Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Emergency sewing ...

Despite eating constantly, consuming large quantities of wine and not going to the gym for six weeks, I am still too skinny for the few clothes I have with me. With the weather cooling and no immediate arrival of my belongings from Hobart, I needed some clothes.

I started with this one which is an amalgam of BWOF 02-13-127 top and BWOF 02-13-128 dress without the ruffle down the front. I made the 36.  The fabric is a cheap poly knit I bought the other day for $6 a metre at Spotlight.  Now, I know I've not had many good things to say about Spotlight in Hobart, but let me tell you that Spotlight Lismore is a whole nother story! This is more purple than it appears in this shot and there is a single row of brown that I've placed at empire line for effect.

Also made from another $6 a metre poly knit is this version of V8825.  I chopped about 8 inches off so it's only a little longer than the tunic version.  When I read the reviews on Pattern Review, someone (sorry don't recall who) mentioned they thought this dress had a 70's vibe and I agree.  I thought this fabric had a 70's vibe, too, so I combined them.  I thought a 70's dress needed to be suitably short as well.  I can't tell you how much I love this dress! I can't wait to wear it.

Now that I seem to be getting  back to the real world, I may just have to tell the tale of my return home, complete with sewing pictures!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I'm still alive ...

Just when you thought I'd disappeared off the face of the earth ...

I'm back with an emergency version of Vogue 1020 which is probably long OOP.  I've come home with very little clothing, most of which doesn't fit. The rest is still in Hobart.  I needed a dress to wear and I thought making this in a cotton lycra would fit, but it was still baggy.  I need to put some weight on!

I hope to be back to regular sewing soon.  It's been a hectic three months!

More later ...

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Potential SWAP addition

I've been a bit stuck with what to sew next as I can't find the fabric I want.  I saw it when I didn't want it and now I can't find it but then with only ONE fabric store in Tasmania, what else can I expect.  If anyone sees matte gold or champagne sequin fabric please let me know.  Even a bronze would work.

These shorts are a real TNT. It's the Burda Ruby shorts that I downloaded free many years ago, pre blog days, in fact.  The fabric is the same.  It's a lovely soft stretch sateen that is leftover from a dress I made to wear to a wedding many years ago.  As I've been slowly packing I keep coming across things that might work for my SWAP, so this keeps with my stashbusting challenge.  The buttons and thread were from stash, too, so these are free.

The mirror shots are a little dark but they do fit me, despite the odd wrinkles.  It's hard to photograph yourself in a mirror.

Here they are on the floor and below you can see the cute little bound pocket on the front.  This pocket is the perfect size for an ipod or mobile phone, so these make great walking shorts for me.

 Whenever I make these shorts for some reason I always make the button facings and pocket bags a contrast colour.
I don't love the buttons, but I have lots of them in stash and I know I'll stop noticing them soon.

I managed to find a lovely piece of chocolate silk chiffon at a very reasonable price.  Some moron working in Spotlight had clearly mislabelled it but I wasn't going to point it out to them.  I want to make a top to go with these shorts as well as the snake print pants from last time.

If these shorts make it into my SWAP that means I'm five garments down and six to go.  With my move date uncertain, I may find it hard to finish this year but I'm going to persist until the day I drive away from here.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Escape is at hand for the travelling man ...

I've been listening to a lot of the Tragically Hip this week and it's flavoured my mood tonight.

Two weeks ago when I started these jeans I had a plan, not just for my pants, but for my life.  My world has been altered in the past 14 days for reasons that I may share in the coming weeks.  I've had to delay my return home by a few weeks and that comes with mixed feelings.  But back to the jeans ...

These started life as BWOF 05-11-116 skinny jeans, which I made recently in red.  As I mentioned last time, I frankenpatterned the pockets of Burda Anita jeans onto this pattern and this time I also frankenpatterned the crotch curve from my best fitting RTW jeans (Levis Bold Curve).  I took the back seam in by about an inch, but that could be because this sateen is a little stretchier than the one I used last time.

I am quite happy with the fit, although these pictures make me look FAT. These pants are a nice addition to my SWAP.  The pictures aren't great but at least they are on a body.  I'll make sure I get someone to take better shots when SWAP is done.

I don't know what I'm making next, I have a few bits of fabric hanging around as possible SWAP additions that will also contribute to my stashbusting.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sewing and packing ...

Now that I my tenure in Tasmania can be counted in weeks, this long weekend (Hobart gets two more public holidays to NSW) is divided between sewing and packing.  I took a couple of hours out this morning to take Molly down to the waterfront and have a look at the Wooden Boat Festival, but the rest of the weekend has been spent in the house.  Between the horrendous smoke from the fires and the unbelievable wind, it's way more comfortable inside, anyway.  I struggle with static electricity in Hobart at the best of times, but today every bit of thread, dog hair and other assorted flotsam and jetsam are all stuck to me and my sewing.

