Ok, so I just found this post in my drafts folder and I swear I published it a while ago but it’s not there…so…I am hitting publish now and wondering, is this déjà vu?
I’m going to kick off Indie Pattern Month the same way I started with Burda by first reviewing my past Indie makes.
There are only three of them because I’ve only recently discovered the joy of a prettily packaged and well drafted independent designed sewing pattern.
I will readily admit that these pattern can be quite expensive, especially when converted to NZD$ and then you add on international postage. Sheesh, how can something so small and light cos so much to send?! However, I have a strategy, and it goes like this: if you are patient and join enough mailing lists eventually one of the pattern companies you covet will do some sort of discount or free postage offer and then you can pounce, wish-list in hand, on the pretties.
Another option is to find some other local sewists and share on postage.
Loudly announcing which patterns you desire out aloud to anyone and everyone several times before your birthday and Christmas has also been known to work
(EDIT 19/06/2013: And for the Kiwi’s there is this option now too!)
I’ve built up my Indie stash slowly. The Colette patterns are the oldest, Sewaholic came next, the Hollyburn and Robson coat were thank you gifts for participating in pattern testing and then I bought the other three myself.
The Papercut patterns joined my stash last Christmas and the Deer & Doe patterns are my latest additions. There are others on my wishlist but I need to sew a few of these up to justify any additions.
I love all of them, I’m not one to let the red mist descend during a sale. I am picky with my fabric and I am picky with my pattern purchases, I like to think of my entire stash (fabric, notions & patterns) as carefully curated, inspiring and there as a enabler for me to indulge my creative passion
So, my first indie make was a Colette Rooibos:
I made this dress for my 30th birthday and it was supposed to be the inaugural birthday dress but the next few birthday dresses have not gone so smoothly and now I just think I’ll make pretty dresses, who needs an excuse to make a pretty dress?!
Despite being totally in love with the finished dress I didn’t wear it very often after making it and at first I couldn’t work out why. I think the fabric has a winter look about it but then the lack of sleeves and shorter hem makes me think of summer…so a few months ago I dug it out and had a think of how I can wear it more often. A cute black shrug helps, as well as tights and some vintage-look boots. It takes me a while to get things mentally into my wardrobe rotation but I think this dress deserves to get out more often!
Writing this post makes me want to make another version now, this patten is really versatile. Patterned fabric and plain piping, plain fabric and patterned piping, to pipe or not to pipe or where to pipe is all up to you.
I used Photoshop to help me decide on my piping colour and location:
This is a really fun way to visualise the finished garment and get you really excited to sew. I have written two tutorials to show you how it’s done, one for Photoshop and one for Gimp (a free alternative). Click on the thumbnails below to go to each tutorial.
My Rooibos stitched up like a dream, the instructions were fabulously illustrated and clear and I even learnt a new clean look bodice lining technique. I took it in a little bit at the waist and nothing else, so easy, so gratifying.
A Sewaholic Hollyburn was next and showed me that a style of skirt I had previously discounted didn’t look so bad on me at all!
This also stitched up super easy and I think if you were looking to add a few skirts quickly to your wardrobe you could probably whip up one of these up in a couple of hours and have two more complete before dinner. And it’s another really versatile pattern, add some piping at the waist, contrast pockets, different lengths, you could even add a lining too.
I was hooked and added 3 more Sewaholics to my stash and now we come to my most recent 100% complete project, a Sewaholic Robson Coat. I really enjoyed making this coat and I am super happy with the final result.
I’ve wore it to work earlier in the month during a bitterly cold winter-is-here-week, it kept me very warm and every time I took it off the lining made me smile.
And now I am back at the Colette Lady Grey. I think the black wool will make this coat really versatile and easy to wear and I love the slightly vintage look and big collar.
