Friday, November 30, 2012

Positively Autumnal


Not only does that describe my colour scheme today but also the weather.  I did manage to sneak outside long enough for my daughter to snap my photo but was forced to change into something much warmer and far less in keeping with the time of the year, for the southern hemisphere anyway, for the school picnic and my sons Christmas carol choir performance this evening.

I made a new top using Vogue 1224.
Yes, it is a dress pattern, but I felt that it leant itself to a top.  I added 16cm to the length of the bodice and added my Renfrew band to the bottom.  The fabric I chose was a nylon with a small amount of lycra in it, not the swimwear variety, from this op shop fabric haul.  There wasn't quite enough for a dress but just the right amount for a top and a wearable muslin.

Today, I am wearing my new top with my grey Jalie jeans that I wrote about here.  I actually like this pattern more than I thought I would.  I always imagined it on me more as a top than a dress but the final result has encouraged me to try it in a this space!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Candy Floss

I have been coveting the lovely lace items that have been appearing in the shops this spring.  So, when I found this piece of candy floss reminiscent stretch lace in Lincraft, I whipped it up to the counter and bought the very last piece.  I was a little loathe to cut into it fearing that the outcome would not match my hopes for the fabric and also because I was a little unsure exactly what style I wanted.  Eventually I settled on a loose fitting tee with hem detail.    Since I had so many successes with the Sewaholic Renfrew pattern, this became my starting point.

I cut the top to size 6 but added 2cm at the side seam grading up to the original seam line at the armpit.  I added the width of the band to the bottom of the tee at the back and then used my multi purpose drafting shaper to gently curve the hem upwards at the front.

The sleeves I cut exactly to the pattern but omitted the sleeve bands.

I finished both the sleeves and hem with a twin needle stitch and also used the twin needle to top stitch the neckband down.

The end result is everything I wanted it to be.  The bonus is, I have almost a metre left so now need to decide how best to use it.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Lazy Sunday And A Thank You

While the older male members of the household indulged their inner petrol head tendancies, the rest of us were doing this.....

Okay, I did this!

while master 9 mastered the skim board

and showed up his older sister who couldn't master it at all and quickly gave up before she broke something vital

and the dog reaquainted herself with a trick she thought she had forgotten.....water fetch!


Gabrielle of Up Sew Late gave me an award for commenting 

on her blog. 

Basically, the idea of this award is to say thank you to the 

people that support your blog.  In the spirit of the award, I 

wish to pass it on to the following 9 people:

Interupted Sutures

Sew Busy Lizzie

Sew Love Red

Mushy Wear

Handmade By Carolyn


Paradise Lost


Mimi G Style


Some of you may have already received this award but to all of you....Thank You!!!!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Blueberries And Icecream

This is what this outfit reminds me of.  The white jeans I wrote about here.  This time of the year, also reminds me of berries.

My real blueberries have some way to go before we will be eating them.  This plant was only planted a couple of months ago so I really have no idea what to expect.  I keep watching those little blue flowers though to see the transformation.

If you thought you had seen this somewhere before, you would be correct.  Once again I present New Look 6071.  This time as a top and not a dress.  Because I like the striped look in this pattern though, I just couldn't resist just one more.  The fabric I chose is a cotton rib knit that was left over from this tunic. 
Tops are a little short in supply in my wardrobe at the moment so I think this will be my focus for a while.  I have quite a collection of knit fabrics, some leftover and some new but all taking up way too much space in my tight fabric cupboard so this needs to change.

The only change I have made to this pattern, other than my usual grading from size 10 to 12 in the hips was to shorten the sleeves to a short sleeved version and adding sleeve bands.  The picture on the pattern shows this top as tunic length but don't be fooled.  This is the finished length as made to the pattern and given I am only 160cm tall, this is by no means generous in length.  I am happy however as this length suits me just fine.

I am pretty happy with the stripe matching in the sides and down the back.  The sleeves were a little more difficult because the shoulder does not sit at natural shoulder level.  I am not too upset though as I have seen most rtw look a lot worse.  To get my stripe matching perfect, I didn't just race down the seams with the overlocker.  Instead I pinned every couple of stripes and stay stitched with my sewing machine first, running over the pins as I went. 

The other little detail I changed with the sewing of this top was the hole that the yoke passes through.  The pattern has you straight stitch around a line with right sides together.  I ironed interfacing to the wrong sides of mine first and made a proper buttonhole with the largest button I could fit in my buttonholer.  I used the buttonholer for my previous versions as well, but made two holes.  The single hole was much easier and more accurate for matching.  I then simply peeled off the interfacing before assembling....quick, easy and most importantly very neat!  

Monday, November 19, 2012

Taking The Bull By The Horns.....Or Not!

I have been a little slow posting on here lately because my laptop has packed a sad and refuses to connect to the Internet and it is nigh on impossible to borrow my daughters when both her and her brother are in the middle of exams.  I draw the line at posting on the IPad because I just find that an exercise in frustration.

