Monday, March 29, 2010

Mini Wardrobe - Hot Patterns Deco Vibe Flippy Skirt

Item two of the four needed for the mini wardrobe. The review is here if you are interested in reading it (it has the same photos as here, so don't bother clicking on all the links).

In summary, I think this is a lovely little skirt and I think I will wear it a lot and I really think I will be making more of these! As well as being cute, it is comfortable and easy to wear.

The front - I do think it fits me better than Diana (I still really need to spend some time making Diana resemble me a little closer!)

The side showing the nice lines of this skirt.

The back - the top stitching was done with regular thread using a triple stitch.

The zipper - as the fabric is so thick the top of the zip is isn't finished as crisply as I would normally like, but I think that is just part of using the double knit fabric. However saying that I really liked working with the double knit and will use it much more now. Making the seams match through the zip was tricky. I basted, marked it and sewed it many times with no luck, so remembered that I had recently received some Wonder tape from an American friend, so used that. It worked! It does seem a bit gummy on the needle though so I am not a huge fan and will probably only use it as a last resort.

I used Bemberg rayon lining which I interfaced to make the inner yoke piece. I also added my usual tab instead of a hook and eye. However I didn't think it through and should have put it the other way as I naturally reach to undo it the other way. Next time...

I also covered the end of the zip with a piece of the lining fabric.

I twin-needled the hem using Steam a Seam lite 2 and the tips form Sandra Betzina's Vogue 2980. Basically apply the Steam a seam, use woolly nylon in the bobbin (hand wound) and loosen the top tension by 2. I was very happy with the hem finish.

As before the modeled by me photo shoot is to come...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Mini Wardrobe - Vogue 2980 top

I have finished two items out of the four for the mini wardrobe contest. One is reviewed and photographed. The camera battery died before I could get the photos of the second item.

So my review of the Sandra Betzina top is here. I won't repeat all the details here but the summary is that I love the top and SB's tips on using Steam a Seam lite 2 really help to make great twin-needled hems!

Without any further chat - the top modelled by Diana...

Here the arm is pinned out of the way so you can see the pleats in the 'bolero'.

And a sneak peek of the skirt with the Hot patterns skirt which will be photographed and reviewed next.

I will be putting up photos of the outfits on me when I get all the items made.

And now onto gratuitous photos of my pets - my two animals found the sleeping bag I had washed and left on the futon so it would be out of the way until I got the bag washed (I didn't think anyone used this area at the moment)...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mini Wardrobe preparation - McCalls 5522 muslin

Diana in her new muslin outfit - 1/2 a mini-wardrobe!

The blouse is McCall's 5522, and I can see why it is held in high regard on Pattern Review, in fact I think it was a pattern of the year last year! It is worth following these recommendations - there is a reason people like this pattern!
I am making View B the *growl* print top - however mine will be teal and my muslin is a lovely piece of end of roll cotton fabric in aqua I picked up yesterday at $2/m. I never imagined wearing aqua, but this colour has quite taken my fancy!

I could only muslin with this piece though, as there was only enough fabric for one sleeve and ruffle (enough for the purpose of this exercise). As it was, I muffed the collar band and had to cut another one in calico as I did not have enough of the aqua cotton to cut another set.

I made the ruffle as I really wanted to get a feel for the size of it and I really like it - cute but not overwhelming. I was also concerned the full sleeve may be overwhelming but I quite like it. I hope it is not too much in the teal fabric I have planned for this top.

The only real adjustments I can see are that the top of the sleeve has missed my shoulder - the dotted line over the shoulder is where I think it should sit. However I won't alter this on the pattern I will just check when I get to that stage. Also the hips are a tad snug so I think I will add a smidge to the seams around the hip. I am going through a pear phase at the moment. I thought a while back I wasn't a pear (maybe an inverted triangle) but most patterns seem to be suggesting lately that I am.

The back where you can see clearly it is snug over the hips.

The only other adjustment I am considering is making the collar slightly smaller, but am still thinking about that.

I can see many more of these tops in my future. It looks better on me than on Diana - but you will have to trust me on that for the moment.

I have spent nearly a day making this rough as guts muslin so I see I will have to allow at least two full days to finish the real one. Tomorrow the real comp starts (and I have to go to work *boo hoo*!)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mini Wardrobe preparation

I really appreciate the feedback I received on my post about my wardrobe plan. Everyone seemed to give the kind of comments I was hoping for on the pattern choices and the only expressed concern was on my choice of the winter white wool jersey for one of the tops. I had the same concerns (which is why I probably opened it to comment) but have thought about it and plan to proceed with it. The fabric is in my stash and needs to be used and I will try and accessorise it so the pale colour does not wash me out too much. I also think it will be a versatile top because of its basic colour, so with all these in mind it is staying in the plan. (I am however going shopping to a few fabric shops in Brisbane next week-end so if I find something else... well, I am always open to!)

I have been madly washing fabric and tracing patterns. Two of my patterns are still in the mail, so if they don't show up soon, my plan may well change again! I decided I need to muslin a couple of these pieces so have just put together a muslin of the Hot Patterns Deco Vibe Flippy Skirt.

