Friday, December 27, 2013

Tessuti Eva dress

The Eva dress by Tessuti is not my usual style but I feel like my 'style' is evolving and I am exploring new options lately.

The fabric was bought from Tessuti as well and is one of their recommendations for this dress.  It is called Giolica and is a linen polyamide blend and has a lovely crinkled texture.  I made my dress and used the tip in Sandra's excellent review to spritz the dress with water after after sewing to restore the crinkle.  The picture is after doing this.  I have washed it since and the crinkle is slightly more pronounced.  This makes it a lovely dress - no ironing required!

The dress has been worn to my work Xmas lunch as well as on Xmas Day and was lovely and comfy (no need to loosen the belt after eating!)  I had been thinking though that if I had made it in green, it may have made a good Xmas tree costume...

Anyway a great pattern with wonderfully written  instructions that makes a very easy to wear dress, perfect for an Australian summer!  I still have two pair of pants not blogged about (both Tessuti patterns)... getting the photos is the road block, but life should be a little less busy now that Christmas is over so I hope to show them to you soon... Ciao!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Pincushion ...

I use magnetic pin holders a lot and I had been thinking I needed another one so I can leave one near my sewing machine while the others (yes two - I use two different kinds of pins!) sit on the sewing/cutting table.  However I realised that what would work better is a pincushion on a cuff.  I was gifted one once but it died an unnatural pincushion death as it had that kind of strap that you slap on your wrist and it goes from straight to holding your wrist ... aka a kid magnet!

I looked in Spotlight but ugliness and nastiness abounded, so I remembered a sewing buddy making some many years ago.  A search of the web and I found this tutorial which is very good to follow and now I have my own...

I did use the hint at the top of the tutorial and put a 2" square of template plastic into the middle of the strap by inserting it through the gap used to turn the strap out the right way.  I then folded the gap edges tidily over it and top stitched the strap as per the instructions. 

  It works great and would be a great gift for a like-minded sewing buddy...

 Ciao kittens, back with pants soon (honest!)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Opal quilt

I have finished my Opal Quilt - so named for the blue-green colourway.  

The pattern layout is from the book Spectacular Scraps by Judy Hooworth and Margaret Roolfe.  It is called Black Opal.  I love the colourway they use in the book - purples and blacks, but wanted to make a quilt as much from stash as possible.  So blues and greens seem to dominate the stash, so that is how the colourway came around.  One good quilting friend did give me some bits and pieces to use as well and I am glad to have part of her in the quilt now as she moved away and I do miss her.

I used the books suggestion to quilt it in wavy lines along the diagonal.  I used my walking foot for this and set myself up on the dining table to help take the weight of the quilt.

The borders were free motion quilted in leaves and swirls like a vine.  It is very hard to photograph on the busy fabric.  I am very grateful I bought the Bernina Aurora 440 as it has the BSR foot and is a boon for someone like me who doesn't free motion quilt regularly.

The colour scheme works really well on the double bed in our guest room (my older son's room).

Caio kittens!  Back soon with pants.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Sparkly top - Burdastyle 07-2013 #110C

I have sewn myself a top to wear to some dinners and functions we have been invited to over this busy time of year.  Ages ago I bought a sparkly metallic jersey from Lincraft in the 40% off sale.  The material was not expensive to begin with and with 40% off it became a real bargain.  I decided to use Burdastyle 07-2013-110, essentially view C in glitter jersey.  View A and B are shown in the downloads on the Burda site.  They are all the same pattern just made in different fabrics.

I then polled my sewing buddies to see if anyone could spare a scrap of gold or black satin and one friend generously gave me the small piece of black satin I needed for the straps.   Incidentally, another sewing buddy gifted me some metallic threads and I used the gold thread to hand quilt the straps - good to have friends, eh? 

The instructions did not read well the first time I went through them, but did fall into place when I was sewing the top.  I really enjoyed hand quilting the straps.  There is very thin pellon/batting (iron-on) inside the shoulder straps.  I really like this finish.  I had planned to use black metallic thread to quilt them with but made a sample and preferred the gold and I think it ties the black straps into the gold/black of the jersey.

The only adjustment I made to the pattern was to shorten the top by 4cm, essentially removing the hem allowance.  

The only negatives to this top is that I think it is quite boxy, but it does make it easy to wear and the cowl is very low, but as an evening top I can live with that.  Surprisingly the metallic jersey wasn't that hard to work with and pressed quite well.  I have worn it to one function already and have at least 2 more before Christmas I can wear it to without having the same people see it.  

I have reviewed the pattern here (but probably don't say anything extra in the review, to what I have said here).

I have also made a pair of Tessuti Chloe pants but need to get photos to blog about it.  My current project is quilting my scrap quilt.   

 Ciao folks... enjoy all the socialising this time of year brings!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Burdastyle 03-2012 #120 - take 2 hi-lo dress

I have completed my second version of the hi-lo dress and this one has come out like I pictured it in my head.

