Monday, 29 December 2014

Tech notes: Vogue 1344

The reviews for Vogue 1344 were pretty consistent so I knew what to change for my height ie short.
From Vogue's sizing I made the 6 - even with my additional curves. I love a dress with an elastic for Summer:) This pattern is very forgiving.
I've used a bright lining print for this test version. 
The line drawing shows 4 pleats at the front and back shoulders. 
I felt the front pleat closest to my shoulders made a 'side boob' shape so I folded this pleat out of the real version.
The back shaping worked on me. There was no sway back issue to deal with because it's got an elastic waistline. 
The versions I saw on the web looked great and because of my height I decided to also fold out the excess curve on the front skirt flounce. Pleats were my choice and not gathers for the front skirt flounce. The gathers form thought the elastic waist.

You'll see the results of the two great John Kaldor prints - linen for Summer - I used from Minerva Crafts UK this week. 

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Tropical wrap dress

Earlier this year I bought a great border print from Cabramatta and after making my BurdaStyle wrap dress I decided to try it again for a business casual option.

It's lined

It's secured with a snap.
It's still got long sleeves for the office.
It's also a nice option for weekend events and I've already worn this quiet a bit to work.
And yes, it's a bit louder than the first dress.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Kiwi-styled cycling top

Cycling on the roads can be a scary activity so having a cycling top that screams "I'm here" is what I've created with Melissa's latest Surf to Summit top.

My fabric is ordinary poly/lycra knit. Nothing special. The fabric isn't a gift. I did test this pattern for Melissa and I added a few 'bits' to it - reflective piping and hidden pocket.

Mr V said the fabric looks Maori-inspired, hence it's 'Kiwi-styled'.

None of my stash fabric used is wicking but this top is not form fitting either so it worked really well for a training road ride on the weekend.
The sleeves are raglan so there's a colour blocking opportunity with this top.
The neckline choice I've used hugs my neck, so there's less likelihood of sun or wind burn.

I added a zipper/neck guard that I'll post the technical details of in a future post. It stops the zipper teeth and top from sticking into my neck, and I've seen this detail used on RTW tops.
Can you see where I've used woven reflective tape at the back? 
I bought a couple of rolls of reflective tape in Hong Kong when Allison C took me to Sham Shu Po in July this year. I have a stack of woven reflective tape and it's easy to apply if you use it like piping.
I think you can see the reflective tape better in this pic.
Can you see how clever Melissa has been with her design? Check out the fold over elastic.
Here's a closer view of where the fold over elastic is used.
And I've sewn in a secure pocket using a white invisible zipper because I really wanted a secure pocket for my phone, money and id. 

The reality of 'road cycling' is I take my driver's licence and medical card with me on every ride so if there's an accident, the ambos can identify who I am if I'm knocked out cold. 'Touch wood!' 

The 30km test ride was on a warm day. The real top will be smaller and really bright.
If you decide to indulge and buy Melissa's new Surf to Summit top, Melissa is offering 10% off saving if you buy two or more patterns by using the code “10OVER20” before 26 December! The Surf to Summit Top pattern comes in men’s and ladies’ editions, too!

I'll show you how to add a secure pocket and zipper neck tab in the next blog post. My next version will be the 'real' version.


Until then have a safe Christmas everyone.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Maternity activewear

Kwik sew 2723 seemed a good starting point for a couple activewear tops for my pregnant niece who teaches pilates. The final fabrics used are courtesy of Funki Fabrics. Funki Fabrics loved the idea of making maternity activewear.
You're correct to say 'that's not a maternity top pattern'. I used the top to develop a colour blocked version while adding the additional room in the front bodice for the baby. Voila - a basic maternity top.

Between the two of us we found some lovely styles online and we made up a pinterest board with maternity activewear ideas.

Modified top version #1
The first version has colour blocking at the neckline. There is room for the growing baby curves. 

The neckline block was wide but I wanted the neckline block to be sharper so I redrew it.
This test version was an ok length but a bit more length made 'Mum' and myself happy. I added a safe 10cm to the hems. 

To my surprise the built in shelf still worked on the test version so I kept this for the next version.

Top # two:
You can see the changes I made to make this Mom/baby-friendly.

 I've used flare acid (RUB142) for this print.
You can see the ribbon and toggle we've used to allow Mum to adjust the hem.


I've used a three-thread overlocking stitch on the seams so the seams are finer.
Every single pattern change is on the front bodice piece below.
This adjusted pattern also have an additional 10cm hem.

I added seam allowance with the magnet below. Kwik Sew patterns have 6mm seams and the magnet below allows me to add seam allowance while cutting the pattern.

The main skill to get the arm and neckline finishes neat and firm is to use clear elastic.

Below is the paler version using the same grey neckline.
Again you can see the toggle and ribbon used for this hem.



