Friday, December 30, 2011

I've got an outfit!


I was worried about the lavender skirt and jacket looking too 'Mother of the Bride' when I'd really been aiming at 'Jackie Kennedy'. This fabric is one of the four pieces I bought at Spotlight when I only wanted a zipper. Sadly, it doesn't photograph too well. It's a poly satin and the colours are way more vibrant than this picture shows. I think this lifts the outfit.
I made it into this top from V1127. I've made the skirt before, but it was a wadder. The pattern runs very large, as all the reviews will tell you. The skirt didn't work for me because it sits very low on the hips and I have a definite waist. I haven't made the jacket, but there are plenty of reviews out there that tell of the fitting issues. I normally wear a size 10 in Vogue patterns, but knowing the size issue with this pattern, I cut a 6 for the top. In addition, I halved the height of the collar and halved the length and width of the ties. I really didn't want a big bow or long ties because I knew the would annoy me.
Here it is with the skirt and with the jacket.
It looks so much better in real life than I can photograph with my cheap camera. I'm now on the hunt for a pair of lime green shoes to wear with this outfit.
I'm not sure what is next, but I think it may be a dress. I have a nice black wool with a lavender pinstripe ...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Second SWAP garment

I wanted a slightly high waisted skirt and I like the look of a skirt shaped by panels rather than darts. This is Vogue 8672 View A. I've made View C before and I may well make View E for SWAP as well. This may become my favourite pencil skirt pattern.
Here it is with the jacket from yesterday, although it looks a little 'mother of the bride' in this shot. The blouse I plan to make tomorrow should fix that. Don't you love having time at home to sew?
I made the skirt this morning and then took Molly for a walk, We went to see this.
Funny, I never had any interest in the Sydney to Hobart before.
Even Molly wanted to have a look.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

First finished SWAP garment

I don't know why I started with this garment, but I'm really pleased with the results. It's M5244 that I bought about three or four years ago and never got around to making. The pattern has a separate piece for the undercollar, which makes it sit perfectly.
The fabric is Midweight Cotton Twill from Gorgeous Fabrics and there is still some left. It sews beautifully and is a little spongy with a perfect hand for a jacket. I have enough left for a short skirt. This shot shows the assymetric collar and the button placement.
The lining was a whim. I went to Spotlight yesterday to buy thread - that's all, really. I ended up with this poly satin (and three other fabrics). This picture doesn't show it very well, but the lavender spots match the fabric exactly. As well as this lining, I purchased another satin and a charmeuse that go with this fabric and I may well make one of them into a blouse for my SWAP. You can see my label in this shot. I still get a kick out of it, but not everyone who sees it gets the joke!
While the overlocker is still threaded in lavender I'll probably make the skirt tomorrow. Now I just have to choose a pattern ...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

And the bad taste keeps coming ...

I've been invited to a christmas lunch tomorrow. The price of admission is a Hawaiian shirt.
I had this fabric in my stash although I have absolutely no idea where it came from. It's been there so long that it's faded in lines where it was folded, but I expect that liberal application of champagne will prevent anyone from noticing. I made this from BWOF 01-08 whatever it was I made in broderie anglaise last week - the pattern was on the table so I used it. I used the square stand from the long sleeve version and left off the collar completely. I eyeballed where to trim the long sleeve to make it short sleeve, but I made them a little too long. Once again, the champagne will take care of that.
This is what Molly will be wearing and I'm ashamed to say it's RTW.
Wishing you all a safe and happy christmas. SWAP sewing will commence in earnest on Monday.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Tragic sewing

I think this time I may have overstepped the boundaries of good taste.
This is the very popular Coffee Date Dress as designed by the Selfish Seamtress a few years ago, which is lovely and I have made twice before. A colleague suggested we wear something christmasy to work tomorrow. I found this hideous christmas print in my stash and put the two together. It's ugly, but what else would you expect from christmas clothing? I thought the gold belt added that little something extra.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

