"" The girl who makes things: November 2015

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Simple pleasures

This post is looong overdue. While I've been sewing at a steady pace over the past few months, I've been getting behind on my blogging. In fact, it's been difficult keeping up to date with the blogging world in general as I never seem to have any time. That makes me sound awfully important and busy - the truth is I don't think I'm any busier than I was last year, I'm just not using my time very efficiently. I make To Do lists every day but other things always distract me and I end up procrastinating for ages... do you ever have that problem?

Anyway, like I said, my sewing's been progressing steadily and I've managed to churn out a couple of key items. This winter I've decided to really examine my wardrobe  and work out why I wear some things while others get thrown to the back of the wardrobe. The objective here is to reduce the amount I waste on clothes - that's time and money. We'll call it mindful making. What I've realised is that I'm very sensitive to the details in things. If something's the wrong length, too tight, too baggy, slightly misshapen, I find that I can't feel comfortable in it, especially if I've made it myself. And that's the key here: comfort. 

So, while on my closet crussade I spent some time going through the clothes I already have and found that I had space for a few basic items: a work skirt, work trousers and a jersey dress. A lot of my wardrobe revolves around my smart-casual work style so these pieces were pretty essential. Today, I'm starting with my jersey dress, which I have to say, has got a huge amount of wear already. 

I used the Deer and Doe Plantain T-shirt pattern which I lengthend into a dress. The fabric came from Feira dos Tecidos at a bargainess 5€. I've now got my head around cutting jersey fabric (which always used to give me headaches) and found that life got a lot easier when I started using pattern weights instead of pins, which tend to bunch up the fabric. The whole thing came together within an afternoon.

The devil is in the detail here: I'm a fairly lanky human being with long, monkeyish arms which tend to over extend most rtw garments. With this in mind, I added about an inch to the sleeves which has improved my comfort levels enormously.

I'd like to make this dress again in a slightly more interesting fabric, however, I'm quite happy with how simple it is. It's a versatile piece which can be worn with most of my accessories. So far, so good - roll on more mindful making.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Jumping into November

When I ordered my Minerva supplies three months ago, I literally had no idea about what I'd want to make for November. This time last year Lisbon was going through a mini autumnal heatwave and we were spending most of our weekends on the beach. This October's been a bit crap though, and the majority of our weekends have been spent huddled up indoors in woolly jumpers. It seems that the Portuguese weather system is just as unpredictable as the British. For this month's Minerva Make, therefore, I decided to take a stab at something I've never made before and never imagined wearing: a jumpsuit.

The pattern is Simplicity Project Runway 1158. It allows you to mix and match a number of different styles so you can be fairly creative with the overall design of your project. I really like cross-over style tops and dresses on me, so I went for View A with the narrow leg bottom half.

I wanted my jumpsuit to be super soft and comfy so I ordered navy blue jersey fabric which did the job perfectly. I used to be nervous about sewing with stretchy fabrics but I've since been converted to them. The only tricky stage is cutting out the pieces but after that they are really easy to sew, as long as you stitch with a slightly looser tension.

Once I'd cut out all the pieces, the whole project came together within a day. The pattern instructions were very clear and easy to follow. Normally I cut a size smaller for the top half but I opted for a straight size 10 this time which was fine as the fabric and elasticated waistband allow plenty of movement.  I didn't really experience any issues or problems and I even got to add a few extra skills to my set, such as making the back tie.

I'm not sure when I'm going to wear my jumpsuit, it might have to wait until next spring unless the weather gets warmer before winter. I'm glad I made it though and it's slightly different addition to me wardrobe which takes me out of my comfort zone.