Sunday, April 28, 2013

Printed Pants

I made some more new pants.  Not just any pants, but a departure from my usual style.  Yes, I have joined the printed pants revolution.  I am not usually a fan of anything with an elastic waist until I made these.  

I downloaded the Tessuti Anita Ponti Pants pattern on Friday night and printed the 34 odd pages on Saturday morning.  By lunch time it was taped together, cut out and ready for sewing.  I did have one small problem with this pattern.  My measurements dictated that I should cut out a size 6 but after pining the pattern pieces together, it quickly became apparent that this wouldn't fit.  I then read on the pattern that the sizing was Australian sizing which is also the same as New Zealand sizing.  Right, I am a size 10 here at home so this is what I cut out. I think the measurements and the seam allowances in inches causes confusion.  An Australian pattern in my opinion should be in metrics, and not a combination of metrics and imperial.  Right, gripe and confusion out of the way, these went together pretty easily.

The fabric I chose is a lovely light weight ponti from Lincraft which I picked up in their 30 percent off sale.  The only change I made was to run the ankles in by 1cm.

Anyho, I was determined to wear these today despite the 25 degree air temperature. Today, for our walk around the giant buiding site which is our city centre, I am wearing my new pants with my white Maria Denmark tee. 

And the verdict.....well there will definitely be more!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Beige Thurlows

I have made some new pants, Sewaholic Thurlows to be precise.  This is my first attempt at the trouser version of this pattern and I don't mind admitting that it wasn't without it's trials.  Not that I had any problems with the fabric, or the sizing or the cut for that matter.  The problems came with my quest for perfection.  Now when I buy rtw trousers, perfection is the last thing on my mind.  My usual requirements are, they have to be comfortable and fit well.  These trousers did all of these things, so why was I so frustrated?  Well, I will get to that!

The fabric I chose is a stretch cotton drill with a bit of something synthetic for good measure.  It came from Cotura fashions, just like the sparkle dress I made earlier in the month.  It is lovely quality fabric, but I do not know the exact composition.  I cut the trousers to size 6, the same size as my shorts made during the summer.  I made view A but narrowed the leg on both the inside and the outside.  I wanted a pair of pants suitable for work so they needed to be narrow without actually being tight. 

Now that I am no longer suffering from debilitating tiredness, I was able to put all my energy into the finishes on these pants and literally snatched half hour blocks to complete these pants.    Because the fabric is super stretchy, I was concerned about the back pockets gaping.  Some strategically placed buttons and button holes took care of this risk.

To make sure my waist band didn't stretch out, I found some matching beige embroidered cotton from my summer shorts to make the inner waistband.  The pocket liners were made using some white dress lining so as not to add bulk.

Now, I am pretty happy with these pants. Yes, they do have the odd wrinkle but it is hard to not get these when you have worn them all day sitting at a desk.  Initially though, I did have that, could have done better feeling.  Why?   Well, I over analysed them.  I trawled through blogs and fit tutorials until I was eating, sleeping and breathing pants fitting issues.  You can imagine my disappointment then, when I looked in the mirror and saw a couple of wrinkles in the back leg of the pants.  For the next pair of trousers I now know what I have to do, but actually, now that I have worn these a few times, I am pretty happy with the fit.

This photo was taken a couple of weeks ago.  It has taken me that long to get motivated to post about these.  I actually don't have much I can wear with these pants but my Vogue 1247 top will do nicely for now!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Anzac Day

For anyone reading this who is not from New Zealand or Australia, today is Anzac day.  A day when New Zealand and Australia stop and remember our  soldiers, particularly those lost in World War I and World War II.  The day starts with dawn parades across both nations.  I admit I didn't attend but I did make a batch of Anzac biscuits this morning which is something I don't think I have done before.  The kids approved so I suspect there will be more.  Anzac biscuits were common in care packages to soldiers because they are both economical to make and if my memory serves me right also because they were robust enough to survive the postage.

Because everything was closed this morning, we took the opportunity of a bit of free entertainment this morning in the form a walk from Victoria Park to the Sign of the Kiwi and down again.  The view was outstanding from the hills bathed in sunshine, across the sea fog covered plains to the mountains beyond.

It is still way too warm for any sign of snow except on the very caps, thousands of metres above sea level.  These mountains will be blanketed in white in a couple of months.  The western side of the city is hiding under that blanket of cloud.

The eastern suburbs and out to sea, sparkle on a sunny day.  My boys can be seen in the foreground.

And just so we can talk about the clothing, a keeping it real shot of me, wearing Maria Denmark tee, black lycra cropped yoga pants that predate my blog, requisite back pack and Jalie hoody tied in a most practical way around my midriff with all three of my kids posing waaaay back there in the background.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Fabric Buying and Musings

A week or so ago, I had the urge to check out the fabric bin at my favourite op shop for fabric.  Of course when one has an itch, it really must be scratched, so scratch I did and this is what I came away with.

