Saturday, January 10, 2015

My Hopes for 2015

This past year has been full of all sorts of challenges for me, some of those challenges I met head-on but many more I fumbled and I'm still barely past those obstacles.  My creative life took a nosedive with me barely knitting or sewing a stitch.  I'm hoping to change that for this year.  I have four major goals this year.

  1. Projects Half Done: I want to finally finish up all those projects that have languishing in various bags and baskets throughout the house.  I have 2 quilts that are sandwiched and just need quilting and binding done.  A pair of toe-up socks where one sock is done and the other I'm almost done with the leg.  A sweater that I barely started.  A few other odds and ends laying about here and there.  I want those done!
  2. The Historical Sew Monthly: I want to go back to what drew me to sewing in the first place.  I love historical clothing.  I love costumes and learning about who wore what and when they wore it.  The past few years, The Dreamstress has hosted the Historically Sew Fortnightly on her blog.  I have watched from the sidelines wishing I had the skills to participate.  This year she is changing it to the Historically Sew Monthly.  I think a historical-based project a month is doable for me and it's time for me to stop watching and starting doing.  And I'm happy to see this includes not just sewing but knitting/crocheting/tatting/etc.  I already have some ideas lined up for the year and my January project is ready for cutting.
  3. Wardrobe Architect 2015: This past year came with a lot of changes for me, and I know this new year there is going to be even more changes.  I have a lot of clothes in my closet that don't reflect who I am and just sit there.  I can't even remember if I ever wore some of those clothes.  Last year Coletterie posted the Wardrobe Architect series and how to create wardrobe that reflects your style.  This year they are using those principles to create a plan of attack to clean out your closet and focus on sewing garments for your own wardrobe.  The series is a year-long plan to develop your own capsule wardrobes.  I really liked the series last year and I've been wanting to do this.  I'm sick of looking at the mess in my closet.
  4. Stashbusting:  Speaking of messes in closets, my craft closet is full of bins of yarn and fabric just begging to be made into something.  I want to sew/knit from stash as much as possible this year.  I think points 2 and 3 will work really well into this plan.  The only time I want to buy fabric is if I absolutely have nothing else that works in my stash for my planned project.  As an addendum to that, I did receive a Jo-Ann's gift card for Christmas, so all purchases will be made with that.
So that's my plan for the year.  Hopefully I can get most of it done!  It looks like a lot, but I know it's doable if I just take it one day at a time.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Simplicity 1910 - The Finished Product

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*Please note I finished this dress back in 2012 and completely forgot to finish blogging about it! -headdesk-  Here's the finished dress with the Pattern Review.

This was one of those trying pieces to sew.  But I'm so happy how it looks completed!  My friend Mary is the wearer in these pictures, and I think she looks stunning!  (If I do say so myself)  :-)

Back detail using chain and gears
Skirt detail - used chains and gears to hold up the overskirt


Pattern Description: 
A special occasion dress meant for proms, dances, etc. I used this as the base for a Belle costume (from Beauty and the Beast). I used the shorter version of the dress and added the overskirt. I made this for my friend to wear to Dragon*Con 2012 as a Steampunk-inspired Belle. 
Pattern Sizing:
I cut a size 20, but ended up taking a lot out of the bodice to get a correct fit. I should have cut a size 18 or even a size 16 considering how big the bodice was. This is what happens when you assume that a strapless dress should not have that much ease built into it. Unfortunately, this pattern has an inch and a half of positive ease. Please beware when choosing a size.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, in the end it did look like the drawing/photo. Getting to that part was a different matter.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
The instructions were easy enough to follow. There were a few moments of head-scratching, but I was able to figure it out. There is a incorrect piece. Bodice piece 4 is incorrect and I had to contact Simplicity customer service to get a corrected piece. 
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I disliked how hard it was to fit the bodice. I think too much ease is built into this pattern and maybe a seamstress should cut it a size or so smaller. For a strapless gown you think they would have kept the ease to a minimum, but there's quite a lot of room in there. I do like how fluffy the skirt is and the overlay looks really nice.
Fabric Used:
Polyester Satin and Polyester sheer with a lining.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I made the short version and added on the overskirt in a sheer fabric. I left off the trimmings around the bodice. There was a lot of fabric removed from the bodice for fit. It was at least 2 inches too big. The skirt fit perfectly though.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I don't think I would sew this again. If I did, I will be more prepared for size issues. I would recommend this to others, but I would also say do a muslin for the bodice. 
I didn't do a muslin for this pattern, and I'm kicking myself for it. It would have saved a lot of headaches. But live and learn, right? In the end, my friend loves the dress and said it was comfortable to wear all day particularly in the Atlanta heat and craziness of Dragon*Con. 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Me-Made-May 2014 and hopefully some actually blogging this year...

As always, I let life carry me away and forget about this blog.  :-(  So let's try again with a pledge and some sewing, shall we?

Me-Made-May (MMM'14) is a challenge that during the month of May each participant will wear self-made clothing as much as possible.  For more information about the challenge and how to sign-up visit: So, Zo...What do you know?  Since I don't have enough self-made clothes to go each day of the month, I determined that the best thing for me is to tackle some WIPs and actually finish something.  So my pledge for the month:
"I, Michelle of, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '14. I endeavour to finish a me-made article of clothing once a week and actually wear it out of the house during the month of May. Since most of my previous sewing was for costumes and fancy dresses, this will give me an opportunity to create some real-life pieces for myself. Also I hope to resurrect my forgotten blog with this."
So yeah, that's it.  My first project on the table is one that's been sitting there since January.  It's a knit dress.  I'm mostly done with the muslin for it.  I think that's what I hate most about sewing; having to check the fit before actually sewing up the garment I really want.  

Anyway, I'm hoping to have 4-5 garments finished.  Crossing my fingers that I get more out, but since I do need to sew everything twice, that greatly reduces the amount of time I put into something.  Aside from the current dress I do have a couple of knit blouses that I want to make up and hopefully some shorts or pants.

I also have a ton of clothes to tailor and take in. So that is also a part of what I want to do this month.  Here's to keeping my fingers crossed.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Simplicity 2172 - Finished Coat

Sorry for the long wait to update!  Well here it is the finished coat!  I did wear it at Dragon*Con and nearly got heatstroke.  So I'm not going to be wearing it again this year.  I think if I had stayed inside instead of waiting outside in the sun for almost an hour, I probably would have been alright.

Back of the Coat.  Instead of ties I used chains and little gears

Sleeve ruffle detail.  I really liked how the sleeves came out.

Ruffle detail around collar.  I finished sewing this on the night before we left for the Con.

The completed product.  Not the best pic, but it shows the whole coat.

All in all, I'm happy with the way it came out.  It's a good foundation piece, and I'm slowly adding more items to it to get the look I want.  I wanted to work on pants this year, but that really hasn't happened.  I might not wear the coat for Dragon*Con this year.  I became overheated last year and there's just too much standing in the hot Atlanta weather.  This year I'm keeping it easy and doing a cosplay of the Ninth Doctor.  :-)