I’m excited to finally get back to it but it was a hard decision. I was so tempted to leave it a little bit longer and jump onto Papercut’s Watson or Deer & Doe’s Belladone, I even have fabric in my stash especially picked out…but it’s OK, they’ll happen eventually and until then I’ll have another super warm coat to keep me warm this winter.
Which indie patterns have you previously sewn up and what are you planning to sew this month?
Did you like this post? You may enjoy one of these:
I had a super busy weekend but I did get to do some sewing…and some of it was even for me!
Nerdy Husband is so happy with his merino top that he has requested more. At the moment he is working outside for his job and since it is winter it means he is wearing it everyday. I made him a second one in charcoal grey last month but that still means I have to wash them both every 2 days so on Saturday I was taken fabric shopping (squeee!) and more merino was bought. Global Fabrics had it on special at $20 a meter which means I can make his merinos for about $30 each, that is super cheap!
Then we went rubbish bin shopping.
I know right! Fabric shopping AND rubbish bin shopping in one day? I am a lucky woman
The problem is that Harri thinks it’s hilarious to jump into my open-topped rubbish bin in my sewing room and then play in it. Sometimes she just tips it over to play with the contents. Just that morning we were in the kitchen eating brekkie and she trotted in with a paper scrap in her mouth that looked distinctly sewing related.
This is OK if it’s just paper but, as we have already discovered, she really likes thread. She munches on the offcuts and scraps from my overlocker catch bin and I worry she will swallow some and that would be bad. It also means I have nowhere to throw away sharp things like bent pins and old rotary blades. I’ve been putting them in the kitchen bin but one day I’ll forget and she will jab or cut her paw when she jumps in! So the kitten-proofing of the sewing room continues and a pedal bin (green with white polka dots) was purchased and success! It is kitten proof…but not the box it came in
I swear I did not put her there. I turned around from unwrapping the bin and she was looking out at me, true to the Scottish Fold breed, she loves her boxes!
I spent the rest of Saturday cutting out my top secret project:
Then on Sunday the merino tops began, I bought enough fabric for three of them and whipped them up production-line style because I knew that if I made them one at a time I would get halfway through the second one and be super bored and want to stop. So instead I cut all three out first, then attached all the arms.
Next came the decorative top stitching (faux-coverstitch). This is the part that takes the longest, after racing along on the overlocker, switching to the Elna feels so slooooow! To make that stitch formation it feels like 1 stitch forward, 2 stitches back! But I did it!
Then arm/side seams followed by collars and finally hemming, phew!
NH was impressed with his instant merino wardrobe, his next request?
Hey you know this hoodie I’m wearing…
Before I could move onto some me-sewing I had to give my cutting table a good clean:
And then finally! I got to work on my Lady Grey, with Harri’s help of course.
This is actually a really good photo of the wool which is black but with a chunky weave that’s hard to photograph:
So this is as far as I got before it became too dark to sew black (must address the lighting in my sewing room!)
The shell is assembled, seams top-stitched. No sleeves yet but I am already really excited for the final garment. I love the vintage feel to this pattern and I think it will be super flattering and girly with the big lapels and twirly bottom.
Tonight I will make dent in the top secret sewing project stitching. I have to dig out the appropriate coloured thread and then remember how to set my overlocker up for rolled hems. I want to get some tricky and potentially monotonous finishing done first, then I’ll begin to assemble the rest.
This post started of as “One for the Kiwis” and was well-timed because recently I’ve found myself
whining lamenting about the cost of postage that certain websites charge us to send things down to this little corner of the globe. Honestly, it can be ridiculous. But now there is a new option for us Kiwis, yay!
The wonderful Penny of dressesandme has launched her online pattern store stocking Indie patterns. She currently only has Sewaholic but Cake and Victory patterns are on their way and I hope she’ll get some more of our favourites in soon.
So if you are a Kiwi and thinking about joining in this month but need to buy a pattern then you should check her shop out. If you buy two patterns or more, postage is free.
I’ve had my calculator out and done a little bit of mathematics, it is indeed a much cheaper option! Let’s show her our support so that she can stock more and more labels and then we can have All The Patterns.
