Stashbusting Stats

First off, a big thank-you to Cation Designs and EmSewCrazy for hosting the stashbusting challenges this year and for creating the monthly challenge for us to get inspired.

At the beginning of the year, I took the stashbusting sew-along challenge. I vowed to use 13 pieces of fabric from my stash this year. Here’s a recap of what I made:

I started off with fabric from over 10 years old, from when I worked at the local fabric store in high school and beginning of college. During the year I switched back and forth between old and new. For example, I got a bunch of knit fabrics at the fabric fair last year and the year before with the dream of making and selling my knit dresses. Instead, they turned into Megan Nielsen’s Briars (row 2). My sewing machine broke at the beginning of summer, so there was a bit of a lull in my sewing queue. I got some Colette pattern sewing in, went on vacation, then came back and sewed a couple of stash busting projects. But mainly my summer sewing was made from new fabrics.

A lot of nice pieces from my stash, especially those from 10 years or older, were originally intended for small projects, like camisoles or short skirts. Now that I have a love of dresses, I often feel defeated by the lovely things in my stash I can’t make any dresses with. However, I purchased a few nice blouse patterns that will likely work better with my small pieces, such as the Eucalypt and Datura.  From this experience, I have been buying more than a meter of most of my new fabrics, unless they are intended for toddler clothes, for which 1m often suffices, or if the fabric will not make it to my stash as it is intended to be sewn right away.

I sewed a few more projects than I actually blogged about, like the ones above I only posted on instagram. I also made a top for my SIL, which I didn’t take a picture of, and a jacket for my niece, which I only posted to my facebook page. I also have a few UFOs that I made with stash fabrics (sewaholic thurlow trousers, another briar, a burda top), but I don’t think I can really count them for 2013 as I will not be finishing any of them on new year’s eve. I also made a few softies out of scraps as christmas gifts, but I don’t really want to count those either.

Summary:

  • Pieces used from my old stash (~2000-2003): 3
  • Pieces used from my new stash (~2010-2012): 12
  • Exceeding my goal by 2 pieces!
  • Min points: I added fabric to my stash this year, which was not part of my original goal. My original goal was to only buy notions, linings, and interfacing as needed.

Did you reach your stashbusting goals this year?

Miss-fires of 2013


Unfortunately, it is easier to list my misses than my hits this year.  Some of it has to do with fit, and some of it has to do with sewing mishaps, and then there’s losing interest and moving on to new projects. Without further ado, here are the misses of 2013, in no particular order.

Black and White Cordova: A missed opportunity, in a way, because when I wrote this post early in the year I said I only had to add lining to the sleeves. I have yet to finish this jacket, and the more I look at the pictures the less I want to.  I don’t think it fits too well, actually.

Pink Sureau: This photo shows exactly why I hate this dress.  It bunches up around the upper bust. And you can see the bust darts come up way too high. I even held a giveaway to get rid of this pattern! I wore it only twice: to take these pictures and one day for MMM13. Someone in the comments mentioned I probably need a FBA, so I suppose I will try to master that in the new year.

copycat challenge dress: Why is this a fail, you may ask? If you read my post, then you know how much I love this dress.  Well, when I attached the skirt to the bodice, I didn’t extend the zipper into the bodice. So I am afraid to wear this dress and break the waist seam, as it is already ripping near the zipper.

Laurel contest entry: I’m not a fan of this make at all. I wore it only for the photoshoot. I tried to be all creative and shit for the Laurel challenge and by copycatting a cool, colour-blocked shift dress I found on the internet. I think the fit is a bit too loose for my liking and the block in the front makes my boobs look enormous. I was, however, super stoked at my sewing skills getting around those tricky corners.

Other (unblogged) misses include:

Redvelvet dress from Cake Patterns or as I like to call it, saggy side boobs: I was pumped for this dress from the get-go. However, the bust pleats ended up at the side of my boobs instead of in the center of them. I’m pretty sure it’s an easy fix but I just don’t feel like it… The good thing about this project is I found out my boobs are low.

The Ava dress muslin disaster: After taking the time to do a FBA, even tediously photographing the process to make my first tutorial, when I actually went to sew the muslin, it was an epic fail! I went with the larger size for my upper bust (a size 6 instead of size 4, even though it would end up being ½ inch too big), and then completely forgot about it when doing the FBA, therefore adding about 3 cm more than was necessary. I also completely forgot that most bodice darts are too high for me, so when I made the effort to make the bodice muslin (out of a slippery cheap satin, I might add), I tried it on and almost cried. So much for a last-minute New Year’s Eve dress… The only thing good about it was that I had remembered to add length to the bodice – 7 cm of length….

