Wednesday, 28 February 2018

My Make Nine 2018 choices

A few years ago I took part in Lucky Lucille’s Sew For Victory and Spring For Cotton sewalongs. Here’s another one that seems nice to take part in, especially as her website states “This is a gentle challenge. It’s not one that you can fail. It’s meant to be flexible”! =) I’ve been trying my best not to stress myself by imposing deadlines on myself anymore, so a gentle challenge is the only thing I want to be going for…

Here are my choices, though in no particular making order!

Project #1: 1920s-40s knitted men’s slipover
I’d like for my husband to have a full civilian outfit for both the 1920s and 1940s, and this is the first part of it. This project’s already on the needles!

Project #2: Napoleonic short cloak
Last year I made a 17th century cape for my husband, and I’ve got enough left of the wool fabric to make myself a short cloak for another era. Since I always borrow his Napoleonic cape, it would be nice for both of us if I had one of my own!

Project #3: A new 1940s dress
I’ve been (occasionally) doing World War 2 events for a few years now, but there aren’t that many clothes in my 1940s wardrobe yet, and even fewer that are a colour that actually suits me! So I want to make a new 1940s dress in a nice bright colour pattern. My husband and I have been taking 1910s-40s dancing lessons, and I'd like to go to a lindy hop party in full 1940s attire.

Project #4: 1920s party dress
Last year I went to a nice historical clothing exhibition at the Centraal Museum in Utrecht (well, actually it was both historical and more recent fashion, but I largely ignored the contemporary pieces! :P), where I saw, among other things, this lovely 1920s dress that I’d like to recreate. Probably in blue, though. I’d love to wear this dress to a 1920s party!

Project #5: The Drawers of Doom
(Imagine dramatic background music) These are the drawers of my fabric cupboard. There are four of them. And since they are full of UFOs and bought clothes needing alteration (yes, all four of them!) I call them the Drawers of Doom (D.o.D.). This year, one of the main sewing related things I’d like to do is to get the D.o.D. a lot emptier than they are now! Then I could do something nice and handy with these drawers, such as storing my yarn stash in them =).

Project #6: Brasov wrap top
I really like Welmode’s Brasov top, and would like to make one as well.

Project #7: Underwear!
For years now, I’ve had trouble finding nice underwear, so I thought I’d have a go at making it myself. It would be awesome, once I’ve got a good pattern, to never have to look for underwear that it exactly to my liking, again!

Project #8: WW2 QAIMNS uniform
I’ve got two World War 1 nurse uniforms, and a Boer War one, and since I already bought suitable fabric for a WW2 version a couple of years ago, and had a look at an original last year, why not make the WW2 one as well? I suppose this project has the lowest priority, though, as I haven’t got any WW2 nurse events planned yet.

Project #9: It Cannot Fail To Please sweater
As I said under #3, I’m hoping to add more deep winter colours to my 1940s wardrobe, so I’ll be making this in dark pink.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Gordon tartan skirt

Pattern: improvised
Fabric: about 70 cm wool tartan fabric and 70 cm black acetate lining fabric
Haberdasheries: an invisible zipper

This fabric was a present from my husband, bought in Edinburgh on one of our holidays in Scotland! I decided to make a contemporary skirt from it, rather than anything resembling a kilt.

The fabric was very easy to work with. Wool is easy anyway, but I could also follow the tartan pattern to cut straight, to determine the height of the waistband and the length of the skirt, and to make the pleats.

I lined the skirt with black acetate; just attached it to the tartan fabric and sewed them as one, and invisibly hemmed the skirt by folding the tartan around the lining and hand stitching it in place.

I used an invisible zipper. I’d used one before, on the previous contemporary skirt I made, but that was almost a year ago, so I didn’t really remember how I did it. This time I wanted to get it in even more invisibly, but on my first attempt I hit one tooth with my machine needle, which meant the zipper didn’t work anymore and I had to take it out again. Oh no! After that I ended up sewing the new zipper in by hand, as that gave me more control over how close to the teeth I sewed. I did my best to precisely line up all the lines in the tartan pattern, but of course some got away! Still, the skirt looks a lot more neat than most store-bought tartan and check items, which appear to be cut and sewn randomly...

This skirt turned out just how I imagined it! =)

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Best buy of 2017: Juniper the cat

Obviously I don’t see her as an object, but yes, absolutely the best ‘thing’ we bought last year is our kitty, Juniper! I always had a vague idea in my head that I might like to have a cat someday, but late last year that idea materialised and sped up, and in November we picked up out kitten.
I did know that cats do funny things, and that they’re soft and fluffy, but I had no idea how lovely having a cat in the house can be. Ours is a particularly sweet and cuddly cat, but she’s also inquisitive and she can act crazy!

She was named after this book, a favourite of mine since I was a child:

Because you always hear things about cats being haughty (“Dogs have bosses; cats have personnel”) I imagined if I got a cat I’d name him Lieutenant-General Sir John Moore, or her the Right Honourable lady [first name] [surname]. But this kitty didn’t seem haughty to me at all, and although I did find the idea of giving a cat a first name and surname funny, and did consider names like Penelope Maddox and lady Edith, Marchioness of Hexham, Juniper quickly turned out to be the only name that felt right to me and my husband! I don’t think she realises that is her name though, but rather, the Dutch word for ‘darling’ :P.

And another thing

Another thing I did last year that I’m glad about is getting my overlocker maintenanced! The machine had been frustrating me ever since I got it, to the point that I was actually afraid of it! It would work one moment and get stuck the next. For instance, I’d manage to sew a piece with it in the evening, not change anything about it overnight, and in the morning it just wouldn’t sew properly anymore! It helped that I took the Craftsy Beginner Serging course – one thing that I found enlightening, for instance, was to thread your serger with four different colours corresponding to the colours on the machine, so that you can easily see which thread comes from where and what may be the problem if the stitch isn’t looking right. I also took a lesson at the nearby sewing machine store. But in the end, there were just some issues with my machine, and some maintenance did the trick! Now it can get through any material without problems and I can use it without scolding, hurray!