Thursday, April 22, 2010

Finished Sencha Blouse!

From this...

To this!

I cheated a lot on this... I used the skirt hem as the shirt hem, cut the front from the back and the back from the front, using the pre-existing button band. Which all added up to a two day sewing project. Yay!

The skirt I used was made from a slippery cotton lawn. It was a bit tricky to sew, even though I starched the heck out of it. This was also my first time sewing french seams and darts.

Colette Patterns rates the Sencha blouse as a beginner project, but I think I would have gone a bit nuts if this had been my first project. Or even if I had done all the button band and hem work. The blouse also requires fabric with a lot of drape, which in my experience means slippery. Not so easy right off the bat. I would say it's more of an intermediate beginner pattern? Definitely a fun, well drafted pattern with clear directions.

Have I mentioned I love highly tacky prints? 'Cause I do.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Preparing for Me-Made-May

My sailor pants, based on the Ruby pattern from Burdastyle, are nearing completion! The inspiration for these came from this post by Zoe at 'So Zo...' but it looks like quite a few people have tried pants with this pattern. The fabric I used was super ravely, so I've been binding all the seams. I doubt I will ever do this for another garment, especially once I get my serger back from storage, but the practice on all those seams has been great. All that's left are pockets and button holes. And hemming. And likely some other things I've forgotten about.

Vogue 1120 is traced out and ready to be cut. I'm a little apprehensive about the slippery rayon, so I think I'm going to tackle something simpler first. I got a wild 90s patterned Ports skirt made out of cotton lawn at Goodwill yesterday, and I think it's going to be the perfect start for a Sencha blouse. The skirt buttons up the front with big mother of pearl buttons that are amazingly high quality. They're on par with some vintage ones I got in a lot a while ago, very thick and milky. I'm going to cut the back of the blouse out of the front of the skirt and the front from the back. It should work, and then I don't have to do all the finicky buttons and such. Which means I might actually get this done for May.

Also under consideration is the bwof 02-2009-124 dress in a crazy pink 80s print I inherited from my mother. The dress has a deep v back and needs something casual to keep it from being too dressy. That and I possibly have an obsession with wacky 80s and 90s prints. Just saying. It also only goes up to a 46, so I'll have to draft it up a size. The 46 fits me just fine in Burdastyle patterns though, so maybe I'll have to recruit a measuring tape and see. I got three issues of Burda Plus in the mail on Monday (my last big purchase until the fall. Accursed student budget!), and I'm thinking of whipping up this simple top (Spring/Summer 2009 top 405) in some leftover navy cotton shirting from the Ruby pants. Once again, inherited from my mom's stash. Same with the corduroy the pants are made from. Actually, pretty much all of my fabric is from my mom or Goodwill. My only fabric purchases from a proper store of late have been remnants, interfacing and 3.5 yards of gorgeous leaf green cotton sateen. The sateen is for Simplicity 6194, a 1965 shirtdress I got from Gremly Girl. I haven't worked up to it yet - soon though!

I had a bunch of photos of the handwarmer pattern I've been working on, but the computer at work won't read my camera (okay, phone). The first draft of the pattern came out way too big in the hand, so I'm working up another smaller one to see if it's better. I'm also changing the thumb around a bit to minimize holes. I meant to have this done a week ago, but it takes way longer than I expected to write out a non-hat pattern. Should be up in the next couple days.
I'll also be updating my etsy shop in the next few days with some great 50s and 60s patterns, as well as some 80s knitwear books. Lots to do, so I better get cracking!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Altered Book Project

As my only studio course this semester I took an artists' books class with one of my favourite teachers, George Walker. If you're at OCAD, I highly recommend his classes, as he's one of the most enthusiastic and inspiring people I've ever had the chance to learn from.

The first of our two major projects was to create an altered book using discarded ones from the Reference Library, which is a massive library in downtown Toronto. I was lucky enough to snag a book of Sylvia Plath's poetry. My basic idea for the piece was to visualize the way a book exists differently wherever (and of course by whoever) it is read. In this case, I placed her text within the Canadian landscape, as played by Toronto and a map.

The photos were taken by our lovely and talented class assistant, Amanda, who's work you really need to check out.

The book now has a permanent home at the Reference Library, and you can even take it out like a regular library book! It's official title is Their Shadows must Cover Canada, which is a line from "Crossing the Water." The full poem is pasted to small photos tied to a little envelope, and you can see it in the second picture.

I've got a ton of photos of all the little details of the book, and its other pages, but I still miss the little guy. Sometimes it's hard to let a piece go.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Something New?

The sailor pants I'm working on are currently driving me a bit crazy, so I was thinking of trying out this dress pattern (Vogue 1120) just to get something finished. It's a super cute, easy shift with no zipper and an attached waist tie. The pattern's on sale for $5.99 until the end of today if you have the inclination. I got a little over 6 yards of soft black silky rayon for $2/yard a few days ago, and I'm thinking it might be the perfect fabric for this. I'm just wondering if a black dress might be a bit much for spring. It's a very soft black, kind of looks like sand washed silk. Any thoughts?
The technical diagram shows how simple it is:

I like the pleats a lot, and the pull on construction works with my lack of zipper knowledge at the moment. And I've got gathers down. This dress also supports my total need for pockets.

I definitely need more dresses, since I signed up for Me-Made-May-Lite (or memamali as my boyfriend insists on calling it). This means I will be wearing at least something made by me every day in May. I have a feeling this will result in many out of season knit scarves. Better get sewing!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Better Late Than Never

This was supposed to be my project for the knitting Olympics, but I didn't end up finishing it for another week or so. Considering my first finished lace project ended up taking somewhere in the realm of three years, and I still have another half finished scarf from at least that long ago, I'm moving up in the world of FO lace. The pattern is Ysolda's Ishbel and the yarn is Fleece Artist Classic Merino Sock. The yarn is super soft, and I've been wearing it non-stop in the weeks since I finished and it shows no signs of pilling. Hurrah!

In other news, I'm on my last two weeks of term, and am floored with the worst head cold ever... I'll be back in mid-April when everything calms down a bit.

Happy Easter!