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Friday, April 29, 2011

Sewer's Supplies #1

Since I've been reading blogs about sewing, I've learned not only about techniques, but also about all those things that make the sewing process easier. The sew-and-blog community shares not only it's latest creations but also favourite supplies, notions, brands and other sewing aides. Yes, pincushions are worth blogging about! So let me tell you about mine. Until recently I had only one pincushion (one! how shabby!), but I never saw the need for more. We have very limited space anyway, so I have to keep my sewing stuff at a minimum. Let me introduce to you my first and favourite pincushion!

Isn't it cute? Wait till you hear the story behind it: my ex boyfriend sewed this for me, with help from his mother. How sweet is that? We were together only for a short time but we're still friends, so I don't mind being reminded of him by this cushion. I've had it for six years now, and it has always been sufficient. But apparently, if I may believe my fellow bloggers, one can never have too many pincushions.
Especially when they're pretty to look at. You'll see what I mean at The Sew Weekly's 30 Day Pincushion Giveaway. What I did need was a small pincushion that I could keep close by when sewing. The less movements you need to make when trying to sew a straight line, the more accurate you can be.
So when I found out about wrist pincushions, I had to have one! All you need is some fabric scraps, elastic band and fluff. Now I can keep my fabric straight with my left hand while taking out pins with my right, all in one smooth move!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Never ending project - finished!

Bring on the cold and snow, my knitted sweater is finished! I started knitting on november 5th, and finally finished this week. I'm not a very fast knitter, and I also don't see knitting as a very useful activity. I usually only knit when I'm watching some series. This sweater was knit during five seasons of Star Trek DS9 :). There won't be much opportunity to wear it now (I'm wearing a summer dress underneath), but we'll be spending this autumn in Norway, so it'll certainly come in handy!

It's a kimono sleeve pullover, knit in only two identical pieces, back and front. I'ts a very simple T-shape as you can see. I got it from Ravelry, a pattern (written in French!) that I adjusted according to another knitters directions. I narrowed and lengthened the bodice, shortened the sleeves somewhat, and left out the collar.

I really love everything about it! The wide sleeves, the fitted bodice, the bateaux neckline, the cables, not to mention the soft, thick wool. It's always a bit scary at the end, because you have to finish it completely to see what it'll look like. It took me ages and the wool was quite expensive (Rowan Kid Classic), but I think this one will last quite some time.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Boyfriend Look - T-Shirt Makeover

The idea behind the Boyfriend Look is simple: wear your boyfriends clothes. Or for those without boyfriends: make it look like you do. Baggy jeans paired with sneakers (or high heels for a feminine touch), shirt and blazer all a bit too large. It doesn't mean you can wear anything he wears - the goal is to wear it and still look feminine. Emma from Daily Clothes Fix is really rocking it with her work versions of this look here and here. I saw my opportunity of getting in touch my masculine side when Stef threw away some of his T-shirts. I forgot to take 'before' pics, so you'll just have to believe me when I say this was a regular men's medium T-shirt!

The shirt and shoes are courtesy of the boyfriend, the rest is mine. (That big suitcase holds my fabric stash and is too heavy to actually carry!)
I took in the sides a bit (not too much, it should be a bit slouchy), cut off the sleeves and cut the back into a racerback pattern. Then I lined it with some black bias with a lacey edge. I knew bias tape is sturdy and not perfect for hemming curved edges, but I was stubborn and used it anyway. You can see below how it won't lay nice and flat, but it doesn't really bother me in this case. I made three small pleats at the armhole instead of the usual bust dart, to get a nice curve.

I have done a T-shirt makeover before (more about that some other time) but I really like the outcome this time. A perfect shirt for some casual outdoor fun, don't you think?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sewalong #1

Lets's get started! I'm already lots of posts behind schedule, but this week I've managed to pick my pattern, dye my fabric and get some pretty lining. This pattern (I'm not sure which version I'll make yet) is from the last Burda Easy (spring/summer 2011). The only difference seems to be the lapels.

I'm going to try the €1,- wool on this, although it still smells a bit like sheep (our dog found it very interesting). I chose sunflower yellow, a nice spring color. I am now definitely not using any rules anymore when it comes to colors. As you can see below, it turned out lighter than the dye because it's wool. I found this pretty light cotton at the market to use as lining, and for the lapels. It'd be a shame not to show these cute flowers, right?

I'm hoping to start pattern making and cutting my fabric this week! Stay tuned...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Shirt Remake

Again it seems nothing is going on here, but I'm actually working at multiple things at a time, which means nothing gets finished... So let me show you this remake I did.
I've had this shirt for some time now, but I've always found it a bit weird. I bought it in a sale because I liked the fabric so much, but this super-deep clevage? I don't know. It looks allright in this pic, but when I move around it slides to the sides, and then it looks even weirder. So this was issue nr.1. Issue nr. 2 is that because I bought it about two years ago, it's getting thinner at some places, especially high at the back.

First I wanted to pin together the bottom of the clevage, but there just wasn't enough fabric. Then I figured I could deal with both issues if I took the shirt in at the top - it places the clevage higher and I could cut out the thin fabric. This was also an option because of the big kimono sleeves.

It worked out pretty well, I left the bias intact to make a nice hem on the adjustments. I increased the length of the neck seam, so I could do something I wanted to try for a very long time: wear it backwards!

These changes might not be very big, but they can really make the difference. In this case it's the difference between wearing it and feeling a bit weird, and loving it and even having different ways to wear it!