Sunday, 15 October 2017

Giga Gingham

Hello, Lovelies!

I'm back with another new dress and more gorgeous pictures from my recent holiday in beautiful, sunny Málaga, Spain.
These pictures were taken in the Jardines de Pedro Loui Alonso, a beautiful rose garden located next to the Town Hall and also in the Parque de la Alameda, just across the street.

This dress is my 2nd version of B6453, the best-seller dress pattern by Gertie for Butterick. While the original design is based mostly on the Pinup Girl "Jenny" dresses, I based this dress on the The Pretty Dress Company "Priscilla" dress in pink gingham, as shown below:

I didn't originally intend to copy the dress quite as literally as I did, but when I saw the perfect large-scale pink gingham fabric at the Stoffmarkt Holland in Flensburg earlier this summer, I simply couldn't resist.

The fabric cost me a whopping 2 euros (2,5 USD/1,75 GBP/15 DKK) per meter, and I got 4 meters to play around with. In the end, I used about 3,5 meters in order to match the gingham and to cut around a small flaw in the fabric.

I swapped the dirndl skirt of the pattern out with the box pleated circle skirt from Gertie's Ultimate Dress Book, as it looks exactly like the skirt on the Priscilla dress. I have used this skirt pattern before, and since both bodice and skirt patterns fit me well, I didn't make alterations before cutting out.

I did fiddle around with the side seam pleats of the skirt to make the 2 parts fit in the end, but it was very easy to do so and it is not too noticeable.

I think I might prefer this skirt shape over the included dirndl, as it has less bulk around the waist and less weight to it. The weight of the tightly gathered dirndl has a tendency to flatten my petticoat out over the course of the day, while this skirt and other circle skirts seems to just float above it, making the skirt more bouncy and flirty.

I also changed the straps from fixed to tied. I had seen a few people in the facebook sew-along group to this with great result and wanted to try it out. I love the dainty look and the ease of adjusting the straps as well as the ease of sewing them.
On my other versions, I've had to sew the neckline in 3-4 sections because the straps were too short to allow for smooth sewing around the armholes.

I finished the ends of the straps with little knots.

The dress is unlined, with a simple facing around the neckline in white cotton batiste, as the gingham would have shown through. I used some leftover interfacing from my grandmothers' stash, but it turned out a little bit stiffer than my normal interfacing.

As with most of my tight-fitting dresses, I interlined the bodice with more white cotton batiste to add a bit of structure and opacity, while enhancing the white color of the print. I did this by hand in my usual way, as illustrated below:

1. cut pattern pieces in both fashion fabric and interlining fabric. 2. lay wrong sides together 3. pin together, making sure to pin from the middle out to create a bit of tension. 4. baste by hand 1-2 mm inside the seam allowance

The finished dress feels very "me", and I love wearing it paired with this white parasol I got for my birthday from a few friends.

Unfortunately, it is not a very practical dress for the Danish autumn/winter. As my holiday is now over, and autumn has come to Denmark for good, I am a bit sad to pack this dress away. Let's hope for a mild winter and an early spring, so we can all wear summer dresses again :)


Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Fabric Haul - Neumünster 2017

Today, I am here to interrupt my own self-imposed fabric downsizing project with a teeny tiny fabric haul. Wooops. #sorrynotsorry

In late September, a friends couple, my boyfriend and I went to Germany for a weekend of shopping, relaxing and the bi-annual Stoffmarkt Holland fabric market in Neumünster.
The relaxing part got kind of canceled, as I got sick with the flu on the morning of departure, but I powered through it like a fabric addict champ.

I used to go to these markets with my mother and grandmother, but it has been impossible to go for the last few years because of some insane illness history in my family (don't ask). Anyway, it was so enjoyable to be back at the market, this time with good friends and my boyfriend as company.

