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Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Lull before the Sewing Storm.

I don't know about you, but I like to start sewing for the coming season well ahead.  If I start to sew at the beginning of the season, I find the season is over before I have an outfit complete.  It's okay if I am making simple little separates to add during a season, but not for planned outfits of the SWAP or 6PAC sort.  For that you need to plan and allow time to complete the sets.

Winter (I live in Australia) officially starts tomorrow, so it is a bit late to start a winter wardrobe plan.  And in any case, at the moment there is little sign we are actually going to get much of a winter where I live.  So it is too late to start a plan for winter now.

Instead, I am thinking about a Spring plan - with perhaps the first outfit being able to be worn on warmer days in winter.

I am thinking about a pants suit.  .  I am thinking about using this pattern, Burda 6985.

Now, the pattern says that it is an advanced sewers pattern.  I'm not going to let that put me off, although I still struggle with trouser fit, and it is years since I have made a jacket.

This is the line drawing:

I think I will make the shorter jacket, although I really like the longer jacket as well.  Sometimes I have trouble making up my mind!  Overall, I think the long jacket looks a bit boyish, and that is the look I am trying to move away from.  It might make a nice winter coat jacket instead.  What do you think?

I think I am starting to understand how pants work on me now, so I am much more confident about making the pants.  The slim cut should also suit me.

Do you think this little pantsuit would suit me?  And what jacket length do you think would be best - the short as well?  I am petite, so usually petites need shorter jackets.

I plan to use some fabric from my stash.  I really do need to use the stash so I can buy more in colours that are better suited to my colouring :)

This is what I am thinking about using:


It is a poly viscose mix, black and off white, with slight flecks.  I thought it was a little less heavy than black for a spring pantsuit - still formal, but less so.  Although black is not in my colour palette, this flecked tweedy look is slightly less black, and would look lovely with an off white top or blouse - which would suit me, as winter white is my white.  Plus I could mix and match this fabric if made into a suit, with my endless array of black everything. Including shoes.  I am not going to be able to change everything overnight - and it would be far too expensive and exhausting to do so!  I am not a lover of shopping, except fabric and pattern shopping, which is not really shopping at all, in my book - what about you?

Of course, I will have to make a tedious muslin for this suit, and I am also going to have lots to do with the end of financial year creeping up, and an intensive trip away for a couple of weeks in July.  So I need simple things for now, just to keep the mojo around :)

I have started a little skirt, my usual elastic waist skirt - using up a piece of fabric from the stash.

The picture  makes the fabric look dark, in real life it's a sort of Armani pewter/grey shade.  Right in my colour palette, so I thought this would be a good "first" in my new wardrobe.

I also am toying with the idea of making up a piece of faux snakeskin.  I did have plans to make up a piece of black faux snakeskin:



When I held it up, I convinced myself it didn't look too bad.  When I cut it out, it looked awful - sort of cheap rock chick, and that is not the look I want.  I have put the pieces aside to make a bag out of one day :).

So, I might make this piece up instead - it's a much better quality than the black faux (which was cheap). This one was twice the price:


And although it is brown, it is a cool brown, so I could get away with it.  I've never worn anything like this, and I think it would be fun to have something made out of this.  But I may change my mind, and make it into a bag as well!

And I have a cardigan to mend.  A darn nuisance moth hole.  Not sure how I will tackle this so it looks good, but I'm thinking of a little lace overlay. 

So those are the plans, and with plans the lull will soon be over...

Sarah Liz




Friday, May 30, 2014

My Bits and Pieces Skirt


 I have been very impressed with the way some of you use up your scraps - and so was inspired to make my own skirt out of leftover bits of fabric.

