Sunday, April 30, 2017

I'm taking part in Me-made May 2017

Oh. Um, hi. Is anyone else slightly amazed that it's almost May already? I can't believe I wrote my last post in January, which is already like, four months ago!

So yes, lots of stuff going on. Mostly life, and work, and working on my thesis, which has kind of racked up on the scale of importance, since my supervisor told me at the beginning of the year that she was changing universities, and I'd do good to finish my written work around September, since she wasn't going to be around much longer. Ok then. This has actually put a bit of a dampener on my sewing mojo, since I start to feel guilty when I do more than half an hour's sewing instead of thesis-related stuff.

The garments I did sew (and yes, there are a few!), I haven't really managed to take decent photos of, since our home office, the one decent place for photo taking in our flat, is in total chaos, and I never quite found the motivation for a trip outside involving a camera and tripod and remote and whatnot. But - a lovely friend lent me his home studio yesterday, in the times in between showing me how to make real French croissants (a birthday gift from last year)! So some garments now have been photographed and I may even find the time for blogging about them soon-ish.
So, about this year's MeMadeMay. I thought a while about taking part in it again this year, for the same reason as in the last years. I do pretty much consistently wear my me-mades daily. Actually, there's probably only a handful of days each month, where more than my bra, socks, tights and outerwear are RTW. In addition to that, I have a few outfits dedicated for office-wear that I don't vary much. They need to be non-restrictive, smart-ish and fit under a lab coat, so I have appropriated a couple of jersey dresses for that purpose. Which is fine enough, but doesn't make for an exciting me-made challenge. ;-)
Some of last year's MMM outfits
Then again, I really love looking through the pics of the last few challenges, and it's always nice to see which outfits work and if there are any wardrobe gaps. And document the weather. So, whatever. Once more into the breach!

 'I, Alessa (, @farben.freude on Instagram), sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '17. I endeavour to wear me-made outfits (except for bras, tights and outerwear) each day for the duration of May 2017. I also endeavour to finish three of my cut-out UFO projects and wear them at least once during the month of May.'

So yeah, I'm also going to try and finish some UFOs. I have kinda started cutting out garments, so I have everything together to start sewing, and then I don't, because it seems easier to just cut another one. Strange but true, I have at least 6 cut-out garments lying around, as well as two or three that are almost complete but not quite... I'm thinking that maybe, if I sew for 30 minutes after coming home from work three or four nights a week, I should totally be able to finish at least two or three during May. That would be nice. We'll see how it works out, since I'm also trying to establish a 30 minute Yoga routine 3 or 4 times a week...

I'm probably not going to document my outfits on the blog, or maybe just a collage at the end of the month, but they'll definitely be on my Instagram, if you're interested.

Are you taking part in MeMadeMay this year?

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Keeping warm in a good cardi

This is actually last year's sewing, but first it took me a while to take decent photos, and then another while to have a few minutes for blogging. Sometime in early summer last year, I lost my blue Oslo cardi, and since it was such a versatile garment, I immediately vowed to replace it. I couldn't get the exact same fabric (a beautiful rayon jersey with a slightly nubby, silky texture, from, so instead I made do with some soft polycotton jersey from the Turkish fabrik market.
Like my last Oslo, I modified the sleeves and shoulders to fit a bit closer, although they still work well as a layering piece even over long-sleeved tees and dresses.
Navy works as a beautiful neutral in my wardrobe, matching just about everything (alright, almost), so this has been one of the most worn garments since I made it. It's nice for colder summer evenings, and for fall and winter works well as a layering piece over dresses.
 After being completely blown away by how useful cardigans without a front closure are, I also wanted to try a different pattern. I've had the Julia cardigan in my stash for quite a long time, so I chose this light blue and slightly glittery poly-rayon jersey to try it out.
I really like the shape, but it turned out that I'm not a huge fan of the fabric. It feels slightly stiff because of the glittery threads, and the colour is just a bit too pastel for me to reach for it often. It works well with navy, as you can see, but not with too much else...
I'd love to try the pattern in another colour, though. I think I could do with a couple more basic black cardigans.

What's your favorite cardi pattern?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Progress on the Winter Coat

So. Well, first of all, happy 2017! I've had quite a good start into the year, we celebrated New Year's Eve at home with new and old friends and after a tipsy night of fun and games, we spent New Year's Day incredibly lazy, sleeping in, having coffee in bed and later, some more friends came by for brunch that lasted until it got dark. The evening we spent on the couch, knitting and watching TV (and watching Sherlock!). I think January and February is perfect for lazy evenings, knitting in front of the TV, which we've been doing a lot. I've also managed to stick to some resolutions (like doing Yoga at least 3x per week, working on my thesis more or less regularly, and getting a few things done that have been on my list for a while) - and there's also been some coat sewing.

I started with the lining, to check the fit again, and I think it looks pretty alright. I do think the forward shoulder adjustment makes a difference (as does putting in the sleeves *lol*) and the rest of the fit looks mostly fine to me.
Well, I guess the proportions look fine to me. Overall, the fit feels very loose to me, especially after checking against the other coats I own. I can put this lining on while wearing one of my (not quite that warm) coats and it still fits and isn't straining over the fabric. I have about 15 cm (6 in) of ease along the waist seam  and the bust when I wear it over my normal clothing. Measuring the waist seam (subtracting the overlap), it's actually 20 cm of ease compared to my measurements. That seems a bit excessive? Although it's just about as much as seems to be recommended by Sandra Betsina?

The next question being, of course, if I wanted the fit to be a bit closer, should I start from scratch with a smaller size or could I get away with using slightly bigger seam allowances...? I'm guessing I need to take apart my lining and try it out...

In related news, in the quest to make the best coat I can, I sewed a tailor's ham. 
I'd been thinking about making one for ages, but always put it off because I wasn't quite sure where to get sawdust. Turns out, you can get it in every single drugstore, since it's used as filling for pet cages. Shows what I know... ;-) I think it turned out quite pretty and I heart it, but I'm never making one again. Have you ever tried stuffing a bag full of sawdust through a tiny hole made of fraying wool fabric? No. Fun. At all. Oh well.

How's your new year been going? And do you have any life saving tips on coat sewing or fitting?