In this haul, there is some brick red linen, matching striped cotton lycra, also matching cotton woven shirting weight, very funky satin, a piece of lining for an upcoming project and two pieces of taslon, also for an upcoming project.  One of these pieces has already been made into something for autumn but I am yet to get a photo.

Oh and a little housekeeping..................

'I, Andrea, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '13. I endeavour to wear  at least one me made item each day for the duration of May 2013'

Yup, I am participating again. The incessant photography last year, did not deter me from participating again. In fact, I find it quite handy at this time of the year, looking back and seeing what I wore last year on those no inspiration kind of days.

Has anyone else outside of the UK been glued to Youtube watching "The Great British Sewing Bee".  It got me thinking.  How would I cope with time constraints and the pressure?  Would I cope with creativity in the face of cameras or would my brain turn to mush.  I suspect the later might be the case!  

I admire Ann.  She is so unflappable and just gets on with the job with outstanding results.  Her no nonsense approach reminds me so much of my late grandmother who still remains my sewing idol.

I am really looking forward to the next installment and if TVNZ are reading this....could I please have a New Zealand version?  It would make a pleasant change from all of those reality cooking shows!

Friday, April 19, 2013

A Cheeky Red

I am really loving the oversized shirts that the shops are full of this season.  As much as I love the idea of these shirts, anything too large can overwhelm a 160cm tall person such as myself.  I tend to suit a leaner silhouette and a shirt with some shaping.  That is where New Look 6050 comes in.  This shirt has darts in the back and bust darts as well.    I also really like the second version  with the inverted pleat which I might try next.

The fabric I have chosen is a burgundy coloured mystery crushed crepe of some sort with a cotton feel to it.  It was donated to me by my Mum who used to sew for herself a bit but has generally retired her sewing machine except for the odd fix it job and curtain making.  I have heaps of this fabric, so it will make a reappearance again some time in the future.
As per my previous versions here and here, I cut the shirt to a size 10, grading to a size 12 in the hips.  I cut the length halfway between version A and version D which I found to be a happy compromise between mini dress length and short like in the photo on the envelope.  This gives me the option to wear it over leggings should I want to (and I will but more on that later).

I actually nearly retired this pattern prior to this shirt in favour of more current patterns, and there are some lovely ones around, especially amongst the indie pattern makers, but with a little creative drafting, there is life in this old girl yet!  I particularly like the v neck shape and I have plans to work with this and an old 1980's shirt pattern for another version.

Because autumn has struck with a vengeance, my summer clothes have been retired in favour of warmer attire.  Today I am wearing my new shirt with my favourite pin striped skirt made using Vogue 1247, my grey leather brogue boots by Bellini and a necklace I purchased using a voucher given to me by my in laws for my birthday in September last year, and I only just got around to spending.  Yes, I am as organised at spending my birthday vouchers as I am at posting my makes on this blog!

Friday, April 12, 2013

A Bit Of Sparkle

I am getting a little behind on my posting.  This dress has been completed since before Easter but only now have I written about it.  The fabric I chose for it, came from Cotura Fashions which sell off their fabric after they have completed their manufacturing runs.  I paid a very reasonable $5 per metre for this fabric.  The fabric is a synthetic knit but I can't remember the exact composition.  The grey in it has quite a sparkle.  I bought it at the end of last winter with no particular project in mind.  I originally thought it would make a nice Renfrew but on closer inspection, I felt the print was too big.  Inspiration struck one day while shopping my fabric collection and the idea of Vogue 1027 was born.

Now this project was not without it's issues.  I cut into the dots on the sash incorrectly and ended up having to repair it....grrr!  That is what you get for sewing when you are tired. I have made this dress before so I should have been more careful.    Like my previous version, I cut the skirt 10cm shorter than the pattern.

I tried to get a photo of the sparkle in the skirt but it is really hard to photograph.  

I was even happier with this fabric when I saw it in grey at Fabric Vision for $29 per metre! 

Okay, so a short sleeve dress is not entirely autumnal now is it?  But, by layering it with a light weight merino cardigan, it is just perfect for cool mornings and much warmer days.

In case you were wondering about all of those pears!   I have been cooking and freezing them as quickly as they fall.  I have to, or the dog will eat them!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Making It Work

Autumn's arrival has thrown up a few challenges in my wardrobe.  My usual wardrobe at this time of the year has involved jeans in every shape and form but not so this year.  I am currently surviving on a couple of skirts, 2 3/4 sleeve shirts and a few dresses.  Needless to say, I am sick to death of all of them and desperately trying to reinvent new ways of wearing them all.  I am, however, determined not to add any more rtw to my wardrobe.