The fabric is stretch cotton sateen, and I had two pieces, from different dye-lots.   I decided to seam the skirt at about yoke level, using one piece of fabric for the front and back yoke, and the other piece of fabric for the body of the skirt.  I covered the join with a wide ric rac braid - this will trick the eye into not seeing the different dye-lots when it is worn.  It also hides the seam.  As you can see, the different dye lots would otherwise be quite obvious:



I even managed to match the ric rac perfectly at the seams (and I did trim the thread away later):


The pattern I used was my normal elastic waist skirt pattern that I use for stretch cotton sateen skirts - I just don't find it is worth expending much effort on this fabric.  It's a useful fabric for casual skirts and pants, but not for dressier skirts and pants. The pattern, before I forget, is Kwik Sew 3765:

Kwik Sew 3765



I found it very difficult to get a good picture of this skirt - the light in Newcastle is quite dim - I remember hiring a photographer to take a picture of me in the middle of the morning in summer, and he had his light meter with him - and there was only just enough light then.  My garden also has lots of trees and foliage, so then the sun also has to dodge that!  And then the background is sometimes not inspiring - but, oh well, a garage door is a garage door, and we'll leave it at that!


As you can see, this is a fun skirt with the ric rac braid for wearing around the house and for popping out to the post office and local shops. 

And the back view - I added a button at the top of the back vent split - it goes with the playfulness of the ric rac braid and also serves a very practical function - stopping the seam from splitting if I take an exuberant step.

That's it for now, have a lovely weekend everyone, and wishing you some good sewing time :)

Sarah Liz

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Me Made May 14 Summary and A Trouser Muslin...

I had a Me Made Weekend last weekend.  DH and I went away - well, DH took me to Sydney, where I met a friend.  I'll tell you about that another time.  But today I want to show you why posting me made photos is not always visually stimulating. That's because I tend to wear basics, very much if you have a black jacket or cardigan and black pants, then you are always well dressed sort of style logic.  It works, especially when you go away - you can wear this sort of thing day or night.

So, on Day 1 of the weekend I wore:


 T-shirt is Kwik Sew 3766 - I have made a number of t-shirts from this pattern:

Kwik Sew 3766 

The trousers are McCalls 5239, a classic pants style by Palmer Pletsch:

 McCall's 5239
 
I made the version on the left hand side.  The trousers have darts front and rear, mock fly front zipper, and angled pockets.  It is sized for wovens.  I made these trousers out of stretch cotton sateen and had to take them in quite a bit.   They are very firm when I put them on - I can hardly do them up, but as is the way with stretch fabrics, by the end of the day they were loose and sliding down a bit.  They are though, very comfortable to wear, and for my first attempt at a stretch woven trouser, I was quite pleased with them.

I also wore the same trousers on Day 2 of the weekend, again with another t-shirt made from K


The trousers are looking quite worn by now - stretch always seems to get baggy, and there are a few wrinkles. But as I was going to sit in the car for a few hours on the drive home, this didn't really bother me - they were going to look far worse at the end of it.

So, my two black and white t-shirts came in handy for a weekend away - sometimes I like to eliminate choices and just make sure everything goes together - that way you can travel light.

I think that is it for Me Made May this year - next year I shall try to participate a little more - it takes time to have a comprehensive Me Made Wardrobe :)

*****
Back home and there is work to do - isn't that always the case when you steal a couple of days away !  So I have not done much sewing.  I did make my trouser muslin up though.  I am sorry, the pictures are very "at home, not to be seen, busy doing housework and sewing".  I'm sure you have sewing moments like that as well :).  I'm also overdue for a haircut, so my hair is quite unruly at the moment!

The pattern I am trialling is Burda 6982.



 I haven't made a Burda pants pattern up before, so of course I start with a muslin.  I was wanting these trousers to be a formal pair, and had images of a nice looking classic pant.  Well, I found that the pants were not quite going to be what I wanted - which is one of the reasons  you make a muslin.

I cut size 8 hips and legs and size 12 waist.  I took three inches out of the leg length and they are still very long and not hanging properly.  And I know this is an old sheet, which is not the smartest look in the world. but I am finding that the trousers are just a little less tailored than I wanted.  I also need to take in the sides a bit and add a bit at the waist. And the pockets are quite sloppy:

I could probably fix this by stabilising the pocket edges and adding a little more tension to them when anchoring them. 

The back looks quite good:

Well, if you overlook the fact that they look remarkably like old sheets.  Don't forget they are not hemmed - if they were, I think they would hang quite nicely.