I can see this dress going out to dinner or being worn on Xmas Day.  I bought the fabric from Spotlight and it is a stretch crepe.  The recommended fabric is a jersey and this fabric is heavier, so the armhole and neckline openings have ended up a bit too thick and were a PITA to sew.  In hindsight I should have used a different method to the one in the pattern to finish them.  But it is done and I am happy!

The only alteration I made to this pattern was to lower the front hemline by 4 inches and this works for me so much better than originally drafted.

You do need to choose your bra wisely for this dress or the straps will show as they are cut-in a bit.

Now to model the green version so you can see the difference in hemline.  This one is as per the original pattern.

Thank you for your kind comments about my legs, but much as this dress will get worn, the blue one will get worn more!

I do have some pull lines above the bust in both versions... I probably should have worked better to fix that on the second version, but what can I say, I am lazy, so I let it be.  However any suggestions welcome... is the armhole too small or is it an indicator that I need a FBA?

Thank you again for your kind comments on my last post about this dress.  If you are looking for a simple tee-dress with a bit of style, this one could work for you!  My review is here for those interested to see it.... Ciao!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Burdastyle 03/2012 #120 - hi-lo dress

I haven't seen anyone on Pattern Review review this dress but there are a few on the Burdastyle website - 03/2012 #120.  

I decided this might work for me as I have a straight cut singlet dress and I wear it a lot (mainly at home) - V8138, so I thought a more fashionable version may be the ticket for for this summer.  

Mostly when I look at versions of this dress, it has been made in a plain jersey.  I have used a mesh print and lined it.  I am not 100% convinced that it works in a print and I have a hankering to make it in a plain navy.  I think that would be a great backdrop for some chunky necklaces and *perhaps* look slimming as well.

Well this is the finished frock on Diana.

My reluctance to model this is that it really highlights the legs and I am wondering if at my age I should have cut the 'hi' part a little lower.   I may do this for my next version in a plain navy.  I wasn't sure I liked the hi-lo hemline when it first appeared but like most things, it has grown on me the longer it is around.  Maybe I should have stayed with my first impression??

Anyway that is the sneak peek for now, you may see a modelled shot yet.  Any thoughts on using the print or the hi-lo thing?? Ciao for now!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Another Ottobre buttondown 02-2013-3

I did give you a preview of this top on Diana before sewing the buttons, but thought I would show it photographed on me, as even though I have made one of these tops before in a bamboo woven - here, this top falls a little differently due to the nature of the fabric.  

The fabric for this top was bought as a remnant piece from a designer's shop (Tengdahl) and is a beautiful swiss dot cotton voile.  Lovely to work with and to wear. 

Sorry you can't see the detail of the fabric in these shots. 

And once again I managed to sew the collar and stand on using my edge stitch foot mainly.  I would have hand-basted it to hold it while sewing but otherwise it is all sewn by machine.  I mentioned this in the last post about the bamboo top, but didn't have a photo of the collar detail.

You can see the detail of this lovely fabric.  Two new tops I really love and which have gone into heavy rotation.  Nothing amazing but I love this style of clothes and it really suits my lifestyle. 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Yarn fun... Francis Revisted, Dory and more...

I have rediscovered my love of yarn craft.  I have always loved crochet and did knit a little (badly) when younger.  Now with the advent of youtube and Craftsy I am improving my knitting and doing more crochet as well.

These are some items I have been making over the last few months.  My biggest project so far ... my purple sweater.  This was started in July of this year and finished in September... just in time for the warm weather!  I have been waiting for the day the stars aligned correctly that I had a photographer and a cool enough day to pose in it.

Details of the jumper are on my Ravelry page - here.

My other two projects were chosen for simplicity so I could work on them while travelling.  First up is the Dory Scarf which is crocheted in cotton.

Ravelry page - here.

And last but not least, my teapot cosy... details here.

Anyone else getting into yarn?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Number 3 - Burdastyle 12-2009-122

Obviously a TNT now as this is the third skirt I have made from this pattern.  

No 1. I made with the fishtail (which I did get tired of) - here.

No 2 adapted to remove the fishtail - here.  

This time I made it (again) without the welt pockets and the straight skirt variation, but with the angled back pockets.   My photos are on Diana but if you look at version 2 linked above you can get an idea of how it looks on me.  The length is the same - above the knee.

The top stitching is triple stitch using regular purple thread.  I like it as it is quite subtle on the black denim.  I used 2 buttons as I used to have problems with the band curling back on the corner.  This time I think I got the instructions right and folded the band back on itself on the RHS.  So there is more layers of fabric to hold it firm.  I have to say the 2 buttons is not an original thought.  I am sure I saw Anne of Gorgeous Fabrics do that with this skirt.

My fly sewing has really improved from the first of these skirts!

Of course I used a jazzy quilting cotton for the inside waistband and fly shield. The zip doesn't match in colour and is an inch shorter than recommended in the pattern.  It was an op shop buy.

The back pockets are slanted as per the pattern.

I like this detail as I think it adds curves - a good thing for me!

