Sunday, 19 May 2013

One Last Project & Summer Plans

I had one last little sewing project I wanted to get done before I packed up my sewing room for good in this house. My last project is something very familiar: an Ottobre Woman 02-2013-02. No, I'm not tired of this pattern yet, even though this is my fifth that I have made, including the wearable muslin that I wear every week without fail (I love the colour, even if the actual sewing leaves a lot to be desired).

The fabric is this rather nice self-patterned synthetic jersey. You can actually see the pattern in the fabric better in the detail shots -- it's quite subtle. I bought this fabric from eBay, from the woman who was selling her late mother's fabric stash for months before last Christmas (I bought a LOT of fabric from her. A LOT. At one point I felt like maybe I should just empty my bank account into hers, is what I'm saying.) It was one of those things where I was buying two or three other pieces from her auctions that week and nobody else had bid on this piece, and my bid on it sort of... snuck in there /o\. The reason I originally hesitated was the piece is so HUGE -- 5.25m -- but at £2/m including p&p it was so cheap I thought I might as well get it. I used just a metre for this top.

I changed the pattern a little. The first change was unintentional -- the pattern was still folded back from where I'd changed it to be narrower at the waist for the wedding outfit top and I didn't notice until I'd already cut it out. Oops. The other thing I did was add a 5cm wide sleeve band (using a 10cm wide piece of fabric and folding it in half) instead of just binding the sleeves.  I think this turned out really nicely and I will definitely be using it again.

I also tried a different method of attaching the neck band and LOOK! It isn't stretched out! I am MADE OF GLEE that I might finally have cracked my neck binding problem. \o/

This top was part of the Wedding Belles 6PAC. I had planned to scratch it but it only took an hour to whip it up today. I could not be more pleased to have it available to wear with some of my other items. Overall, this was a great note to end my sewing in this house.

In two weeks exactly I'll be settling into a temporary home in Dublin. A small selection of projects plus my sewing machine are all coming with me to Ireland for the summer, but the rest of my stuff including my serger and my excessively vast fabric stash are going into storage until I find a proper place to live and get my belongings shipped over. I don't have a lot of space in my car so spontaneity with my sewing plans has had to be exchanged for careful planning and organizing.

Here then are my summer sewing plans:
The first order of business: finish off my two collections from earlier in the year.

The Earth & Spring collection was all browns and reds. I have another lovely linen fabric to use to make a second jacket using New Look 6911. That will finish off the "collection" since I am scratching one piece of it altogether  (a red jersey top) making it a 5PAC rather than a 6PAC. This jacket is really intended most of all to go with the semi-circle skirt I made from McCall's 5431 in darker brown.

The second piece is a skirt using the remnant of the fabrics I used for my wedding outfit jacket which will finish off my Wedding Belles collection (instead of another jersey top as I'd originally planned). I don't have a huge amount of either the linen or the lining I picked out, so it had to be a simple skirt. I've picked Simplicity 8664, which I've made a couple of times before. That will give me the option of wearing the jacket and skirt as a suit, or wearing the skirt with some white linen blouses I already own or the top I made for the wedding.

Moving on from my 6PACs, I also need some PJ shorts for summer. This is kind of the most boring project ever, but if you need PJs, you have to make PJs! I've made this Ottobre pattern before and I really like them.  I'm going to make one pair of shorts and then see if I can play with the pattern and make one pair knee length. The fabric for this is cute -- a blue and white border print.

Also a border print is the fabric I've picked out for the Lorenna Buck Maxi Skirt. This is a free pattern I found while idly surfing the net. I am going to have to grade it, but since it's not so much a pattern as a tutorial it shouldn't be a problem. The fabric is, ugh, a georgette, so I'm already anticipating weeping buckets over it, but it's such a great print/colour and I so want a floaty maxi skirt like that for a hot summer day (assuming we HAVE a hot summer day ever) that I am willing to suck it up.

Finally, I've included a mini collection of three items: a skirt and two blouses. Here is my inspiration for the skirt:

From Alterations Needed
This is from the blog Alterations Needed. I love her outfits, even though the blogger and I could not be further apart in terms of size, body shape, and clothing budget. I saw this outfit and was smitten by the skirt. Investigating further, I found that it is from Nordstrom's and costs a horrifying £170 (plus postage!). Also, even if I had that sort of cash (spoiler: I will NEVER have this kind of cash to spend on a skirt) this blogger is very petite and on me, as on the Nordstrom's model, the skirt would hit mid-thigh which, no.

I'm not going to make an exact copy, because those kind of pleats at the waist do me no favours. Instead, I picked out a Burda pattern and I'll fiddle it to make a two colour skirt. The other reason for picking that particular pattern (Burda 03-2010-123) is that it includes a fly front, and fly fronts are on my list of skills to learn this summer.

Also on my list of things to learn how to do: collars, cuffs and general shirt-making techniques, and so to go with the skirt I've got a blue glazed cotton and a white cotton herringbone shirting fabric to make up as blouses using a Burda pattern from 05-2012. I can never have too many white and blue blouses and those will go with various other things already in my wardrobe in addition to this skirt.
Overall, I feel like I have a good mix of projects planned for the summer: some easy, some more time-consuming; some repeats and some new skills. Enough to keep me going this summer, anyway!


  1. Forget that skirt (it's super cute, but you can definitely make that), I'm obsessed with that blogger's $1,400 bag.

    1. That IS a gorgeous bag, but I have to be honest: I don't think I've ever even paid $140 for a bag, let alone adding a zero to that. This is what I mean about her clothing budget. It's clearly RADICALLY different to mine!