2014-04-30

Notes to Self #1 of 2014

So, again, I started a new year hoping to sew more from my personal fabric stash and refashioning piles. Four months have gone since the first day of the year, and I've been trying to figure out how good/bad I have been doing on my personal challenges. 

If I don't miss anything (and I try not to, by writting down all I have been sewing) I have accomplished 51 new pieces up to the day. 25 of them were refashions, 22 of them were made using fabric from my stash (2 of them used both refashioning and new fabric), 5 were made with new fabric bought this year already, which means that this fabric didn't last long in the stash pile, which is gorgeous, of course. 

As for what I bought: 5,5 meters of fabric (total) which costed me 11,65€. And (and here's the salt in my wounds) I've got 31 "new" pieces at the charity shop (4 of them bought today actually), spending 27,45€. It makes a total of 39,10€ in four months, so not even 10€ per month

But I consider I saved a lot too. Because I made 51 new pieces, you see?! At a cost of less than 1€ each comparing with what I've spent, and it was more than 10 items per month (though, a great part of these were sewn in the last month alone). 

From my new (bought this year, I mean) thriftings, I was able to use 7 pieces as they were (no need for refashioning or anything, 5 for G., one for me and one for my mom). I was able to refashion 8 other pieces, so from the 31, I got 16 left to work with - added to the pile. Not too bad I guess, since I've also used pieces that were there coming from previous years too. 

There's only one question left to answer? Who have I been sewing for? Let's see, who got more... 

My daughter is in the top of my "sew for" list, I made her 20 items; 10 for myself; 8 for my baby boy; 4 for my niece L; 4 accessories (things that aren't clothes); 2 items for my niece M.; 1 for my nephew; 1 for a friend's daughter and, 1 for my mom.

2014-04-29

Pattern Testing

After the sewing storm that went through in this blog for the past few weeks, I was feeling sad I couldn't show you more. I haven't stopped sewing. I have some nice things to show you, but they are kinda secret yet. 


I was happy when a designer I tested for, told us we could start showing some of the tests we did for her. This is a pattern that will be out pretty soon, for now, I will leave you with a sneak peak of it, and soon, I will show you more, on model and the second one I did (also while testing). 

I have something else done with that polka dot fabric... but again... you'll have to wait to see it... And yes, I have been sewing projects that are neither black, white or red... I notice a tendency here, don't you?!

2014-04-25

Challenge Create |Adult Edition|


This is the last week. Today the votes are open and they will be running through the weekend. If you haven't yet and want to support your favourite's (me or any of the other ladies), don't forget to go HERE and vote. This is the last week to do it!

2014-04-24

Fashion Revolution Day: Handmade #insideout

Just like many other bloggers, today I took the pledge to wear one of my handmade items inside out. Today, is the first Fashion Revolution Day, which I have told you about a couple of weeks ago. The movement started in response to the collapse of the textile factory Rana Plaza in Dhaka, Bangladesh which happened one year ago today, and we all are trying to raise awareness of what's going on behind the factory clothes we buy. 


In our house, most of our clothes (mostly for me and my daughter, and now for the little boy in that belly) are hand-me-downs, thrifted or handmade. I haven't been buying new clothes for about two years, unless a few exceptions. I can sew! And that helps a lot, but if you can't, and have to buy your clothes, why don't you try to know a bit more about who made them and how they made them? What conditions do that people have to work?

Read more about it HERE

2014-04-22

Challenge Create: Adult Edition |week 4|

This is it, the fourth and last week of Challenge Create. It has been great but I have struggled this last week.
The theme was “Destash”, and well, that is exactly what I’ve been doing for the last couple of years, so this should have been an easy week. But I’ll be honest! It wasn’t! So many things went wrong. My pregnant body is getting bigger and bigger and all the sewing I’ve been doing lately, all the hours up late (not only because of Challenge Create but all of the other challenges I decided to step up to), it all has started to weight and I felt so tired (Braxton Hicks all the time too), so for a couple of days I didn’t do anything. I just couldn’t. Then on Wednesday I had visits for lunch, and some family came over for Easter and my sewing time was so limited. But I made it!


