Sunday, July 27, 2014

Wool Bomber



While visiting Dunedin's Fabric store last month, I bought a lovely piece of wool coating with a lovely mohair feel to it which I earmarked for a casual jacket.  My black boiled wool Jalie Jacket is in heavy rotation at the weekends so I wanted  another semi casual weekend jacket.

I had seen a lot of Rigel Bombers popping up in my news feed of late and had also noticed a few versions in Burda Style.  Not wanting to purchase a new pattern though, my initial plan was to make a Burda Style jacket.  That was until my 'if it aint broke' mentality kicked in.  Jalie 2795 has been used for everything from it's intended purpose as a hoodie to a full wet weather raincoat and it seems everything in between.  It was Courteney's versions of the college jacket that really interested me though.  The detail I really like about the Jalie pattern as opposed to the Burda, is the raglan sleeves.




Despite the very different look of my new jacket, I actually changed very little about the pattern.  I pinned all of my panelled pieces together to reduce the seam lines and added both a facing and an extra red wool panel to the waistband.  All of my ribbing is actually wool ribbing which I found at the op shop.  The zip was rescued from a no longer wanted jacket.  Because the wool is non stretch, I added 1.5cm to each side seam on the front, back and sleeves.  I did add welt pockets however, as the actual pockets on the Jalie jacket are built into the seamlines.  Using a You Tube tutorial I created a single welt pocket which turned out to be a lot simpler that I was used to....yay for You Tube!




I lined the jacket with grey satin from Spotlight which was quite unexpectedly on sale for half price.  I did make one small mistake and that was to cut the satin lining the same length as the jacket outer.....grrr!  I fixed the problem by adding a 5cm strip to the bottom.  It isn't a perfect solution but because it is the lining it won't be seen anyway.



The jacket came together pretty quickly and relatively without incident.  It certainly helps that I used a tnt pattern.  I am really thrilled with the result.  With it's satin lining and quality soft wool outer it is deliciously cozy to wear.



These photos were taken today at The Tannery, a boutique shopping mall created out of a historic Victorian red brick factory that was originally just that...a tannery.  It was built in 1881 and unlike most of the historic buildings in the city, survived the earthquakes and has since been developed into a mall complete with eateries.  I no doubt will be visiting regularly once The Fabric Store opens here next month.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Singing The Praises


I am converted.  I officially love silk!  I make no secret of the fact I love natural fibres.  I have been wearing wool since, forever and cotton blends are also a fabric of choice.  Natural fibres, I find, retain their good looks long after their man made contemporaries have bit the dust. 

There are two reasons it has taken me so long to discover silk.  The first is price and the second is, I mistakenly thought it would be hard to work with.  I think I had visions of filmy scarves.  You can imagine my delight to find that silk can be blended with cotton!  I had to try this fabric nirvana and stat! 

Enter a weekend in Dunedin and a visit to The Fabric Store.   While my husband circled the block looking for a carpark and then parked himself on a strategically placed bench in the store (thanks Fabric Store Dunedin), I proceeded to inspect every roll of fabric in the store, and some of them twice.  I came away with three pieces of quality fabric with price tags not for the faint hearted bargain sewer, me that is!




I already had a vague plan for what I was going to make in said fabric and was determined not to let it drown in the depths of my fabric stash.  So I give you fabric no.1, a lovely pinky red silk cotton with stars and spots woven into it.  I must admit it was a little nerve racking cutting into this so my project had to be just right.  

I initially thought of a summer version of Sewaholic Belcarra but with just over a metre and a half, I didn't want any to go to waste.  My second plan was for a top version New Look 6145 but when a muslined version proved too tight across the shoulder blades, his was abandoned too.  It was about this time the Blogless Anna's 3.4 sleeved Grainline Scout popped up in my blog feed.  Perfect!  



Using the sleeve from the Scout and the lower sleeve from my failed top, I started work.  I did find that my TNT Scout was a little big across the shoulders so needed to alter the arm opening by 1cm. For my next version I may need to cut out a size 4.  I also found the sleeves on my failed dress pattern way to voluminous so ran them in to the armpit an extra 1.5cm.

Overall, I am thrilled with the result.  While not the most technically challenging project, I know this top will be on regular rotation in both my work and weekend wardrobe.  In fact, today it was worn to work with my black Colette Clovers and ankle boots.  Oh, and did I mention it is lovely to wear!


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Too Much Of A Good Thing Maybe.....


When I hit on a good thing, once is never enough.  In fact I have been known to do things to the death.  I can play a favourite tune over and over until I can no longer stand it or until it gets indelibly embedded in my brain and I am sure I sing it in my sleep.  I do however draw the line at buying an item of clothing in every colour.  I kid you not!  I have peeps in my inner circle that do this!  If you are reading this, you know who you are!  Sewing patterns on the other hand are often used over and over and usually no longer require the use of instructions.  Take Jalie 2795 as an example.  I have lost count the number of variations of this pattern I have made up.  I am pretty sure that Sewaholic Belcarra could be the next victim of Sewist Overuse Syndrome, this being my third version in perhaps as many weeks.  What I like about this pattern is not only the fact it is easy to make up, but the variations seem to be endless (I will let you know on that score) but best of all, it is practical and comfortable to wear.  Yes, I know dresses are pretty and fun to make but the real work horses in my wardrobe are the comfortable and practical ones and when I find one that is stylish as well, I know I have found a winner.



