Saturday, 10 August 2013

Abby in Teal and another TNT

I sewed this Abby cardigan back during the fabulous sewing weekend away but wanted to photograph  it when I made a dress out of the gorgeous "Carolyn" fabric. It is hard to see in the photos but it really has some lovely teal colours in it that can be picked up with the cardi. Originally I wanted to sew a jacket to match like Carolyn's but hey - I had this lovely teal fabric and I do like a long cardi on me.










I can't capture the beauty of this fabric in pictures. I tried both indoor and outdoor but the colours don't show as they should. They don't come out very vibrant.

Not much in the way of new to me techniques to talk of here. Both dress and Cardi are tried and true - but I really love the look of these ones and received unsolicitations  from some colleagues. Not on any one item but an overall - you look lovely today (makes you think - what do I normally look like?).

As I said - not much in the way of techniques. Am I getting lazy? I used to love to finish my posts with what I have learnt. It occurs to me that "Scary September" marks the beginning of my 3rd year of sewing. I started sewing in October 2011 and had thought I had learnt a lot - but now I feel that I am floating in the shallow end of the beginners pool - hence Scary September.

Carolyn also wrote a thought provoking post recently starting with:

Do you ever think the good results you achieve are more luck than skill? Do you ever question whether you've actually got the goods or that you’re skating on a wing and a prayer?

In thinking about my skill I think I am becoming proficient in some of the entry level skills but really need to stretch myself. I will still sew my TNT's (especially the dress) and some will be simple but I want to incorporate some more advanced beginner techniques in making my TNT dresses.

In thinking about challenging myself and stepping out of the comfort zone, Scary September will start my year of challenges. I have made a list skills and where I think they rate on the skill level board. I am also going to rate myself 1 being - done it but only just to 3 being comfortable doing the skill. This way I know what I still need to practice.

Please - all you talented, experienced sewists out there, have I missed a vital skill? Have I imagined one harder than it is and placed it in the incorrect category - or will some be harder than I thought and need to be re-categorized ? Is there some basic beginner skill I have missed that I really should learn before moving on. There is something to be said for diving in to fearless sewing - but that is more likely to spook me. I like steps. Looking at the list - I have a long way to go.

Please note - this list is for me to "tick off" as I learn a new skill and for that purpose only. I am not that stuck on what skill LEVEL I am at - rather what skills I still need to learn and how I should progress. Also to help me to stop avoiding things - like zips and buttons. I have more sewing phobias than you can poke a stick at. To progress past my lovely knit TNTs I need to push.

I have also gone nowhere near expert / couture in my skill list. I think that takes a life time of sewing and I only started sewing at age 49. Wouldn't even know what skills are there anyway! I don't aspire to be an expert - just to fill my wardrobe with great clothes that don't look like Harriet Homemaker has done them.

As I started this blog to track my progress, once I have the list finalised I will put it on a separate page so I can tick off as I learn.

Level
Skill
Rating 1 - 3
Beginner
Sew straight and curved seams (funny how long it took me to master this!!)
3
Beginner
Elastic waist pants and skirts
2
Beginner
Set flat sleeve
3
Beginner
Sew blind hem
2
Beginner
Sew narrow hem
1
Beginner
Sew simple shift dress
3
Beginner
Sewing lapped zips
2
Advanced Beginner
Sew bindings for neck and armholes including attaching knit bands and internal bias for wovens
1
Advanced Beginner
Set sleeve in armhole
2
Advanced Beginner
Buttons and automatic button holes

Advanced Beginner
invisible zip

Advanced Beginner
Simple collar
1
Advanced Beginner
using stud embellishments

Advanced Beginner
In seam pockets

Advanced Beginner
Patch pockets

Advanced Beginner
Modify patterns for fit
1
Advanced Beginner
Do a full bust adjustment
2
Intermediate
Lining with zipper

Intermediate
Collars with collar stand

Intermediate
Lining with facings

Intermediate
Felled seams

Intermediate
Modify patterns for design

Intermediate
Sew cuffs and plackards

Intermediate
Sew looped buttonholes

Intermediate
Flap pocket

Advanced
Sew with all types of fabrics

Advanced
Lined jacket

Advanced
Piping

Advanced
Jeans

Advanced
Welted pockets

Advanced
Bound pockets

Advanced
Sew most items without instructions

Advanced
Comfortable making any pattern

Advanced
Feel comfortable using fabrics not recommended on the pattern envelope

Advanced
Have a broad knowledge of interfacings, underlinings, interlinings and linings

Advanced
Can do Hong Kong finishes and French seams

Advanced
Sew Bound buttonholes


What have I learnt today?