This skirt was cut out in January this year and has been sitting around since then.  I am on a mission to finish UFO's hanging around my sewing room and this skirt is the first FO since making that goal!  

I had stored the receipt from the fabric purchase with it.  I bought the fabric on sale at Lincraft.  I bought 1m and it cost me $7.99 (sale was 40% off).  The threads were all in stash, as was the quilting cotton lining the waistband.  The buttons had been cut off an old shirt of my DH's and the zip was an op shop buy so probably cost 10c.  This skirt is definitely a bargain!

And for those who are undoubtedly wondering the shirt is another Ottobre buttondown just the same as this one - here.

I am waiting for some ordered buttons to arrive and then I think it will go into heavy rotation in my wardrobe just like the cream one has.

I plan to wear this skirt next week as DH and I are taking a few nights off to go to our local wine district for our 25th wedding anniversary.  Maybe I will get a photo of it then for you.

Ciao kittens!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Tessuti - Mandy Boat Neck Tee

Another free download pattern from Tessuti - the Mandy Boat Neck Tee  This pattern seems to be a step ahead of the Fave Top - the pattern can be printed at copy shop or home printer size and (lucky me) has access to a plan printer.  The instructions are also more detailed than the instructions for the Fave top.  

This top uses a lot less fabric than the Fave top but I think I still prefer the Fave top's shape.  However I do believe this top will get lots of rotation through the wardrobe too.

The fabric is a linen jersey bought from The Fabric Store.  The fabric is divine to wear and work with, except after washing it skewed a bit (BTW - the Fabric Store do recommend dry cleaning, but I am too cheap to do that for an everyday wear top) so I had trouble getting the stripes to play nicely.  I mostly got matching except on one shoulder.

A quick sewing fix that gives a casual top with modern styling.  What's not to like?? 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Mini Wardrobe - Piece 2 - Ottobre Pearl Cardigan

The second piece for my mini-wardrobe is the Ottobre Pearl Cardigan 02-2012-9.

For those of you with good memories and sharp eyes , this is made in the same fabric as my Tessuti Fave top.  So it is a fine pin-stripe jersey. 

 I have not seen this pattern reviewed yet and am a little surprised as cardigans are a popular make.

The neckline is quite wide... wider than I expected and to begin with I wasn't sure I liked it but after wearing it for a day I do.  It is a summer cardigan and worked well in the office air conditioning.  The wide neckline on the back piece is stabilised/finished with grosgrain ribbon and this was probably the most difficult part to sew.  I hand basted it first to achieve a tidy finish.

You can see how wide it is from the back.

This is a real quick make and the most painful  part was the tracing.

I really like this cardigan and can see me using it a lot this summer.  Review is here.

I have been distracted from my sewing plan to make a second buttondown blouse and hope to show some photos soon.

We have also been on a family camping trip recently and for my OS readers I leave you with a picture my DH took of one of the many kangaroos that we saw there.

Ciao kittens!  

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Mini Wardrobe - Piece 1 - Ottobre Buttondown Blouse

It has been a busy month and I have just come back from camping for a few days with my family.  It was lovely but it does mean I won't complete my entry in time for the Mini-Wardrobe Contest on Pattern Review.  However I will still show you my pieces as I get them done.

My first piece is the Ottobre Buttondown blouse 02-2013-3.

I made this with a beautiful piece of pedestal fabric that I have not been able to cut into in the 3 years I have owned it.  Finally my sewing confidence is at the level to use this piece.  It is a woven bamboo with a beautiful texture woven in.  It frayed easily so I did do french seams on the side seams but otherwise it was beautiful to work with.

As my fabric was so precious I did muslin this top first and the only pattern change I made was to shorten it at the waist about 2 inches.  Design-wise the changes I made was to sew it with a double yoke following the instructions in the Readers Digest Guide to Sewing (page 410) and to not sew a button or buttonhole onto the collar stand.  I would never do this button up and I think with all the thicknesses of fabric there I may be setting myself up for heartache to sew a buttonhole in that position.

The pattern is drafted beautifully and I think this resulted in the best collar and stand I have ever sewn.  I even managed to do it all by machine - no hand sewing!  I am sorry I have not got a close-up photo but the top is in the wash now.

Conclusion - love this blouse - the review is here.

Ciao!  back with the cardigan soon!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tessuti - Our Fave Top

I know I am supposed to be sewing for the Mini Wardrobe Contest, but got momentarily distracted to sew another top.  The Tessuti - Our Fave Top - a free download.

This top is not my usual style.  I usually favour more fitted clothing but I keep seeing this top about and decided it was time to try something different.

This is a simple top to make - two pieces - sew seams, hem all openings.   The part that takes the longest is taping all the A4 sheets of paper together. 

... and the biggest surprise is I really like it.  It is a great piece to showcase a bold necklace.

It also is so comfy and easy to wear...

And, yes Sharon, it is wide at the hemline...

Ciao!  Hopefully I can start showing my mini wardrobe pieces soon....