WIP and Self Stitched September: Day 4 to 6

When I saw this Alexander Blouse variation on burdastyle, I fell in love with it straight away. So, I was super thrilled when Grosgrain suggested making a dress version for ‘A Frock By Friday’. I’m using a buttery citrus cotton voile from Anna Maria Horner’s Little Folks Collection as I adored how soft and flowy this blouse looked.

I’m a week late though as I only started on my frock today! Nonetheless, progress has been good. I printed the sewing pattern this morning and managed to finish the skirt portion and even lined it. I had to line the bottom of the dress as the fabric is rather sheer but the bodice will be unlined. Tomorrow I will work on the rest of the dress and hopefully have enough time to finish up the belt, invisible zipper and sew on the buttons.

Are you working on a project too? I’d love to hear more about it!

Now, back to my SSS updates.  The weekend gave me the opportunity to put on something else other than my shorts and tee ensemble so you get to see more variety.

Day 4

I wore my Scalloped hem floral mini dress over skinny jeans and wore a cute pair of purple and yellow wedges. This is my second time wearing the dress which I made by modifying the sheath dress pattern from Wendy Mullin’s book Built By Wendy Dresses.  The mini dress comes with cute pockets embellished with thin orange bias tape and huge white buttons.

The dress is pretty fitting and flattering so I was happy in it. I adore the scallop hem which makes it unique. Even though the fabric is 100% cotton, it didn’t crinkle much at the end of a long day, which was lovely and an added bonus. Definitely a dress I will wear again!

Day 5

I don’t usually wear a jacket given the climate here but it was a rainy Sunday and the air-condition at the mall was freezing. I teamed my Bambi Tara with a denim jacket, dark green pants, gladiator sandals and an orange bag. The Bambi Tara is my favorite of the four Tara blouses I have made. It is sleeveless with lace details in place of the ruffled sleeves and I added front flaps to create a retro look. It is very comfortable and the Japanese fabric print with hundreds of bambis is just too cute! It is my first time wearing this Tara and I have no complains when it comes to it but my husband thinks the Taras in general are too low-cut and had protested a number of times. Do you care what your man say about the way you dress? I try to compromise or I will have to face Mr Grouchy the entire day, not a very nice experience.

Day 6

It’s Monday and I went resort style. I am wearing my ruffles ruby shorts with a semi sheer blue floral tunic and turquoise cuff. I love this look on a weekday and think I shall dress like this more often. The ruby shorts is super comfortable and very flattering too. I heart the ruffles as they made the shorts so much more interesting an unusual. My issue with the side buttons are still there though. It takes a bit of time to put on and remove. I guess if it looks good, it is worth it after all 🙂

At the end of six days, I realized I have not put my many made-me dresses to good use. So, I will try to wear more dresses. And I must say I have put in a little extra effort in deciding what to wear and in accessorizing these few days. Something I have not done since I became a mum.  That little difference can make me feel a lot better about myself and improve my self-esteem. I am feeling great! Thank you SSS!

Self-Stitched-September: Day 1 to 3

Self Stitched September has been fun fun fun so far and I’ve been bringing my camera tripod around a lot more. I didn’t want SSS photos to look exactly like those I’ve listed in Made Me, where you can find my entire self stitched wardrobe. This month is really a test for me. First to see if I would really wear what I have made so far and second to see which are the item I have made but would never wear. I’m still not sure at this point which are the pieces I wouldn’t wear as I’ve taken the easy approach of donning worn before items on the first three days of SSS. I hope I won’t be relying on these few pieces I’ve grown so fond of for the entire SSS! So, without further ado, a summary and personal thoughts on the Made Me garments I wore Day 1 to 3.

Day 1

On Day 1, I wore this comfy and easy outfit. My fave pair of shorts, black & white Bella teamed with my Mr Bump tee. It was my princess’ Teachers Day holiday so we had some bubbles fun at the park. My verdict: Bella is oh so comfortable, I want to make a whole bunch of them!  Three huge buttons on the front closure made putting and taking them off a breeze. Think button front jeans easy. I love the pleats at the pockets. This design element makes the shorts so unique and chic. The pattern isn’t difficult either, it just takes time. I wore these the entire day and didn’t feel self-conscious at all. Off course not, I have used my Bella countless times 🙂 A few more of them in autumn hues sound good to me!

Day 2

I caught a cold on Day 2 so the highlight of the day was running some errands down at the post office *yawn*. I didn’t get to swim nor sew. But the good news is I managed to complete my dress tutorial. Phew! I really admired all the sewing divas out there who produce tutorials like all the time. It is really quite a time-consuming endeavor. And, honestly, I missed being at the sewing machine when I had to work on a tutorial. So, kudos to those of you who are so committed to doing and sharing them!

My Plaid Tara was put to the test. It was the very first item I made for myself using a sewing pattern (Burdastyle’s Tara) ever. I modified the sleeves as I didn’t like the original short ruffled version.  The blouse was made a few months after my princess was born and I have not touched it for sometime. When I wore it on Day 2, it felt loose fitting with huge sleeves and bodice, not flattering at all and I was feeling self-conscious. Hated that feeling! In my sewing basket it goes so that I can work on the fit again. The blouse was not difficult to sew but using quilting cotton for this piece did make it look kind of stiff. So, if you are making Tara, I would recommend using a light weight fabric.