I went into the market with only a limited budget, as I didn't want to add too many meters to my Cora count. Let's see how I did:

 Starting with some un-selfish purchases, the 2 pictures above shows some lovely wool knits destined to become a pair of Thread Theory "Finlayson" sweaters for my boyfriend. The fabric was cut into coupons of 1,5*1,4 m, so I got 2 coupons of each color. The colors are olive green and charcoal grey, respectively.

Next up, home dec! These 2 coupons of thick wool felt will be sewn into a new blanket for the couch. I am thinking of cutting them into strips or squares for a slight patchwork-y look?

Onto knits for meeee! Both pieces are soft cotton jersey, 1 m each. The upper picture is navy blue with white anchors while the bottom one is a medium grey with white hearts. Both will probably become cardigans or t-shirts.

The above-shown fabric was the splurge of the trip. 3 meters of soft wool cloth in a "salt & pepper" weave. I really want to make this Lena Hoschek dress, and luck would have it that Burda made a pattern for it!

The last piece of fabric is this gorgeous lining fabric with a woven paisley motif in bright pink. It was a bit expensive at 8 euros/m, but it will look SO cool inside a winter coat that I just couldn't leave it behind.

And lastly, the haberdashery! I got 4 cones of overlocker thread in both off-white and blue. I also got some fresh needles and a new seam gauge as well as some elastic and buttons. For an up-coming bag project, I got some tap closures in brass.

All in all, I got 15 meters of fabric. Woooops. I DO have projects for all of it, and less than half of it is for myself, so I'm trying not to be too hard on myself over it.

Do you ever buy fabric at a market or do you prefer in-shop or online fabric shopping?


Friday, 6 October 2017

Paradise Roses

Greetings from Paradise, aka Málaga, Spain!

I'm currently here on holiday with my boyfriend and took the opportunity to snap a few pictures of some recent, summery makes, while out and about in the city.
These pictures were taken in the Parque de la Alameda, a 33 hectar park, filled with flowers and sculptures, located between the promenade, the inner city and the castle.

This is my 4th version of the super popular B6453, a Gertie for Butterick pattern heavily inspired by the Pinup Girl "Jenny" and/or The Pretty Dress Company "Priscilla" dresses. While being my 4th version of this pattern, it is my first non-hack, as the rest has different skirts and/or neckline variations. They will come to the blog in time, so keep tuned in to see those.

The fabric is Liberty of London cotton poplin in the gorgeous "Carline" print in the pink on cream colorway. I got 3 meters of it as part of my birthday gift from my boyfriend and I am very happy to have sewn it up this fast (only took me 4 months, lol). I still have about half a meter left over, and I might turn that into an accessory of some kind, but I guess only time will tell.

If you have ever had the opportunity to work with Liberty of London fabric, you'll already know what a pleasure it is to work with. It is thin and crisp, very opaque and insanely soft to the touch. It behaves well under the machine as well as both scissors and the iron.

I did a few minor adjustments to the pattern. First, I made fixed straps out of personal preference. I also cut the skirt on the lengthwise grain as opposed to the crosswise grain as the pattern says. I did this by cutting 2 panels of the entire fabric width and 1 panel half the width. The smaller panel is at mid front with the side seams at the side front. The skirt has the same hem circumference as the original.

I made a toile before sewing the first dress, and took 2 tiny wedges out of the front armscye and the underbust seam on the size 10 bodice. No other fit adjustments were made.

From a bit more wear, I think the bodice could be shortened about a cm or so, with the straps being lengthened by the same amount. In my fitting, I must have shortened the straps a bit too much to compensate for the slightly too long bodice, and as a result, the princess seams sits just a bit too high and doesn't lay as nice over my bust as it could have.

It is only nitpicking, tough, and nothing as far as to stop me from wearing the dress.

I interlined the bodice in a soft, brushed cotton. The bodice isn't fully lined, and the interlining adds the opacity and comfort of the missing lining, while supporting the bodice fabric, giving it a bit of extra structure. The interfacing is an extra fancy lightweight woven iron-on interfacing stolen borrowed from my mothers stash. Thanks, mom!

