Monday, April 29, 2013

Me-made-may 2013

 'I, Joëlle of The Handstitched Files, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '13. I endeavour to wear at least one handmade garment three times a week for the duration of May 2013'

Well, this is a bit scary. This will be my first me-made month, so I am not quite sure how well my wardrobe will cope with that. I think I can manage handmade three times a week quite well normally, but the thing is may will not be a normal month for me, and I want to set a challenge that I can fulfill. The thing is I will be most likely spending 10 days of may rotating between my two Eurovision shirts! And I don't have any handmade pants, making this challenge very difficult for the duration of Eurovision.
But I'm totally psyched that Eurovision is going to take place in Malmö and that I am a part of it. It's a lot of work, but also a lot of fun!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A spring Datura

Let me introduce you to my latest pattern crush: the Datura blouse by Deer and Doe!

Spring has finally come, and I cannot sew only dresses, so I expect I will be sewing many more of these adorable little tops! The pattern, despite looking quite simple, is not for beginners. It is labeled "advanced", and I think it is quite right. It is filled with great details, like the double yoke, the detailing at the neckline and the buttons in the back, and it is great fun to sew.

I did not quite understand the instructions for the yoke. I am quite convinced it uses a very smart technique, but I couldn't wrap my head around it, so I solved my issues with a few handstitches at the shoulders. There are not many problems that cannot be solved with a few handstitches... The main fabric is a mystery fabric I bought in India last november, and the yoke is some satin. The wole thing is quite clingy of static electricity, but I do my best to ignore it, because I really like the fabric, and it is really soft on the skin. 

 I also changed the construction a smidge and did french seams on the sides. It makes for a bit of bulk at the underarms, so I don't know if the was really so smart of me, but I couldn't resist. The clever construction with the faced yoke means that all the seams are enclosed, so I wanted to enclose the side seams as well. There are no raw edges at all inside this garment! I was a bit lazy and topstitched the yoke instead of handsewing it, but I quit like the result.

The buttons in the back are such a pretty detail. I omitted the buttonholes and stitched the buttons through all layers. Yes, I'm lazy. Also, I turned the hem twice and stitched instead of facing with a bias tape as instructed. I wanted to to a narrow hem, but miscalculated and the hem ended up being much wider than I expected. But it worked out very well, without puckers despite the curve of the hem, so I let i be.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A pencil skirt

I finally summoned the courage to sew a skirt on one of my threadles! I used entirely my old Singer (and a hand sewing needle) to sew this skirt. It was such a joy, really, to see all the prerfect stitches form under my eyes, and I cannot wait to do it again. I wanted an easy project, with simple seams, as my first attempt to threadle, and thought a pencil skirt would be just that. The fabric was in my stash, a remnant from an old, disastrous project, and I had just enough for this skirt.

The pattern is the pencil skirt from Gertie's new book for better sewing. I modified the waistband, because of fabric limitations. It is the second time I sew it, and, in all honesty, the first one fits much better. I think the fabric is to blame, this one is much thinner and doesn't have as much body, so all the wrinkles show. I'm still quite happy with it. My biggest mistake is thinking I could do away without a vent in the back. I can walk in it without problems, but biking (I bike to and from work everyday) is quite, ahem, unconfortable. 

Because of the color, I am afraid it will sit in my closet without seeing much light until fall comes, but I think it will make a great fall skirt! 

The zipper is a handpicked, lapped zipper. I am really pleased with my work. I also lined the skirt, but I have to go back and shorten the lining a bit. Because of the fitting issues, the skirt tends to ride up a bit, and the lining gets exposed. Oh, well. I do, however, love those darts. Why are two darts so much prettier than one?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Work in progress - Laurel

I received my Laurel pattern last week, just in time for the long Easter week-end. I still hold a grudge on Colette patterns for the insanely high shipping prices, but at least the shipping was extremely fast. (I know, I could have downloaded the pdf, but I refuse to tape 76 or so sheets together if I have another option.) Anyways, I worked a bit on it during the week-end, until I had to stop because I didn't have matching thread... I remedied to that today, so I can get back at it. Soon. After I finish my Datura... oh Datura. So lovely. But that's for another post.

 I cut a mix of three sizes, hopefully things work out well. The side seams should be easy enough to take in if it ends up too big.

Then I set out to make the appliqué at the front neckline. I started by drawing triangles on the pattern i a shape I liked and transferred the markings to the fabric. I also interfaced the main fabric, as I was about to cut into it and did not wanted to risk fraying. I chose the most lightweight interfacing I had on hand, hopefully it doesn't affect the fall of the fashion fabric. The fabric is by the way the most beautiful shade of reddish purple, but I failed to photograph the color accurately... Artificial lighting, you know. It is most likely a poly or poly blend, as I bought it in India last november. It does however have a beautiful drape and is quite soft and lovely to the touch.

Then, I pinned a piece of cream satin behind and then basted between the shapes. Then I cut out all the triangles, very carefully.

My plan is now to go around each shape with a satin stitch on my machine to create the appliqué. I tested on some scraps and it turned out quite like I want it to do.

I'll be back with the finished dress!