SWAP periphery

This is BWOF 01-08-108 that I've made about 6 times now. I love this pattern. I love the shape of the collar. There is another version in the magazine, which is think is 107, that has a long sleeve without the gathers and a wider nehru style collar which I have made several times as well. It's a great fit for my shape and has a lovely feminine feel.
This piece of fabric is one that I pulled from stash with a view to possibly using it in my SWAP. It's a sheer voile broderie anglaise with lavender flowers and spots. It's been maturing in my stash for about 8 years now and is something that I've often wondered why I ever bought; I'm still not sure I even like it. I've taken a closer shot to show the embroidery but the colour doesn't show very well.
I doubt that I will sew broderie anglaise again as it was a pain in the neck. I want to make a lavender tie to wear with this as in the Burda shot. I am undecided as to whether I will include this in my SWAP, but this will be fun with jeans, although it needs a cami as it's totally see-through!
I have about five things on the go at the moment and my christmas sewing is sadly slow as I have been plain old bone lazy.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Bloke sewing

Bloke sewing is hard at the best of times, but doing it at a distance is something else. Having said that, though, there is something to be said for not having someone watching over my shoulder and critiquing every single step, like they are suddenly a sewing expert ...
This is BWOF 04-08-132 but with the button closure of 133.
I made this once before for Grant's SWAP two years ago and it's been a favourite (I forgot how dorky he looked in the photos). Grant got the idea in his head for a 60's inspired overshirt, inspired by the pool scene in The Graduate and the original was all made from things he found in my stash. Likewise, this new blue version is all from stash and it's a shame I didn't take a close up of the ribbon I used because it has a lovely rope like detail on each side. The brown stripe is vintage bias tape from the op shop and the blue and tan ribbon one length, just reversed. One side is tan with blue and tan rope design and the other side is the reverse. I'll post it up to him tomorrow and await the phone call - 'you should have put the stripes 3mm to the left, you should have used a different button, it should be shorter'. I'm happy with it and that's all that matters.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas Party Dress

I've made this dress for christmas. I have a party to attend next week at a very fancy restaurant on the Hobart waterfront and this was a perfect marriage of pattern and fabric. Burda used a two sided fabric for the short version and suggested using the reverse side for the side panels. I remembered this fabric and knew it would be just right for this project. The fabric is from the very popular Vera Wang selection that was sold on Fabric.com a couple of years ago. I bought this because I love the shades of green, but was a little dismayed when it arrived as it has a hand somewhere between cheap taffeta and ripstop nylon. I had no idea what I could possibly make with it, so I put it away and tried not to think about it.
This is BWOF 05-11-108. The long version was too long and the short version was too short, so I cut it exatly half way between. It's a size 19, which I think is a petite-ed size 38. I could have lengthened the bodice but I didn't and it fits almost perfectly. It stands out as you see (and the same as the short one in the magazine) all on its own. The fabric curled slightly at the edges and although the seams pressed nicely, it is hard to press the crushes out. It doesn't show up very well, but I used the dark side for the front panels and the light side for the front panels. I haven't hemmed it yet. I lined this fully with an olive green poly cotton from stash. I wavered between a poly charmeuse and the poly cotton and eventually decided to go with the poly cotton because the fabric is so stiff I thought I'd prefer something softer close to my skin.
I was surprised at how much I like this dress and how good it looks on. I have a lot of this fabric leftover, though. Any suggestions?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Unnecessarily complicated dress ...

I made this dress last weekend and it has hung on Vera all week as I wrestled with the closure issue. This is BWOF 01-08-121 and I'm disappointed that you can no longer access the BWOF archives for the line drawings.
The reason this was unnecessarily complicated is that although this is essentially a wrap dress, it requires an open end zip to keep it closed. I used a stretch cotton, so I needed to stabilise the fabric under the zipper. I used a length of cotton tape on the inside. On the right side, the zip attaches under the facing, which pulled the facing out, so I had to stitch the facing down. The facing itself was an issue as it really isn't wide enough. If you make this dress, I would suggest either widening the facing or completly lining the dress. I ended up retro inserting a lining to the fronts only. As usual, the pictures in the magazine don't give much clue to how this dress actually sits, so I made it sit how I like it best and this is it. It had a self fabric tie belt in the magazine, but I intend to make a black obi belt from an old pattern I have. In the meantime, I used this black belt to see how it looked. I really like this dress, which is odd because I didn't really like this fabric and I was beginning to wonder why I bought it - now I'm glad I did!
Here's a shot of the last dress on me. You can't see the detail I wanted to show, but you get a really good look at my iron and Molly. I've got to work on this photography business ...
There's a christmas dress half made you might get to see tomorrow.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

