Monday, 22 February 2016

Two Sewing Pledges

I'm making a Vintage Pledge 

If you put it on the internet it must be true? Right?

Well at least it might make me more accountable!

I am going to join in the 2016 Vintage Sewing Pledge. (Ok, now I must go through with it….right?)

What is the Vintage Pledge? The Vintage Pledge is hosted by two lovely blogs A Stitch Odyssey and Kestral Makes who made their initial pledges back in 2014. Many were inspired and this marks the third year of the pledge.

A pledge can be as specific or as flexible as you like, there is only one 'rule', that you must use vintage or reproduction patterns.

I have a few Stretch/Knit sewing patterns I picked up from an Antiques/Collectible shop in Strathalbyn last year. They are from the late 1970's, they range between 1977 and 1978.

My pledge is to make one top and one skirt…..

I going to attempt the square neck variation of the short sleeve raglan top and…..

one of the multi panelled A line skirts.

Maybe I will be able to find some 70's inspired material?

Why am I making a Vintage Pledge?

Just because it is old doesn't mean it is not as good or stylish. I predict I may learn a lot from following a vintage sewing pattern.

I'm making the Seamless Pledge too!

In addition to joining into the Vintage Pledge, I am making a Seamless Pledge to create an additional challenge for myself.

I will only sew, refashion or buy pre-loved clothes for myself this year.

The rules I am setting myself (which compliment the Seamless Pledge) are:

  1. I can buy new shoes, jewellery, underwear and accessories etc (however refer to rule 5)
  2. Clothes can be new if purchased from a Charity shop
  3. The challenge only applies to me, but where possible I will do this for my family as well.
  4. If possible I will up cycle/refashion vintage or secondhand clothes to make new or updated items.
  5. I will support local handmade designers and artists wherever possible!

Why make this pledge?

  • I really find sewing, making and wearing clothing I know I created extremely fulfilling.
  • I get frustrated by how easy it is to buy and discard things in today's society.
  • By buying pre-loved clothing I am helping to recycle, up cycle and supporting a charity as a bonus.
  • I love the idea of supporting local artists and my local economy. Not to mention the unique and special handmade items available!
  • To inspire others to maybe start sewing, refashion old favourites or check out their local charity shop or artisan craft market/store.
I had already decided to make this pledge when I discovered a similar pledge on the Seamless blog. Elena made her original pledge in 2011 and people are still signing up!
Elena says:  
Seamless is a challenge. Who needs new clothes when you can stitch and thrift to your heart’s content? 
Elena I agree!

I hope I have you thinking about it too :)

Thanks for reading,

Monday, 8 February 2016

Two Dresses: Wren & Staple

Hi all,

I have been keeping busy preparing and planning a new wardrobe for when I return to work next week (eeeek). I have been planning my wardrobe around what I think suits me, pieces that will work together and utilising my existing wardrobe.

I work in an office environment in a 5 star "green" building. This means we all suffer hot and cold spots around the building and in meeting rooms. So my plans include a few dresses, some blouses and a "smartish" cardigan.

I have also been reviewing my accessories and indulging in some locally and handmade goodies.

Dress #1

The first back to work dress is a navy Wren Dress. This is my second Wren dress, although my first was sleeveless. I *wish* it looked as good as it goes on the model below, but I am pretty happy with it. The Wren is definitely going to be my go to dress pattern when working with knits.

Colette Patterns: Wren

My Navy attempt :)

I love the fabric I used this time which I bought from an ebay seller. It is a soft ITY Polyester Spandex Jersey. The only trouble I had with it was telling the right from the wrong side. It draped beautifully with this dress and I would definitely use it again. In fact I'd love to try make a skirt using the Wren pattern but adding a waist band.

I did have a slight hiccup with this dress when I was attaching the bodice to the skirt. When the overlocker cut through the gathering elastic I lost the gathers and my seam misaligned. Fortunately I realised immediately (which reduced the unpicking - sigh) and was able to fix it. I had only just started stitching and I must have chosen a spot where the elastic was very taunt. I didn't have this problem when I made my first Wren. Attaching the bodice to the waistband is still something I am trying to perfect and I might need to do a little more research and glean some tips before I make my next Wren.

Luckily (after sleeping on it) I was able to get back not track by adding a patch of elastic into the gathering line and start again.

I am planning on making a black long sleeve Wren for Autumn too. I love the Wren dress :)

Dress #2

The second dress was my first woven dress! The April Rhodes Staple Dress.

This is the gorgeous image used for the pattern paper packet.

My (first, of many) Staple Dress's

 I really enjoyed making this dress, the instructions are really clear and they made, an otherwise daunting, french seam enjoyable to make.

 I bought the paper version of the pattern from Stitch56 on sale. One of the benefits of being a new to sewing is all patterns are new and The Staple dress has been around for a little while now. There is heaps of inspiration out there for the Staple Dress from other seamstresses too.

When I bought the pattern I intended to make the classic straight hem version, but I opted to make the drop hem style and I am NOT regretting that decision!

It looks great with my new Days of August necklace 

The trickiest part for me was the binding on the armholes, as it was a bit fiddly. But I found the neck binding and even the hemming (with the curve of the drop hem) quite straight forward. The neck did turn out quite large on me, so I may need to make some adjustments next time.

With the shirring at the waist I opted for clear elastic, as I have a Brother Sewing Machine with a drop bobbin "thingie" and I had read that shirring with elastic thread is not an option (although I did find a video where you can make an adjustment to the bobbin). I chose the option of only shirring (or gathering) the waist once, but I may try out more in the next dress.

Although I love working with knit fabrics and making knit dresses, there are so many gorgeous woven fabrics around that I think I shall have to keep making more ;)

Thanks for reading!