Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Bread&Butter Sewing Plans

Siebenhundertsachen is holding a blog challenge called Project Bread&Butter. I'm actually too late for the link-up (late enough that everyone's already doing part two), but as I'm itching to plan some sewing, I've decided to join anyway. Project Bread&Butter is the German equivalent for "sewing cake", if you want to put it like that. I've actually never quite understood why anyone would eat copious amounts of frosting (though I can see the appeal in sewing it). Frosting isn't a German thing. While we do have fancy cakes (Sachertorte or Black Forest cake, anyone?), they usually feature cream, or chocolate, or ganache. The real fancy ones have buttercream. Personally, my favorite has always been pound cake, with either a chocolate or lemon glaze. But most days I'd take a freshly baked slice of rye bread with seeds, slathered in fresh butter over cake, hands down. ;-)
So before this blog post totally devolves into a discussion about baked goods: Project Bread&Butter is about those garments you actually wear every day. The ones that hardly see your wardrobe, because they constantly rotate between being worn and being washed. What do we actually need more of? Are there any gaps in that wardrobe? Any garment in need of getting a twin? A garment that would allow others to be worn more often in combination?

I'm not going to count the clothes I wear at work, they're all-white and need to stand up to being frequently washed, so I'm happy for them to be RTW. The rest of what I frequently wear falls neatly into three categories, with some overlaps:

1. everyday clothes, which I wear on the way to and home from work, so they need to be bike friendly, and I wear them during my lunch break (which I tend to spend at home) and when I get home from work.
Activities: apart from biking I tend to spend some time on the computer, reading, sewing, or doing chores (getting groceries, cooking). My main requirement is for the clothes to be comfortable, and to look put-together enough to be in public. I also seem to prefer the easiness of just shrugging on a dress in the morning, over chosing separates. Currently, I rotate between Lolas and the small number of other long-sleeved knit dresses in my wardrobe. Going by last year's experience, tunic-length tops over leggings would also work (but it's a bit too cold for my Bruyère at the moment). I actually tend to select the "boring" over the "nice" dresses for everyday wear. Maybe because I want to keep the "nice" ones for the weekend, when people actually get to see them.
2. weekend clothes, to leave the house, meet friends, go to choir practice etc. These need to be less bike friendly, though I still prefer comfy. I tend to wear my "nicer" knit dresses, or sometimes pullover and skirt, although at the current temperatures, I tend to reach for my RTW wooly sweaters instead of my jersey tops.
3. lounge clothes, for evenings and the part of the weekend that I spend at home. These need to be comfy, and I still like to look put together, in case a friend comes over or I need to go out and run an errand - I prefer not to have to change completely to do that. I tend to wear a lot of leggings instead of tights like during the week, and either my workday knit dresses or layered knit skirt and jersey tops. My fleece Lola is also a top contender when it's cold.
It's also a sad fact that my sleepwear consists of mostly worn out t-shirts and boxer shorts, even though I've been collecting fabrics to remedy that. Maybe this project will finally make me bite the bullet and actually make a couple of nice PJ sets.
What I don't wear: I don't wear jeans in winter - I hate the way they get snug when layered over tights. I also hardly wear any shortsleeved dresses, because I don't like my current crop of cardigans for layering.

So what's the plan?
I think I could actually do with another long-sleeved Lola (or two), or barring that, another kind of long-sleeved sweater or jersey dress - and maybe a couple of three-quarter sleeved ones for when it gets a little warmer. I already have some fabric that I planned for a Jasper dress. I think a Bruyère over leggings would also be nice for everyday wear, as soon as we're back to more sping-like temps. Maybe I'll even fix the sleeve cuffs of the one I already made. I could also do with another couple of leggings, and was wondering if maybe a knit skirt or two could round out my wardrobe (although I do prefer the ease of just reaching for a dress on an early workday morning).
I also think that a couple of cardigans to throw on over the shorter-sleeved dresses would be nice. For now, I have one me-made Miette and a couple of basic RTW cardis in neutral colours. They're all v-necked, with a button closure, which for some reason prevents me from layering them over dresses. I imagine that a longer, waterfall-type cardigan without a front closure, and sleeves lose enough for layering, might work out better for me. I've had my eye on the Oslo cardigan from the Colette Seamwork magazine.
For lounge wear, I'd also like to try the True Bias Hudson pants, which have been in my pattern library for what feels like forever. For PJs, I was thinking some kind of elastic-waist woven shorts and colour-coordinated t-shirts, which is exactly what I'm wearing most of the time.
Last but not least, I really need a new handbag. I have a pleather one (from Tchibo) that's good enough for my everyday needs, as it fits my tea mug (or a small bottle of water), wallet, emergency brolly, ebook reader, keys and those other little odds and ends. I haven't had a decent larger handbag or tote (that fits a bottle of wine to bring to a party, or my knitting and a good book when on a trip) in what feels like forever, though. The Betty Bowler has been on my to-sew shortlist for ages, I think I've bought three separate fabrics for that specific pattern. I still need the bits and bobs - so that's going to be my bonus project!

