Saturday, 2 December 2017

November Round-Up

November was a MUCH better month for me, sewing-wise. I actually made some things! Things that weren't the most basic sewing imaginable and used new and different patterns! \o/

This month I made: three knit tunics (see here and here) and made a substantial start on a jacket using Burda 6461. Since that last post, I've actually made even more progress on the latter, though rather less than I'd hoped because the first few days of this week I felt a bit grim. As a result I was only able to cut out my jacket in very short bursts. I did finally get it mostly done by Thursday except for the pieces I wanted to block fuse.

On the subject of which: this week I was also waiting to be able to go collect a very useful new toy: a steam press! I've wanted a steam press for AGES -- ever since I started sewing, really, as I started out making bags, which use a TON of interfacing. I rapidly came to despise the process of applying fusible interfacing using a hand-iron and by all accounts these machines get it done much faster and more evenly. However, up to now it's always been one of those "nice to have, totally not necessary" items that I could never quite see my way to buying. However, it was my birthday recently and I was given some money, and there was a serendipitous, extremely well-priced second-hand listing for this Singer ESP 2 on eBay that I could easily collect. Obviously it was Meant To Be!

A Singer ESP 2 steam press, a birthday present to myself :D
Initial impressions from fusing my jacket pieces this week are very positive. I block fused a section of the fabric for all the smaller pieces (collar, collar stands, etc) and a second large piece for the centre front pattern pieces and then cut them out, and that process was overall extremely successful. I also fused strips at the hems of all the pieces and around the armholes, for which results were more mixed for some reason. I think maybe I didn't fuse some of them for long enough.

(I also ordered some expensive dressmaking scissors with what remained of my birthday money, but they are taking F.O.R.E.V.E.R to arrive.  Maybe next week!)

Jacket so far! The collar hasn't been pressed at all yet, it won't stay so puffy and sad!
At any rate, I got through the whole preparation stage and I actually started sewing my jacket today and made really good progress! The bodice went together super fast, I put the sleeves together though I haven't attached them yet, and I did the WACKIEST COLLAR ATTACHMENT EVER (which I will no doubt talk about at GREAT LENGTH when I write up my finished jacket because: wacky as hell). I still need to finish off the collar, attach the sleeves and the patch pockets and do the hemming before I embark on the lining. I am never excited by Burda's lining instructions as they are heavy on the hand-stitching. I may have to give that process a bit more thought before I actually get started. Also, I just remembered I haven't replicated my adjustments through the separate lining pieces, so um, I guess I'll be doing that as well. Even with all that to do, however, I am hoping to be done by the end of the week.

Other than tunics and my jacket, this month I also did a bunch of random little sewing tasks for other people (hemming stuff, making lightweight drawstring laundry bags for travel) and I did an absolute PILE of cross-stitching:
Christmas cross-stitch stuff using Vervaco card kits
Each row above is a different Vervaco cross-stitch kit, each of which makes three cards, though I plan to use them as decorations rather than sending them to anyone. Of the three kits, I like the cats best as finished pieces, not least because that is authentic cat behaviour right there: if you have a cat and a Christmas tree, you will have a cat IN your Christmas tree. I also really like the Christmas Elves in the middle, but they weren't very interesting to stitch. There are big blocks of colour that you later add embellishment to in order to give it that Nordic/Fair Isle sweater look. The embellishment was fun, cross-stitching the big blocks of colour not so much.

I now have another, larger, single-piece cross-stitch underway which is another Christmas themed thing, and obviously therefore I hope to get that done over the course of the month.

Other than finishing off the jacket and my cross-stitch, my plans for December are:

December plans: New Look 6527, Ottobre 02-2017-08, Ottobre 02-2013-12
- A woven tunic using New Look 6527, maybe view A (the red version) exactly if I can squeeze it out of my fabric, but if not then I'll leave off the overlay on the bottom part, in a spotty black viscose.
- The last knit tunic to wear with leggings that I had planned to make in November and ended up putting off because I had pattern doubts. I have picked out a new pattern, Ottobre 02-2017-08, that I think will work a lot better with the fabric, which is a bright blue mid-weight knit.
- A purple ponte knit cardigan using Ottobre 02-2013-12.

Vintage Vogue woven top; Burda 11-2015-116 modelled image and technical drawing.
And then the "maybe"/"might start but not finish this month" list is: if I have time at the end of the month, I'd like to make a top using a vintage Vogue pattern I've had in stash for a while now in a blue/navy ikat patterned stretch woven. Then, in January, I want to at least muslin Burda 11-2015-116, which means I probably want to buckle down to that tracing job in December even if I don't get anywhere near starting it. I honestly can't decide if this coat with the GIGANTIC lapels will suit me or not, but I'm obsessed with the idea of it! And I also have one piece of gift sewing to do in early January for a birthday and I want to get the prep done for that if not the entire gift is possible.


  1. So very very jealous of the press! :) And now I'm mad I got the Cricut Easy Press when I could have shelled out a bit more for this which'll be more versatile. Although I don't really have anywhere to store it in my current space. Hmm. Decisions... :)

    I really like that Ottobre in the middle. It caught my eye when the mag first came out. I think that Burda coat will work well for your climate and the silhouette seems easy enough to pull off!

    1. Oh, I have never seen those Easy Press things! It does look easier to store I have to say. I had to drastically re-arrange some things in order to have a space to keep my Singer when it's not in use.

  2. I have wanted a steam press! Love to hear more about it

    1. I'll be sure to write more as I continue to use it! :D