Monday, December 28, 2015

Gift sewing

I spent most of December making some gifts for Christmas.  I can show them here now that the gifts have been handed out.  I joined the Australian Sewing Guild's sew along and enjoyed making these bags as part of that crew. 

The pattern used is the Tiny Essentials Tote Bag from Little Moo Designs.  This is the most complex bag I have ever sewn.  The instructions cover many pages and we did get extra daily tutorials through the sew along.  I still found there was a few mistakes in the pattern and I believe there is probably better ways of doing some of the steps in making this bag.  However saying all that I think the outcome was successful.

I made one bag for my husband who requested the lining be orange.  I made the bag for carrying all the cords and chargers around when going on holidays.

I made three pockets on one side and two on the other and tried to make them roomy enough to hold the cords.  the netting pockets are edged with fold over elastic.

I also made one for my cousin in feminine fabrics that I hope she likes.

To go with the bags I decided to make some earbud pouches.  I used this tutorial from Dogs Under My Desk patterns.

The instructions are really good and the only difficulty I had was sewing a neat circle. I had to unpick the pink one a few times until I was happy with it.

Since then I have bought some more Dog Under My Desk patterns and plan to make some more bags next year.  It is a bit addictive.

I think the gifts were well received.  Ciao for now kittens!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Another Ottobre 02/2013-14 summer frock

I have finished my "proper" version of this dress.  I made my trial version and details are in my previous post here.   

There was some changes I decided I needed and they were to:
  • narrow the shoulder width a little 
  • adjust the back for swayback.  
and I am pleased that my changes worked.  Particularly the sway back as I haven't done it too often.  The waistline seam made it easy to do.  I just took about 1.5cm height at the centre back seam along the waist seam of both the back bodice and skirt pieces tapering to nothing before the side seam.  The green arrows point to my alteration.

No fabric pooling in the back

Once again I used a facing and not a lining.  The facing is a combined neckline/armhole one and looks like this cut out. 

Click to see larger
 I was able to follow the instructions pretty much for inserting the lining to sew in the facing.  The only additional steps were to finish the lower edge of the facing (with the overlocker) and tack the bottom of the facing to the side seams (just to help hold it in place).

I wanted to show you my finished invisible zipper.  I was very proud of how the waistline seam matches up after inserting the zip.

I was thinking of making this version an inch or so above my knee but after consultation with my DH, I left the hem at knee height.

Here is a shot of the neckline without a necklace so you can see the shape of it.  A bit different to what you see about.  I quite like it but do cover it with a necklace as I don't believe the black/white is my most flattering colour.  

The fabric is a rayon twill I bought from Tessuti fabrics ages ago.  I think I had planned to make the suzy pants originally.  I obviously changed my mind and now I have a lovely cool summer frock (and a remnant to make another small item).

Ciao kittens - next gift making season is in full swing!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

New summer frock ... Ottobre 02/2013-14

I wanted a nice cool dress to wear to a Christmas party/BBQ next month and I settled on Ottobre 02/2013-14 - the Jewelry dress. 

In the magazine they have used a gorgeous large pattern repeat type print.  I would love to find something like this to make the dress, but decided in the meantime I should use the fabric I have.  I have chosen a black/white viscose twill which was bought at Tessuti awhile back.

However this is such a nice fabric I thought I should muslin the dress first.  I decided to buy some fabric to make a trial dress as I know Ottobre fit me well enough to get a wearable dress. (Seems so much more productive than making a true muslin). So off to Spotties and luckily they still seem to have some nice rayons left.

I made the dress true to the pattern but subbed in a facing for a lining.  This dress is going to be a casual week-end dress for hot days so a lining was not needed.

I am pretty happy with the fit from the pattern, but plan to make a few adjustments to the next one.
  • narrow the shoulder width a little so it looks more like the dress modeled in the magazine.  I think my shoulders are a size smaller than the size I used.
  • adjust the back for swayback.  It was hard to photograph in this fabric, but I have a little pool of fabric at my middle back.
The dress looks longer on me as I am shorter than Ottobre woman.  I love the idea of having it shorter, but the legs are not really up to it anymore, so I will probably leave the length as is.  As the next one will be more of a party dress I am toying with the idea of making it maybe an inch shorter.  I shall see how I feel once it is made.

I love the darts on this dress.  The bust darts originate at the armhole and so you have a shorter dart and it does not interrupt the pattern so much.  There are also back neckline darts which make the neckline lie smooth against the body.  You see this in vintage patterns but not so often in modern patterns, but it makes so much sense to curve the dress to your back/shoulder curves.

I have marked my changes on my pattern so I am ready to cut my second one soon. I have been wondering how this dress would be if cut on the bias?     

Ciao kittens... hopefully another Jewelry dress next.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

How I wore... the Kielo wrap dress

Not strictly a sewing post but a post to show you how I wore my Kielo wrap dress in a different way.  I have blogged about this dress before - shown on Diana in this post  here and as I wore it on the cruise here.

