Friday, 16 January 2015

Vintage Sewing Pledge 2015

Yesterday, I joined the 2015 Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge; that is in the second year.  This challenge is hosted by A Stitching Odyssey and co-hosted by Kerry of Kestrel Makes. When I heard about it, I knew it would be a great challenge for me.  I don't have a ton of vintage patterns, but I do have a few that I have not yet sewn.  I also have reproduction patterns that have not yet been sewn.  .  This would motivate me to  sew those lovely patterns tucked away in my pattern drawer.  My favourite decade is the 1940's, but I'd also go for some garments from the 30's and 50's.  I'm not into the 60's or 70's, but you never know.  So I'm putting this pledge out there into blogland:

I Nayla, of Nayla's Notions pledge to sew four garments from vintage or reproduction patterns within the year 2015.  

It shouldn't be too difficult to make four garments and yet it's still a challenge.  I'm a slow sewer and believe in quality, not quantity.  I also have so many other things I want to make.  I'm already working on the first one of the year, which happens to be a vintage pattern; my lovely 40's wool skirt!

I'm looking forward to this awesome challenge... Yay!

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Vintage wool skirt

About the Pattern

Hollywood Pattern 1602:  I was drawn to this vintage pattern because of the fitted and feminine yet tailored lines.  I like the slim A-line skirt that is very 1940's and the gores are a beautiful detail.  I couldn't find a year printed on the pattern, but it's from the 1940's.  The skirt has five gores on the front and three gores on the back.  All those seams allow more opportunities for adjusting the fit.  I also love the jacket.  I like both the short sleeved and the long sleeved versions, but I'm not a fan of those pockets.  If I have pockets with it, I would probably do a more traditional pocket.  I want to make the jacket one day but for now I'm concentrating on the skirt.

 I traced out the pattern pieces and markings using a tracing wheel but no carbon paper.  I found it easier just to cut it out following the perforations, and it was easy to see the markings that I then darkened with pen.  I made a muslin and had to adjust the pattern a bit.  I took out some excess fabric from the lower back to create a bit of contouring.  The skirt  also stuck out a bit and had a bit of a funny drape.  I realized the pieces were not on grain.  They also did not fit well together.  So I trued the seams and adjusted the grainline.

About the Fabric

  I found the most luscious Ralph Lauren cashmere/wool blend from Mood fabrics!  I'm using silk organza to underline the wool.

I pre-treated the wool by putting it in the dryer with two damp towels to create some gentle steam.  I was worried about it, but it turned out beautifully.  This fabric is soft and richly coloured with soft heathered brown and cream.  I can't wait to wear it!

I love the silk organza.  It's so light and barely there but it has a lot of body.  So,  I had already cut out my fabric and rather than cut out the organza using the paper pattern;  I pinned the fabric directly to the organza.  I wanted to align the grains as closely as possible.  Then I gave myself about an inch of allowance around each piece while I hand basted within the seam allowance.  Only after I completed the hand-basting did I trim the organza.  That way the grain lines align and the edges also align

I used my hot pink silk thread just because it's yummy to sew with.   It's amazing how the silk organza affects the fabric.  I can't wait to see how it affects the skirt as a whole.

I just have a couple more pieces to underline then I'll be looking forward to sewing them together.  

Happy New Year and Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Year in Review From My Sewing Room to Yours

Well, this marks the end of another year of sewing adventures!  I've learned a lot, made some mistakes and had some happy surprises.  I've learned a bit of pattern drafting, improved my fitting techniques, and I've even learned to enjoy slow and relaxing hand sewing.  The main thing is that sewing has become more and more of an adventure over time.  I find the more I learn, the more enjoyable it is to sew, and I hope to inspire anyone who may have the slightest desire to learn.

 I now have what is pretty much my dream sewing room, complete with bright natural lighting and a view of the trees, birds and, of course, the squirrel.  It's a lovely space to spend a cold winter day.  I always have something on my sewing table, and my sewing queue just keeps getting longer and longer.  I'm a relatively slow sewer, and I like to take my time and pay attention to the details of each project but hopefully I'll be able to tackle the majority of projects on my list.  This list keeps changing so who knows!  My goals for 2015 include continuing to work towards an entirely handmade wardrobe.  But for now,  I enjoy one project at a time.  One stitch at a time.

Coming up next is a 1940's vintage wool/cashmere skirt that I have already started, but won't be blogged until next year :)

Thank you so much for reading my blog!  Looking forward to a fresh new year ahead and wishing everyone a Happy New Year and Happy Sewing!

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Radiating Red Dress Completed

This dress was fun to sew up.  This was my first time working with ponte de roma knit fabric.  I'm usually reluctant to sew with knit fabrics because I'm not as familiar with them as my usual wovens.  But this is a beautiful heavy weight stable knit that has a lot of structure and a flattering drape.  It worked perfectly with all those radiating tucks. 