 I really thought I wouldn’t be able to have an outfit done for this week’s entry. I even considered giving up on the pieces I was making and start all over with something quite simple. But, even though I finished it so close to the deadline, even though I had just a little time to shoot the photos, |the weather went crazy and rained like crazy, we had to shoot inside again|, even though my thread was almost finished before I sewn every seam, even though I had to deal with a tantrum kid in one day and a sick one the next (same kid, yeah!) taking all my sewing time away, even though I went to bed at 1 a.m. I am glad I’ve gone with the first project.


Well, it wasn't really my first idea. I dreamed about making a matching outfit for the hubby and myself (and maybe the girl in our lives), but of course, at some point I realised that wouldn't be possible. So, before picking any patterns, I went looking at my fabric stash. Not long ago I've been organizing it, it made my life easier to have everything lined up. I picked this very light grey cotton. It's not in the stash for a long time, contrary to most of my stuff (because I've been trying to use what I have instead of buying any new ones). I bought it already in 2014, and I am sure if it wasn't for this challenge it would just sit there for a much longer time. 


I decided to make a pair of trousers with it. What?! Yeah! I just went a little crazy here. It was the only piece of clothing I said I wouldn't be making because I already had two maternity pants and didn't need a third pair. But this would allow me to use a lot of the fabric, and it fits a more classic look, and who knows when I'll need it? I know I don't have that much time to use it, but this is a very fresh fabric and I'll surely appreciate it when the weather finally warms up for good. I used a regular women's trousers pattern from Burda, it has two pleats on the front and two on the back and side pockets. It original had a high waist but of course I had to adjust that to maternity wear. I've cut it on the front and attached a knit band that goes all over my belly. To make this, I used an old shirt, and an elastic on the top of the band so it will fit until the end of the pregnancy. 


When I figured one of the pieces, I had to start to think of something else to go with it. Again, before going into the patterns, I first went looking into the fabric stash. I had this mustard piece of fabric that I had been saving (for years) to make something special. It was the best colour to go with the grey pants, so I picked it. Then I chose the pattern to the tunic, it was from a maternity clothes Brazilian magazine. I loved the pattern, but the picture of the tunic they had kept me septic about it until I finally started doing my own.


The tunic turned to be my favourite piece from this week, and one of the top ones from the four weeks. I just love the details. I tried to follow the pattern instructions, but they were so basic that I was quite confused when I got to the button placket. I just couldn't put it together and I had to work it out on my own. It has some decorative zebra printed ribbon on the chest. It closes in the front with three wood buttons, from my stash, just like the ribbon. Another feature of the tunic, is the pleats on the front. And I can wear it while nursing too! Extra points. 


So, even though it was finished on the last minute, the photoshoot was quick and conditioned by the weather, I am pleased with my last outfit for Challenge Create. And this makes a great outfit to leave the hospital in great style, don't you think? 

the back isn't stained! It was wet from my hair!

As in the 3 previous weeks, everyday from the week there will be a contestant showing their creations. On Friday, the votes begin, so don't forget to go there and click on your favourite. If it happens to be mine, thank you very much. Our scores from all the previous weeks will be combined and the one with the highest score will be the winner of the competition. Check them all over Skirt Fixation.

2014-04-21

Sneak Peak

Tomorrow I will be sharing my last look for the Challenge Create Competition. 
Phew!
Curious to know what I made? 
Here's a little peak at my belly and creation, but you'll have to come back tomorrow for the whole look. 



2014-04-19

Featured

I'm happy to share, another feature of one of my creations over at Threading My Way. 

Threading My Way_Featured

This time with the baby outfit I did for S. 

Click picture to take you to original post. 

2014-04-18

Challenge Create: Adult Edition |week 3|

What a week! What a theme!


When I first knew the themes, I was very excited with them all. Then I started to feel depressed about this third week. Vintage... a hint of it... so many possibilities, so many great things I could do... if I wasn't pregnant. No matter what time from the past I'd pick to get inspired by, there were always garments I was sure I couldn't turn into maternity wear. This would be the week I'd go back to the era of the corsets. Did I ever mention how much I love them? I am pretty sure I did. But, there's no way I can fit into a corset right now. I went for a 50's inspired look after all... Just a bit... 

