Thursday, January 31, 2013

Colette 1001: Macaron Top


*Autumn SWAP*

I started making a pendrell blouse as the first top to sew up out of my fashionary sketches, I adjusted the pattern and made a muslin but in the end I just didn't like it on me. I felt really blocky and square in it so I scrapped it and made this top instead!

Same as the dresses - Its a sz18 with the Éclair front bodice and a sz12 knit yoke.

I used the leftover Sateen from my Christmas dress and some of the knit from a garage sale (think its polyester or at least a cotton/poly blend).

I liked the idea of using a peplum but stuck with the pleated skirt this time around.

Heres the completed outfit (Winnie Trousers and Macaron Top);

Monday, January 28, 2013

Maria Denmark 301: Winnie Trousers

*Autumn SWAP*

I really liked this pattern when I saw Sew Busy Lizzy's version and figured you can never have too many pairs of basic black trousers!

I used my pants block to adjust the pattern but I was pretty impressed with this pattern, I had to add width and about 1" to the back rise and dropped the front rise by about 1" which is a lot less than normal.

The fabric is bengalene out of my stash and the facings are the leftover scraps of sateen from the Christmas Macaron dress. I had this dubiously great idea of cutting the facing on the opposite grain to negate the stretch....It worked well, it has stopped the stretch but was a bit of a beast to sew and I really should have used a walking foot to make it easier. I used stay tape around the waist as well to stop it from stretching out. I've just downloaded Sandra Betzinas book Power sewing and found the elastic waistband treatments really interesting but in the end I didn't allow enough ease in the waist to use one.

I changed the front pocket piece to have a pocket stay (I do this on all my pants patterns, stops the pockets gaping and makes a flatter front to pants)

And because I always love Amanda's funny pics, heres some catalogue poses :)

Yep, we're idiots, lol.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Sewing with a (half baked) plan!

I was lucky enough to win a fashionary sketchbook in a giveaway on Beajays blog lately. I decided to use it for working out an autumn wardrobe in an attempt to be more organised than usual (Coincidently, Handmade by Carolyn has been drawing what she's been wearing in hers which I've been really enjoying reading about)

It is seriously easy to use, I am a terrible artist but the dot figures make a huge difference and it's so much fun!

All the patterns and fabric will be from my stash and it was nice thinking about what will go with what, and what I need to round out my wardrobe. I found it easier to assess with the drawings than written notes.

Thankyou Beajay!

A quick update in my stash busting...apparently I'm terrible at resisting because I went to a garage sale and bought a few pieces of material, purple and black lace, teal sateen, mint stretch drill and a couple knits. The lady gave me a 1958 Singer 319K....yep she GAVE it to me, as if I'd say no!! Its scrubbed up a treat and lots of oil means it turning over nicely now, just needs a powercord/foot pedal (and my Dad to lathe up a new bobbin spindle). It was one of the first zig zag machines and has cool typewriter like keys on the top for the 'design stitches'!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Vogue 8774: Corduroy jeans


I've had this stretchy thin wale corduroy in my stash for awhile, I got it on the clearance table at Spotlight ages ago. Its got a lot of stretch and is a purple/burgundy colour.

I used Vogue 8774 again and since I only did shorts on the last pair I didn't realise the legs were so straight. I shaped them a bit to be tighter on the thigh and flare slightly from the knee but next version I'm going to frankenpattern on the Thurlow legs.

I did an adjustable waistband again, I stuffed up somehow though and did the waistband narrower than the last pair and couldn't do any topstitching as I could only barely fit the elastic through!

I used a metal zipper and the facings are cotton that was from a garage sale.

I've never had a pair of corduroy pants before and they feel funny to walk in, its like the cord acts like Velcro on itself! They are seriously comfy though and something different than the usual denim jeans plus it was stash fabric!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Stashbusting Sewalong

"I, Suzy, commit to using as many pieces as possible of stash fabric in 2013. I am committing to not buying any fabric just because its cheap and only getting fabric I have a clear idea for and is a natural fabric (no more polyester knits!)"

Shelves of apparel fabric

So the stash.....when I started sewing I would buy one piece of fabric, sew it up then buy another.....That went out the window pretty quick! To be fair, I only have Spotlight and Lincraft locally so when I see anything of decent quality on the clearance table/on sale I tend to snatch it up, but I still have way too much fabric and its time to cut right back!

