So right at the start of this “1 project per week” pledge suddenly my boyfriend asked me to go on a trip with him.

Unfortunately the only time to do this (that is going work out for the both of us) is very soon…like in a few days! I feel like I am letting the team down, but I can’t NOT go, that’d would be pretty crazy and I can’t see myself taking the sewing machine.

benandkathpen01

So the plan is to resume the “1 project per week” challenge when I get back and of course I am still going to follow along with all the lovely ladies who are taking part :). If you are on a roll, keep on going, if not a little hiatus is totally acceptable….

I’m sorry gals!  Am I terrible and fickle? Please forgive me! 😦

I hate how it feels like I am copping out, this is not my intention at all! I just didn’t expect to be going on this trip so soon.

But it’s Malaysia…. I can escape the winter for a while and eat delicious food all time time. Yay!

benandkathpen02

I really look forward to going back again! So excited!!

When I come back it’s straight back on the #1ppw “1 project per week” horse again!

If you are interested in following my travels I’m pretty certain I will be posting the pictures…Accidentally deleted my tumblr travel blog but ill post the url soon 😦

xo Kath

 

handh

holdedcontrasty

dressandmessyapartment

pontedress

My bad sewing-with-knits experience happened a couple of years ago… I was attempting a dress in a rather thin knit (wanted to make a dress from the built by wendy ‘home stretch’ book), but I made one mistake and to my horror after unpicking the minor stitching boo boo I was left with giant holes in my fabric, landing the project in the bin!

Sewing with this (striped) ponte or ponti (which name is correct?!) for the first time was much more pleasant! For those of you who have yet to try it: Ponte is a durable, less stretchy knit fabric with much more body than regular knit fabrics tend to have. I was intimated, but when I googled “sewing with ponte” all the advice seemed to suggest treating it just like a woven. No fancy stitches or equipment needed (using a regular size 70 needle) SWEET!

I used the pattern McCalls 6460. A pattern for a rather sweet raglan number.

As is often the case: I wasn’t digging the look of the pattern envelope at all (I’m just not a sequins and satin type of girl!), but the design drawing showed potetial.

A fitted dress with raglan sleeves? Sign me up! If you have been reading my blog for any amount of time, you know how I feel abut raglan sleeves: they are just so easy to sew, and super flattering on my rather broader shoulders! 😉

I made 4 really good decisions when putting this dress together:

Firstly I decided to add the sleeves by ‘sewing flat’, meaning that I attached the bodice and side backs to the sleeves BEFORE sewing the side seams/sleeves together,  Now that I’m re-reading this post, I don’t think there actually any other way to attach the sleeves anyway! But here’s what it looks like:

flatconstruction

The second good decision was to hem the sleeves and the skirt by using a machine-made blind hem (using my blind hemming foot). I highly recommend this for ponti/ponte. It gives the hem some movement, but also looks really pretty and hides the stitches well! Just as well, because I was not prepared to venture into using twin needles and all that scary stuff just yet! Yeah! If you have a blind hem foot, try it when sewing with ponte, its great!

The third thing which really helped me was hemming the sleeves BEFORE sewing the sleeves together (but not hemming the skirt). This was great because, it turned out I needed to take the sleeves in quite a lot, I cut a size 6 (even though I’m a RTW size 8), but it still required fitting so I sharpened up my tailors chalk and got to work. Here’s what the dress looked like before I altered the fit:

beforefitting

Ugh ‘fitting’. Why is the part I dislike about sewing also the bit that makes the magic happen?!…Then again making a ponte dress fit you is pretty quick, especially compared to fitting a woven dress, so that’s another advantage of this ponte fabric!

