Monday, 31 October 2016

Blue poppies

New Look 6000 is a good basic dress block so this was perfect for this blue poppy print. I bought this fabric from The Cloth Shop Ivanhoe as soon as I saw it online.

The key to placing this print is when you layout the pattern. I was more than happy for the bulk of the blue to be across my waistline.
These patterns have my basic adjustments and the bulk of the print is across the waistline point. It was simply that easy to do.
There was no need to match poppies at the seams.
I kept the full border across the waistline.
The neckline was a high square neckline I drafted and instead of using facings, I fully lined this in dress with a white sunsilky fabric.

I clipped the sleeve seams to flatten the sleeves at the front of the dress.

Pattern adjustments:

  • 4cm off the sleeve length and forward shoulder adjustment
  • 7cm off the hem
  • sway back adjustment
  • 2cm off the bust point.
Wearability:
I can safely say, this dress held its own on Saturday night at Brisbane's Spoolette party.
I enjoyed catching up with everyone this year and the venue was perfect. 

Future versions:
You'll see my work version later this week.
Possibly there may be a side pleat version too.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Keyhole blouse

Melissa of Fehr Trade sent me a care package that included Love Sewing magazine. The issue I received had this Keyhole blouse by simple sew patterns so here's my review using fabric provided by White Tree Fabrics UK
The keyhole design feature of this blouse is very Danyrs (Game of Thrones) with a bit more coverage without the dragons and more contemporary. I know. I watch too much TV. Of course I chose a metallic pleat plain fabric for this project. 
The 3 sleeve lengths makes this pattern adaptable to any season and look soft enough to wear for any occasion. I chose to make the 3/4 sleeves.
So...I found some info about sewing prepleated fabric reference on a Threads forum. Hence I chose to use fold over elastic in a similar for the neckline as an easy finish. I didn't want to distort the fabric as I sewed it. 

When I tested this fabric on the overlocker, the needle broke so I decided to french seam this fabric.

I used a microtex needle size 60 for this fabric and it sewed really well. 

The pattern
I chose View B because the fabric is pre-crinkled and for my height, that provides plenty of detailing. View B is also the quickest version to make so if you're time-poor, choose view B.

Notions - matching thread is all you need #simple.


Adjustments

I checked the measurements on the pattern and mocked up a 10-12-12 shape width and took 3cm from the length. 
I folded this length out at the hips so the hem remained curved.
I moved the shoulders forward by 2cm and that was all the adjustments I made #simple. 

Construction - this blouse is fast to sew.
1. Snip the seam allowance of the keyhole neckline, almost to the fold line marking, but stop 3mm short. Fold the edges of the keyhole under twice and sew. Press and top-stitch it in place. 
At this point, I did a row of stay stitching along the neckline but I used a long stitch in case I needed to slightly gather the crinkles back into place.
2. On the back bodice neckline, fold the pleat marking inwards to meet the centre back, sew and press into place.
3. Stitch across the top of the pleat to secure it.
Again I sewed a row of stay stitching for the same reason. Remember, the neckline seam allowance is 1cm.

4. With right sides together, stitch front and back bodices at the shoulder seams. 
I used a french seam finish so you sew the wrong sides together first 0.5cm; trim; iron seams; then sew the right sides together.
5. At this point I decided to sew on fold over elastic that matched the fabric colour on the neckline. Why? I felt this fabric needed a stable neckline finish that didn't make the neckline bag over time. I also find it's easier to sew a neckline when the fabrics lay flat so I tend to do this before sewing on the sleeves.

I sewed the fold over elastic to the wrong side first and then sewed it to the right side.
6. On the sleeve, sew a line of gathering stitches at the sleeve head. The sleeve seam allowances are 1cm.
Sew the sleeve hem using 1.5cm hem allowance.
7. Pin sleeve to armhole curve, right sides together, matching the notches for the front and back sleeve. When you get to the sleeve head, make sure the gathering ease is below the sleeve head but above the notches. That's where you'll need the sleeve ease.
8. Stitch the blouse side seams together. I used a french seam finish so you sew the wrong sides together first 0.5cm; trim; iron seams; then sew the right sides together.
9. Use a fine hemming tape to help set up the hem for this fabric. 
Again, the hem tape held seal the first turn of hem without loosing the pleating. So the second hem turn kept the fabric crinkles in place.
Voila! A fast blouse to make and it's very wearable.
front view
Wearability
This loose style top is very wearable and the fabric gives it day or night wearing options.
back view
I've worn this blouse a few times on the weekend and it feels lovely and look RTW. Having said that this fabric washes easily and the micropleats remain strongly in place.
This is going to be an easy blouse to make again and wear a lot.