I absolutely LOVE the finished dress, and have already worn it for a few occasions. For now, I'll enjoy swanning around in it here in warm and sunny Paradise, but I have a RTW cardigan in the exact green color of the print to help me wear it year-round in not-quite-as-sunny Denmark.


Thursday, 21 September 2017

Sewing Statistics - Part I

So, I recently "inherited" this iPad 2 from my boyfriend. He had bought it used from my twin brother around Christmas 2 years ago and found that he just didn't use it enough. So I got to play around with it, MWAHAHAHA.

And what did this sewist do? Installed some nifty sewing apps, of course! And one of them was Cora.

Now, if you don't know Cora, it is most likely because you have Android on your phone. Me too. And Cora only works for iTunes/AppStore/Apple products. Like the iPad 2. Aha!

It is a fabric stashing app, where you can catalog your fabric and then browse through or search it. You can filter your stash by type, weight, wash status, star-markings or by the minimum length your next project will need. The fabrics are beautifully displayed and a long tap on the picture will show the photo in full size while a short tap will show all the details you cataloged it with, including type, fiber content, location, design, length, price, source, colors, wash status and more.

Now, I quickly got addicted to the Cora app. It does cost money to get past the first 5 fabrics added, but it has been worth every penny so far. And 251 fabrics later, I still love it!

It does have 1 little drawback, though. It will tell you just how much fabric you've REALLY got. And it told me that I got a total of 400 meters! Yikes!

At this point, I was halfway in denial. How the h*** do I have 400 meters of fabric?!!! Then, a week later, when the hard truth had settled in, I made a plan.

I will sew up, give away, sell or discard enough fabric, so that I reduce my stash to a total of 300 meters by September 1st, 2018. 
And then I went crazy in Microsoft Excell. I have charts and graphs for everything now, stash size, type, and color distribution and spreads just for planning makes and blog posts.

Let me show you :)

Above - stash data taken directly from the Cora app is put in and processed to give a net flux for each month as well as a total for the time period until Doomsday, aka Sep 1st, 2018.

Above - A stash size in meters over time plot with the pink being total, blue being wovens, purple being knits and light pink being others. The points at February and June shows "stash size goals".

Above - Fabric type distribution in stacked percentages. Purple is wovens, pink is knits and blue is others. I have no end goal for this one, I just thought it could be interesting to see. My mother has roughly the reverse distribution of knits and woven than me, for instance.

Above - Color distribution. I didn't know I had so much blue?

Above - A chart of finished make by garment type and recipient. The chart calculates a "selfish rate" that I'd like to keep around the 85-90% as well as a make count for the entire period for each garment type. Joost is the name of my boyfriend, BTW. 

Above - 2 graphs to visualize the makes chart. I love to see them grow as I type in my latest make. 

And lastly, my Makes Planner. The dark pink makes are finished. Light pink ones have been cut out and/or is in progress. White ones are only temporary plans. I love how I can move the cells around as plans change, and how I can see ahead to upcoming projects. It makes pre-washing fabric and buying notions so much easier to do in advance. 

I do find that having the Cora app and keeping detailed statistics keeps me more focused and thus more productive in my sewing. I get a little "kick" every time I get to downsize or delete a fabric, change the color of a cell in the Makes Planner and so forth. I am having way too much fun, people!

So, for now, I will keep the statistics going. I will return on September 1st, 2018 with more statistics, showing you how it all went. Wish me luck!

Monday, 18 September 2017

Back to School - Minerva Crafts Guest Post

I have always LOVED the back-to-school season. I'm the annoying type of person who yearns to go back to school after just a few weeks of holiday, and even though 10 weeks of almost unlimited sewing time has been AWESOME, this year is no different.

One of the most important things to get ready for the new school year, besides books and stationery, is, of course, a chic and stylish autumn-appropriate wardrobe. And what is more appropriate than tartan? Nothing, that is!

A big thank you to Minerva Craft for all the materials used for this project. If you want to read more about the making of this skirt as well as see a lot more pictures, head on over to my post on the Minerva Crafts Blog!