doing, making, mending

I haven't blogged for 10 days, in blog time seems a month!
The reason why, the school holidays or mid term as it's called here. 
I spent most of my time with my daughter, we tried to finish few 
incomplete projects we started a while ago, like her photographs 
album I was meant to do a couple of years ago (!). 
It's such a relief to see stuff done!
Then I decided that it was time to put my sewing machine at work. 
I finished this top, made a pair of pj trousers with Liberty fabric 
I bought a long time ago, a simple top ( my favourite japanese pattern), 
a linen skirt ( no pattern used, made a mess then got it right in the end), 
cut a dress and made it into a skirt and started a simple jacket that I 
will show you when finished.
I've been complaining now and then, here and there, that I don't own 
an "overlocker machine", so, with the purpose of looking for one I 
started a search on internet and found an interesting forum which 
made me decide that I don't need one! when an experienced 
seamstress pointed out that 'haute couture' garments are not finished 
with an overlock machine but by hand or using different techniques 
such as "French seams" or "Hong Kong seams"...overlock finishing 
are used mainly for high street clothes. So I thought of my grand mothers 
(both seamstresses) and asked myself how did they do it? Having put time
and effort on my handmade clothes I decided to follow their steps 
and take the slow approach... though not so sure an overlocker is faster 
really as I read on forums many people complaints of the time it takes 
to thread them...what do you think? do you have an overlock? 


WEAR is my style board on pinterest


eau de nil said...

i know my mother + grandmother did it by hand too.
beautiful productivity, love the top in that favourite liberty print + i could happily live in those pjs :)

alessandra said...

thank you Xenia x

elisa said...

Oh, oh, Alessandra, it seems like you've been sewing a lot of beautiful pieces! Your colours palette is wonderful.
Thanks for having raised the serger discussion, it's something I'm truly interested in.

alessandra said...

Hello Elisa, I've been bragging and moaning to poor husband, he doesn't know what to do so he raises his eyebrows at sentences like: "look what I've done, but if I had a serger...bla, bla, bla, bla...". Then when on the verge of purchasing one, I said to myself, wait a minute do I really need one? No, is the answer. Even if I'll start to make clothes for others I would like them to be special and perfectly made. That's the whole point of slow fashion or not? I tried the french seam technique and it doesn't take much time, it's quite quick to make and pretty straightforward, it looks one million times better than a finish with the serger. Another point is that it seems pretty pointless to buy a serger below the price of £1000!
Glad this post might help you somehow x

Patrice A. said...

i love all that you show
my favorite colorpalette!!
i have a sewing machine
and the overlocker from my mom
and love them both
and yes, it takes some time to thread them
but not that long or maybe
mine/our is easier ;^)))

now i really want
to make something too

Caroline said...

they are all so lovely! i bought an overlocker but am too scared to use it! now what is the point in that, haha. may i ask what japanese pattern you used for the top? it's so simple and beautiful. thanks x

alessandra said...

Hi Patrice, good for you you have an inherited overlocker! I have no problem threading my sewing machine, it's quite easy and quick, I have no idea about overlockers though as I never had one :) yes do something, you have the tools! have fun x

Caroline, it's a pattern on a book called stylish dress book, but it's such a popular pattern that you'll find it easily in other pattern' books. I always change the pattern a bit, to fit me better, so I made the body a bit more flared and changed the neck too.

Janis said...

making "do" as we call it. You are very resourceful and I admire that. With the "old" technique you can wear your garments inside or out! That is truly the sign of a fine craftsperson :^) ...which you are are on many levels.

On the other hand I have an overlock machine and love it - though I am a lazy seamstress and need the crutch!

Magdalena said...

lovely pieces! great color palette and so much inspiration !
add you to my bloglist and will be back visiting your world here :)
my regards


alessandra said...

