Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Grainline Studios: 13001 Alder Shirtdress

I've always stuck with fit and flare dresses, not sure why but I think it comes from the whole idea that its acceptable to be fat as long as you are an hourglass shape.........going to Japan this year was a real eye opener, not sure if its a cultural thing but the women I saw, as a general rule, wore loose flowing clothes regardless of size and I loved how it looked and how freeing it is. So even though this dress still has a waist its significantly more loose than I would normally wear and I am thoroughly in love with it!

I did get rid of the darts and change them to a princess seam. Not sure if its how I am shaped or how I sew darts but I can never get them to fit me anywhere near as nicely as a princess seam.

I managed to sew the collar on upside down..........Its not noticeably in this print but I did such a beautiful top stitching and trimmed the seams before I realised.....D'oh!

I was happily surprised at how easy the whole dress came together, don't be put off by the collar or button band - sewing in a firmer cotton was a breeze as well!

Fabric: Cotton poplin from Spotlight.

Size 16 graded to sz 18 from armholes down.
Changed front darts to princess seams.
1" FBA
Added 0.5" to back width.
Added inseam pockets
Left off the breast pockets.

Adding princess seams to the front means the front is in 3 pieces instead of the original 2. It also meant easier construction because I stitched the side bodice to the front skirt first and then attached them to the front. I did the side seams last as well, I really like to do that, means you can do some last minute fitting.

I love the hi-low hem and I love the looser fit, just seems like a really cool summer dress. I've already cut out another one in  light chambray/denim!

Monday, October 24, 2016

StyleArc: Harper Jacket


Great pattern - went together really fast, I left the hems raw. I like the shorter back and then the waterfall front. Not much more to say!

Fabric: Ponte from Spotlight

Size 18
Added 1" to arm width

I have a bit of excess at the armholes and upper chest - seems to happen when I don't do a FBA, so next time I'll pin it out and adjust the armhole shape.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Neue Mode 25054 : Drape coat

I've seen Neue Mode patterns before over on sewingpatterns.com and kinda wrote them off as being left over from the 80's. I did get an email recently though that had some new designs in it and fell in love with this coat, took me forever to find it on the website (it was listed as Non-categorized, after I'd been through a few hundred patterns looking for it......)

Its a bit sketchy ordering a neue mode pattern - no line drawings on most of the patterns and none of them actually list what pattern you get - so it could potentially be the pants or the top or the coat... This one thankfully had a line drawing, though its not very accurate, it shows the collar being a separate pattern piece but its just one front piece, the hem dips lower at the front plus the pattern has sleeve cuffs which aren't on the drawing, and it also has no pockets...
The cutting layout and amount of fabric is printed as part of the pattern and the pattern pieces also have basic fit adjustments printed on them which was kind of awesome.

Sizing - I made a sz 20/46, about 2 sizes smaller than I should have, but I was using a stretch fabric and I wanted more of a fitted cardigan/coat. I also didn't do my normal FBA because I figured I wouldn't need it with the drape front.
I'm really happy with the shaping - it has a great defined waist and I love the drape of the front.

Size 20
Graded to a sz22 from the waist down
Narrowed shoulders by 1"
Added 1.5" to arm width
Added 1" to sleeve cap height
Chopped 12" from the length

A stretchy woven poly from the clearance table at Spotlight, it has a damask type pattern woven through.

The instructions are ok, very brief like a burda pattern. I decided to go for a deeper hem and topstitched it for the weight and stability it would give the hems.

All in all, I'm really happy with the coat and will have another crack at neue mode patterns in the future!

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!