Sunday, 18 January 2015

Re-re-cycled Skirt

Firstly, group apology if I normally comment on your blog. I am so behind on blog reading. I am still adjusting to working so much and am used to a lot more free time. I'm pleased to say the job is worth it and I already feel very much at home, but yes my online and real life social life have taken a bit of a dive.

Anyway. My first completed garment of the year is a skirt refashioned from a skirt I made from a thrifted dress. The first skirt I made was too short to be worn at the midi length I originally intended, unless it was pulled down low on my hips which wasn't comfortable (not sure how that happened - it was one of my beginners mistakes). It has never been worn but was a useful trial for the skirt I finally made here

I kept it because I like the warm fabric and the golds, creams and blues in the pattern. This is the 'new improved' skirt:

The material is not like a modern fabric. The closest thing I can compare it to is ponte. It is one of those indestructible non-iron blends, but this one has the advantage of being 8% wool and even that tiny percentage makes it lovely and warm. I always worry these old-fashioned fabrics end up sitting in landfill for decades so it is good to use it. I can't imagine anyone buying clothes made from this anymore, unless they need a costume or fancy dress.

The refashion was cutting off the waistband and 7 inches of hem, which provided fabric for making a facing for the waist. The front of the skirt looked a bit plain so I made some patch pockets from the dress sleeves which I had saved. I made the round shape for the pockets by drawing round a saucer.

The swirly patterns at the top of the pockets were the dress cuffs. I put a button on each as the existing cuff buttonholes were still there. There are three buttons on the placket at the back too for fastening instead of a zip, as the placket was originally at the front of the dress and was quite shallow. They are more decorative than useful anyway because of the stretch. I got them out of the button stash started by my Grandma and continued by me. I finished the hem with bias tape.

I am really happy with how this turned out. Sometimes projects work just how you imagined - this was one. I am already digging through my refashion pile again. The period after Christmas always seems to refocus my thoughts on reducing waste - it must be a reaction to all the celebrations!

* I will be keeping a tally of the cost of my sewing at the end of each project during 2015. Materials purchased prior to this year will be listed as £0.*

Total cost of this project: £0.

A good start.

Happy sewing 'til next time,

Philippa x

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Hello! New Year.

I hope you had a lovely Christmas! I started a new job as well as being knee deep in holiday preparations, so I haven't written here for a while. I've really missed sewing and blogging and hope to do more this year, but I've signed up for more training so time will tell...

Today I want to share my sewing resolutions with you. For me, resolutions that encourage a change in mindset rather than something too specific work best ("eat less cake" is never going to work - I will just think about cake continually, and therefore eat more). 

So this year I resolve to make the most of my existing resources. I am not promising stop buying new fabric or patterns completely, but I will check what I already have first. In the past I feel I have been impressed with new artwork/up to date photographs - I will look at line drawings to see if new patterns are similar to those I already have. Also I will consider whether I can revive my drafting skills to tweak patterns. Years ago I learnt how to draft patterns to body measurements at college and could make patterns for things like shirts and coats from scratch. Yes, I am living proof that if you don't use it, you loose it! Despite some elementary mistakes and some really disastrous garments made during the last few years, I am starting to feel more confident in my abilities again. Or maybe that's why I'm starting to feel more confident. Sewing needs to be done to learn. I just hope my new found confidence translates into decent things to wear. However, due to my endless desire to experiment I will continue to produce a fair amount of totally unsuitable and unwearable garments. Maybe I should also resolve to view mistakes as learning opportunities!

I have also taken part in Karen's Sew Sessment. It's specific, but covers a lot in a few minutes.

SEW SESSMENT! See How Your Sewing Lines up

Top Three Items That I Wear For Home:
Knit tops, denim skirt, jeans.
Top Three Items That I Wear For Work:
Knit tops, cardigans, skirts.
Top Three Sewing Talents (go on, show off!):
Hand sewing, pattern and stripe matching, seam finishes.
Top Three Sewing Weak Spots (ouch!):
Buttonholes, easing anything in to anything else (curves, sleeves), top stitching.
Top Three Sewing Goals:
Do 'proper' FBAs, sew trousers (not drawstring waist), and improve finish on everything.
Top Three People Who Enable Me:
Internet friends (thank you!), my family, my clients (yes one or two are interested in my sewing!).
Top Three People I Enable:
Other sewing bloggers.
Top Three Reasons I Can't Sew:
Lack of time, tiredness.
Top Three Reasons I Can Sew:
I have the resources, I can make things more cheaply than I can buy them if I source materials effectively, it gives my brain a rest from everything else!
I think this year just finding the time will be challenge enough.

I won't mind if I don't achieve any of my Top Three Sewing Goals from the assessment this year, but it will be fun to try.

Finally - it was lovely sharing creating and sewing with you last year. I'm really looking forward to what 2015 brings and I hope you are too.

Happy sewing, 'til next time,

Philippa x