Going into each new sewing season, I normally have quite a clear list of what I'm going to endeavour to make. Having a list makes it so much easier for me to stay on track and actually finish projects rather than abandoning them at the last stitch (I really dislike hemming, I don't know why...).
This year though, I'm really struggling to A) narrow down the list of patterns I could sew and B) decide on what fabric to actually make up said patterns.
I think I'm suffering from a bout of too many patterns, too much fabric (TMPTMF) syndrome. It might have something to do with moving countries, going on an extended travel adventure and then coming back to a summer that is not like the long hot summers I got used to in Sydney. Unfortunately the summers here can be a bit iffy, you're never really sure whether you are going to wake up to tights & cardigan weather or summer dress weather.
Having said that, I have managed to compile a small list to gently ease me back into sewing (and making decisions!):
1) BHL Anna Dress in Cherry Red
I really love the 1940's lines in the Anna dress, and after seeing so many amazing versions of this dress on the internet, I'm quite sure this is the first thing I'll be making.
I found the fabric for this on a recent trip to my favourite charity shop haunt and I'm planning to make the knee length version with a slash neckline. Although, I haven't decided whether to keep the sleek skirt or 50's it up with a full gathered skirt and pockets. Suggestions most welcome!
2) Sweet 1950's day dress in textured sky blue
I've had this lovely little 1950s pattern for a while now but could never decide on what fabric to use. I found this length of textured sky blue mystery fabric on the same trip I found the cherry red fabric for my Anna dress and thought the two would make a simple but classic summer combo. I'll need to wear a slip under the dress as it is a little sheer with the textured lines in the fabric, but I am looking forward to finally making this pattern.
3) 1940's inspired tie front blouse in white with red polkadots
I may not use this 60s pattern for the blouse as I have another actual 40's pattern that I'm tossing up using instead. Both will require some pattern drafting to get the shape I want as well as the right amount of fabric at the bottom for the ties, but I am loving the little peter pan collar on this 60's version.
I am yet to find the fabric for this, but I'm thinking a little red polka dot cotton lawn will look quite lovely.
4) 1940's inspired peasant dress (View 3) in navy blue cotton
This is actually a 70s pattern that I found about a week ago hiding under the table of a little shop I had no idea existed (even after having lived in the area for some time just before we left for Sydney). I think it has a definite 40s vibe about it and looks like the perfect dress to throw on on a warm summers day.
On top of some mending I have to do on 2 vintage skirts I bought in Edinburgh, I am also hoping to make a 1940s slip or two (with a tutorial), a 1930s inspired silk camisole (also with a tutorial) and a few other bits and pieces that I haven't yet decided on.
I'm also about to begin the process of making my first experimental pattern, a simple and wearable 1940s inspired jersey top that is certainly going to test my pattern making skills (or lack there of if I'm completely honest!).
So, what do you guys currently have on your sewing lists? Have you ever suffered from TMPTMF Syndrome?
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Well, it's certainly not everyday I show my undies (pants, underwear, panties (hate that name!), lingerie, unmentionables, smalls...) on the internet. But here we are.
Just before we left Sydney, I had a fraction of time left with my sewing machine and wanted to make something small and quick. I'd been meaning to give making my own undies a go for a little while now so off I went.
I used the Ohh Lulu Grace Hipster pattern, mostly because I was rather intrigued at the use of non-stretch woven fabric in the pattern. I have to admit, I don't think I've ever seen a pair of ladies underwear (that weren't boxers) made with non-stretch woven fabric before. Would they actually be comfy?
I made the lavender and white pair as my test muslin. The lavender came from the remnants of my 60s Vogue Wrap dress and the white is some stretchy t-shirt cotton I've had sitting around for a while. This pattern uses a mix of stretch and non-stretch fabrics, so it's perfect for using up those little scraps of fabric that aren't big enough for much else.
I have to be honest here guys, I'm not sure the woven cotton works that well where it's placed in the centre of the pattern. Perhaps I used a heavier fabric than I should have, the pattern does state that any non-stretch woven fabric is suitable, but perhaps something like a cotton lawn would have been better? The problem is that when you hem the, erm, crotch area, it gets a little bulky and well, a little rough.
For my second pair, I used a much softer navy jersey for the centre (scraps left over from my first Vogue 40s Travel dress) and a cream stretch lace for the side inserts. I also cut the crotch area a bit smaller and instead of hemming it as the pattern suggests, I zigzagged stitched on some of the stretch lace I had used for the waist band. I also decided not to overlock the seams to reduce the bulk.
Gosh, who knew making undies could be so complicated?
Personally, I think I'll stick with knits for making underwear for the time being. It's probably that I'm just not used to wearing non-stretchy fabrics down there because as it turns out, I like to move around a lot and need, well, freedom! Though in saying that, I have found another pattern for undies made completely from non-stretch woven fabric. So, maybe I should give them another go...?
Have you guys made undies from non-stretch fabric before? Did they work for you?
Monday, November 25, 2013
Hey everyone, I'm back!
What an amazing 7.5 weeks it has been - I almost can't believe we were away for that long or that we are back already (and that it's nearly Christmas. I'm just not ready for Christmas yet).
We ate far too much pizza and pasta in Italy, and far too many English Cream Teas in the UK, we met some amazing people (including a number of fellow sewists!) and we walked and explored until our feet hurt.
