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.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The skirt that nearly wasn't ...

And perhaps shouldn't have been. It's Vogue 8426 and I've made this several times now, but this one took me three days. The fit is perfect and I love the skirt, but I was an idiot and made a bad fabric choice. On top of that I cocked the zipper up three times and had to take it out three times (I put it in the wrong place), then I sewed the wrong bits together at the back. Then I totally messed up the waist bands and had to redo them. And I used faux suede. Not just any faux suede, a microfibre sofa covering faux suede. The fact that it will never crease on your sofa means that it is impossible to press the seams flat. The flash reflecting off the fabric makes this look worse than it really is. It is wearable and the colour is a lovely browny grey that looks nicer in real life and goes with so many things.
Here's the back. Will that pleat ever flatten out??
I went on to make this top. It's the BWOF 05-2009-103 and I've made it as a dress twice before. I absolutely love this style, either as a dress or top. I haven't hemmed it yet as I'm undecided about the length.
Tomorrow it's onto the TRENCH.

Friday, May 21, 2010

I only went in for a service ...

But I came out with this.
It all started yesterday when my machine started not wanting to sew. She's needed a service for a while and I did promise her that if she made could wait until I finished SWAP, I'd treat her to whatever she wanted at the day spa. She held up her end of the bargain, I did not. I have continued sewing for weeks and yesterday she said no more. Here is the skirt we wer working on. I got half way round the hem, as you can see by the pins. This is BWOF 06-2009-124. Although the pattern called for taffeta I think, I used doubleknit as I was after a comfort skirt. One of those things you can drag out and wear with no fuss. Not sure if I got it, but I will this will get worn. It's a little big, so I may take off the waistband and take it in a little.

Anyway, whilst I was on my way to the repair man in Tweed Heads, I began to talk myself into buying another machine. Yesterday I started up the Husqvarna I bought a while ago and started a top. It sews well and is very useful for many things, but she has no stretch stitch, doesn't really enjoy twin needling and has a broken knob, which means I have to turn the wheel with a pair of pliers. Plus, the bobbins are different and my foot collection doesn't fit. Miss Husky has her own, very extensive foot collection, but it's not the same and I always spend ages figuring out how they work. Faced with the possibility of NO SEWING for the rest of my four week holiday, I knew I needed another machine. My first thought was for a basic machine, to be my second. Then I decided this was silly. My new machine would be better. In fact, I already had researched the machine I really wanted because I wanted more buttonholes. To cut a long story short, I researched this machine last year and it had a RRP of $999. I didn't want to spend that much, hence the purchase of Miss Husky at that time. You can imagine my sheer joy when I saw that Janome had recently run a Mothers' Day special and were offering this machine at $499! Given the mood I was in, I reckon I would have bought a coverstitch machine, too, had there been one in stock!
So I brought her home and unpacked her. So we could get to know each other, we made this top.
It's BWOF 10-2007-114 - dolman sleeve with neck ties, which I took off at the last minute because I like it better without. I thought I would be ambivalent about this top but I really like it. This fabric was another $1.95 a yard stuff that I agonised over. This is a really quick and easy top to make. I make it more complicated by lining the whole thing (sheer fabric). Miss Janome hasn't told me her name yet, she's still a little shy.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Things that make you go ....meh

This is Vogue 8161 and I'm not sure about it. The boucle is loose, so I decided to interface the whole jacket so maybe I stretched it out of shape or maybe I've just bulked up too much in the shoulders. Either way, it's tight. It will be OK to wear over a sleeveless dress, but if I wore it over a top it would be a little uncomfortable to wear all day. Having said that, though, I am rather pleased with my bagged lining. I will finish it. It just needs buttons and a good press. Maybe if it goes in the magic wardrobe for a while, it will be OK when I go to wear it.

These are some trench patterns I'm considering. I think this last one might be it as I like the collar. I have a few more selected, I just need to read through the patterns and see what I find. Tomorrow I'm back to sewing knits as my jacket sewing today has not filled me with joy.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Some quick and satisfying sewing ...

