Bright!

Hi!

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Look, I made something! And it happens to correspond with the Stashbusting theme for April, which is “Bright Colours”, or something like that. As you might have noticed, I LOVE brights, they make me feel alive! I know you can relate!

I see you looking at me, wondering “What is this fabulous pattern she’s wearing?” Wonder no more, Dear Reader, for I present you with a link to “Gillian Wrap Dress” by Muse Patterns. I don’t know why it is that the great Down-Under harbours such incredibly talented sewing community, both of sewists AND designers? Something in the water? Sharks maybe? Do sharks make people sew better? Hmmmmmmmmm…

What do I like about Muse Patterns designs? They are feminine, vintage-inspired, and very flattering, with huuuuuuge potential for fun, and fairly easy to put together. The models on the website are actual, normal-looking women, which is empowering! This particular top is my first draft of this pattern, and I am quite pleased how it came out. Even though I did not do a full-bust adjustment, it fits me fine in the chest area (I think), although in the next version I would like to move the gathers closer  towards the neckline. Another adjustment that I’d like to make is to shorten the bodice above the waistband, especially in the back.

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See? And in regards to that waistband/tie thingy: It is a real wrap top, not a mock-wrap, and the band consist of two layers of fabric. In the front section you end up with FOUR layers of fabric in the band section, which is awesome, because it gives you a large amount of coverage of that area which often contains some dimples and rolls and such. At least on me it does… Let’s just say, I don’t feel self-conscious in this top! I also like how this wrap is longer on the sides than in the back, which optically enhances the back curve! Va-vavoom!

What don’t I like about this top? Well, let me just give you a piece of advice: when you go potty, get a hold of those ties in the back. Tuck them into the waistband or something. Ya catch my drift?

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Now you’re asking “Why do you look so smug and self-satisfied all of a sudden?”. First of all, we painted the house, as you can see. I have plenty of neutral coloured walls to take pictures in front of for the blog. Second of all, we sold the said house! Thirdly, we bought another house, and we are moving from Toronto to a much smaller city, practically on the outskirts. The backyard of the new house backs onto a greenbelt, with amazing trees, full of animal life. I am bursting with excitement and optimism, looking forward to settling down and making tons of new friends! Maybe even some sewing friends?

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I think I’m in Love…

Earlier today I made two garments, both are promising to be my spring/summer favourites. I feel that everybody involved in the process of making these should be thanked. So here we go:

1) Thank you McCaul, for putting out M6754. Terribly cute pattern, and I’ve been dying to make it since last summer. Also, it is a terribly silly pattern. Or it is great if you are a person who is comfortable with seeing your bellybutton through your front neckline, and your butt-crack through the back neckline. When I made the first version of View A the only thing that I liked about it was the placement of the bust darts. I liked them enough to go on with another muslin… Interestingly enough, both of the following versions have darts that go too high. Oh well, I think they make my bewbs look perkier, no?

2) Thank you to my sister-in-law. She wears horizontal stripes like no one else, she wears them all the time, big stripes, small stripes, and what-not stripes, and ALWAYS rocks them. You see, I am intimidated by horizontal stripes, and a lot of my stash involves stripes, because I love stripes. My SIL has a very similar physique to mine, she might be 1″taller than I, and is equally apple-shaped, so there is no reason why she should rock those stripes, but not I!? It’s all about attitude, yo! You wanna see what I made yet?

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3) I also would like to thank The Stashbusting Sewalong 2014 group, who are such a swell bunch of gals! This month’s theme is COLOURS! I love all the colours, I sew all sorta koo-koo hues, but I got to thinking about sewing for work, or for when I cannot match a jacket to a dress, because all of the clothes that I make are so crazy colour-wise. So I’ve decided to make me a dress out of the plainest piece of knit that I had: medium weight, grey t-shirt fabric, 100% cotton with not a lot of stretch. I thought of it as a plain canvas, on which one might hang a crazy jacket or a sick belt. When I put it on after I attached the skirt to the bodice, I gasped. It was the most understated but also elegant piece of clothing that I made. The way the skirt hung, how the fabric skimmed my body without clinging to my rolls… Love at first sight!

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And just to prove a point about it being a canvas on which one might hang things, I tied a piece of random cord around my waist, to mimic a sick belt, of course:

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See how pretty? Point proven…

4) Thank you wind, for blowing some nice weather this way, perfect for taking pictures:

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Feeling blue…

… on so many levels. Too friggin’ frigid, too dark, too little sleep, too many colds in the house, blah blah blah, many of you are probably riding the same train so I will shut up. Kinda. I just went to make myself a nice beverage and I forgot to put booze in it. Tragedy!!! A lot of my sadness comes from the fact that since I made my last dress I have been convinced that all I should wear is similar garments, but it is just so impractical for my work and general life. I have also been on a major sewing kick that involved blue fabric. And is work-appropriate. Exhibit 1 and 2. 

