Monday, 30 April 2012

RTW #2

I just had to try the Anthropologie dress again in a blue/black stripe from my stash.

This time:
1: I've overlocked the edged and added some differential feed for the waviness where the sections meet. That way you can see the changes in stripes.
2: The neck edge and hems are zigzagged.

The fit is the same and from DH's look, it does fit well - and he was engrossed in watching sport at the time.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

RTW in 1 day

You know how you enjoy admiring what's available in store but know that you can make it - you just need to figure out all the pieces of the puzzle to make it? That's what I felt with this Anthropologie pieced column dress. It's the version on the right. My take on this RTW dress is on the left. I've entered this into PR's RTW contest.

What I needed was to see how someone with more technical nouse handled a similar situation and I saw Dilliander's pieced top and then the penny dropped. You could hear the penny clang a mile away.

Yesterday, as it happened, Dilliander and I were both at Rhodes ASG day and I had practised figuring out her pieced top to the point where I have it cut out, ready to sew. I even have the FOE to bind the neckline.
So after she checked how I'd tackled her pieced top, I showed her this dress and I set about getting the design lines in the right place using KwikSew 2683 as the basic pattern. 
For the sewing techos, this picture above show how I identified the 5 sections on the dress and then Dillander realised the stripes are at the same angle as the base of each section.
Then I traced off the pattern pieces from the template onto tissue ie, wrapping paper from a Christmas present. I did iron the paper before I drew on it.
Each section was sewn with seams great and then topstitched using grey thread. I've used a two thread Coverpro finish for the neck edge, sleeve hems and dress hem - and that's it.

So last night I wore this dress to dinner with some close and very honest friends and I got some great comments so I'm a happy sewer today. So honest, one of my friends alerted me to a bit of lipstick on my teeth - an easy fix in the powder room.
BTW, the shoes are Cyprus circa 1997.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Winter Pjs - Simplicity 2503

I do like a good pair of pjs for winter so here's my made me pj bottoms. The pants flannel fabric was from Spotlight and the top is from a monkey refugee hospital in Vietnam. I need to find a soft knit fabric for a long sleeve top - maybe with shoulder and wrist rushing. Would that be too much detailing?
The fabrics was soft when I bought it and now it's even softer after prewashing. It still has it's body.

I've used Simplicity 2503 and DH has a blue and white plaid print that I'll write up about separately because I added a fly front. The main feature on these pjs are the side pocket on the left and the elastic and ribbon waistband. The ribbon is sewn on the ends of the elastic so you only see the ribbon tie at the front of the pjs.
This is my entry to Karen's pyjama party. My very first Peter Alexander pjs with clouds are in storage somewhere so I need to find them because it's getting colder at now.


Wednesday, 25 April 2012

1960s debut.

That's how I feel in this 1960's Butterick 3833 dress using Cue remnant fabric from Pitt Trading.
I love that all the pieces have come together with some very determined hand stitching: hem, bodice, buttons and hooks.

These gloves  (Carol's suggestion) are long but I've kept them short for these pictures. I'm not sure what the style police would say but I'm sure I would get a warning for my sense of style. Bring on the garden party.

The self-cover buttons I had in my stash were too small for me to deal with at 11pm last night but I found three small round buttons with an edge to them until I can find some nice white pearl shank buttons. I'll also look for blue ones too - thanks Sheila.
And this is probably how I'd look at the end of a long debute party or garden party.
It's Anzac Day (Lest we forget) and the weather is now starting to cool down so I think that's it for warm weather clothing.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Vintage in development

This Butterick 3833 dress style was one I bought while managing the PR Vintage contest. The participants were very vintage inspired and knew their stuff so I did buy a couple of patterns.
The dress below is made of a Cue remnant fabric from Pitt Trading. The bodice is interfaced because the fabric needed more body to fit firmly.
What you see here is the first fitting. Now I want to wear this dress so I've:
- added lining to the skirt to give it a smoother flow
- taken 2cm off the centre back seams for a better fit
- replaced the zipper with a darker blue and the white bias strips now match up. 
I'm at the handstitching stage so that's going to take some patience but the hand stitching that Anne and Sharon have done recently has convinced me that it will be worth the effort.

The white bias strips are a white shirt remnant. The bias strip edges will not be finished because they won't fray. There are some white buttons to be purchased but I might use self covered white or blue buttons. What do you think?

I do have some more Cue remnant pieces but I'll use those later. Much later.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Print top - KS 2694

The night before our Easter lunch I read the weather was going to be good (25celsius) so eventhough we're about to go into the colder months, I wanted to wear my RTW white jeans just one more time.
I had traced out this top pattern for Mum in a large but I decided to do a small in view B for myself, while I had the pattern out. The print does repeat but I bought so much of it I decided to cut and sew this quickly to check the fit. 
The centre back is normally cut on the fold but because of my sway back, I cut it down the centre back and took 2.5 cm out of the centre back at the waist. This pattern had previously had the roll shoulder adjustment so using the overlocker and Cover Pro I was able to get this pattern to work out. I've used Seams great on the shoulder seams.
The print is actually red and dark blue. At night I couldn't see the blue because it looked black. I think this fabric was a Spotlight special. Today it's raining buckets so my timing for this top was perfect. 

