Tuesday, April 26, 2016

MMMay16: My Me Made May Pledge

4 more days and the next challenge will take off: Me Made May 2016. I've heard a lot about it, but haven't participated yet. For those of you who don't know about Me Made May: here's a quick walk-thru.

Me-Made-May'16 (#MMMay16 for social media interaction) is a challenge designed to encourage people who sew/knit/crochet/refashion/upcycle garments for themselves to wear and love them more. The me-made and self-stitched challenges have been taking place for six years now and they work on both a personal and community level. The participants decide the specifics of their own challenge, so that the month is appropriate and challenging for them (more on this below). For example, a very common pledge is for a participant to aim to wear one self-stitched or refashioned garment each day for the duration of May 2016. The participants can also choose to document their challenge with daily photos (though this is in no way compulsory for taking part) and share them with other participants (more on this below as well). Source.

My very first MMM-pledge'll be:
I, Allynara (sewcotton.blogspot.com + sew_cotton on FB and Instagram), sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '16. I endeavour to wear at least one selfmade item each day for the duration of May 2016.

Altough I already wear my selfmade clothes regularly, I don't wear them all the time. There are also some items that don't get worn that often, so this is the perfect opportunity to change that. How about you? What is your MMM-pledge this year?
Sign up until april 30, 2016:


Monday, April 11, 2016

Mailorder #9005: The Blouse

My very first #VintagePledge2016 is complete! Only 2 more to go, and I've reached my goal for this year. The previous post I blogged about the skirt, which wasn't too bad, but I just couldn't see myself wearing it without altering it. The blouse however is magnificent. I love the little splits to the front and the overall cut. I'm definitely going to make another version of this one! Perhaps a plain one, with the bows added.

As my second make from one vintage pattern this doesn't count as a second make of my Vintage Pledge, but part of a first make. I didn't have to do a lot of alterations: just omitted the seam allowance and moved the waist up a bit, because it hit too low. While sewing the blouse, I also left the side seams open. Partially because I liked it better that way and partially because otherwise I wouldn't be able to put it on. For the same reason I didn't put in an invisible zipper, but some hook-and-eyes. This way I could open up the side all the way to the bottom and put the blouse on.

I didn't need to alter the pattern a lot. I only adjusted the waist so it would hit my natural waist and I omitted the seam allowances. Aside from that I left the sides open to mimic the front, for 2 reasons. First of I liked it better that way and secondly I simply couldn't get it on if I didn't. Because of this last reason I decided against a zipper and put in some hook-and-eyes. This way I could open up the side and put the blouse on. Even though I was a bit wary about the hook-and-eyes opening all by itself, everything stays perfectly closed and nothing is flashing that wasn't meant to be. I used hook-and-eyes because I couldn't find an invisible zipper that opens up at the front. AND with writing this, I just had an epiphany: I just needed to put the zipper upside down and voila! Problem solved :)

This is a blouse I'm definitely going to make again. I simply love the way it looks, even with this wearable muslin. I liked it so much I wore it for Easter with pride!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Printed Pattern #9005: The Skirt

A skirt, but not just any skirt: a real vintage skirt! In December last year I copied the original pattern onto paper tissue. You know, to preserve the original. In January I cut it out, but then it struck me. Doubt! Could I this? You read all around the internet that Vintage Patterns are soooo different from modern ones in sizing etc. Did I chose the right size?

So instead of just doing it and starting this new and exciting adventure, there it was, simply lying around until I was ready. In the meantime I tackled another new-to-me project: curtains! I made some for the kitchen and living room, but never blogged about it. Curious? Read all about it on Facebook.
Last week it started to itch again. I was really curious about my very first Vintage Pattern and wanted to know if it really was that different. When copying the pattern in December, I discarded the seam allowences, but I still had about 10-12cm (4-5") of extra room. After asking around, I found out that it was pretty normal for the 50's-60's. So when I first fit the skirt, I was actually pleasantly surprised. The outline was not too bad and the sizing around the hips was spot on. However, the waist was still too big. I took it in by 1,5cm (5/8") on either side (so 6cm, 2 3/8" in total), tapering down to 0 at the hips.

The skirt also has a pleat at the back, though I don't really know what it's for. The instructions tell you to sew it close like you would a normal seam until a few Cm's from the hemline. I couldn't quite figure out what they wanted me to do with it, so I just left it like that, slit the pleat and made a nice split out of it. I took out the pleat in the pattern and simply added a modern split so I would still be able to walk comfortably.

