Monday, February 23, 2015

A Green Tunic

At first I decided not to blog this one because hey I had just made something very similar (HERE) so there was not that much more to say about it.


.....then Wilma styled it like this the first time she wore it and I thought hmmm, that's pretty neat.
Normally her choice of clothing combinations is not this put alllllll - which is totally fine and part of the charm of being a child, right! But this I really liked.

The fabric is part of Cotton + Steel's Basics collection and I bought is from Miss Matatabi. And yes this is the third post in a row that has fabrics from her lovely shop and I have more coming. It is my first post with Cotton + Steel though, woohoo. Super lovely quality!

I made this one with short sleeves and then a tad longer to make it tunic length.

And that's it...there is really not any more to say that I did not already say in THIS post which contains a mini tutorial on how to transform the original Japanese pattern into this style shirt/tunic.

Thank you!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Lotta Skirt by Compagnie M

Marte from Compagnie M. contacted me a while back and generously asked me if I wanted to try out one of her patterns free of choice.
I was very tempted to go with The Swing Skirt pattern but ended up going for a pattern for myself. The Lotta Skirt. A versatile style with some clever drafted pockets. It is a style I love to wear on an every day basis.

Oh man, the result is fantastic! Like YES fantastic. It has the perfect amount of width to make it a relaxed comfortable style but at the same time you do not have to worry about going out on a windy day.

I love the design of the pockets and the chance to add some contrast fabric and pretty buttons on the pocket flaps.

Another thing I was really happy about are the lines and angles of the actual pattern. You can see this is made by an architect that knows that those things matters! The result is a great fitting skirt that feels wonderful to wear.

I also had some things that I was not so happy with and I don't find it super fun to write about those things. I know that it is someone else's hard work I'm criticizing and who am I to do that?!
But I strongly believe that constructive criticism is what makes us all better. I did not get my sewing degree by being told that everything I made was just great. I have picked up countless seams (and I still do) so here goes.....

The first thing I noticed was the creases Marte made with her iron to divide the gatherings on the skirt to the waistband pieces correctly.
And beside the fact that a tiny snip in a notch would do that job in a second, I also have to mention that it is really not a good idea to make creases in fabric unless you want them there permanent. If you are unlucky you simply won't be able to iron them away again - especially since you have to do it in the middle of gatherings which you do not want to flatten at all.

Then I noticed that the tutorial shows to overlock both skirt and waistband pieces all the way around - also at the top. There is no reason to overlock seams that are going to be hidden inside the waistband. That is both a waste of time and thread plus it adds unnecessary bulk. Especially since the top of the skirt is later gathered and that adds a ton of extra bulk. IF it is for some reason necessary to overlock the seam where the gathered top of the skirt is sewed to the waistband then do it afterwards in one go, gathered skirt seam and waistband seam together.

Then lastly there was the lining pattern - and I know there are lots of opinions about this but this is my blog, okay! If I buy a skirt pattern with an option for a lining I want a separate lining pattern. I do not want to cut the lining pieces by using the skirt pattern pieces and let me tell you why:
- It needs to be shorter than the skirt which means I afterwards have to measure and cut of more if I don't have a lining pattern. It is a waste of time and fabric.
-When you have a skirt with width like this one you do not really need or want the same width in the lining. You need some but not all. A new lining pattern would be able to compensate for that
-And the last reason is that when I do not have a lining pattern pieces, I do not have notches for the pleats. The pattern is very correct stating that instead of gathering the lining like the skirt, instead use pleats which is less bulky. But I do not appreciate to be told to do my own calculations so they get placed evenly on each side. This is a product sold for money and in my opinion is it the pattern maker's job to make it complete.

The same thing happened for a placement of a notch. I needed a notch where the end of the pocket opening meets the waistband but instead the tutorial tells me to put my waistband up to the skirt and make a mark myself. All this should have been done in the pattern making process and notches should have been added to the pattern.

All these things I'm mentioning above might sounds like minor things and they kind of are!
Yes, of course the most important thing is the base of the pattern - the actual shape of the pattern pieces are perfect. 
But like I said before when a sewing pattern is for sale then I think it is in order to expect all the techniques to make sense and all the pattern pieces to be complete - also an optional lining piece. Plus a complete set of notches to ensure a pleasant sewing process.

I might be alone about this but I do not only want a perfect result like I certainly got with the Lotta Skirt. I also want a pleasant sewing process where I don't have to get up from my sewing machine unnecessary times to make notches and marks along the way.

Okay, deep breath and let's move on, alright :-)

Now let's return to the lovely things about this pattern because there are lots of that too!
The pockets are ingeniously made. Simple yet very cool. They are part of the skirt and then folded over. Smart!

I love these old buttons I had left from when I had my apparel company.

The fabric is that same flower printed cotton that I used for the yoke for THIS top from Miss Matatabi. The fabric had the perfect drape for this skirt but was ever so slightly see-through so I added a lining. The navy fabric on the pockets is double gauze. I interfaced my pocket flaps. I felt I would get the best result like that.

I really love wearing this skirt and I have already made another one (which means I have to go through another photo shoot arghhhhh).

I also made this dolman sleeved t-shirt in organic interlock knit from Organic Cotton Plus (psssst it's on sale at the moment).
The pattern is from the Japanese sewing book called Stylish Dress Book by Yoshiko Tsukiori. It is actually a pattern for woven fabrics AND a dress but hey....this worked too. Interlock fabric is not very stretchy anyway and I knew this pattern was plenty big and I actually ended up making a size XS (which is not my normal size) and it is still roomy just the way it is suppose to be.

I love this outfit and as soon as I don't feel like wearing wool cardigans every day it will be worn all the time.

Thank you Marte for your generosity!

I will be back soon-ish with another Lotta Skirt paired with another top from a Japanese sewing book.

Get you Lotta Skirt Pattern HERE. The link is for the pdf-pattern that I used but you can now also buy it as a paper pattern.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Quilted Knit Top with Yoke.

When you are planning on making a post mainly with photos it would really be an advantage if the photos were good, right!! Well, not today - sorry!!!

This top has put me through 3 photo shoots and I made one mistake after another BUT I learned some things along the way! Unfortunately for you I will only show that in my next post, ha.
So today you are getting some overexposed crap and I'm sorry about that but I just couldn't handle a 4th photo shoot.
Oh, and thank you Celina for helping me avoid utter disaster and doing your editing magic.

The worst part is that I looooove this top and I have been looking forward to show it to you. So here it is folks!!

It is actually made with the same self-drafted pattern that I used for THIS post. But with short sleeve of course.

What a difference this fabric makes compared to the green think and drapey fabric I made the other top from.

Both these lovely fabrics are from Miss Matatabi on Etsy.
The navy quilted knit is so cool and suitable for so many projects - it is both soft and sturdy at the same time.
I wasn't able to find the amazing floral cotton fabric again in her web shop - I think I bought it on sale so it might be gone - but it has texture a bit like gauze but thicker. I love it so SO much. And I can reveal that it is playing a big role in my next post - uhh, teaser!

Cotton shirt from H&M and slim utility pants from J.Crew.

Here is one of the few photos from one of the earlier photos shoots that was not blurred (it took some time to figure out how to handle focus AND taking photos with a remote with my new lens, ha) BUT with this shot I realized that ironing my shirt would be a good idea. Siiiiigh!

Thank you for your patience!