Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sewing room progress

{Sewing room before}

I'm having a bit of a break from sewing at the moment - mostly because all my sewing stuff is packed away and my sewing room is a construction site!

{ Sewing room at the moment!}

We decided to turn my sewing area into a proper room - with decent lighting, dust/dirt proof and a reversecycle air conditioner - no more sewing in gloves in winter and melting in summer!

So far we've built the centre wall, removed the old cladding from the walls and started building in the rest of the timber walls. Still have to put in the front door, windows and timber the ceiling, then the electrican will install the powerpoints/lights and we can gyprock the walls and ceiling and put down flooring.

So no sewing for the next couple of weeks - instead all I've done is buy fabric and patterns lol!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Couture dress progress: Muslin

I've been struggling with the muslin on this dress a bit - its so hard to fit yourself sometimes! I made a sz22 with a 1.5" FBA and dropped the bust dart by 2", plus have pinned out some of the bust ease and side seams The fits not bad - I'm having some excess on the straps that needs to be pinned out, and the back looks a bit wonky because of my crappy zipper insertion.
All the seams seem to be straight so I'm going to leave it as this, until I'm ready to cut out my fashion fabric and I'll have another look at it then.

I ordered the silk organza for the underlining yesterday and this is my fabric - the lace will be the main fabric and the satin will be the midriff band;

I haven't decided yet on the lining - has anyone used Silk Habotai for lining? Dharma Trading has plain white silk habotai and its actually cheaper than the polyester lining available locally.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Simplicity 2311 - The Edward Jacket

Done! I had a grand idea to take photos up at our Blue Lake, I didn't count on how damn windy it was though!!

So back home again and I love this coat - I love the weight of it and the pure luxury of the satin lining!

I ummed and ahhed over what buttons to pick so much on this coat - I considered plain plastic ones and some silver ones but I liked these most in the end, they're actually cast resin/plastic not real woven leather.

Fit wise - Its pretty damn good - the armholes maybe a bit too high, but I want to wear it a bit and see if the movement it gives offsets the slight tightness. It doesn't get that cold here, so it didn't need to go over a lot of layers, and I like the fact with the half belt I can make it tighter or looser just by resewing on the buttons.

I did a hidden pocket again from Cool Couture and faced the back of the bound buttonholes the way the Tailoring books tells you - you cut a slit and then turn it under and stitch by hand around it. BTW I so did not pay the $292 that Amazon say's Tailoring is now worth! As far as I can tell it was reprinted here for a lot cheaper!

The lining is stretch satin from Lincraft.

This would have to be the biggest project I've done so far - it took the longest and probably cost the most, even considering I got the main fabric on massive clearance and the lining and interfacing half price. The wool was lovely to work with but the armoweft interfacing made a mess of my iron, even with using a presscloth! I'm still not completely convinced on the buttons, I actually liked the shape of the plastic ones more but they looked so, well, plasticy!
I'm really happy with how the tailoring elements worked out and I'll definately be doing them again. So now I have to go and finish the muslin for the Couture Dress that I started a couple of weeks ago!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Progress so far: Simplicity 2311 - The Edward coat

So I have to admit I am a Twilight fan (a twimum, lol), I read all the books before the movie's came out and loved them. I was rewatching the first movie the other day and the coat Edward wears caught my eye - apparently it was custom made for the movie, but its a nice grey peacoat with a few details like the tabs and single welt pockets.



I know from experience that double breasted coats and me don't mix well, so I thought I'd do a single breasted coat from Simplicity 2311. I've used it before and was pretty happy with the shape, but found it too tight across the bust (I think I only did a 1" FBA) and the back. So this one I made a Sz 16 with a 3" FBA and also added a box pleat to the centre back and used the half belt to pull it all in. I made the armholes a lot higher too to give more arm movement, I hate a jacket I can't drive in.

The fabric is a charcoal melton 100% wool I managed to score on clearance at Spotlight for $5 a meter - I snagged all 5m that was there (and drove my husband nuts by making him stroke it and saying it was $5 a meter over and over again!!) so I still have enough for another coat/cape at a later stage.

I pretty much followed Sherry's RTW jacket instructions for the coat, I fused the front, side front and facing with armoweft interfacing - first time I've used it and it seems really nice.

First time making single welt pockets as well - I used the instructions out of Tailoring book, but made them a lot wider and deeper. So much easier than double welt pockets! Because the flap is slip stitched over the pocket opening it hides any wonky sewing compared to double welt which shows everything!