I find it really hard to confirm to dates and timelines when it gets to sewing, so we'll see if I manage to keep up with the official Bread&Butter project. I've got until the end of March, though, so I'd say it's entirely possible. :-) Are you taking part in any challenges or sew-alongs at the moment?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Peek-a-boo striped Lola and a sparkly one

So it's a bit overwhelming, all those garments I made last year that I haven't blogged about yet. But I guess there's nothing wrong with taking it slowly, piece by piece, interspersed with what I'm making at the moment. And once I think about it, I guess there's also nothing wrong with not blogging about a garment at all, or just as a mention on the side, should it prove to be boring. Right?

And with that out of the way, let's start on this striped Victory Patterns Lola I made in December. Maybe I should stop blogging about Lolas, I've made so many of them. This is number eleven, and I've also made a number twelve, which I'm going to show you right afterwards. What can I say, they're perfect for everyday and the pattern is surprisingly versatile. Wanna see?
(I only left out the one that was a wadder from the start, due to bad fabric choice.)
To be honest, I don't wear them all equally frequently. The striped green one and the navy short sleeved one are made of rather flimsy fabric, which doesn't wear so well. Funny, as the blue&white striped one is a similar weight, but worn so often now that it's all pilly and has developed a hole under one arm. I wear the coral one a lot even though the sleeve bands feel pretty tight (they're meant to be made from ribbing, so need to be adjusted when using a less stretchy fabric).The green wooly one is a bit scratchy and rather too short for my liking. The most successful ones, really, have been those three made from sweatshirting, and the polka-dotted fleece version, which is so cozily warm, it's perfect for a cold winter day at home. But those I wear all. The. Time.

So when I saw some black&white striped sweatshirting at The Sweet Mercerie, it prompted a little fabric shopping spree to throw off my stashbusting numbers (to escape shipping costs), and filled my need for another warm-and-longsleeved winter Lola.
Look, I took inside outfit pics that aren't actually horrible!
I don't know if there's a lot to say about this one. I took some care with stripe matching, which turned out pretty well overall. I drafted the little collar to keep out the chill, and wasn't quite convinced that it worked at first, but I like how it comes out in the photos and now it's one of my favorite features. I finally drafted a pattern piece for the long sleeves, after eyeballing it mostly for my earlier versions. Although they're just a tiny bit tight, as this fabric has almost no stretch at all.
Is there anything else to say? For a Lola, this feels surprisingly elegant to wear. Well, maybe not elegant, but... smart? I guess the stripes and collar give it a bit of a mod feel. I really like the collar.  :-)

Beware, derpy looking photos ahead!

I think I mentioned that I got some sparkly black sweatshirt fabric from Lillestoff a while ago. I knew right away that I wanted to make a sweater dress for the holidays, some combination of comfy and elegant. And as Lola is my favorite sweater dress pattern... I left off the pockets to pare back the casual feel, and also eliminated the waist seam. I did the same with two of my earlier Lolas, by overlapping the seam allowances of the bodice and skirt pieces. It really only minimally affects the fit, I think.
This is the dress with a turned-under hem, which I ended up not really liking, so I let it out again and added a hem band.
I like it so much better that way! Funny how such a little detail can totally change the feel of a dress. It was perfect for the holidays, being so comfy for sitting around and indulging in feasts, while still being sparkly and festive. I wore it again for New Year's, and I think I'll have many more occasions to wear it. Also seems like I'm slowly filling my wardrobe gap of garments for fancy outings. :-)

