Friday, April 24, 2015

I Made Pants!

 



This is something to be celebrated.  I have never been 100% happy with any of the pants I have produced in the past, jeans being the exception.  Shorts on the other hand, I have perfected!  My current collection of Thurlow shorts, I absolutely love to wear.  Now if I could achieve the same level of satisfaction with trousers, I would be one very happy camper.  To date I have learn't that success is largely dependent on fabric and cotton sateen like my previous pair are a poor choice.  They tend to grow during the course of the day.  I have also learn't that when sewing with my preferred stretch fabric, it is a really good idea to line the waistband with non stretch fabric.  I apply this technique to all of my pants and shorts now to prevent them stretching out during the day.



Using my improved Thurlow pattern from my previous pair, and a
piece of stretch twill, this time I laid my jeans pattern on top.  What I noticed was my altered Thurlow pattern was remarkably similar at the front but the back had far more volume through the thighs.  While I sewed up my new pants, a plan was forming.  I was reluctant to shape my new Thurlow trousers like my jeans pattern, just in case they proved too tight.  I decided to use my measure twice and cut once philosophy and base the trousers together using the jeans shape.  Oh my goodness, what a difference!  The bagginess through the back thighs and seat had disappeared.  Alongside this dramatic change I also removed 1cm at the centre back seam and 1cm at each side seam at the waist as well as tapering the legs below the knee by 1cm on the outside seam.  There could probably be more done to perfect this pattern but for now I am pretty happy.



I realised that I never use the back welt pockets but do like them to break up the large area of fabric across my seat.  This time I decided to cheat and made faux welt pockets, or, pockets to know where.  By stitching them permanently closed I have avoided any potential gaping pockets.









Monday, April 20, 2015

Striped Tee Dress








 I was reading one of my favourite non sewing blogs the other
Image, Bohemian Traders.
day, 
Iris May Style, and came across this dress by Bohemian Traders which I instantly fell in love with. How couldn't I?  It was striped after all!  I clicked through to the retailer and discovered it came in a few different colours.  My brain kicked into gear and I shopped my stash and my patterns while my plan took shape.  After my marathon Jalie 3352, sewing spree of late, this was the pattern that instantly came to mind for my version. 






As per my tee versions, I lay my Tessuti Alexa pattern on top and cut the Alexa neckline.  This time however I made a facing instead of adding a neckband and topstitched this in place.  To make the skirt I simply lengthened the top pattern, cutting it slightly A line shape.



I made the dress out of a piece of rayon jersey which is lovely and stable so very nice to work with.  

After trying the dress for size, I decided that due to my sway back, darts in the back would improve the shape. I pulled out My Image 1411 and used this as my guide, widening them slightly at the waist.




I am really happy with the resulting dress and it has been worn to work already.  For the winter months I will layer it with tights, boots and  a cardigan or jacket.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Blessing


When I made this cardigan, I had no idea what a blessing it would be in a short space of time.  Yes, we did have temperatures topping 28 degrees Celsius over Easter but just a few short days later, I was shivering in single digits with snow falling on the hills around where I live.  I kid you not!  The weather in Christchurch can be extremely fickle but 28 degrees to snow within a week is ridiculous!  My youngest son even sent me a photo at work the other day of his tobogganing exploits a mere 30 minutes from home.  For a while there I thought we had skipped autumn altogether but the sun has come out again but in a somewhat cooler form than previously.



To make the cardigan, I once again reached for Jalie 3352.  You may remember I used this pattern to make my cocoon cardigan.  I bought some lovely Merino Lycra from The Fabric Store in their end of summer sale.  It is a beautiful medium weight with a lovely drape so lent itself to a cardigan.  I have been admiring all of the boyfriend style cardigans appearing over the summer on the Northern Hemisphere blogs and mentally stored it away for our own winter.

I cut the front of the cardigan down the centre and  cut a v neck using my Sewaholic Thurlow for the shaping.  I then  added a wide front band.  I also added large patch pockets and a band at the hem and wrists.  Rather than risk making a mess of my button holes I used synthetic snaps in black down the front.  I love these snaps and my press, they make these sort of projects really easy.  Oh and did I mention that I have thousands of the things from my nappy making days, so I am actually doing my stash a favour at the same time.


I love my new cardigan.  Okay, I may have needed to layer it in the really cold weather but as an alternative to a hand knit for winter, this is perfect.


Monday, April 13, 2015

I Have A Dilemma


However, before I tell you about my dilemma, let me show you something that makes me a little more happy.


Before our camping trip, I decided that I desperately needed some long sleeve tee shirts.  While my need was there, I doubt in hindsight that I needed them desperately.  I rapidly cut out several in flurry of activity and made them all up.  This is where my happy accident occurred.  The orange and black tee was cut using narrow striped fabric before I realised I actually had the same fabric in a wider width in my collection.  I rapidly changed my mind and decided it was necessary to combine the two different width stripes into one tee which is why I have a short sleeved version as well.  All of these fabrics were purchased at Cotura Fashions end of season sale.  Let me tell you though, it was quite a wrench to use any of these fabrics because they were all in 2m lengths and I really hate to cut into a long length for something as small as a tee shirt but at the end of the day, how many dresses do I need right?