I have done bound buttonholes before but not very successfully - last time I did the window pane method but they felt kind of flimsy to me, so this time I did proper bound buttonholes. The biggest thing I found helped this time was not backstitching , I left the threads long and tied them off which meant it was very easy to make sure the lines matched perfectly!
I'm really happy with them, they aren't perfect at all but it gives me confidence to do them again.

I added a back stay - I haven't done one before but I figured it would help keep the back pleat from stretching open on the upper back.

I don't usually bother with progress posts, but I reckon it might be another week before I'm finished so figured it was better to post something up! Sorry for the dodgy photos, its just on dusk now and theres not quite enough light.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Simplicity 2369 Blackberry top

I loved the last wrap top so much I made this one straight away.
Same adjustments as last time (sz 22 with a 1" FBA) but this knit was a bit more stretchier so I had to take in the back seam and side seams by about 3/4" each.
The fabric is a wool/viscose blend, its thinner than the last version but after wearing the teal one to work on a warmish day I wanted something that could breath. Its a beautiful blackberry colour, nice deep purple.

I ran out of hem tape so the bottom hem is unfinished, but I don't think its noticable plus its a knit so its not like it will unravel on me.

It's such an easy top to wear and to dress up or down depending on what you wear with it.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A year of Sewing

Simplicity 2601

Garments made in 2011
10 Skirts
15 Pants
13 Jackets
18 Dresses
14 Tops
8 bits and pieces

Total: 78!

McCalls 5936

I started seriously sewing around the end of January 2011, mostly because of sewing blogs. I discovered The Sew Weekly and Gerties Blog for Better Sewing while researching 1950's style clothing for a theme birthday party. The blogs made sewing seem so easy, just take it one step at a time, and the quality of the garments sewn was unfathomable to me then! Before that I had made the occasional bit of clothing for the kids, but I didn't have the patience or the access to help so it all seemed like it was way too hard and the stuff I made looked homemade not handmade.

NewLook 6058

So things I have learned;

  • Slow down! The way I used to sew is best described as Kamikaze sewing - smash the pedal flat and scream!

  • The weight, stretch and pattern on the fabric makes a massive difference as does the interfacing to the finished project

  • Lots of ironing - I don't iron in normal life except for when I sew, and I still can't believe the difference in finish quality.

  • Just because fabrics are cheap or pretty doesn't mean they will make a nice garment - most likely they'll end up in my stash gathering dust

  • Fit to me is the most important thing and is sometimes so hard to get right

Lekala 5927

Goals for this year;

  • Think before buying fabric - I want better quality fabric bought with a garment in mind

  • Learn more about tailoring, things like pad stitching, using sew in interfacing like hair canvas and bound buttonholes/welt pockets - there's an upcoming Craftsy course with Gertie for a suit jacket that I'm really looking forward too!

  • Have a go at a more couture garment, I've just signed up for the Craftsy course with Susan Khaljie on sewing a couture dress - I'll be posting more about this soon!

  • Keep on working on the perfect fit

Simplicity 4070

I still can't believe how much I love sewing. It's my escape and way to calm down. If I don't sew for a couple of days I start getting twitchy! Because of sewing I have a lot more confidence in myself which has a lot to do with having a range of well fitting clothing. Before I had a very small selection and could never seem to find anything that fitted right in rtw so its a real pleasure to have things for the first time in my adult life like a well fitted jacket and pants.

Simplicity 2176

So onwards 2012!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Simplicity 2369 wrap top

I think I'm in love! I've been searching for the ultimate comfortable flattering top and I think this is it!
Not sure what this fabric is (got it from the clearance table, lol), its like a thick jersey or ity knit, not as clingy as the mercury jersey I used on my Blank Canvas Tee which is nice, and it drapes beautifully.

I made the sz 22 with a 1" FBA which I rotated into the pleats. Heres pictures of both front pieces after the alterations.

The instructions called for turning under the neck binding and top stitching but I liked the look of it left out like a t-shirt binding so I left it

I hemmed it 4" shorter than the pattern but managed to hem it too short at the back, not too noticable I hope and I've adjusted the pattern for next time (which I've already cut out of a wool blend knit in a gorgeous blackberry colour)

It sewed up like a dream, I mostly used the serger and it only took a couple of hours.
Highly recommended!