Do you have any wardrobe gaps waiting to be filled?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Sewing Top 5 - Reflections, Goals & Highlights

I just had a read through last year's reflections and goals post, and it made me laugh a bit. I had very low expectiations for the year, it seems, mostly because I had just started a rather demanding new job. I'm glad to say that, looking back, it turned out to be a pretty good year nonetheless. :-)
Reflections

1. Looking at last year's goals, as undemanding as they were, I did pretty well. I kept sewing, made some trousers and two pairs of jeans, got cracking on that bathing suit, and I did actually get a new battery for my camera remote (and then replaced the remote, since it still wasn't working). I even got a few decent outfit pics (which you haven't seen yet, because I haven't blogged about those garments yet). I also did blog occasionally. Yay! ;-)

2. I went on a bit of a blogging hiatus during the summer months, because work was crazy and the weather was decent, so other things took precedence. 15 blog posts for the year still average more than one per month, so I'm not totally crushed.

3. Sewing wise, it also was a much better year than I thought! I counted 29 sewn garments (of which 16 are still unblogged). Three of those sewing-for-others. 15 were dresses (including a toddler dress for my goddaughter), 5 were tops (including a shirt for my stepdad and a pullover for my sister), 3 trousers, 3 pairs of knickers, 2 skirts and one bathing suit. That's actually only one garment away from my count for 2014, and I'll stick with the impression that it's a sustainable number for me - enough new garments to not get bored, without letting my wardrobe overflow! I also did some knitting, mostly Christmas presents (cowls and mittens, this year) and one Miette cardigan for myself!

4. I started keeping an excel sheet with my fabric buys and the yardage I sewed this year, with the vague goal of only buying as much new fabric as I was sewing up. That didn't quite work out. On the fabric acquisition side I bought 51.3 meters of fabric, and I sewed 35.7 meters, of which 23.7 meters were from already existing stash and 12 meters from new fabric. It's really interesting, though, to see how much I actually buy and how much I sew. I don't feel too bad about not meeting my goal, and I'm really happy that I managed to sew up so much stash fabric.

5. Apart from not blogging regularly, I also had a hard time keeping up with the online sewing community. Blog reading and commenting came very low on my list of extracurriculars, and the only community/challenge thing I participated in was Me-made May.

Goals

1. Since I'm back at the doctor's office (orthopaedics at the moment) and my daily commute has shortened from 1.5h to about 20 mins, I'm thinking this year will be a lot more relaxed than the last one. I'd love to take part in a couple of challenges (the German online sewing community has weekly Me-made Wednesdays, and I really like this Bread&Butter project) and I really want to get back into blogging and commenting more regularly!

2. My fabric shelves are fuller than ever. Still, I really love me a piece of new fabric now and then. So I've decided that I'm allowed to buy a new meter of fabric for every two meters that I sew from my stash. I'm also going to try and find some local sewists for a fabric exchange. That really shouldn't be too hard in Berlin, right?

3. I've actually never taken a sewing class before, but I recently saw that one of the local sewing studios has a lingerie class. I'd love to take a class on bra making this year!

4. I feel a bit ridiculous saying this, but I've been meaning to sew myself a handbag (or two) for... almost as long as I've been sewing? I have a collection of at least 10 bag patterns. I have several canvas fabrics put aside for the purpose. I've been collecting notions (without a concrete plan in mind, so I'm sure I'm still missing some...). But that new dress/top/garment has always been more important! I'd like to make a bag this year.

5. I'd also like to get this blog updated a bit. Especially the "Handmade Closet" part has been sadly neglected for the last couple of years and I wouldn't mind an updated design (even though I still like the polka dots after more than 5 years...).

Highlights

What does it say about me that I could pretty much copy and paste last year's highlights in here and it would still mostly be true? I guess I'm a bit boring and predictable in the things that make my life a happy place. On the other hand, my life is a happy place and that alone is pretty awesome. :-) So...

1. The people around me. B., the handsome love of my life who makes me ridiculously happy just about every day. My family, who are supportive and fun and who I love spending time with. My friends, who are all just a wee bit extraordinary in their own way.

