sewing

Craftsy class: Vogue V9040

Behold! My first coat!

The pattern is Vogue V9040 and I used the Craftsy class by Steffani Lincecum. I think I would have failed without the class.

I have poured months and months into this cost and it is finally done! It felt like it would never end. I was worried that I wouldn’t finish before winter ended.

To be honest, this isn’t the coat that I wanted to make. I pictured a sweet baby blue wool and even selected the lining first, in anticipation of a light colour. I mean how could I possibly pass up pink geese? But for the main fabric I had enough difficulty finding wool (let alone in my budget) and did not find any light colours. People of Melbourne are known for their love of black so I guess it shouldn’t be too surprising.

v9040_lining.png

I wasn’t willing to spend a fortune on wool when the colour range was not what I wanted so I shifted my search to other materials. Again, there was a lack in colour range. I despaired. I purchased fabric online (something I haven’t done before) then decided it wasn’t right for this coat. I began to lose hope. In the end I went with a gorgeous suiting with blue and brown threads, creating a more interesting look than a solid colour. And I used the wrong side to make the buttons, which I think it’s a nice, subtle detail.

v9040_toile.pngThe toile went smoothly with no alterations needed. (I used calico but quickly ran out do I cut out some old tablecloths my mum use to use for her market stall. Hence the odd look). That was back in April.

The coat itself did not go as well as the toile. I fucked up my seam allowances at the beginning (see this post) so my pockets don’t look as nice as I would like. Things then went smoothly until I got to the buttonholes. Do not talk to me about buttonholes. Urg.

Now my goal is to finish a dress for my overseas holiday in October. Will I finish it on time? Given my track record this year I’m guessing no but let’s find out.

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sewing

Butterick B6217

B6217_front

OK wow, it’s been a long time since I last posted. Where has the time gone? Didn’t 2018 just start a moment ago?

I have been making a coat for a very long time and it is driving me crazy. I made this shirt as a distraction. I actually worked on multiple things but between burning material in an obvious place and making something that is too “meh” to bother finishing, this is the only thing worth showing.

The pattern is Butterick B6217 by Gertie. I got it after seeing a blogger show off their creation but now I can’t for the life of me find the original post! Regardless, I love the tulip sleeves. This is also the first time that I’ve sewn buttons. Do not talk to me about buttons. I hate sewing buttons.

B6217_closeup
Don’t mind the goosebumps. It’s winter here

seamguideI made this shirt with a neat little gadget. I got myself a seam guide and I love it! My lines are so much better now. Except I had a brain fart and put it in the wrong spot and didn’t realize that I had added an extra 0.5cm to all seams until I was up to hemming! Thankfully I also chose the wrong size pattern and had to take in the seams anyway…but I’ve also been sewing my coat so…fuck…

I’ve also decided to venture into the world of Instagram so check out my account. I’m still getting a feel of the place but so far I’m loving the sewing scene.

cross stitch

Camellia flower cross stitch

Camellia

2015MayIt started with a flower on my lawn. I was taken by the sunlight falling on the flower so I turned it into pixel art. I love pixel art. From there I decided to turn the pixel art into cross stitch. I haven’t been satisfied with my two previous flower designs and I thought this one just might be good enough.

The pixel art did not translate well into cross. The contrast was simply too low for the light petals and it did not look good. It was fortunate that I picked this up early on so I didn’t have as much unpicking to do. For the light petals I ended up ignoring my design and making it up as I stitched, which was kind of fun. Except when I had to transfer my changes to the pattern for selling – that really wasn’t fun.

For the framing I tried a different shop that was closer to home and I like the work they have done but they have put the hook on the wrong way! I specifically told them what way it should be and they mucked it up. I had to wait over a month for the framing to be done and then they weren’t open when I was available so I had to wait another few weeks to collect it. After all that I really can’t be bothered going back and asking them to fix it so my boyfriend will move the hooks for me over the weekend.

I’m selling the pdf pattern on my mother’s website so if you like it then please purchase it.

sewing

Butterick B6096

I made this a while ago but when I had daylight and time to take photos the weather decided to become rainy and windy. Nope, staying inside. I can’t do indoor photos. My attempts over the years have almost always been grainy pieces of shit. I’d rather wait than post those photos.

