Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Year in Review From My Sewing Room to Yours

Well, this marks the end of another year of sewing adventures!  I've learned a lot, made some mistakes and had some happy surprises.  I've learned a bit of pattern drafting, improved my fitting techniques, and I've even learned to enjoy slow and relaxing hand sewing.  The main thing is that sewing has become more and more of an adventure over time.  I find the more I learn, the more enjoyable it is to sew, and I hope to inspire anyone who may have the slightest desire to learn.

 I now have what is pretty much my dream sewing room, complete with bright natural lighting and a view of the trees, birds and, of course, the squirrel.  It's a lovely space to spend a cold winter day.  I always have something on my sewing table, and my sewing queue just keeps getting longer and longer.  I'm a relatively slow sewer, and I like to take my time and pay attention to the details of each project but hopefully I'll be able to tackle the majority of projects on my list.  This list keeps changing so who knows!  My goals for 2015 include continuing to work towards an entirely handmade wardrobe.  But for now,  I enjoy one project at a time.  One stitch at a time.

Coming up next is a 1940's vintage wool/cashmere skirt that I have already started, but won't be blogged until next year :)

Thank you so much for reading my blog!  Looking forward to a fresh new year ahead and wishing everyone a Happy New Year and Happy Sewing!

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Radiating Red Dress Completed

This dress was fun to sew up.  This was my first time working with ponte de roma knit fabric.  I'm usually reluctant to sew with knit fabrics because I'm not as familiar with them as my usual wovens.  But this is a beautiful heavy weight stable knit that has a lot of structure and a flattering drape.  It worked perfectly with all those radiating tucks. 

The pattern is Butterick 5559.  I love it, and I'm sure I'll use again.
I used a size 12 which is one size smaller than my actual measurements because I was concerned the shoulders, and neckline area would be too wide and I'm glad I went a size smaller.   With all the tuck lines, it would be difficult to alter the pattern without messing with the design.  So I guess I was counting on the stretchy fabric to do its magic.  It turned out quite comfortable.  I lengthened the skirt by four whole inches that took it to just above my knee.  But then again, I often need to lengthen my skirts.

It was a bit of a challenge to match the tuck lines at the side seams, but if you use your pins diligently and take it slow, it's not so bad.

I used fusible tricot knit interfacing for the facing.  This was the first time using this stuff, and boy is it ever lovely!

I have issues with sewing in sleeves.  I'm so worried about getting pleats or puckers that I had to baste it carefully by hand before sewing it.  Also, the pattern doesn't mention putting in ease stitches for the sleeve cap but I put in 2 rows of basting and eased the cap slightly.  Then I steamed it a bit to shrink out some puckering after which I pinned and hand basted.  It worked out well.  I only got one tiny pleat that I unpicked and re-sewed (only about 3 cm).

Well, that's it for my Radiating Red Dress.  I think there may be a shorter skirted sleeveless version in my future.  (I even have the fabric for it already!)

Happy Sewing!