Completed project: A teal Ginger

A teal corduroy Ginger

Well, I’d like to say I did a better job of the zip on this version than I did on the Ginger Bodgers… and I did… to begin with! Unfortunately I did it rather too well, with the annoying result that it was really tough pulling the zipper head up and down the teeth. Eventually, dear readers, it broke right in the middle of hemming the damn thing. I’d finished everything else, so heavy was my heart as I took the seam rippers to the zip. Luckily enough I had another concealed zip in the same colour.

I basically did a total hack job – ripping out the zip and just a bit of the top facing. It was SUCH a hack that my zipper left a good inch of fabric waving free at the top, so it was time for a hook and eye. Needless to say – the zip wasn’t so invisible now…

Ginger zip

Eurgh – I think I’ll leave invisible zippers for a while. They are not my friends. Hope you had a lovely Easter peeps!

A teal corduroy Ginger

P.S. Have you seen the new patterns from Sarai at Colette patterns? Gorgeous huh? My favourite is Lily – so retro-glamorous. What’s yours?

Here’s to 2011 sewing (and a sneaky peek at 2012)

What a year it’s been my fellow stitchers. After an action-packed first half of 2011 (I got married which is more than enough action for anyone, trust me!) I started this blog back in July with no idea as to whether I’d keep it up, or whether anyone would even be remotely interested in my witterings on re-learning to sew and the projects I’d work on. It’s been a total eye-opener, a huge learning curve and a downright chuckle too. But enough of the cliches. Here’s what I made this year:

The year in pics

Phew. I seriously am astonished at how much I’ve got through :) This is what I wrote in my first blog post:

“I want to get good at sewing. I want to improve on my very basic skills and be able to approach a new project with a good dose of confidence. I want to make cute buttonholes, sexy zips… I want to set sleeves dammit. I want to make trousers! Yes! Trousers!”

Trousers aside, I’m so SO incredibly delighted and I can’t wait for 2012. However I do know that I need to work on my techniques, finishing garments correctly, not taking shortcuts, reading pattern instructions BEFORE I start, reading them properly DURING the process, etc etc… basically all that fundamental stuff you guys do so well…

Here are the projects to help:

2012 sewing plans:

  • Having recently discovered Victory patterns I’m going to try out the Hazel dress. It’s too cute for words… so just look at the pics and I’ll shuttup…
  • The love affair with Colette continues. In 2012 I’ll be trying my hand at the Violet, the Ginger and the Negroni, as well as all those patterns from the Colette Sewing Handbook when time allows. Plus I’ll probably revisit the Peony.
  • My first sewalong with Sewaholic will commence in January with the Minoru jacket (as long as I get the right fabric in time)
  • I have yet to make New Look 6000  for Scruffy Badger’s fest but that’s something I’ll turn my attention to between Xmas and New Year – the perfect January dress.
  • I have a bunch of vintage patterns I want to do, including this adorable Simplicity 7845 (middle view and also a Scruffy Badger steal) and this Le-Roy 3133 (view A).
Vintage patterns
2012 sewing aspirations:
Less about specific projects – more about expanding my repertoire and developing my creativity…
  • I’d like to make some trousers: Specifically a pair with a high waist and a pair of pedal pushers.
  • I’d like to make a frothy romantic summer dress, gauzy and light with chiffon and satin and lace and something else gauzy and light but I don’t know my fabrics well enough to say what it is.
  • I’d like to get to know my fabrics better.
  • I’d like to get to know my body better and perhaps make a sloper or two that’s a perfect fit for me.
  • I’d like to draft an item all by myself using my new sloper.
  • I’d like to get into Pinterest a bit more. I signed up but haven’t really used it so much yet.
  • I’d like to really sort out my sewing room so it feels less like a cupboard I struggle to keep the cats out of and more like somewhere to dream/create/get inspired. (Who am I kidding – it’ll still be a mess and the cats will still get in…)

Lastly but most importantly, I’d like to meet (in person) some of you AMAZING women that have made this last six months such a fantastic time.  You are all awesome. Here’s to you <pops cork, clinks glasses>.  Have a blooming lovely Chrimbo and a very debaucherous NY. See you on the other side. Joanne xxx

A cocktail and a beignet

Completed project: The Zen-im Beignet Skirt

I love Colette Patterns. I love how they come so beautifully presented (you can tell Sarai was a usability expert in a previous incarnation). I love the website and its simple and intuitive guides and quick tips. I love the sweet little notebook of directions the patterns come with. They truly are little works of art in their own right. And they make me feel extremely calm and a just a little bit zen. So, I am delighted to say that I have finished my very first Colette Beignet and while it’s not perfect by any means, I am thoroughly chuffed with it. Here it is… the
‘Zen-im Beignet’ (a bit creased from sitting down all day though):

Zenim Beignet

I wanted to approach this project as calmly and methodically as I could, for there to be no silly mistakes and no raging tantrums. And guess what – there weren’t! I carefully traced all the pattern pieces onto Swiss tracing paper/material. That took a whole evening but was so worth it as I now have a virtually rip-proof (read: cat proof) version of the pattern in my size.

Zenim Beignet

Another evening was spent cutting out all the pieces – so many pieces! I was quite bedazzled by it all. But I was being zen, remember? So I took it in my stride.

A third evening (or was it Saturday morning at this stage?) was spent preparing the lining and facing and joining the two. And I finally managed to put the whole thing together on Monday night, with just a few adjustments to make on Tuesday.

In all, it was a really lovely project to do and I’m so pleased with the result. I love the little pockets and the neatness of the facing/lining combo inside – what a lovely stylish touch on the part of Colette patterns.

Lining/facing combo

In terms of slip ups or issues – there weren’t many although I could NOT for the life of me understand the concept of understitching the facing. I read through the notes on the pattern twenty times, I looked it up and found a fantastic tute on the Colette patterns website. Nada. I just couldn’t translate what I was seeing on the tute to my skirt, so I decided not to risk it. I also tried and failed to turn my denim belt loops the right side out using the needle method. Oh god – what a horrible little task – I gave up after a while. I’ll attempt it at some point in the future.

Fit wise – it was a little bulky round the waist and hips so I just repositioned the buttons to pull it in a little. I see myself wearing this skirt a lot and I can’t wait to make another version. Yay the Zen-im Beignet!

Disclaimer: Frizzy hair day and v. tired from work – sorry for fairly lacklustre appearance!