Sunday, December 20, 2009

Burda Style 12-2009-122 skirt - photo shoot

The skirt is finished :) and the beach holiday is over :(

I am really happy with the skirt - happier than I look in this photo!

Here is the front closer up - you do get a fish-tail look from the front as the flounce starts from the front and the denim does hold it out, but I think the corduroy they suggest would do the same - at least it does in their picture.

Back of the skirt...
With the flounce and the pockets on an angle, I think it gives a nice curvy shape - I need all the help I can get!

The only changes I made were to leave off the welt pockets on the front and to use the Sandra Betzina fly tutorial and then I bodgied adding a fly shield. I need to perfect that and will try Mary Nanna's tutorial next time.

Dawn has also made this skirt and posted photos here. It is similar with the flounce, but Dawn has added weights to minimise the fishtail look.

I used a quilting cotton for the inside waistband. My top stitching went beautifully until this point but you can see some wonky stitching on the inside here.
Well, I hope you all have a lovely Christmas and New Year! I hope to have time to sew (like real, bulk time) in the new year so I plan to post more successful (*!!??) sewing then!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Burda Style 12-2009-122 skirt - a work in progress

I have finished the McCalls top from my last post but have just washed it, so have no photos to show as yet.

I decided I desperately need more casual clothes, so first up, a denim skirt was in order. I had some denim at home bought to make jeans but I really would use a skirt more right now so decided to use it for that instead. I have a piece left which I am thinking may make a good slouchy bag.

The pattern I chose was from this month's Burda Style (bwof) 12-2009-122. There are some lovely items in this issue and I thought this skirt looked a bit of fun.

There's was made with a pin-waled corduroy, but because of the styling I though it would be lovely in denim too.

From the magazine - 'This short skirt of comfortable pin-waled corduroy sports jeans styling with flat-felled seams, slanted front pockets, and seat pockets. A semi-circular panel set into the back adds shape and room to move. '

I have not finished it but felt I made good progress today. Next week-end I hope I get time to finish it as I will be on holiday at the beach the week after that and really want to take it with me.

I have yet to finish the top stitching of the back flounce seam (ran out of top-stitch thread - I hope I can get this same thread, as I have had it in my cupboard awhile). I also need to add the waistband and stitch the hem.

Here is the front (I think it fits me better than Diana)...

I used the fly instructions from Threads by Sandra Betzina. I have never really made a fly I was happy with so I thought these instructions are great and I am adding the link to my sidebar so I can find it easily again. I did make a trial first to work it out as I also wanted to add a shield as the zip is a metal one and I don't want to pinch skin!

Side front....

I didn't add the welt pockets to the front. Because I am on a time-line I decided to leave them off. I was also concerned the fabric was a tad too heavy and would show pocket lines when I went to press it.

and side-back

Once the top stitching is done on the flounce seam it will be a really cute feature I think.

I am away in Brisbane this week on a training course and so hope to finish this next week-end and maybe I will show a photo shoot of my new McCall's tunic and this skirt taken at the beautiful beach resort we are going to for our holiday.

Have a good week....

Monday, November 30, 2009

McCalls 5931 - a teaser

I have had a few days of sewing this month. One of which was on last Thursday at our local neighbourhood group meeting of the Darling Gowns (part of the Australian Sewing Guild). We have a lovely group of ladies who have only been meeting for a few months, but we have lots of fun when we get together. I have been working on McCall's 5931 described as ' Empire waist peasant tops'.

I made a muslin and found a few issues which I will detail in another post, but this is the top so far - it still needs a zip and to be hemmed...

I am really happy with it so far - I think it looks better in real life, than it looks in this photo so hopefully when it is finished and I do the photo shoot you will think so also. The fabric is an olive crinkle cotton bought from Gorgeous Fabrics. It is just perfect for this pattern. The pattern has been enjoyable to make as it has a lot of interesting construction. I have hand basted heaps but find with all the gathering it helps make it come together successfully with less un-picking.