2. Stories. Most of my hobbies floundered a bit this year, but I think I read more than usual, both because of the long commute and because reading in bed (or in the bathtub) is such a fantastic way to relax and wind down after an exhausting day.

3. Travelling. I went on quite a few trips in 2015, though mostly around Germany. Weimar turned out to be a beautiful city, we spent a few days on the Baltic island of Usedom, went on a wine tasting trip to Volkach/Würzburg and visited B.'s family in Wiesbaden, spent half a day in Erlangen, and of course we spent some time at my parents' and went on a short trip to Italy.

4. My job. Even though working on the Geriatric ward was exhausting, stressful and challenging at times, I learned a lot and I think I grew both as a person and a doctor.

5. The little things. I managed to grew some tomatoes and even two small pumpkins on my balcony. I tucked some coffee dates and dinners with friends in whenever I could. There was a bit of knitting and even some short story writing, and a couple of rather amazing choir concerts that I took part in.

So yup, all things considered, I think 2015 was a pretty good year. Let's see what 2016 brings. :-)

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Sewing Top 5 2015 - Hits & Misses

It's this time of the year again. The Christmas holidays are over, there's only a few dozen hours left in the year, we're a bit sad to see it go but excited for the new one - time to have a bit of a lookback and join Gillian's #sewingtop5!
This year really has been an exciting one, or maybe intense is a better word. Mostly job-wise for me, but there was also some family stuff going on. Looking back, I'm really greatful for the job I had in Acute Geriatrics for 10 months, because I learned loads and grew both as a person and as a doctor. I'm rather happy to have landed back in a doctor's practice now, though. It's so much more chilled, it's not even funny - although after a two month break, I have now decided to go back to the occasional night on call... ;-)

Anyway, sewing-wise, it was a much less exciting year. I guess I can be glad that I managed some time for sewing at all. Blogging and reading blogs and commenting fell totally to the wayside for a while. 

I actually had a hard time to come up with some sewing misses at all, since I didn't sew that much - it took a bit of thinking. I'd say that all of the following are part-misses for one reason or another, nothing that really screamed big-time failure.
1. My biggest miss really is that I had so little sewing time, and fell out of touch with blogging and reading and commenting for so long - so here's a symbolic pic of my sewing machine. 

2. That red pair of Sewaholic Thurlow trousers is yet unblogged, and started out pretty well, but turned out quite a way to big. Possibly partly the fault of the linen fabric... I tried taking it in at the back, but threw off the crotch curve while I was at it. Oh well. I guess it's mostly wearable. Better luck next time (as I have that fabric in another three colours).

3. My Closet Case Files Bombshell swimsuit also gets to take part in the misses, even though it's really rather cute. The fit feels very tight and the lining is too thick, I think. In any case, I haven't actually worn it this year.

4. You'd think that teal polka dot jersey dress is exactly my style, and to be honest I have worn it quite a lot - mostly on the way to and from work, because it fills the requirement of being appropriate for public, has long sleeves and feels like secret pyjamas. It's pretty much the last thing I reach for on non-work days, though. No idea why, it just feels a little bit drab...

5. I really like that Deer&Doe Bruyère shirt (also still unblogged, oh my)! I had to shorten the sleeves to 3/4 though (I look silly in long-sleeved collared shirts), and the cuff turned out pretty tight. Which made my choice of snaps instead of a button hole even sillier. I'll have to put on new cuffs with real buttons at some point. Until then, this shirt just feels a bit not good...

Ok, on to the hits then!
1. Ginger jeans by Closet Case Files. They're not perfect but I love them. :-)

2. The green maxi dress. I really wore it all during the summer.

3. The rose dress (unblogged) is a very recent make from shortly before Christmas, just like the 
4. striped cowl-neck Lola. Both have already seen quite a bit of wear over the holidays and I think they turned out very nicely.

5. Rose print Appleton dress by Cashmerette. I feel quite elegant wearing it. :-)

So a lot of the garments I made are still unblogged. I think I will find the time to redress that at some point. Until than, hope you have a lovely New Year's Eve and Happy New Year 2016!

PS: If you're interested, here's a link to my #sewingtop5 of 2014. ;-)

Saturday, December 12, 2015

An Exercise in Origami - Jade Skirt


First things first: this is a review of a pattern that I have received for free, with the express intent that I blog about it.

