chebe: (Sewing Machine)
With the chalky taste of paracetamol in the back of my throat, there's only a small make this weekend. Or should I say, smalls?

I got a book recently, Knickers!, although 'book' is a bit of an exaggeration. There's a quick intro, and then it's straight in to instructions on how to make six (although three distinct) varieties of knickers. Then in the back there are patterns you need to enlarge 200%, or you can download the fullsize patterns from a website and print them (at 70+ A4 pages). Size charts are in UK dress sizes, not measurements. But otherwise, it is beautifully to-the-point, and very clear.

I used some left-over Fushia jersey, about two metres of black stretch lace, and took on the 'Stretch Knickers' pattern. Start to finish in an hour. I'll definitely be making more.

Couple of photos )

Sewing miscellaneous

2016-Dec-05, Monday 02:16 pm
chebe: (WhoWouldHaveThought?)
No make to report this week. But the past couple of weeks I've been on an organisational binge. It started with getting the Colette Sewing Planner. It not only enabled me to collect all my projects and notes in one place (that conveniently fits in my handbag), but it also forced me to think about what it is I actually wear, and what I want to focus on.

But of course, it only lead onto other undertakings; like sorting all my patterns (upgrading to clear envelopes because I had a right pain opening up all the opaque ones when looking for the right pattern), and finally taking on sorting through my fabric stash. Every length is now measured and tagged. ... But then, I figured it would be beneficial to create my own swatch book. So I found a PDF template, customised it, and now I've sent it off to get printed on some nice card stock.

I've also ordered a bunch of needles I'm missing (like twin stretch), some nifty tools (like twin pattern wheel), and some new cases/boxes to help me tidy up my overflowing sewing box. It's a deep rabbit hole, but I think I'm close to the end. And I've rediscovered quite the collection of projects that I already have all the fabric and thread for, so hopefully I'll be able to tackle the really long list swiftly. ... Oh, ribbons and elastics! ... Tidying up, who knew it was so helpful?
chebe: (Spools of thread)
This weekend I began the journey towards trousers. I'm taking the long route, so I started with some pull-on knit shorts. Simplicity 1429, view E; long (knee-length) shorts, with acres of material. I can't quite figure out why this pattern is knit-only. Nothing stretches (except the elastic wasitband). I could have made this in a lightweight non-stretch woven and only the drape would have been affected.

Otherwise though, cute lounge shorts. There are soft pleats in the front, darts in the back, and a blind hem, of which I will only say that I need more practice. A lot more.

I also added the waistband to the wrong side, and had to unpick it. A narrow zigzag stretch stitch on a thin rayon. It took a very long time. And then, I put it back on inside out, and could not face unpicking it again. Most people don't go around inspecting each others wasitbands though, so it should be okay.

I made it in a featherweight jersey called Fushia Dakota knit, 95% rayon/5% spandex. (Which made machining the blind hem extra fun.) Comfy, light; I can see the full length trousers working well in hot weather.

Loungey )
chebe: (GirlDayDreaming)
This weekends make was Seamwork's Oslo; an oversized, slightly boxy, long cardigan. I made it in a Medium, and there is still oodles of room there. Definitely comfy.

I left off the buttons. And went with sleeve option 2 (the non roll-up kind) because when working with computers I find it easier to have my wrists accessory free. Although they are still long enough to cover the knuckles. I did have the seam ripper out for this one. It took me way too long to understand the cuff instructions. (Turn half inside-out to right side out.)

I made it in a nice polyester Ponte de Roma (quickly becoming my favourite fabric) with just a touch of spandex (4%). The colour is officially 'Petrol', which is like a darker, more blue teal? I'm pretty sure it will go with almost everything in my wardrobe.

Slouchy )
chebe: (Sewing Machine)
Seamwork's Aberdeen is a v-neck, batwing sleeve, t-shirt. The front is one piece, so no need to worry about matching patterns. The back is two pieces, and also features a v-neck, which I think is a nice touch.

I need to practice adding v-necks. There's a little bubble at the front point, and the back ones didn't quite line up. Also, because I hate hemming, I half-assed the hem with just a single turn and zig-zag stitch.

But, it's cute and comfy. I made it up in a light t-shirt weight stretch jersey. I picked up this fabric as a remnant while on holiday in Vancouver years back. The print is busy, but monochromatic, so sufficiently moody for my tastes.

