Monday, 27 April 2009

McCalls 8777 - Tiered fabric


Working with tiered fabric can bring you undone. The fabric has some give but not as much as you need - just look at the picture above. It's stretch over my chest and that's not the look I was after.

The pattern is a basic top that I've done before so I used it as a template but I added 2cms to the side seams and went for 3/4 length sleeves so it's now a little black dress.

The black fabric was a bargain from Pitt Trading - one of my favourite haunts.
Tip: if the tiers won't stay in place when you're sewing the seams. stay stitch them in place. The green/grey fabric was a cinch to sew together but the black fabric was not co-operative.

I did buy the pink version of the black fabric and as it's more a colour that would suit my 4yr old niece, she might get a groovy hoodie jacket for her birthday next month. She loves pink

McCalls 8557 - tunic to dress

Being short is always a design challenge. This season there are some great prints out there and I just love them when the fabric quality is also available.

We (the girls) recently went on a fabric shopping trip to Melbourne and we had a jam-packed three and a half days of scouring the fabric stores in and around the CBD. With so much great quality fabric, how could a girl resist.

The challenge now is to create these fabric into this season's wardrobe because there's always nothing to wear...

This pattern has a dress, tunic top and pants pattern and it's now out of print. The pattern is an early overlocker/serger sized pattern that I've made up in a grey jersey sans spandex.

This pattern has both centre back and centre front seams.
This feature makes the pattern easy to fit for instance, I have a sway back so this was easy to fit.I will use an all-in-one facing at the neck opening because it's a bit tricky for young players. I increased the hip width and straightened the hem width so it wouldn't add too much bulk around my hips and thighs. I took the fullness out of the sleeve so that pattern wouldn't engulf me.I did a rolled shoulder adjustment so the collar would sit nicely.

I will sew this again as it's very similar to Leona Edmiston's latest dress design.

This fabric is from The Cloth Shop and it's great to wear. Just ask them for a piece.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Vogue 8379 - $4 dress


This year my aim is to use my unused patterns. Last year I bought a few patterns because I felt I needed to update my style a bit. My height and weight dictates the type of styles I wear but I love colour. When I saw this wrap dress pattern, the diagram on the envelope hints that plain or small pattern fabric would suit the design.

Last year I visited The Fabric Store in Surry Hills and after spending time admiring the fabric, I bought a 2m jersey remnant for $4. Navy is one of my colours and the jersey stretch memory was really strong.

After assessing my true measurements (deep breath), I did my normal sway back adjustment, rolled shoulders, and increased the waist measurement (something I'm dealing with post Easter).

This pattern has a couple of pleats at the waistline that I left in to see how they helped the style line. After measuring the shoulder to waist measure, I elongated the bodice by adding 2 cm because the waistline seemed too high for me

.
The other thing I changed was the skirt fullness. Again, my height and developed calves means I avoid skirts that are full near the ground. I took 5cm out of the skirt fullness.
The pattern is designed for 2.3m of fabric and I only had 2m, so the front wrap we replaced with a normal skirt front. I didn't add a zipper because of the strength of the spandex in the jersey. I also left out the sleeve cuff because I avoid drawing attention to my hips.

I also added interfacing on both pieces of the collar to keep the collar in place. Now I need to decide which knit dress I enter in the Knit comp on Pattern Review.

Monday, 13 April 2009

kwik sew 3617 - dress version


When I recently made up this pattern in the v-neck top, there were a few comments of how some sewers had overlooked this pattern.

I had also overlooked this pattern until I attended a knitwit showing last year and I fell for the version of this top that was part of the showing.
Spot the belt...
I've now trialled the round-neck version to create a dress using fabric from The Fabric Store.

The neckline instructions suggest interfacing the inside neckline but I wanted a clean neckline finish, so I interfaced the outer neckline piece. The neckline sit very nicely and I used lettuce edge on the sleeve and hemlines with a basic red overlocker thread. That's the nice thing when you're using an all over print. You don't have too be too prescriptive with your thread or finish choice.

