Thursday, 28 February 2013

Fitted blouse contest on PR

PR is running a fitted blouse contest that I'm managing from 1 - 31 March.
"Contest Theme: Cut, sew, model and review a fitted blouse to showcase fitting skills."

Pattern magic collar on Butterick 5538
So while there are some key elements your blouse needs to meet to qualify for this contest, if you already have a fitted blouse pattern in your stash that needs tweaking, consider making it in March.
Here's a link to the fitting workshop I attended last year to get this blouse fitted right.

Pattern magic collar on Butterick 5538
As this contest runs from March 1 - 31, there's more time to sew up your blouse than you would have had in February.
McCalls 5433 after tweaking it for size
There are 5 weekends in March to get your fitted blouse made.
Butterick 5328
These are a few of my fitted blouses that I prepared earlier. Does that sound cheesy enough?

Butterick 4985

Butterick 4985
Butterick 5328
One of the contest criteria is to provide a photo with you wearing the blouse to showcase your fitting skills, so my pictures showing the blouse on a dressmakers dummy would not qualify. As a manager I don't qualify either but I do enjoy helping others sewers share their knowledge and extend their skills.

Convinced yet to sew a fitted blouse?

Monday, 25 February 2013

Fearless - 1960s shift

This a typical 60's style and the instructions are for a short women with a small bust. But this is pattern making from scratch and I haven't done this before - fearless.

So my aim was to 'make this work' for me. I can work in cms or inches so I worked in inches and that was ok. I do have a copy of a metric pattern making book but I'll use that another time. When it comes to research, I do just enough research to get me into and through a project.
So you saw these fabrics that I intended to use. Then I spied a second-hand cafe curtain remnant that I bought from St Vinnies that was more Enid (60's) appropriate. The only pattern matching I tried was from the waist line to the hem. I love the front bust dart that goes to the hem and the effect it had on the lacework.
Front view
Back v-neck view
The large lace design is prominent at centre front but is minimised along the dart that goes from the bust to the hem.
Fitting changes:
The dress was at least 2" too wide - fixed.
The front bust dart was 2" too low - fixed.
More fitting changes:
On the pattern, the side bust darts need a bit more (2cm) taken out. The shoulder seam also needs to be shortened because the dress looks like it has a cap sleeve, which I don't mind but wasn't in Enid's original pattern.
I'll have to wear this dress at Love Vintage in March to get some styling feedback. There are sure to be some people there who are taking part in 1940's Sew for victory.
Thanks again TJ for passing Enid over to me.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Wrapped up

This is my contribution to the local hospital that our local sewing group does each year. We usually do smaller items like walker bags and chemo caps but this year I made two men's bathrobes because I'd made one for DH last year.
DH's Christmas gift last year.
The challenge here is sewing for an unknown person so the best assumptions I could make by discussing this with some local nurses were:
  • Make the body roomy. The patient will probably have an attachment to their body.
  • Make the sleeves roomy and end the sleeve above the elbow. The patient may need to have their blood taken regularly.
  • Ensure it is long enough to overcome any hospital draughts.  
  • Use external pockets because the patient will need pockets for their valuables.
  • Use fabric that feels soft. The patient may have wounds that are sensitive.
  • Secure the belt to the back. Belts often get lost in an industrial washroom. 
  • Use a dark fabric or a fabric that doesn't show stains.
Front view - I know this is sloppy looking but it's soft, smooth and comfortable.
With all that in mind I've reused Butterick 6837 and made two bathrobes in the largest size.
  • I've lengthened the body length by 8cm
  • Overlocked the seams and hems
  • Added interfacing on the collar pieces
  • Sewn the tie to the back of the bathrobe
  • And let's face it, made the largest size to cover any patient's needs.
There's no external opening, unlike hospital gowns.
This print hides any markings, stains and creases.

PS: A note to Tigergirl, TJ and SarahLizSewStyle, the Enid shift dress with lace is being tweaked for fit and the 'reveal' - Squeal!

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Giveaway winner

The first week of February was busy with Deb's Sew Grateful week.
The giveaway patterns are now on their way by carrier pidgeon to jpluo. Congratulations.
What you can see above are the makings on the Enid shift dress. My attempt at making the pattern from scratch is in the background and I used the seam allowance guide to cut out the lining and the lace overlay.
This is dress is the basis for my second fearless project this month.