Skinnified Thurlow trousers: Making wide-legged trousers is not as easy as it looks. Fitted through the hips and upper thighs, and beyond that turned into a disaster. I already tried to take them in  myself, but I actually need someone to help me pin them. It’s not easy tailoring on your own!

What were your sewing misses this year? What have you learned from them?

Copycat Challenge Completed!

Inspiration

I first blogged about my copycat inspiriation here. But if you missed it, here’s a brief recap.

Click image for link

Basically I wanted the top with the lace applique with a plaid tulip skirt similar to the second photo. Angels Never Die is one of my favourite brands. Whenever I see a sale on Vente-Exclusive, I always buy at least one thing (but it often puts me in the red and then I promptly send it back…:(

I love that they mix fabric prints, textures, and weaves.  They often mix knits with wovens and they always have interesting draping, designs, and appliques.

Making the dress

To make my dress, I used the skirt from this Burda 09/2011 Dress pattern. The top part is a refashioned basic knit top I’ve had since last year, from the Hema. It matched the brown plaid I had in mind from my stash, so I went with it.

I cut out the skirt from the plaid fabric.  I had to do some creative cutting because I had only 1m of it and those front panels eat up a shitload of fabric. So some of the seam allowances were cut on the selvage but that’s ok. I ended up cutting the waistband on the lengthwise grain (if that’s even a term?!). Also, none of the plaid matches, but I’m ok with that because it’s not too noticeable. I did not use the instructions except to check how much to gather the top of the skirt to.

The skirt has pleats AND gathers.  And the pleats are gathered! It’s a lot of fabric sitting right there on my pouch, but I like to think it doesn’t make me look too huge because the back of the skirt is such a nice shape, kind of like the Elizalex dress. The hem is finished with bias tape. The inside seams are finished with bias tape on the waistband and with a zigzag stitch for the side seams.  I would have liked to do french seams, but I figured it would get too bulky.
I purchased some of the lace trim from the most recent fabric fair in Leeuwarden and some from my local fabric shop, Jan Sikkes. I attached the trim to the top using a zigzag stitch to help keep it from getting wavy. I folded the trims over at the top and slipstitched it in place.

Styling

I paired it with leggings because a) it’s getting cold out there, b) it’s not lined, and c) it’s a good thing I did because riding my bike to the photoshoot place made the dress open up pretty much right to my crotch. I might have to add a snap or tack it down.

In some of the pictures I’m also wearing an actual Angels Never Die jacket, which I love love LOVE (there would have been an exclamation point if the jacket had pockets, but it doesn’t so boo hoo). My boots are Dr Martens and are already like 3 or 4 years old.

I accessorized with a fake pearl necklace I inherited from my grandma because I thought it matched the lace on the top quite nicely.

I even did my makeup, which you can’t even see in the pictures 😦  I did cat eyes with brown eyeliner to match my dress!

And now, for picture overload!

 

Thanks for stopping by!

zoelivana-logo1

Me Made May ’13 round up

Hello lovelies. I was MIA for almost two months from the blogosphere. I hardly kept up with reading my sewing blogs, people! I flew to Canada for 2.5 weeks in May for a family affair. My grandparents were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary and we were in for quite the shindig. My sister was in charge of organizing, so she had delegated loads of tasks to every member of our family. When I arrived, two weeks before the party, there were still lots of little things to do. My cousin was in charge of a photo presentation, but my Oma’s (grandma’s) photo albums hadn’t been scanned yet. Since everyone else was working, I had the lovely task of scanning almost 200 old photos from my grandparents’ family and their wedding. Let me tell you, scanning is quite the long and arguous task. It took me two afternoons of scanning, plus another full day to touch up the photos in photoshop. So I sent the jpgs off to my cousin, and in the meantime, my sister and her got into a tif about the presentation, my sis blaming my cuz for not caring about the presentation, and my cuz accusing my sis of leaving everything to the last minute. Of course, no one is phoning with each other, it’s all going through texting, which is the reason this all started because texts do not show intonation, but they do allow you to write things you may not say in real life. Oh dear, the drama! In the end, it all worked out of course.

