The One where I need YOUR help!

It was time to try out a new pattern, well new… I’ve had it for quite some time but I didn’t get round to making it before. But because I’m participating in Me-Made-May this year I needed some more tops, t-shirts and blouses. So this is the first πŸ™‚

violet

Something I’ve never done before but did this time: I cut my pattern instead of tracing it! GASP!! I just couldn’t handle tracing this kind of pattern paper again. So I took my size, cut it and then ironed on fusible interfacing. The interfacing made it heaven to work with, I might do this again.

This won’t be a complete pattern review yet because I need your help. So this is the first part:

Pattern:

Violet Blouse by Colette. This is a pattern that the entire blog-o-sphere has made. I think every sewist has at least one Violet Blouse somewhere in her closet. But that’s the beauty of sewing. You can take the same pattern and change it over and over again with different fabric and different finishes.

Fabric:

This was one of the very first fabrics I ever bought (back in the day I thought 1m of fabric was enough to make everything), I only had 1 m of fabric so I needed to try a few different pattern lay-outs and finally decided to cut the facings out of a different (white) fabric. This dark blue fabric seems to have polkadots but they are actually little hearts.

I cut my collar out of the blue fabric first but after a botched experiment with collar – piping and serger, I had to cut another one, I had this nice crisp linnen somewhere in my stash, big enough to cut this collar.

Level and special skills:

Definitely beginner, I even added piping to make it more difficult. I have to say that I did a nice job easing in the sleeves (everyone hates easing), but they’re kind of rotated a bit, so my sleeve head isn’t on top πŸ™‚

violet 2

Size and alterations:

I cut a straight size 8 and I need your help for the alterations. I think I need some alterations based on the pictures above.

  • Narrow shoulder adjustment
  • Swayback adjustment
  • Bust dart adjustment
  • Add front and back darts to make it less boxy
  • Make armscytes smaller

And it looks like one shoulder is lower than the other, although I was standing completely straight.

What do you think? Do I need these, do I need any more? Except changing bust darts I’ve never done any alterations. But I think an easy pattern like this is the best to start with. But all tips, tricks and tutorials are welcome as I’m a complete noob when it comes to adjustments.

The One where I made Pants

(Please excuse me for the horrible phone pics but my fancy camera battery died just as I wanted to take pictures)

So, I made pants…

jeans

Actual pants made out of jeans! But I cheated! Let me tell you how πŸ™‚

Pattern:

I had been eyeing this pattern for a while. But it felt like cheating to order it. Finally I caved and ordered it. It’s the Simple Skinny Jeans by Sew Liberated.

Fabric:

I used a very thin stretch denim I bought for 14 euro at the market. The pattern called for 2 metres but I ended up using only one metre. So I could make 2 pair of jeans out of the fabric.

Size and alterations:

Based on my measurements I cut a size 14 and decided to change the elastic waistband by a stretch waistband. But it ended up being to big… My fault completely because I cut the size based on my measurements BEFORE I went on a diet. Stupid me, as I’ve lost 5 kilos since taking those measurements. So I took my measurements again and made the pants a size smaller and now they fit. But stubborn as I am, I’ve added the stretch waistband again and on the one hand it’s crazy comfortable but on the other hand it tend to stretch with wear. So the waistband becomes wider…

Level and special skills:

No special skills needed πŸ™‚

Time to complete:

3 hours. Seriously, it takes longer to wash, dry and iron a pair of pants than to make these.

Will I make it again:

I bought red, green and brown stretch jeans… so what do you think.

Overall conclusion:

The pattern comes with a link and password to a video tutorial. The fact that you have to buy the pattern before you can watch the tutorial kind of bothers me. Sometimes you just like to check stuff out before buying the pattern.

When I watched the video, I got completely confused as they try to use the topstitching as regular seams. In short this mean that they press every seam so you don’t have to sew it and you can just topstitch over it. I can tell you, that just makes it way too complicated. It’s much easier to sew your seams, press them and then topstitch. Way sturdier as well.

The pattern came without a measurement chart, they apparently forgot, but they do have the measurement chart on the site. Not a finished measurements chart though and that would have been helpful.

The pattern comes with a clear explanation and because the front pockets and the fly are fake there’s really nothing difficult about it.

The thing that actually takes most time is changing between your regular thread and needle and your topstitch thread and twin needle.

kleur

These are the colours I bought to make new pants. As you can see in the pictures the pants still have a few wrinkles, but I think that has to do with my stubbornness and the fact that I refused to make elastic waistbands. Might have to do it next time though πŸ™‚

The One with All the Changes

Hey you guys,

It feels like it’s been ages since I’ve blogged anything, but the thing is that it has been crazy busy! I’ve made quite a few new items the past two weeks but I haven’t had any time to blog about them.

