Friday, 12 November 2010

Sewing Class - my chosen project

As i mentioned in a previous post I have been attending an evening sewing class. Although it was progressing a bit slowly (see what we had achieved in a months worth of classes by following the previous link) the time has finally come for us to choose our own patterns and start working on individual projects. So, although I have just admitted to having far too many projects on the go already, I give you my chosen project for my sewing class:

McCall's 5923

When I showed this pattern to my teacher she winced! Not that she didn't like the dress, she really did, but she couldn't hide that it would be challenging to get it done during class time. I did have my doubts, but I decided to go for a more challenging pattern since I will have a teacher to help me through the hard bits. And yes, I chose a tartan to work with - more challenges! Bring them on I say! I can't see the tartan being too awkward, there aren't actually any seams that require matching up the pattern since the side panels are cut on the bias. By the way, the fabric I have chosen is a lovely wool blend (I wanted to go for a dress and fabric that I could wear in winter, rather than a light summer dress) and is a bit more pinky/purple than the photo shows.

All we have done in class so far is cut out the paper pattern - that took a whole 2hr class if you can believe! I'm a little concerned already because the teacher told me to cut the size that corresponds with my hip size. But I am pear shape and my bust measurement falls between the size 12-14 and my hips fall into the size 16 (why are sewing patterns so cruel?!)!!! I used the tape measure around my bust to see how big the final dress measurements for the 16 would be and I'm sad to say my boobs are going to be SWAMPED in the dress if I keep the measurements as they are! But this is exactly why I'm doing this dress in the class. My teacher is bringing along the Pattern Master (eh? What is this?!) next week and we are going to grade the pattern to fit my measurements better. I'm looking forward to that - it will be the first thing in the class that is completely new to me. But I'm nervous about cutting out the fabric. I'm not doing a muslin first (even though my head is SCREAMING to do so) as we don't have time and this fabric was rather expensive. Keeping my fingers crossed it goes ok!!!!

Check back next week where I'll let you know how the Pattern Master and grading went.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Confessions of a distracted seamstress...

...if I can even call myself a seamstress!

So I have discovered that I have a terrible habit. I LOVE planning what project I should make next. I love looking through pattern books, surfing ebay and etsy for vintage patterns, browsing and fondling fabric, making sketches in my little note book that sits snug in my get the idea. But it seems that once I go out and finally buy the pattern, fabric and required notions, sit down and start to sew...I get distracted. Daydreams come into my head of other wonderful things I could make and I end up planning something else and my old project sits rejected and lonely on my (rather messy) sewing table.

If you don't believe me, I refer you to the following exhibits:

Exhibit 1: New Look 6895
I started this way back in June or July when it was still nice and hot ( by N.I. standards...reaching a balmy 17 degrees C on a good day!). All I have left to do is bind the sleeves and hem it...but I keep putting it off. That material has a mind of its own and I know that the binding is going to be a real pain! So it sits, waiting....

Exhibit 2: New Look 6902 muslin
Mysterious photo right? I made a muslin ages ago for New Look 6902 and progressed to making the dress up in purple and red, but I always thought that the dress looked really nice in the cream, with a quirky raw aspect to it. I had a brainwave to try out a new technique with it and I have to say it turned out brilliant. I'm so pleased with how it turned out. But I wanted to add a black band to the hem...and it's still sitting at the moment to be finished!!! This will definitely be dealt with soon because i really want to share this project with you!!

Exhibit 3: Matching bag for the muslin dress
I'm a little bit sad about this project. I started off super excited to make a matching bag to my muslin dress (exhibit 2) and I used the curvy clutch pattern that I used for my Queen of Hearts bag. The first time I made this bag it turned out really well, but for some reason the lining of this one didn't sit flat. I was really disappointed because i had been beavering away at this with the plan to wear the dress and bag out for my 30th birthday, but once I got to the lining problem I knew I didn't have enough free time to fix it before the big day, so it sits waiting.....

Exhibit 4: Butterick 5353
I mentioned in an earlier post about my plans to make this dress. Well here is a shot of my progress with the muslin! I decided to make the muslin in this nice Ikea fabric in the hopes that if it turns out well I will have a wearable dress out of it. But so far I have just sewn the two front princess seams in the main fabric. The next stage is to sew the princess seams in the lining...and it's so slippery and unfriendly that I'm a bit nervous to start it. So it sits waiting....

Exhibit 5: Straight skirt from Burda Magazine
Oh dear, I don't even want to talk about this one! From the same post as before I foolishly announced to the interweb my intentions to make this nice straight skirt from Burda Magazine out of this navy check. I worked away at this and kept trying it on along the way and all looked well. Then I sewed on the waistband and sewed in a really lovely invisible zip, even if I do say so myself. I was feeling rather pleased with myself. Then I tried it on...what the heck?!!! The waistband was massive and the skirt sat in the wrong place on my waist/hips. Waaaa. And to make matters worse I learnt a valuable lesson about working with lines....don't trust them!!! I 'straighted' up the hem prior to hemming and discovered I had made it soooooo much worse and the skirt was now way too short to fix. So this project has turned into what the sewing world seems to call 'wadder'. I could try and tackle the waistband again, but to be honest I can't bring myself to look at it yet!!! So it sits waiting...

Exhibit 6 (yes 6!!!): Secret Project
Ooooo another mysterious one! Well the only reason this one is mysterious is because it's nearly finished and I have a horrible feeling that I'm not going to like the end result!!!! Keeping my fingers crossed that it will all come together at the end, and with a little bit of accessorizing it will be great, if perhaps a tad eccentric!

So there you have it - is that enough proof of my problem?!! Does anyone else suffer from this terrible disease? Does anyone have any solutions or remedies? Will I ever finish another project again?!

And do you know what...I have two NEW projects I'm about to start - I'll post about them next!

Monday, 1 November 2010


So not so much sewing going on lately, as I mentioned in my last post, but I randomly decided I wanted to try my hand at knitting a bright red scarf! I've never really done any knitting so I've been taking direction from my mum. Unfortunately I'm pretty hopeless at the moment! I'm hoping by the end of the scarf I might have mastered the ol' knit two, pearl two melarchy!!
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