Monday, December 31, 2012

2012, over and out

Well folks, 2012 was definitely not as prolific as 2011 was sewing-wise.   Or so I thought.  As it turns out, the total count items-wise is pretty close:  I am coming up with 30-ish items, same as last year.  But where last year I made a lot of dresses (14 -- egad!), this year I made more simple skirts and tops, and maximized pattern re-use.  The numbers I'm coming up with for 2012 are:

Dresses:  6  (2 Sewaholic Cambies, and 4 vintage Butterick 6075)

Tops:  10  (8 Sewaholic Renfrews, including several I failed to blog, and 1 Sewaholic Alma, which has been finished since November but I have neglected to photograph!)

Skirts for me:  8 (2 Simplicity 2655 and a bunch of "moon" variants, some of which I have failed to blog)

Skirts for schmeebot:  10 (all Pacific Moons ... she lives in them, which is the best compliment a sewist could possibly have!)

Not counted in my numbers above was my big fail of the year, my Stegosaurus butt Colette Ginger, as it never reached the finish line.   I understand what went wrong there and need to give that pattern another try.  Granted, I may tackle the not-on-the-bias version first this time!  My other fail of the year was my first Cambie -- given that it was basically a wearable muslin anyhow, no big deal.  It's wearable, but not comfortable!  Oh, and this skirt also has to go ... too dirndl-y to sit as close to the waist as it does.

So what was good this year?  I made a lot of wearable (if not particularly exciting) items!   I think my favorite for the year is still the very first thing I posted, my first Butterick 6075.  It's a little loose-fitting, but I love the fabric and the style.  But honestly?  I rarely wear dresses in real life.   When I sew dresses, it's mainly for the joy of making something pretty.

With the Sewaholic Renfrew, I got really excited about sewing knits.  I had made a few knit tops before, but things really clicked somehow with the Renfrew.   It's just a great pattern.  I've made it as directed, plus a sleeveless variant that works well for me because I wear cardigans a lot.  I think in the future I may draft it a few inches longer rather than using the bottom band, which doesn't always sit well on me.  Especially now that I have a place to set up my coverstitch machine again ...

And skirts!  I wear skirts a lot ... far more than pants these days.  I don't think I could have too many!  Alas, my most favorite skirts are still store-bought ones ... surely I can change that in 2013?  My favorite skirt for the year is one of the Pacific Moons I made for schmeebot, but I have more of the fabric and will be making myself one, hopefully soon.

This was kind of a crazy year, what with buying and moving into our first house, plus a new hobby that is now vying for my sewing time.  That whole job thing keeps me pretty busy too, naturally.  I'm still struggling with getting photos of myself in the stuff I make -- I HATE being photographed!  But seeing the garments on me helps me see how I can improve the fit, so I need to try harder.  Plus I know it helps other people who may be considering the same patterns I'm using.  So I'll try to do better ... too bad it's gray and rainy today (and probably tomorrow too).

Hm, so what do I want to sew next year?   I wear skirts a lot so I need to work on making some I love as much as my favorite store-bought ones, many of which have fun pockets or interesting details.   I'd like to make more tops too -- I like my Alma and will make more, and the Renfrew is evergreen as far as I'm concerned!  And finally, dresses -- I would love to make a few more vintage dresses, even if they don't see much wear.  I just love the process.   So, I guess what I want to sew next year is ... everything.  No surprise there.

Anyhow, I hope y'all have had a good 2012, and may 2013 bring you good fortune!  I'll leave you with two skirts I made back in May but failed to blog ... probably because I meant to get pictures of me wearing them.   Well, I think that ship has sailed, so here they are adorning the fence at my old house.  The red one uses the skirt pieces from Butterick 6075.

The olive one is a longer, fuller version of the "New Moon" skirt I have made so many times ... I guess it's a "Full Moon", ha ha.  Unfortunately I think it is gonna get purged from my closet: it's too lumpy at the waist will all those gathers.  

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Last Pacific Moons of 2012

I sewed up two more Pacific Moons for schmeebot before Christmas.  I was planning on three but my Winter vacation is slipping away and I still have so much I want to do ...

Both of these skirts are made from Ikea fabric and facings purchased from Hobby Lobby recently.   Schmeebot is especially enamored of the white fabric with blue-black (depending on lighting) splotches.  Unfortunately I struggled a bit with pattern layout:  I wanted both the center of the "swirl" and some of the white space at the edge of the cluster to be on the skirt front, but the skirt pieces weren't big enough to do both.  I decided to prioritize the center of the cluster, and once I did that there wasn't really a need to keep the waistband white (which I didn't quite manage anyhow!)  Also, at the time I was cutting this, we didn't have much of this fabric and I was trying to be a little thrifty in my layout.   n To cut to the chase: if I make another skirt with this fabric I will do it differently!   Yesterday I bought another 3.5 yards of it so we are set for more splotchy skirts than we possibly need.  :)

The second fabric was my pick -- I can't pass up anything with a bird on it!  (Unfortunately I don't see this one on Ikea's site any more.)  The pattern layout was more successful here: I cut the back pieces on the cross grain because that worked out better with the print.

Up until now, schmeebot has purchased all the Ikea fabric and mailed it to me.  But her local Ikeas were all out of the splotchy fabric, and mine had just gotten it back in stock.  So I swung by to pick some up -- I had an appointment that took me nearby anyhow.  I hadn't Ikea-ed in a while: nowadays Ikea has a cutting table where you can help yourself to fabric, which is very cool ... except all the scissors are right-handed!   Come on Ikea, lots of creative peeps are lefties! 

I plan on returning soon with a lame year wrap-up post before the New Year ... I haven't tallied things up  but I suspect 2012 will be The Year I Sewed A Few Things Many Times.  

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Doing some more mooning

Whoops, been a while since I've posted.  And I actually have been doing some sewing ... more of the same-old same-old, though, so I'm not sure it's gonna excite you.   I made schmeebot five more Pacific Moons: most of them were completed over the long Thanksgiving (in the US that is) weekend.  I love making these -- so Zen, as I know exactly how they are going to come together.  We tweaked the pattern a tiny bit for this round:  the pockets are now two inches deeper and I'm making the waist measurement a half-inch smaller for stretch fabrics than for non-stretch ones.

Heeeere we go ...

I made a few solid colors.  First up is orange:  I made one already from this exact fabric and schmeebot has worn it out!  This is the only skirt of the bunch where I chose something specifically for the facing fabric.  The others all have facings that came from my huge scrap collection.

And of course she needed a basic black one.  Yoke facing (also pocket facing) is leftover from the dinosaur dress.

Then, prints.  I love this crazy fabric.  I love the orange-y dot fabric with it too, and let a little show at the edges of the pockets, rather than rolling it to the inside.  It looks a bit like piping that way.

This is the one schmeebot says she ends up wearing the most! It's made from Ikea home dec fabric.

And I've saved the best for last!  This is more Ikea fabric -- the print is a huge dandelion/sparkle thing.  I had fun figuring out how to lay out the skirt pieces to get an interesting design.  Eventually I will make myself one like this too.

I've also made myself a skirt from another Ikea fabric, and a Sewaholic Alma blouse.  And here comes the Christmas/New Years holidays ... and a big box of Ikea fabrics just arrived!    However, sewing now has to compete with a new hobby: not one I plan to blog about much, but I may share just one post on it sometime soon.