Sewing along…

And we’re off and racing… the sew-along began about 48 hours ago and I’ve finally sat down long enough to cut out my pattern and complete step one. And believe it or not I learnt a new technique!!! Now that’s something I love about the internet and sew-alongs and Google and I’m so excited about it that I had to write a new post.

In Lauren’s sew-along we had to “trim, grade and top-stitch” a seam and I thought “huh? how do we ‘grade’?” Thank goodness for Google coz I searched up a tutorial on that and wow, my seam is beautifully flat. I love wow moments like those and I wonder what I used to do in the past? LOL Here’s the link if anyone else is interested. Honestly made my day! :)

So here’s what I’ve done so far:

The wrong side of the front panel (with pocket unfolded at this stage)

The finished front panel with the pocket completed

The fabric I had was bamboo and it’s a lot plainer than I would normally sew but I’m trying to sew a practical wardrobe of mix and match clothing and I’m actually loving the simplicity of it all so far.

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Upcoming sew-along

I’m really excited about the Thurlow pants “sew-along” that Lauren from Lladybird is hosting and I wonder if anyone else is also joining in the fun… ? Anyone? It starts tomorrow and i’m already sitting here with my scissors in hand waiting for the email! LOL :)

Recycle, recycle…

Here in Perth, our local councils are huge on recycling and we have a local tip (dump, i think you call it in America) where people go with trailers full of unwanted things and rubbish or garden waste. As you drive in there is a recycling unit where they remove any items that could be sold (in order to save the landfill). Today my husband picked up a huge roll of fabric that will be perfect for muslins and he only paid $10 for it!! I’m quite excited and have even cut some off and stuck it through the washing machine to make an actual pair of shorts. The fabric feels like a cotton of some sort but looks a bit coarser, more like linen but isn’t as crinkly as linen. It’s light blue so i think I’ll trial a pair of shorts and see how it goes.

This roll is HUGE! It’s 150cm wide (5′) and weighs a tonne so I’m over the moon that I can save money here, even if it’s only with muslins. I’d say it’s a medium weight fabric so let’s hope it washes well, even though for muslins i wouldn’t normally wash the fabric. I love the recycle unit at our local tip and it always amazes me what people throw out. I wonder what I will find next week!

I’m waiting for some patterns to arrive in the mail before I can carry on with more sewing but this morning I sewed for a friend whose husband had to have his leg amputated 9 months ago (above the knee) and he needed some exercise pants modified. The one pants leg needed to be cut off, hemmed and have elastic fitted so that his “peg” could poke through the bottom and attach to a titanium leg. All up a very easy job and it’s times like this when I love having a skill that can help others too.

The finished Couture Dress

Finally!

There’s not much to say about the dress at this point except that I’d like to point out that this was completed BEFORE I joined the RTW Fast Challenge so this garment doesn’t get to sit in the same closet space as the rest of the stuff. Oh, alright, it can share the closet space but it won’t tally with all the others that I’m sewing for the year. I’m so glad it’s finished and am really proud of the fact that I perservered even though there were moments of frustration. The hand stitching wasn’t as scary as I had imagined and the hand-picked zipper (who’d have thought people still did it by hand these days… AND got amazing results!! LOL) was a breeze to fit. I’m glad I redid it with matching pink thread rather than the cream i had initially used.

Anyway, here are the pics (I think if you click on them, they can be enlarged):

Tadaaaaa!

Rear view.

Even Charlotte, the nosey cat from next door, was interested in inspecting my new dress!

The silk lining…

The hand-picked zipper. Take not of the pattern matching too! :)

I’ll be wearing this dress to the Melbourne Cup (national horse race in Australia) lunch with friends early next month… I must start working on my tan! :)

Tadaaaaa!

Yay, I’m free of the drain (and bottle attached to it!) I happened to be wearing this new t-shirt today as it’s really comfortable and fits me well. This is my first creation since I started the challenge: A basic t-shirt. I found the pattern inside an old Bernina booklet that I bought for $2 at the local sewing machine store last week and I made a few modifications. I added 16cm (just over 6″) to the length and I love the tailored look due to the darts at the back. Notice it also has elastic in the sleeves but I feel like it should have had a bit more puffiness but all up I’m happy with the outcome. Looking forward to making something a bit more challenging soon but then again, we all need practical t-shirts too, don’t we, so I will probably whip up a few more down the track. Lucky for me, we’re heading into summer here Down Under.