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Another version of Simplicity 2369. Why another (other than that one I also have a blue dress and another black top, never blogged)? Fast and dirty, and I thought I looked good in it. Until I saw these pictures. Do you have a day that you dedicate to shooting your makes and hardly a handful of shots are suitable for public broadcasting? Yeh… Well Ladies and Gents, this top is just too large… But it feels so nice… Exhibit 2 is another version of Espresso, this time in more flared version (straight from just above the knee). Why? Fast and dirty… And also I  really wanted JEGGINGS. These are jeggings. Go mommy!

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I was flirting with pink topstitching on the pockets. In the hindsight, it got a bit too far. Almost to the third base too far…

Just in case I never mentioned it, BLUE IS MY FAVOURITE COLOUR. When I was pregnant, waaaaaaaaay before I knew I was going to have a son, I started dressing in head-to-toe blue, totally unintentionally. That’s how I knew I was going to have a boy, my unconscious was telling me! FYI, not expecting right now, although it might look like it… Anyhoo, have I mentioned that hardly any of the photos from today turned out appropriate for mass consumption?

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But it’s not all bad blue. I made me a necklace. My favourite one broke, so I decided to try some recycling and trendy colour-blocking:

IMG_0390And also I made  McCall 6844. My first attempt, no muslin but major as-sewn fittings. Took off about 3″ off the back length, but not front (funny, my back is super-short but my front is almost regular in length, probably due to my boobage and tummy roundness). And did I mention how I was not able to take any decent photos today? I had to take my shoot outside, since photographing navy-blue is almost as hard as photographing black.  As soon as I set up, with my tripod and my me-made hat (courtesy of stashbusting challenge 2014, made from the same fabric as the cardigan) it started to snow. Bloody sh… Too much…

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So not impressed with my remote shutter control… I have to point it dead-on into the camera sensor and hold it… Ugh… Maybe the battery’s dead?

I liked this pattern, I will definitely try it again. This time I will do my best not to eff up when installing the collar thingy section. I will also interface it, as per instructions…

But enough with this self-pity party. Tomorrow, February 26th, is the anniversary of my blog. I am so happy I I started blogging. I have this glorious ODE TO MY BLOGGING HEROES post in my head, but that won’t happen soon. Maybe in May… But since we are in February, I still need to blog about “sewing for the ones we love” theme. Although I wonder whether that part of February might happen in March. Oh well, all is well that ends well… Here’s the ONE “good” picture I got from today’s shoot:

IMG_0377I also realized that my back is not as big as I think it is, need to cut smaller size. And also I learnt that if you put on a summery, flowery skirt and run/dance/twirl around the house for few minutes, your spirits will elevate. Will have to remember that for the next time! What do you do when you need a pick-me-up?

 

 

I love you Gertie! I have boobs!

Hello there, I’m back from a little vacation, freshly baked and tan-line enriched in spite of wearing SPF 60 THE WHOLE TIME. Yes, we were camping in THAT heatwave. We were camping in a tent. It was effin hot! But pretty!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese days I seem to be playing catch-up, with almost everything in my life. To keep with this tradition, let me fill you in on this major revelation that I had maybe 2 months ago. You see, I bought Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing. I will not be reviewing it, since everyone else has already reviewed it backwards and forwards. Let me just tell you that I loved it, sooooooo so much, in so many different ways! And the patterns! Gasp! Immediately I decided to start with the Portrait Blouse. Ugh. Why does it look so good on her, and so bad on me? Then I decided that it must have been the “sleeves”, they were just too sticky-outy on me. So I decided to cut the sleeve a bit shorter, with an intention of making a few copies of the blouse, eventually turning it into a tank. Also, I did not bother with the tucks on the front and back, since I wanted a bit more room in the waist. Version #1 turned out like this:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASomething was off. Those folds just above my boobs? Yeeeeees, that’s it! But I did a nice job with the self-made bias binding around the sleeves and neckline.

Version #2 turned out like this:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMore tank-y, and I took care of the folds by pinching out the excess fabric above my bust and making darts. It helped. This print struck  me as being very feminine, so I kicked it up a notch by adding a lace trim to the hem:

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Isn’t it pretty? I love this print…

Version #3 went like this:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI made it out of a beach cover-up that my mother-in-law brought me from Thailand or Bangladesh or something like that, gazillion years ago. I was quite convinced that I washed it before, after all there must have been a beach excursion that I wore it to? So I did not  pre-wash it. It turned out nice, same bias tape technique around neck and armholes. More of a tank. I wore it, I washed it. And…

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It shrunk! So much! Awwwwwwwww…

So what’s my point here? Sure, pre-wash no matter what, bla, bla, bla… My point is that I need a full-bust adjustment! I had to put myself through the whole “reinventing the wheel” (aka pinching out the folds above my bust and making darts nonsense), just so I could be faced with a hard reality that I have boobs. Above average, whether I like it or not. There is no way around it, no use pretending that I’m a B cup. Now that I’ve settled and accepted this fact (as I mentioned before, this happened about 2 months ago), I pondered why it is that those who have them, try to ignore and deny them, or simply hate them. Those who don’t have so much of them covet the extra flesh, and often will pay big fat bucks to have the appearance of having bigger boobs. Human nature is truly boggling. It finally dawned on me that I needed to accept my body the way it is. If I want to sew fitting clothes, I need to sew for  my body the way it is, not the way I pretend it is… This realization of self-acceptance feels good: I am not angry at my body, just like I was angry when I realized I needed a swayback adjustment. I’m finding it amazing that I’m learning self-acceptance through sewing. Amazing!