I tried my best to fit the look with the make up and hair, ahahaha... I have a lot of hair, and it's pretty wild, I rarely can make anything out of it on my own, so I am pretty happy with how it turned out after all. I've always, always loved the pin up look, but never believed I'd look good on it, because I'm so skinny. Being pregnant though, I'm having just a few extra weight and that makes a huge difference. I felt so good with the entire look, and I guess is shows in the photos. I had to sit for this photo, it was a request from my daughter. 

My main (vintage) focus was the skirt. I didn’t want to make a very complicated one. I wanted something with some twirl, suitable during pregnancy and after. And I was sure I wanted to use the red plaid fabric I had in my stash for years. To get this look all I did, was to sew a fabric tube, hem it, shirr the top of it and attach to a rib knit band. Skirt done!


To complete my vintage look I needed something for the top. And at 26-27 weeks long, I started thinking not so much of only flowy clothes to wear during pregnancy, but also something, I could possibly wear after, suitable for nursing too. Yes, I believe nursing is important, and having clothes that allows an easier nursing period even better. Especially, when you’re not a huge fan of button up shirts, which is where I fit. I’ve had this idea in mind for quite a while and was sure I wanted to use it during the challenge. It’s not my own idea though, I’ve seen it a couple times online. SO, what was it? Making a top, with access to nursing, by adding two openings on each side.


I drafted the top pattern out of one of my store bought shirts. The original had some puckering on the front, a circle collar and was about my waist long. For my own, I wanted the collar to be slightly squared shaped so the openings would look better. I did the openings with this technique here, and used snaps to close it. And I made it much longer, as a tunic. I like it so much I've been wearing it for two days already. 


Although this was the most fearful challenge for me so far, we got the best photoshoot after all. All the photos had something we loved and it was hard to select which ones to use. I guess having my little miss literaly telling me which poses I should be making, made it a fun family event (daddy was taking the photos). 


Quite a simple outfit this time, that works just great for me and my figure at the moment. For this photoshoot I’ve used a belt, but I can also wear it without it, works well both ways. And I totally can wear the tunic in a less formal way, with a pair of leggings. You ca see the three ways I’ve been wearing them below.


After having enough photos of my own, we finally let her join in the fun (she played the photographer as daddy was taking these photos, but she was wanting to join me too), and we got all this sweet mom and daughter shoots. How great is that?! 


Now go and vote for your favourite look HERE!

2014-04-15

Tiny Little Clothes |PR&P9#4|

Last week of the ninth season over Project Run & Play and it means Signature Style everyone. Sewing along PR&P has helped me define what I'm all about when I sew for my kid(s!). I would always put a lot of thinking into this week's look, when sewing along with previous seasons, but this time, I was sure that whatever I did, was my signature, so I just did whatever I wanted/needed to do. 


Yes... I've realised I am pretty pratical and functional when it comes to dress my girl, and now the boy (on his way). I always try to fill gaps in the wardrobe, and sew from my stash or refashioning pile. That is absolutely part of me when it comes to sewing for them (or myself actually). And refashion I did again, of course. I did an outfit for the boy this time. It includes the pants I made during KCW and another onesie. I had planned two looks for this week, one for each kid, but I realised it was time to slow down a little. I started sewing her look too, but the top was left to do later, so today I'm only bringing in the boy look...


Both pieces are newborn sized. The pants (Small Fry Skinny Jeans Pattern) are 0-3M as I mentioned in the previous post, and the onesie is 0-1M size (self drafted). These are pretty tiny pieces, funny how quick we forget how small they are right after we deliver them. And how quick they'll grow out of these.


But I so wanted to make something special for my boy. He'll get a lot of onesies from his big sister (we have many neutrals), so I figured some mommy made with so much love pieces would make the difference. It's not like he'll care that much anyway, right? 


I used his sister's stained shirt for the left frontal panel of the onesie and for a sleeve. Then I used a tank top of my own for the other front panel, back and second sleeve. I used scraps from the black t-shirt I've turned into leggings for G. back in week 1, to make the bias that finishes off. On the back I've appliqued a star cut from the black scraps too. That was not decorative intention; half way through sewing the onesie I found two little holes in the fabric. That star was my way to cover them and save all the work I had had so far. I don't like the white panel like it is right now... I want to stencil something into it, but I'm still not quite sure what. Ideas and suggestions are welcomed! I still need to attach snaps to the onesie, just like the (long sleeved) first one... but I have to buy them first. 