Once it is completed, if I still love it as much, I am considering making it from a silk I bought while in Melbourne. Is it too distinctive to have another one? The silk is a soft tan/brown with a small scale print in it. It is in the first photo in this post the left-most piece. (I can't re-post the photo as I am not on my own computer at the moment). So what do you think .. is it worth considering making two of these?

Monday, November 9, 2009

More on Vogue 8138

Photo shoot time...Vogue 8138 - or at least as many bits of it as I have made (and will show)...

The dress as shown on Diana last time, now modelled by moi. I lined it (not part of Vogue's instructions) It works well lined as I think it shows up less of the little lumps & bumps. A dead simple make.. apart from the lining the only difference to the pattern was to machine sew the hem - why would you had hand stitch it on a little simple knit dress? Love this fabric...

When I visited Kerryn's Fabric World I bought this orange fabric with a self stripe in it... and this week-end made another one.
This is my favorite of the patterns in this wardrobe. I saw a pile of these styles of dresses up at the shops today, mind you shorter and more fitting meant for a younger gal than me, but... well you do the best you can...

The wrap top, the only changes made to this - sleeves shortened and length of jacket shortened (by about 2"). I also refused to hem this - the instructions are to hem all four sides, mitering the corners... wot - could I not think of a better way to spend my week-end ... herding cats perhaps? So I trimmed the hem allowances with a rotary cutter (to ensure they were neat and straight) and then I used fray stopper on the seams left exposed. This wrap top is, as reviewed by others, OK not great - it does sort-of fall off shoulders but is OK for how simple it is. I think there is better patterns available for this kind of cardi-wrap.

Here it is modelled in a few different re-incarnations...

I also made the pants... did I photograph them... yes!... am I showing the photos here N0!
  1. I made them too short (don't cut and modify patterns when you have a head cold)
  2. the fabric doesn't work - I used the same brown jersey as the wrap - not good - too shiny as pants!
  3. the legs are fairly narrow and I don't think it suits me
so no photos here...

However I did make some knickers from the left-overs of the orange dress using Jalie 2564. They are a bit rough for a first try, but I love them and plan to do this with more scraps. I was motivated by Melissa's post on using scraps for knickers and I also stole Dawn's idea on not using leg elastic. I used foe on the waist. I would have liked to use lace elastic but didn't have any so used what I had.

These are very comfy and I will be experimenting more with this idea.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A couple of questions...

I have had a few questions/comments lately that I thought I would like to respond to...

Alison said...

I love your fabrics. Would adore to go to the Sunshine coast for fabric shopping!

I've been meaning to ask...what colour is Lulubelle? She *is* a Burmese, right? I have a chocolate one (Melb cup day is the anniversary of when she arrived at our home!) but really really would love a dark brown girl too.

Lulubelle is a brown Burmese. My last cat was my lovely Chocolate Burmese "Coco". She was a beautiful cat and lived until over 20 but passed away last year. It has taken me a while to feel ready to have another cat and I really wanted a Burmese but didn't want another Chocolate one. If you are ever looking for a cat, this is the Breeder - Jovelles.

Rachel said...

That is a gorgeous dress. I like the idea of sewing 30 minutes per day. Do you include cutting out a pattern as part of the 30 minutes?

Rachel, I don't think there is any rules as such and other sewing bloggers use this method, but I have decided so long as it is hands-on it is counted. For example this morning, I re-threaded and cleaned my machines ready for the next project so I count that. However daydreaming, reading magazines or computer time I don't count as 'sewing' time. Even though I haven't done much of this 30 minutes per day, I think it is useful to cut out prior and then devote the week-days of 30 minutes to construction - more satisfying.

Lisa @ The Hem Line said...OMG . . . she is adorable! Is that you holding her? . . . I love the scarf!

Yes it is me holding her - bad head that day that is why it was cut out (bad hair, sinus, not much make-up - not good). The scarf is the perfect scarf for a sewist - no knitting. It is long lengths of different yarns sandwiched in solvy and then sewn in a grid. The solvy is then dissolved away - viola - scarf with no knitting. However as a non knitter I would not have enough different yarn scraps but got this in a kit. It is a great scarf and I have used it for a few years now, and still love it. In fact I have a friend who mentions every time she sees it that she wants a 'pup' when it has one.. lol!

