Monday, December 28, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
This vintage pattern just happens to perfectly fit my brother-in-law, he of the unfortunate crotch placement fame.
So I made this vest for him. This is the only gift that is actually a request. He wanted a yellow vest, so he got a yellow vest. The piece of fantastic wool cost me 50c at the op shop about 5 years ago, the dark grey lining is from stash and I don't even remember buying it. I have a lot left. The buttons were purchased for a jacket earlier in the year and then I changed my mind. I would have to say that this goes close to being my favourite garment this year. The checks match, my understitching is even and the wool sits perfectly on the body. You can't tell from this picture but I cut the welt pocket on the bias.
Monday, December 21, 2009
This is the first of many christmas gifts. A bag from a McCalls pattern which I don't have to hand to tell you the number. The pattern is for quilted fabric but I used canvas interfaced with a very stiff fusible. I'm still trying to get the wretched chalk marks off!This is the interior with a cute, loud lining I had leftover from a dress from many years ago. Another christmas bag, one again made from the free Hot Patterns Sumatra bag. I will never make this again - trying to jam those *&%^# handles into my sewing machine nearly did my head in. This is a curtain fabric I bought at a remnants sale the other day. It's quite thick. These are the recipients favourite colours.
Here's a t shirt I made in about five minutes. I was trawling through my stash looking for something to line the black bag in and I found this remnant (the remains of something from a thousand years ago). I don't like blue - I don't wear blue, but I know a lady who loves it. I stopped my searching and went straight to my TNT KwikSew t shirt pattern. This was cut and sewn up in under 40 minutes. The quickest, cheapest gift of all!
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Here's a shot enroute. Just below the people in this picture is a large esky full of champagne that was empty by the time we arrived at the races. I might add that I wasn't drinking it - I was one of three sober people on the day. You can also see that the incredible art work is inside the bus as well as out. We stayed upstairs for the whole trip. Here's the last shot of the night, taken on the way into Byron Bay. I ask you, would you trust any of these dentists to work on your teeth?
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
I cut a straight 10, but should have cut an 8. I left out the zip and cut the back on the fold so I thought I might need the extra room. Consequently it's a little loose, but it's OK with the sash.
I can't say I love the dress, but it's a good addition to my wardrobe and it will be comfortable to wear tonight to the final evening on the Mullum Music Festival. It's only the second year this has been running and it's a great success. It's a bit like the Blues Festival used to be fifteen years ago before they started booking acts like REM and attracting a different audience and turning me off. (Having said that, I just noticed today that next year Lyle Lovett is playing, so I may revise my opinion come next Easter!) Last night I saw two incredible young Australian artists: Sal Kimber and the Rolling Wheel, a very interesting folk rock/indie/country ish artist with an amazing voice and an incredible girl drummer (which meant I liked them before they even starting playing). The second was Jordie Lane who I'd put in a similar category to Luka Bloom (he's the son of commedienne Denise Scott for you Aussies). I also saw Vulgargrad, purely because the name of the band and their description of themselves as vodka fuelled swinging ska punk gulag style amused me. If you've seen Moulin Rouge, you will recall the guy who performed a very guttural rendition of Roxanne - he's the lead singer of Vulgargrad.
Tonight I will be wearing my new dress to see M Jack Bee, who is young and handsome and I'm told can even sing, The Stetson Family, about whom I know nothing but I like their name. I'll be finishing off the night with Huckleberry Swedes, whose name is great but I think I like the idea of their electrified country rhythm and soul, whatever that might be!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
It's the Hot Patterns Sumatra Shopper. I downloaded the pattern free from fabric.com ages ago with a view to making these for christmas presents. This fabric is a gorgeous cherry red canvas from Gorgeous Fabrics. The pattern calls for the pleated bit to be mounted onto canvas or the like, which I did. As my canvas was very sturdy I did not interface it, although I bought a roll of very stiff fusible interfacing for the purpose. The end result is a little softer than I would have liked. The bag is very easy to make, although wrestling the bamboo rings into place was a nightmare. Saturday afternoon I walked away while I was still sane and during the night came up with an alternative method to sew it all together. Today I've had this sucker jammed into both of my sewing machines so there was a lot of cursing, but I got there in the end. The topstitching is embarrassing and tomorrow I will buy some beads to sew around the bit where the handle is stitched on to cover my crappy sewing. My conclusion is this; the bags I make for gifts will be made from pretty quilting cottons. I will use the same canvas mount, but I will interface it for a stiffer bag, but only to the stitching line. I steamed and pressed the life out of these seams and they still won't sit flat, so I hope my new method will solve that. This bag goes into service tomorrow as my new gym bag. Oh, here's a bad shot of the interior which I lined with leftovers from a shirt I made about 7 years ago.
