Sunday, 28 October 2012

Skirts on Sunday

For my birthday last year my husband gave me a generous 50€ gift card to one of my favourite fabric shops in Berlin. I saved it up for a while but burnt it all on summery fashion fabrics to enhance my skirt closet. With my superior, cough, math skills I managed to buy fabric for three skirts and even squeezed matching thread out of my gift card.

One awesome thing about fashion fabrics is their width of usually 140 cm/ 55 inches. If you're making knee-length, gathered skirts out of a non-directional print one metre will serve you more than well because you can cut up the fabric vertically into two 1 metre x 70 cm panels. But 80 cm or 32 inches were actually enough for me to create a nicely gathered skirt for my 40 inch hip. The difference can easily be used for a yoke.

The first skirt I made was a simple elasticated one, no yoke, out of an adorable brown floral.

It's simple enough to work with two rectangles and tutorials for this style abound on the net. It is slightly trickier to find just the right width for the encasing. If it's too wide you elastic will be all loose and twist a lot. If it's too tight it bunches up - if you get it all the way through, that is.

With this skirt my encasing was too wide, so it tends to twist a lot. It's manageable, however, if you sew down your fabric in the seams. That way you also ensure that the same amount of fabric (and gathers) will be in the back and front without you having to check up on that everytime. Also, there are better ways to finish an encasing than making a bulky seam. I've learned that by now.

My standard French seams.

A simple hem to finish a simple skirt.

I'll be back next week with the second gift card skirt.

Happy sewing!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Skirts on Sunday

This skirt is the first that I consider a failure though it's looking inconspicuous enough, no?

I made it late last spring using the yoke of good old Burda 8176. For the body I mad my own calculations. Having worked with quilting cottons on two previous skirts I felt somewhat safe in my choice. The fabric, however, was a lot stiffer and despite a gut feeling I hoped that once sewn up it'd all fall into place never materialised.

I used some favourite scraps from my first skirt project to line the yoke. You can see a lot of pulling on the pleat seams. It doesn't look as bad in this snap of the right side but it's still present.

I encountered a lot of trouble handling the fabric. It's a pain to iron, too. Here's a better snap of the disaster, featuring the hidden zipper and yoke. And to think I redid that zipper multiple times as well as trying to fix the yoke.

Even the hem decided against playing along and favoured puckering.

I wore this skirt exactly once because it simply doesn't hang nicely. I washed it several times hoping that'd make some of the stiffness go away but it didn't happen and it certainly didn't make the pulling go away. Defeated by fabric. It's exactly the disastrous project that many fashion sewists will have in mind warning you about using quilting cottons for clothing.

I still like the print but I'm not even sure I'd want it in a quilt because it doesn't have the hand I've got used to. For the moment it will stay in my closet to remind me to trust my gut feeling concerning drape but I might cut it up in the future if the right project comes along. Thanks to my previous experiences it didn't scare me off of using quilting cottons in non-quilty projects and simply became a valuable lesson learnt.

Happy sewing!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

W.i.P. - Going Away/Home Soon

Eek, only three more sleeps! Taking the train to my love on Saturday. I so can't wait to take him into my arms again. Da-da-da-daa da-da-da-da-da da-da-da-daa da-da-da-da-da-daaaaaaa da-da-daaaaa da-da-da-da-da-da-da daaaa daaaa. Yep, it's the final countdown!

He's been living between and out of boxes for nearly three weeks now. Can't expect him to unpack much whilst working full time, can't expect him to feel at home in that mess, either. I'm so glad my sister has offered to come along and help us settle in quickly rather than unpack as we go.

Anyway, let's forget about the move for a moment. Do you remember my tin?

I've been basting nearly all of them whilst watching Horrible Histories - my husband and are enthralled with the show - with my lovely hosts. We've got another season to go, so they should all be done in time to keep my hands busy on the train and then on our sofa with a nice glass of red. So looking forward to that scenario, too.

Alas, no progress has been made on the Viking baby quilt. I didn't have the leisure (and state of mind) to hand quilt. The baby's due in a little under a month now which is still ample of time to finish the beauty. Right?

So, without further ado, here are my

Stats for the Week

The Move  - Unpacking is upon us!

Ongoing Projects - 4
Viking Baby quilt -  more quilting needed
EPP hexies - 29 finished flowers + tons basted
Polaroid blocks Tote - will it ever get made?
EPP parallelograms/stars

Planning Stage - 4
Chair cushions for my sister - yardage has arrived
Yoshi quilt- need to order black yardage and batting
Wedding Anniversary quilt
Cushions for my sil - I think she ordered some lovely Ink & Spindle a few weeks ago

Back onto moving, a whole bunch of troubles with moving are...telephone companies. They've not yet got us on the net and might not for a while. Typical, sure, and still... Major boooooo! So, unfortunately, I might not be posting news for a bit. I have, however, prescheduled a few Skirts on Sunday to keep this place alive and will be back sooner or later to let you know I'm alive. Answering comments should be delayed after Friday but won't be forgotten.

Granted, I'm still sad to leave many people behind but I'm all excited now.

Happy sewing!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Skirts on Sunday

How often do we have the fabric before we can settle on a project to use it for? I'm absolutely guilty of buying fabric without having something specific in mind. Every now and then, though, I've got the project first and need to hunt for the fitting fabric.