If you want this pattern, contact Love Sewing magazine to order it on back issue.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Starting to feel Spring

One Saturday morning the Cloth Shop Ivanhoe had a photo of a poppy fabric in a blue and red colourway. This is the same fabric that Kate Middleton has worn.
I decided to go for my usual Saturday morning ride but while I was training I just couldn't get that fabric image out of my mind. As soon as we got home and got myself organised for the day, I gave the Cloth Shop Ivanhoe a call.
Now if that's not being dedicated to fabric, I don't know what is. Kim was a lot of fun to talk to. When I occasionally visit Melbourne, I try to visit their store because they have a high end range of fabrics and they usually have fabrics I can't find locally.

Again I used New Look 6067 because I'd already adjusted this dress for my current shape and decided this version would be fully lined.
I've used a cotton poplin so the dress lining is firm even though this fabric is a stretch woven. 
Above is an inside view of the front pleating and darts before being lined.

My aim for fully lining this dress was to keep the dress structure firm but not tight.
This photo shows how I placed the print on the skirt. The 3 inverted pleats at the front waist don't detract from the print.
I had a thing for piping and this WIP picture shows you the sleeves with red piping. The red is not exactly the same as the poppies but it works.
I follow the advice I've read in Threads magazine to keep stitching closer to the piping to keep the piping from looking twisted. This piping was premade from Minerva Crafts UK.
Long story short: I wore this dress out for a Friday night out and felt great. It's Spring right!

PS: I did buy the blue poppy colourway fabric so I hope to have that made up in the coming weeks, using a different pattern New Look 6000 ;)

Enjoy your week.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Lacewear

Lacewear was the best title for this month's Minerva Crafts post as I've used pink light stretch knit lining and lace for Burda 7186 lingerie pattern.
These pieces are functional and pretty. 
Slips make me feel more comfortable when I wear these under knit dresses. There's less 'cling'.

This cami set is a replacement for my summer sleepwear. Gone are the daggy shorts and worn out tee.


Minerva Crafts has a big range of these knit linings so when I put my order in, Vicki kindly matched the lace to this pink for me. The main lace criteria was a 10 cm wide lace. This lace is slightly wider, so I was really happy with Vicki's choice.


Uhm...I forgot to order the strap notions so I dived into my bra stash for these. I know Minerva Crafts stock these bra notions so I need to remember to read my patterns better to check what notions I need. They do have premade bra straps.


Pattern adjustments

These were minimal. I made the slip first and chose size 12.
As I had recently made a basic slip, I checked the patterns to the finished slip and shortened it by 18cm.
I made the cami set next so I chose size 14 for a loose fit. Not too loose but enough that I wouldn't feel restricted. 

I added 2cm to the length of the centre back seam for my 'caboose'.


Added swimwear elastic

On the slip, I added swimwear elastic across the top back panel for a firmer fit.

For the cami set, I added swimwear elastic across the top of the front and back panel. I'm still thinking about added elastic across the bottom of these top panels too.


Sewing lace

While the average person wouldn't think about sewing lace, I kept taking photos of the sewing process because I sometimes think sewing lace is difficult.  
The photo above show the preparation of the front bodice.
Sewing the darts and finishing off the armhole was simply straight stitching.
Once I had sewn on the lace, this slip was starting to really look good.
Here's a close up of the finished slip bodice.
Here's a close up of the finished lace hem.
The result was sensational to me.

Knit lining

While this knit has minimal stretch but it still has some stretch. I used a stretch 90/14 machine needle to sew this fabric and mainly used a straight stitch.
I used a fine zigzag stitch to sew on the lace. Above is the a closer look at trimming back the base fabric to show the lace.
Strap construction
Burda suggests you construct the two parts of the straps separately, so I did for the slip. 
Below shows how I've moved the needle to the right to sew up the straps.
By the time I started working on the cami, I cut out one piece of fabric instead of two.
It's so much easier sewing up a long 'strap' and then cutting it to size.

Here's a closer photo.
I can safely say this pattern was worth getting to make these basic lingerie sets.
Sewing these basics didn't take too much time and I can tell you this pattern will be used again.

While I forgot to order the bra strap notions, I actually got the lace order right.

Thanks for this lovely lacewear Minerva Crafts.

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