Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Pattern stash challenge - one pattern complete

The plan for September and October is to see how many unopened patterns I can open and make an item in eight weeks. Why? is running a pattern stash competition and I've got a few/many unopened patterns that I'd just love to make up.

My rose coloured glasses list is:
McCalls 5007 - short boxy jacket with princess line (that I might need to add more fitting depending on the fabric)
McCalls 4783 - half circle skirt with yoke, now completed in black voile with redish flower print
McCalls 5408 - loose fitting pullover top
Vogue 8480 - unlined jacket (that I might be tempted to line)
Vogue 8426 - yoke skirt with interesting pleats etc
Vogue 8420 - loose knit tunic top.

I'm a bit wary of loose fitting garments because I can't successfully wear loose clothing that's designed for an average sized person and not look like a grey-haired school child.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Ribbon can be useful - Simplicty 4698 and Vogue 7971

I've used ribbons on this suit to bring the pink out on this suit. I bought the fabric from Fine Wools Direct before it closed down. It's a stretch woven so it's comfortable to wear. The jacket is Simplicity 4698 view c so I could make it up quickly and just experiment with the ribbon. The ribbon has a slight water mark on it so it's a slightly shiny and matt at the same time.
The skirt is Vogue 7971 view c however, I've ignored the uneven hem, because I'm short and I don't think I could really pull this off somehow.
The day/night I wore this suit was a high profile pseudo society do, and Megan Gale's managing agent was at the function, as were a few high profile David Jones representatives. Not bad for a home sewer and longtime wall flower.
So far I've experimented wearing a silver jersey top underneath the jacket so this spring I'll experiement with a silver/grey silk shirt that I have hiding in the closet somewhere.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Akira relocation sale in Sydney

In case you're in Sydney this weekend, Akira is having a relocation sale on Saturday 23/8 and Sunday 24/8.
PS: I was disappointed when I visited the sale today (23/8). I had to wait in line to get in and there were stacks of people on the premises - which was to be expected. The fabric range was limited and still very pricey however, of limited use (or for a special occassion, depending on your POV) so I know there will be some very thrilled sewers out there who did bag something for their stash. Yours truly consider the lunacy of it all and walked away, to let others get swept up in the novelty of the experience.
Don't get me wrong, I love a good sale and when I'm in a weaker frame of mind I'll buy up big. Note to self: I need a fabric therapist....
Each piece of fabric was special but I just can't justify rebuilding a fabric stash that may never be touched until it's way passed its use by date/season.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Sewing history in sleepy Wollombi

In sleepy Wollombi, is a small museum with a great sewing display. I'm not a history buff but these machines are over 150 years old. To think that we're still dealing with unpicking and readjusting seams and hemline - just like many sewers before us.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Wrap trench - New Look 6423

This isn't new and I've made this jacket twice. The first one was for my sister. I loved it so I made one for myself. The fabric is a medium weight poly wool that I bought from Home Yardage. The first jacket had lots of detailing and both versions have welt pockets. This is also fully lined so it keeps the cold wind out. It's great to wear with basic black in the winter.
It took longer that 5 hours but it wasn't complicated so I would make it again if required.

Nuts for knits

This is my trusty vneck knit - McCalls 8777. When I bought it from Knitwit I was revved up to make it up but then, life took over. Last week I went to cut it out, and found that it wasn't long enough. So I added a gathered piece on the back with some slight gathering where I usually do a sway back adjustment.
The front and back are lined with a beige lingere knit. I've used seams great on the shoulder seams for stability.
The neckline had cherry fold over elastic as the finish.
Surprise, surprise, the hems are not finshed and I used the overlocker for the seams.
Talk about easy to make up. How does 2 hours sound?
This is a good in-between project when making up more tailored garments.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Great jeans jacket - Vogue 7610

Here's my trusty jeans jacket. The red one was a trial, to test the sizing. I decided to make this after one of my sewing buddies found this pattern and then we all exclaimed "ooohh - noice." The blue and brown versions are size 10 in the shoulders, slightly shorter in the waist, using good quality stretch woven cord from Knitwit.
When it's really cold, this isn't a warm jacket but it's "weekend worthy" in my books. The snaps are the long prong version and Mick from Mick's buttonhole service in Redfern (previously at Surry Hills) applied them for me. He's now at 22 Botany St, Redfern.
The instructions for the back yoke and hem band are not easy, so I did this my way. That being, I applied the facing once the jacket fashion fabric was done. I applied the hem band front side first, for a cleaner edge.
Now that shirt dresses are back in, I'm going to try view B. Wish me luck.

Monday, 11 August 2008

Courage with scissors

When you go to all the trouble to make a jacket, use your tailoring skills ie, pad stitching the collar/lap and add reinforcing stitches along the seamline, when the style goes out of date, what do you do? Cut it back to suit (no pun intended).
This jacket was long enough to cover my rear but after a while, it looked old, so I cut the hem so now it reaches my high hip and it's back to being a favourite jacket. It took a few months to have the courage to cut the hem but once I reached the measurement, the scissors came out and I made the kindest cut and so the legend continues. It's McCalls 8971.
BTW, if you want some basics on pad stitching, let me know. I'm happy to share sewing techniques.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

The weekend flew...

Now that it's Sunday night, my neck and back are sore. After a wine, I realised it's because my Dad brought over three pairs of pants to fix, I completed two tops and a pair of cycling nixs. During the winter, it's not so easy to have three days of dialysis in shorts, so I've had to insert zips in his trousers, as he attaches to the dialysis machine via his thigh. So, I added a 30 cm zip to two pairs of trackpants for him. This isn't easy because I have to sew around a ready made pair of pants. The other tasks was to widen the waistband, which on mens pants is a breeze, compared to women's pants.
Then I finished a top and started a light tunic top which I altered for my mum, as the colours suited her better. This top was on that I cut out for the sewing weekend in July, so I'm glad that's out of the way.
Later, I decided to whip up the cycling nixs, so now that's it until next weekend - maybe. I have one more blouse to finish that was cut out for the sewing weekend.

Enjoy your week :)
20 Sept 08 - This morning my Dad lost his battle with dialysis and he's no longer in pain. Love you always Dad.

Cycling UFO

While trying to clean out my fabric stash, I found a navy pair of long cycling nixs, cut to size and ready to sew up. This morning during my Sunday morning training ride, I realised my faithful Brian Rochford cycling longs had become very thin and I could really feel the cold.
I used the overlocker for the side seams and to add the elastic to the waistband and a 4.0 twin needle for the leg and waist hems. So now I can lay my faithful Brian Rochford longs to rest. These were never designed for cycling and Brian Rochford went out of business years ago, so that tells you how long I've relied on these during my winter cycling rides. PS: The Olympic mens road race was great to watch and now the womens road race is even better with the weather closing in on them. They really are inspiring.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Keeping warm - McCalls 8971

This is a favourite pattern I've used for coats McCalls 8971.
The pinky coat is fabric I purchased at Pitt Trading. The fabric is silk and the weave is fairly open so I made the seams wider to ensure it would unravel too quickly as I sewed it up. The pockets are in the side seams so they don't make me look smaller.

The beige coat is a softer wool fabric that has lots of interfacing and tailoring so that it stays in shape for a long time.
I can't remember where I bought it from, but it took a few seasons to get the courage choose a pattern and make this coat. They're both comfortable, warm and fit nicely over a tailored suit in the winter.
PS. If you'd like some more technical details, drop me a line.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Akira scrap fabric - Butterick 3597

This fabric was bought at an Akira sale. Twice a year, I get a postcard advising me of the next Akira sale. The workroom is located at Central Station so it's easy to get to.
At a sale, I picked up a $10 bag of scrap fabric and then I couldn't understand why I did it.
Anyway, I roughly pieced the scraps together and used Butterick 3597 A-line skirt to pull together this skirt. I teamed it with a cross over knit top and was happy to wear this at a christening.
The challenge was to make something wearable as the red fabric pieces and rope give this skirt an extra dimension and I have a pre-JLo rear. There's no waistband and I've used sunsilky to keep the scratchy fabric off my skin.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

competition burn out - McCalls 8777/Kwik Sew 2683

Tonight I'm glad to have finished a few pieces from my stash. It's now August and I can join a lined jacket comp or a mini wardrobe comp on PR review.
Right now I'm pooped. I've got three unfinished projects that are cut out, waiting for me to sew them up. I keep collecting design ideas from newspapers, magazines and online sites so I've got food for design thought.

Mmm. I'll start again on Wednesday 'cause I'll feel more energised by then.
I've placed this top here because it's a compilation of McCalls 8777 and Kwik Sew 2683 bell sleeves, using some Tessutis green grey jersey and silver jersey that my sister bought in her disco days.


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