The muslin is put together with calico (in Australia, muslin in America, I think) So of course it does not flow so nicely as the suggested fabrics. However ignoring the fabric, I am happy with the cut. I cut a size 12. I seem to fit a 10 top and a 12 bottom in HP. Front of skirt:

Back of skirt showing the cute 'flippy' bit (not so flippy in this fabric):

The fabric I am planning to use is a black doubleknit bought a while back from Gorgeous fabrics. I did not keep a good record of this order so I am not 100% sure of the fabric content but I believe it may have some rayon in it. (Now when I place an order like that I make sure I save a copy on my computer and actually copy all the details of each fabric from the website to the order so that later I can see the content of the fabric, washing instructions, etc).

My only concern is that I am wondering if I should use a lining weight fabric on the inside of the yoke as the dobleknit is so thick it may be too bulky to double up at the yoke. I have a rayon lining bought in my last order (not black but I thought that might work). Any thoughts?

OK - gratuitous cat shots - Lulu helping me sew (she managed to look away just as I took the shot so you cannot see her beautiful orange eyes)...

Lulu trying to work out how that wildlife got into the TV...

I plan to muslin the McCalls blouse next...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Simplicity 2550 - Runway Ready

Finished!!! Now I am so over this dress that I can't enjoy it. I rushed it at the end and I can see a few things I may have to revisit. Anyway good enough to put in the cupboard and move onto other things.

Photos for you...

Not so happy in this shot but I think it shows the front better.

The back... the walking vent drove me insane - I had heaps of trouble finishing the lining about it and it now doesn't seem to sit quite straight, but I am hoping a wash and a press will correct it (wishful thinking???)
The bodice front close-up.

The zipper - It went in really well on the first go and is a bit lower than I would like, but I was not willing to un-sew it, so I have added a tab at the top. The matching went reasonably well though...

The pattern uses facings but I chose to line it by cutting the lining fabric the same as the outer pieces. I used the facing pieces to cut interfacing which I applied to the inside of the lining.

I could see no way of avoiding exposed seams in the bodice so the lining ended up more like an underlining here. It does help the fabric hold its shape and I tried to finish as neatly as I could. The wrap-over section on the front was the cause of this. Maybe with more experience I will work out a better way eventually.

The zip from the inside showing the tab at the top.

Overall - pretty happy! It is comfy to wear, required no alterations (I was wondering if I should have fitted it more but this is how the ease looks pretty much in their photo and it is very comfortable with the amount of ease it has). The lining makes it seem comfortable too, but I know it is going to be a bear to iron!!

Review here.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Simplicity 2550 - a preview

I have been working on this dress for about three weeks now. I complicated it by deciding to line the dress. The reason I decided to do this, is that I am trying to get away from using facings and the fabric for the dress is a rayon broadcloth so I thought it would drape nicely but it tends to not want to behave itself. I bought this fabric from Gorgeous Fabrics and I have lined it with a cotton batiste.

Every step has taken me ages as the instructions do not tell you how to line it and I am not very experienced with lining so I am working it out as I go along. I will show you a photo from the inside when I finish it.

All I have left to do is to hem and finish the vent and to sew a clip at the top of the zip. As this is taking so long I couldn't wait any more to show you, so I have snapped a photo on Diana of the dress so far.

Ta dahhh!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

New Look 6802

This is a very popular pattern on Pattern I can see why - it is cut well, fits well and is a pleasure to sew. However it has left me going '...myeeehhh?'

I made View D - sleeveless. The fabric is a gorgeous poly/rayon/spandex from Kerryn's Fabric World. Maybe that is the problem? This dress in this fabric is really comfy - I feel like I am wearing pyjamas!

Maybe it is the colour - I am trying to add more colour to my wardrobe and I don't mind the blue but maybe I am having trouble getting used to it.

Maybe it is the gathers over the tummy - it is a bit 'pouffy' for my taste.

Whatever it is - I am just meyehhh? *shrug shoulders* about this little frock.. but it will get worn.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Mini Wardrobe Competition planning

Thanks guys for the feedback on my last post. I will be taking some of your ideas on board and appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment.

I have got another dress to show, but don't have a photo as yet - it has been too cool and rainy to wear it, hopefully next post.

In the meantime I have got totally distracted planning a mini wardrobe for the Pattern Review mini wardrobe competition to start 16 March 2010.

The rules are basically:

This is a contest to create a 4-piece wardrobe in 4 weeks. You will determine what clothing pieces you use in your wardrobe.

The 4 garments must combine (without adding additional garments) to create at least 4 distinct outfits.

Choice of garment types and styles is entirely up to you.

This is the storyboard I have come up with so far...

What do you think? Is it interesting enough? I am using stash fabrics and patterns I have (and that are on their way in the mail - BMV Sale caught me).

I was thinking of doing 4 separates (as opposed to dresses and/or jackets) as I have been on a real dress-kick lately and I thought it might be wise to move to separates for a while.

Any ideas??