Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Day 2 Photo Challenge: Positive Changes

For my photo challenge today I have to acknowledge Peter Lappin's blog [Male Pattern Boldness] post from 2012. This post set me on a reading journey that I didn't think would lead into a collection of books on fashion. It all started with Overdressed:  The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion and it didn't stop there.   

These books have shaped and changed my view on sewing and consumption since reading Cline's book. Without this kick in the pants these books, Thanks Peter, I don't know if I would have participated in RTW Fasts prior to gaining this knowledge. I'll admit, the RTW Fast have been challenging, especially in the beginning but it has forced me to try to sew items that I have previously feared. These books are not easy reads, they're heartbreaking but they will open your mind to positive changes.   

Happy Sewing!

Monday, 24 April 2017

Is Green the New Black?

Today is the forth anniversary of the tragedy at Rana Plaza. On this day in 2013, one thousand one hundred thirty-three (Laverne, Michael, Fitting Fashion:  Rethinking the Way We Make, Market and Buy Our Clothespeople died when the factory building where they were working collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh. International attention focused on the cheap fast-fashion clothing produced by many of those who died. As international attention grew, it gave birth to the Fashion Revolution movement which asked questions and raises issues of worker's rights and the fractured fashion supply chain. Fashion Revolution would like us to ask and investigate one question today, "Who made my clothes?"

Necklace made from up cycled clothing labels and wool, cotton
knit top (Vogue 9056), and black wool pants (OOP Vogue 1325)

In a 2013 article, Ryerson School of Fashion professor, Osmud Rahman acknowledged "the average person doesn't have enough information at hand about where and how their clothing is made." It's not just the clothing, the same can be asked of the raw materials that are used to make our clothing. The stories behind ready-to-wear clothing are not just the stories of the garment workers sitting at a sewing machine but also the farmers growing textile crops, the scientists working on new textiles and the people decorating our fabrics with dyes and chemicals.

I can say that I make my own clothes but I honestly can not tell you much about a majority of the supplies I use to make my clothes. Fabric stores are selling fabrics that are labelled and marketed as organic but not much more. There is little transparency in labels to back that up or list the material's organic percentage. And it is rare that I stumble on a fabric's country of origin unless I'm buying high quality wools from Italy or England.

There is so much to learn about our supply chain and the materials that end up in our sewing tables. I have to admit, I've made mistakes through my own ignorance when purchasing lesser quality fabrics. But I hope to continue to learn and educate myself and cherish the work of those who share their craft rather than fall pry to marketing of fashion fashion trends.

So who made your clothes? As if I have to ask on a sewing blog. And what tough questions do you ask on this day?

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Kitschy Home Decor Dress

This is my kitschy home decor dress made with Vogue 9237. Don't you think that this print just screams spring?

I found this 100% cotton fabric at the home decor department at Fabricland. It is a medium weight cotton. I have to admit that I do enjoy shopping in the home decor department. On several occasions I have found lovely cottons and silks that I've used to make clothing. This medium weight cotton is no exception. Yes, I do like the Parisian look with it's upscale simplicity but I also get a kick out of a kitschy look now and then. A pair of espadrilles and I'll be ready to go once the weather warms up. The fabric was pretreated with a tumble through the washing machine and dryer and a steam pressing before I got to work cutting out Vogue 9237.  

It is my first time working on this pattern so I basically cut it out of the envelope except for adding three inches to the length. The back button and loop was replaced with an eight inch invisible zipper and it was after I sewed the shoulder seams I realized that the neckline was not for me.  

If I didn't already install the zipper I would have widened the neckline all around. The 1 1/2" lowered in the front worked but if I were to make another one would like to add an longer zipper. Maybe it's the back injury but I find this fitted at the bust area and think it might be easier to get out of if the opening had a more generous opening. 

The dress is cut as a medium (12-14). I would agree with the "loose-fitting" description only in the lower half of this design, across the bust and the sleeves I wouldn't consider it loose-fitting at all. 

I'm out of practice sewing set in sleeves and had to go back and smooth over a few spots. Thankfully, it worked out in the end because I really like these sleeves. I wish I cut a size small at the armhole though but that is just a minor complaint.  

Love the pockets on this dress! It has side seam pockets and they are the perfect shape. So happy with those pockets and the gathers in the back, swoon. Those gathers are the reason I picked up this pattern. I'm glad I did.   

The Stats:

Fabric:  2.5 metres 100% cotton

Zipper:  8" (20 cm) invisible zipper

Bias tape:  1.3 metres of single fold tape

Basting Tape:  21" length double sided tape

Pattern:  Vogue 9237

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Iron, ironing board, cutting table, pins, sewing machine, invisible zipper foot, regular zipper foot, serger, threads, tailor's ham, tailor's sleeve, scissors, thread clippers, seam ripper, vary form curve ruler, sewing gauge, coffee, good tunes, breaks to stretch and do physio exercises, breaks to stand up and walk around, breaks to eat biscotti cookies and warm up coffee.  Yes, lots of breaks!  

