Saturday, September 4, 2010

Self Stitched September Lite - Extremely Lite!

Here's a few photos from the first week of my Self Stitched September experience (the lite edition since I don't have enough self-made clothing to participate fully and don't have time at the present to remedy the situation):

September 1 - My self-made yellow blouse, with wide-legged denim capris (store-bought a few years ago).

September 2 - Self-made sweater.

September 3 - Self-made tunic, leggings from Forever 21, and Aldo shoes borrowed from a very chic friend.
September 4 - Self-made jeans, my favourite vintage bunnyhug that I've had for 10+ years.

Summer Sewing Projects - Summary!

As an avid follower of numerous sewing blogs, I have decided to try and follow Zoe's Self Stitched September. When I was laid off work for two months earlier this spring, I became extremely spoiled with tons of time to do all sorts of sewing and managed to create a fair amount of clothing. However, since the end of May I have been working full-time (yay!) and am currently working at a full-time job and a second part-time job; needless to say I don't have much time to sew. Not to mention that this summer was incredibly busy - full of fun things though... camping trips, family vacations, ball tournaments and ultimate frisbee, etc. etc. etc...

I managed to finish this yellow blouse in time for September 1st. It's from Simplicity 9872 (circa 1980) which I found at the thrift store (big surprise!). I used a lovely lightweight cotton-eyelet fabric which was on sale for 70% off earlier this spring. I was originally planning to use it to make a JJ Blouse, but decided that a simpler pattern would show off this pretty fabric much better. This was the first time I've ever used French Seams (a method for encasing lightweight fabric safely within a seam so it doesn't fray. This is a good tutorial on how to do them). The selvege at the bottom of the fabric is a very beautiful scalloped edge, so I didn't need to hem the bottom at all. I very narrowly avoided turning this project into a Fail by not paying proper attention when I was cutting out the fabric (sheesh, will I ever learn?!?!?). I accidentally cut two right sleeves and didn't have enough fabric left to cut a left sleeve. Luckily I managed to find the last remaining bit of the fabric in the remnant bin at Fabricland but it was now $5.50 for 0.8m!!!! I had only paid $3/m a few months earlier - argggg!!!! Oh well, hopefully this will teach me a valuable lesson? :-D

This last photo just cracks me up. My in-laws live on a lake in the Okanagan region of British Columbia and a huge swarm of gnats had just come up from the lake and tried to fly up my nose!

I actually spent a good portion of July and August doing a bit of sewing for our friends' wedding. The bride asked me to do the bridesmaid dress alterations as well as making some sashes for the flower girls' dresses to match the wedding colors. My camera wasn't working the day of the wedding, but here is a photo of my handiwork (all except for the bridesmaid second from the left). The best thing that came out of doing these alterations was the discovery that my 1970s sewing machine does blind-hemming!!! Of course, in typical fashion I didn't discover this until I was nearly finished hand-sewing the hem of the fourth (and final) dress! Oh well... Now I know for future projects, right?

I also did a bit of up-cycling for my hubby. In these tough economic times, his office has decided to save money by not using air-conditioning (which, if you've ever spent any time in the Shuswap during summer you know how hot it gets!). N was lamenting the fact that he had no shorts to wear that were office-appropriate, i.e., not board shorts, so I took him to Value Village and we got a couple pairs of pants that I was able to turn into shorts. These grey plaid shorts are my favourite of the two; they used to be a pair of rather tight, skinny pants that I would imagine some trendy Asian man wearing in Vancouver and looking fab. To accomodate for my non-trendy, tight-pant fearing Interior husband, I had to use some of the extra fabric from the lower portion of the legs (and taking care to match up the plaid) to widen the legs. He says he likes them a lot, and I'm sure of it since he wears them at least 4 days a week! Great success!

Autumn Arrives!

Phew! After an insanely busy summer, September has arrived to bring a bit of a breather from all the hecticness of another beautiful Shuswap summer...

I am looking forward to a bit of Caramia-time this fall to wrap up a few sewing projects for others, as well as doing some apple-picking and canning / preserving stuff from my garden. I am actually on a bit of a deadline with my non-selfish sewing, so I need to get at it!

I was commissioned by a good friend to make her a skirt, and she is leaving for Switzerland at the end of the month to visit her family there so I only have a bit of time to get things all wrapped up! She wanted an A-line style skirt out of a bluey-green cotton voile so I used this free Twinkle by Wenlan pattern and used white binding tape as an accent. The pattern is okay, but I think that having to print it on 50+ pages is a bit extreme, especially when the pattern could probably utilize folding the fabric at the mid-point. Also, the fit seems a bit small - I made a size 12 for my friend even though her measurements were for a size 10 (normally I find most sewing patterns fit best if you make them a size smaller than what your measurements say you are). Anyhoo, it's nearly done, I just have to finish a few seams, put in a zipper (always a challenge for me) and then hem it.

The second unfinished project is a purse for my husband's grandmother who is turning 90 (!!!) on September 11th. She was moaning a few months ago about how she would like a small purse and how everything these days is just so big. (She is actually one of the funniest people I have ever been blessed to know and I completely adore her, so keep in mind that I am often sarcastic when describing her!). I personally am a fan of the large duffel-bag sized purse because I tend to haul around all kinds of stuff with me on a daily basis which probably explains some of my back problems, ha ha ha... I used Butterick 6856 which I've had in my pattern stash for ages, and used a heavy black brocade fabric as well as notions which I've "harvested" from an old Gap purse of mine which is actually worn out. If you didn't think purses could get worn out - think again! I've had this baby for over 10 years and it's been on numerous trips including a 3-month backpacking adventure around Europe in 2008 (see our blog for more details - be warned it's rather detailed!). I would say it's about 3/4 of the way finished; thankfully it's a long weekend so I will actually have time to get some work done on it!

Two of our friends have very recently had babies (i.e., within the past week and a half), so I have a bit more baby clothes to finish up. So far I have made a pair of pants for little M using the leftover fabric from an up-cycle I made for my hubby. I haven't had a chance to sew anything for little S but I am soooo excited to make some baby girls' clothes since everyone seems to have been having boys lately! Oh well, I will add it to the ever-growing To Sew list... I hope you all have a wonderful September and that all good things come your way!