I did find the seat a little uncomfortable. Most alterations tell you to lower crotches, scoop out crotches for flat bottoms and so on.  I have always assumed I have a fallen  flat bottom, given my age,  but I have changed my mind.  I don't carry much weight, so I haven't got a bottom that has fallen much at all. It's small, and still pokes out a bit, but it isn't fleshy around the bottom area.  So I undid the back seam and let it out  re pinned it until it was comfortable.  Then I transferred all alterations to the pattern, and this is what I discovered:


Now, I have never seen anyone mention doing this - not until last night, when I looked through a book on tailoring.  I assumed it was about jackets, but there was a section on tailoring trousers as well.  And what did I find - an alteration for when the trousers feel tight at the rear.  Just like the one I worked out!

I think I have finally solved some of my problems with fitting trousers :).

I also marked the shape of my sides - I really am quite a straight figure type:


Now that I have worked all this out, I am going to put the pattern away for now - they are not the trousers I envisaged.  I think they would look lovely in a velveteen - the softly tailored look would work with velveteen. And be a great day or evening trouser.  I do have some in my stash, but really, I don't want to make them this year.  I will revisit this pattern sometime in the future.  They are not right for the job I had in mind.

That's it for now, off to look at what you  have been up to now :)

Sarah Liz



Thursday, May 22, 2014

My Personal Style Consultation


Personal style is an evolving thing, but I do think underneath our various  layers of lifestyle and role playing, we have an underlying style.

There will be quite a bit about me in this blog, because you can't talk about a person's style without talking about the person, or thinking about what and who they are - at the current stage of life.   So this post is a bit long winded and wordy.  Skim through or come back another day if you like, when I have a sewing post and some pictures up:)

I have never really dressed in a way that says "this is me".  I've dressed for all the things life has called me to do - uniforms for work, student garb for study, cheap blacks for theatre, old clothes for renovations and wearing at home while paying off my mortgage.  Clothes were well down my list of priorities - I was too busy becoming educated and financially a little secure (if there is any such thing). I was always Practical Pollyanna in my approach to the finer things of life!!

I have always dressed appropriately when called upon and do have the basic uniform every well dressed woman should have.

And I now have a wardrobe full of casual clothes from my let's get re-acquainted with sewing efforts of the last 16 months or so.  - these were missing from my wardrobe.


I also have a problem with my new role.  The trigger for me booking this consult was that the head of the new little hospital where we have a lease on one of the consulting suites,  came in one day to sort out a problem with the door  key.  He saw me  doing accounts.  Oh, he said, you do the accounts.  Only a passing look, but he  looked a little relieved, he now had me pegged as "office girl". He knows what I do and who I am!!!

RED RAG TO A BULL!!

I am not the office girl, I am helping and supporting my husband who is still struggling with health issues and working in  a very demanding profession.  (IN THIS CONTEXT I HELP HIM WITH ACCOUNTS AND PATIENT BILLS. AND MANY OTHER THINGS.   I DON'T "DO THE ACCOUNTS". )

Compare this to what DH's colleague said when he met me:

"You must be.....  I have heard all about you...(bits and pieces of small talk)....you are the backbone, I think". ( and he has known DH for years, and also knows the demands of the profession).

And this, from our Accountant's system's manager and bookkeeping wizard:

"People will see you just as the office help, you are much more than that".

And he also said this last year after things were under control:

" You have been such a pleasure to work with. A full professional, your experience and education shows.  You just came in with no knowledge of this system and sorted things out".  (yes, well, I did keep my feelings to myself and tried to behave well!!!).

*****

Recently, I was reading through a newsletter from Clare Maxfield.  (I subscribe to her newsletters).  She was offering, I think from memory, 8 free consultations by phone.

I thought about this, and thought that this is not really the sort of thing I do, put my hand up for something free. But I thought I have given a lot of myself in life, so maybe it is okay.

I already know what colours suit me (I'm a summer in the old system - there are many variations that have developed over the years since I trained, most of which I have kept up with - but they all work the same themes.  And I am a classic summer in any case).

I also know my body lines - I'm a straight body shape.  

Clare rang and we had a chat.  She wanted to know what my main concern was - so I told her my troubles with other peoples perceptions, and what I also had done in life.  She got the fact that people saw me as "working for my husband" instead of me choosing to help and support my husband in his work.  She said that is less than ideal for me, and we have to change some messages via appearance

We did a Discovery Session and worked out that I was a giver, but I was also very accomplished in my own right, and that I really am starting to say I want this to be seen  (Yes!!!  I was thrilled with the comment about how professional I was, and how good I was to work with!!!)
(Just an aside - my DH is an Uber Giver par excellence - we are both tarred with the same brush. We do not exude confident arrogance!!)