Happy Sewing!

Neckline Fitting Issues

Vogue 9237 presented some neckline fitting issues. It may be the changes that I made to the pattern that has contributed to the I-feel-like-I'm-choking feeling of this jewel / round neckline.  

The pattern calls for a button and loop closure at the centre back but instead I installed an invisible zipper. And now there is the issue of wrinkles across the base of the front and back neck suggesting that the neckline is too high.  

The plan is to establish a new neckline shape. Since there is a zipper at the centre back seam most of the reshaping will have to start away from the zipper and increase towards the centre front. Or maybe the issue can be solved by letting out the shoulder seam a bit at the neck edge tapering to the 5/8" seam allowance at the armhole edge.  

Something to think about for now. Until tomorrow... 

Happy Sewing!  

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Planning for Some Spring Sewing!

The new Vogue patterns that I ordered arrived last week. And in the pile is a very easy Vogue that might be the ticket to kick-start my sewing mojo. Vogue 9237 is a loose-fitting dress with a gathered back feature.  

It might not so much be the simple design of this dress but this fabric that could be what my sewing mojo needs to turn in it into sewing mo-joy.  Oh goodness, that was really cheesy. My bad.  

I plan to make it up in this 100% cotton that I found in the stash. I picked it up last year with plans to make Mama R a dress but she didn't care for the print or colours. I on the other hand, think it's a fun print. This might just be the project that works at getting my focus and sewing mojo back. I'm just working on pre-treating the fabric before I get to work on this one later today.  

Happy Sewing!  

Friday, 21 April 2017

Easing Back Into the Sewing Room With an Easy McCall's Pattern

I'll admit I was looking for an easy project and McCall's 6886 fit into my plans perfectly. The biggest challenge was deciding which knit fabric to pick from my stash. I really would like a black knit dress but I wasn't willing to cut into my piece of black knit before first trying out this pattern.  
So, this project is my wearable toile. 

I have to say that I do like this pattern. I haven't perfected the fit yet so I won't be cutting into that black knit anytime soon. For now, I have a comfortable midi-length knit dress which feels like I'm wearing a nightgown.  And goodness knows I would live in my pajamas if I could get away with it... this dress just might be the closest I come to that dream.  

There are only three pattern pieces, perfect to try and kick-start my mojo. I cut the pattern as a size 14 at the armhole, shoulders and neckline grading up to the largest size at the hips. I found that I had to make a correction removing some of that width after I tried it on. I was trying to avoid the close-fit around my mid-section and hips but I over-estimated the ease I needed to add.  

I cut the full length and then shortened it by two inches and then turning it up one inch. The sleeves were cut as the three-quarter length which look like full length sleeves. The hems were finished with Knit 'N Stable tape as well as the neckline before they were turned over and top-stitched.  

The fabric has been in my stash for years. I found this piece at Northwest Fabrics and it has a good weight and thickness to it but will still be cool enough for warmer summer days. I didn't pre-treat it. My bad. Okay, I'm still trying to find my sewing mojo, pre-treating wasn't high on my priority list. I cut it with the stripes running vertically because I didn't have enough to cut it horizontally. Bet you thought I was trying to avoid matching the stripes? Well, not much else to say about this project besides the stats.

The Stats:

Fabric:  2 metres cotton / lycra knit

Knit 'N Stable tape:  2 metres

Pattern:  McCall's 6886

Additional Tools and Supplies:  Sewing machine, serger, tweezers, thread, cutting table, pins, iron, ironing board, sleeve ham, and coffee.

Happy Sewing!  

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

I Didn't Give Up...

In my mind there is a difference. If I gave up, Vogue 9814 would be put aside instead in the trash. That skirt pattern that I've been wanting to make since I got my hands on it has been too much for my non-existent sewing mojo. 

After my second mistake sewing this pattern up I realized that I'm just not feeling the love for this fabric and I don't think its worth the work to spend some time taking apart this seam.  

Yup, I sewed the front sides together instead of sewing the front centre seam. It wasn't my first mistake on this project. I also sewed the right side of the pocket facing to the wrong side of the pocket. And instead of seam ripping it and starting over, I trashed the pockets as well and decided to make it without. Yeah, I love pockets. That had to be a sign that this project was doomed.  

There's a part of me that felt bad about trashing this project and then I remembered that a former colleague asked for scraps of fabric and I did rescue it in hopes that it will find a new life. 

I sure miss my sewing mojo.  

The Stats:  

Fabric:  2.2 metres

Twill Tape:  1.2 metres

Pattern:  Vogue 9814

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Sewing machine, serger, threads, pins, pin cushion, cutting table, scissors, thread clippers, iron, ironing board, tailor's chalk, and an admission of defeat.  

Happy Sewing!  

Day 2 Photo Challenge: Positive Changes

For my photo challenge today I have to acknowledge Peter Lappin's blog [Male Pattern Boldness] post from 2012. This post set me on ...