Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Vogue 8751 again!

I managed to score some wool blend suiting on clearance for $3 a meter the other day, perfect for another pair of these pants. The wool was a bit scratchy even after a wash so I figured I'd have a go at underlining them. The wool fabric also has 3% lycra so I needed a lining with stretch and its one thing I don't have in my stash so in my wisdom I decided to cut a rayon lining on the bias....I couldn't find any info on bias cut linings but figured I'd baste them on and sew like normal. It was a bit of a PITB, I basted them on and they twisted a bit so I had to unpick and rebaste. Even now they feel like they are twisting slightly. This week Lincraft has their 50% fabric sale so I'm going to stock up a bit on some stretch linings and stash them aside as the underlining does feel so luxurious that I'd love to do it again.

Otherwise these are identical to the last pair and a good practise go at a suit (jacket and pants) I'm planning to make from the other 6m of this suiting that may have followed me home!

On another note I signed up for Susan Khaljie's Couture course over at Craftsy last week. Very impressed so far - Susan is very charismatic in front of the camera and I love how interactive it is - I've already asked her a question and she replied very quickly! I already had the pattern so I've started - marked my pattern pieces and cut out my muslin, just have to trace all the details on. I'm already learning new things - I've never paid so much attention to grain lines before, and never used transfer paper either. I'll post up pictures of my muslin once I've got it sewn together.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Butterick 4443

With the hot weather we've been having lately I've been wearing a simple cotton shirred dress I got ages ago at Kmart - it has a hole in it and is too short but it's the coolest dress I have. So I figured I would make a nice simple dress for hot weather.
I got this cotton satin at the same time I got this and this from the Spotlight clearance table (I do buy fabric elsewhere too, lol, but I can never resist nice fabric marked down to $2 and $3 a metre!)
This a size 20 with a 1" FBA and 4" added to the back for shirring.
My princess seams have been rippling lately at the very top of the seam - I finally figured that while I've been doing a FBA, I haven't been dropping the bust line, so this time I dropped it by about an inch. I still have the rippling, not as bad, so I'm not sure now if it's from the bias edge of the side front panel, or if I need to take it in very slightly at the very top.
I shirred the back again (even though there's heaps of tutorials online, would anyone be interested in how I do it?)

I used the pockets out of S2588

Most of my RTW strapless dresses/tops have a line of elastic around the front to help keep them up, so I sewed a channel and threaded some through - it does make it feel more secure!

I like this pattern - it sewed up so quickly!

I'm wearing this today for an Australia Day BBQ with a cardigan over the top (my Dad doesn't like tattoo's so I cover up when we go around there!) So Happy Australia Day to all the Aussies out there!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Blank Canvas Tee

My favourite casual top is a kimono knit t-shirt I found at the op shop. I wear it a lot! I tried to copy it once but it just didn't work out right so I was so happy to see that Steph from 3 hours past the edge of the world posted up her Blank Canvas Tee pattern as a free download - its a kimono sleeve tee fitted through the bust and looser on the tummy, my ideal weekend t-shirt!

I downloaded a 45 and got to work. The first version up in a jersey I found thrifting but I found it a bit too tight (I'm a 46"/47" bust) and too short - I want a couple mainly for the gym so I like them fairly long for when I'm doing weights.

Second version is an interlock from Clear-it, an Alannah Hill outlet in Melbourne. I added about 2-3" in total width and a good 5" in length. It's a bit looser than I usually wear for a top, but I wanted it real casual and easy. I've been wearing it to the gym this week and its been great!

Third version is out of a mecury jersey, its a lot silker (and a lot harder to sew!). It's a slinkier tee, but a bit clingy too. I think I actually prefer the more thicker material for a top like this I have a few too many lumps and bumps for clingy tops.

Neckline (and I am so overdue for a haircut!!)

This is the first time I've had neck binding come out looking so good, the instructions are brilliant! For the arm and bottom hems I used hem tape and ran two lines of stitching around.

So, thanks StephC!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Colette Pattern: 1003 Parfait blouse

So the parfait.....I did the right thing and made a muslin in a straight size 18 (I can usually get away without a FBA in colette patterns). It fit pretty good - I wanted to do some shirring on the back though so I added 4" in total width to the back and redrew the midriff curve slightly to sit a bit better. Plus hacked off a lot in length to make it into a top instead of a dress.
I made the first version up in a striped drill (totally ripping off Julia Bobbins version!!), I found I had a weird dip happening at the top of the midriff band and I ended up with too much excess under the arm. So it turned into muslin #2......I fixed the excess by making a dart and rotating it out into extra gathering (like Patty the Snug Bug did here) and redrew the midriff curve again.

So the final version - the excess under the arms is gone, but I still have the dip happening. Looking around most of the parfaits I look at seem to have it to a small degree, but not as bad. I'm not sure if its the centre shape of the midriff or the way I'm shaped or a combination of both, but to be honest I'm not sure if I can be bothered to fix it, its a pretty top/dress but I'm not sure if I'd make it again

The fabric is a voile I got at the Spotlight clearance table. I underlined it with a percale sheet I got at the op shop and used a medium interfacing on the fabric and the facings of the midriff band and straps.

I really like the shape of the straps, they are a 2 piece strap and are angled on the top of the shoulder which makes them sit smooth on the shoulder instead of having a gap under the outer side which I always seem to get.

