Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Shirt in flowers

May is coming closer and closer but I'm also progressing quite well with my collection. I have finished the shirt I was planning for a friend before Easter, and boy am I happy with it!

The plan was this:

- Pattern 9/2013 #117 from Burda Style.
- Cotton poplin fabric from Minerva Crafts.
- Yellow butterfly buttons and black flat buttons from Stoff & Stil.

The fabric I got was quite a bit narrower than what was in the pattern, so there was a moment of panic when I started laying out the pattern pieces and they wouldn't fit πŸ‘»! Thankfully the moment passed and it was after all enough fabric 😁.
There were a lot of pieces to this shirt, quite the puzzle! 22 pieces!

It was indeed a project that took time and effort. I really wanted to get it right and make it look professional, so all seams are sewn on the normal machine first then finished on the overlocker and a lot of the edges and hems were basted to get the exact shapes, curves where it's curved and straight lines where it's straight lines. The result is very...very satisfying!

The process went like this: First I did the bust and waist darts on the front bodice pieces (are you counting? that's 2 πŸ˜‰).

Then I sewed the side back bodice pieces to the center ones (that's 6) and stitched the center back seam, after which I laid it on top of the front pieces and sewed the shoulder and side seams.

So far so good. Next is where it starts getting a bit complicated...Now I sewed the waist darts on the front skirts (let's call them that) after which they were sewn to the front bodice pieces (8) but only for like 20cm . The goal here is to connect them at the center to get the button and buttonhole bands done which was next step. There was a lot of folding back and forth involved to create the invisible buttonhole band, I had to take some deep calming breaths and activate the imagination, then take some more deep breaths and make the buttonholes. The ones on this shirt are my best so far! Almost sad you can't see them πŸ˜„

The hem of the front skirts came next. I sewed the facings (10) to the skirts, turned them to the wrong side and pressed the allowances under.

Next the instructions tells you to topstitch the front bands catching the insides, but that would've left the seams at the waist unfinished, so what I did instead was to topstitch below the waist seam only for now, then I top-stitched the skirts hems, all in yellow thread 😊

Now it was time to assemble the back skirt: I stitched the center seam on the two back skirt pieces (12), then created the tie bands that go on it (14) and pinned them in place, then pinned the front skirts on top of the bands and stitched close to the edge. Now the front skirts, back skirts and tie-bands were sewn together, and I completed the waist seam all the way around.

Now I could overlock that seam in one go, and top-stitch the rest of the front bands.

It was then time for the collar. The construction is pretty standard: Iron interfacing to all pieces → sew the collar pieces together (are you still counting? We're at 16 pieces now) along the outer edge then turn right side out and press → attach the collar stands (18) to the inner edges → sew the outer layer to the neckline of the shirt → press allowances of inner layer to wrong side → and finally baste them in place and top-stitch from the outside catching them.

The pattern pieces remaining now were of course the sleeves. Each sleeve consisted of 2 pattern pieces, an over piece and an "elbow" piece (and that's pieces 19 tp 22 😊). I sewed each over part to the elbow part, improvised with the placket quite a bit, but it still turned out neat. I did the hemming and the placket folding one inside the other in a way so there are no visible folds of fabric over fabric. Then top-stitched the hem and the placket, catching the inner part at the top, made buttonholes and sewed a yellow butterfly on each sleeve.

Then I thought: Since I started with the buttons, I'll just finish with them. So another butterfly went on the only exposed button position at the top closest to collar, and 7 flattish black buttons went into the invisible spots.

The only thing left at this point was to set the sleeves in.

Then try it on!

Do I like it on? Is the sun bright? I like it so much I'm so close to not giving it to my friend πŸ˜†, and I'm almost sure I'm making one for myself sometime this year.

For more pictures of the finished garment, see the project on BurdaStyle.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Jumpsuit in flowers

A.k.a "Sewing for others" collection - item 6 of 8. This is not the first time I use this pattern (for the sewing interested: It's Burda Style 4/2016 - Model 112).