First of all I finished up this pair of high-waisted skinny, slouchy pants.   Sorry about the crappy mirror shots but I am too lazy and too busy to waste time messing with a tripod.  You'll have to wait for the SWAP shots now! These are BWOF 03-11-119 and are made from the same fabric as the skirt from last week.  The line drawing makes them look more slim than they are but the pictures from the magazine and this one from the website shows that they really are a little more slouchy.  I hated them at first, but I actually quite like them now.

Next up I made this top, which is BWOF 05-10-129.  I love, love, love this top way more than I had expected.  I first made this here and I loved the first version but I felt it could use a few alterations.  I lengthened the bodice by 2.5cm and I lengthened the peplum by a further 2.5cm.  I left the patch pockets off because I hate them and I think the top still works without them.

This is a close up of the fabric that may not show in the other photo.  It's a slightly textured linen with a gold sheen on some of the threads.  This is a record for me; I bought a piece of fabric and sewed it almost immediately!  It was from Spotlight, ironically.  Have I mentioned that the only fabric shop in the WHOLE OF TASMANIA is Spotlight??
I am rather fond of this fabric, even though I usually dislike wearing linen.  Of course, this top also has one of my mistake design feature mirror image labels.

I even managed a passable mirror shot of the top with the skirt from last week.

Back to packing while I decide what to sew next.  I have some animal print ...

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

SWAP is finally started ...

It seems that no post of mine is complete without a rant about Spotlight.  When I first started planning my SWAP I wanted to use chocolate brown sateen as my base.  I visited Spotlight in Hobart and they had tons of black and every colour known to man - except brown, in fact they told me it didn't come in brown!  I decided to wait until I got home at christmas time and visit one of the stores up there.  Although I couldn't find brown sateen, I did manage to find a really lovely cotton suiting with a little stretch.  I don't know what it is, but it really is lovely with a great hand, great weight and just the right amount of stretch.

While I was contemplating my SWAP, I changed my mind and decided I would like to use black.  Safe in the knowledge that I had seen plenty of black, I went to Spotlight and guess what I found?  No black.  But they suddenly have a lot of chocolate brown.

As I am going home at the end of this month, I hope I will never have to set foot in Spotlight Hobart again.  Here endeth the rant.

And here starts my SWAP.

This is BWOF 02-11-103, which I made for last years SWAP.  It really is my favourite pencil skirt ever and I've made four versions of it and there will be more.

The picture of the front is overexposed and the spot on the hip is water.  I just happened to leave my failed birthday dress on Vera and this skirt looks good with it.  Maybe I'll shorten it to a top.

The back shot is clearer but the skirt still looks worse than it is in real life.  The reason for this is because I broke my much loved Sunbeam iron.  My friends at home have bought me a gravity feed iron for my milestone birthday, but I told them to hang on to it until I get home.  In the interim I have purchased a cheap iron that is total crap and irons very poorly.

This skirt is lined with a weird shaped bit of stretch charmeuse I got at the op shop for 50c.

The other thing that I've managed to cock up is printing my labels.  Some time ago now Kristy came up with a great idea for using t shirt printing sheets to make labels you can iron onto ribbon.  I've been doing this successfully ever since. That is, until this weekend.  When I printed out the iron on sheet, I forgot to reverse the print so when I ironed it onto the ribbon it was in reverse.  I now have 30 reversed labels.  I'm going to use them all because it makes me laugh.

I've almost finished a pair of pants from the same fabric, which I hope to photograph better than the skirt!
I've also made a hat from a corduroy remnant.  It's V8440 and I've also made this many times.  I've lined it with the last of the stretch charmeuse I used in the skirt.  This is for the Stashbusting Challenge and fits with the February challenge, which is to make something for someone you love.  This is for my best friend, Jo, who travelled down here for my birthday and flew home the very next day, which was her birthday.

Monday, January 28, 2013

So, this is what 50 feels like ...

I had two glasses of wine last night and that's it!

I stupidly didn't take any photos, but I ended up wearing Dress Plan C which was one I made last year and have never worn. I've forgotten the pattern number and I'm too lazy to look it up.

Dress Plan A.  I originally wanted to make V1151 but couldn't find ponte in a colour I liked.  There was boring black, washed out burgundy, dirty grey or cream.  I really wanted purple or orange or something bright, but here in fabric starved Tasmania I was fooling myself.
 I moved to Dress Plan B.