And lastly I was happy I ended up removing the invisible zip. I initially I did install an invisible zip the the back of the dress (as that’s what the pattern called for), but happily I was able to remove it, because turns out there was enough stretch to pull this dress on without it. Without the zipper, the back looks so much neater!:

back

I was a little scared to bind the top of the neckline, but it turns using the usual bia-binding technique works fine!

binding

All in all sewing with this fabric (that was out of my sewing comfort zone) was a great experience. The only things to be aware of with pont/ponti are: it curls a lot, so extra pins help! It doesn’t press that well. You can press it at the neck binding enough to get by, but it ain’t like plain weave cotton! Oh and also it’s harder to mark. I got away with using tailors chalk but it is harder to mark parts in this fabric. I’m actually kind of proud of how the stripes at the front waist darts match up! 🙂

So happy I finally made something with long sleeves! I really dig the dress. Unfortunately it was 15 degrees Celsius today (ugh cold weather 😦 !), so I had to opt for pants and a woolen jumper, otherwise I would have worn this dress all day!

final

 

1ppw

After looking at my gargantuan fabric stash and kind of grieving a little over ‘me made may’s end, I have decided to set a sewing challenge called ‘1 project per week’ (#1ppw #1projectper week) the challenge is this: complete 1 sewing project per week for a month. The project can anything, big or small (re-fashions count too). 

I suggested it on instagram and some of my lovely instagram sewing buddies decided to participate too! Yay! Much more fun when it’s not just me. 🙂

If you feel like being part of this challenge let me know in the comments or on instagram. You can post your creations on your blog and/or on instagram.

It doesn’t have to be for the whole month either, you can try it out for however long you like. I realize it’s a pretty big commitment and I understand that 1 sewing project every week is a lot. I just felt like giving it a go because I have the time at the moment.

Also if you are on instagram and want to participate don’t forget tag your weekly creations as #1ppw

I count this week as my first week… I’m making a ponte dress and I am about 20-30% done. Better get back to it 😉

mmmay03

Above more MMMay14 highlights. If you want to see more (learn about what I made’) check out my instagram!

Me-made-may did changed my life. Sounds like hyperbole, but I really mean it!

You probably guessed that I am quite a shy introvert and I remember  thinking earlier this year, about how nice it would be to have some friends with similar hobbies! Joining instagram and taking part in Me-made-may has made this happen!

The sewing community is just wonderful, supportive and amazing! I was inspired daily by so many ladies who also love to sew! God I love you guys! You are like the friends I always dreamed of having, only but better dressed 😉

Susan of Measure twice / cut once invited me to be part of a Sydney Spoolettes meetup, which was a total blast! As you can imagine I did not leave any fabric shop empty handed. It was just delightful to talk to all these lovely ladies about sewing!

Thanks for the inspiration and support fellow MMMayers, I think we would all do Zo proud!

Also I’m hoping to let the lessons I learnt during MMMay help guide my sewing choices so naturally I had to create a pinterest board with this in mind!

For anyone who is an android/non-iphone user who uses their phone to take photos of the things they makeI recommend this app called Camera ZOOM FX. I used it when taking my MMMay photos (note: I’m not being sponsored by them and have never been given freebies from anyone ever), but I thought it was worth recommending because you can set a timer and set it to take however many photos you need, so I found it pretty handy.

Now because I love you guys SO much here are some outtakes….. Are you ready to see what REAL actual derp looks like Natalie Jane?

 OUTTAKE TIME!

mmmayouttakes

So anybody interested in using me as a fashion model feel free to contact me on model@hotasderp.com. hahahah ahahahah ha ha

WOA. I may have to take those down. Yikes! *whispering*  ‘it’s on the internet’.

 

Hello lovely people! The making of this tutorial became a bit of an odyssey because I decided to draw the steps in illustrator, because my photos weren’t too good.

I love this technique and it can be used in any sleeveless bodice or sleeveless dress. By attaching the lining this way there is no hand sewing involved! This is also a nice way to finish a sleevelss dress if you prefer lining and/or want eliminate the need for facings or bias binding.

bernieandi-lining-exampleb

Disclaimer: Lining is a difficult thing to explain, so I want to apologize in advance if I don’t cover what you need to know! Also note: This tutorial does include some assumed knowledge, so have a read before you commit to using it!

