"" The girl who makes things: December 2015

Thursday, 31 December 2015

2016: Looking forward

So here we are, on the cusp of 2016 and I literally can't believe that another year has gone past. It's been a fairly eventful year for me personally; I became an auntie for the first time and completed a whole year of teaching in Portugal. In a way, I'm looking forward to things settling down a bit more in 2016. I'd like to explore more of Lisbon - I know there's a lot of things happening in this city, I just need to go out and find them. I'd also like to hone my shaky Portuguese.


Sewing-wise I've kept things going at a steady pace. I've made a few pieces which I really love - namely my Alder shirt dress and my Plantain dress (which is threatening to fall apart I wear it so much). I've also had a number of fails - I'm yet to wear my jersey jumpsuit and I made a pair of high waisted denim shorts which never even made it on to the blog. In the coming year I'm not going to set myself any ridiculous challenges (sewing is fun - remember!), but I have five resolutions which I've outlined below:

1. 2016 will be the year that I get to grips with fit. My Mum got me a fantastic book for Christmas called Pattern Drafting for Fashion; Advanced by Teresa Gilewska. I'm going to measure up and make a good pattern block which I can use to start designing.

2. Following directly on from pattern blocks, I'm going to design more of my own patterns. This will obviously consume a lot more time, but what I love about sewing is the artistic freedom to make whatever you want, so now I feel ready to take sewing to the next level.

3. I will make a pair of Ginger jeans which have been waiting in my sewing queue since forever.

4. I will not beat myself up about not blogging any of these projects. I recently picked up on a post by Karen from Yes I Like That about why she stopped blogging, most of the points she made I totally identified with. I'm a self confessed social media sloth - I dip in and out and tend to be slow to react. But, hey, I set up this blog for fun and my sewing is a self indulgent creative outlet, so if I'm not Instagramming or blogging every single finite detail then I'm ok with that.

5. I will, however, resist going the other way and give up on blogging/instagramming completely. The greatest thing about keeping this blog is being able to connect with the sewing community. So I will hang on in there.

How about you guys, any similar/different resolutions for the new year?

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Primavera peplum

For this month's Minerva project I decided to go slightly off-season and make a floral peplum shirt-top. Well, winter only lasts about six weeks here in Portugal so it won't be too long before I can wear it!



The pattern is k4102 from Kwik Sew which is a totally new brand to me. From the outset, the instructions and pattern pieces were very clear and well laid out. I was taken through each stage, step by step with illustrations to help guide me through the process.


Following the size guide on the back of the envelope, I opted for a size small. I wish, however, that I'd gone for extra small instead as the shirt turned out to be way bigger than I'd anticipated. Mid way through sewing I took about an inch off either side to get a closer fit, but I think the waist is still slightly on the larger side and the bodice is a bit too long.



The whole thing came together within one Sunday, making this a fairly quick (or should I say kwik?) project. There aren't too many difficult or fiddly stages, with maybe the neckband being an exception, but nothing a moderately confident sewist can't overcome.



I used some lovely floral cotton from Minerva which was really easy to handle and pressed neatly. I think this top would work well with a silky fabric too as the soft gathers at the side would lend themselves well to it.




If I used this pattern again I'd be tempted to lengthen it into a shirt dress which would be perfect for summer or layered up with tights and a cardi for winter. Overall, though, I'd definitely go back to Kwik Sew patterns again, I'd just have to remember to go a size smaller!