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Or maybe I should just suck it in, and look confident, like it was meant to be so tight?

Care to share what sewing taught you?

PS. Off I go back to portrait blouse pattern to do the FBA, just to discover that the bust apex is not marked on the pattern… Bleh!

Whatever makes you happy…

I’ve had this polyester fabric for almost a year, I could never figure out what to make out of it, and yet I wanted to use it so badly… The colour washed me out, I was too pale for it, but I looked at it longingly at least 3 times a day every day, wishing that I could come up with something.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The issue was, the combination of the colours and the pattern just made me so happy! I desperately wanted to wrap myself in that fabric when feeling blah. Finally, I stumbled on McCalls M6711 (I picked up that pattern because I really wanted to make the jacket, view A). As I am really intimidated to start on the jacket, I stalled by making the shirt (view B) and pants (view E). I did not make any muslins, I just  cut, sewed, crossed my fingers and toes, cut some more and more and unpicked stitches and sewed some more (in case of the shirt), and made my own waistband instead of the facing (in case of the pants). And here’s the result:

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Not so impressed by the tapered cut. The pants are cotton twill, fairly high-waisted.

Both the top and pants came out too roomy, even though I took in all the seams by considerate amount. I can’t believe how much ease was built into those garments. But oh so comfortable! And real, functional pockets! I also can’t believe that I made tapered pants, which I avoid like the plague (how did I ever miss the fact that it was tapered cut?) But wait for it…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen you roll up the pants they have a totally different look, playful, and still so comfy. Unless you choose to wear them with some hooker platform heels, which I just adore! And with a belt even the top looks a bit more shaped. And with more bronzer  and blush I don’t look so washed out! Unfortunately, this is not the best choice of fabric for this top, it does not drape well, so the gathers at the shoulders and back need to be ironed down, otherwise they billow… But you know what? This top makes me happy! I’ve worn this shirt and pants (together and apart) at least 10 times since I made them. And every time I wear them, I feel so happy, it always works! As I was taking these pictures I was sick with an awful cold, super-sore throat, and second case of pinkeye. Can you tell? I know, right?!  It is because the shirt makes me so happy!

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Since taking these pictures I acquired some more suitable belts to… ehem… “accentuate my waist”. They work better, but you get the idea.

So here you go, one more self-indulgent photo. The need-to-pee pose ever so slimming! And just so you know, I made the dress (view C) as well. So no more stalling, get on with the jacket now woman! But before I go, I will leave you with this gem I saw on Facebook. Heavily peppered with F-bombs, but reading this makes me so happy:

fbSo you know: whatever makes you happy! Do share…

5 AM Top

On Monday at 5 AM,  I was obsessing about those pants I’m making getting ready for work, when I realized (again) that all the time I was thinking about sewing. But we all do that, no? As I was dragging my butt around the house in an attempt to leave the house in a timely manner, I reflected on what I was wearing: an old pair of Old Navy jeans (I promise, my last pair ever!), and an old, cheap long-sleeve tee. That’s my usual work uniform, ugh… I know that 5 AM is too early to even put on clothes properly, but come on woman, put on something that indicates that you actually have a pulse… So the idea of sewing something fast, fun and easy enough to put on at 5AM started cooking in my head. Then I thought about the black, blue and pink stripy 4-way stretch knit that I bought during the Toronto sewing bloggers meet-up, and decided to use Simplicity 2369 pattern. I’ve already made the dress (view B) and the top (view C), and this time around I was going to make another C . I had less fabric than required, so I made it  one size smaller than my usual. I also shortened the ties, which are usually way too long. I’ve also decided that I wanted a vertical stripe (I’m still convinced that horizontal stripe is not my thing), but I did not like how the folds in the front looked with the vertical stripe. So being the adventurous person that I am, I’ve decided to go horizontal for that part. I also did not fold the neckband under, as per directions.  This is the end result:

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What, were you expecting to see me with make-up? I shaved my legs for you, isn’t it enough?
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These are my jeans… Not for much longer!

I like this pattern, but I’m somewhat conflicted about the sleeves. I think that they are too wide for my silhouette (and these are made narrower than the pattern directions), but I like the rest.

Hopefully, tomorrow morning, when I get up at such ungodly hour again, I will feel a bit more… uplifted as I leave the house. Nothing better than a new, colourful top to perk you up… And the usual three buckets of coffee…

What do you like to sew when you want something uplifting, dear sewist readers?