So, I guess in the end wanting to make a suit jacket and dress combo for my orals wasn't the smartest move I could have made, seeing as my orals are two days away and I've only just finished the preparation work. And did you know how incredibly complicated it is to find either ready made white piping or piping cord in Berlin? There's not that many haberdashery shops, most of the fabric shops don't have it and I didn't find it either at the haberdashery in the big department stores, nor at the Turkish market, even though they have such exotix things like cherry printed bias tape and pompom trim. In the end I resorted to calling the various haberdashery stores, so I didn't have to visit all of them, and one told me that they have the stuff, both in matte and shiny variations. Yes! So I need to pick that up later, after having sewn the darts and non-piped edges of the jacket.
I also need to look out for buttons. If I don't find anything, I have a kit for fabric-covered ones, but I think blue&white buttons might look nicer...
So, the stuff I already did: I made a muslin, and good thing I did, too. My measurements aren't that far away from Gertie's, as she mentions them in her book (at least the bust and hip measurement, my waist is a size up), so I started with a straight size 8 (which she mentions she made to her measurements) even though the measurements from the size chart were a bit off. Yeah, I know, confusing. Next time, I need to remember to actually grade a size up in my waist with Gertie's patterns, cause she really means it when she says her patterns are for a hourglass shape! (I have given up grading Colette Patterns or McCall's/Simplicity ones in the waist, as they usually have enough ease built in.)
I'm also a good inch too short in the waist, and I must have a funny back, as I had to lengthen the back darts upwards at least three inches. I do that with Colette patterns, too. I wonder, am I straight backed? Hunchbacked? Who knows! I also took in the side seams under the arm a wee bit (at least on the left side on the pictures, so you can see the difference).
So then it was altering the muslin pieces and transferring the changes back to the pattern, and finally cutting into my fashion fabric, using the muslin as pattern (since I'm also using it as underlining).
It would probably have been more proper to make a second muslin, especially since I couldn't actually add fabric to my waist this way, but I figure I only need about 3cms in the waist, which I just added to the side and back center seams of the fashion fabric. It will mean slightly less seam allowance for the underlining, but I don't think that matters. I also have an extra seamline where I shortened the underlining, but it's about the height where the peplum facing ends, so it shoudln't be visible.
Threads Magazine article about underlinings, and it felt safer that way.
So, cross you fingers for me that my jacket will turn out wearable by Thursday, and the matching dress, too.
Hope you're having a wonderful week!
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Friday, June 7, 2013
We've had crazy weather for what feels like the last week and a half. Hello, it's June. June has always been the nicest month in Berlin. The weather is supposed to have been nice enough to go swimming in the lake for the past month! While I haven't had a reason for watering my plants in the last 10 days. They're risking drowning, as it is. But they're growing! Look at the salad! And the first ripe strawberry!
Day 27: Me-made Strawberry Macaron, knitting in the bf's parents' garden.
Day 28: having an iced coffee before the trip back home in my crazy print dress.
Day 29: I'm afraid this is a cheater outfit, but I was running out of things to wear! Plus, these garments go so well together. Nevertheless, both are refashioned instead of me-made. The skirt is shortened with the original hem attached with cotton lace, the top is just embellished with a strip of lace because of a bleach stain.
Day 30: Foolishly thinking my plants need watering, just before the rainy season starts in my green knit wrap dress. This only gets worn for me-made months, because boy does that wrap neckline gape! I kinda love it anyway. Maybe I'll try attaching a little snap...?
So, the conclusion of this year's Me-Made May? Well, it was the fifth challenge I have participated in. I didn't actually follow much of the community aspect this time around, and fell off the flickr wagon about halfway through. The huge numbers of pics just overwhelmed me! And since I usually wear mostly me-mades anyway, maybe it's time to retire from this particular challenge? We'll see when it comes around next year. :)
My official challenge for myself was to wear separates at least half the time. I managed 15 out of 31 days, which I guess is satifsying enough. I could have made it more, but since my other challenge was not repeating outfits, and I only managed to make one top this month, and I love my dresses... it's fine. About making May woven-top-month - that could have gone better, although I partly blame the weather. While I cut out/traced the patterns for the Sassy Librarian Blouse and a Sewaholic Pendrell (which are going to be made up! soon...), what I really had in mind for my blouse-weight fabrics is strappy babydoll tunic tops, to be worn in hot summery weather! May weather didn't quite inspire me to get down to it. Ah, maybe it'll work out in June. One thing I'm proud of, though: I wore me-made knickers and pyjamas for the whole month (except for one day, because I forgot to do the laundry). Yay!
