Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sew for a change - August results

This month's challenge was to make 3 improvements to the way you handle recycling!

The three things I decided to do:

1. Talking with the kids about recycling and up-cycling and helping them make stuff out of worn out clothes:

My ten year old needed shorts - a pair of unfitting jeans were cropped to make these:

Then my 7 year old wanted to make a pencil case of the left overs from the jeans and a recycled zipper.

My ten year old were then feeling creative and made this tunic by combining things from a worn out bra, a worn out top and a scarf with holes in it, this is all her own design and doing!!!

She also made a stuffed animal (a dog) out of a worn out hoodie that she really loved and wouldn't give up for recycling.

2. Making it easier to recycle in other rooms; in particular the sewing room. Before the challenge all kinds of bits and pieces went in the same bin, making recycling hard work (nearly impossible at the end of the day. Now I have 2 bins - one for pure textile bits (to be handed in for recycling) and another one with the stuff that needs to go in the trash (such as broken needles, tape, vlieseline etc).

Ok, this pic is a bit messy but the pile of white stuff on the right side of the plastic bag is what would have kept all of the fabric scraps in the bag from being recycled. Oh my, what a waste! Really glad to have made this improvement.

3. Handing in textile for recycling: Larger pieces - given to my youngest kid's daycare to be creative with. Smaller/tiny pieces - given to Hemtex and H&M.

My original plan was to start a new compost. Our current food scraps are being picked up and turned into heat, but since we have a garden it makes more sense to keep it ourselves. We have now started such a compost at our summer house, but one at home is on the todo list.

I think I deserve 10 points.

Now to the spending side.... *cough*

1 pair of cotton trousers (6p)
1 pair of viscose trousers (6p)
1 organic cotton top (3,5p)
1 swimsuit (6p)
3 wool socks (3p)

= 24,5p spent, yikes! (which is now more than I have left....)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

A freestyle top that turned out pretty well after all....

A while ago I bought some super soft and lovely organic cotton jersey in a pale lavender sort of color. I had a cowl neck top in mind and since I didn't have a pattern I thought I'd freestyle it. How hard can it be, really? Very, it turned out. At least if you do it late at night, a little stressed and sleep deprived :D

This is roughly what I had in mind:

But I didn't spend more than, say, 20 seconds before I was at it with the knife and it didn't work. Instead of a loose drapey thing I got a choker. So I tried to rescue it by making a more regular top (again without pattern) and I ended up cutting the neckline way too wide.... What on earth to do now????

At this point I got a little stressed out. The fabric was expensive and too good quality to be wasted, plus was bought abroad (i.e. no way of getting more in a flash). Gosh, now I REALLY had to switch on the upper department and do some thinking.

I decided to buy some contrasting fabric - similar colour but different texture. I found some nice woven fabric with a slight sheen to it and then I just went for it. I freestyled a new neckline and sewed it on and voilá - a GLAM top was born!!!! Pretty fine rescue if you ask me!

Learnings: Don't try to freestyle without a rough pattern when you are tired.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Completed: Minoru Jacket from Sewaholic Patterns

I have just finished the best thing I've ever sewn! Not due to my skills or anything, but totally due to the awesome pattern and brilliant design. A pattern that really delivers!

First, let me show you the finished product and then let me talk you through my alterations and learnings :) Sorry about the poor picture quality. They were actually taken in the dark, by my kid, and I didn't feel like waiting and making it all pretty. Just so EAGER TO TELL THE WORLD you know.

I decided to make the pattern without the hood. The only reason was that I thought I'd get by with the supplies I already had if I did. It turned out I didn't and still had to go buy a zipper but at that stage I was already too far along in the process. I actually don't like the jacket with the hood out, but I love the detail with the zipper on the collar and that rushed decision I will be mourning long and hard probably. Anyway.

A back view showing the great shape of the jacket.

The mandatory peek-over-the-top-picture

In the above picture all the gathers are showing pretty well. I did an FBA (the same way as I did for the wardrobe basic here) which caused A LOT of gathers around the neck. If I'd do it again I would sew a shoulder dart to eliminate the excess and then gather according to pattern. The dart would be pretty concealed in the gathers anyway. That's how I did it on the lining and that turned out great.

Another mistake I made was that I forgot to lengthen the front placket the same amount as the FBA, which meant that it ended up a good 1,5'' too short. The jacket feels like a good length still so I don't mind, but something to keep in mind for those of you who do large FBAs.

My next alteration was to add an inside zipper facing. Because, let's face it (haha) - without a facing the wind will get an autobahn to my always cold body and make me hate the jacket. I am actually surprised that this pattern doesn't include one since it is so incredibly well designed in every other area. Well, it was an easy thing to freestyle.

Upper end of zipper facing

Lower end of zipper facing (duh)

Interior pocket with hook and loop closure
 I added interior pockets as the pattern suggests, but I highly doubt I'll ever use them. I do think they give a more finished look though, so they get to stay. Maybe one would have been sufficient.

inside the jacket

For the inside of the jacket I chose a cotton with a cute print that I already had in stash and interlined it with cotton flannel for some extra warmth, except for the sleeves which I lined with a slinky (perhaps silk) fabric that I've been given and no interlining. The sleeves are narrow in design so I didn't want to risk making it feel too tight. I also lined the inside of the collar with a layer of organic lambswool that I originally bought to make cloth diaper covers, but I had a piece left and it now makes it incredibly soft around my neck.

For the outside I chose a thin green wool blend fabric, much like the thickness you would find in a regular suit. I was worried it would be too thin and flimsy, but with the lining and interlining it is just the perfect fall jacket. I have tested it today and it withstands plenty of wind and keeps me toasty.

My last alteration was to add pockets on the outside. Or in the side seams to be accurate. This is my biggest regret. I soooooooo wish I had made patch pockets with flaps instead since that would have taken the design through the roof, but I got lazy again and made the quickest pockets I knew.
My best advice to anyone making this jacket - spend time on pockets. You won't regret it!

side seam pocket.
 So now I'd like to say I'm gonna sew another one, because I truly enjoyed it and I love the result, but in all honesty it is not very likely. I would never buy two of the same jacket in a store regardless of the deepest love so...

Summary: awesome jacket! awesome pattern! I looooooove it. Yes. I think you should sew it too if you haven't already.


Friday, August 1, 2014

Star challenge #7 - The RECYCLING month!

Recycling is a beautiful thing! We will never get to the point where we don't need to steel resources from mother earth for petty purposes, but the least thing we can do is to make sure we reuse and recycle as much as we can. We believe this is something we are generally getting pretty good at, at least in Sweden, but there is always room for improvement!

This month's challenge is to make 3 improvements to the way you handle recycling!


Things could be, eg:

  1. Make sure you recycle trash that comes from other rooms than the kitchen too.
  2. For those of you who have the possibility - start a compost or make sure food garbage is made useful in some way.
  3. Hand in cloth pieces that are too small to use to fabric recycling.
  4. Organize so that recycling becomes easier.
  5. Upcycle trash to new things that you want to use, such as tins becoming pencil jars etc.
  6. Teach your kids about recycling and show them how to do it.

You come up with three changes that is relevant to you and your lifestyle and if you manage those, you'll receive a star and 10 points.

Good luck!

Note! If you are a newcomer who wishes to jump on board the Sew for a change challenge, then you'll start with 47 points instead of 75. Check out all the rules here. Welcome!!!