Sunday, November 30, 2008

Weekend sewing ...

I've had a fairly productive weekend, sewing wise. I've traced off a load of patterns, I've cut out several garments, I've muslined a special event dress, I've made the shell of a jacket and I've finished a blouse.

The blouse is BWOF 1-2008-108 and is the second top from my SWAP. I've made this before in short and long sleeved versions and its safe to say this is probably now my TNT blouse pattern. It comes together fairly quickly and it fits me straight, if you don't count the extra centimetre I added in to the bicep band. I eased up on the weight I was lifting with my biceps so I didn't get too big, but my trainer tells me it's not my biceps getting bigger, it's my triceps! At least they won't be waving in the breeze!

I've been inspired by Cidell's wonderful tuxedo front blouse. She mentioned that she found it hard to do an all white blouse. Although my blouse is cream (yes, I know you can't tell from my crappy photo), like Cidell I still struggled with the all one colour thing. So I topstitched with rainbow thread. This photo doesn't show the full range of the thread colours, but I really like it. I opted to do the button holes in cream, although I will admit I seriously considered the rainbow thread. The buttons are off white with a pearl effect through them that shows pink and blue. I tried to photograph them but couldn't make it happen, so you'll have to believe me. Looking back at these photos, I realise that Vera's tits are way more ... perky ... than mine. Perhaps that's why I'm having trouble using her to actually fit garments!

I love, love, love this blouse and will probably wear it tomorrow. After I've pressed it properly. You'll see this pattern a lot more.

The jacket I've started is Kwik Sew 3334. This has got to be the easiest jacket I've ever made. The pattern is unlined, but I'm lining it in a white matt satin that I found recently at a really cheap price. Can't remember how much, but I remember it was cheap so I bought a lot.
The pattern doesn't call for shoulder pads, but I've shoved a pair in and I think they help. These are a little too big, you can see them poking out at the neckline, but I will get a smaller pair tomorrow. The fabric is from Fashionista Fabrics and is called Spring Tweed. I've never sewed with a boucle like this, but I am very happy with the results so far. Although you can hardly see them, I even did bound buttonholes.

I'm really looking forward to finishing this one, even though I won't be able to wear it for six months!

The other thing I did this weekend was make a muslin for Vogue 7365. I'm making View C to wear to a 50th birthday party in Sydney in a few weeks. It's being held in an art deco building, so I decided to go with an art deco theme. This dress has all the classic art deco styling from the 30's, with the bias cut and lines. I've chosen black satin back crepe or crepe back satin and the straps will be a string of diamantes, with a diamante art deco leaf brooch (borrowed from a friend) at the back. I'm making a bag to go with it, but I'll post about that later in the week. That's all for now, I'm off to have a glass of red wine and cut out a skirt.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Vera's first SWAP garment

I've completed my first garment for my SWAP. It's orange. It's Kwik Sew 3497. I like it but don't love it. I'm not sure I'd make the mock wrap front again. Quite frankly, that much fabric over my stomach in this climate is way too hot. I'll make the plain front though. I'll also use clear elastic on the armholes as well as the neck. It gapes a little. It fits me better than Vera, but it still gapes.

Cidell and I had a discussion this week about making separates that languish in the closet because we have nothing to pair with it. For this reason alone, I have undertaken the SWAP and as Cidell said, we will have a workable wardrobe if it kills us. This top sat on my coffee table still pinned to the pattern for a week. I have never left a garment pinned to a pattern before and I don't want to make a habit of it. Part of the reason for that was that I'm not terribly confident with knits. I can do loads of things that others find difficult, but knits scare the crap out of me. I seem to have mastered the twin needle thing finally, so I'm rather happy with the way the neckline has turned out.

Apropos of nothing - here is the view from my sewing room. I took the picture from outside because the window is filthy and you wouldn't have seen past the cobwebs.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

An addition to Vera's summer wardrobe ...

I've finished another frock for Vera, once again made with Vogue 9668. I think this is View C. The fabric does not show up as warmly as it is in real life. I've had a bit of a fascination with orange for a while now and it has sneaked into my wardrobe in many ways. This morning I was looking at my favourite blogs and noticed that Erica has posted a lovely photo from her sewing room showing all the luscious autumn colours that I never get to see here in the subtropics. I am very envious of the view from her sewing room. When I was photographing Vera in her new dress I tried to capture a little of the background I see every day. Not much orange there.

I also took a picture of the back so you could see how badly I mismatched the pattern. I noticed when I was uploading, that you can see the back of Grant's crappy old orange kombi in the background as well as Molly the orange dog. Oh and the tree hanging over Vera's head is an African tulip tree which I just realised has orange flowers (and should not be in an Australian rural garden).

That's all for now. I'm off to start on my SWAP ...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

SWAP 2009

Foolishly or not, I've decided to have a go at a real life, full on SWAP. That means I need to make eleven garments between now and April 30 next year. As I didn't realise this was happening until last Friday, my plans are only half baked, but here they are any way.

I need to make the following;

1 jacket or coat

4 bottoms

6 tops

They all must suit a week in my real life. Here's what I propose;

1 jacket made from a lovely spring tweed purchased from Fashionista Fabrics. I have a few ideas for this one, but will probably go for Kwik Sew 3334.

I'll make a skirt in the same tweed from an old Vogue Claude Montana pattern I found at the op shop for 20c. It has a nicely tapered skirt, rather than straight, which seems a little more flattering. I may also make an a line or box pleat skirt from a very old New Look pattern that I have made to death. Depends on what fabric I find - I'm thinking orange.

I'll definitely make a denim skirt from BWOF 1-2008-109.

I'll definitely make jeans from an as yet undetermined pattern.

I'll probably make a pair of Vogue Alice and Olivia pants from a caramel stretch sateen ($4 at the op shop).

Tops are undecided. Most likely I'll get BWOF 1-2008-108 in there somewhere, although I may lose the puff sleeves and do regular ones. I have a whole pile of patterns for tops and blouses that I'll audition in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, here is my very rudimentary story board so far ...

Go Patterns

I've just completed another dress for Vera from the fantastic Go Patterns 4001 dress. This is the second time I've made it. Last time was in orange and gold poly satin This time I've made it in a day fabric, in fact a piece of grey and black striped cotton blend loosely woven something or other that I picked up at an op shop for $4 (and I still have plenty to make a blouse). I had a recycled invisible zip in my stash and the white poly lining I used came from a 10metre length I bought a few weeks ago for about $2 a metre. The grey thread I had in my stash (that is a perfect match) came from a plastic bag of about six half used reels of mixed colours that I bought at an op shop for 50c. All in all, the dress cost me around $5.

I'm pretty happy with the way this turned out and was pleasantly surprised to see that the stripes matched up and I didn't even try!

Here's a picture of me wearing it with a pair of favourite black slingbacks and a little cropped cardigan that has become a fast favourite this spring. It's really hard to take a decent picture of yourself in the mirror, but at least it gives you an idea of how it looks. I've tried it with red shoes and cardigan as well, but I couldn't get a decent picture at all, so I gave up. In this picture you can also see the mirror is part of a beautiful vintage wardrobe that I bought recently for $90 (it's around 1930's) and restored to use as a linen press in my bathroom. Sorry about the mess in the background.
That's all for now. I'm back off down to my sewing room to finish planning my SWAP. Watch out for a post outlining my plans ...