So, to conclude, here are a last couple of German sewing words. How about words for fabric? If you ever go fabric shopping in Berlin or some other German place, this should help:
Stoff ['ʃɒf] fabric. We already had this one a while ago.
Strickstoff ['ʃtrɪkʃɒf] knit fabric. We also use the word Jersey (same pronounciation, just capitalized) in German.
Baumwolle [baʊm'vɒlə] cotton. This translates into tree wool. Kinda makes sense, huh?
Leinen [laɪ̯nən] linen. This is made from Flachs [flʌks] flax. This similarity amuses me.
Viskose [vɪskozə] rayon. Some English people also call it viscose, don't they?
Seide [zaɪ̯de] silk. Luscious fabric made from the bottom of caterpillars, which we call Raupe.
Futter [fʊtɐ] lining. I've always wondered about the origin of the German word, since it also means food - well, at least the kind you feed to animals. Any ideas as to that?
And that concludes the German lesson. Thanks for being interested, I really had fun with thinking about words and finding out the correct phonetic transcription!
Friday, May 31, 2013
Oh, look, it's the very last day of May! How did that happen? What with travelling home last weekend for my little half-sister's christening, studying for orals and rehearsing for my choir concert tomorrow, the last couple of weeks went by really fast... I'm not going to overwhelm you with pics today, though (mostly because I'm still in my jammies, which, even though they're me-made, I'm not too keen on banning on digital celluloid), so you'll get the rest of the round-up tomorrow... ish.
Day 21: floral Macaron and lacy spring cardi, worn to studying in the library. A girl from my study group complimented me on the dress and asked where I bought it. Yay! :)
Day 22: green spring Rooibos, which worked fine for a morning coffee walk with a friend, but then it started raining and temperatures dropped. I had to change into Lola, because it goes so well with my wellies. ;)
Day 23: green corduroy skirt and very old striped longsleeve.
Day 24: Slowly running out of knit dress options, but this worked well enough for the 6h drive home. Green tunic dress and me-made leggings (which are slowly falling apart and need to be replaced), on my mom's balcony.
Day 25: Two outfits for today, one in the morning (Zoe ruffle top, new, unblogged aqua tank top and navy pleated skirt) and one for the christening (nautical Crepe and my handsome boyfriend on my arm :).
Day 26: Did I mention that I finally shortened the bodice of my Lacy Tiramisu? It fits really well now! :D I also removed the pockets. Not that I don't love pockets, but in this jersey, they just warped the fabric (even though I used stay tape) and made my bumps more bumpy. This is better. :)
Thanks for your thoughts about my wool question! I hope it'll be alright to use the parts that didn't shrink, and next time I'll definitely be more cautious. I'm in the process of tracing off the pattern pieces for the jacket, then I'll make a muslin/toile from the cotton I will use for underlining. That way, I hope I can use the same pieces for underlining, afterwards.
Now on to some German sewing words! I thought I'd go with some embellishments today:
Spitze ['ʃpɪtsə] lace - Isn't it interesting that Spitze also means the top or tip of something (like a mountain, or a needle)?
Zackenlitze ['tsʌkən'lɪtsə] ric rac - Zacke is a zigzag or spike, but I actually had to look up Litze. Turns out it's an old-fashioned word for a woven ribbon. Makes sense.
Paspel ['pʌspəl] piping - those look like they could have the same etymologic root, although the German word for piping has no similarities at all with the word pipe (which means Rohr - except, now that I think about it, it also means Pfeife, which is the one you smoke).
Talking about embellishments reminds me that I have a couple of crocheted yokes I've been meaning to use for summer tops... What's your favorite embellishment?
