Showing posts with label planning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label planning. Show all posts

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Thinkin' Thoughts

So, something miraculous happened.

I took the photos for my Renfrew post this past Thursday morning. Then, I walked out the door and wore it to work.

Yes, it is both sad and hyperbolic to call that a "miracle."

But that experience of so effortlessly wearing something I’ve made has led me to do some thinking about why I sew, why I choose the patterns I do, and the clothes I wear versus the clothes I want to wear.

I’m very motivated by the idea that sewing would allow me to wear a lot of items that I have difficulty fitting RTW. But there’s a big assumption going on there: that I don’t wear these items because I rarely fit them and, therefore, if I had more versions that fit I would wear them.

I’m starting to debate the extent to which this is true.

Reflecting on my wardrobe, I’ve come to a few conclusions:

1. Dresses:

I LOVE wearing a good dress that fits well. However, I really don’t like dressing to be noticed. The number one reason I don't wear the dresses I own is because I feel like I stand out too much in the print. If my goal is to incorporate dresses into my regular wardrobe (rather than “special occasion”) then I need to be sewing them in solid colours. (At least until I become more accustomed to wearing them and those around me become more accustomed to seeing me in them.) I also need to develop a much better understanding of my own sense of style, so I can better know which prints I will actually feel comfortable and confident wearing (as opposed to just thinking they look great objectively on the bolt).

2. Blouses:

Woven blouses are tricky. It’s a rare blouse that fits me in a way that I feel comfortable and attractive wearing. That being said, I really do enjoy the loose and easy fit of the Sorbetto tank (my oh MY how I wish my cat hadn’t eaten the pretty and well-fitted one!) and it provides a really welcome break from the boring old jersey tanks that I wear under my cardigans (which is basically my uniform, it seems.) I think that with some careful attention to detail I could make a blouse with sleeves that works for me. But I also need to remember that there are certain details I will probably never like on myself, such as the traditional dress shirt collar or any kind of shoulder embellishment (particularly sleeves with even a hint of puff. Not my thing.)

3. Pants:

If I want to wear a more handmade wardrobe, I need to start sewing pants. The truth is that I live in pants, and I can’t see that changing anytime soon. I also seem to have a terrible time finding any that fit me the way I like, so the sewing experience isn't likely to be that much more time-consuming or frustrating than the shopping experience.

4. Knits:

The first point above for pants also applies to knits. Even when I have well-fitted woven tops in my wardrobe, I go for the knits more often than not. So I really should start focusing on this in my sewing.

5. Jackets:

I don't have enough warm layers and jackets, and that is mostly because I just can't find anything that fits me. I really need to tackle my fear of the jacket and just jump in, because a good wardrobe for a temperate climate probably includes at least a few jackets in various weights and I have precisely four. Lest that sound like a lot, be aware that this consists of: a Gore-Tex rain jacket, a snowboarding coat, an ill-fitting blazer and one linty old peacoat. (And really, as much as Vancouverites like to think that Gore-Tex can be dressy… let’s stop fooling ourselves, shall we?)

All that being said, the biggest takeaway from this reflection was the realization that the best-loved items I sew, for myself or for others, are almost always pajamas - and that I’m totally okay with that. Mostly, I just really want to sew things that I wear, love, and prefer to a store-bought version. I’ve suddenly realized that as much as I aspire to sew well-fitting dresses and winter coats, I’m also just a product-driven crafter who wants to make stuff that actually gets finished and worn. And while I don’t care to be noticed in it, or singled out for making it, I do derive a lot of satisfaction from putting on a handmade garment and knowing, I made this.

Friday, March 16, 2012

On The Table...

I'm this close to being done the Lonsdale dress. Seriously, I just have to insert the zipper and hem the outer skirt (lining is already hemmed. Win.) Despite being another "wearable muslin" I'm actually hoping pretty badly that this will be... well, wearable. Fingers crossed!