The first time I sewed a version of it, I made it in a woven cotton batik fabric and made it culottes length instead of trouser length to use on the beach (More photos available here). It's really comfy and I've used it on every beach vacation since. The last one of these was with my family and my little sister loved it and wanted one. So the next time I was in Egypt I brought Stoff & Stil (the fabric shop) catalogue with me to Egypt and she chose this black jersey with flowers on.

Her requirements were trouser length and short sleeves, which wasn't difficult to achieve. For the sleeves I used the pattern I used for my last winter project.

Although sewing a jumpsuit is like sewing two projects in one - a blouse and trousers, it wasn't a difficult process. First was to assemble the front made of 4 pieces. And finish the 3 slits (center and sides).

Then make the front pleats, sew the two back pieces at the shoulders and sides, sew the sleeve seams, hem the sleeves and set them in.

At this point it was time to move to the trousers part: Here I folded the 3 pleats on each side front in place, stitched the darts on the back pieces, stitched side seams and inserted in-seam pockets.

Then I got engrossed in the process and forgot to take more details pictures πŸ˜‡ But what happened next was to sew the inner leg seam and ~10cm of the center front seam of the trousers. Then I took the waistband pieces and applied interfacing to them. And since this fabric is very elastic, I cut the inner waistband pieces from a lining fabric that doesn't have any stretch (to keep the garment in place when worn πŸ˜‰), sewed the side seams on both outer and inner waistband, then basted them together and sewed them to the trousers.
It is now the zipper made an appearance and got installed πŸ˜ƒ After which the rest of the crotch seam was done.

This is were the blouse and trousers stop existing and the jumpsuit as an entity appears! I gathered the blouse (or bodice if you want to call it that) and sewed it to the waistband. Then finished the back openings.

Then came the finishing of the neckline, making of the tie band and inserting/sewing it in place. And last hemming the legs.

It turned out even cooler than expected if you ask me 😍

Of course at this point you'd expect a link to this project on burdastyle.com with more pictures from different angles, but I want those pictures to be of my sister modelling it, therefore...TBA.
But feel free to take a look at my other projects there: http://www.burdastyle.com/profiles/mhayek/my_studio/projects

I finished this yesterday which meant I had a lot of weekend left to start on a new project. But Silje's dress (mentioned in my last post) has been staring me in the face the whole last week and I've already decided that I'll buy some extra fabric to fix the situation. I've been to 4 different stores including the one she bought the fabric from before I could find anything that matched in color, but it was satin, not viscose, so it looks a bit different but hey! we call it a design feature. So I got that done and out of the way today.

You see the difference? No? Good! πŸ˜ƒ
It's actually a strip of satin on the sides.

I've also got a bag of like 5 dresses and a jacket from another friend to shorten, so I did one of those dresses as well, shortened it and made a split at the left side.

Now I'll just finish the evening with some cross-stitching in front of the TV before calling it a day and hitting the bed. Next project from the Sewing for others collection to start next weekend πŸ‘

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Last chance for skiing

And I took it!
It has been a winter with very little snow and inconsistent negative degrees this year (as was the case for the last few winters...climate change is at work!), so it hasn't been many chances to go skiing nearby for a day. We managed only one Saturday in Kongsberg.

Which was sad if you ask me, so I planned a skiing weekend in Trysil 😊. And man, I got lucky with the weekend I picked! Saturday was fantastic weather all day, good skiing conditions, sunshine, blue skies...(cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate 😁). Sunday wasn't bad either, a bit more cold, windy and grey but still great.

It was about time to go for one of these, I realized I missed skiing, and I have a new record on the speed test: 68.6 Km/hr (yaaaay!). Very happy me.

On the sewing front, there was also progress. I made that baby romper I was planning and I kinda hate how it turned out, the finish/work isn't neat enough for me to be happy, so to substitute I turned the "Sewing for others" collection to 8 pieces instead of 7 by adding a baby T-shirt to the plan.

I designed this one myself. Started from this pattern →

Then removed the front panel with snaps and the bias binding for neck and armholes, added color panels with flatlock stitching, short sleeves, a letter Z applique, and finished the neckline with rib jersey, and the result is this ↓

And that I'm happy with 😊. Now the baby part of the collection is done. And to be honest, about time. I miss sewing full size things and even more miss sewing for myself 😈

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Some fast days lately

It's amazing how much faster it goes when you're alone at home and have to make your own food! πŸ˜† Or when you get involved in something or other that requires a little bit every day...

