Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Impulse Projects

Now, these two new projects of mine don't have a lot in common, I grant you. One is worn on bottom, the other on the top. One is made from woven fabric and the other is from stretch/jersey. So why am I posting about them together? Well, two reasons: 1) I'm trying to catch up with all the things I have lined up to blog about, and 2) they are both impulse projects.

By impulse projects, I mean that I didn't plan on making them that day. In fact, I started making them the split second I had the idea for them. You know those annoying times when you have a pile of fabric and a pile of patterns but somehow they just don't seem to provide a suitable combination for a new creation? Well, I'm talking about the opposite occurance, where the fabric and pattern scream at you and demand to be made THAT INSTANT. I'm not saying that this is a regular event, it's as rare as my boyfriend doing the hoovering unsolicited (i.e, about once every three months. Don't worry, he's stopped reading my blog which is why I can get away with comments like that). But a couple of these occurances have cropped up on me very recently so I'd best get explaining myself.

The first on the agenda is this natty high-waisted skirt of a particularly nautical persuasion. This impulse creation was actually part of a small run I made at work. Normally my boss makes the decisions of what gets made that week from the donated fabrics and garments we receive, because we have very little time to spend on the design process and she is a much more inventive designer with a better grasp on our customer base than I. My design input tends to come in the form of suggestions for details and adaptions, though occassionally I do have an idea of some garments to make which I 'pitch' to her and usually get accepted, which is what happened in this case. The stripey twill came in, I remembered some leather cut out anchors we got some work experience kid to do ages ago, and a design was born. As I might have explained in the past, if I am in love with a particular style and there is sufficient fabric as to not limit the number I'm making for the range, I am allowed to cut an extra one for myself. It's a little perk of the job, which isn't very well paid so the odd garments here and there is a welcome form of payment! PLUS we are representing our brand by rocking the garms, no?

Now, I'm not a pastel kind of girl, but my gut was telling me I could rock this colour as it should sit well with the navy and red elements in my current wardrobe. Plus I had a spare navy leather anchor already cut out and sitting in my stash I was planning on using for a bag project but never got round to using. That's how into nautical stuff I am, I have spare anchor details cut out and ready to go!

So, I made it up, using my lunch break to stitch on the leather bit as that takes ages and I didn't want to be cheeky and do the time-consuming bit on the clock. It's got a simple back slit to allow for movement, and a zip with exposed zip teeth (this is the method I use for most of the zips I put into skirts and shorts for work because I find it's the quickest). I'm actually really proud of this garment because I've made it with the cleanest finish I know I am currently capable of. That is in part massive thanks to the lovely, well behaved twill fabric, also because I concentrated my arse off and wanted to do a good job. My only gripe is that it came out maybe two inches shorter than I would have preferred. Unfortunately, there's no hem allowance to take down to correct this, but it's more than wearable as it is. I was kind of thinking it might look cute to run with the anchor theme and pair it with my ship shape navy blouse:

The second impulse creation wasn't part of our range. The fabric is some incredibly silky slinky jersey in a difficult-to-describe mustard/yellow/gold colour. I have a massive thing for mustard/yellow shades so absorbed this fabric into my stash through some form of osmosis, as I don't recall taking it. It was little more than a bunch of scraps, no longer useful for our range, so taking it from the work fabric stores wasn't as naughty as it sounds! But since its absortion, it had been sitting in my stash for months crying out to be busted.

I already had a couple of projects on the go at work (I tend to have separate sewing projects on underway at work than the ones I have on the go at home) but this was screaming to be made into a scoop-neck, gathered sleeve top instead. I had the pattern pieces so I cut it out during my lunch break and stitched it together at the end of the day. Cutting it out was no easy task as there was very little of the fabric left, therefore it has short sleeves and is slightly shorter in length than I would usually go for. The fabric is really fine, so I simply left the sleeves and hem edges overlocked rather than than overlocking then turning and stitching to finish them as I would normally. I harvested a tiny thin strip of the fabric to use as neck binding. The entire construction was completed on the overlocker, making this lightening fast to construct. The result is quite a skimpy little top, which will push my comfort levels when wearing (bit conscious of my belly!) but I'll give it a whirl.

I did think it might go with my massive flower mini skirt which is threatening to be a lonely wardrobe-orphan, if the world can handle that much of my flesh and form at one time!

Have you had any impulse project experiences, where the elements suddenly came together and demanded action? Were you pleased with the results?

24 comments:

Darci said...

Fantastic skirt and top, Zoe! The navy top/nautical skirt pairing is simply fantastic! I'll be excited to see you push comfort boundaries with the mustard top, too. You can always add a different coloured piece to the bottom if you find it way too short for comfort.

Projects call my name, too. This last (3-day) weekend, I was compelled to draft a boatneck top and sew it up, use some barely-enough fabric from the stash for a completely different top, AND refashion a tunic I picked up from a charity shop.I started out the weekend with no intention of working on any of them, but found that once I started, I couldn't stop. I was on fire. I got in the flow, and I surfed the wave. Love that.

Tilly said...

Wowzers, I wish I DID have the capability to indulge in impulse projects! I'm too much of a planner and don't have that much sewing time. Which is a rubbish excuse. These projects are great. Love the fact that you have spare anchor embellishments lying around... x

House of Pinheiro said...

Loved the mini skirt !

