Monday, December 31, 2012

All the things I'd like to sew

I thought about doing a recap of all the things I've sewn this year - but 2012 is past, and anyway it's been done!

I'd rather make a list of all the things I'd like to sew in 2013.  This list will change - if there is anything that I'm not good at, it's sticking to a list of "to sew".

Sewing for my daughter:

I need to sew her some warmer items for the winter... my mom got her some DARLING denim with hot pink butterflies  - I would like to make her a skirt or jumper from that.  I was wondering if I couldn't find some dear little legwarmers to wear under her skirts.

I usually sew up an Easter dress or something of the like. 

Oh!  I owe her a nightgown.  Flannel with owls.  :)

There's the Chanel-inspired jacket in wool that I'm meaning to make for her, although honestly I'm not in a super rush to do that.  She's 9.  We live in SoCal.  She has a sweater for this year...

Sewing for my husband:

I'd really love to make DH some button-downs.  He's tall and sourcing shirts is difficult and expensive. 

I'd LOVE to make him a duster.  This may be a end-of-2013 aspiration. 

Sewing for my son:

?  I may have to try pants.  I would rather not.  He's 12.  He's growing.  Is there a point?  Perhaps I'll sew a cushion for his very spoilt cat.  :)

Sewing for myself:

Oh gracious!  The list!!!

Well, I've cut the wool for my red suit a la Gertie - so that's going to be the first thing on the list.  Not only is this going to be fun to own, I am looking forward to the learning process.  And the suit leads us to the ...

Overcoat!  I've had the overcoat fabric for years now and I'd like to sew it before the cold and rain leaves for the year.

A quick flannel petticoat to keep me warm in my new outside sewing digs.

Pretty dresses!  I didn't sew many pretty dresses this last year - I have some cute blue polkadot fabric waiting to be sewn up and I saw some wonderful rainbow seersucker plaid (say that three times fast!) at Joanne's yesterday while I was out buying thread. 

I still have some lovely silk to be sewn up into a new nightie.  Mom got me a silk nightie for my birthday, but the original silk nightie made by moi is getting rather beaten up and brownish.  I did find out today that the trick where you cut silk sandwiched between layers of tissue paper works - and works really well.

I got Gertie's book for better sewing - and I'd like to sew up about half of it.  The turquoise jumper dress.  The portrait blouse.  Blouses!  Gracious I need to sew up blouses.  I'm doing okay in the skirt department, but my shirt department requires some serious attention. 

I've been wanting to sew up a vest.

And lingerie.  Of course.  I wouldn't mind trying a corset.

This blog post makes me remember why my mantra for 2013 is "Just Do It"... and why I spend so much time flogging myself for being a lazypants.  My fingers have a terrible time keeping up with my brain.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Tipping Point

I've been working to take my own advice (and the advice of every fashion book I own) about building a basic wardrobe that is flexible and works together.

The before-Christmas shopping I did finally seems to have tipped that scale, because I've had something to wear that is cute nearly every day.  

It was just a little shop - I bought a stack of utility infielders (basic colored tank tops) and a couple of sweaters in the greens I wear all the time.  But put those together with the items already in the closet, and suddenly I have outfits galore.  The greens just pick up the greens in my shamrock skirt, the ivory is the same ivory as half of my wardrobe - a good monochromatic look is a must. 

The blue skirt that I made at our last entry goes with ... well, it goes with everything.  It has an oddly Edwardian vibe to it, with the slightly wider waist and slimmer silhouette, so I paired it with my seldom-used white blouse (Folkwear 210) for Christmas Eve at my folks' house.  A bit somber for my taste, but I knew my dad would love it  - and he did. 

My wardrobe is still extremely basic, and I am still building it and finding out what really works for me and what ends up being a bit regrettable - this is absolutely a process, and a process made much slower by the sewing. 

I want to be honest with you - and share the good along with the bad.  This is the good.  When you get to a certain point, building basics and building them, a few garments can take you from "meh" to "oh, what shall I wear today?"  Of course as I process through, some of my other garments are shown up as things I don't wear very much or that don't quite please me (for instance, my white blouse is a bit big and more than a bit stodgy).  We go onward.  Onward!

But that's the fun of life, isn't it?  Going onward towards positive change?

Christmas is over... and it's time to get my sewing and blogging mojo back in gear. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Just another skirt

I know I make a lot of this skirt.  It's easy.  It looks good on me.  It's basic. 

Everyone should be so lucky, to have such a pattern.  (Or five!)

I narrowed the panels because I had a fabric problem.  I put on a wide waistband to see how it would look (my husband isn't enamored).  It's very comfortable, will go with pretty much everything - including all the jade green I have in my wardrobe right now.

So, since I showed you the insides the other day, here is the outside!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Hong Kong Seam Finish

Pretty on the inside? 

I'm forever seeing this technique used in sewing blogs, and it always looks *amazing*.  So matchy!  So cute!  So tidy!

I didn't want the bulk of french seams, I didn't want to topstitch the cord, I did want to do a nice seam finish.  Hong Kong finish it is... (which is just sewing bias tape on all your seams).

My first couple of seams were kinda wonky - well, my ability to sew bias trim is always iffy.  I should make a couple dozen aprons or something to really nail it.  After that it went pretty well, but I used my odd bits of bias trim and I kept running out.  (To be fair, each seam is about a yard long).

I ended up with rainbow insides!  I used every bright color I had in my arsenal - I'll keep the baby pink for something else. 

Now, how do you cover up the interfacing at the zipper?  Uncute.... :P  But required.  You have to interface your zipper.   I don't care what your pattern says.  Interface the zipper.  (This is the inside of my skirt, if we're not totally clear on that.  Not the outside!!)

I had to take in the waist a bit so it's not done enough to show you, but this is my tried-n-true A-line skirt.  I made the panels a bit slimmer because of some issues with the cord after I'd gotten it home and washed it. 

Anyway.  Hong Kong finish?  It looks great.  It's simple.  But I used a TON of bias tape and it took a ton longer than it would have to do french seams or topstitching or just pinking and zigzagging the edge.  Not going to be a favorite in my arsenal, but this was a good time to learn a new technique and find out how it worked.  (Frankly, if I'd done one of those things, my skirt would be done right now, redoing the waistband or not).

I'm always glad to learn something new... and hey!  My skirt is pretty on the inside.  :)