Thursday, April 28, 2016

Clear bin Fabric Destash Challenge - 3rd garment FAIL!

I don't post all my sewing fails but this is really a Fail! My idea for this beige/tan wool gabardine was grand like the inspiration:
But look at what actually happened:

Horrid! Horrid!
I think the main problem is the ribbon trim that I used. I searched through my notions stash and found this thin ribbon. I thought it would look better than a plain black trim. How wrong I was! Eventually I had to admit defeat and used my trusty seam ripper to rip all the black trim out.

I really need to sleep on this to figure out what I should do. This colour is still not good for my skin tone. What else should I try to do to salvage this? Any ideas?

Monday, April 25, 2016

Clear bin Fabric Destash Challenge - 3rd garment plan

The third fabric I choose for the 3rd garment of this challenge is this tan/beige wool gabardine. I don't know why I bought this years ago because the colour is quite unflattering for my skin tone. The fabric comes in 3 pieces so it's not possible to make trousers with them. I think I will make a jacket with it. I have just used this sewing pattern for a patchwork jacket (see here).

Since the colour of this fabric is unflattering on me, I'm thinking of making it more 'flattering' by adding some black to the jacket. Here are some inspirations I have collected on Pinterest:

 It will take more time and work than the last 2 garments. Hopefully it will work out well!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Clear bin Fabric Destash Challenge - 2nd garment

I thought I would make something for myself with the 2nd garment of this challenge. I have had this red silk noil remnant in my stash for a very long time. I got it in the cheapy bin of my local fabric store, together with a pink silk noil which I made a dress with (see here). It's a lovely fabric to sew but it's rough to the touch and doesn't drape well enough for my liking. There isn't much yardage to do anything with it. I do like the vibrant red so I thought I would make a simple top with it.

I drafted a simple top pattern with a shirt tail hem, which used up almost all of the remnant. It came together pretty quickly. The top is very unshapely so I will need to wear it with a belt. Unfortunately today is somehow very static-y, so the top just seemed to cling to every part of my body and the thrifted leather skirt I was wearing in these photos:

I think it probably looks a bit better layered with a jacket on top:

Okay! 2 down! More to go! I'm getting warmed up for this challenge now!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Clear bin Fabric Destash Challenge - 1st garment

The first garment is done from this Clear bin fabric destash challenge! The medium weight charcoal denim material is perfect for a pair of pants for my son. He has had growth spurt so it's time to make some new pants for him. I used the the tried and true McCall's 5222 that I thrifted a while back. The pattern has 2 pieces for the pants but I combined them together into 1 pattern piece with no side seams (only inseams). It came together quickly after about an hour. My son is wearing this already today. I love these quick and easy sewing projects for kids!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Clear bin Fabric Destash Challenge - the 1st clear bin

I wanted to be surprised by the content of the bin so I just random chose this one. This is only a portion of its content. Some of the fabric remnants are probably too small to make most things:

There is wool gabardine, silk/cotton voile, white cotton/poly poplin, grey stretch poly women, lilac poly satin, red silk noir, navy taffeta, charcoal cotton denim, navy wool crepe, pale yellow cotton poly (lining from a thrifted skirt), green poly camo, black cotton/poly poplin.

I have some initial ideas for some of the fabrics:
Pans for my son?

Beige gabardine trousers for me?

Lightweight fabrics for blouses for me?

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Refashion: white mommy boot leg jeans to slim jeans

Before I dive into sewing with the first clear bin of stash fabrics, I decided to refashion a pair of old self-made jeans. I made these white boot cut jeans in 2009, a few months after I had given birth to my first child. I made it as part of an ensemble for the Pattern Review Wardrobe contest that year. It fit me then but I hadn't worn it for a long time. The main reason was that my body shape had changed now and the jeans felt very loose, long, matronly and gaped at the back.
Too long and loose
Excess fabric at the back thigh

Gapes at the back
So I used my tried and true method of making loose pants slim that I have used for another pair of white pants (see here for details).

And I think it looks a bit more up to date now. I hope I'll be able to enjoy wearing these white jeans before my kids make them dirty!

Friday, April 15, 2016

April MAGAM Chanel-esque Jacket done!

I have finished my April MAGAM Chanel-esque Jacket. Yay! Lots of work and rework went into it. It was really my fault for not doing a muslin first on a sewing pattern that I bought before having kids.

Simplicity 8850 is a pattern I bought more than 10 years ago. I made a wool blend jacket with it. It is actually a generously cut pattern. I chose size 12 because the envelope said that the Bust measurement of the garment will be 41.5". If I had chosen my usual size 14 it will be too roomy at 43.5". The pattern has 2 front darts and 2 darts on each side. I combined the 2 front darts into 1 and eliminated one of the back darts (I have a thick waist). I also did my usual short waist adjustment.

