Thursday, May 5, 2016

Endless combinations... piece one ... Burdastyle 06-2011-139 dress

I had hoped and am still hoping I might get an entry into the Endless Combinations Contest on Pattern Review.  However it has taken me 4 weeks to get the first piece made... so now I have 2 weeks to get 3 more done.  I am not giving up yet.

I had a pile of fabrics chosen for my pieces and you can see the black and cream jersey is dying to be a wrap dress.

Well I had actually chosen another pattern off burdastyle for it, but I don't have the issue it was in (not being a current subscriber) so I planned to download it.  Well the sewing gods had other ideas and the Burdastyle download was broken for a few days so it gave me time to think about it more.  I decided the pattern I had chosen needed a heavier knit and I should look for  a new pattern for my fabric.  BTW the Burdastyle download did get fixed and I was offered a coupon code to make up for the fact so I still got the other pattern... surprised? ... can't have too many frocks... or frock patterns!

So I had time to think and decided a wrap dress would be perfect and went looking for inspiration.  The ultimate wrap dress inspo is a DVF dress, oui?  How about this...

This would be perfect for my fabric, don't you think.    This is  the DVF Julian wrap dress and is divine with a capitol D.  However well out of my budget. This is why we sew. 

I have made DVF inspired wrap dresses before but the skirt in these patterns is fuller.  This more modern version has a narrower skirt, which I really like so I started looking for a pattern.  I am trying not to add to the stash so looked through the patterns I already owned and a pattern from Burdastyle caught my eye.  It is 06/2011 - 139 a designer pattern. Blumarine to be exact and this picture shows the blumarine dress compared to my inspo pic. 

The skirt is narrower but a few changes needed to be made.  This is what I ended up doing to make it more like my desired dress:

- I left off the collar. 
- I narrowed the (trumpet) sleeves and made them 3/4 length. 
- I raised the curve of the front neckline by 3". 
-I attached the ties higher and correspondingly raised the side seam gap which the tie passes through.

Not a style adjustment but a fit adjustment - I added more width to the bicep.  I am not sure this is an adjustment I normally make to a Burdastyle pattern, or whether it is because it is a "designer" pattern, but I am happy with my changes as my arms don't look like sausages in a too tight casing!

A few of these tips I got from reading the reviews which were pretty positive.  I ended up making a muslin to check my changes and was happy with the result so went ahead with my dress which really is a quick dress to make.  I am not so sure why it took me so long to make this dress, but I think I had a lot of self doubt about all the changes, but I am pretty happy with the result.  Not an exact replica but I hope you can see a touch of the inspiration dress...

I haven't got "proper" modeled photos yet but have a wild hope I can get the three other pieces made before the end of the contest and will get my photos better organised then.  Wish me luck!  Ciao kittens... piece 4 sewn out of order next...

Thursday, April 21, 2016

FO ... Fressia wrap

Finally finished.  

I started knitting this wrap before my Cruise in 2014 so that I would have a project to take with me.  I did knit it on the cruise, then I did more knitting on my 2015 camping/kayaking holiday up North and recently I had a day of sitting home with no power while solar panels were being installed so I finished it... yay!

The pattern is called Freesia and this is the description 

"Freesia is an asymmetric shawl designed for DK weight yarns. It is knit diagonally using yarn overs, decreases and lots and lots of garter stitch. You start at one end and continue knitting until you run out of yarn or sooner if you reach the desired length."

A great holiday knit.  

The yarn I used is Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed and is a blend of 85% Wool, 10% Silk, and 5% Cashmere. This is a lovely squishy yarn to work with and easy to join using the felted join (or spit splice), which I found out when I accidentally cut through a number of strands in one ball when cutting the paper tag off a new ball... *roll eyes* , well I was on a cruise!

I have finished this just in time for the change in season and can't wait to wear it out.

