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?

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Copycat Challenge Completed!

Inspiration

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

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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!

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Cordova jacket progress

Hello everyone!

So I’m making a wearable muslin of the Cordova Jacket from Sewaholic patterns. Here’s a little update on my progress:

I decided not to line the jacket, except for the sleeves, so I’m using two finishing techniques for the seams: for the boucle-type fabric, I’m finishing the seams using bias binding; for the wool, I’m just pinking it because it doesn’t fray anyway. Maybe it looks a bit strange, definitely incongruent, but with my track record, it’s pretty good. I’m not one to finish seams at all, but I’m trying to change that. My recent purchase of these new pinking shears shows my commitment to that goal 😉

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Here’s a couple of photos of what I’ve done so far. It’s basically step 1 in the instructions, which is to sew together the front and back and sides. I’ve hit a bit of a roadblock with adding the peplum because it’s not supposed to match up at the back.  The bottom of the center back acts as part of the facing. However, mine does match up, and there are no markings or measurements for me to follow.

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Sure, I could figure it out by measuring the facing and stuff, but that takes time. And I’d rather be working on my thesis or my blog than figure out a pattern. So I wrote a quick message to Tasia of Sewaholic patterns to get some advice, which I will share with you in my next progress report.

On a side note, that bit of blue showing through on my dressform was a failed attempt at a Roxanne tunic from Victory Patterns. I was making a wearable muslin from an old voile curtain. But curtain voile is a terrible fabric to make something fashionable out of! When I tried it on, the sleeves were pulling in the back, which totally wrecked the fabric. I think, I mean, I know I have to make it out of a different fabric, and maybe add a little bit extra around the shoulder. So it was not in vain. But I am not ready to part with it yet, that’s why it’s still on my dress form.

Briar sewalong

Hello everyone!

This month has been super busy. The first weekend we had a family outing to Drenthe. It was quite cold, but that’s ok because we had a sauna and bath to keep us warm! It was great to see my niece and nephew for longer than a few hours. Then the second week, my sister and her boyfriend came to visit for a whole 9 days! I hadn’t seen my sister in a year, and even then it was only for a little over a day! Not that we had much sister time the last week; we were mainly hanging out with the four of us. Plus, I don’t think my sister likes being away from her boyfriend for more than a few minutes 😉

So in between, I was able to sew up a briar top for the sewalong. I cut out the fabric on one day and sewed it up the next. It’s a very easy pattern, as it only has 5 pieces (or 6 if you count the pocket). I thought I had 2 spools of grey thread, but I only have one, so I’ve yet to hem it. Although, I think I will only hem the sleeves anyway because it’s already the perfect length for me. That’s the nice thing about knits, you can leave them unfinished and it won’t unravel.

Here are a couple of black and white pictures from my instagram feed. I finally got my tripod back, so you’ll see me modeling it pretty soon.

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Design notes:

  • I left out the pocket because I’m not a huge fan of pockets that are not functional
  • Sleeves and bottom are unhemmed (will hem sleeves once I get another spool of thread)
  • Will add 2cm to the length for future briar projects
  • made from 1m of lightweight knit fabric from my stash, unknown fiber content
  • used the neckline band (as opposed to neckline binding)