Saturday, October 11, 2014

Continuing Frocktober - the Kielo Wrap Dress

Continuing the frock theme I have made my last item for my cruise... well I still have tomorrow to pack before sailing on Monday, so made in plenty of time!

I chose to make the Named Clothing Kielo Wrap Dress.  Like a few others I first saw this dress at the Sewist's High Tea.  I think Donna sold a few of us on the pattern that day.  I was concerned how it would work on me as I have not got Donna's height and the pattern is drafted for 5'8".  Well... I needed a dress to take on the cruise for one of the formal nights so with some lovely green stretch crepe in the stash, this pattern will be perfect to pack and (hopefully) to wear.

I shortened the dress for my height at two places - approximately knee height and thigh/hip height.  Apart from that the only change I made to the pattern was to sew the armholes a little higher (about an inch) as this fabric is quite heavy and pulls the dress down and I didn't want my bra strap to show.

The dress is a simple one to make (great last minute make).  Saying that though I seemed to have some difficulty - I cut and sewed the ties (laces on the pattern) three times, as I sewed them the wrong way twice before working out what I was doing wrong - folding the piece the wrong way - rookie mistake!  The only other difficulty was sewing the armhole and neckline hem,  It is folded twice and sewn with a very narrow hem.  I followed the instruction and turned and sewed twice to make it easy.  I used my walking foot and moved my needle across so it naturally sewed the fold edge while keeping the folded fabric easily under the foot.  

This is how I ma thinking of accessorising the dress.  My blue-green wrap if the evening is cool and my new tan shoes... or maybe black shoes to look more formal?  I shall let you know how it wears...

Ciao kittens, sailing on Monday so not sure when I will blog next. :)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Ottobrefest... Frocktober???

I have been sewing some dresses to take on a cruise I am going on next week.  I am planning to wear them in the evenings to dinner.  So I am naming this month Frocktober... it could have been Ottobrefest, but the next dress I plan to make is not from Ottobre...

The two Ottobre dresses made so far...

First up is 05/2013- 4 Friday Evening Dress.  This is the same pattern as the last tee shirt I made.  

The fabric is from Crafty Mamas as well and was marked as a denim jersey.  It is quite thick and has a soft fuzziness on the wrong side.  I think it is a good weight for this dress.  The only pattern alterations was to shorten the sleeves and take the hips out one size (size 40 top and 42 hip).

Back view (taking note that my bottom is not as bodacious as Diana's)...

And here with a scarf I bought recently.  I tried to buy a scarf that had all my colours in it and it does seem to coordinate well with most of my wardrobe.

The next Ottobre is from 2/2013-19 Twist Knot tunic and dress.  

I made the dress length.  The only alteration I made to this pattern was to shorten the length by about 7cm.  I am not as tall as Ottobre woman and I thought the length was more flattering hitting under the knee.

The fabric is from Skaffs and is lovely quality.  I also adore the print and colour.  I like how I managed to cut the fronts so that the shoulders have the same large print on them.  Totally accidental!

So back to the sewing machine... one more frock planned to add to the cruise wardrobe... Ciao!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Ottobre 5/2013 #4 ... Monday Basic Raglan T-shirt

I am still sewing some long sleeved clothes as I am going on a cruise soon and expect the temperatures to be cool most of the time.  After winter a lot of my tees (and dresses) are looking tired so I figured I needed a few new ones for the cruise.

I had previously bought this divine striped fabric from Crafty Mamas and after sewing stripes recently where the fabric was skewed, this fabric was like gold.  So lovely to handle, straight grain and beautiful recovery.  These fabrics are not inexpensive but the quality is soooo worth it! 

This time I wanted to make the Ottobre raglan tee (5/2013 #4 - Monday basic).  I made a size 40 and love this style.

I did not really follow the instructions for the neckline.  Ribbing is recommended but I used the same fabric as the tee cut the other way to make the stripes a feature.  I used the piece recommended for the facing for View B (the dress version) and did a pretty standard tee shirt binding.

Other than that I made the tee shirt pretty much to the instructions.  I like the dart on the top of the raglan sleeve that gives the shoulder a nice shape.

I matched the side seams really well but the raglan only matched so-so but the one pictured in the magazine is the same, so I figure that is the nature of the raglan shape.  

I have paired it this day with my dory crocheted scarf.  It was a really cool spring day and the cotton scarf was a perfect weight to keep the cool breeze off my neck.  I love the way the green scarf works with this top.  I don't know why I don't look too happy in these photos.  I had a great day and loved what I was wearing.  I think I may have been a bit cold as I took my cardigan off for these photos.

Oh and if you are wondering about the flowers in the hair, I was at the Food and Wine festival which is part of our town's flower festival.  They had a stall where you could make your own flower crown... so much fun and everyone looked lovely walking around with flowers in their hair!  I wish I could wear flowers in my hair everyday!

Ciao for now - I have also made the dress version of this pattern so back with photos (as soon as I get them)!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Craftiness... baby fun and more cowls

I love making things for babies... who doesn't?  We have more young families in my place of work and they are making beautiful babies so I have indulged myself and made some bibs for the latest baby boys that have arrived.

I have made this pattern before in pinks and it is the Fabulous Fifties bib from Nicole Mallalieu.  I did use toweling again for the backing but searched for a thinner towelling to make the sewing easier.  I found tea towels made from microfiber toweling and I am hoping their absorbency will make this a good bib.

