Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Me Made May

Given that it begins tomorrow, I'd better get my Me Made May '13 pledge happening!  Here it is:

'I, Jen of Huff Makes Stuff, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '13. I endeavour the majority of my outfit to be me-made each day for the duration of May 2013'

Here's what I have to work with:

That's the lot except for a couple of knits that I've left lying around the house!

Keeping in mind that all of the sewn clothes have been made in 2013, I don't think I'm doing too badly.

On the other hand, in the pile of cardigans and vest, only one was made this year, most were made over 3 years ago so this adventure will tell me just how wearable they are. (I have already passed on some of my hand knits as they were just too big and I really didn't feel like ripping them to re-knit, I want new knits!)

So that's what I'm starting with, with all my knitted accessories too.  No doubt Joss will photobomb at every opportunity this month, in this one she's saying "Big smile!"  I'm still sewing and knitting for my 12 outfits so there will be new things going into rotation during the month as well.  I will be trying to use my thrifted clothes a little to supplement the wardrobe, and I think I might bring forward the coat I was planning on making next month because it's getting cold here!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Tale of Two Skirts

I very rarely make the same pattern twice.  I like variety and find production line sewing incredibly boring.  However this week I bucked the trend and made two skirts from the one pattern.  

I had chosen this A line skirt with hip yoke pockets for my May outfit in pink pinwale cord, then I happened upon 80cm of wool tartan that really wanted to be a simple skirt with pockets as well.  I figured that in two different fabrics, one with lining, there would be enough difference between the two.

I made the tartan first and took great care to match the plaid.  I'm particularly pleased with the back.

This is the lined skirt, I used the same lining as I did for my critter blazer.  I was going to just put in an invisible zipper but when I was rummaging through my zips I found a nice old metal zip and decided to use that instead.

The cord skirt is not lined an has an invisible zip.  There will be more pics of this one once it's with the rest if May's outfit, which looks like it will be finished before May even begins!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Outfit Three: April

Now that the weather is cooling down my outfits are getting a bit more substantial.  April is four pieces, five if you count the bracelet I made by deconstructing necklace.  The main feature is the blazer.  I fell in love with this cotton drill critter fabric and bought a couple of metres of it with  plans to make a dress for Joss and maybe a bag for me.  The more I looked at it though the more I wanted to keep it for myself.  Now it's all mine! 

A simple blazer with a shawl collar, cropped sleeves and a single button.  I'm really pleased with my top stitching on this one.  I have a tendency to rush it and get all wonky, but I'm finally taking my time and getting good results.

This is the first time I've made a blazer so the whole thing was a learning experience.  I lined it with some light grey poly cotton I scored from the op shop.

Another first: double welt pockets.  I'm not 100% satisfied with them, but for a first effort they're alright.  One of the best things about doing 12 outfits is that I'm using techniques that I haven't tried before.

Blazer Pattern: Burda magazine 9/2008 pattern 129.

I have mixed feelings about the trousers.  They're comfortable, and the fit is ok, but the linen in there means they crease like crazy and get a bit baggy with wear.  They spring right back into shape with a wash but as you can see from the pics, after a day's wear they're not sitting very well.  More learning!

Trousers pattern: Burda magazine 1/2009 pattern 121

I got the wool blend jersey for April's top from the spotlight bargain table for $3 a metre.  It is lightweight, soft and super drapey.  I had planned to make a different top with it but that style didn't sit right under the blazer so I had to find another pattern.  This one is another Burda mag pattern, 3/2010, 118B.  The deep cowl neckline and drawstring waist make it a bit fancier than a plain tee and it dresses up and down really well.

Finally, the silk scarf.  It took forever to knit and I was so pleased to be done with it, but it was worth every minute and every hand cramp.  It is gorgeous and soft and drapey and light and warm.  I only ended up using half the 100g skein of yarn even though I did a full 13 pattern repeats.  This is also number 5 of my 13 in 13 from stash.

