Monthly Archives: December 2013

Burda Easy Fashion Autumn/Winter 2013: Two-Tone-Top

First of all may I wish all of you a very happy beginning to 2014. May the new year bring peace, health and happiness, new fabrics, great patterns and many sewing successes!

Recently I bought a coverlock machine and in order to have lots of reasons for practice I bought quite a few knit fabrics in a sale. One of them was a copper colour ponte jersey and I made up this top:

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I already made my Peter Pan dress following the same pattern.

IMG_6479I wore it to the only pre-Christmas party I went to this year – a champagne tasting organised by a colleague and the top looked much more in place there paired with a black pencil skirt and heals. In the glaring light of morning sunshine I don’t like the metallic effect much, but I got a few compliments on the night of the party.

This concludes my party wear this year – I am waiting for spring and I am suddenly looking forward to lighter colours. I am even thinking of pastels, which is quite uncharacteristic for me – may spring come early.

How about you: With Christmas out of the way, have your sewing thoughts turned to spring? Or, if you live in the Southern hemisphere have you started to long for autumn after all that heat?

Top 5 of 2013: The Hits

Here we go in no particular order my sewing hits of 2013:

1. The One For All Top

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have not even blogged about this top and the 5 more versions I made – maybe because I am wearing them all the time. This is my all time favourite style of top and I can sew one up in around and hour. I have them with full sleeves like this and with short sleeves and no sleeves and I just love them.

2. The Serious Dress

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3. The Peter Pan Dress

IMG_5083I would have thought that no-one over 10 should think of Peter Pan dresses, but I have seen them so much that I decided I rather like that style after all. I have worn this a few times and still love it, so I count this among my hits.

4. High Viz Skirt

IMG_5884This is another one of those projects that started without any planning. I had vaguely noticed the skirt in the Burda magazine but did not have any specific plans. I never had any room for orange fabric in my life – but then at the fabric market this orange wool fabric spoke to me (given that it was €4 a metre it kind of shouted…) and there started a match made in my version of sewing heaven. I have worn this lots and it is so bright it even cheers up the most miserable autumn/winter day.

5. The Red Dress

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This must be my favourite project of 2013. This was so easy to make up – I used a ponte jersey and so did not even need a zip and I think it is just a really flattering style for me. A version with sleeves is waiting in the queue.

So here we go: my list of sewing hits and misses of 2013. I actually found it really hard to compile the hits list because I made a few other garments that I like and my second pair of jeans is just one button away from a place on the list. But that is for another post.

Top 5 of 2013: The Misses

I am sure you have heard of Crafting a Rainbows fantastic idea of compiling top 5 sewing lists.

There are already some great lists online (just look at Did you make that? or Ginger Makes – come on Ginger, how can those misses be misses? They are fantastic!! or Sew Amy Sew to mention just a few) and so I though I want to come up with my 50 cents as well. In order to leave something for a better day I will start with the misses:

1. Wrong fabric miss

20131229_180728This is a top from Burdastyle 1/14 (it’s the cover model of the German edition) and there is nothing wrong with this in principle – it’s just in the wrong fabric. It was one of those online purchases that I made on order to get to the amount needed for free shipping and while it looks  alright on the picture it is a really nasty poly ponte jersey where the stripes are printed, not woven and it just not feel nice. Also the jersey as very little stretch, so the top came up a little small, so this will go straight to the charity shop.

2. Too much fabric miss

20131229_181716Again, nice top, but it’s just a bit too busy for me. I loved the fabric when I saw it on the bolt, but made up it just feels a bit too much. The top is also quite roomy so that increases the feeling of “too much”. So again, this will go to charity – but I like the pattern (Burdastyle ca. 2009) so I will make it but again in a solid colour and a bit smaller.

