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Sunday, August 18, 2013

3 years of sewing & blogging

I have to admit I totally forgot my own blog anniversary this year. It was actually more than a week ago, but I can still do the roundup, right? It's really nice to look back at least once a year to see what you've accomplished. For one thing, I wear something handmade every single day! I'd like to not only look at this year, but also at what is left of the previous years. Click on the year to see the complete overview, or on the photo to go to the original post. Here we go!

Year 1
Score: 20 items
Still in the closet: 6
Still wearing: 2

These pants still get worn, one by me, one by Stef. The hoodie has big stains but it's still here because it's kind of my signature piece. And it just might be getting made into a pattern. The dress is still here but hasn't been worn in more than a year. I'm just too pale for it. But now that I look at these pics, maybe I should give it another go?

Year 2
Score: 18 items
Still in the closet: 10
Still wearing: 8

That's better! Although some of those 8 are on the verge of getting tossed out, the quality and style definitely got better. Some of them are still in heavy rotation, like these shown.

Year 3
Score: 26 items
Still in the closet: 25
Still wearing: 12 + 4

This year gets a better overall score, but it's also clear that I'm not wearing any of the things I made for Project Pattern Magic. It was fun making them, but I'm just not a cotton dress kind of girl. I'm not tossing them out yet, some of those fabrics could be made into something else. But hey, I made a coat this year! And 4 items for Stef that he's still wearing.

My closet now consists of 41 handmade garments. Even though I'm wearing little more than half of them, that's pretty cool, right? It does mean that maybe I don't need more than about 30 things to wear. The problem is, I'm an addict now, I can't stop sewing. Maybe I should focus on Stefs wardrobe, since those four items are about ALL he wears :)

What also happened this year is ofcourse Paprika Patterns. We're still finalizing the pattern, we just keep coming up with ideas to make it better. I've stopped trying to set a date and decided we should just keep on working, when it's done it's done. Good thing the Jade is also an excellent autumn skirt :)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sewing Quicky

After ten days of working hard on the Jade and without touching my sewing machine, the urge to sew became to great to ignore. I needed instant satisfaction. Both fabric and pattern had been in my stash for over half a year, so it was time to pair them up. I timed myself during this project, because I was curious how long it would take me. Like Meg, I always underestimate the time some tasks take. Cutting for instance took me one hour. For such a simple project! Granted, the pattern is off grain (aaah, that's why it was so cheap...) so that needed some extra attention. But it's something to keep in mind when planning a project. But back to the project: I made myself a Sloppy Josephine.

Everything started out quick and smooth - I serged the sleeves and side seams in under half an hour. The cuffs were no problem at all, but the neckband is when things started to slow down. I fiddled with getting the right stretch of the band in the right areas, but messed up anyway. Usually 10% stretch is good, but not in more curvy areas such as the front on this shirt. I should have stretched it for 20%, so now it doesn't lay nice and flat. I didn't unpick but went on to topstitching. I hadn't done this on my new machine yet, so I started at the basis. I lowered the presser foot tension and chose the lightening stretch stitch. That didn't work: the neckline became really wobbly. That seam was the hardest unpicking I ever did. I had to rip every single stitch and they were sunken in deep into the fabric. So that was another half hour for unpicking two inches of seam. Next step was to get out the walking foot I purchased with the machine. That went a whole lot better: a smooth but stretchy seam. Unfortunately the traces of that first seam are still visible on the right side. In total the neckband and hem cost me two hours extra.

I really like this shirt anyway, I love the brush strokes of the fabric and it's perfect if you want a simple shirt but not as standard as a Renfrew. I heightened the neckline at the front by an inch btw, I was afraid the neckline would get too wide. The raglan sleeves are super easy to set in. I'd like to make another one but with 3/4 sleeves. I made an XS but should taper to S or M at the hips next time. My three measurements are always alone in their separate columns. So my next goal: make a simple shirt and make it perfect. I should be able to do that by now, right?

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Thrift Store Treasures #9

It's been way too long since the last Thrift Store Treasure! I was downtown for some errands and couldn't help sneaking in the thriftshop that usually has the best stuff. Beautiful motorcycle jackets, 70's shirts, vintage dresses. Not the shop you buy something for a couple of euro's. I had tried on some dresses (very cool but either white, beige or yellow, they made me look like I had the flu) and then found this jumpsuit. I chuckled and tried it on. The mirror was occupied so I walked around the shop, putting my hands in the pockets. It was so comfortable, I was sold before I'd seen what I looked like!

I've wanted a jumpsuit for a long time and even though I would have made something of a softer fabric, I love this print. It obviously needed some altering, it was at least two sizes too big. I started with cutting off the legs and deconstructing the pockets. I took 4 cm off both sideseams from the waist down, and then reconstructed the pockets. I like altering thrift store finds, but the deconstruction phase usually takes up half the overall project time.

Last, I took in the bodice side seams, starting at the armholes at 6 cm and tapering to the waist. I kept it loose to guard the balance between the bottom and the top. I've been thinking about taking out the elastic and putting in darts. It could make the whole thing a bit more elegant, don't you think? The elastic is a bit on the tight side anyway, and it makes my hips stand out more than they need to.

It took me about 5 hours altogether, but it wasn't a difficult alteration. I haven't changed the garment that much but it's wearable now. I'd still like to do something more radical sometimes, but for now I'm quite happy with my new (and slightly crazy) jumpsuit. I'm curious what you think, is this a bit of a weird clowns costume or would you wear it too?