Stitching in the ditch

Lately I’ve played around a lot with ideas for different sewing projects. I think in part this has kept me somewhat sane during my first two months at work, and I really look forward to do some sewing again :)

One of my ideas includes my whole stash of fabric scraps and a stitch-in-the-ditch foot. I think this whole scrap project was born when I saw how the scrappy teddy bears turned out. Plus I have one of those large blue Ikea bags filled with various scraps that I haven’t managed to throw out – I hate to waste good fabrics, though most of these scraps have been sitting around for ages.

Enter the ditch-stitch-foot and the decorative seams on my lovely Janome, and multiple ideas about decorating garments were born.

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Obviously I need to practice and play around with this some more, but that’s what scraps are for :)

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Scrappy bears

Based on the same pattern that I shared on the blog back in 2012, I finished three teddies in various fabric combinations last month. I had enough of one fabric to make one bear, and the other two had to be made from various scraps of fabric.

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Number one is made from thick golden mohair with a brown backing and thinner, curly mohair with almost the same brown backing. I chose brown plush for the paws, olive green eyes to set off that darling pink face, and a soft yellow bow for this one. Hopefully the firstborn daughter of my friends in Germany will like her new teddy bear.

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The second one is meant for the newborn boy of another friend. I had the exact same mohair in two different colours – blue and orange curly mohair with dark tips. As neither scrap of fabric was actually big enough, I had to be creative with this one in order for the bear to have a head, body and all limbs in place. It turned out as somewhat of a blue-and-orange panda hybrid, and I love how the contrasting colours play together. As there already was so much happening with this one, I opted for black eyes and an organza bow in the same light blue colour as the blue mohair so as not to make the bear too wild colour-wise. I hope the little guy will enjoy his new play mate.

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Finally the third bear is  made from one fabric only, a beige brown-tipped mohair. This one got a pair of “buzzard” eyes, which gives it a somewhat wilder look than the other two. I think it turned out as a teddy bear with some badger in the mix. The red bow makes it ready for Christmas :) Hopefully Grandma’s little neighbor will be happy with this one.

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Here they are together – one pattern makes three very different teddies.

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(Teddy)Bear with me

Forgive me Internet, for I have not blogged. What I’ve been doing you ask?
Last time I was job hunting, and I started working at the laboratory in a private medical facility on September 1st – I got a job!

Apart from job hunting I finally started making the four teddy bears needed this fall. One was for a friend who turned 30 in late August, one is for another friend’s newborn daughter, one is for the newborn son of yet another friend and one is a gift from my grandmother to her neighbor’s daughter.

After I started to work full-time, I had neither time nor energy to keep sewing, and I’ve missed it tremendously. Luckily I’ve made a deal at work that I cut back to 70 % starting this December, and hopefully I’ll get to do some sewing again then :D

As I started laying out the fabrics for the bears, I realized that these bears would have to be made from scraps as I have not updated my teddy stash on fabrics for the bigger bears. I had enough of one fabric for one bear made from the pattern I posted here. Then there were the other to biggies, which turned out fine as two-coloured bears. I managed to make the 30th birthday gift from a scrap of string mohair which is a great fabric to work with, and this little fellow is a fluffy one :)

This little bear is made from string mohair which is basically untreated mohair with a nap. This fabric can be dyed, the hair can be cut or curled – it’s a clean slate fresh off the loom. And it’s such a delight to work with! Though the nap on this one is fairly long, and I’ve made 30 cm bears from it in the past, it was surprisingly suitable for a 17 cm bear as well. I had this pale yellow plush which I used to make the little paws, and I was delighted to find embroidery yarn in the same hue to embroider the nose and mouth. I made a little necklace from fresh water and wax pearls as I found this to suit this little bear better than a bow tie.

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I promise to do a post on the three bigger bears (sans Goldilocks) in the not-so-distant future.

 

 

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Sorbettos – I needed a job interview blouse

I am currently applying for what feels like almost every job that’s remotely connected to my field of education (I’m a bioengeneer with a master’s degree in microbiology), and I desperately needed to up my game for some heavy-weight interviews this week.
Enter a shopping spree where my lovely hubby bought me a suit and a weekend of two sorbettos, and this lovely lady emerged from my otherwise somewhat casual everyday looks:

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I first tuned in to Colettes lovely freebie, the Sorbetto when reading about a botched Sorbetto at Creative Satursays.  Being years late to the Sorbetto party, inspirarion was everywhere, and some googling led me to Sew Weekly’s Seven days of Sorbettos , and realised I had to try this pattern myself. 

