Hello February!

It’s been one month into 2012 and I’m settling well in new routines. Settled down because it was quite a huge mess when the semester began. Everything is going on a full swing in school, assignments are piling up and deadlines looming. CNY is halfway there. My family usually gets all the visiting down on the first day. I’m looking forward to the last day of CNY because it’s also known as the Chinese Valentine’s Day!

Looking Back 2011

2011 has been a rather fruitful year, sewingly (if there’s even such a word). My sewing journey was aptly summarised in this post:

  1. 4 projects of my Intermediate course (cheongsam, maxi dress, trousers and a kate middleton-inspired lace dress). Other than the cheongsam, the rest were yet to be featured for various reasons. I will try to snap a few shots.
  2. made 8 dress/skirts for Project X
  3. 2 skirts for Project MNS. I’m terribly lagging behind in this because I was busy with preparation and packing/unpacking for my Nepal trip. That said, I am extending this project, because I need the skirts!

As for my 2011 resolutions:

#1 Finish drawing all patterns from Beginners and Intermediate classes
I did finish all patterns from Beginners classes but so so so reluctant to complete the rest from the Intermediate classes: PJs, children’s’ wear and stuff.

#2 Buy less fabric and use up the stash in the black box
Buy less, yes. Use up, not quite. I am hoarding A LOT. Other than the French Dior and loots from Hanoi, my collection of fabric has not expanded. That’s rather incredible!

#3 Make full use of scrap cloths by making more tissue and other pouches
Not at all! Scraps are growing by each projects.

#4 Keep my workstation neat and tidy
Not quite sure if I keep it neat and tidy but I tidied my workstation a number of times and I can find all my stuff!

#5 Be daring and welcome opportunities to practise my dressmaking skills
No opportunities as of now.

#6 Be more diligent to finish up semi-completed projects. I tend to take my own sweet time to finish each project or have very long breaks in between.
All but one uncompleted projects cleared!!!

Sewing Resolution 2012

As mentioned in one of my previous post, I signed up to be a contributor of Sew Weekly 2012! Disclaimer of my contributions: I will only follow themes that inspires, do not require purchase of new fabric as much as possible and whenever time allows. As much as I would like to sew weekly, I will only do so if time allows amidst school work. School is still my priority. I will be graduating in a year’s time and there’s just so much to be completed! With that, I only have two simple resolutions:

#1 Sew as much as I can, as neatly as I can

#2 Continue to buy less fabric and use up the stash

Keep on sewing!

Till the next post!

Post Project X;

As the holidays come to an end, it marks the closure of Project X. I have learned a great deal, both about sewing and myself and here are some of my afterthoughts:

1. Out of the 12 available weeks, I have made 8 with 3 unfinished projects.
2. It was a challenge to juggle social life and staying at home to sew. Haha
3. I do not have a serger and this disrupts the momentum to sew. French seaming helps a great deal, but it doesn’t work all the time.
4. The length of the majong paper is the average length I want for my dresses. YAY!
5. My favourite project is Little Floral Dress
6. Always tag when working with slippery cloths!!
7. Cotton is a sewer’s best friend
8. I have been sewing with floral/printed cloths. Time to embrace the solids.
9. I can afford to be a better walking clothes hanger
10. Continue sewing!!

Now that school is starting, I hope that I still have time to sew new clothes (for CNY 2012 and a couple of weddings this year), and to finish up what I planned before my break:

#1 Have a good (sewing) break
#2 Finish Project #3: blind stitching the rest of the dress Project completed but dress doesn’t fit. Something went wrong somewhere. I’ll go figure it out.
#3 Finish Project #6: buy bias tape and sew on the other sleeves, French seam both sides of the bodice Project aborted. Beach wear looks like german measles 😦
#4 Finish Project #7: Tidy up the hem of the most gorgeous lace skirt

Till the next post!

L’zzie Dress

#8 is a fairly straightforward project: (attempt to) replicate the pink floral dress with a crochet sash from L’zzie. I discovered L’zzie during my student years and I fell in love with their apparels. The prints scream ‘ME’, the cut is perfect and most importantly, the dresses are very teacher-friendly. I told myself that I will buy a dress from L’zzie when I start to teach. However, I began to sew my own clothes by then! Every now and then, I will still pop by L’zzie for inspirations and this dress is one of them.