Prior to christmas I had traced BWOF 09-11-104 but never got around to making it, so I decided to give it a go.  I had 3m of poly chiffon that I bought at Spotlight last year for $3 a metre that was perfect.   It's a fairly simple pattern to make, but the double layer of chiffon with pleating and gathering makes it a little time consuming.  I changed the pattern contruction slightly.  For some reason the back skirt is a single layer in the pattern whereas the rest is double.  I made the back skirt double layer too, which means that all the inside seams are concealed and there is no hemming.

You can see from the original picture that the pattern has one sleeve and one silly 'shoulder scarf'.  I ditched the scarf and made two sleeves.  The side seam where the zip goes has one pattern piece cut on the bias and the other on grain, plus the zip goes across the gathered waist band. If you make this, it takes a bit of patience to get these seams to match, particularly as the bias cut front piece leeeeengthens when made in chiffon.

It's not my usual style, but it's cute and fits me well.  It's hard to see in this fabric, but the middle has a lovely draped section cut on the bias.  In hindsight, I would not cut chiffon on the bias, it stretches and hangs too much.  So why didn't I wear it?  It is more of a day dress and not suited to the fancy restaurant I was going to.  The tulip skirt is cute, it's comfortable and will look great with a little pair of flat silver sandals I have.
I had dinner with the wonderful women from work.  They gave me this lovely marcasite ring, photographed here on my wrinkly 50 year old hand.
I was up at 6.30am to take my friend Jo to the airport, so the birthday glow wore off pretty quickly.  Today I really am going to make a start on my SWAP!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Gifting, stashbusting and bloke sewing ...

I've managed all three of these in one garment.

I had this scant 1 metre of cotton check fabric that's been in my stash for about 15 years.  I bought it for $3 at a sale of remnants and bolt ends from a clothing store in Mullumbimby called Mokea.  I've pulled it out many times, but there just wasn't enough to make any of the things I had envisioned, so it always ended up neatly folded and back in the cupboard.

Somewhere in the middle of the night on Friday I remembered that I owe my friend, Bruce, a birthday gift from December and as he is a smaller guy, I thought I migh just be able to squeeze it out of this fabric.  I've only sewn for Bruce once before (a terry towelling bathrobe that didn't need fitting) and as he is about 2000km away I couldn't measure him, so I guessed.  I used KS3422 a pattern I've sewn for another similarly sized friend so I hope it comes close.  I know Bruce will wear it regardless, because he loves all things hand made.

I cut the outer yoke on the bias, only just managing to fit it into the odd little bits I had. I managed a pocket but there wasn't enough fabric to cut it on the bias, so it blends into the front and is hard to see in the first picture.

I didn't have quite enough fabric, so I cut the inside yoke, collar stand and under collar from a co-ordinating poplin remnant that I also happened to have in my stash.  The buttons are from stash, once again from an All Buttons Great and Small mixed bag and thread was all tail ends of reels leftover from other garments.  I'm really happy with this shirt and glad to have moved more fabric out of the stash cupboard.

This week I will make myself a birthday dress, but I really need to get started on my SWAP.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I may be getting obsessed ...

So far today I have squeezed a long sleeve t-shirt and three pairs of undies out of scraps.  The tshirt is my TNT KS3338 and the knickers are from the a free tanga panties pattern I downloaded from Burdastyle about a year ago. 

If you've been reading my blog for any length of time you will recognise these remnants.  The black and white animal print was leftover from a recent wrap top, the red and white stripe remnant was leftover from 2m of really good quality knit that yielded an oversized top I made in 2010 and in 2012 another long sleeve t shirt and the brown spot was leftover from a BWOF gathered tshirt that is a little too big but is still in my cupboard.  Once again, that was 2m of knit that has yielded two tops and a pair of knickers.  As you can see I only have black or cream knicker elastic in my stash.   
This panties pattern is designed for for stretch lace but I decided to try it with the knit fabric and it works.  These aren't the greatest undies in the world, but they are comfortable, they fit and they were free, not to mention the fact that it clears out some of my stash!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Serious stashbusting ...

You can see by the button to the right that I have decided to join the Stashbusting Sewalong.  This fits with what I've been doing for a while, although with no real plan.  This sewalong has a theme each month and January is all about using up all of those smaller pieces.  This top came from one of them.

While rummaging around in my sewing room tonight, I came across a remnant that was leftover from a film I worked on many years ago.  I inherited a large tea chest of assorted drills, cheesecloth, batiks and a few sari remnants.  Over the years I've used much of it for muslins or work clothes, but the sari remnants have been harder to work into my wardrobe.  I also came across a copy of the Sorbetto pattern that I downloaded a while ago and it seemed like  a match made in heaven.  I made this top tonight whilst watching a Queen documentary on the ABC.  The thread and bias binding were from stash, too, so this is a free top.

I have a top cut out from a knit remnant so I'm off to a good start!

