Saturday, 19 October 2013

Paging all nurses!

After a rather depressing weekend of UFO searching last week, I decided to admit myself into the Pinhouse FWYS-programme (Finish What You Start). Otherwise known as the Blogger Mental Hospital.  Meaning I had to wrestle myself into picking 1 -one- item from a UFO-pile, and not touch anything else craft related until said item was finished.

Reason? I am a notorious non-finisher. I tend to throw myself at new projects with great enthusiasm, get it almost done, and then distract myself with something new and totally lose interest in what I was working on. This just has to stop! It is not very satisfying having nothing to show for all the time I do spend crafting, not to mention those pesky UFO's mocking me from every closet of my house.

SO! Cheered on by my lovely "nurses" on the previous post (you know who you are!),
I am now proud to say: I FINISHED SOMETHING! (Thanks, ladies)

My smug-face :)


This lovely knitted sweater is a project I started almost three years ago, and is from a Norwegian knitting book written by Tine Solheim, called "Maskeball". It was published in 2009, so not vintage, but the pattern is kind of retro with those traditional roses and the "fleas" all over. It is quite typical Norwegian, but with a twist, color wise.

The body is knit on the round, and the sleeves and collar knitted separately. The ribbing is made with a sort of cable technique, so it looks twisted. It is a lot more interesting than regular ribbing, but hellishly slow to knit!

Twisted ribbing. Sloooooow :P

I did struggle with setting in the sleeves, because of so much ease in the sleeve heads. But after some stitching and unpicking, I got a result I can live with. The sweater is rather fitted, so any wrinkle would be stretched out some, luckily.

My pressing technique needs attention :/

The neckline is a bit special, and I think if I were to knit this again (which I most likely won't) I would lengthen the back piece just a little so that the collar would lie better. It sort of pulls to the back a little. I would also close the "border edge" at the shoulder a couple of inches, it gapes rather oddly now. Another thing I might change is the location of where ribbing ends. When I started this sweater, I had yet to learn about the natural waist. I find now, that things that hit the natural waist, looks so much better than things hitting the "modern" waist. The ribbing wants to find my waist (good luck...), and rides up, creating excess sweater around the waist, which is less flattering.

The "a bit too long"-bit.

ANYWAYZZ! The whole idea with this exercise was to finish, and I am very relieved that I did. I felt really good to fasten the last thread, and folding a sweater (!) neatly together (instead of cramming a bunch of random pieces in a bag and hide them). It would be lying to claim I 100% enjoyed the process. It was hard to take it up again, I constantly laid it down and wandered towards the sewing machine. I tell you , that thing is like a drug, not to mention my fabric- and pattern stash.... But I was good.
All in all, I am happy with the sweater, and I think it is a nice usable piece for the upcoming winter!

Friday, 11 October 2013

Thoughts on bloggery, shortcomings and UFO's

Since I started this little blog in August, I've learned so much.
Blogging is actually quite a lot of work and planning, something I didn't give much thought at the time.
It is almost like running a little store, you want people to stop by, and having them come back. For that to happen, one need "groceries on the shelves" that people are interested in, and constantly offer something new.

I really like this aspect of it. It keeps me thinking and evaluating, and most of all it keeps me DOING.
My biggest personal shortcoming, must be my lacking ability to finish things I start. I have always been this way, and I have spent a good deal of time figuring out why! Why is it, that I am all fired up about a project and then lose all interest just before I am about to finish? Why do I not feel the urge to hold the said project in my hands, be proud of my effort, and love and cherish the item? Why do I choose for it to spend years in assorted UFO-piles, mocking and bugging me to no end? Am I a masochist?

UFO chair seat.

I tend to be hard on myself, and being an anal nutbag about my own "performance". I am critical, and have a hard time thinking that what I do is good enough. Even if people tell me I am doing great, I still have this little voice telling me that there is room for improvement. If I have made something that has some kind of flaw, how ever small and unnoticeable, I tend to just focus on the dang flaw, instead of enjoying what I've made.
It kind of ruins the fun.