The only changes I made was to make the ties a little longer than the pattern states and I would highly recommend making or buying more binding than given in the pattern.  Other than that a great pattern!

Knitting wise - I had a second ball of the wool I made my willow cowl from so made myself another cowl (can you have too many?).  This time a crocheted cowl using the pattern Richmond lace infinity scarf.  

This is the scarf worn by me.  I was at the Jumpers & Jazz Festival held in Warwick in July.  For those yarnies out there the kitchen behind me is fully yarn bombed, including the knitted black and white tiles.

And to come full circle, while I was at Jumpers & Jazz I bought a lovely ball of hand-dyed, hand painted yarn...

and made another willow cowl...

Modeled here by Diana as the weather has turned too warm here to model it myself.

Ciao kittens... more sewing soon...

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Sewing Workshop - Olive Top

The Sewing Workshop Alex & Olive top pattern isn't a cheap pattern to buy but when you consider it has two really good but quite different tops in it, the value goes up.  Last post I showed you the Alex top I made, this time the Olive top.

I made this top in some fabric purchased from the Fabric Store in Brisbane.  The stripes are woven in but were skewed so did not run at right angle to the selvedge.  So cutting was a bit of a PITA.  I basically cut the top so the grain line markers ran at right angles to the stripes so that the stripes would sit straight in the top.  Luckily the pattern allows you to cut each piece whole (not on the fold) so it helped in keeping the stripes straight.  I did not concern myself too much with stripe matching as I felt you really want to see the seam detail in this top and matching the stripes would hide them.  Other than that the cutting was straight forward and the top hangs fine (phew!)  The only alteration I made was to shorten the sleeves.

The top has plenty of great details and the description is: Scoop-neck knit pullover with diagonal side seams and exposed decorative back zipper on the diagonal. Curved left back hem detail and open vents in long sleeves. Zipper is a 22" separating zipper.

I like the detail - all the seaming and the vents in the sleeves, but was concerned the zipper would be too heavy for this fabric and would result in it not sitting well and buckling into waves.  I spoke to my sewing buddies and got a great solution.  I used a different seam finish for the back seam (where the zipper was supposed to be).  

I sewed the seam as per normal but used a long basting stitch on the machine.  I neatened the edges and pressed it open.  Then I applied ribbon to the seam on the inside - first by pin.

and then basted by hand on each side of the ribbon

I then sewed the ribbon on each side by machine and removed all the basting including the basting that I initially did to sew the seam together.

The end result...

I thought this was quite perfect for this seam.

The only issue I had with the pattern was the application of the neck binding.  It was not stretched on, so ended up wavy and would not sit flat no matter how much I steamed it.  I did cut the band on the bias as I wanted the stripes to look interesting but I don't believe that affected this piece.  

I did not want to unpick what I had done as the fabric is quite thin and I did not want to risk harming the fabric.  So after some thought I simply turned the binding another time to the inside and stitched from the front in the ditch to hold it.  I was much happier and this sits much better now.

I am sorry I forgot to get a photo of the sleeve vents.

I love this top and I don't think these photos do it justice.  It really is nice to wear and falls beautifully.  I had knit (DK) pants on so don't know if that is why it is not falling so nicely in the photos.  You will have to take my word for it.  I love this top and would make this another time.  I prefer this slightly slimmer fit to the loose fit of the Alex top.

So next time some crafting and knitting... Ciao! 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Sewing Workshop - Alex top

I recently bought some lovely black pants which are very slim in the leg (like leggings but a really firm nice fabric).  Sooo as always happens I decided I needed a tunic length top or two to wear with them.  After a little hunting around the web I ended up buying the Sewing Workshop's Alex and Olive pattern.   (For the aussies reading this, you can purchase this pattern here at Can Do Books.) Being tunics I needed a good length of fabric so bought some on my last visit to Brisbane at the Fabric Store.

I ended up with a gorgeous purple fabric for the Alex and stripe in green for the Olive.  The purple was marked as vintage and when I asked I learnt it came from a dance wear company that had sold stock off and it was from the 1980's.  The quality is divine, the colour is vibrant and I wish they still made fabric like this!  

I made the pattern to my bust size and think the sizing is pretty true.  The only change I made was to shorten the sleeve length.  The instructions were pretty good but I did insert the sleeves flat rather than follow the pattern instruction which does them in the round.

I love the details - the collar, the gathering at the back neckline and the insert piece in the centre front.  However the gathering at the back looks which lovely on Diana....

 on me does not sit nicely... 

That is about the only disappointment with this pattern. I have shown it here with my Mabel skirt but I love it with my new trousers (more than this combo).   So it has fit the bill.

Photo bombing kitten cannot be left out....

Ciao kittens , the Olive top soon...

Monday, August 18, 2014

Crafty shopping... live, laugh, love

To take a break from clothes sewing exploits, I will show you the results of a lovely Sunday out.   Saturday was miserable... wet, windy cold so on Sunday when the sun came out we went for a drive out to Highfields (just outside of Toowoomba) to a little precinct called the Village Green.

First I shopped at the Quilters Angel and then we sat in the sunshine and had lunch at the Chocolate Cottage.  At the Quilters Angel I knew I would find what I need to make some gifts and I also picked up a magazine.

After lunch we strolled some of the other shops and I bought a few pieces to decorate my sewing studio.  Theses are the pieces hanging on the wall.

And to give you perspective on how it looks from the doorway of my sewing studio.

Ciao kittens - some Sewing Workshop tops and (obviously) some crafty goodness soon...