made this beaded paisley a few months ago and have been waiting for the right place for it.  It seemed to belong with Mr Owl. In the top photo you can see it on the bottom left.  Here is a close up.
I finished a dress.  This has been on my wanting to do list for a long time.  It is a Kwik Sew pattern #4068.  I like pockets so I added a couple of in-seam pockets on the side.  It is a lot lower at the front than I am comfortable with, so I'll need to wear a cami under it.  If I make it again I'll want to redraft the neckline to make it at least a couple of inches higher.  Also it has elastic on the sleeves to create a gathered effect, which is OK, however I'd probably not bother with that again as I think ordinary sleeves would be fine.
 I was very happy with how the skirt was gathered.  I used the technique shown here.  In brief I used the same settings given in the tutorial,  using 4 threads on overlocker,  left needle tension at 9, right needle tension at 7 and differential feed set at 2.  It worked a treat and so much easier than pulling up gathering threads sewn on a sewing machine.  If you use this technique just remember to mark your gathering fabric before overlocking, and mark the fabric the gathers are to attach to at the same points.  I marked at each quarter of the garment on both the skirt and the bodice, then all I had to do was match the markings and gently pull the gathers to match the bodice.

Rather than using a normal zipper I used an invisible zip.  As you can see it wasn't quite perfect as some of the zipper can be seen where the bodice and skirt meet.
You may notice this is the first time I've modelled my garments.  It finally clicked in my brain that the camera on my tablet has a time delay so I can set it up on a table, put the timer on, and on selfie mode and have time to pose before the photo clicks.  From now on, expect to see more of me (not necessarily a good thing!).
Now is a good time to reflect on how far I've come in 2015.   I've learned to sew invisible zippers, patch pocket, in seam pockets, rouleau loops, collars, lining, sewed buttonholes and buttons with the sewing machine and learned to use an overlocker.  For 2015 I've completed 30 garments, a chart is on my 2015 finishes page showing types of garments and pattern company.
Looking ahead to 2016 I still have a lot to learn.  I'm wary of setting goals, as this is my hobby so I should enjoy it and not feel as if I have to do something just because I set a target.  However, having said that this year I would like to;
  1. Consider what is needed in my wardrobe and try to pick things that will work, both in terms of fabric and design.  I made a lovely lavender coloured linen jacket, but lavender doesn't go with anything so I've never worn it.  I want to avoid more of these errors.  Maybe concentrate on blues and reds as I seem to gravitate towards these colours.
  2. My winter wardrobe is getting tired, my trackpants and sweatshirts could do with replacing, so come winter that is what I need.
  3. Experiment with more BurdaStyle patterns for 'something different'.
  4. Find a trouser pattern for a TNT and make some trousers.  So far, apart from Culottes, I 've not had any luck with finding a trouser pattern that suits or fits.   I'm hoping StyleArc's giveaway Barbs pants will be the one.
  5. Try to fabric shop only for specific patterns.  However no shame in failing this if fabric is at bargain prices. 
  6. Post reviews on Pattern Review.  I love reading other peoples reviews, seeing how they found the pattern and what fabric they used, so time to start giving back.
  7. I've used this blog as a means of recording what I've done for myself.  I need to try and include more information so others can enjoy reading it.  Again time to give back, as I enjoy reading other folks blogs.

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