I made these two cute Jasper skirts back in spring. The pattern is by Lisa from Paprika Patterns, and back in February she was extending her size range (it now goes up to a waist/hip measurement of 105/128 cm // 41.5/50.5 in) and looking for reviewers for the new sizes. I loved the look of the skirt, the folds look so cool! So I was very happy to be chosen.

I actually started making the pattern up right away, but made a couple of mistakes when chosing and cutting my fabric, which made the process of getting the folds in place really tedious and frustrating. Since I suspected that my fabric choice was at fault (the folding process does look rather effortless in this video tutorial), I wanted to try a second time to give an unbiased review. And it did work a lot easier the second time round! But then life intervened and I never managed to remember to make some decent outfit pics, so now it's December.

But: I managed to time this review with Lisa's new pattern release: the Zircon sweater and dress, and her patterns are 20% off until tomorrow! Just in case you're interested.
Pattern & Instructions:

It's a PDF pattern and I had no particular problems with assembling it. My version didn't yet come with layered sizes, not sure about the current version. (The Jasper sweater/dress has them and they're so cool!) The instructions are very thorough and easy to follow, and for the slightly more difficult bits, there's a reference to the tutorials on her blog (like the video above). Some bits are rather fiddly (like the folds and the final putting-together of the side seams), so I'd recomment at least some experience with sewing knit fabrics.
Sizing & Fit: 

Sizes go from 1 to 10, which covers everything from a 24.5 in/62 cm waist to a 41.5 in/ 105 cm waist, though I do think that there is some room depending on your fabric. I made size 6 according to my hip size, and as my fabrics were stretchier than recommended, had to take both of them in a couple of centimeters. The instructions include a final fit before adding the waistband, which I think is a fantastic way to get the fit that you're looking for!

Things to keep in mind: 

1. I was actually a bit surprised both at how much fabric was needed and how long construction took for this skirt. But if you think about it, it's fully lined and the folds take up quite a bit of fabric, as well as construction time. The waistband is curved for a better fit, which also takes up a bit more fabric. So really, I could have forseen that. ;-)

2. The very silly mistake I made with my first version was that I used a rather drapey rayon jersey, and cut out the front on the cross grain. I know, whyever would I do that??!? It was one of those fabrics where the white shows through when you stretch it horizontally, but not when you stretch it vertically, so I wanted the stretch to be vertical. As it's a knit, this threw off the drape so badly that it took me ages to get the folds in place. I had to use a myrad of pins *and* press them into place.
Verdict:

Despite my initial problems during construction, I like my two skirts quite a lot and I've worn them regularly during spring, early summer and autumn. Knit skirts just can't be beat in the fit-and-comfort aspect! It's not as quick a project as I thought, but I'm planning on making another version or two, maybe in a heavier fabric for the colder season. :-)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Two Appletons for Autumn ...

... and spring, and possibly the cooler parts of summer and the warmer parts of winter as well. :-)

It's been a while since I last jumped onto a new-pattern-bandwagon while it was still running, so to speak. My to-sew list is always so long and my love of using my favorite patterns multiple times so big that I tend to need to see several dozen amazing versions made by others, before I'm convinced that I actually need a new pattern.

With the Cashmerette Appleton dress, it actually only took a tiny poke (by Gillian) to get me to buy the pattern, print it out and make it up, all inside of maybe a week. And boy, am I happy I let myself be convinced.

This geometric rayon jersey print wanted to be a wrap dress since I first saw it, but I wasn't quite happy with the first Sew Over It Ultimate Wrap Dress I made last year. It gaped, which didn't make it unwearable, but seeing as it's a cute black&white polka dot dress, it certainly isn't worn as often as it could be, because the need to wear a slip or tank top underneath annoys me. So when Jenny advertised her Appleton dress, with cup-based sizes and a guaranteed no-gape neckline, and I looked at the sizing and saw that my measurements fell, for once in my life, into one straight size, it's maybe not very surprizing that it only took Gillian's "come on, go for it".
And it's a terrific dress! I cut out a straight size 12, C/D cup, not even shortening the bodice, since even on the models it seemed to sit where I prefer it, which is a bit lower than empire-waist but definitely higher than natural waist.

