Monday, September 1, 2014
Also a part of the process... (getting dolled up for a photoshoot)
I have been nominated by the lovely Marie from A Stitching Odyssey to participate in a blog hop! I hade been reading Marie's blog for a long time and always admired her fun yet feminine style, but was given the chance to get to kow her better when I was paired with her in Kestrel's Spring Sewing Swap. So I was more than happy to oblige when she asked me to take part in this little (well, maybe not so little, just try and see how long it goes back!) blog hop. Let's dive in!
Why do I write?
I started this blog as a way to document my sewing and other creative endeavours. From the beginning, it was much more a place for me to record my thoughts about my projects, and hopefully som construction and fitting notes, than a social space. However, with time, I have come to appreciate the value of my blog as a place to connect with others who share my passion. I have really enjoyed meeting amazing people (like Marie!) through my blog, and I am slowly shifting gears towards a content that is more in the spirit of sharing, teaching and inspiring through my projects.
What are you working on?
Blog-wise, I am working on improving my photography, even if that often means booking more photo sessions with my friend :) And as I mentioned above, I am thinking about where I want to take my blogging and how I will be doing that.
I am also planning my fall and winter wardrobe...
But on my sewing table right now is Colette Patterns' Myrtle. Next up is Sewaholic's Yaletown!
How does you blog differs from other in it's genre?
Oh, dear, I cannot even try to pretend that my blog is unique, even in this (relatively!) little community of ours. I do see my blog as very personal in many ways. Sure, it means I put my work out there for the world to see, but I do it primarily for myself, to share my thoughts about a project. No matter how much I do love seeing blogland beeing swept over by hi-low hems, two-pieces and oversized prints (preferably all in one outfit), I try to resist all the trends, an really make things that works for me. I love the inspiration, though.
What is your writing process?
I try really hard to take notes while I sew, but oftentimes, I get too carried away to take the time and stop to write down anything. I do keep my favorite Moleskine notebook by my sewing machine as an incentive, but it does not work so well... I should really learn, though, because I spend an awful lot of time trying to remember what I did when I sit at my computer to write a blog post. So mostly, it ends up being a mash-up of my thoughts about the pattern, the fabric and the finished project. Oh well.
To continue this little hop, I am nominating Alessa from Farbenfreude and Nicolina from Docksjö. Alessa is a smart and colourful lady living in my favorite city, Berlin (I should really go spend a week-end there soon...). She always write thoughtful posts about style and sewing, and I'm always curious to see what she makes next! I have got to know Nicolina through her blog and Instagram, and really enjoy the inspiration she provides. Both in her finished makes and in her meticulousness through the projects. She is also a great inspiration for me getting into lingerie sewing.
Monday, August 18, 2014
Alessa!!! Please email me your address and which Deer and Doe pattern you would like to receive!
Also, thank you everybody for entering the giveaway, it's heartwarming to hear from all of you.
I will be back soon with some sewing, and maybe some knitting too!
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
I have been really busy in the past 3 weeks with beeing on vacation, and am therefore a few days late in my celebration of 100 followers of The Handstitched Files. Bad blogger. I have also been quite busy with this and battling off weeds.
(We bought a summerhouse, my boyfriend and I. Despite it being barely 40 square meters, I find it quite overwhelming. Funny how something that should be quite simple and actually quite exciting can turn into something hard to manage for reasons not really related to the thing itself. Buying a summerhouse turned a few things upside down for me, but it's settling down, I hope. It's also been much more work than expected. The previous owner left everything in the house, down to dessert spoons and rusty pot hangers, wich is both a blessing and a curse. I have lost count of how many times we filled our car and drove to the landfill. At the same time, it is nice not having to buy a thing. It's been lots of work trying to clean the house while repairing a leaking roof, but I think I'm starting to get on top of things. And having grass between my toes while drinking my afternoon coffee is a quite amazing feeling!)
Anyways, it is never too late to celebrate!
I did not have to think really hard to decide what I would be offering. I want to celebrate the joyfullness, the creativity and the open-mindedness of this wonderful little community that we have. And what better than an indie pattern to do that? So I am offering a pattern from my favourite pattern company, Deer and Doe. (I am not affiliated to Deer and Doe, by the way, I just really love Eleonores designs!) My love of Deer and Doe is recorded here, and I have a Belladone and a Centaurée, both already worn several times, still to be blogged (bad, bad blogger). So up for grabs is the pattern of your choice from Deer and Doe's catalog. The giveaway will be opened until sunday the 17th of August, and I will draw a winner on the next day. To enter, simply leave a comment on this post. Why don't you tell me what you have been up to this summer?
