Sunday, 26 June 2016

Vogue 1324 Donna Karan skirt

I did this in a heavy-ish jersey fabric I picked up from Ridley Road market, a couple of years ago.
I was surprised that this sewed quite well - and that's saying something because I've got a total hate-hate-hate relationship with jersey fabrics. I don't like them, and they certainly don't like me, and I usually make a completely mess out of jersey projects.

Oh well.

I love the Donna Karan skirt design. It is really interesting in so far as there is no vertical side seam: the panels that cover the side wrap round from the front towards the back for a bit. Not quite parabolic arches, but part of that shape.

Here's a photo to try and show the side "seam" area:

It's a bit difficult to see the seams, here is another photo of not quite the same area:

The front of the skirt is on the right-hand side of the above photo, and the back at the left-hand side (obviously).

I had huge problems with the waistband: the part that starts to one side of the front centre panel where there is no waist band, and wraps all around the back, - it gets folded over and forms the inner facing that I stitched down.

Where the centre panel was stitched to the sides of the waistband, the waistband extended way beyond this seam - I had so much left over that I laid it down towards the front centre: they didn't reach right to the middle so I just stitched them down. I had ironed some stretch interfacing to the top of the central panel to reinforce because it is a single layer right in the middle. Where I stitched those too long sides down I got three layers.

So something isn't right with this but it is probably me. I can't remember when I even started this so I may just have cut this strip too long. Or not long enough as the case may be. Who knows.

I decided to try this Vogue pattern in a jersey as a wearable toile. I could eliminate the back seam and the zip. I only stitched down the bottom of the inner facing in a few places so the fabric stretches enough for me to put it on. That works okay.

Not a great photo, but here's the whole thing. The front darts are interesting too, sat at an angle (as are the back darts):

The whole skirt is not fantastic (I mean my execution of it) but I may wear this around the house. Or if I am having a scruffy day then maybe to the pub, maybe one that isn't terribly well lit, if you know what I mean...

I like the fabric so I may try to sew with a heavier stretch fabric again. Maybe. I just have that difficult relationship with jerseys: I hate them and they hate me right back. They completely misbehave for me and I usually have a huge struggle on my hands with them. I am not a fan.

I like the design enough to want to make this in a woven fabric (as intended) but I am worried that I might run into fitting issues because of those side "seams". I don't know how a woven fabric would behave in the hip area.

It took me ages to get this finished but I am very pleased that I didn't abandon this. This is huge progress for me!

Saturday, 25 June 2016

I've done a sewing bee!

Well I did. I made this skirt in a Sunday morning - and to be honest I'm not quite sure how I managed to finish it within a relatively short amount of time.

I am always amazed at the short time available to the candidates on the Great British Sewing Bee and that most of them rise to the challenge - it would take me at least three times as long.  I really don't understand how you can anything in a few hours.

The back needs to be a touch longer when I make another one like this

But this time I actually started: picked the fabric, adapted a skirt pattern that fits me by making it the length I wanted, cut out, sewed together, inserted the zip (not necessarily in that order) and did the other bits: hemming, putting a facing in.

And it came together really well!

I thought I might have to cut out the pieces while overlocking them but the fabric turned out not to fray much like the crazy fraying fabric that I used for another, slightly longer skirt.  It went well.

The only thing that didn't go so well is that even though I stuck a pin in the length of the skirt back panel to one side of the centre vent, checked it twice to make sure the other side would be the same length... I still managed to get them different lengths. By a few millimeters so it's quite a bit off.

Not really sure how that happened.

I also need to let out the hem towards the side seam, it's just a bit crooked, which is again rather strange, but because I can do these things at the next sewing meeting I'll leave them until then.

Apart from that it's finished.  And yes, it's not lined which definitely accounts for the fact that I got this done in a morning. With lining, all bets would have been off!

What helped was that I knew the order I wanted to sew this in, and that this order suits me. I knew what needed doing and didn't have to figure things out in the middle - but the one thing that helped me the most: I didn't stop.

Which sounds obvious but it isn't to me - I often stop right in the middle because I have to figure out a complicated bit, or I feel that my focus and concentration have taken a break, so I stop to not mess up. I reckon that's a good thing but I could be getting back to it quicker than I do.

Let's take now: I got quite far with a long silver boucle skirt and could be sewing the lining hem, but I set it aside and I'm typing this instead.  That's my problem: I always find something else to do that's also worthwhile.

Oh well...

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Too big

I was complaining about how my Lucca shawl keeps coming out way too small, and I mean wayyyyy too small?  Here's the opposite problem:

I made another curtain, gah!  All that work and I can't really do anything with the finished item?

This was meant to be a shawl that's up to 100cm across. Instead it's a good 150cm diameter!
I can't wear that!?

Just look at my tippy-toes at the bottom edge of the photo, for size comparison (okay, you don't see much of my foot, you'll have to imagine it - each foam tile is about 50cm across).  I could have easily stretched this to even bigger, my constraint was the foam tiles. The area where the middle flowers are is a bit dense - I could have pulled this further on the outside points.

It is a pretty pattern though, I got lots of enjoyment out of knitting this.  Except when I ran out of yarn.  And that should have tipped me off about just how big this was going to get: I had two massive Fyberspates Scrumptous lace yarn skeins and got too close to running out - I used the dark blue yarn (also Fyberspates lace, this colour is called Midnight, my main light grey colour is called Water).

I wanted to switch to the contrast colour at a point in the pattern where it wouldn't look too horrible - this seemed as good a place as any.

I was glad to use up a stash yarn that I've had a number of years, so long in fact that I couldn't get more in the same dye lot and had to buy yet more in this dark blue. So I am left with the rest of that.

I was thinking that it might be nice to make a shawl like this in a few colours: different colorus for the centre and for portions of the outside.  Not in stripes or rings of the same width, perhaps one ring that's just an inch or so if it's a good spot between two other portions of the pattern?  It could look really good.

But that means that I would have to buy even more!  Yikes.

But I like the idea of a shawl in different colours: I would love to use this dark blue, a light pink, a small area in white and then some other colour for the rest.  I even saw a Niebling pattern that would be suitable.

But let's be honest: should I be buying yet more yarn?  I mean really?

The answer to that has to be no.

But I am still tempted now that I had the idea!
It's being able to see the finished product in front of my inner eyes, that's the problem.  I see something I like and I want it.