We’re kinda in the middle of a rental dispute with our landlord. He wants us to pay more for utilities, but he’s already charging us more than we’re actually using. And we were supposed to get the ‘right’ price after a year, but he doesn’t even want to show us the bills to prove his point. So he kind of wants us to either pay more or look for another place. So we have been running around trying to get people to tell us what our rights are and what we should do.

We’re certainly not going to pay more but this means we’ll have to move to another place in about 3 months and we’re still in doubt whether we want to rent or buy… We’re not really liking the rent option giving the circumstances…

My boyfriend has got a new job, so he’ll be starting that one as well in a few weeks. Β My Easter break is over so it’s back to school for me too πŸ™‚

 

So blogging about my items kind of fell to the background. I have been mentally blogging after each completed item.

I’ve decided that I’m not going to catch up on every item because I want to participate in Me-Made_may-’13 so I’ll just blog about each new item when I wear it.

But before I’m officially in:

‘I, Stephanie of Love-Teach-Sew, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’13. I endeavour to wear at least 2 me-made items (2Β separates or one dress)Β  each day for the duration of May 2013’. I will not wear the same outfit twice during that time and will take daily pictures.

Very very excited about it! Still need some more tops!

 

PS I made pants! Just have to find time to blog about those as well πŸ™‚

 

 

The One with The Thread Holder

My sewing space is limited. So I have to carefully plan every bit of space I have. Because the container I used to store my thread spools was getting kind of full, I was looking for another way to store them. A way to store them off my sewing table, since that space is limited itself.

I came along various thread spool holders online , found some great ideas but neither of them was exactly as I envisioned it in my head.

I wanted a thread spool holder that was practical AND beautiful at the same time. I had the idea of building it myself but I’ve always been great at designing stuff not great at the actual building stuff. My Dad and I were kind of a team when it comes to that. I design and he builds. Most of the time the building involves me holding stuff so he can attach it πŸ™‚

So I called him and asked him if he wanted to help me. He immediately said ‘yes’ and we went to work yesterday. Because I’m so happy with the way it turned out, I’m sharing it with you, so you can build it yourself if you want.

(All measurements are for Gutermann thread and a holder carrying 99 spools)

Here goes:

construction 1

Step 1: Assemble your stuff. You will need.

  • a piece of wood that measures 50 x 60 cm (20 x 24 inches) and is 12 mm (1/2 inch) thick
  • a decorative trim to put around the edges. It should be at least 220 cm (88 inches) long
  • wood glue
  • spray paint
  • 99 wooden pegs. 8 cm long (3.2 inches) and 6mm in diameter (0.2 inches)
  • a pencil
  • a ruler
  • a drill
  • some very small nails

Step 2:

To space the pegs evenly you have to draw a grid. There should be 4,5 cm (1.7 inches) between each line. This is the slightly larger than the largest Gutermann spool. A good tip is to start in the middle so your last hole to the side is spaced evenly throughout.

You should have 9 x 11 rows (or 11 x 9)

Step 3:

Check your grid and correct any mistakes you may have made.

Step 4:

To make it easier to see where you have to drill a hole, draw a small circle around each intersection of lines>

Step 5:

Make sure your wood is placed on a firm underground.

Step 6 – 7:Β 

Drill your holes, first with a drill slightly smaller than the actual pegs. This will make correcting mistakes easier and it will make drilling the correct sized hole a lot smoother.

Step 8 – 9:

Check your beautiful holes πŸ™‚

construction 2

Step 10:

Once you’ve checked everything is spaced evenly, you can drill through your holes again using a 6mm (0,2 inches) drill. Insert a wooden peg once in a while to check if the holes are big enough.

Step 11:

Take your decorative trim and saw it into 4 pieces using a 45′ angle. You should have two 50cm pieces and two 60cm pieces (2 x 20 inches and 2 x 24 inches. Nail those trims on top of your piece of wood to form a frame.

Step 12:Β 

You can put your drill and nails away because the major part is done. Admire your framed holes πŸ™‚

Step 13 – 14:

Use a damp cloth to remove all sawdust and leave it to dry for a few minutes. Use a can of spray paint to paint the entire piece in your desired color. Keep adding coats until you are satisfied (I gave mine 5 coats). Be sure to read the instructions on your can carefully. Do this in a well ventilated area or (preferably) outdoors and put some plastic underneath to protect your table.

Step 15 – 16:

Once it’s dry (mine was touch dry after 20 minutes) put a small drop of glue inside each hole and put a wooden peg on top. You can use a hammer to set it firmly.

Step 17:

Attach two hooks so you can hang your frame.

Step 18:

Fill it with your thread spools and admire your work.

final

Isn’t it pretty? It’s exactly as I wanted it to be and I don’t think I’ve ever made anything nicer in my life!

The good thing is (added bonus) that the pegs are long enough to put my bobbins in front of my spools so the thread matches!