This weekend was a long weekend in Canterbury, anniversary weekend.  Friday was what we call Show Day.  It is when the country comes to town.  My youngest still likes to go so along with 70,000 other visitors we spent a good part of the day wandering the various exhibits and admiring the animals.  The massive bull above was one such animal.  A lady asked me, while I was having my photo taken, why I didn't step a bit I value my life!

Now this miniature horse was more my size and even matched my new blouse!  My youngest son walked around this section for ages and patted everything that could not wriggle away from his reach. 

Any ho, corn dogs were consumed, along with bacon and egg sandwiches fresh from the barbeque and we managed to leave before Prince Charles and Camilla arrived in mid afternoon.  We all agreed it was a great day out and we look forward to next year.

Now, for a bit of technical information.....

The blouse is version two of Sewaholic Alma.  This time in size 6.  It is still a little on the large side and I could have gone to a 4 but the fabric is a really soft flowy rayon so the looseness is more of an asset than liability.  The only change I made was to add about 3-4cm to the length of the blouse because I like mine slightly longer than the pattern indicated.
I bought the fabric at Fabric Vision on their $6 sale table only to find it on the $3 sale table before I had time to make it up ...grrr!  I have enough left over to make something else out of it, but I think my daughter may have claimed it!

Because I didn't have matching overlocker thread I used Sew
Busy Lizzie's technique of  putting the facing and interfacing pieces right sides together.  I made a small seam along the edge and then turned the pieces right side out.  I then ironed the interfacing to the facing.

You would think I would be all new techniqued out by now, but alas, no.  I had room for one more, maybe two!  I used French seams for the shoulders and the side seam.  It helped to combat the thread issue and also gave the side seams some durability and stability on such a flimsy fabric.

But wait, there is more.  To finish the blouse I attempted my first Hong Kong seam around the invisible zipper.  I am quite impressed with this blouse.  I could even wear it inside out if I so desired.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sunshine And Daisies

I am looking a little serious today, aren't I.  The truth is, I was probably more interested in staring at the sky than taking photos of myself today.  You see at 10.30am, I noticed that I needed to turn on the lights, despite the fact that the sun was shining.  I realised that I had forgotten about the eclipse.  I whipped my camera outside to take photos of the strange light that ensued and in the process, snapped this photo as well.
And this is what the sun looked like mid eclipse.  It did mean that it wasn't too bright for full sunlight blog photos...bargain!

Today I am wearing my first version of Sewaholic's Alma blouse.  Another reason for the serious pose may be the fact that this blouse is a little on the large size.  I made it to a size 10 as my measurements dictated but it wasn't until after I completed it that I realised that there is a huge amount of ease in this pattern and that I would have been better to go down a couple of sizes.  This American sizing takes some getting my head around.  My size 10 New Zealand sizing is very different to American size 10.  The fact that I can take it off without undoing the side invisible zipper should have been a give away that all was not well with the sizing.   Any ho, it is rather lucky really that this fabric is quite sheer and can actually take a larger size...phew!  Note to self....draft American sizing at least two sizes smaller.

Any ho, sizing issues aside, this is how I did it.  I bought some bargain bin (luckily in this instance) cotton voile type fabric from Lincraft in this gorgeous orange, and this became my blouse.  The white collar fabric was a tiny remnant left over from this skirt. 

The verdict...will I wear this blouse?  The answer is yes!  Despite being disappointed in the fact that it is too big, I do rather like it and being large does make it easy to wear.  Will there be more?  Yup for sure!  In fact, there is one on my mannequin right now!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

"She Wore An Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny...."

Okay, so it is not exactly yellow and polka dot but none the less does not require much fabric.  In fact, a mere 40cm of lycra went into this bikini.
This project started as new pants to replace last years ailing pair.  It needed to match a aqua, pink, red and turquoise Roxy bikini top.  I was really pleased with my pair of bikini pants made using McCall's 5400 so this was my starting point.  Because this bikini belongs to my daughter, I made a size 10 in the bottom.  The fabric I picked up in a recent Lyncraft 30% off sale.  Good job too because at $35 per metre full price, even at a mere 40cm, this project was going to be costly.

After completing the pants, I realised that I still had quite a large piece left over so decided to make the matching top.  This is where I came unstuck.  I drafted up a size 8, but after laying the Roxy top on my pattern, found that the shape was quite different.  The Roxy top was a triangle whereas the pattern had convex sides.  After weighing up the pros and cons, I opted to make the top exactly to the pattern.  Big Mistake!  After completing the top, I realised that the elasticated convex sides did not sit flat and stuck out revealing the elastic edge.   If I could have neatly unpicked the stitching, I could have quite easily fixed the problem, but this stuff does not unpick anything like neatly, so it was back to the drawing board.
It was at this point that I took the remaining fabric and cut a pattern off the Roxy top and made it up exactly the same.  I double lined the top using some nylon knit fabric that was gifted to me.  The first lining is completely stitched in and the second is a little pocket which enables bra liners to be inserted (see far right hand side of the top). 
We were a little concerned that a plain aqua bikini may be a little boring so we dressed it up with a few plastic craft beads.