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Another Me-Made May update! Are you getting bored of these yet? I admit that, while I truly enjoy seeing other people's outfits, I'm very overwhelmed by the immense amount of pictures in the flickr group...
|Day 16: me-made halter top, leggins and (unseen) knickers.|
|Day 17: my very first me-made skirt and recently made yoked flower top, plus me-made knickers. The luxerious breakfast was because it was the anniversary of bf&my first kiss. :)|
In Sewing News, I'm still in the cutting out stage for several projects (two blouses and a Lola!). But I had a rather panicked thought a couple of days ago: I have nothing to wear for Orals! Ok, this is possibly a lie, since I have an (ill fitting) white blouse and a couple pairs of dressy trousers, but no blazer. There's also going to be a few job interviews in my very near future. What to do?!?
|Day 18: me-made dotty jersey dress. Me-made knickers. And yes, I'm posing with an umbrella, even though it isn't raining. It was raining earlier, I promise!|
|Day 19: me-made striped jersey dress and me-made knickers. Also: me-made bird earrings.|
|Well, I only added the bird charms to the hooks. But it still counts, right?|
|Day 20: me-made black&white jersey dress and me-made leggins. Me-planted seedlings. The plentiful green stuff behind the watering can is lettuce! It grows crazy fast!|
After about 45 minutes in the drier with a couple of wet towels, on a high setting:
Have you ever sewn with wool? How have you pre-shrunk it? Is there anything else I have to know about sewing with wool?
Sunday, May 19, 2013
I didn't sew much in April, what with exams, but after they were over I had over a week, which I used to stitch and cut out some basics for Me-Made May.
#1 Macaron Flower Tee
Seeing how many jersey dresses and longsleeved tees I own, it's a bit of a surprise that I only have two me-made short sleeves, one of which I don't really like to wear, as it's pretty clingy. I had some leftover fabric from the flower-top dress, and I really liked that fabric combination, so I used my self-drafted Macaron knit yoke and traced-off top/dress pattern to make this top:
Pattern: traced longsleeve/dress pattern with shortened sleeves, self-drafted knit Macaron yoke
Fabric: leftovers from floral fabric (originally Girlcharlee, bought spring of last year) and torquoise fabric (from Holland fabric market, bought last year)Notions: some fusible knit stay tape to reinforce the sweetheart line
Time to complete: A coupla hours, tops.Alterations: Apart from frankenpatterning the yoke with the top pattern... none reallyTechniques used: Topstitching (the bodice to the yoke), finishing the hem, sleeves and neckline with a self-fabric band.
#2 Flowery Knickers
#3 Roxy Pyjamas
And last but not least: a pair of pyjamas! My one me-made pair from last year's Pyjama Party does need to be washed sometimes, so I thought that another pair for Me-Made May would probably be a good idea. Add to that fact that this piece of fabric, bought from Girlcharlee on a whim, has been lying around for over a year, because while I think the print is really cool, it's the flimsiest cotton jersey I've ever seen (the print has bled through to the left side practically everywhere), with close to zero recovery.
I also tried a new-to-me neckline finish: knit binding!
tutorial by IkatBag. I could have been a bit more careful with my stitching, but all in all, I guess it looks alright for the first time (and for pyjamas), and I like the general look. I'll be sure to use it more often!
The top was actually finished on May 1st, but we'll count it for April, because I hope I'll get some more things finished for the May stashbusting reveal. Possibly. I hope. ;)
So, just some basics, but both the pyjamas and the knickers have already seen quite some wear and I've worn the top twice. Would have been more often but I'm trying to not repeat garments too much...
Do you sew basics? These are more along the line of bread than cake, even. But some fresh baked bread with butter does hit the spot sometimes, doesn't it? Am I taking the metaphor too far? Personally, I'd take a fresh buttered bread with chopped chives and a bit of salt over frosting any day of the week, and I see a bit of a parallel to jersey dresses and me-made knickers... ;)
Friday, May 17, 2013
So after a relaxing first half of May, part two hast decided to be waaaay busier. I tried to coordinate a dinner date with a friend yesterday, but between his schedule and mine and my boyfriend's, we had to settle for June... But as we're still having the loveliest late spring/early summer weather, and I've been relaxing on my balcony the last two nights, wearing short-sleeves and having a beer while enjoying the smell of the lilac trees across the street and watching the crescent moon - so who cares about a bit of busy-ness. ;)
|Day 11: Minnie Dress and RTW cardi, plus me-made knickers, which I've actually successfully wearing every day so far!|
|Day 12: me-made navy linen trousers and aqua raglan sleeved top. And a Star Trek communicator. We went to see Into the Darkness after choir practice. I'm totally enjoying the new Star Trek films!|
Studies for orals are going reasonably well, even though I haven't done much yet besides meeting my exam group twice a week and checking out a huge load of case books from the library.
