Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Me-Made-May'14 Challenge

I wanted to participate in the Me-Made-May challenge last year but I didn't because I have very few summer appropriate articles of handmade clothing.  As of right now I have 3 shirts and 1 dress that I can wear during my regular daily activities (going to parks, hiking through the woods, throwing rocks in ponds, hunting for bugs to put in our bug jars, etc).

I'm a RTW Faster this year and I wanted to use this year to really focus on making clothing that I can wear more than occasionally.  So far I've made two wool coats, a dress, a tshirt and I'm in the process of making a silk dress to wear to a wedding.  I did wear the wool coats a lot in the cold months and I wear the tshirt a lot but the dresses are not everyday dresses. Oops.

I'm not letting my lack of handmade clothing stop me this year. I have decided that I'm going to participate but my focus will be more on making clothing during the month of May that I can actually wear during my regular life instead of attempting to wear an article of clothing I've made every day.  Having said that, this is my pledge:

 I, Andrea of, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '14. I endeavour to wear handmade two times per week for the duration of May 2014.  Additionally, and most importantly, I will sew at least three articles of clothing suitable for my every day lifestyle and not something that I will wear only occasionally.  

Monday, April 21, 2014

Made-By-Rae backpacks

These were supposed to be Christmas backpacks but I ran out of time during the holiday season so they became Easter backpacks.

I only started following a lot of sewing blogs in the past 6-9 months or so, so I missed out on a lot of great patterns when they were released.  This backpack from Made By Rae was one of them.  My initial intention was to follow the Busy City quilting patterns from Empty Bobbin to make the front end loader and tow truck designs.  I did not realize that the patterns involve paper piecing, which I have never done before.  I stared at the pattern pieces for a couple of days before getting on You Tube.  I get the basic concept but it became clear that in order to get the backpacks done for Easter I would need to draw the trucks freehand instead of piecing them together.  They look homemade up close but that's OK with me.  They ARE homemade!
The Easter Bunny left lots of candy in them yesterday but after that's gone I believe we will be using them for supplies when we are out and about.
I used a cheap denim from Hancock Fabrics for the exterior.  It was a little flimsy so I lined the bag with flannel that I interfaced with a very stiff iron-on interfacing.  It helped a lot.

My boys refuse to wear the most recent article of clothing I've made for them.  This makes me sad but the backpacks were well received. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Sewaholic Cambie Dress

I have been meaning to make this dress for months but never got around to it.  I actually made a muslin at the end of last summer but something else took over and I put it on the back burner.  I thought I would really, really, really love it when it was completed but for some reason I'm a little underwhelmed.  There is something about the waistband that I don't like.  I'm thinking about trying it again without the waistband but I don't know how that would impact the design of the dress.  My plan with this pattern was to make an initial version in a summery fabric and then choose a silk fabric for a second version for a wedding.  I'm not sure if I like it well enough to do that.  Decision, decisions.
I used a Joel Dewberry rayon challis from  I think that rayon challis is my favorite summer fabric. I forgot to take a picture of the lining but it is an extremely cheap voile in the most obnoxious shade of yellow.  I don't remember what project it was intended for but I used it for this one because I didn't want to waste time or money on a lining fabric.  If I had it to do over again I wouldn't have used it.  If I'm taking the time to make something to wear I think it's a good idea to use quality fabric.  You can't see it so I guess that's good!
I know a lot of people prefer A-line or fitted skirts but I love a full skirt.  The skirt is so full that you can't even see the pockets.  I actually had to fish around for them so I could put my hands in them.
I don't know if the wrinkles in this picture are from the dress lying wrong or if it's due to poor fit.  From the front it seems to fit.  I chose to omit the stitch-in-the-ditch at the waistline, mainly because it's time consuming and I hate it but also because I think the rayon stretched a little and was a smidge bigger than the voile.  When I matched up the waistband seams it resulted in a lot of wrinkling with the main fabric.
I think I'll wear this to a bridal shower next weekend and see how it goes.  I cut it in a straight 4 with no adjustments.  In the future I think I would maybe use a smaller sideseam allowance to have a bit more breathing room.  It's not uncomfortable as it is now but it would be better with a little more space.
 Version 2 coming soon.....maybe.