 Heres the Burda-style pattern I used note: I did make a test garment and make a few modifications to it. The main one being, lowering the back of the neckline so that it slips over the head and does not require a zip.

There may be typos, but at this point I just want to add the images…because after 3 days of working on this tutorial I have had it for now! ;). Note: I may edit this tutorial at a later date if I find ways to make it better. I hope this helps someone! Xo Kath

OK now here goes…

colour-key-edit

step1

step2

step3

step4-6

step7-edit

step8

 

Edit: I just realized that the picture for step 9. was misleading so I have removed it.

Step 9-10. Now (with wrong sides out/facing you) sew the left and right side seams of your dress together! (if you have any questions about this step please let me know).

 

step11image

step11text

I just don’t know lovely people, I just don’t know!

I’m truly a complete kid at heart so part of me LOVES this dress, the other part of me (probably the boring grown up part) feels a bit clown-like…

so…. I made another loose-fittting A-line shift dress (how did you guess?!)

greenshift01

greenshift04

greenshift03

It’s funny how in the photos the green in the dress looks entirely different. In the pictures it looks like a faded blue-green, but in real life it’s more of a bright grass green or kelly green (which I much prefer). I’m just not really in the mood to fuss with colours in photoshop…sorry! Another time perhaps!

greenshift05

greenshift02

greenshift06

My mum bought me the fabric for this dress on a visit to my flat and I feel for it immediately: The glorious green shade and the stylized daisies, it was “cute” in fabric form!

The print on the fabric also has this big black and white swirly detail (pretty cool), but I felt unsure about having a big hairy looking swirl on the front of my dress, so I decided to cut the front out as two pieces, thereby avoiding the black part of the print (and adding a center front seam), it’s still featured on the back anyway ;).

I covered the CF seam with a navy blue drill strip- I could go on about nitty gritty sewing stuff, only I’m not sure how exciting it is to read. Do you want to know about my strip positioning technique? yikes! that sounded sort of wrong/odd didn’t it?

I lined the entire dress with a thin cotton, just like I did with my Tulip Dress. I was happy that I hemmed the dress and the lining pieces individually before attaching the lining to the dress. Must remember that in future!

I felt like the dress needed something so I decided to add decorative buttons.

I umed and erred over the buttons (trying different ones/colours) and I’m not sure how well it turned out. As you can see I covered some buttons with swirl motif portion of the fabric so now it kind of looks like a mish mash of disjointed lines so…. yeah…….TOTALLY intentional 😉

I altered the pattern a bit since the last time I used it, basically just letting out the shoulder seams, making the darts nicer etc, all the boring, but necessary stuff.

You know what? I think I’m game enough to rock this dress, I have always been a crazy dresser. One woman’s costume is another woman’s casual dress?!

side note: I have started to post my sewing work-in-progress photos on my instagram: my handle is @kathborup if you want to follow me 🙂

 

 

 

 

mmmay02‘Me-Made-May’ outfits

A. Bold blue summer dress    B. Orange penguin dress    C. Chevron 60’s dress    D. Mod tulip dress    E. Re-fashioned skirt (not blogged)    F. Magnified dot shift dress    G. Black and white chevron dress    H. Easy leopard skirt

 

I really don’t know why I haven’t done ‘Me-made-may‘ before! It has seriously given me perspective on wearing handmade and what works for my wardrobe!

Going to make a confession here-….even though I sew, I usually don’t wear handmade things every single day, especially when the weather is colder (but this has to change, jumper and jeans everyday can get boring). I tend to sew summer pieces, so it has been a fun challenge working some of my summer makes into cold-weather outfits! Me-made-may really makes you asses the kind of outfits you wear day-to day, what pieces suit your lifestyle and what handmade pieces you love to wear!

Here are some lessons I have learnt:

1. Layering collared shirts under shift dresses is awesome– This was a brilliant styling revelation to me (for some reason). I love anything with a collar (especially dresses) and it can give your shift dresses a fun new look!