Quilting fabric stash
I'm going to the Melbourne shopping day in February so I'm not buying anything until then and then am hoping to get over to Melbourne again in August for another shopping trip (yay, tax time!). Plus any extra money saved is going towards a new sewing machine (Janome 1600p-qc, mainly for quilting but will be used for normal sewing too, its ordered and going on layby next week!).

All my linings and satins are stuffed in the big drawers

The challenge is being held at Cation Designs and there is set challenges each month to do or like me, you can just sew as you please.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Vogue 8774: Denim Shorts

At the risk of disagreeing with everyone in the sewing world I have to admit I like this pattern so much more than Jalie 2908 *cowers*. I just think on me its more flattering and I had to do a lot less adjustments to it (in fact the crotch curves were nearly identical and the rise was only slightly off compared to my pants block) and no fisheye dart! I did stuff the front pockets up though and next pair will have them about an inch higher.

The denim is a mystery one from the op-shop. It has a bit of stretch and is nice and thick unfortunately I only had enough for shorts not jeans. Facings are a cotton from Spotlight.

I'm still on a mission for the ultimate waistband so this idea is stolen completely from my son's jeans! I added in extra seams when piecing the waistband facing and then threaded through elastic that I put buttonholes in. I like this so far, its adjustable, stable and is very easy to take out if I don't like it and slip stich up the openings. I actually saw a pair of high end RTW jeans while op-shopping that had a similar set up and a friend just bought a new skirt that had wide elastic as the actual facing which I found quite interesting. (a quick update - I have been wearing these around for a couple of days now and can report that the adjustable waistband is working a treat!)

Topstitching is done with upholstery thread which my machine likes a lot better than actual topstitching thread. Next version might have the yoke wider too.

I did faux felled seams and used bias tape around the hem as I cut the shorts too short!

The photos were taken down at Robe, SA at the Obelisk on a day out at the beach, it was beautiful down there!

BREAKING NEWS!! If you haven't yet seen BeaJay's blog head over and check out the Plus size pattern pyramid. A way for everyone to join in the pattern pyramid fun even if you don't fit in the smaller sizes!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sewaholic 1205: Cordova Jacket.

After finishing my bodice block the other day I wanted to try using it on a pattern and seeing as this was a shoulder princess seam jacket pattern I figured it was a good one to try.

I find using the pants block quite easy, just line up the crotch line and grainlines and then trace, but there is so much more to using the bodice block. The back was quite easy to do but the front gave me fits! Because my side front was so different to the pattern piece I wasn't quite sure where to line up and trace from but I ended up lining the underarm seam and making sure the grainlines were parallel. Then I walked the seams to check and used a nice wide fitting allowance on the side seams.

It worked quite well, this is the fit with no muslin and no paper pin fitting just cutting straight into fabric and sewing (I do check fit as I sew though). I suppose after using it a few times it will become a lot easier and intuitive and eventually it will be fantastic to actually draft my own patterns (and if nothing else its been great for a dressform cover!)

So about the jacket; Size was a 16 with a FBA.

 The pattern comes with a one piece sleeve with a pleated sleeve cap but I used a 2 piece sleeve from McCalls 5936.
I used a polar fleece fabric and left it unlined. The insides are serged with bias binding at the hem and neckline.

I haven't sewn with polar fleece much and it stretches out a lot more than I thought. I ended up taking it in by an inch on each side before these pics and I reckon I could take it in more again, but at least its out of my stash and its a nicer version of a basic hoodie!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Butterick 4443: Summer voile dress


Its starting to get really hot here and I love a cool cotton dress in the hot weather. I made this pattern last year and really liked it, very comfortable to wear, but this time I wanted a cooler fabric and for it to be shorter.
The fabric is a cotton voile from Spotlight, its vaguely see through so I lined the bodice in a stretch poplin but left the skirt in a single layer. I'll be wearing this around home or as a swimsuit coverup so it doesn't worry me if its a little bit thin.

Same adjustments as last time; size 20 with a 1" FBA and about 4-5" added to the back for shirring

With the shirring,  I don't think I've mentioned it but I always run a 6mm elastic through the very top row to stop it from gaping (I picked it up from a RTW dress I had). I also ran some elastic through the bottom row as well as it was a bit loose when I tried it on.

It was perfect to wear today down at the swimming lake, nice and cool in the heat wave we're having this week and easy to take on and off over bathers!