Friday, March 27, 2015

Oakridge in Marsala

 As soon as Sewaholic Patterns Oakridge Blouse was released, I knew it would become part of my Sewaholic pattern collection.  It was released in the Southern Hemisphere summer so I waited for reviews to begin popping up.  To be fair, there really haven't been a lot for this pattern and I have no idea why.  I love the idea of a pussy bow blouse, but anything fussy and flouncy just isn't me, so the pared down tie and figure skimming fit of the Oakridge had my name written all over it.

When Sewaholic had their recent birthday sale, I knew the time was right.  I bought this pattern and a couple of others at a very affordable price in PDF format.

I cut the pattern to size 6 and graded to a size 4 at the hips.  I could have gone down to a size 2 but given the fabric I chose was quite sheer the extra volume would not detract from the shirts appearance.

The fabric I chose is a polyester chiffon from an op shop haul way back here.  The colour very conveniently is Pantone colour of the year for 2015, marsala.  It looks a little redder in the photos here because I have layered it with a bright red tank underneath.

Once again I prepared my flimsy chiffon with a soak in a gelatin bath.  I scaled down the recipe by half.  I used 1.4 tsp gelatin heated and added 1.5 litres of cold water.  This meant I could soak my fabric in a mixing bowl.  I did get some strange looks from my family during the process.  I think they thought I had completely lost it this time!  I then spun the fabric in the washing machine and line dried it in the sun.

The blouse came together quite quickly.  I French seamed all of the seams except the armhole and tie for durability.  This did cause me a little bit of angst when I realised I had stitched one sleeve inside out and I had to unpick two rows of tiny stitching on flimsy fabric but I managed and now you would never know.  Phew...crisis averted!

Once completed I then rewashed the blouse and dried as normal.  I really love everything about this blouse and am glad I waited for just the right project to use this fabric.  There will be another of these but I am not sure which fabric I will choose.  I currently have two contenders.

My one and only complaint is the sleeves are too long.  I had already removed around 5cm before cutting it out but could have removed another two....I know, t-rex arms!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

McCalls Tunic Top

I admired the True Bias Sutton Blouse when it was released but really couldn't justify buying it.  McCalls 7093 however, just jumped into my shopping cart in a recent Vogue/McCalls sale.  It would be rude then not to sew it up!  

I had quite a large piece of georgette left over from Courteney's formal dress which was just begging to be made into a floaty top so it was the perfect opportunity to try McCalls 7093.

I cut the entire top to a size 10 and made no alterations to the pattern.  Well, at least I don't think so, because I admit I didn't follow the instructions.  I used French seams throughout for durability.  

I actually really like the resulting top even though loose tunics are somewhat of a departure from my usual style.  We will have to see how well it integrates into my wardrobe.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Grainline Moss Skirt

The Grainline Moss pattern has been haunting me for some time.  It has a huge following but I wasn't sure whether the cut was right for me.  Add to that, a pattern in my collection that is remarkably similar in lots of ways and it was a difficult decision.  In the end my stash busting justification won out.  

I have a number of small offcuts that would make up beautifully into this style.   So, what did I do?  I hit the buy now button of course!

The first thing that struck me about this pattern is the fantastic pockets.  "What is so special about them," I hear you ask!  My fabric of choice is a stretch denim and these pockets extend right across the abdomen and attach to the fly front.  This is perfect for tummy sucking properties, and what Mum doesn't like the idea of that!

I cut my skirt to a size 4.  I didn't have quite enough fabric for the waistband so folded the pattern in half and cut it in two pieces.  This was where my only issue with the pattern came in, but more on that in a minute.  I used a piece of white cotton from a discarded valance for both the pockets and waistband lining due to both bulk issues and lack of fabric.

I had to run both side seams in 1.5cm each side of the waist and possibly could have let out the seams at the hips a smidgen, had I had enough seam allowance but these allowances are only just over 1cm so this was not possible.  Fortunately though, I think the fabric will relax with wearing, so I am not too concerned.  I did not use the fly fitting instructions, instead preferring the instructions that came with my Sewaholic Thurlow pattern.  

Back to the waistband, if I fold my skirt in half, the side with the fly guard is longer than the other side, necessitating a longer waistband on this side.  If I fold the waistband pieces in half to a mirror image, both sides are the same length.  Now, I am not sure whether I have read the pattern wrong and this is entirely possible, or there is an issue with the waistband.  For future versions though, I am going to have to take this into account.  

I shouldn't have worried so much about the fit of this skirt because one of the reasons I like Grainline patterns is because you can pretty much guarantee the quality of their drafting and their sizing guidelines.  I will be making this again next time I have a stash busting purge.

Oh, and to kick start my autumn sewing mojo, I gifted myself some new shoes to see me through to boot season.  They are Valdo from Street Legal

Friday, March 6, 2015

Unselfish Sewing and Jalie 3242

The onset of Autumn has made me quite unmotivated to make any  clothes for myself.  This is largely due to the weather being still very warm and I have no need for any more summer clothes.  It is however a good opportunity for a little unselfish sewing and this unselfish sewing is long overdue. 

 I have been promising new swimwear and underwear for quite some months now.  It is now surprise that I used Jalie 3242 for both swimwear and underwear.  I used view D, briefs for the swimwear and view E, trunks for the underwear.  Young J goes through a lot of this style of swimwear for his squad training sessions.  I like to give him some variety of prints so ordered the green and yellow nylon spandex from Spandex House with my order before Christmas.  I lengthened the body of the briefs to accommodate the encased elastic waistband.  I added a buttonhole to thread through the tie that runs through the centre of my chosen elastic and finished it with a twin needled straight stitch.  The high vis version was made from some Lycra of unknown quality that I picked up at spotlight.