I also had a comment - I think on Pattern Review about sewing knits - knits are not difficult to sew as they are very forgiving (at least fitting-wise). I use a walking foot, a needle suitable for stretch fabrics (ball point or stretch) and generally do not finish edges. Sometimes I sew the seams in a narrow zigzag, check fit, seams, etc. when I am happy I then overlock the seam together. Tidy but safer than going for it with the overlocker the first time.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fabric & more fabric...

This weekend on Saturday I made up Vogue 8138 and wore the dress on Sunday on a trip up the coast. The reason for the trip is that my MIL is unwell and we were going to visit her in hospital - a 3 hour drive.

To break the trip up we stopped for a swim at Mooloolaba (not me however as it was overcast and cool-ish and I am still shaking off my cold) and lunch at a yummy Italian restaurant, then as my treat we found
Kerryn's Fabric World, which I haven't visited before but heard many good things. Aussie stitchers would probably be very familiar with Kerryn as she appears regularly in the Stitches magazine, doing colour make-overs. The shop is well-stocked with a wide range of fabrics but unfortunately we arrived 5 minutes before it shut, as we hadn't checked it's opening hours.

However in that 5 minutes I was able to buy two pieces of fabric.
First up I bought a piece of jersey to make a second V8138 dress in a rusty orange colour. As I was preparing to pay for this I turned around and saw the very fabric I had been thinking about the night before!

I had been re-reading Vol17 No 9 of the Stitches magazine the night before. In this issue they feature a modification of McCalls 5512 View A using a cute ruffled knit in black. I had decided if I could find that same fabric in brown that I would love to make the dress... guess what I spied!.... so I had to get that as well!

Here is a photo of the two fabrics - the orange isn't true to colour in this shot.

In this shot, however, with Lulubelle's help, you can see the colour better...

I will provide more detail of the plan for the ruffle dress later....

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Vogue 8138 - Dress

Well, my 30 minutes a day goal went by the by as I had that head cold to contend with this week so my sewing started again today. I started on Vogue 8138,dress first up. Here it is on Diana, the fashion shoot will come later when I have some more pieces made.

I lined this dress in a skin tone jersey as the main fabric is a mesh-y type knit. The only issue I had with making the dress is that the side seams of the mesh-y outer fabric are pulling up at the side seams. The lining fabric had no such issues, so I don't know why that is. I cannot be bothered to unpick it but have pressed it since this photo and think it will settle down. Should I have stretched the fabric slightly as I sewed it? Any suggestions welcome....

This is the simplest dress to make and lining it was not difficult. I sewed the dress and the lining at the shoulder and side seams, then sewed the two together, right sides together, at the neck edge. Turned then topstitiched the neck edge. I then trimmed the lining at the arm openings the width of the seam allowance and turned the outer fabric over twice and stitched it, catching in the lining. I did pin, then hand baste before I sewed it to ensure it would all be caught in and felt it was worth the extra effort.

I think the instructions tell you to hand sew the hem, but honestly on a simple T-shirt dress like this - why would you bother? I turned up the outer fabric and machine hemmed it and then simply trimmed off the lining to the right length, leaving a raw edge. It ain't going nowhere... Very happy with the outcome and I think I may make some more as this is a good simple dress to pack for my beach holiday as well as for putting on in the evenings after returning from work.

Here is Lulubelle again, continuing the domination of the household... she is sleeping on the dog's pillow (where he sleeps every night!) I don't think he has noticed her there yet!

Happy Halloween! This is not a big thing in Australia, but as it is the night that my husband & I first started going out together it is a date I always remember!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Finally the touch of cloth, scissors and some machine time...