Ciao kittens... hopefully sewing post soon.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Nope still not sewing clothes... wristlet bags

As you can tell from my recent posts I am on a bit of a hiatus from sewing clothes.  I really don't need any more summer clothes and am trying very hard to use the clothes I have and wear them out!  But it doesn't mean I haven't been sewing.  

I needed a birthday gift for my Mum so continuing on the theme of bag making, decided to make the Dog Under My Desk Essential Wristlet pattern.  I am not totally selfless sewing though as I made one for myself too.  I made the smaller boxed corner option with two pockets inside.  The pockets fit my credit card, drivers licence and phone and then I have room for some tissues, chap sticks and keys.  Very handy for quick trips where you don't want to take your handbag.

My Mum's bag using stash fabrics

A friend recommended using a YKK zipper with a long pull and I ordered some from Zipperstop.  Luckily Alison has a colour chart so I was able to match my zipper to my fabric. I ordered the cream zipper I used in my Mum's bag at the same time.  I wasn't sure what fabric I was using for my Mum but figured cream was a safe pick.  I also ordered the d-rings and swivel hooks from Voodoo Rabbit.  I am not sure this new obsession is helping me reduce my stash!
I have a thing for batik fabrics at the moment.
Well I am loving my little bag and I think my Mum liked hers.  I would highly recommend this pattern if you are looking to get into bag making.  The pattern is very detailed.  My only comments are to read all parts carefully and be accurate with your seams.  The pattern comes with bonus features of the boxed corners and outside zipped pockets and they are separate at the end of the pattern, and it did mean there was a bit of flipping back and forth, but it all worked out in the end.

Now I am going back to clothes sewing as I do need clothes for cooler days.  So hope to blog soon about a new dress.  Ciao kittens...

Monday, March 28, 2016

Baby gifts... bunnies and bibs

Well the quilting has been put on the back burner for the moment.  Quilts are such big projects I have lost interest, so I decided to do some fun sewing.  What is more fun than sewing for babies?  I came across a cute bunny pattern at The Quilters Angel when I was there buying some bias binding to make bibs and thought I would make some bunnies as well as bibs.  The pattern is called Bunny Bundle and is by Calico Farm Designs.

I managed to use stash fabric for the bunnies and some trim I had, but did buy some ric rac. The only other purchase was some yarn to crochet the flowers but I preferred my bunnies with no flowers.  So much for using up stash... now I have more yarn in the stash ... sigh...

The pattern is good.  Not much else to say except I got totally carried away and made 6 bunnies!  At least they have looked nice decorating my house for Easter!

The only difference I made to the pattern (apart from leaving off the crochet flowers) was to not use buttons for the eyes or tail.  These are going to be gifts for babies so I need them to be safe for them, even though they are really more decorative than a toy.  I used black felt for the eyes and made yoyos for the tails.  I am pretty pleased with them and have a few favorites in the bunch, that may not get gifted...ahem...

I also made some bibs.  I had enough fabric leftover from last time I made bibs to make another pair.  The only change is I used a different backing fabric.  I bought tea towels which are meant to be highly absorbent.  So they look pretty much, exactly like my last set. The pattern is a TNT for me now as that makes 5 bibs I have made from it now and I am sure there will be more.

so enough baby gifts stocked away for now.  Ciao for now kittens... Happy Easter!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

All quiet on the sewing front...

I haven't posted for awhile and haven't got a lot of sewing to show, but thought I should catch you up on a few things happening at the moment.

I came 6th in the Pattern Review Activewear Contest!  Pretty happy with that.  No surprises in the winners - they were all ones I would have picked as winners. Results are here if you would like to check it out.

I recently attended a Craft Fair held here locally - Craft Alive.  It seems to be a new group bringing craft fairs to regional areas.  Yay!  It was pretty good, except for the queue for a coffee!  

Some great locally produced yarns and shops were there and I heard a great talk from Pauline of Pauline's Quilters World about quilt as you go and it had me really fired up as I have had some fabrics waiting to be made into a quilt for our bedroom for ages  I was baulking at how I was going to quilt such a large quilt and this seemed to be the answer to that quandary.  I did have to buy one more pack of batiks to boost my fabric for the quilt too.

