Sunday, 15 July 2012

Before the first dress, a Kwik Sew top...

So I've decided this weekend to start a Kwik Sew top(pattern 3381) before my skirt. I'm doing it on some cheap fabric first to make sure the darts around my chest area are ok before I do it on the nice quality wine coloured satin I bought.

I'm realising how great the high table is at my sewing class after laying out the fabric on my rug & then repeatedly pinning the fabric to my rug as well as the pattern pieces.... oops! Plus it's just more awkward physically to do, so next plan is to clear my desk next time & pull it out to the middle of the room/look on freecycle for a folding table...

As you know I've only done a skirt before so attempting sleeves should be interesting... 6Music on the radio is keeping me sane as I pin & cut a bit more before I head out for a nice Sunday lunch with some friends down from London - Happy Sunday :)

- Aymi Derham

Thursday, 12 July 2012

My first sewing project

Hi there,  I'm Aymi & this is my first time venturing into sewing.... I've wanted to for ages(I actually wrote to Jim'll Fix It with a doll's dress design when I was about 8 lol) and then watching my close friend Rehanon Mackenzie aka Miss Demeanour start from scratch last year & go onto make some great outfits was more inspiration to finally book some classes.

I was trying to think of a fun name for my blog, I was thinking of words that rhymed with sewing & one thought was 'sewing faster than a Boeing' but I'm not that fast & although it made me & Rehanon chuckle I didn't go for that, maybe I'll think up another one over time. Until then it's 'Sewn by Aymi...' - in the past I've done music photography as 'Taken by Aymi' so the theme kind of stuck - you can check out my music pics here...

Right back to the clothes... I've wanted to make my own clothes for a while as I often see something and think 'well it's nice but for that price I'd want a slightly different collar, or some sleeves, a nicer material & so on...'

I'm learning at MIY Workshop in Brighton, run by the lovely Wendy Ward - who is super patient with me & a good teacher.

I chose pattern E in Simplicity 2249 for my first project.

I wear dresses most of the time but they say its best to start with a skirt(as I write this the skirt is nearly done & I'm warming to wearing one again, its funny how we can change our minds so quickly eh)

& this is the cotton fabric I went for from Fabric Land in Brighton(their website seriously needs some work! nice shop though)

I learnt pretty quickly I knew nothing, even my hand sewing is pretty shoddy(still needs improvement) I've even tried at times to cut corners, being a person who gets bored quickly I think 'oh it'll be ok I'll get it done quicker...' only to discover that no I won't and to end up unpicking quite a few times. It really is best to do it the proper thorough way as a beginner. I did laugh to myself earlier whilst pinning the sides deciding on how far in I would take the skirt, I kept getting caught by the pins and saying 'ouch' - god knows what the neighbours thought I was up to in my flat!

I chose the navy cotton for 2 reasons, firstly its navy with a print of little white roses & as you get to know me you'll learn navy is my favourite(but I do plan on branching out as I get braver) Oh & I love roses too. The other reason I chose this fabric in particular was because its not too thick but thick enough to make the skirt sturdy enough to look smart & fitted.

Whilst making it, the fabric threw up some issues at times. As it was my first time pattern cutting, having a fabric that didn't lay flat easily when folded in half was tricky when making sure the measurements were exact. The reason for this was due to the fact the fabric has a little tiny drill to it(as you can see in picture below) but in the end the fabric has worked out to my favour like I originally envisioned.

I've also enjoyed how it means less time online(well... when not googling patterns & reading other blogs...) its quite meditative when you are lost in sewing and a great distraction for all the busy thoughts we all get day to day in this time of non-stop information. It's been nice to switch off from all that & take time to learn something again. I'd recommend it as stress relief for sure :)

As I'm coming to the end of my skirt project I'm pretty happy with the result, at one point today whilst pinning it I took it in to be more of a tight pencil skirt... it looked nice but was tricky to walk in so I took it out again as I didn't want to look silly attempting to walk about in it!

Now once I've finished my hem & the waist on my skirt it's onto my first dress... wish me luck! I've got the material from Ditto Fabrics in Brighton & I'm contemplating pattern B in the Simplicity 2249 pack for the design... The material is perfect for me, it's navy my favourite clothes colour & has roses on which is very apt as I often wear rose hair accessories daily.

Now I'm trying to think of the best colour top to wear with the skirt in future.... A shade of red probably best I guess with it being navy with white print... maybe a brown would go, not too dark... or a pink... hmmm I think I'll take a little of the skirt material out with me to the fabric shops to help me make up my mind...

- Aymi Derham