We discussed that I am actually accomplished in my own right and deep down  I want to be seen in this light.  We discussed various styles - and could rule out most of them straight away. 
 The Rebellious sort of style . (BIG NO).
 Creative style (NO).
The Dramatic, look at me style (NO - I might have a Drama degree, but I know what a stage is for, and what reality is!!), 
Classic style (NO, not really, have worn it to work and for most of my life, because it is safe and works).
Romantic - she suspected I had a slight bit of that (Yes).
Natural - she suspected I had a slight bit of that (Yes).
And the Elegant Style.
Guess what I felt was right??  Yes, the Elegant Style.  It does feel like me, but I have hidden it under the roles I have played to get there top the place where maybe I can start being me a little bit more, and less me playing whatever role is allocated to me.

With this style, there is a layer of refinement.  So tailored clothes, and tailored blouses, not shirts as such.
I have three key words to consider when I now shop clothes:  They are
ELEGANT
LADYLIKE
QUIETLY POWERFUL 

We chose quietly powerful because in the town I currently live in, many people have quite interesting boundary problems, and I have found that if you are perceived as a bit soft or nice (which I am) you get walked over.  And I do have a quiet personal power - otherwise I would not have supported my husband through the tough patch.
 

We also discussed the use of colours to send messages.  To look more powerful, I must consider colours like red, teal, berrys , dark pink, all the gem colours.  So long as they are in my colour palette.
*****
 We both agreed this would take time to achieve. I agree!   Strangely, the next day when I was dressing for work, I had to resort to my work clothes, which are of course not this style.  Yes, I looked neat and work like, but I knew it wasn't me.  It never had been. These clothes were literally purchased just for work, not to reflect me.

The same applies to most other clothes in my wardrobe.  They are all made or purchased with a utiltarian goal - to do the job for which they were intended . Not to do the job for which they were intended and reflect me as well!

There is a difference.

It is this difference I have to work on.

It is going to take time, but now all my sewing projects must reflect my personal style, and not just be clothes made for a job or just because that is what the pattern says.  

*****

IN A NUTSHELL:

 To think Chic, and Elegant - Refined, Tailored, Blouses not Shirts.

Always choose clothes that are  Elegant, Ladylike and Quietly Powerful.

 As I have a "Natural" side to my personality, I must also be comfortable.

Anything "Romantic" (laces, florals) in social situations only.
romance - lace, soft floral, social situations only

My Colours: 

Basics - taupe, cream, red (rose, watermelon) navy.  For trousers, skirts  and jackets

Jewel colours convey sophistication and strength (the quietly powerful component)  - burgundy, wines, teal -  the gem colours.  Grey and camel can also be used (only I can't wear camel because I am a cool toned person).

*****
As far as the time it will take to achieve these clothing objectives, and given that Practical Pollyanna still has quite a say as my alter ego, I think I will steer a middle course for now.

The quietly powerful will be quite difficult for me to do - DH and I are both very unassuming people, and have both had to learn to stand up for ourselves!  But I think I need to approach life with that sort of clothing as you do feel more confident.  I need that sort of help from my clothes!  Especially as I am also so petite and quite "cute"  and tend to be treated that way as well.

I still have lots on my plate to do - life will have plenty of challenges over the next few years (an elderly mother, husband close to retirement, house style moving quickly towards shabby grandeur from once upon a time.  And I want to do one or two things in life that I want to do before it gets too late!

And sewing better clothes is certainly one of the things in life I want to do.

I think I will probably evolve a Eurochic form of dressing - still elegant, refined and quietly powerful, but also practical for the life I lead.  And for the shoes I have to wear ( I have problem feet, and can't wear courts or high heels except if I stand still in one spot).  Because I still have to think about my lifestyle and the place where we live- which is a regional centre in Australia, so it is not the most stylish place in the world!

