Sunday, July 25, 2010

F is for Fun, Flirt item #5

And here we have another outfit! Cardy is Burda 04-2010-117.

Thank you all for your helpful suggestions in comments. (especially Sue and Carol, thank you for sharing your experiences now I don't see feel such a wuss).

I realised that the reason I was struggling with my entries is that I had stopped having fun. I remembered the words from my sister, "if you are not having fun, you're not having anything."

When I stopped to think about it, fun was the only reason I was entering this competition!

So why had it stopped being fun? Because I got taken over by "have to's" and "shoulds" - what I call my "wardrobe entry myths."

Wardrobe entry myths that kill all sense of fun:

1. Everything has to be my best effort if I am going to put my name to it.
Wrong. A competition is a great incentive to raise the bar but it doesn't have to be perfect.

2. Everything has to match.
Wrong. Things that don't match can be really interesting. Use this as an opportunity to experiment with different proportions and interesting styling.

3. Everything has to be carefully thought through.
Wrong. Thinking is the enemy of fun. Intuition is a much better guide.

4. I can't explore and play with the patterns if I want to finish on time.
Sigh. Right. No myth here, it's the time limit that is the really hard part. So will I finish it on time? I don't know. One thing I do know, I have some beautiful fabrics that were inexpensive but not cheap, and I want them to have the best chance to be made up beautifully. Sigh. I will have to make muslins. If that means finishing late that's just going to have to be the way it is.

Now about this cardy.

Things really started to come unstuck with this cardy because I over-thought it. I decided that because my clothes featured a lot of pleats, that to make the outfits match I should put pleats in the tops as well. The pleats on the pockets are cute, The pleats in the shoulders are not. But it's a minor misdemeanour and I've learned my lesson. No more matchy matchy match.

Other than that, I love this cardy. It was Burda's illustrated section but I have to say, I was more confused with their instructions than I have been for a long, long time. But we got there in the end!

The fabric is Marc Jacobs Merino that ended up in Nicks (outlet store) how - I do not know. The band is silk from the Sally Army. Now I often buy "silk" from Sally Army that ends up being polyester after an inquisition. I have even bought fabric labelled "R Cavali 100% seta" which was polyester and the most convincing fake silk I have ever encounterd. Under trial by fire though it proved its counterfeit identity. Good thing it was only a couple of bucks.

But I digress - this fabric, looked like silk, felt like silk, and when burned, much to my surprise, was silk! Hooray!

Well, choppity chop, no time to tarry, back to my next muslin, a dress this time, whose success lies in perfect fit. I am hopeful of pulling this one off.

Acknowledgements - I made the alterations to this cardy after seeing the gorgeous suit made by Sherry.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Burda 10-2008-113

It's nice to see these friends reunited at last because last time they were together was when they shared an aisle at the Red Cross shop. The top is another $1.50 remnant and was intended to be a wearable muslin - once I'd checked construction and fit the idea was to remake it in my Karen Walker navy blue silk lycra - the gorgeous beautiful stunning fabric that accidentally got delivered to the outlet store instead of the designer store where I got it for a tenth of its intended retail price. Woopsie!

However, I need some help and encouragement blog friends. I am starting to tire, yes, tire of this 10 piece wardrobe business. Firstly, I don't give a rat's behind whether I have 10 interchangeable items of clothing. I don't even care if a single outfit matches. I don't care about the prizes, and frankly, now that spring is around the corner I just want to make cardys and dresses which would be verboten under the rules ( I would be allowed a single cardy or a single dress but not both).

In other words, then only thing that is keeping me on track is the promise to myself to have a subscription to La Mia Boutique if I finish it. And that my friends is a little silly because I could just buy it for myself anyway, whether I finish it or not.

In short, is there a single good reason to continue with this regime? At the moment I am only sticking with it for reasons of pigheadness and stubbornness. I suppose that is as good a reason as any.

Still, I'm open to words of wisdom from anyone who has been crazy enough to commit to this act of sewing stupidity before.


Monday, July 19, 2010

Flirt item #4 .. again.

I wasn't happy with the back wedgie in my last pair of pants, so I went to work again on the pattern (Burda Style 9175). I envisioned these pants made in grey civil servant flannel with perfectly pressed creases and a sensible no nonsense button. So I made them again.

I love these pants. I love them because they are warm and comfortable and a little bit nerdy and a little bit ugly. In French there is a word "beau laid" meaning "beautifully ugly" and I really love that aesthetic - its so much more intriguing and beguiling than beauty.

