Saturday, April 11, 2015

Wardrobe Contest 2015 - piece 3 - Burdastyle 09/2011-128

My third piece, another top but this time a button-up blouse.  This is a pattern I have wanted to make for ages and I wish I had made it sooner as I really like it.   It is Burdastyle 09/2011 -128 called "Straight Ahead".

I love the simple lines but interesting details that makes this an interesting sew as well as lifts the top out of being too simple.  I think I will have to make another one soon in a plain fabric.

The only real alteration was to shorten the pattern.  That sucker is seriously long!  I did shorten a little more than I might normally but I was constrained by the amount of fabric I had.
Add caption
Every top in this contest is either fabric from a remnant bin or a left-over from something else I have sewn!  A real left-over wardrobe!

I love the set-in collar at the back that lines up with the level of the pleats at the front.  Hard to photograph in this fabric though.

The fabric is a Japanese cotton (lawn?) from Spotties.  Fairly stiff so not the best choice for the pleats in this top.  I am hoping it may soften with a few washes.  When I make it again I will try for a softer fabric.  I like how this one coordinates with my central piece, the cardigan.

So the full review is linked here

See you soon kittens, one more top to go...

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

2015 Wardrobe Contest - piece 2 - Ottobre 02/2015 #1

This is my second finished piece in my entry for the Wardrobe Contest on Pattern Review. It is again from the latest women's Ottobre issue 02/2015.  This time pattern no. 1 "Grain Field Top".  Can't quite get the connection of the name to the pattern.  any clues??

As this is part of my contest entry I haven't got the official photos yet but have got some on Diana.

This top is lovely.  The fabric was bought from a remnant bin - a cotton/silk blend and has been one of those pedestal pieces I was afraid to cut into.  I love the fabric, the colours, pattern and the way it feels.... yummy!

I have reviewed this pattern here, so won't repeat a lot of it here.  The basics are I lengthened the top, used a button/ loop closure at the back seam instead of an invisible zipper and had problems with the fit around my upper back.... boo hoo!, I thought it would end in tears, but I managed to fix the issue well enough by letting it out a little at the side seams.  Lesson learnt - when it is a pedestal fabric then muslin it or add extra to the seam allowances!!

I also love how it goes with my RTW cardigan that the wardrobe is based on.

Ciao kittens... another top soon... on a roll!

Monday, April 6, 2015

2015 Pattern Review Wardrobe Contest... off and running

I seem to be in contest mode.  My last post is the dress I entered in the Best of Patterns contest (voting open until the 9th of March) and now I have got all enthused to join in the 2015 Wardrobe Contest.

I have put together a story board.

The patterns are all Ottobre, Burdastyle and one Hot Patterns.

Their is one piece that can be made before time or RTW.  I chose this RTW cardigan and have planned the wardrobe around it.

My first top is Ottobre 02-2015 #10 and you can see it under the cardigan. I used a piece of Silk crepe de Chine leftover from this dress.

I have written a review here about this top.  My only other tips I would add are that I used tailors tacks to mark the neckline pleats and for the narrow hem at the front neckline, I turned it 5mm, stitched and then did the same again.  I also used a bit of spray starch to make it behave itself.

The top was shortened by 1" and sized up one size at the hips as it is a close fit at the hips. Take care if you are a pear shape with this top.  

Overall I really like the top, it was a quick make and the pleats give it a bit of interest.

I also like how the colours in the fabric match with my cardigan.

Ciao for now kittens, mad flurry of sewing happening so there may be more posts sooner than later...

Saturday, April 4, 2015

March Dress - Kitschy Koo Lady Skater Dress goes to Tea

Well the plan had been for a frock a month, but February's frock didn't happen.  However I did get one made for March.

This dress is the Lady Skater Dress by Kitschy Koo.  I had plans to make this dress as part of my frock-fest so when it happened that this pattern was one of the ones included in the "Best of" patterns contest it seemed to be the right time to make it.

I also had an invitation to attend the Brisbane Social Sewist's High Tea and it seemed right to have a new frock for it.  I didn't get any photos at the High Tea (bad blogger!) but we had some time before it started so we went to New Farm Park in Brisbane and got these photos.

I would have liked a narrow gold or aqua belt to wear with this but this gold circles belt is the best option I could find.  It is cute though!

The dress has a little twirl factor going on...

but I may be getting to old to twirl as I got quite giddy...

I have reviewed this dress in detail on Pattern Review so all the details about the sewing of it can be found in the review - here.

And for those of you who can vote, I encourage you to check out all the entries - here.

Ciao kittens... more contest sewing up next.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Burdastyle 06/2013 #119 Floral cotton blouse

I recently made 06/2013 #118 (Japanese lawn blouse) and really liked the pattern, but felt I needed to improve some areas of my sewing.  The standing collar was not perfect and had a bit too much bulk in it and I wasn't happy with how I set the sleeves in.

So at my last trip to Brisbane I picked up a lovely floral cotton (from the Fabric Collection) and decided to make it again.  However this time I used the sister pattern #119.   The differences are the collar with stand (quite a different shape to the stand in #118) and plain hemmed sleeves.  That made sense to me as I like the casual look of the sleeves rolled up  (which is how they show it styled).