Day 3

It’s my son’s turn to enjoy school holiday in lieu of Teachers’ Day. We went to the neighborhood playground, visited the airport and took a short subway ride upon his request even though I drove. Boys will be boys! Transportation never fails to intrigue him.

I wore a fire engine red knit top with my Red Denim Ruby. I love this first pair of shorts I made. I love the color, the fit and it’s pretty comfortable. While the side button closure attracted me to the pattern in the first place, I do have to contest with them when making a dash for the loo. I might need to find an easier alternative should I sew this again. It’s really a design versus practicality issue. For my love of sewing, the adventures of creating new things and the many things I’ve still got to learn, I don’t think I will skip sewing items due to such practicality issues, at least not yet 🙂 Guess that means I am not at all a practical crafter hmmm…

My prince wore a very old pair of echino scooter pants I made by combining two different prints from the ni-co collection. It’s my favorites from the pile of pants I’ve made him. There is clearly something magical in echino fabrics. The prince was so excited to see two huge dogs during our Friday morning neighborhood walk but he became very weary of this sweet mannered Golden Retriever.  I told him the dog was friendly and was only sniffing his scent but the little prince complaint that it tickled…a lot 😛

So at the end of the third day while typing this post, self-realization took place:

1) The Sew Convert isn’t sew practical when it comes to what she sews though she tries to be.

2) The Sew Convert is full of contradictions and tries to justify them. She needs a few more pairs of shorts with easy closure but will rather create a few more Bellas though they have button closure too. Somehow, front buttons are easier to manipulate compared to side buttons or maybe it’s the button size that made the difference. ha!

3) The Sew Convert seems pretty fond of wearing the garments she made from burdastyle patterns. Bella, ruby and tara are all from burdastyle! Gosh!

Anyhow, I don’t usually dress up on weekdays since I am normally at home sewing or blogging or just playing chauffeur to His and Her Royal Highness so I’m really looking forward to this weekend…a Made-Me weekend!

To my sewing comrades enjoying the Labour Day holidays, have a good one!

Ruffles Ruby

A couple of days after finishing the red denim ruby, I came across a magazine called Designare at the petrol kiosk. It’s one of those magazines which is basically a compilation of runway and gala photos. I was browsing through when a picture caught my eye. The model was wearing a pair of white ruffles shorts (and it’s shorts week for me!). Pretty cute, I thought and it became the inspiration for my Ruffles Ruby. Here’s a photo of the shorts that inspired me.

After seeing the photo, I told myself  that the ruby sewing pattern would be rather appropriate for this design and wanted to give it another shot. I imagined that Ruffles Ruby will go perfectly with a summer tunic top or a simple white blouse. So, here’s my version.

This time my basting and fitting paid off and the waist fitted well. Yay!

I learnt my lessons from the Red Denim Ruby and did not use interfacing this time. I used a light weight cotton fabric of the same colour and tone of white to create the ruffles so they would not be bulky. To keep the back simple, I skipped the pocket.

I sewed this pair of shorts based on my memory of making the last pair and decided not to refer to the confusing instructions. It actually worked better for me:)

Red Denim Ruby

These two weeks, I am supposed to sew more shorts or pants in preparation for Self-Stitched-September. I have never sewed shorts nor pants for myself so the learning curve is rather steep. The only pants I’ve sewed are those with elastic waistbands for my son. My first shorts project is burdastyle’s Ruby which I made using a red denim fabric which amazingly feels like regular quilting cotton. I might skip interfacing if I were using denim or a medium weight fabric as it can become bulky.

Red gingham ribbons I found at Daiso (Japanese $2 shop) were used to decorate the front waist band and around the cuff area.

I started this project yesterday and only finished this evening. I  adhered to the pattern but dropped the front pocket and belt. I used a size 38 which is good for my hip though my waist is supposed to be thicker and yet the waistband came out a little loose. Too much ease in the waist? I’m not sure. I will have to do a few more rounds of fitting next time. Yes, I intend to give this another go, most likely sooner than I think. I’m sorry the photo is kinda blur. You will see a white line above the back pocket. Again, I couldn’t resist the edge fringe of the selvage and this time only a short fringe is revealed above the pocket with the fringe ends hidden under the waistband. It is actually one of my favourite parts of this pair of shorts. I will try to take a close up photo of the pocket soon.

UPDATE: New photo of the pockets here 🙂

What would I do differently next time?  Though the instructions were confusing, I do like the pattern.  Ali’s suggestions on her blog helped me to understand the instructions better. Thank you Ali! The items I needed to remind myself are in italic below. Just to make round two a little easier.

A Summary of Key Steps for Ruby:

1) Sew darts

2) Sew pockets

3) Sew side of front facings to side of front pieces

4) Sew side seams of back pieces to their respective front pieces until the indication line on the pattern just below the facing

5) Complete front facing and attach underlaps in a similar fashion

6) Sew inside of pants

7) Check out fit

8 ) Sew front waistband and back waistband using a blasting stitch and do a fitting, adjust bands and sew when satisfied. Otherwise, the seam ripper might become this project’s most used ‘equipment’.

9) Sew cuff. Fit and adjust length.

10) Do button holes and sew buttons

Will I wear this? Actually, I will. I have the bad experience of buying quite a number of shorts and pants online only to find the waist ill-fitting. I might need sometime to find my perfect shorts pattern and stop buying them!