Saturday, July 30, 2011

Looking Back on SESA 2011

Sooo... It's almost August and, looking at the weather in front of my window (currently raining and highs of 16°C, thank you summer) it's probably almost time to think about fall sewing, although I hope for at least a few nice and sunny days in August.

I had a rather nice first week of freedom a.k.a. summer break, doing a whole lot of nothing, drinking wine and cappuccino, taking the time to read some books. I also managed to do some sewing, although way less than I had aspired to. I went to a stitching café with two of my friends (they gave me a voucher for my birthday) and had a crack at a serger for the first time.

I have to say, it was pretty cool, and fast! We were at the café for 2h, a good 20 min of which we spent chatting and then I had to re-cut one of my pattern pieces, because I had cut out 2 front pieces instead of 1 front and one back... silly me. The construction of the dress didn't work out quite as well as I had hoped (which has nothing to do with the serger and a whole lot with my thinking process - I forgot that it might be prudent do make sleeve facings if I line the back and front and use raglan sleeves...) I do like how the dress turned out, though, and the one I made the night before, on my regular machine, is very nice, too (at least on the outside).

And look at the back! :)

Counting these two, I have made five dresses for the Summer Essentials Sew-Along - here are the other three:

Last year's white embroidered fabric and the IKEA rose print will have to wait to become dresses until next year, I think. I'm planning on taking the Strawberry Macaron over into my fall sewing, though, as well as a polka dot Rooibos.

These are the three tops/blouses I managed to make. Again, lots of the things on my list were cut, mostly due to the miserable weather of the last few weeks, but at least the ones I did manage to make got lots of wear. I'd love to make one more peasant blouse, but I'm not counting on it. I guess there's always next year...

I can't believe I didn't make any skirts, apart from the one denim skirt refashion! I also still need to add belt loops to the sailor trousers. They sit undecently low on my hips after a day's wear... I think the leggins may have gotten the most wear, and will continue to be worn into fall.

That pretty much sums up my summer sewing, and while I didn't manage to make all the garments I would have liked to make, I still hit my target of 8 garments. Some of the other things (especially in the Accessorize! category) will be put on my fall sewing list (more about that later), some will simply be taken up again next year.

The next few weeks will be a bit of a sewing (and probably blogging) break. Tomorrow I'm off to camp for a week - it's actually a Summer Academy on Integrative Medicine, but organized by students and we'll sleep in tents and spend a lot of time outdoors, or so I'm told. I'm taking some knitting needles but no netbook, so no Internet for the week. We'll see how I manage... ;) Right after that I'm going home to see my family for three weeks. There will be Internet, apart from during our family vacation near Vienna, and possibly a bit of sewing on my sister's machine. :)

I hope the weather is a bit nicer wherever you are. Have a good weekend!


  1. That dress is beautiful, Alessa! I love the peek-a-boo back :)

    You have been so productive this summer! I have been roasting hot so far, which makes sewing less than appealing. I love all of your items - so pretty and flattering!

  2. LOVE those dresses!

    And truly, what a productive summer! (heh, in my mind "summer" runs into September :-P) Some truly stylish garments you whipped up there.

  3. Huh, I wouldn't mind at all if summer ran into September! It's just that I wouldn't even call the weather we've been having for the last three weeks "summer". I'm very envious the weather in both Ontario and California - I want more heat and less longsleeves and socks in July! Hmpf.

    Anyway, I'm glad you like my dresses. They're very comfy! :)

  4. Great dresses Alessa. YOur SESA list looks very successful. I like the back detail on your latest one. The sewing cafe sounds very good. I hope the weather perks up for your camping. And I hope you can eventually post some Vienna photos after your trip there - it's on my list on visit-one-day cities. x

  5. Oooh, your new dresses are gorgeous, and you sound like a whizz at the serger. I don't think I've ever made a dress that quickly! Interesting, your current weather sounds identical to our weather :) rain and 16C. I'm sick of winter!

  6. Super cute dresses - I love them & wasn't expecting the amazing back detail!

    Actually, I love your SESAs - lots of sewing, & great capsule wardrobe for the summer - great colour schemes (& I particularly love your gingham crepe with red sash - SWOON!)

  7. Damn lady, you look good in those dresses. So flattering on you! Did you make your own pattern?

    And love that second number with the keyhole back. I know where you got that fabric ;) because I've got the same in my stash. At least that's my guess -- LA fabric hoarding unites us. And yes, there's always next summer! I found that because I sewed so much last summer I actually had a wardrobe this one, and it was a nice way to refine/add rather than feel at a loss.

    Looking forward to your fall essentials!

  8. Love the dress, and all your SESA creations. I must confess I'm stretching my SESA sewing till Labour Day weekend... it's been way to hot to sew over in this part of the world!

  9. TRULY you are branching out into printsville! you did so fab on your goals. whenever i set myself a list i crash and burn...

    your camp sounds freaking amazing. eggheads and knitting and no-net. oh my.

  10. @Minnado: Thanks! Camping was pretty good, we just had a tiny bit of rain. I'll be sure to post some Vienna pics here. I've never been before, either, and I'm really looking forward to it! :)

    @Carolyn: Serging was fun but I think I need to unpick some of the seams, the bodice turned out pretty big... It's definitely both kinda sad and funny that our weather seems to correspond... ;)

    @Scruffybadger: Thanks! :)

    @Ali: That pattern is taken off my thrifted red jersey dress, mostly. :) You're totally right about the fabric! I think actually both are from the FIDM scholarship store. :D It will be fun to see what you make out of the fabric, sometime!

    @Stitch parade: So I guess both cold and hot weather have their pros and cons... ;)

    @Oonaballoona: ;) The red on black at least almost looks like polka dots, if you squint your eyes... Camp was actually way more fun than I expected. We did Actionpainting! ;)