And the only alteration I made to have it fit perfectly was to shorten the hem by about 4 inches! Granted, it's a jersey wrap dress. If you think about it, the fit should be quite forgiving. Still. It does. Not. GAPE! The neckline sits pretty much exactly where I prefer it. The waist tie sits pretty much exactly where I prefer it. This is my personal wrap dress perfection. Jenny, I really have no idea why or how you managed to read my mind in this way, but you did, and it's fantastic. (Could you maybe read my mind about shirtdresses next...?)
I'm a bit sad that I didn't manage to take actual nice outfit pics of this dress. I even packed it for my long weekend trip to Italy at the beginning of November (like several other unblogged-as-yet outfits), but didn't manage to wear it until our trip back...

I did manage to wear the other Appleton dress I made, though, for a lovely and warm afternoon of wine-tasting at a Castello. 
If you would just ignore the shoes I paired it with. We went by plane, so I only took two pairs. ;-)
Also, please observe how I'm trying to make angles with my body, following Jenny's advice in Gillian's Better Picture Project. Ahem, yes, I know how completely fangirly I sound.
I think I may like this version even a tiny bit better than the geometric one. I was worried that the rather large rose print might be a bit too granny-ish but I think the contrast tie takes it more towards a ... kimono style, maybe? I don't know, but I like it.

Ok, so now for some facts:
Pattern: Cashmerette Appleton dress, size 12 (C/D cup) - the PDF is actually really nice to tape together, since there's an all-over grid to make it easy to align
Fabric: 1.5 m each of geometric rayon/lycra jersey (Maybachufer Market) and cotton/lycra rose print (stoffe.de) as well as 40 cm of red rayon/lycra jersey
Notions: none
Time to complete: about an hour for taping and cutting the pattern, half an hour for cutting the fabric, and maybe an hour and a half sewing-time
Techniques used: I used my overlock machine for most of the construction, the hems were made with a zigzag stitch on my conventional machine, because I was too lazy to re-thread the coverstitch.
And what to do differently next time: nothing, actually. :-)

So there's still several unblogged outfits, plus the Christmas party from my workplace is on Friday, and I meant to make that silver&black sweater jersey into an appropriate dress for the occasion... Then again, I've got a rehearsal and a choir concert tomorrow night and the night after. Hmm. Some sewing during lunch break, maybe?

Are you sewing for the holidays?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Winter Sewing Plans

Well, well, well. I don't know how this happened, but this post has been sitting around unfinished for over six weeks... I titeled it "Fall Sewing Plans", because back then, we were just going into the crisp, colourful part of fall, but by now I'm guessing winter isn't far around the corner, and the pretty red and yellow leaves have already turned dry and brown and fallen down. I also hear that we may be getting snow next weekend...
So it's a good thing that I've done at least a bit of fall sewing already, but since this post has been sitting around already half-finished, why waste it?? So here we go.

A while ago, I catalogued the fall/winter appropriate fabrics in my fabric stash. There are really quite a few, enough probably to make a whole wardrobe without buying anything new. Which means I really only have to pair fabrics with appropriate patterns and prioritize, and voilà: sewing plan! (Hehe, funny me, I never stick to plans anyway. But the planning itself is sort of nice...)

The next question, of course, if there's anything I need to make, to close a wardrobe gap. Well. I have the feeling that it would be nice to have a couple more leggings, and maybe a pair of Hudson pants, to lounge around at home. I also would love one of those warm, wooly, long cardigan, which seem to be in fashion right now, although that's probably something best knitted, which I'm not sure if I could finish in any reasonably amount of time. Apart from that, I think I don't have any actual "needs".

