Monday, 24 August 2015

Memory lane

Gold sequin lace
I finally found the time to use this remnant from Minerva Crafts with Olive pattern by Lolita patterns. 
The original Gold logies dress made from this gold sequin lace fabric last year is so lovely to wear. I wore this dress to a function recently so it was time to use this fabric one more time. 
Here's the original dress worn last year,
While it’s Winter here, we had some warmer weather so I tried on the pink floral version for work and found it still fits nicely. The v-neck change I made is my favourite. Then I made the pattern up twice in again and decided it was time to finally use this sequin lace fabric. I couldn’t find my original test pattern so I had to re-trace my pattern pieces to fit from the final printed pattern.

The seams are 3/8” wide so the seams are overlocked. My original dress also has overlocked seams and when I wore it again, as it felt so lovely, it was easy to decide to use the same seam finish.

This lace does move quite a bit so I cut out the lining layers first and then used these as my pattern template over the lace. 
When sewing this top together I used the underlining as my seam guide and adjusted the lace as I went along.
I did use my usual sewing machine to sew the trickier seams with the lace layer sandwiched in between the interlining.
I used paper scissors to cut the sequin lace fabric. The sequins are sewn on in swirls so while the carpet did sparkle a bit as I sewed; there wasn’t a torrent of sequins. I’m still finding a sequin here and there in my sewing room.

The selvege on this fabric has a lovely lace finish to it was, so I placed the sleeve hem and peplum hem on it so I could make the most of this feature.  

I made sure the lace finish was lower than the pattern hems.
I tried to use the rolled hem foot on the interlining hems but the result was really bad so I ironed the hems finely and then sewed these using a normal sewing foot.

Now I have an ‘evening’ top to pair with jeans or an evening skirt.

I'll show you the two earlier tops soon. I used Liberty art fabric from Minerva Crafts.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Marrikesh Burda top 7828

I know I was supposed to save the rest of this Marrikest knit fabric from Pitt Trading for a new pair of bathers but I changed my mind and whipped up this top on afternoon.
I was feeling cold again #Winter.
Finished front view
Burda 7828 offers a dress or top option. 
Finished back view
What did I change?
The top has a tie bit on the front bodice. I didn’t include this feature. I just wanted a top with no fuss.
Neckline progress view
The fold over picot edge elastic was too pretty to not use again on the neckline.
The hem for this top is the same as the pattern, so if you’re average height or taller, extend the hem for the top.
Photos taken by my SIL
How long did this take to make?
With the overlocker and twin needle on the sewing machine, this top took 2 hours to make from cutting the fabric to hemming it.
So easy to wear with my jalie jeans on the weekend.
Simple.

Thanks again to Pitt Trading for these knit fabrics and notions. I've had lots of success with their knit fabrics as has Susan and Jillan. They're highly creative sewers.

PS: The rasant thread is a dream to sew with.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

The Brynna test

In January I bought a few pieces of fabric (yes just a few) from Pitt Trading for future projects – as you do. Their fabrics were on special.
This floral print caught my eye and while it’s not what I usually wear, it was too nice to leave.
The fabric is light weight but not see-through and washes/irons really well so it’s good quality fabric. Bargain.
I really love the neckline finish. The pattern suggests using self-made bias but I love the look of satin bias (pre-made of course).

Brynna test dress
Based on the measurements of Sew Liberated Brynna dress, I only adjusted the shoulder seams. I avoid changing hem lengths when testing patterns because this is my weak point, but hems are dead easy to adjust once I know what the length looks like on me.

Voila
And so, once I made up this dress, I cut 5cm off the hem and resewed the pocket so the pocket opening wasn’t so low. I also skimmed off 2cm off the pocket bag using the overlocker.

Will I wear this test dress?
Yes.
When the chill in the air isn’t so bad, I’ll be wearing this dress because the waistline is so forgiving. And it's so pretty...
This dress will be great for travelling in.