Thank you Melinda for the iphone suggestion on Melissa's blog. I saw some 'wetsuit' fabric recently so I'll give this armband a go. Melissa has lots of projects that she's worked out and shared on her blog.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

A funny thing happened to me before I went to the gym

Long story short - I needed a workout top with a zip and I sewed a zip in a RTW cycling top at 5am in the morning.

4 weeks earlier: When I train, I like to keep track of the energy I use ie KCals, and I track what I eat. Most of this I manage with DailyBurn

DH bought me the Wahoo gym/run pack and I decided to use it for the 6am commando class.
2 days earlier: Kristen at Wahoo (now a dear friend of the family) helped me get the Wahoo gadgets to work through my iPhone. What doesn't an iPhone do? Sew.

Monday morning 5:00am: I was dressing for the gym and I realised for the Wahoo to work I have to have the phone on me because we run all over the grounds like lunatics and holding a car tyre above our heads. 

5:05am: I rustled through my cycling tops to find one with a back zipper pocket. There were none with a zippered pocket but they all have back pockets.
5:10am: I grabbed one of my well-used cycling tops to sew in a zip so that I could leave home by 5:45am. Who would do such a thing?? It had to be a well-used top because I always come home with grass and dirt stains.

I grabbed a short black zip from the stash and sewed one side of the zip on the pocket edge. Wrong. I unpicked it and sewed the zip on the body first then the pocket edge. It worked.
 5:45am: Jumped in the car and headed to the gym - on time and not flustered.
6:00am: The trainer smiled - he knew why my iphone was in my back pocket. My 'Wahoo' app worked as did my upgraded cycling top. I'm proud of the car tyre marks on my cycling top, LOL.
This zip is exposed because it runs across 2 pockets.
Ok. The same thing happened this morning (see the blue top) but during the week I only need 2 tops with zips for commando class to track my training. This time I've used an exposed zip and my job here is done.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Trench by TJ

She's a great researcher and knows how to 'downsize' patterns to fit.
She also has a great collection of tights.
Who could this be?

TJ of ThePerfectNose that's who.
Here she is wearing her uber cool trench. This is the test version and it's a gorgeous colour using stash pieces from a previous project. A real life stash buster. She's used Marella mini-trench # 10 Patrones 264 and her skirt is mini-skirt 102, Burda 10/2011.
Now there are a couple more trenches in progress that I know of and once they're done, I showcase their work here. But until then, stay fearless this month and try something new.
*All images remain the property of the owners

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Sydney sewer meet up

We had lots of familiar sewing bloggers meet together on Saturday. I think fabric shopping was like background entertainment for us because it was so much fun meeting and chatting too everyone in real life.

While we got a helpful discount from Tessutis, I weakened with The Fabric Store's 50% off sale.
This picture is from Little Betty blog, courtesy of Wendy. PS Wendy was glowing.
So while I don't need more fabric, I weakened and purchased some silk pieces.

Pic left to right: Janelle, Rebecca and moi hunting fabrics. I wore my jungle print Yalta top. We hunted Janelle to find her perfect couture dress fabrics - successfully.

And Gabrielle was able to make it this time. I've been wanting to meet Gabrielle since Made-Me-May 2012.
Pic left to right: Yana, Lena, moi and Janelle.
Lena Merrin was there and gave us her industry-based fabric buying advice. Did anyone notice Lena's skirt? Yana has been making some great maternity wear, as you can plainly see. All the best Yana!

So silks were on my shopping list, especially for the price. Did I mention that I'm easily swayed by a bargain.

Thanks to Kristy for arranging our meet up. I like Kristy's idea of having the next meet up at a cafe because I had no 'beans left in the can' by the time it was time to go for drinks. Keep and eye on her blog for the next meet up.

I missed seeing Kristy, Jodie and Anne:((

BTW: Here's an interesting fact. The Fabric Store has just ordered in rolls of the jungle print I was wearing. Now I bought this fabric at Pitt Trading (a Charlie Brown remnant) early last year. You know, that remnant bin with my name on it - LOL. So if you like this print, keep an eye out for it next time you're in the store.
Small world!

