Sunday, March 30, 2014

Capsule project #1: White T

Happy Sunday everyone!

Today will be a quickie! I have been very good and focused on my capsule project. The first capsule baby has now arrived. It is a Plantain!

Back in January, I did two versions of it. Both were 3/4 sleeves and I was looking forward to trying a lighter version. The first step was to purchase a lighter jersey. A T-shirt was also a perfect start into the capsule project. It was something I would wear a lot and quick to make. It's a great way to feel a positive reinforcement. Here is the result, featuring a kitty!

Wellington is being shy and did not want to show his face today.
Must be having a bad whiskers day...

This time, I modified the pattern a little bit, I flared it more below the waist, adding 2 cm at each seam, adding up to 8 cm total. I like it much more like this. It creates pretty curves.

This super nice top cost only 5 EUR in material and it will get a lot of wear.

In the next attempts, I think I will try to change the rounded neckline into a V-neck. Should be interesting...

I am pretty sure that I will live in this T-shirt this summer. I am also planning a couple of other versions with other fabrics.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Seasonal shopping: fabric haul!

My dear friends, I have been a good girl!
I stuck to the plan!

On Sunday, I wrote about my projects for spring and summer. Now I will show you what I bought to go with it.

Twice a year, there is a huge market coming to a town nearby and I try to shop there for most of the season because they have a great choice of fabrics, in type, quality and price. Every time I go, I know I will find what I want. To recap on the capsule idea, I wanted knit, some woven fabric, and I wanted to focus on white, jeans and fuchsia. And, this is what I came home with!

It is basically what I wanted!

I wanted to work on shorts and I am so happy I found this cute denim! It is quite thin and not stretchy. When I saw the polka dots, I had to go for it! I purchase 1meter.

I wanted to make a white hoodie. I got some great double knit. The gentleman gave me 2.5m for the price of 1m because I got the end of the bolt, and also because I got quite some yardage at his stand...

I wanted t-shirts and I got a lot of material for that. I am now the happy owner of 4m of thin white jersey, 2m of thin pink jersey and 1 panel of gorgeous printed beige!

You can see the fiber. It feels really comfy on the skin and has a very nice drape to it.

This is exactly the same as the white. Only the color changes.

I fell in love with this one. I can already see it as a short sleeve Plantain with the panel print placed horizontally.

I also found a very nice knit I could use for a simple fitted garment. It would be very interesting for work and a nice challenge to match the printed squares. This knit is much thicker and would work better for something fitted, maybe. I saw a very cool pattern this morning it could work with. I have 2m of this one.

I have also gotten a couple of woven fabrics. I wanted a pop of color to make a simple skirt and I got this beautiful dupion silk. 1m of it. I am really curious about what a prewash would do to the color saturation.

And last, but not least, a nice and thin cotton that ties everything together. It will make a beautiful maxi dress in all of the colors of my palette! I am not sure if you can see the details but the dotted lines and the darker leaves are embroidered. The darker dots on the flowers are also textured. The fabric man said that it would survive a 30degrees wash but I am not so sure...

So far, I started working on my first T-shirt and I am loving the white knit!

Which one is your favorite? 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Spring/Summer capsule

Hi everyone ! 

It is that time of the year. Time for spring cleaninghome and in the wardrobe, time to browse patterns, time to think about what you will need this year, where you're going this summer, what occasions are coming, etc. I love spring !

Previous years and seasons, I never planned that much. I mainly went with the flow and bought fabrics I loved. I ended up with a lot of cute dresses, but I still sometimes have the feeling I have nothing to wear. Then came the Wardrobe Architect project from Sarai on Coletterie and it kickstarted my reflexion. I thought things a little bit differently but I came to very useful conclusions.

What do I usually sew ?
I have been sewing a lot of dresses, cute skirts and tops. I started sewing 4 years ago now. I was unemployed, looking for a way to feel good in clothing. I naturally went for cute ideas, project after project. Only a few of them stayed wearable but I learned so much ! I used different colors, textures, fabrics, patterns and techniques. I have had a blast so far.