I have also finished my merino wool knit top - all that's left to do is the hems, for which I am awaiting my replacement part for my machine. More soon.

Oh and yes, of course the fabric was bargain. 40% off at Global Fabrics end of season sale. Naturally.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Flirt item #5

Burda 05-2010-130

The back is strictly business as usual without the welts:

I sewed this in a record 4 hours - from seeing the pattern to tracing it to fitting it to finishing it. That's pretty good. That's because 4 hours in a week is all I have these days. My son being at the stage and age he is (exhausting demanding etc), I have no energy at the end of the day. And it's not going to get any better any time soon, the secret to enjoying your children may well be excellent child care but in this city that comes with fearsome waiting lists.

Anyway, let me quit moaning, let me extol the virtues of this pattern. It is a 3 dot Burda number only because it has back welt pockets but I just did not have the time or inclination to be bothered with those. I never use back pockets if there are decent front ones and the front ones are super cute, don't you agree? They have this cute little pleat that comes off them, turning the pencil skirt into a quasi tulip number. It also has an extended front lap piece that turns into a mock belt that buttons on the other side of the belt loop. Well you know me, I love a little mockin' in my wardrobe.

The fabric was from the Red cross shop $1.50. It was clearly a leftover from another project with big bits cut out along the side.

I only had enough to do a small hem and I couldn't lengthen it at all meaning I was going to have to wear it Burda model length (short). In this way I was forced to be a little bit trendy and modern and hip which is not my bag at all, but I dare say dressing younger than my years will not kill me.

I wanted to sew my first merino top this week but when I got to my sewing machine I discovered that my son had pulled off and hidden the back vertical spool making twin-needling impossible. And do you know what I did find behind my sewing machine instead? The back windscreen wiper. Yes he pulled the whole thing off the car and posted it behind my machine. I wasn't too peeved about that because now both my husband and me have had our dearest possessions trashed and so there will be no sanctimonaneous exhortations to accept the reality of having a toddler in the house.

Instead there were lots of sympathetic noises on both sides.

This skirt is officially the cheapest item I have ever sewn - I got everything, zipper, thread, even tracing paper at a really good price from Smart Dress Fabrics, and the button and interfacing were more charity shop finds: bringing the total to something less than $4. (about US $2.50). (I never count my Burda subscription when I price things because for me it's just pure entertainment - however, I do count paper patterns purchased specifically)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Flirt item #4

Ladies may I present the - nerdy but I totally love it - BurdaStyle Nichola #9175:

Back view: Not bad, not bad, considering I've been wearing these for 2 days, a little wedgie and a small wrinkle is quite good compared to some of my pant attempts.

Now, how more flirtish can you get with these pants? Buttons, zipper: Sally Army; fabric: leftover from another project; Pattern : free download from BurdaStyle

I was put on to this pattern by Arnysews who quite helpfully pointed out this was $3 US on the English language site but free on the German site. Armed with nothing but my school girl German and some good guesses I managed to enrol on the site and download the pattern for free. I skipped the instructions as they were in German but I later came to regret that as the pictures would have been useful and at the very least I could have been saved trying to work out the dimensions of the self measured pieces myself.

I tried to re download the instructions to no avail - I simply couldn't guess my way back.

No matter, I have made enough Burda patterns to know how these things go. I love the little belt loops and the curved front, the back pocket is cute too.

However, those of you with with a low geek tolerance will have to be on "nerd alert." Firstly, there is that crime against big bottoms, namely "tapered front leg piece", followed by ankle flapping crimes "final leg length is too short" followed by the mother of all ironing crimes, the pressed front and back leg crease.

Me, I love a little nerd in my look so wasn't too shy to iron my creases but I do object to flapping my ankles so I only did a 2 cm (6/8") hem allowance instead of 7.5 (3 inches). If the patten did not have such a deep hem allowance I would have been in big trouble. I also removed the front leg taper by grading out from the knee a total of 1.5 cms (5/8 inch) each side to the hem, to produce a straight leg. If I didn't do that, the phrase, "house on stilts" may have been aptly applied.

I am assuming these pants were made to appeal to the young and hip, because they are also about 2 inches below waist, meaning that anyone passing by gets a good view of your underpants should you bend over, which means best nickers everyone.

So, my wardrobe colours now are set - green, purple and navy blue with grey as the neutral. I love those colour combinations so I'm pretty happy about that.

Next up I'm going to make a top with some of my merino (which is a high grade wool knit) so I'll actually have some finished outfits soon. How exciting!