Saturday, September 15, 2012

My first skirt make in 10 years- The Kelly Skirt!

120915 My Kelly skirt

I am so excited... I actually spent a relaxing day at home today and did some sewing.. starting on my over ambitious sewing plan from last night.

This is my summary page of my adventures today making a wearable muslin of the wonderful new Kelly Skirt pattern by Megan Nielson.

I looked through my stash and the only skirt material I had was this novelty print denim which I had my doubts about at the time...and I had more doubts half way through... Pleated floral denim gave me 80s flashbacks... Which is when I started and did a lot of sewing as a teenager. And getting out my old Make it East index cards to look up how to do a lapped zipper, even brought back more teenage memories. And yes I do seem to have a thing about white and blue floral patterns! I do think that this fabric would be better in a plainer cut like Karen’s ginger. However, I must say that the top stitching to the hem helped a lot.

I didn’t have buttons or feel like all those buttonholes (using the buttonhole foot on my machine for the first time in over 10 years was exciting today!) so I changed perhaps the most important feature of this skirt pattern... Trust Liz to do that. HOWEVER... I have to say that today’s exercise was testing the cut of the pattern... And in summary I love it! Roomy without being bulky. And I do love the high waist too. AND I also dropped the hemline. Another important thing about this pattern is that it can cope with my sitting cross legged on the ground (sketching) and that I can see how to sew a security pocket into this skirt (more later)

I put my skirt on and went for a walk this afternoon (still had my home cardi on!) and then downloaded a timer app for my iphone and tried to take some photos! So I have included very bad photo of me wearing my skirt – holding my sketchbook as a security blanket (I had just completed a sketch!) I find this whole sewing blog taking photos of oneself wearing finished garment very much out of my comfort zone...but here I go starting the process. (I know there are lots of photos of me online sketching, but it is another thing totally to take a photo of yourself with the emphasis on your outfit!) BTW blue and brown is another BIG theme of mine.

BTW here is a photo of my old Make it Easy cards... they have been used so much. I learnt to sew by 'make it easy' fortnightly patterns in the 80s and doing textiles at school as well.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Megan Nielson Patterns

I found this in my drafts - was supposed to be posted earlier in the week....

120910 MeganNielson Patterns and St Leonards from the gutter again
Funny how things arrive at the same time... I have been wanting to start sewing more separates and really like the look of the Kelly Skirt... of course I couldn't settle for buying just one pattern could I...
now I have to start sewing big time!!!

(not quite my best drawings... I have a break form watercolour and see what happens!)

BTW... as I am posting this I am actually sewing the kelly skirt (more than half way through!)

Sewing Plans Spring 2012

I am really really good at making plans but less so successful at putting them into action. I also love SKETCHING my plans...really?

Anyway... at least this spring, at the start of spring, I am already thinking about what fabric/ patterns I have and how to sew for our summer (rather than a mad panic in May before a northern hemisphere summer July trip)

I had two failed attempts earlier in the year (one in Jan and one in May) and I would like to re-do/ fix them. I really don't want to have to buy more fabric but I do want to get a few essential travel outfits which I realised this July in Santo Domingo is needed in hot humid weather. A very cool dress and a cool skirt with a secret pocket.

My other ambition is to work out how to do a FBA (full bust adjustment) and make a serious muslin that works before I start on the real thing. I have done half hearted attempts in the past which haven't really helped that much.

So time to start sewing and stop sketching... I know!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Sewaholic Patterns

Someone took advantage of a sale and bought some sewaholic patterns.... Now to find some time to do a bit of sewing for the upcoming warmer weather. Yes, more blue and brown I predict!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Travel Clothes Review

120820 Travel Clothes Review

this is a little after the event, but I did want to record my analysis of the clothes that I took on my recent trip - for next time.

I spent time making dresses for this trip and in summary, it wasn't the most successful endeavour. One dress I had to abandon altogether, and the other 2 were not 'cool enough'. I have never been to anywhere anything like as humid as Santo Domingo and of course I was out on the streets all day everyday. As my notes say, the fitted lined bodice of the blue and white dress was not very comfortable ( if I had been a good girl and had less scones before I went away, this might have not been just an issue)

I would like to live in dresses all the time, but they do take up more room than separates and require more washing effort. BTW, I hand washed my outfits each evening, gave them 10 minutes with the hair dryer and despite the humidity were ready to wear (if needed) 24 hours later. The secret pockets which I sew in between the box pleats of my favouirte dress pattern works like a treat. I also temporarily sewed inside pockets into my two skirts and these worked too- though it was a "I am accessing a money belt to get my credit card out" type of procedure to access. (Unlike my dress secret pockets which was so easy to use.)

