Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Disjointed travel wardrobe

Sewing is done for my disjointed travel wardrobe. These shorts are from BWOF 05-09 and I think they are 103 but I can't remember. The fabric is more of the very fine Vera Wang wool that I used in the skirt in the last post. Pockets and facing are the same spot cotton. Nothing remarkable, but the fit is good and they will be comfortable.

This is another blouse from BWOF 02-10-114. Something unprecedented happened with this blouse: I don't not have suitable buttons in my stash so I HAD TO BUY SOME! These buttons were perfect ( from Moo Moo Stitches last Sunday in an emergency). The thing is, these buttons cost $2 each, totalling $20 and the fabric only cost me $10! But I love this blouse and it will get loads of wear. When it's time to toss it, I will keep the buttons. The close up is not too good, sorry. They are dyed shell with little flowers carved into them.

I made the longer version of this blouse also. I think it is 113 from the same BWOF issue. I used the oversized collar and stand, but did not use the outrageous oversized turn-back cuffs. I think they'd just piss me off after a while. Having made this blouse three times in a week, with three different fabrics I have to say the sleeve head is too big. I never have trouble inserting sleeves and I assumed it that the spot cotton was just harder to ease. Both the red one and this one have stretch and a looser weave and the sleeves were still hard to ease in. I ended up clipping the armscye a little. Next time I will shave some off the sleeve pattern piece.
The longer version has a lovely little gusset in the side. I like the way this turned out. Incidentally, I bought this fabric for the last SWAP with the intention of making a dress, but I felt it a little too masculine for the style I had chosen, so it has sat in the pile tempting me ever since. I think it works for this shirt.
Last up is a couple of berets I knitted from a Jo Sharp pattern you may recall I made once before (in green for my friend Jo). I love this pattern, it takes just one ball of Silkroad Aran Tweed and can be knitted in one evening in front of the television. One of these is a gift.
So there you have it. I hadn't intended to make a travel wardrobe, in fact, I hadn't really intended to be travelling so this is a little haphazard. By sticking with the red/black/white/grey theme and pulling items from my last SWAP (and indeed other things in those colours) and including a few purchased items I seem to have worked it out. I bought an incredible red and grey knit poncho from a recycled clothing store! I will post pictures of these things in action when I can find someone to take a picture for me.
Now I'm off to do a two hour exam!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Opinions please ...

I made this blouse, which is BWOF 02-10-114 from a wonderful cotton I bought in Tweed Heads. My dilemma is whether to use white or red buttons. Black I've already dismissed as too boring. I hope you can actually see them as these photos are out of focus. This is a lovely pattern and has a long version, too, which I think is 113. I omitted the large, turn back cuffs, but I'm considering making a long version in red. The long version also has oversized collar and stand, which looks fun. This stand is square, too, which is way more easy than the usual curved one.

I can't decide on red or white buttons, so I'm keen to hear your opinion. I'm leaning towards red because it takes away the preppy feel, in my opinion.

Here's also a bad shot of my label, which I made in red for this one because it felt like fun.

This skirt is BWOF 02-10-104. I made the shorter version with a piece of wool that came from the Vera Wang collection on I know a lot of people expressed disappointment with the quality of some fabric, but this wool is lovely. It's quite fine and even a little see through so I lined it. It has 1% lycra, too, so it will be comfortable. Sadly, as Vera and I begin to look less and less like each other, this skirt looks daggy on her. You can't tell from this shot, but there are angled pockets at the hips.

This is a shot of the inside. I used the cotton from the blouse to face the band as well as make the pocket bags.

Two more additions to the travel wardrobe. Now that I'm almost finished my assignment, there will be more time for sewing!

Friday, October 15, 2010

It looks better on me ... edited

I took this bad photo from the magazine I saw this in originally. I love this with the over knee boots. Faye, this about where it hits me - just below mid thigh.