The pants are so tiny, so cute it hurts. I have used the same fabric from my maternity shorts, scraps of blue from the overalls I made for G. back in February for the waistband and front pockets lining. I used a button from my stash but it's mainly decorative. To make it functional, I added a secret snap. It has been fun sewing for the boy for a change. I always thought my boy clothes would end too girly, but I am taking some time thinking what colours would be more appropriate for the boy, what kind of patterns would I like to use the most... just trying to figure things out in my mind and go ahead and try one after the other, bit by bit. 

So, here's my Project Run & Play, Season 9 recap...

Week 1 |Take me to the Zoo| Panda Inspired - 3 pieces (1 for the boy; 2 for the girl)


Week 2 |Spring Break| Paris Inspired - 2 pieces (for the girl)
Week 3 |Design Your Own Fabric| Potato Printing - 2 pieces (for the boy)


and of course, today's post...
Week 4 |Signature Style| 2 pieces (for the boy)

I pretty much had a black and white PR&P season... did you realise that before I even mention it? and I had plans to continuing through week 4, but changed my mind at the very last minute. The onesie has a bit of black and white flow too, but the stripes are actually of a greyish green. 

2014-04-12

KCW |days 3-4-5 & 6|

Kids Clothes Week ends tomorrow. I have only blogged daily for the first and second day of it. when day 3 came, I started to feel tired, and as much as I like what I am doing here, I was forced to let it go a little. Rest a bit more than what I was doing. For day 3, I didn't even grab a pin for the entire day. But I still wanted to make something each day, for the rest of the week. Not all I had planned at first, but keep doing the 1h thing at least... (the hour I didn't sew in day 3 had already been used before, since I did well over 1h for the previous day and the one before too). 

On day 4 - I was able to spend the day hours sewing for my Challenge Create project, and only after bedtime I was in a mood for KCW sewing. I did some fabric pieces cutting, and started piecing my latest Small Fry Skinny Jeans. On the photo I show you how it was when I stopped and went to bed. 

On day 5 - I was able to sew during the morning and a little in the afternoon. The pants were nearly finished, only the waistband was left to do. I did that after bedtime again, later, but didn't take a photo. All that was left for day 6 (today) was adding a button (and snaps inside). And sew belt loops down. 

On day 6 - I finished what needed to be finished. Better pictures will be taken soon. I've mentioned before, but it's never enough, I'm waiting at anytime now, that my camera dies, I know its end is close, and my pictures keep getting a weird look... sorry!

Now, this, as I mentioned above, are another pair of Smalll Fry Skinny Jeans, my fifth. I have been able to make a different size each time. This is a 0-3M sized one. You just can't believe how tiny it is until you have it in your hands. How is this mini me (this season's theme for KWC) related? Well, I have used the same fabric that I did for the maternity shorts I made for the first week of Challenge Create, so my baby will be matching me once he's born. I still have enough of that to make something for the big sister too... so who knows?!

2014-04-10

Challenge Create: Adult Edition |week 2|

If you haven't yet, go HERE and vote for your favourite refashion!|


This has to be one of my favourite themes from the challenge. After all, most of the things I make are refashioned on a daily basis, and I host a Refashion Series (now twice a month), so me, me, me all over it. 


 However, when I went looking in my pile, I couldn’t find anything I’d really turn into maternity clothes, the only appealing thing to me was this long orange dress, original from the 70’s that, if I am honest with you, loved just as it was. But it was outdated, and I believe I’d be called “crazy” if I went outside wearing it.
I picked it for my project. I knew exactly what I wanted to make out of it, and also that I needed something else to go with it. I had a very clear idea of what I wanted/needed so it turned out pretty easy for me.
I didn’t have anything in the stash that would go with the orange so I went thirft shopping in my usual charity shop, and found a child’s size dress for 0,50€ (amazing, right?!). I wasn’t sure if it’d fit me at all or not, but I brought it home with me.
The brown “things” in the before photo? Two pieces, leg leftovers from a toddler’s trousers. I used those for the handbag/clutch.


