Monday, April 7, 2014

Active wear - vest KS 3453

As part of updating my active wear wardrobe I made a vest.  It can get cool and the car park at the gym is particularly cold and breezy.  So a vest to keep the cool breeze off my shoulders and keep me warm once sweaty workouts were done is what I needed in my wardrobe.  

I ordered Kwik Sew 3453 and bought some fleece from Lincraft during a sale they had and viola...

It looked tricky with odd pieces but came together quite easily.



The only change I might make if I made it again is too lengthen so it sits over my hips more.


I have worn it on a few cool mornings to gym and find it very comfortable and snuggly warm.  I would love to make one out of a more technical fabric like Polartec but I am not sure I can justify it for my lifestyle... wish list...


Review is here... Ciao!  

Friday, April 4, 2014

A frock for a High Tea - Stylearc Anthea Dress

I am sure you have seen and read about the Brisbane Sewist's High Tea that was held last Sunday.  I attended and had a lovely time meeting some lovely sewists from SE Qld.  I wish I could have spoken to more of the ladies there.  I did not take any photos of the day but have got some piccies of the dress I made for the occasion.  

I had decided a floral frock was in order for this occasion and had a gorgeous cotton bought from Gardams Fabrics (before they shut up shop locally).  I scoured the net for a suitable pattern and settled on the Stylearc Anthea dress.



I made three muslins of the bodice before cutting into my real fabric.  I think I got a reasonable fit.  My alterations included lowering the bust darts.  I think I actually lowered them a little too much.  

I had gappiness in the arm holes so did my first ever proper fba and also adjusted the back shoulder seam to be cut on more of an angle.  I found this youtube advice very helpful in this regard.  



The only other alteration was to lengthen the bodice slightly.

Oh - and when making a muslin for a bodice I discovered you need to use a zipper as long as specified -  I made my first muslin with a zipper only as long as the bodice and had great issues getting in and out of it!



I fully lined the dress with a chocolate voile which I had in the stash.  Lovely quality bought from Gorgeous fabrics a few years ago  This fabric may be a little too light for a lining but this dress is lovely and cool and comfortable to wear.  I love that separate lining pattern pieces are provided for the skirt.  These have little less fullness than the main skirt... however don't do what I did and cut the lining piece out of the main fabric and the main skirt out of the lining... lucky I had a little extra main fabric!


The instructions are pretty basic and I haven't lined a lot of dresses so still managed to muck up the order of construction.  If you are not familiar with lining a dress I would recommend looking for more details elsewhere as to how to do this.

I love my new dress and it was super comfortable to wear in the Brisbane humidity.  I did enjoy the afternoon and also have the obligatory shot of my haul from the swap.


A lovely green linen, matching lining (not sure I will use it for the linen though), a lovely cotton print and a Megan Neilsen pattern.  The review of my dress is here.  Ciao for now!

Monday, March 24, 2014

New Look 6097... urban jungle dress

About a month ago I made another New Look 6097.  I was wearing my first version (see it here) the other day and thinking again what a great pattern this is.  It really is my go-to dress and even though I have put on a little weight the fabric and style is forgiving enough that I can still wear it and not be uncomfortable.  

I had always planned to make version A and had the perfect fabric in my cupboard.  A gorgeous jersey called urban jungle queen jersey bought from Gorgeous Fabrics a few yeas ago and waiting for the right project.

I haven't worn the dress yet as it is too warm still, but when my DH found his camera remote, we thought we should try it out and it gave me an opportunity to take photos of my dress.


I need to remember to take lots of photos as this stiff photo was one of the best.

I have been told the flash shadow is not good so it is something we need to work on, but I am hoping that learning how to use his camera by myself will help me get photos on my blog more efficiently.

Pockets too..



The cuff detail - I did have to hand sew the cuff to hold it but this is suggested in the pattern instructions if your fabric is very soft and drapey.



The back shot for completeness...


My original review is here and I still agree with what I said the first time.

Lulu has taken to sleeping in my sewing room - mainly on my chair but I have put a lovely woolly cushion in there for her and sometimes , by mistake, she sleeps on it... at Diana's feet/foot?...


Ciao for now!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Tania cutlottes

I have finished my Tania culottes from Megan Nielsen patterns.  I had been seeing a few nice versions of this pattern around the web, but when I got my new bike I was spurred to make my own version.




I made mine 20cm longer (instructions in the pattern to do this).This meant that it was a real fabric gobbler so it took me a while to source a fabric that would have the right drape and cost to make a trial of this pattern.  I eventually found fabric at the Lincraft sale.  It is called a rayon acetate gingham and is not wide (about 112cm) and I bought 4m and used about 2.8m to make this skirt.

A link to my review is here, but basically it is a great pattern.  Choose your size according to waist size as there is plenty of room for hips.  The instructions are reasonably detailed.  About the only part which is assumed knowledge is inserting the zip but exact placement is specified.   My only suggestion to anyone is to mark front and back pieces well as there are no notches or anything to help you differentiate them.

A really comfy bike riding skirt...



My only extra was to add a tab inside the waistband.  This makes the skirt easier to zip up as you can close the tab to hold the top of the zip together while you do it up and it adds that extra bit of sturdiness.



As I lengthened the skirt, it looks just like a full skirt when out and about so I felt quite comfortable to stop in town for a coffee, check out the hot rods on show in the main  street...



and the First Coat artwork...