SWAP sideshow sewing

My mind is filled with Bluesfest because now that I no longer live a five minute drive away from the venue, of course, all of my favourite artists are playing. I am still deciding whether or not to fly up ...
One of the things I enjoy about Bluesfest every year is the artist sideshows. If you keep your eye on the music press you will find wonderful artists popping up for one off shows in all sorts of venues. With these thoughts in my head, I bring you some SWAP sideshow sewing.
I had a vague plan in my head for a purple, black and white SWAP, so during the week I pulled a whole pile of fabric from the stash and draped it all over the living room (Molly thought it was for her to sleep on). I've been adding to and subtracting from the pile all week.
This is a quick down and dirty shot on the sofa of what I've ended up with. I never consciously bought purple but it has appeared in my stash quite a lot. In addition to this pile, I have quite a few pieces that still co-ordinate, but don't fit with the plan that is starting to emerge. Hence the Sideshow Sewing.
This is KS3668 and has appeared in my SWAPs for 2010 and 2009 and is truly a TNT. I cut XS from shoulders to waist and graded to S at the hips. It's a very handy pattern to have and it looks better on a person. The fabric is cotton with a tiny purple flower and a nice olive green leaf scattered about. It was leftover from a skirt that I've long since worn out and tossed away. Buttons from stash - a totally free garment that will co-ordinate with some of the actual SWAP garments.
Now it's back to the scheduled sewing ...

Friday, November 18, 2011

Another dress


This is BWOF 05-11-128 dress and unfortunately you can't see any of the lovely details. It has a lovely rounded collar, a nice wide neckline, a side zip and a blouson back just like the last dress. I really didn't think I would like this style, but it looks great on and is very comfortable to wear. I didn't line it because I couldn't figure out how to line the top - I would have needed to draft a lining pattern for the back because I didn't want a blouson lining as it would be too bulky. I was too lazy.
The fabric is a cotton print bought at Spotlight. They have it in a paler colourway as well, but this darker one really caught my eye. I thought the vague retro feel suited this 50's inspired dress. I may or may not wear it with a belt and I can't decide on what shoes to wear with it.
Next up another dress and a jacket.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Summer sewing

I apologise for the poor mobile phone photos but I loaned my camera to someone who has not returned it. I took these pictures with my phone, then couldn't find the cable (disappeared in the move somewhere) so I sent these to my mini laptop by bluetooth and here they are.



This is BWOF 05-11-117 shirt dress. You can't see the details very well but this dress has a lovely shaped skirt and is waisted, so is much more flattering than a waistless shirtdress, at least on me. The back view is even less revealing, but it has a blouson-style back, which makes it very comfortable to wear. The collar has one of those shaped insert stands that I don't know how to describe. I've made them on jackets before and they sit so much more nicely than a regular collar and stand.

The fabric is a stretch cotton print I also bought in black and red (and very nearly black and white) from Fantazia Fabricland in Tweed Heads just the week before I came to Tasmania. I used some square/round buttons from stash that co-ordinate well with the print. I wore this to work last week with a black belt and cardigan.

I have a few christmas items to show, some of which I steal shamelessly from kbenco plus a SWAP plan I'd like to put out there. I also have two more completed garments to show but the whole phone/bluetooth transfer thing was time consuming so you may have to wait till I get my camera back.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Not exactly a UFO ...


I cut this skirt out in the winter of 2009 but living in the subtropics, as I was, had no real reason to actually sew it up. Now that I'm in Tasmania, I may actually get to wear it. it's Vogue 8604 and I've made it several times now. I cut the size 12 straight from the packet without alteration, not even shortening it. The fabric was an op shop find that cost me $1.50 and is the most incredible quality wool that was a dream to sew.
I had intended to regale you all with the tales of my move to Tasmania, but so much has happened in such a short space of time and some of it I really don't want to re-live. I'm here now, my stuff is here and Molly arrives next Friday. Suffice it to say that moving interstate is tough, made worse when you add the deaths of five friends in the space of 7 weeks and when there is an ocean crossing involved, the degree of difficulty is further increased! I'm glad I made the move, though, unsettled as I am. I'm looking forward to actually being able to wear lovely clothes in summer, not to mention the plans I have for a new overcoat for next winter. Watch this space ...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Want to see my map of Tasmania ...

