Saturday, 5 June 2010

Summer Sew-alongs

I've got a fair few things on my plate at the moment, many of which are sewing related things that I've chosen with free will to heap on there. Of course, at the top of the pile is Self-Stitched-September, which I'm very happy to announce is attracting participants at an awesome rate of knots. I am also committed to Stash Bustin' with renewed vigour as the date when I must squeeze all my sewing equipment and supplies into insufficient boxes and send them back to the UK draws fear-inducingly closer. And now there are two more events (can you call them events?) that have been initiated by former Me-Made-May participants that I couldn't pass up getting involved in.

First up is the Japanese Top Sew-along concocted by the wonderful and super-stylish Cecili. Cecili wore some seriously gorgeous handmade garments during Me-Made-May (evidence can be sought at the Me-Made-May Flickr group or her blog) and I know I wasn't the only one to become enchanted with her style (to be honest I already was because I've been reading her blog for a while, but MMM reinforced it). Many of her more deceptively simple and always perfectly fitting creations were based upon Japanese patterns, so when she suggested a sew-along with one such pattern, many of us jumped at the chance to get a piece of the action. See that scary looking diagram above? That's what we are going to draft! It comes from this awesome site which has a squillion beautiful pattern diagrams for free download. I haven't yet worked out how the site makes any money, but they must do because of all the good sewing karma they are surely accruing. I'm a bit hazy about how I'm going to turn this is crazy diagram written in Japanese into a wearable tunic, but I have faith and reckon it will all become clear when I get started tomorrow.

The second sew-along I've signed up for is the Summer Essentials Sew-along created by the deeply awesome Ali. It's like Ali peered inside my head and figured out a challenge that actually helps create order from all the mess she must have found in there, rather than just adding to the clutter. To be honest, initially I was at a loss when trying to figure out what would constitute my personal 'Summer Essentials', items that I would find useful when my intensely hectic August rolls around. But then Ali came up with six useful catagories with garment ideas and I was able to mentally make a check list 'got, need, want, got' etc. etc...

The challenge is to make roughly five garments, roughly before August, which are criteria I can think I can handle, so here's my list of things I'd like to make:

  • Top using New Look 6808 (that I first attempted for my Chinese Takeaway top) using a hideous synthetic '80s blouse I found on the street (trust me).
  • Another top using New Look 6808 but a different view that has a cool collar/bow detail using some incredible mexican heart fabric my best mate bought me. And I'm going to crank out the contrast piping again now that I feel confident enough.
  • Tunic top from Cecili's Japanese Top Sew-along (see above) in some stash fabric. I have a couple of pieces in mind, but I'll choose which after the drafting stage.
  • High-ish waisted capri pants using a pattern from Burda magazine, issue 07/08 and red fabric, the purchase of which I felt the need to defend here. I'd love to share a link to the pattern, but the Burda site is all skewy at the moment.
  • Cute short-sleeved jacket using this pattern downloaded from Burdastyle. It'll be some navy fabric or other (I have quite a lot kicking around) with gold buttons and I'll probably round off the collar and go crazy with some red piping.

Ideally I'll bust out a few more summery garments than this (a light cotton top that gathers under the bust; high-waisted denim shorts; a vintage pattern dress with the blue and white polka dot fabric my boy's mum got me for Christmas.............) but I don't want to pile on the pressure by saying I will for sure. So there you have it. Happy summer (sewing) peops!


Cecili said...

Zoe you're far too kind! Thanks so much for all your lovely words, I'm very excited with this sew-along project :) and I can't wait to see all the participants' creations!

Tilly said...

So glad you're doing this too! Ooh and quite excited that you're moving back to the UK - maybe we could have a blogger meet up at some point? Your list looks great, particularly keen to see you make that little jacket - so gorgeous!

Minnado said...

Your list sounds great, I am looking forward to seeing all these creations! That tunic pattern looks so complicated at first with all the Japanese annotations but I found once I started drafting it kind of becomes much simpler

naughty little pony said...

Can't wait to see you (and your amazing wardrobe). So much sewing fun in the sun to be had!

chrrristine said...

hi Zoe, I've been meaning to say how cool it is that you finally opened your own etsy shop!
I've had several sewing disasters in the last two weeks with a resulting 3 unfinished objects and not much motivation to start sewing again (so not quite in the mood for a sew-along right now).
I've had my eye on the little cap sleeve jacket for a while, maybe that's a place where I could pick up again. let's see.
we might be doing a little long-weekend-trip to london before the end of the year, maybe we'll be able to finally meet for a coffee! I'll let you know when I know more!

Five Guineas said...

I'm really wanting to do some sew-alongs too but my pattern To Do list is already so long (in anticipation for self-stitched september) that I figure I had better hold off! What part of the UK are you moving to? I'm just wondering because I wanted to know if you will be leading another BurdaStyle sewing club when you return. I'm up north between York and Leeds, so if you're nearby I would be interested!

Ali said...

Ditto on the Etsy shop coolness! I especially love your "skirt" skirts (how very meta of you!:)

Thanks so much for your kind words. I'm excited about these sew-alongs! I never expected to have so many folks interested, but think it'll be a blast with so many styles and patterns and loveliness to gawk at. I'm also excited about the Japanese top (and hope I don't screw it up). I don't even want to admit how long I spent making the Ruby Shorts and I blame it entirely on BurdaStyle instructions (and my ineptitude, of course), but the images saved me, so now that we're doing something in Japanese doesn't phase me overly much. Ha!

Elizabeth said...

I believe that patterns are related to Nani Iro, beautiful beautiful fabrics available here

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