Monthly Archives: October 2014

The “I’ve Been Hopped” – Blog Hop

Well now, this is the first time ever I’m participating in a blog hop (cue triumphant music), all thanks to the lovely Tia Dia of Mezzocouture who nominated be for it. I’m almost sure she and I were siblings in an earlier life, so much seem her blog posts to resonate with me! So basically, if you want to know how I feel you can either read her post, or continue here πŸ™‚

Why do I write?

One of the biggest reason for starting this blog actually has nothing to do with sewing. In fact I partly started this blog because I wanted to have a bona fide reason for writing in English. I do write I lot for my teaching job, both in English and in German, but mostly not on topics of my personal choice. Also, the level of English I get to use for language learners often isn’t very high. So this blog is my way of keeping up with the old language skills.

I also love reading blogs from around the English speaking world. It’s just where my heart is and I still get a little thrill when I get a chance to interact with sewers from Britain, North America, Australia or countries even further afield.

What am I working on?

What am I not working on? I have a dedicated sewing room (which is larger than my bedroom…), a copious stash, four sewing machines and a decent amount of spare time so I’m always working on various projects. At the moment, a prom dress for Child 1 takes precedence, along with some skinny jeans, a cowl dress, a biker jacket, a Moss skirt, a pleated skirt…. You get my point…

How does my blog differ from other sewing blogs?

Well, the photography, obviously!

IMG_8916
I really do publish the most rubbish photos in the world of blogging. I’m not proud of this, I would very much like to have better photos – but not so much that I would put in the time and effort the make them better. I am just never going to be a proper model, I just don’t feel I want to present myself in front of the camera. Also I don’t want to feel I have to put on make up etc in order to “pass” for photos. Don’t get me wrong, I love looking at nice photos a lot more than at mine, but in the great scheme of things I just don’t think they are important enough to spend a lot of time on them.

 

So yeah, like Tia Dia said, my blog is very ordinary. I’m attracted to sewing mainly for the craft aspect, but I don’t have an honest interest in fashion. I don’t pin pictures, I don’t read fashion magazines, I don’t await the new designer collections in eager anticipation – again I don’t think there is anything wrong with any of these things, it’s just not my thing.

Also I have been suffering from a slight case of blogging depression over the last few months. At least amongst the blogs I read there seems to have been a powerful drive towards more professionalism. There were courses in better modelling, better photography, writing better content, reviews, sewlongs, giveaways and many bloggers have really upped their game.
Well, I have neither the time or talent or inclination to follow suit, but I do notice that my blog looks and feels more “dated/unprofessional/less funky etc” than many other blogs. As a consequence I have been a slightly accidental blogger recently, with a lot less posts than sewing. I did even think to let this blog slip very quietly, but for now I’m happy with a reduced frequency.

What is my writing process?

I’m really not someone who overthinks the writing process. Said&Done, my blog title describes me really well. Basically, I type down a post without a lot of thougth for strategy, proofread (although I’ve somehow managed to set the proofreader to German as the default language, so no automatic proofreading on these posts for the moment…) and then publish. I don’t tend to edit a lot – I don’t think this has got me in trouble on this blog, but my “speak as I find” attitude has caused me endless reasons to say sorry and/or trouble in real life…

 

I’ not sure that I’m not the last person in the sewing universe to have taken up this blog hop, so my nominees have already done their bit. I would have wanted to nominate Stephanie of Love Teach Sew, because she is a fellow English teacher who sews but she has alread answerd the blog hop, Tia Dia of Mezzocouture, because every time she writes a post I want to say “I thougth EXACTLY the same” – but of course she nominated me.

But may be Juebejue of Petite Republic might want to take up the blog hop? She has just had a baby, so maybe blog hops are not a high priority for her. But she has what I don’t: The most beautiful, dreamy pictures on her blog. So do hop over and have a look!

Burdastyle 2/2014 # 101: The Long Time Ago Dress

First of all, can I thank everybody who gave me advice regarding air-threading sergers! It seems they are as wonderful as they appeared to me, so Santa is going to have a rather costly Christmas this year. Thankfully my sister mentioned she wanted to start sewing, I I know someone who might want a used serger. πŸ™‚

As I mentioned before I had an exceptionally unmotivated blogging summer this year. So it will come as no surprise that I made quite a few garments that I never blogged about. Now I’m back in the blogging mood, I never seem able to get together photos that I’m happy to publish (and given my well documented low standards in photography you might imagine how bad the photos are that I do have… πŸ˜‰ ) . But this time my dad took the pictures (Hello Dad! πŸ™‚ ), so you’ll find the picture composition much improved.