What do I wear to work? In the week end ? For occasions ?
I have multiple personalities that have a few common areas, such as bright colors or cute details.
Some days, I feel like wearing comfortable things. Those days, I go for jeans and a nice knit top or a wide blouse, often with a cardigan. I just want to feel efficient and get things done. This happens often when I am stressed at work or if I have a super busy week end.

Some other days, I feel like being very girly and cute. Those days, I go for dresses, skirts, colorful cardigans and nice blouses. Those combinations are still quite comfortable with circle skirts and semi fitted tops. This is mainly the case when I feel happy and creative, when I see friends or go out with Mister.

And some days, I want to wear flattering and womanly clothing, such as pencil skirts, fitted dresses and tops, and high heels. I go for this when I want to impress or when I have to impress. Fitted clothing are slimming and are very empowering. I also enjoy feeling womanly for special events.

What do I have to remove from the wardrobe ?
When I went through my wardrobe, I decided to get rid of a few items. Worn out jeans, unflattering trousers, RTW garments that I now find boring, and me-made garments that were badly finished or too crazy. I also got rid of T-shirts that are comfy but do not fit the hourglass silouhette I enjoy most.

What do I need to add?
I think I need to add elements that combine the different moods above. Comfort, hourglass shapes, womanly. I need to keep in mind that spring and summer may bring warmer temperatures and I want to avoid clothing that would make me feel too warm or sweaty. I need 
- more jeans, they are comfy and can be dressed up or dressed down.
- T-shirts that are flared from the waist down, white is what I usually go for in the summer
- Shorts : I am terrified by them, they never fit but I need some for vacations
- A white hoodie for chilly summer nights
- a summer maxi dress : I always go to my long dresses in the summer
- a nice classy dress for a family event in June
- a off-white skirt as a warm days basic
- A pop of color for a skirt
- one dressy corporate summer dress

What inspires me in the sewing world at the moment ?
The sewing world is booming and blooming at the moment ! I am, as always inspired by indie pattern companies and by bloggers. I also enjoy watching what actresses wear, especially when they are not your typical thin shape.
In the sewing world, Colette Patterns are, as always, awesome, they re-invent themselves constantly. I am super curious about their coming knit book, and their plus size patterns ! I just discovered Deer&Doe, Named, and other companies. They make me feel like the sky is the limit. Cool designs are achievable for everyone !
My blog roll became so long ! So many ladies are extremely impressive. Oona is a star, Sigrid , Peter, and Laura are so professional and make me want to tackle more difficult issues. Patty is back in the blogosphere and I cannot wait to read each new post. Mary makes one beautiful garment after the other. She also writes inspiring posts on projects and curves. Tilly is making her life the dream she deserves.

What types of fabric should I go for?
I want to work on knit. I am extremely interested in learning new skills related to knit treatment.
I also want a couple of woven light natural fabrics.

What colors inspire me ?
I like the idea of basics in jeans and white for the summer. On those basics, I want to build up cute and quirky details, bringing colors. Last summer, I focused on ocre and blue/green. I want to widen the tropical scope and add some pink. I think that the palette below represents what I would like to build. I really love the following inspirational photo too.

What body image issues would I want to tackle ?
In the past, I have avoided trousers and shorts. I still have issues with the belly pouch area. As you know, my jeans project is paused until my serger pedal gets home. From there, I really want to find a cute and comfy shorts pattern that fits me. I may have to go through a few muslins, but I'm fine with it.

That's already a lot of work  for today ! Next time, I will show you which fabrics I found, and which patterns I am considering at the moment.

What about you ? Are you spring cleaning ? Are you thinking of a capsule ?

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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Albion two ways

Hi everyone!

Thank you to all of you for sending me links related to the Overlock situation! We have found and ordered one :) This delay gives me some time to show off the Duffle coats I made for the Colette contest. After my teaser post, it is time for the big reveal!

To summarise, I have made the Albion, version 2, for both Mister Husband and I. In the teaser post, I wrote about the fabric choices and other considerations. Before showing off the results, I just want to talk about the fit because that’s an issue for many of us.

