Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sewing quandries..

I have been working a lot lately but I did manage to have Thursday off to attend a sewing workshop with Felicity of For Frock's Sake. We learnt all about making collars & collar stands, plackets, cuffs, etc for shirts. Felicity is a wealth of knowledge and gives lots of tips on how these are done in industry ie. with no hand sewing. I feel so excited that now I just want to sew.
I am halfway through Burda skirt 01-2009-112 and used the opportunity the class gave me to pick Felicity's brains as I am lining the skirt and didn't know how to handle the zip area. Now I have a much better idea (plus Felicity let me take a sample home) but I have stalled as I ordered a invisible zip foot for my machine and I have decided I would wait for it to arrive to try it instead of using the generic one I have previously used.
So what to do this week-end? ... quick, simple project... Burda 8291. Photos...

and review here.

Well this was so quick and simple that I finished it and was looking for more, so I decided I would start making a shirt to use the new skills I had learned in class. The plan was to make Hot Patterns Fit to be Tied shirt. I know the instructions aren't great in these patterns so now I know how to do the collar and plackets, etc, I thought I could now tackle this pattern.
I was feeling too lazy to trace it, so hubby copied it onto some old A0 plan paper at work (recycled - it has plans on the This paper is too stiff to use for tissue fitting but I planned to make one first out of a cheaper fabric to see how it went before I cut into my pretty satin. However, when I went to lay it out I found I did not have enough fabric... There is not enough of the pretty satin to make it from that fabric either... Oh no! I will need to go fabric shopping to make this top (what a shame!).
So for the rest of the day I have been researching another pattern for my pretty satin. I have settled on Burda wof 09-2008-115. I have loved this pattern since I saw it and it has been reviewed twice on Pattern Review and looks really good in both. Also the people who reviewed it are a similar'ish size/shape to me so I am sold on it. Now I just need another week-end to start on it....

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Floods & shopping....

On Wednesday I had to drive down to Brisbane as I was attending a training course for work (Intermediate AutoCAD). It is to far to drive back and forth everyday so I planned to stay down there in a hotel near the training course.

It also coincided with the Knitwit Roadshow, so I thought I would attend that on Wednesday evening. However the best laid plans of mice and men... it rained & rained ... & rained so that Brisbane and other local areas experienced flooding with road closures, etc everywhere! I wasn't venturing out from the hotel that night after all. However to put a bit of fun back into the trip and to break up the long drive down (made longer by the terrible weather conditions and traffic) I stopped in Ipswich at a shop called Bargain Box fabrics.

I found it to be well worth stopping at. It had a good range of fabrics and was tidy and clean. And the best part is that the prices were very reasonable. It stocked a lot of good quality fabrics I have seen at more 'up-market' stores. This was my haul:

The cream fabric which is hard to see in the photo is a knitted acrylic and cost $12.95/m and will become Burda 8291.

The olive green fabric is a poly/viscose mix and cost $14.95/m and is destined to become Burda WOF 03-2009-105C.And the stripe is a cotton-elastane and cost $8.95 m! It was only 112cm wide but still a bargain I thought. I was hoping to make Burda WOF 07-2008-114, but this could be reviewed yet. Anyway some sort of casual skirt...

I am home again now after a tiring few days. Sitting at a computer for so many hours then driving home through the ridiculous Friday afternoon traffic is very wearing. I have been doing the catch-up washing and grocery shopping, but hope I can now spend the rest of the week-end sewing. At the very least I hope to trace some BWOF patterns. Hope you have a great sewing week-end too!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Vogue 8390 resurrection... or making friends with my quick unpick...

Thank you everyone for the feedback on my Vogue wrap dress of my previous post. I do think it should be shortened about an inch or so, but will probably not bother with this iteration as it is such a lot of work to hem it again. I do plan to make another version but I would like to use a plain fabric for this version , so I need to probably buy some as I am not loving anything in the stash for it! The waist feels high but I do think it is sitting on the right spot. If I lengthen the bodice, then the wrap won't be on my narrowest part so I think I will leave the bodice length well enough alone. I do think it feels high mainly because we wear so little right on our natural waist.
Well, this week-end I was at a bit of a loose end as to what to sew next, so decided to use my sewing time in a constructive (but slightly boring) fixing, repairing & hemming mode. I took the hem up on a pair of new trousers for my husband and repaired the hem on another pair as well as on my son's school trousers.
After that bit of martyrdom, I took in this skirt, which was sitting a little too low now as I have lost some size since I made it. I have two other skirts that need the same treatment but didn't start them this week-end.
My next repair job was to try and resurrect Vogue 8390.
I made this top last year soon after I started clothes sewing again but probably before I was really into Pattern Review. If I had known to check the pattern reviews it would have been a big help! Here is the unfortunate 'before' shot.
It doesn't fit. I made a size 16 and it was too big even when it was first made. Now I have gone down to a size 14 it really isn't working. As well as that the front sags horribly as the two front pieces are faced completely and the weight pulls the front down so it looks like my front is trying to melt off me! The bottom hem is uneven and hangs really badly. I know it is hard to see with the black fabric but take my word for it - it was really bad!
I cut it all apart at the seams by actually just cutting the seams off as I was not about to try and unpick this fine black jersey which was overlocked (serged) at all the seams. Then I discarded the facings and started putting it together again. I sewed the shoulder seams and then attached foe (fold over elastic) to the neck edge. Then I noticed that I had the two fronts on the wrong sides, so I put the whole thing in the bin and went away to stew over it. After I had a few hours to cool off, I pulled it back out of the bin, and started the unpicking.
I sewed the shoulder seams again and decided I should probably read up on how to attach the foe. So back to pattern review and I found out that I could attach it in one go using the triple zigzag stitch. Of course the first time I managed to miss some bits so I started unpicking (again!) - not a good idea. I got tired of this very quickly and just cut it off. I tried again taking a lot more care and had success the second time. BTW, the elastic looked stretched out when I had finished stitching but I steamed it with the iron and it came good.
Detail picture of foe...
Then I finished the top with much basting and checking, basting, checking and finally got this...

