Friday, 29 May 2009

winter grey knits - Kwik Sew 2683

Once I got over my head cold, I reviewed my winter wardrobe and realised that having some tops that can be layered or at least cover my chest, was something that might help me avoid catching cold again.

One Saturday in early May, I took my Mum to Pitt Trading and once we had lunch at the Intersection, we chose a couple of grey knit fabrics. Both pieces have 5% spandex and 15% wool. I've now made this into Kwik sew tops (2683) and I'll post up the pictures, once I can figure out what's gone wrong with my camera.

$3 skirt


At The Cloth Shop Melbourne, we saw the nicest fabric. This confirmed that Melbourne sewers have loads of taste and choice. As I'm a bit of a bargain shopper, there was a roll of corduroy, black with a greenish print. The aim of our Melbourne trip was to build green into my wardrobe, so this was perfect. The price of the fabric was more perfect $3/metre.

Once I'd completed my slow walk around the bolts of fabric, imagining 'what could be', I found the bargain box and this fabric was peeping at me.
The owner at The Cloth Shop was very chatty and we arrived there at the end of a long day of fabric shopping. If there were cappuccinos in the store, I think we would have stayed longer.
I don't normally use a red zipper for a black shirt but this is a casual zipper. I wouldn't try this with properly tailored garments.
The skirt is fully lined because this is a winter skirt and without lining, it clings to my winter tights or fishnets.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Quick slip of desperation

Last week I decided to wear my purple/grey knit dress (McCall 8557) to work. I'd made the dress from fabric I bought in Melbourne in March and the weather was right - not too hot and definitely not freezing. I had the shoes to match. Because I wore the dress to work, I wore stockings.

The problem was static cling (no picture required here) with my stockings. I felt like a cling wrap piece of chicken. In desperation, I found a stash of tricot knit that I bought at a factory clearance, measured my widest hip measurement (derriere) and cut the fabric so it was above the knee.

I grabbed some basic skinny white elastic and zigzagged it onto the waistline.

On the weekend I added this lace and it's kind of ruffled, when not stretched. I'll keep my eye out for some stretch boned coloured elastic and make a second 'quick slip' with a bit more time and skill.
I've since been told there are products to stop static cling ('chicken cling wrap), as well as rubbing moisturiser over your legs when you wear stockings.

Favourite boots + swimwear elastic

I love wearing boots in winter. Three winters ago I bought these stretch suede boots because they hugged my legs really well. Because I cycle and used to run, my calf muscles are still very developed. What this does is make it hard for me to find fashionable boots that fit my leg width.
Tonight I got the guts to unpick the top seam and resew them with swimwear elastic. It worked. I used a normal sewing needle on my janome, with a straight stitch.
When I undid the original stitching line, there were evidence of something sticky so maybe the elastic had perished over time. Now these boots can last a couple more winters.
27 May update: The elastic is still holding my boots up as I've been wearing them all day at work.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Collar - two piece


Collars can be time consuming at the best of times and I love garments with great collars. Why?
They frame your face, can draw the eye to your face whether sewn correctly and can make a garment fit in with other jackets/vests that you have in your wardrobe.

So the main advice I can give is:

- use directional stitching to keep each piece balanced
- interface both sides of a collar to keep it looking crisp
- invest in good ironing tools and steam iron

The collar above was part of the Butterick 5328 wrap shirt that I finished last week. Do I take notice of notches? Not unless it's a coat or jacket. This shirt was made with cotton quilting fabric and it leant itself to using armoweft.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Butterick 5328 - 3/4 sleeves


This has been such a comfortable shirt to wear, I decided to make it for between seasons by using a longer sleeve length. After wearing this shirt to work, I discovered a couple of design faults:
  • the side tie kept loosen on me throughout the day
  • neckline fitted well but felt like it would fall open if I bent over too far.

I decided to add a buttonhole where the front side ties up and placed a hook at the bust point.

We're in autum and last week I've had a head cold so my aim is to make some nice tops that will keep me warm yet chic, instead of dowdy.

This is one of two quilting fabrics that I bought in Bowral three years ago and I was taken by the blue cherry print, so I bought it for a potential top. My work wardrobe has navy clothing so this fabric fits into the navy theme but also lends itself to green. I know this top will work with jeans too.

The two piece collar sits really well and I interfaced both sides because I love collars that sit well. I've kept my original adjustments - shortened hemline, sway back adjustment, back darts removed and roll shoulder adjustment. This shirt has a button where it ties at the front and a hook at the bust point. There is still some room to wear a contrasting top underneath the shirt so it's a step towards having a colourful, co-ordinated autum wardrobe.

When I started making this shirt, the challenge was to sew this while I had a head cold. This shirt has taken me two weeks to complete - the head cold won, and now it's gone.

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