Ok, back to sewing! I have LOTS of unphotographed/unblogged projects, but I have been really excited about lingerie lately, so I wanted to share my second bra. This is also Pin-Up Girls Classic bra, although I modified it quite a lot this time. I changed the fabric straps for elastic straps (and this alone would make a world of difference for the sexiness factor of the bra!). I also lowered the rise of the cups. They still provide good coverage, but feels much prettier. Finally, I changed, ever so slightly, the curve of the cup seams, flattening them a tiny bit, which made quite a difference in the final shape of the cups. I am much happier with the fit and feel of this bra, compared with the first. It is very comfortable, too, and way prettier! I have happily put it in my lingerie drawer and use it regularly. The fabric and findings are from a kit I purchased at Sewing chest. It's a great kit, with nice fabrics, and it includes everything for a bra, including lace, powermesh and stable tricot, as well as all the elastics and trimmings. It even has tiny ribbon bows! I find it hard still to judge the quality of lingerie fabrics, but these felt quite nice, and were nice to work with. I did not realise when I purchased the kit, but the materials are not enough for a matching panty, these are sold as a separate kit. Just something to keep in mind! I struggled once again with attaching the hooks and eyes tape, anyone has tips or suggestions? I also had some issues with bulkyness in a few places. Maddie recently suggested hammering down bulky areas, so maybe I'll try this next time.
Friday, July 11, 2014
Pattern: Urban Threads
Embroidery on linen with DMC cotton thread
I blame Pinterest for this new obsession. Pinterest, and a guest toilet in need of some decoration. Very glamorous, I know.
I actually really do not remember how it really started. A pin of a beautiful embroidered piece (probably intricate flowers in satin stich), leading to more boards loaded with inspiration, leading to some more googling, and also probably an email from Craftsy about summer sale and a new class on hand embroidery. I might have a slight addiction to Craftsy classes. The video medium is just great for us visual learners, and when classes go on sale I usually snap up a few. I personally think that 20 or so dollars is great value. The only times I have been disappointed was when I didn't like the teaching style of a particular instructor. The contents is always interesting, though. OK, enough about Craftsy. Anyways, I had bought the class Design It, Stitch It: Hand Embroidery with Jessica Marquez, watched it and loved every minute of it. It is a great embroidery primer and covers all the basics, and Jessica makes it sounds so easy. I also love what she creates, and she has been a great source of inspiration.
So I gathered supplies and bought this beautiful fox pattern at Urban Threads and started stitching. The tedious part is transferring the pattern to the fabric. I used a water soluble pen and a window as a lightbox, wich works well but is not very ergonomic. The stitching was just so much fun, and I barely put it down for an entire week-end. So it was completed rather quickly, even though there are many hours of labour in the finished piece. I had beforehand decided on orange for the outline (because well, foxes are orange, plus it will match the backsplash in the guest toilet) and a general colour palette, but just followed my fantasy for the stitches and colour distribution.
I am in love with the final result. It's colourful, modern and happy. Some stitches are wonky, but it makes me love the final piece just that much more. I really enjoyed the organic process of creating this piece, with the outlines of the pattern as a starting point and choosing colours and stitches as I went. I am really looking forward to build on my skills and explore different styles of embroidery.
It still needs to be framed, once I decide what colour to spray-paint the frame. Midnight blue or gold? In the meantime, I stocked up on thread, patterns and added countless embroidery inspiration boards to my Pinterest feed.
Finally, I noticed that I have 94 followers on Bloglovin! There is probably people following me in other ways, but I'm not sure how to check that out? Saying this makes me feel prehistorical. Oh well. Anyways, I thought that I would host a celebratory giveaway when I reach 100 followers! I have yet to decide what the prize will be, but I will come up with something good, promise. So check this space, I will, in the meantime, compulsively check my Bloglovin stats :) See you all soon whith som wearable stitching and a celebratory giveaway!
Monday, July 7, 2014
Pattern: Pin-up Girls Classic bra, size 30D, slightly modified to fit my wires
Fabric: White dotted cotton from stash, white powernet from Sewing chest and white notion kit from Merckwaerdigh on Etsy.
I have been wanting to sew lingerie for a long time, ever since Amy over at Cloth Habit posted her serie about bra-making. I had great plans then to follow the sew-along and learn how to make beautiful, handmade bras. I entusiastically bought kits from Merckwaerdigh, a pattern from Pin-Up girls, and fiddled around with plush and picot elastics. The results were, sadly, less than stellar and I quickly lost interest, confused between powermesh, stretch lace, linings and trims.
