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 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?