Sunday, November 21, 2010

Vogue 1066 Jacket

I know, at this time, I should be already showing you a completed Burda jacket, but that's not going to happen. Why? Well, I've completed the torso of the outer shell, cut the lining pieces and put them together, as well as 90% of the sleeves, but that's where I am stuck. As much as I love Burda magazines, that's how much I also hate their instructions. They are always very brief and sometimes use expressions that maybe only professional sewers are familiar with. 

So, this is why I can't figure out the next step of the sleeve construction and I need to wait for my sewing classes to get some help. And this really bothers me.  I am starting to dislike the whole project because of this and I am definitely going to finish it, but for the time being,  I needed something that would distract me from this frustration. So I chose this:

Vogue 1066 jacket:

I meant to sew this for quite a long time, I even had the pattern traced (I don't cut patterns, I always trace them) and I had the fabric that I thought would work with the pattern.

The pattern envelope says "Advanced", but I wouldn't say it applies on the jacket. I did not sew the trousers, so I can't say anything about those, but the jacket is quite easy to make. Even for somebody with not so much sewing experience like me. After a couple of sewing hours, the outer shell of the jacket is complete. I still need to sew the lining, probably even buy the  right lining fabric and definitely buy the right buttons, but I am quite happy with the partial result so far. 
This pattern asks for a lot of topstitching and I chose a contrasting black colour, so I had to change threads while sewing all the time, but it's the fun part of the pattern. I am not completely happy with how the topstitching turned out, but I am not unhappy either. This is my first topstitching ever, so it can only get better ;-). 

This is what I have so far:

This project has brought back the good feelings about sewing and some new energy,  that will be much needed to complete the Burda jacket.

Happy sewing to everyone :-)!

PS: Don't miss out on the Butterick sale! They are only 2.99 USD now ;-). I couldn't resist the temptation and ordered a bunch of them :-).  I love buying sewing patterns.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

"Essential Sewing Skills" DVDs Review

It's been only a year that I began with sewing. I collect Burda magazines for about 8 years now, so this is probably for how long I wanted to start with sewing. This time around about a year ago, I finally managed to sign up for a sewing course. 

I like tke course that I go to, but I don't find it comprehensive enough. We learn various techniques, but I sometimes find them a bit dated or not going deep enough for my liking. Or sometimes, there is just not enough time for the need of all the attendants, although there is only six of us. As I began to attend the course, I also discovered the world of sewing blogs and sewing books, sewing videos, sewing... everything :-).

Since I want to learn to sew properly, comprehensively, with understanding how it all works, I started to browse the internet, searching for some literature and DVDs to help me. That's how I found the DVD set "Essential Sewing Skills". It is a 5 DVD pack with over 60 sewing techniques. It is from New Zealand  and fortunately, they ship worldwide, so I ordered a copy. The set costs 127 NZ Dollars (approx. 72 Euros, 101 USD) and the DVDs can also be purchased separately. The website offers two video previews, so I could check out if I was going to like the style of the DVDs or not. The two demonstrations were good enough for me, I also read the positive testimonials published on the site and together with the extend of the techniques offered, they convinced me to buy the set. And I am not dissapointed.

I can only judge the DVDs from an advanced beginner's point of view, but I really like them. They are very clear, the techniques are shown from a bird's eye perspective - the camera is above the sewing machine's needle showing things in detail and the explanations are precise. For me, someone, who still has a LOT to learn in the area of sewing, all these explanations are very valuable and I can always come back to them whenever I need it. 

All the techniques are listed on the inner cover of the DVDs. In the introduction, the teacher talks about sewing patterns, tracing patterns, cutting fabric - the necessary basic stuff that - for me - wasn't  overly interesting, but boring neither. Everything that follows is - according to me - a great explanation of a pretty big bunch of sewing techniques. There are lessons on collars, cuffs, darts, facings, gathering, hems, pockets, sleeves, slits, waistbands, zippers... Probably everything that you can call the essential sewing techniques. Everything is explained nicely in detail, from the marks on sewing patterns to the final result of every technique.

I find these DVDs to be a valuable source of many sewing techniques, that are new to me. I also use them to come back to those techniques, that I learned in my sewing classes, but don't remember precisely, to refresh my memory.

If you already stumbled upon these and are not sure if to get them, I can only recommend them. I can't tell how much they can be of an added value to somene who is a long-time sewer, but for someone like me, who still has a lot to discover in the sewing world, they are a great sewing help.