Monday, January 28, 2013

When in doubt read the manual

The challenge tonight was to insert a zip into my Hollyburn skirt. It was only my second zip ever, and the first one I did in sewing class. I knew my Janome sewing machine came with several different feet when I bought it; I knew I had a zipper foot ( plain not invisible) but wasn't sure which one it was. Google, youtube and the Janome website did not help. Finally, about two hours later as a last resort I checked, and yes,an illustration as well as instructions in how to set up the stitches, near the back of the manual. Oh well.

So finally: not perfect, but fine for my first solo zip ( I still need to remove the blue basting stitches, but it is late). Sorry for the horrible phone photo but I'm too chuffed with myself to wait for better light.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sew? Me?!

So, let's just ignore that fact that this blog has been ever so slightly dormant for ages. It is Sunday night and I'm bored, so here is to a fresh start.

For at least 20 years now, I've successfully avoided sewing. Enforced home economics classes in school left me with a strong distaste for both knitting and sewing; I managed to overcome the knitting aversion in 2007 (and has been doing my part for the knitting economy ever since...), but sewing still evoked dreadful memories of frustration and of the way that machines always seemed to 'break' when I used them. Anyway, why sew when I could ask my mom to sew stuff for me?

Except, asking your mom to sew stuff for you becomes harder when you live on different continents. It also makes it harder to ask her for sewing help, so last year I signed up for a dressmaking course offered as part of the adult education offering in my local area. I had bought myself a sewing machine about 8 months before and made some cushion covers and lavender bags, but I had my eye on bigger and better things. Specifically. I have glorious plans of a wonderful wardrobe full of clothes I love and look fabulous in. Ambitious much?

For my first class project I chose Very Easy Vogue 8743. I had recently purchased a similar dress from Marks & Spencer, and loved the fit and the way it made me feel. I did not manage to finish it is my first set of lessons, but the second course started yesterday and the only bits that remain is finishing the neckline and then hemming it. I have run out of thread though so I need to go shopping before I can finish it off. I'll do another post on the project soon.

In my usual way (reference: knitting, spinning and weaving stashes) I seem to have already bought a few patterns and pieces of fabric for projects that I haven't yet started. Over the festive season the new Hollyburn skirt pattern from Sewaholic caught my eye. It is aimed at beginners (tick) and like other Sewaholic pattern is aimed at pear shaped bodies (TICK), and I like the full shape and the fact that it has pockets. Also, I have nothing like it in my wardrobe at the moment. Rather conveniently,  Rachel from My Messings is hosting a Hollyburn sewalong, which I've been reading avidly. I am using a slightly boring but practical grey gabardine fabric from John Lewis, and it is progressing well: I cut is out on Friday evening after work, and have got as far as attaching the waistband already. I've been struggling to a zip in the right colour though (all the greys have been too blue for some reason), so I need to go shopping again before I can go any further.

I am still knitting of course - I was up to five WIPs recently but I finished one project last week (no photos yet). Spinning has not happened in ages (for no good reason) and the loom has had the same bit of weaving on it for about 6 months now. The plan was to spend lots of time crafting over the festive season but somehow that did not happen (or not to the extent that it could have).

Maybe I should make some 2013 crafting resolutions:

  • Blog more (because I like to talk about my crafts and at least when it is in the blog I don't have to see the listener's/reader's eyes glaze over).
  • Ply the singles that have been sitting on bobbins for about 18 months now...
  • Spin something all the way from start to finish within a month.
  • Finish the current weaving project (intended to be a table runner).
  • Sew at least 3 garments I love.
  • Knit myself at least 2 cardigans I love.
Generally, spend less time on autopilot (on the couch watching TV and knitting something mindless) and more time creating (and finishing) things that add value to my life.