As I was eager to start sewing the pieces together, I decide to french seam the dress, rather than to break the momentum of sewing by sending it for overlocking the following day. It certainly does shorten the huge breaks in between the total time taken to complete the dress! This is also the first time I am handling silk chiffon and nope, it’s not a sewer’s friend. It slips fairly easily which may results in inaccurate alignment or untidy gathers. This is not the neatest dress I have sewn but nonetheless, here it is!

Fabric: Silk chiffon from Hanoi (approx. SGD 3/yard) and acetate lining (SGD2.50/m)
Notions: Crochet sash (SGD 2/yard)
Time to complete: 5 hours
First worn: July 2011
Wear again? Maybe after my arms shrink or I enlarge the armhole

Total Cost: SGD 9.50

“Black Beauty” Skirt

Project #7 is finally completed!! Boy, this is one difficult skirt. The pattern is a very straightforward half-circle skirt (you can figure out the pattern by doing some simple math) and the construction was (supposed to be) easy. Nightmare didn’t come until I had to tidy up the hem: it was not aligned/balanced. I attempted to trim it but it became worse. It doesn’t help when the lace-like material is slightly stretchy and satin is slippery by nature. After leaving in my stash for a few weeks, I finally sent it to A&E: consult my teacher!

First she trimmed the black lace (I trimmed both the lining and lace together as I planned to bias tape the hem). Then I had a thought, should I make the lining longer or shorter than the lace. After I neatened the black piece, I made the entire class vote :p The response didn’t help much: 50-50. Since I can shortened it if I don’t fancy the longer version, I decided to leave the lining hanging out. Then came another problem, the “extra” lining at the side seams was only 2cm long, while I have about 5cm worth at the centre of the skirt. We took advantage of the imbalance and voila! Not the perfect skirt and what I planned to sew initially, but I am loving this incidental piece more! 🙂

Oh and nope, the skirt don’t fit in to any themes from Sew Weekly.

Fabric: Black lace-like material (SGD$15?/yard. I can’t remember how much I bought it), champagne pink satin lining (SGD$5/yard), and rose silk from stash
Notions: Invisible zipper, 2 pairs of hook and eye
Time to complete: 7 hours (including teacher’s help)
First worn: July 2011
Wear again? It’s my favourite black skirt!

Total Cost: SGD 21

Lesson learned: handle slippery fabric such as satin with much care. It probably slipped when I was sewing, hence the unaligned hem.

Little Floral Dress

The Little Floral Dress (as to LBD) is one that coincides with last week’s theme at Sew Weekly: The Return of the UFOs. I can’t remember when I began on this dress, probably sometime last year, and left it in the to-be-completed basket as I ran out of fabric for the interfacing at the neckline. It was also sold out in the local store where I bought this fabric from. I refuse to use a plain but matching fabric so it was chucked aside till I thought of something brillant. Major booboo! A few days back, I recalled the contrasting hidden piping which I did for my B.A.T dress and viola!, I am quite mightily pleased with how it turns out!


Fabric:Japanese cotton from local store (SGD$13/yard, one of the most expensive cotton I’ve purchased to date. Have a feeling that it is quilting cotton).
Notions: Bias tape and matching thread
Time to complete: 6 hours
First worn: July 2011 to tea!
Wear again? Who can resist such lovely floral prints?

Total Cost: SGD 20

Plans;

#1 Have a good (sewing) break
#2 Finish Project #3: blind stitching the rest of the dress
#3 Finish Project #6: buy bias tape and sew on the other sleeves, French seam both sides of the bodice
#4 Finish Project #7: Tidy up the hem of the most gorgeous lace skirt
#5 Make LV-inspired pink dress and Chanel-inspires cream dress for the next two Sew Weekly

In the meantime, happy sewing everyone!

Beauty in Black;

I have been feeling unmotivated to sew of late. This is Week #7 of Project X but I have 3 projects that are half completed. Project Week #3 is still left undone: blind stitching is such a chore. Ran out of bias tape for #6 and here I am having problems with the hem for #7. Have I reached a plateau? I hope I am not losing my steam for sewing (this will be a total nightmare!). Maybe the vacation next week will do me some good. Take a break, recharge and be inspired!

I have been in the mood of all things ‘black’ of late, a result of visiting “Beauty in Black” I would say. It is a small exhibition at National Museum, showcasing black dresses from the 1950s to now. It includes pieces by Cristóbal Balenciaga, Pierre Cardin, Karl Lagerfeld and Azzedine Alaïa. There are a couple by local fashion designers, Benny Ong and Thomas Wee. It is a pity that the exhibition is albeit small. It would be perfect if it has the LBD seen on Audrey Hepburn by Givenchy too!