Monday, June 18, 2012

Sparkly Sewing I - The Muslin

Is anyone else astonished about the way time is flying this year? Yes, I know I sound like I'm imitating a broken record. It's just that my first term of internship is already over, I'm starting my placement in Internal Medicine tomorrow, I'm turning a year older in only three weeks (a cause for celebration, but still, already??)... And the Summer Sparks Sew-along is half over already, too! With me having done next to nothing!

Well, almost nothing. I finally stopped procrastinating on Saturday, and got to drafting my pattern. It may be slightly silly that I'm drafting my own shirtdress pattern (from my Sorbetto bodice block) including a notched collar, when I've never even sewn a button-up blouse before, or anything with a collar, really. Oh well.

In any case, I decided to do my great-grandma inspired grey polka-dot shirtdress for the Sparkly Sewalong.
After scouring all of the internet for a tutorial on drafting a notched collar (really, can there be next to nothing useful in the whole wide web??), I fell back on a book I bought a little while ago: Make your Own Dress Patterns by Ann Margolis. And really, it did have a section on notched collars! While I didn't understand all of it during the first read-through, it actually worked passably well, I think.
Construction actually provided another problem, until I found this video. And you know what? It provides the possibly easiest way ever to draft and sew a notched collar. Ever!! It also includes instructions for set-in sleeves and a welt pocket. I'll have to have a look at those. Soon. Ish.

So, I set up to sew a muslin. One that is hopefully going to be wearable. And apart from wee fitting issues at the back (I think the collar needs to have an added wedge of fabric, and I may need to add some back neckline darts), and some taking in at the side seams, and the fact that last time I bought interfacing, I must have got my numbers mixed up, because the one I have is very stiff - apart from that, I'm actually quite satisfied. Although in my imagination, the notches of the notched collar sit a bit lower. I have no idea how to accomplish that, though. Ideas?

Maybe I should make up some mini-blouse muslins and play around with that collar construction... Although I'd probably need to test that out in a to-size muslin, too. And afterwards, the next step would be to try and see if I can make the Crepe skirt fit with the bodice part. Oh how exciting!

I'll leave you with my Sunday outfit, taken in front of a beautiful door in Kreuzberg, between a visit to the flea market, having falafel and choir practice. Notice the slightly Marilyn-ish wind-under-skirt effect. ;)

Have a lovely week!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Moon Munkie Mystery Make

Oh look, another alliteration of Ms! :D

I'm a bit late in telling you, but a little over a month ago I won the Moon Munkie Mystery Make giveaway over at Masustak eguzkitan. Maider gave away four packages of sewing and crafting items, and look what I received a few days later!

Jersey fabric! Stuff for making jewellery! Postcards designed by Catalan graphic artists! Neon yellow bias binding! Gorgeous green buttons, and more! A lovely package, isn't it? Thank you, Maider! :)

Maybe I should tell you a little more about the background of Mystery Makes. It's a project brought to life by Moon Munkie (hence the name ;) as part of the Sew Grateful week. She sent out four packages of crafty things, inviting the participating bloggers to make something from them and post about it, and to send out their own packages if they so wanted. You can find the original blog post here.

Sooo, what to make from it? Actually, I was just a little bit stumped at first. The jersey fabric is soft and lovely, and oh-so-drapey, but it's not a print that I would naturally gravitate towards. Well, until I put myself in front of a mirror and started draping it around me, at least. Is that an abstract-paint flower print?!? Yes it is! :D

My draping experiment suggested that something sleeveless that took advantage of the beautiful drape would work best, so I went for a self-drafted tube-top dress with a asymmetric hem and as much flounce as the yardage allowed. *g* I struggled with trying to make fabric straps for a while, but in the end decided to use a clear bra strap as a halterneck.
To keep the illusion of the strapless dress, I also added an inner bra-thingie. Some of my halterneck tops have them and they work pretty well for my just-about-c-cup, as long as I don't indiscriminately hop down a multitude of stairs or go jogging. ;) It's basically an inner tube (which I understitched, yay!) that that supports "the girls" by way of an elastic.
Not quite a sports bra, but it does its job... ;)

I added the asymmetrical hem for a bit of drama. :D
close-up of the fabric loop to attach the strap
So. To keep the spirit of the Mystery Makes going, and because I've been incredibly lucky and received a generous share of beautiful things in the past few months (more about that later), I'm also giving away three Moon Munkie Mystery packages! If more than three people offer to take part, I'm going to draw lots. So, do you want to recieve a little package of crafty goodness? Just say so in the comments! 

There is a catch of course, as I'm trying to stick to Moon Munkie's rules. By putting your name in, you promise to make something from your gifts in the package and blog about it after the end of four weeks (umm, it took me five, so I'm not too particular about that clause, but please post about what you made!). You may use all or some of the items in the parcel and you may add from your own stash or buy additional items.  You are also very welcome to put together your own little packages and offer them to spread the love, but you're not required to.

So, who's up for it? :D
Have a lovely week!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A Sparkly Summer Sew-along

Ladies, June has finally come and with it the promise of summer weather! It has almost become a tradition to start the warm season with a Summer Essentials Sew-along, which was Ali's brainchild two years ago and which she asked Sarah and me to co-host last year. And oh, did we have fun!