My first Sorbetto was made from synthetic chiffon and store bought bias tape. This was just a test run to see how it fit me and giving French seams another go. The second one is made from a beautiful coral sueded silk which is similar to silk charmeuse. Me and a friend from school went shopping the other day, and I simply couldn’t resist its allure what with me being in the shop and all.

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I think it turned out beautifully, and I love how the centre pleat looks a bit like a tie, especially with the suit jacket on top. I think I’ll need to make this in several colours, don’t you?

The changes I made, apart grading between size 14 and 16, was to lower the shoulder seam a smidge to get the darts where they needed to be and have some more ease at the arm openings.

Now I just have to walk around in the world hoping someone will hire me :)

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Vogue 1329

A lifetime ago I signed up for Katrina Walker’s Decorative Seams class on Craftsy. I watched through it this spring, and let me tell you, this class is a true gem. I love Katrina Walker’s teaching style and all her inspiring ways to finish the seams on various garments.

The class features Vogue’s dress pattern V1329 free of charge, and I really wanted to have a go at this one after watching the class. My dress turned out as a homage to projects from the sewing course, made from leftover fabrics from the gaucho pants and my scarab dress. I used black raw silk (a wonderful fabric to work with!) for the main parts of the dress and red linen for the yoke and contrasting panel. I made some changes to the yoke lining so that this extended all the way around the sleeve openings and made this from black cotton sateen. Then I used the peach coloured silk lining both to line the dress and to make a bias strip with I folded in half, pleated and sewed into the front dress seam for that wow-factor on the dress. Really love how this one turned out :) I plan to get some wear out of it at some special occasions coming up at the end of this month/beginning of next month.

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This was a great pattern to work with, and I’d love to have it in soft wool come winter. But I’ll have to change the yoke a bit, as it doesn’t quite fit me along the neckline, where it tends to gape a bit. As I ran out of fabric and didn’t fancy putting in a dart or a seam, I left it the way it was on this dress, making notes to change the pattern in the future. If I make it without the screaming peach strip of silk going down the front, this will be more of an everyday dress, I think.

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Fall jacket

I’m in terrible need of some new clothes to go in my wardrobe after giving most of the things I had away due to them being to small/worn/old – all reasons that I didn’t wear them any more. The logical thing to do mid-summer was therefore to make a fall jacket, what with the weather not being warm and summery (Norway sported warmer water temperatures than the air temperatures in Spain this summer …). 

Perhaps the sleeves are a bit long, but that’s way better than too short IMO.

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I didn’t get to wear the jacket except for the morning we woke up in a freezing hotel room with a hyperactive A/C (we got a new room which was a lot nicer to stay in for the rest of our stay). So at least I needed it on my summer vacation :)

I fell in love with this pattern (my teacher The Great Saviour of Jackets designed it) when most of my class mates (the ones who didn’t opt to make the tailored suit jacket) made this in time for Easter. It’s such a versatile pattern and so comfortable to wear. I’m already planning a winter version from the same pattern. I added inner pockets to the lining and the upper breast pockets concealed in the seam under the flap.

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The shell fabric is cotton bough in the home dec department and the lining is viscose satin. I love the bright colours and have my fingers crossed for some fall days without rain where I get to wear this beauty. 

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Long overdue post on finished projects

I finished these items in time for our evening on the runway back when my sewing course ended in June. The runway show can be seen here for those who want to catch a glimpse of all the wonderful garments my classmates made during the past year.

First out is the skirt I designed back in 2013. I love how this one turned out, and I learned so much from this project. However we had some troubles with the fit, and that’s part of the long time it took to finish this one. The other parts were all the projects and assignments that simply had to be finished before I had time for finishing the skirt. I look forward to wearing when the weather cools down – the shell is pure wool (and so soft and drapey you wouldn’t believe it) and the lining is viscose with some polyester in the mix for stability. This skirt is warm!

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Recognise the blouse? This Sorbetto has yet to have its tale told – all in good time.

 

The second piece is my pride – a real tailored jacket made from scratch, pattern and all. This baby conceals a ton of errors – so much went askew with the pattern and the handwork wasn’t my best at times. But I finished it and it fits so well – I love that I now have a pigeon-blue fancy jacket to keep me worm. And my teacher will henceforth be known as The Great Saviour of Jackets. She is a gem and somewhat a magician for making this garment turn out so well despite all my wrong turns. Needless to say, I really learned a lot from the making of this one. I’m so happy I waited and didn’t try to make a tailored jacket on my own (I’ve been collecting patterns…) – it would have been awful to make all these mistakes without some guidance along the way. And now I’m confident that I’ll make things work in the future whether I make mistakes or not – which is a super nifty quality to have acquired :D

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