UFO horse oil painting.

So I think this is what keeps me from finishing. If I don't finish, I don't have to make my mind up as to whether I am satisfied or not. I think it is rather sad. Because, lets face it, so what if the dress/sweater/painting isn't perfect? Will it kill me? I think not. But what about all those nagging UFO's?
Will they harm me? Actually, I think they will. They make me feel like a failure, more than that shirt with the backwards cuffs. And I don't want that.

One of a gazillion UFO drawings.

So I have decided to use this blog as therapy :)
Having an audience, makes me feel I have someone backing me up. Someone that can help me overcome this need to be "perfect", but at the same time keep me going. All photos in these post were the result of a quick run around the house. All are UFO's of varying age, and all chime in the mocking choir. There are many more, but I just couldn't stand dragging them all out. You know, for my mental health and all :)

The infamous FFC dress, most recent UFO.

Since most of these are just missing some finishing touches and assembly, I am making an attempt to get them finished. Maybe not all, but certainly the sewing and knitting related ones.

One of at least 5 UFO knitting projects.

Another knitted UFO.

I hope you'll bear with me in this process, and that you don't mind being my beloved nurses in Blogging Mental Hospital :) Thanks guys!

Monday, 7 October 2013

Wearing History WWII Overalls

In an effort to share with you what I have made up until this point, I present to you my take on the Wearing History's WWII Overalls!

I sincerely apologize for the bad bandana, these photos were taken on a whim and I had a bad hairday, mkay? I obviously can't pose to save my life, either, so please just look at the pants :)
This is my second ever garment I've sewn, finished about 4 months ago.

When I decided to try this pattern, I was not quite sure if a high waisted style would suit me. I am still not sure if it is very flattering... I am not curvy at all, and have no bottom to fill out these trousers with, so it looks rather "empty". I added back pockets to the design, because without them, my behind looked like the face of the moon. Just a whole lotta flat nothing, so I felt I needed to break up the area with something. It helped some.

I am most happy with the buttons I found. I wanted a nautical twist on the pants, and what is better than anchor buttons??

O'hoi anchors :)
The pattern was a down-loadable one, and just required some printing, cutting and taping. Piece of cake, really :) The instructions clearly stated to make a muslin, which I totally ignored. The overalls ending up wearable is no thanks to me, and I highly recommend to make a muslin as the crotch location is very different than on modern style pants. If I make these again, I will definitely put down some more effort in getting a better fit.

Instructions were very clear and easy to follow, but when it came to the side buttoning placket, I just fell off the wagon completely. I had to ask around for some hints, and ended up figuring it out eventually :)
It seemed there was an extra piece of facing, but I might be wrong. My overall still function without it, so obviously not a vital part. This pattern packet also contains pieces for a playsuit and regular trousers, so maybe the extra part belongs to one of the other garments?

Another thing, the pattern pieces for the bodice has dart lines marked with the same kind of lines as for cutting. So being a newb, I cut along the cutting lines, minding my own business. But when I went to sew the darts, I quickly found out that those lines were seam lines, and I had to cut new bodice pieces.

The button holes are all hand sewn, using white embroidery floss. I think they turned out quite nice, but the technique sure can do with some more practice.

All in all, I view these overalls as a learning experience. The pattern is great. They were lots of fun to make, and they are very comfy to wear, but I feel they are kind of not flattering to my figure. Before I made them, I was inspired by other gals making them, all very curvy and feminine, and on those booties the trousers look awesome!!!
Maybe I should make a bum pad :P 

Have you ever made something that did nothing for your figure?

Saturday, 5 October 2013

My very first blouse!

As you may have noticed, I claim to sew, but yet there are still no documented finished garments on my blog.
I thought it was about time to change that, so I present to you my first me-made blouse!
It is made from Simplicity #4813, printed in 1953.