The actual Brynna dress turned out brilliantly in Liberty fabric. It was certainly worth testing this dress style in a fabric that was similar to the 'real' fabric. I now have two.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Brynna and Liberty

Brynna has been on my wishlist and when White Tree Fabrics brought in Sew Liberated patterns, I was more than happy to match this dress with Liberty fabric strawberry thief print.

Brynna has softness and waistline structure that is forgiving. The collar screamed piping to me so I used navy satin bias binding for the collar. I’ll be pairing Brynna with blue accessories for either work or weekend wear.

Liberty fabric
White Tree Fabrics has lots of Liberty prints and this print intrigued me because it wasn’t the small floral type so there is some work in matching the print for most patterns.

Brynna has lots of gathers so pairing this with Strawberry Thief print made matching seams less stressful.

What did I adjust?
The shoulder seams as usual. So the shoulder seams are 1.5cm forward.
I took off 5cm off the hem length.

The other aspect I realised on the test version is the pockets are very wide and deep for me. This was an easy fix. I folded out 4cm from the pocket width and 3cm off the pocket depth.

The neckline is wide enough to not need a closure. I tried to use the tie loop on the test dress but couldn’t figure out how it worked so I left it out for this version.

Elastic, elastic, elastic
The sleeves have hat elastic in the hem. I could have used clear swimwear elastic but I had hat elastic in my stash that I bought from the supermarket, out of curiosity.
The waistband has 2cm non-roll elastic and 1cm elastic.

Seams
On the bodice and sleeves, I’ve used French seams. The rest of the seams are overlocked.

Will I wear this style dress in future?
Oh yes.
This is such an easy style dress to wear. The print colours are darker that the traditional Liberty prints and fit into my existing array of jackets, shoes and boots.
The fabric washes well, irons nicely and if the fabric creases, you can’t really notice it. So this print is a win in my books.

Thank you White Tree Fabrics for supplying this pattern and fabric.

My next Sew Liberated pattern project: Simple Skinny Jeans. I’ve been reading everyone else’s review of this pattern and I’m ready to give this jeans pattern a ‘burl Shirl’.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Minerva make - Liberty + Burda 2561

Please excuse my excitement. I've been working with a cotton Liberty print provided by Minerva Crafts this month. 
Each week I watch the latest products Minerva regularly puts up on their facebook page, on Twitter and on their website. When Vicki posted up their latest Liberty print acquisitions, I was thrilled, so the next 3 Minerva posts will use Liberty prints.
So to start with I've made a simple shirt using Burda 2561 also provided by Minerva Crafts with Liberty 'Ros' floral

I couldn't go past this blue green 'Ros' floral because it has the colours I enjoy wearing.
These photos were taken on a warm Winter's day, hence no jacket.
The sun was simply blazing away.

Back to the shirt and the fabric
This all over print has no 'direction' so it's a really versatile print to use.
The fabric irons nicely, feels soft but is firm to sew with. It feels softer after a wash but still firm. This also makes any corner look very sharp.

Choosing buttons online is much faster and easier since  the website was been upgraded. 
I found it really easy to sew on the buttonholes and because the fabric is firm so they look much more accurate.
I added shaping to the centre back with a seam to fit my sway back. 
Collars are my 'stress point' so I hand basted the collar on before machine stitching it down.

The pattern pieces are dead accurate. Thank you Burda for your drafting skills and Liberty for creating fabric that is plyable enough to accommodate the neckline curves in the collar.
At the point of hand sewing on the outer collar, I used fusing tape to make sure this piece sat accurately before I machined sewed it on. I avoid hand sewing where possible.
I did hand basted the sleeve seam so I could machine fell it accurately. There were no puckers after machine sewing these seams so I'm really pleased these look professional.
Thank you Minerva Crafts for bringing Liberty fabrics to your store. This is so lovely to work with and wear.

Cheers everyone. I'm sewing up my next 2 Liberty pieces and loving it.

By the way, Minerva Crafts is up for the Sewing Awards this year. I can't vote because I'm not an UK citizen but you might be:)

Monday, 3 August 2015

SIM Bundle #1

Grab a cuppa before you start reading this post. 

