Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Tried and true... Ottobre faded stripes tee

I have a need in my wardrobe for some new summer casual clothes.  I have well and truly worn out the current ones I have!  I have devised a plan of action to add some more tees and some casual pants to my wardrobe which is my preferred week-end wear.

First off the block my TNT Ottobre faded stripes tee.  I have made this four times already and only one is left in the wardrobe now looking very tatty!  You can see them all here if you are interested ---> Tees.

I have traced off the larger size I need now (oops!) and to make it a bit interesting I have used my new to me cover stitch machine for hemming and for the bindings.


This first one is in a cotton jersey bought from The Fabric Store.  I really like the finished tee, but sewing it was a PITA.  The edges rolled mercilessly and I ended up using a lot of spray starch to try and make it behave.  For this one I added the bindings in the more traditional sewing machine way that Ottobre instructs in their tips section, but chose to use the cover stitch machine to top stitch the binding instead of using a twin needle like I have in the past.  I was pretty happy with the result.


Next up was a cotton jersey which I am pretty sure I bought from Wattle Hill Fabrics It is very bright but I think I can make it work for week-end wear.  


This time the fabric was a bit better behaved so I decided to take a deep breath and use the binding attachment I have.  I practised a heap of times and then dove in.  First the neckline binding...


Success!  Then the armhole binding...



Ba-bow... The stitching sat in the binding to start with but went off track and I ended up with one stitching line on the binding and one on the fabric.  I have decided to leave it as it is. With this fabric print I am hopeful it is not real obvious.  Any tips on what I could have done to stop this happening?

Any other cover stitch or binding tips are most welcome my stitching friends.  Ciao for now kittens...

Monday, October 21, 2019

Felt fun!

I have been having fun making some Christmas ornaments from felt,  I have recently joined a woman's group and they are planning to hold a market stall and sell decorations for Christmas so I have been mulling over what I could contribute.

I have had a good friend using felted wool and old wool blankets in her textile art so I started thinking along that line and decided on felting some wool jumpers and making Scandinavian inspired decorations.



I managed to score a 100% wool vest and jumper from an op shop sale and put them through the washing machine at a high heat and then through the dryer.  The grey jumper I bought was already starting to felt so felted beautifully.  I ended up putting the navy vest in for a second run and it has the most gorgeous suede look to it now.



I recently attended the craft fair n Brisbane and got to see and feel some commercial wool felt.  It is way nicer than the synthetic based ones you can buy at the chain fabric stores but still stiffer than my lovely soft felt.  However I am thinking about using it in the future because of the range of colours you can get it in.  Perfect for Santa faces and the like.


I was loaned a Sissix with some cutting dyes and have been able to cut perfect circles and stars.  So much fun to use!




So I trawled the Internet and found some snowflake designs to embroider and just had fun!  I made the cords by the twirling method and love the finish it has given the ornaments.  Some were made into coasters as the circles just felt right for it and the wool doubled up is perfect for protecting furniture.



Is anyone else crafting for Christmas? If you love these but don't want to make your own, I have listed some in my Etsy shop  - SusySewandSew.etsy,com.

Happy Christmas crafting everyone!  Ciao for now!

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Vogue 9081 Marcy Tilton Cardigan


I had planned to make this cardigan top to take on the cruise last year and now I am sorry I didn't get to it.


The stretch mesh fabric is from Super Cheap Fabrics and I think cost the whole of $2 per metre.  I bought a few metres as it was not very wide.

The pattern is Marcy Tilton Vouge 9081.  I checked the reviews and found a few of the dress but not of the draped cardigan.  I was worried when I first started making it that the reason might be because it was a confusing make but I followed the instructions methodically and got there in the end.  The only issue I had was the facing band was too long.  However that may have been user error - I might have stretched it a bit when I pressed it perhaps.


The mesh made the sew slow going as it was fine and would melt under the iron, so much pressing cloth action and practice pieces to make sure it would work.  The pattern instructions are detailed and have tips on sewing this fabric which I liked.  I didn't follow all of them but I did follow the one about sewing the sleeve and it worked very well.

Sewing a buttonhole in the mesh fabric caused me some concern and many practices but it worked.  I happened to find the perfect buttons in my stash.



Not a fast make, but a satisfying one... 

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Stylearc Eme Dress

Stylearc Eme dress:

Skirt portion shortened by 2" due to fabric restrictions, but I am very happy with the resulting length.
Skirt is a heavier purple linen from Sckafs Fabrics in Brisbane and the bodice is a linen/viscose blend from The Fabric Store in Brisbane.




Thursday, June 28, 2018

Tried and Trues - Winter Resort

I decided I would like some separates in the wardrobe, so turned to some TNT patterns to make them.


The first of the three I made was the Nina Stylearc Cardigan.  I have made this before but not blogged about it.  This one was made in needle knit stripe from The Fabric Store, which I had in the stash.  Pretty similar to this one I think, but a pretty blue.  I had to study up on how to do a rolled hem around a corner as that is how I chose to hem the cardigan.  I didn't hem the last one as it was a heavier weight merino and I felt I didn't need it.  I referred to the technique in Easy Guide to Serging Fine Fabrics  and practised it a few times, then took a deep breath and went in.  I was pretty happy with the result.  This cardigan has worked really well and will be a great travel cardi as it is very lightweight but provides a nice amount of warmth for it's weight.

The second item was the Stylearc Evie top.  I have made this twice before but not blogged them.  This is the first one I made in an Art Gallery knit from Wattle Hill Fabrics.





This is a great basic tee perfect for layering.  

