Monday, January 21, 2013

40s Shirt Dress

Hi everyone!
I hope you had a great weekend, for me it already feels like the middle of the week, Sunday and Monday are always soooo long. Thankfully we have a day off tomorrow for elections! It's kind of a hectic time here, I'm so sick of thinking about politics, I want it over. I spent the last few months weeks talking about religion, the economy, the Jewish-Palestinian relationship and all the issues that disrupt my little country and I've had it! I want to think about sewing and reality shows and be able to have a conversation that doesn't somehow evolve into politics.

Other than that, it feels like fall here, I've been wearing short sleeved dresses with light sweaters and having lunch in the sun. I really should start my summer sewing because I think it's getting here faster than we think!

Onto my next creation, this is my favorite garment I've ever made by far:

A 40s style shirt dress!
It's self drafted, as usual. I replaced he bust and shoulder darts with gathers (which in retrospect may not have been the best idea). The bodice came out a little wider than I'd anticipated which is nice for having a big meal but isn't as flattering as most 40s button up dresses I've seen.
I really was aiming at this look:

 Now that I look at it, it's pretty similar! I'm still convinced that Kate's bodice is a little more flattering than mine but we can't have it all.... right?

 The front placket is completely fake. I despise making buttonholes and this hatred has been leading my sewing choices in he past few garments I've made (I won't even talk about the bound buttonholes I tried making a few weeks ago). I realize making buttonholes is kind of a must for a seamstress such as myself but doesn't avoiding buttonholes induce creativity that wouldn't have existed had I been a fan of buttonholes all along? At least this is what I like to tell myself.
I get in and out of the dress using a side zipper, if you were wondering - inserting an invisible zipper is such a breeze compare to buttonholes.

As you can see from the non-spreadiness of the skirt, this is a basic A line skirt. I drafted it using the pattern from the Mystery Pocket Skirt Tutorial. It's so freaking useful! I used this pattern in my 60s Dress as well, it's not as luxurious as a circle skirt, which is a good thing sometimes as it makes the dress more day appropriate, I feel a little overdressed when I wear a circle skirt to work - is that silly?
The fabric I chose for this dress feels like pure heaven on my skin though I'm sure it's pure plolyester (on my skin). I got it at Joann's at a 50% off sale a while ago.. it kind of has a rayon- like drape but is a little thicker than rayon. I really wish you could put up your hand to the screen and feel it. Pet the screen, why don't you?

The one thing that really bothers me about this dress is the collar, it's SO wonky! I can't seem to fix it with any amount of pressing or pleading! Granted, I did cut it out on grain rather than on the bias (would that have helped the situation out?) but IT WON'T LIE FLAT. I'd love to hear tips about this if anyone has any.
I got a bunch of fabric covered buttons last time I was in NYC and I thought this dress deserved 5 fabric covered 7/8 inch buttons. I LOVE FABRIC COVERED BUTTONS! I can honestly never find buttons that I like more than fabric covered buttons. Test me! I promise I won't back down from this statement.

The most important part, THE EMBROIDERY! I outright copied Lladybird and used the same exact pattern she used for her Ceylon, how inspiring is it?
It took my like 10 hours to complete since this was the first time I embroidered anything. I used all 6 threads and a stem stitch to complete the whole design, I'm so excited about it!! It was so relaxing though and I think it gives the garment another personal touch that not many RTW garments have noadays.
Have you guys ever embroidered anything?

So, remember when I was saying that ever time I spend a lot of time on a garment and think about all the details and fall in love with the garment AND THEN NO ONE LIKES IT, but when I spend 3 hours on a dress everyone swoons over it?
Well, the same thing happened with this dress, as I said, this is my favorite garment by far and yet I got so few compliment about it compare to my 60s dress!
I sew for myself, I don't depend on other people's opinions when it comes to the stuff I make as many of it isn't exactly in line with the current fashion, but it's nice to get rewarded for my hard work. oh well.

Anyway, I really feel like this dress is another step in the direction of "good sewing" as I'm so proud to wear it out in public! (except for the collar. I know).
Have you ever given your whole self to a garment and had no one appreciate it as much as you do?
Have you ever embroidered as a part of the sewing experiance?
Are you sick of politics as much as I am?

Hope you have a great week!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

And the golden globe goes to....