One of the main things I want to clear from my stash is this piece of Vera Wang wool from the Fabric.com sale a few years back.  I have a coat in mind, although once I get back to the subtropics, I may well change my mind about that!

Next up I'm going to work my way through my stash and see how much of it I can work into my SWAP.  Wow, I've managed three posts in three days.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

This is why we muslin ...

You may recall I chose Vogue 2269 from 1989 as one of my SWAP patterns.  I knew by experience of fitting my longish torso and because this is an 80's pattern that I would need to lengthen the pattern.  I've made halters before and they've been a little troublesome and this one lived up to my expectations.

Short version is this: I completely reshaped the front darts to allow this to fit snugly in the bust and waist and then flare out over my pear shaped hips.  In the back I widened the dart at the top as I seem to have a narrow upper back.  It was still too big, so I sewed some wide elastic onto the facing.  This not only helps the back fit more snugly but fixes a small gape at the arm hole.  If I make it again I will need to fold out a wedge at the arm hole area.

I've made a wearable muslin that I like.  It's cute and I will wear it a lot, but I don't love this pattern enough to mess around with it to get a perfect fit.  I may use the sleeveless blouse version of the same pattern or I may fall back on a TNT Kwik Sew sleeveless blouse.

This fabric is a cotton/linen blend that's been in my stash for easily ten years waiting on the right garment.  I think it's perfect for this pattern.  The buttons are a nice bit of serendipity.  They came out of a $10 bag I bought from All Buttons Great and Small in Sydney.  They sell mixed bags in vague colour selections (bluish, greenish, reddish etc).  Every time I buy a bag I sort out the buttons into fishing tackle boxes for easy selection.  There was 7 of these green linen buttons in a bag of mixed greens and I was sure I would never use them, but they are perfect!
There was enough fabric left to make a skirt.
This is New Look 6463 which is a very old TNT.  I can't find a date on it anywhere but I bought it about 10 years ago in an op shop (and it was old then) for 20c and I've made it more times than I can count.  One version has inverted box pleats and and the other doesn't.  Both have six gores, which subtly shape the skirt over the butt.  Although it's an a-line, the shaping makes it sit close on the hips and flare out just enough to be flattering.  It's a perfect pattern to make out of small remnants.  I find it's more comfortable to wear a skirt in hot weather so this will be worn immediately!

Monday, January 14, 2013

2013 begins

I've finally sorted out this silly photo thing thanks to Anna, Faye and Maria who gave me all the answers I needed.  In downloading the Picasa software, though, I was a little alarmed to learn it has a facial recognition element that captured shots of people in photos on my computer and offered to automatically group new shots of the same people together!!!!  I intend to investigate this a little more.

Happy New Year to you all, a little belated I know.  I've been away for a few weeks and before that I was very busy so I have a lot of catching up to do.

I'll start by showing the last garment I made in 2012.  These skinny jeans were inspired by Carolyn who wrote a post a while back about red jeans being fashionable.  The very day I read this post I had rediscovered a length of crimson sateen in my stash that I bought a couple of years ago and forgotten all about.  The colour may not show very well but it is a slightly pinky red that I am finding goes with way more colours in my wardrobe than a straight clear red.  In these shots I am wearing a black top but I have also worn these pants with a hot pink halter top and I love the combination.  Sorry about the bad phone photos in the mirror, too.

The pattern is mostly BWOF 05-11-116 which has slit pockets that I don't like.  I frankenpatterned the top of my favourite Burda Anita Jeans (that I got as a free download years ago and I think is still available on the website) and added an inch to the back rise to fit my *ahem* curvy rear.  I love these pants. These pictures were taken with my phone so they aren't that clear.  I took these after wearing them all day and they haven't stretched out too much.

I've read a number of 2012 recaps, so I thought I'd add my count to the list.  I was stunned to find I've made a total of 49 garments.  I didn't think I'd been that productive.  I've also improved some of my techniques, so all things considered it was a good sewing year.

I have yet to start sewing for SWAP.  In the years past I have had four or five garments sewn by this time, but as I was away all I've done is buy fabric this year.  I've washed fabric and I will make a start today.

Finally, I am thrilled to say that I have been given a One Lovely Blog Award by Lin3arossa

Apparently I have to include 7 things about myself, so here goes ....

1. I am weeks away from turning 50 and don't know how I got here

2. I play the drums

3. I am really a hippy at heart and can't wait to get back to my farm

4. I love white chocolate

5. I used to have a career working in film and television as a Production Manager

6. If I were young enough to start a new career I would be a physicist

7. I would sell my soul to the devil for an hour in the company of Freddie Mercury and yes I am serious.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I can't upload pictures

What is going on with this blog thing??  I've been trying to upload for days.  Anyone else having problems?