I have had a lovely week-end apart from a lousy head cold. I tidied up my sewing stuff and got to it...
I have gone totally off track with my basics theme... nhahhh! I have a skirt pattern and fabric chosen but it is hard to get excited about so I have let my sewing mind wander to other things... Summer holiday at the beach.
We have booked a week's break at the beach so I thought it would be timely to make some summery, beachy stuff. I have a lovely soft olive green crinkle cotton bought at Gorgeous Fabrics so decided it should be used for a cool floaty top. I have this McCall's pattern 5931 bought previously.
I started cutting the tissue and as I was doing that realised that for a size 14 - bust size 36" that the finished size is 38 1/2"...hunh?? ... that would swim around the bust and the picture doesn't look like it is swimming so I cut the size 12 (finished size 36 1/2").
I did decide to muslin the fit of the top. I only cut the under pieces of the top and found it pretty good but slightly tight looking on the bust and across the back. The bust darts were in the wrong place as well. I have added back 1/2" to the front bodice and to the back and decided to use the darts marked for size 16-18 as they look more in the correct position. It is not a real problem as it is only the under piece and they won't be seen. I have also taken 3" off the length of the top. The cutting layout however looked challenging so I left that for another day after this head cold eases.

Would I have been better off cutting a size up and fitting it down or did I do this the right way? I suppose the proof will be in the pudding.

I have wondered about this for a while. I am full bust 36" and high bust 35" so have used a size 14 in the big 4 patterns. However I always find that they are too big, generally in the underarm area I have to take it in heaps and then trim if inserting a sleeve. I don't have a large difference in high bust to full bust but under bust there is a difference (which I think explains why I have to take it in so much in the side seams under the arms), so I am going to take a different tack and try size 12 and then fit and add if needed.

I then started on Vogue 8138...
I have cut the dress out of the following fabric bought in March this year...
And I cut out the pant and the jacket from a dark brown Cavelli jersey that was gifted to me. I am hopeful that these pieces will make easy holiday gear (as well as after work gear). I did shorten the pattern pieces but apart from that cut size 12 again. I am working on the theory that these Big 4 patterns are on the large side (as noted by the bust size of the McCall's top). These pieces were easy to cut so I have bagged them up ready to try and sew the 30 minutes a week challenge. These should be good for that and rewarding for not spending much time per day sewing. I am hoping to teach myself to sew through the week so it won't be so long between spending some time at my machine.
I hope everyone else had a successful sewing week-end!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Bits and bobs...

I haven't got any sewing done, as life has been very busy, but I will try and catch you up with some of the stuff going on. Of course, even though I am not sewing, I still have managed to increase the meters of fabric in my house. These are my latest buys...

The first two are the most divine, melt-in-your-mouth silks for tops and the third is a raw silk I plan to make into a lovely simple sheath dress. These fabrics were on sale (does that make it better?) and were bought on a day when Caity & I went to meet Lynn down in Brisbane. Lynn showed us this great little shop. Lynn is visiting from the States and this is the second time we have met up. She is a fantastic lady with a passion for sewing (and travelling).

This is Caity, Lynn and I in front of the fabrics.

This is the shop we visited. For those who can make it into Brisbane, you can find this shop upstairs in the Brisbane Arcade, behind the tea house.
All the fabrics are bought from Europe and are used to make the most beautiful couture clothing, including Chanel-style jackets with beautiful trims. You can find the clothes in a boutique on the ground floor. The rest of the fabric is then sold in this store. (Note - Australian Sewing Guild members can now get a discount in the store!) All the fabrics are high quality and range from silks to boucles, wools, etc.

This is the front of the store. I love this old arcade as it has the most beautiful shop fronts (as well as shops - if you are visiting, check out the milliners also located upstairs.)

We had a fabulous day that day but also managed to catch up with Lynn this week at the Stitches & Craft Show in Brisbane on Thursday. We travelled down on a little bus with other local members of the Australian Sewing Guild. So some more shopping and these are some trims I bought for my Chanel jacket (if it ever comes to fruition).