Go, buy, sew!
Right, next! There are a couple of other sew alongs happening this month that tie in nicely to our theme and I thought it was worth mentioning them here, click on the images for more info:
And lastly I was thinking about compiling a list of all the independent pattern companies but there are a couple of great bloggers who have already done all the hard work so instead of reinventing the sewing machine, here are their links:
How are you getting along with your Indie sewing? Some of you have already completed one (or more) item(s) and are moving on to another you awesome speedy stitchers you!
I’ll be starting on my Lady Grey this weekend so I’ll share some progress with you next week. I’ll also be starting on a top secret project that ties into Indie Pattern Month. I have been given the OK to blog about it but there will be a big reveal and I like the fun of keeping it a bit of secret until then. It’s all very exciting!
For now, here is a sneak peak of my fabric choice, some charcoal double knit (I’ve never sewn with double knit before!) and a left over piece of Rayon from an earlier project.
I think it’s going to be super pretty!
On Friday evening I came home from work to find a length of grey thread at the top of the stairs. I thought, “that’s odd” and went to pick it up only to realise that it wasn’t just a small length of thread. One end went to the left, the other to the right. I followed the path to the right first. It went into the kitchen, in and around the table legs, under a chair and into a certain kitten’s bed where is stopped.
The trail to the left, as you might have already guessed, went into my sewing studio. It also took a scenic route, around the ironing board legs, cutting table legs, sewing chair, along behind my fabric shelves, and eventually ended back where it began…at the overlocker.
You know how sometimes when you are telling a story you embellish just a little bit to increase the LOL factor? I swear on my kittens soggy thread trail that there is no exaggeration in the above words. I’m actually quite impressed with her agility but less impressed with the 20 meters or so of overlocker thread I had to untangle and bin.
It’s useless to try and punish a kitten for being a kitten. As far as Harri is concerned everything is a toy…except for the actual toys, she doesn’t play with those. Scrunched up newspaper, plastic bags, a beer box (we are awesome role models) and a plastic Tim Tam (biscuit) tray are the current favourites. So far, the solution for anything that Harri has decided could be a ‘toy’ but that I do not want to be a ‘toy’ has been to remove it from sight. Obviously this strategy will not work for sewing machines and now that Harri can make the jump onto my sewing table the new defence will have to be invisibility.
On Friday night I went on the hunt for my overlocker dust cover. Both my machines came with ugly plastic covers and one day I cut one of them up with the intention to take a pattern from it. I imagined a pretty pair of covers but then I realised that spending valuable garment sewing time on a new dust cover for my machines was a stupid idea since my machines never sit idle long enough to gather any dust…but now…well, I needed some Sewing Machine Invisibility Cloaks.
I couldn’t find them, instead I got distracted and began a big tidy of my sewing room and forgot that I was actually meant to be looking for.
On Saturday morning I got up, fed Harri and then let her out to roam (during the day she has the whole house, except for our bedroom, and at night she is confined to lounge/dining/ kitchen). I went back to bed with a coffee and read for a little bit. About 30 minutes later I got up, showered, ate brekkie and decided to finish off my tidying and then do some sewing.
That’s when I noticed a guilty looking kitten in the hall chewing on a tangle of grey thread and watching me while doing it.
Like she knew!
The new thread trail was not as long as the first but this new game was going to have to be stopped immediately so my tidying continued with more focus and eventually I found the dust covers.
Ugh, not very pretty huh?
After just 5 seconds I couldn’t looking at it any longer. Fabric was chosen, machines were threaded and this appeared:
I looked at my Elna…hmm, if I was a kitten and my new favourite ‘toy’ had just vanished, that other spool of thread is looking pretty tangle-rrific right now!
So then this happened:
And now I am happy. Oh wait…this post still requires at least one Harri photo, just so you know I’m not totally mad at her, here’s one: