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My Sewing Adventures in 2017

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Hi Everyone!

It is hard to believe, but we are already counting the very last hours of 2017 – the year truly flew by fast, didn’t it? While I do not make any resolutions for this occasion (my thinking: if you want to change or learn something, start now, without waiting for January 1) nor do I have many other traditions for New Years celebration, but on this very last day of December I do enjoy taking a few moments to reflect on the year we are leaving behind and seeing what victories, lessons and experiences it brought.

Sewing wise the year 2017 was very fruitful for me and I would like to briefly share the highlights of it with you.

Total 29 garments made!

Wow, that is a lot – I do not recall any other year so productive for me! There were so many garments made, that I think a nice pie chart is needed (well, honestly, I am a huuuge fan of statistics, data and tables, so any occasion for pie chart is a good occasion, ha!).

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I am usually sewing something that I can wear at the office, so it’s no surprise that I mostly made dresses this year (11 pieces total). I am particularly proud that I made a few jackets and a coat that gave a significant boost to improving my sewing skill set and thus overcoming my fear of coat making.

Most worn garment – self-drafted grey dress

This dress not only looks good, but feels good, too – it’s so comfortable, that I wear it every week to the office (full blog post about this dress here).

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Favourite garment made – Rosy Burda Style jacket

Some garments are fun to wear, some garments are even more fun to make – this one is exactly that! I have been dreaming about this jacket for almost a decade, so I am very glad that I finally made it (full blog post about it here).

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Most “Oops!” sewing moment – shrunken polo dress

This dress is gorgeous: the color, the design, the fit – I love everything about it, it’s a perfect summer dress. Excuse me, it was perfect – until very first trip to the washing machine… I do not know how it happened, but it shrunk (though I pre-washed the fabrics before cutting and steamed it). It shrunk so bad, that I can not longer wear it as a dress, so I am puzzled what to do with it: throw away and forget about it? Add some ruffle to the bottom to lengthen it? Hm, will have to think about it, but it the meantime I am calling it biggest sewing “oops!” of the year!

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Best sewing purchase – an adjustable dress form

I did not buy much of sewing gadgets this year, but I did get an adjustable dress form, that I was dreaming for yeeeaaars 🙂 Was it worth it? Yes, definitely! I am getting so much use from it, that I can barely remember how I got around without it, ha!

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Last but not least, I would like to mention that this blog SewingJulie was also created this year – very glad I finally made it, as I truly love online sewing community and being part of it is a great joy!

Hope you enjoy reading it and best of luck it your sewing adventures in upcoming 2018! 🙂

Yours truly, Julie

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HOW TO SEW: self-drafted dress with belt

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Good Morning Everyone!

Today I would like to share with you a short “how to” for a dress that I made this week – I had an eye for this dress on Pinterest for a very long time, but I didn’t have an appropriate fabric for it (this dress is all about the right fabric, isn’t it?). I found an ideal fabric for it more than half a year ago, but still didn’t make the dress, because… it’s completely not my style and I was worried I would not wear it (trust me, this happened before – I make something nice, but end up not wearing it because I don’t feel like “myself” in it, yikes!). Luckily, I pitched the idea of this dress to my lovely sister-in-law and she agreed that I make this dress for her, so here it is!

I used my own drafted pattern for this project: while I still use commercial patterns from time to time, I usually end up making tons of corrections for fit, so instead I have a basic pattern block made for my measurements and just use it for creating a desired look much faster and efficiently. “Basic pattern block” might sound like something very difficult and high-tech, but actually, it’s is the most simple, yet well fitting pattern for a dress you can find (for example, I used to use this dress from Burda as my basic pattern block for stretch dresses – the outer design is awful, but the under-dress pattern is a great and versatile piece).

For this dress, I have adjusted the basic stretch dress pattern (black lines) to the desired design (red lines). The dress is unfitted, so it will be easy to make even if it will be your first self-drafted pattern; it only has three pieces (1 piece for front, 1 back piece and 1 piece for belt), thus the assembly is beginner-friendly and (I hope) pattern modifications are easy to understand from the drawing.

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Best of luck with your projects and let me know if you have any questions for this dress! I would love to see your creations if you decide to make this dress, so please keep me updated!

Beautiful Sunday, Julie.

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DID IT MYSELF: Rosy Jacket (+Burda pattern review)

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Hello Everyone!

This jacket is very special for me, as I have been eyeing this pattern from Burda Style magazine since I started sewing, but never felt I had enough skills to make it or a right fabric never came along. Luckily, on my trip to fabric store two weeks ago I spotted this beautiful rose-color fabric and immediately knew – the time has come to tackle that jacket!

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The pattern is from 06/2007 Burda Style magazine (you can find the pattern here) and at the time it was only the second sewing magazine I purchased – I was still at school and not with the budget for such things, but the designs in this particular issue looked worth the splurge.

While I loved the style of the jacket, I made two big changes in the design: eliminated the double collar (the fabric I chose was too thick, but also I am not a big fan of this design feature) and fitted the back, as the pattern suggested unfitted one (and on me, as a pear-shape figure owner, it’s never a good choice).

The jacket is fully lined (even the pockets!) and it gives extra-nice feeling when wearing it.

I also would like to give you a sewing tip that I find very useful: always hand-stitch the garment and try it on to check the fit, before you bring it to the sewing machine. This allows you to make needed fitting alterations much more efficiently and saves from many seam ripping later on.

All in all, this jacket is truly a winner and it adds to the work-wardrobe very nicely!

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HOW TO SEW: cosmetics bag tutorial

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Hello Everyone!

As some of you already know, a few years back I was very passionate about bag making and even had a blog about it. Today I would like to share with you one of the tutorials I had published on that blog – while the tutorial is +/- 5 years old, I think that the style is more or less timeless, so I hope you will find it useful and it will give you some inspiration for a Saturday project!

What I love about this cosmetics bag is versatility – depending on the fabrics you choose, it can be flashy, cute, rock-n-roll or classic, just like the version I made. What is more, it could be a great DIY Christmas gift idea – who would not like a nice specially made for them cosmetics bag?!

Let’s move to the tutorial!

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