Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Sassy Librarian

So, since I'm still waiting for my lining fabric and the swimsuit fabric is currently held by Fedex (they have tried to deliver it, but since I couldn't get to the phone, they leave messages that even my French friends don't understand... they should deliver the package tomorrow), I decided to start yet another project...

Well, it started from the fact that last weekend there was a lot of Craftsy courses on sale. And I sort of splurged (been doing that a lot recently...). So, what did I get? The first one I decided to buy was Sewing with Silks with Linda Lee, since the last twitter #FabricChat was about silk and got me excited, but I know nothing about sewing silk, except that it's hard. And with that there was an offer for Pattern Drafting from Ready to Wear with  Steffani Lincecum. So, I guess I was exactly their target group. And well, since I'm on the Pants Club, I got the Pant Fitting Techniques with Sandra Betzina and also with Sandra, the Pants Construction Techniques. And finally, the one I've been craving for (mostly because the pattern is exclusive for the course:
The Sassy Librarian Blouse with Christine Hayes
Well, I was very excited about the Sassy Librarian Blouse and actually started watching right away. It was less about fitting and things I need to learn about and just basically instructions on how to construct the blouse and it's different variations. Now, I've taken sewing in school, but mostly we just got instructions verbally, although it was sometimes hard: my teacher had her favorites and I wasn't really one of them (I don't think she hated me or anything, she just thought I was odd - which might be true). So my projects sometimes worked and sometimes not. It didn't make me very excited about sewing clothes, I always had problems with the fit. In junior high, I had a better teacher, but the class was really big, so you always had to wait, but my project turned out a lot better.

So, the point (yes, I have one!) is that because there's just the teacher and the camera, you see really well what's she's doing and everything is explained very clearly. To my surprise I had learned something in school and lot of the hints were things I've been doing (yey!). But I did learn new things. And I've been lately addicted to pleats, and this has them in view 2! And OMG! How cute are the fabrics Christine is using! I need to get like all of them! Well, maybe not grey, I'm not a big fan of grey (and it looks quite horrible on me).

So, there's two views you can choose from. The view 1 has sleeves, a collar and straight front, and the view 2 has pleats, a bow, and it's sleeveless. Well, you can combine the elements any way you want. Here are some amazing examples of finished blouses (find a link to the original under the picture):
Clare Szabo
Alix B
And there are many more...

My plan is to make a sleeveless blouse with pleats and a collar. Although I will use a peter pan collar and since I've never drafted anything and will only get an uneven result, I got a pattern for the Rosemary Collar by Christine Hayes. I will use my other set of old Marimekko curtains:
Muija by Maija Isola 1968, Marimekko
Green Muija
These are popular prints from the 70s, like Kaivo that I used in my Miette Skirt. These are Finnish design classics and remind me very much of my childhood. Muija is only available in black and white at the moment (although I did still see colors somewhere, but not on the official Marimekko site), but when I bought this there was also a lovely green version available (see the picture on the right). After thinking long and hard I chose the orange in the end. I also have some plain yellow fabric that I'm using for the bias binding and collar. We'll see how it looks like when it's done. I'm quite proud that I'm not buying any fabric for this. Only thing I needed to get was buttons. If I don't screw this up, I think I'll be using this top a lot.

I think the course is good for a home sewer, even if you're not very experienced. It assumes you know some basics, but things like buttonholes are explained, so you don't need a whole lot of experience. I also loved the idea of not knotting your thread, but securing it while sewing. I like the approach that even though you want to be accurate and get a finished look, if you screw something up, but it doesn't show, don't worry about it too much. And also that you don't have to have special tools for everything. I've also enrolled in some classes that uses couture techniques and I'm sure it's easier to get that look with proper tools, I just can't get everything. Things cost money, and I don't even have a good place to cut at the moment (I used to do it on the floor, well still do, but I have a tile floor, so it's a bit inconvenient), but I still manage to get things done. Ideally I would have a sewing room, but I don't see that a likely development in the near future. At the moment I live in a studio. Well, my mom managed to sew in the corner of the bedroom... well, I guess I'm doing that too. But most of the tools introduced in the course I already have!

In addition to this class, I've started few other classes at Craftsy and I have to say, I really like the format. You can look at the videos on your own time, you can make notes to them, when there's something in the middle of the video you want to get back to and you can ask questions and the teacher and other students are there to answer you. I also learn a lot from the questions of others. And then you can see finished projects other people have made, which inspires me a lot. If you haven't heard of Craftsy or never tried it, I really recommend to try one of their free courses like the Mastering Zipper Techniques (haven't taken it yet, but heard good things about it here). Well, I'm hooked anyway. Now I just have to finish them. And no, I wasn't in any way sponsored by Craftsy.

Hopefully there's some finished garments soon. And hopefully the weather gets better here, since I'm sewing all these summery things... Well, this one should work, since I already got the buttons and I have the fabric and the pattern was a pdf. Then again, I have a lot of work to do and my parents are coming to visit: they'll be here tomorrow. We'll see. I will also keep the blog updated about the other Craftsy courses I'm taking.


  1. Can't wait to see yours! Mine is a few projects back in the queue so won't be starting for a few weeks, but I already have the fabric. Your bright orange fabric is great! So bright and happy. Mine is a paisley in various shades of reds and pinks.

    Also, wanted to let u know that I won a Pattern Pyramid recently and have posted it on my blog. There are some terrific patterns in it, so if you are interested, feel free to drop by and enter!

  2. Well, mine has come up the queue, since I'm waiting for the lining fabric that is taking a whole lot of time. I think they were finally sent! So, in that case I might finish my Réglisse and flapper dress first.

    I noticed your pattern pyramid :) But at the moment I don't really have patterns to share (I just gave some to my sister) and the ones I want are the wrong size for me... but I love the idea! And I should tweet about it!