Once again I used Jalie 3352 and the neckline of Tessuti Alexa and I squared off the hem.  The fabrics were all different weights so some required running in to get the desired fit.


I finished all of the tees with cover stitched hems and sleeve hems.



Oh and one last photo with Mt Cook in the distance!


I don't usually discuss my current projects before they are complete but this one I am finding completely bothersome.  I am currently part way through completing a Style Arc Ziggi Jacket in leather no less.  Because the leather is quite light, I have interlined it with flannel.  The problem arose when I had just completed the sleeves.  I have managed, and I have no idea how, to put the sleeve zips on the inside seam of the sleeves instead of the outside seam .  What to do?  Do I spend hours remaking the sleeves and waste more leather or do I just accept my mistake as a design feature and try to build a bridge?  What would you do?

Friday, April 10, 2015

A Biblical Setting For Easter





Last weekend was Easter weekend and we took the opportunity of four days off work to go camping.  The weather tends to cool off dramatically from here on in so we were fully aware that it would be our last opportunity for the season.  We watched the weather for a week prior and mid last week we decided to take a punt on an unknown to us campsite on the shore of Lake Benmore, which is four hours drive from home.  I had quite a backlog of unphotographed projects so I popped them all into my caravan drawers and over the course of the weekend managed to photograph the lot!  Bargain, now all I need to do is write up a post for each one.

I have quite a collection of tee shirt appropriate knits but a very meagre collection of actual tee shirts.  I live in tee shirts in the weekend and holidays so I really needed to remedy this situation. 2015, after all, is going to be my year of sewing for practicality,  so prior to our trip I dragged out my entire collection of knits and put together a few fabric combinations.  


The tee you see above was actually a happy accident.  It was made
using Jalie 3352.  I had previously made the long sleeve version, both as a long sleeve merino and also as a cardigan (redrafted).  I hadn't made the short sleeved version though and actually had no intention of doing so at this point.  It wasn't until I had actually cut out my fabrics that I changed my mind on fabric combinations and the short sleeved tee was born.  



I did change the tee slightly, I changed the hem to a straight hem and not the duck tail as pictured and also laid my Tessuti Alexa on top and cut the neckline to match the Alexa.  I really like the high neck on the Alexa especially over the cooler months.  It works well with a scarf draped over top or with a statement necklace.  I have found the Jalie neckline just too big all round.

I really love how this tee worked out.  It reminds me of the Maria Denmark Kirsten Kimono Tee but on me this style works better.  I have hips and I feel the Kirsten tee is designed for someone who is a little less bottom heavy.



Now, back to my weekend.  We visited a site that we did not know even existed and my understanding is, very few people do.  It is a abandoned film set depicting a Roman town on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.  I have just Wikipedia'ed the sea of Galilee and I can see that there actually is a striking resemblance!


The film set, as seen from the boat shot above.


The real Sea of Galilee courtesy of Wikipedia.  The resemblence is indeed striking.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

McCall's Belcarra Frankenpattern



 Buoyed by the success of my McCall's top, I was left wondering how a frankenpattern of the two would work.  


I had a piece of textured polyester Georgette which I recently added to my stash at Cotura's summer sale and although at 1.5m was too big for this top, I threw caution to the wind and dove in.



For this exercise, I chose to remove the sleeve seam and cut the top in two pieces. I then shaped the hem according to the McCall's pattern and narrowed the neckline as I did with my previous Belcarra's.


What I have ended up with is a tunic length top that I will most likely wear with jeans and slim fitting trousers but will also work tucked into a skirt.  This top actually fills a large gap in my summer and autumn wardrobe.  A white staple shell that goes with everything is a much needed item and I am sure will get a lot of wear.


A little bit about my backdrop here.  I spent Easter weekend camping in the Mackenzie Basin.  As you can see this area like so many other areas around New Zealand has seen very little rain over the summer.  Anything green is pretty well nonexistent!  We had beautiful summer daytime temperatures all weekend.  Autumn as we know it is yet to arrive so my short sleeved top will get some wear before the weather turns cold.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

End of March Wrap Up






Autumn has been slow coming this year but come it will and I suspect when it does it will be a shock.  I have not been particularly proactive in the autumn sewing department but what I have done in March is made a couple of items that will be good layering items.  I haven't worked out yet how I will style the white skirt when the weather cools but as they say, where there is a will, there is a way.  The red McCall's tunic and the Sewaholic Oakridge will both be nice layering items when the weather does eventually cool.  The swimwear, of course, is essential for my youngest son who has just stepped up from swimming 3 days per week to 5 days per week.

End Of March Roundup

Grainline Moss Mini
Fabric (remnant) $0.00
Pattern $16.44
Zip $1.29
Total $17.73

Red McCall's Tunic
Fabric (remnant) $0.00
Pattern $9.42
Total $9.42

Chiffon Oakridge Blouse
Pattern $8.83
Fabric $2.00
Buttons $2.10
Total $12.93

Total Me Made $40.00

RTW $82.00