I've made Vogue 9668 several times before and while all versions are wearable, the fit has never been quite right During the week I tried on all the old versions and made some notes about why they didn't look right or felt uncomfortable. I dragged out the original pattern and put my traced version over it and found I had made a major cock up by making the front bodice piece about 3cm wider than it needed to be! No wonder I'd had trouble fitting it all together before! I retraced the bits I needed and altered them accordingly. As I was hoping to make a white version of this dress for SWAP and embellish the waistband, I was keen to get this right. I dragged out some old poly seersuckerish stuff that came from the op shop for 50c (no idea what it is, but its kinda stiff and totally see through as you can see).
The short version is this: I made this dress fit perfectly. Here is it without the lining in the skirt. Since this was taken I have inserted a black charmeuse lining and hemmed it with some wide lace I bought at the op in a mixed bag for $1. The dress is finished perfectly, fits perfectly and looks lovely. Except, of course, when I put it on. I have finally realised that the problem was not with the dress, it was with me. This is simply not my style. The nipped in waist points very blatanly to the fact that my waist is way smaller than my hips. And not in a good way. Even in slimming black this dress makes me look HUGE. I think it's the way the v neck and the shaped waistband all point to a narrow bit and them my hips blossom out from under there. I am very disappointed because I love this dress. I have to let it go and work on something else. I'm thinking it might be Vogue 8594. Or I might just make the tops I had planned.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
I didn't do much else this weekend, although I have cut out two dresses, traced two patterns and drafted another Enid Gilchrist pattern for my SWAP. I'm back to the drawing board now ...
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Next up is a blouse I made from a vintage McCalls pattern I bought at the op shop a while ago. I bought this fabric to co-orodinate with my June Capsule but never got around to actually making it.I've always wanted a floaty tie neck blouse and I made this straight out of the envelope. The pattern says size 12 with a 34" bust, which has worked out perfectly. It's dated 1980, but it's pretty timeless and I'm sure I will use it again. The only thing wrong with this pattern was the instructions. It's a Palmer and Pletsch with instructions for making sewing quicker and easier (apparently). Instead of sewing in the order I normally would sew a blouse, it has you do a bunch of things at the same time so you press them all at once, therefore minimising the amount of time you are up and down to the ironing board. Jumping from one section to another was confusing. When it started talking about sewing the cuff on the sleeve at the same time as sewing the collar, I put the instructions aside and made it up, which resulted in my tie being left off rather than stitched on with the collar. Ah well, a separate scarf/tie might come in useful. I haven't decided buttons for this yet, so the buttonholes aren't done, but it fits well and I like the way this looks on.I've got a few other tops planned for the rest of the week, so I'm back to the cutting table.
Friday, November 6, 2009
I've been shuffling fabrics and patterns around, trying to sort out things to make for SWAP this year. I came across a lovely piece of black linen that I have no recollection of buying, although I think I know where I got it from. It's a beautiful weight and absolutely perfect for the subtropics. I did have a different pattern in mind, but then I discovered this one, which really appeals to me. Considering that I don't actually like ruffles, that's a bit of a surprise to me. I've decided to make the sleeveless version, but add the ruffle. I've decided to put the black linen aside for SWAP and make this out of a light cotton with orange and brown spots. I think this will be revisited a few times this summer.
I'm putting the black linen on hold until SWAP time.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Although I found it interesting at the time, I didn't actually ever think I would draft a pattern from these instructions.
But I did and it was easy! From this shot you can see the dress that inspired mine.
Rather than sewing, this weekend I have drafted four patterns from this book from scratch. I've even muslined one of them. I won't bore you with pictures of my patterns or the ugly muslin, but I am rather proud of my achievements.
One pattern will be my Chanel inspired jacket. I am dedicating the next week to that project in a vague attempt to make the November 15 deadline. I will also use a lengthened version of the jacket for my SWAP. I also traced two dresses. For the basic dress there is a choice of sleeve lengths, a choice of necklines and two different dart placement styles. In coming weeks, I will show you more pictures from the book to give you an idea of how useful this 20c book is. In fact,I may never have to buy another pattern again!
The rest of my weekend has been taken up in altering a few patterns to make them TNTs. I've even frankenpatterned two pairs of pants into one for DH, so he now has a TNT pants and shirt pattern.
To round off my non sewing weekend, I placed a fabric order and will now spend the rest of my evening thinking about SWAP 2010.