2. I really need to make more skirts and solid coloured separates! When you have a solid skirt you can mix and match seamlessly with almost anything and but it’s often way more fun/less standard than jeans!  I’m so attracted to prints, but for that very reason I really need more solid coloured items in my wardrobe! Natalie Jane of ‘Natalie Jane Handmade’  has this fabulous pink pencil skirt I have been seriously coveting (Btw- this girl really knows how to dress LOVE her MMMay outfits!).

3. Find cardigan alternatives I find cardigans to be a necessary evil in the colder weather.  So cute on other people, but a bit frumpy on me…hmm what to do….I need something to layer over dresses and tops.Something that is not too long or bulky (making all my short sleeved dresses wearable, while adding warmth)….I mentioned this in my last post and the lovely Ginger of ‘Ginger Makes’ mentioned she was thinking of making blazers in heavy knits. Ah, Of course! Blazers! Brilliant!  I have yet to make my own, but I sneakily bought some inexpensive cropped ponti ones and they are brilliant! Now I can show off my handmade skirts and dresses, but still look ‘put together’. I think it’s about time I tackle/sew a cropped jacket or some smart cold weather-layering pieces!

I’d love to follow more sewists on instagram! I’m @kathborup, is that how you write it? I’m a bit of a social media noob 😉

Till next time, keep sewing 🙂

Kath

 

 

Note: click on images to enlarge them! My wordpress template makes them small -but not for much longer hopefully…;)
mod-tulip-shift-dress-01

So for the past month or so I have found myself a little too hooked on pinning 60s fashion/style “sewing inspiration” (on pinterest)!

I decided that finding a shift dress pattern that was as simple as possible (A line, loose fit, just bust darts etc) was my no 1 sewing priority. I absolutely adore bold prints, so I figured once I had found a simple shift dress pattern, I could finally make TONS of simple dresses in statement prints!

I am such a ‘print’ person! I love the vibrancy, energy, colours and emotions they can evoke, so much so that when they do the print challenge on project runway and someone who only wears black inevitably says ‘I don’t DO prints’ I sort start to really dislike them! (it’s OK I mean ‘TV-dislike’, not real dislike 😉 )

mod-tulip-shift-dress-02

 

Sorry if this is TMI-I wear short shorts under my mega short shifts-that way I don’t worry about flashing anyone or looking indecent. It’s just when the silhouette is very loose I seem to end up making my dress much shorter.

When I studied fashion design many years ago (quit before the end of first year) and the subject I did best in was textile printing. I LOVED designing prints more than anything else! I still have some orange twill I printed with a geometric rubylith design from back then. When I find it i’ll make a dress out of it, because I think I’ve found the pattern to use for it!

Material notes:

I bought this fabric from spotlight for a steal many years ago. Happily I still have more of it! The lining is just cheap poly cotton. Gutterman thread of course! Heres a link to the pattern I used. I got mine from a burdastyle magazine (3/2010 style 104). The dress is actually a “wedding dress” go figure…then again if I did get married (which I highly doubt), it would not be in a traditional wedding gown either!

Fitting/Alteration notes:

I have gone back to making a muslin/test-garment before I make a dress. In this case it worked out well! I only made one test garment, Luckily I didn’t overfit this time, as this dress is supposed to be loose. If I make it again I think I will let out the shoulder seams and possibly the top of the side seams as it is a smidge too tight there.

I cut out the pattern in the smallest size size 10 (a europen 36) I took it in slightly on the side seams, lowered the neckline a little, altered the shoulders and added small darts to the back (for just a bit a bit of shaping).

I was so in love with camelias and crinoline’s version of this dress! She mentioned she cut the back of the dress lower- eliminating the need for any fastenings on this dress. I did this too and it turned out to be a BRILLIANT idea! I love a dress you can just slip over your head!

construction-liningthedress

Construction notes:

I decided to avoid facings or bias binding. I fully lined the dress, with no hand sewing! I used the same technique that I have used for bodices, when I made a lot of fit and flare style dresses and it worked a treat!

Would anyone be interested in a tutorial on how to line a sleeveless shift dress completely by machine? You get a nice clean finish!

