Monday, January 8, 2018

Holiday sewing

Just before Christmas I was offered an opportunity I could not turn down.  A chance to buy a great second hand Cover Stitch machine.  It was from a good sewing friend who has upgraded for various reasons so I was happy to take it off her hands.  It arrived just before Christmas but I had to wait until after Christmas to give it a try.  BTW it is a Brother 2340CV, before you ask. 

I have decided I will concentrate on getting the hemming reasonable before moving onto any attachments.  I played with wovens until I managed to get it stitching and then moved onto a jersey.  I know I should probably practice more before moving onto garments but I am too keen to sew all the things, so I made Vogue 1179 for the third time.  The first time here and the second time here.  I love this style of dress and it is so easy to wear.  The only difference in my third effort is that I had to make the collar less full as I did not have quite enough fabric.

...and to show the fabric in more detail...

 At this stage I won't show the CS hem but it is reasonable enough.

No more cover stitch again for a little while but I did do a make-over on a dress I sewed back in 2015 - this one.  I have worn this dress a lot as it is so cool and easy to wear.  However, being silk it didn't take to the heavy wearing and the fabric gave way at the backside.  I must sit too much!  I decide it was too good to throw away so I hope I will get a few more wears out if it as a top.  I marked and cut a new hemline (hi-lo) and sewed a narrow hem.

And as I am a bit of a messy sewist I decided I needed a little caddy to sit near my sewing machine to put all the bits and pieces I use often.  That way hopefully it will be easier to tidy up and dust than having it spread all over the place,

I did read some tutorials on-line and you can find many.  I just based this on those that I had read and made it to the size I needed.

A good way to use up some quilting fabric remnants.

Well I may be back soon with more cover stitch trials.

Ciao kittens... Happy 2018!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Women with thighs...

What do women do in summer if you have the opposite of thigh gap... politely maybe referred to as muscular thighs or pears?  I don't think there is a good name for women with thighs, but I do know that we suffer in summer.  I adore wearing frocks in Summer.  They are cool and floaty and make for an easy choice when getting dressed in the morning.  However with this current humid warm summer days we are having, I find wearing frocks not so appealing due to the dreaded rub.  I have looked for a number of solutions, but the one I have been most happy with is with "slip shorts".  Shorts made from soft, comfortable, breathable natural fibres to wear under your frock.

I have started making these for myself after finding they are difficult to source in Australia.  I base them on a pattern for compression shorts, sizing up a bit to take away the compression aspect.  I want these pants to be comfortable, no compression or sucking in.  These are not meant to act like spanx.

I made one trial pair with a fabric remnant and since then I have been so taken with these pants that I am making them for my Etsy shop.  So far I have had excellent feedback from my customers who have tried them.

Now I know you sewists can make your own, but if you would rather buy them please feel free to stop by my shop and check them out.  You can find them all here - slip shorts.

These shorts are also lovely to sleep in and if you are an active person or chasing kids around a playground they provide an element of modesty.  As I use pretty lace on the hems, I think they look very pretty and feminine if your skirt does fly up, like a pretty slip would.  I am planning to make some soon without the lace to see how they go, as not every one is a lace fan like me.

I have at the moment listed classic black, a fun terracotta and a few in ivory.  Soon I will be adding a really pretty soft pink and a nude, so keep an eye out for those.

I have lots of names for these... slip shorts, pettipants, petticoat pants... what would you call them?  Would you wear them?

Friday, May 19, 2017

Sewing pattern weights

I have been wanting to make some sewing pattern weights for myself for ages and have just got around to it.  They are used instead of pins to hold your pattern in place on your fabric so that you can trace or cut around your pattern.  

The advantage of using pattern weights over pins are :

  • there is less distortion of the fabric and
  • they are quicker and easier to use than pins.

I used this tutorial to get started but did tweak it a little.  I made some sets at the size suggested in the tutorial, but decided to make some slightly larger and prefer the larger size. However a mix of sizes and weights could be very useful.

You can use rice or dried beans, kitty litter, sand or aquarium gravel to fill them, but I wanted a clean fill with no dust.  I ended up using doll stuffing pellets and lead weights (sinkers, lead pellets, etc).  You can then adjust the weight to whatever you prefer.

If you are not keen on making your own pattern weights or are looking for a gift for a sewing friend, you can find sets of pattern weights in my shop.

Do you use pattern weights?  What do you like about them?  Ciao for now kittens!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Summer top ... Vogue 9109

I made this top about two months ago but getting the photos is always the hard part.  Finally snapped some while at work the other day.  Still not great, but better than no blog post.

Very Easy Vogue 9109 made in a rayon from Spotlight.  I bought this pattern from Spotlight when they had a buy 3 patterns for $x sale.  I liked the Tessuti Ruby and had planned to buy it, but I needed one more pattern to get the discount.

The pattern is an easy make.  The only alteration I made was to drop the bust dart about an inch.  I like these patterns made for different bust sizes, not much alteration is required if you choose the right size.  

