Monday, April 30, 2012

RTW = Inspiration!

I did it I did it!  I finished my RTW entry!

A while back, I tried on a pretty blouse at a local boutique. While I loved the lace yoke and the soft gathering across the back, the fit really was awful.  I snapped a couple quick pictures in the changing room, figuring that I'd replicate it "someday".

A few days later, I stumbled across New Look 6107, and bought this fabric. 

And then I found out about Pattern Review's RTW contest, where you try to replicate a RTW garment of your choice.  Obviously it was meant to be.

Of course, there was a lot about the blouse that I didn't like, such as the mammoth amount of fabric in the front, and the bat-wings at the side.  Good thing I can sew myself and can eliminate those things, eh?

Anywho, all of my alteration details are over at my PR review, but here's the finished results, in a side-by-side comparison with the original blouse:


I'm super pleased with the more fitted front, and I adore my fabric choice. The only thing that I'm not happy with is the height of the neckline.  Every single time I've made a New Look pattern in the past, the neckline is too low.  So for this blouse, I automatically raised it by an inch.  It's now an inch too high.  >:(  Oh well, it's still pretty.

I also opted to add the ties, not because I thought it'd improve the look of the blouse, but because I started to follow the wrong instructions.  But that's okay, I like the ties anyways, especially with the higher neckline. Next time, I'll pay attention to what I'm doing.  Maybe.

I love the back of this blouse.  I probably should've added a few more inches to the back of the blouse at the centre back, since there's less gathers than the original, but oh well, I love it anyways.  Plus that might've been too much fabric at the back.


Anywho, that's my entry for the RTW contest!  Go on over and vote in the next week or so!  And no, you don't have to vote for me.  There are some spectacular entries over there!

ETA: Aha okay sorry guys. Maybe wait to go vote on May 3rd, since that's when voting actually starts.  Heh.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Finished Object: The Spotted Blouse

HOLY COW DON'T FAINT, I actually finished something!! Oh I know, I did that scarf 3 weeks ago, but that barely counts.

Actually I started this blouse months ago, but only finished it this past week. Heck, I've worn it too many times to count with both the bottom hem and the sleeves unfinished! Whoops.

Last Wednesday, I had a big meeting at work and we were supposed to dress business casual. I opted for a pair of black trousers I bought a few months ago, and wanted to wear this spotted blouse with it. Except the hem was starting to really fray after...many washes, and what if it was warm and I needed to take off my cardigan?! Hairy sleeves are not so pretty. So late Tuesday night, I hemmed the bottom, and very early Wednesday morning, I hemmed the sleeves.

As I've said, I'm very good at procrastination!

But now it's finished, and I want at least 8 more of these. With a few modifications, of course.

This blouse is Simplicity 2594, view B. It's made with a mystery poly-something polkadot fabric I found at Value Village last summer sometime for just a few bucks. I've been sitting on this fabric for a while, trying to find the perfect pattern to pair with it, and I think I found it. The blouse is bias-cut, and this fabric just hangs beautifully without clinging in awkward places.

The cowl neckline turned out pretty good too. I didn't do a FBA on this as it was very drapy. I'm good with the effect, but I suspect the cowl would be a bit looser and less v-neck if I'd done the FBA. I will say, the cowl seems to hang whatever way it feels like it that day, so sometimes its like this, and sometimes it's softer, and other times it flips out in all the wrong places. I suspect this is just the nature of these cowls.

It's difficult to see in these pictures, but there's some pretty gathers at the shoulder to help the front cowl. I really like the effect.

I think next time I'm going to draft the sleeves a bit longer so that they hang over my ham-hock upper arms a bit more. Seriously, I didn't realize how thick they were until I saw these photos! Ah blog photos. At least it keeps me honest about my body, both the good parts and the bad. lol

Uh yeah, see what I mean about those arms? These sleeves aren't doing me any favours. ANYWAYS, yes that's a yoke across the upper back. It's actually a nice feature, cut on-grain and self-lined for stability and keeps the rest of the bodice hanging nicely. Sadly, the blouse pools on my prominant derriere, so I think I need to finally suck it up and do a sway-back adjustment. It really stands out because of the bias-cut drape.