Well this time I paid a lot more attention to the sewing (or maybe practice makes perfect) and I am super happy with the finish on this blouse.  Check out how this collar sits...

It was a bit different shape to other collars I have made but wow! so happy with how it sits! Can I say it again?  Look at the collar from the back...

Once again I did add a strip of fusible interfacing on the facing where the buttons and buttonholes go.  I also added the top button this time and made sure I sewed the top button so the inside stitching (which shows) is a tidy cross.  I raised a discussion about that top button on Pattern Review.  Sometimes I leave it off as I would not be doing it up and wondered if it made it look home-eccy-miss-becky.  Got a good response and now I feel confident to leave it off if I choose to.

Ok the compulsory modeled shots...


and maybe another way to wear it layered...

Pretty happy with the sewing this time...

Oh and out of interest I googled floral tops and look what came up - this "chiffon blouse". The fabric is a dead ringer for this cotton.  (If you want to compare look at the top photos on Diana as my DH had some arty lens on the modeled shots so the fabric is not so clear).

Ciao kittens... back soon with another frock...

Monday, February 23, 2015

Active wear... Rashie - Fehrtrade Surf to Summit top

We have bought kayaks recently and the few times using them so far, I decided we needed better sun protection.  

I decided I would like to have a rashie with a zipper and a swim short (Jalie) as a set (with an existing bikini top) and then I could swim after a kayak session or use it at the beach.  However I decided to make the rashie for DH first to try the pattern out.    DH also wanted the top with a zipper, as it makes it easier to pull on and off and if it is really hot you can get a bit of relief half opening the zipper.  Thankfully the Fehrtrade Surf to Summit top was released about the time I started looking for a pattern for the rashie.

I love that there is so many options to personalise this pattern. I made this top with blue for the main body and sleeves and black for the side panels, neck facing and zipper shield.

The zipper I bought was a chunky plastic zipper slightly longer than what the pattern called for, so I had to lengthen the zipper placket about an inch and also make the opening a little wider to accommodate the chunky zipper.  This was not the easiest thing I have sewn but I think it was lack of experience on my part and nothing to do with the pattern.  I did a lot of basting and quite a bit of unpicking too.

I was concerned about getting the fit right as DH is broad in the shoulders, slimmer at the waist, but with a gut (tummy). This is the fit on the back.  

I suppose it could be more fitted at waist level, but this fit is comfortable and does not accentuate the tummy.

The only change I made to the pattern was to shorten the sleeve by about an inch.  The muslin ended up with only one long sleeve due to lack of fabric but I assumed his arms were the same length. :)

I offered to cut the sleeve to the same length and he could use the muslin too, but he declined... don't know why...

The swimwear fabric is quite expensive, but I have looked at prices for RTW rashies with zips and this top would have cost me half the price, so worth doing I think.  Plus then we are not limited to the colours and patterns in the RTW ones.

Ciao kittens... moving away from active wear for a little while now...  back with some pretty floral fabric next...

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Gym wear... Lekala top and Anima shorts

Seriously I think I need an intervention... cant. stop. making. gym. clothes.... 

I decided this week I needed another gym top and shorts... I can't keep up with having clean gym clothes in this hot weather.  I also thought it might be good to have a gym shirt more covered in the shoulders as the weather starts cooling off.  So I decided to try a pattern a few have recommended on Pattern Review - Lekala 4273 - Sports Vest .  I put in my measurements and received my pattern and I have to say I am impressed with the fit.

I used supplex for the purple panel, sports mesh for the shoulder yokes and side panels and tactel nylon lycra for the back.  I got the mesh and the tactel from Joelles ebay store.  I saw mesh used like this on a friend's top at the gym through the week and thought it would work well and (hopefully) look RTW. 

Shown large so you can you see the mesh in the shoulder yoke panels.
The only alteration was to lengthen the top by 1cm.  I would lengthen it a bit more next time I make it and perhaps curve the hem to  make it look a bit more current like Blooms has done on some of her gym tops. 

I thought about making the armhole deeper as I am used to them that way on my gym tops but tried it as it was and found it wasn't uncomfortable.

I was very impressed with the fit, particularly around my shoulders and upper back.  Giving the bust and under bust measurement must make this a better fit I think.

I also made another pair of shorts.  My gym of choice is a crossfit box and I have been going for half a year now.  The pics above show my new top paired with my Jalie shorts which I love, but they are made of supplex and I find they are pilling on the bottom as the floor is quite rough on them.  So I decided to try a fabric with a harder finish and found this black fabric which is a nylon lycra blend but called Tactel.  It seems tougher... it was hard to get a pin through the fabric and I think it blunted my sewing machine needle going by the skipped stitches in my next garment.  So I shall see how it wears.  I decided to use the opportunity to trial a new pattern - the Papercut Anima Pants.  

I was pretty happy with how the pattern went together.  I made them as per the pattern.  The only changes I might make next time is leave off the faux fly (to make the front crotch easier to adjust) and to maybe add some width to the inner thigh area.  Overall I like this pattern and want to make the long version for comfy pants.  The photo is the shorts flat.  I don't think this fabric photographs well so probably won't be bothering to get a photo on me, but I will be using these a lot for gym and am interested to see how they wear. 

So, do I need an intervention?  Ciao kittens...