This is how I wore it out to a function last week.

 It is coming up party season so to make a dress more versatile is a good thing.  Basically I didn't wrap but tied the dress ties at the back.

I have seen people suggest tying it this way before but it has been in shorter versions and I thought I should try it out on my long version.

Really happy with this styling.  It was also very comfortable to wear.

Ciao kittens back to regular sewing posts next time.. next an Ottobre frock.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Pattern repeat, repeat, repeat... Tessuti suzy pants

One more pair.  I promise to put the pattern away for a rest now.  Tessuti Suzy pants  are my go to casual woven pants.  Lately our local Spotlight store seems to have had some really nice rayons in stock and I have gone a little crazy making these pants.  However they suit my summer lifestyle.  I only work part time and when I am not working I really like this style as my go-to casual look.  

Nothing much to say.  I think the only alteration I have made is to shorten the leg length slightly.  I have gone up a size since I made my first pair out of khaki green silk, to a medium and if t helps you I am pretty much a size 12 in Aus RTW.

My only other comment to make would be that I prefer the small prints to larger ones as I look a lot more "hippy" in the larger prints.  However I am too vain to show you the direct front-on shot to prove this.

That won't stop me from wearing these pants though... pyjama comfort, cool for a warm day, too many pluses that win over that minus.

My four photographed iterations so far.  I do have one other pair which were my "muslin" that I wear at home but have really the wrong print for me and are the least flattering in that way.  They still get worn though. 

As a follow up, for those interested.  The skort I showed previously (here) had the issue of the shorts leg rolling up and shifting.  I did add the gripper elastic as per Jen L's comment (thanks Jen L!).  I took the measurement of the elastic length from where the pants hit across my thigh and sewed them in a circle, ensured they were comfortable and then unpicked the hem on the shorts, cut the hem allowance off and then sewed the elastic to the hem so that when flipped to the inside the "grippy" was facing in to the leg and sewed a 3 step zig zag on the top of the elastic as my new hem.  This is what they ended up looking like.

...and most importantly they worked.  I have never been a big fan of the gripper elastic but as these are custom sized for me, I found them comfortable to work out in and the shorts didn't shift about so much... total win!  If you are looking for gripper elastic search on that or silicone backed elastic.  

And my first photo above has been taken in my backyard in front of the Jacaranda Tree which is in all it's purple glory at the moment so I leave with a full shot of the tree, taken against a grey stormy sky (which we have a lot of at this time of the year).  Ciao kittens...

Monday, October 26, 2015

Gym pants make-over - Jalie skort

Last year I made the compression shorts (here) from the Jalie 2796 pattern as I needed another pair of gym pants in a hurry.  I have worn them a couple of times and they did fit the bill, but I don't feel comfortable wearing them.  This style of pants is just out of my comfort zone, so when I realised they sit in the drawer and don't get worn, I decided they needed a make over.  

The best idea I could come up with was to add the skirt to make them into a skort which I know I am a lot more comfortable to be seen in.  I traced off the skort pattern in the same size as the shorts and assembled the skirt.  I decided to leave off the side pockets so cut one side piece only (no top pocket piece)  and adjusted the hemline to be straight across.

I used some tactel nylon lycra for the skirt front and back and I cut the side panels out of sports mesh.  I have used these fabrics before (see this post).   The compression shorts will be underneath so nothing will show through the mesh.  I thought it would just look cool!

I tried to attach the skirt to the compression shorts but to accurately sew the skirt, stretching it and lining it up with the existing waistband seam was not going to happen in any nice way. So I thought about unpicking the waistband but I had really sewn it well!  Overlocked the seam and then top stitched over the seam with a triple zigzag.  

When I tried to unpick this black thread from black fabric it was a disaster and I was just making holes, so I did what all good sewists would do next and just cut the seam off!.  Then I could assemble the skort as per the instructions.

The shorts were a bit long under the skirt so I shortened them slightly as I don't like the look of the shorts showing below the hem of the skirt.

I am pretty happy with the makeover and wore them to gym today but I found the legs kept sliding or rolling up and I was pulling them down all the time.  I am not sure if that is connected with shortening them because I don't remember the shorts being like that before. 

I plan to try adding some gripper elastic to the legs.  I haven't done that before.  Any tips  kittens?

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Sweater knit contest ... Paprika Jasper sweater

When we went to Tamworth for our little Pattern Review Sewing Down Under get-together at the start of the year, we visited the local Fabric Store and I bought a few lovely pieces from this gem of a shop.  (you need to visit it if you are passing through Tamworth).  One of the pieces I bought was a lovely sweater knit in a gorgeous teal colour.  Soft and squishy, I am not sure of it's fabric content, but wonder if there is some rayon in it.

Paprika Patterns Jasper in sweater knit
Now that I was looking for what to sew next, Pattern Review has obliged by pointing me in the direction of sweater knit sewing as they are running a sweater knit contest.

back view
Well in this nice series of being pointed toward what to sew next, I had previously muslined the Paprika Patterns Jasper Sweater.  I had planned to make it in a nice sweatshirt knit I had, but I did not have enough to make it so left it for the moment.  