Hi everyone!
I hope you're having a good weekend so far..  Mine was (our weekend ends on Saturday) jam packed so I don't feel very rested but I'm not complaining as it was packed with fun stuff. I do feel a little guilty about not getting a lot of sewing done, I'm struggling through a jacket that I'm trying to make and It's not going very well. Hmm, I'm sure I'll figure it out soon. What do you guys do when you're in a sewing funk?

Anyway, I got nominated for the Liebster Award! (You'd think that should bring me out of said sewing funk). I'm so honored and excited! This is one of those "pass it on" awards, so I'll be nominating a few people as well. Here's the brief description of the award:

"The award was set up way back when and has undergone a few changes from what I can see from my research. Its purpose is to bring blogs that have less than 200 followers into the limelight and increase their readership. It has definitely morphed since it first started (as has the logo in fact!) and the most current rules are:
  • Post 11 random facts about yourself
  • Answer 11 questions that your nominator (is that a word or have I just made it up?) asked you
  • Nominate up to 5 other blogs for the award and ask them 11 questions of your own"
 After the issue as to the existence of the word nominator was settled, Sew I Sewed This graciously nominated me as one of the 5 blogs. Woop!

Ok, the first I'm supposed to list 11 facts about myself:
  1. I have two cats, Sugar and Spice and I LOVE them.
  2. I rarely sew with commercial patterns, I have a personal block that I base all my patterns on
  3. I was in the Israeli Army for two years (not as a combat soldier) as enlisting in the army is mandatory here.
  4. I have about 60 pairs of shoes. (They all cost less than lunch, but I still ashamed)
  5. Every time I get home, I change into my PJs within ten minutes even if I have less than an hour to spend at home. I HATE wearing uncomfortable outside clothes in the house!
  6. I'd pick a hamburger over a chocolate cake anytime.
  7. "Vincent" by Don Mclean brings me to tears every time I hear it.
  8. I don't like musicals. Can't explain it, I just don't get them.
  9. I always try new kinds food, even if I know that it has an ingredient I don't like. I love trying new things!
  10. I love the Bachelor, I'm a little ashamed of this fact but it's one of my guilty pleasures, I just can't help it.
  11. I feel guilty when I have free time and I don't spend it sewing.
Next, answer a few questions:
1. what's your day job when you're not sewing?
I work at an IT company. It's totally the bottom of the Hi Tech Food Chain, but it's a good job! 
2. what's your birthday (you don't have to include the year if you don't want to)?
April 16th.
3. what's your favorite fabric to sew with? 
Ha. Now this is a difficult question. The easiest fabric so sew with is cotton, so I do love sewing with it. Yet how can I not include silk chermeuse/chiffon even though I feel like throwing my sewing machine out the window sometimes when I deal with them? The result is just too pretty.
4. what's the best sewing tip that you could give me?
Take your time, think about everything you do before you do it (think twice, cut once) and treat everything as a learning experience. (I should be saying this to myself to!)
5. what's your favorite notion? 
My Clover Bias Tape Makers, I love finishing my garments with self made bias tape, it looks so professional!
6. what's your favorite project you've sewn (and include a link if you posted about it)?
 The Cinderella Dress I made for a friend.
7. what's a pet peeve of yours?
I always read a few pages of a book before going to sleep. (Is that even a pet peeve?)
8. what are your favorite tv shows or movies?
I recently saw the Hobbit and fell in love with it. I wouldn't say it's my favorite movie but I love it right now.
9. what's your favorite type of music (name specific bands if you'd like)?
I don't really have a certain type of music that's my favorite, I would say the Mumford and Sons are my favorite band at the moment.
10. why did you decide to start blogging?
I wanted to share my sewing experiences with other and maybe learn more through it!
11. why did you decide to start sewing?
I don't remember consciously deciding to start sewing, I've been sewing for a few years now. Sewing has definitely become a huge part of my life in the past year or so. I didn't answer the question. I know.