So… in order to get the new look out of these two pieces, I did more unpicking and hand sewing that anything else. I started by taking off the flower on the front, the sleeves and the neckline ruffles from the dress, and hemming it to my height. I had to do a lot of unpicking, and then sewing again, so the dress would look even.



For the Cardigan, which was previously the dress, I did a bit more. I started by turning it around, front-back wise. I’ve removed the sleeves cuff – which was too tight for me, I’ve added an elastic to the hem instead and used some of the original lace from the dress sleeves. To close my cardigan, I used vintage lace, and tight in the front. Both dress and cardigan, have an invisible stitch on their hems, which I did by hand too. 


On the back of the cardigan I added some lace too, to make it a bit wider as I walk. I also changed the front to make it sort of triangular, and follow the dress shape instead how having a straight line.



To finish off the look, I made myself a new clutch. For this I used the trousers legs leftovers, the flower I took off from the dress and also scraps from the cardigan. I hemming it shorter, and those pieces were the ones I used for the clutch.

2014-04-09

Shortie Nightgown & Bloomers Tour


Today I get to have a spot in the pattern tour hosted by Chelsea from GYCT Designs. I feel honoured to be part of an amazing group of talented ladies that will share with you all, their versions of Chelsea's pattern Shortie Nightgown and Bloomers. It offers the pattern for the bloomers, and the nightgown, and this has the sleeveless option, or the puffed sleeves option. 


I picked the sleeveless option, short top and bloomers. And, I even made a matching headband. According to my daughter's real size, I should have used the 18 month old pattern, but I wanted it to fit during this summer (and if I'm really lucky, next year too), so I made the size 2. It's a little baggy but I like the fact that it has room to grow. 


Ahahah... Let me just start by saying we had a family photoshoot for this. I prepared her, daddy took the photos and we convinced our little model we needed photos of her sockmonkey doll, the one she never leaves behind ever since I made it. And this was one of those when we got to get a huge amount of wonderful photos of her, she was happy, and smiling all the time. She jumped in her bed, played sleepy, hugged her monkey... just a great moment to remember later. And can I just say, how much I love to see her with the headband?!


Now about this pattern. 
I had no problems or so ever printing and assembling my pattern. Cutting the fabric was quick. I chose this blue flowers printed scrap I had in my stash for like 3 years or so. I also had the same in red, in which I made a dress for my niece but have never blogged about it, I have to, it's one of my faves ever. Anyway. for the collar panel and the bloomers I used scraps from an old white sheet (I have lots of these). And the greatest thing is that I was able to use the printed fabric scrap to the fullest. I used the round shapped pieces I cut off from the top to add to the shorts as side panels just because. And I cutted some (2 sizes) circles from another piece left from the scrap and added them, with a blanket stitsh to the collar. Ended up being one of my favourite things about the entire outfit. 


I didn't use the lining on the bottom piece of my top, so it saved me a little time, instead I used self made bias tape on the armholes for the finishing touch. I confess when I was sewing it and then finished, I would look at the armholes and find them too small... but then I tried it on G. and boy was I wrong?! I even mentioned that to Chelsea, but it was only in my eyes. I also didn't overflap the two top body pieces in the back when sewing them to the main body piece which made my top a tiny little bit more rommy than it was suppoused to. I didn't realise it was designed to be overflapped so it didn't need a button, and that was the only part of the instructions that got me confused, but I can tell you it has been changed in the pattern already. 

The instructions are clear and easy to follow, again I had no problems following them and was happy that I could put these two pieces together in an evening, after putting my daughter to sleep. In just a couple of hours it was done, and I do appreciate a quick project that turns out so satisfactory to me. I would probably just mention the lack of photos or a step to tell me when to attach the button(s) on the back. I bet most experienced sewist wouldn't have a problem with it, but maybe new begginers would like a note about it. 

I can tell my daughter loved it, and so did I. 

And that's not all... for this week (April 7-12th), Chelsea is giving a 20% off for this pattern, if you use the code "SHORTIE20". Or you can also enter the giveaway and try to get a free copy of this pattern. 


