Wednesday, June 22, 2016

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other




 

Can you tell the difference between the tops above?  I will give you a clue....the top with the sleeves that are too long isn't for me!

I have been on a tee making bender lately.  The first tee made during my tee working bee, is another Jalie 3352.  I wanted a relaxed fitting tee that I could wear to work and this one fits nicely without clinging.  Once again I used the neckline from Tessuti Alexa.  The fabric I chose is a lovely merino blend from The Fabric Store.  I bought this fabric in their end of winter sale last year. While the resulting top is a triumph, it wasn't until after I had put the neckband on that I realised that this fabric is offgrain which makes my neckband look a little odd!  Initially this annoyed me beyond belief but it is quite amazing how a few wears and time heals all wounds.  

My second spot merino top is my second favourite, Tessuti Alexa.  I do love this pattern.  This top I made from the leftovers from tee number one as a gift for Courteney.  I cut this top very carefully, lining up those tiny blue spots.  Cutting this out at night just about did my head in and at the end of it I really was seeing spots.  Both tops were hemmed and the sleeves and neckbands finished with a twin needle.

Both of these tops have been worn but not together, never together, that is not cool!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Happy Birthday to......



If you have been following me on instragram, you will have seen the issues that resulted in my latest project.  I was in Fabric Vision a few weeks back and came across this lovely textured boiled wool.  On the stand in the shop they had made it up in a drapey type jacket with a shawl type collar.  On the model it looked good.  After careful inspection I figured I could draft the collar and adapt the jacket from McCall's 6992.  This was a good idea in theory.  In reality, this fabric was far too heavy to work in such a drapey style.



After constructing the jacket I took a swift u turn and decided to turn this jacket into a bomber jacket.  I knew this would work but the issue was, I didn't need one.  I already have a wool bomber that doesn't get worn nearly as often as I would like so another would be somewhat of a white elephant.  Knowing that Courteney was having a birthday soon and without much idea what to give her, an idea began to form.  She has gone flatting so money for new clothes is in short supply as is money to heat her flat adequately so warm clothing would be gratefully received.


I found some leftover merino knit in my scrap bin and this became the collar and cuff bands.  A piece of merino jersey became the pocket bags.  I constructed the pockets in the same way I constructed my Tessuti Sydney Jacket pocket.  

I am really pleased with how this jacket turned out.  I think Courteney is pleased with it as well.
  

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Experimenting with Lekala 4114



 I, like a lot of other people, can't resist a sale.  The Fabric Store's end of winter sale has particular appeal.  Merino and wool are a staple in my winter wardrobe but the price does scare me especially given there are 6 sheep to every human in New Zealand.  Each winter I keep my eyes and ears pealed for any hint of a sale on any wool fabric or yarn for that matter.  My current make is actually from The Fabric Store's sale at the end of last winter.  So keen was I that I drove across the city, a 40 minute drive, in the snow to nab myself a bargain.


I had intended to make some sort of cape from this lovely piece of wool blend but after spending hours on the Internet researching my project and cutting it out, realized that the fabric is too heavy to hold the style well.  A moment of panic ensued when I thought I may have ruined my lovely and still pricey piece of wool.  A little bit more pondering and I decided that I could actually rescue this project.  There has been a bit of project rescuing going on around here lately (sigh).

I pulled out my Lekala blanket jacket pattern from last winter with plans to rework it somehow.  It wouldn't be easy but it was doable.  The last thing I need is another winter coat because at the moment they take a size able portion of my hanging space plus I usually wear a company issue jacket to work.

This time I settled on a coatigan style.  A relaxed unlined unfitted coat with raw edges, a garment that is more structured than a cape/wrap but still had the same vibe, a garment that would be warmer in Christchurch's cold, by Southern Hemisphere standards anyway, winter.  


So I started playing with my fabric.  Firstly I enlarged the entire pattern by 3cm at the side seams and under sleeves.  This didn't give the effect I was after, so I narrowed them back to the original pattern.  The one change I did make from the original was to leave the sleeve hem raw, and to make self facings that are visible from the outside of the coat, also leaving them raw or frayed.   I didn't add pockets but after wearing it the first time, I may go back and do this.  Pockets are a handy addition and I found myself wishing for somewhere to casually put my hands, keys and cell phone.  The jury is still out on this!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

A Neutral Stylearc Harper Jacket





Every once in a while, a pattern comes along that I get very excited about and make more than I really need.  I feel Stylearc's Harper Jacket, could be one of those.  Okay I know it is one of those!  But more on that later.