This fitted Cue dress has a cut out back. I found almost the identical fabric (would you believe it) but I decided I liked the crazy paving effect better than the floral. It looks sack-like and 70's hippy on Vera, but on me, with over knee boots it is actually kinda sexy, if I do say so myself. The original picture I have of this dress shows it worn with over knee boots. I used KS3633 the same as I used for the striped dress last post. I have a couple of different coloured tight slips to go underneath, a black, a red and a flesh coloured. I cut extra small at the top grading to small on the hips and it fits perfectly with no unsightly pulling. It's the first real knock off I've ever done and it was a pretty simple one, but I'm uncommonly pleased with this. It's the only eveningish dress I will take. I will post a photo of me wearing it in a yet to be determined location.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Some sewing going on

In the order I sewed them;

Burdastyle shorts downloaded free from the website about three years ago. I've made them about six times now and have no idea of the name or number but I love these shorts. The flat front style with the buttoned sides is very flattering. These are made from remnants. It's a printed drill that was leftover from a christmas present last year. Buttons and black drill from stash: another 'free' garment!

M5974 again but I've forgotten which view this is. I bought this border print knit a year ago and the border confused me every time I laid the fabric up to cut out. I cut the borders off, laid the fabric up on the table and then I had a better idea of what I wanted to do. I sewed the borders together to make the sash. I've already worn this with a red belt.

This is KS3633 which I bought to knock off something I will show you later in the week. This is part of a travel wardrobe I'm in the process of making. The fabric is way nicer than it looks in this shot.

I had enough left to make another 3/4 sleeve t shirt. Another 'free' garment! I probably won't include this in my travel wardrobe as I don't want two similar garments clogging up my luggage.

This is another part of my travel collection. It's BWOF 03-10-126. It's not hemmed as I ran out of thread and I am presently flooded in as it has been raining non-stop for about three days so I can't get out to buy more. I'm not sure about this style yet as I don't normally wear things like this, but I'm sure it will be comfortable for long flights.

I may be unable to get to work tomorrow unless it stops raining overnight, so there may well be more to see tomorrow!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

What I did when I should have been writing an essay ...

First up is M5974 View D - the wrap version with long sleeves. Nothing amazing about this dress, it's just a good easy wear work dress.

The pattern is a Palmer and Pletsch, so contains a lot of fitting instructions and includes 2.5cm seams in places, which drove me made at first. I sewed as directed for this one and ended up cutting off all of the excess. I cut a straight 10 and shortened the skirt a full 5cm. I love the pattern and I love the dress. I ended up trimming the extra seam allowance from the pattern for the next one.

Next up I made View A of the same dress made from fabric that I've had for at least three years now. Cidell made a fabulous maxi dress from the same fabric ages ago and I loved it so much I ordered some. It's been a hard fabric to work with. One side of the fabric is an uninterrupted print, the other side is panels with a border in between. For that reason alone, I have been hard pressed to make it work. I've laid it up on my cutting table so many times and have never been able to make a pattern work. This one was the best so far. The back is one piece, but the front is two, so I planned to cut the back from the side of the fabric with the uninterrupted print and the front from the panelled side. Sadly, the skirt was too wide. After much head scratching, I came up with a frankenpattern solution.

I morphed the top half of M5974 back onto the skirt of M5975 (the one I made last post). It fit perfectly. The front is untouched, but I folded the pleats out of the skirt to make it fit into the panels. It took way more time to cut this out than it did to sew it. I've photographed it here with my pink boots and I also have a pair of hot pink slingbacks, but I forgot to upload that picture. And it's not crooked like it looks here. Oh, and I just realised the unfortunate pattern placement on the top!

Last up, I made a t shirt from the leftovers of the fabric from last weeks dress.

It's KS3338. I cut the sleeves from the border. The other sleeve has the cross band at the wrist. Nothing too exciting, but I do love getting a free garment from leftovers!

Friday, September 10, 2010

There's a story to this ...

But first I must thank Kristy for showing her inspired method for creating labels at home. I have been planning to get some labels made for ages now. Indecision about what I wanted and extreme laziness are the only reasons I actually haven't done it. Within half an hour of reading of reading Kristy's I had bought some transfer paper and ribbon and started work.

Part of my indecision was font choice, but then I realised that as I am not trying to create a recognisabe label for sale, I can have whatever I wanted. In fact, I could choose a label to suit the mood of each garment! I downloaded a whole heap of new fonts and tried some of the ones that came with Word. This is printed on pink paper because that is what I had in the printer. After this I printed the labels on transaparency so I could try them out on various ribbons.