The lining helps to add weight to the dress, which also means it doesn’t crease as easily.

While I was finishing the dress (about to hem it) and after 7+ hrs making it/lining it nicely, I noticed a little hole in the back of the dress! I was so bummed and at that point I couldn’t even be bothered changing the colour cotton I used, when repairing the hole! Moral of the story: Be careful with your clippers and always check for faults in your fabric!

mod-tulip-shift-dress-frontandhole

I did the biggest/widest hem of all time on this dress (its a long story). I used a blind hem foot to finish the hem. I actually like the treatment of the hem because it helps the dress stand out/hold it’s shape.

mod-tulip-shift-dress-frontandback

I’m even going to show you the insides, because I am actually kind of proud of them…

mod-tulip-shift-dress-insides

No zip needed, I just love that!

So in conclusion: Yay! Don’t be surprised if from this point onwards, all I make is printed shift dresses! I have finally found a simple pattern and I have so many fabrics that want to be shifts (sorry if that sounded slightly crazy heh)

 

 

Despite the fact that I never pledged to join, I decided on a whim to be part of the proceedings, even if it was somewhat unoffical.

Zoe has been running “me made may” (where you post pictures of youself wearing your handmade duds) for a long time… I have always enjoyed seeing all you lovely sewing bloggers wear and celebrate the things you make.

I don’t know why I never participated before, but now that I have a fancy new phone, its relativley quick to snap what I’m wearing, even if that means filling instagram up with WAY too many selfies.

It’s really interesting to see which items I have made that I actually find useful and enjoy wearing, it really does give you a new perspective. I am so inspired by the sewing community, it’s filled with friendly lovely people!

CameraZOOM-20140502114902564

2nd of May (Me-made-item: Pleated cotton skirt) I do love a pleated skirt! Here is the blog post for this make I don’t normally wear my skirts this long. I love the print, but I did feel a little ‘frumpy dumpy’ when I went grocery shopping. I had to wear sandals, stockings and I carry a granny trolley because I use it for food shopping, here’s the full look just for laughs…

My style is always cute and sweet rather than sexy. I think it tends to work better for summer clothing. In winter it takes it to a bit of a daggy place?

CameraZOOM-20140502141608617

LOL!

3rd of May (Me-made-item: Peter pan collar dress) I made this dress back in 2012 (blogged here). A lot of the dresses I made back then are too big for me now, but I’m hanging onto them in-case I go up a size or two. That’s another challenge of sewing for yourself, everyone’s body changes over time and so do our tastes, but this lovely dress is still 100% me. The dress ended up shrinking in the wash, so now it fits me again. I’m not actually a massive fan of cardigans. I like them on other people, just not on me. But whats a girl to do when its cold out and she wants to wear her dress?

 

CameraZOOM-20140504113602368

4th of May (Me-made-item: Refashioned skirt) Not the most exciting look. But I do love the skirt. It’s the kind of skirt that would look much better with a fitted top or summery crop top, but its COLD, so I opted for a jumper that was a bit boring/conservative! This skirt was a re-fashion. I didn’t blog about it here, because I never blog refashions. I probably should, but I always forget to take a before photo. Anyway this skirt used to be an empire line sundress, I wore it that way too, then one day I chopped off the bodice, added a new zip and hand-stitched it at the waistband. I do love seersucker!

 

CameraZOOM-20140505122453254

5th of May  (Me-made-item: floral sheath dress)This was the outfit I felt happiest/most stylish in, but I think that has more to do with the leather jacket than the ‘me made’ element of the outfit. The dress is handmade I blogged about it here. I had to layer it under a jumper of course. I never seem to make winter clothing. I don’t like cold weather much. At first I get excited about wearing layers, but it’s not long before I dream of being in a sundress again!

 

6th of May  (Me-made-item: red denim skirt) Today was my mums birthday so I wore red in her honor! The red skirt I wore is one I made some time ago blogged here. I quite like the button details on the skirt and the sturdy denim It’s made from. But I feel like it’s almost TOO A-line….It was a new look  pattern so I adjusted the crap out of it. This probably accounts for the weird shape!