This is how you ensure you don't make a wearable muslin - ugly fabric time!
The Jasper sweater is not intended for a sweater knit but for a sweaty knit (sweatshirt) or a French terry but I read up on how to deal with sweater knit fabric and decided to go for it.
Welt pocket

Happy fabric lining the pocket

Vintage button on the collar epaulet
I have not put my details on sewing it here as it is all contained in my review - here

Ciao kittens - a gym item makeover next...

Sunday, October 11, 2015

No more sewing bee... onto new challenges.

Well I am happy I got so far through the PR sewing bee, but I didn't get through to round 4.  Felt sorry for a minute until the challenge came out.  Sewing a uniform for the Olympics... way too far into costume territory as far as I am concerned and I am really not interested in spending 10 days sewing an outfit I would never wear again, even with a chance at the big prize (slim chance!)

So I have moved on and my first stop was to sew a palette cleanser, easy knit sew (well two actually) with a high wear-ability factor. 

Another pair of Papaercut Anima pants, this time in the 3/4 length.  These were made in a piece of black cotton/lycra purchased from Crafty Mamas.  Used a shoelace for the tie again and took one inch out of the leg length.  (Plus my regular changes - no faux fly and adjust front crotch).

Plus made another Ottobre top (02/2015-17).   This time in a remnant piece of green rayon (previously made into another Ottobre top with a pretty ruffled sleeve - blogged here.)

I think I am really getting their prescribed binding method.  I am pretty happy with how this looks done with a twin needle (2.5mm).   Still not convinced I need a cover stitch machine.

I have to say I wan't sure if I would be comfortable in the 3/4 length pants, but I just love them - all good - covers the sins but a bit cooler than the full length!

Now that I have that out of my system, I have gone back into contest mode and decided to enter the Sweater Fabric Contest on Pattern Review.  

More details on that one next post kittens... Ciao!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Sewing bee round 3 pics

Once again I am just going to put up some pics but if you want more info the review is here.

The finished jacket...

So much hand stitching...

The buckle and the buttons were the last thing made before photos.  The buckle was the hardest part to understand in the instructions but I think I sewed it as intended.

 the lining...

and a final pic on Diana (a little darker than IRL) ...

All the entries are here if you would like to see them.  Such a great field of entries that I am not thinking too hard about whether I get through or not.  I will just have to wait and see.

Ciao kittens.. I think a palette cleanser next....

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Progressed to round 3!!!

Pretty excited to have progressed to the third round of the PR sewing bee!  I am feeling exhausted after the last round so what does this round bring?  A lined jacket in 10 days.... my last lined jacket was a year in the making...  ok, may need to apply myself more this time.  

I have only made 3 lined jackets before (blogged here, here and here),  The two more fitted, tailored jackets I use still and the chanel style jacket I have gifted to a friend it suited better (the style and the colour were never great for me).  So what do I make this time?

I really wanted to make a denim jacket as I love top stitching and I thought it might give it the difficulty/extra factor that a contest entry needs.  However I don't have a big enough piece of denim fabric.  I really need to use what I have as I don't want to rely on the local shops as I only have Spotties and Lincraft.  *sigh*  

Back to the drawing board.  After trawling through burdastyle I have come up with this pattern.  

Burdastyle 11-2012-117

Casual enough to fill a hole in my wardrobe, enough difficulty to give me a good entry and I love the retro trench styling.  Plus I have a piece of wool flannel in the stash and it has been one of those pedestal fabrics that I have not been game to set a project to.  I think it will be perfect for this. 

And in other news I attended the local ASG "sewing Skills" day on Saturday and really enjoyed the presentations.  I may have bought a few things too *cough*

black/cream jersey / liberty to die for / knits for real people plus steam a seam, pincushion for sewing machine needles and foe... plus a bottle of wine as a raffle prize (not pictured... not sure what happened to it?)

Ciao kittens, expect quiet for a while as I am making a lined jacket folks... in 10 days!!! seriously...

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Sewing Bee round 2 - pics

Finished and I am exhausted.  This round was a tough one and I have put a lot of hours into this dress.  So I am not going into details here, but will put up a few photos.  If you want more info on this dress, you can find them here in my entry review.

The theme... "A day at the races"

The fabric I started with  - green linen from a swap table at the Brisbane Spoolettes high tea 2014.

The embellishment process... lots of careful marking, pressing and lots of thread!

The pattern - Ottobre 02/2015-04 - modified to remove the waist seam.

The front panel being cut out - had to be cut full, not on the fold.

The dress lining - not part of the pattern... needed to do a  little research on that before starting...

the dress finished....
and the back...

and in amongst all that I made a muslin and plenty of embellishment samples.  Enough sewing for now... now to wait on tenterhooks to see if I get into round 3 ... and what it will be!!

Ciao kittens...