So I started on the quilt using the handbook and basing the design on a quilt that is featured as an instructional piece in the handbook.  The design it is based on is called Rectangles Rock N Roll.  I am using some batiks I bought in NZ and adding some others.  This is a picture of my trial blocks.

And in non-sewing news.  Our house has been too quiet since Cosmo left us and so we have finally found ourselves a new dog.  

Champ is a rescue dog about 1 year 4 months old.  He is a Australian Stumpy tail cattledog x German Shephard (they think).  He was saved from a pound as a 4month old and then got parvovirus.  Amazingly the wee thing survived and has grown into a lovely natured young dog.  We had to drive 2 hours to pick him up from a neighboring town.

Champ on the drive home
We stopped for lunch in a park on the way home and bonded over ham scraps from our wraps.

And when we got him home we realised he was way too big for Cosmo's old bed (that the cat loves to sleep in) so we bought him a new bed.  However he had to check them all out for size.

... and this bed was too small....
Lulu is not impressed but after a week will sleep in her high bed in the same room.  The introduction is going as well as it can I think.

Ciao kittens... more quilting soon.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Activewear - Pneuma tank and Monica pant

Phew!  Just finished preparing my reviews for my entry into the activewear contest.  High five someone... felt like a workout getting them done! 

I made 2 pieces to coordinate (hopefully!).  The Papercut patterns Pneuma tank and the Stylearc Monica pants.  I have given them the trial at the box which allowed me to get the "action" photos.  Hence the faces - lifting face and wod pain face!  That is why I think this is my best shot! 

I was concerned I might be "mutton dressed as lamb" in this top, but now that I have worn it I don't care any more!  It is so cool and comfortable to wear with the light tank that sits away from the body.  

I did a bit of extra reinforcing in the crop and it seems to work fine. The crop was lined with power net and then a lining of supplex over the cups that have an opening at the side to allow the addition of a removable cup.

For the straps they recommend bra strapping but I made my own straps using this great tutorial.  Seriously great tutorial - they look exactly like the straps on my Lululemon crop. I also had 3 straps on each side instead of 2.  Love that look.

Deadlift - a PB!.
This top may have to be my lucky top now as I did a PB on my deadlift that day!

I wanted the pdf download for the Monica pant as I wanted the pattern quickly and didn't want to pay postage.  It wasn't in the Stylerc etsy shop but Chloe was super helpful and put the pdf of my sizes up.  You actually get 3 sizes when you buy the pdf. 

The pants did not need much modification except for shortening the leg and in the next pair I will shorten by about an inch above the knee as well.  I am wondering if I should add a bit more fabric to the booty area as the pants dip slightly at the back waist.  Not enough to make this pair uncomfortable but I might try it for my next pair.

So the exciting part of the WOD that day is that I can now do a box jump to the full height of 20".  I have been working on this skill for awhile now so I am excited to see progress.

Two more pics and the link to the complete reviews...

The review for the Pneuma top is here and the Monica pants review is here.

Ciao kittens - a bit of crafting may be next on the cards...

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Vogue 1179... the other one

This was the first Vogue 1179 I made, but I have only managed to get the photos organised.  We went away for a week-end to attend a family engagement party.  It was a great little dress to pack and take for this kind of occasion.

I look very white in these photos which were taken in our motel room.  My hair had the copper foils added the week before so I wonder if the strong colours of my hair and dress wash me out a little.

In this dress the fabric is lighter than the patterned one, and the fact I probably need a swayback alteration is more apparent.  Always interesting how different fabrics can sit so differently.

The patterned version is a big favorite of mine and has been worn to the office every week since I made it.  This teal one is reserved as my "going out" version.  Does anyone  else categorise their clothes that way?

Ciao.. activewear coming up next.