Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Teeny lingerie

Susan recently released her new Emma racer back bralette and slip.

Did you see the dark moody floral version she made?

She’s developed this style because traditional straps on nightwear and slips just don’t work for her shoulder shape. Racer back tops are really supportive for gymwear so I wanted to road test this pattern out.
The slip I made was such a game changer for me. The straps are so supportive. The upper bust holds to me firmly. The skirt on the slip lends itself to applying all sorts of gorgeous knit lace.

I was able to use up bra elastic, bra notions and black tricot that I had in my stash.
There are also lace remnants used to on the bra cups.
The lace on the hem was bought last week.

Susan's a friend and she gave me this pattern to test. Yes I admire her work and ability to develop patterns that are different and useful.

It’s Winter here and I tend to wear slips to stop knit dresses from ‘sticking’ to me.
Now for the bralette. 
This is the first version I made and I had a ball making it.

I’m not the ideal candidate for a bralette but my amazing, youngest niece (all the nieces and nephews are amazing) was thrilled to have a bralette made by her aunty. Yay me!
It’s not often I sew for others so I did a bit of research and asked her Mum what colours to use. I had thoughts of florals, gorgeous lace, all sorts of ideas. 

Thankfully she’s an urban kid at heart so black and grey were what she wanted. This set kept me using my lingerie stash.
Ok, I bought the grey fabric but the rest is all from my stash.

The instructions for both the slip and the bralette are helpful and complete. 
That meant I could follow them easily in between bouts of housework over the weekend.
The bottoms are made using View B from McCalls 5651. 

The bottoms took a bit of time to work out because the McCalls pattern doesn't use elastic on the legs, so I had to work out the elastic lengths I needed. 
Above is View A and View B in lace remnants for me and not young Miss. The lining in these views is too short and also not as wide as the front pants.

So I think I’ll give Susan's Emma racerback pattern lots of thumbs up.

Those Prym sewing notions need to be used so I have plenty of lingerie projects ahead.

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Monday, 18 June 2018

That shirtdress

It’s no secret that I’ve made this shirtdress before New Look 6214.


Quite a few times.

Last year I wanted to make an evening version of this shirtdress but I ran out of time to sew it with all the sparkling notions I could find.

This month I decided to use the Pattern Review shirtdress contest to finally make this dress so I’m clearly deadline driven...most of the time. 
Voting has started so have a look at the gallery and see how many versions there are.
The beauty of this pattern is that I had prepped it with a full bust adjustment in 2014. 
Since then I’ve used the original bust size. Now I need the full bust adjustment and I opened up the bust ease.
I think it's the 2-part collar that has me at 'hello'.

This fabric has a satin finish and a marble print so depending on how you look at it, it can look like leather.
I enjoy slow sewing and not sewing too late at night.
I had to use bias tape on the hem because this fabric is so thick that handsewing the collar cut into my fingers badly.
I love the fact that I’ve used stash notions like these buttons.
Making a Winter version meant using the full sleeve and retro cuff.
You can just make out the belt buckle, also from the stash.
The back bodice has a pleat so in this fabric it looks awful but I have plenty of room to reach the wheel of my car to drive it. The last thing I need is to hear my dress split when I'm about to drive to work.
Or in the case of this dress, head out to a night out with friends.

So this shirt dress isn’t a pretty floral number but it’s certainly the evening shirtdress I wanted and will be wearing this Winter.
Happy voting
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Thursday, 7 June 2018

Pink

Pink fascinates me and I now have a pink Burda Style coat, using affordable pink poplin from Minerva Crafts. If you've never attempted a coat before, Burda Style 6772 has all the bells and whistles plus good instructions.
 I actually enjoyed seeing this coat come together.

The lightest coat most people choose are unlined chino coats. I decided to combine this cotton poplin with this light-weight anti static lining. They stock 127 colours in this lining.
The colour was my focus and the detailing in this Burda pattern had me sold on this project when I put my order into Minvera Crafts HQ.