With so many awesome challenges and sew-alongs around already, we discussed ditching Summer Essentials this year - but we really didn't want to miss the fun of sewing along with each other. So we came up with a slight alteration. The Summer Sparks Sew-along! (And I love the firecracker imagery here!) One month - one fabulous garment that we're going to be proud of wearing all summer long!

Here's the sparkly details:
In the month of June, sew one fabulous garment that you plan on strutting all summer.


Your choice! What's the most wonderful thing you'd like to wear again and again this summer? A pair of linen palazzo pants? A shoulder-bearing sundress? A swishy skirt? A floaty top?
Why not make it now and flaunt it 'til the days get shorter?

We'll be posting photos of our finished garments in a Flickr group and, at the end of the month, we'll tally up all the fabulous patterns in a list to serve as inspiration to all. One person's amazing garment could spark another's summer sewing—in July, the season's still young, after all!


All folks who have uploaded a photo of their finished garment by July 4 (a few extra days for good measure!)  will be entered into my giveaway for 1.5 meters of fabulous flowery blue crepe plus 1.5m off-white lining fabric, to be shipped worldwide! Actually, there's 3 prizes, as you could also win an indie sewing pattern of your choice from Ali or 2.5 yards of lovely, summery seersucker from Sarah!

Anyway, to enter the sewalong, simply join the flickr group to be found here! Sarah was also gracious enough to make a badge and codebox to post on your blog or website, thanks Sarah!

Personally, I'm still thinking about my sparkly sewing, but I'm leaning towards the self-drafted shirtdress I've been dreaming about for months now. One month to draft a dress should be possible, shouldn't it?

I'd love to hear about your perfect summer garment!

MMMay Days 27-31

Before I start with the last few outfits of Me-made May 2012, look what I did! I've been thinking about making a purse for practically forever, but usually the thoughts of another pretty dress get in the way. So of course the only thing that could actually make me stitch up something I can't wear is SFO, stitching for others. My lovely friend Maike had her birthday last week, and as she loves all things sweet and handmade, this seemed like the thing.
The fabric is home-deco weight, bought in NZ, and I feel slightly silly that I didn't think to interface it, as it's still a bit too drapey. But pretty! I also missed out on installing a closure, but it has a divider and two little pockets inside. The pattern is based on the Phoebe bag but bigger. I have the sinking feeling that I may have to make myself a purse out of the rest of the fabric, too. And maybe a simple A-line skirt? There may be enough left...

Sooo, along to MMMay!
Day 27: birthday-party-in-the-park outfit, striped summer dress and lacy shorts.
 Day 28: floral macaron in front of the Chancellor's Office. Hi, Ms. Merkel!
Day 29: cut-out jersey dress, in front of the Statue of Victory.
Day 30: boring but I felt like it, polka-dot jersey dress in Tiergarten, Berlin's big central park.
Day 31: I went with a Zoe-inspired outfit and posed in front of a red door to say thanks for organizing MMMay again this year. :) Navy linen trousers and striped tee, the shrug is from a swap-meet with my friends.

Sooo, another me-made month over. *sniff* I can't believe it is June already, time really does fly. I have a little bit of an exciting thing for June, to be revealed later today. :) And life is going to stay exciting, with my new internship term starting in two weeks.

Anyway, I thought I might also do a quick round-up of the clothes I wore this month. I tried to wear everything weather-appropriate at least once, but there were garments that didn't get worn at all.
  • my red Crepe dress. I kinda feel that my Crepe dresses aren't quite everyday appropriate... more like Sunday Tea dresses, you know? I do love to wear them, but don't often have the opportunity.
  • my polka-dot Sorbetto. Don't quite know how that happened, but I guess I'm not really happy with the fit, same goes for the red peasant blouse...
  • my cherry blossom skirt and Elvis skirt. I don't really own any matching me-made tops, and as I was going for whole outfits this time around, they didn't work. I need a black jersey top.
  • my lace-refashioned denim skirt. The lace insertion is a bit wonky, but I'm not quite sure why that one missed out. Possibly because all those jersey dresses are way more comfy?
There were also clothes that got multiple wears.
  • My navy linen trousers were worn on 5 days! Duh, they're my only pair of me-made trousers.
  • My striped tee got four wears. I guess it's both the mix-and-match aspect of separates and the fact that I have very few summer tops? Like, three?
  • My polka-dot jersey dress and striped summer jersey dress each got worn three times, the wild print jersey dress twice. They're just so comfy! My green tunic (two wears) falls into this categroy, too.
  • My two Macaron dresses also got worn twice each. I love the pattern and may need another one!
  • My new summer cardi is only shown on 4 days, but was with me almost every day, to be worn when it got colder. Win! I've already ordered some green yarn for another, similar one.
Verdict? I go for comfy more times than not. I think I'd be happy with a wardrobe made out of only knit/jersey dresses! There are a couple of garments I'm not quite comfortable with, and I'll have to think about making them work better for me or ditching them. Other than that, I feel like my me-made wardrobe is quite versatile and can stand up to daily life. Yay! Things missing: I may need another pair of pants and a couple more tops.

Heve you learned any important lessons from this year's me-made month?