Sunday, November 23, 2008

One Down, Ten to Go

Where I prove that taking timer pictures at night in winter of black items is pretty silly ;).

Behold the first SWAP item: an A-line black wool above the knee skirt.

So, I go with the slightly better flat-on-the-bed shots:

Well, hey, what would be the excitement of the final reveal, if all the interesting pictures happen during the process?

You wouldn't think this would be much of a process. Quick A-line skirt, pretty much the simplest sewing project out there, right? Right? HA!

First off, this wasn't supposed to be an A-line skirt. This was supposed to be a 6-gore skirt. But I was using a second hand wool skirt for the materials (hey, you can't argue with $8, including zipper!). Turns out the skirt was pegged - so not where I want to go. By laying out the pattern upside down, I manage to barely squeak something out, as long as there's no extra seams in the middle:

(btw - pattern? Steps: pull out previous self drafted 6 gore pattern sheet. Trace out adding seam allowances (and extra at the hem line - what was I thinking?). Try playing every which way with the fabric I have. Give up. Tape together gores and retrace A-line skirt. Repeat. Decide that above the knee with a bit notched out of the hem seam allowance is acceptable!)

Something about this skirt fought me every step of the way. Just one of those projects that refuses to allow one seam to go by unchallenged, know what I mean?

Then I discovered a major defect of our new apartment: no full length mirror.

Here's one of my timer shots for fitting purposes :P.

Hey, sometimes the camera is better than the mirror for catching fitting snafus - but man is it a lot more time intensive and error prone!!

So, the good stuff:

Lapped zipper and button at the back.

Inseam pockets (managed to rescue the pockets out of the original skirt to reinsert).

And the inside, showing the inner waistband of the original skirt (I have no idea what happened to the outer one, so I cut that out of the top of the skirt), and lining. The lining was actually stolen from the grey skirt (which will hopefully be made into another SWAP skirt), since the lining from this one was shredded in front. I think the colour contrast is more interesting, even if it's only me that sees it!

I think this is one of those projects SWAP is made for - those simple, plain, go with everything pieces that you wear to death but never get around to making because they are so plain and dull! Here's hoping to a long and beautiful friendship!!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Go Big or Go Home

or, Where I Go Off the Deep End

Stitcher's Guild is hosting the 2009 SWAP Contest, and I, being the insanely optimistic person I am, decided to add one.more.thing to my plate.

Hey, I need the clothes, and I need the space the stash is taking up... and this time we've got 6 months to do it instead of 4.

Then again, you'll notice that not one thing on that storyboard has a pattern name attached to it. The pants I've already drafted and used, so they shouldn't cause too much difficulty. The mint and chocolate top should be able to use the same redraft I used for the black knit top (and matching yoga pants) earlier this year. The red skirt has been drafted (although it may have been drafted for knee length), but not tested - same with the pleated skirt. The rest I have to come up with from scratch :P. I'm hoping that I'll have time to do that as well as fit in DH's t-shirt that's coming out of the same black knit as the turtleneck (both of which I'll have to come up with patterns for - how did I get a jeans and suit patterns for DH but not a knit t-shirt one???).

Yes, it would be simpler to buy patterns - but while we're spending money, it would have been a lot simpler to buy fabric as well - as is pretty obvious up there, I had a hard time finding enough matching stuff for a whole wardrobe! But that's not the way it works in this house - we make do. Actually the storyboard has too many tops and bottoms (only need 4 bottoms and 6 tops), because I didn't know how much I could squeak out of each piece of fabric. I may end up with very nicely coordinating brown-ecru-tan-black-charcoal-white wardrobe without trouble - but what would be the fun of that ;). One thing about limits - things tend to be a lot more interesting!!

(For those who don't know about SWAP - here's the nutshell: SWAP="Sewing With a Plan". The basics that started this contest were in an Australian Stitches series of magazine articles. The SG link above explains the rules for the 2009 contest, but basically you create 4 bottoms, 6 tops, and a jacket/cardigan/vest/coat, where all the tops have to work with all the bottoms, and the jacket has to work with everything - it stretches your wearing options and makes coordinating in the morning much easier. It also makes for fascinating watching - this isn't the way people normally sew!)