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....