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Showing posts from 2012

Happy Holidays!

Happy holidays everyone!

I know I haven't been writing (my last post was in August!), but I have been making things. Not many things (I moved house in September!), but there are some. I also half made costumes for a typical British panto this Christmas season.

I do promise I will do better in the new year. I've got a few things planned, first of all being learning how to fit my back.

Happy holidays again!

Sewing with silk

This is a make was finished about two weeks ago, after which I blissfully procrastinated on the sewing front. It's a shirt (B6035, third one) made with the thai silk I got at Mood in New York.

I don't have pictures of the finished thing, because I've been... well, procrastinating. And it's rolling in the washing machine right now. Yes you read that right: silk in the washing machine. I did wash the fabric before I cut into it, so I don't expect anything to go wrong with this. And honestly I don't have the will to take anything to the dry cleaners.

I shall try to get some photos of the finished garment. I have enough fabric left over (I bought 3 yards originally) to make a dress. I was considering using the Truffle dress as inspiration,

Potholder Tutorial

I decided a few weeks ago I had complained about fabric scraps for long enough, so I got to work. First, I ordered some Insul-Bright from Amazon.

Then, I practiced last weekend before the DnD game, and I made a mitten:

This turned out somewhat OK (you will be able to tell this hasn't been pressed at all though), so I decided to go a step further and make a trivet.

Here's a tutorial for how to make it!

Items needed:

1 x 25cm x 25cm rectangle of insulated batting2 x 25cm x 25cm fabric; I used scraps I had left overthreadpinsbias tapea 5cm tape


Step 1: Sandwich the batting between the two fabric pieces
Step 2: Pin

Step 3: Quilt. Now, a note about quilting: I found it extremely difficult to quilt. The problem was that even with an even feed foot the bottom fabric would gather. I had to unpick a lot to get to something that looked ok, and the way I ultimately did it was by pulling very tightly on each side of the sewing foot. In any case, it's difficult. Maybe I'm mis…

The British Summer Skirt

In my attempt to crack down on remnants, I decided to do something with the left overs from the Hippie Shirt. You see, the Hippie Shirt was supposed to be a shirt dress based on the M6035, but in the end I decided I like to have options when wearing this stuff so kept it in a shirt-only form. This gave me roughly 0.5, maybe 0.6m of fabric to play with - and what better way to use it than my modified Meringue pattern? As an aside, I had no idea that I could get the skirt done in so little fabric :)

I didn't actually have enough fabric for the full length, so I decided to add a white band at the bottom. The waistband is also only have in fashion fabric (you're supposed to cut 2xfront, 2xback, but I did two by two in fashion & white fabric). I added three other bands besides this: one white one between waistband and skirt, and two between skirt and bottom white band.

My modified pattern was a bit long last time, and this time I split it at the end of the flowery fabric, and t…


I don't follow fashion too much. Luckily, I find that the interesting things tend to break through the sewing blog barrier and I get to read them anyway.

Yesterday, I was looking at the BBC News picture of the day post when I came across an image from a Haute Couture show that reminded me of my World of Warcraft days, so I just had to put these two images together:

What do you think, are they similar or am I imagining things?

The Haute Couture show was by Giambattista Valli. The WoW image shows a night elf druid in Cenarion shoulder armour (circa 2005).

Future projects

One thing I do want to do in the near future is keep going with making things from the fabric I have. I don't really have a stash problem, but at the same time I like to make things with the fabric I bought.

From the same fabric as the hippie shirt I have just enough to make most of a Meringue skirt (non scalloped of course!). I will use some white fabric as contrast for bits that don't quite fit in the fabric I do have left. I cut the flowery fabric today - no leftovers! I also put the white fabric in the washing pile, along with the left overs from the white silk I used for my pijama make, which I will use as lining for the skirt.

Even if I do not really have a stash problem, I do find that fabric scraps that are left from projects keep adding up. In the flowery fabric case it was easy enough to fix, because I had enough to make a real garment, but this is not always the case. I bought some Insul-Bright to have on hand in case I ever decide to make an oven glove or something…

The hippie shirt

OK it's not really hippie, as Mr T keeps insisting.:) But I like to call it that.

It seems ages since I last posted, probably because it has been ages now. Almost 2 weeks I'd say. In the meanwhile I went to France, got a very short haircut, managed to work a whole Sunday and not sew anything. I made this shirt shortly after my last post.

This is, once again, B6035. It's a very good pattern, although princess seams are still difficult to sew. The ease is great though!

I mentioned in my last post that I don't like the peplum on the previous version of the shirt and that I will do something about it. Alas, no peplum appeared on this version, but I did make several alterations.

