Sunday, 31 December 2017

Last 2 dresses for 2017, Year in Review and Aspirations for 2018

I have 2 more dresses to share.  The first is the Anna dress from By Hand  London.

This was my Christmas Day dress this year.  I love the skirt. 

The second dress is Itch to Stitch's Anza dress.

The By Hand London dress is made of rayon from SmartDress fabrics.  I love the fabric, I don't think I've ever had an almost totally white dress before.  It feels lovely and light for summer.
The changes I made to the pattern were to lengthen the skirt by 3".  When I was trying it on for fit I pulled the tab off the zipper.  Even though the zip was pinned in I couldn't unpin it so ended up wriggling out of it.  This led me to realise I didn't need a zip to get in and out of it, so instead I made a button loop closure at the top.
Although I'm happy with it, I'm not sure I'll make it again.  I love the skirt, but not so much the bodice.  I may see if I can mash the skirt with a bodice from another pattern.

The other dress, Anza, is also from Rayon from Spotlight.  It is one of the Gertie range and is a lovely fabric.   Changes I made to the pattern were my usual bodice changes  added 1" to the length and lowered and shortened the bust dart by 1".  I lengthened the skirt by 3 1/2 inches.  The only thing I didn't like about making this was inserting the elastic and a drawstring into the casing.  It was such a tight fit that it took an hour to get the elastic in, then another hour for the drawstring.  Although I have a device for inserting elastic, it was too wide so I had to use my smallest safety pin on the end of the elastic/drawstring to pull it through.  When I was pulling the elastic through the safety pin opened up  when I was nearly all the way around and I couldn't move it backwards or forwards as the open end caught on the fabric, so I ended up having to open up some of the stitching on the casing.  Next time I'll try slightly widening the casing.

2017 review
36 garments completed
16 tops
9 dresses
4 pants
2 jeans
2 jackets
2 cardigans
1 skirt
Total spent on fabric 525.67
average per garment 14.5
Patterns by
15 BurdaStyle
7 Itch to Stitch
4 style Arc
3 Love Notions
2 Jalie
1 Colette
1 Vogue
1 Simplicity
1 Chalk and Notch
1 By Hand London

Did I achieve my targets?  Last year I posted that in 2017 I wanted to:
So what lies ahead for 2017?
As mentioned earlier,  I want to make a quilt this year.  This means there will be less time for dressmaking, but I'm still hoping to make around 3 items a month.  

I have again joined the Burda Challenge for 2017 run on Pattern Review.  You set your own challenge.  For me this it to make 12 garments from magazines that haven't previously had any items made.  To the end of 2016 magazines I own, but haven't made anything from are 2/2015 and April, August, September and October 2016.  Of course there will be all the 2017 issues to come.  I also need to keep in mind to keep my wardrobe casual, now I am not working there is very little need for a dressy wardrobe.  I also want to only buy fabric when I have something specific to make with it and use up some of my stash.  Of course sales and hospice bargains will derail this plan!

I want to continue my machine embroidery growth and try new things.  

Quilt - WIP.  I got sidetracked in the second half of the year.
Aimed to make 3 garments a month.  I made 36 this year, so right on target.
Burda Challenge.  Failed miserably.  Although I made 15 BurdaStyle garments, only 5 were from magazines I hadn't previously used.   I struggled to find things I wanted to make from this years magazines and decided not to renew my subscription when it expired in October.
I wanted to keep my wardrobe casual.  I think, for the most part, I achieved this.
Only buy fabric when something specific.  Well, sort of.  I do think I've become more discerning with what I buy and not just buying because it is on sale.
Continue machine embroidery growth.  I've definitely done that - and really enjoyed it.

2018 Aspirations
This year
Finish my daffodil quilt
I'd like another pair of jeans - in light denim
Another denim jacket - this time in light denim
Make leggings, and get more into tunic type tops that I can wear with leggings.
I really want to try bra making, reading lots of tutorials at the moment
Possibly an anorak - possible the Closet Case Kelly.  

Happy crafting 2018

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Xmas gift giving for 2017

Xmas gifts are given out, so now I can share them here.  This year just about all my gifts were me-made.

A bath robe made out of flanelette for my mother.   I also made another one for my fathers cousin out of velvet, as well as a pair of slippers, but seem to have forgotten to take a photo.

2 Itch to Stitch Bonn shirts for my mother.  First is made from cotton, the other is cotton lawn.

For the kids in the family.  Bookmarks

And reading pillows.  The monkey bookmark goes with the monkey reading pillow.  To go with the reading pillow I gave the book "no More Monkeys jumping on the bed"

Another reading pillow, given with the Kiwi bookmark and The Secret Garden book.

For friends and family, eyeglass or sunglass cases.

Sleep masks for my mother and my fathers cousin.  This is the velvet that was also made into a bathrobe and slippers.

 I made this swirly placemat but then decided to keep it for myself!  So a Xmas gift to myself.

Tea towels embroidered for myself and family.

Hand sanitiser holders for friends.  I put bottles of hand sanitisers in each one, after all you can't give an empty present.

