Monday, June 13, 2016

Stylearc Fay skirt & Burdastyle 09-2012-123 top...

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I have had this picture pinned for quite awhile. 

It is from Burdastyle 09/2012.  I managed to find a tan merino jersey at The Fabric Store and found among my remnants a piece of black cotton left over from making my son a shirt.  As the merino jersey is so expensive I was reluctant to cut straight into it so I made a muslin from some viscose I had bought cheaply with a piece of nappa leather for the contrast shoulder yokes.  The only adjustment I made to the muslin was to shorten the length by leaving off the hem allowance from the body of the top and the sleeves.  

Sewing the viscose to the nappa leather was not the happiest sewing experience I have ever had but I persevered as I liked the colours and thought I might score a wearable top from this muslin.

It looks pretty good on Diana and I would have used it but it fit me really badly in the back... The button would do up but the slit bulged with the strain.  There was also pulling at waist level.


I did a bit of reading on adjusting for a broad back and the recommendation is to adjust at a line from the shoulder down and then put a small dart in at the back shoulder. The books recommend not to adjust at the centre back as it will make the neck opening larger.   I decided to ignore the advice in this case and added my width to the CB by cutting the back piece 1" in from the fold line (and similarly for the back facing piece).  Making the neck opening larger meant that I did not need the back neckline slit with button.  I thought this was quite a win actually.

Thankfully it worked pretty well and this was my end result.


I love the subtle circles in the shoulder yoke fabric...


I didn't make the skirt from the same issue but was definitely influenced by it.  I had a beautiful piece of stretch jacquard from the Fabric Collection and had planned to make a Collete Mabel, but ended up making the Stylearc Fay skirt instead after seeing it a few times in Sew Jean Margaret's memeademay posts.

I have only made it once before and hardly ever wear it as I feel it is too long for me. Amazingly I can still fit the skirt as the fabric was a rayon and very stretchy, but I knew I should go up in size as I am not as slim as I was back then.    The Fay skirt has the fabric doubled in it with a bagged hem.  I did not want to double this thicker fabric so I chose my length and folded the pattern at that point.  I cut the pattern with 1" side seams and pegged the bottom of the hem slightly following the lines of the Fay skirt pattern.

I also used my own method of inserting the elastic.  This is such a simple skirt but I really love it.  I think this will be my new TNT stretch pencil skirt pattern. 

Champ photo bombing!
I really love this outfit but the photos do make me look very crumpled.  The hem on the tee is a bit wavy.  I am  hoping this will settle after it is washed.  Any tips on avoiding the wavy hem would be most appreciated!

The weather was dingy and dark so I turned on the lights and I think it has exaggerated the wrinkles in the top.
I like how it goes with my Jalie vest too...


Ciao kittens... I am officially caught up with my current sewing, so we shall see what hits the cutting table next. 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Another piece in the chain - New Look 6150 View D top

I have made View A of New Look 6150 twice now as I love how it emulates a RTW top I used to own (first version blogged here and second one here.)  However when I was going to put the pattern away I had another look at all the versions and noted that version D is a boat neck and this is a style I love.  

I have made a few boat neck tees from Burdastyle 02-2009-108, but if I were to make it again I would probably have to trace a size up as those tops were made back in 2012/2013 and now I need at least one size larger.  I figured as I love the fit of New Look 6150 I really should give view D a try.  

I ordered fabric from Knitwit.  It is a viscose spandex blend from Italy called Ravenna.  I must say I am super impressed with this fabric.  A beefier viscose than I have used lately with great recovery and presses well.  Does not seem to crush either.  *Fabric love*

So with no alterations to the pattern, I made view D and once again I am very impressed with the fit.   


The only changes I made to it were the order of construction.  I sewed the shoulder seams first (with a strip of fusible interfacing on the back shoulder seams for stability), then finished the neckline, then sewed the sleeves in flat and then side/sleeve seams and hemmed.  This is a simple enough tee that this order made the most sense to me. 

Excuse the wrinkles - it does fit well, but I was a bit rushed to get the pic.
I think this pattern is going to replace my Burdastyle as my go-to boat neck tee.

I wore it to the office the other day which is where I got the photos but also took some photos of how I wore it out in the cold.  It is shown here with my Mabel skirt, Vogue jacket and crocheted cowl.  Don't you love when all your me-mades come together. 


And for a bit of fun last week-end my hubby and I competed in an in-house pairs competition at our local Crossfit box.  We were supposed to dress alike.  So we went as hippies which allowed me to have some fun revisiting my tie dye skills from the 70's!

My head band is also me-made - sweatband made from supplex.
We did not win any prizes for costume or for placing in the comp, but were super stoked that two old hippies managed to finish 3 WODs (workouts) at a reasonable pace.


Ciao kittens - one burdastyle top and stylearc skirt to be blogged soon....

Friday, May 27, 2016

Endless Combinations.. continues ..Vogue 1020 Pants

I didn't win the Endless Combinations Contest, but was really happy to get as many votes as I did (thank you guys) and am also loving every piece I made in it.  The other entries were awesome and some people managed to sew a pile.  I only got my 4 items sewn, but love this style of sewing so will continue the theme.

My next item is a pair of black ponte pants.  I have a pair I made a few years ago but they have got pilled and old looking.  I used a Vogue wardrobe pattern - Vogue 1020. I never did blog about them as I was not happy with them, but for a pair of pants I wasn't happy with, I sure wore them a lot!  I liked the cut of the leg but the fit was not so good with a big dip at the back waist being the most annoying feature.

