The end of the year tends to spark a restlessness in me. I like having a fresh start with the new year so I try hard to finish up all my creative projects (and video games…). But I have too many projects and it just isn’t possible. They hang over my head and I constantly feel like I’m not doing enough and oh crap Christmas is almost here and I have so many Christmas parties and we’ve just agreed to dog-sit over across the festive period and I just want to sleep through this stupid month…
So here I am, trying to tick things off the list. Hooray, I completed a thing! That thing is New Look 6452, made using my lovely new Japanese fabric. I am in love with my new fabrics and so excited that I finally get to wear one.
Choosing the right pattern size is not my strong point so this year I’ve been making toiles for most of my garments. For the most part I’ve made no adjustments after making toiles but this time the shoulders were extremely tight! I ended up grading the pattern from size 12 to size 8. Thank goodness I did make a toile!
I was planning on including the cord across the chest. But it looked awful. So I stuck with lace, which I think is a good choice. It was my first time sewing lace and I don’t think I did a good job. Thankfully the stitches are not visible. My sewing machine really struggled, which I guess shouldn’t be surprising as it is an entry-level machine. I later realised that one of the walking foot screws was loose. Ohhhhh
I was very excited to browse Japanese fabrics. I mean, Tokyo has a Fabric Town. How amazing is that? And I had heard online about Tomato Fabrics, which sounds like five floors (plus sister stores) of heaven. As luck would have it, we went to Fabric Street on Health and Sports Day so a lot of stores were closed. Including Tomato Fabrics ;_;
I was still blown away by the shops that were open. There is so much gorgeous Japanese fabric. And a lot of it is really good value (from an Australian perspective at least). I had packed a minimal wardrobe to ensure room for purchases but I was mindful how quickly fabric can add up and I did also want to visit Kitchen Town (again, amazing! I seriously regret not buying more things there) so I tried to set up rules to stop me from getting carried away and Buy All The Things.
In Takayama we managed to stumble across a fabric store by accident. It was geared more towards making yakutas and selling made ones to silly tourists. Which leads me to the issue of hand gestures. A British couple asked the shopkeeper how many meters they needed to make a kimono and the woman responded with “six” and gestured in the Japanese style – one finger resting on the open palm of her other hand. Seven would be two fingers on an open palm, eight would be three fingers etc.
The couple interpreted this gesture as five. I guess they thought the woman was pointing to her open palm? Regardless, there was so much confusion that the couple ended up leaving with 4 1/2 meters…I just don’t know how that happened…
Anyway, I was very torn by the small selection of fabric on offer and ended up getting a nice one with a print called San Go, which corresponds to the number of vertical and horizontal lines (three and five). And I got a few pre-cuts that I thought might be nice to make into bags (except I haven’t made a bag before so now I’m not so sure…).
We had time at the end of the holiday to revisit Fabric Town and check out Tomato Fabrics. To describe it as overwhelming was an understatement. There was so much fabric that my brain shut down. I found so much fabric that I wanted…but then couldn’t find them again…I set out to get stripped knit and ended up walking out with a dotty knit…It is a common issue that the more choice you’re given, the less capable you are making any choice beyond walking away with nothing. So I guess I should be amazed that I got anything, right?
So there we go – over 20 meters of fabric for 18715yen (~$235AUD). Now what to do with them? One of the first things I did after arriving home (after napping of course) was to go through my pattern stash and pull out anything that felt suitable for my new fabric. Only four patterns stood out, two oldies and two I haven’t tried yet.
The other fabrics will take a bit more thought. Lander pants? Morgan boyfriend jeans? Any suggestions are much appreciated.
I have fallen in love with Butterick B6168. It is a gorgeous pattern that had minimal issues and was really fun to sew. And it fits really well. I recently purchased a pattern adjusting class on Craftsy and was prepared to use this pattern as my first attempt at properly pattern fitting only to discover that I was already happy with the fit!
I made this dress whilst dog/house sitting (for three weeks. I miss my home). The home owners have a similar sewing machine and all I really needed to do was remember to take my own bits and pieces. We do dog sit for these people fairly regularly so I’m glad that I realised I could take my sewing with me.
Is it weird that I chose a fabric colour that matches the dress on the pattern envelope? I feel like it’s weird. Whatever. I like it and I’m really happy. The colour suits my upcoming autumn holiday in Japan. I found the fabric in a pop-up shop selling left-over fabric from a designer clothing store. I don’t know what it is. Some thick synthetic thing that I was worried about burning.
One benefit to the thicker material is that I didn’t need to use interfacing (which is great since I forgot to pack some). But the downside is that the gathers did not look good at the back of the skirt. They are meant to gather at the center but it made an unsightly bulge so I spread the gathers more evenly across. That in turn led to the side seam being prominent in the front. But I actually don’t mind it. It creates an interesting look so I’m just going to call it a design feature 😛
Let’s talk about zips. I don’t know if it’s me or my zipper foot but I have a hard time sewing invisible zips. It is incredibly frustrating that I can’t get it right. I couldn’t find a matching zip for this dress so I tried extra hard to make it invisible. So I did it again with hand-stitching. There is still a little bit of brown zip showing at the waist but it is pretty much invisible. Hooray! With this dress and my first coat I have gone from hating hand-sewing to loving it. It really does make a difference.
And hey, check out my instagram account. It is still fairly new so not too much content but I do hope to add photos there I don’t put up on the blog, such as WIPs.
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.
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.
The 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.
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.
I 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 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.
I 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.
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.
The 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?!The 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…