Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Threshold shorts - Fehr Trade's newie

Melissa's new shorts pattern is now 'go'!
I pattern test for Melissa with a great bunch of sewists and Melissa's a great person to test for. This is a very smart design and it does cater to my curves and cyclist thighs.
She's thought this pattern through and through. Her development process began in May so for those of us that are now in Spring, you can make a fresh batch of running shorts with this pattern now. Yes, there's a launch discount too.
My test version was calico and I now have some decent fabrics to make a couple pairs. I'd don't run for training. 
But now I'm going to train for a 9km fun run in November. Didn't plan on it, but I want to give these shorts a real life test through training and the actual run. And the VNA top too.
Plus there's some Winter padding I'd like to get rid of thanks.

Launch discount
If you've been holding back on buying Melissa's patterns she has a 15% off code for
all her patterns plus a 10% off code for UK Fabrics here:

So Spring is here and you now have the chance to make some new gear and get out into the sun and fresh air again.

Frocktails was 3 days ago and I'll tell you about my outfit later this week.

Check out Kirsty's dress. Jen's latest outfit is amazing. Myra's robot sigma was spot on. You know there will be more post-Frocktails posts up this week so keep an eye out for them. Especially our fab organiser Kat

Sydney Frocktails event was accompanied by the Mocktail version in Melbourne. Brilliant.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

OWOP 2014

One Week, One Pattern! (or OWOP) is a group challenge where participants wear garments made from just one pattern of their choice, every day for a week - hosted by Handmade Jane 
I did try to achieve this a few years ago and got through a couple days.

This year I made it through the full week wearing 3 of 4 Jalie jeans 2908. Remember I work full time so the best I could manage was wearing my jeans after work for 4 of those days. We have a business casual day so I did wear OWOP for a full week.

Did I want to have 7 days of photos of me wearing the jeans? I put the makeup aside and hairdryer and simply focused on the jeans.

It was nice to also wear me-made tops and jackets. Mission accomplished.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Cowl neckline: this hugs you when you've got a cold

Every Winter I get at least one or two head colds. Here's the top that helped me manage to ward off the cold. I made these tops in early August.
This is simple style for any knit print.
Christine Jonson's cowl neck tunic top is brilliant for Winter and I've made it 4 times. The cowl neckline shields my neck from the cold and that aweful cough that came with the cold this year. Christine Jonson's (CJ)* cowl tunic top is a pdf pattern. Her pdf instructions are handy to refer to.

She provides a close fitting cowl neckline and a looser cowl style neckline in the same pattern. 
The looser cowl neck style.
The looser neckline comes with an easy to follow pattern drafting instructions so you're also picking up some easy neckline drafting experience. These instructions are now extensive to follow because changing this neckline is so simple to do with CJ's help.
First cowl top worn with my Jalie jeans #2.
Firstly the close neckline version in this light-weight knit. 
My initial pattern adjustments were:
- a sway back adjustment - hence the centre back seam
- roll shoulder adjustment
- shortened the sleeve by 2".

These are all my standard pattern adjustments. Sway back and roll shoulder adjustments are part of how I prep most patterns. Ok. All patterns.
After I made up this test version, I realised the shoulder seams were longer than I needed so I shortened these by 2cm. 
Worn with a work skirt that's a real Winter workhorse. 
With these adjustments done, I made this top a couple more times and in a special merino knit.
This purple version uses a merino knit. Worn with my McCalls jacket and Vogue jeans.
Wider (wilder) version cowl
This shape is more V-neckline and I like it the best. It was easy to follow CJ's instructions.
All of these fabrics were from my fabric stash.
This deeper cowl is worn with my Tessutis Anita pone pants.
CJ is just getting into providing pdf patterns so this is a good time to try their pdf patterns and give CJ your feedback.

*CJ provided me with this pattern to review.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Max's jacket

My jacket collection was a bit tired and it's now been updated using Silhouette Patterns Max's jacket and fabric from Minerva Crafts UK. That huge grey button on the jacket was already in my stash.
I love a good cardi for the office although I wear jackets that aren't restrictive.  
So this is a soft and lovely to wear jacket I can wear comfortably. I initially thought this fabric would have suited a weekend piece but I changed my mind when it arrived in the mail.
Checking the front length back to the pattern.
I loved how Annette made this fabric up last year and the frayed texture in a jacquard weave intrigued me. It's a wool/poly blend and it's also a clearance fabric. 

This year I bought a 12 month subscription of Silhouette patterns and this pattern has been waiting to be made up, as have 8 other patterns. What I've enjoyed the most about Silhouette patterns are webcasts Peggy puts on each fortnight. You can watch the replays anytime for free.

