I also broke my fabric drought this month -- after abstaining for MONTHS I broke down and ordered a 2m cut of a fabric I just couldn't resist! Despite this, however, I am actually finally making some downward progress with my stash -- right now I have 12.5m less garment fabric than than on 1 January, which is about as good as my stash statistics have looked all year. I also did an epic sort out of my bag-making/other fabric. I sent some fabrics to recycle and sold some other pieces on eBay, with the end result that I've manage to cull over 25m from that part of my stash in total so far this year.
On the actual sewing front, though, other than that StyleArc Issy top (wear update: fabulous, love this top) and some easy knits at the start of the month, the only other thing I managed to make successfully in October was an unexciting but subsequently very welcome pair of pyjamas. This is my old favourite Butterick 5704 (a pattern that I've made several times now) and a no pattern (or, at the risk of sounding extremely pretentious when describing a garment than is basically a rectangle, a "self-drafted" pattern) baggy t-shirt that I first made earlier this year.
|My fuzzy October pyjamas|
For November I have a few plans but nothing too concrete -- it depends how well I feel as to how ambitious I get with my sewing for the next few weeks. At the moment too the weather is so warm that I've not really felt very excited about making anything intended for wear in the dead of winter. I may regret this, since the doom and gloom merchants are talking hysterically about the "worst winter in 50 years" that's allegedly going to hit us at some point. That prospect does provide me with a little encouragement to try to make some progress on Operation: Outerwear (a.k.a my long-discussed but never realized coat project). If we do have a dreadful winter I am woefully ill-equipped for it, as far as coats are concerned. On the other hand, the idea of trying to do anything as ambitious as fitting and sewing a coat if I carry on feeling as ill I did for most of October is risible, and so I'm leaving it there as just a possibility rather than a plan for now. Less interesting but probably more achievable are a couple of knit garments I have it in mind to make, and maybe a woven shirt if I feel up to it. I also want to get back to knitting my Wanderling jumper. I meant to get restarted on in October but again: too ill most days, too busy when I wasn't ill.
As far as the Craftsy thing goes, I did get through three more classes (here also is Part 1 of my mini-reviews, with some general blather at the start). The main thing to come from watching these classes is actually that I added something to my "vague future plans for when I am well again and working and have an income and stuff": I really want to go do one of Alison Smith's classes at her School of Sewing down in the Midlands. In the meantime, I watched:
Couture Finishing Techniques by Alison Smith
I don't really aspire to sew ~~couture but I do enjoy getting a really nice finish on garments that I make, so I was quite keen to take this class. I've also heard really good things about Alison Smith, so I wanted to try at least one of her classes. Definitely a good plan -- I loved this class! It covers seam and hem finishing, a fancy buttonhole, a zip guard and waistband finish for a skirt, various kinds of corded closures and some hand stitching. Although the class is billed as "couture" and there are some bits I was like "yeah, no, I won't be hand whip stitching my seam allowances any time soon, who has time for that", I can easily imagine including many of the other techniques in my own extremely prosaic and everyday sewing. (In fact, I was delighted to discover she suggested using several techniques I have already tried to use e.g. in a black and white linen skirt I made in summer 2014 -- I loved how that skirt came out and the finish I got.). Presentation wise, Alison is another very clear and precise instructor, very like Suzy Furrer in her presentation style (and also a professional teacher -- there's a trend here). This was DEFINITELY worth my time.
Couture Dressmaking Techniques by Alison Smith
Having taken the finishing techniques class first, I expected to like this class, and indeed I did really enjoy it. It covers a lot of the same ground as the The Couture Dress by Susan Khalje, which I've owned for a very long time -- I think it was the first class I ever bought -- but of which I've only ever watched about half. There's a lot of the usual hand-work, silk organza underline everything type of thing, but there's plenty of technique in here done at the machine that I can see myself using in my everyday sewing. Again, really enjoyed Alison's delivery of the material, took a million notes, definitely worth my time. I did skip the section on boning entirely, because I foresee no boned dresses in my immediate (or even in my distant) future.
Decorative Seams: Techniques and Finishes by Katrina Walker
I chose this class because it demonstrated a particular technique (open slot seams) that I have picked out as something I want to do with a specific pattern and fabric in my stash. Of course I have written instructions in one of my sewing books, but I thought since here was an opportunity to see it demonstrated, plus some other things like faux tucks and piping, I would take advantage of it. As it turned out, I did watch pretty much the whole of the rest of the class as well as the slot seam section, except for two longer sections on prairie points and Seminole piecing -- they were a little too Look, Ma, I'm Wearing A Quilt! for my taste. The instructor, Katrina, is quite good -- very clear and although a little nervous in the earliest segments, she settles down into a very approachable and pleasant teaching style quite quickly. Unfortunately she wears probably her own hand-made clothes and I was distracted by how poor the fit was sometimes. This is slightly unkind of me, but she is being sold to me as a sewing teacher so whatever. Nevertheless, I quite enjoyed the class and very usefully there is a sampler/instruction worksheet provided for each of the techniques which I think will come in handy. I don't think I'll want to revisit this class but I don't feel I wasted my time flipping through the parts that interested me most.
Overall, the all-access pass was great. I'd definitely buy one again if it were at the right price, and I definitely feel like, in spite of the fact I didn't watch even half the classes I targetted due to illness, I got really good value for money from it. I wish I'd gotten to more of the Suzy Furrer classes, and the Allison Smith tailoring classes as well, but I just couldn't.