I just reattached the sleeves I had cut off. I had to trim the sleeve at the top seam, as I had a cut in the fabric where my scissors must have slipped when I cut the sleeves off.

Amazingly, it has come together. It is probably a bit wonky and you could never get away with butchering a garment like this if it was from woven fabric but the knit fabric is very forgiving.
It is a little low cut but doesn't show my bra. When you look at the pattern cover it is fairly low in the pictures too so I probably would have always ended up wearing it with a cami.

I am quite pleased I persisted with this top as the fabric is lovely and I like the style. However I am trying to decide if I should toss the pattern or would I ever be foolhardy enough to give it another shot!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Dotty about DVF wrap dress

I must be in dots mode - the last two items I have made are dotty!
My latest creation - Vogue 8379 the ubiquitous DVF wrap dress that everyone on Pattern Review loves.

The fabric is a 'cheapie' from Spotlight. It is called Manhattan and was marked as full price $10/m but it was on the clearance sale so I got it for $2 /m so it was a good fabric to try this pattern with. I am not sure I love all the dots but the fabric has quite a nice feel. Bargain dress though!

dOh! As I was comparing the photos to the picture on the cover I realised I have put the cuff on the sleeve the wrong way. The split in the cuff should be toward the front not the back! I was to lazy to compare the markings, so that's what happens. I am not taking them off and fixing them as they are overlocked on... dOh!

I can see why everyone loves this pattern. The front neck opening sits lovely and close to the body so there is no fear of fall-out or gap-age. It also does wrap generously.

I hate seeing photos of my back - my shoulders look so broad... Anyway I am showing this photo as I was quite surprised to see the pattern all headed in the same direction across the bodice and skirt and even lining up - pure coincidence that - I can claim no part of that happy accident!

I made this dress so that I would have a sleeved knit jersey dress for work as they are so great to throw in the gym bag and then just pull them out , pop on and viola - dressed for work! I still have to decide if I like this style on me enough to make a second one as I had initially planned. In another fabric I like better I may be more in love with it.

As for fit - what a great pattern, it comes together really well and is not difficult to make. However it still did take quite a while to do, even cutting took a while. It was one of those outfits best cut one day, bodice sewed the next, then finish another.
What do you think of the length? Should I shorten it a bit?
Review here.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

McCalls 5138 - shirt View F

I have made another version of McCall's 5138. (First version here) This time I made view F which is the long sleeved version but with no added trim. I don't think I have made sleeves with cuffs before so this was new to me. I am fairly pleased with this shirt. So again not much chat but plenty of pictures (even ones with eyes shut...). My only issue was I was wondering if I should do a sway back adjustment but couldn't be bothered as from my understanding I would need to add a CB seam and I didn't want to, but I think the back looks okay.

The fabric is a cotton-elastane bought from Gardams in Toowoomba. I think it will be very comfortable to wear.

My next project is Vogue 8379. My biggest decision is which fabric in my stash should I use for this dress. I have cut out the tissue and my main fitting concern was to check the length of the bodice. The waist mark lands pretty much on my natural waist so I am going to leave the pattern as it is. I do have a vague concern that it may feel high on the waist, but not because it is short in the bodice, but because lately most things I wear do not land on the natural waist but below it. Anyway I will try one first before I start fiddling with the pattern.

Hope everyone else had a lovely Mother's Day and that your sewing is going well!

Cow walks away

It is Mother's Day here in Australia and I know there will be a lot of very sad Mother's here today as we had a very bad car accident last week-end involving a car load of young men. Three have died and three are still in hospital. So sad it makes your heart-ache, particularly as I have sons the ages of these boys. The local paper 'The Chronicle' has reported on this story a lot. However in yesterday's paper was this little snippet about a road accident that made me smile after all the sadness through the week.

To all Mum's out there, have a lovely day and enjoy your children!