The pattern is Butterick 5559.  I love it, and I'm sure I'll use again.
I used a size 12 which is one size smaller than my actual measurements because I was concerned the shoulders, and neckline area would be too wide and I'm glad I went a size smaller.   With all the tuck lines, it would be difficult to alter the pattern without messing with the design.  So I guess I was counting on the stretchy fabric to do its magic.  It turned out quite comfortable.  I lengthened the skirt by four whole inches that took it to just above my knee.  But then again, I often need to lengthen my skirts.

It was a bit of a challenge to match the tuck lines at the side seams, but if you use your pins diligently and take it slow, it's not so bad.

I used fusible tricot knit interfacing for the facing.  This was the first time using this stuff, and boy is it ever lovely!

I have issues with sewing in sleeves.  I'm so worried about getting pleats or puckers that I had to baste it carefully by hand before sewing it.  Also, the pattern doesn't mention putting in ease stitches for the sleeve cap but I put in 2 rows of basting and eased the cap slightly.  Then I steamed it a bit to shrink out some puckering after which I pinned and hand basted.  It worked out well.  I only got one tiny pleat that I unpicked and re-sewed (only about 3 cm).

Well, that's it for my Radiating Red Dress.  I think there may be a shorter skirted sleeveless version in my future.  (I even have the fabric for it already!)

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Alabama Chanin Update!

I haven't been working on my Alabama Chanin project much lately but the reverse appliqué portion is completed and so are the shoulder seams.  So, all that's left to do is the side seams and finishing the neck and armholes with binding strips.  I still have to decide what kind of decorative hand stitching to use on the binding.   I really enjoyed doing all the reverse appliqué hand stitching.  It was so relaxing!

This project is almost done.  I haven't been paying as much attention to it as I should.  I guess I see it as more of a slow relaxing project; kind of like knitting a sweater ( which takes time!).  So I end up doing a little here and a little there.  Soon though, very soon it will be done!

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Self-drafted Pencil Skirt

 I finished my self-drafted pencil skirt.  This is the first of many skirts from my personal custom skirt sloper.  It feels incredible to have such a well fitting skirt.  It's like it was made specifically for me!(something I never felt when sewing any skirt pattern, let alone buying ready to wear.)

I used the fabric I purchased from  A Spool of Thread when I was in Vancouver.  It's gorgeous stretch denim, but it stretches on the lengthwise grain instead of crosswise.  I was confused by it at first because I've never seen fabric like that before.  But I decided it would be perfect for a pencil skirt.  Having the stretch lengthwise allows for comfortable sitting!

Here's my "invisible" hot pink zipper.  I love invisible zippers with a pop of colour!


 Floral print facing!

Hot pink zipper... again!

Hemmed with bias tape

 So... this was supposed to be a peplum pencil skirt. Thus, I didn't draft a waistband and made a facing instead.  It turned out I hated the peplum.  There's no way I was going to even try putting it on the skirt.  To me it looks like a clown collar.  Maybe it was the medium weight fabric that lacked a soft drape; maybe it was the polka dots.  I just couldn't get clown collar out of my head.  And so  the peplum will never be.  I can't stand looking at it.  I'm putting it in the garbage as soon as I'm done typing this.  The good thing is that it was a valuable experience.  I may make a peplum skirt with a softer fabric and absolutley no polka dots!  Otherwise,  I would also make a waistband.  That way it adds some waist definition and just looks like it's actually finished!

I'm just going to enjoy sitting in my comfy stretchy pencil skirt!

Happy Sewing!

Monday, 27 October 2014

Perfect Fit Skirt Sloper

I've dived into the world of pattern drafting head first!  I'm really inspired by all the possibilities and excited about what I've learned thus far.  There are so many possibilities once you have a well fitting sloper.  I'm learning from Suzy Furrer and her textbook "Building Patterns: The Architecture of Women's Clothing".  She also has a few really awesome Craftsy classes which I highly recommend.

I decided to start simple with a skirt sloper.  After taking accurate measurements I drafted a basic skirt sloper and sewed it up in muslin.  I had to make a few adjustments to improve the fit.  I moved the front darts over 11/4" toward the side seam to reduce fabric pooling under the dart.  I also trimmed 1/8" off the low hip.  The sideseam was not perfectly vertical so I brought down the front waist shaping line an extra 1/2".  After that there was gaping in the back waist so I took in an extra 1/4" back contouring on both sides.Then I dropped the waist line at the sideseam 1/4" to get rid of a few pull lines in the front.

I learned how to true my darts and of course sideseams.

 Here is my final skirt sloper on poster board.  I'll use this template to draft whatever style skirt I wish.  Pretty awesome eh?  Freedom from searching and searching for just the right pattern!

The final muslin looked really good and I was excited to draft a skirt pattern from this and make an awesome skirt in fashion fabric.

Coming up next:  Pencil Skirt with peplum!

Happy Sewing!