Category Archives: sewing

Making some wool skirts

A little too late for winter, I think, but I’ve gotten it into my head to make some pencil skirts from the dark red wool I used for a jacket, and the gray wool that I used for a jumper. I started with the red wool first. It wasn’t as pretty as the gray wool, so I knew I wouldn’t mind it so much if I botched the piece.

I used the Simplicity 2906 pattern for skirts (the second skirt pictured).

Instead of sewing darts, I eased the seams, and then used steam to shrink out the fullness. Result: excellent fit around the back, hooray!

I also sewed in an invisible zipper before doing the rest of the seams, or at least I tried to. Positioning the zipper correctly was an interesting topological exercise! The generic invisible zipper foot didn’t fit my sewing machine, so I sewed the zipper in by hand. It’s relatively inconspicuous, although not as hidden as properly applied zippers on ready-to-wear clothes.

The wool is a little itchy, but I can wear this with a slip. I may even line the other one. (Everything looks better lined anyway. ;)

I’m going to hang this skirt up so that I can hem it tomorrow, and I’ll keep an eye out for something I can make into a slip. Given the warmer weather (hooray!), I may postpone sewing the other wool skirt. If so… Hmm… What would be nice to do next? A full skirt in red/white gingham check? Maybe get started on those Vogue shirt patterns I picked up yesterday? Hmm…

Just a simple red skirt

My skirt! I’m getting more and more confident about wearing my creations outside the house. <laugh> This is the skirt I wore to work today. It’s a simple straight skirt using the Simplicity 2906 pattern. As I mentioned previously, the wool’s rough, so I used some lining scraps to make a slip. The skirt came together quite nicely, and I could probably make the hemline a little neater next time.

I love the colour of this wool. It’s a rich, deep red with warm undertones, and it’s the same wool I used for my red jacket (Vogue 8343). So nice picking up things like that!

Thinking about organizing sewing patterns

My stash of patterns keeps growing.

Tops

  • Vogue V8322 (princess-seamed shirts with snaps)
  • Butterick 3030 (raglan-sleeved and dolman-sleeved shirts shirts)
  • Butterick B4815 (vest) – made this, then realized I don’t particularly like wearing vests =)
  • Butterick B4659 (princess-seamed shirt with wide collar) – made this, not happy with the collar
  • Butterick 6085 (shirts)
  • Vogue V2218 (princess-seamed blouses and skirt)

Bottoms

  • Simplicity S2906 (full and slim skirts) – have three skirts using this pattern already ;)
  • Vogue V7881 (instructions for slacks) – working on this, made muslin

Dresses

  • Vogue V8020 (princess-seamed dresses with full skirts)
  • Simplicity 4097 (wardrober with top, jumper, slacks, and collarless blazer) – made the jumper and the blazer: first time to line an outfit, yay, but the cut is too casual
  • Butterick 5746 (dress fitting shell) – made this and learned more about how I need to alter patterns (eliminate top darts, trim bottom darts ;) )
  • Butterick B5277 (dress with asymmetric collar)

Sleepwear

  • Simplicity 3548 (pajama set) – made this with an awesome kitty-printed flannel fabric!
  • Vogue V7837 (nightwear)

Outerwear and sportswear

  • Vogue V8343 (wardrober with asymmetric jacket, skirt, slacks, dress, and top) – made the jacket, liked it
  • Butterick B4610 (blazers with notched collars)
  • McCall’s M4598 (blazers)
  • McCall’s M5764 (capelet)
  • McCall’s M5668 (princess-seamed blazer with roll collar)
  • Vogue V1020 (knit wardrober)

I’d love to have the yardage and notions information on my iPod when I’m at the fabric store, and to have a taggable, browsable, very visual way to navigate through my patterns. I usually take all the envelopes when I go shopping, leaving the pattern tissue and instructions at home, but this results in quite a bit of shuffling around as I try to match fabrics with patterns. And it would be nice to have the patterns on my computer as inspiration instead of just sticking up one or two using magnets on my board…

Oooh, and a way to organize online fabric swatches would be nice, too.

PatternReview has a Pattern Stash and Wishlist. It’s one of their for-pay features, but it doesn’t support the kind of tagging and categorization I want, and I’d like the thumbnails to be a lot bigger, too. Maybe make styleboards using Kaboodle, so I can plan my spring/summer and fall/winter projects? That might be interesting…

Otherwise, tempted to either put static images together in Inkscape or Scribus, or build a pattern and fabric organizing system using Drupal… <laugh>

Putting together an inspiration board

I asked one of my assistants to track down envelope images for the sewing patterns I have, and to send them all back to me with the pattern number as the filename. Then I created a large image using the free photo-editing program The Gimp, and I opened all the files as layers. Using my ever-so-wonderful Cintiq 12 WX, I moved the pictures around to organize them by type. I circled the patterns that I was happy with and crossed out the ones I tried and didn’t like as much, and then I added some more notes.

The result:
[Harrumph, I’ve lost my original inspiration_board.jpg].

Some patterns are missing, but I can fix that next time. =) Must make room!

Making things; Vogue 8020

I’ve been writing a lot about sewing lately, which might surprise you if you came to this blog for tips on Emacs or Drupal. =) It’s the way my life works–I focus on things, but the set of things I focus on evolves over time. I still have lots to write about Drupal, social networking, and virtual assistance, but I have to confess I haven’t been tweaking my .emacs lately! =)

Anyway, sewing. I enjoy picking fabrics and imagining what to do with them, and then convincing the fabric to look like a reasonable facsimile of my intended result. For example, I picked up 5 meters of the adorable blue fabric below (100% cotton; the white flowers are glittery), and I’ve been making a dress following Vogue’s V8020 pattern (also pictured below). I’ve made it with a V neckline instead of a rounded neckline (yay options!), and the only things I need to do to make it wearable are to sew in the zipper and fix the hems.

And then I’ll have a pretty dress to wear at my get-together this Saturday. =) Sure, the seams are a little crooked and puffy, but I made the dress, and I’ll just get better and better with each thing I make.

The fabric’s also available in pink, but I thought that might be too jeune fille. I sound five years old, and I don’t need to look it. Blue takes a bit of that edge off, and the simple, non-frilly lines of the pattern further modify the effect of the print.

New this time: diligently marking all seamlines, making a princess-seamed top whose fit I actually like, making the first dress I like. This will be my first time to use ribbons, too!

Thinking about the next summer dress I’m going to make

I’m trying to decide what to do with this pretty embroidered-border linen I picked up from Fabricland. J- thinks I should make it into a dress.  I think I’ll reuse the princess-seamed V-neck bodice from Vogue 8020, because that actually fits me (hooray!). Instead of continuing the seams into the skirt, I’ll just gather the skirt. I’ll need to either line the dress or wear a camisole and slip.

It’s either that, or try to figure out how to sew two rectangles to each other in a way that makes sense… <laugh>