Yay, for unforseen bonusses! The whole thing probably wasn’t cheaper than buying a thread holder but this one is PERFECT!

Would you like to make something like this yourself. Would you like someone else to make it for you?

The One with All the Slopers

About a month ago (After the fail with the Moss skirt) I decided it might be a good idea to draw my own skirt sloper and just design my own skirts. I wouldn’t have to go through the hassle of fitting skirts anymore or experiencing fails like the Moss skirt one.

My initial idea was to get a tutorial, draft a sloper and would have a wardrobe filled with skirts by now.

It didn’t go as smoothly as planned.

I ended up making 3 versions of a sloper and because blogs are basically about learning from eachother and eachother’s mistakes. I’ll share all of them with you.

Version 1:

I found the tutorial online here.

  • great step-by-step tutorial
  • you could even print each step as to keep it for further reference.

That’s as far as the good things go. Here is the bad stuff:

  • It tells you to add 5cm of ease to the skirt. Think about it, take a moment to ponder those 5 cm… of ease… for a sloper…
  • It tells you to draw 4 darts in the front and 2 in the back… It looked like my ass was on my front!

version 1

This was the result of the first try

  • The waistband hits about 5cm below my waist… I wonder how come πŸ™‚
  • The curves at the sides did not match my curves at all.
  • (Yes, I stitched my front panel on backwards)
  • Look at those darts, it looks like I have the skirt on backwards.

Conclusion:

  • This tutorial is a FAIL!

Version 2:

For my second version, I used a book I had bought a while ago which deals with pattern drafting and sewing techniques. I knew there was an explanation to draw a skirt sloper in there but it seemed to have so much math that I was hesitant to try it. (Languages are my strong side, so logically math is not!)

I used thisΒ book.

version 2

The book is originally in Spanish and it was translated into Dutch.

The good things about this book:

  • A clear measurements chart to put down your own measurements for further reference.
  • The book had clear math and was applicable to all sizes due to the formulas. Because there was a lot of math, I decided to do the math beforehand and calculate everything before I started drafting.
  • good explanation with clear pictures

But the bad thing:

  • The translation was obviously done by someone who had no clue about sewing or math, because the formulas were way off. They didn’t make sense at all (and not due to my lack of math skills). Somehow (after some help of the internet to figure it out) all ‘-‘ symbols seemed to have been replaced by ‘%’ symbols. An example: “1/8 A % 1,5 cm” (A being the length between your shoulders). That was the formula for the armhole opening. It should have been 1/8 A – 1.5 cm (There’s the ‘aaaaahaaa’ moment)
  • The translation messed up the explanation of the darts as well so they ended up all being to near the side seam.

version 2a

 

The result was better than version 1 but:

  • The waistline was higher but still not up to my waist
  • The curves at the sides did not match my curves yet
  • The darts were all strangely close to each other.

Version 3:

For version 3 I used this book. I talked about it before, not liking the styling and thinking every model looked hideous in her skirt. I still think that but the last chapter was about drafting your own pattern. And because this one wasn’t a translation (it was written in Dutch) I knew that wouldn’t cause any problems.

So the good things:

  • written in Dutch
  • no ease at the waist so it wasn’t going to fall down
  • clear diagrams

The bad things:

  • a lot of text – no quick math
  • a lot of reading through instructions

But I was willing to do the reading, did the math beforehand again and what do you know: It’s a perfect fit!

version 3

  • The waistline hit at the waist!
  • I decided not to draw curves between the waistline and the hipline, but just draw a straight line and that worked. Apparently, I have no curves there πŸ™‚
  • The darts are perfect and even if they don’t look like it in this sloper, they do look like that in the real deal!

The real deal!

red

 

I’m very very happy with the result. I drew a waistband to add to the skirt. I love the colour and the fabric (a red gabardine I wanted to use for a Juniper that failed).

I also love the detailing:

red 2

 

I found this zipper on a craft fair I went to a few weeks ago and I found it to pretty to hide on the inside. I also used 2 sliders to close the waistband and a strawberry cotton for the waistband facing.

(And yes, that’s the nail polish I bought in Amsterdam)

Do I love my sloper?Β YESSUR! It fits perfectly and it’s strangely comfortable (the skirt falls were it is supposed to and it doesn’t creep up or down)

I have already drafted 3 new patterns based on this sloper and I have a whole lot more planned! I’ll keep you posted!

Some last tips

  • If you want to make a sloper: Take your time, it took me three weeks but I never wanted to chuck the lot out.
  • Do the math before you draw the thing. It’s easier to draw afterwards and you spot small mistakes you made.
  • And last of all… Just try it, it’s easy and you’ll love it!

I was wondering whether to put the method I used for this sloper online. It’s a little work to put it on here, but if you’re interested I’ll gladly do it! Let me know!