Monday, 27 January 2014

Colors in my wardrobe

Last week I discovered "The wearability project"-blog by Eléonore from Deer and Doe and thought it was quite interesting. It's about organizing and analysing your wardrobe, so you actually wear what you have and sew what you would wear.

I don't have a cupboard for my clothes so everything is stuffed into this one ikea dresser. My boyfriend and I both hate that so we want to build a better solution this year. But the current dresser situation also means I don't really have an overview of what my wardrobe contains of. As I usually work from home and only need to wear something comfortable I pick clothes that lay on top and the clothes on the bottom are collecting dust over time.

So I took out all my clothes:

That is basically what I wear most of the time depending on the season. Shorts and skirts are mostly worn in summer, jeans are more of a winter thing for me. I also prefer jeans when I go out with our dog. I already got rid of some of the tops(not shown here) as well as some skirts because one: they were really old and two: I didn't like to wear them anymore because of horrible fit.

When I looked over the photos I realized I own a lot (!) of knits, they are just so easy to handle and comfy. So I decided to get over this stupid hesitation to sew with knits and buy some:

The first two are 100% cotton knit and the ones below are made out of viscose, which drapes really lovely. Although I haven't figured out yet if it's interlock, double knit...I have no idea.
I might try a renfrew or plantain with the cotton ones and a Briar top or Selja tee with the ones below. But first I should practise with some scraps to figure it all out.

Another thing Elénore talked about was color. I was always a bit hesitant to wear more vibrant colors, so I took a photo of mine, which had the skintones right and painted over it with colors to test, which ones where okay and which looked awful. This is what I came up with:

Yellows apparently don't work with my complexion, which is a pity as I love mustard- or sun-yellows. With some colors I'm not sure, they might work in small amounts, so I added a maybe-category. It's interesting to know that, since I tend to buy fabric that I think is pretty, but in the end doesn't work well together with my hair and skintone. Well, hopefully I have some time this week to test some knit-sewing!

Monday, 20 January 2014

My first trousers! Okay: shorts.

Right now, we don't have much sunshine where I live. The sky is constantly dark or grey, so trying to take good photos inside is practically impossible. These are as good as it gets. I'll probably should have waited for a sunny day, but I'm so proud of these shorts, I want to show them to you.

Pattern: Chataigne by Deer and Doe
Fabric: wool (purchased locally)+ some cheap lining fabric
costs: around 11€

The shorts are labeled for beginners, so I wondered if I would be able to sew them. As per other bloggers, trousers are usually complicated to fit, so I was a bit afraid of failing. I started cutting a size 36 in cheap fabric to test the fit, which was perfect at my waist but totally off everywhere else: too large at the crotch and at the hips. As I'm not very experienced with fitting trousers, I had to figure it out all by myself. The crotch problem was fixed by shortening the back and front piece by a few centimeters which shortened the pockets as well. The hips would actually not be hard as well, but I decided to pin the excess away when sewing the real shorts and not redraw the pattern.

Sewing them was not too hard, the only thing that caused me some trouble was the triangle in the front, but after I've consulted my awesome new sewing book, I nailed it!( You have no idea how relieved I was when I managed it, it's all visible in the front after all!)All the other things like the zipper and waistband I had done before when I've sewn the Claudia Skirt, so no problems there.

But...oh...all this fraying! It was crazy. And it didn't get any better when I decided to line the complete shorts with the same fabric as for the pockets to hide the inside, which meant a lot of slipping in and outside of the shorts. But the lining constructions worked rather well, even though I figured it all out on the go as I obviously had never lined pants before. I just raised the crotchline a bit for the lining piece and shortened the length of the legs so the lining wouldn't be visible from the outside.

I'm quite happy with them!

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Deer and Doe: Datura and Chataigne

As a freelance illustrator, I don't have a steady paycheck, so when I get paid for an illustration I usually allow myself, I can use some of this money for things that make me happy. At the time sewing is becoming an activity that I really like besides drawing, so I bought some patterns from Deer and Doe, a little french sewing pattern company, the shorts Chataigne and the Datura blouse amongst others.I bought them directly from the Deer and Doe shop and they arrived very fast.

I've been working on my Chataigne for the past couple of weeks whenever I had a few hours free time that I could dedicate to sewing . But I'm not quite finished yet and sew very slow and careful, therefor it will probably take a few more Sundays to finish it.

I usually draw a lot of bright happy illustrations, but I really wanted to draw something more mysterious for these pattern, I can't really say why.

Friday, 10 January 2014

"Alles selbst genäht" or "The Complete Guide to Sewing"

Look, what I got in the mail today!

Some might recognize it because of the cover, it's the German version of "The Complete Guide to Sewing"(Reader's Digest)! And not one of the new ones who don't seem to be good anymore, it's the 500 pages edition from 1978! Wohooo!

I was looking for a good sewing book, but wasn't conviced by the ones I've found, but when Morgan from Thread Theory was gushing about this book and especially the old version, I needed it. So I've searched and searched, but only found some for expensive prices. I was ready to give up when I thought that there might be a German edition and maybe it's not as rare as the English one. Unfortunately it was also rare, but I got lucky and found one for 30€. Which is nothing for a hard to find 500 pages book!
It's in pretty good shape and really seems to be a complete guide. I will look through it in the evening, but from what I've seen so far every step is well explained and illustrated (Yay!).

I hope I can improve my sewing a bit now and don't feel like I don't know what I'm doing anymore.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everybody!

Pattern: Wiksten Tank by Wiksten
Fabric: "Cosmic Blue" by Atelier Brunette

And... I'm still busy, busy, busy.
But I saved one day before Christmas for sewing something again, so I decided to finish the Wiksten Tank that I started and had so much trouble with. After trying probably every way to do a neckline and watching several videos, I came to the conclusion that it might be a combination of the new angle of the neckline and my body measurements that concludes in the gaping. So I let it be and just finished the armholes and the hem. And to be honest, it's okay. Not perfect, but wearable.

I love the Kelly Skirt by the way! I wore it a lot during the holidays, it's just so comfy and easy to wear.