My skirt was a bad decision As my notes say, it was my favourite skirt from my fat days( 4 years ago I weighed 22 kgs more!) and as my favourite skirt was a little fitted so sewing in an inside pocket, and I didn't have any other skirts quite suitable, I made a last minute decision to modify it(take in with multiple darts in the yoke) I used to love this skirt so much, but it feel way too full, and too heavy for the humidity- plus the modification made the ruffle go haywire. I do have plans to cut it up and make a slim-Liz version - and A line version just below the knee (my favourite length at the moment)

I have lots of ideas swimming in my head for better outfits for hot humid weather (looser fitting but still with shape, bias binding edging (no lining, no facing etc)... but if I go to a cooler climate next year (like the UK) I will have to think a little more to make it adaptable for different temperatures. I also want to sketch my ideas for the 'perfect' sketching outfit and then of course I have to start sewing again. How about make some dresses for summer?! rather than sewing them in winter and have the first wear on a trip.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Dresses for this years overseas trip

Sorry to neglect my sewing blog... I have had lots of ideas of things that I wanted to post but no time. But at least I have been sewing!!!

 Here are the two new dresses I have made in the past month (along with other things... ) A third dress (dress no. 2) was abandoned in despair - everything went wrong with it. I want to post about my experiences and try to recover it.

I am sure that there will be numerous photos of me wearing these dresses during the Urban Sketchers Symposium in Santo Domingo. I am also looking forward to chatting about sewing with one(at least!) of the sketchers there! What fun!

Will write more when I get home... all about my secret pockets etc etc....

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sewing Plans

Why do I get the urge to sew summer dresses when I am about to go on a holiday... why don't I sew during summer???
Once again, I have lots of crazy ideas for the next 2 weeks... (ideas!)

My standard pattern in the last few years has been New Look 6601.
It doesn't look particularly inspiring  but it is the MOST comfortable dress to wear, has a wonderful fitted bodice and the fullness in the skirt is perfect for sitting cross legged (sketching requirement) but I don't really like the floating box pleats. So the dress I have almost finished used the skirt but a separate bodice.

I do like the skirts of the Macaron and the Peony but intended to increase the fullness of these to allow for sketching! I decided against the Macaron due to the number of day I will get to make it.

Better get back to it rather than wasting time blogging....

Saturday, June 2, 2012

I am sewing.....

Just to do a quick post and let anyone who has visited this blog know that I have been sewing recently and almost finished another summer sketching dress. Crazy I know that I sew summer dresses in winter...but the deadline of a trip in July to hot climate is a good incentive.

Another blue and white garment.This dress has fitted really well (the best so far!) and I have used a number of tips that I have gleaned from sewing blogs over the last 6 months.

Will try to post more later.

I hope to make another dress and do some major adjustment to another dress in the next few weeks.

BTW I am SO loving my Pj pants... If I was to come across some more decent flannette I would make myself another pair!

Friday, April 27, 2012

My Contribution to the Pyjama Party

Well here they are – my polka dot wide PJ pants – my contribution to Karen’s Pyjama Party. Very wide cut (Burda July 1994 magazine – I wasn’t going to spend on money on the pattern) but they are very very comfy. As usual I cut out the size as per my measurements and it was way too had to reduce all the way around and re-do my elasticised waistband down lower. Here is BB and the PJs (sounds like a band name!!!) BB= Borromini Bear – read below for more details.
As I started wearing these pants BEFORE 3pm today...there is no way that I was going to take a photo of me wearing my PJs on my bed and post it online...sorry- just can’t do that!!! So here is a photo of me in my comfy corner – surrounded by my books, mainly architecture books (and over 80 sketchbooks stacked end on on the small shelf) with a good cup of earl grey tea (note hand knitted cosy and BB!) and my art supplies. I often sketch in the evening in this spot.