So, let's start with a few of the fabrics I'm really excited about! The first three are from Lillestoff, which had a pop-up store in Berlin a little while ago. I never tried them before (I usually stick to the cheaper fabrics) but after reading several gushing reviews (by Heather and Mary, among others), I had to at least have a look. The ones shown here are a cotton/spandex jersey with rose print, a black & silver metallic sweater knit and another teal/white striped sweatshirt knit.
I'm not sure what to make with the rose print yet. Possibly a simple long-sleeved jersey dress, maybe one with a knot detail. I'm pretty sure it will need a solid black midriff band, and possibly solid black neckline and cuff bands, to break up the rose theme a bit.
The metallic one will be a sweater dress. I'm not sure yet if I will go the princess-seamed, Lola-without-the-pockets route, or if there will only be bust darts. I think I'm going to make that one my Christmas dress. Sort of a casual-chic, glittery, secret pyjama dress. My favoirte kind. ;-)
Jasper dress
Now, the striped one will definitely be a Lola, or possibly a Paprika Patterns Jasper dress. Since the colour scheme is more spring/summer, maybe it will keep for next year. 
Oh look, more flower prints! I really love the print of the topmost fabric, and was meaning to make leggings with it when I ordered it online. It turned out to be a ponte/romanit jersey, though, with limited stretch and recovery, so now I'm a bit stumped. I've never used that kind of fabric before. So... probably a dress? Or maybe some kind of zippered jacket thingy? I've got the Waffle Patterns Cookie Blouson pattern... But I'm open for suggestions.
The striped one will probably be a longsleeved shirt. And I've already made up the bottom two fabrics. If you're following me on Instagram, you may already have seen the results. Hoping to blog about those soon!
This is my pile of miscellaneous jersey, most of them impulse buys from the Holland Fabric Market. I should stop that, all of them are just 1 m coupons, too. I was meaning to use the two at the top for a colourblock Jasper dress. And maybe make shorty pyjamas from the two in the middle...? I'm seriously short on sleep shorts (pun intended) at the moment, and they're practically all I wear to bed, even in winter. ;-) Last one is a nice, silky rayon jersey, destined to be a top of some sort.
These are my actual winter weight fabrics. A jersey jacquard at the top, followed by a textured wool knit and two textured cotton/poly knits. I bought the first one in inspiration of Gillians fabulous Jasper dress and want to shamelessly copy it, if I can find another nice textured fabric to go with it. Sadly, I think the wool fabric below it is a bit too heavy to work. I see that one as a sleeveless jumper dress, maybe with a cowl. No idea what to make with the dotty fabric, it's another online buy and I didn't anticipate the dots to be so close together, the effect is a bit psychedelic. Maybe a figure hugging skirt, though? What I wanted to make was a polka-dotted blazer, but for that I think the fabric isn't quite right.
The last one is a souvenir fabric from last year, when we were visiting B.'s grandparents in Wiesbaden. I guess I'm getting a bit repetitive when I say I planned on making a dress with it, probably long-sleeved and A-line, maybe with a bit of a 60s mod feel to it.
Another pile of miscellaneous fabric. The one at the top is a stretch cotton, which I thought might make a fun pair of leggings. Fun fact: it has no crosswise stretch at all, only stretches length-wise. Why??? Again, I'm open for suggestions. If I can think of nothing else, I guess it will make a cute little girl's dress (seeing as I recently acquired a 1-year-old goddaughter :D).
The lace print rayon is quite thin, and also just a 1 m coupon, but I was wondering if I couldn't maybe manage to get a Colette Macaron dress out of it, using either black stretch lace or jersey for the yoke and sleeves. And the last two fabrics are a leftover from another jersey dress. I've been thinking about making a kimono-sleeved top with a patterned back and solid front. I've never actually worn a kimono top, so I have no idea if it's my kind of thing at all, but it's fun to try something new once in a while.
Ooh, blue stretch lace and matching jersey! The lace is actually a cut up dress that I won in an internet giveaway a few years back, which sadly didn't fit me at all. Low-waisted, dirndl-skirt dresses just don't work for me. I've always been meaning to salvage the fabric, 'cause it's really nice and a lovely colour. If I raise the waist and make the skirt an A-line, I'm pretty sure that should turn out nicely.
And last but not least, I bought that blue&black wool fabric at the most recent Holland Fabric Market. It's destined to be a princess-seamed winter coat, but I'd really like to pair it with a nice, solid black fabric for the sides and possibly the sleeves. I'm still on the lookout for some decent black wool fabric, though, and I haven't found my pattern yet, either. I think view B of McCall's M5525 (with long sleeves) is rather cute, but I also really like Simplicity 2508, especially with the funnel collar in the white version.
I've dithered about getting either of them, because they seem to be difficult to get in Germany and shipping prices from the US are quite ridiculous. Maybe I'd better have a look through the current Burdastyle patterns, to see if I can find something nice there... ;-)

So, that's it for my fall/winter sewing plans! If I actually manage all of that, I will be quite impressed. ;-) Then again, depending on how long winter is going to last, it might even be possible. I started a new job at the beginning of November, where I only work 4 days a week, which so far has been absolutely fantastic! For now I'm still catching up on stuff that has been piling up the last few months, but once I get that done, I'm hoping to make that one my sewing day. :-)

Do you have any definite sewing plans for winter? Anything exciting? Coat sewing?