The petersham I actually bought on-line from America but the other trims were from the show. I also bought a piece of chain for the hem. No more excuses to make this jacket except the weather is now so warm I have no interest so I am leaving this for next year when the weather starts to cool. At least I think I have everything I need for it now!

My husband & I also celebrated our 21st Wedding Anniversary. Here we are before attending a local race day last Saturday. We had a great time with some friends I have made through our local gym. The next night we went to Brisbane (again!) and saw Elvis Costello in concert. Had a great week-end all up.

Now a gratuitous photo of Lulubelle, who is starting to take over our household...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Kreativ Blogger

I have received this award from Lisa at The Hem Line and Josie of JosieLoves2Sew. Thanks guys! It is lovely to be part of this on-line sewing/blogging community.

As part of this I need to tell you seven things you may not know about me and then nominate seven other blogs I love to follow. What might you not know about me?
  1. I am a through and through Queensland girl having lived in this State all my life. I was born in Mt Isa, a mining town on the way to 'Outback'. I have also lived in Brisbane and now Toowoomba.
  2. When I was a girl I loved to dance and studied Ballet until I was about 16. I was never very good at it but I loved it.
  3. I used to be a really keen gardener before sewing took over my life.
  4. I hope to finally get my own sewing studio soon as we have recently had an Architect look at our house with a view to renovation.
  5. I have been a mystery shopper.
  6. I have a Bachelor of Science.
  7. I love all things old / vintage - but I hate getting old and am fighting it all the way!
Whew! that was hard... now harder still seven blogs out of all the blogs I love to read...
  1. Make it Smirk
  2. Kbenco 's Projects
  3. Sew-4-Fun
  4. Keelysews
  5. The Last Stitch
  6. Encue Creations
  7. AllisonC Sewing Gallery
I have had a lovely week-end but no sewing. I attended a Sewing Guild day out at Dalby (about an hour west of here) to do a colour workshop - very interesting day and heaps of laughs... yes, red does make my face red....

...and today we picked up Lulubelle, who has spent most of the day pretending to be an ornament in our bookshelf in the lounge. I hope she settles in soon.

Monday, September 28, 2009

BWOF 03-2009-105C Pleated skirt

Finished skirt bwof 03-2009-105C.
This isn't the most flattering photo above - I threw the outfit on to get my photos done. I think I should wash and press this skirt and it will live up to its potential more. I also need to suck in the gut that hangs over the top - at least you can see the yoke created by the pleats does help hold everything in!
Below is the back...

And the skirt on Diana...

Details - side with zip - my edges don't exactly line up - they didn't look this wonky when I sewed it... never mind!

Front waistband with top-stitching - you need to do the top stitching to hold the facing down - there is a lot of layers with the box pleats so it wouldn't stay put without the top stitching.

Pocket detail - the workshop with pictures in the magazine is a great help in the construction of this pocket... (don't put it in upside down like I did the first time!)

My only change - I added a tab inside the skirt over the zip. I have done this before and really like it - it holds the zip firm and there is no scratchiness associated with hook and eyes or the top of the zip.

Inside the skirt showing the zip and tab closed...

More inside detail...
I really love the fit of this skirt and consider it the first in my quest to do some basics ... 'Back to Basics'. I hope it will coordinate with a few tops already in my wardrobe.

Review is here for those interested.

Non-sewing news - this is Lulubelle soon to be the newest member of our family.

Friday, September 25, 2009

For Caity

A confession - not sewing but shopping. I bought this dress a few months ago. I spied it first on this site - Couture Allure and fell in love - then noticed it was my size - fate!

However it did seem a bit extravagant so I tried to ignore the call. Then my DH came home and told me we were sponsoring a table at a Race Day so - Woo hoo! - that was all the excuse I needed (and with some encouragement from DH and Caity) I bought it - which seemed a great extravagance at the time. Since then I have looked at the price of RTW dress-ups and found I did quite well. Especially considering I think this has 'value' - vintage 60's, hand beaded and custom made (not for me but someone of a very similar size!)

