Saturday, September 20, 2014

Guess What. I Have a New Blog Post Up.

Hmm, where should I begin - after such a long time. Well, the break wasn''t planned at all and I remember very clearly, that after finishing the jacket from my previous post, I began to sew a knit dress. I was very motivated, I cut all the pieces, made the bodice first... and then I realised, that the smallest size of the dress is just far too big in the upper parts and I needed big alterations. I needed to get rid of like 8 inches around my rib cage, which affected the cut of the bodice immensely. I was tweaking the thing for hours, standing in front of a mirror and trying to get it somehow right. Needless to say, this discouraged me so much, that I just put the dress aside for some time, with an intention to come back to it later.

I don't remember exactly the reason why, but as I was tidying up my table one day, I put the pattern instructions somewhere aside. To this day, I still don't know where. Don't ask me why it's not in the pattern envelope with the dress pattern, I just have no idea at all. I was looking for it, while keeping some rests of my original motivation together. To make this as short as possible -  the instructions are still missing, the dress is still unfinished and this whole story led to a complete loss of my sewing mojo. Bueeeeh...

While I was at that time not into sewing at all, I had a lot of creative energy accumulated and it needed to be used somehow. I don't only love sewing, but creating things in many other ways, like knitting, crocheting, making things from polymer clay and other stuff. So as I was not enjoying sewing that much at that time, I started to crochet. And told myself, that it's time to be more consequent and find the time be creative, 'cause there will always be something else to do and we only live once (at least this one life :). 
I am not sure if I have ever mentioned it before (I think I did not), that I have a small Etsy shop. It has never been really full, especially because of a lack of time (and the situation getting even worse when my son was born). But with the determination to not let go and do what I like to do, I started to (or came back) to "making stuff", either for myself or my shop and created an Instagram account dedicated to them, which I enjoy very much.

So this is the reason why I didn't blog for such a long time - I just had no sewing project completed and I didn't want to change this blog into a blog about crocheting (or handmade stuff/crafting in general). I do think about creating a different blog in addition to this one, one that would give me more space to write about other things than sewing, but I need to think about it for a bit longer. I don't have an intention to leave this blog (which I do neglect, but still like a lot) or be a lousy blogger of yet another blog. 

Even though now, that we all agree, that this is not a blog about crocheting :), it doesn't mean, that maybe some of you may not be interested in my crochet creations anyway. So I am dedicating this one blog post to the work (or a part of it), that I have loved for the past couple of months. And if you'd like to see more, you are very welcome to visit my IG account (LillyAndBelle), my FB page (Lilly & Belle) or my Etsy shop (LillyAndBelle) :)!

Before I finish this post with an overload of pictures, I want to say, that I am really grateful to everyone, who sticked with me and this blog for such a long time, as well as to those, who have decided to newly follow it, even though I am such a lousy blogger. It's very much appreciated. I hope I will get back to sewing some time soon as well, but I don't promise anything, since I am trying to do only things (creative-wise) that bring me joy and I still need to combat the frustration from my last sewing attempt :). But I do have a couple of pictures of a dress I made some time ago, that I think I have never showed here before (or at least not on me), so I will definitely come back with another post soon. 

And now, the pictures galore. If you are not interested in other handmade stuff than the sewn up one, it's time for you to leave now ;)))...

 Thank you for your patience :)!!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Butterick 5259 Jacket

Yeah, I can't believe it either. I actually did sew and I even finished what I began to sew, so yoohoo, this is going to be a post about an actual garment sewn by me. Exciting, right :D?

So, this is how I've got back to sewing after something like a million years, or so.

My son Adam turned one on January 16 and it was a long time before that, that I made a decision to bake him a birthday cake, covered in fondant and decorated with fondant figures, all handmade by me. I have never baked such a cake before and I really didn't know what to expect. I read a couple of magazines about cake decoration, watched a YouTube video on how to create a fondant teddy bear and after 5 looong evenings spent with edible colours, a bucket of fondant and no pre-midnight sleep whatsoever, I ended up with a cake.

So I said to myself - hmm, since I am able to work on something in more continuous sessions and I've got all the creative energy right now, I could continue to invest it into some sewing. Who needs sleep?! So I rummaged in my fabric stash, found a piece of fabric probably as old as my sewing ambitions (probably a kind of wool blend with a velvet pattern on it), found an easy pattern - Butterick 5259 (not to discourage myself right at the beginning of my newly found determination) and this is the result.

If you think that the pictures are not of the best quality, you are right. The fabric itself is pretty dark and last days were very gloomy even in the middle of the day, so to show off at least some details, I had to infuse the pictures with a lot of additional light and get rid of shadows. Otherwise, I would look like wearing a splash of black colour with no definition at all.

the jacket closes thanks to a loop made of the fashion fabric
the jacket has got a high collar, which is a detail I like about it a lot
Except of the strangely sewn-in lining, which I made this way for the first time ever (not that I'd have that much experience with sewing jacket linings), this is a very easy pattern to sew with. Don't get me wrong, the lining was an easy work as well, I just didn't like the way the instructions made me do it - serge the interfacing piece and sew it on top of the lining piece. But I obeyed so that I wouldn't make my life more complicated (which is usually a part of my sewing routine :D, but I better behaved this time :).

I used a contrast coloured green lining of unknown origin from my fabric stash. It looks very wrinkled in the photo, but the reality is not that bad.
From tracing the pattern to the final stitch, I needed four long evenings to finish the jacket. I would have made it in three, if I was a vampire (and needed to sleep less :). So this pattern can be sewn up in a single day, if you are a quick sewer, a vampire or there is no baby in the diameter of 50 meters around you :). Or all in one :).

So this is it for today. I am working (even though just mentally so far :) on another sewing project - a knit dress. I've got the fabric, notions and a pattern ready to be used, but I still have to read a couple of clever hints on how to sew with knits, because it's been a long time now. The last knit dress I made was something like 18 months ago (I think I haven't blogged about this one (yet)), so I need to refresh my knowledge. Not that there is much to be refreshed ;).

Until next time and happy sewing to all :)!!