Thursday, September 15, 2016

Bits and Pieces

  • My sewing mojo has totally disappear for the last few months - however I've promised to make my Mum a dress - she has a party to go to and wants a viking/medieval dress and I happened to have this one in the stash so I'm hoping it might kickstart me a bit

  • More sewing for others - My daughters best friend wants a tinkerbell outfit so am thinking of this burda pattern if I add width to the skirt and the points to the skirt hem.

  • Had a great time in Japan, absolutely loved it over there. Went to the Nippori fabric district, got overwhelmed in Tomato and went into the tiny shop next door and bought some awesome fabric.
  • We both did the karate seminar in Tokyo and my Husband competed at the Goju kai comp the next day
  • Am swapping rooms with my daughter in a couple weeks - she is moving into my back shed sewing room and I'll be having her inside room. I'll be sad to leave my shed but will be nice sewing with the kittens again (we don't let them outside after my boy cat was hit by a car).

Friday, April 15, 2016

Finished bridesmaid dresses

The wedding was about a month ago and I've finally recovered enough to talk about it! This is going to be a photo heavy post - there were too many nice photos of the day just to pick a couple.

This is the final post about bridesmaid dress sewing - part 1, part 2, part 3.

My boy has grown so much lately, I'm still taller than him in heels though!
BTW, its apple juice!
(Photo credits to: John Davies Photography)

Pattern Details;

Simplicity 4070 for the bodice
Simple gathered skirt

C was 38 weeks pregnant at the wedding, I did the final fitting the weekend before with her and took a couple of tucks out of the lace to get the bodice sitting smooth.
I had a great comment from Sarah on my first post;
"1) empire waist dress 2) yes - you need the pregnancy / beer belly equivalent of FBA to cope with the 8 month bump. Add extra length in an arc from side seam to seam, and extra width to the front skirt. I'd leave hemming and finalising the dress to the week before the wedding."

Adding the extra length in an arc worked an absolute treat and I hemmed the dress on the weekend before as well, just to allow for any extra changes.
The empire waistband sat nicely above her belly. I do think the inside bodice should have come up higher, thankfully its not too noticeable but just goes to show that even with a fully sewn muslin, the fabric affects the fit so much (I even used a lace overlay on the muslin but it must have been a stiffer lace).

I hand stitched in the lining, its a cotton from Clear-It in Melbourne. Not a perfect match for colour but the closest I could find. I am so glad I went with cotton, it was a pretty hot day (got to 30 degrees Celsius) and we would have melted in a polyester.

Fabric Details;
The lace was a op-shop find in Tailem Bend.
The main fabric is a double gorgette from Spotlight
Lining is cotton from Clear-It
Buttons are plastic ones from Lincraft.
Zipper and bias binding was from Spotlight.
My dress had plastic boning along all seams, but I left it out of C's dress.

I made sure to tell my family if I ever offer to sew anything wedding related again to slap me! I found it pretty stressful, normally if I sew something that I don't like or doesn't fit, it gets chucked in my corner of shame, but sewing these dresses I couldn't make any mistakes, not the least because I had such a limited amount of lace that couldn't be replaced.


I am pretty proud of what I achieved, they are not perfect and I would have loved to use a more luxurious fabric and made a few more muslins but I managed to make them both in time for roughly $100 in materials (not counting time or muslin fabrics) so you have to count that as a win!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Closet Case Files: Zippered Ginger Jeans

I got the email through about Papercut's new patterns the other day and I loved the new pair of jeans they have released. I was thinking all day about downloading them and how I could adjust them using my Ginger jeans pattern so they would fit and end up being a pair of Ginger jeans with front zippers.......then I mentally slapped myself and hacked up my Ginger pattern instead!

I think of these as a homage to that Papercut pattern and also a pair of Just Jeans that I saw in the shops recently. According to the daughter, jeans with zipper pockets are 'in' right now (oh god I feel old!)

Sz 18
Added 1" to inner leg seam on front pattern
Added a pocket stay
Hyperextended calf adjustment
Changed the shape of the front and back pockets
Slimmed the calf from the knee down.

My zippers work, but they don't actually go to a pocket, I did think about making them fully functional but realised I wouldn't use them so didn't bother.

The pockets are inspired by a pocket design I saw on google and saved, I think they were true religion jeans.