Ta-da! )
chebe: (Spools of thread)
Version one were made up in the green-blue spotty fabric. I told you you'd seen the last of that fabric, and I meant it. This version is done up in a plain plum-purple, medium weight stretch jersey. Otherwise; I tweaked the pattern to widen the calves, and take out some fabric from the stomach.

These are deliciously comfortable. The lower legs fit great. This material is less stretchy than version one, so has shown that adding a bit of length to the rear would be good as well. Next time Gadget.

Couple of pictures )
chebe: (Sewing Machine)
I'm feeling a little despondent over things I have no influence over. So I'm distracting myself with blogging. Here's something I made earlier in the year.

Remember the Butterick 6031 slip sew-along? (Here's version one.) Well, I finally got around to making it up in the kit fabric and notions.

It's straight forward, easy to put together (even with the slippery fabric). The lace straps are a little fiddly, but otherwise it's a joy to make and wear.

Photos )
chebe: (Sewing Machine)
It's okay, my sewing machine and I are friends again. I had been using 'universal' bobbins, but it turns out they don't fit Janome. I bought some generic brand ones that mostly fit, just a millimetre or so off. The problem is less frequent now. But every so often I hear a clatter, as the bobbin thread comes out of the guides and loses all tension control. Now that I know, I can listen attentively, and tend to her when she acts up.

Have you seen Seamwork? I'm enjoying the monthly appearance of quick, casual patterns in my inbox. And while I'll never make all of them, learning about the techniques is interesting. One of the patterns with issue two was Manila, a pair of leggings. This, I thought, fits in with my sew-knits intention, and is an easy introduction to trousers. So I got out my spotted fabric, and had a go. (You'll be glad to know, dear readers, that this is the last of that spotted fabric! Newer colours and patterns await us both.)

Two legs, front and back pieces each. A covered elastic waistband, and some cute tulip cuffs. Add it all together and you get a garment with no hems! My absolute favourite kind! Very easy to make up (once your machine behaves). Fit-wise; I need to allow more width in the calves, and take out both width and height in the belly. But, regardless, very comfortable. Hope to make again.

Couple of pictures )
chebe: (DarkStare)
In sad news, it appears my new sewing machine and I will not be immediate bffs just yet. I am rather appalled at how it has handled stretch knit fabric and elastics.

I finally got around to making up a test of the panties to go with the Butterick 6031 slip. The last part of the sew-along is here.

The pattern is very simple and straight forward. A good fit and style. (Clearly much better than my attempt at the Kwik Sew 2100 panties.) But as this is just a test I swapped the waist stretch lace for folded-over elastic, and just hemmed the legs without any elastic.

Underwear underneath )

Another new re-beginning

2015-Jan-15, Thursday 07:56 pm
chebe: (Default)
Hello. I'm going to blame the lack of posts recently on three things. 1) Being much too busy. 2) Being overly exhausted. And 3) the fact that my phone broke again. I had become overly reliant on it, and so it took all my plans/notes and photos with it.

Well, it's a new year, so there's nothing to be done now but try and learn my lessons from the last twelve months. My number one goal is to stop doing too much. I've spent my spare time the last three-four weeks lying on the sofa, simply unable to do anything. It's not enjoyable.

I'm going to reacquaint myself with my camera, and refuse to be wooed by any future phone that comes into my life.

Otherwise; I'm determined to sew properly this year. I miss it. Making plans doesn't really work out for me, so this year I'm just going to concentrate on knits, and see where it takes me.

Selection of knit sewing patterns strewn about

Selection of knit patterns
Photo by chebe



I've been half following the posts on defining your style. At least, it has gotten me thinking about what I wear, and what I want to wear. I wear separates. I like separates. And layers, many layers. It's a combination of the climate here, and that many moving parts makes it easier to personalise, to mix-and-match for more options. Jeans, tshirts, jumpers (aka sweaters), and an ever increasing number of cardigans, make up my daily staple. And they are all knit (or stretch woven). Comfort is paramount, because no matter how beautiful a gown, if it cuts and pinches I'm never going to wear it.

Art and fashion books open on images with lines and colour palettes I find particularly appealing

Inspirational photos
Photo by chebe



And as far as colour is concerned it's black, black, and even more black. Accented with strong, deep, jewel colours (purple, blue, red, green). Although lately I'm also being drawn towards neon/flourescent shades as well. I suspect wearables/scifi/futurism is taking its toll. Which is an interesting intersection with knits, and comfort fabrics in general. I'm itching to get my hands on some of the newer high-tech (typically sports) fabrics. I do believe clothing can be comfortable and sleek.

So yeah, happy new year.
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