The pattern calls for 1.5 metre of fabric for the jacket. Since I only had a little more than 1 m of the white boucle fabric, I had to cheat. I made 3/4 sleeves instead of full length sleeves. I eliminated the facings as well. I was lucky that I had enough to create 2 pockets. The boucle was unraveling like mad, so I fused a lightweight tricot interfacing for the entire jacket. Unfortunately the fabric seemed to have been stretched a bit out of shape already. It is most evident in the front hem as well as the pockets.

I used  a stash black ric-rac trim that I had barely enough to finish the front opening, the top edge of the pockets and the sleeves. In fact I think I stretched the ric-rac too much for the front opening (to ensure that it covered the whole front) that it warped the front opening line. You can see that the front curves slightly inward in the photo.

I had wanted to do the fancy machine quilting of the fashion fabric and the lining like the other bloggers have done. Unfortunately, the mini sequins and the metallic threads in the fabric kept breaking when I was doing the quilting. So I just did minimum hand quilting for the front opening and the neckline. I also hand sewn the pockets onto the jacket to prevent a machine sewn groove appearing on the pocket.

Lastly, I think I can improve the drape of the jacket by sewing metal chain at the bottom hem of the jacket (like the real Chanel jackets). I will need to go buy some when there is a sale. For now, I'll just wear this jacket without the chain.

The pattern also calls for shoulder pads. Since I already have broad shoulders, I didn't want to put in shoulder pads. But I can see that without shoulder pads, the back shoulder area collapses, forming unslightly drag lines. I tried the jacket with shoulder pads and the back looked a lot better. However in the front I looked like an American football player! I'll wear the jacket a few more times to see if I want to put in shoulder pads afterall.

All in all I'm pleased with this wearable muslin. The next version will certainly be better now that I have learned more about working with boucle as well as this pre-kids sewing pattern.

My review for this pattern is at Pattern Review.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Stash Fabric Busting self-challenge - 1 Clear Bin at a time!

The MAGAM April theme or using one of my oldest fabric stash has given me an idea for my new self-challenge. I have lots of clear bin/boxes that house various stash fabrics. I will choose 1 bin each month and create garments/accessories with whatever fabric is in that bin. I think this will really help me destash in a quicker and more systematic way. I'm sure I will get much satisfaction in seeing the bins being emptied one by one. It will force me to sew more creatively (constrained by whatever fabric is in the box) and sew more for others as well.

As soon as I finished slogging away at the Chanel-esque jacket, I will choose a box of fabrics and get on with my self-challenge!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

April MAGAM project plan - Chanel-esque boucle jacket

This month's Make A Garment A Month theme is 'April Showers - Stash Flowers'. We are challenged to use one of our oldest stash to make a garment. This is a great idea. As I am a reformed Fabric Hoarder, I still have 2 closets full of fabric stash that I haven't quite used up. This remnant piece of white sparkley boucle/tweed has been in my stash for quite a while:

I only have a bit more than 1 metre of it so it's not enough to make a lot of things. I thought I could make a simple jacket with this stash pattern Simplicity 8850:

I have used this pattern before to make the long and short skirts (see here). I have also made the jacket years ago before I had kids. I had also donated that jacket years ago. I seem to remember that it was a generous fit. I know I should do a muslin since my body has changed so much after having 2 kids, but I'll risk not doing it this time. Let see how things will turn out!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Self-Made Dresses Outfit Challenge - Day 4-7

I hadn't post for a while because was an ice storm last week and I got really  busy with things. Regardless, here are the outfits for day 4-7 of the Self-Made Dresses Outfit challenge:

Day 4 - I wore a refashioned Black Cotton knit dress with my self-made and refashioned blue boucle cardigan jacket. The belt was thrifted. It was still raining so I wore my thrifted rainboots. It was actually a bit warm with that cardi-jacket.

Day 5 - I wore my self-made copycat wool blend New Look 6779 dress. I don't wear this dress enough because it's a bit dressy for day-to-day. But I really should try to find occasions to wear it. It wasn't raining so I could wear my thrifted red leather boots with the outfit.

Day 6 - It was a bit colder on this day. I wore my dress that was refashioned from a wool sweater dress. I wore a thrifted long sleeves t-shirt, thrifted suede winter boots and an alpaca scarf that was gifted to me for x'mas.

Day 7 - It was rainy again. I was in a rush in the morning so I just grabbed my cold weather uniform - a navy wool sweater dress. I altered the thrifted dress by shrinking it and adding silver buttons on the pockets. I wore my thrifted rainboots again.

It was a fun challenge. The main goal was to force me to wear things that I usually don't remember to wear. I will definitely be doing more of these challenges to force me to wear the other items in my closet.