As for my bedside book... I am STILL working my way through The Art of Urban Sketching – which I am very honoured to be a part of! And as you can see have been tagging various pages. (inspiring architecture sketches by others)

Also I am reading these books... It is public knowledge why and when I am going to the Dominican Republic...teaching a workshop on sketching architecture with Frank Ching at the 3rd international Urban Sketchers Symposium... But why the NYC books?

It was SO much fun to be a part of this sewalong. I have a LOT of other things going on at the moment but this sewing adventure didn’t take much time at all, I found it relaxing and the end result is very practical to wear right now. Thanks Karen!!!!! An aside...if I was to make one more pair very shortly that would cover me for Me Made May (unfortunately I have only made summer dresses in the last few years so not appropriate for May in Sydney!)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

My First Sewalong!!!

When I saw Karen from Did You Make That was about to host a sewalong for pyjama pants... I knew that this was my opportunity to come out of my lurkdom in the sewing online community. 120410 Trying again and other stuff I didn’t want to buy a pattern so I looked through my old stack of burda magazines to find a pattern. The VERY LAST magazine I looked at did in fact have a pair... Very wide legged...but it would do. This was the page of my sketchbook I did that just so happened to be the first cold night we had (here in Sydney) so I got out my winter PJ’s and sketched it....along with another event and re-doing a disaster sketch(on Cockatoo Island) from the weekend before.
Then I went to Spotlight (the only opportunity I had to buy fabric) which had the most appalling selection of flannelette and decided on this blue dolka dot..seriously it was the only option. I wasn’t to find a fabric that didn’t scream PJs as I want to wear them all day on Saturday when I am home. Here is Borromini Bear (also known as BB, or Borro) my very special sketching companion making his debut in a sewing adventure...I am not sure he is quite easy about the whole thing!
Things are out of control for me so I was deciding that I wouldn’t get time to partake of the sewalong... However Tuesday night this week, with the prospect of a Public Holiday the next day (ANZAC day) I actually summoned the energy and started my ‘clown pants’! I couldn’t believe how easy it was. Ok... I could have kept going but decided that I would slow down and sew-along....slowing down meant doing a tea cup usual Liz style. Hmm, it is quite as much fun to ramble about my sewing as it is my sketching... And quite a different experience not knowing if there is anyone out there reading it... Also I am quite happy to sketch my sewing projects as I can always hide my sewing mistakes or even my odd tastes behind one of my splashy watercolour is another thing totally to be expected to post a photo of me wearing the final outcome.....

Monday, April 23, 2012

Joining the world of the online sewing community

111208 About to start sewing but still sketching
I really do not need another blog in my life... but I also don't want to bore my sketching friends with details of my sewing adventures. SOOOO... here it is..another blog.

For the last few years I have been doing a bit of sewing - mainly summer dresses as it seems to be impossible to find dresses that have a bit of coverage on the shoulder area (I am a very fair Aussie girl!) and length just below the knees. These dresses are also the best thing to wear when I am out sketching in heat. My sewing skills which were really quite good when I was in my early 20s have disappeared I am beginning the journey again.

With Tia .....

Here is a photo of me wearing the first dress I made in is perfect for a sketching outfit... there are lots of photos of me wearing this dress on the last day of the 2nd International Urban Sketchers Symposium in Lisbon in July 2011... most of them the dress can't be seen very well ...or like this one, I have my sketchbook and all important sketching bag hiding it...
And I have even been sketched wearing it!!!! THis is a wonderful sketch by my friend Marina from Israel. My little friend is Borromini who comes on my travels with me.
111024 Summer Frocks
I love thinking about sewing projects and drawing dresses (click on the image to see what I said about this at the time)
Summer! J03TU_02 Cricket and Sewing!! Perfect Summers day!
Record the successful completion of a project by a sketch (not a photo!) Here is it the wonderful Colette Crepe dress
111124 The world of sewing blogs
Record what I see online by a sketch (rather than a pinterest site)
120310_07 Looking at lincraft
Or patterns that I am interested in while actually at a fabric store (I added the colour later!)
111213 Trip Prep- Holiday Clothes
More sewing planning...but also wardrobe prep for a vacation (I always do this).

Ok... I think you get the idea... this is enough for a first blog post!