Wednesday, April 16, 2014

And I Shall Call It "White Cardigan"

Last winter I happened across some very retro white flecked Crucci Cotton Crinkle.  This yarn is 58% cotton, 26% acrylic, 13% wool and 3% nylon.  I knew I wanted to make a cardigan but finding a pattern was a little more complicated.  Initially I began a Miette but discovered that the textured lumps in the yarn made for uneven holes in the pattern.  After extensive searching through both my patterns, and Ravelry, I decided to make something up.  "Making something up" was something I did a lot in my youth and at this time most of my jerseys and cardigans were originals.  Knitting is only something I have returned to recently so this was a brave move on my behalf.  My memory however did not fail me and the resulting cardigan is very much made up.  My biggest challenge was trying to match the winter white cotton blend yarn, to something more suitable to make bands.  I settled on winter white Cleckheaton 10 ply country Aran in 100% wool.  This stuff was lovely to work with and made nice even bands.

I am really happy with the resulting cardigan.  I am not happy however in the resulting tennis elbow.  Sadly I have just worked out that my elbow which has been aching for the last couple of months has been aggravated by my knitting interest being rekindled.  After my current project is off the needles, I may have to hang them up until it is healed.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Rainbow Set

When the underwire began poking out of my seaspray spot set it became increasingly obvious that it was time to make another underwear set.  The whole process is still very much a learning experience.  My favourite set to date is my white set.  Why?   Well this set is made of sturdy fabric and lined with a thick non stretch cotton sweat-shirting.  This works very well for support but does mean that the centre cup seam is visible under clothing. 

Once again I used Kwik Sew 3300 and McCalls 5400.  To
avoid the visible cup seam issue, I changed the order of construction on the next set.  Instead of joining all of the pieces at the centre cup seam in one big thick seam, I constructed the outer lining and cotton fleece interlining separately.   I also flat zigzagged the cotton fleece at the centre cup to avoid a large ridge.  I then stitched the front cup seam and under stitched all 3 layers together at the centre cup seam.  It all sounds very complicated but was actually quite simple. 
The fabric I used was leftover from this dress and the sweat-shirting was a remnant from kids sweatshirts.  The only thing I really had to account for was the hooks and elastic which were in my stash and the power net for the back straps.  The slides and eyes I picked up really cheaply at Lincraft.  The escaping wires were from the previous set so all in all it was quite cheap to produce.
When I showed my husband what I had made he commented that I won't be wearing it under a white top.  This is quite true but given winter is coming, I quite like the idea of colourful under things on an otherwise dull day.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

End Of March Wrap Up

End Of March Wrap Up
March was a slow month on the blogging front.  This was largely due to life getting in the way of regular blogging but also because there are a couple of projects that I was completing which are yet to be written about.  One of these was a knitting project and the second a sewalong which has been just about completed for the past few weeks but I am not able to write about just yet!  The suspense is killing me.  When I have completed a project I ususally like to write about it straight away.
Jaipur Dress
Pattern $10.78
Fabric Gifted $0.00
Lining $15.38
Zip $3.99
Total $30.15
Black/White Vogue Dress
Pattern $10.78
Fabric $2.00
Total $12.78
Grey Tessuti Tee
Fabric $6.00
Pattern (used before)$0.00
Total $6.00
Vibrant Colette Dress
Pattern (free from library) $0.00
Fabric $31.00
Lining (remnant) $0.00
Zip (from stash) $0.00
Total $31.00
Total Me Made $79.93
Total RTW $151.00

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Odds Ands Sods

With tickets to a rugby match and nothing to wear, drastic action was called for.  When I say nothing to wear, I mean that leaving when the sun is shining and arriving home after dark, kind of nothing to wear.  Of course sleeves were in order and given my local team wear red and black, it helped to be wearing the correct colours. 

I had a metre of grey cotton lycra from my stash that had been waiting for a project whereby it was brightened by a contrasting colour.  I also had leftovers from this dress and this became my inspiration for a new tee.  I decided that a long sleeve stretch tiny pocket tee was in order. 

I used the Tessuti Lola Tee as my pattern just lengthening the sleeves.

I had seen a rtw tee with a floral back and plain front so I decided to replicate this style and added the tiny pocket for interest.