My husband has been travelling for work most of last week and most of this week, and although the daily routine hasn't changed, I do spend part of my evening cooking and suddenly evenings are a lot shorter...

I've also joined an Instagram thing called MIY March, basically the organizers post a theme related to sewing everyday and we post a picture on that theme, they select 4 every day and one of those selected on Saturday wins the weekly prize (which is also sewing related items...fabric, patterns, books, vouchers at fabric stores, etc...). So far I haven't been selected, but at least its fun to try.

I continued embroidering in front of the TV on weekday evenings, and did sewing in the weekends, so I've actually made good progress in my planned "Sewing for others" list. The baby shirt and pants are done, as well as the pants from the (romper and pants pair)

Silje finally came to visit yesterday and tried the dress and two skirts I made for her. The skirts fit great...but the dress didn't! 😭 It was a bit too tight...I'll have to try to fix that, but not sure how much I can do...and it'll have to wait after the collection is done (I'm really not in the mood for fixing). But lesson learned: I'm never making her things again without a fitting session or two in the middle!

And this is my hundredth post! Yippiiieee πŸ˜ƒ

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Next plans or "Sewing for others" collection

I mentioned my spring collection in my previous post. However! Some travel plans have changed and therefore the spring collection has to wait.

What I'll start with is the "Sewing for others" collection and if I still have time before travelling I might make something for the vacation I'm travelling to, but we'll see...

The plan is to make a few pieces for my little nephew just because he's cute and I love him πŸ˜„, a jumpsuit for my sister because she really liked mine and wanted one, a shirt for a friend who's impressed by my sewing and just really wants something made by me and I really really hope to finish the Ukrainian embroidered shirt I'm making for my other sister. I have finished embroidering one of the sleeves and started on the second but such works takes a lot of time and patience so again: We'll see...

Here are the planned garments:

The first in line is this cute shirt and pants for Zain (my nephew). I'll use woven cotton with a print for the shirt together with these teddy bear buttons, and dark blue cotton chambray and burnt orange cotton rib jersey for the pants.

The project after will also be for Zain. A body or romper in this light blue jersey with animals on, with edges finished in blue rib jersey and pants in striped rib jersey with a little cute rabbit on a thigh 😊

Then comes a jumpsuit in this floral black jersey for my little sister, with a bit of modification.

The shirt for my friend (or more precisely my sister's friend) will be this one in the picture above made of this gorgeous floral yellow and black poplin with butterfly buttons where they show and simple black ones where they don't. Again, with a bit of modification.

And last something in this spirit for my middle sister, I have the front done, one of the sleeves done, the other has been started, then it's just to sew the pieces together. But will I manage before mid-May?

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

The last winter project for 2016/17

I've shared with you a few weeks ago my intentions to sew the last project for this winter and showed some items I considered for the purpose to match a piece of fabric I had available and wanted to use 😊

One of the nominees pushed aside all the others for me when it was released in the January issue of Burda Style magazine. I liked the shape and design details and at the same time, the simplicity of its construction... And the winner is!

My winning model
I did the preparation work before my trip to Cairo: Printed the pattern, cut it, laid it out on the fabric and cut the pieces.
Laid out and ready to cut

And...cut :)


Then of course I discover that my broad collection of threads doesn't have one in a matching color which was important for finishing these two pieces to the left, which delayed any further execution since this was the first step.

I did pay the fabric store a visit on my way to the airport to fly to Egypt and bought the missing color (along with a piece of fabric and a matching thread for that πŸ˜‡)

 I started working on this slowly after my vacation, and it came together rather nicely and without any difficulties or incidents. And believe me that feels really good!
One ruffle --> Into a complete front --> And the sleeves are ready
It turned out as good as I expected it to and the smooth sailing of it was the best way to finish this season's sewing before the challenges of my spring collection...

Here it is 😌 (And as usual more on my projects page)
The finished product