Archive for November, 2010


SWAP 2010 is planned – well mostly

November 24, 2010

I have decided to participate in  the SWAP (sewing with a plan) contest over at Stitchers’ Guild again this year. Last year was my first year and I learned a lot.  It also really helped build my work wardrobe which still needs some more additions so this SWAP will be about building my professional wardrobe as well.

I would also consider calling it the Tops SWAP because in it I will tackle blouses and shirts and other items that require fitting around the bust.

As I am far from a FBA expert, pretty much every time I make a shirt, I feel like I’m in unknown territory. This SWAP is all about trying new techniques and developing new skills but FBAs are not considered to be a technique per se so I’m ensuring that my plan allows me to try other new things.

Last year I did option one (6 tops, 4 bottoms, 1 wild card). This year I’ve decided to do option two,

6 tops
2 dresses
2 bottoms
1 wildcard.

6 Tops
Butterick 5354  (view A)- sewing stretch fabrics with a serger, pleats
Butterick 5185 (view C) – sewing stretch fabrics with a serger
McCalls 5661 view B – buttonholes, set in sleeves
McCalls 5661 view D – buttonholes
McCalls 5662 (view E) – sewing stretch fabrics with a serger
McCalls 6122 (view C) – set in sleeves, collar, buttonholes

2 Bottoms
Vogue 1051 – welt pockets
McCalls 5429 (view B) – flat felled seams, sewing denim

2 Dresses
Vogue 1107 – pleats, buttonholes
Vogue 8701 – invisible zipper

1 wildcard
Vogue 8701 – tailored jacket (I’ve only done one before and it was a poorly fitting disaster

I have some of the fabric in my stash but I will still need to buy some. Other than the tailored jacket, my plan is to avoid black fabrics and focus on brighter colours instead. Since the fabric I havs so far is predominantly blue, I have some work to do

I’m also going to be away from my sewing machine for most of the first few weeks of the SWAP so there could be a lot of catch up to do right from the beginning but I’m looking forward to all the clothes I’ll have by the end.


Stitching and Planning

November 10, 2010

Well, I spent last weekend getting the four bridesmaid dresses I’ve taken on sewn to the point where they can be tried on by the bridesmaids. In full nomadic seamstress style, I’m going to drive the dresses out to the nearby city where all of the bridesmaids live (except me) so I can do the fitting.

I am a little nervous about it since I made the dresses based solely on the measurements the bride sent me and the pattern she gave me was not designed for the incredibly stretchy lycra she chose for the dresses. Everyone’s dress is likely to be just a little bit too big (if not a lot too big) but luckily there are very few seams involved so altering them should be fairly easy once it becomes clear how the lycra affects the fit on each girl.

I will post about the sewing process, once the final alterations are done.

I am also working on a dress for my mother (it’s a surprise) and I am planning my SWAP for next year because I have decided to participate again.

So, not so much blogging, but lots of hours logged at the machine.


Steampunk Couple, Year One

November 2, 2010

So, my life has been busy enough lately that there was a major last minute crunch to get our Hallowe’en costumes done. As a result, we both think we can improve on them for future years.

That being said, I loved wearing mine.

I added trim and a flounce to the bustle skirt, made an under blouse using a peasant blouse pattern I’ve had for years, and I wore a bustier that I bought a few years back because I did not have time to make one.

Here’s my husband’s costume:

The vest is the only part of the costume I actually sewed myself. I made it from Butterick 3721. I would have loved to have made the whole thing from scratch but there just wasn’t time. The shirt and pants were purchased from a second hand clothing store.

The parts of the costume we would like to improve on are all of the add on pieces. Generally, these are metal bits so they’re hard to blend with fabric and involve soldering rather than sewing. This places them firmly outside of my skill area.

We faked them this year but we’d like to make them more authentic and better held together for next year.

Still, we had fun.