Friday, March 30, 2012

To Infinity AND BEYOND!

After declaring that I was in a bit of a sewing slump lately (of which I seem to be in good company, if recent blog posts are any indication), I suddenly had a desire to sew. But I didn't want anything too complicated or time consuming, so I thought it was about time to make an infinity scarf.

Last fall, everyone was making these, and I picked up a small piece of this lace-printed cotton/rayon (I think) knit precisely for this project. And just like how everyone else in the sewing world has done at one time or another, got distracted by shiny things and forgot about it.

The whole thing took me under 15 minutes to make, including cutting, pinning, sewing, and then attempting to pull the thing right-side out properly not once, not twice, but thrice before I got it right. Oh, and hand sewing the gap closed. This is about as good as it gets for instant gratification.

But man, I just could not work out how to finish the scarf. First I tried to leave an opening on the side seam to pull it through, but I wound up with the tube on the inside (sorry, didn't think to take pictures). Then I pulled the whole thing wrong side out again, sealed up the side seam, and opened up a section along the joined ends. Same result. Then, and only then, did I google a tutorial. Why yes, I do in fact get my fear of reading instructions first from my Dad. I wound up just hacking out the seam along the joined ends and following the tutorial instructions. Worked like a charm. Hmm...I guess instructions can be helpful afterall...occasionally.

In other news, don't you love this skirt? I found it at Value Village, and was in love with it before I even tried it on. Good thing too, because I found it just as they were trying to kick everyone out of the store at the end of the day, and I had to take it home before I could try it on. Luckily it was a perfect fit!

It's basically a pencil skirt with the bottom part hacked off at an angle and a pieced flaired section sewn on. It's made of a cotton twill (think cargo pants), and drapes and moves beautifully. Would probably be pretty easy to make, actually.

As if I don't have enough to make already!

Coming down for a landing from beyond infinity.

Between the skirt and the infinity scarf, this gave me a great chance to play in the park on my way home! It's been such a weird winter and early spring. Normally we'd have a few feet of snow on the ground still. It's disorienting being able to wear skirts in March! Never mind the +26C weather we had a couple weeks ago!

I hope you're all having fun sewing, or if you're in a slump, that you can kick yourself back out soon. I recommend making an infinity scarf!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Fail One Challenge, but Try Try Again!

I've had to back out of the One Week One Pattern challenge, partially because of this mishap, and also because I'm in a bit of a sewing slump. Can't seem to finish even a simple skirt.

So I'm leary to accept another challenge.

That's not really going to stop me though!

I admit, I've been a little put off the contests at PR. There's just been so many of them, and such short time spans, and I know I can't keep up. At first, I looked over this one without much interest.

And then I remembered that I already have a RTW-inspired garment in the plans, and I'm very excited to get to it. Maybe the excitement will help me get over this slump!

I refuse to sign up, though. I'm very good at jinxing myself, so I'm holding off until I actually have a finished garment. Of course, I've probably just jinxed myself anyways...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

And the Winner is...

...Another Sewing Scientist! Congrats!

And thank you, everyone else who signed up. You all came up with lovely ideas for this fabric. I wish I could send you all some of it!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Taking it Easy (and a Giveaway Reminder!)

I admit, I'm not feeling up to much of anything today, but that's probably from the amount of cheerful wheaty beverages I drank last night in celebration of my birthday. Yay hangovers!

I'm probably just going to lounge about, watching movies and working on more crochet discs for this project. So much for my day of sewing. :/ Ah well, it was worth it for last night!

This is the view of the table next to me in the hospital waiting room while my Mom was in surgery. Kept me occupied, at least. Those heart pins are what I was talking about in this post.

And just a reminder, don't forget to go sign up for the Heather-is-Getting-Old Giveaway for this funky bit of fabric! I'll be making the draw tomorrow at 12 pm Winnipeg MB time. I'm willing to ship it anywhere, so everyone is welcome to sign up!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wednesday Night (Cyber) Sewing Date

Heather of FussWorks and I were chatting this afternoon, and realized we both had similar plans of tidying our sewing spaces and then actually sewing this evening. So we decided to make a date of it!

She's posted on her own goals for the evening, and I'll let you go check that out for yourself.

My own goals were originally to finish off the various versions of Simplicity 2599 that I have on the go. However, I just tried both versions on, and realized that the fit is quite awful! Here, see for yourself:

Is there a body under there? Does she actually have any curves? I don't think so, she's obviously a box covered in an awful print. Yuck. And look at this shoulder seam. Granted, I need to finish up the french seam here, but it's not going to get it anywhere near the edge of my shoulder. ARGH.

