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Monday, March 28, 2011

Powder Pink Balloon Skirt

Next on the list was the pink jersey! I thought it was big enough for two garments, but balloon skirts require lots of fabric, and I really wanted to make one. I used this tutorial to get started.

I love how it turned out, cute but easy to combine in different styles: I had two parties of different style the night I finished it. A quick change of shoes and top, and I went from formal/chique to casual/party. And it's unbelievably comfy to wear!

Here's a close-up of the lace, an (again mostly) invisible and slightly skew zipper and the fancy button I thought it deserved. All this fabric makes it quite a heavy skirt , so I used some very nice strong but supple interlining for the waistband.
Let me tell you a little secret (people who know me might not expect this), but when I was a little girl I wanted to be a ballet dancer... This pink skirt reminded me of that, so here's a pic of me making (what I think of as) ballet moves! Hm, maybe it looks more like an oldfashioned ballroom bow... Anyway, at the age of seven, as long as it included pretty dresses and dancing, I was happy! Imagine how deeply disappointed I was when my mother got married in a jumpsuit... Well, at least I got to wear a pink dress.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Summer green

It was time for the first summer skirt. As I wrote in the last post, I combined a thin green dotted cotton with green poplin. The poplin takes down the supercuteness of the dots just enough not to make me feel like a little girl with ribbons in her hair. I wanted it to be a bit swirly (it that the right word?) but I also have broad hips, so I made pleats to reduce the bulk around that part.

I apologize for the crappy quality of these pics, the light was horrible (though it shows my upper arm muscle quite nicely ;)) and I didnt want to shoot them in front of the wallpaper again. If you want to see what the fabric really looks like, check my previous post.

I am very happy with my finishing on this skirt: a (mostly) invisible zipper and a covered button. And I discovered the purpose of a weird sewing foot that came with my machine: it helps you make a very neat line along an edge (see top of waistband). I keep getting better at neat finishing, and am also enjoying it more. I see now that invisible techniques such as interfacing (the waistband) and proper lining make a big difference in the end!

Monday, March 14, 2011

New Fabrics & Sew-a-long

I'm on a tight budget these days, but when I heard of a big fabric market coming to Groningen, I just couldn't resist. Nothing beats some unabashed sniffing, touching and drooling over pretty fabrics! I returned home after 4 hours, intoxicated by the smell of new fabric and slightly dazzeled by all the colors. I managed to take home almost 12 meters of 6 kinds of fabric, for only 35 euros including matching notions. Not bad eh? I'll show you what I got:

This was the last meter of the green dotted fabric, a light cotton with an embroidered hem. I think I'll make a skirt, combining it with this green poplin.

This is a very stretchy jersey with retro flowers. I'm not sure whether I will turn this into a skirt or a top.

I fell in love with this as soon as I spotted it: little orange dots, on a thin cotton fabric that has a silky shine to it. And for just €1,75 a meter! I also got some thin white cotton for underlining and a matching silk ribbon. This is destined to be a pretty top, for sure.

At this point I noticed that going at this rate, I was going to have a very polka-dotted-floral wardrobe. So I teared myself away from the cuteness, and found this fabric, to be turned into a tunic/men's shirt. It still has some cute gold stripes though.

When I was finally heading out, I spotted this coupon of super soft powder pink jersey. Also cute, but way out of my comfort zone as I never wear pink. Plus it will probably totally accentuate my paleness, but I've decided to embrace that. Ofcourse I had to get back in to get some grey lace to go with it. This piece is so big it could be turned into two garments, maybe a skirt and a long top?

More sewing is on the agenda, as I signed up for my first Sew-a-long! Sherry will be leading us through sewing a jacket without any hand-sewing involved. I thought this would be a great moment to try my first jacket, and to use the wool for my (hopefully wearable) muslin. Contrary to what it might have looked like these past few weeks, I am not tired of sewing yet!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Basic top with polka dots

First of all, I'm sorry it has been so long since my last post! I have been sewing, but my design just didn't work out. I was making a longsleeve with bat sleeves, but for some reason I haven't figured out yet, it just wasn't right. I've put it aside for now, and instead threw together this top. It's always nice to finish a day of sewing with something that works and that you feel good about.

It's rather thin jersey, and I would show you a close-up of the purple rings if my stitches weren't so wonky. Always a pain, stitching neat lines on jersey. But I was glad to finally find a use for the rings, I got these from my grandmother at least 12 years ago. Despite the wonky seams, this was a fairly easy top to sew - another afternoon project. I used parts of the pattern from the basic floral top. To add rings, just shorten the front part at the top and lengthen the back shoulder parts. Sometimes, it can be that easy!

P.S. I look super skinny in these pics, but I assure you it's just the light!