My latest version played on my mind the whole time I was creating my Belcarra dress.  I had close to a metre left over and had recently come across the panne velvet collar of an unloved Sewaholic Renfrew in my fabric bin which was the perfect size and colour for the sleeves.  Once again I used stretch satin to bind the neck and made the neck seam allowance a scant 1cm to make it a fraction narrower, narrowing the neck binding to match.

  

What can I say, I love this top!  I am not sure how well two blingy items of clothing will work in my wardrobe but even if it is just to the supermarket I will wear this top!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

A Slouchy Beanie



I made myself a floppy beanie.  The pattern is Aesderina by Jane Richmond.  There is not a lot to be said about the construction as it was pretty straight forward.   I bought 200 grams of Lincraft Coziwool and used a little over 1 ball or 100 grams.


I am not normally a beanie wearer, but in the depths of winter, a beanie is somewhat of a necessity for such things as sport watching on frosty winter mornings.  This beanie has been completed since the beginning of June but Murphy's law provided the warmest June on record so it has sat unloved in my wardrobe.  With another month and a half until spring, there is plenty of potential frosty mornings left.  That being said though, the daffodils flowering in my garden would probably beg to differ!


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Belcarra Bling Dress



Now that I had completed my first Belcarra, the old cogs in my brain kicked into action and I was keen to explore other ways of utilizing this versatile pattern.  I had vision of stretch velour in a tunic type of dress and just for fun, throw in a bit of bling to mix things up a bit.  My inspiration was this tunic dress sold at Kimberley's.

In the back of my mind also, was Courteney's birthday and I wanted a dress with a casual vibe to wear to her celebrations.

I purchased  on Trademe a two metre piece of the most gorgeous stretch velour with a lurex silver thread running through it in a checkered pattern.  This time I simply cut the top longer to dress length.  I didn't take into account when buying the fabric though, that pesky check.  It did not want to match up!  I did the best I could with the matching but if you look closely it is far from perfect.  I felt the neck on my last top was a little wide so for this version I simply reduced the binding seam allowance to a scant 1cm instead of the recommended 1.5cm.  Once again I used stretch satin as my binding of choice which meant no cutting on the bias, 
excellent!



Will I make this pattern again?  Well, yes, definitely.  I might even make it up as Tasia intended!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

End Of June Wrap Up






Winter has been slow to start this year meaning June was much milder than usual.  This actually was detrimental to my sewing efforts because I was able to wear my autumnal clothing for much longer.  I did however complete a new wool coat which has become a favourite especially for work.  Today, winter did arrive however, and I had one of those dreaded "I have nothing to wear" moments so July may see much more productivity.

End of June Wrap Up

Burnout Belcarra
Fabric $20.00
Pattern $21.26
Satin $7.50
Total $36.76

Merino Dress
Fabric $12.50
Pattern $20.00
Elastic $0.80
Total $33.30

Wool Coat
Fabric $28.00
Pattern (used before) $0.00
Buttons (recycled) $0.00
Lining (remnant) $0.00
Shoulder Pads $7.00
Interfacing $2.50
Total $47.50

Black Miette
Pattern (free) $0.00
Wool $30.00
Buttons $6.00
Total $36.00

Burda Raglan Tee
Fabric (remnant) $0.00
Pattern (used before) $0.00
Total $0.00

Total  $153.56

Total RTW $95.00





Sunday, June 29, 2014

Firsts




As parents of little ones, there are many milestones; first tooth, sitting, walking crawling, riding a bike swimming etc. etc.  We carefully counted  these milestones and documented them in film. After a few years though the milestones seem to be few and far between and just when we thought we have seen the last of them our children, or at least two of them, turned into teenagers and fresh milestones were met; starting high school,  and learning to drive   spring to mind.  This past week though, there has been a large shift in my parenting.  Courteney turned 18 and is now officially an adult.  Yes, she is still at high school for another 5 months so this will somewhat limit her independence but wow how did this happen!  In honour of the occasion we had not one but two celebrations.  The first was a family meal out and the second a party with her friends.  I wasn't sure what I was going to wear for either night so to cover all bases I made two new items.  The first being a variation on the new Sewaholic Belcarra top.



I always look forward to the release of Sewaholic's new patterns.
The Gabriola skirt didn't float my boat but the impending release of the Belcarra top just about had me shaking with excitement.  I love my Grainline Tiny Pocket Tank and Scout tees but actually wished for a woven too with some shaping.  It is rather ironic then that my very first version is made in a knit.  The knit in question is a cotton knit with a velour print.  I bought it as a short end on Trademe and was influenced by this Blackstone top.

Using my newly acquired Sewaholic Belcarra pattern, I cut my top to size 6 as per my usual Sewaholic sizing.  I did need to run it in at the hips but this was the only alteration required.  To trim the sleeves of the top and for the neck facing, I used black stretch satin. I also added a band of the satin at the bottom to both lengthen the top and add visual interest.


  

I am really happy with the way this turned out and not only did I wear it to Courteney's birthday celebration, I have worn it out on another couple of occasions as well.  It is set to become a firm favourite.