Well, hello there 2013

Happy New Year everyone! Can you believe how quickly this year has gone by?

some of 2012's makesSome projects from 2013…

It feels like just yesterday I was talking about my sewing goals for 2012. So how did I get on?

Well, I didn’t sew more. In fact, I think I sewed a bit less. Quality was a high priority, but my sewing abilities have yet to catch up with my ambitions.

But meeting new bloggers? I’d say that’s been a resounding success, both in real life and online. Since the pledge got started, more than 100 people have joined in from across the world.

I’ve been lucky enough to meet some of my favourite bloggers in person and get to know some others via Twitter. Even if my sewing doesn’t get any better, I’d like to keep this going.

Here are some things I’d like to achieve with the Pledge and my sewing this year:

1. Sew a work-ready wardrobe

You all know how much I love a good pencil skirt. In the next couple of months, I’d like to sew some classy clothes suitable for work. They’ll need to be well-made,  so it’s again a case of quality over quantity.

2. Tights, pants and shoes

As you know, underwear is exempt from my Pledge and while I certainly don’t buy as many shoes as I used to, I’m still buying them once I’ve worn my favourites  ’til they have holes in them. My aim for 2013 is to find places to buy tights, pants and shoes which are more in-keeping with the ethos of the pledge.

3. Reboot the pledge

The Pledge is just over a year old now, but I want to take it somewhere new. I’ve been chatting to Gillian and Clare about revamping the pledge for 2013. We’ve got some exciting ideas, so keep your eyes peeled for more information including how you can get involved…

Have you got much planned for 2013? Do let me know!

Finished Meringue – making the best out of a bad situation

After much in the way of seam-ripping, frustration and snipping of scallops, my Meringue skirt is done, but it looks a little different from how I’d originally intended.

Grainy image is grainy – I need Martha!

First of all, I’d like to say a HUGE thanks to everyone who offered their tips and sympathies in my last post.

I’ve shyed away from blogging about sewing mistakes before, because you lot are so bloody talented I don’t want to show myself up! All joking aside, I think it’s better to admit to mistakes, move on and make the best of such things.

In this case, it meant doing away with the scallops. Despite the Colette book explicitly saying I should choose a fabric which holds shape well, I was swayed by the lovely bottle-green colour and drape of this swishy crepe from a fabric shop down the road from my new place in Cardiff. What can I say, I’m a sucker for a bit of swish!

When it came to ironing the scallops, it became clear they wouldn’t set. They were all puffy and bulky in the wrong places. Then there was the fit of the skirt itself – it was so, so loose! It looks a bit too tight in the above photo because I’d just cooked an epic meal for some friends, so you’ll have to trust me on the fit being a lot better now!

Obviously I’m way, way behind on the Sew Colette challenge, but nevertheless I’m going to move on from this one and get on with the Parfait dress. This time, I’m definitely making a muslin!

Apologies for being really behind on catching up on blogs of late, I promise I’ll be back commenting soon!

2011’s Inspirational Makes – as chosen by you!

I received some lovely submissions for 2011’s inspirational makes! You’ve been really busy this year haven’t you?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Without further ado, here are Seamless readers’ inspirational makes from 2011 (in no particular order):

Check out Adri H’s Bombshell Dress! Isn’t it amazing? Gertie’s online class is clearly worth taking if these are the results. What I really loved was how Adri blogged the construction of the dress, so you can see just how much detail has gone into it. It’s clearly paid off – it fits her like a glove and the diamond brooch is an elegant touch. Adri said: “It’s an evening dress with a structured bodice, lots of couture techniques and an overall sewing adventure.” The Bombshell Dress is most definitely on my sewing list after seeing this incarnation of it!

image from The Wardrobe Reimagined

Ali was nominated by Minnado: “I was inspired by Ali’s use of existing jeans and a jacket to create her own pattern pieces and wardrobe staples.” Ali completed quite the feat this year by accurately making copies of not only a J Crew jacket but also a pair of jeans from Gap! Not to mention she did it from working out her own pattern for both garments. It just goes to show, who needs the labels when you have your sewing machine?

Minnado has been pretty busy too, sewing and refashioning a whole maternity capsule wardrobe for herself. In total, it cost her a mere £32 for her entire maternity wardrobe. She said: “It has meant I have busted out a lot of stash fabric and I have learnt that it is a myth that you have to buy maternity clothes, and need to spend lots of money.” Cost-effective, practical and stylish.

Molly made this fantastic coat for her sister, nicknamed the Sith coat. Possibly the coolest name ever? Perhaps only after her sister’s, who chose Pedro as her online moniker. She clearly enjoys wearing this coat and who can blame her? I can’t decide what I like best – the epic hood or the hipster-style lining. Bravo!

Charlotte whipped up this beauty from a V and A pattern found here! It’s retro-tastic and a great example of how reproductions of vintage patterns should be done. Isn’t the floral fabric just beautiful? Charlotte also wore it to the Sew Weekly UK meetup earlier this year and she looked fantastic!

Charlotte also nominated Sew Weekly contributor Debi for her response to the community’s Sewing Through the Decades challenge. Debi’s blog is well-worth a look, as she consistently comes up trumps with her creations. Charlotte said: “This 1933 outfit made me gasp out loud the first time I saw it. To be honest she has made lots more as well that I just love, but this is my favourite.” I agree with Charlotte, Debi’s creations are consistently inspirational – in fact, she’s just posted her own year in review, featuring a whopping 58 outfits!

Sometimes, the simplest silhouettes are the most effective, as Barbara shows with her 1950’s dress. Can you believe this is made from a vintage sheet? I think the little touches like the piping detail really makes this dress special. Barbara said: “I really got into the sew-mo during the second half of 2011. I think one of my best pieces was made out of a thrifted sheet that I repurposed into an adorable 50′s dress. Having one of my talented daughters take the pictures, made for a very pleasing set of pics.”

Last, but most certainly not least, is this very unique way of RSVPing a wedding invitation from Kirsty of The Leopard Anchor. The embroidery on this cushion is astoundingly intricate, particularly the post-card style writing on the back and the little owl stamp. It’s also scented! This wasn’t the end of the story for this special little cushion however. Kirsty said: “I was pretty proud of it as I hadn’t done much embroidery and it turned out quite well. But I was bursting with pride when I discovered the lovely couple were using it as their ring cushion on their wedding day.” How lovely is that?

There we have it ladies and gents! Some cracking makes, I’m sure you’ll all agree. I’m really looking forward to what you all come up with in 2012! I’m thinking of featuring inspirational makes on a more regular basis in 2012, perhaps monthly? What do you think?

If you want to see some of the blogs I read for inspiration, then check out my bundle of RSS feeds here, including Zoe (also recommended by Minnado), Thread Carefully and Gertie, amongst others! I’m always adding more, so subscribe if you want to share my sewing blog reading list.

Oh, also…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Apologies this post is so late in the day! WordPress and I were having a bit of a technological fist fight, as you do. I had a good old rant on Twitter and then got back to it. Consider yourself defeated WordPress, ha!