 

CameraZOOM-20140507144016046

7th of May (Me-made-item: black blouse)  I had one of those “Blah” days we all have sometimes (terrible hair etc)! I didn’t feel like dressing up (which unlike me, I usually live for dressing up). I am sort of cheating with this one. I did not make the sweater , but I did make the black shirt with the rounded collar, you can see peaking out from under my sweater. I never blogged it, because I made it way before I started blogging. I think I may have been in my teens/early 20s when I made it. The pattern was from a burda magazine.

I gotta say I love all this dressing up, styling outfits etc. I am a total girl at heart and I spend a bit too much  time thinking about clothing and personal style!

The other night I was looking through my patterns and thinking about what to try next.

When I choose the fabric first I become far too indecisive, so to make it easier I thought, after I complete the first set of upcoming projects, what patterns am I itching to try? This made it easier to decide

All these plans are subject to change of course!

patternenvelopeprint02

Above: I finally decided on the right dress of this fabulous drill, that has vintage sewing pattern ladies on it.

The vintage pattern envelope print will be the pleated skirt part of a fit and flare dress!

I wanted to make a shift dress out of this cool print, but I figured it might be too overwhelming covering an entire dress (plus I dont have much of it). I like the idea of doing the bodice of this dress in a plain blue drill, perhaps it would be a bit more balanced. Plus I really want to try this pattern (simplicity 1418). I L O V E box pleats (do I get extra sewing-nerd cred for that? heh)!

 

babydoll60s

Above: I really want to try this pattern out! The envelope front was a little overly ‘crafty’ looking, but looking at the line drawing it’s a really nice A-line baby-doll 60s style dress.

Julia Bobbin has already used this pattern to make a gorgeous Betty-inspired dress some time ago.

The fabric I selected here is just ‘Meh’ to me. I like feminine florals, but this ones just a quilting cotton that creases like crazy, so just a good fabric for trying a new pattern out with.

 

polkadotshift

Above: So I have already used this pattern before, but I need more shift dresses in my life! I never seem to get enough of them!

I was keeping this polka dot poplin for a 50s style dress, but now I think it would be cute as a shift dress! I adore navy! Which is funny because as a girl/teen I though navy was boring/not my thing, now I’m in love with it.

Navy blue seems to be the colour that suits my skin/hair the best and it looks killer with orange (which is my favorite colour, but one that suits me less)

 

girlydress

Above: I really want to make something sweet and feminine! Especially now that I have such short hair, I have days where I really want to wear a ladylike dress!

Fabric is another cotton/poly poplin that has some weight to it.

I didn’t realize how sweet this pattern looked made up till I saw this lovely dress.

I would be making the plainer bodice (view c) because it’s a busy print I would want to keep the dress pretty simple.

Not sure if I would use the skirt from this pattern perhaps I would franken-pattern it up with a skirt that flared out (simplicity 1418 with the two pleats front perhaps)?!

 

pantsandshorts

Above:So…pants and shorts- And yes I am crazy enough to consider those very short tartan things ‘shorts’.

I have only ever made one pair of shorts years ago, and I don’t even remember how you construct them.

I figure it’s probably easier to copy pants or shorts you already own,  rather than try and make a commercial pants or shorts pattern fit right, I could be wrong, but I’m game to try!

I want to try and copy these hot pants and these really fitted black and white checkered ones ones because I love the fit of both!

 

And finally here are some other patterns I really want to try. I know I have issues (pattern hoarding issues), I hope you guys understand….

morepatterns01

morepatterns02

Did you spot the stay threads on my floor? that would be a boring game, but I sew in my living room and I feel as if there is no point in vacuuming because I’m always sewing!

Anyway that concludes the sewing plans that may or may not eventuate, depending on my whims.

I have been working on a cute shift dress and I am adding scallops to them hem, something I have never tried before.

Has anyone tried any of the aforementioned sewing patterns? Let me know in the comments!