Sunday, November 23, 2014

Shetland Collection: Nearing the End

Although I have so many more garments I want to make for this collection, I have more than enough to travel with.  I just looked at the rules for this years SWAP and I realise that a lot of the things I had planned for the Shetland Collection, along with things that match but wouldn't work for this trip, will form the basis of a SWAP, so I will leave them for that.

I had a short break in New Zealand last week, so some of the garments shown have been finished for a while now.

This coat is BWOF 10-07-119 and is shown here sans buttons, which have since been added.  I've had this fabric in my stash for a few years now and in my mind it was charcoal, but when I pulled it out it was more brownish than I recalled.  C'est la vie.  I love this coat and although it's out of the colour range of the Shetland Collection I don't think anyone will notice!

It looks a little shapeless on a naked Vera.  When I wear this it will have several layers underneath (and I have more padding than Vera to start with) so it won't look so shapeless.
The buttons don't show so well here but they are black and brown and work perfectly with this fabric.  I didn't have anything in my stash so I visited the local store not expecting to find anything but there they were ... and only 60c each!
The lining is an animal print I've had in my stash for some years and it is perfect with the fabric.  Overall, I would go so far as to say this coat is one of the best things I've ever made.
Next up is my version of the Cake Patterns Espresso leggings.  I love, love, love this pattern! No side seam and custom drafted to cover my rear end!  The fabric came from Spotlight off the $3 per metre sale about a year or so ago.  Wish I'd bought more!  I only bought 2 metres but managed to get these leggings and another top I have yet to photograph.

Apologies for the bad mirror shot in my bathroom but as Molly as no opposable thumbs, she can't quite manage the camera. Perhaps I should have taken my socks off.  They look a little grubby.

More soon!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Shetland Collection: Crimson Overload

Somehow 3m of this crimson knit appeared in my stash.  I have a really vague memory of buying in the Lismore Spotlight this time last year, but I can't be certain.  It must have been cheap because I bought 3m of it!

I made View C of M5975.  I've made several versions of this over the years, but I love it.  It's a great pattern and works really well for me. 

As I was taking this photograph, I remembered a slim fitting wool crepe dress in this exact colour that me and a friend bought in a op shop in about 1975 and shared until it fell apart.  That op shop, in the suburb I grew up in, was in the electorate of Gough Whitlam.  Ironic that I should be remembering those happy days of my childhood in the week of his passing.

I had plenty of leftover fabric and so while I was threaded up I made another version of KS3888.   I love the simplicity of the binding on the neckline.

I have more fabric left so I will probably drag it out for a summer top!

I was going to start cutting out my overcoat tonight but as it's still about 24 degrees at 8.30pm, I don't think I will. It's hard to sew for a northern winter when it's so hot!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Shetland Collection: More ambivalence and some boring sewing.

In a ridiculous moment of self-deception, I managed to convince myself that this was the right skirt to make.  It fails on two levels.  Winter white?? On me??  Then there is the style.  I have a waist and hips, wrap ANYTHING does NOT work for me.

For those less curvy, this pattern is BWOF 09-2011-110 and it's a lovely little skirt made from a piece of lovely winter white wool.  The pattern calls for a facing but given the coarse nature of this wool, I knew it would be irritating so I lined it edge to edge with some leftover white bemberg.  I'm happy with the skirt but it just doesn't work on my curvy body.

Feeling slightly disillusioned, I went on to make some palate cleansing knit tops, which aren't very exciting at all, but will be useful.
This first one is BWOF 02-2013-127 which I've previously made as a dress (I think that was style 128 but with long sleeves??)
I like the gathers on the sleeve seam.  It's a nice little difference on a basic long sleeve tshirt.

This one is BWOF 09-2012-130 and whilst it's not my favourite knit top, come winter I will be glad of something a little different to my usual plain long sleeve t!
This shows the gathers on the side, which I rather like.  The fabric is kinda cute.  I've yet to read it to see what it actually says! It's a really soft and drapey rayon knit and will be lovely to wear.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Shetland Collection: Ambivalence...

This pattern is the jacket from Vogue 2989 wardrobe pattern (now OOP) that's been in my collection for five years or so I think.  So far I have only made the dress, which is my favourite knit dress EVER.  It's flattering and comfortable and the raised neck at the back is perfect for me in winter.

