I have been having a few sewing failures this week with patterns so I have decided to go back to sewing my own designs. That is really how I how got interested in sewing - I wanted to design and sew my own clothes. I was not impressed of how clothes were fitting me and how cheap some of the material was - even the so called "designer clothes" lacked design and fit. I also could never find a dress that fit me properly on the bodice and skirt. It was always too big or too small. So I poured over every "teach your self how to sew" books and I was hooked. I designed and sewed my first few dresses and skirts without a pattern and had fun creating something from a few meters of fabric. I also read some great tutorials from other blogs by some really great seamstresses. I was amazed at what these women could sew and seemed to make it look so easy. Also when I emailed these wonderful women with a newbie question on how they used a certain technique they were very generous with their time to email me back with an answer! I never new this wonderful sewing world existed and I was encouraged to be part of it and this was 6 months before I started my blog. No one in my group of friends sews so books and blog tutorials have been my sewing education. Here I am babbling - back to my pattern failures, I have learned quite alot from patterns, one being patience (which I don't have) and proper cuttings and I guess sometimes fit. My last few projects I have measured properly, cut properly and sewn with the correct needles and after all that - disaster - the red skirt, purple dress, merlot cardi-wrap does not fit! I have not posted these projects, that will be for another post. For the merlot cardi-wrap I even took apart the stitches to see where my mistakes might be - with no luck. I used the correct fabric, thread and it was still too big and hung on me funny. I put those 3 garments away (flung them in the closet) and went to watch Top Gear on BBC. The next day after work I went to the fabric store (they pretty much know me now) and purchased some gorgeous wool fabric and designed this capelet (since the cardi-wrap was a no go).
I love capelets and had made a simple one this summer with a matching skirt. For this one I added a hood, the same hood design as my Volturi Dress and wool was a fabric that I have not yet sewed with so might as well try something new and not give up! I also wanted this capelet to be warm so wool was the choice. The armhole was something new to learn and went smoothly. I used my own measurements and height for this design. I also put in a hook & eye closure at the bottom and a button & buttonhole at the top (another new technique that I read from my Singer manual and practised on scrap fabric until I got it).
I sewed this on my other Singer 1960's machine because I thought the wool was quite thick and this machine is my workhorse for thicker fabric. I also usually keep it threaded black for quick sewing.
I hemmed all the edges of this capelet and made it so the darker brown selvages are draping in the front of it.
When I finished this I sewed up a another top in my favorite Metropolitan design fabric(this is my 2nd top with this great fabric), this time I sew it with a contrasting long black jersey sleeves and then finally a black duiponi silk skirt, both my own designs. I made the skirt in a asymmetrical design and I have no problems cutting or sewing with duiponi silk!
All these photos were taken by my Model (middle child) and all it cost me was a Baconator at Wendy's!! I like this one with the sun setting.
This skirt is 3 pieces with a yoke and gathers. By accident I found a simple way to add gathers to the silk, I just layered or scrunched up the fabric and pushed it through as I was sewing- it gathered! Real seamstresses are cringing right about now and I don't know if this will hold up but I will wear it and hand wash and see what happens. I was doing the gathering before the correct way by sewing 2 lines and then pulling together but I always seem to break the thread! I like the way silk drapes and it is one of my favorite fabrics. I am so happy that I finished this outfit as we are going out for our anniversary dinner tonight. I have not completely given up on patterns, just taking a break and to see what I can design next!