And already I am thinking differently. I shall finish anything I have already cut out, review the trouser muslin as to whether this is the right pattern or timing for now, and then start again:)

That will be quite a challenge.  I really won't know where to start :) .  Plenty of ideas, but putting all this together, as well as life challenges will be quite tricky.

One small step at a time, I think!






Monday, May 19, 2014

Gucci Girl I'm not part 1 - A New Skirt : Which is also Garment 4, Week 4, Me Made May 14


Hello everyone,

Finally I manage to take photos of the skirt I finished a week or so ago.  I also wore it today, so I am going to use this as my Me Made May 14 Garment of the Week.

I made this skirt  out of a stretch cotton sateen, the usual from Spotlight.  I do find this fabric has limitations - it does crumple a bit when being worn (you can see that above), and the wrinkles set quite quickly when you sit down across the front and the back.   I originally wanted this as a smart skirt (while I was having my Gucci Girl fantasy moment), but I have settled for casual due to the creep and wrinkle factor in this skirt.  And as a casual skirt, it will be fine.

I used my standard pattern for stretch cotton sateen skirts as I have decided it is not worth the effort to make a tailored skirt in this fabric due to it's wrinkle propensity.  The pattern is   Kwik Sew 3765.


 The length I make is between the short skirt and the mid length skirt shown on the right.

This is what it looks like at the top.  Today's little skirt is exactly the same, but I always wear a top over my mid section, not over a camisole top - that was only worn to show you the skirt.  My mid section is thick, so I skim over it with a top.


And what do I mean by my Gucci Girl fantasy moment?  I found this picture  in my Vogue Collections Magazine, Paris, Fall- Winter 2014.


And, as I had a skirt length piece of fabric,  I sort of thought a nice below the knee pencil skirt would maybe capture some of the essence of this, even though I am Sarah Liz and not a tall exotic, very made up model.

This fantasy was doomed from the start. 

The first thing that happened was that I could not get overlocking thread tone, and I like toning overlocking inside my garments.  So I used three that were a little bright and purchased an embroidery thread that toned, as Spotlight did not have a regular Gutermann sewing thread that toned in stock - they usually do.  It was polyester, I was not silly enough to use rayon, which I know is not strong.


The purple is the thread that will show.  It toned nicely.

I went ahead and made up the skirt.

Then, I noticed that I could snag this overlocking thread easily. I'm not rough, but sometimes things do catch. Then I noticed that it had broken in a few spots.  I thought I would sleep on the matter, and that in the morning, would probably come to terms with it.


(If I pull a serged thread, normally I can wriggle it back into place.  Not this thread, it breaks - so polyester embroidery thread must be weaker than the normal sewing thread).


No such luck.  Decided the next morning that I would have to redo the serging.  Yes, redo.  I had finished all the edges, so this was no small unpick.

I went to Spotlight to get an ordinary thread in a colour that would match maybe a little bit, because I did not have enough (and never did) for the main sewing thread.  Lo, I found Spotlight had now got the colour I wanted in the regular Gutermann sewing  thread.

The next day I went to work.  That evening, after dinner, I had a period of mindfulness, carefully unpicking the serging.  Except I do not care for mindfulness.  It's not quite my thing.



Moments of mindful unpicking

More moments of mindfulness via unpicking.

 So at the end I had a nice bowl of moments of blissful mindfulness:


And a skirt to reserge.

Which I did. 

Still not quite letting go of my Gucci Girl Fantasy I finished the skirt with little touches:


A little bit of ribbon at the back so I can easily tell which is front and back - not being much of a mindful in the moment dresser - I'm always in a bit of a dressing rush.

I also put a hook and eye at the bottom of the back split:

This stops the skirt from splitting along the seam and doing damage if you take too big a step.

Then I did the hem by hand.  Normally I finish the hems of these little skirts with two rows of top stitching, but, no, true to my Gucci fantasy, this had to be a hand hem:

Nice, neat and even.

Then I wore the skirt and washed it.  The hem then did something quite odd.  Obviously, stretch sateen does not like hand hems.  It developed a sort of roll.  You can see it is wanting to start doing that in the photo above.

Well, that did it.  The skirt and the fantasy went in the bin.  Literally.  (I really don't do mindfulness!!). I did wrap the skirt up in it's own plastic bag, so the next day, after yet more sleeping on the matter of this skirt, I retrieved it.  This is after all, also supposed to be my Garment of the Month.