These tops are getting tossed right back on the UFO pile, I can't stand to look at them anymore.

SO I'M CHANGING MY PLAN! I'm going to make 2 versions of Simplicity 5914 for One Week, One Pattern instead.

I hope so, anyways. I have until Saturday morning to get at least the first one finished. EEP!

Don't forget to sign up for my Heather-is-Getting-Old Giveaway!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Shopping Spoils + a Birthday Giveaway!

It's my birthday this Friday, and Mitchells Fabric was kind enough to offer a 25% sale this past weekend in honour of it! Understanding of course that I'd be far too busy celebrating to have a chance to shop this weekend. Considerate of them, eh?

And because it's always more fun to shop with a friend, I dragged my sewing buddy Sheila out to the sale on Sunday. She has a Will of Steel though, and managed to not buy anything. *GASP* I know, I'm as shocked as you all are. It's a sale! You're supposed to make unwise fabric purchase decisions!

Although this could possibly explain some of the disasters in my fabric stash.

ANYWAYS, this is what I walked away with:

From top left corner, clockwise: 3 m of 60" wide light-weight interfacing; 3 m of vintage 100% cotton (it's only labeled as "vintage". Oh Mitchell's, I love your wacky basement selection); 4 m of mousseline cotton for lining things; New Look 6107; and 0.4 m of cotton lace. Not too much damage, if a little boring.

The shirt pattern was a bit of a fluke, actually. On Saturday, I stopped in at a little boutique in the village. I fell in love with this blouse they had on display, but when I tried it on, it was more than a bit of a disaster.

What is with the wings?! I suspect it's meant to be worn tucked in or with a belt, but there's no way I was dishing out $95 for this hot mess.

But it had some sweet details, and I snapped some pics to remind me to incorporate them into something. Someday.

Actually, I love the back, with all the soft gathers and the pretty lace yoke. Not so much with my black bra strap though, sorry about that.

(That's my new camera, btw!)

I don't know, there's something about the soft floral print and the pretty lace details, never mind that length of sleeve. Mmm pretty. Shame the rest of it was so gross.

Well, on our Mitchell's adventure, I was keeping an eye out for lace that would go with a piece of Springy floral fabric I have, half thinking of altering a pattern to include a lace yoke on a blouse. I idley flipped open the New Look pattern book, and what did it turn to but this:

Well then, it was just meant to be! It has soft gathers where the fashion fabric meets the yoke on the front, and I may draft in some gathers for the back as well, since I think it looked so pretty in the inspiration blouse.

Here's a closer look at the lace I found, along with the blouse fabric and some pearly buttons I picked up last year at a thift shop. Doesn't the whole thing scream frilly girly blouse?! I can't wait to work on it!

Now, that black, yellow and white wild piece may be familiar to some of you. Last summer, I brought you guys along with me on another adventure at Mitchells, and this print was in one of the photos. I hadn't even noticed it until a bunch of you drooled commented on it. Now every time I go back there, I always seem to trip on this bolt.

On Sunday, I finally had enough. And one of you lucky readers will benefit from it!

Happy Heather-is-Getting-Old Giveaway!

In honour of my 31st birthday (dear me), I'm giving away 3 m of this vintage 100% cotton cloud/popcorn printed fabric. It's light-weight and a bit sheer, and while it has a slightly stiff hand right now, I think it'll soften up beautifully once it's prewashed.

Just leave a comment below with your email address and maybe what you'd considering making with this fabric. I'll draw a name this Sunday at 12 noon Winnipeg time. I'm willing to ship internationally so anyone can sign up!

Happy Sewing All!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Whole Lot of (Nicely Organized) Blathering

Okay, so this post may be a little spastic with a lot of topic jumps, but just bear with me. I've had a lot of sewing stuff on the go and on my mind, and I'm just going to get it out here.

Bloody Wooly Winter Coat

On hold. It was 26C outside today. Do not need a winter coat.

It's sure looking pretty though!

FNSI Update:

I got a bit of sewing done last night for the Friday Night Sew-In. I'd cut out an altered version of my woven t-shirt TNT (Simplicity 2599) this past week when I was out at my Mom's place, and I got the body and the neckline facing put together, with french seams everywhere! I love this pattern because if you look past all the ruffles and frills and other crap they stick on the line drawings, it's basically just a plain shirt pattern, and it's easy as pie to alter. Plus it has different pieces for each cup size, so YAY no FBA!

