Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Tech post - McCalls 6898

An unassuming shirt can be turned into any look you want. So I chose McCalls 6898 that the lovely Lynelle bought for me on her trip to Sydney this year. I couldn't let this pattern sit there for too long and gather dust.
source
 From the line drawing, I liked the waist shaping.
source
And I fell for this floral print to get me into Spring. It's very English to me.
Cotton print from Minerva Crafts
The reds and blues are on a cream background. The fabric is a lovely shirt-weight and irons nicely. You should see how nicely the french seams look too.
Pleats not gathers
There are gathers on the lower shirt pieces and on the sleeves. I opted for pleats.
Shortened lower pieces
Petite points
Sometimes I simply take off the length at the hem. This time I decided to take off the length at the hip level because I wanted to keep the shaping. So the length came off just under the notch point.
Shortening the sleeve
Again, I took the length off under the 3/4 sleeve hem to keep the shaping at the cuff.

This actual shirt - you'll see it later this week.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Hop. Skip. Bump.

Hop:
Sewing, crotchet, knitting and embroidery extraordinaire Sam of Stitched up by Samantha is amazing to follow. 

She does a lot of crafting and isn't afraid to try her hand at a new project.
Sam has been blogging since 2012 and we had a ball at the Minerva Meet up earlier this year. So I agreed to be the next 'blog hop'. 

Skip:
Why do I write?

Mmm. Ok. Here it is then.
In my early school years, I was always sent to 'special English' classes. So I essentially write to practice these skills.
source
Recently I was told the real reason why I got sent to 'special English' classes...

The bottom line is I love writing and I found out that there are others in my family who are 'writers' and where my parents come from, their culture encourages you to write poems and stories. So it's all worked out for the best.

What am I working on?


  • My Minerva make each month. I get to make something each month courtesy of Minerva Crafts. While all the Minerva bloggers are in the Northern hemisphere and I'm not, it's amazing to see how we sometimes use the same fabrics but to suit our own style.
  • Activewear because Spring has arrived and my gym gear is more worn out than I am at 6am in the morning. And I really need to take off this 'winter' weight. I've entered a fun run in November as my goal.
  • Plans to make some clothes with elements from costumes in Game of Thrones and my latest fav, Outlander. Not costumes, but ideas from clothes worn by characters in these books.
  • Two 'gradual' projects are making a bra (cough, cough) and helping a friend get a jacket pattern to fit her, so she can make it again and again.

Kwik Sew 3790 an office TNT staple
How does your blog differ from other sewing blogs?
Well to be honest, my blog is no different from other sewing blogs. 
1. I plan projects. Or I change my mind and get involved in the latest sewing challenge.
2. I test patterns. Or I just get stuck into a pattern and make it up.
3. I make adjustments to a pattern. Or I just move on and make the next 2 or 3 versions.
4. I take photos as I sew and post them. 
Grainline martime shorts #3
How does your writing process work?
I write when I have a project idea. 
Then I keep writing about the project as I contemplate the challenging steps that confound me along the way.
I'll have at least 4 draft projects running at the same time both on my blog and on my PR account. They're my online notebooks. 
When I get stuck on one project, I move the another project to give my head 'breathing space'. The solution pops up when I've moved onto another project.
Trifecta Tee worn with test skinny jeans Vogue 2104
Bump:
Sadly, I haven't been able to hand the blog hop baton to anyone because it's been so successful that the bloggers I've approached are already a different blog hop thread.

Friday, 26 September 2014

My first Marcy Tilton - Vogue 8982

Marcy Tilton patterns are unique. I've shied away from them because they're not really fitted. I like fitted clothes. The challenge here was to give add some shape with this pattern Vogue 8982.

I just love the piecing on this jacket. Remember that faux leather jacket with its piecing?
McCalls 6292
I still want to make this in real leather...one day. But Spring is here so the prospect of my making a leather jacket this year is diminishing. That doesn't mean it's not on the cards next year.

ChesneyCat and SarahLiz have made Vogue 8982 as have a few PR sewists. The buttons variations are a key feature that made me wonder what buttons I'd use with this jacket.

On this test version, I've used hooks because the fabric is so detailed. I was given 10m of this fabric from a colleague years ago so I use it for toiles in the hope of making it wearable. So if it doesn't work, I'm ok with that.

On my knit version, I've used buttons. Three buttons. These buttons were made by the lovely Lynnelle from yousewgirl. I've sewn on these buttons and used hooks and eyes as the closure until I was happy with the button placement. So I wore this jacket to work so I gave myself a whole day to figure it out. 

These knits are from Pitt Trading. They're so soft; wash well; easy to sew; don't unravel.
This version have the shoulder seams totally moved forward. On the previous version, the shoulder seams rolled forward at the shoulder point only. This version sits much better on me.
This little jacket was sewn up in 2 hours. The time to sort out the button placement took a whole day. 

