Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Stashbusting in March and MMMay '13

So I had better tell you about my bit of March stash-busting, before May is here. I really didn't get done much, what with stepping up my studying and Easter holidays. But I'm well pleased with the garments I did make:

#1: Simplicity 2451 in green corduroy
I'm currently wondering how I managed not to take any more photos of that one, because it has been worn fairly often. It looks really nice both with bare legs and black tights, and it goes well with practically all of my tops. It's definitely a staple, and I love the colour so much! I even wore it with a black lace top and green heels to go out for drinks a couple of days ago.

Pattern: Simplicity 2451 in a size 16. Um yes. My size according to the sizing table is between 12 and 14, but I didn't want this to sit on my natural waist - nothing above the navel for me. I tried to go with my measurement at the point where I wanted it to sit  and measured the yoke to find my size. Even by going with zero ease, I still could easily have gone down a size, and will do so next time!
Fabric: not quite 1m of the green corduroy, leftover from the green Rooibos. Also some scraps from a rose-print IKEA bedsheet (leftover from my PJs) and a bit of blue lining fabric.
Notions: a 20cm invisible zipper, green bias tape for the hem
Time to complete: I'm incredibly bad at estimating, but it did take me a couple of sessions with looots of time in between. Maybe about 5h in total?
Alterations: Shortened by quite a bit, since I wanted it to sit on my hip instead of at the waist. Added a lining.
Techniques used: invisible zipper, hand stitched, turned up bias hem, topstitching on the pockets and I made a lining. I just used the regular pattern pieces and made tucks instead of pleats. I have to say, I totally hate working with lining fabric, though. I can never get it to lie on grain. Any tips?
Thoughts: Apart from the fact that I'd go down a size in the next make, and that I should probably topstitch the waist next time to keep the facing from peeking out, I love it to bits. It's not perfect, the waist seams don't line up perfectly, but I forsee several other versions of this pattern!
#2 stash-busting flowery jersey dress
March was almost over and I wanted more to show for the month than just one skirt, and stash-bust some jersey, so I took out the flowery jersey (from GirlCharlee) that I hadn't been quite sure what to do with for ages, paired it with some torquoise jersey and decided I definitely needed more summer dresses.
Pattern: This is still me me-made "Basic Jersey top/dress" pattern, the same that I've used for almost all of my jersey tops and dresses (at least the ones without raglan sleeves). It's been a while since I last used it for a dress, so I totally forgot to add a seam allowance under the bust. It sits a bit high now.
Fabric: About half of the yard of flowery cotton jersey from GirlCharlee (last year's buy) and almost 1m of torqoise cotton jersey from the Holland fabric market.
Notions: After using fusible knit stay tape on my Tiramisu, I fell in love with it and used it here on the shoulder and underbust seams, to give some stability.
Time to complete: Maybe a couple of hours. Neckline and sleeve binding and hemming seems to take the longest...
Alterations: I left off the sleeves this time.
Techniques: Nothing complicated. I don't have a serger, so I sew my knits with a stretch needle and a narrow zigzag, followed by a slightly wider zigzag near to the narrow one on the seam allowance, to give the seam some more stability. The neckline and armholes are bound with a crewneck finish (same as Tasia uses with the Renfrew, although I shorten the band to about 0.75 of the neckline/armhole length). The hem is just turned under and zigzagged.
Thoughts: It's a quick little dress, nothing special but it'll make a fine staple for summer. I love how comfy jersey dresses are, and I'm glad I thought of pairing the flower print with a solid fabric, since I can't imagine I would have worn anything made from just the flower fabric. I also got a couple more garments out of this fabric combination, to be revealed soon!

Now on to Me Made May 2013! I thought about what to pledge for quite a while, since I do wear me-made clothing quite a lot, and as Zoe said, it's about the challenge. So, since in the morning I tend to grab the next available dress that 's weather-appropriate, I want to make it my challenge to wear more separates. I have quite a few tops on my to-sew list for May, and maybe this'll help me actually get them done.

'I, Alessa of 'Farbenfreude' blog sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '13. I endeavour to wear a me-made outfit every day of May 2013. At least half of these outfits will consist of separates, and I will endeavour to also only wear me-made knickers and PJs.'

Since I know that I also tend to wear the same things every day, I will also try to wear as many of my me-made garments as I can during the month. Also, Gillian asked if I could maybe present you some German sewing words, and I'll try to do so. I thought I might do posts every 3-5 days and present a word in every post. I'll have to look most of these up, too, since most of my sewing vocab is English, but it'll be fun to learn together. :)

Last but not least: I know it's been a while, but Vicki Kate, who won fabric lot #2 in my fabric giveaway, hasn't left an email address or blog, her profile isn't public and she hasn't responded to my post asking the winners to contact me. So, Vicki Kate, if you're out there, please drop me a line with your address sometime during this week! Otherwise, I'll just draw lots among the other entrants.
So what's your challenge for Me Made May 2013?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Back on my Balcony

Sooo - exams are over! And they actually went pretty well! I'll only get the official result in a month or so but I'm pretty sure I made a passing grade. :) Now it's only the oral/practical exam to worry about, but that's at the end of June (lucky me, the first of the students are being tested tomorrow).

So I haven't sewn a stitch, even though it's been almost a week. I was thinking about making a quick dress for the Mad Men challenge, but couldn't get my mojo up. I think I need a relaxing, leisurely project after the stress of exams. Maybe a knit top or dress?

My parents also came for the weekend, and as they came by car, I took the chance to make them go to the hardware store with me to buy gardening supplies. I haven't had a garden or balcony since I moved out, and now I have two! I really want to grow my own herbs and flowers and maybe even some vegetables. I already started some tomato seedlings a couple of weeks ago.

So we bought flower boxes and pots and soil and for the last couple of gloriously sunny days I've been planting. On the big balcony I planted a mix of flowers and fragrant herbs. No idea which ones, since they came in a seed mix. And nasturtiums - I love that not only do they look pretty, they're also edible! There's some more room for a couple of small flower boxes, which definitely need to be filled with strawberries.
The other balcony will have flower boxes planted with herbs. Some, I'm trying to grow from seeds (thyme and marjoram and lemon balm, and possibly some arugula) and others, I'm probably going to buy some plants. I'd love to have some lemon thyme and rosemary, mint and cilantro.
The vegetables, apart from five different varieties of tomato, will probably have to wait for next year. I think I may have enough room for some radishes and carrots, and maybe even some potatoes?

Do you have a balcony or garden? Any tips for a beginning gardener? :)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


This is just a very quick hello, as my exams are less than a week away!?!! I'm not yet quite frantic, but I doubt that any sewing or blogging will be done in the next week, and my reader will have to pile up a little, too (although some blog reading for relaxation purposes will be done in between studying, if I know myself ;) ).

Anyway, here are a few impressions from my Easter holiday week. We didn't actually spend the whole week in Italy, because of reasons, but I wasn't too sad since it meant I got to see my sister and grandma, and we had a couple of sunny days at my parents' place, too. :)

The green skirt is a new make, Simplicity 2451, btw! I already love it! More about it, soon.

Ok, back to studying now. As they say: see you on the other side!