I decided to make the same pants and found I had a size 12 traced off (as well as the 10, which I think the old pants were).  I needed the 12 now so that saved me some time.  I decided I needed to improve the fit though, so I referred to the book Knits for Real People and cut my pieces as per their recommendation of adding 1" seams to the outside leg seam and inseam.  Then I sewed the front and back crotch to within a few inches of the inside seam and pinned the rest of the seams, so that the seams are on the outside.  You prepare your elastic by sewing it in the round and after very carefully pulling on the pants, the elastic is worn over the pants at the waist. Then pin and adjust, carefully!.  I ended up making a pile of adjustments.  I also referred to the Palmer Pletsch pants fitting book for help.


I didn't note down all the changes, but from memory, it went something like this:
  • took a wedge out of the front crotch and sewed it deeper -short front crotch
  • sewed the back crotch deeper and added some fabric to the top of the back waistband (I had added that to the tissue already as I knew I would need it) - this stopped the back waist dipping down.
  • added width to the inseams at the top of the leg - front and back
  • added to the seams from the knee down in the back piece - it was catching on my calves.
I can see why I was not happy with the fit of the first pair, even though I did wear them!


I had so many changes that after transferring them to the tissue, I then re-cut my pieces to reflect the changes and then sewed the pants. Probably still not perfect but so much better than my previous pair.  In the photos I have paired them with my last piece from the endless combinations contest - the New Look top, as well as my merino Jalie cardigan, a favorite piece from the year before last.  If you interested the necklace is from a little indy jewellry maker in Brisbane called Strat Designs.


Luckily Lincraft had a 50% off sale and I picked up this robust looking ponte at that time.  It cost me $11 so these pants are quite the bargain.  Winning!

And all this sewing is just in time as the blustery cold winds have arrived and it won't be long before I am living in my new coat!


Ciao kittens,  more endless combinations and a bit of costume crafting coming up...

Friday, May 20, 2016

Endless Combinations Contest

You have seen all the pieces in the last few posts, but  I thought I should show you the composite photo.  



The contest is open for voting now and if you are a PR member you have access to 5 votes.  You can find all the entries here

My contest entry is here, if you want to read more about it.  If you able to vote and have the time to look at the entries it would be much appreciated by everyone who has taken the time to get their entries in. :)

Ciao for now kittens...

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Endless combinations ... piece 2... New Look 6325 coat

Next up piece 2 - sorry about the lack of order in presenting the pieces... this however is my favorite piece of this 4 piece set.  New Look 6325 coat.


The pattern was purchased over a year ago and the fabric was bought over a year ago too, but I didn't get it made last winter.  I was determined to have it ready for this winter season, so this contest gave me the deadline I needed to get it done. 



I love the colour, love the collar, love the simplicity but stylishness.  Love that it is warm and squishy but not too heavy to wear... 


When I was buying the fabric in Tamworth at the PR week-end get-together, one of the girls (Hi Sandra!)  suggested I partially line it.  So I did line it.  I fully lined it as I decided it would make it so much nicer to wear.  I used the Connie Long guide to sewing linings, and it worked a treat.  


The jacket is made from boiled wool and the lining is a stretch satin (polyester).  I found a lovely big old leather button in my stash and love how it looks on this coat.  I did interface behind the button and snaps, but am wondering if I need to do more to support the button, but I shall see how it goes.


The review is here and next post I will present my 4 piece endless combinations collection... Ciao kittens!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Endless combinations contest... piece 3... Hot Patterns pants

Piece 3 in my chain for the Endless Combinations contest is pants. I chose the Hot Patterns Fast &  Fabulous tummy taming trousers.  I love the idea of these pants - smooth silhouette, comfy as pj's... these words drew me in.  I had a gorgeous bengaline in a rich dark brown that I thought would work well in my wardrobe.


Worn here with piece 4 shown in my last post.  I did a lot of work on the fit in the muslin stage.  The pattern suggests you make a muslin in non-stretch fabric and that seemed to work well.


 This composite is to try and show you the high waist detail.  It is high but it does give the promised smooth silhouette.   Still surprisingly comfortable because of the stretch in the fabric.


Do you like my fierce model pose?  I ended up using it in my review as I thought it showed the pieces quite well.


A link to my review if you are interested in the detail of this make. Ciao kittens, piece 2 tomorrow... 

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Endless Combinations Contest ... piece 4... New Look 6150 top

Yes it is piece 4, no you haven't missed 2 & 3... I am just sewing the pieces in an order that suits the current warm autumn weather we are having.  My second piece is a boiled wool coat and it is too warm to be handling wool.  In fact my top was intended to be a merino jersey top but I decided a 3/4 sleeve top in rayon would actually got worn more quickly. 


I used New Look 6150 again.  I previously made it here.  Sadly the last top is much loved but the fabric is pilling and deteriorating at a fast rate.  When I made the blue version, I did actually buy some rayon knit for a second version, so decided that now was the time to make it up.



This pattern fits me well with no alteration.  I chose my size based on my bust size +1" ease and chose the size that corresponded with that as marked on the front bodice pattern pieces.   The pleats and gathers are a bit fiddly but the rayon takes pressing well and the fiddle is well worth the effort of the finished top.



I really need to make more of this pattern and will try the boat neck (View D) next time.
I have written a review so all the details of the making of the top is in the review - here.

Ciao kittens ... pants next (piece 3)... holding my breath to see if I can make the deadline of all 4 pieces but still holding onto some hope...