Thursday, 31 March 2016

Jumpsuit Summer

I tend to fall for jumpsuit patterns especially in Summer.
I made this McCalls (6362) jumpsuit a previous Summer but it felt uncomfortable after making it a slimmer fit. You need room to move in jumpsuits so after giving the previous version to charity, I remade it using this Liberty art print.

It's an easy to sew pattern and I love the pockets. 

I’m not a fan of the back zipper - it sticks out too much but I need a zipper to get in and out of this jumpsuit. The back zipper is uncomfortable to zip in and out of when you need to 'zip in and out of it' quickly.
I've had great wearing success with this jumpsuit when I've had to country drive for hours in our Game of Thrones Summer. I'm sure a long leg version will be handy when the heat eases up at some point in time:)

Future plan:
Jumpsuits/rompers need lots of wiggle room so making long leg version using a cotton fabric isn’t the smartest move for me.

Using a rayon woven without the zipper might be a smarter approach. This pattern uses elastic in the waistband so that’s what I’ll stick to in the next version.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Summer by 'John Kaldor'

John Kaldor prints (he's an Aussie) are made in the UK and Sewessential UK asked me to make a Summer frock using New Look 6209 View A.
Who could resist (she says with a huge smile). John Kaldor Hermione Fabric in Red and Blue is soft and is easy to wear in the heat and humidity. 
While it's the end of Summer here I finally got some beach time so the colours for this fabric look even more amazing. 
These colours would still look great if I was my usual 'lily-look'.

Princess fitted dresses call for a test version. 
My test version showed I needed to tweak out some room along the front neckline pieces on the front yoke and front dress panel.
I already adjusted the hemline and readjusted the hemline after the test dress. 
The side back panel is where I took out the sway back piece at the waistline.
I actually used the smaller sized front panel (8) and then used the next size up for the rest of the dress panels (10 graded to 12 at the waist).
Lucy from Sewessential UK was great to work with on this project. 
Lucy chose the notions and was happy for me to used piping on the neckline. 
Before sending out my project, Lucy checked this print against a navy and a white lining, suggesting using white so the colours would be stronger. Lucy was right. The white lining keeps this print looking strong.
In a way, the lining is interlining as I've still used the armhole binding. The neckline detailing still looks sharp. 

Did I try to match this print? No. This print is not that defined so I made the most of the fabric so I was able to get the body of this dress cut along one length of fabric. Pretty economical really.

How does the fabric perform?
It's soft and feels good.
It washes easily.
It's easy to sew and manage ie, not slippery.
Ironing is a breeze
Perfect now for that high tea in our tropical Sydney Autumn weather.

So this print might not suit you. Well there's nothing holding you back from having a squiz at SewEssential's range of fabrics right? So why not go there now and have a look. It's always free to look at fabrics online.

Thank you Lucy at SewEssential UK for this dress. It's awesome for our Game of Thrones Summer.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Gift wrapped

Style Patterns from 1980s are marked up well as I found with this wrap dress. This pattern came from a friend's Mum's stash who was downsizing her home at the time. I count this as one of my 2016 Vintage Pattern Pledge projects.
The seam allowances are marked on each pattern piece - no need to check the instructions before you start. Having the seams marked also made it easy for me to check the waist and hip measurements without having to 'minus' the seam allowances built into the pattern pieces. There was enough ease at the hips, so I stuck to cutting the pattern as is size 12.
The notches are individually numbered #luxury. Excuse my sewing geekiness but notches are really handy guides that keep me from making a bunch of errors.
The fabric is bubbled so it's probably not great quality but worked for this pattern.
I tend to buy firm fabrics so I had to dive into the stash and came up with this poly cotton dark plaid that was flowy enough for this style. Thankfully I checked the repeat on the pattern and it is balanced. This helped me match the pattern at the shoulder seam.
My back up overlocker was in the shop at the time so I used the white thread overlocker because this project is a palate cleanser. Once my back up overlocker came home, I was able to finish the skirt hem, sleeve hems and skirt pleat hem in black thread.
Ah. There are gathers at the shoulder line so no need to assess the dart lengths because there are no darts on this pattern #win.

Oh. The facing is cleverly designed as they attach to the skirt front fold and sits flat. Really flat. Three snap closures are all I needed and this little dress was done.
So all in all, the 80s had some great classic dresses like this one. 
This style works well in our current Game of Thrones Summer.
My 2016 Vintage Pattern pledge has started.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Simplicity 1357 test

There's always a test dress and this 60s pink number is my Simplicity 1357 test dress.
The fabric is a similar weight to my Minerva project.
While it's still Summer here, I felt the need for a Summer day dress hence my fabric 60s choice. I think this is a Spotlight drill print.
I originally thought I needed a 14:18:12 size. This dress had the sway back adjustment on the paper pattern.
So you can see this adjustment was fine. I did shorten this pattern at the waistline across the front and back pieces. 
Once I made up this dress I had to run in the seams so the final version is a 12 size.

Giveaway winner
Judie is receiving the give away pattern. Congratulations. Your pattern is in the post!

Thank you all for your lovely comments about this dress.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Sultry Summer

Ursula by John Kaldor from Minerva Crafts is your basic black print with bold red so a maxi dress using 'no fuss' Simplicity 1357 was my end of Summer choice.
Simplicity 1357 has two lengths, some great sleeve variations and pockets, if you need pocket (work dress version in the future).
My trusty camera/tripod and I high-tailed it to the local lookout in the afternoon while the sun was blazing but the heat of the day had subsided. Sydney's Summer has been a mixed bag and it's still sizzling. I kid you not.
It was a bit nicer in the shade.
I'm going to jump into the part that was heaps of fun to do - match the pockets to the print. A long time ago, I was told the golden rule is to use a small print for a small person. I'm a small person but I love a large bold print on a simple style like this classic maxi from Simplicity 1357.
See how the neckline is high but the shoulders are cut away? This makes it great for showing of great shoulders without worrying about fitting the dress to your body. When it's humid, a flowy maxi dress that's unlined like this dress is perfect. PS. I wear this with a perfect cross back bra for 'support'.
The back shoulders are also cut away so you feel cool. This style is similar to Lily Pulitzer maxi dresses.

I calculated I should make the pattern with bust 14, waist 18 and hips 12. After the test version I made bust 12, waist 12 and hips 12. This gives you an idea of the ease this pattern provides. If you're a beach person, stick with the ease provided.
The sway back does fall nicely - except in this shot (he he).
The only pattern adjustment I made was at the waistline with a sway back adjustment. My test dress showed me that the neckline finish only needed a bias tape finish so I didn't used the facings on this version.
While I'm being' blown away' in this shot, the fabric washes easily, doesn't need too much ironing and is easy to sew.

This dress simply consists of front, back and pocket pieces when you use bias binding for the arm and neckline finishes. Real simple. Real fast.

I don't usually wear or buy maxi dresses but I'm sold on this dress to see out the rest of our hot, humid Summer.

Here's my offer to you:
When I received my Minerva Crafts UK projects, I was sent this pattern in 20W - 28W. Vicki quickly supplied me with this pattern in 10 - 18.

If you are interested in this pattern and live in Australia or New Zealand, leave a comment and I'll post this to you for free.

Thanks again to Minerva Crafts UK to providing me with the patterns and notions to stay stylish this Summer.

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