I've trimmed the waistline so that it sits better on me. I realised this adjustment would be necessary after I made the neck version recently.
I also added extra room around my hips, but then trimmed it off once I sewed the side seams together.
Excuse the mess in my sewing room. I'll clean the mess at some point. 27/4 - My room pic has now been replaced with these new photos.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Vogue 7610 - Jeans jacket

One of my very experienced sewing buddies discovered this jacket pattern a few years ago and made it in a pink denim. It looked great. She put lots of effort into choosing the notions and the features to include/exclude from her jacket.

On my first attempt I used size 12 pattern and only adjusted the hem length to suit my lack of height.
The fabric is a non-stretch woven so eventhough this first attempt is big around the shoulders (not good), I was able to see that the 10 size would be a better fit with stretch woven fabric. The skirt is made from scraps that I bought at my first Akira fabric sale. I had to sew the pieces together before I could use them for the skirt and you'll notice that no patchwork skills were used.


Then I made the next version in a blue/brown stretch cord fabric and it turned out to be a handy layer to have during the cooler months. I wear dark denim jeans with this jacket and I avoid the mistake of denim jacket and jeans, that we the go in the '70's.


Finally I went nuts for the stretch woven cord and bought the brown version and did it all again.

If you're into the details, I used large press studs with long prongs, to get through the layers of fabric.

The next time I try this pattern, I'll make the shirt dress version but without the pockets on the chest and I'll need to think through the type of pockets to add.

Friday, 10 April 2009

More stash catchup pieces

With blue skies above, I made up this dress with matching fold over elastic. I can't remember where I got the elastic from or when, but a most sewers, when you see fabric trims that you think could be useful, you buy them, knowing that you'll use it one day.

I tightened up the neckline so that it wouldn't flip open and instead, it's formed some pull lines from below the bustline. When I wear this, I stretch it over my frame and the pull lines become less obvious.


I use 'seams great' to reinforce the shoulder seams with every knit top I make. The neckline shape holds really well, so this product is one that I rely on.

Fabric stash catch up items

I've finally had a chance to go back to the garments I made during the fabric stash competition. The patterns I've used were ones that I've made before so this was the best way to make the fabric into clothing during the eight week period.

I adjusted this twist top by raising the neckline by 3 cm. It now sits better on my chest so I feel more comfortable wearing it. And I feel less embarrassed when I reach forward...


I enjoy this a-line dress and the fabric is a piece I bought at the first Akira fabric sale, a long time ago. The fabric is made with a crushed look so fitting isn't a really issue, so it's reliable to make up, when you have limited time.


This is a favourite and I made it up at a Sewing guild session on sewing with knit fabrics. The class was on during the fabric stash competition so while a learn a bit on the day, I was able to make this up within two hours, give or take a few minutes as I unpicked the gold trim because it had very little elastic in it :(

Monday, 6 April 2009

Butterick 5328 complete

Here's what I discovered when I made the gathers on the bust, as suggested by the pattern. When I tried it on, I felt stupid to have such a lot of gathers on my bust. Then I decided to use a trim to deflect the gathers at the bust.
After sleeping on the idea over the weekend, I extended the bust gathers and voila, it felt more comfortable and it overcame the neckline gaps that appear, when you least expect it.
After adjusting the hem, prior to cutting out the fabric, there was no additional hemming required. This is also one of those patterns that allows you to keep creating, without stopping ie for zippers, buttons etc.
I have a couple of quilting fabrics that I'm thinking of using for the next version of this shirt/top.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Butterick 5328 - pattern testing

Here's what I'm working on (the top, not the attitude) but with a normal collar.

Here's the extent of my adjustments for this pattern. The front hem has been raised to cater for my height (he he).


The back has been adjusted for my height, sway back and hip room to move. The fabric has no give (woven) so I've plan built in the comfort.
More to come...

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