So I continued, for the last year, to admire Novitas and Amys beautiful bras, thinking that "one day" I would be skilled enough to sew a bra that actually fitted. Then Tasia, from Sewaholic, started to post lingerie too, and it somehow managed to give me the kick I needed. I suddenly was super inspired, and eager to finally demystify bramaking.
I re-read all of Amy's sewalong posts and studied my RTW bras. I finally understood what parts need to stretch (the back band), and which should not (pretty much everything else), and that was the lightbulb moment for me. So I simply sat down, traced a 30D from my Pin-Up Girls Classic bra pattern, cut my fabric, a little lace to be pretty and constructed a bra. Just like that! Well, I had also ordered a few different wires in different models and sizes from the Sewing Chest and that also really helped in getting a good end reslut. The sewing itself is rather simple. Inserting all the different elastics does take a bit of practice, but is not really difficult. It does require a lot of precision, which I rather enjoyed. The hardest was attatching the hooks, I had to unpick several times because I was not catching everything properly.
The result is a bra that is very wearable, which I a super happy and proud of. I always considered it a muslin, and there are many things I will adjust for my next version, and my stitching can also be perfected. About the pattern, I will say that the instructions are extremely detailed and pertinent. The fit is quite good, straight of the envelope, on me at least, and feels quite true to size. The model is, however, quite dated. The bra gives lots of coverage, and the wide straps feels a bit old (i do think I messed up somehow with the elastics and seam allowances and that my straps are larger than they are intended to be). It also gives me a very pointy shape, which is awesome for a retro look, but maybe not what I would go for daily. I believe that all of this will be easily altered with a bit of drafting and Amy's helpful posts.
p.s. My lingerie photographing skills are also something I hope to improve... ;)
Monday, June 30, 2014
Pattern: Alameda dress by Pauline Alice. Size 36 in the bust and waist, graded to 40 at the hips. I was asked to test this pattern before it's release.
Fabric: Polyester crepe, bought locally at Glada tyger, linen-look cotton from Minerva for the lining.
I am a Pauline Alice fangirl. I have bought and made the Cami dress (sorry, still unblogged!), the Ninot jacket and the Carme blouse, and these last two are some of my favorite me-mades. So when Pauline asked if I would like to help her out and test her upcoming pattern, I jumped at the opportunity!
The Alameda has a cute and unusual sithouette. It has a fitted bodice with princess lines, a waistband, and a flirty little flounce attached to a fitted skirt. In the spirit of testing, I added piping on the princess seams of the bodice and skirt, but I am still unsure about if I would prefer the dress without them, or maybe in a more tonal colour. I chose a fabric with a nice drape, so that the flounce would twirl nicely, but lined with cotton. Partly to keep the poly away from my skin, and partly to give the bodice and skirt the structure they need. As always, Paulines instructions are clear and clever and the dress came together without a hitch.
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Pattern: Buttericks 5748, size 12 with lots of modifications for fit
Fabric: cotton sateen, from Moods
I sew much faster than I manage to blog. And I will rather spend my spare time behind my sewing machine than behind my computer screen, editing photos and typing blog posts. But I do want to share and show you guys my new twirly dresses. If anyone has a solution to this dillema, please share. In the meantime, my list of finished projects to blog is almost longer than my sewing queue. Oh my.
So this dress has been finished for quite a while, and I even wore it a few times. I was one of these projects where I had the perfect fabric for a pretty pattern. I thought, 5 pattern pieces, a circle skirt, a simple bodice with fun notch details, this is going to be a fun project! Well. I had to fight so much with it to get it to simply fit. I am still not happy, but it is wearable. After wearing it a few times, I think I`ll go back and take another wedge in the center back. In hindsight, I should have started with a least two sizes down... It is a real pity, because apart for the fit (I still hope to be able to save it!) I love everything about this dress. The summery fabric, the low back, and mostly, the circle skirt. Oh, the circle skirt. Can you believe this is the first circle skirt I ever wore? I had so much fun all day wearing it! I need more circle skirts in my life.
Construction-wise, it is pretty simple. I put in a side lapped zipper, as per the insructions, and did quite a decent job at it, despite the fabric wanting to stretch very badly. The skirt is hemmed with a bright red bias tape (my favorite way to hem rounded skirts), for a pop of colour on the inside too.
And look, I can twirl!!
I styled it with my red Miette, which is the second sweater I ever knitted. I still love it so.