I still love to wear a great fitting jacket and I'll use this knit version as a cardi-jacket TNT.
You could go ballistic and use different fabrics and trims all over this jacket if that's your style. I'll certainly do an FBA on the next version:)

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Anita: great leggings

Making ponte pants can be a hit or miss exercise. Anita Ponte Pants pattern by Tessuti's is a quick sew and with the right 'body' dimensions and good quality fabric, these are perfect for winter.
Making trousers or leggings will be frustrating if you don't know your shape. Investing time and help to know your shape is invaluable. I've been making pants for a while now and I know that my curves have changed so I can add these changes to many pants patterns.

For me, being 'petite' means I have to get the shape right and the length right at two places. 

As a cyclist, I also need to avoid creating baggy knees with ponte pants. There's a lot of muscle in these little legs so some shaping happens at the knees. Nothing scientific. It's all based on my shape at the time.


Here's the original pattern.


Here's 'my' ponte pants pattern. Shorter legs. Shaping at the knees. My curve mark are drawn rough on the pattern.  Sway back adjustment. Shortened the centre front seam. But - they fit like a dream.  And - it was worth the effort.

I've now made these four times. I live in these ponte pants when it's cold. My days of wearing baggy, RTW leggings are over.
Ponte pants paired with Anita winter tee
This test version uses ponte from my stash. As you can see from the front view, I didn't have enough fabric (not usually a petite problem) so I made a feature of the join below the knee.

The ponte quality is ok and I was able to resew the seams to get the fit right at my knees.


Here's the 'good' version made with a basic Chorizo Squad ponte and elastic from Tessuti's.

Chorizo ponte pants with Mandy boat tee.
The difference is how the ponte feels smooth against my legs and how this fabric holds me in place too:)

This fabric has a good amount of spandex (Oxblood Red 66% Viscose 30% Nylon 4% Spandex Ponti Double Knit. Width:150cm). I really love this colour and fabric quality. I've pre-washed it and the fabric held it's shape and weight.

You know Tessuti's has a great ponte range that keeps changing so you need to keep a sharp eye on what's available each week. And when you look at the quality, the price is worth it. 

I use less than 1 metre so I'm pleased at being able to make great leggings that keep their shape and colour using Tessutis ponte. 

I used clover clips to avoid making pin holes in this spandex
And for a bit of shine, I bought a $10 remnant from the Melbourne Tessuti's store in July and made these.
Anita shiny ponte pants with Anita knit winter hoodie.
Just for fun - I think the 'disco-chick' in me is still there somewhere - just waiting to get out. 
Mr V chuckles when he sees me wear this pair. 

So I had a nice Winter collection this year.
That bright pair on the far right - is 'far out'!

Monday, 22 September 2014

Free: Mandy boat tee

Here's the Mandy Boat Tee - a free pattern from Tessuti's. This version uses two fabrics for a sleek style.
Source
This isn't a style I've worn before so here's my first attempt at wearing this pattern as is with a simple roll shoulder adjustment. What do you think?
Mr V commented that I looked like an 'inner-city' chic in this outfit. He's a keeper.
I used my coverstitch machine to finish the hems before overlocking this top together. That's right. I finished the hems first.
I've paired Mandy with my Tessuti Anita ponte pants in Chorizo. 
Chorizo - I love this colour.
40 minutes Mandy Boat Tee sewing time. You can't beat that.

I'll post my Anita pants review shortly. These ponte pants have been wonderful.

I'm wearing a long sleeve, fitted grey tee underneath  Mandy to stay warm in the house. Any thermal or merino layer would help ward off the cold under Mandy.
Yes  Mandy is oversized and I think these two patterns (Mandy and Anita) are the perfect combination - even for a petite like me. 
Mandy with my grey test Anita ponte pants
Below is my slimmer version in a much finer knit with mesh sleeves. Initially I thought  this looked 'undercooked', but I've changed my mind. I think this works too.

Mandy boat tee is a free pattern from Tesssuti. Cool:)
I think I can handle this style for summer too. 

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Jackie contest launch


The seasons are changing so you may have already made your Jackie for Winter.
Janelle's first Jackie
Maybe you're considering making Jackie for Fall?
My first Jackie
Either way COB 31 October is the date we'll announce the two (that's right two) winners of the Jackie contest.
The winning entries will be chosen using that 'random number generator' thingy.

Get cracking and sew your version of Jackie. Make more than one if you want. Make three!


Post it onto the Flickr page. Post it on your blog.

Enter as many times as you like for a better chance of winning.

What do you need to do?
1. Make your Jackie by 31 October.
2. Post a pic of you wearing your finished Jackie onto the Flickr page or on your blog.
3. Leave a comment on this post with a link to your Jackie.

It's pretty easy.
Prizes
1st prize - $30 fabric voucher for winner
If the winner is from Australia or NZ, you'll receive a Remnant Fabric Warehouse AUS$30 voucher. If the winner is from the rest of the world, you'll receive a Fabric.com US$30 voucher.
2nd prize
Your pick of any Iconic Pattern pdf pattern.

Convinced yet? 
PS: Don't forget you can download Sammy Cami for free from Iconic patterns.
No matter when you decide to make your Jackie, our sewalong posts will always be available. 
Personally I love the welt pocket template, collar styling and bound buttonholes Lena provides with Jackie.

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:
http://www.fehrtrade.com/article/888/on-sale-now-threshold-shorts-pattern-with-bonus-runderwear


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
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.

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