Now I get to unpack the loot I found including vintage knitting and sewing patterns, silks from Goldhawk Road and wools from Edinburgh, vintage glass buttons and vintage skirts... Oh, and I get to catch up with my feedly feed. I could be a while...
I'll be back this week with a few sewing projects I finished before we left that I didn't get a chance to write about. Talk soon,
Thursday, November 7, 2013
Calling all London Dwellers!!
Do you want to come fabric shopping with myself and Elisalex (of By Hand London fame)? Well, you can!! We are doing a Goldhawk Road fabric shopping trip next Friday 15th of November at 1pm.
I know it's a school day for many of you, but if you can come, I'd love to meet you. It will be my last day in the UK as David and I will be flying out to Sydney the following day.
There are already a few of us coming (thanks Instagram!), so please send me an email if you are interested in joining the gang - firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking forward to seeing/meeting you!
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
I was going to title this blog post Itchy Feet but I thought that people might think I was referring to the wrong kind of itchy feet, you know, the fungal kind, as opposed to the traveling variety (though I'm sure if you've ever had the fungal kind, you'll know that your feet do get very itchy indeed!).
Tomorrow (!!!) David and I are heading away for 7 weeks of travel adventures. I kept meaning to post about our travel plans months ago but other things just kept popping up. We fly into Brisbane for a few days for a conference that David is presenting at before boarding a plane to Italy.
Words cannot express my excitement to finally make it to Italy. We are spending 2 weeks there, starting out in Rome and then travelling up the country by train to Florence, Padua (to explore Venice and Verona) and then onto Milan.
From there we have a 4 week long road trip around the UK. We are literally travelling all the way up and around the country, visiting as many places as possible with our main stops being Oxford, Birmingham, Lakes District, Edinburgh, Inverness, Glasgow, Belfast, Dublin, Liverpool, Anglesey, Cotswolds, Brighton and then finally back to London. Phew!
I love travelling and David and I have been very lucky to have visited some amazing places these past few years. I have very fond memories of all of those trips - I've met some amazing people, seen lots of beautiful things and I'm so excited to be doing it again.
If you have any must see places off the tourist track, favourite fabric haunts (I'm going to try to buy fabric from all of the places we go, then, every time I wear or see what ever I've made, it I'll be reminded of that place... which reminds me, I really need to make a few pretty things with my Paris fabric hoard.) or fancy a meet up if there is time, please let me know!
I'm not quite as up to date on writing posts beforehand as I thought I may have been, so these parts may be a bit quiet until I get back in late November. I still have garments I made back in Sydney that I've not had the chance to even take photos of yet, so, we'll see how that goes... :)
If you feel like following along, I'm on Instagram at Jenniferlauren3.
Saturday, September 28, 2013
I won't go into the construction details because I did all that in my original post and did pretty much the exact same things with this version.
The knit I used is a lovely medium weight 98% cotton with a tiny bit of spandex for stretch and up close, is actually a navy and maroon marle. I still have quite a bit of this fabric left and am hopeful I might be able to squeeze a Lady Skater dress out of it (I'm pretty sure this will probably be my next knit dress after seeing this cute version).
These photos are the last set we took in our favourite photo location in Sydney... sigh.
Anyway, thanks so much for all the comments on my Miette cardigan. I've now nearly finished the bodice and will then be starting on the sleeves. So, I guess it's nearly done (well, not really...) and I can start thinking about my next knitted project!
Which brings me to this Pike Place pattern. As I am obviously not cool enough to live in the States, they won't let me buy it. How come you 'Mericans only get access to cool patterns? I really only want a download of the cardigan and not the actual pattern booklet, but it doesn't seem to be available as a digital download (I mean really?!? In this day and age?). Does any body know where I might be able to source a copy all the way down here on the bottom of the planet?
Oh well, at least while I plot how to get my hands on this pattern, there are plenty of other cardigans to be knit.
PS) As some of you saw on Instagram the other day, I've gone cut all ma hur off. It was time...
Monday, September 23, 2013
I finally started knitting a real proper thing. An actual thing that I can wear that isn't just a tangled mess of dropped stitches and broken dreams.
Okay, that's a little dramatic. But David has been waiting on his scarf for, ooh, I dunno, 5+ years now?
I've started knitting Andi's Miette Cardigan, and I gotta say, this pattern is awesome! If you are a beginner that is wanting to make a real proper thing that looks complicated but actually isn't really, then the Miette is for you.
I definitely consider myself a beginner knitter and this pattern has already taught me so much, I've gotten over my fear of thinking that knitting patterns just look way too complicated for me. Even though they do look complicated at first glance, they actually aren't as bad as you may think. Once you drill them down and look at them line by line, they are much easier to manage and do start to make sense.
Before I started knitting my Miette, I found an amazing knit along run by Gail. She has posts filled to the brim with useful information for the beginner knitting their first Miette and I found her pattern chart so useful (even though I didn't actually find it until I was well on my way).
I will do a proper post on my Miette when it's finished, but in the mean time, are you on Ravelry? Well, me too! Let's be friends.
Are any of you beginner knitters going to try out the Miette? Or have you already?
PS) Thanks so much for your lovely comments on my new Introducing... feature starting with Melissa from Scavenger Hunt. I've had lots of emails from people already wanting to take part which is amazing!
Remember, if you would like to take part, don't be shy, email me at email@example.com