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!


Saturday, 16 September 2017

A Slice of Black Forest....

... with a cherry on top! This is what this me-made outfit reminds me off!

And who wouldn't like a slice of cake with the weather we have here in Denmark at the moment? There was rain and thunder outside during my little photoshoot :(

Cake and weather aside, this skirt is the How To Do Fashion "No. 8 Svaneke" skirt with 6 panels and the box pleat hack as described in this blog post from Nanna. In these pictures, I am wearing it with the zipper at the side, but it can also be worn with the zipper at the back, as shown on the dressform below, depending if you like the pleats meeting at mid front or not.

I made it up in this cherry print polycotton from Minerva Craft, a birthday gift from my boyfriend back in April. I got 14 m in total for my birthday, so expect to hear that phrase again soon, lol.

I used some waistband interfacing tape from my moms stash (thanks, mom!) for the waistband instead of the included waistband pattern piece, as I prefer the look of it. For the length of the waistband I just measured the waistband of one of my beloved Hollyburn skirts and added 1 cm of seam allowance on each end.

To add some extra interest to the skirt, I added 2 rows of bright red cotton tape to the hem of the skirt. I REALLY love how it turned out, reminds me of the navy and white trimmings on vintage sailor dresses.

The black color of the fabric did fade a bit during washing & drying and it shrunk a bit under too hot an iron, but I love it anyway. Using polycotton like this is fast becoming my go-to for 50's inspired dresses and skirts because of the slight stiffness and fun prints and also for wearable muslins because of the cheap price tag.

The top is the SeamWork Elmira Cardigan. I have wanted to make this since it came out and finally found the time to sew it.

The fabric is a wonderfully soft viscose & lycra jersey, also from Minerva Crafts. Somehow it is opaque enough as one layer on the back and sleeves while being thin enough not to be too bulky for the double-layer fronts and tie pieces. It was a bit fiddly to work with, though, but I would not hesitate to buy it again.

At first, I made the cardigan up as written in the instructions, but I absolutely HATED the way the left front tie sat in the side seam. It weighed the side seam down and made it impossible to adjust the waist using the ties. In the end, I chopped the left tie off while taking the side seams in anyway, cut it 30 cm shorter and sewed it back on at the short edge of the front piece.
This way, both fronts has the tie piece as an extension of the wrap, but one tie is shorter than the other. To wear it, I wrap the side with the short end over first and then wrap the side with the long tie over and around my back, to meet the short tie at the opposite side seam. (I hope that makes sense)

For next time, I have traced off a second, shorter tie pattern piece for the left side, and might put a buttonhole/slit in the left side seam to make the wrapping a bit easier and/or neater.

I made a size small despite being a medium in the size chart. I will recommend sizing down in all knit patterns from SeamWork and Colette if you have narrow shoulders and/or an A/B cup like me.

All in all, I really love these two items, especially worn together like this. The outfit is just vintage-inspired enough without being costume-y or unpractical. I did wear a petticoat for the pictures, but the skirt is lovely without it as well :)

I will leave you with this cute picture of Marie sitting on the cherry skirt. Have a nice weekend!

Disclaimer: I did receive the How To Do Fashion pattern for free as part of being a pattern tester. All opinions are my own. 

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Long Time, No Blog...

So, turns out my 2016 sewing plans went sideways. Life happened.

Now, 1½ years, 2 house-moves (one being across the country), 1 year of my new dream education, 5 cm longer hair and 1 cat later, I am ready to make sewing plans once again.

I did not stop sewing in the past 1½ years, however, so I might have a bit of catching-up to do ;)

I'll leave you with a picture of my earlier mentioned cat, Marie, sitting on top of a recent sewing project, while I'm off to take pictures of some pretty little me-made things.


Monday, 18 January 2016

Slow Sewing

The act of sewing is something I do for me, regardless of who I sew for. It is my happy place, my recharging station and my creative outlet all in one, and I love it. Sometimes I just want to slow down and enjoy a project as it is coming together.

This was one of those projects.

This is M6696, the #1 sewing blogger pattern of 2015. It's a classic and cute shirtdress with both vintage- and mens-wear inspired details and variations, perfect for the intermediate or advanced sewist. 

It may not look that special from afar, but this dress is full of little hand-stitched details.

The most striking feature is perhaps the yoke, being covered in navy sashiko-style embroidery. I first saw this kind of embroidery on Purl Soho, and liked the idea of the simple lines of stitches creating a much more complex pattern. I drew the pattern myself based on the "hana bishi" design and transferred it to my fabric with a transfer pencil. I found the stitching very calming and meditative - just what I needed.

All topstitching is also done by hand with a running stitch to mimic the embroidery. I used a contrasting navy broadcloth to make the piping, bias tape and inner facings for the yoke, collar stands and waistband.

The main fabric is a cotton chambray from my stash, bought 2 years ago at Stoffmarkt Holland as 2 coupons of 1,5 m each. I used one up entirely and a small corner of the second. I think one piece of 1,7 m had been enough for the whole dress. The buttons are from City Stoffer here in Aarhus.

This was not my first time making this pattern. Last summer I had a week long sewcation with my mother and had her help me with the fitting before I made a full, wearable muslin. My measurements put me between size 14 and 16, but based on the flat pattern I made the muslin a size 10 bust with 12 waist/hip. For this version, I took the waist in making it more like a straight size 10.

My only other fit alterations was to remove 3 inches of gathering from center back, rounding the vertical bust dart a smidge and to take a 1 cm wedge out of the bottom corners of the yoke to fit my naturally protruding shoulder blades. In fact, the gathering is not very blousy at all when worn because it sinks into the vale between my shoulder blades. Genetics can be a fun sometimes.

I used the "burrito" method to finish the inside yoke and this tutorial for the collar. The side seams are the only visible seams on the inside, and they are finished on my overlocker.

I really love the finished dress, and more importantly, enjoyed every minute of making it.