Revisiting Patterns

I went a little mad with the new year sales and added lots of fabric to my stash. My to-sew list just keeps growing! A lot of fabrics I purchased with no clue what to do with but for two I had a clear idea of patterns in my collection that I wanted to use. (Another one I had a clear idea but alas, the fabric was not large enough).

First up is New Look 6286. I constantly wear the bird print top I made with this pattern I made two years ago.

blueredtop1

I absolutely adore this fabric. It is from Cloud9, which tends to have prints that really appeal to me (I even used Cloud9 for my first attempt at this pattern).

I made a few changes to the pattern. I omitted the ties, which I had done previously. I also lowered the front seam between the bodice and skirt (which also meant raising the hem to compensate). And I put a zip in at the back. I wasn’t happy with the back when I first used the pattern and there is also a large amount of gaping at the back that required dealing with. The zip also has the advantage of making it less noticeable that I didn’t match the patterns between the left and right sides very well (I’ve only attempted to match stripes before this top). I would have liked to use a red zip but couldn’t find a shade that matched the flowers.

blueredtop2


For many years I have had two pairs of fox print pjs. I love them to bits and have worn them to bits. I think part of that was due to my 2015 depressive episode, when I would constantly wear pj bottoms at home and would avoid leaving the home because that would require changing and having standards in appearance. Anyway…I have sewn up the worn patches as much as I can and am devastated to let my foxes go. I haven’t found any foxy pjs to replace them but I have found this cute fox fabric.

foxtop

This is the forth time I have used New Look 6705, though I only wear one of the the tops. The yoke did not work out so well this time. I probably shouldn’t have sewn it whilst grieving for my dog. I spent forever ironing the shit out of it (I wish I had a ham) but despite my efforts, the front of the shoulders don’t sit nicely. At least I can cover them with a cardigan. A few of my colleagues have been admiring the foxes so I’ll keep wearing it despite its flaws.


The fabric I had in mind for New Look 6899 wasn’t wide enough. Thankfully I had something in stash that I thought would also work. I’m happy with the fabric choice – I love the stripes with this cut and having them run in a different direction for the waistband. However, I’m not a fan of the pockets. They might be practical bit they don’t sit very well. I think it might be my fault, not the pattern.

stripeskirt1

I had hoped to finish this before I started dog sitting but alas, I ran out of time. Daisy was not impressed by my sewing instead of patting her. I want to start more projects but she’s here for another week and I don’t think I can stand her disappointment in me.

stripeskirt2

New Look 6431

NewLook6431

After struggling with my first jacket, I thought this dress would be a breeze. And it was…except that I made a horrible error…

Until recently my career has focused on following instructions. Deviations from procedure were a big no no. I haven’t yet developed a good core understanding of sewing so I tend to stick pretty closely to the instructions. I attached front to back, then bodice to skirt. I took what I learned from the jacket and sewed mainly without pins and was very pleased with my work. Then came adding the zip and I realised that the waist was in fact too small. 😦

I did a lot of unpicking and then ignored the pattern instructions. I attached bodice to skirt, added the zip, and then attached front to back with some alterations. It was a little tricky as I had already attached the bias binding to the arm holes and didn’t unpick that. So the side seams (particularly under the armholes) don’t look quite as nice as I originally did but the main thing is that it now fits.

The frustrating thing is that I already had the relevant knowledge, I just didn’t know. When I made a dress in a sewing class in 2013, my teacher told me to add top to bottom first instead of front to back. But she didn’t explain why (ie. makes it easier to alter the size if it isn’t quite right) and I never thought about the reason why. So here I am, mindlessly following the instructions like I always do, instead of actually understanding what I’m doing. This is what makes me still a beginner despite sewing for four years.

At least I now know a to attach my dresses top to bottom instead of front to back. May I never make this mistake again.

New Look 6371

How can it already be March?! I haven’t really been that productive this year. I was really hoping that coming out of depression would make me more motivated to create awesome things. I have all these ideas but not the motivation.


I’m not entirely satisfied with this dress. Somehow I expected that it would be more shaped than it was. I guess the angle of the model on the pattern packet gave me the wrong impression. I did shape my dress a little bit while adjusting the size (the smallest size on the pattern was too big for me) but I still feel like it needs more shape. I was also planning on adding sleeves but they just enhanced my feeling that the dress wasn’t that good.

And now summer is over and it’s time to focus on making clothes for winter (which hopefully I’ll finish before winter ends…XD). Hopefully by next summer my expectations will have faded and I’ll be able to properly appreciate my new dress.