 And now, make up questions for the people I nominate:
1) What is your favorite part of your daily routine?
2) If you would have to recommend one thing about the place where you live, what would it be?
3) Whats your idea of an amazing meal?
4) If you could go to a dead musician's concert, who would it be?
5) If you could afford any sewing gadget, what would you get?
6) (I know I was asked this too, but this is a must!) Whats your favorite garment you made to date? (link, please!)
7) Whats the silliest injury you've ever had?
8) Which celebrity (dead or alive, cartoon or real life) would you want to make a garment for? (YES they will wear it on the red carpet)
9) If you were offered an all paid for trip, which country would you visit?
10) What's you favorite part of sewing?
11) Do you sew differently (different garments, different techniques) now that you're a blogger?

And the Liebster Award goes to:
1) Laika Doll
2) Cation Designs
3) Did You Make That
4) Miss Crayola Creepy
5) Notes From a Mad Housewife

Thank you So I Sewed This!
Don't forget to check out her blog and the blogs I mentioned above!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Faux Chanel Jacket

We had a crazy week this week, there was a terrible storm (which most of you would probably laugh at) and it even snowed in some parts of Israel! Since we're not accustomed to actual real winter here it pretty much meant that the country fell apart. It took people hours to get to work in the morning because the roads were blocked and so on. No matter, at least we had rain!

I made this jacket a few weeks ago as a homage to the Chanel Jacket. Now I know it's much more basic than the Chanel Jacket but I was inspired by it and therefore I'm entitled to say that it is a homage. STOP CRITISIZING ME.



I really do feel elegant and respectable when I wear this. It's a little more fancy than what I normally wear, I kind of dress like I a little girl most of the time (evidence here). This tendency is not as prominent in the blog because I tend to dress up for pictures rather than just wear the garments as I would to work on a daily basis (AND I own an obscene amount of sweaters with little animals them). WHAT I'M TRYING TO SAY is that this isn't my usual style.

This is what I would have looked like had I taked the photos this past week:

This is what I think that bloggers that take near naked (and when I say near naked I mean short sleeves/skirts with no tights) photos in the snow. I know there's a secret conspiracy where they all use photoshop to insert snow, because there's no freaking way to be naked in the snow. I love my blog, but not that much. (for those of you who Googled the phrase "naked in the snow" and came across my blog 1) I'm sorry to disappoint 2) what were you thinking? seriously.)

Now I'll talk about the jacket, because this is why I have a blog. I still can't believe it, but I drafted the pattern myself! I used my own bodice pattern and it took quite some time because I wanted to make sure I did it right. (since then I've drafted another jacket and it went much quicker, I think I was just being a little too anal). To be honest, I should get off my high horse and face the facts, it's not really a difficult jacket to draft as there is not collar and it's only waist length but here at DS we kid ourselves that what we do is an achievement. Play along or leave.

This fabric was a NIGHTMARE, I don't think you can tell from the pictures, but it's so loosly woven I really think that the employee at the store I bought it from sat a wove the fabric from black and white string. It was silly of my not to take this into account, the only think I did to manage the stretchiness and shapless-ness of the fabric was stay stitch EVERYTHING. The problem was that I didn't think that even after the garment was finished there was the danger of it falling apart. How did that happend do you ask? the side of the jacket got cought on my bag and it pulled out like THREE STRINGS from the jacket. You'd think it's not a big deal but as I said, it's so loosely woven theres a gaping hole in the side of my jacket and I've yet to come up with an idea to fix this. Any ideas?

I interfaced the facings and the hemline because it wouldn't retain it's shape. It's still a little weird at times.. OH WELL.
The pattern has a basic side-bust dart and shoulder darts in the back. I wanted to keep it simple as the fabric is kind of busy. This is why the jacket came out kind of wide at the waist,  a little wide.

This was my first time making sleeve heads as well and I'm so happy with the result, it really does make a difference with the way the sleeves look. In my stupidity I bought bright purple fleece for this because I thought it will always be under fabric so it won't matter. I know I haven't mentioned this yet (hehe) but the fabric was REALLY loosely woven so you can kind of see little specs of purple fleece through the sleeve head. I use Gertie's method for this and it was really easy, it eliminates the need for easing the sleeve and inserts a sleeve head in one go!

No, I am not selling watches (boy am I full of jokes today), how awesome is my lining?! I tried wearing the jacket inside out and I looked like a pimp. I've started using poly sating for lining because there's a larger range in colors than lining fabrics, also they're thicker and feel a little more luxurious to me (I know I should be crucified for calling polyester luxurious). Have you ever tried it using poly satin as a lining?