The underwear was made from my rather large collection of unloved tee shirts and some elastic I picked up at a receivership sale.  As much as I procrastinated over making these, it was a nice feeling to have a rather large gap in my cupboard where these once lived, for a few days at least!  I have since filled that nice gap up on a recent shopping trip.

Monday, March 2, 2015

End of February Round Up

End Of February Round Up

Blue Burdastyle Tank
Pattern (book used before) $0.00
Fabric (remnant) $0.00
Button (rescued) $0.00
Total $0.00

Floral Belcarra
Pattern (used before) $0.00
Fabric (remnant) $0.00
Total $0.00

Linen Burdastyle Dress
Fabric $2.00
Lace (gifted) $0.00
Pattern $0.00
Button (rescued) $0.00
Total $2.00

Sari Belcara
Pattern (used before) $0.00
Fabric (gifted) $0.00
Total $0.00

Beige Linen Skirt
Fabric (remnant) $0.00
Pattern (used before) $0.00
Zip $1.29
Lining $2.00
Total $3.29

Blue My Image Dress
Fabric (remnant) $0.00
Pattern $0.00
Rings $3.00
Total $3.00

Hibiscus Alder
Pattern $19.54
Fabric $2.00
Buttons (rescued) $0.00
Total $21.54

Striped Tank Dress
Pattern (used before) $0.00
Fabric (remnant) $0.00
Total $0.00

Total Me Made $29.83

Total RTW $60.00

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Waste Not Want Not

I made a new dress.  This time from this new but unloved dress. Although the dress looks rather nice in the photographs, the fabric lacks stability and the dress just clung well everywhere.  Because the viscose Lycra fabric is really too drapey for the original style this time I chose a style with more fullness.  

M1411 from My Image Spring/Summer 2014, seemed to be just the ticket, fitted but not too clingy.  What I also like about the new style is the bodice is lined which gives my drapey fabric structure.   For this I used a piece of white cotton interlock from my stash.  What I didn't like about the pattern is the amount of ease.  I made the dress in the smallest size, grading out two sizes in the hips according to my measurements.  I had some fabric left over from the original dress and this was used to cut a new skirt.  

The back bodice was way too big to attach to the skirt so this had to be narrowed.  In the end I pinned the dress to my dress form taking out about 3cm on each side.  For the ring in the centre front, I initially butchered an old handbag but discovered the ring to be too heavy.  My solution was to visit the local $1,2,3 and found some cheap earrings which I cut the hook off with wire cutters.

While I am really pleased with the resulting dress, I think this pattern is not very well drafted.  Just as well it is a simple style which afforded an easy fix.  I have ended up with a very wearable summer dress which is more than I can say for the dress I cut it out of.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Hibiscus Alder

 I have had comments about the quality and frequency of the op shop fabrics that I pick up.  I actually only visit one shop and maybe once every couple of months .  This does involve a bit of fomo (fear of missing out), but the shop in question is not handy to either home or work and those that are, I have never had any success at.  All of the pieces in this shop are priced at $2 regardless of length which makes the inconvenience worth it.  Sometimes all I arrive home with are a couple of pieces of lining but other times can be very lucrative.  The lining however, is also a handy steal because we all know that the cost of notions can quickly mount up when sewing.

This particular piece of cotton shirting weight op shop fabric was ear marked for a sun dress, because of the hibiscus print but something was holding me back and had been for a couple of summers.  This is usually a red flag for me and a stop and don't proceed action is usually the best course.  Every time I have proceeded usually I am less than enamored with the results.

When Grainlines Alder pattern was released, I was underwhelmed.  I am usually somewhat underwhelmed anyway because summer patterns are generally released in our winter.  This does however have the added bonus of tons of reviews by the time our summer rolls around.  The popularity of this pattern didn't escape me and it was then on my radar.  The only issue though was the simplicity and similarity to the ever popular Archer.


I work five days a week so I am full of great ideas but in equal proportions, time poor.  The creative me would have just worked with what I have on this dress but drafting is time consuming so the time poor me, just hit the buy now button and taped together the unending pieces of paper that my printer then spat out at me.  As I write this and weigh up my decisions, I could probably have drafted up something in the time it took to tape this puppy!

Once my pattern was duly taped and then cut to a size 4 as per my measurements, I whipped the dress up.  The sewing of this dress was super quick.  After making numerous Archers, event he collar didn't present any challenges.  I added 2cm to the length which was the only change I made.  I tried the dress on before finishing the armholes and was subsequently disappointed.  Have you ever tried pinning a button down dress on yourself and getting the hem and collar to line up?  It was also 9pm and the barefooted, tire me did not like what I saw.  At this time of night it is very easy to see only the flaws in my work.  My criticisms centered around the collar being too stiff and not hugging my neck tightly and the shoulders needing a wedge added at the armhole due to my obviously straighter shoulders.  I am still on the fence though over the major criticism and that is the lack of shaping in the back.  I may yet add back darts to conform at least slightly to my sway back.

On finishing the dress, I have done a complete u turn.  Yes, I do need to tweek it slightly but what I love about this pattern, is it is suitable for all ages.  My 18 year old daughter would be completely comfortable going off to Uni in this, shortened and in chambray with a pair of converse, as I am in heels going to work.  The beauty in the dress is that when I get home from work and put on my Mum hat, I can switch out the heels for flats and look equally appropriate at my sons after school sports.