3. Wrong thinking miss

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I made these peplum trousers as part of my “learning to sew trousers” drive and these were essentially meant to be a muslin to see if the pattern could work and I added the peplum just as a bit of fun. But what can I say: I love, love, love the trousers (although my daughter says I am mad to wear these “Mum, you are middle aged!!!” Oh dear…) . So now I have trousers that I love in a horrible muslin fabric that attracts so much static that I almost glow when I wear them. I must might make these up again in a nicer fabric, but these ones will have to go.

4. Bitten off more than I can chew miss

20131229_18093220131229_18101120131229_181027In the spring I decided to make my first blazer – and thought it was a good idea to make it up in the shiftiest, most fraying boucle I could find. To be honest, back then I was so naive that I did not even realise that the fabric would be challenging. Well…..

In fact the blazer is completely finished apart from the button holes, but I know I am never going to wear it, there are just too many things wrong with it. So I am putting this down to experience and I plan to make this up again in a nice navy wool fabric very soon.

5. Sheer stupidity miss

This does not look bad, does it?

20131229_181426Burdastyle, some time this summer halter neck dress. But look at the back:

20131229_181452Yep, you see correctly: It does not fit. I can’t even do up the zip! In fact I wore this dress once and managed to squeeze into it, but when I tried to open it again I strained the zip so much that it broke.

Now you (and I!!) may wonder how one can sew for oneself and then produce clothes that are way to small? How does that even happen? The explanation is even more embarrassing than the fact itself. I know I put on a few pounds over the last year, I am not in denial there. But I forgot to reset my dressform!! So I sewed the dress for the dress from with my 2012 measurements, not for my own 2013 measurements. How stupid is that?? I even tried to diet into the dress, but I lost all interest after it took longer than missing dinner twice. So now that my dress from is set correctly (and I cannot put on any more weight, because the dress from is at the top setting already) I will try and fix this dress.

This one however, is beyond fixing:

20131229_181151This is Burdastyle 3/2013 #110 and I loved it when I saw it in the magazine and loved it even more when I was Kristy’s version. But what can I say: horror boucle and wrongly set dressform does not make for a successful dress. So this will go the way of all earthly things too…

So, these are my misses. I will try and get in the hits soon.

Burdastyle 11/12 #107 AGAIN: My First Attempt at Jeans

One of my New Year’s Re-Sewlutions was to finally get my act together and make my own jeans. Somehow making ones own jeans somehow seems to me the gold standard of home-sewing – I am not even sure why and I’m not a massive jeans lover anyway. But I got the idea into my head and I have tried to act on it.

But what does make a pair of jeans? Is it:

  • the use of denim/jeans fabric?
  • the typical five pocket cut
  • the typical finishing details such as contrast colour topstitching and rivets?

I not fashion-forward enough to even know an answer to this question… The pattern I chose is my favourite trouser pattern (out of a sample size of 2) – it’s Burdastyle 11/12 #107, made before here and here. It does not have the typical jeans back yoke, so I am not sure it even qualifies, but it’s a pattern that I know and love the fit of.

So far everything is going rather well. One thing I noticed is how my skills have improved over the last year – I can now sew the pockets or install the zip without any drama and it’s not just a stroke of luck that they turn out ok.

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I also decided to add some back pockets that are not in the original pattern.

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I have since been told (by my husband of all people) that the topstitching design is specific to the designer. Is that true? I’m just asking because I simply copied the pockets off a pair of Calvin Kleins – but of course I would not wish to be seen to steal their design!!

20131227_120118

The topstitching is going all rather well – in fact I have quite a love affair with topstitching going on at the moment. But look what happened:

20131227_120206Of course the topstitching should meet in the middle of the crotch and because I sewed the crotch seam first before the inseam I did think about the fact that I would need to topstitch both the front and the back crotch onto the same side. So oops, I still did it wrongly but then no-one will be looking at my crotch I hope, so it’ll stay that way.

I was almost able to finish the jeans today, but then I broke two needles on the last belt loop after four belt loops had gone on without incident, so I decided that stepping away from it all might be the best policy.