And lip balm holders, with lip balm inserted into each.  Those FSL ornies I kept for myself.

I also made some oven gloves but can't find a photo of them.  I made myself some, so I"ll take a photo and update this post later.

Monday, 18 December 2017

Top (or is it bottom) 5 misses of 2017

I'm glad to say it was a lot harder to come up with 5 misses than it was 5 hits.

Number 1 is a T shirt top from Burda Style magazine.  It is meant to be close fitting, but for some reason it ended up absolutely huge on me.  Only use is as a jacket or cover up.  I really have no idea why this was such an epic fail.

Number 2 is a what was I thinking when I bought that fabric?  When I first started sewing, if fabric was cheap, I bought it, and bright bright colours really appeal to me when I am shopping.  However a bit of bright is good, but crazy bright I don't feel comfortable in.  This is crazy bright and was on sale.  I like to think this year I am being more discriminating when buying fabric.  After all, if you are not going to wear a garment made from it, it is not really a saving now is it.

As well as the horrible fabric, the pattern, another Burda Style is horrible as well.  I sized down, but it still looks like a tent on me.  Photo doesn't look too bad as it is cinched in with a belt, but trust me this is YUK.

Number 3, 4 and 5, tied equal are also there because of the fabric choice.  Again, these were on sale.  The pattern itself isn't too bad, but these are polyester summer dresses.  Polyester just isn't comfortable in the summer.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Top 5 hits of 2017

So on Sewcialist they are doing a top 5 hits and top 5 misses of 2017 blog tour.  This got me thinking, what were my top 5.  How do I categorise top 5 - what gets the most wear, or what was my biggest accomplishment.  So looking back over the year, here are my top 5 hits.

First, has to be my Jalie Womens Stretch Jeans 2908, with the pattern hacked to straight leg rather than bootleg.  I first made the bootleg and wore them a lot, but once I had the straight leg made I wore them ALL THE TIME.  For someone who has never worn jeans because RTW just doesn't fit my small waist/big hips this is a major lifestyle change.  Yes, these jeans have changed my life!

Second is the Style Arc Stacie jean jacket, embroidered with designs from Urban Threads.

This has to be my second most worn make of the year, even though I only made it in October and December has been too hot to wear it.
Love it, only problem is there are no pockets and it is meant to be snug fitting, meaning no jumpers under it.  So 2018 will be a new denim jacket - the Style Arc Stevie jean jacket is a looser fit and with pockets.

Third is my discovery of Itch to Stitch patterns, in particular their Bonn shirt, Lisbon Cardigan and Vientiane skirt.  At number 3 is the Vientiane skirt.  Once December arrived it was too hot for jeans, so this skirt has been worn heaps.

Number 4 instead of a single garment I'm going to give the position to a pattern.  This is the Itch to Stitch Bonn shirt.  There are many variations possible, different sleeve lengths, dress length.  So far for myself I've made 2 Bonn shirts (one flannel with long sleeves, one poplin with flared sleeves).  I'm also working on 2 shirts for my mother for Christmas.  A grand total of 4 shirts after only getting the pattern in September.

5th place is going to be a tie between Love Notions Laundry Day T and Itch to stitch Lisbon cardigan.  I see both of these as being TNT patterns with lots more to come.
I've so far made 3 Laundry Day T's

And 2 Lisbons

And as a side, I just have to mention this gorgeous Love Bear by Sweet Pea machine embroidery.  Too cute.

So, yes I can count and I know that is more than 5 hits, but hey,it's my blog and I can do what I want!

Monday, 11 December 2017

Xmas Machine embroidery and Itch to Stitch Sirena dress

I don't have much in the way of Christmas decorations and what I do have is pretty old and sad looking.  Now I am into machine embroidery there are so many wonderful things to make so over the last couple of weeks my machine has been running hot.
Crazy patchwork Xmas stocking. Design by Kreative Kiwi.
Wallhanging with fairly lights.  Santa design by Amazing Designs.  I added my own wording in software and added extra eyelets for more lights.

 I made this last year.  Gingerbread cottage by Urban Threads.  It has a battery operated tea light inside it.
tree decorated with FSL ornaments from various designers. The 3d Angel at the top is by Stitch Delight.

I also completed another summer dress.  This time the Sirena dress from Itch to Stitch.

I altered the sleeves as the pattern has quite long sleeves and a flared option.  As I want this for summer, the shorter sleeves are better.  Other changes I made were:
  • Lengthened the bodice by 1"
  • Lengthened the skirt by 1  1/2"
  • Lowered bust dart apex by 1"
  • Removed the front centre seam on the front bodice and front skirt and cut on the fold.
The skirt is still a bit short for my liking, so next time I will lengthen by another 2"

The neckline is bound by bias binding.  The instructions don't say how wide this should be.  I made my own from some pale yellow poplin in my stash and made it 1 1/2" wide which seemed to be the right width for this.  This dress only used up about 1.9m of 140cm width fabric so is quite economical.  I should have enough of this fabric left over to make another vientiane skirt.  In total it took me around 9 1/2 hours to make.