I think this style will be my go to for winter so there will be more on my to do list as the weather cools.  Now I just need to find more fabric combinations.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Classic Black and White

Since the demise of my colour blocked dress, I have been determined to replace it.  Rather than use the same pattern though, I took advantage of Vogue's online sale prior to Christmas and ordered the very popular Vogue 8805.  After seeing a similar dress on someone in black and white, I was sold on this combination and what luck, I had the perfect fabric in my collection!  The white was left over from this top and the black crepe was yet another op shop acquisition.  Both are lovely but mystery crepe fabrics with very nice draping qualities.  

As usual with Vogue patterns, I cut the dress to size 10, grading to size 12 through the hips.  This actually had to be run back in to size 10 after the fact though as it did not sit nicely.  I found the neckline too high as well and had to lower it by 1cm.

While I love this dress, it is a little snug through the thighs and hips so is not ideally suited to a sitting down all day kind of dress on an hourglass or pear shaped person.  It will definitely be made again in one form or another though!

Monday, March 17, 2014

A Souvenir from Jaipur

I mentioned late last year about my daughters trip to India and my hopes for a piece of silk on her return.  She did in fact return with silk in the form of a beautiful scarf for me, and also a genuine Pashmina which I am looking forward to wearing as the weather cools.  She also picked up a couple of beautiful Saris, one of which was gifted to me to make something for myself out of.  It isn't silk but neither did I expect it to be when a Sari uses an extraordinary amount of fabric.

It was actually purchased in this street at The Pink City which is very different to the type of malls I am used to.

The fabric is a beige spot with red spot borders on either side and two additional borders at one end, both in complimentary red spot prints.  The fabric is a light weight crushed satin and while the fabric is lovely, the way I have styled it definitely is not!  There is definitely an art to wrapping a Sari!

I pondered the fabric I had been gifted for a few weeks before deciding on Vogue 1371, a Tracy Reese pattern.

Beige is a colour I like but unfortunately it does very little for my skin tone.  My challenge was how to incorporate the beige without it being close to my face.   My solution was to cut the front and back skirt panels from the beige spot fabric and the bodice and side panels from the different red spot panels.  To add interest, I used small amounts of the beige in the shoulder panels and facings, most of which are not seen anyway.

For some reason, this pattern stipulates shoulder pads, but with visions of 1980's power suits indelibly etched on my brain, I could not bring myself to include them.  Instead I cut four shoulder facings instead of two.  I also left off the fussy neck bow.

This dress is not designed to be lined but because of the filmy weight of my crushed satin, I felt I needed some stability as well as protection from being a little see through.  I decided to line it using some bemsilk from Lincraft.  The bodice I interlined using the bemsilk and for the skirt I made a separate lining.

Typically of Vogue's designer patterns, it produces nice results.  I probably wouldn't make this dress again but only because I have no need for two very similar dresses in this style but I can see this dress being a keeper for a very long time.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Nothing But Truffle!


Some of my readers will know that in Christchurch, we have had a 100 year storm this week which caused widespread flooding, gale force winds and very cool temperatures.  Those same readers will then realise that this photo was not taken this week.  In fact it was taken at the beginning of February and my blogging is actually that far behind...tisk tisk!

I had this very vibrant stretch cotton sateen in my stash since spring and loved the semi flourescent graphic print.  I had my heart set on a simple shift of some sort that would make the fabric the star of the show.  I borrowed Colette Sewing Book from the library and traced the Truffle dress.  During the intervening months I kept coming back to this pattern despite considering others.

This project was actually conceived one Friday afternoon in January.  Friday's are not usually days I take on a new project due to my weekends being characteristically chaotic.  Friday's at best are usually used for those, 'my brain can't focus on a large project, lets make a token top' kind of projects.  So why I decided to start on a new dress, I am not sure!

Now, let me just say, that what looks like a simple dress turned out to be anything but!  I must have unpicked every seam at least twice.  I do know I inserted that darn zip 3 times due to fitting issues.  To add insult to injury, at my final fitting, the neckline gaped, not just a little, but seriously.  I had cut the dress to size 4, when I am usually a size 6, so I thought fitting wise, I should be relatively safe.  Short of cutting a new bodice, which I did consider overnight, the only way I could see of overcoming it was to add darts.  Now I am not terribly happy with the dart but master 10 assures me that my dress is perfect.  In his words, 'most mums can't even make a dress and wouldn't notice the darts'.  Hmmm I think I may have used a similar line on him at some point in time!

Now, advice from small people aside, I have learn't something from this experience, Colette patterns just do not suit my shape.  Which begs the I make up the skirt pattern that I haven't yet tried and has been gathering dust for close to a year or do I just move on.