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Vintage 'apple' - Simplicity 6870

This 1966 dress is made from a slippery apple green fabric from the remnant bin at Pitt Trading. Pitt Trading had a $20 garbage remnant fabric bin bag sale earlier this year and this fabric was one of the pieces from this sale so I thought this would be useful evening fabric to test out.
I don't use silky fabric often but because we have a few family functions this year I thought it would be handy to have a couple of options so that I don't groan: "I have nothing to wear".

This pattern is a size 18 so with my wacky maths brain I checked the tissue pattern against me and decided to make it as is. My back up idea was that I could take out any fullness from the side seams if it was way too big.
The sleeve length is bracelet length and the front gathers were not that difficult to achieve but I did as instructed because I wanted to see how full the gathers were. And they're not that full.
The pattern does state that the back darts are optional so I did a sway back adjustment and added in the back darts. I also decided to make the tie in case it would be useful for future styling. I'm guessing so if it doesn't work it's no great loss of time or effort.

I'd be interested to try the top/skirt combination next try.
Today Mum tried on her new gear before everyone arrived for lunch. The skirts are now shorter and only one of the tops has had a neckline change. So she's happy with her new Easter clothes. Well today is Greek Easter so I'm technically on time. Yes we had lamb on the spit with all the Easter trimmings - red eggs, pastichio, cheese triangles, eggplant dip, bbq chicken and lamb skewers and a buffet of desserts. And we had an Easter egg hunt in the backyard - for chocolate Easter eggs.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Mum's tops

Since we last spoke, I've managed to get these 3 tops made. They are Kwik Sew and they were quick to sew and once I iron them, Mum will try these on tomorrow. Each of these tops were sewn with the overlocker and cover pro. The shoulder seams are reinforced with 'Seams Great'. Each piece was prewashed and can be machine washed.
This is KS 2683 boat neckline. This was the second version I made from the beige cotton knit. I'm showing this top first because I'm undecided on it. Mum will tell me the truth tomorrow.
The base fabric has the natural cotton flecs in it and spandex and it's a regular item at The Remnant Warehouse. The sleeves have a textured beige fabric that I bought in Adelaide in January and I think they still need to be shortened. I already took 2" off the hem.
She wears boat neck tops but I need to check the fit. It seems really big but I've checked the final width to her measurements and they match. Fingers crossed.
Here's the first top I made KS2694 view A. The night I cut this out, I sewed up the shoulder seams and then my mind became foggy so I slowly stepped away from the sewing machine because I could feel a mistake coming on. The next day I found the construction process was much clearer and no unpicker was harmed during construction.
Here's the final KS2694 in a print from Knitwit. This top is my favourite. The fabric is a poly/spandex mix and it's easy to sew and feels very soft. I know that the 'rule on prints' is to use small prints for short people but as this print is fairly open and I liked how the print seems to flow without being too overwhelming.

Thank you for your vintage dress comments.
I agree Caroline, Renata and Carol that a pattern that's 30 years old can't be classed as vintage especially if we've worn this pattern in the past however I love watching how the next generation gets excited about it and then restyles it.
Carol may be right saying there could be a limited dress styles. 
I was feeling very air hostess when I added the colour toned scarf Sue.

There's one more vintage dress to come.
Now to get back to cooking for tomorrow's lunch.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Vintage update - Simplicity 8914

This time my maths has improved with this dress.
The fabric was from someone's stash as I bought it from Pitt Trading's ex-personal stash and it has 70s feel to it. I originally thought this fabric could be jacket worthy but it's worked well for this shift dress.


I extended the a-line hem by 5" or 13cm and I decided not to add the elastic casing because of the neat dress fit. The elastic casing could be for a fuller version - maybe.

My local sewing place found the best invisible zipper colour match for me and I was stoked. Initially I was struggling with the self-covered buttons and I bought brass jeans buttons as a substitute at Alexandria but then I got my groove back at home and the self cover buttons worked. Sweet!
I enjoyed making the pockets and I'll keep the pocket pattern as a template for other clothes. The pockets are interfaced and they were quick to make.
I toyed with the idea of piping but I'll leave that idea for future piece of work.
You can chuckle at the red overlocking on the inside.
The ladies at work all had a story about a similar style dress they had when they first started working. I had a deep yellow dress like this to wear as 2IC at the local supermarket when I was working my way through uni.
There are two more days of the PR Vintage Contest to go and I've enjoyed managing it. I thought this might be a huge commitment but I've really enjoyed working with and learning from other vintage PR 'experts' throughout this contest.