That I still have a lot to learn.

23 comments:

  1. Love your extra-long cardi with your dress! There are lots of things on your list I haven't done yet, but one thing I have done a lot of is piping. I would move it down to Advanced Beginner or Intermediate because it is really not hard to make your own, and it's not too hard to use it. It's just deciding where you want to use it that's the problem:) I look forward to seeing you conquer your list.

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  2. You can be very proud of yourself! I think you are way ahead of the game...you are making pretty clothes that look very nice on you and you haven't even been sewing long! Plus a great blog!!!

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  3. Love love love the colour and simple lines of this cardi! I think its the combo of both colour and design that caught the great comments at work - this really suits you. Can't wait to see what you start ticking off your list first...J

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  4. Your outfit looks complete and look great too especially with your hair colouring. Slow but sure. You have achieved so much. You may not think it but you have to remember you have mastered your dress pattern, not just made it and moved on to the next item whether it fitted right or not. Looking back to how I sewed as a teenager at the beginning I cringe, maybe it was the race to wear it , but I even used wonderweb for my hems, shame on me.

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  5. You do look wonderful in that cardigan - but then you have looked lovely in everything you have made that I have seen. The brighter colour probably catches some attention - and that is not a bad thing if that is what is needed (I think you teach, so this could work in your favour).

    You certainly do like one step at a time - that would send me potty:). I just started sewing at the age of 5 - cut out a dress out of my best red wool dress for my doll, cut out the sleeve holes and neck hole and stitched it altogether. I was very proud of myself, but I'm not so sure my mother was so happy - although she didn't get cross at me.

    I think it is brillant that you learnt to sew at 49 - so many people think they are past learning new skills, but that is nonsense. You will be able to develop all the skills on your list, step by step, one by one, over the next few years.

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  6. Darling Beaj, would move iping and french seams and hong kong binding to the advanced beginner level. Admittedly the kinds of garments that you use these techniques on may be a little more complicated, but they themselves are not hard.
    Also, all of these things are tasks and processes, and not that hard really. What is missing from your list is stuff about fitting! Nemesis! :) Howz about adding a few skills in that area. By growing your confidence in fitting, you will naturally take on more complex projects :)

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  7. Bee Jay, I'm loving this outfit and the vibrant green drapey cardi.
    There are so many things about the art of sewing that can't be quantified. Knowing your body. Finding out what suits you. Having an eye for colour. Having a realistic approach to what works and what doesn't and lastly a willingness to write about it! You have achieved a lot of technical know how in three years. Keep on keeping on!

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  8. I think this list can get very personal. I have 'skipped' a lot of these because the styles needing them don't move me, but done some of the advanced ones just based on my fabric tastes. I guess I'm saying, make sure the things on your list are skills you want to utilize or conquering them may feel like a chore and the joy of prancing about in a fab floral dress and matching cardi will turn into something like resentment- when the process felt adversarial. Am I crazy?

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  9. I love the cardigan and dress outfit. They look fabulous together. ANd I love your chart on beginner, intermediate and advanced techniques.

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  10. Like everything in life, mastering anything just takes practice. Just look at the huge leaps you have made in the past 3 years. Go girl, go!!!!!!!!

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  11. I'm with prttynpink, we don't all have to conquer every single technique if we never plan to use them or they don't appeal to you. Even if patterns call for a certain treatment, there is always an alternative. Make what looks good on your body, learn your body's needs and what accents your best features. We all have to learn that as time goes by as that changes too. I envy your height and wish I could wear long drapey cardigans but I would look like I was wearing my big sister's clothes if I had a big sister. You are on a very fun path and making some delightful clothes that I'm sure your students and co-workers wish they could whip up!

