Saturday, February 28, 2009

Trying something

Just to remind myself about this awesome series of videos about sewing a bikini.

There are a ton of related videos made by the same lady and I really need to get serious about watching them before I make my bikini!

I just posted a plea for help on Pattern Review and Stitcher's Guild about sewing a contrast binding on the edges of a swimsuit using my new binder attachment. Hopefully, someone will see it and help me out.

On the table today

A whole weekend alone = massive plans for sewing

I've been quite busy this weekend sewing up some t-shirts from what is definitely becoming my first TNT pattern: Ottobre 2/2007 #4 (gathered neck t-shirt).

When I took my measurements, I was a size 48 at the bust and hip, a 52+ at the waist and a 50/52 at the arm. I cut out a size 48 and transitioned to a size 50 from the bottom of the armscye (is that the right name?). I also traced size 52 sleeves from Design #3 and just eased them into the existing armholes. I read about that tip somewhere a while ago and have used it successfully on a couple of occasions with Ottobre. Overall, it fit pretty well. I like the shape but I think it might be a bit big through the shoulders. The trouble is I chose a foul, busy floral print for my muslin fabric and I'm finding it hard to see any tell-tale wrinkles.

One fabulous thing about making this muslin was I got to try out my brand new industrial binding attachments for my CS/Serger. I used a 3/8" B-style binder and a chain stitch to do the neckline and it turned out pretty good for a first attempt. I practiced heaps before I let myself loose on the garment, though. I also read all the tips and tutorials out there in blogland until it felt like my eyes would bleed! All worth it in the end. I gained a heap of confidence and am now ready to try it on real garments.

I've cut out and mostly sewn a cream version. I got this fabric years ago at Spotlight for $2/m. It's a weird fabric, so I'm not going to be surprised if it falls apart in the first wash. It looks like crepe, but it's quite a heavy weight for a knit and it's got a ton of stretch. Anyway, it was a better choice for a muslin fabric as I could see the wrinkles near the shoulder line. I need to take in the shoulders by about 1/2". I'll give that a shot on the next ones. The cream version should still be wearable (at least for the first time). I used a cream FOE to finish the neckline on this one, using a tip I saw on Pattern Review last week. A MUCH better way of putting it on than how I had been doing it before. Still I made a ton of silly mistakes with this top and spent more time unpicking than actually sewing.

On the go at the moment are three more versions: a red print, a purple/white spot and a latte slub knit. All fabrics were purchased at Spotlight last week with this pattern in mind, so I'm not doing too badly there. This morning, I bound all the necklines and sewed up the shoulder seams. I have used a self-fabric binding on all this time. I had a couple of false starts but, overall, I'm happy with how the binding has gone.

I'll include photos later when the garments are complete.

The Queue

For me, this is what it's all about...the excitement of planning. Occasionally, the plans come to fruition. More often than not, something else catches my eye and off I go in another direction. BUT, if I don't have some kind of guiding list, then I tend to flounder and start doing something crazy instead, like housework!

So, I've got a couple of lists (you'll come to see that this is not unusual). I'm going to put the UFOs and Mending off to the side and keep updating them as I get to them.

Driving my sewing direction at the moment is the need for a winter wardrobe, a tropical holiday coming and a need to sew my way through my stash.

Firstly, a winter wardrobe. It is definitely a more pressing need than the travel wardrobe, but not nearly as exciting. I'm aiming to use up as much stash as I can before I buy new fabrics here.

So far I have available:

• Another chocolate brown crepe-y kind of fabric – maybe even use this one as a muslin! It’s not really that great
• Kharki medium weight fabric. I have no idea what it is or where it’s from but it certainly wasn’t expensive. Has some stretch.
• Red Ponte knit from Spotlight (or maybe a wrap dress)
• Chocolate brown crepe-y kind of fabric
• Two different kinds of black crepe-y kind of fabric - tons of one of them
• Navy Ponte knit from Spotlight (or maybe a wrap dress)
• Denim (Jeans)

• Kharki, cream, red, blue and chocolate Floral lightweight cotton (Peasant blouse)
• Animal print mesh & chocolate brown cotton knit (Wrap top)
• Eggplant rayon knit (long sleeve knit top)
• Mid brown rayon knit (long sleeve knit top)
• Kharki rayon knit (long sleeve knit top)
• Chocolate brown interlock & olive interlock (long sleeve knit top)

• Red satin-backed crepe from Bargain Box at Capalaba (A-line Skirt with chiffon band)
• Black-on-black embroidered stretch drill (Straight skirt)
• Winter White Ponte knit from Spotlight (Style?)
• Black/White polyester knit – large circles
• Black/white polyester knit – small geometric design

First post

Why? I know, but I need to be able to keep track of everything sewing related. I've been trying unsuccessfully to record stuff in a notebook, but I keep losing it. I'm pretty certain even I'll be unable to lose my PC.

Firstly, a shameless self-esteem boost - what I've accomplished so far this year...

• Stretch Linen Straight Skirt for me (Ottobre 02/2006 #7)
• Knit Top for me - Green print (Simplicity 3624: View A)
• Bought new machines and embarked on a HUGE learning curve!

• Jeans Style Skirt - Kharki (Simplicity 4701: View D)
• Jeans Style Skirt - Denim (Simplicity 4701: View D)
• Knit Top for me - Cream Manhattan (Simplicity 3624: View A)
• Made pattern adjustments and bought (2 lots!) of fabric for KwikSew 3488: Shirtwaist Dress
• Nightie for DD (Simplicity 5760)
• Cut out skirt - brown stretch poplin (I think) (Ottobre 2/2006 #10)
• Made muslin for gathered neck t-shirt (Ottobre 2/2007 #4) and cut out 4 more
• Made wearable muslin for sleeveless knit top (Ottobre 2/2006 #1)
• Bought binding attachments for new overlocker/CS machine and have been practising like crazy (see aforementioned t-shirts!)
• Made 3 pairs of panties and cut out a fourth.

As you can no doubt tell, I’m on a bit of a mission to sew more things for myself. I think I’ve spent the last ten years of my life waiting until I lose weight before I make anything serious for myself. Clearly THAT approach wasn’t working as far as motivation goes, so I’m just going to throw my hands up and clothe this body the way it is.

I’ve spent the last few years sewing up a storm for my DD who now boasts a wardrobe packed to the rafters. One small comfort is that we can pass anything I make onto my niece, so no effort is wasted.

What I’m going to try to do here is keep everything (inspiration, information, projects, construction notes, reviews, etc) in one place and relatively accessible when I need it. All right, then, off I go.