Monday, 30 June 2014

Alabama Chanin!

My Alabama Chanin sewing kit finally arrived in the mail!  The garment I chose is Anna's Garden shell top.  I wanted a blush colour jersey, but it looks a bit more sandy than blush to me.  The kit comes with button craft thread for construction by hand and embroidery floss for the reverse appliqué/embroidery.  There's also some matching binding and a garment label.

 I was so excited I pin basted the backing as soon as I got it out of the package.  What I LOVE about Alabama Chanin is the fact that it's all constructed by hand.  Their jersey is made with 100% organic cotton that is also wonderful.  It feels soft yet sturdy. I'm going to baste it with thread so it will be a bit more portable.

The book shows a lot of different embellishing techniques including different hand stitches, embroidery stitches ribbon embroidery and beading.  In the back of the book, there are the master patterns in 5 sizes; XS to XL.

I can't wait to get started on this awesome hand sewing project!

Happy Sewing!

Monday, 16 June 2014

Chambray Hawthorn!

I finished my Chambray Hawthorn dress. Yay!  This dress pattern is Colette 1026 Hawthorn.  I used Robert Kaufmann herringbone chambray fabric that is 100% cotton yarn dyed.  I also used some floral Liberty of London cotton lawn for the facings.  This fabric makes this dress so comfy, light and airy but also has a lovely drape.  I didn't change the pattern too much. I made a size 8 and moved the bodice darts laterally by about 1cm that made a tremendous improvement in the fit.  I also made a 3/4" forward shoulder adjustment which got rid of some wrinkling between shoulder and bust.

Here's a pop of Liberty floral!

Initially, I was thinking of making the version with 3/4 length sleeves.  I cut out all the pieces but then I changed my mind and made it sleeveless.  I saved the pieces in case I ever decide to add the sleeves.

Here it is with a belt.

I decided to slipstitch the hem by hand because I love hand stitching.  It only took me part of a leisurely afternoon sitting in the bay window while listening to some classical music on CBC radio.   This fabric is awesome to slipstitch by hand because the stitches disappear into it, and it is entirely invisible from the front.

So in conclusion, I'm pretty happy with this dress.  It fits fairly well, but it could be taken in at the waist just a tiny bit.  That may make the excess fabric hanging in my low back curve sit nicer.  Photos of me wearing it are coming soon!  I may make the 3/4 length sleeve version in the future.  Maybe for fall....

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Hand quilting the Sanctuary Quilt

I've been working on the Sanctuary Quilt for a long time.  I had it folded away in the basement for the longest time until just recently.  I don't know what made me want to pull it out again because I have my Hawaiian quilting to work on for my hand quilting fix. It's so beautiful I would love to finish it soon so I can bind it and wash it.  This quilt was from a quilt kit, so the fabric was all co-ordinated for me.

I used a fan design that is easy to repeat all over the quilt.  I made the templates with manila tag folders that I cut out.  There are six semi circle templates.  I used a water soluble marking pen that is now my favourite because it's easy to use, and the colour shows up well and it disappears easily with a spray of water.  The brand is called "Unique"  I've tried so many marking pens, pencils and chalk, and I like this one the best so far.

Here is the back.
I'm 3/4 done the main part of the quilt then I have to do the borders.  Lots more to go!

Happy Quilting!

MMM'14 Summary and Conclusion

We're already well into June, but I thought I should summarise my Me-Made-May experience.

Some observations:
1.  Beginning of May is still too cold to wear dresses and skirts unless wool leotards, socks and cardigans are involved.
2.  I realised that I mostly sew sundresses.
3.  I love wearing comfy jeans
4.  I have yet to sew a comfy pair of pants.
5.  It would be nice to have some casual, comfortable garments perhaps made with cotton knit fabrics.

 After the second week I was getting bored of my me-made wardrobe.  I was wearing mostly my jeans and hand knit sweaters.  It was good in a way because I re-discovered some nice sweaters.  But I definitely need to expand the variety of garments in my closet.  I had a couple skirts that I love but never wear because I don't have a top that looks right with either of them.  I have blouses that don't really go with anything except for jeans.  So I have some sewing goals now to improve my handmade wardrobe into something a little more realistic.

Sewing Goals:
1.  Learn to sew with knits
2.  Focus more on casual everyday garments
3.  Sew a plain top to go with my flower printed skirt.
4.  Sew with more basic print fabrics that match with other pieces
5.  Sew a pair of shorts for summer!
6.  Sew a flannel shirt for cooler days

Well, that's it for now.  I'm sure I'll come up with more goals later on.  I always have so many things I want to make and not enough time!  This list will keep me on track though as it's always tempting to sew another sundress.

Happy Sewing!