Friday, January 28, 2011


Ok, these past days I've been thinking about the first pieces of clothes I would do. I made some research at and found some, as they say, novice free patterns. I decided I'll make a top (not from Burda), a dress and a pair of pants (oh my, will it work?!). So after work today I stopped by the fabric store and got these:
 The figurine here is from Caruaru, Pernambuco, Brasil. Please don't  mind the dust on my lampshade.

It was funny because I still don't know the name of the fabrics and I had to say to the lady there: "Look, I want some fabric to make these pieces, but I don't know the names, so you gotta help me here!". And she did help. I ended up choosing a blue linen for the pants plus a little piece of I-don't-know-the-name-fabric for the lining, a blue crepe for the blouse and a polka dot navy blue crepe for the dress (only now I realize I got everything blue!).

One of the reasons I decided this I-want-to-sew thing was that I was quite unhappy to pay a lot for pieces of clothes that did not fit me well and worse, that they were the wash-me-twice-and-throw-me-away type of cloth. I don't know if I will ever succeed in making my own wardrobe, but I'll try. Today I decided I'll control how much I'm spending making my own clothes, only to compare with the store bought ones. Here it goes, for the record:

(edited on Jan 29)
Blouse 1:
fabric - R$ 19,20 (1,5m)
thread - R$ 1,00

Dress 1:
fabric - R$41,60 (2m)
thread - R$ 1,00
zip - R$ 1,10
custom pattern - R$ 3,50 (I discovered the free pattern I got did not have all the sizes, so I decided to buy the custom one)

Pants 1:
fabric - R$ 47,90 (1,6m)
lining - R$ 1,99 (0,5m)
thread - R$ 1,00
zip - R$ 1,00
buttons - R$ 3,20

Of course I still have to add the other materials I need, like zips, threads and others. I'll do that as soon as I buy them. And by the way, today U$ 1,00 = R$1,70.

My sewing books (soon to become My sewing library!)

Definition: library noun
a collection or set of books, records or other things, all produced in the same style or about the same subject (from Cabridge Dictionary Online)

Right now I have 3 sewing books. I got them some months ago, way before I even had my sewing machine. That was me planing the day I would start sewing :) But I really read these books and got important information before actually beginning to sew. Here are the books:

New Complete Guide to Sewing (Readers' Digest): I know the previous edition for this book was much complete, but it is out of print and the Brazilian edition may "cost your eyes" (this is a Portuguese expression- custar os olhos da cara - to say something is very expensive. Yes, giving your eyes to pay for something is a serious thing to do!). I imported it from Amazon when the version in Portuguese for this new edition was still not available. Though I have to search for the meaning of many terms used in the text, it's very helpful, with lots of graphics and explanations. I think everyone knows this book.

One Yard Wonders: the book I used the most so far. All the sewing projects I made till today were from this book. The instructions are very clear. But you should consult the official site to check the errata first.

French General: this a nice book, with projects for home. I haven't used it yet, but maybe I'll pick up some projects to our place soon.

Ok, now the good part! I ordered other 5 books! They will arrive in February, I'm looking forward to them. Even if I live in Brazil, I often order my books from Amazon. Believe me or not, it's cheaper than buying them at book stores here. And buying on line has become so easy, even from overseas. So, adding these 5 books to my 3 previous ones, I think I may say I have a sewing library! hehehe

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My sewing machine

My sewing machine is a Janome 2008. Why did I choose it? Well, after a lot of research on the web, reading blogs on how to choose you machine, I decided I wanted a simple, not expensive one, just in case I would abandon it.

So, among the not expensive ones the Janome 2008 was the most interesting because they say it can sew several layers of heavy fabric, and it's true! Decision made, I was lucky enough that this machine was available to be traded for points I earn for using the credit card. Sooo, I payed nothing for it! My sewing machine was for free!

It arrived last December. I already made some small projects with it, including a machine cover, a shopping bag and a pair of shorts, all from One Yard Wonders book. They were all practicing projects, so they are not perfect at all. The good news is that I actually use all of them, despite they have not good finishing :P

Right now I'm thinking about my next challenge: I'll try to make a simple blouse using one I already have, from where I'll make the pattern. Am I too audacious? Let's see...

Monday, January 24, 2011

Folklore Bag

This is one of my very first projects since I got my Janome 2008. The Folklore bag from One Yard Wonders book. I choose to use 3 different fabrics, one for the bag body, the black one for the straps and a polka dot one for the lining. I will change the straps later because I used a very heavy fusible interface and the straps are too stiff.

Here is the bag. The body is also stiff because of the interface. I used it in the body and lining (and I regret). It was my choice to use this interface because the fabrics I used were quilt cotton. But next time I will either pick up a lighter interface or use it only in the body, not in the lining.

 Here is a detail of the fabric. I loved this design when I saw it in the fabric store.
Here is the inside of the bag. I also made two pockets, one of them with a zipper. It is a real mess inside, but no one is seeing it, right?

The stitches are not perfect in this bag, but I'll guess my accuracy will get better with time. Maybe later I can take close up pictures to show this little mess.