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Summer Sewing I

Oh, hi! Look who it is - yes, that's me. Not quite sure how to start this blog post, since reiterating that time's flying by incredibly fast feels like I'm repeating myself ad infinitum. But yes, um, it's been more than two three months. *waves* Life happened, and summer happened, and I'd like to pretend that I took an intentional break from blogging and blog reading, but it just kinda happened. Oh well. There was a lot of reading (books) and meeting friends and enjoying the sun though. Lots of work. A bit of travelling and knitting. And a bit of sewing, too. :-)

Has anyone else noticed that Bloglovin' has started to delete all unread posts that are older than about 20 days? Like, sometime in April? I haven't been reading blogs with any kind of regularity since I started working on-call, but even less since Bloglovin' made it impossible to catch up. So if you've been wondering why I barely comment, that's why. I've even put together a must-read list, but still can't manage to keep up. Oh well. It hasn't been a priority, I guess. Happily, I manage to check my Twitter and Instagram once or twice a day on my commute, so I'm not totally out of the loop. ;-) If I'm not following you already, feel free to put a link in the comments!

So, sewing. As with most years, my summer to-sew list was way longer than what I actually managed to make, but I did manage some crucial bits:

Bombshell Swimsuit

That must have been my favorite part of summer sewing! I spent a week at my parents' while it was 30+ degrees outside, and whiled away a couple of afternoons on the veranda putting this together.
The fabric is quite lovely, a hawaii print bathing suit fabric that Gillian graciously picked out and sent to me, because it is entirely impossible to get bathing suit fabrics in cute prints in Germany. Don't ask me why, everything I found online and at the shops was either boringly solid or weirdly neon or definitely old-lady prints. Anyway, thanks again, Gillian!
As you can see, I am a tiny bit uncomfortable posing in a swimsuit. Even though this one makes you feel remarkably covered. :-)
For a bathing suit, this took quite a while putting it together what with all the layers and the gathering and the elastic. It's worth it, though, since the look seems to be flattering on pretty much anybody. :-) Thanks for this wonderful pattern, Heather!
In the end, there are a couple of things which I am not quite happy with, and will do differently when I make another version (there's still a red&white polka-dot fabric, also sent to me by Gillian, waiting for it's turn!). For one, the suit is quite snug on me. I can get it over my hips, but it's really hard when wet, next time I should probably go up a size. Not quite sure if I measured myself incorrectly or if it's the fact that I'm pretty sure I used bigger seam allowances than the included 1/4 inch, what with all the basting and gathering.

The other thing is that I used a quite substantial nude swimsuit lycra as a lining, instead of the recommended (mesh) swimsuit lining. This makes the suit quite heavy, especially when the 3 layers and all that gathered fabric are dripping wet, plus it takes forever to dry! Does anyone know a (European) source for swimsuit lining - the thin, mesh-like stuff?

Green Maxi Dress

This is the dress I spent most of my summer wearing. Honestly, I think I only took it off to wash it. ;)
It's a rather lovely, thin jersey with a bit of texture to it. The pics actually don't do the colour justice, it's really quite a bit more vibrant in real life. The pattern is just a version of my regular go-to to with lowered neckline, no sleeves and two little tucks below the bust.
The skirt is mostly a trapezoid with slits from the knee down. And no, I didn't bother to finish the slits or hem. But it's got binding at the neckline and armholes and clear elastic to stabilize the waist.
It's nothing fancy, just the best sort of secret pyjamas really. I think maxi dresses are my new love affair for summer. You always look put together, even you missed shaving your legs for a few days in a row. ;-)

That's actually only the beginning of what I made this summer. More to follow. And then I may even manage to tell you about my fall sewing plans...