The salad is getting bigger. The strawberry blossoms are getting more numerous. And I'm thinking the lemon balm seeds are finally starting to germinate.
|Day 13: Christmas Parfait, worn for tea with a girlfriend. In spite of being made of corduroy, it does actually work well for not-too-hot spring days. Yay!|
|Day 15: blue polka-dot jersey skirt and petrol top. The top is rather clingy, I sure know why I don't wear it more often...|
Anyway. Sewing words. We had Bluse but maybe you want to know about different sorts of garments?
Rock ['rɒk] - is it a very heavy garment? Nope, it's a skirt. You can get it pleated: Faltenrock ['fʌltən~], or maybe as a circle skirt (which is a plate skirt in German): Tellerrock [teler'~]. Pleats are fun, for example, a box pleat is called Kellerfalte ['keler'fʌltə] (which actually translates into cellar/basement pleat) and an inverted box pleat is called Quetschfalte ['kvetʃ'fʌltə] (squeezed pleat).
Hose [hozə] pants/trousers. Unrelated to sewing but maybe etymologically interesing: an English hose (like, for gardening) is a Schlauch [ʃlaʊx]. The American word pantyhose (tights) are derived, though, I think. They'd be Strumpfhose [ʃtrʊmpfhozə] (stocking trousers) in German.
Kleid [klaɪ̯d] dress. The fun thing is that Kleidung [klaɪ̯dʊŋ] means garments, as a whole. Maybe because a long time ago, everyone dressed in dresses? ;)
Friday, May 10, 2013
How can a third of May be over already, and me with almost nothing to show for it?! Although I guess that isn't quite true, as I did some very nice relaxing, and visiting with my parents, and gardening, and some sewing got done, too, and I went to an outdoor jazz concert where the boyfriend of one of my friends played, and had a candy apple... And I had my first meeting with my study group for orals today, too. So I guess some things did get done this month.
While we're speaking of getting stuff done: do you know how magical it is to watch stuff grow? This is the first time in ages that I'm growing things from scratch (last time I was about six years old, and literally no carrots survived my inquiring mind, they all got pulled out before their root was even a couple cm long). On Debbie's suggestion, I planted a couple rows of lettuce, and look how far along they are!
And also, me-made garments were being worn.
Day 9: On my way to the bus stop. Striped tee and navy linen trousers. Still the one and only pair of bottoms-that-aren't-a-skirt I ever made. Since I only wear trousers on cool/rainy summer days when bare legs would be too cold but I don't want to wear tights, I guess that's ok.
Day 10: navy polka dot dress. Both this dress and the striped top above are made from the same pattern as the flowery top from Day 6. Also, sadly, my tripod doesn't take pictures as nicely as my mom or boyfriend. But it'll have to do for this round-up.
As for the German sewing words: Debbie asked for some basics, so here we go!
Nähmaschine ['næ:mʌʃi:nə] (I bet you're loving those umlauts and schs... I'm having fun with the International Phonetic Alphabet and looking up sounds in Oxford's Dictionary. ;) sewing machine. Yup, sewing = nähen.
Spule ['ʃpu:lə] bobbin. Although actually, this could be anything that has something thin and thread-like wrapped around a cylinder, like a coil, or a reel, or - indeed - a spool.
Another fun one: Nadel ['nʌ:dəl] needle. Would you have guessed?
Stecknadel ['ʃtek 'nʌ:dəl] pin. Or if you want to have the literal translation: stick needle. 'Cause, you know, it's kinda like a needle but you stick it into stuff. It also doesn't have an eye, which, incidentally, is an ear in German. Are you having fun with etymology yet?
A last one to add to the confusion: Stoff ['ʃtɒf] fabric. Although it also has half a dozen other meanings, like material, (chemical) compound, substance, matter... I like the last one best, kinda in a "fabric of the universe" meaning. And what's with the word Fabrik [fʌb'rɪk], do you ask? Well, that one is rather unrelated to sewing, excetpt with a look to where our fabric and other stuff comes from, as it means factory.
Did you know any of these words already? Do you have a request for others? Are you having a lovely May, wherever you are?