Friday, 13 March 2015


Farewell, former jacket
I am not, in fact, afraid of Friday 13th, I just like the word. If anything, I had my dose of bad luck (or more likely, bad judgement) last night as I ended up discarding a minor sewing project unfinished. About a million years ago (or: late 2013) I decided to deconstruct this leather jacket and make a bag with the leather. I took it all apart and then it lurked in a bag forever until I fished it out again to look at it last week. Yesterday I tried to construct a simple tote bag with the pieces, but I don't know, I was Sewing While Tired and I basically managed to wreck the only sizeable bits. That, combined with the fact that the leather situation (it was very badly discoloured, and not in a cool "this is vintage" sort of way) hadn't improved with storage, and I ended up deciding that I was unlikely to carry the bag, and tossed the whole thing. Ugh. Serves me right for keeping going when I knew I was too tired to be sewing, I guess. Luckily I have another bag project I am actively working on, so my minor hankering for a new bag will be fulfilled anyway.

I'm a nerd with a stopwatch
One of my other tasks this week was making a boring but necessary knit top, which I had been procrastinating on for aaaaaaages for the simple reason that my overlocker was threaded in the wrong colour. I can't think I'm the only sewer who acts like this is an Insurmountable Obstacle. I regularly delay sewing stuff because it would mean changing the thread, even though (and yes, I timed myself, because I'm a nerd) a leisurely paced re-thread PLUS test on a new fabric and setting adjustment takes me less than 5 minutes. I don't know why I continue to behave like rethreading is a labour of Hercules despite all the evidence to the contrary.

New Look 6150 (modified) top in Navy
Once I got over myself and actually changed out my thread, though, I was able to whip up a very simple navy knit top in no time at all. I used a heavily modified version of New Look 6150 View D, which is a pattern I spent some time working on around this time last year to develop a basic knit TNT. In fact, the three versions of this top I made in 2014 are still in constant rotation, particularly the original black and white version, which is kind of funny since at the time it was a total throwaway, wearable muslin type of project. My only change this time was to cut the back piece with a centre back seam, for reasons of fabric use efficiency. I was vaguely concerned that the lump of the seam down my spine might annoy me in wear, but in fact I don't notice it at all. I wouldn't do it with a printed fabric because matching an extra seam is a pain, but in a solid fabric it means I can get a good length, elbow sleeved top out of a single metre of fabric, which is great. Overall, I am pretty confident my boring but necessary navy top will also get plenty of wear.

I also cut into fabric for the classic woven shirt I am making, using Kwik Sew 3555. I suddenly remembered that the reason I have this pattern is that once upon a time I bought a Craftsy class about tailored shirts, and the pattern came with it. I have never watched the class all the way through and, alas, revisiting the class on Craftsy reminded me why. The teacher is a woman called Pam Howard, and she may be absolutely lovely in person and I am sure she really knows her stuff but dear god, she has the on-screen charisma of a log. I don't need people to be all non-stop smiling and faux-excitement, but she is so flat and monotonous that the videos are a bit like watching paint dry. Instead of following her instruction therefore, I shall continue to make my blouse using the techniques in Shirtmaking. The only issues I've had so far in making this first version is that my fabric has a pronounced vertical stripe and a sort of shadowy horizontal stripe, meaning I had to really faff about doing single layer cutting and trying to match seams. Not sure how successful I was -- I guess I'll find out today when I start sewing...

Burda 12-2013-108

In the meantime I'm also mid-trace of another pattern, Burda 12-2013-108, which I've been planning to make ever since the magazine came out. It was widely agreed on the PR thread at the time that it was a nice pattern, but alas, nobody much seems to have made it or the minor variant (109, with a tie neck). I'm a little concerned about the seam across the bust and where it's going to fall on my (low, large) bust. I'll have to see how it compares to other patterns once I have it fully traced.


  1. I bought that Craftsy Tailored Shirt class too, and you are right about Pam Howard. She speaks so slowly, I had to play the lessons at 1.5x speed, and only then did I feel like she spoke at a normal pace. I haven't finished the class either... :)

    1. I didn't think of speeding her up! I should try that, but I don't think I can face her droning at me again any time soon.

  2. Yay for nerd-like tendencies! I can re-thread my serger in 3 minutes at a higher pace, about the same as you if I'm not rushing. And STILL, I group sewing projects by serger thread color when I'm going to sew a lot. hahaha! :)

    Cute top and I like the Burda. Can't wait to see your bags! I somehow just stink at bag-making.

    1. It is ridiculous how much I whine about changing the thread on my machine. Even this time, I totally picked my next project based on overlocker thread colour, despite knowing how little time it would take to change it!