So here you are Caity - the photo!! We had a great day - all the better for having a fab dress to wear!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Trim for my Chanel Jacket and planning

I was in Brisbane for work on Thursday (learning how to do internal auditing for the Quality Assurance system - aye carumba!), so you can probably understand the need for a bit of retail therapy on the way home. I found this trim at Sckaf's for my Chanel jacket. It is photographed here with my fabric. What do you think? I need to decide as I have to call them if I want them to post some up to me (I only took a sample).

I had pictured a jacket with Petersham ribbon used as the trim but can only find Grosgrain (even on the web). The Grosgrain will not curve around the neck edge and so is useless to me for this purpose. Anyhoos I need to decide if that is the one I want so I can give them a call next week.

While that is slowly moving along I am planning to start work on my collection of basics - should think of a name for it...hmmm.. Anyway I thought this fabric and Burda wof 03-2009-105 would be my first in the collection.
Off to start tracing...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A few thoughts on my sewing direction..

I haven't had much direction with my sewing lately but I have decided I need to think about where I am headed with it!

I had considered joining in the Pattern Review wardrobe contest but I was not ready to start at the beginning of September and I truly do not have the time to do the reviews at the moment, so decided against it. However everything I have been reading about creating a workable wardrobe and on watching which items I pull out of the wardrobe regularly, I have decided I need to concentrate on basics for a while. I need more coordinating items in solid basic colours. I would also like a few more dresses for the days you just throw something on.

I have committed to making another Chanel jacket and think it will work in well with this idea as it is a good coordinating colour, however it is going to be a background work in progress as there is so much hand sewing involved. Also as we are entering Spring/Summer I will not be requiring it for a while. I plan to draft the jacket next week when I have a day meeting with my ASG group. We are having a 'helping each other with fitting' day so if I get far enough with it I can tissue fit it that day. I also need to start looking for braid/trim to go on it.

I have one sewing project that has got stuck unfinished (which I hate as I usually try and finish each item before starting another). It is a blue chambray shirt I was playing with pin tucking on. However it is long sleeved and I am wondering now if I should make it sleeveless or change the sleeve to short to motivate myself to finish it as I do not need a long sleeve shirt right now. ... or do I just leave it to finish next autumn? More thought required on that one....

Anyway I seemed to have stalled a bit with my sewing but hope to get inspired soon. Perhaps I need to go and clean up my sewing stuff and that might help? I am waiting for an order to arrive from Gorgeous Fabrics which I bought on the last sale so I am sure that will re-motivate me.

Motivation stalled ... time to step back and consider where I am going... hmmm...

Anyway how can anyone stay glum when it is Spring here and the flowers are in the garden...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Wisteria dress - V8379 Wrap dress Version 2.0

I have not gone off simple sewing yet and have made my second version of Vogue 8379. The first one was in this post. This is not a difficult dress but it does take time!
This time I used a lovely dusky purple Cavalli jersey bought from Gardams in Brisbane. I never took to the dotty fabric and felt like some throw back to an 80's Osti dress crossed with an air-hostess. However by making it and wearing to a few times I discovered everyone was right ... dOH! the bodice does need lengthening. I felt I had to tug at the waistband all the time to pull it down (it sat right at the base of my ribs).
So for this version I lengthened the bodice by 1" and shortened the skirt by 2". (I felt the last version was one inch too long.) BTW - why do they have lengthen/shorten line on the bodice front & back, but not on the facing! Don't forget to lengthen the front facing if you lengthen the top!

** funny pulling on the back of the dress in this photo - I will have a look next time I wear it see if it always does this. It may be to do with the fact my back is broad right at my arm height but then narrows under the bust. I discovered this trying to adjust my dressmaker's dummy Diana. Is that to do with weight training?

The dotty one is due to be donated. I have worn it a couple of times and as it only cost $6 in fabric it has covered itself. It also helped me work out how to fine tune this dress so all is good.
I think I forgot to mention that I also made sure the pleats on the top under the bust went the right way this time .. why are pleats so hard to understand on instructions... pleat what way??!!