Sunday, 17 March 2013

Have you ever had your "Colours Done"?

I did. Last week. It's taken me a few days to even begin to digest the information. As it turns out, black is not my colour! And there are many colours that apparently are "me", that I have never worn in my life!

I invited Imogen from Bespoke Image to come to my home and do a colour analysis. After spending a bit of time placing large multicolour swatches across my chest, she announced I was an "Exotic" colouring. What does that mean? I'm still getting my head around that one!

She gave me a book and a lovely colour swatch containing a palette of colours that are supposed to suit my warm skin tone. We then spent a lot of time talking about colour whilst going through the book, which covers how to wear your colours to suit your hair and eyes as well as your own personal style. Imogen highlighted 11 colours from my swatch that are supposed to enhance my eyes. We also spent come time talking about makeup and hair colours (should I ever wish to dye my hair).

After we said goodbye I was feeling very overwhelmed. How could I not know which colours suit me best? Left with my book and swatches, I went through them both very thoroughly several times. Then it was time to tackle the wardrobe. The predominant colour in my wardrobe is black. If I threw it all out, I would have nothing left to wear! So into the garbage bag went most of my black things, and some of the other items that are too far away from my new colour palette. Unfortunately, I also had to get rid of some things that were a perfect match for a swatch. Colour - spot on, style - What was I thinking??

What do I do now? Well, I begin to rebuild my wardrobe. Imogen's Inside Out Style Blog is full of information. Using some of her ideas, I am planning a capsule wardrobe for casual wear, utilising the few items that I love and can keep, and adding some desperately needed new tops. Armed with my swatches I went fabric shopping and came home with fabric for 4 new tops and a denim skirt. I can't wait to get them sewn up and see how I look!

Monday, 11 March 2013

Tutu Tricky!

It sat in a box for 4 months. All cut out and waiting to be sewn. Why did it take so long? This sewist is a master procrastinator, as has been said before.
This is my first attempt at a tutu, which is another reason it waited so long to be put together.
I was quite excited at the prospect of making a tutu when DD's teacher decided she was ready for a classical solo, but all those layers of net are more than a little bit daunting.
I decided to use Claudia Folts' patterns for the panty and bodice from They come with no instructions. Everything you need to know about making a tutu the way is in the book "Classical Tutus for Children" written by Claudia Folts herself.
I read the book cover to cover twice at least before cutting out, then referred to it often during construction, and mostly followed her advice.

The panty is made from a double layer of nylon Lycra (foil printed, from stash). I sewed the gethered net on using topstitching thread and needle to give it extra strength. On this tutu there are 7 layers of net, which I gathered using a method I read about on a Pattern Review thread. Rather than use the tram-tracks gathering method, which I susupected would be tedious and painful on my fingers, I sewed a zigzag over dental floss, and the net gathered really easily along the floss, and after the net was sewn on, I pulled the floss out. This worked really well. I don't have a ruffler or gathering foot, so I was seeking a manual method which was fast and effective.
By the time I had sewn on all that net, I was rather impatient to finish, so attempted to quickly sew on a basque to the waist with elastic so she could take it to her lesson today and practise in it. This was a disaster! What's that saying? "More haste, less speed." The basque was incredibly difficult to attach with all that net getting in the way. And it's way too baggy as I had more than a little trouble sewing up the centre back seam. I sewed the net on with the panty flat and open at the centre back, as per the instructions. I thought I'd left enough space to close the back, but hadn't counter on the bulk getting in the way of the sewing machine foot. I'm also not sure if doing it "in the round" would have been any easier. I'll have to carefully consider that for the next one.

The bodice was run together very quickly as I was more concerned about learning the skirt technique. I didn't join the bodice to the basques as this one's really just a test run, and she can take the tutu skirt to her lessons now and just pull it on.

The verdict from her teacher? The top ruffle needs to be wider - it needs to meet her fingers, so maybe another 3 inches or so. No butt ruffles required - Yay! Her teacher also told me how to attach the plate for a nice clean finish.

So my thoughts for the next tutu are:
1. Make the top layer wider and alter the lower layers accodringly.
2. See if 5 or 6 layers will do the trick
3. Try to make it in the round, as finishing off the legs was very difficult with all that net and I did a pretty bad job.
4. Use a different pattern for the panty. This pattern was too big for DD (I expected it to be only slightly bigger for some growing room). I'm going to make a double layer panty from a leotard pattern that fits her.
5. No butt ruffles.
6. Add a plate
7. Join the bodice to the basque.
8. Do a good job!!!!

Friday, 1 March 2013

March Goals

March is going to be busy busy busy. There are a few things I must get done.

1. Finish practice tutu
2. Make a tap dancing costume: coat and tails (McCalls 6143) with leotard (Kwik Sew 2725)
3. Make another character costume as DD has grown out of the one I made 2 years ago (how rude!) New Look 6309
4. Make DD's competition tutu

For someone who is easily distracted, I'm going to have to get cracking and stay on target.

It would be very nice if I can get all the above done, so I can sew some things for me.

1. 2 black tees (J. Stern designs)
2. Finish UFO shorts (Ottobre)
3. Have a go at The Challenge.

I'm very excited to be having a colour analysis this month. Being able to buy fabrics with more confidence that they'll suit me will be a bonus. There's only 1 fabric store local to me that has a mirror to "try on" the fabric before you buy, so taking swatches with me will be fun.

My other personal goal is to lose another 4 kg. Yesterday I wore my Jalie jeans I made last July and I needed to wear a belt. I felt so proud of myself!

I'll also be learning more about knits this month. I've enrolled in Sarah Veblen's Understanding Knit Fabrics course on Pattern Review.  Can't wait for my kit to arrive. The Craftsy course I did on knits was hopeless, and the snippets of Sarah's classes I've seen seem very informative. I sew with a lot of knit fabrics, so hopefully my garments will be looking much more professional after the course.

Am I expecting too much of myself? Maybe.
What's that noise? Oh, the whip is cracking already. I need to get off the computer and sew!!!!