On a side note, I bought these very skinny jeans a while ago, and have been trying to decide if I like them or not (and whether I should be wearing them). These photos tell me that no, they're not a very good idea, mostly because the fit is awful. They are far too tight, but the one size up was falling off my waist they were so loose up there. *sigh* I hate clothes shopping, especially now that I sew and understand how things should fit. But I do like the narrow leg profile, and I think I need to look into pants like the Clovers.

Anyways, back to this blouse. I really like it as a layering pieces, since yay polkadots, and I practically live in cardigans now. However, I suspect that if I work out the issue with the sway-back and the unflattering sleeves, this will make a great summer top pattern. And frankly, if I was willing to wear this blouse unfinished, a couple fit issues aren't going to keep me out of it this summer.

I mean, wouldn't it look cute with a bright yellow skirt?!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Colour Inspiration: Yellow!

Colette Patterns is hosting their Spring/Summer Palette Challenge, and Caitlin recently posted her moodboard. She's got a palette full of pretty pastel blues and pinks.
The colors I chose are ones I don’t naturally gravitate towards for myself but I’m stepping out of my comfort zone and trying something new! What about you? Are you planning on using tried and true colors or are your switching it up?
This got me thinking. This spring, despite years of being kind of meh about the colour, I'm all about the colour yellow. I shouldn't be surprised though, I've always thought that there's nothing more cheery than a field of canola or sunflowers on a bright clear Manitoba day!

Actually, this latest obsession started in the middle of winter, when I found a bunch of lovely spring fabrics in the clearance area at Fabricland and picked up a couple metres of this bright yellow silk noil at 75% off.

It's actually brighter in person, but the lighting outside was pretty poor. Your retnas should be happy though. This fabric is bright!

It screamed at me that it wanted to be a skirt. Why I'd want to put one of the brightest colours in nature on my ample booty I have no idea, but just go with it. I'm still trying to decide what kind of skirt. Originally I was thinking A-line, but maybe a pleated skirt, something with more volume? What do you think?

Anyways, a few weeks ago, I was at Value Village to buy scads of t-shirts and tanks for the summer, and happened to find not one but two bright yellow cardigans! And to top it off, one had giant polkadots. It was a no-brainer.

Every time I wear these cardigans to the office, people comment on how bright and cheery I look. Operation: Canola Field is a success!

Is there any colours that are suddenly catching your attention lately? Or are you sticking with tried and true colours this year? What's been inspiring you lately?


Oh hey, speaking of thrift shopping, look at what I found at my local used book store!

Totally worth the $15 I dished out for it!

Friday, April 13, 2012


'I, Heather of Sewing on Pins, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '12. I endeavour to wear at least one me-made or me-remade garment each day for the duration of May 2012, except on days when I am doing fieldwork'

Okay, so I mentioned a few posts back that I was not doing so well completing challenges, and then I signed up for a contest over at PR anyways. (BTW, I should have an update on my RTW blouse progress this weekend.)

I had fully intended to just play bystander for this Me-Made challenge, but I think just about everyone on my reading list is signing up, and darnit, you're all a bunch of filthy enablers. Last time I signed up, I went for the whole kit and kaboodle, pledging to only wear me-made outfits for the entire month. Not surprisingly, I burned out and failed about half-way though. This time, I'm only going for one self-stitched garment a day.

I am adding a caveat to my pledge though. Despite being told I'm office staff now, I've been sent off for fieldwork more often then I was lead to believe (3 days this week!), and I know I'll be in the field at least once a week for the next few months. I will not subject my precious me-made garments to the field, so on days when I'm out there I will be in my gungy and durable (thrifted) field clothes. By adding this caveat, I won't get into the I-can't-do-it-today guilt and subsequent I-should-just-quit-now spiral of doom.

Also, to keep both everyone's reading list less innondated and my own sanity, I'll only be posting my outfits once a week. That's enough challenge for me!

Are you all considering signing up for Me-Made-May'12? If so, are you modifying your pledge to make it more challenging or (like me) more doable?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

My Sunday Afternoon Plans

Attempting to do this with the following:

With the help of these:

Pattern Review RTW Contest is a go!
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