So not sure about if this is a winner or not - it's funny to think that before I started sewing the only consideration of fit I made was if I could squeeze into it or not! I'm a bit too fussy these days and have to stop myself overfitting everything!

PS - I always find it easier to see details of clothing if its on a neutral background so I strung up a heap of white lining I was given to give a backdrop for my photos. Hope it helps!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Victory patterns 1002: Ava Blouse

After reading about Victory Patterns over at Lazy Stitching I decided to get the Ava dress/blouse.
The pattern recommends woven fabrics but I used a purple ponte double knit I had in my stash, because I used a knit I ended up making a couple sizes smaller than normal - a 14 through the shoulders with a 2" FBA which I rotated into 3 darts. Its the first time I've actually made a wearable top with darts in it - they look like they still need work but at least I can wear it! The best thing about the fabric was I could leave out the zipper! I dropped the neckline too by around an inch or 2.

The sweetheart neckline reminds me a lot of Colette Macaron, but I like the peplum and blouse option more on this pattern, and I'm actually surprised at how pretty and flattering it is - I was worried the peplum would add too much around my hips, but I love the soft drape it has, and its so comfortable!

I had a bit of trouble with the binding around the neckline and armholes. It twisted a bit on me, I think it was because I cut the binding a bit wider than recommended and didn't sew it tight enough (which was all my fault, not the patterns!), so I ended up doubling it over again and stitching again just to get a smooth finish. If it was any other fabric that lace I would have unpicked it but I found it was way too easy to cut through the lace by mistake when unpicking.

The instructions were quite good - lots of pictures which I always like. The pattern itself went together really well too - the few dodgy bits are all my mistakes! I'll definately be making it again and I'll do the binding better. I'd like to have a go with the dress too - the pattern comes with 3 different lengths - blouse, short dress and tea length dress, it'd make a very pretty dress.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

BurdaStyle Handbook: Coat

So after reviewing the BurdaStyle handbook and not being overly excited about it, my daughter found a coat when thrifting that she loved but was too small. The closest pattern i had was the Burdastyle coat with a few adjustments. Now let me preface this with saying that I very rarely sew for my daughter these days - she never seems to appreciate it and the few things I have sewn for her in the past sit in her wardrobe never worn. Still I thought I'd give this a go, so I first made her a muslin which was way too small, after I realised I hadn't added in seam allowances (D'oh!), I retraced the pattern and tissue fitted her. I made a Sz 40, graded out to a 44 at the waist. Its a bit big on her at the moment, but she want's to be able to wear a jumper/hoodie under it in winter and for it to last all year without growing out of it.

On the coat skirt, I turned the pleats into darts and rotated them out to form a A-Line skirt plus added some width as she wanted it gathered around the waist. I shortened the bodice by 2", raised the bust line by 1", added about 1/2" to both arm and back width - She swims alot and I think thats why her shoulders/back are a little bit bigger than average.

I added belt loops and made a very simple belt. Lots of topstiching everywhere I could fit it too!

The main fabric is an uncoated Twill that was in the home decorater section, it was the closest colour and fabric match we could find and looks and feels like a cotton drill. Its not really photgraphing well, its a deep emerald colour in real life.
The lining was some satin I got off the clearance table at Spotlight. I must say I put it up with the worst fabric I've ever sewn, its very thin and really slippery, it acts like a bias cut fabric even when its on grain, good thing it looks so nice! I bagged the lining out from the instructions in Jackets for Real People (gee those book titles get me every time - is there a series for plastic people too, lol)

I installed a hidden pocket inbetween the facing and lining from the instructions in Kenneth Kings Cool Couture, plus put piping around all the facings

I'm actually really happy with it - it feels quite young and bright which suits her, and I love the contrast of the bright satin lining. If I made it again I'd make the pockets lots bigger and lower - she has trouble getting her hands in. At least she wanted to wear it as soon as I'd finished so I think I've made a winner!

I'm not quite sure why I've had the urge to make jackets in the middle of Summer - same reason why I make dresses in winter I suppose!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Simplicity 2601 rockabilly version

I got this fabric with the intention to make boxer shorts out of it, but when I saw it hanging on the clothesline I thought it would make a nice blouse to wear under my cardigans.

I did the same adjustments I did with my other 2601 (Sz18 with a 1" FBA and 2" back width). The armholes feel a bit tight though, so I think I might need to unpick them yet and cut some size out.

I don't think its quite as flattering as my polkadot version, but it's still quite wearable.
The satin was a bit of a bugger to sew, I used quite a small needle (75/10),and more pins than normal but I still have some puckering mostly where the edges are finished with the bias binding.

I used satin bias binding to finish the inside again

We've had a bit of a heat wave here, each day last week has been over 35 degrees celcius with Sunday being 42! So I've done little to no sewing and lots of lying around in the pool or reading!

I've started the prep work for the Sewaholic Minoru jacket - I made a muslin for me but wasn't happy with the look, so I decided to make it for my daughter. I've found the ease isn't quite enough going by the size chart, I muslined her a size 8 at the shoulders, graded to a 10 at the waist then a 6 at the hips, but we found it a bit tight on the arms and the waist, plus she want's it really gathered at the waist, so I'm thinking a 12 through the shoulders graded out to a 16 at the waist/hips, any excess can be gathered at the waist as I'd rather it a bit big than too small.