BTW: Pitt Trading now has a website.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Me-Made-May '12

Thank you for your supportive comments about sewing for Mum. I know it's not exciting sewing but as Renata said, sewing is a gift that we can give others. The fabrics for her tops have been washed and I'll tackle that next.
And on a similar note, DH did get some alterations done on the weekend as well so he's happy to be able to wear a couple RTW pants that fit so much better. He'll order pants with a 34 waist in future and not a 36. But I did see what a Mens RTW 'power waistband' is. I'll blog that for you shortly.
'I, Maria of, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '12. I endeavour to wear at least one 'me-made-garment' each day for the duration of May 2012 and I'll use this time to plan sewing clothes to eliminate wardobe orphans and tired winter clothes.'

What I'd like to avoid is making clothes and then not using them. I think my attention to detail and clothes fit is getting better so I hope to be smart about retiring old favourites that don't really do me any favours.
MMM'12 is also a month long committment so I'll play with different style ideas so I don't lose momentum. Having Sharon as a previous Me-Made role model is going to keep me motivated too.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Mum's updated collection

When the seasons change, I check Mum's clothes to see what I can do to give her 'options' for her lifestyle and less flexible hands. This time I've developed a beige collection with easy to wear skirts and I'll working on some light coloured knit tops for some new winter layers.  I made her a fleece coat last winter so this will also go with this collection. The previous skirts I made her were all dark and her measurements haven't changed since 2010.
These skirts are dead easy but she expects good straight skirts to be lined, so they are lined with sunsilky (my fav) and I've used non-roll elastic in a waistline casing. Her hip measurement is 44" so I added 2" and cut them long enough for a 2" casing and a 2" hem. The beige print is similar to a jacket that Mum already has so she might or might not style these together.

Each skirt has a centre back split so she can hop into the car when we go out. And she's very social so she gets out and about quiet a bit.
Kwik Sew 3658

Kwik Sew 2694
I'm leaning towards Kwik Sew 3658 with long sleeves or 2694 view A for her new basic winter top layers. She has some great chunky knit cardies from last winter that I know she wears often so that'll give me time to make her a new casual jacket in the coming months. 

The new jacket will be Kwik Sew 3716. I have the beige woven fabric and a print on beige for her. The outside pockets are a feature she loves so I think she'll be happy with this.
DH isn't feeling the sewing love so I can feel some DH alterations approaching my sewing room soon...

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Dress test - B5638

Clothing boredom makes me sew and then I cull my wardrobe for charity so here's my new dress pattern test. The cool weather is beginning to hit in the morning so this pattern was my first attempt while it was still warm.

The quilting fabric was from Spotlight at $4/m. Getting the fit right is always a challenge so again, I used this version to get the fit right. So I did a sway back adjustment, roll shoulder adjustment and I used size 10 on the top and size 12 on the bottom. The dress is meant to be worn with a belt. Note to self: use the rest of the fabric for a belt.
At our Alexandria session I didn't wear this for the girls to check, 'cause they would have had to wear their sunnies to help me. Angie pinned this version closer to my body so I need to use 8 size for the top and 10 size for the bottom. This a reminder to self so I don't waste time resewing or unpicking. I also brought in the sleeve hem in by 2.5cm/1" as well as reduced the sleeve to neck edge by 2.5cm/1". This pattern has been 'petited' (sorry for my bad French/English). 
Looking at the spider webs in the garden.
A 'not-so' invisible zip.
I picked this style because it has princess lines and this style could be adopted for some simple colour blocking or mixing fabrics ie wool and leather like I've seen a few of you make during the northern winter (Amanda S and Carolyn). Very inspiring.
I've added a darker green trim to show where the leather pieces could be placed. The bias trim on the neckline and armholes and the trim were hand sewn. There's a bit of pulling at the top of the neckline that I'll release on the pattern for the next dress.
The 60's tunic is being constructed as we speak...

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Vintage halter #2

The changes from the first halter dress were made to this version. Basically all the adjustments made to cater for my size were removed. Maybe a refresher Maths class might help me...
This fabric was meant for weekend pants but I thought the plaid lines would be better used (less blocky) for this dress. In reality, I only tried to match the lines on the bust but the lines matched most of the way around the dress.

The pattern doesn't have bias trim under the bust, that's just my adjustment to play with the fabric lines. Nuts huh?
Nuts and bolts:
I used the normal sewing foot, a walking foot, a hemming foot and a basic zipper foot as well as the coverpro machine for the hem.
One of the last construction steps is to sew in a zipper and I swear this is a very smart move because you can really get the bodice fit right (no tears).
And I'm also getting better at using the 'fast turner' tool for straps.

Next is a 60's tunic dress.

The pattern pieces were all in the pack, precut and used but they're all there.
I've got a medium weight fabric that will work and I'll source a zipper - if not from my stash - at the Remnant Fabric warehouse on Saturday.
At this stage, self cover buttons are my preference.
I've not made pockets but I'll give them a crack for this dress.


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