Now to the back story.

I once worked with a woman who was a serious label queen. She referred to everything by its label. Nothing was simply pants, shoes, bag etc. Everything she owned was known by its label. She was also a serious name dropper and hated the fact that because I worked in film in television for 17 years I could really drop names if I had to. In fact, one of colleagues who had tired of this woman and her name dropping, told her that I had "Slept with more famous people than she'd ever meet."

But back to the labels.

One day I wore a dress to work that I had made. In a moment of uncommon generosity this woman admired my dress and then said "Who is it?", meaning what label is it.

I replied, "Fug Divino."

My label was born.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Dress in action

I rarely, if ever, manage to get around to posting pictures of me actually wearing the garments I make. There is no reason, other than laziness. After wearing this dress all day Monday, I decided to actually take a picture. I look a little stiff and stern in this shot. I blame that on the dash across the verandah from where I wedged my camera on a very sophisticated box to a posing spot I had forgotten. Next time I'll make a mark on the floor, like a sensibe person would.
I love this dress! It's comfortable and flattering and made me feel great all day, even though I look like I'm clenching my teeth in this shot! To avoid the frump factor, which worried me with the colour and print, I paired the dress with a pair of funky boots which don't quite make it into this picture (again with the mark on the floor). Here's a really fuzzy shot of my shoes so you can see them.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

I am alive ...

I'm sorry for not posting in such a long time. Thanks to everyone who asked after me. I seem to have gotten lost a little in the past month or so. Not sure if it was winter weariness or something else, but I seemed unable to get out of my own way. I have been sewing and knitting (a little) so I do have something to show for myself. In addition, I have started studying again and it's taken a while to sort out my routine of work/study/sewing. For those who are interested, I'm doing to a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science. As well as choosing a double degree, I have rather foolishly chosen double majors in both Arts and Science. It may take me until I am 90 to finish, but that's OK. I've also been training every day, so I've been up at 5am 6 days a week. Monday, Wednesday and Friday I run the lighthouse at Byron Bay and if you've ever walked it, you know how hard it is. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday is weights. You'd think I'd be in good shape, but no, I seem to keep getting pudgier. The joys of middle age ...

Here's the small amount of sewing I have to show.
This is a beret from a Jo Sharp pattern (forgot which book) and the yarn is a Jo Sharp alpaca (also forgotten which one). I bought one ball of this yarn to test for a vest pattern that I didn't work out, so I was delighted to find a pattern that needed one ball of the exact yarn. It's rare that I actually knit something with the recommended yarn. This was a gift for my friend Jo who lives in a colder climate than me.
This is the same as the yellow cardigan I made a few posts back. This time I did not make a shawl collar. It looks better than this photo suggests. I've used a very old Bendigo Woollen Mills 5ply crepe wool that has been marinating in my stash for about 15 years.

Also on Vera under the cardigan is a green faux suede BWOF skirt that I've since binned. I loved the colour and I was sure the panels with topstitching would work, but no, it looked dreadful on me so I chucked it. I need to get to grips with what works for my shape and what doesn't.

I made this dress today. It's McCalls 5975 which is my new favourite knit dress pattern. There are so many variations I can see I will use this again and again. The fabric is something I purchased from Gorgeous Fabrics probably two years ago now. I never wear blue, so it was a surprise for me. Although I loved the print, I could never quite figure out how to use it. It's in blocks with the big black flower thing in the middle. In between are black stripes and I very nearly used those on the sleeves, but chickened out. I have enough left to make a top, so I'll experiment with that for a different look.
I've made a whole load of basic skirts and tshirts in solid colours, but as they aren't very exciting I haven't bothered to photograph them.
I have four more dresses planned for this week and if I'm lucky I might get flooded in!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Popping up

I've been busy. Too much going on. My energy is limited and my mojo almost non existent. I have made a few things, but nothing really very exciting.

