April 30, 2012

Preparing for Me-Made-May'12

As I signed up for Me-Made-May'12, I thought it would be a good idea to tidy up my wardrobe, which was in a terrible mess. I was sure it may be too difficult to overlook my self-made garments to chose.

Oh! What a terrible mess!
I took me almost the whole morning, but I like it much better now.

Looks a lot better!
There is a bunch of garments that have to go (self-made ones included). Either they became too small (too much chocolate, ahem), or they don't reflect my personal style anymore, and two or three of them were even never worn. What on earth was I thinking when I bought them??

They make space for new self-made garments!
In the back of the wardrobe I found something nice: a pair of dark blue gabardine trousers, one of the very first garments I ever made about six years ago! I wore them a lot at that time, but now they are a bit tight around the hips, and too short. I keep them for sentimental reasons, though.

One of my very first garments!
I was frightened when I put all my self-made, season appropriate tops together: there are only seven pieces, and one of them was never worn since I made it in 2005! I can see now that may will be a very hard month... But I also think that this is one of the goals of taking part in this challenge, to see what I need more of in my closet...

April 29, 2012

Tailoring goes on

The most exciting part of the coat (at least for me): that what is called "the turning of the cloth" in my instruction book. Doesn't that sound great, like the title of an opera or Shakespeare play?

In practice it was less theatrical. First I stitched the undercollar to the coat. 

Then I stitched the upper collar to the facing, and pinned the whole part to the neckline seam of the coat. 

Then I put the coat on my dressform and smoothed the collars out. As both collars are "folded" at the roll line, the upper collar does not meet the edge of the undercollar. I marked the line where the upper collar ends with pins. 

And then finally I stitched the upper collar-facing part to the undercollar-garment part, right sides facing. I have to admit I took a few shortcuts here. The result is - not at all a perfect collar, but the best collar I've ever sewn, and I am really happy with it! Doesn't it look nice?

What you can't see on the photo: some hairs of the hair canvas of the undercollar do prick through the fabric. I cut them short but still they tend to peek out... luckily, there is enough fabric between my neck and the collar so it will not bother me a lot. 

I also set in the sleeves, and I added sleeve heads! I like how sleeve caps are decently supported by sleeveheads. I had to cut them smaller after putting them in, tough, as my shoulders were looking too square first (same reason why I don't like shoulder pads). 

I also hemmed the coat already, so now it is ready to get its lining, to hide everything that is inside the coat now! I can't wait the coat to be finished (anyway, there will be no occasion to wear it in the next time, as the temperature here jumped up to around 30°C! This happens to me everytime I make a jacket or coat, it's a bit annoying). 

April 22, 2012

First try in tailoring a spring coat

I've had enough now from my old self-made spring coat, so I thought that I really need a new one, self-made, of course.
I chose a pattern from Burdastyle magazine 1/2011 that I already liked when the issue came out. It is the coat on the title, which comes in petite sizes:

I made some alterations, though. I thought that three-quarter sleeves might be a bit impractical, so made long sleeves instead. Then there is some gathering under the front and back yoke, which I turned into pleats (after several days of thinking if pleats or gathering would be better; I still am not sure if I took the right decision), and also I shortened the coat at the hem.
This time, I had to make several muslins to get the fit right. But I got a lovely, but pricey structured pink wool fabric at my favorite fabric store in Zurich and did not want to mess that!

This is what I have so far:

Still not too sure about the pleats! 

I decided to try my luck at tailoring techniques and to make the coat following the instructions for custom tailoring in this book. So I added a hair canvas interfacing to the front: 

I also added lined patch pockets to the front, which I love because they look so nice, but unfortunately they are too small to put anything bigger than a credit card in it... But luckily there are also big enough in-seam pockets!

The original Burda pattern asks for snaps to close the coat, the buttons are only for decoration. I want to use my buttons, an tried bound buttonholes for the first time, I am quite satisfied as I think they didn't come out too bad!

And this is the undercollar, padstitched, shaped and steamed on my pressing ham! It went better than I expected and took less time than I thought it would, and at the moment I am so happy about it I can't stop looking at it!

The only thing I am really worrying about this coat is the hair canvas: it has really thick and stiff hair in it, I just hope that the hair will not prick through the outer fabric at the edges, making the garment uncomfortable to wear. Let's hope the best!

So today I am starting my own sewing blog...

I am surprised myself because usually I don't like writing very much, especially in English, and I comment very rarely on other blogs and it takes me forever to post my finished projects on burdastyle.com  (in fact I have a lot of finished projects which I never posted just because I am too lazy). But then I signed up for Me-Made-May '12, and browsing through the list of participants I thought "Oh, everybody has their owns blogs, and I don't", and started thinking wether I should try my luck with an own blog. Probably there will be less text and more photos... I will see how it goes.

I named the blog after my sewing room, which is usually quite messed up, so my family calls it my "cave". Luckily, in contrary to an untidy Neandertaler's cave, I have a lot of sunlight in my room! You can get an impression on the (unfortunately blurry) photo below: I love that I have my computer and my sewing machine side to side, so I can just switch easily from sewing to reading sewing blogs and vice versa!

Me at my computer, with my sewing machine and a lot of sewing and non-sewing related stuff on the table

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