For this version, I've lowered the original neckline by about 1 inch, and then added a v-notch on the centre front. I'd originally planned to have ties at the top of the v-notch, but now I'm not so sure. I don't have a picture of my progress so far, but there's a picture below of the v-notch facing I drafted last night. I'm darn proud that I managed to get that right, and the notch looks really good! (Don't worry, I plan to do a construction post on this later.) Sorry about the poor lighting and horrible contrast between my new ironing board cover and the floral print.

I have a few versions of this top on the go right now. I really should finish them off because I'm going to need them by the end of March. Which brings us to...

One Week, One Pattern

Oh yeah, I signed up. I thought it'd be fun to wear one pattern for a week, and I knew exactly which one I wanted to use. Simplicity 2599. Mostly because I have a few of them on the go, and I thought this might finally force me to finish them off. One of them I started last September, and the other last May. Eeep! It's actually really ridiculous, because one only needs a sleeve attached - all the hemming and everything is finished, and the other just needs the neckline completed and the bottom hemmed. So of course I start a new version of it instead.

My procrastination skills knows no bounds.

These tops are also part of a much larger plan...

Spring/Summer Wardrobe Planning

Okay, so I spent a bunch of time during FNSI last night futzing around with a wardrobe plan. My wardrobe is pretty feeble. I mix winter and summer clothes willy-nilly, and the whole things winds up pretty dark and drab. But on one of my fabric shopping trips this winter, I found bright shades of silk noil in the clearance area at Fabricland for $7/m, and I picked up enough in a bright yellow for a skirt, and enough in coral for a dress. This then prompted me to pick up a poly chiffon in shades of pale blue, pinks, yellows and cream for (what I hope will be) a frilly button-up shirt.

I'm embracing brighter colours. Well, sort of.

From top centre, moving clockwise: sheer black cotton/poly blend nearly finished as a version of Simplicity 2599; white rib knit, destined to be a tank top; poly chiffon that will hopefully be a frilly girly button-up; medium blue mystery knit (appears darker in the photo than IRL) destined to be a t-shirt; poly floral crap discussed above; black cotton/linen blend that will be a skirt; blue cotton twill that will also be a skirt; bright yellow silk noil that will ALSO be a skirt (why the heck am I putting the brightest colour in existance on my hips and ass, I have no idea); coral silk noil that will be a shirt dress; burn-out light weight knit that will be another version of this cardigan (shamelessly copied from Stacie); and a cotton/poly knit that will be a more fitted cardigan.
Plans subject to change without notice.

Yes yes okay, there's a lot of black and charcoal in there, but I'm trying to also work with what I have in my stash, and my stash is either ridiculously busy and bright or dark and boring. Plus the darker colours will help tone down or tie together some of the brighter colours (or so I'm hoping).

I'm pretty excited about this wardrobe plan. Yes, there's a lot in there, but most of this ties in well with what I already have in my closet, so it's not like I'll need all the pieces immediately. They'll fit in well as they're made.

Although I really do want to get those skirts made up pretty quickly, as my wardrobe is lacking in solid coloured skirts (especially blindingly-bright yellow skirts). And thanks to Steph's recent post on how to care for (and how not to care for) silk fabric, I'm not as terrified of my silk noil.

Want to know what actually inspired this wardrobe plan? A flier from Smart Set (a retail clothing store that deals mostly with casual and business casual wear). What they did was showed 10 basic pieces to have in your wardrobe that mixes and matches well, and then used those 10 basic pieces to show a different look for all 29 days in February. What I appreciated about it wasn't that they were saying "buy all of these exact pieces for a perfect wardrobe", but "these are basic pieces that you may even have in your wardrobe already (although of course we have some great pieces you'll love)".

The pieces include:
  1. The perfect blazer
  2. A chiffon shirt
  3. Faux leather jacket (I'm substituting either a denim jacket or possibly a trench)
  4. A sheer striped top (I'm...going with a plain, non-sheer knit top instead)
  5. A printed blouse
  6. Wide leg pants
  7. Shawl cardigan
  8. A shirt dress
  9. Flaired denim jeans
  10. Pencil skirt

Of course, I'm not going by the book (or in this case, flyer), but it certainly inspired me. I suspect I'm going to live in skirts this summer, so I want more than one of them, and I'll need more than one cardigan since my office temp fluctuates from brr fricken brr to omg too hot over the day. I also want to make a denim jacket at some point as I have some lovely denim in my stash that I'd like to use up. Nothing cut in stone, but a nice guide to go with.

Okay, I'm done blathering. For now. Oh wait, no I'm not...

