Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Anti-UFO Project: a red cardigan

Oh boy did it take me long to finish this one. I don't even know how long ago it got abandoned into a corner in my drawer, but we're talking YEARS here ladies.

Why did this cardigan become an UFO? Indecisiveness. The pattern calls for a contrast satin button band and the best contrast color I could find at that moment was a horrendous brown shade. I'm still glad I didn't use that one. The pattern is #117 from Burda 4/2010 and I don't recall making any changes.

I still wasn't sure what to do about the button band this time around, so I put off the decision making for as long as possible. The pieces were already cut out and the fronts, shoulders and arm scythes reinforced with fusible interfacing, so I got straight to sewing.  I'm now wondering though: how much of your knits do you reinforce, using fusible interfacing or something else? The shoulders? The neckline? Arm scythes?? Too much interfacing already??

I'm really happy with my button band, like ridiculously happy. After all, it took me years to come up with this idea. The seam allowance is reinforced with fusible interfacing and I turned it to the wrong side using cotton bias band. That is some sturdy stuff btw, not at all like satin bias band. The buttons are from my stash. The front is now a bit narrower since I omitted the extra button band, but I probably won't wear it buttoned up anyway.

The reason I finally got around to this cardigan is the Anti-UFO Project by All Style and All Substance. Such a great kick in the bum! I'll be posting my cardigan to the Fall Essentials Sew-Along Flickr group and the Spooky Season Linky Party too.

So now tell me, tell me: what are your most guarded UFO-secrets?

I'll leave you with crazy bunny-eyes, because why not?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Fear Fabric Challenge: scuba leggings

I present to you the most unexciting contestant in the Second Annual Fear Fabric Challenge, hosted by the lovely Beth from 110 Creations. I actually feel bad for entering something that was so unchallenging to sew, since the whole idea of the challenge is to, well, challenge yourself to sew with a fabric that scares you. But guys, scuba scares me!

Give me some lace, chiffon or satin and I'll sure feel challenged, but at the same time more at home as a seamstress. Does that make sense? Scuba on the other hand, is some weird man-made invention that's supposed to be so EASY and COMFORTABLE. No wonder a girl gets suspicious.

So here is my first attempt at sewing with scuba fabric. And of course I loved it, and of course that's mildly irritating when I've been avoiding it for so long. It's so easy to sew with, it's like ponte knit and denim had a love child and it was told to always behave nicely and respect older people. THAT'S how nice it is. I would even go as far as to say that this is the fabric I would recommend to anyone who's embarking on their first sewing journey. You know, for that first project where nothing can go wrong or the aspiring tailor will hate everything sewing related for the rest of their lives and take up wood work or something instead. And we can't let that happen, we need fresh blood on our side.

The wearing part I don't know about yet. Since my house is occupied by two Jack Russel Terriers, I've been moving around like a ninja to avoid getting dog hair on my leggings. If my butt had actually touched the sofa, there could never have been any pictures. Never. On the flip side, you can't tell anything about the wearability of leggings before you have worn them to a) a movie night with the girls, b) binge watched Netflix while knitting or c) had too much tea and too many laughs with a friend while sitting in awkward positions.

The pattern is number 130A from Burda 1/2011. I've made the version with the attached skirt once in a much lighter jersey. This time I shortened the legs, lowered the rise and added a bit of width throughout the legs since the scuba is a sturdier knit. Good call btw. And since it's also thicker, I noticed some of my usual crotch seam abnormalities that weren't noticeable in the lighter knit. Too long in the front and too short in the back, not much to do when the seams are serged together, so I compromised and shortened both a bit. Totally boring and totally should have seen it coming.

There you have it folks, my first blogged fall make! I'll be posting my leggings to the Fear Fabric Flickr group, the 4th Annual Fall Essentials Sew-Along Flickr group and the Spooky Season Linky Party over at Project Sewn too. Phew. Check those out if you haven't already. Happy social sewing everyone!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

A little something for a little princess

I don't know anything about sewing clothes for kids or babies. This is a huge gap in my sewing experience. So every time I get asked to sew something for a kid or a baby, I feel kind of torn: it's supposed to be "easy", but it scares the sh*t out of me.

But what kind of godmother would I be if I didn't cater to my goddaughter's every need? Not a very good one, so I put my big girl pants on and pulled out the ballpoint needle.

The little princess needed a bigger swaddle, and apparently they are impossible to find. I figured I would be able to copy the structure from the smaller swaddle without a pattern, since I had her mum telling me exactly where it needed to be bigger and by how much.

The swaddle is a result of true collaboration: I, who knows nothing about babies, and my goddaughter's mum, who knows nothing about sewing, combined our knowledge to create this.

The pictures are really boring without a baby, but I didn't have one on hand. Enjoy the owls instead!

The original swaddle didn't have any buttons, they are an addition supposed to keep the little critter from prying the velcro tape closures open in her sleep.

The construction was pretty straight forward: two pieces shaped like the letter T, two lower halves, four darts at the bottom for shape and two at the top for the shoulders. The outer layer is a double knit and the owls are a 100% cotton knit.

Do you too have an irrational fear of small clothing? Or do you squeeze out tiny jersey creations like nobody's business?

Friday, October 3, 2014

Bribing my photographer

The first rule of blogging? Keep your photographer happy or you will end up standing alone in a field, with your tripod, in the rain. Or at least that's my biggest fear.  

To keep that from happening I bribed my sister/photographer with a one-of-a-kind top, in a fabric that just screams her name. I'm very proud of this fabric. I was killing some time (who am I kidding, I was having the time of my life!) in a fabric store and found this small piece of viscose. It's soft and drapey without being see-through at all. The print is kind of old fashioned and the blue is an interesting shade, perfect for my sister. 

The repeat of this print is huge and I only had a small piece of fabric, so I concentrated on the pattern placement in the front. I'm so bad at pattern placement. My sister joked that as long as the birds aren't upside down, like who would be stupid enough to do that, right... I hadn't even thought about the stupid birds. Disaster barely averted. 

Being aware of the birds now, I tried not to decapitate any of them at the neckline or arm scythes. I finished the neckline and arm scythes with self-fabric bias binding, invisible this time. 

This is the same pattern as my TNT in the making-top. I fixed the weird post-finishing gaping under the arm by taking out a wedge of 1 cm at the front arm scythe. 1 cm was perhaps a bit much, but at least it fits snugly now.

It's October already, and I still have two more finished summer tops to photograph and blog about. If I keep up with this trend I'll be showing you mittens at Midsummer. Oh well, as long as we're having fun, right?