* I was offered this pattern for this review but the opinions are all my own. 

2014-04-08

KCW |day 2| It's a boy week |PR&P9#3|

I made it! I was able to get a new outfit done for my baby boy... by 11.30 am... yey! Which means I still have time to start something else, but, later I guess. KCW so far, so good. 


But today's look, does not only fit my KCW plans, it also fits the 3rd week challenge of Project Run & Play, which is "Design your fabric". I took care of that part yesterday... I used a potato and fabric ink to print a piece of a white t-shirt. I've cut a potato an dused one of the halfs to crave my design. Then I used a ruler to make straight lines so I could print between them. I first painted the potato and just pressed into the fabric. Allowed it to dry and ironed to set the ink to the fabric. 


Today my fabric was ready to be used. Actually, by yesterday's evening it was dry already, so I was able to cut and prepare the patterns I wanted to use, and cut the fabric pieces too. I picked Sewing Mama RaeAnna's Cupcake Top pattern for the top and the Fancy Pants Leggings pattern, by Titchy Threads for the bottom. I was a pattern tester for both, I did two Cupcake tops so far, and it's only the second time I use the Fancy pants. 


Starting with the top, I did the 6-9 M size. I've got enough clothes for the boy for the first months; clothes that came from big sister and are neutral, so most likely, I will only make smaller sizes if I really want him to have something special. I used the back of my own t-shirt for the front of this one, I couldn't save the front because it had a print on it. I thought I had some more white t-shirts to refashion in my stash but I didn't, so I stole one of my hubby's. I'm betting on how long he'll take to realise it... maybe never. I used scraps of black knit I had used to make myself a dress a long, long time ago. Everything went perfectly well with this one, apart from the fact that the collar stretched out a lot as I added the binding. Buahhhh... It kinda ruined my top, but maybe I'll get to fix it later. 


When it comes to the pants, I used the 6-9 M size, and since I had a little bit of the self-printed fabric left, I had to use it in the back panel. Doesn't it look cute? Can't wait to see a diaper bum in it. This is such a quick and easy sew, and so satisfying. The rib knit is still from the same leftovers I have used in the Panda hoodie


And that's it! Two more items crossed from my list. Let some more come. 

2014-04-07

KCW |day 1| onesie for the boy

So, today starts Kids Clothes Week again. This time I decided to do things right, I've signed in the site when I read another season was coming, I have thought what I wanted to make, I printed out some patterns, etc, etc, etc. 

And it's funny, because the more I have on hands to do, the more I seem to get things done. Yesterday, after bedtime, I was able to make a plastic bags dispenser (an order for a costumer), finish up editing my entry for the second week of Challenge Create, and even cut the fabric pieces for the actual garment I sewn today. 


Today, the results from Challenge Create for the first week were up (and the link up for week 2 sew along is open too!) and I got a lovely second place, which I wasn't expecting (I was last in the viewers votes), and then I was surprised again when I knew - through a comment another blogger left me - that I won the second week's sewalong of PR&P. What a beautiful day! 


But it was also a beautiful day because it was warm and sunny, and I felt energic again, and sewn the first onesie for my baby boy. The very first thing I want him to wear after his birth. KCW has a theme this time, "Mini Me"... so in order to follow the theme, I grabbed two S tops of mine that I wasn't wearing at all. I really liked the colour but they were too short even for me. 


So, using both pieces I made the onesie. It's a newborn size (0 M), but the tops weren't enough and I had to use some scraps I had from a white t-shirt for one of the sleeves and the binding. I love it so much. It isn't 100% finished yet, I need to add some snaps still, but I'll do that after putting G. to sleep. And maybe cut a few more pieces... Oh, and by the way, the onesie was self drafted!


I've also been printing my fabric so I can sew up a quick project to enter this week's sewalong over Project Run & Play. Maybe it'll be ready to share tomorrow. So, I am sorry if I am a little late answering mails and comments, but it's been busy busy busy around here... and I still have to start my third look for Challenge Create too!!! Auch! Anyway, I'm happy for a good KCW start! What about you? Are you sewing along this week?

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