November 26, 2008

Another update of sorts

I've pulled out everything that I've done since my sewing classes with Becky and took photos. This post will be sort of a virtual progress report. As a side note, I need to set up an area in my sewing room that is suitable for taking photos. Dresses hanging from a closed closet door seem like they could be so much more visually appealing somehow (especially from someone who majored in photography...doh!).

This is the project that I was working on while taking classes with my friend. Apparently, pajama pants are the simplest thing to start off with. When I started the project, I bought white cotton muslin and used navy thread because I wanted to be able to see where I was making mistakes. This was solely for the purpose of strengthening my basic techniques. Obviously, they weren't constructed to be pretty pajama pants. Ha! They turned out fairly well though for my first article of clothing and I still wear them.

My next project for class was going to be this apron but that fell right at the beginning of this past summer. Needless to say, we both were very busy and lessons kind of just fell off of the radar. I decided I didn't want conflicting schedules to keep me from learning and progressing so I decided I was going to try making it on my own...without instruction. I'm actually very pleased with how it turned out. I love the print, the bow detail, and the flirty ruffle at the bottom. I still don't wear it when cooking because the idea of getting it stained saddens me. But I guess that's what aprons are for right? I just need to suck it up!

Since my apron had turned out so well, I thought I would try a dress next. I had this fabric for years (I used to use it as a colored backdrop when I was in college) and it had a nice, lightweight summer feel to it. Unfortunately, I finished the dress at the end of the summer and it didn't seem appropriate to wear going into Fall. I also don't think it's the right shape for my body type, but that's another thing. I love the pressed flower buttons! (Anyone fit into a size 4 and want a dress for when summer rolls around?)

The jacket came next. Ooooh! Zippers! This was an adventure. The most complicated article of clothing I've constructed yet. Some of the seams are off and despite meticulous pressing and pinning, some of the cut edges still seem to poke themselves out. In addition to the zipper, it was also my first attempt at using grommets. Tricky buggers! You can't see all of the flaws in the photos and, even in person, you really have to look to see them but knowing that they're there bother me. I wanted to liven up the jacket so I made some fabric covered buttons for the pocket but it's looking very sparse. I think I'm going to make a bunch more so it's more like a contemplated cluster of buttons rather than the random placement it has now.

In the spirit of Christmas and wanting to do handmade gifts this year, I tried my hand at embroidery. I'd say they're pretty exceptional for embroidering for the first time ever. You can't really see all of the intricacies of the snowflakes but weaved throughout the white embroidery thread are a few silver strands. Very festive! I made them into drawstring bags with the intent of using them to house handmade truffles for some girl friends. I'm really, really pleased with how these came out!

And my most recent finished reversible tote bag! With a removeable sash that you can also use as a headscarf, tie belt, or scarf. I'm IN LOVE with these prints!!!! They're all from the Joel Dewberry Aviation line. I'm loving the chocolate brown and orange combo. Very harvesty! The timeframe may be a little late but oh well. I'm working on planning ahead the next time around. I already have ideas flowing for my Spring bag. The pattern for this bag is an Amy Butler creation. I've really been digging her fabric designs and patterns lately. They're all super cute! As a side note, she offers some patterns for free on her website: Definitely worth checking out!

So, this post has pretty much brought me up-to-date with where I am creatively and technically. I'm not sure what I'm going to be making next, but I've got tons of ideas and I'm itching to get started on my next project. I've listed a ton of crafting/sewing books on my Christmas list. Assuming that I end up getting a good number of them (which I don't really like to assume because that's sort of greedy), I should have plenty more to post in the coming months.

On a final note, I've been working strictly with patterns created by others with the exception of my drawstring gift bags. I'm hoping that I can get to the point where I'm looking at other designers/seamstresses/crafters more for inspiration to form my own creations. I'd like to eventually get away from using pre-made patterns in which I'm only making fabric choices. Obviously, to do this, I'm going to need to immerse myself in technique, technique, technique. It may take a while but, for now, all is well and good!