They say that back in the day, people were smaller. To be honest, you wouldn't have guessed it when you looked at the length of the skirt. I had to omit 16cm (6 3/8"). Otherwise it would fall below mid-calf instead of just below the knee. Mid-calf doesn't really suit me either, I'm too petite.
And last but not least: the zipper. According to this pattern, I had to put it on the side. After doing so in this version, I came to dislike it. It looked funny when I wore it, like I'd got a deformed hip or something, whilst the other looked perfectly fine. I ironed it several times, but it just wouldt help. So next time, I'll put the zip in at the back instead of at the side.
The Verdict
A really nice basic skirt with a few alterations. In my opinion not too many, fortunately. Next time though, Ill be taking out another cm (so 4 for the entire skirt, which brings the total of omitted wiggle room to 10cm (=4")).
Next up is the blouse for this pattern. By now I was able to sew it up, so the next post won't be long. Curious? You can find some Sneak Peaks at Instagram and Facebook!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Vintage Pledge 2016

It's back! #VintagePledge 2016 is a fact. I first encountered this challenge last year. The idea is simple: you set a goal for yourself and have the entire year to live up to it.
Last year I set my goal at making 3 vintage-/reproduction patterns or vintage inspired patterns. I barely was able to finish it! My initial goal, however, was to only make vintage or repro patterns. But throughout the year I adjusted it. So this year I got my gameplan better adjusted to what is possible and I feel better prepared for this challenge. Even better: I already started this challenge. My goal for 2016: 
My goal for 2016 is to make at least 3 different pieces of clothing out of 3 different vintage- or reproduction patterns.
This means that if a pattern includes a pant as well as a blouse, this only counts as one. However, if I use one pattern for a blouse and another for pants, this counts as two.
How about you guys? Want to join this challenge? Then go and have a quick look at A Stitching Odyssey! Share your projects on Social Media with #VintagePledge!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Looking back to the past

Do you know the feeling when you're thinking about something and it finally hits you? Well, that's the feeling I experienced today. Normally I'm not really one to dwell in the past, I'm more the kind of person that lives in the present but is longingly looking at the future. So it doesn't hurt to keep two feet on this planet and look back to the past to see what you've accomplished. To really realize it, not just know it. There is a difference. It's like that I know that my sewing skills have improved, but it wasn't until just know that I did realize it.

There is this Facebookgroup called We Sew Retro Sew & Tell, by the founders of We Sew Retro. The vision is a simple one: post your own Vintage and Retro (inspired) makes and people will comment on them. People also frequently ask questions to expand their knowledge. This time someone wanted to know why people draft there own patterns because she wanted to learn how to do it. I immediately thought of my wool winter skirt from last month. But then it hit me. 

I was telling myself a lie. Because when I first started to sew, I made a selfdrafted A-line skirt. Even better, I wrote a tuturial on how you could make one yourself. At the time, I was very pleased and proud that I drafted my very own pattern and I wore the skirt to bits. But today I can see the mistakes I made, not only in sewing, but also in drafting. The zipper was all wrong, the skirt didn't fit and kept crawling up. For a beginner however it was a really good starting point. Throughout the years and years of adapting printed patterns to my own measurements, I began to know how a pattern worked, what it meant if I tweaked this or that, ... Adapting a pattern is as much creating one as drafting a pattern. I would say drafting is the difficult part, but as I read the comments of people who draft and adapt their patterns, I came to realize that perhaps drafting is the easier part. It just depends on what you know, what you're comfortable with and whether you've done it before.

But back to where this is all about: below you'll find a picture of the A-line skirt from August 2010 and one from December 2015. (Gee, has it really been 5 years already? Time flies when you're having fun!).

A simple and beautiful A-line Skirt (only Dutch, never translated it)

A wool winterskirt

Monday, January 11, 2016

A Wool Winter Skirt

In my Sewing Spree last month, I also made a little winter skirt. One that I wore so often ever since I made it, that I didn't have time to photograph it. But I couldn't keep this little pearl from you! 

I made the pattern myself, after coming across this Pin on Pinterest. You do need a basic knowledge of adjusting patterns. If you are used to adjusting any pattern to your own measurement, I do believe that is all it takes. After all, that's all the experience I have and I was able to pull it off!

The skirt has deep pockets on both sides. A little to deep. That's something I'll need adjust next time. The zipper is just an ordinary zipper. The fabric doesn't cover the zipper in the picture, but that is because I didn't iron the skirt before photographing it.

This truly is a new wardrobe staple of mine. Next time I'll tweak it a little bit more: I'll raise it so it hits my natural waist and make the pockets a little shallower. I already chose the fabric: a nice checkered wool.