I suspect only Australian readers may get that joke. For the rest of you, this song may clear things up a little.
This picture will explain the rest.
This otherwise happy time in my life has been soured by the tragic deaths of four friends and colleagues this weekend past, three to a dreadful aircrash and one to cancer. I'm sure Australian readers have heard all the news stories. I had expected to see these people this weekend at a party to celebrate the 50th anniversary of a show we had all worked on over the years. Here's a link to a story if you're interested.
There will be sewing soon from my new sun-filled sewing room, along with some tales from the journey.

Friday, August 5, 2011

What do these pictures tell you?

It involves a water crossing.
There will be sewing soon.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The top that didn't want to get made ...

The winter before last I bought a yard of purple rayon from Gorgeous Fabrics. For some time I had had a hankering for a purple and green wardrobe. I just wanted a simple purple long sleeved tshirt and I knew I could get my favourite Kwik Sew t from a yard. Somewhere along the line I changed my mind and decided to make the top from V1020, which I had made as a dress twice before. I could do it with a yard, but it meant jiggery pokery and cutting each piece out individually. I don't know what happened, but I managed to cut the front and back and one sleeve, but when it came time for the second sleeve, I somehow cut it out of the already cut out front piece. That's what happens when you get blase and don't pay attention. I thought I could just buy some more but, of course, it had ran out. I cursed my stupidity, put it in the UFO pile and forgot about it for two years.


Last year I still had the green and purple thing hanging around in my mind. By then I had bought some lovely green and purple wool boucles from the Vera Wang collection on Fabric.com (which still remain unsewn) and I had some ideas of what I wanted to make. I still wanted a purple t shirt, so I ordered some fabric from Gorgeous Fabrics. It looked strangely familiar when I unpacked it ... I won't bore you with the details but I nearly messed it up again. I managed to complete the V1020 top, but I now have a t shirt back and one sleeve as well.

It didn't end there. When I started to sew, the foot pedal on my machine got stuck. I unplugged it and started again. Repeatedly. If you ever see me wearing this top, don't look too closely. At least, after three winters, I finally have a purple top. By the way, the white smudge is not on the garment, I think it's a dust mote, although I know some people say things like this appearing on photos are evil spirits ...

This top is another example of me cocking it up. I cut a a short sleeved tshirt from my favourite pattern KS3338 and some leftover fabric. Somehow between the cutting table and the sewing table, I managed to throw the sleeves away. I wasn't going through the bin. It's now sleeveless.



At the same time as I bought the second lot of purple fabric, I bought this olive green fleece from Gorgeous Fabrics. These don't look like much, but I am wearing them as I type and the pattern is great. It's KS3678 and has a zip front jacket as well. The pants have front and back in one piece (no side seam) and fit me perfectly. I have cut the jacket in black still to be made.

I wanted a loose sweat shirt to go with it to wear to the gym over my training clothes (it's been 3 degrees when I leave for the gym in the mornings). This is from KS3001 which is OOP. It's one of those useful unisex patterns with a few variations. Both are very easy patterns.



Nothing could be easier than this. It's M9551 (probably OOP) that I made from leftover scraps. I think it took longer to cut out than to sew. Do you like the way I've displayed on my tagine?

This cardigan is knitted from a pattern torn from an issue of Family Circle dating to September 1995. The yarn is a stunning 12ply mohair from Bendigo Woollen Mills that was leftover from a jumper I made for a friend 10 years ago. I had 2 x 200g balls left that I have wanted to use for years so when I unearthed the pattern in my collection, I was very happy. I knitted it over a few nights whilst watching the DVD of the whole Twin Peaks.


Next up, the animal print velour I mentioned last time ...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Some winter sewing

My exams are over and I have my life to myself until next semester. If I ever find the person who told me I could work fulltime, study part time and still have a life ... wait, I think it was me.

I have actually been sewing, little by little. Here are some things I've made recently. Both the jacket and the skirt are made from a chartreuse wool and silk blend that was part of the Vera Wang collection sold on Fabric.com a couple of years ago. I had no idea what to make with this as it is a very difficult colour to wear. I didn't intend for the jacket and skirt to go together, but I had more of this fabric than I realised. Despite some rodent activity in my sewing room, leaving a sizable hole in this fabric, I still have enough left for something else. I may make a vest.