The webcast format usually begins with Peggy greeting us and answering a stack of questions for 15 minutes and then the topic begins and she continues to answer questions from 'viewers' as she goes for a full hour. Now that's a commitment to making sure 'we benefit' from her industry knowledge.
So here's my test version of Max's jacket.
I wasn't sure about piping so I used white. The frayed lines are white so I wasn't introducing a new colour. I know white is not practical choice but I love how the white piping compliments this fabric.
When I wor this jacket a friend was mesmerised by the piping. She grabbed my jacket and looked at the piping more closely.
That kinda freaked me out when she looked really, really close at my piping. 
I think I passed inspection:)

Work in progress view
I originally went with the ribbon tie front but decided on the big, big button. I didn't match lines but I think the lines going in the same direction on the fabric keep this fabric looking cohesive.
Neckline view

Dummy view

Real fit on me

Chuffed view

Really pleased view
I'm really pleased with this pattern. It's simple to achieve and not fussy.

The other reason I'm pleased is because I'm more confident I can use this pattern with some Linton tweed pieces I bought with Manju's assistance when we visited Carlisle.

Happy sewing.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

September Minerva Make - Classic baroque

Hill End historic town was the perfect setting to test out my new Baroque print Jalie Jeans and 'matching' black knit top using Vogue 1378 Donna Karan. And I wore a pair of new boots. Well it was my birthday last month so I treated myself to some decent boots.
I love the lattice work on this building.
Let's get back to these two great pieces courtesy of Minerva Crafts UK. When you see this stretch denim print close up, it's stunning.
And I had good look at how people in the UK wore printed jeans on our recent visit to the UK for the Minerva visit this year. 

I hope you've seen Louise's Baroque linen dress? She looks great.

Working with Baroque print fabric

The front and back legs were cut out separately so I could line up the print. The notches on the Jalie pattern helped keep this print lined up.

Here is the updated Jalie jeans pattern after I tested it with spare denim from my stash.
Here is updated front pattern with a lowered front pocket. The front pockets was just too high on this low rise version.
Here is one of the front pockets with the coin pocket print lined up.
And this is the back pocket lined up. You can just see the pocket matching by following the top stitching.
Can you see both back pockets now?
And I used this Eiffel tower print for the pockets.
With silver rivets
This stretch denim fabric: 
- washes well, 
- does not stain other clothes in the wash ie dye fast, 
- does not need ironing 
- and is a dream to sew. 
PS The interfacing at the zipper is a must. Don't forget doing this step.

The knit top
I had no real plan for a simple knit top. So I chose this top except this is no ordinary black knit top.
Vogue 1378
Most people love Vogue 1378 for the ponte pants - as do I. But I wanted this swishy top. It worked. 
The main changes I made was taking off 8 1/2" off the length and then I took out 2cm from the front neckline. The shoulder seams and sleeve head were brought forward too.

The front neckline has a built in facing so it's easy to finish.
The fiddliest bit was getting these folds in the right spot. Now if you usually do a sway back adjustment, you don't need to because of the folds.

This knit is a good weight and has two-way stretch. It was easy to work with. I wish all knits were like this.

Ok, here's a close up view. It's form fitting.
 Ok. I've taken my arms away so you can see the bodice fit.
By the time Mr V finished taking these pics, the whole town started driving passed. 
At least the local constabulary stayed away.

I'm sure this building would have been a Sewing Emporium in the 1800s. And yes, I'm no 'super model'.
So if you're still interested in this fabric - go to Minerva Crafts UK now. There are loads of fabrics on sale!

PS: I love baroque music too. However, grab these fabrics before I go back for more.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Vogue 1378 tech notes

This is a good Winter or trans-seasonal top Vogue 1378.
This style wraps you like a cocoon and this top needs to wrap you to stop the pleats looking baggy. I made the hip gathers pleats. I like pleats because they're flatter. 
I want to make both of these styles, but the top comes first.
I stash dived to check if this pattern's dimensions suited someone my height and shape. Petite. The version worn by the model has really long sleeves. There's a lot of sleeve length at her wrist. As it's the end of Winter, I want some sleeve overflow to cover me against the cold.

Coral test version:
I chose this fabric because it's strong enough to wear with dark colours. I now know this colour lifts my spiritsThis is pattern is fabric hungry so this fabric was a good choice.
I was a bit wary of the pleats on the hip but I bunched them where my back curves so there was no need for a sway back adjustment.

This is one of those pattern I needed to sew following the instructions to the letter. 
I couldn't find the waistline on the pattern pieces. The waist and hip points are usually marked on patterns and I use these points to make my usual length adjustment so I had to guess the petite adjustment for length.

I removed 8 1/2" off the hem. I checked how long my regular tee lengths are from under the sleeve to the hem and folded up the extra length. That actually worked on my shape. 
Good guess.

I removed an 1" out of the neckline pieces because this test version gaped. 

Finding the shoulder line was easy enough to make my usual roll shoulder adjustments on the shoulder line and on the sleeve head. I folded this out 2" at the elbow because I wanted the sleeve to hug my lower arm and wrist. This worked well too. 
Real version:
It's part of my September Minerva make :)  Stay tuned...


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