These jeans are from the free Burda style Anita jeans pattern that I make every time. Somehow I managed to erase all the other pictures I took and this is the only one left on the camera. Of course, I managed to keep the one that makes me look 6months pregnant. I used a heavy duty thread for the top stitching but I won't do that again, it looks a little cartoony to me. Still, the fit is good and I needed jeans desperately. Boy do I look fat in this picture!

This is KS 33378 I think, the twist neck top that I have binned every time I've made it. This time it seems to work. This is an incredibly soft rayon jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics. The fabric will probably stretch a lot with wear, but it feels so lovely on my skin I don't care if it looks too big.

I knit this from a Jo Sharp pattern in an alpaca and silk blend. You can't really see it in the picture but the ribbing is 20cm long and goes way up over the waist, keeping the garment close to the body.

I've cut some fabric from my purple and green collection, but I am having trouble staying in my sewing room to actually stitch any of it together. I'll have another go this afternoon.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Disjointed week

Well, so much for the holiday. A series of incidents at work meant I was called back early. I will take more time off after the end of the financial year. I'll stop complaining and show you what I've sewn.

I made this pair of yoga pants. They are BWOF 11-2007-122. I made them from a microfleece and they are a delight to wear, despite this awful picture. I've traced the matching yoga top and will make that one day when I have time to do something other than work.

Remember the black and white boucle jacket I made that was too small (Vogue 8161)? I retraced the pattern in size 12 and made this jacket. It's in Gorgeous Fabrics rayon doubleknit and was inspired by a jacket I had many years ago. Back in the days when I had a real, honest career in film and television I travelled all the time. I had a red, black and white wardrobe that was wholly for travelling. As part of that wardrobe I had two doubleknit jackets, one red, one black. They were princess seamed zip front jackets and one the central panels were quilt stitched. They were able to dress up simple skirts and make them corporate friendly when I needed it, but they also worked with jeans for casual situations. The jackets are long gone, but the holes they left in my wardobe are still there and this jacket is the first attempt at plugging said holes. I love cardigans, but sometimes I feel frumpy so having a doubleknit jacket gives me the comfort without the frump. I will make a red one in the coming weeks.

On it's own, this jacket looked a little austere, so I hunted through my button stash and found these. I had only four and they came from they op shop where I purchased them for the princely sum of 50c! They're smaller than I would normally use on a jacket, but I didn't want the buttons to overpower the simplicity of the jacket.

I also made this skirt as a wearable muslin. It's BWOF 01-2008-127 and is part of a skirt suit. It has panels to give it shape (no darts) and is actually really flattering on me. I topstitched the seams on either side to highlight the shaping and to hold the doubleknit flat. I had intended to make a feature of the topstitching using a heavier thread, but it would not sew on the fabric, so I gave up. You may recall a few weeks ago I made a skirt from this same fabric (BWOF 06-2009-124) with pleats in front. It didn't even make it to its first wear. I recycled the lining and zipper for use in this skirt and the fabric will become something else. A perfect example of what happens when you don't use the recommended fabric. I have a green faux suede one of these in the pipeline.

Lastly, this evening in between basting roast potatoes in duck fat, I made this top. Once again, it's KS 3338 with the Stitches cowl variation. Last time I made this, Vicki asked which Stitches it was from. It's Volume 17, Number 2 and the magazine also added a gather in front and changed the sleeves. I just use the cowl and I love it, it covers the back of my neck without restricting. I also have a version of the cowl for the higher neckline.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

It' not been happening for me this week ...

I started the week with a mind full of plans. I traced all the patterns I needed to, I washed and pressed all the fabrics I was going to cut, I even prepared a whole heap of food so I didn't have to worry about cooking.