Sleeves: I still used the puffy sleeves (too lazy to trace and cut the other versions), but rather than gather at the sleeve insertion point, I made a small inverted pleat. This works well and it is also easier to iron. I also used a 3/8 seam allowance on the sleeve band, rather than a 5/8: the prev…

The long awaited shirt post

The reason I haven't updated anything lately is that I've been travelling for work these past two weeks. I spent some time in New York, the vast majority of it at work. I did make it to the fashion district once though - I left Mood with 3 yards of the most beautiful yellow silk shantung and some pretty buttons for my forthcoming projects. I just need to decide what to use it on now.

I promised in my last I would post about my new shirt, and I've been meaning to do so all this time: it was a matter of finally taking pictures.

This shirt is a straight B6035 in size 10. The only change I made was to add about 0.5cm to the shoulder width. This first pic was taken as soon as I put it on (gorgeous view from the hotel window, wasn't it?):

I feel that the top part has the perfect amount of ease. I was wondering while wearing it lately if I should take future versions in around the hips a bit - it looks all right in the pictures, but I feel it's too wide there when wearing…

Me-made musings

I know I haven't updated anyone in... must be 3 weeks at this point. I have been horribly busy at work - about 3 months ago, I decided to take on a role that has more responsibility, but it also came with longer hours while I'm learning. I'm still settling in, and maybe in the not so long future things will be back to normal. And I've been playing Diablo 3 on top of that (shhh).

However, I have been sewing. I have finished my shirt! No pictures of me wearing it, but I'll have Mr T take some when I wear it next time. This is the best garment I've made - I really took my time with it, and it paid off. I wore it to work and no one asked if it was me-made.

I have got some construction pictures though:

I used flat felled seams everywhere but the princess seams. For these, after sewing the seam, I turned the seam allowance under and stitched, after which I topstitched the turned allowance to the body of the blouse.

All in all, I'm very happy with it. I've now…


I haven't worked on my shirt at all this week, but since I've been feeling pretty tired after the jet lag I decided to take tomorrow off. This decision was only enforced by the fact that I have 2 very stressful weeks ahead of my NY trip in June.So, I am prepared. I will trace, muslin, alter, cut and sew! All that before my Sunday DND game.

I have to get this fabric!

This is the funniest thing I've seen in a while:

The fabric is amazing! I am going to go buy 1m just to make something silly out of it. Absolutely me.

Go to Sarah's blog to find out where you can get the fabric.

Grain considerations (and weaving 101)

The shirt I'm making (haven't moved a finger on it yet: need to copy pattern, make muslin, make shirt!) will be made in a stripe fabric. However, as I said in my previous post, it has princess seams.

I've spent my day worrying that I won't be able to match the seam lines correctly if both bits of the princess seam are cut on the lengthwise grain. Then, at some point, I had an idea: what if I cut the bigger piece (middle) on the lengthwise grain, and the smaller piece (side) on the crosswise grain? This would make an interesting "almost-chevron" pattern.

The problem here though is that I didn't really know the difference between these. I always used the lengthwise grain because patterns say so. I've mostly kept away from bias due to its... stretchy nature.

If you're like me here is a Grains 101:

I've now read up on the difference in several places on the internet. It bottles up to:

lengthwise: tough, non-stretchy; crosswise: semi-tough, some str…

Next project: the shirt

The bare truth is that software engineers wear jeans and t-shirts. We even have a going joke among the team saying that if you're wearing a shirt you're changing job ladders from software engineer to project manager.

In fact, I've been wearing jeans and t-shirts all my life (so much so that my mom made several very direct remarks once I turned 22 or so). The only reason I'm interested in wearing anything else now is because I started sewing and I can make all these pretty things! Alas, there's no denying I have trouble feeling at ease in things other than jeans and t-shirts. If you need further proof of this - they're my goto items of clothing for any travelling.

I've come to accept that change, if it comes, will come slowly. As a result, I hereby declare I'll start sewing things that I will actually wear more than once a year: blouses, shirts, jackets. Maybe at some point jeans. Some skirts.

Since I'm already at ease with shirts, I've decided t…

Sewing Meetup San Francisco

I have to be honest with you: I genuinely dislike travelling for work because there's little to do outside of work! I find airplanes the most boring thing in the world, an then I'm usually stuck somewhere for 7 to 10 days with little or nothing to do in the evenings and on the weekends. I know there are loads of people who just go out by themselves, but that's not really my thing.

Now, this particular trip has been different, mostly because I was travelling with a coworker - at least going out for dinner was an option! But to also have a sewing meetup! That's just PURE LUCK.

I decided to drop off my colleague at the airport on Wednesday and then head to SF, even though I would have around 3 hours of waiting to do. Now, waiting this time was ... short! I did some shopping but then I headed out to the wine bar full of anticipation.

Once we sat down, a flurry of everything from sewing to what it's like living in California to realizing that for once I'm not the on…