Thursday, January 29, 2015

Oliver + S: Sunday Brunch Jacket


Its that time of the year again to make mini jackets - my friends daughter is turning 4 and I wanted a pretty little jacket for her to wear to kindy that could still get thrown through the washing machine.

I never realised Spotlight stocked Oliver + S patterns until I spotted (heh) this on a clearance rack with 2 other patterns. I've always wanted to try them out so this one came home with me.

The fabric is leftover from this dress and the lining is a thin satin from Clear It in Melbourne, buttons are from clear it too.

The pattern itself is well drafted, the sizing is pretty much near identical to Australian kids RTW (I did some snoop shopping at Target with my tape measure!).

Some changes: I added more interfacing than required - interfaced the upper front and half of the lower front, using a medium knit weft fusible on the lower and some armoweft on the collar and the upper front for extra stability.

I added a lining as this fabric is a poly knit and I didn't want it exposed inside.
I assembled it slightly differently to the directions, so I could bag the lining plus I did some extra topstitching on the cuffs so when it gets washed everything stays where its meant to!

It didn't use as much fabric as the pattern said, only about 60cm x 150cms.

This is the third jacket I've made for Miss 4, first is here and the second is here.

Friday, January 23, 2015

KwikSew 3988: Yoga pants

More gym pants!

Kwik Sew 3988
I made view B with the legs shortened to just under my knee.

I'm not really sure what to say about this pattern - I am happy with the end product but the pattern itself was kind of weirdly drafted and the instructions were littered with spelling mistakes......

So the good things are: I like the way the waistband is constructed, it feels firm when done and I like the addition of elastic to the seam to stabilise it. I also like the design elements of the 2 piece waistband and the topstitching. I like how the waistband is finished and I like the shape of the legs.

The bad things are: Terrible crotch shape, the front barely has a curve. Here's a photo of the front pattern piece - the black lines are the original pattern and the red lines are my changes;

The back isn't much better either

Agreeably I normally have to add to the inner leg seam but the sizing is way off too. Going by the measurement chart the size XL should have been too small (I'm 39" waist and the XL is for a 37" waist) but I took about 7" from the waist measurement and it now fits me fine. I really should have started with a medium and added to the inner leg length but a Medium is meant to be for a 29" waist....

The fabric is from the clearance table at spotlight - its a cotton spandex and isn't too bad a quality, nice and stretchy with good recovery and even though its quite thin its not clingy or shiny.

So a bit of a mixed review, I will be making it again since I've adjusted it now but I wouldn't recommend it unless you are happy to make a muslin and do some fitting. Honestly if you are looking for a good yoga pant I would say the Style Arc becky yoga pant is miles better.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Closet Case Files: Ginger Shorts


Ginger shorts (jorts?). My daughter has a pair of piping hot shorts that has some design features that I wanted to copy, they have bright pink serging that's exposed with the cuff turned up plus a bright pink topstitched back pockets. I tried to get the same feel with these shorts but I don't think I went quite far enough and the single topstitched back pocket just looks odd to me now.


Nothing new fit wise (same as the last pair of jeans, I did notice excess on the side of my leg that didn't show up in my jeans so I've adjusted the pattern for next time.
The fabric was a remnant scrap from a garage sale, just managed to squeeze the shorts out of it and the pocket bags are a quilting cotton from my stash.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Fehr Trade: Surf to Summit top

I've been looking for a rash vest for summer for myself and haven't managed to find a decent one that fits so I was pretty happy when I saw this pattern.

I like the fact that its got princess seams and the raglan sleeves are great way to colourblock. I did have some issues fitting it, I've always had trouble with raglan sleeves on me and finally worked out that it was from not enough sleeve cap length (thanks to some fitting posts by Mrs Mole).

So even though it took 2 muslins, they were quick to whip up on the serger and I'm glad I know how to adjust it on future raglan tops.

Final version:
  • Sz L (I measure as the XL on the chart but wanted a closer fitting top)
  • 1" FBA
  • Added about 3" to the sleeve cap length in two separate areas - the top was rotated out to form a shoulder dart.
  • Lowered the front neckline (this is a personal thing with me, I hate the feel of a high neckline)
  • pinned out excess at the side bust/sleeve/waistline.
  • Fabric - the aqua is lycra knit from spotlight and the sleeves are an poly knit also from spotlight.

A couple of fitting pics;

Muslin 1 - the sleeve on the left is the standard sleeve and the right is one that I have cut to release, you can see how much lower its sitting. Its also a sz XL and feels a bit big.

Muslin 1
Muslin 2 - Graded back down to a sz L, added 1.5" to the sleeve cap length and rotated it out to a shoulder dart.
It still needs more sleeve cap length so the sleeve on the right has had another 1.5" added to the sleeve cap.
I also pinned out some excess at the waist and side bust/sleeve and transferred it onto the paper pattern.

Muslin 2
Final version - pretty happy, just have to play with the shoulder dart to make it perfect (needs to be a bit longer and angled back about 1/2"). Also needs a swayback adjustment.

I made matching swimsuit bottoms to go with the top, they are just traced from a pair of RTW undies with a fold over band added to the top. These are the second pair, I made the first and then decided I wanted more coverage at the back and a little more room in the hips and the waistband made smaller.

I wore it all out for a swim on the weekend and it was really good, very comfy and the rash vest dries so much quicker than a tshirt and is a lot better in the water.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014 Year in review

It feels like I haven't done as much sewing this year as previously, my work hours have increased and I've been concentrating on karate (I achieved my black belt in early December). I have focussed a bit more on fit and what I wear so have been sewing more basics and knit garments. Fit is such a funny thing, as soon as I feel I have something nailed I pick up another adjustment that needs to be worked out!

In summary I've sewn about 35 garments and 8 of them were for other people (this doesn't include the 200 odd prem baby gowns and memory blanket sets). I've actually sewn a bit more than I thought!

My top 3 most worn,


Thankyou for all the lovely comments on my garments for the last year and here's to another year of happy sewing!