Pattern: Groovy in laceweight
Yarn: Sulky Silk from Mayhem & Chaos in Bad Things
Needles: 2.5mm

I tried to make every part of this outfit as versatile and wearable as possible.  With Me Made May just around the corner we'll see just how successful that was!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Just Keep Knitting

From recent posts it looks like all I've been doing lately is sewing.  There is a knit for April's outfit and I have been working on it.  And working and working and working on it.  It gets carted around everywhere with me and picked up whenever I have free hands, it's been to cafes,

sporting events, 

beach holidays, 

school pick up, 

and any car trip when I'm not driving.  It is also perfect TV knitting so it has spent a bit of time with the Doctor.

Right now though I've had to take a break for a couple of days to rest my hands.  Groovy in laceweight silk, and while it is beautiful to work with, the endless stockinette in skinny yarn on skinny needles has resulted in cramped sore hands.  Now its time to pick it back up and just keep knitting!  I really can't wait to move on to something thick and cabley.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Thrifty Bitch

Thats me!

I, like many people I know, am trying to save money.  I have been asked lately whether it's worth it, money wise these days, to sew my own clothes.  I answered the lovely lady who asked that for me it is.   The main reason I sew is because I love to make things.  It's that simple.  Secondary to that is I can make things that fit me properly, and I can do it in a way that saves me money.

I am a serial op shopper.  I buy clothes, shoes, bags, scarves, the lot.  I also buy fabric, or large garments with enough fabric to use for other garments.  This t shirt cost about 70 cents in materials.  The fabric is half a metre of interlock that set me back a whopping 50 cents, plus about 20 cents worth of thread and a bit of my time that would have otherwise been spent sitting on the couch watching TV.

This one really cost me nothing.  The fabric was a maxi dress that I used to wear quite a bit, but have shrunk out of.  There's plenty of fabric in a big jersey maxi dress for a t shirt.  

 There's plenty of fabric in a big jersey maxi dress for a t shirt.  Both t shirts were made using the patterns from the Meg McElwee's Craftsy course Sewing With Knits. (It's on sale at the moment for too!)

My final thrifty project this week was a mens shirt refashion.  I bought the shirt a few weeks ago because the blue with white pinstripe was lovely, and I have had an idea kicking around in my head for it.

I love it when an idea translates to reality!  This casual top turned out exactly how I had pictured it in my head.  

There was enough fabric in the sleeves to make bias tape for the edging and straps.  I used the continuous method which was a bit of a brain stretch but now that I've done it makes perfect sense.

 Please ignore those spots, it started raining just as I was taking pics.

So there you go.  A weeks worth of thrifty sewing.  I may or may not be procrastinating about starting my blazer because I've never done one before.  I know I'll be fine once I get started but that starting mojo is elusive.

Sunday, April 7, 2013


The last week has been a busy and productive sewing week.  Which is strange because it was the first week of school holidays and I really wasn't expecting to get much done with both kids home all day every day.  Early in the week I dragged out some ribbed fabric I bought at the op shop several years ago.  I had always planned to make pyjamas with it, bit had never got past that point of planning.  There were only 2 metres of fabric so it was going to be a tricky to get a pair of adult PJs but i managed it.

The bottoms are from this lovely unisex trackies pattern.  Narrow legs and very high waist.  I mean extremely high waist.  I could have added straps to the waistband and worn it as a jumpsuit.  Even after reducing the hight they sit right up to my waist but for pyjamas thats pretty damn comfy.  Having used the pattern for PJs I'm going to make a few little mods and make some trackie pants.  

For the top I drafted the pattern below up to size 14.  I shouldn't have bothered as the pattern has way more ease than I was expecting, I could have cut a size 10.

To break up the vast expanse of blue I used some of my large collection of thrifted elastic.  Cream lace at the neckline and the hem.  My local op shop has a bigger range of undies elastic and elastic lace than any of the fabric stores around here.  Its brilliant.

The best part of the sewing week was Friday.  Darron took both kids to the zoo for the day and I got to spend a whole day sewing uninterrupted with my music loud.  I finished my trousers for April, but even trying them on and adjusting as I went, once the waistband went on they were miles too big.  So the waistband came off.  More adjustments were made yesterday and now they (mostly) fit!  

It has been over three years since I've made trousers, and even then I was a novice.  Fitting has never been my strong suit and fitting trousers properly is a skill I am yet to master.  So I will make more and figure it out.  I may need to look into a class.

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