The first challenge I signed up for was the Pattern Challenge, hosted by the lovely Sarah from Come and see the Seitz where I signed up to produce some summer gear and drafted my own goal of:
To make 3 Summer outfits by June 30th
Erm...yes...ok - didn't quite meet that goal very well! But to be fair, when I made that goal I didn't realise that I was going to be moving in with my boyfriend and have my sewing machine stuck in a box laden corner for a couple of months!!! So that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it! Ah well - since I made the goal, perhaps I can tweak it - shall I move the goal post to read "the end of August"....that way it will tie nicely in with my second challenge:
Self-Stitched-September, hosted by the equally lovely Zoe off of 'So, Zo...'. For this challenge I have pledged:
'I, Suzanna Wilson at starfishesbelfast.blogspot.com, sign up as a participant of Self-Stitched-September. I endeavor to wear at least 1 handmade or refashioned item of clothing and/or accessories every day for the duration of September 2010'
It's a very big challenge for me, and I will be so impressed if I managed to pull it off. Lets hope I do keep up this sewing momentum and can produce enough gear to last a month!!
Find links to both challenges on the right hand column of my blog.
So, on to my latest FO: New Look 6902
Look guys - I'm smiling!
Basic compared to most of the gorgeous stuff being produced by the other seamstresses online, but I'm still a beginner - so you have to start somewhere!!
The main purple fabric is actually out of my mother's stash (hers is like an Aladdin's cave - I salivate every time I look at it!). Perhaps not exactly what I would have gone for had I been buying it for myself, but since it was free I can't complain! I had a real issue trying to decide what would make a good contrasting band and straps. I played with the idea of green or yellow for quite some time, but in the end I had a tiny bit of red in my stash left over from my blue skirt and thought - why not! To justify my pairing of red with purple please see these stylish examples:
Pattern Description: New Look 6902. Shift dress with contrasting band and straps. Gathered under bust and zip down the back.
Pattern Sizing: Based on my measurements I cut a size 14 (with a heavy heart) to make the muslin. Although it looked ok, I knew I could get away with going down to at least a 12 - so the FO is made a size 12 (I could probably got into a 10, but I wanted a comfortable summer dress!).
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes
Were the instructions easy to follow? Generally yes. I'm a beginner so most instructions take a while for me to decipher!
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Likes: The different variations and combinations of tops, straps and skirt lengths - lots of fun options.
Dislikes: The dress on it's own seemed to lack a certain je ne sais quoi, but once I added a belt, cardie, accessories I realised the dress had a lot more potential. I think the belted help by making me look a little less pregnant without it! (I'm NOT pregnant btw!)
What techniques did you learn: I'm new to sewing so I learnt loads!
- Gathering...yep had never done that before
- adding a lining to the bust section and stem stitching it down
- sewing in a exposed zip (still need practice in that)
Fabric Used: 100% cotton from my mum's stash. Purple is a rather crisp batik cotton from Indonesia (I used to live there) and the red is a very soft quilting weight cotton.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: none - done by the book!
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I am tempted to make a maxi version of this, maybe with a different strap/top combo but the poofy skirt makes me a bit hesitant - perhaps a fabric that draped better would overcome this issue
Lessons I take away with me: Well I learnt to be more careful with strap pinning and that making a muslin is advantageous - I pinned one of the straps in with a twist and didn't notice until it was all sewn it and impossible to unpick! The FO had straight straps! I need to be more careful with strap positioning - the straps are totally out of line from my bra straps, which is a shame. Also, I need to practice sewing a zip in a lot more, as my work was a bit shoddy. Also, my mum pointed out a way of finishing of the body before sewing in the zip which gives a much neater finish - this wasn't mentioned in the pattern at all!!!
Doh, dodgy work!
With a little bit of accessorising!
Phew! Sorry for the mega long post!! The next project I'm working on is a little red, black and white clutch and also a beach bag. I'm off on my holidays next week and it would be nice to take them with me!!