So in the midst of all the preparations and visiting family and that, I didn’t give myself the time to take pictures every day. I shall remind you of my pledge before I get started with the pictures: I, Joanne of Zoe Livana, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’13. I endeavour to wear a handmade or refashioned item each day for the duration of May 2013. In addition, I endeavor to make a pair of pants or skirt (hopefully both) in May 2013.’

day1

Day 1: refashioned threadless tshirt

Day 2: a UFO brought to life!

Day 2: a UFO brought to life!

Day 3: 3/4 sleeve Briar top

Day 3: 3/4 sleeve Briar top

Well, I never said I was going to take photos every day! haha. I actually thought since I was repeating outfits that I had gotten everything, but now that I’m going through it I see that I have not. I missed my polka dot Rebecca Taylor dress and my long sleeved Briar top.

Day 4: Two tshirts into one refashion

Day 4: Two tshirts into one refashion

Day 5: threadless tshirt refashion

Day 5: threadless tshirt refashion

I got to wear a lot of my threadless tshirt refashions. I really love the prints at threadless, but I don’t always want to wear tshirts, so I bought some XXL tshirts and converted them into dresses. 😀

Day 6: Colette ginger skirt

Day 6: Colette ginger skirt

day7

Day 7: Deer and Doe Sureau dress

day8

Day 8: Military-inspired Burda jacket

I wore this Burda jacket almost every day of this month. I really love it! But I have a sad story, a cautionary tale if you will. I prewashed the shell fabric, but not the lining because I thought it was just a regular old polyester satin. I WAS WRONG. I washed the jacket at the end of the month and now the hems are puckered because the lining shrunk. :(((((( So, ALWAYS PRE WASH YOUR FABRIC EVEN IF YOU THINK IT’S NOT GOING TO SHRINK.

day10

Day 10: threadless tshirt refashion.

day11

Day 11: At the airport wearing my comfy Briar top

May 11 is the day I left for Canada to visit my family. You can tell, because my Me Made May pictures suddenly get very sparse.

day11b

Day 11: threadless refashion

I seriously do not trust Dutch hairdressers! I have been to see quite a few, and every single time, they cut off way more than I ask for. I ask for a trim, a couple of centimeters, split hair removal, and it always ends up being about 10cm shorter. So I’ve been cutting my own hair. So it was a treat to get my hair cut in Canada and get EXACTLY what I asked for. Well, except for the styling perhaps…

day13

Day 13: Burda jacket and Deer & Doe’s Belladone

day16

Day 16: threadless refashion

The above photos were both taken by professional photographers. The first was a family photo shoot because it’s been years since we got one done, taken by the lovely Anna Michalska. The second one was taken in a ghost town, Dorothy, Alberta, by my best friend N. If you want to see some cats beer posing, go check out her blog.

day18

Day 18: another threadless refashion

day21

Day 21: Belladone 2.0

day25

Day 25: A Knipmode dress from issue april 2013

May 25 was the anniversary party and this is the dress I wore!!! I shall blog more about it soon. My friend took some pictures and then her computer crashed and she lost all of her data. 😦 I was waiting for her to send me some cool edits, but luckily she already sent me a few pictures, which I will post sometime in July probably.

I also slipped up for 3 days! Those were the days I returned home and I was far too jet-lagged to bother to do laundry, so I had no more comfy me-made shirts (i.e. my briars) to wear. I just pulled on a pair of sweats and threw on a tshirt and called it a day. Which, I guess points to another gap in my me-made wardrobe: comfy pants. So I kind of missed the dramatic ending on Flickr. I was busy catching up on my sleep!

And I also didn’t really fulfill my goal to make a pair of pants or a skirt. Instead (surprise, surprise) I made two dresses, the last two pictures (one of them already blogged here). I guess my Ginger skirt kind of counts, because I made it after my pledge, but it just happened to be the end of April and it took me just one day from start to finish. Actually, I did plan on making another ginger skirt from a nice chambray I scored in my home town for $4.50/m. Instead I did things like go to my sister’s boyfriend’s house for a BBQ and get my friend to take pictures of my new makes.

Well, I hope you all had a great Me Made May, those of you who participated. I know I did! But I must say, I’m glad to be wearing my store bought clothes again.

Thanks for stopping by!

zoelivana-logo1