I thought I’llΒ  show you the last dress that I made this summer and that I only got around to wearing once before it turned too cool for sleeveless dresses:

IMG_9004

I used the bodice of Burdastyle 2/2014 #101:

Obviously I left the sleeves off! None of that “construction a new armscythe” wizardry here at Said&Done, I just did not attach any sleeves. Seems to have worked out rather nicely – in fact another version of this dress with 3/4 sleeves is hanging half-finished in my sewing room because I’m not really happy with the shape of the raglan shoulder where the sleeve meets the bodice.

IMG_8996Is that a gaping arm hole? I don’t think so, to be honest I never noticed it while wearing the dress. “Must be the way I’m standing” – is that the home sewist’s most over-used excuse?

IMG_8997I quite like the dress worn with a wide belt. The skirt is just slightly gathered, I didn’t even use a pattern piece for this. I was a little short on fabric, so I added the blue band at the hem. I think this was rather a lucky accident, as I think it adds to the look rather than looking like “short on fabric”.

And what for heaven’s sake was I thinking here??!!

IMG_9003That’s probably my idea of posing – mercifully it’s too long ago to actually remember what my motivation was…

Well, I went to the fabric market on the weekend, so my stash has been replenished. Prepare for some more – ehm – “interesting” photos.

Air-Threading Serger Advice Needed

I took my serger to be serviced the other day and while it works a lot better now it still doesn’t work perfectly and the serger man said that I couldn’t really expect a 20 year old serger that had originally cost 200€ and had gone through some rather tough times with me to perform the wonders I wanted it to.

So I had a conversation with Santa’s Little Helper who indicated that a new serger might be on the cards for Christmas and that because I worked so hard I might even be allowed to spend a little more.

Also, the serger man cleverly showed me a JUKI air threading serger. Blimey, these things are cool. Have you ever seen one of them? Wow!! You just press a button and – swish – the loopers are threaded. A-MA-ZING!

But rather than being seduced by a shiny new machine and the sparkle in the eye of the serger man I decided to hold off an impulse purchase and ask if you have any recent experience with air-threaded sergers. I know now that JUKI do them, also Babylock seem to have them.

Are they really as cool as they seem? To me they seem immensely cool, but that might be because i’m the kinda girl who sews whole knit projects badly on her normal machine because she is too lazy to re-thread the serger – and mine isn’t even properly horrible to thread.

So what’s your advice: Is air-threading really worth the extra money? Or do you have other recommendations for a serger?

Thanks in advance!

Burdastyle Bomber Jacket: An Unexpected Fail

Yes, this time I don’t have good things to report:

I finally made a bomber jacket

– I took time and care

– I ended up not liking it at all.

Win some, loose some, I suppose!

IMG_8904I originally made this for my daughter, although it should have been in a different fabric. But when I started to lay out the pattern pieces I realised that the fabric had some marks on it which were so widely spaced I could not use it. I soldiered on with this flowery denim, kinda knowing that it wouldn’t be my daughter’s kind of thing but thinking I could wear the jacket in the end.

IMG_8911Let me show you the insides:

IMG_8912Tadaa: I really took care with this. I did not want to line the jacket, so I finished all exposed edges with self-made bias tape.

IMG_8913All seams are French seams!

IMG_8909You can totally flash your bits in this without having to be ashamed about the seams!

But unfortunately I’m never going to! I really don’t like this on me!

The fabric, a quite substantial denim, is too thick and although I absolutely love looking at those flowers I should have followed my initial idea and should have made trousers out of it. I don’t like it as a jacket!

IMG_8907The cut, combined with the stiff fabric is too boxy for me and the raglan sleeves don’t work.

IMG_8903

Overall the jacket is too big (though I cut my usual size 40) and it is too short. The sleeves are too long and too full at the end I think. I hate the high neck. I feel strangled just by looking at this.

IMG_8916And no, pretending to be really small and wearing the jacket inside out doesn’t help either.

So I’m putting this down as Fail of the Year. Every thing went well in the sewing room and all went wrong in the dressing room.

I’m still not put off bomber jackets, though. I am going to try again – with a lighter fabric – and a longer cut – and with set in sleeves, not raglan sleeves – and a deeper V-neck.

Do you think this shows spirit in adversity or simply a lack of willingness to accept the lessons that life teaches me?

The Monthly Stitch

Come sew with us...

Sewchet

Sewing, crochet, crafts, accessories, baking, tutorials,

Love, Lucie

Where hands and minds are rarely still

Apricot Mylo

a dressmaking journey

Handmade by Hannah

Day to day life, one crafting adventure at a time.

Stitched up by Jenna

"Sewing mends the soul"

thecraftycreek

Making and creating

nelnanandnora

Faith, family and creativity

thesewingmiserablist

where stitchery gets to meet mediocrity, face-to-face, and firmly shakes it's hand

wakeymakes

Returning sewist, crafter and runner

saturday night stitch

A UK Sewing and Style blog by a Mum of 5 with a fervent passion for all sorts of dressmaking.

Tialys

Life and Creativity in the South of France