One bundle with a piece of everything. 
            A wardrobe of patterns from a plethora of creative individuals.
                          Some patterns you've seen before and could have in your wish list
                                      A couple of patterns are brand new.

This year Sewing Indie Month (SIM), an online celebration of indie sewing patterns begins with this first bundle offer.

The sale will run from Monday August 3rd to Wednesday August 12th.

20% of bundle proceeds will be donated to the International Folk Art Alliance, which provides education and exhibition opportunities to folk artists from around the world. Just a few examples of what the International Folk Art Alliance has been able to accomplish by helping artists create stable, year-round livelihoods includes helping shelter women from domestic violence in Ecuador, building a school for children in Pakistan, empowering women in repressive cultures around the world, and feeding villages in Niger.
By the way, you can always donate to International Folk Art Alliance directly at any time.

Sewing Indie Month

Sewing Indie Month (SIM) is a month-long celebration of indie sewing patterns where designers collaborate to bring you fun blog posts and informative tutorials. This year SIM will take place in September. It's accompanied by a sewalong contest with fantastic prizes. Since the patterns in the SIM Bundle 1 are mostly wovens, this sale gives you time to make muslins before the contest begins in September while supporting small women-owned businesses and raising money for charity.

This year the Sewing Indie Month HQ will be Sew Independent, which Mari from Seamster Sewing Patterns took over from Donna, who decided to step back from the site. You can buy the bundle and keep up to date with the latest SIM news on SewIndependent.com 

What's the bundle price?
Pay what you want for the bundle! The more you pay, the more rewards (patterns) you'll receive. 
  • Pay $25 or more to get the Sutton Blouse, Cressida Skirt, Sugar Plum Dress, Mississippi Ave Dress and Top, and the Ultimate Trousers. That's a great package.
  • Pay $32 or more to get the Cookie Blouson and Bonnell Dress. Cookie Blouson would be a great pattern if you're already planning a new jacket for the colder weather.
  • Pay $38 or more to get the Melissa Dress, Blouse and Skirt, the NEW Saltbox Top, and the NEW Sorrel Dress and Top.
The 10 people who spend the most will get printed copy shop versions of the patterns mailed to them as a free bonus.


New Patterns

The Saltbox by Blueprints for Sewing and Sorrel Dress and Top by Seamster Sewing Patterns are brand new patterns that are being released with the bundle. During the sale you can only buy them as part of the bundle. 
Take a closer look at each pattern.

Inspiring sewing bloggers

The sewing bloggers I know you love to follow are offering their 'take' on this first bundle while it's on sale:
I know they'll be creating some great pieces from this bundle. Hop over and take a look!

I've been provided with these patterns so I'm reviewing them and I'll put these reviews on this post.

Lolita Sugar Plum Dress

When the Lolita Sugar Plum Dress was initially released, this is the version I made.
I really enjoyed the challenge of mixing different fabrics to create a type of balance.
Mixing together different fabrics and print stretched my style ideas. I sew. I don't design.
In the end I was really happy with how this came together.
An office look I like;)

Sew over it Ultimate Trousers

Over the weekend I became engrossed with making the Ultimate Trousers. Taping the pdfs together required absolutely no paper cutting.
What you can see above is the size 12 version. It was a bit baggy so I rejigged it and made size 10. Grab a sewing friend if you need help fitting trousers.
This mustard drill is the test version using pre-washed cotton fabric. This fabric shrunk in the wash the first time I used this fabric for jeans so I wasn't going to relearn this important lesson with these Ultimates.
This size 10 version is tweaked around the body - lower centre front seam; sway back adjustment; lower centre back curve and then just for good measure, increased the top thigh measure on the back leg (cyclist thighs). This duck cloth fabric was bought on special at Spotlight last year ($8).
Those body tweaks were worth the effort. Both Ultimates are long so I can wear these with heels (or for future fabric shrinkage). I've used firm fabrics on each so there's a bit of room at the knees, for walking. 
When I make these again in a stretch woven, there will be a lot more shaping at the knees and I'll go down a size.

Sutton blouse

I'm currently cutting out a size 6 and will post the finished to here when it's ready.

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