The jacket, however, is not my favourite.  I'm not sure I like it.  I thought the peplum might be flattering, but it just makes me look fat.
 The front is held together with a large hook and eye (the kind used on furs) which I didn't photograph, sorry.  The sleeves are a little looser than I would like, but as I will wear this over layers, it might be OK.  It's hard to sew winter clothes on a hot day when all you want to wear is underwear!

 The fabric is a multi colour knit, and I've taken a flash free pic below to give you a better indication of the colour.  I bought it for the pink and it goes with a lot of things I already own....if I liked it.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Shetland Collection: I'm a Jeanious

I thought of many bad jeans related puns...

These are based on BWOF 05-11-116 skinny jeans which have funny little slit pockets.  I morphed the traditional jeans front pocket from the old Burda Anita jeans that I downloaded free many years ago.  There is no button yet as I ran out of silver jeans buttons, but the rivets are on - you can just make them out.

 They started as a size 38 but I lengthened the back to match a pair of Levis Bold Curve skinny jeans (another genius invention) and changed the shape of the crotch curve so it covered my fat middle-aged-ass.  I took about 3 inches out of the waist to make it fit. 

I tried to take some pictures of me wearing them but it was a bit of a disaster (as you can see from this shot in which my butt looks as big as cow) and a waste of time, so you only get flat shots from my crappy camera.

In a moment of drunken madness pure inspiration I decided to reference the Shetland flag in my pocket stitching.

 I used some scraps of a weird red and purple poly cotton leftover from a shirt I made at least ten years ago.  Again, my camera won't focus but you get the idea!

In other sewing news...this is a skirt made from my TNT pattern.  It's a soft crepey wool and I stupidly lined it with a rustly grey lining fabric so this may or may not be tossed out.  I will stick it in the magic closet for a while and see what happens!

Last up is this dress I made a while ago.  It is BWOF 04-14-112 dress which I was prepared to hate.  As it turns out, this is a comfortable, wearable dress and I've had loads of compliments when I wear it!.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Shetland Collection: Sidebar

I hadn't planned to make this garment, but the fabric was there, the overlocker had pink thread in it and I knew I could knock this one over quickly.

Like the long sleeve tshirt from yesterday, I've made these shorts more times than I remember.  They've even featured in two previous travel wardrobes.  A red, black and white one here and an orange and brown one here.

These are the Burda Ruby Shorts that I downloaded many, many years ago when the patterns were all still free.

As you can see, I've used the pink fabric from the high waisted skirt and the final remnant of the silk/cotton paisley from last weeks top.  Buttons from stash, so this is essentially a free garment

 I even made the little pocket bag out of the paisley fabric.  Sorry about the out of focus pic!
As inappropriate as it may be, I still wear shorts in winter with tights and boots.   I will wear these in Shetland and as there is probably a warm climate stop off either end of the Shetland trip, they can double up as hot weather wear.
I think I need to get the leggings and skinny jeans underway and I really need to decide on a coat pattern and get my charcoal wool prepped!  Watch this space...

Monday, October 6, 2014

Shetland Collection: Basic tops

I've continued with the not-exciting basics.  These tops will see lots of wear, Shetland or not!

First up is my much favoured TNT KS3338 with the self drafted cowl from the Australian Stitches magazine.   This pattern is XS at the top, then shifts out top S at the hips and is lengthened to the XXL length.  I've lost count of how many times I've made this.  The fabric is a heavy cotton/lycra blend.  Boring but very useful!

Next up is V8790 made from a thin cheap poly cotton lycra blend fabric that I think I got from Spotlight at a very cheap price.  I like the longer length of this top and it will look great over leggings and skinny jeans that are yet to be made.  I have a love/hate relationship with wrap front tops but I love the colour of this one and it will be put to good use.
As always, this looks better on me than on Vera.  I made an 8 at the top, blending down to a 10 at the bottom.  I really like the high neckline at the back.  As someone with a short haircut, this makes a real difference to a winter top

I've got a few extra garments in the mix that I'll present tomorrow.  I really apologise for the bad pictures, I need to get a new camera.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Shetland Collection: Basic Bottoms

This isn't very interesting sewing and it certainly isn't interesting blogging, but....

First up is Vogue 8672 View A, considerably shortened.  It's hard to tell, but the fabric is a heavy wool (that I got ridiculously cheap) with a tartan pattern in the weave.  You might be able to see it in these pics, but it's not that noticeable.  I like the slightly high waist, which is very flattering.  This basic black skirt fills a massive hole in my wardrobe that's been there for some time.  I guess this is the sewing equivalent of the plumber with a leaky tap...