I wish I had a handkerchief to put in this pocket because it is too cool not to be used. I used the Coletterie's Tutorial for this as well. It didn't come out as nice as my 60's Dress because the satin was kind of slippery and difficult to handle (and I may have over pressed it) but I'm still happy with it!

Inside-out picture. I know you love them.
I inserted the lining using the bagging method. It took me a while to figure out because I didn't think to look at the tutorial before I drafted the lining and cut out the pieces but I worked it out in the end. I used this excellent tutorial by Grainline.

See the gaping in the back? Maybe a back stay would have helped? Or maybe it the jacket just needs to be slimmer - any suggestions?

That's it for now!
Have you ever attempted to make a faux Chanel Jacket? I'd love to hear what you have to say about EVERYTHING I wrote today.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Black Tie Event T Shirt

Hello there!
How were your New Years celebrations?? I had a great time though there was a lot of regretful feelings the next day at work. I wore my Knight in Shining Armor Shirt, as I believe that one should dress in shiny garments in the new year (hopefully by next year I'll make a sequin dress!), with a black tutu-esque skirt. I felt so fancy! Did you wear a me-made garment?

Now that the holidays are over, it's time to get back to business. I made this shirt for my dad's birthday. He's the opposite of a fancy dresser in the extreme, he won't go to events that require fancy attire - that's how much he's afraid of it. Luckily, his job doesn't require fancy dressing (He's a physicist), he tends to go to talks wearing a funny t shirts and shorts.
My dad has been bugging me to make him something ever since I started sewing but he's always asked for far fetched things like a long wool coat or a leather jacket, so when the word T Shirt came up I finally decided it was time to take the plunge and make him something. In the spirit of funny T Shirts, I though I'd make him something that he could wear to talks that would be a tiny bit fancy if worn under a jacket yet still funny.

tie t shirt, fancy t shirt, white tie
Yes I know you're all laughing out loud.

Anyway, I figured this is a cheeky way to wear a tie (as my dad hasn't worn a tie since his Bar Mitzva). I use Burdastyle's Pete (it's free!) and it's a pretty good pattern. I didn't make a muslin because I wanted this to be a surprise so I just figured I wing it. There are a few alterations I'd make in the future if I ever make this again - for one, shortening the shoulder width.. any other suggestions as to what I should change? I can see that it doesn't fit perfectly but I can't decide exactly what to do...
Otherwise the pattern was very easy to sew, I think I cut a large, which, again, I can't decide if it was the best size.. The sleeves have the biggest hem in the world which is kind of ridiculous, it's like 2.5 inches, WHY?? They also kind of stick up, I'm wondering if that's improve once I shorten the shoulder length? hmm

tie t shirt, fancy t shirt, white tie

I finished the neckline using this excellent tutorial rather than using ribbing for the neckline like the pattern suggested. It was so easy and it looks professional as well! It calls for serging the band to the neckline and then topstitching it.

tie t shirt, fancy t shirt, white tie  

 I  used this terrible white poly fabric for the tie, I don't know when or why I bought this fabric but I have tons of it and I have no idea what to do with it. only 300 yards more to figure out what to do with.
The tie came out a bit crooked, it was absolutely impossible to sew on straight. At some point I got frustrated and just figure I'd stick with what I've got.

tie t shirt, fancy t shirt, white tie

My dad wore it to a talk with a jacket and nicer pants than in the photo (which basically means not jeans) and got many compliments! Apparently physicists have a fashion sense as too.

tie t shirt, fancy t shirt, white tie

And finally if you didn't think we were weird enough, here's my father attempting to look like a porn star. You may unfollow my blog now.

Have you ever made menswear before?

Also I have a final general thought. I managed to make two blouses this weekend and it got me thinking - does the fact that I can make garments so quickly mean that I'm in a sewing stand-still? That I should be trying to techniques and drafting more complex patterns? I guess one of the reasons I managed to make up the two blouses so quickly is because the patterns were ready so that reduced the time significantly. But still, does sewing only count if you feel like you've learned something from the project? Sometimes I don't feel like plunging into a big project, especially since I only sew on weekends. Can sewers only improve if they try ambitious projects? I'd love to hear your thoughts!
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