B6096_front.jpgI have mixed feelings about this dress. I really like the style and it is so fun to play around with the direction of stripes. The combination of pattern and fabric should be a win. But the armholes are a bit of a fail and I’m not entirely happy with the side seams. I’m not sure if this is due to my resizing the dress or if the pattern isn’t as good as the packet drawing would suggest.

Butterick decided not to list the finished garment size on the tissue, which meant that I had to take a stab in the dark selecting my size. I went with a 14. The resulting dress was too big and I think I was more of a 12. With the size adjustments I had to trim the edges of the fabric to even them out (my new dress form really came in handy. I’m so glad I purchased it!). This resulted in a low armscye, revealing my bra. Not happy! It also looked wonky around the princess seam and I had to take the seam in to make it look less stupid. I probably need to take it in slightly more but I’ve run out of thread and I’m sick of this dress. I can hide it underneath a cardigan. And it cost under $10 to make so whatever.B6096_sideB6096_back

 

 

sewing

New Look 6447

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I have had this gorgeous bird fabric sitting in my stash for almost a year but had a lot of difficulty finding the right pattern for it. I thought I had things figured out and ready to go New Year’s eve but as I laid the pattern pieces on the fabric I realised that the dress actually runs on the bias. Not good for those birds!¬†Fortunately, my mum gave me New Look 6447 for christmas and I thought it was a good match for the fabric.

The fabric is transparent so I tried underlining the bodice and could not make darts that that didn’t look shit (I also burnt a hole in the underling. Whoops!). Black iron interfacing solved that issue but I didn’t have enough and it took a while before I was able to get some more. I really wanted this finished before the warm weather ended but it just wasn’t to be.

I had read that some people had trouble understanding the instructions but I had no issue with it. Perhaps because the last dress I made had similar instructions. What I did struggle with was lining up the waistband, as I did construct the dress pieces differently to the instructions (in case I needed to adjust the side seams, which I did).

My unofficial (and vague) New Year’s resolution was to “do better” with my dressmaking. No more cutting corners. Layer seams that are meant to be layered etc. So far so good. The extra effort paid off with the neckline and I’m really pleased with it (the back is another story…). I even went to the effect of doing some herringbone and prick stitching. Hand-stitching is something that I’ve avoided until now but watching a couture class on Craftsy has inspired me (and intimidated me! It will be a long while before I dare to make a couture dress). I was home with a cold and it took me¬†days to complete. Would I have been faster if I was well? Not sure on that one but I do think it was worth the effort so I will be doing more hand-stitching in the future.

NewLook6447_backThe hem of the under skirt was very uneven so I asked my boyfriend to help me level it against the other hem. At first he pinned the two skirts while I was wearing it and I took the dress off and cut the hem. It was still slightly out in places so I then asked my boyfriend to trim it while I was wearing it. Big mistake. It cut through the hem of my main fabric. Twice. Why did I trust him with scissors?!NewLook6447_hemThe very next day I went out and got myself a dress model. I still need to make adjustments to get the size right but so far I’m loving it. For the first time I can clearly see the back of my dress…and all the flaws. The back is ugly so I’m just going to pretend that I didn’t see it…NewLook6447_dressform.jpg

 

art

My beautiful redhead

2018Feb

I have spent many many months painting a portrait of my boyfriend. Not only do I think he’s gorgeous but he also presents a great artistic challenge. Personally I’d be weirded out if someone decided to make a portrait of me. But he doesn’t seem to mind (though I didn’t tell him about it until I was sure it wasn’t a complete failure…)

I’ve never attempted a beard before and really struggled with it. Nothing was working! I eventually realised that I couldn’t handle the structure and colour of the hair simultaneously. By ignoring colour and painting in grey I was finally able to make it work. I used the same strategy for the rest of the hair, which I’ve spent the last three days working on during annual leave. I am so sick of his hair.

One thing that I think has made a difference is Clip Studio Paint. I did not like the program when I first tried it a few years ago but now I absolutely love it. I’ve only ever used Photoshop Elements because it came free with my tablet and Photoshop is too expensive for me (I know nowadays there is a monthly subscription but I don’t use programs frequently enough to justify it). The standard version of Clip Studio Paint is a great price and offers so much more than Photoshop Elements. I wish I had discovered the program earlier. It certainly made squishing his face late in the process much easier.

And here’s some screenshots of my progress from “WTF is this ugly thing?” to “I survived making a thing that looks pretty good”:

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