Happy New Year and #2017MakeNine

Dear readers,

Let me start with all the seasonal greetings! I’m wishing you the best for 2017 and I’m totally late doing it, but I have an excellent excuse, about 25″ inches long,  which I plan on abusing all year long. If you follow me on Instagram you know that 1/ The Little Human came at the time she was supposed to, 2/ she’s a healthy and happy one and 3/ she’s the easiest baby since I have been putting her through a lot of traveling in the last 2 months and she didn’t even complain. Or maybe she did and I mistook that for hunger, who knows ;-))

Our life out of a suitcase in soon coming to an end after going to Haiti, France, back to Haiti and now emjoying Bogotá, Colombia. I can’t say that I haven’t missed home and I’m glad to be back in New York next week. Because as we all know, home is where sewing machines are!! When one itches to sew but cannot, there are usually two options available: shop ALL THE FABRIC or spend too much time thinking about what you could/will be sewing.

I’m choosing the latter out of necessity, because i will not have any space to bring back fabric (crying face). Of course, announcing sewing plans for me is the equivalent of shooting myself in the foot and ensuring that none of those plans will ever come true. So bear with me, while I outline some imaginary sewing plans for 2017.

2016 has been very happy year for me, except in the wardrobe department. I did not particularly enjoy dressing my pregnant self and I’m glad to be able to think again in terms of what I want to wear rather than what I can. This year, I want to strengthen my work wardrobe so I have this idea that I could sew a mini capsule of 9 garments, one garment a month, starting from February. I think it sounds reasonable, but only time will tell! Let me introduce you to my #2017MakeNine!


Blazers

I’m cheating in this category, because both my white blazer (here is The Kooples, I actually own this exact jacket in black and I love it) and my “Balmain-inspired” (lol) one were started in November last year and are well advanced. For the white one, I used the Veste Francoise from Republique du Chiffon as a starting point and for the Balmain, a personal pattern of The Pattern Line I hope to tell you later about 😉

Skirts

I’ve been meaning to sew a Stella Jean inspired skirt out of some African wax I have (bought back when I lived in Zambia). I would be such a quick project, I think this year will be the year!! That’s pretty much how wild I’m ready to go for work, the other two I have in mind are a white pencil skirt (shown above is Roland Mouret) and one with some kind of wrap front (MM. LaFleur) for which I would probably have to wait to recover my dressform, currently waiting in Haiti for someone traveling to New York City (anyone??).

Dresses

I like the neckline of the Gimlet dress released by Capital Chic but it may not be realistic while I’m still breastfeeding, so I’ll see by next fall if I still like it. The other dress is also a personal pattern of The Pattern Line. I can’t show it to you entirely because we have grand plans for this dress, but in case you want an idea of what is coming, you can go there. I’ll write more in details about this project soon!

Tops

This is where I’m not totally set, it will probably shirts/blouses but what kind and with what patterns remains to be defined. A black poplin shirt (shown here is Theory) would be useful, as well as a lighter silk blouse (here is a recent Burda cowl pattern). We will see, the shirtmaking bug seems to be itching again! Any recommendations are welcome!

That’s it for today, let me know what you think and get ready for one of my blogging streaks where I blog 3 weeks in a row and then disappear for a while (hopefully not…)!!

 

 

And this is how you lose sewing focus…

I was in France. For 3 weeks. I bought fabric (of course). I came back less than a week ago and pre-washed all said fabrics (gold star for me). I started working on an apdapted Archer pattern for 1 or 2 shirts out of the new fabric.

Proof #1

Practising Plackets à la Off-the-Cuff mode...
Practising Plackets à la Off-the-Cuff mode

And Proof #2

 

Removing shoulder length...
Removing shoulder length…

And then i visited Lekala’s website and saw this :

Good by focus… HELLO RALPH LAUREN INSPIRED SHEATH DRESS!!!

I’m off to check my mailbox compulsively until the custom sized pattern arrives. It’s been 6 minutes and 48 seconds. WHY IS IT TAKING SOOOO LONG??!

More to come….

Scary 3D and sewing in Russian (Lekala patterns)

First of all, I moved in my new house (which is totally cute and adorable) and I HAVE A SEWING ROOM AGAIN :

Room in the new house is set up and ready for some #sewing action! Check the blog soon...

A post shared by SewingTidbits (@sewingtidbits) on

So I have been sewing! But in addition, I have been RUSSIAN sewing. I have jumped in the wonderful made to measure world of Lekala and I will have 2 reviews coming very very soon :

This skirt (already done, just waiting to be photographed):

Lekala skirt

Nice huh? That skirt is a good example of their current offering, and the way they styled their newer patterns. Now get ready for old school Lekala with my other ongoing project, this dress :

Lekala dress 5166

OK OK I know what you are thinking… WHY ???

Well, because of the made to measure feature. I’m happy to report that It works EXTREMELY well (more on that below). After making the skirt (with super minimal alterations), I thought I should focus on a basic shapes to build a library of blocks with well-fitting patterns (by now you should know that I am a Fashion Incubator avid reader). So now in only 2 weeks (and no muslins), I have a basic pencil skirt pattern that finally accommodates the difference between hips and waist and a sheath dress pattern with short waist, wide hips, and narrow shoulders adjustments !

