Sketchbook: The End!

RainbowIt’s been so long since I last posted one of them, but I didn’t stop drawing sketches of my sewing projects. Some of them were missing their colours, others their little fabric sample, and the last two I still needed to draw altogether, but I finally got to drawing and finishing all of them, and the sketchbook is actually full now: there’s no blank page left!

EucalyptCentauréeI won’t be starting a new sketchbook for my next sewing projects, I think one is enough, but I’m pretty stoked that I stuck to at least one of my resolutions for 2014! I hope this won’t stop me from going on drawing regularly in the next year, we’ll see…

Carreaux DirndlI don’t have a lot more to say about these drawings or sewing projects (I’ll probably write a round up at the end of the year, to tell about which garments I’ve been wearing or not and why, like I did last year), so I guess that’s it! You can click on each drawing to see the original blog post about the finished garment in question.

AubépineI hope to be back soon with a new finished sewing project, it’s been such a long time since I last completed one! I’m working on two at the moment: a grey corduroy version of this skirt and a sweater dress that’s proving to be so unflattering on me I’m almost sure it’s going to end up as a cropped sweater instead!

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Better Late Than Never

 

AquarelleRemember this skirt I sewed almost exactly one month ago? Turns out I had completely forgotten to post the drawing I made in my sketchbook. So no, I haven’t given up on this sketchbook idea yet, I’m just a scatterbrain!

I can’t believe it’s only been a month since I made this skirt by the way, seeing how much I’ve already been wearing it! I wouldn’t have thought I’d be wearing it so much as I’m not ususally a fan of pastel colours, so this is a pleasant surprise. But really, only one month? That’s not possible, I must have been wearing it at least three times a week!

I haven’t been able to accomplish much on the sewing/knitting front lately as I’ve been busier than usual between my students’ exams and working on my hat collection. But I’ve made some great progress both on the exams and the hats: I finished marking the exams this morning and I’ve just put the finishing touches to the last hat! I only need to take some pictures and then work on their presentation album and then I’ll be DONE!

Sketchbook: Selfless Hoodie

HoodieNo, your eyes are not playing you tricks, I’m not the recipient of my latest sewing project!

My boyfriend, who hates shopping like you wouldn’t believe, had been making hints that he would appreciate it very much if I helped him avoid that chore by sewing him some of the clothes he needed to replace. I wasn’t overjoyed at that prospect because, you know, sewing for someone else, ugh. Plus he is very picky about the comfort of his clothes, and I didn’t want to waste some of my precious sewing time making something that wouldn’t get worn! I knit him a cardigan four years ago, and instead of falling at my feet in eternal gratitude as any normal person would do (a cardigan, for Pete’s sake! Size XL!!!), he pointed out that the sleeve ribbing was too tight for his taste.

But then again, after I fixed it with some astute blocking, he’s been wearing the cardigan all winter long every year. Just as he has been wearing that fleece headband that took me about five minutes to sew. And he was in desperate need of a new hoodie for an upcoming trip to New York. And I had bought an impressive amount of sweatshirt fabric that was taking an impressive amount of space in my stash. And Thread&Needles had just announced their “Un vêtement masculin” (men’s wear) sewing contest.

So I set to work and made him a (self-drafted!) hoodie. And I have to say I’m really proud with the outcome, which I should show you very soon since he accepted to pose for some pictures before he and the hoodie left for New York yesterday!

Sketchbook: Viviane Dress

VivianeWhen I first saw the Viviane dress by République du Chiffon, it was love at first sight. I immediately bought it of course, yet it got pushed to the bottom of the pile every time a shiny new pattern got my attention, even though I had the perfect fabric in my stash.

But when I was invited to a 1920s costume party by Hibbis, no more excuses, I had to sew it!

