Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It's only a hobby.

From this:

To this:

back view

That's what I tell myself when I look perilously close to taking myself too seriously on the sewing front.

Thank you for your advice about my jacket. I can tell you now that I've finished it that you were all right. How can that be? Simple - the proportions of the jacket required it to finish at the fullest part of the hip, but the pre -existing welts looked wierd held in suspension on my waist line. The only way they belonged to the jacket was to place them two thirds down the front and then they were proportional to the hem length.

No matter which way I cut it, something was going work and something was not going to work.

That, I feel, will be my first and last refashion. It was twice the work of cutting from scratch and I had to think all the time. Fancy that! Thinking all the time! At no point could I just sit down and sew something, I had to figure out how to I was going to make those pieces come back together. And how to reinterpret the design? I couldn't just sew the pattern as is.

So that's when I came up with my "it's only a hobby" mantra - take the stress out of seamstress.

It was that mantra that lead me to purchase some silk I fell madly in love with from Global fabrics. "It's my hobby, who cares if I ever wear it." (you see how useful this mantra is for justifying any kind of wildly-inappropriate-to -lifestyle fabric choices.) I had in mind Burda 05-2009-125. I was thinking that the style was too young for me, with all those frou frou details - you know the gathering and ribbons etc, but then, once again, my mantra came to the rescue. "Who cares if you're too old for it, you know it's only a dress, and making that dress is your hobby."

Here it is pinned ready for sewing on the dress from. When I bought the fabric I thought it was randomly lined, imagine my horror to find they form a 4 line repeat print that needed to be matched! Too late, I'd cut it out AND I bought the last 3 metres in the shop. Guttered. Non matching horizontal lines, how that cheapens a garment.

Thank goodness it's only a hobby.


  1. You should take yourself seriously, or just a little bit. This jacket refashion is an amazing transformation. The dress doesn't look too bad - but sometimes photography hides the flaws. Hope you're having some of this warm weather across the ditch.

  2. Oh, not "only" a hobby. That takes away from all your fabulous work. A hobby, yes, but not only. I'm all for inappropriate fabrics, inappropriate styles...but relish it, dream about it, smile secretly to yourself when you think of all the wonderful creations hidden away in the back of your closet.

    Nice jacket, nice work, you made all the right decisions. Now you just need to wear it more than twice, which shouldn't be hard, because it does look great.

  3. Sounds like a good mantra to me :-)
    The dress and jacket both look fantastic...glad you're succumbing to the "just had to buy it" fabric disease ;-) I am well and truly beyond help in that department ;-)

    No sewing for me tonight...I sconed my head on the car door whilst buckling up a small person's seatbelt, so me and my headache are off to bed.

  4. I have serious jacket envy. You've made a hell of a lot of very tricky work look absolutely effortless!

    I saw a great quote somewhere once - It's not architecture. If you get it wrong, nobody dies.

    I don't know about you, but for me sewing stopped being "only a hobby" and became greater than life and death several Issey Miyake patterns ago. (I do thoroughly approve of your using the mantra to justify whatever you feel like though.)

  5. Wonderful job. The back view of the jacket is even more impressive than the front, with all the patterns lining up just so. I haven't written this on my blog yet, but the "where will I get enough fabric?" conundrum was a big stumbling point in grading and tweaking the pattern for one shirt style I worked on last month.

    Not all refashions are intensive as this jacket recon was, because not all of them are original Armanis destined to become Chanels. :)

  6. I like your attitude - I think we are all guilty of taking ourselves a bit too seriously sometimes. Stepping back and putting it all into perspective is an excellent exercise.

    The refashion of the jacket turned out great - but, I can see why it was so much extra work (over and above just making it from scratch).

    I love the dress too - I didn't even notice the non-matching and no one else will either - wear it with pride!

  7. I was once told never to use the word "just" to describe things as it can be belittling. Maybe the words "only" and "hobby" are the same. Perhaps, where ever we see the word hobby we should replace it with passion.

    The refashion looks wonderful and well worth it. Certainly you couldn't call that "only" anything.

  8. Again I love the jacket and scouring the internet to find a copy of the pattern!

    Matching plaid...that is on the "learn to do" list. Very cute dress.

  9. I love that jacket on you. After seeing the movie Coco Avant Chanel, I get the remake of a men's garment to a women's jacket.

  10. The jacket is splendid.
    The dress equally so.
    I am in awe of your skill and you're a definite inspiration in the large bust department.

  11. You look GREAT!!! It's such a chic, sharp, spiffy little jacket!

    I think you've done a fantastic job at refashioning. I have to tell you, I suck at those. I am not one who can see the bones of another garment in an existing garment. I am the one who wrecks the original rather than improves it. I can see why you would find it nerve-wracking but you have really done a wonderful job here.

  12. HBD and I hope NZpost delivered my parcel on time. Rural Delivery promises nothing but delivers slightly more. 'I dont have to be perfect' and 'it's ok to fail' are two more great mantras to start any project for the perfectionist. I think you'll be wearing that jacket alot. love Miri

  13. I am very very impressed by what you have done. The jacket looks pro to me! I too think that we sometimes impose impossible standards upon ourself instead of padding ourself on the back or lift a glass of champagne to celebrate that we can crank out great clothes from all sort of stuff.

    As for refashion it's just not for me I think, as I hate ripping seams and messing around with pattern pieces trying to get them to fit into too small fabric pieces.

  14. Happy Birthday to the lovely Mary Nanna!!!! I love that dress AND the jacket.

  15. You clever thing you, that jacket is amazing and the dress is very sweet to with its jaunty plaid. Hope you're having a good week :-}

  16. I leave for a few days, and here you are, refashioning. (Camping for our family hasn't started yet... off to the coast soon!)

    Mary Nanna, if I've never said this, I will now: you are my hero.

    Excuse me.


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