You may have an idea of how happy this makes me feel if like me you have been spending years of buying pattern making books, taking classes at FIT, reading blogs, grading for height and, of course, making countless muslins…

5166 lines

If you look at the lines, you can see that dress is nothing more than a basic sheath that I mat end up using endlessly!Even if it’s a very basic shape, I believe that a short version in a nice print could be a cute cute dress. By chance (actually it has more to do with addiction to the silk section of Mood NY than with chance…), I am the happy owner an adorable Anna Sui print! Let’s sew cake with frosting fabrics! The whole thing feels kind of 90’s but hey, I grew up in the 90’s.

If I was following a similar process to Sunni‘s “Focus on Fit“, I think this is where I would start (or maybe with this dress eliminating the terribly cheap looking belt and the very classy front zipper…). And I would even go crazy and use 2 units and have the seam allowances included because I’m lazy and because blocks have seam allowances.

Now, if you want to join the fun and use the Russian patterns from Lekala (and not the american version), you NEED to read:

Once you read them this is my 2 additional cents: you need to do step 1 BEFORE step 2 on the registration page. I know I know… it sounds completely stupid not to. Sometimes you (ok, I… maybe it’s only me) think that you can spare the extra step when really YOU CAN’T! Wait to receive the confimation of your PIN number (yes you need to wait… and it may take a few hours…). Then you can go as described by Fehr Trade and Steppenpuppy and use step 2 (second option) to register the credits you bought (done on softkey with a paypal account so you don’t give your banking info to any russian website…).

The made to measure feature. What I can report after 2 patterns is that it works extremely well and ease is minimal !! For less than 2 dollars per pattern it is totally amazing.

One detail is that I feel that if you use the same measurement for hips with and without belly slightly projecting you will receive a blank email, so I put a minimal difference (1cm). Now get ready for the funniest and most hideous version of your body that you could ever imagine. This is mine:

00586975
Hello pear shape!

So when you find a pattern that you like, you can click directly on this button (next to the order button) (line-size)  and there you will enter the “string” that you received with your scary 3D body. Choose your printing options (for me it’s pdf and letter), enter the email address you have been using for registration in step 1 and click “proceed with the order”. Now tricky part (not really but I hesitated so…) choose the 3rd option : Payment from the user”s account (pin code 4 digits). Enter your PIN (the one from step 1) and you are done ! Your order may take has much as an hour to arrive in your mailbox so don’t worry!

Finally you need to be pretty comfortable about sewing on your own, the Google translate of the instruction from Russian is… confusing to say the least! I will try to give more details about fit, use of seam allowances and other things in my review of the skirt.

I also want to report that I contacted the customer service: leko@lekala.info (twice… because of my refusal to submit and accomplish step 1 before step 2…). There is a big language barrier but they are very responsive, less than a day, and willing to help.

Have you tried lekala? What do you think about them?

Sew-along, for real this time

As you may have noticed, I’m not very good when it comes to following a sew-along (hum hum, bra-making… *shame*). But this time I really want to do it!! Let’s pretend I don’t have a bad record in this matter…

When I saw the super nice 2 pairs of shorts made by Four Square Walls, I could hear the voice of The Old Man (who is actually my boyfriend, not my dad 😉 ) complaining about the fact that this sewing hobby of mine was not bringing anything good his way… So here we go !

 

I already downloaded the pattern and I plan on getting one of his favorite pair of shorts to compared final measurements to pick the closest size. I hope that the fabric store will be open on thursday so I can make him choose the fabric (he’s picky). Also, I had a look at the instructions and they look great!!

What’s on the sewing table

First this title means that there is a sewing table: yay!! All my things arrived 2 weeks ago and opening all the boxes felt like Christmas, except Santa packed your own stuff, kept it for 3 months and brought it back in tons of packing paper (which will be great for cutting silk!). Not sure that Santa would be as successful with kids…

20130606-211429.jpg

I started working on this burda dress for the silk (yes silk!!!) i found a few weeks ago in Port-au-Prince. The store is in Pétion Ville and is called “De fil en Aiguilles”.

20130606-212315.jpg

More as soon as I find oil for my industrial Juki machine!!

Vogue Patterns release (finally!!)…

They are here !! The spring patterns from Vogue were just released. Below my very limited selection (I WILL wait for a sale) :

Number 3 :

Beautifully draped Donna Karan dress :

V1342

Number 2  :

This ADORABLE Tracy Reese dress

V1343

and Number 1 …..

……

…… (suspens)

PAJAMAS !!

V8888

Yes my favorite pattern is for bedtime or loungewear if you prefer. I can just picture myself on a lazy saturday morning wrapped in my silk robe, reading on my couch and drinking tea. It may not be everyone’s ideal weekend but right now it is mine !! Anyone else wanting to make some expensive looking stay at home stuff ??

Update on the Bramaking sew-along

So I got a bit disappointed when I read over at Cloth Habit that rigid cups may not be covered in the sew-along because I never wear soft cup bras. When I say never, I mean it : NEVER EVER EVER ! (Except a journelle bralette, but that’s  for those open back shirts in the summer). Anyway, I decided to give it a go even though I may fail miserably… I found a pattern that is my style and it’s Amelie 2 from Sewy. Of course, Sewy is a german only website and I don’t speak a single word of german. Thanks to google translate I managed to order a kit of black blue lace 

Lace black blue 17,5 cm meter

And the pattern looks actually quite similar to what I would wear :

Blue black lace bra 17.5 cm Nähpaket Amelie 2

I expect the instructions to be in German only so it’s the beginning of a long and probably painful journey…. I already can’t get a word of my confirmation email!

In other news I have two coats to show this week (when I have time to go out and take pictures) and a Breakfast at Tiffany’s sleeping mask so stay tuned!