I got up this morning to the autumns first frost.  Minus 2 degrees celcius was rather a shock, especially when I was putting out the washing in the early hours.  The one thing you can be certain of with a frost, is a sunny day and today, I knew, would not disappoint. It is not uncommon for the day to climb into the early twenties by mid morning so layering is a must.  Today's outfit started with new leather boots which conveniently arrived in the mail yesterday from Amazon.   The brown in the boots matched the brown in my favourite upcycled blouse.  Rather than stick to my normal black Vogue skirt with this blouse, for some reason today, I reached for this rather under used Colette Meringue skirt.  I am not sure why it is rather unloved and forlorn in my wardrobe because, actually, I quite like it!  Because it was frosty and I work in a glass house (I kid you not, my office is 75% glass), I also began the day in a  charcoal coloured light weight merino vest by Maya which was discarded as the day warmed up.

The verdict....I actually quite like brown and grey worn together.  It is not something I have ever done in the past as far as I can recall.  I guess that is one benefit of blogging, stepping out of my comfort zone.

On a side note, I am contemplating joining up with Me Made May but I am not sure whether I will have the time to take daily photographs.  If I do it, I think I will need to post photos weekly.  What do you think?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Alma Lichen It

Yes, my jokes are corny and my kids remind me of that all of the time!  Not that they aren't prone to the odd one themselves mind you!

This is my latest Alma and was made in response to a whole lot of leftovers.  The lovely floral piece was left over from Courteney's dress, the black light weight linen was left over from well, a lot of things I have made recently including the last Alma and my favourite Thurlow shorts.  The zip was left over from a project that I changed my mind on at the last minute.  All in all, I didn't buy anything for this project.

I cut this blouse to a size 6, like the previous versions but because I only had the tiniest piece of fabric, I made the sleeves and the collar in black.  It all nearly ended in disaster when I cut the little triangle out for version A, when I was talking and cutting at the same time.  After a brief melt down, I recovered my composure and managed to rescue the situation by making the neckline slightly lower than the pattern and reducing the seam allowance to minimal.   Phew!

Now the weather has changed considerably since this photo was taken last weekend.  Autumn has well and truly arrived so unless it warms up considerably, this blouse will not see a lot of action until spring.  Oh well, never mind.  I may still be able to wear it in my over heated office for a few weeks yet!  In case you are wondering, I am planning another more autumn suitable blouse using this pattern.

Here is the rest of that lovely waterfall that my photo was taken in front of.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

End Of March Wrap Up

Motivation to make seasonal clothing has been a challenge this month due to the continuing summer weather.  Not that I am complaining, mind you!  Starting a new job 20 hours per week has been a hinderance to the production line as well.  I am hoping though, that once the new routine beds itself in, that semi normal programming will continue.  I did however, manage a few projects as seen here and a few more that I have yet to write about.  

Totals For The End Of March

Pink Linen Jacket
Fabric $1.99
Pattern (used before) $0.00
D Rings $0.00
Interfacing $0.00
Total $1.99

Colourblock Dress
Fabric $8.00
Pattern $0.00
Zip $1.89
Total $9.89

Pink Jeans
Pattern (used before) $0.00
Fabric (left over) $0.00
Zip (recycled) $0.00
Button (from stash) $0.00
Total $0.00

Rockin Grey Alma
Pattern (used before) $0.00
Fabric (left over) $0.00
Zip $2.99
Total $2.99

March Me Made Total $14.87

RTW Purchases $30.00

Monday, April 1, 2013

Rockin Alma

 Given today is 1 April (a pinch and a punch and all that), I should be posting a roundup of all my makes for the month.  Life has however got in the way this month and I am a bit behind on the posting front.  Better that, than behind in the making front, I say.  This top has been made up for over a week and has been worn several times in between.  It is yet another example of one of those makes using left overs that I actually like better than the item I bought the fabric for.

The fabric is a lovely silk metallic fabric that I bought for this party dress last year.  I initially ear marked the remnants for a tunic type dress for winter but had an epiphany last week while shopping my own patterns and Sewaholic Alma was what I came up with.

Like my last version , I made a size 6 and view A.  I didn't have enough fabric for the facings, so used some black linen that I used for the waistband on my floral Sewaholic Thurlow shorts.  I had a small remnant of grey stretch suiting and this was used for the armhole binding.  It isn't quite the right grey but because it is under the armpits, it really doesn't matter.

I really need a lot more tops and skirts for work so you may see a lot more of this pattern.  My top has now been worn twice to work and once above and I love, love, love, it!  The combination of a gorgeous fabric and a really good pattern is hard to beat.  Sewaholic patterns are really good patterns and I am yet to find one I don't like.