I undid the hem and redid it my usual way.  Much more casual, much more Sarah Liz:


And that's the story of Gucci skirt, Garment of the Month and today's me made garment :)

Sarah Liz.





Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sunday Chat Time again..


Thank you everyone for your recent well wishes - flares come and go with me every so often, and this one is now going - which suits me :)

So I have been organising my sewing projects today.  I have cut out a stretch cotton sateen skirt in a grey colour - I have decided I don't really like this stretch cotton sateen as it wrinkles so easily (more than ordinary cotton or linen- or maybe that's just the cotton sateen available at Spotlight)  I just want to get it out of the stash and used! 

While I am working on the skirt, I will also start work on a trouser muslin.  The pattern I am going to trial is Burda 6982:



 This is a classic straight leg pant, with a waistband that seems to sit very close to the waist.  I haven't had much to do with Burda patterns, so I thought I would try this pants pattern.  I understand the cut is different to that of the big 4.  Certainly the measurements indicate so with a slightly larger waist to hip ratio. Which is what I need.  So I shall soon see whether these work better for me than some of the other patterns I trialled during last years tedious trouser muslin learning curve :).

By the way, this trouser pattern has not been reviewed on PR - so no helpful hints about the good and bad points of this pattern.  No pictures either - I find pictures of garments made by real sewers very informative about how the pattern actually looks when made up. 

And Anne, if you are reading, Accordion left a reply for you on yesterday's comments about putting elastic in the back of a trouser waistband.  This is what she said:

 Accordion3: May 18, 2014 at 5:30 AM

I use the waistband to hold the elastic, anchoring the elastic to the waistband proper. The size of the elastic bit varies according to the waistband. I've used 2.5 cm elastic mostly, but have used 1.5cm elastic for a narrow waistband. 2cm elastic is good for retro-fitting jeans.
The length of the elastic bit also varies, but equates roughly to a third of my back waist length. I find placing the elastic on the middle back means I don't have to worry about side curves and it just hold better.

Hope that helps.


Thanks Accordion!

So that is this week's sewing organised (the next few weeks, really).  I'll also post the two skirts I have made that are sitting waiting patiently to be blogged about.  And I need to do another me made day for me made May.  And tell you about my personal style consultation - I had a feeling I was dressing "not me" so I was quite surprised to find out that was so!! 

Wishing you all the best for your week to come - and your sewing week to come:)

Sarah Liz :)





Saturday, May 17, 2014

Garment 3,Week 3, Me Made May 14


Well, I am starting to feel a little better, and am back to blogging again, and next week sewing :).   Today I have managed to take my garment for this week for Me Made May 14.  Actually, I am wearing two me made garments today. This is a very casual outfit, which I don't think about too much when I get dressed-  it is just quickly put on so I can get the supermarket shopping done, fill the car with fuel and any other annoying and practical things that need doing - and that need clothes that you don't worry about and that you can move in.  Then home to more pleasurable things - like the washing, the ironing, and if I am lucky, some sewing.  You know how it is :)

I am not in love with either of these garments - they were both learning curve garments, but I still tend to wear these clothes as well - they all cost money to make, and they all took time.   I find these sorts of clothes very handy though for those "I don't really care what I am wearing" times - and 0800 on Saturday morning, to go to a supermarket I don't like (it's in a low socio economic area and the above outfit actually looks really smart!!), this works for me.  And I save my better me mades for better occasions.  Which seems only logical to me :)

And, both of these garments have very useful pockets.

The trousers were made from a Palmer Pletsch pattern that is supposed to teach you how to fit pants.  I guess as a beginners guide it is okay, but I think I need more advanced alterations methods.  This is the pattern.  I think it is now out of print.

 McCall's 5239


Unfortunately, the alterations are based on taking out a bit at the back if you have a flat bottom, and pulling them up at the waist.  This would probably work for people that didn't have reed thin legs like me, but as you can see, this pattern is seriously baggy.  Have you noticed a lot of patterns say semi-fitted, and not tailored??  And I have decided I like the tailored look, not the baggy homespun Pollyanna Practical look that I have resorted to, because, well, that's the way things look on me, including RTW.