Hi Janis, being Italian I never understood the subtle difference between making and do, we only have one word for it which is "fare". Anyho, you make me blush...thank you for the compliment, when I look at the fine works that my grandmother did with her own hands I feel like an incompetent to be honest! ;^)
Oh would like to know more about your overlock, I might give up one day and get one. Thanks x

Hello Magdalena, thank you, I'll do the same, I really like your blog :)

Paravent said...

They are all just gorgeous Alessandra! Lovely work :) Hope you had a fun break. Kx

p.s. Thanks again for such a wonderful day in London. It was so lovely meeting you. I blogged about our day but I didn't post that photo - haha :) xxx

p.p.s. I followed your advice about my blog layout too :)

Anna said...

Beautiful work, I really enjoy looking at your pinterest!

justine said...

I especially love the fabric of the bottom shirt. Where is it from?

Evie said...

nice to read this, i used to think the same and wanted to own an overlocker. i changed my mind after looking into it and because of the small space we live in didn't get one. i like french seams of hand stitching : )

alessandra said...

Thank you Kylie, glad you didn't post that photo...;)
Thanks Anna.
Justine, it's a Liberty fabric.
Handmade Romance, nice to hear what you think, I guess I can do without it, I keep seeing comments around that it is really an hassle to thread and run, I'm not so patient with machineries...

at swim-two-birds said...

love your style alessandra!
I tried to mail you but there's something wrong with my hotmail I'm afraid :(

querido diário said...

everything you made is beautiful :) i want to learn how to sew this year!

jana said...

i love all of these, especially the top you wear in the next post, and the liberty pants. i'd love to sew some clothes for myself, but i lack the skills i'm afraid...will have to practice. thanks for sharing as always!

Bohemian girl said...

So nice, and, yes, like so many others above, it makes me want to sew. I think I will reserve week-end for that. The overlocker, I might be lost in the vocabulary, I went and checked the sewing machine and found out I actually have an overlocker on mine. I never use it but I use the seam that looks much the same, the zig-zag one. Maybe this is the one you all have been talking about here.
Anyway, as a teenager I only had a pre-war sewing machine with a pedal, not an electric one, and it only made a straight seem. So I am pretty much familiar with a french seem and it worked for lot of the things. I am glad it is considered haute couture, and I am happy that I know what I used to make back then!

alessandra said...

Thank you Renilde!
Jana, practise, a good sewing book and an easy pattern book, you tube tutorials when you are lost in translation are all you need...go for it!
Magda, an overlocker is a machine that cut and sew at the same time, it uses more than a thread and in the end you have that finish you see in all the high street clothes. it's different from the sewing machine and generally can be more expensive. I just bought a Singer machine that it has at least 100years and it works with a crank for my daughter...I learnt with that one, my mum had one back then in the70's...
the zig zag finish on normal sewing machine are not so awesome to look at , that's why i prefer french seams, you can cut time by doing a french seem by machine. Have fun making your own clothes, i do like use, I mainly doing it during the weekends...x

Unknown said...

Alessandra! you have such a gorgeous blog! After drooling at all of your photos from our eyes open flickr group/e-course, as well as trying to look up your big cartel shop, I went to see if you had a blog! and you do!

It is beautiful! Your clothes! I would wear every single one of them.
Your photos are spectacular as well! xo Rebecca

alessandra said...

Thank you Rebecca! x

Inger Marie said...

I love these clothes (and all the rest you do) - and I don't have an overlock!

Paola said...

io non ho una taglia e cuci, secondo me l'unica differenza la fa sui tessuti elastici, ma con una buona macchina da cucire ce la si può cavare lo stesso. Comunque, complimenti per il tuo blog, lo seguo sempre, le foto e le cose che pubblichi sono stupende. Se ti va di dare un'occhiata al mio blog, cucio vestiti per bambini http://la-casettaincanada.blogspot.it/... ciao, buon lavoro

alessandra said...

ciao Paola, grazie :)
sicuramente verro' a farti visita.