Sunday, 25 September 2011

Flowers AND polka dots, can it get any better?

Finally a finished object! It's about time, don't you think? I gave you a sneak peek of this dress, but I finally got time to dress up and take photos. The dress is made from 100 % cotton of quilting quality from Stoff og Stil, which means it is quite thin. I lined the skirt with acetate lining and I love the sound of it! I prick stitched the zipper in the back, using the Sewaholic's tutorial. I don't think I'll ever go back to inserting zippers with machine stitching.

I had initially decided not to make the dress, but one week before the wedding, I just realised if I didn't sew the dress, it wouldn't be done that summer, and the fabric would just go into the stash. So the dress was indeed a project under deadline pressure. My mum helped me with hemming the skirt in the morning of the day my kid sister got married. Thanks, mum!
I aligned the first pleat with the front dart, and the pleats go all the way around to the centre back. It is very hip-flattering, exaggerating the curve. It really feels ultra-feminine. It works well together with a cardigan and Converse, which is great if I want to dress down but still wearing flowers and polka dots at the same time.

I'm in love with the fabric, and have bought it both in black, pink and red, planning a shirt with the pink one, and maybe another dress with the red fabric. The black is a little greyish, so I'm not sure what to do with that yet. 

Saturday, 24 September 2011

My favourite band

UFO's and getting rid of bad conscience

The UFO that is most likely to be finished once. 
Would it look good with a bow tie instead of regular collar?

Dealing with bad conscience (not working hard enough, not being clever enough, having lazy days at work etc.) is a huge part of doing a PhD, and I've realized that I need to get rid of other stuff that pile up on my conscience. Unfortunately there's a lot of things that piles up, like not doing enough exercise, avoiding housework and cleaning, and unfortunately not sewing and sewing-related stuff also gives me bad conscience! Now, I want to deal with some of that, and I want to know how to tackle UnFinished Objects (UFO's) and Projects Half Done (PhD's)...

The PhD-dress to the left would've turned out pretty cute if I just bothered to finish it. But would I use it? The recycle-shirt-draping project to the right was an attempt to break down regular sewing conventions. It will never be completed.
The Domestic Diva sorted her UFO's/PhD's into 3 piles based on the probability of finishing the projects: 1) Finish, 2) Reuse, and 3) Dump. Each project is then evaluated and discussed through what the project is, what is the problem, the progress and the plan, and finally the probability of completion. I really like the pragmatic approach, but the third option is one that I struggle with: I hate throwing things away! And throwing fabrics away? Of course there's the second option, but that brings me back to what to do with scraps. Is it OK to throw away UFO's that has a very low probability of being completed? Even the idea of throwing away projects give me bad conscience, so what says thou, my fellow seamstresses?

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

There's so many books

Getting lost at Amazon is always fun, and luckily they have wish lists so it's possible to find back to books that I would want to have in my shelf. The local bookshops and library does not have great collections of sewing/fashion books, and unfortunately I can't buy all the books I would like to. Here's some from my wish list (parents and siblings: Christmas is not that far away...)

The Colette Sewing Handbook looks very promising, and although it says for the new seamstress, I would like to have a look in this book. I have never tried Colette Patterns myself, but so many other seamstresses has, like the Beignet skirt from Kelly Learns to Sew, Needles, Thread and Love gorgeous Ceylon dress, and The Sencha blouse done by One Rainy Afternoon by Zoe (oh, and I love her pencil skirt!). The patterns are all on my to-do list.

The BurdaStyle book has been a hush-hush project, and I don't remember hearing about it since the starting-up a year ago. From what I read on Amazon, it'll be published January next year. BurdaStyle is the largest online sewing community, and in this book BurdaStyle members contribute with projects. It's a great way to include the community in their work. I look forward to see the result!

What seamstress doesn't want a book that is both a history book and a book with vintage-inspired projects? Sew Retro: Simple Vintage-inspired Projects for the Modern Girl and a Stylish History of the Sewing Revolution promise to be such a book. The customer's reviews are not solely positive, but I really like the idea of combining historical and cultural aspects of sewing, in addition to practical projects. Imagine having a similar book with focus on the 40s to 60s.... Hm, come to think of it, that's what I'm expecting from Gertie's book. That is so exciting! 

How to Use, Adapt and Design Sewing Patterns: From Shop-bought Patterns to Drafting Your Own: A Complete Guide to Fashion Sewing with Confidence is a book that caught my attention as it seems to cover both adjustment of commercial patterns and pattern construction. As you probably know, I'm mostly using my own self-drafted patterns, having failed so many times with commercial patterns and fearing them in case of disappointment and yet another flop. Does anyone know this book?

Talking about books, there's always a dress on my mind... Check out this beauty from Dollydagger! This one I know is on my wish list, but wouldn't it also look great and less formal in a non-shiny fabric? And it sure somehow look like Retro Butterick 4790, a pattern I've always liked. I do have some deadlines coming up, and need a new dress, don't I?