Monday, 28 April 2014

Cream, short sleeved top

I spent most of Saturday and a little bit of Sunday sewing another top for myself. This one doe not have the mandarin collar but just a simple round neckline. I was supposed to put some lace around the sleeves and the bottom of the shirt but I think it would have looked too busy. Also, I only had bit of one cream lace in the house and I didn't really want to venture out just for a bit of lace.

Here are the results:
I decided against the lace in the end but it looks fine.

I have been enjoying this creative time sewing tops but now I need to focus on skirts and dresses. I have 2 lots of fabric left. Actually 3 lots of fabric. I have one pink one with lots of flowers, a blue and green flower one and finally an olive green one with leaves and vine patterns on it. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

I have found it very therapeutic sewing as of lately. I've been very careful with my sewing and making sure to iron pieces to get a neater finished top. It has been working. While I sew, I find I stop beating myself up about life in general. I feel just calm. Isn't that what everyone needs?

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Mandarin Shirt Completed.

My most recent top did prove to be a challenge.  It is a pleated short sleeved short with a mandarin collar.  I am actually very pleased with the results.  Here is a close of the collar.  I don't think the picture actually does it justice.
Close up of the collar
The fabric in the photo makes the fabric look darker than it is.  It is actually a dark blue.  I had to hand sew the inside of the collar and make it with invisible seams.  It took time but it was worthwhile. 

Here is a picture of me in the shirt. 
Finished Top.
It is a very flattering cut on me, well, that's my opinion.  Its always hard to decide what I should be wearing at my age.  When I was young, I just wore what I liked, there wasn't always all those questions such as "Does that suit my shape?", "Is this age appropriate?", etc.  Those things happen with time.  You think as you get older, you become less preoccupied with how you look but you just find you have different issues.  Such is life.

I have some cream fabric with little pink, green and blue spools of thread on it.  It is very sweet indeed and very much me.  I'm debating what to make with it.  Another mandarin top?  A three quarter sleeved blouse?  A tunic top?  Decisions, decisions, decisions.

This time off from work has been very constructive this time.  I have had the opportunity to see old friends, spend time with family and sew.  Normally I return to work after a break thinking I didn't use my time as productive as I could have.  However, I realised that this time, I really need to knuckle down and get on with things.  I just feel so much more at peace with myself.  I need to do this more often!


Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Cost Effective and Long Overdue Update

One of my friends recently asked me an interesting question about my sewing. I was sat across from her and I was feeling pleased with a top that I sewed the other week. I told her I made this top and then she asked me if sewing was cost effective. That was it, no other questions, just that. Was sewing cost effective?

Now, that's a tricky question because it is all relative with regards to what some people consider cost effective and what isn't. How do you measure cost effective? Price of materials? Time spent sewing? Quality of items made? What specifically? Also, other questions such as it depends upon how much money people spend on clothes, what they consider to be quality and how important are clothes to them? Do they spend hours looking for the “perfect piece” or just buy something cheap and cheerful but disposable?
Olive green cardigan.  Isn't it sweet?

First off, sure I could actually buy myself a mass produced, cheap generic top from certain stores for cheaper but is that what I want? The answer to that is no. I have realised as I grown older, I'm tired of cheap, mass produced, poor quality clothing. I want something that is unique to me, something that I could consider good quality, made with love and care plus attention to detail. I don't mind spending a day or two making something for myself. I find it hugely rewarding. I like that by making my own clothes, I have choices about style, colour, patterns, quality of materials and type of material. It is my way of expressing myself uniquely. I do not have to follow a fashion or a trend, rather clothes that suit me, my body shape, my personality and my sense of style. Why does that have to end at my age? I used to pride myself on being an individual when I was young. Now that I'm older, why should that change?
Green Dragon Fly Top. 
Secondly, dress codes. My past three jobs have all had dress codes. You have to look smart and professional. I hate that. I'm not going to lie, I hate having to conform to a dress code. For the past couple of years, my wardrobe has been bland, mainly blacks and generic tops. I do not look in my wardrobe and look forward to wearing something. I wear the clothes for work because I have to, it is expected of me. Blah. Well, that has to change. How you dress does affect how you feel. I can still look smart and professional. But the clothes do not need to be outrageous or bland. That can be just me. 

Owl Top with kick pleats in the front.  Hides a multitude of sins.
In the past couple of months, I've made 3 tops and knitted one cardigan for myself. I have enough fabric to make 3 more tops and a dress. I'm currently knitting another cardigan for myself. I have an A-line skirt pattern for myself. I intend to make some skirts as well to coordinate with my new tops. The range of colours is blues, greens, pinks, rose reds and creams. Patterns are varying from purple owls to flowers to simple spools of thread. My cardigan I'm knitting is a deep shade of cranberry. Yes, there will be some black in my wardrobe but not as much. 
Blue top made with fabric that was a gift from my son.
 So there has been much progress in my life with my handmade wardrobe. Its high time. I should have done this years ago. So it is cost effective? Yes to me. You can't put a price of feeling content with life.