 

New Look 6095

I made the most of my last day of work by popping into the nearby fabric store. It was unlikely that I would ever visit it again. On the discount table I found a big roll of brown and white stripes as well as one with purple and white stripes. How could I resist $2 per metre?

I don’t know about anyone else but when I start a new job I’m left with a feeling that my wardrobe isn’t “good enough” and needs a revamp. In particular, I really want to wear more dresses. Years ago I never wore dresses (despite loving them) so I don’t have that many dresses for daily wear. So my first sewing project for 2016 was New Look 6095.

6095front

I tend to have trouble with necklines and this dress was no exception. It was hideous! There was no way that I could make it work so I used bias binding instead. Not perfect but better than abandoning the dress in a rage.

This was also my first time making double pointed darts. I always thought they looked intimidating but they were actually super easy.

6095back

 

New Look 6268 and 6843

I don’t know about other bloggers but most of the time I’ll think of a post that I want to make but the moment I click the New Post button, I can’t think of what to write…

Whenever I’m in a fabric store, I tend to choose fabric based on price and how pretty it is, not on practicality. I have a few failed outfits thanks to poor choice in fabric. The fabric I used for this top was so stretchy and slippery that I did a terrible job sewing it. Thankfully I chose a pattern (New Look 6268) that is a little more forgiving than others and I’m sure people will only notice how bad it is if I shove it in their face.

The model on the pattern packet was wearing a little white skirt, which got me thinking that one of my own would be nice. I had enough left-over fabric that the cost was negligible. The pattern (New Look 6843) I chose was the very first one that I ever used. I’ve certainly come a long way since then.

While I was initially sad to stop going to sewing classes, now I feel that it was a good idea. Sure, there are many things that I would learn better with one-on-one help. But now I am no longer relying on a single person to tell me what to do and the internet is teaching me a lot of techniques that I doubt the teacher would have shown me. For this skirt it had been so long since I had sewn a normal zip that I had actually forgotten how to do it. By googling, I discovered a different method that I think looks so much better than what my teacher showed me. What would I do without the internet?

New Look 6705

This is the third time I’ve used this pattern. I think this is one of those patterns that I’ll keep coming back to again and again. It’s great being able to see how much I’ve improved over the years. I want to find more patterns that I keep returning to.

It’s also nice that people at work are starting to compliment my clothes without realising that I made them. It seems I have good taste 🙂
6705

Seeing the rose behind me, I thought I would try a photo of me smelling it. It had a lovely subtle fragrance. Of course, seconds before the camera took the photo, an earwig fell out of the rose and down into my sleeve! Admire my professionalism – I did not shriek and I held that pose until after the flash. I could totally be a model if I wanted to 😛
Flower

New Look 6286

I was on annual leave last week and spent the time Getting Things Done. Work has been so exhausting that I just collapse on the couch when I get home. Not surprising when we’re understaffed and everyone has to do the job of three people! So I’ve had two half-finished tops collecting dust for a few months. Both are from the New Look pattern 6286.

Finding the right size for me is still a challenge. I don’t know how much ease to use and I don’t make toiles (oh look at me using all these sewing terms. I is so smart!). Normally if I’m wrong then I’m a size too large. But this time I had a big brain fart and followed the sizes listed on the packet, instead of looking at the pattern. I sewed up the bust and tried it on and it was ginormous! I don’t know why I did that!

After re-cutting my pattern pieces to a smaller size, I unfolded all the pieces and discovered:

Mystery blob!

It’s still good, it’s still good….maybe if I spray my stain remover and wash it?…nope?…Err…

I have plenty of fabric left and I guess the logical thing would be to cut out another piece. But mystery blob was close to the edge and the piece is gathered before being attached so I tried chopping it off and going ahead anyway. This is what I do. Have two eggs when I need three? Let’s give it a go! Doubled the amount of water I was meant to use when doing science at work? Let’s pretend it never happened and see how robust the procedure is! (Turns out the procedure is much more robust than others would have me believe). I actually learn quite a lot by stubournly charging ahead with things.

6286birds

I also decided to experiement using the remaining material from my fail skirt. I made the bodice by cutting out twice as many pieces and attaching them together at the arm holes and neckline. It actually worked better than I expected (ie. didn’t fail) but was a pain to attach, since I’m still bad at cutting sheer material and pieces didn’t quite match up. Trying to work with the mismatches does mean that it is slightly smaller than the other top and does require me to wriggle a bit when putting it on.

The hard part is deciding which one to wear on my first day back at work. Not that I want to go back!