Made by Me!

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Absolute beginnner...

Do you ever think that even though you’ve been sewing for a while you still feel like an absolute beginner at times? It’s been an extremely busy work week and so I have been snatching half an hour here and there to sew up an easier project and chose the Miette skirt because as Tilly states it’s a beginner’s pattern. However I think I have managed to pretty much mess up every bit of it so far and it’s really made me feel like I haven’t learnt anything much since I started sewing!

I didn’t really think about the fabric choice. I honestly think my fabric is far too thick for this skirt and I don’t usually make that kind of rookie error but it’s probably a result of sewing far too often with tana lawn!! It’s so gloriously thin!!

I sewed the pieces as directed but managed to cut the seams too close in one place inside and almost jeopardised the whole thing. I normally use my interlocker over the seams prior to sewing a garment to neaten any edges that would be on show but for some reason chose not to and it all went a little wrong trying to zigzag the seams afterwards; especially trying to get through some of those layers!!

When I hemmed the back of the skirt my machine skipped stitches so I had to unpick it and re-do it which was surprisingly more difficult to do than usual, and when I had to put the waistband on it was so thick I managed to do a wiggly line which most definitely was not a 5/8 seam allowance! 

Time to put it aside for another day – one where sleep deprivation doesn’t impair my ability to do simple tasks.....that's my excuse for a bad sewing day anyway....

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Toile away!

So I cut out the fabric and sewed up the toile without the sleeves. First impressions are that the notches didn’t match on the back pieces and there are huge triangular pieces of fabric which poke out from the top of the front of each sewn up princess seam section.
Okay huge might be an over statement but the pieces don’t match up so there seems to be some issue with mismatched pieces. I thought I had cut out the wrong sizes on different parts of the pattern but thankfully this isn’t the case as I didn’t relish the idea of sticking another '100' pages together and cutting it all out again. It was laborious and time consuming to say the least and it finished off my sellotape!! The second issue is its massive! It looks like it would drown me for a fitted jacket.
Fitting wise firstly I used my intuition to take in the princess seams where it is most baggy around the waist. I have no problem with the bust area and shoulders so far. I thought it was too large at the back and tried pinning all the seams but I took the middle section out again as it produced a fullness on the upper back and was actually a little tight. I ended up pinning some of the excess fabric horizontally on the middle of the back section which I think looks a little like a sway back adjustment after googling various fitting techniques. There is still a way to go to get this right I think, especially as I am not sure how fitted is too fitted but I guess there has to be a little trial and error at this stage!

I admit I bought this class probably when everyone else was actually making the jacket a couple of years ago and I just sat on it for ages not doing anything with it. I usually just log on to Craftsy as normal and access it through my homeroom but apart from noticing they had made a comment about the lack of tutor comments I didn’t really think anything had changed with this course. So when I came to click on a link to the class on someone else’s page yesterday it said the class has been retired which I was saddened about. I love Gertie's stuff and whilst so far I am not so impressed with the detail of the course it would be nice if they would update it and add to it rather than give it up.

I have Gertie's book (and love it) and think a similar jacket is in there so may use this as additional ‘help’ as well as coming back to the wise words of everyone else who has attempted the jacket - they recommend to look out for certain pit falls, mainly to watch a whole class before committing to any sewing to check you have all the information you need to move forward and most importantly to check out other ways to do some of the techniques – many people have said the bound buttonholes can be done much easier but as I haven’t done them before I wouldn’t know!

In reality I love the shape of the jacket and I am now kind of intrigued by the whole class and what I will come out with at the end. So I will continue with the hope it will turn out lovely. In the meantime if anyone has any ideas of how to make the fitting better that would be much appreciated!

On to other slightly related and exciting news - and I haven't posted this due to working most of the weekend and being ridiculously exhausted from a long week in general (its old age....) but I managed to enrol in a skirt sloper pattern cutting course at the last minute at Fashion Antidote in East London. I started on Saturday afternoon, such a nice excuse to leave a shoot at work early, and what was even better is the other people didn't turn up so I got some one on one tuition! Joy! In reality it would have been nice to have other people on the course too as that's how you further your learning and it makes it more fun but it was great to be able to learn at your own pace.

So far I have measured myself and drawn up  the basic skirt pattern. Next Saturday I move on to cutting it out on canvas and making a mock up to see how it fits - which makes me think I need to stop eating such large dinners just in case I add another inch on to that waistline..... I will post more about this after my next lesson with a little more information about how you can do it yourselves so you can make a sloper too. I have to say having someone talk me through it has help to demystify it a bit.

Until next time....

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

The first Starlet Craftsy class

So since my last entry I have finished the peplum top – I’m really rather pleased with it and think the fit is pretty good. I didn’t know whether a peplum top would definitely suit me but I am very happy with it and would definitely recommend the pattern – it’s not difficult but it is more time consuming than I had imagined.I will post pics of me in it but I am already having one of those weeks at work that mean I am totally knackered and dont want to deal with being photographed so will have to do this another time! Here it is on my dress dummy though.

I have also pieced together and cut out the Miette skirt pattern – putting it to one side for now until I get the Starlet jacket started with the aim of alternating a harder longer project with hand tailoring techniques with a simpler and quicker project for more instant gratification.

I have just watched the first lesson in the Craftsy class for Gerties Starlet Suit Jacket. It really was just an introduction to the course and a talk through of all the different types of sewing accessories you can buy and materials you will need. I think I own maybe one of the accessories but I am not sure whether to invest in everything without knowing if I want make more items like this and I guess I won’t know that until after I have finished the course. Thankfully Gertie has said you don’t need all of them and she will suggest alternatives throughout. I do like the look of the presser and clapper though so I may have a think about that one further down the line….  

I am slightly daunted by the thought of hand tailoring this jacket. I am slightly more daunted now I realise there isn’t any specific lesson on tailoring the muslin which is what I was hoping for. The second lesson jumps straight into cutting out the fashion fabric and she just suggests that I use online resources for fitting the toile. I can’t help but feel slightly cheated there isn’t any direct help with this even in the more basic sense because that’s why I paid for the course. Also at least at this point I would have some written instructions to follow about how to actually put it all together but you have to have watched all of the lessons for that which is frustrating so I am just using my knowledge gained from sewing so far to get the toile together. Hopefully that will be enough but I am especially nervous of how to accurately transfer pattern changes to the paper pattern which I haven’t done before because if I'm honest I tend to be bad at actually doing the toile before hand and generally make small adjustments when I am making it. However I will give it a go and use what I have learnt from previous projects, online resources as suggested and from the many books waiting on my shelves and see what happens. I am really just ever so slightly nervous to think of getting it wrong and cutting out my lovely fabric in the wrong way. So I had better do a good job with the toile!!