After that's finished, I'm going to attempt something pretty ambitious: swimwear. I'm not sure if this is crazy or not, but I'm going for it. We're planning a trip somewhere warm at the end of the month (thank you, tax returns!) and I've had to admit that my favourite suit is really past its prime. I've bought another one in the meantime, but I'd really love to be able to recreate my old one. Unfortunately, in my enthusiasm for this project I neglected to take a "before" photo, so I can't really show you what I'm going for. This is where it's at, currently:


I've never cared much for the colours or print, but the fit was beyond perfect. It was the first time I discovered a "D-cup" top in a swimwear store that didn't obviously look like a D-cup top, if you know what I mean. (Don't get me started ranting about how things start to look different in larger sizes. Maybe I'm a rarity in that I have a large bust - F-cup - but need relatively little in the way of "support". That's not to say that my bust is enviously perky; it must just be rather light, as I definitely don't require extra-wide bands/straps, "full coverage," or any of the other modifications that bra companies seem to make for every style of bra above a C-cup.)

It's a triangle top, but the triangles were fixed together and to the string, rather than moving freely. Upon ripping it apart I discovered that the elastic is actually in perfect shape with great recovery, so I'm going to re-use it. I just so happened to have some swimsuit fabric lying around in a pretty awesome shade of blue, plus some white athletic fabric for the lining:



And, I have enough of both to screw this project up about ten times. Win!

My other plan is to take a stab at testing the new Suzy Patterns design. I'm not going to be overly ambitious and buy fabric; instead, I'm going to commit the cardinal sin of garment sewing and dive into my Mom's quilting cotton stash. I'm not 100% sure I have enough, but I think I'll be able to squeeze it out of this white floral (I'm going to go sleeveless, so that will help):


Compared to some of the other quilting cottons in my stash, it actually has a relatively nice hand. Hopefully it'll be a wearable muslin in the end!

So, that's where I'm at.

As an aside, I recently discovered I was kindly nominated - twice! - for the Liebster blog award:


For anyone who hasn't yet seen it, it's an award for relatively new bloggers with less than 200 followers. I'm so honoured that my peers would pick me! Particularly these two lovely ladies. After hemming and hawing about it, I've decided I don't want to nominate five others as per the rules (I'm such a rebel...), but instead I'd just like to implore you to go visit the talented sewists who nominated me:

Amy at Sew Well
Andrea at Four Square Walls

Seriously, go! They're two of my favourite bloggers, you won't regret it. (If you're not already a big fan like me!)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Paper Dolls

The act of drawing a dress on a croquis reminds me of playing with paper dolls when I was little. Which suddenly makes it a lot more appealing!

In general, I consider myself to be much better at manipulating than I am at creating things from thin air... but I suppose trying to copy a line drawing freehand isn't exactly high art, and I should be able to get the hang of it eventually. Right?

With that in mind, I tried to draw a little something on my croquis, loosely following this tutorial from the lovely Alana of Lazy Stitching. This is what I came up with:

I can immediately see the benefit of this activity. It's so much easier to visualize what the proportions of the garment will look like on my figure! (In this case, I feel much more confident that B5707 will look good on me.) Between the paper-doll-esque fun and the practical benefit (and the fact that this actually took very little time), I can see this becoming something I will actually take the time to do.

I'm very grateful for my little tablet, which was a gift from my fantastic brother a few years back. Until now I've used it exclusively for photo editing, but it definitely made doing this about 100x easier and would be well worth the price if you were interested in digital drawing!

Anyway, lest you think I'm just piddling around on the internet these days, I actually have a skirt nearing completion. Tomorrow I'll take some in-progress photos and show them to you. I fell into the habit of only showing finished objects last year, but I'm thinking this year a little more detail might be fun. (Even if it means actually owning up to project failures!) So, stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Croquis Bandwagon

I've been intrigued by all the little personaized croquis drawings that have been popping up around the blogosphere. I wasn't sure if I wanted to try my hand at it, but then Lladybird posted a tutorial on how to make one and I had to give it a go. I didn't want to bother taking a new photo, so I just picked the closest thing I already had on file. It's missing my head and my legs below the knee, but otherwise it seemed like a good shot to use as a rough draft.

I'm surprised how naked this makes me feel, lol.

My inner photo-editing dork enjoyed making this, enough so that I think I'll take a better photo and try again later. But the real question is: will it actually prove to be useful? To date I haven't bothered doing things like making digital colour palettes or Pinterest inspiration boards, so my track record doesn't bode well. But hey, you never know until you try!

Have you made your own croquis? Do you make inspiration boards and/or colour palettes, or otherwise organize your creative self digitally? If so, have you found it useful?