Tuesday, June 28, 2011

McCalls 5974 - Best Pattern 2010

McCalls 5974 was voted Best Pattern for 2010 on Patternreview.com. For very good reason... it is a fabulous pattern, easy to make and very flattering to wear. I am not sure if I will review this - see these reviews if you want to read more on the sewing of this pattern. Not that there is too much you need to know... pretty much make it (wait for the weather to warm up enough) and then wear it! ... and feel great in it!

I made this as part of my quest to make all top 10 patterns... I think I may only have 4 left to get to that goal!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Another photo opportunity

DS the elder is still home this week, so I grabbed the chance to get some photos taken of my outfit yesterday. These are taken at the end of the work day so please excuse that end-of-the-day-look!

Two new items in these photos. The top - my second version of Burdastyle 09-2010-121 (Turtleneck top). This one is made from a 70% bamboo and 30% hemp jersey. It behaves very differently to the last top in a poly jersey. It is looser, the sleeves hang further over your hands (because it's looser), however I still like it and I feel it looks a little funkier (and it certainly gets a little funkier around the sleeve edges by the end of the day of having sleeve ends in everything!)

The second item is the pants - Burdastyle 04-2011-117. Shannon from Mushywear is the only other review I have seen of these pants. I made mine from an inexpensive stretch woven purchased from Gardams a few years back. The fabric seems perfect for these pants but I am yet to find an equivalent of RTW pants fabric that has that little extra beefiness, however I was told this fabric would work for pants. Even though I don't think the weight is quite heavy enough I love this fabric - super-comfortable but did not stretch out too much on wearing. I made no changes to the pattern as this is my 'trial' version. If you have very long legs you may want to lengthen the leg length. Other than that I am very happy - comfortable, easy to wear and (hopefully) smart pants. This is a different style leg to what I usually wear but I do like them.

This pic is as I wore it with my Vogue jacket and spotty scarf (bought in Estonia of all places!).

Without the jacket...

From the back...

This is a waistband shot to show you the Petersham ribbon waist. I only had black or white Petersham and I didn't want them to show through clothing, so I tea-dyed the white so it wasn't so glaringly white (it sort of went a pink-skintone colour). It is also high-waisted - good for wearing under clothes (no tummy-peek) but if you can't handle high waisted pants it may not be the pattern for you.

My invisible side zip. Is it invisible enough or did I not quite get it??

The instructions tell you to leave the ends of the zip long at the top and tuck them into the waistband. It looks tidy enough but when you do the zip up it 'locks' into the end where they turn and it is very hard to get it started to undo... not good when you are in a hurry... I will try and fix that by making a faux stop at the ends by stitching over them. The next pair I make I will leave the zip stop at the top of the waistband and fold over only the very ends of the zip (hope that makes sense).

My review is here .  However I can say I like these pants enough to make them again and actually have another pair cut in a wool-lycra tweed (needed for this cold weather!)

I plan to wear my McCalls 5974 dress this Saturday night (office dinner) so will take the opportunity to get another round of photos ... I am on a roll...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Burdastyle 09-2010-121... the turtleneck top.

OK - two posts in two days after a month with none, but I take my opportunities to get photos when I can.

I wore my Burdastyle 09-2010-121 Turtleneck top today to work and when I got home DS the elder took these shots for me.

The fabric is from Gorgeous Fabrics and is lovely to wear. The print is a little strong for me but I was determined to get use out of this top as the colours are great I think.

The sleeves are long, but if you don't like that style, it is easily changed. However I think it helps with the keeping warm thing as well as being cute.

The collar is a comfortable height (even on my short neck) and the one thing you must know about this top if you make it, is to use Summerset's tip on sewing the collar - posted here.

This is how I wore it today - lots of brown and a little red. Does it work??

If you follow Summerset's tip (above) and perhaps lower the sleeve cap by 1 cm and sew the sleeves in flat, you have the easiest-ever top to make and a great wardrobe filler.

Here is version number 2 in a bamboo/hemp blend...

Ciao for now....

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sewing room ...woo-hoo!

Well, the renovations are not over yet but we have had a lull where we have been able to move into some of the new spaces. DH & I are installed in our new bedroom, which means the old bedroom is now known as my Sewing Studio (or Sanity Studio). It is a work in progress, but this is it as it stands so far....

The room needs painting desperately but for now it is clean and I am moved in - Woo-hoo!

My sewing spirit has had a huge resurgence and I am having trouble controlling myself to not start too many projects at once. Now I have my clothes installed in a new spacious wardrobe (dressing room really) and the weather has become really cold here, it has really highlighted where I have holes in my wardrobe. Namely cold weather clothes. My staple at the moment is pants, long sleeved tees worn with a cardi or jacket and then dressed up with a scarf or a big chunky necklace.

So as part of filling this need for tops, I have tried the Turtleneck top from Burda 09-2010-121.

This is my 'trial'. The fabric is from Gorgeous Fabrics - a lovely quality jersey, but the pattern is not really doing it for me. Perfect to trial this first cut.

It is a great pattern as everyone says on Pattern Review. The sleeves are long but I like that, the neck is high and not my best look but necessary in this cold. I will cut the sleeve cap down a bit for my next version, but apart from that nothing to dislike about this pattern. There are some great
reviews written already, so I am not sure if I need to review it.

I have also trialled Burda 04-2011-117. I used a stretch woven cheapie bought from Gardams probably 2 years ago. Even though it was inexpensive it is quite a nice fabric and I think will get worn a bit. Only a hanger shot at the moment, but I will try and get better photos.

The waistband is made form Petersham ribbon. I only had black or white in my stash, so I tea-dyed the white Petersham to take the edge of the brightness. These pants will have tops over the top of the waistband (not tucked in) and I didn't want the white waistband to show through my clothes. I am really happy with these and have a piece of stretch wool twill cut to make a second pair (from Gorgeous Fabrics).

And while my sewing machine was unavailable I did finish some crochet...

The Frilly Enchante scarf - on Ravelry here. So pleased to have a project finished and somehow I have managed to pick up two more crochet projects to take it's place (why do I do that??)

Well I haven't blogged much lately and still haven't shown you my McCalls 6974 dress in a 'proper' photo-shoot but I hope life will start settling back to a more normal pace soon, so regular blogging can resume. However we still have the kitchen and old bathroom to go... *sigh*