I had a few moments of doubt, especially when I saw how puffy and shiny the yoke looked, but I powered through, thinking worse comes to worst, it would make a decent one-night costume (a one-night costume for which I had sacrificed one of my favourite lengths of fabric and hours of precious sewing time on details such as French seams and the like!). And the result is actually perfectly wearable, yay!

I’ve already worn it a few times since the party and it’s pretty comfortable and easy to style down for daily life.

Stay tuned for pictures of the finished dress!

Sketchbook: Polka Dot Skirt

PolkaDotsThis skirt has actually been finished for more than a week, but I couldn’t muster the courage to draw before today. As for the courage to take pictures, well, I’m still looking for it. Thankfully I’m on holiday at the moment, so it shouldn’t be too long before I find it.

It’s a simple gathered skirt (following the explanations in Gertie’s book) to which I added cute pockets per this great tutorial. I have to say the result is much prettier in real life than on my poor little drawing. Better that than the contrary, right?

Sketchbook: Liberty Dress

FitzgeraldI can’t seem to get back to sewing my coat, and in the meantime it seems like I have a million dresses on my mind! The one I’m working on at the moment is a Sureau whose sleeves I replaced with the sleeves of the Bleuet dress and whose fake button placket I changed into a functional one which I lengthened to get a shirt dress. I also added side seam pockets (in orange lining) because, as you may already know by now, pockets are essential to me and my runny nose.

The fabric I’m using is Liberty of London Fitzgerald. This is my first time using such an expensive fabric so I’m crossing fingers everything goes according to plan!

While I’m talking about the fabric, I couldn’t be bothered trying to render it on my drawing, so I printed a picture of the fabric and I cut and pasted it to fill the dress, then I added the button placket and other details on top of it. Normally I would do that directly on the computer, but since I want the sketchbook to look as good as the version I’m sharing on the blog I prefered that option. And the result is really convincing so I’ll keep that technique in mind for the future!

Sketchbook: Blue Stripes

BlueStripesI usually stick to one project at a time, but I’ve been soooo bored with my babydoll coat that I’ve allowed myself to put it aside and work on one or two easy projects before getting back to it. And what better suited project than the Renfrew? Especially since it’s not my first go at it, which means no more tracing/cutting the pattern and I know it fits!

Even so, I have already encountered a few obstacles: first, with only 1,30 m of the fabric I chose, I had to do some creative cutting in order to get a 3/4 sleeved dress out of such small yardage. Then I forgot that I’m no good at sewing after 9pm and went on sewing and making stupid mistake on stupid mistake… to the point where I had to shorten an already short dress in order to hide one of them.

Anyway, the dress is almost complete now, and it looks promising (albeit short) after all. See you soon with a new dress!

Pink Elephant

ElephantFaceI still haven’t finished my coat, so it’s official then, my first finished project of 2014 is a pink elephant! And it’s not even for me! Will you look at that face: how am I supposed to let it go?

Last Wednesday I was working on my coat and kind of loosing steam when I realised I had completely forgotten to either buy or make a gift for one of my best friends’ baby girl’s first birthday the next day. I thought no problem, I’ll use that cute elephant pattern I recently bought and I’ll be done in no time! Hahaha, how wrong was I?

ElephantProfilAfter spending the whole evening and Thursday morning working non-stop on the elephant, all I had were an empty body sans tail and an empty head sans eyes and ears. Turns out the pattern is cute for a reason: it uses a thousand pieces with darts and you have to clip/notch about a million curves! Nothing difficult really, but time consuming, oh yes!

Let me cut to the chase, I finished the elephant yesterday. Yep, it took me four days to make a stuffed elephant, I’m definitely not the world’s fastest sewer, if one still needed proof!

Style2052The pattern is Style Craft Pattern 2052, from 1979. There are two versions: adult and baby. I chose the adult, but I didn’t think to check the measurements of the finished elephant, so I was kind of surprised to see the size of the beast: 30 cm at shoulder height, 40 cm length without the trunk, oops! Ah well, I’m not the one who’s going to have to find a place for it in my apartment!