For Mister and I: many sewalongers mentioned that the Albion was very wide. I completely agree. I ended up having to make a second muslin a size smaller for both of us. This is mainly due to the fact that I made Spring/Fall versions. Without the heavy winter lining, the shell has to be smaller while  keeping a lot of ease. In the end, I cut an M for mister, and a L for me. We also both cut the Duffle much shorter because we want to use it for bicycling. I just had to add a couple of specific adjustments:
 - For me: I had to widen the pattern a little bit at the hips. Nothing too hard
 - For Mister: I stitched his nickname on the inside pocket, it was also his Valentine-day present.

And, here is the big reveal! His and hers! Beware, cheesy pictures ahead!

The spring came in early this year so we have already gotten some wear out of them. They are really comfy! The little details such as different toggle closures make a nice difference. It makes the coats look a little bit less matchy.

Some pictures of just Mister. I love the way it looks on him! It is casual but somehow dressy enough. I think that shortening the pattern was a good solution as well. As explained on my previous post, Mister wanted black bias binding and darker toggle patches.

Now, my turn! At the beginning, I was afraid of using a unisex pattern. It could just as well look very boxy/baggy. In the end, I am quite happy. The closures give it a focal point. I used some softer brown for the patches. I also love the idea that my bias binding is made with Liberty fabrics scraps. It makes it quite luxurious!

Here are a few detail shots if you are interested!

I am now going to fill in the form to enter the contest. Do you think that this should be one entry or two separate ones? To me, it feels like it should be only one because it is basically the same fabric… 
Who is participating?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Albion for two

Unless you have ignored forums, blogs etc., you must have heard about the Albion pattern from Walden, the new male brand from Colette Patterns. The Albion is a very cool Duffle Coat and is easily adaptable to a female silhouette. You can make a nice and cosy winter coat or a lighter version for between seasons.

Now, I always get excited when Colette publishes new patterns. I was very happy that they made another male pattern. Mister Husband was, for once, very interested in that new pattern and we ordered it back in December, together with the Cooper bag. In the past, I had already made a Negroni for him and the design was very easy to follow, while still teaching me tricks.

I am also sure that you have heard about the Albion Sewalong and Contest that is happening at the moment. Back in December, I had already decided to participate to both. I was planning on writing a series of posts related to the fit, muslins etc but I did not have much to say, especially after all the informatioavailable online at the moment. So far, I have already seen a few beautiful versions in the Flickr group or on the facebook page. I feel kind of defeated before I even post my versions because I have a feeling that they would not compare. But I will still go ahead.

What about my version of the Albion?

Well! I decided to make a pair of them! One for mister, one for me! I thought that it would be interesting to pick the same fabric but use different details (bias binding, toggles, buttons etc). Both Mister and I also decided that we should have a shorter version for spring, made with a lighter fabric. The pattern for the version 2 calls for Canvas, cotton twill, denim or any other heavy waterproof fabric. That was actually the hardest part of the process. We both found it very hard to pick something.
- The canvas we found had very interesting colours but was very coarse. It was have been very uncomfortable at the elbows if we decided to wear it with short sleeves, or around the hood if it rains and the fabric rubs against the skin.
- Waterproof fabrics were not very forgivable. Using them would mean no possible error because the needle holes would always show.
- Denim was not my preferred choice because I didn’t want the Duffles to look like a jeans jacket.
- Other possibilities were simply too expensive…

After asking for help to the lady in the store, she showed us a beautiful beige denim. The drape was very nice and the fabric was neither too thick nor too thin.

As contrasting details, I decided early on that we would only us scraps for the binding of the seams. Mister Husband went for a very manly contrasting black. I went for leftovers of a beautiful Liberty fabric. For the toggles, I ordered a few centimetres of faux leather and some thin rope for Mister and cut out the patches myself. The toggle buttons were purchased on Etsy. For mine, I went for a bundle version. I found them in a little store when we visited my Grand Ma last month.

I think that’s enough info for today! Did any of you start or complete the Albion? Is anyone participating to the contest?

Let me know! I am very curious!
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