The lining is from stash, a poly satin that I bought some years ago now and I think I lined a jacket with it.  It's the perfect weight for this wool and will stop it from itching like crazy.

Next up is the very high waisted Burda 04-14-113 skirt.  I am ambivalent about this skirt.  I made it without the pockets for obvious reasons and I didn't topstitch the waist as it didn't sit right.  If I were to make this again I would cut the band separately for a better shape and fit.

The fabric is a stretch twill of some sort that I really like but, as it turns out, crushes easily so won't be great for travelling.
 Another thing that makes it a no go is that it doesn't look as good with this blouse as I had imagined.  However, having said all of those negative things, this skirt will actually see a lot of use for work because it turns out that this shade of dusty pink is a great neutral and goes with a lot of things already in my wardrobe.
Oh and I lined it with poly satin leftover, ironically, a purple version of V8672 I made for SWAP two years ago.

Have I mentioned I love my new labels??

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Shetland Collection: Starting at the top...

Because I have no imagination and don't want to have to reinvent the wheel, I decided to start with a few TNT patterns.  I'm trying to wear more blouses as I'm getting tired of knit tops that look the same, so I've started with a blouse that already exists in my wardrobe in about seven different versions.  This is BWOF 01-2008-107 or 108 or something.  I like this without the collar (which I think is #107). 
It's been a little hard to photograph this because of the fabric.  I don't actually know what it is, but I suspect it may be a raw silk of some sort.  It feels like a light, soft taffeta but doesn't have any shimmer in it, although the last photo seems to look that way.  I acquired this fabric some years ago, along with several other colours, from a film shoot.  Back when I had an actual career (Production Manager - film and television) it was my job to dispose of all the left over stuff at the end of a shoot.  

I have always loved this fabric and never knew what to do with it.  None of these pictures give a true portrayal of the colour.  It's a soft dusty pink.  I had so little fabric that I had to cut the inside collar and the placket binding strips from this paisley, which you will see below.

It's not a very exciting shirt, but I like it and I had to start somewhere!
Next up is something new.  This is BWOF 05-2013-106 and while I could sew the previous blouse in my sleep, this one was a different story.  Burda's instructions are woeful, as usual, and the pictures don't give a clear enough look at it to figure out the neckline.  No one in the blogosphere seems to have made it so there was no help available.  Anyway, I forged ahead with the construction in the hope it would become clear.  It didn't, but I think I've fudged it well enough.
The collar doesn't actually attach, it wraps around your neck then snaps onto the collar on one side, then the end gets tucked under and snaps to itself.  The fabric is a cotton/silk paisley in lavenders, pinks and greys.  I apologise for the bad pictures but I think my camera is on its last legs.

Next up... a skirt...

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Reintroducing myself...

It's been a while - remember me??  It's been a busy year and a bit since my last post.

I'd like to thank Sheila and Faye for checking in on me! All is well.  I've been busy renovating a house, building another and working.  On top of that I managed three overseas trips and am leaving on another this coming week.

I have been sewing, not much, but some.  I haven't blogged any of it, but there are a few things I will show off in time.

For now I would like to introduce a travel wardrobe I am working on for a month long trip to Shetland this Christmas.  So far I have only been there in summer and as I live in the subtropics my wardrobe isn't that well equipped.

The wardrobe was inspired by this cardigan, a gift sent to me from Nepal.  This picture doesn't do it justice.  It is the softest, lightest cashmere I have ever felt.

So I collected some paint charts and pulled a page from a magazine.

Then I pulled some fabric from my stash

And the Shetland Collection was born.
I have a fair idea of what I want to make, mainly skirts, tops and leggings.  I have jeans already, including a purple pair from a SWAP a few years ago.  There are other fabrics in my stash that co-ordinate and will take this in a different direction, but for the purposes of a travel wardrobe I will stick to the palette of dusty pink, dusty lavender, grey, black and cream.  Not included in this fabrics above is a charcoal wool that will become a new overcoat.
So in an attempt to kick start my collection, I made this. 

This is BWOF 03-10-126 that I last made in in 2010 here . It looks way better on a person than on Vera.  This is a slightly fuzzy knit somewhere between a jersey and a ponte weight with a soft underside.  I still wear the original red and white stripe, in fact it's been worn on about 10 international flights since I made it.  Perfect weight, looks good over leggings and holds up on even the longest of long haul flights.
More soon...