Monday, 28 July 2008

June/July Stash Competition

Since travelling overseas, I realised that having stacks of fabric in your wardrobe is not good. It's simply excessive. I chose to enter a stash competition. Well it's winter and it's perfect sewing weather. Sewing for this competition (June - July) plus watching the Tour de France each night took its toll on my energy levels.
The competition ended on Thursday 31/7/08 so here are some of the items I made. The dress is fabric from Tessutis. It's not easy to sew with and I chose a pattern that needs a firmer fabric to really make the A-line show better. The brown tie back top was sewn under the influence of Lemoncello. It does wonders for your creativity. The grey short sleeved t-shirt in jersey was also Lemoncello influenced and I've worn it to work with over a white shirt and black pants. I saw this look in a mag and loved it. So now it's my look. Fierce.

Below are the other items I made as part of the stash competition:
- two tops in "McCalls 8777"
- two tops in "A match"
- the first top in "Vintage fabric from the 70's"
- the jacket in "Short & sweet"
- two skirts to match the "Short and sweet" jacket

McCalls 8777 - a pattern for all occasions

This pattern has been a favourite of mine, especially for making heaps of winter work tops. I've altered it for rolled shoulder adjustment and for sway back. I've since lowered the hemline by 5cm for the winter.
The dark red/black top is a favourite work top that I wear lots in the winter. I've made this fabric into a cross over top Kwik Sew 2694.

The striped fabric had been sitting at the bottom of my wardrobe, lining it. I didn't consider it worthwhile however, I found some cherry fold over elastic and it's now a casual top that I wear on weekends.
The grey blue fabric has a band of elastic lace over the chest. Not for emphasis but to conceal. They're both comfortable to wear.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Vietnam - outsourcing your stash

Hoi An is a great place to get clothes and shoes made to measure. I did just that earlier this year. As a sewer, I was able to figure out whether the tailor shop we used was worthwhile. At the resort end of Hoi An there are some smaller tailor shops. I tried one and it wasn't worth the fabric I paid for.
The better tailor I used was Yaly in Nguyen st. Here's the level of detail they go to:
- I was measured in over 10 areas.
- My photo was taken against a wall chart - left side, back view and front view.
- I have two fittings .
When you get fitted, you're give a card with the name of the sales person and date when you're measurements were taken. KEEP THIS CARD. Why? Because that's the person who takes responsibility for your garments. Better still, if you want more tailoring done with you get home, use this as reference in your email. Seriously. It's a great way to outsource your sewing stash, once you get home.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Dare to bare - Kwik Sew 3378

Sharon, the phantom and I all bought KwikSew 3378. It's a knot fronted knit top. The fabric is from Tessuti's, bought on sale of course. I loved the print and it looks silky. It's also the beginning of a casual green capsule I'm developing.
Today I wore it, on a cool winter Sunday, with a white tshirt underneath. I felt very loud but today was a grey day, so I felt good wearing it. The sleeves weren't long enough so I added 10cm at the bottom, and it still worked.
I'll make this again and possibly raise the front knot.

A history with Knitwit

Knitwit has been a great supplier of knit fabrics.
Wendy Gager is proactive by bringing her wares across Australia twice a year. I've found the fabric quality is dependable and I've been picky about the fabrics that I've invested in. Here are a couple of examples of how I've been able to create some basic wardrobe favourites that have lasted. The brown paisley basic v-neckline is created using McCalls 8777. The other brown round neck top also uses McCalls 8777. I've made the neckline smaller because it seemed plunging. Not that I'm a prude, I'm just short, so the puppies are higher.
The blue paisley and brown italian zigzag knit cross-over top is Kwik Sew 2694 View A. After initially wearing these, I've trimmed the side seams to ensure they fit better. In the winter they look great with a contrasting top underneath. What keeps these knit in good shape is a product called "Seams Great". Punch with Judy keeps this on hand
Here's how you find Knitwit

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Even the earrings match

This year, a friend who used to sew and now makes jewellery, joined us at our sewing weekend. She was great in making jewellery to match our outfits.
The earrings here, were my first attempt at making my own earrings. It was simple and I've got a few magazines that demonstrate the 'how to" but I always need to try a new skill with someone who knows.

Since then, I've made a couple more earrings and a cute bracelet. The matching jewellery will be the final step to all of my outfits in future.

Friday, 11 July 2008

A match - Kwik Sew 2683

Here's my 2008 attempt to arrange a new basic knit top. I wanted something that could be comtemporary and classic. It's Kwik Sew 2683 and I found it easy to sew and fitted nicely. I used the petite length and I've since sewn the side seams in a bit to make the fit better - and not showy. Both of these fabrics were on sale at Tessuti's

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Short & sweet - McCalls 4596

When you are a super positive person, you think that you can whip up a simple jacket in one weekend. Well, you can do this is you plan the garment right.
A couple of weekends ago, we had our annual sewing weekend at Ferndale. I spent the week prior, cutting out four garment including this jacket. Again, this jacket was supposed to be my third item as part of the June capsule - McCalls 4596. What I didn't do was measure myself to make sure the front zip was the length I needed.
Without a mirror at the venue, I knew the jacket fit well but I wasn't sure about its length. So I got home and realised, it was too long. This is when I screamed quietly in my sewing room.
I undid the zip, made it smaller and then redid the jacket. It was work, but why waste all that work, just because I didn't plan the jacket right. The fabric is from Tessuti's and was on sale at the time
If you have any suggestions on how to make the next jacket more individual, drop me a line...

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Vintage Fabric from the 70's - Kwik Sew 2683 & 2694

My sister bought this fabric when she was a disco diva - when disco was first in...the first time. Kwik Sew 2683 was used so I could have a top that would be passable during winter, under a suit. The sleeve trim was leftover from a previous grey top that I did earlier this year. PS. My mum is the proud wearer of this top.

The top below is made using Kwik Sew 2694 - my trusty crossover knit top pattern.
Anyway, I decided I needed a silver top for a pink/silver suit I made last year for a work function. More about that suit and discovery later.

Anyway, being a slinky jersey fabric, I got through the function with a trusty safety pin, because I didn't want the puppies to peek out. There were plenty of others at the function who were more extrovert than me so I shouldn't have worried about the saftey pin.

Since then, I've tapered the side of the top in, so that the fabric sits better. No surprises.

Love the fabric but what to make of it.

I loved this fabric when I saw it. It's thick for winter. Woollen and I got it from fine wools direct - when it was at the back of Newtown.

Making it up was ok. The fabric is harsh so there wasn't much give. The jacket pattern McCalls 8971. It's a classic short or long line jacket pattern. The skirt is just a basic one.

What I've found is that it's not very girlie. It's a stiff fabric with a classic cut. I wear it with knee high brown boots and a knit top.

I've adjusted for roll shoulder, a sway back and a cyclist's butt. The pockets are in the side seam so you don't get drawn to the pockets on the hips - that I'm trying to ignore.

Any suggestions for making this outfit softer?

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

June capsule error - Kwik Sew 2683

My first attempt at getting into the June capsule had some black in the top. So the top couldn't be part of the competition. The top pattern is a Kwik Sew pattern 2683. It sews up really well. Twin needle finish, Zigzag stitich, using seams great on the shoulder seam made this so easy to whip up.
The fabric was on sale a Tessuti's earlier this year. A sale a Tessuti's is good because the fabric prices become more reasonable.

So this top was deleted from my capsule entry, however I've worn it to work a few times and it's very comfortable.


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