Did I mention they have 37 colours in this poplin? Sorry, make that 39 cotton poplin colours.

I’m not a fan of adding seam allowances so having the seam allowances included on the paper pattern makes my job easier. The coat hems have 4cm hems. All the patterns have the lining lengths on the fashion fabric pattern.
Now I almost got caught out when I cut a fashion fabric piece using the lining fabric hem line. When this happened I quickly put the side panel on the fabric mistake and I was then able to not waste a scrap of fabric because of my mistake. Phew.

The sleeve details, collar and belt were the details I interfaced. When you look at the belt buckle, it’s a great match to the fabric. I used the sleeve buttons from View B on my coat.


This was easy to match using their website.

Of course I did my usual piping finish on the inside of the coat using premade bias.
Where the instructions easy to follow? Yes. They kept me on track while I assembled this coat.

The other aspect that kept my sewing accurate was marking the notches using these handy Prym products. The tracing wheel is ergonomic. The paper marks on easy. These marking chalks are good for writing on your fabric in an array of colours too.
This coat won't ward off the cold, but I do feel like a secret agent when I wear this.
It's a classic style I can certainly have fun with.

Thanks Minerva Crafts!
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Monday, 28 May 2018

scuba speed

In recent years I’ve tried to build up my couture sewing skills. However when I’m sewing to a tight self-imposed, absolutely ridiculous deadline, scuba fabrics are worth keeping in the stash.
I know there’s no way a heart surgeon would rush through surgery. That’s a given. But making a knit dress that fits isn’t the same. It just isn’t.
Like I said, sewing up a knit dress shouldn’t take too much time or effort.
The blue scuba fabric had been sitting in my stash for a while (not sure how long) so it was perfect to test this New Look knit dress.
As you can see, this fabric is thick and swallows the machine stitching and there’s no pattern matching required.
Well the first pass sewing showed the fit of the dress and screamed ‘the neckline needs work’. I made a few attempts at refitting the neckline on the run. Literally on the run as you can see from the internally sewing.
Anyway, the sleeves from this pattern are short sleeves so I extended them and on the first fit they were too wide. I looked chunky so I resewed the sleeves to fit.
By the time I was ready to cut out the velvet fabric, I knew the neckline needed to be at least 2cm closer to my neck and tighter. So now on the pattern I’ve folded out the width at the neckline. The sleeve length is now noted on the pattern piece.

Scuba in your stash is a good thing. I highly recommend it.

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Monday, 21 May 2018

Velvet

This is a quick post to show you the final velvet dress I whipped up last week for a wedding we attended last Saturday.
I bought this piece with Allison when she visited Australia three years ago.

As Allison said, it's a Stretch burnout velvet in a dark purple with an ombre effect." 
We indulged a bit at Pitt Trading during her visit.

I used New Look 6871 lining the velvet with a slinky knit. The pattern has short sleeves so I extended them.
The back is shaped but the fabric doesn't really show this well. 

I hand stitched the hem and the rest of this dress was machine stitched with a tiny zigzag stitch as the base is a knit fabric.
Let me tell you a secret. 

I made this dress in a scuba fabric in 2 hours and found the neckline was way too wide.
The next night I widened the neckline on the pattern so it's more jewel like.
Yep. I've bossed this pattern to fit me.

PS. I wore these low-heeled shoes at the wedding and danced for 4 hours. My feet are still sore today - 2 days later. So after surgery in February I can wear low heel shoes for a couple of hours.

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Friday, 4 May 2018

May the 4th be with you

It's just a star wars thing we share.
Mr V got his wife-made shirt a few years ago using a vintage Vogue pattern. He loves his BBQ shirt and only wears it on special occasions, like today.
Yes he looks uncomfortable because I asked him to cross his arms. Some women are so pushy!
Two days ago I realised today is a Friday and I really wanted to wear my own Stormtrooper shirt.
So I grabbed McCalls 5433 and made my own Stormtrooper shirt to wear 'business casual'.
Oh dear. That's just us.
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