Monday, November 29, 2010

Applying some discipline

I have been having an internal war. It goes something like this:
"I need some summer clothing."
"So go out and buy it."
"I can't."
"Why not."
"It would be expensive and professionally sewn and it would look nice. I don't like "nice", I like odd and kooky and home sewn looking."
"that's just as well then. But you still don't have any summer clothes."
"I'll make some."
"no you won't."
"well if I won't go shopping then I'll just have to, won't I?"

And on it goes. I have decided that the only way to resolve this little battle is to set myself a task, and a deadline. The task is to sew myself some summer clothes before Christmas. If I have not done so, then I will let my sister take me shopping and force me to buy something lovely from the shops.

So then, the challenge was to find things that had a little bit of kook, but were wearable and summery. For wearable styles you can't beat Ottobre magazine, and if you have never checked them out before, let me be your enabler.

They publish only twice a year for women, and you can get a "women's" only subscription by scrolling down the subscription bar on the site. Once you have subscribed they roll it forever but at only twice a year it's hardly a huge outlay. They use ordinary women, nicely made up, in easy to wear every day styles and - my personal favourite - they complete the look with sensible shoes. Those shoes were made for walking - hardly a heel in sight. (on a side note, on the first date I had with my husband, he looked at my Kumfs trainer and said, "those look like good shoes for walking." I knew then that the relationship had potential.)

They also give their patterns adorably old fashioned names, like "vera," "lucinda" "Bertie" "Ethel" "Nanette" which makes me wonder about what's going on in Finland these days. The English translations are excellent, fluent and full, no talk of "front slits" and "abuttment lines" these instructions actually make sense.

The drafting - so far- is as I would expect. I cut this at a 44 with a 3 cm FBA and it's just right through the bust, too big in the back neck and shoulders which is exactly what I'd expect from a 44. I do enjoy the fact that it grazes over my lumps rather than committing them to the camera for all to see, but I will experiment with sizing a bit to see if I can bring in the upper chest area. The hip is also too big, and so the tee doesn't hold to the sides. Still, who's going to be looking at that? I bet you're all just rivetted to that crazy sleeve:

Righty ho, a piece of summer sewing completed. We are on our way! The big challenge will be December 1 when the winter sewing Pattern Review contest starts. If I can get past that little piece of temptation without sewing a coat, we know we are on the road to recovery.

Ottobre 02-2010- 9 "Katherine" top


  1. Knit?! Who are you and what have you done with my sister?

  2. I like Ottobre too for their models and styles. And lately they have been listing the model's height and size as well which is also good to know when choosing a style. That t-shirt looks great.

  3. You know, of course, that the things you sew are going to be so much more interesting that what you are going to find in the stores...though it's similar to having to always eat your own cooking. Sometimes it is nice for someone else to cook a plate of food for you....

  4. Ruffles and discipline, in the same post. Do they go together? I always think of ruffles as extremely frivolous.
    Summer clothes are a good idea, and they are so quick you might be able to make a coat as well, just to enable a bit.

  5. Disciplined sewing and shoes made for walking.... .you are my kinda gal.

  6. I felt like such an idiot after reading your post. On the weekend I went to subscribe to Ottobre magazine having been shown some issues by a friend. I couldn't find the woman only subscription! So thanks for telling me to scroll down!!! Love your tshirt and good luck with the summer sewing regime.

  7. Who knows? You just may get to enjoy summer sewing after all. I have hardly worn a tank top in 20 years and now I have made 3 with 3 more planned. A couple of weeks ago I was feeling that I had nothing to wear for summer, everything old and tired, but a couple of new tees and everything seems fine again. You could probably whip up a few summer staples in the time it would take to make a single coat.

    Love, love , love those ruffled sleeves.

  8. Well done on waorking toward your challenge. You can always compromise and make some kooky and then buy some pieces to fit in around them and fill out the rest of the Summer wardrobe.

  9. Discipline in general is much overrated in my opinion.. That said, after decades of inappropriate things like swimsuits in late Fall and raincoats in spring, I have been trying to improve the timeliness of my sewing, and in general I like it.

    Partly it's because my productivity isn't great, so I end up with literally nothing to wear (and nothing to buy either, as I'm Dutch-size rather than French-size..). Partly it's because I do get great pleasure from finishing something and wearing it that day, and the next, and the next :-).. That is a great sewing motivator, I have to admit.

  10. I love your kookiness! I want you to succeed and make your own summer clothes. I would agree that summer clothes are less exciting than winter clothes, but they are easier, in general, to make. They run up quick, no tailoring, etc.

    I wonder if we all have problems sewing before Xmas? Whether that means cold or warm weather clothes. So many of us have extra responsibilities in the run-up to the holidays.

  11. Now you are going to have me ordering Ottobre, too!!! I love that top, and the ruffles are adorable. Fantastic!

    I have been experimenting with "disciplined sewing," and finding that I am not having too much trouble sticking to plan ;)

  12. it was very nice to meet you too! I should have known you'd made that top; Ineka said you're an awesome sewer :) Good luck with the summer outfits; I'm sure you can do much better than the obvious choices we have here...

  13. Love the new top. THe ruffles on the sleeves is pure genius!

  14. mesmerised by the sleeve alright. It looks a bit like a Queen Mother's hat, royal and making a statement.

  15. another sewing triumph ! You look great>