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  12. Love that cardigan on you! It's a good color & length for you.

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  13. The cardi is fabulous and the dress goes with it extremely well. The cardi is a good start on your autumn 6 pac if you add the green into your mix.
    Sounds like you are similar to me in that I need to know in order what I intentd to do. I have writen out many of my "directions" for doing things so I don't mess up when I'm doing new skills.
    When doing several of the steps, I have found having a proper foot for my sewing machine makes all the difference in the results. Straight seams ~ 5/8" foot. French seams and Hong Kong seam finishes ~ 1/4" foot. Topstitching ~ a foot with the lip down the center, and for me, moving the needle to the right or left. And practicing the skills on scraps.
    I have to agree that fitting should move to the top of your list of skills to work on. As we get near our half decade, the body continues to change. You can make beautiful garments, and if they don't fit right, your time and your beautiful fabrics can be wasted.
    You may want to read the Sure Fit thread and see the difference in before and afters.
    Fantastic work. Three years is no time to learn to make beautiful clothes that you love!
    Carry on. :P}}

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  14. I like your long Abby. And I am surprised that you have only been sewing a short while - you do very nice work and your fitting skills are so much better than mine were for a verrrrrry long time!
    Way to go!

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  15. Well done with what you have achieved so far. If you want to go that route you could add sewing with knits - hemming, necklines etc as this is a different sort of sewing to woven fabrics. Fitting trousers/pants would be another area, and fitting/body shape generally. If you get into more fitted garments, suddenly the fitting/alterations part gets way more complex.
    I see you have jeans in your list, but actually jeans covers a multitude of pieces, so you could work up to these by making some elements on other garments/projects - front fly zipper, jeans pockets, waistband, sewing with denim (its thick and can be tough), inserting rivets, patch pockets, pants fitting. Welt pockets are a personal nemesis for me, as is fitting jackets. Did you have inserting lining on there?
    Anyway its great to have a target to up your skills. I am going for jackets and wool trousers/skirts this autumn, add a bit of professionalism to my work wardrobe.

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  16. Another gorgeous dress and cardi, the style looks fantastic on you. Your skill list is very impressive and I'm still learning!

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  17. Your dress if fantastic and the cardi matches perfectly. I admire your challenge and will follow your progress with great interest. I don't know who said it, but I agree that Hong Kong finishes and french seams are skills an advanced beginner can tackle. I've successfully done them both and am NO where near an advanced sewer. I love your list and may use it as a reference myself.

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  18. This cardigan is a great match for the dress and a really good look for you.

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  19. Your outfit looks really great! The cardigan and dress go so well together :)

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  20. that color looks great on you! seeing the back of your hair makes me miss having mine long lol! Scarey Sept. is fast coming upon us, you scared??? lol!
    Helen

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  21. Gee! You've gotten a lot of sewing skills in three years! Love this cardi, I think those colors are beautiful, you have an eye for combining colors!

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  22. Each sewing project has its own set of variables from fabric, fitting, design elements and sewing techniques. Why not let your pattern choices guide your learning and acquiring new sewing skills/ experiences. Choose a pattern that is a bit more detailed than what you have used before, etc., and those new skills you want to learn will be built from there. The more you sew, your inclination will be to try new techniques. To paraphrase a popular quote- Sewing is a journey, not a destination. Enjoy how you feel when you finish a project!! BTW, your cascading cardigan looks very lush! You're doing a great job, so how's about taking the "scary" out of September?

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  23. This is regarding your post of December, 2011, about Lutterloh Supp.278, #45. Now that I have this supplement, I looked up the pattern. My sketch is slightly different; yours is a misprint. (rare, but it happens). On mine the lines do match up and are slightly different than the one you posted regarding the dart.

    I just thought you'd like to know that you didn't draw it wrong; the pattern was wrong.

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