About Me

Monday, February 29, 2016

2016 reSEWlutions

Hi all!
I know, we are two months into 2016, but during January I had the wedding on my mind so I postponed my new year resolutions till I get back to a regular routine. Considering I've just started the last week of the internal medicine rotation my routine is as normal as can be. The rotation in this department is considered the most demanding rotation of the year, and getting married mid-rotation had proven more difficult than I imagined. I'm happy that life is about to get less complicated starting next week, so I think it's time to get my reSEWlutions in order.

Since I started clinical rotations two months ago I noticed how I have become more attentive to what I wear, as well as what other students around me wear. I think we all try to be comfortable while still looking tidy and somewhat "grown-up". It's the first time I notice how much affected by fashion trends we all are. So my first reSEWlution for 2016 is to challenge my self with my makes rather than go for what mimics RTW choices. It may sound obvious, a lot of us sew in order to express ourselves and make unique garments, but lately I notice that I'm drawn to the patterns and sillahouettes that resemble what I'd find in chainstores. There is nothing wrong with this kind of inspiration of course, but it is less interesting to make something I could buy. At the same time I notice that I get the most complements over garments that resemble the latest trends in RTW. I like to talk about clothes and obviously don't mind the complements, but it's less interesting to talk about something that looks exactly like what I would find in the nearest H&M. I hope that in 2016 I'll make clothes that are more interesting to me and less " trendy".

Colette book club

I started to read the previous book from the book club and was on schedule to join the discussion, but unfortunately my Kindle screen broke and I missed the deadline. I finished the book two days ago and already started the next one on the list. I would like to join the discussion on this one, and stick with the routine they set. It's so nice to have someone else find all the good sewing-related books!

Make sure I stash enough notions

While I have a lot of fabric, I never seem to have enough thread / buttons / fusible making it impossible to spontaneously start my next project. This year I'll try to stash more notions so missing material won't prevent me from conquering the next project.

Commit to organise the stash

At this point I understand that stash organisation is not a one-time thing. Even when I find my system I will still have to rearrange it whenever I take a piece out, or add some scraps in (or new pieces of fabric!). I realise that the more I use up stash the bigger it gets, because the scraps take up so much space... I recently arranged all the fabric in boxes and would like to actively keep it organised. Additionally I would like to frequently take stock and get rid of scraps more often.

Invest in equipment that will make sewing woven material easier

I keep avoiding the woven fabric in my stash because pressing sleeves to achieve a professional look is difficult with my current set up. It never bothered me before, but the more experience I have the more attentive I become towards pressing and seam finish. I've been telling myself I should get a sleeve ham for a few years now, so 2016 is the year I invest in a few pressing tools!

That's it for now, let's hope 2016 will be full of fun, health and positivity!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Alexandria Peg Trousers / Named - in velvet

Hi all!
Here's to a new experience - I'm writing this post on my phone! My laptop battery is empty and there are no suitable plugs in this classroom. 

I'm still waiting for our wedding pictures to arrive, so I can write a proper wedding dress post (or posts..) without waiting forever for the big reveal, but I'm very happy to inform I finished it on time! Truth be told, a friend had to cut the hem a few hours before the wedding while I was working on shortening D's button down shirt, but everything worked out perfectly and I was happy and comfortable in my hand made outfit.

No more than two days following the wedding I started binge-sewing all the knits that were waiting in my stash. The first project was this pair of Alexandria peg trousers. I bought this weird dotted light blue velvet fabric while fabric-shopping for the wedding outfit (along with the scuba knit I made into a Linden before starting with the dress), and cut them before the wedding.  After making my first Alexandria I knew I wanted more pairs from this pattern, but being rather traditional with my pants choices I didn't want to try a patterned fabric. When I saw the velvet I thought it could be a nice opportunity to try a new-to-me fabric with the potential of creating something different and interesting to beef up my lounge-wear / weekend wardrobe.

Sewing this fabric was a bit tricky partially due to the stretch and drape that were difficult to control but mostly because the layers of the velvet kept shifting under the machine.

While very soft  and stretchy, the fabric is quite thick and warm. The thickness means there's  more fabric around the hips / waist area than I would have liked, and in retrospect I should have used thinner fabric for the pockets and maybe even for the waistband. 

Unlike my previous version, due to the fabric's characteristics (as well as my general hastiness) the front pleats are not as tidy as should be. The outcome is looks like gathering rather than the neat two pleats the pattern calls for, although I didn't (intentionally) gathered the waistband.

Despite all the mishaps I like them more than I have imagined I would. These pants are shiny, drape well, fun and comfortable, and are something I imagine would be appropriate for a Disco party. Other people's opinions were less supportive - my cousins said the silhouette is awesome ( thanks Named!) but they would look better in a different fabric. I realize wearing shiny velvet pants is not trendy (right now) but I'm happy with the less-obvious choice of fabric. I will probably make this pattern again, but I would like to continue to explore the possibilities it holds without sticking with the trendy/ traditional/ RTW inspired fabric choices this pattern suits for.

I first wore them to my grandmother's 85th birthday, which was a very casual weekend event, along with my first Linden (unblogged) and Birkenstock clogs. Time will tell if the outside criticism will change my mind, or rather - I'll continue to enjoy them and everyone will follow.

what do you think? To much? Or just right?

Like the previous version, I made a straight size 36 (my hips are ~88 but I prefer my clothes looser than the average person, I think). I made no changes to the pattern other than omitting the drawstring at the waist (because I don't have one currently... I think It's a great addition and will probably add some once I get the chance to buy it).
Due to the 4-way stretch, I think I hemmed them using a dipper hem. the weight of the fabric causes the legs to twist some time, causing the diagonal lines in the pictures.
I didn't interface anything (because I'm lazy) or pressed any of the seams (told you I was binge-sewing...!) resulting in some back-pockets floppiness I actually quite like.
This version hits just below my navel, while the previous (woven) version seats lower at the waist.