I made this a couple of months ago, after seeing the pattern made up on someone's blog (sorry, I am memory-challenged). Since I didn't yet own any nice blouse patterns, I wanted to give this one a try. It is frequently for sale on Etsy or Ebay. It has interesting tab details, a front pocket, yoked back with a nice big pleat and tab, and a cute Peter Pan collar.

It was easy to make, but I struggled a bit with the narrow rolled hem that is supposed to curve up by the side seams. They were a bitch, but I managed to produce something I can live with...
I also ran into problems when attaching the collar, somehow it was too long for the neck opening, so I had to carefully shave some off of the back piece neck line, kind of scooping it. It worked out fine :)

I also think I had too much wine when attaching the cuffs, they're on backwards.

Backwards (fully functional) cuff!

The cuffs are also self drafted as I wanted them rounded like the collar. Besides, the first ones I cut out from the pattern, was too short, and I like to have blood circulating in my arms :)

The blouse is comfy and easy to wear, and would probably look even better tucked in, but as of now I only own stupid pants and the shirt is too short to stay down in them. But for casual, I like it like this. Maybe I some day get around to sew a skirt that I can wear with this one :)

Oh, and I also almost ruined it after it was nearly finished. I was going to pink the seam allowances, and actually cut a hole in the back. Doh!! But I am nothing, if not creative, so I made this elegant patch on the back. Chic, non?

If you are going to screw up, do it near the centre ;)

So, it is safe to say, I am a total amateur, but then things can only improve :) I am happy with this blouse, and it taught me alot!

Happy as a clam ;)

Have you ever tried this pattern? Or do you have a favorite vintage blouse pattern to share with me?

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

A fall, indeed!

As many of you know, yesterday was the deadline for the Fall for Cotton Challenge.
I can just imagine all the frantic sewing that must have been going on in the last couple of days, as all us procrastinators scrambled to get our cotton creations done in time.

Most seem to have done wonderfully, the Flikr group was overflowing with all kinds of beautiful cotton clothing. My hat goes off to all of you! It is such fun to see new versions of "tried and true" patterns, people's creativity knows no limit, and there are some seriously talented sewers out there :)

All ready and rearing to sew!

So how did I do, with my first sewing challenge?
Well, it started out great! I found the perfect pattern, great fabric (on super sale!) and was ready to get cracking at September 1st. Drafted pattern, made a muslin, fitted muslin, and went on and cut my fashion fabric. Sewed up the bodice, made my first bound buttonholes (yay!) and even lined the thing (also a first).
Made 3/4 sleeves with cuffs, with rather a lot of hand sewing.

When I was ready to set the sleeves, I hit a MAJOR bump in the road... The sleeve head had 4" of ease! The pattern envelope drawing didn't show a frikkin' gather anywhere (and the instruction just said "ease between notches"), so clearly something was wrong. I tried a "sleevektomi" but was probably too scissor-happy and made the sleeves too tight on top. Not so that they couldn't be worn, but they looked nothing like they should, so basically; I ruined them.... In hindsight I would maybe be better off if I had opened the armscye a little, but the thought of ruining a whole lined bodice with buttonholes done and all, made me attack the sleeve-heads instead. Maybe I should just have gathered the sleeves, and got it over with. But you know,  sewing up a specific pattern, kind of makes you want it to look like the same dress...

I lost most of my interest at this point, and seeing this was Saturday, there wasn't enough time to re-make sleeves and do the rest of the dress. Oh yes, there was still a zipper to tackle, lining and hemming the skirt, making a belt and adding buttons. So I resigned. Yes, I buckled under pressure!

I was very certain I could do this when I entered the challenge, but "lost" three weekends of sewing time to more pressing personal matters. It is okay, though. The dress turned out to be way more time consuming and advanced than first anticipated, and rushing to finish it just wasn't right.
I AM going to finish it, I think it will be a cool dress. I just need to get my stuff together first :)

I am disappointed in myself, but even if my first attempt was a royal faceplant, I learned a lot from this.
Besides, there will be other challenges and sew-alongs.

I am now looking forward to the FFC parade!
Congrats to all of you who finished! You rock :D