Last autumn I was set to make a grey linen skirt, possibly with a few embroidered flowers. I had a tough time finding a pattern that worked with my vision and finally settled on View A Burda 7529. The next problem I enountered was finding a suitable linen fabric. I kept looking but it never materialised. Nevertheless, having bought the pattern, acetate lining, and trim already I did not want to abandon the project.

I came across Riley Blake's Wishing Flowers in Grey whilst working on a farewell present for my husband's colleague. I fell in love and ordered more yardage. Thinking the dandelions had a touch snowflake to them I wanted to finish my skirt in time for Christmas. Making presents for the family for the first time, however, took up a lot more time than I anticipated. So this project got put in the corner and was revived for spring.

Fully lined, French seams.

Quilting fabric is not wide enough for such a wide skirt, so I had to work with four panels and seams instead of two. This helped my decision to move the hidden zipper closure from the side seam to the back atop of which I added a hook and eye for extra security.

The same trim I used on my green slip and a fancy stitch.

I had some troubleworking the pleats with so much and two layers fabric. There's a little pulling here and there around the yoke seam, but as with most things the unprofessional eye doesn't notice it. I love this skirt.

True to my promise to show you my mistakes, too, I'll be back next week with my first big skirt fail! Are intrigued?

Happy sewing!

Monday, 8 October 2012

Giraffes and Elephants

One of Fiona's Sunday Stash acquisitions reminded me of a quilt I made as a Christmas present last year. I might have posted a picture before, or I might not, I'm not sure. I'm a little scatterbrained. But I made it for a very cute boy that's already walking and climbing now and I loved the finished result. So why not post a few old snaps?

I still love the simple design but I think my straight has improved a ton.  

It was the first quilt I ever bound and I did it by machine which stressed me so much even before discovering that I had to re-do several bits. It's been hand sewing ever since for me, if only the binding. First time I used a label, too!

Have a lovely week!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Skirts on Sunday

Hello and back again to my early fashion sewing exploits! The first skirts I made were all summer skirts and therefore unlined. So I made an elasticated slip to be able to wear the black and the mustard one with tights during autumn.

I'd snatched up a lovely piece of dark green silk for a bargain price which lent itself perfectly to the job.

French seams.

I picked a pretty black trim and even thought of using green thread on the bobbin. It's the obvious choice to me now but back then I felt really clever. Hehe.

I'll be back next week with a pleated skirt that I made in spring 2011 and from a fabric which features in a lot of my hexies. Guess which?

Happy sewing!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Married for Six Weeks, Parted for Three...

I'm in a bit of a husband-missing mood. So I've been listening to some swell music, like...


...the song we chose to be played at the registry and for our first dance. Counting the days until we're reunited.

And what else can cheer people like us up?

Why, fabric of course! It's pretty much our crack, right?

Some Town and Country (buses!), two Bella prints, a Kona Dark Palette charm pack, and Kona Wine and Pepper for my stash. They're likely to be turned into pillows - a new place deserves new pillows, right? The Kona Lime and Canary will be turned into the long planned chair cushions for my sister. Oooh, this has cheered me up well.

Happy sewing!

Monday, 1 October 2012

Fresh Sewing Day

Lily's Quilts 

It's October and many things have changed. Don't you love Lynne's new buttons?

Courtyard that I'm going to miss

If you've been following closely you know that I've been working more or less on one change/project only: the move. The last leg in our old flat was extremely stressful and left me close to a mental breakdown. The moving company came with a too small car, despite having a larger one, and tried to talk me into giving up our huge filing cabinet - the filing cabinet that is extremely useful and therefore important for my teacher husband. The workers kept on moaning about how much stuff we own and the weight of the boxes and how more things might not fit in. Why did I ever bother having one of their colleagues over to evaluate the space our belongings would need? 

They took five(!) hours to get everything out of our apartment and, apart from the filing cabinet, into the car because they had to display some seriously mad Tetris skills on the way. I felt sick peeping into the loaded back. Thankfully I had my sister and friends with me who kept on cheering me and took care of painting the kitchen.

View from our bedroom and living room that I'm going to miss even more - Berlin's famous TV tower

At least I've been promised that the filing cabinet will be delivered with the next transport - whenever that may be. I'll call them again tomorrow. They finally arrived at our new place at 8 p.m. and my husband and sister-in-law did a lot of carrying because they'd only sent down two instead of three people because I'd said the flat would on the ground floor. Well, I distinctly recall talking to the foreman about "one flight down to the basement" an his feeling of relief. Further, it's stated on the contract. Yeah, iffy. Apart from that a mirror cracked and my dresser appears to have suffered a few scratches - of more I don't know because my husband is unpacking only the basic things he needs right now. 

Now, I don't mind something breaking. It's bound to happen on any move, especially on this scale. On top of everything else, however, it's extremely annoying. I'll warn everybody I know off this company! I wish we didn't have to move on a budget. It's beyond sucky. But let's stop dwelling on these stressful things now that I've vented once more. 

My favourite project of October will have to wait a little until it's completed but I'm ever more in love.

Happy and sad at the same time - it's pretty much half time for me and the husband and our separation. The tickets for my move on the 20th are booked. Granted, it's still a lot of time but from now on it's not only getting less but also feeling like it. It feels good to know when I'll be back with my love (and my other love the sewing machine, too).

I'm looking forward to happier times and wish everybody a splendid October!