The fabric I used for this third one was stash fabric again.  A remnant piece of pretty ugly brown jersey.  I think I have used the rest of it for lining a dress.  This remnant has been hanging about for a while and even though it is never going to be a favourite it will help fill my wardrobe while I am catching up with sewing new clothes.  The of-interest part of this make is that I didn't bother with binding, but used FOE (fold over elastic) instead.  I used the shiny side as it matched the colour of the fabric the best.


And piece three was another TNT, the Mabel skirt, made twice before here and here.  It is, in fact, replacing the brown version I made earlier.  This time a larger size and followed the pattern as is, no changes made.  Again another remnant in the stash.  It is a brown double knit, unknown origin.  Love the kick pleat...



All these three items will mix and match with other pieces in the wardrobe.  I see the cardigan and the skirt becoming favourites but the brown top will probably stay until I make more tops I really like so I can move it on.

Ciao kittens, plenty more to come...

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Stylearc Cleo base + New Look 4220 topper - Winter Resort

My blogging of this new wardrobe will not be in the same order as the sewing, but I will try and show as many of the pieces I make in different combinations.  I am back today to show again the first piece I made, which was the Stylearc Cleo dress in combination with a more wintery top.


I spotted Kwik Sew 4220 pattern while I was browsing the Knitwit on-line store and really liked all the pieces in it.  One of the main pieces I liked in it was the ponte pants.  I have been trying to buy some but either the colour was not what I was after or the style was too narrow legged for me.  Most at the moment in the shops seem to be more like leggings in styling and when you have wide, short legs I don't think it is the best look and not what I am after right now.  So I figured the pattern would be a good one to have.

This was my first iteration of the pants in a Spotties ponte.  The top is a Burdastyle pattern - blogged here.  



While I was at Spotlight buying the pattern, I came across some fabrics that I decided would be good to try the pattern out.  The stone coloured ponte above and an eggplant coloured rayon knit.  It is a lovely colour, but the knit is very loose so needs something under it for modesty and warmth.  This light weight fabric is actually quite warm when layered.  I can imagine wearing it over a long sleeve when it is really cold.

I adored the feathery fringe on the selvage and decided to use it in the top so I added it to the edge of the cowl collar.  This is the fun part of making your own clothes. 


I wanted to show you the Cleo dress without a topper, so actually remembered to get a photo this time!  I really like this pattern and can see myself making many more iterations.  I think a sleeved one and maybe make the front v-neckline more of a curve may be the next one I want to make.


 A see a bit of my Grandma in me in that photo and that does make me smile.  A Finn truly in build I think!

I love my new purple top and have plans for a second one which in a different fabric will look quite different I think.

Well Ciao for now kittens, heaps more pieces to come yet!

Monday, June 4, 2018

Winter Resort

Well my blogging has been non-existent but part of that is because I really haven't been sewing clothes much at all.  I have been sewing for my little Etsy shop but not sure that is of interest to most people so my posting has died.

The reason I wasn't sewing much was I have put on a stack of weight (hello menopause and giving up trying!)  I couldn't really work out what to wear and everything I made looked, well, pretty ordinary.  I bought a few RTW items to plug in the gaps but was still not happy with how I looked.

I realised I needed some help and I will discuss that in a later post, but basically it came to light that I was really missing the boat in what I was making and buying.  Swathing myself in volumes of fabric was not making me look smaller!  In fact quite the opposite.

So a new tack has been taken.  I have gone back to basics and have started building my new wardrobe, at this stage titled "Winter Resort".   I have also come to realise that I was getting a long way from my best colour palette.  I was incorporating a lot of black and I did it because it was easy.  It was only making me look worse and it is interesting that I did it, as now when I try to put black near my face I can see what bad things it was doing for my complexion and in turn it was also making me feel very meh! about myself.

The first instalment in my wardrobe was a new basic dress in a "good" colour and a shirt that I just felt I had to make.

I chose to make Stylearc Cleo for the frock, which is a straight through style with optional darts for a bit of fitting.   I basted the darts, thinking they would not work for my overblown figure, but I had to give it to Stylearc, they know what they are doing.  The darts stayed and I am amazed at how much slimmer I look.  The tummy and all the bits are still there but it looks so much better in this frock!  I used a dark brown soft double knit that I had in the stash and to simplify the sew, I finished the armholes and neckline with fold over elastic (FOE).  

Anne Whalley has a great video tip on using FOE and you can find many more about too, to help you with this really RTW look sewing short cut.

While I was planning this dress, I visited East Coast Fabrics and picked up a piece of Georgette which I feel in love with and happened to be reduced in price.  I also noticed a New Look pattern while I was waiting to to be served and picked that up too, thinking it was perfect for the fabric.  I enjoyed making the top, but it wasn't a quick sew and put me back a bit in my plans to get my wardrobe started, but I am still happy I spent the time on it.  Sometimes you just need a certain piece and this was it this time.

So enough of the chatter, this is my first outfit in the new wardrobe...


and another shot,


I wore this outfit at the start of autumn and even though it was sleeveless, it was warm enough for the office considering the top is layered over the dress,

On the week-end I paired the shirt with a RTW top and some ugly as sin pants I made (that filled a need, but I don't like)  and wore this outfit to a local food and wine fair.  


Not the most flattering photo, but it was taken at the end of the day and I think on the whole it worked. (I could go on about how I should have fixed my look for this photo, but I do like the mustard top and sand coloured pants with this top.)

So many more instalments to come in this wardrobe... I will be back soon,  ciao kittens!