I am entering this one in the Pattern Review New to Me pattern Co. contest.  A bit of fun and good timing as I bought the pattern just after I got my bike but took awhile to source some fabric.  Ciao for now...

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Fehrtrade XYT tops

I have got some photos of my xyt tops.  I made a muslin initially shown in this post at the start of the year.  I never got to wear it to gym as it was way short on me but I did like the top otherwise. I ordered some supplex and when it arrived I made two more tops - the y-back and the t-back.

I like this pattern and the instructions are very good, particularly the elastic lengths and instructions for finishing the openings.  Note though that I used zig-zag and not twin needle to finish mine as I have never had much success twin-needle stitching over elastic.

The part of the pattern a lot of others rave about is the built in compression bra.  I could not get this bra to work for me.  I made the bra to size and found it was so tight when I tried it on I had to use scissors to get out of it.  It didn't help it was summer here and a slight haze of perspiration from wrestling with getting into the top, meant it wasn't coming off for anyone!

I made a second version with a large fba, increased the elastic length and sewed it into the original muslin I made.  The armholes skewed and pulled horribly and the compression was still too much for me.  I wear crop top style bras to gym and have not found them to compress as much as this bra does.  Maybe I am just not used to the style?  Also I believe as an old girl (with soft tissue) the compression is extreme and not at all flattering or comfortable.

Please don't let me put anyone off this - I do think the instructions are good and well thought out, but it is in the category "did not work for me".  It may work for you particularly if you are a small cup size and young! 

I decided I still liked the top style but gave up on the bra and bought some new ones from my fave gym wear shop Lululemon.

So onto pics...


The same fabric as the Kwik sew top from Runners Fabrics.  I love this fabric!  Stitching just hides in the space dye look too.  Both of these tops have been lengthened by 3 inches but no other changes made.

The y-back...


The Lululemon flow y crop is covered really well by this back.

The next version I made the t-back in a gorgeous kelly green.  This fabric is lovely but doesn't hide the stitches as well as the space dyed.  Maybe I didn't colour match the thread well enough - green is a tough colour to match.


Showing the back detail on Diana.


The top of the "t" didn't come out as well as I would have liked.  I made the triple strap to reflect the bra I wear it with (the Energy bra) and  I used this tutorial to sew tidy covered elastic straps for the three vertical straps.


So truly I like this pattern but the built in bra did not work for me.  I would still like to make more of these tops.  I might try altering the front neckline to change it up and I might look at lowering the back/ underarm line as I think it would sit in a more flattering way on me.

Review is here and I will be back with one more piece soon.... Ciao!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Tessuti Suzy Pant

As an interruption to my posts on active wear, I wanted to post some pictures of the Tessuti Suzy pants.  I made these last year and love them but have only just managed to get  a photo.




This pair is in a beautiful khaki silk crepe de chine bought from Tessuti as well.



I don't seem to have noted any changes I made.  From memory I believe the only real change was to shorten the leg length.



I made a wearable toile before cutting into my silk.  I made the toile in a snakeskin rayon bought at Lincraft.  I love wearing them and they are my every week-end pant as they are comfortable as I made my toile one size larger and put the pockets in.  I didn't add the pockets to the silk pair as I wanted to keep the lines smooth.  

On the day of the photos I wore these pants to a barbeque.  I wore them a few days later out to lunch with a sewing GF.  I wore them a few times at the end of last year to evening functions. Very versatile and comfy to wear.  Light as air in the silk I feel I need to check I have remembered to put my pants on!

I love my silk pants and plan to make more...



Ciao for now... Fehr trade XYT tops next...

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Active wear - Kwik Sew 3115

I have been participating in the active wear sewalong on Pattern Review.  I have made a couple of tops and one pair of pants.  I am finally getting some photos taken and will start reviewing what I have made so far.

The first to get a successful photo is Kwik Sew 3115 View A top.


The fabric is a TDF supplex bought from Runners Fabrics.  It isn't cheap but you can get a couple of tops from 1 metre so not bad value.

The main changes I made were to lengthen the pattern by 4 inches and cross the straps at the back.  I did also cut the bra liner a little longer as a cheater fba.  (one size up in length).


To make it more like my RTW gym tops, I sewed the built in bra (shelf bra) from powernet but added pockets in supplex to hold removable bra cups.

I hope you can get a sense of how I did this from these photos.  

This is the top inside out.  The powernet is white as is the elastic.  I cut the supplex pockets from the bra front pattern piece, but trimmed it at the top and the sides.  I sewed it to the powernet with a zigzag stitch (across the top and  a few centimetres from the CF, then trimmed the middle part out.  Probably not absolutely necessary but I was copying my RTW top.



This is the back inside out.


And this shot shows the pocket is formed as the side edge is overlocked shorter than the front bra piece and left open on the side.



The only change I would make if I sewed another one, is to raise the front neckline a little as the top is very comfortable but I realised when wearing it to a yoga class that the top feels too low cut when adopting postures upside down like downward facing dog.  Not a huge issue as no one is really going to be looking at your cleavage as they are all busy being upside down too, but for comfort I would prefer it to be a little higher (about an inch).

Pretty happy with this pattern and I would recommend it.  The built-in bra is fine for activities like yoga or weight-lifting but probably not enough support for cardio or running.

My review is here.

Ciao kittens, back soon with some more successful active wear.