Vintage Girl said...

too sweet, the combo of the first skirt and top is so nice. I am a sucker for nautical themed clothing. Great job!

liza jane said...

Love that anchor skirt! I like how you just have a spare anchor lying around. It looks great with your navy blouse.

Corrine said...

What a nice use of these fabrics.You are so creative and now you have more MMJ11 alternatives.

weriem said...

I love the mustard t-shirt :D

quietandsmalladventures said...

oooh i LOVE that you have spare anchors cut out awaiting their fate!! the skirt looks fantastic with the ship shape shirt, i love the combination! i'm a sucker for all things nautical. i love the shape of the mustard shirt, i need to conquer tees shaped like that!!

generally i'm an impulse sewist, i find a fabric and it shouts, "make me into xxxxx, now!!" and i oblige. this is how my me-made wardrobe has so many holes in it. it's alos how i don't worry about them ;)

montanachic said...

I love the mustard top with the floral skirt, blue and yellow are one of my fav combinations right now.

Katja said...

Wow, the pastell skirt really rocks with the blue blouse, very classy!

Haha, *all* my clothing sewing is born out of impulse, but it usually goes this way: I have an sudden inspiraton, dig out the fabric/refashion garment and start to cut away (I seldom use patterns). Then I hit a stumbling block of some kind, don't have the patience to work trough, so the unfinished garment moves onto a pile. A few days/weeks/months/aeons later I suddenly know how I want to proceed, and finish the thing.

Impulse sewing for the attention span challengend ;)

Miss Katie said...

I'm in love with the skirt! The anchor is so cute :)

Miss P said...

Gah! Love the skirt and blouse combo. Perfectly kitsch. That massive flowers mini is a bit yum too. Unfortunately I can only do minis in the winter (I know, a bit arse about face) when I can whack on some opaques. My saviours!
I love the "I somehow absorbed it in to my stash" angle, he he. ;)
Px

Cecili said...

I LOVE both projects and they obviously go super well with already existing garments!

julia said...

I love both creations! I have a big thing for everything nautical at the moment, too. As for impulse projects, I have them, but they always turn out disasters. I don't have the skill set yet to pull something off quickly, if I don't go slowly and carefully, it usually ends up a big mess.

Roisin Muldoon said...

I LOVE that skirt! I'm having an anchors moment as well, and am nearly finished making a dress out of anchor print cotton.

I'm all about the impulse sewing, myself - I'm trying to be a bit more organised but I sew in intense bursts rather than little and often, and I think this approach leads more to impulse sewing.

Anyway, looking forward to seeing you rocking these combinations! x

Pomme et Asperge said...

These are great, Zoe! My experience is that often the impulse projects are the ones I wear the most. Everything just falls into place and I do not think too much about the details. I tend to "overthink" my project because I really want them to be special and use fabrics from my stash and patterns that I wanted to make forever and then, they end up being just not right or even too special for every day... Therefore, I usually give in and go for spontaneous sewing even when I have planned to work on something else or have an UFO. Love your blog, by the way! Marlise

didyoumakethat said...

I love the skirt, Zoe. So cute with your blouse.

Law said...

Lol the only time my boyfriend did the hoovering without me making him was when we first got our dyson! The amount of dust it collected fascinated him so much he went round the whole flat hoovering. But the novelty wore off very quickly after that.
Back to the point of my comment, I love that anchor skirt!! Embellishing a simple outfit really makes it your own. Oh and i love that flowery mini too.

Stacy aka Stacybeads said...

I wish I had more opportunities for impulse projects. But it's VERY rare that I have the right pattern and the right fabric and enough time to execute it. Last fall there was a time when I saw some zebra print twill at the fabric store, which I resisted, but when I got home I couldn't stop thinking about it. It kept calling me and telling me it wanted to be a high-waisted skirt much like you've made here! So I went back a few days later and got it and obliged it. :)

Irene Bullock said...

Yay for impulse projects! Actually, that's my best sewing, when an idea for a garment shoots in and you just *have* to do it.
The mustard top is darling, and you're kind of rubbing your nautical obssesion on me, I so feel like doing something red and blue with anchors on it right now.

Minnado said...

My latest impulse project was a skirt from a pillowcase. I was reading a book (sewing green by Betz White, saw it and had to try it out on a charity shop pillowcase that was lurking in my stash. The nautical skirt looks fab, Zoe. I love the fact that you handily have anchors at work! And I really like the colour of the mustard tee. Plus puffed sleeves, love em.

Erin said...

I totally understand the impulse project. I'm looking at you baby bonnet I stayed up late and made THAT NIGHT after an off-hand comment by baby-mama that she didn't have one for a barbecue coming up in two days. My problem is the pre-washing fabric stage. My apartment complex involves sharing a washer and dryer so i have limited time to do wash and there always seems to be too many actual clothes to wash. I finally snuck in some olive tonal calico cotton so if my skirt beta works out on my first skirt ever I'll be able to use that fabric.

The skirt looks way cute though so I hope you do rock it.

Alessa said...

Two very pretty garments and I love the combinations you posted! I hope we'll get to see them during MMJ!

I have yet to finish the impulse boat-neck top I started yesterday morning, because I couldn't find anything to wear with my polka-dot skirt. Alas, I didn't have time to finish before I had to leave the house and I'll have to save it for the weekend...

Lynneb said...

BOTH are so cute! I really love the stripey t!

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