I have a love/hate relationship with this fabric. It is incredibly soft and very comfortable, but it stretches like crazy because of the twill weave. On the other hand, it took very little coercing with the steam iron to get it back to shape and it presses like a dream.


The jacket is BWOF 03-10-102. The pattern calls for three buttons but I only put one in and I like it this way. It is lined, but I fused a strip of interfacing to keep the sleeve shape as the drapiness of the fabric made it floppy.


It doesn't look so great on Vera, but I've already worn it to work with black leggings, boots and black top, which was the BWOF funnel neck from last year. I didn't photograph it because I am lazy, but I think you can imagine it. I used a vintage button that is divided into quadrants, two bronze and two brass.



I didn't underline or interface this jacket, so I wanted a lining with a bit of beef. I found this in my stash; an op shop purchase from ages ago awaiting a use. The purple and blue goes well, in my eyes, but what really tied it in is the mustard flowers. I even remembered to put a label in!


This picture is a bit poor, but this skirt is BWOF 01-11-113 with a godet/kick pleat at the back. The detail of the yoke creates the curve and it fits me right with no alterations. Sadly, Vera is not the same shape as me, so it looks less flattering on her.



Here is the back view. I interfaced the hem of the godet to make it sit better. I quite like the idea of purple with this, so I am planning a top to wear and I'm also nearly finished knitting a purple cardigan.



Purple and green seems to be the theme today. Here is a final baby gift. It's the same as the tomato hat I've made before, but I had some purple wool left over and decided to make an eggplant hat this time!


On my cutting table this week is a lot of trashy animal prints, faux fur and velvet. You could be excused for thinking I was planning a wardrobe for Stevie Nicks!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

What I've been up to ...

I just wanted to pop my head up and let you know I am still here. Work has been tough and study has occupied a lot of my time. I've decided to make some changes in my life, which I will post about when I am sure what they are.

In the meantime, here is some of what I've been up to of late. This is a McCalls dress and I can't remember the number. I love this print; something about it reminds me of a zebra print, which I'd really like if anyone knows of any. I bought this knit in Tweed Heads and I have almost lived in this dress. It's a favourite for sure.

Next up is a beret and jumper for a baby born last week. I knew this one was a girl, so I made a girly outfit.






This is a beret and jumper for the first grandchild of a friend from high school. We only have just found each other again after almost 30 years, but that's a whole other story for another time.






I have made some other things, but no photos to show as yet. I have an exam this week and then the pace of life slows for a little while. I have some sewing plans that I hope to share soon.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Not dead. Just busy. This is a few things I've made lately.

Kwik Sew 3668 top without the ruffle on the front. I made this when it was stinking hot and needed woven cotton tops. It was too hot to wear knits of any kind. It's a pebble print quilting cotton that's been in the stash for ages. Not very exciting, but it served its purpose.


This is the McCalls dress that everyone has made. I've forgotten the number and I'm too lazy to go downstairs and look it up. Front and back views. I made this from a very light knit I bought at the op shop for $2. Of, course, I wear it with a black slip underneath. This dress got more comments than anything I've made in ages.




This skirt is Vogue 8672 View C. I made it with leftover cotton sateen that I will regret. Whilst comfortable and lovely, this fabric is a bitch to keep pressed. This will wrinkle in no time flat, but I love it anyway. Caramel is a hard colour to match with anything, though. I might actually iron this and try and find something to wear with it to work tomorrow.


Five babies have been born around me lately. Here is some gift knitting that also served the double purpose of getting rid of the single balls of yarn left in my stash. You can't see it very well in this picture but this is actually a sweet aran knit.


Likewise with this one, there is an aran band around the middle. I've also made five of these tomato hats, but you only really need to see one.


This set is my favourite. I had a 200g ball each of red and yellow alpaca leftover from some cardigans from last year. I had enough to make two of these outfits and I had planned to make this outfit in reverse colours, but Gypsy the poodle from next door stole the ball of red yarn and until she reveals where she has put it, my plans for the outfit are on hold.



Lastly, just because I know it freaks people out, here is a baby waterdragon that has taken refuge on Vera's boob.