I made them in a stretch cotton twill - I also was new to stretch trousers, so didn't know what sort of ease the fabric needed.

All in all, these trousers look fairly dated and frumpy.  But they work for the supermarket!!

The jacket is Simplicity 4032.  I think this is still in print, although close to the back of the jacket section now.

Simplicity 4032

The pattern did not need any alterations - a first for me.  Maybe I should try more Simplicity patterns.  I made the jacket in polar fleece.  I had not made anything in polar fleece before, and thought it would be a hardy but warm fabric for jobs such as supermarket shopping.  The sort of jacket you can toss into the back of the car when you get warm, without worrying too much.

The jacket certainly does the job it was designed for, but I have discovered that I don't really like polar fleece.  It's just too casual looking.  One day I will remake this jacket in a different fabric.

So, overall, this outfit does not work for me in a style sense at all.  Too casual, and too unfitted.  But it works for the chores until I can replace the clothes.  On the list....

                                   *****
I did manage to make the pants (McCalls 5239)  fit very nicely.  I did a lot more altering and fitting than that outlined by Palmer Pletsch.   Unfortunately, I did such a good job, that they are now  just a little too fitted around the waist area.  My weight fluctuates, and my middle tends to go in and out, so sometimes they are far too tight and uncomfortable.  This morning the middle was in, so I decided to take a picture of the more fitted trousers to show you:


I think these look a lot better than the sloppy purple trousers. I also think this sleek and slightly more chic and elegant look suits me better.  I do think I am going to have to find a better backdrop than the old garage door though!!!

What do you think of the plain and simple look - I think that is very much more me!  Still practical, but so much more chic.

Mind you, both looks serve different purposes...

Good luck with your sewing...

Sarah Liz

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sunday Chat, your ingenious use of scraps and some more MMM14 shots...

Hello everyone - rather a long title to the blog today, but it's really not a title, more in the way of prelude of this blog post to come.

Firstly, I loved your recent comments about your use of scraps of fabric - everything from pet beds to stuffing for soft toys (from the leftovers of serged edges).  Amazing!!  You have got me thinking of ways to use my scraps more inventively.
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Secondly, I was right in not committing to me made garments each day of the week during MMM14- as luck would have it, I had a flare this week, and was a little stiff and sore.  I have managed to sew a bit everyday, but it has been hard work.  I took Friday off, as that was  my worst day, and I was  really not functioning!  I'm pleased to say the aches are settling, week 2 of the flare is on its way and I will get better again.  I'm used to the cycle now so try not to get too upset by it (I suffer one of the rheumatoid syndromes - not a joint one, thank goodness,  just mixed connective tissue inflammation).  I would not have enjoyed or been up to the  effort needed  this week for MM documentation everyday.  I did take a few random shots though, and was surprised by how often I wear me mades, even when I think I am not really wearing them.

Of course, the new PJ pants (McCalls 6173) are worn everyday:


These PJ pants are cut from a leggings pattern - just a very much larger size.


I also wore my new crepe pants (variation of Kwik Sew 2960) to work one day:

I varied these by making the waist a little larger and using elastic in a waistband instead of a zipper and waistband and fastener.  A quick and simple make.


 And my white me- made  t-shirt (Kwik Sew 3766) to the supermarket  yesterday:


Again, this is a quick and simple top to make -I was still very new to knits when I made this - and  this pattern is  a very good one for beginners:

I am finding that I like to wear my me mades - they feel good and fit better than RTW.  Hopefully I will be able to replace my wardrobe one day and have a total me made wardrobe.  I'm not even half way there yet - I've really only just started :)

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Well, that's it today.  I have actually completed a skirt but my energy is still low, so I will blog about that next week.  And I am going to make a skirt from two leftover bits of fabric next - your stories about how you use scraps has inspired me.  This will be quite a fun project - making two different dyelots of black work well together.  The secret ingredient:

 
Yes - I'm hoping to trick the eye into not noticing the colour variations.  This will be this weeks project - simple and relaxing, because really, you can't go wrong using scraps and a TNT - I hope!!
 
I hope you all have a great week, wherever you are,
 
Sarah Liz :)