Excuse the crumples.  These photos were taken at the office.  In a perfect blog world I would get the photos taken when I first put it on.  The odd thing is that in real life the crumples aren't that bad, but the camera seems to emphasize them.

The back neck slit was supposed to have a hook and eye but I prefer the look of a button and loop.  I made a sewn thread loop.  

In summary, a sweet top that isn't hard to make.  I don't think it has as much "swing" as the Ruby, but still a lovely style.  I like that I can wear it on the week-ends or to the office.  

Autumn is settling in now so it won't get worn a lot so it is probably good that I got my photos when I did.

I also have made some more zipper bags for my Etsy shop.  Mainly made from remnant fabrics, the black is a lovely cotton I made a shirt for my son.  I have attached a charm as a zipper pull.  This one says "Me vs Me".  It would be great for a gym bag.

The blue print linen is a remnant from a second Ottobre pieced linen dress which I don't seem to have blogged about (like this one).

I plan to blog again soon with a Stylearc Mariln dress I made to attend the Brisbane Spoolettes High Tea... Ciao kittens.  

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Wrist wraps...

Hey guys,  You may have noticed I have changed my header to "Susy Sew and Sew"...  It is to keep it in line with my little Etsy shop.  I hope you don't mind the change.  :)

I wanted do something a little different in this post and instead of the usual show and tell I give you about my clothes sewing, I thought I would talk to you today about wrist wraps.   I never knew these things existed before I started Crossfit, so I thought you might be curious to know a bit more about them.   I use them in my training and I love the little bit of extra support they provide in all sorts of movements - lifting, body weight moves, gymnastics type moves, etc...

The wrap is basically a long rectangle of fabric with a tie at one end.

It can be loosened or tightened by simply twisting the wrap toward or away from the tie.   There are plenty of youtube clips to show you how to put them on and tighten them, like this one.   I love that even if they are loose in the middle of a workout, they can be quickly tightened to give some support when you need it.

If you want to make your own wraps there are tutorials on line as well.  This is similar to how I made mine -  wrist wrap tutorial.   They would make a great gift for any Crossfitters in your life, but I do have some available in my shop if your not keen to make your own.  Yep I love them so much I had to make more...

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Ottobre dress 02/2016 15 Pieced linen dress

I had a piece of crinkled linen left over from when I made my Tessuti Eva dress.  It was expensive fabric and so lovely I have been waiting for the right pattern to come along to use it.

Enter Ottobre 02/2016 #15  Pieced linen dress which required crinkled linen and I had the right amount... big win!  I didn't think I would get a dress out of the remnant piece but as this is cut into many pieces it worked really well.

I really like top stitching and used the same thread as I used for sewing the dress but with a triple stitch to look like a top stitch.

The colour is out in this pic.  The next pic is more accurate.
It is hard to see the details in this photo but I love this dress... it also has pockets... pocket love!

Did you spot my necklace?  I have always coveted this necklace and there is a tutorial on the Ottobre blog to make it, but I don't have any of the jewellery making equipment so wasn't inclined to try.  However since entering the world of Etsy selling I discovered there are talented makers out there who will make custom orders for you.  I contacted Anita of Echidna Arts and Cards and she made me a beautiful version in gold leather.

I have worn this dress quite a bit since I made it and love it enough that I am making another version from a linen print.  I have reviewed the pattern here.

... and speaking of Etsy, I have recently started a destash section in my shop and have listed one remnant of supplex.  It is not large enough to make a whole piece of clothing, but if you are after some supplex to use in a colour blocked piece, this could work for you... check it out here

I will be adding to the destash section over time, so there may be something there to appeal to a fellow sewist so keep an eye out.

Ciao kittens... back soon with a cool tunic!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Active wear.... Kwik Sew 4181

Sorry I am a very intermittent blogger lately.  We have had a week away on a camping holiday and you know how it is... stuff.

Anyhoo, I have finally got around to showing you my new Kwik Sew top 4181.  

I have made View B, pretty much straight from the pattern.  The only adjustment I made was to grade out to a larger size at the hips.

The fabric I have used is supplex for the royal blue parts and black back and bindings and the contrast V is a funkifabrics purchase called Pompeii Ice.  This was an easy sew.  The part I had the most difficulty with was sewing the applique neatly.  This was more related to the type of fabric than the pattern.  The funkifabrics fabric is called flex and is like a swimsuit fabric so was a little tricky to turn under.  From memory I think I tried basting glue and it didn't really work, but I got there in the end.

Pretty happy with the fit and finish of this pattern.  I didn't bother with the shelf bra but wear it with a racer back sports bra and like how the back covers the bra straps.

Other than that I have been sewing for my etsy shop... a few new bags, including this one from an OOP Alexander Henry fabric....

and some new headbands...

Hope you are all having fun with your sewing... Ciao kittens!