Hemming Stuff for Others:

I promised my Mom's friend ages and ages ago that I'd make some curtains for her. She finally got fed up and bought some, then asked if I'd hem them for her. Feeling guilty, I said I would. That was months ago. Last week? GOT THEM DONE.

No pictures because by the time I was finished I hated the 100% polyester faux silk CRAP that I couldn't even stand to look at it anymore. Plus it's just a basic hem and a couple ties made from the left over pieces. But my GOSH I've learned a good lesson on why you should always cut on grain. These weren't, and you could tell. When I finished hemming them and held them up to make sure the hem was actually straight (I measured it at least 3 times per panel to be sure), the whole curtain hung crooked.

Let that be a lesson for us all. CUTTING ON GRAIN IS IMPORTANT, YO.

Friday, March 16, 2012

FNSI, and a Big Thank You!

Handmade by Heidi

I keep trying to sign up for this, and then having no energy to do it when Friday evening rolls around. But I just got home after being away for a week, and I have a bunch of projects on the go. I think tonight I'm going to pop on a movie and get to it! More on that tomorrow when I do my FNSI update post.


Thank you all for your support and kind words on my last post. I sort of maybe teared up a bit, reading the comments. You are all very awesome. My Mom's surgery went well. Actually, really well. She doesn't even feel like she had surgery! So well in fact, she's headed back to work on Monday. Radiation starts in about 2 months, though, so we'll see how she feels during that.

Heather over at FussWorks made some beautiful crocheted heart pins to wear for my Mom, and I admit, I immediately started to bawl I was so touched, and also bookmarked the pattern for future use! Check out her post and tell her how awesome she is, because she is. You're a good friend, Heather. Thank you. <3

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Thinking Pink All Over Again

Back in October, I joined the Think Pink contest over at PR, where we had to make a garment out of pink fabric, what with October being Breast Cancer Awareness month. I never realized, back then, how this form of cancer would impact my family.

My Mom was diagnosed with Breast Cancer last month.

It's terrifying, not only because..uh..cancer, but also because I've already lost my Dad to another form of it (or several forms - it actually took 3 types of cancer to take him down - he was a tenacious bugger).

But we caught it early. The cancer is only about the size of your pinkie fingernail, and likely isn't that invasive. My Mom is stubborn about doctors, and hasn't had a breast exam in far too many years than should be counted. But she found a lump and went to a local nurse right away, who then sent her to a specialist immediately. Amazingly, the lump she found wasn't the cancer; it was only a lump of scar tissue, likely from overworking herself washing walls. The actual cancer was hiding well beneath that. If she hadn't been working so hard, she may not have found the cancer until it was much further advanced.

This story freaks out one of my Grandmas, but I think it's pretty amazing. Someone was looking out for my Mom.

She goes in this Friday for the Lumpectomy, and will start radiation soon afterward. My Grandma, who likes to take on projects, has made these pink and white heart shaped pins, and sent them ALL OVER THE BLOODY WORLD for friends and family to wear in support on March 9th. Wish I could show you them, but I'll post a picture of us wearing them later (I'm in the process of purchasing this camera - yay pictures!).

I think I'll also wear my Think Pink blouse on that day for a bit of extra support. Best to go in battle ready for my most favourite person in the world while she fights off Cancer (the Bastard).

Despite the fact that Mom really hates the colour pink.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Wooly Coat: The End is Nigh!

Sadly, this post will have no photos, because I've misplaced my camera. I'm procrastinating from my coat though, so VOILA BORING POST!

But I thought I'd let you know on the progress of this bloody coat. I've named it the wooly coat, but I suspect bloody would be more appropriate, especially considering how many times I've drawn blood with all the pinning and trying it on mostly pinned.

Last thing you heard, I had the shell together, but it didn't fit quite right. I took in the back along the princess seams 1/2 inch each, and also the underarm seam on the sleeves. I think the fit is much better, and I didn't mess it up at all! I'd love to show you, but oops, no camera. *facepalm*

I've since attached the collar, which looks amazing, but you'll have to take my word for that, too. Today, I'm putting together the lining, and I'm nearly done. Just need to sew together the sleeves and attach them to the lining body. I love raglan sleeves; so much easier to attach!

I'm considering sewing on an inside pocket, but I can decide whether to do a patch pocket or a zippered welt-like pocket. Or maybe a zippered patch pocket!

I want this coat done, and I think I can finish it this weekend. I think? I hope.

Sorry for the lack of photos. I suspect I'll be off to buy a camera tomorrow, because even when I find mine, it's really on it's last legs.

Alright, back to work. Wish me luck! Happy sewing all.
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