We are really pleased with the results.  The new bikini is exactly the same fit as the original and cost a fraction of the cost of a replacement rtw.  I think I may well be called on again for future bikinis.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Pot Of Gold At The End Of The Rainbow

Maybe it was a sign but during sunset last night it rained for a mere 30 seconds and we were rewarded with the most amazing rainbow and sunset.  Briefly the world turned bright orange before being plunged into darkness.

I spent 2 hours this morning watching the world go by from the car while my daughter had not one but three job interviews at a popular fast food outlet.  I wished two things this morning....firstly I wished the potential employers had given my daughter an indication of how long the interview would take....secondly I wished I had picked up a coffee and thought to bring my knitting.   Anyho, after two hours of complete boredom, I hope that rainbow comes through and rewards my daughter with her pot of gold! 

Friday, November 9, 2012

I'm Not Finished Yet....

Courteney has been saving all her pennies to go on an overseas school trip next year so I have taken pity on her and I am helping her out with her summer wardrobe.  Today we went out and bought new sandals.  She has two pending job interviews coming up and sneakers and jandals are not job interview attire, hence the new sandals.  I have also been shopping my stash for possible clothing items.  She really liked the fabric I made my coloured jeans out of and since the last pair of shorts I had made her was a disaster, this fabric was her choice for the second pair.

Like my Thurlow shorts, I made Courteney's pair in a size 4.  I cut the waistband to a size 2 because it was a good fit.  I made the side seam 1.5cm as the pattern stated but ran them in slightly at the waist like I did with my own.  I ran the inner legs in by 2cm on each side and added the cuffs.  I did make the cuffs slightly different to the way the pattern stated.  I hemmed them by 7cm and cuffed them by 4cm, thus hiding the hem. 

I used some cotton flannel left over from her school sewing pyjama project for the pocket linings.  I left off the front pocket facing as with the last pair I felt it wasn't necessary.

Courteney is really happy with her shorts and has now asked for a pair in synthetic quick dry fabric to take tramping.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Lace Shorts, Thurlow Style

I have been a little absent from my blog lately for two reasons.  The first is that my projects are backing up and the weather has been less than favourable for photographing summer clothes, to the point that I actually wore boots yesterday.  The second reason is that my most recent project ended in disaster. 
I had made a lovely pair of navy blue Thurlow shorts for my daughter in a size 0 because this is what the pattern dictated and my own most recent Thurlows seen here were a size 2 and too big for her.  What I neglected to take into account properly though, was that my size 2 Thurlows are made in stretch cotton and this fabric was a non stretch fabric and therefore too small.  The fabric she had chosen was cheap so I wasn't gutted about the fabric waste, more the time that had gone into said shorts.  To avoid such a disaster happening again, I decided to make a pair that would fit one of us, given that she is a full size smaller than me, and proceeded to draft a size 4.
It was while I was shopping in Fabric Vision that my eyes were drawn to a customer who was wearing a rather fabulous looking pair of lace shorts.  A light bulb moment!  I had some fabulous embroidered cotton left over from this dress that I had put aside to make another tardis skirt that I knew would be fantastic as shorts.  It is stable but light and cool and doesn't crush...perfect!
With this pair of shorts, I changed very little from the pattern.  I chose to include the welt pockets at the back
but did run the legs in by approximately 2cm on each side because they were too wide for a non cuffed short.
One thing that is quite normal for me, is to have to run the waist in at the side seams.  For this reason I opted to use the size two waistband because this proved to be the perfect fit with my pink capris.  Because my measurements fall between a size 4 and size 6 in this pattern, I also sewed the side seams to 1cm instead of the required 1.5cm.
I am pretty happy with the final results, and no, my daughter will not be the recipient of this particular project.  I just may keep these for myself.

Friday, November 2, 2012

End of October Wrap Up

Don't the months roll around quick.  I have a heap of projects to start/complete before Christmas.  Some of these are for myself and some are gifts.  There certainly are not enough sewing hours in a day. It is really hard to pick a favourite this month but I think it has to go to my new swim wear closely followed by the orange and pink dress.  Why did I pick the tankini?  Well, I surprised myself with this one.  I didn't have high expectations for the results of a me made suit but actually surprised myself to find out that it is as good as any store bought suit I have ever owned.  If the current weather continues, it will soon be in regular rotation.
Red Capris
Pattern $25.00
Fabric $20.00
Zip $0.00
Button $0.75
Hooks & Eyes $2.75
Total $48.50
Navy/White Top

Pattern Used Before $0.00
Fabric $1.99
Total $1.99

Pink Capris
Pattern Used Before $0.00
Fabric $16.00
Zip $3.90
Hook & Eye Accounted For $0.00
Button Reused $0.00
Interfacing $5.00
Thread $2.79
Lining Leftover $0.00
Total $27.69

Pattern Used Before $0.00
Fabric $8.00
Elastic $4.40
Total $12.40

Pattern Used Before $0.00
Fabric $7.00
Elastic $2.00
Thread $2.79
Total $9.79
Turquoise Dress

Pattern $12.00
Fabric $12.00
Total $24.00
Orange/Pink Dress

Pattern Used Before $0.00
Fabric $16.00
Total $16.00
October Total $140.37