Next up

Draping and drafting a pattern from scratch - that's what I'll decided to do for Fearless February. Although I'll be starting next week on 2 of my fearless projects. I have a few project deadlines to get through this week.
My comment is there on Victoria's blog in black and white. As Dr Phil says "What were you thinking?"
1: Drafting:
So I have lace pieces in the fabric stash that I'd like to work on and TJ from The Perfect Nose enabled me last month with this perfect starting point - Enid Gilchrist!
I could try the easy route and make this 'beach dress' in soft, cool eyelet fabric for our humid summer weather.
However, being Fearless February, I'll make the day dress and use eyelet or lace fabric. I have had one attempt at drafting this dress for a 36" bust today. Fearless. Test dress is ready to cut out.

2: Showerproof Minoru #2
I made Minoru #2 because I've never used PUL fabric so this was a new experience. I was being fearless.  I used Tasia's tutorials to make  this version better than Minoru #1. I wear Minoru #1 a lot. And this piece was finished early Feb to coincide with Deb's Sew Grateful week. Thank you for your comments throughout Sew Grateful week.

3: Draping and lace
And Victoria has been waving draping resources at us over the last few months so I'll have to do some reading and give draping a go later in Feb. I have Draping for apparel design by Helen Joseph-Armstrong on my desk.
Maybe I can use a Jungle remnants again. Thanks again for the lovely comments about the jungle prints I made last month. I have to focus on lace because not sewing with Jungle prints is going to be a hard habit to break.

Have you seen the inaugural Annie Awards yet? A true spotted carpet event.
However I did discover winter jungle my stash.


Friday, 8 February 2013

Sew Grateful - Minoru #2

This post is for Deb's Sew Grateful week projects made using others tutorials or posts. Most of this Minoru was sewn following Tasia's tutes and using PUL fabric. This version was my first experience using showerproof fabric. The listing of finished Minorus are on this post from over 60 sewers.
Here's a link to my first Minoru (below). This version continues to be a well worn and much-loved  jacket.

Last week I gathered my notions for a showerproof Minoru and got started. I bought the 2 zips I needed from MyHung Parramatta - $1 each. 
On the weekend our summer weather was cool and changeable so I spent the time to sew in 5 zippers before the main construction steps. The pattern only requires 2 zips.
- Two internal zippers on the inside pockets
- Two zippers on the outside welt pockets
- One long zipper on the collar to store the hood.
The 6th zip is the 70cm front zip. I sewed that in on Tuesday night using a zipper foot.
Using run-of-the-mill sticky tape is worthwhile when sewing PUL.
The Minoru doesn't have external pockets and the internal pockets are designed to have velcro closures. I added the external pockets because that's what I want in a casual jacket.
I'll have to work on inserting zippers into pockets a bit more. You can see I learnt very little from a zipper workshop I went to last year.
The lining is a polyester chiffon remnant for the body and a rayon remnant for the sleeves. That's all I had in my stash but the colours were the same. Both are remnants from Pitt Trading.
I got excited that these pockets worked.
I've used the rayon as bias binding feature around the internal pockets and along the inside of zipper placket. This is a finish I enjoy wearing.
I took this shot so you can see the fine, soft gathers.
 Sewing PUL:
  • This is the first time I've used PUL showerproof fabric - bought from Green Beans Aust
  • The fabric base is a knit structure but the showerproof side is like rubber. At least that's how it reacted to the iron XD
  • PUL is very easy to sew - just don't pull it to hard when you're sewing it.
  • When you sew with it, creases appear but don't be fooled by the fabric.
  • And lower the feed dogs on your machine 1 notch so you can control the fabric flowing through the machine.
  • You might think sewing PUL is overwhelming. It's doable.

Rain proofing:
For details on how to make your rainproof jacket more rainproof and profession, go to, Caroline of Little Package. She did this guest useful post during the Minoru Sewaholic Sewalong last year. Caroline really knows her stuff. she's smart, practical and adventurous.
And Carolyn of Handmade by Carolyn has also perfected rain proofing jackets.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


You might also be interested in...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Minerva Crafts UK