New Year’s Re-Sew-lutions

I am not really big on pledges and such, given that my life is – by necessity, not choice – very, very structured, and there are many things that I HAVE to do anyway . So I don’t want to burden sewing, my hobby, with loads of firm commitments.

But a few thoughts about things I might want to achieve and some ordering of thoughts never goes amiss, I think, so here, in no particular order, are my Re-Sew-lutions for 2014.

  1. Make jeans. Finally! All those jeans fabric are burning a hole in my stash, they need to go.
  2. Learn more about the particulars of my body shape. Fit for Real People have some great instructions for this and I have never really had a proper look at the book, so 2014 should be the time.
  3. Make at least three blazers. I have navy and dark grey wool plus lining for both  at the top of the cue and waiting and an ivory mystery boucle type fabric for a little spring number.
  4. Finish my quilt. I am making a quilt for myself – I am the only one in my family who does not have one, so it’s about time.
  5. Make undies. I have such a lot of knit offcuts that I would not have to buy any knickers anymore ever if I got around to making them into undies.
  6. Move closer to a handmade wardrobe. No strict rules, I will still shop if I want to, but I have learned such a lot sewing wise over the last year that this goal seem a lot more achievable than a year ago.
  7. Find a solution for the photo crisis on my blog. In fact, this should be my top non-sewing re-sew-lution.
  8. Possible take part in MeMadeMay? If I sort out the photo problem than MMM should be easy – I wear at least one me-made item almost every day anyway.
  9. Not really something I will enjoy doing: Make a feasible covered up summer wardrobe. I need cover up more for the summer as my doctor told me that with my very sensitive skin the days of sun exposure should be a thing of the past. I can still sunbathe with lots of sunscreen, but for day to day wear I should look at ways of covering up shoulders etc. Not sure how to go about this in a stylish and comfortable way. Maybe I will just throw stoles over everything?
  10. Make a blouse with buttons. I HATE sewing on buttons so I keep sewing projects that don’t need them in any great number. But that’s no way to go for  a grown-up sewist, I think, I will will will make a proper blouse. Promised!
  11. Learn more sewing techniques. My coverstitch machine wants more practice and I want to get better at collars and button holes.
  12. By Hand London Georgia – oh I dream of you! I have never bought an independent pattern and only ever one big4 pattern. No considered reason, just me being a Burda using cheapskate, but the Georgia might be the exception that proves the rule. Look at the version that Lizzie made up! I have got a serious love affair going on here! How this will go with covering up I have no idea, but I never promised logical thought 😉

How about you? Do you have any sewing related resolutions? Or will you enter the new year without preconceptions?

Pre-Christmas Thank You!

A big thank you to all of you – as of yesterday Said&Done had 10 000 views! That’s you 10 000 times taking an interest in my projects and my random ramblings – you are lovely! 🙂
I have only been blogging since April of this year, so to me it is absolutely phenomenal that so many of you have hopped across to my blog and have been to kind to allow me to be part of the great, creative blogging community.
It means a lot to me!
Lots of love and all the best for a happy Christmas,

Chris

Knitting News: Cosy Cardigan

I have never really outed myself as a keen knitter on this blog – although I am, actually. I just never seem to get around to finishing my garments. I have a load of UFOs lieing around where the knitting is finished and they just need to be made up.
But I have started a new project and by publishing a WIP I hope I can commit myself enough to only stop when it’s finished.
I am actually really excited about this:

P1070861It’s a really cosy cardigan. I have chosen West from Lang Yarns and I am using colour No 7. The yarn has the most exquisite colours all already spun in, so all I need to do is to make sure I don’t drop any stitches on those cables. The instructions make you make of the cables at the front first as two separate pieces:

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You sew both front cables together at the front to make the front and collar and fill in the rest with ribbed knitting:

P1070862Does that make any sense? I am just realising that I don’t really have the English knitting vocab necessary for blogging. So I best shut up and post some nice pictures once the cardi is finished 🙂

LOTILDA

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