You may recall a few weeks ago I mentioned a piece of lovely leopard print cotton fabric that I had no idea what to do with. Well, I decided to make BWOF 08-2009-128, the Parisian chic dress. I liked the idea of such a simple, elegant dress in an animal print. I even suggested to Gail that she make the same dress in a gorgeous silk animal print that she'd bought. Short version is this; I did not have enough fabric. No problem, I will drive up to Tweed Heads and buy some more. I moved on to the next garment. I had planned to make Vogue 1020 top as I'd made it loads of times before. I had a yard of lovely purple rayon jersey that I had bought especially for this top (part of a green and purple wardrobe). Short version is this: I cut the fabric out, but when I went to sew it up the front was missing. What I must have done is cut the front and put it aside, then when I went to cut the sleeves I grabbed a piece from the wrong pile and cut a sleeve out of the front instead of the scrap pile. Of course, Gorgeous Fabrics has now sold out of this colour! That's what I get for not paying attention when I cut. The next day when I went to Tweed Heads to buy more leopard print they, too, had run out! They had another version with a slightly more yellow background that I may go back and buy tomorrow.

I spent a day trying to figure out what to do with the leopard print, but I have now put it aside and tried to MOVE ON!!

I made this dress from Vogue 8489. I bought this fabric when I was buying everything red and black for my SWAP. Originally I had planned to make the famous Vogue 8379 wrap dress, but once again I did not have enough fabric. Now, I have never been in love with this dress or the fabric, which is Swirly Girl Jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics. The gold is a bit more in your face than I normally like, but when I started to put this dress together, I decided it was the perfect combination. It's brighter than this picture suggests and the gold catches the light beautifully.

In between cutting out and making this dress, I decided to make a new dog bed. This goes to show how obsessed you get with your sewing. Molly likes this bed, but she sleeps with me at night, so it only gets used when she wants to be alone. It originally had some rubber backed nylon crap, which stretched and tore pretty quickly. Given that the whole thing cost $30 I don't know why I wrestled with this, but the canvas was from stash and I hate to waste things. It took me about 45 mins to rip open the old bit, cut it out and sew but I spent about two hours trying to wrestle this back together. It was made more difficult by the bend in the steel caused by someone who stood on it to try and reach something high. And it wasn't Molly or I.

When I entered SWAP this year I had two wardrobes bubbling away at the back of my mind. One was the red and black I made, the other was a green and purple wardrobe. The diagonally striped rayon jersey to the right of this picture was the beginning. I bought it two years ago and because the pattern is diagonal, it has defeated me. I don't know what to do with it.

I pulled a whole heap of vaguely similar colours from stash. There are still more but I was too lazy to haul all the boxes down. You can see the forsaken purple rayon in the middle of this picture. To the left is some lovely purple slinky that will become a dress in the next day or two. As for the rest, I have no idea. I'm leaving all this on the bed for inspiration.
Today is trench day and as soon as this is posted, I will eat my breakfast and trace my trench pattern, but as this has turned into a ridiculous ramble, that will come later.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Simple sewing

I have been sewing, but nothing exciting. I made this top from Kwik Sew 3338 with my usual Stitches magazine cowl collar added to it. This is the same beautifuly rayon as the darker brown I made earlier in the week. I bought these two fabrics to use as layering garments. They look better together in real life than on Vera.

Next up I made these pants from BWOF 10-2007-115 - the same as the charcoal ones I made a week or two ago. Sorry about the photo on the bed. I need to find a better way to photograph pants. I bought this fabric last winter and never got around to sewing it up. It's a heathered brown RPL from Gorgeous Fabrics and if you want a lightweight pant or skirt fabric with lovely drape, then I highly recommend this one. It is still available and I think I have to get some more. I have a dress in mind.
I had enough left to make this skirt from Vogue 8604. It's way, way longer than I usually wear but I decided to give a longer skirt a try for winter.

I'm not sure what to sew next. I'm stagnated on the trench and I don't want to force myself to work on it when I'm not feeling the love. I'm going to sit down tonight and wade through some patterns and see if anything strikes my fancy. If it doesn't, I have a pair of jeans cut out and ready to sew.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A quick one

Just a quick update to show you this. It's BWOF 10-2007-115. The photo doesn't do the colour or the fabric justice. It's a rayon lycra jersey that I bought at Fabric Fantazia in Tweed Heads when I took my machine in the other day. I only bought a metre of this colour and another straw colour, but I think I will go and buy some more. It's the most luscious slippery velvet soft jersey I've ever seen and I can't wait to wear it. I like this top, although I did find myself thinking of Cidell's BWTF while I was reading the instructions. I'm off to make the other one now.