I'm working on all sorts of things at the moment, but I found myself wandering around the house rendered totally incapable of doing anything because of indecision. I showed some fabrics in my last post that I am keen to sew but didn't know what to make. As well as those there are a whole lot of others that I can't bring myself to put away for later yet I can't seem to cut them. So I opened a bottle of champagne on Saturday night and started cutting things out. Most of the fabrics I was so stressed about cutting into were $1.95 a yard from a sale, so there was no need for stress. Here are the first couple.
This is BWOF 09-2007-101 tie neck top. I thought this might be a ringer for the Jalie pattern, bu it's nothing like it. It's loose and is described as an overblouse, which is perfect for this knit as it's quite sheer. I will wear a cami under it for now and a long sleeve t shirt under it when it gets colder. I made no attempt to match patterns and I waivered on changing the gathered sleeves to plain ones, but eventually went with the gathered. I rather like this and today I am making some black pants to wear with it.
Second up is Vogue 2989. I bought this wardrobe pattern last year when I wanted more knit dresses. I absolutely love it! I love the shape of the neck and for someone with short hair, having coverage on the back of the neck is essential in cooler weather. I like that I can still have a v neck, but coverage at the back. I was wary of interfacing the facing as I omitted the zipper so I used a very light tricot interfacing, but went back and reinterfaced with something stiffer to keep the neck upright and the facings from flipping out. It still slips over my head with no problem. Next time I might make the facings into a half lining. You can't see the detail but the pleats are stitched down and it is a really flattering dress. While I was staring at this on Vera and thinking how stylish it looked, I had an urge to pair it with some bright colours and this is what I came up with.
Yes, they are hot pink patent leather boots. I feel very 60's when I wear them. More later ...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Thinking out loud ...

My SWAP pictures are finally done and sent away and I can think about other things. It was a trial getting my pictures as my photographer was less than willing and complained the whole time. Funny how it was different when I wanted to take his pictures!

This weekend I sewed some of the things I cut out two weeks ago. First up is this skirt. It's Vogue 8604 size 12 straight from the pack. I probably could have gotten away with a 10, but I thought I'd be better off with a 12 for winter. It's the same fabric as the pants I made a couple of weeks ago and fills in a big gap in my wardrobe. I have enough left for a vest and maybe even a jacket.

Next up is Vogue 2091, a DKNY pattern I bought at the op shop for 20c. I thought it was OOP but you can still buy it from the website. I made View C (the one on the left) but without the bottom band as I thought it might be too long for me. There are three very different dresses so this is good value.

It has a strange diamond shape gusset under the arm which seems to restrict more than it helps. That said, I actually like the way this looks on. I've tried it with boots and cardigan/jacket thing as well as with a black obi style belt, so it will go into rotation when the weather cools.

A few weeks I saw this Sportscraft catalogue and fell for this trench coat. You can't tell from this shot, but the fabric is ribbed like corduroy. I knew I had seen the exact fabric on the Gorgeous Fabrics website, in fact I had been eyeing it off for a while but couldn't think of anything to use it for. As luck would have it, Ann had a sale the day I decided to buy it. I added 3 yards to my shopping bag, but by the time I got to checkout there were only two yards left!! I figured I could squeeze it out as Ann is always very generous with her cuts. If not, I will make a shorter one. I have several BWOF trenches in mind and will make a decision this week. This is my first knockoff/inspiration from current RTW, so I'm rather excited.

When I decided to knock this coat off, I knew instantly the fabric I wanted to line it with, because I had been eyeing it off also, looking for an excuse to buy it. It's a beautiful silk charmeuse and I love it so much I'm thinking that maybe I shouldn't hide it inside a coat. But what can I make with it? This picture does not do it justice.

The other thing I don't know what to do with is this cotton leopard print. I bought this last weekend and it screamed at me to become a cliched safari style dress and I can't seem to get away from that idea. Again, it's way nicer than my poor photography shows and has lots of brown and caramel highlights.

Likewise with this 4 way stretch fabric. I love the colours so much and I really want to wear it, but I don't know what to make from it. Perhaps the middle dress on the DKNY pattern?

All three of these fabrics are sitting on the sofa in my sewing room and I can't put them away, I keep picking them up and draping them over my shoulders. I hope inspiration comes soon.

Apropos of nothing, here is a shot of Molly as she slept on the spare bed today while I was sewing. She went to the beach at 5am when Grant went for an early surf, had several big swims and then a long run. At 9am she went to the gym with me where she played with her boyfriend Herbi (my trainer's dog) and three other gym dogs. She had another run on the way home after that and then this afternoon she went out with Grant again and had another long run home.
She's a little tired.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Flooded in again ...

In an unseasonal downpour I find myself flooded in. You would think I would be sewing but, no, I'm not. I spent several hours watching episodes of Jeeves and Wooster on DVD before finally coercing Grant into taking his SWAP pictures, which will be seen in the fullness of time.

I did, however, sew last weekend although only one garment as we had a family lunch on Sunday that took over my day. To wear to that lunch I made this dress.

It's my TNT sheath based on Vogue 8146. I squeezed this out of a generous yard and as you can see from the picture, there was very little fabric left.
I have many things cut out and I will be doing some more sewing later in the week but today I don't have the focus for it.
On Sunday after the family lunch I stopped into Fantazia Fabricland in Tweed Heads and made some random purchases that have made me wonder what was going on in my head at the time. I purchased a crimson burnout fabric that I have no idea what to do with, a leopard print that I like a lot and can only see made up into a cliched safari style dress and a strange orange, yellow and brown stretch cotton. I have purchased some lusciois caramel and beige rayon knit that I can't wait to wear. Maybe I should go down to my sewing room after all ...