I purchased the pattern in size 8 and then promptly watched my letterbox for around 10 days before it arrived.  I had high hopes!  Often my high hopes are quickly dashed but this time they were rewarded.  It was about time too, because the sewing gods had not been smiling on the projects leading up to this and certainly not on the fabric I chose as my test fabric.











I had just enough rugby knit left over from my failed McCall's jacket to whip up this jacket.  I made the jacket to the pattern but omitted the seam in the centre back.  I also folded the hem and collar twice and topstitched because the idea of leaving it raw just left me cold.



I am really happy with how this turned out.  If I had one small criticism, it has slightly too much ease for a knit jacket.    The instructions do say it can be made from a woven so the extra ease is understandable but for my next version I will bear this in mind.

As I eluded to earlier, there was not just one more of these but at last count three more.  A bit like eating chocolate, one is never enough!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Tessuti Alexa Again


I have lost count of how many versions of Tessuti Alexa I have made but I keep coming back to this pattern.  There are a lot of good tee patterns out there but this one is a great classic fit.  It is fitted without being tight which makes for not only a comfortable fit but also work appropriate.  I also like the neckline although I have reduce the height by 1cm.  It is a great height for wearing with scarves in the winter.


The onset of winter in the last week or so after a non existent autumn, sent me scrambling for warm clothes.  I had conveniently forgotten I had Kondoed my merino tees a few months back after discovering they were a bit rubbed and washed out.  I had great plans to replace them, but really, who can be bothered making winter clothes when the weather is warm!

I bought this white merino nylon tee shirting at The Fabric Store in their end of winter sale last year.  I always intended it to be made up in this pattern, it was just a matter of time.  It was really quick to make up, with most of the construction on the overlocker.  The only real sewing was to finish the neckline, hem and sleeve hems with a twin needle finish.



Saturday, June 11, 2016

Grey Coated Gingers



I have made another pair of Ginger Jeans.  My last pair is now on it's last legs having suffered a zip malfunction that requires a piece of bungy cord to pull it up.  Sadly it is time they are retired before  an actual embarrassing malfunction ensues.  It is such a shame as they have become my favourites.  I was hoping with my latest fabric, another purchase from Fabric.com, to replicate them.  After wearing them for the first time today, although comfortable, they do not have the same feel good feeling about them.   Oh well, they fill a gap in my wardrobe and are comfortable.



I didn't change a thing with my recipe but just like baking cakes, not all denim is created equal and this denim unfortunately does not have quite the recovery of my former pair despite being coated denim which I would have assumed would have.  I used light grey topstitching for this particular pair and did it free hand.  I couldn't be bothered re-threading my machine and twin needle so just did two rows of stitching. 

















I have noticed with both this pair and the last pair, and I must admit it is more obvious in my latest pair, is the inner leg seam wants to twist towards the front.  I tried looking this up on the net and the only suggestion was it was off grain.  I know this is not the case, as I am very particular when laying out my pattern and both eyeballing my grain and meticulously measuring.  I can only think that it is a peculiarity with my shape.  I think I need to do some sort of adjustment to the front and back inner leg seams to fix the problem.  I am just not sure what yet!

All in all I am pretty happy with my latest pair of jeans despite being far from perfect.  I may try taking a pattern off a favourite rtw pair next just so I can compare.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Embracing Neutrals






Brown is not a colour I would normally wear but as luck would have it my latest op shop find is a blue based brown so both suits my winter complexion and fits in with this seasons neutral palette at the same time.  The only problem with this piece of wool blend knit, is the size of the piece.  I had a mere metre to play with.  I would have liked to have made a drapey cardigan but McCall's 6992 won by default because of fabric constraints.  Both the tops I have made to date using this pattern are among my most worn winter items so in hindsight this choice will probably wind up being quite serendipitous.



I had just enough fabric to add 3cm to the length because my green/black version is a tad too short.  I had to cut the sleeves in two pieces because there was not quite enough fabric but with the addition of some top stitching it looks more like a design feature rather than because of need.  



Most of the construction was done on the overlocker and the hem and neckband was finished with a twin needle.  The dipped hem at the back is one of my favourite features with this pattern.



I wore my new jumper today with ponte jeggings and boots for a bonus day of shopping and out walking because this weekend was a three day weekend; thank you and happy birthday Queen Lizzie!