Basic (although tailored) T-shirt. Fuschia pink and white snake-style print…

Number 1

Side view. There is a bust dart and you can also see the elastic gathered sleeve.


I love the fit of the rear. Those darts give it a nice tailored look that I think is classier than an ordinary t-shirt. The waist line is at the correct level and all because I made it myself!!

One of my pet hates is seeing mannequins in store windows wearing clothing that seemingly look amazing because they are so tailored and very flattering to her figure… that is until you walk into the store and see that they’ve pulled the garment back and fastened it with huge unsightly pegs. **sigh** Am I the only one who doesn’t even want to try on a garment anymore after seeing that??

Still no photos but lots of thoughts and questions instead…

I am so excited to be doing this RTW Fasting challenge and my mind keeps thinking of all the things I want to make. I NEED to find a job that will give me more shifts than one 5 hour shift a week and for this I will need job interview clothing so they are on my priority list. I keep looking at the pattern sites and would love to sort myself out and have a better method of saving all my “wish list” items. I see people use Pinterest but have been warned by a computer geek that it is a very unsafe thing to do (by opening a Pinterest account) I can’t remember the reasons for this but when he explained it to me it all made sense. Has anyone else got any thoughts on this?

I have never used Flickr and again would love to learn the benefits of using this… is it mainly for displaying photos of my own??

I see so many clothes online that I’m sure I’d be able to draft the patterns of myself. Earlier in the year I dabbled in drafting my own bodice block and skirt block and found that I was quite successful with it. I even created an excel spreadsheet where I entered my measurements and it automatically calculated the lengths of each line I had to draw. If anyone is interested I would be happy to share my findings and even send the excel spreadsheet out other people to test out.

Another topic I am interested in sharing is how to “pad up” your adjustable dressmaker’s dummy so that it is a true replica of yourself. Currently the upper body of my dummy is very close to my own shape and size but the poor girl hasn’t got a butt to save her life and I’m going to attempt to get her looking more and more like me and then making a simple lycra cover to slip over the top to hide all the padding. Sound OK? I think so, in theory anyway!

My drain is supposedly coming out in a couple of hours and I can’t wait to photograph myself wearing my new clothes and posting them here. The couture dress is finally finished and I’m hoping that my body hasn’t changed over the past few weeks with my surgery! Ha ha, imagine if it has and then all those hours and hours of work go down the drain! Fingers crossed it will all be good.

OK, I had better get dressed and ready for the doctor.

PS: I made a T-shirt over the weekend (with added length, of course!) that I will also be able to show you once I’m photographable!! More soon…

It’s a new day…

And today is a special day. I’ve decided to take up the challenge of NOT buying Ready To Wear clothing from stores (or the internet) and instead I am going to sew them all FOR THE NEXT TWELVE MONTHS!

And to start it off, I have sewn up the muslin for my Thurlow Shorts and I’m happy with the fit, although I am unable to have any photos taken until next week when my drain is removed (not a pretty sight, believe me!). And I’m not prepared to keep my muslin until then because I need to unpick it to use the pieces as the perfect pattern for me. I made minor alterations, mainly taking in the waist via the darts and the centre back and there was a certain point sticking out half way down the centre back seam that I needed to flatten out too. I also learnt that these shorts do not behave when you wear a G-string so I had to change my underwear to stop my butt gobbling up my new shorts… All good, problem easily solved! The Sew-along starts sometime next week so I’ll need to put the completed pattern aside and maybe make something else in the mean time. But what will I make? I have a mountain of fabric and patterns that I will go through and hopefully come up with something soon. It’s a good thing I’m totally housebound until next week Monday because I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say that it’s so easy to wander down to the fabric store and buy some MORE gorgeous fabric (like we really need to do that!). So let’s see what I can come up with. Bye for now.