What I didn’t like in the pattern (except for the fact that they would have you baste most seams before stitching them – I didn’t and I had no problem whatsoever) was the fact that you have to hand stitch the tail, ears and tusks (as you can see, I chose to omit the tusks: the elephant looks way cuter for a baby without them) afterwards instead of sewing them into seams. The eyes are also supposed to be hand sewn afterwards, but I machine sewed them before attaching the head to the body. There are no seams where you add the ears, so there’s no other solution for them (and it’s possible to get a nice and secure result with invisible stitches, contrary to what the envelope picture would have you believe…), but if I ever sew that pattern again, I’ll be sure to sew the tail into the back seam: it will look better and be more secure.

Also, the sample is sewn in felt, so the tail and ears (and tusks) are sewn wrong sides together, with visible seams. Since I used corduroy (remnants from this skirt) and I didn’t want it to fray, I sewed the ears and tail with right sides together. This caused no problem for the ears, but for the tail I had to adjust its end so that I could turn it right side out.

Elephant3:4Stuffing the elephant was an adventure of its own. I bought a giant (and I mean GIANT, like 1 cubic metre!) bag of polyfil for a song at least seven years ago and although I had used some for a few projects, it must have been self-regenerating or something because all of my projects barely made a dent in it. But this time, the giant polyfil bag has found its master! The elephant literally ate most of it, leaving me with about a fifth of it, if not less. The pattern has you stuff it firmly, so you wouldn’t believe how much polyfil there is inside. And it was not an easy task getting it all in: it took me about an hour, sweating and short of breath, and my arms are still a bit sore.

PinkElephantIt’s not easy drawing with a sore arm, but I didn’t want to abandon my resolution, so here’s the third page of my sketchbook! I normally draw before finishing a project, but the impromptu nature of this project made it impossible, so afterwards it had to be.

I’m really happy with the end result of the project, I’m not kidding when I say it’s going to be difficult to give it away! I really took my time (four days, you bet I did!) to get the best result I could and there are not many things I would change if I had to do it again. And I want to sew that pattern again, though I’ll take filling my wardrobe over adding to the clutter of my home any day, so it will have to wait for another special occasion.

Sketchbook: Grey Babydoll Coat

BabydollCoatHere’s what I’m working on at the moment: a grey babydoll coat! It’s been taking me a lot of time, especially since I have only been able to work on it in small chunks of time here and there.

The pattern is BurdaStyle 01/2011 Babydoll Coat #118 (from the French version of the magazine). It’s a pattern in petite sizes, which I thought meant a 1,64 m height, so I thought no big deal since I’m 1,68 m, but it actually means a 1,60 m height. Of course I realised this after cutting everything, oops! Well, let’s just hope it doesn’t turn out unwearably too short.

The only thing I did lenghten were the 3/4 sleeves, because I personally need long sleeves on a winter coat (how novel of me!). I’m also planning on changing the required 2 sew-on snap fasteners into 4 functioning bound buttonholes, which will be my first ever bound buttonholes!

The fabric is dark grey 100% wool and the lining is grey polyester with pink polka dots! I’m planning on using the remnants to make a matching beret from a vintage pattern (McCall’s 9448). That is, if there are any remnants to speak of after I perfect my bound buttonhole technique!

WIP: Retro Camper Tee

CamperTeeI don’t know how long I’ll keep up with it, but I’ve decided to start a sketchbook where I make a small illustration of each sewing project I begin, in the hopes it will encourage me to draw more frequently.

This is the first one, a Sewaholic Renfrew made from a cotton jersey knit printed with retro Volkswagen Campers! I chose a contrasting off-white cotton ribbing for the neckline and sleeve bands (and no bottom band).

This is also the first project where I’m using my new serger! So far it’s coming along nicely, except for the fact that the jersey knit is printed a touch off grain, which drove me kind of crazy during the cutting.