I've used Holy Smoke pink/aqua TS594 for this top.


We decided that a hem with cord or ribbon and not elastic would allow 'Mum' to adjust this top to suit her shape as her shape changes. I'm still looking for decent cord and colourful toggles to go with both tops. 


Modified pants
This modification was a bit trickier because I've got not idea regarding shape but there are plenty of Youtube videos showing how to cover the baby bump by modifying existing jeans/pants.

So I developed Kwik sew 3988 in a medium size to check where the baby band should sit.
There are some cool inset spot on this pattern and a gusset so I thought this pattern would be easier to modify for a changing waistline. 'Mum' is still wears 'small' in Kwik Sew so the only change was for 'baby' hence the front pants and waist bands are different.
When I checked the test version, the belly needs room, hence the curve from the hips to the waist. The centre front seam is a lot shorter. 
And here's how the maternity front pants piece looks. I've used the measurements that I saw on YouTube.
And the finished pants using Charcoal nylon NE3024 now has a very long and wide waistband for the baby bump. The waistband is long so it's worn folded over itself. No elastic is needed and the hem is left unfinished!
Wishing you all the best with the bubs.
Thank you Funki Fabrics for these fabrics. It was really difficult to pick a pattern from the range you guys offer and continually update.

I also want to thank the ladies who go to Bobbin and Ink sewing sessions. The Mums in the group were really helpful in developing the ideas for making these activewear patterns useful. Their real life experience and Juliet checking my pattern drafts along the way, was invaluable. 


About the fabrics 
Funki Fabrics are a polyester print base and they are also: 
  • Ultra chlorine resistant
  • Pilling resistant
  • Shape retention
  • Two way stretch 
  • UV protective
Read Susan's activewear post if you're ready to sew your own activewear. 

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Three in one

Using three Funki Fabric remnants, I decided to make an 80s throwback swimsuit using Kwik Sew 3064.
From the photo below you can see the front leg is lower than the mermaid racerback swimsuit. 
The body of Kwik Sew 3064 was long so I had to redo the straps and armholes. 
My shoulder slope so I added three straps across the back to stop the straps from falling off. 
From the back you can also see the back bottom is wider for more coverage. 

Both patterns have a built in shelf and I've used Funki Fabrics lining for this piece again. The lining fabric is very soft and supportive. 

The centre back seam is great if you have a sway back - which I do.

About the fabrics 
Funki Fabrics are a polyester print base and they are also: 
  • Ulta chlorine resistant
  • Pilling resistant
  • Shape retention
  • Two way stretch 
  • UV protective
The shape retention is the key feature I love (supportive fabric) and because our Australian Summers are so harsh, the UV protection is a bonus.

Thanks again Funki Fabrics. These fabrics work really well on the swimsuit patterns I've had in my stash for ages.

If you're seriously considering sewing your own activewear, read Susan's activewear post that she wrote earlier this year. Her sewing industry knowledge is priceless.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Summer days

I keep going back to this classic racer back swimsuit (Kwik Sew 2962) because it's a great fit using Funki Fabrics mermaid scale print. I've also used Funk Fabrics lining too as it's supportive.
These new mermaid scale bathers uses this classic racerback pattern. 

This pattern has built-in bust support using Funk Fabrics lining and I've adjusted the back curves to fit my curves. Kwik Sew 2969 has built-in support.

My littlest niece took this picture so we were giggling out heads off at the time. Gosh it was good to cool off on a scorching hot Sunday.
front view close up
We're headed for a scorching Summer and I think we've got our beach gear sorted this year. Let's hope our tropical afternoon thunderstorms ease off a bit.
Close up racer back view and you can see the built-in shelf using the lining fabric.
You can see I fully lined the front. 
This work in progress view shows all the seam sewing needed before you add the elastic.

Thanks Funki Fabrics.

These rolls of elastic are quickly being whittled away with the amount of activewear sewing I've been up to for Summer. Elastic is the main notion for swimwear.
The pink was the first version I made a long time ago so you can see this is a great pattern.
This floral version uses locally bought fabric which works fine but it reinforces the lovely softness and good support the fabric produced by Funki Fabrics.
It was nice to hide behind Mr V with this Stormset rashie after a dip in the pool.

About the fabrics 
Funki Fabrics are a polyester print base and they are also: 
  • Ulta chlorine resistant
  • Pilling resistant
  • Shape retention
  • Two way stretch 
  • UV protective
The shape retention is the key feature I love (supportive fabric) and because our Australian Summers are so harsh, the UV protection is a bonus. Mr V burns so easily so his rashie is tops.

Thanks again Funki Fabrics. These fabrics work really well on the swimsuit patterns.

If you're seriously considering sewing your own activewear, read Susan's activewear post that she wrote earlier this year. Her sewing industry knowledge is priceless.

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