Denim is from Lincraft, its a lighter weight denim with a lot of stretch which I like using for this pattern. Its a strange colour - almost a blue/grey.
Top stitching is with Guttermann upholstery thread no.38

Damn, I love this pattern! I've used it so many times I had to trace off a new one this time!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Victory Pattern 1002: Hacked Ava dress

This poor pattern doesn't really resemble the original Ava dress anymore! I needed a dress with a zipper for the morning of my friends wedding and wanted a comfy knit one so that's how this dress idea was born. I wanted it different enough from my last version too which is why I changed the back and added sleeves.

Fabric: Blue spandex knit from Spotlight and a mixture of bias binding on the waistband and some black knit for the neckline and sleeve binding. The lace is a remnant from Clear It.

Same as last time;
Size 14
Added 1" FBA
Changed darts into princess seams
Added the waistband.
Dropped the neckline by 1"
Sewed the side seams last and took it in by 1/2" each side.
Made the length somewhere in between the short and long length.
Added pockets from the Burda dress I last made.

Plus - morphed the back pattern pieces into one then added the lace cut-out.
Added sleeves

The sleeves were a bit of a fiddle - I forgot to add extra seam allowances onto the armscye so there is some slight pulling at the front. I do like the shape of them though - they are based a bit on the Colette macaron sleeves except I just hacked at the sleeve until I liked the shape!

There is some slight hitching at the front - having the knit as the bodice top instead of lace made it sit slightly higher and really needs 1/2" or so added to the bodice length.

I like how the bias binding highlights the interesting seamlines on this pattern and I really love the lace - I still have a reasonable amount left so expect to see it again!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Jalie 3462 : Cora leggings

These leggings have no fit adjustments.....Seriously - no adjustments!! They would have to be the best fitting leggings I've ever made and I didn't have to mess around with them at all. I'm in love <3

So, the pattern - it has great seam lines and is perfect for colour blocking. It has a built in pocket that's easily enough to hold an iPhone 6. The waistband is nice and wide and is reinforced with elastic. They have a gusset and the inner seamlines wrap more towards the front so you don't get chaffing from the seams.

I did shorten them, I wear 3/4 leggings in winter and summer so didn't see the point in making them full length. I will be making the shorts later for wearing underneath dresses to banish the dreaded chub-rub.

Pattern details;
Size CC
Shortened by 7-8"

Fabric details;
Front fabric is from Rathdowne - its a Seafolly stretch lycra that was meant to be for swimwear. Its thin but opaque enough you don't get show through.
The back fabric is a black matt lycra from GJ Discount fabrics.

The stretch really does matter in these pants - they have a lot of negative ease and rely on having a 4-way stretch for size and comfort.

I used the lightening bolt stitch on my crotch seams (I'm always terrified of it splitting open at the gym!) and then overlocked all the other seams. I'm trying to get over my coverstitch issues and so used it as decorative stitching on the back seams and for hemming.

Not much more to say - there will be many more pairs sewn by me and I am on the lookout for the brightest, craziest lycra I can find!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Victory Patterns 1002: Ava Dress

I seem to be going back through my old patterns lately and sewing them up! I made this as the blouse a couple of years ago. I always wore it with a wide belt though as it had a tendency to poof out on my stomach so I got rid of it in the big wardrobe cull of 2015.
This time I wanted to correct the things that bothered me with the first version - added a waistband to eliminate the poofyness, used smaller bias binding to make the binding sit smoother, got rid of the darts and added princess seams. Otherwise its a fairly similar colour palette - purple ponte and a basic black lace!

Pattern details;

Size 14
Added 1" FBA
Changed darts into princess seams
Added the waistband.
Dropped the neckline by 1"
Left out the zipper (hooray for ponte!)
Sewed the side seams last and took it in by 1/2" each side.
Took 1.5cm out of the bodice length (once the skirt was added the weight dropped it all too low)
Made the length somewhere in between the short and long length.
Added pockets from the Burda dress I last made

Ponte from Clear-It
Lace from the salvos (its just a cheap Spotlight one though)

Insides are all serged and I reinforced the shoulder seams with some selvage since the dress is quite heavy

I like how unpretentious this dress is in regards to sewing the lace, no fanciness, just sew it up like any other fabric. For someone who's still a little scared of lace I like how basic it is. No couture techniques here, just serge it all up and no worries!

I'm really happy with it, its a pretty dress that I can still wear with a shrug to work. And I am so much happier with the fit now compared to my first attempt!

Daughter approved!