Saturday, August 31, 2013

Risin' up to the challenge of our rival........

And the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night

And he's watchin' us all with the eye of the tiger....

Okay so maybe I have spent too much time on Singstar or is it Rockband, I am not sure but this song by Survivor comes to mind when I am wearing my new shirt.

It all started with a lovely piece of tiger printed georgette which I picked up from the Op Shop for the princely sum of $2.  I wanted a more fitting shirt than my two latest offerings so dug out New Look 6050 again.  This time though, I made a less fitting version, the one with the back pleat and not the darts as I have made in the past.  With the lighter fabric I was a little concerned that the darts would pull as has happened in the past.  I also extended the sleeves and made the cuffs as per my Burda shirts so this shirt is somewhat of a frankenpattern. 

It all came together rather easily and as the fabric is a little heavier than regular georgette, somewhere between georgette and a crepe, it drapes beautifully and was really nice to work with.  I didn't bother with pockets, because I felt the fabric was busy enough and I didn't want to interupt the print.

What I really like about shirts like this, is that they look good tucked into a skirt for work and all I need to do is swap out the skirt and heels for ponti pants (newly run in I might add) and ballet flats, when I get home from work,  and I have an outfit suitable for swimming lessons or rugby training.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Tessuti Alexa Version 3-5

My last two offerings have become winter staples.  Aren't there three I hear you ask!    Well, version five of this particular top was no sooner completed than whisked off into my daughters drawer never to be seen again.  Actually, that is not quite true, it has appeared on said thief and in the laundry, but certainly has not been available long enough for a photograph.

Once again I used Tessuti Alexa in a size 10 and made it in merino.  After the success of my last Alexa, I found my way back to the receivership sale in time to score some more merino but this time for a measly $5 per metre.  The fabric was well and truly picked over by this stage so most of the nice weights and colours were gone but I didn't let a little thing like that stop me.  I picked up a metre of black and a metre of pale blue and they never even made it into the fabric cupboard before being made up.  Courteney's version is in a grey but she chose the short sleeved style.

My favourite thing about this pattern apart from the relaxed fit, is the neckline.  It is easy to make and with twin needled top stitching you are left with a  rtw look.

These two tops have been worn a lot.  They are worn to work tucked into a skirt and on a weekend with a pair of jeans. They weren't the most exciting project but have become very much a wardrobe work horse.  In fact, with a cold southerly blowing through last night to remind us that it is still winter for a couple of days, I may just wear one of them to work today!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Number 5

I made a new dress or should I say a new version of an old dress. Once again I have made New Look 6071 and this particular version brings my total to 5.

This has to be my all time favourite dress pattern but even I am getting sick of making this dress.  It is however my favourite style to wear, hence the reason I keep making it.  I do feel now though, it is time to find a new tnt knit dress pattern.  It isn't that I haven't looked, but I just haven't found anything I like better.  The fabric I chose for this dress is a light weight jersey knit that I picked up for $6 per metre at Cotura Fashions, and since I particularly like this style in stripes, having made it 4 out of 5 times in stripes, I predictably made it once again in stripes.  My confidence in stripe matching must be increasing because this wide stripe was not simple to match up with the draped bodice and the fact the front and back skirt pieces don't actually match up and one piece always has to be cut shorter.  This is something that has frustrated me every time I have come to make this dress up and only after cutting out this version, have I remedied the pattern.  If there is to be a next version and should it be striped, it should now be quite simple to match my front and back pieces.

As predictable as this dress has now become, this far into the winter, it is refreshing to have something new to add to my work wardrobe.  With spring showing it's presence almost daily now, it won't be something that will be worn for long.  I am persevering with my winter clothing makes at the moment though, because my fabric stash seems to be heavily weighted in favour of winter fabrics and these are taking up a rather large portion of my fabric storeage cupboard.  If I want to buy some summer fabrics, and I do, I need to make room for them.  Rather than find a home for my summer fabric, I am committed to a little stash busting so while I can still justify a few more winter makes, this is what I am determined to do at least for a few more weeks.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

OMG....Twice In One Week!

My husband has been out of the country for the last week for work, so what better opportunity to get my teeth into a bigger project.  I didn't have to worry about shutting myself away and being anti social, I could just disappear for a few hours each evening and get lost in a project.  Since returning to work, getting lost in a project for several hours back to back, has been a rare treat but one I have enjoyed over the last week.  The results are a Sewaholic Cordova that I love!  I have had this pattern for months and finally got round to making it up because of the threat of spring.  It was on my winter sewing list and if I didn't do it now, it would be too late.

The fabric I chose was a lovely cherry red wool suiting from this op shop fabric haul, that I had intended to make a skirt out of.  When I pulled it from the cupboard though, I discovered that I had 2 metres of it and couldn't bear to cut into it for a skirt which would only use around half of it.  It was begging to be made into a jacket.

As with all of the other Sewaholic patterns I have made, I cut the jacket in size 6.  The problem that I had though, was how to match the lovely cherry coloured fabric to a zip.  I briefly entertained the idea of a regular red zip before dismissing the idea as garish.  A plan then began forming.  I decided to contrast the cherry red with black.  I had black lining from another op shop fabric haul and with the addition of a black zip and some black embroidery thread, I think I had a plan.

Initially I had my doubts about the success of this jacket.  It really didn't fit me well at all.  The shoulders were too wide, it was baggy and shapeless in the back, side insets were badly shaped at the back and the sleeves were just plain wide and baggy.  It was looking like a big alteration was in order to even get this jacket any where near wearable.  Oh dear, my lovely cherry wool may well have been better made into a skirt!  Just as well then that my husband was away and I had both the time and patience to remedy it.

The first area to get me attention was the shoulders.  I reshaped them removing 1.5cm from the top of the shoulder and tapering out about halfway down the armhole.  I then cut 1cm off the centre front to bring the bust darts in line with where they needed to be. I then inserted the zip so I could turn my attention to the back.  I did a sway back adjustment to the centre back seam and unpicked the last 10cm of the curved inset where it stuck out at an odd angle, and reshaped the inset to fit into the back of the jacket nicely.  My attention now turned to the sleeves.  I removed 1cm from the sleeve seams tapering up to the armhole. 

With the adjustments complete, I was ready for a little embellishment.  This was the most time consuming part of the entire project.  Using three threads of black embroidery thread I hand stitched a row of decorative stitching around the curved insets before stitching up the zip and around the neck.  The sleeve hems, the jacket hem were all hand stitched as well as the lining and lining sleeve hem.  A couple of late nights, and a bit of television later, and my Cordova was complete.  I have to say, I think this may be my all time favourite jacket and this pattern has gone from a never again to a tnt in the course of one jacket!

I have to make one disclaimer though...the photos above were taken after a day of wear, so please excuse the wrinkles.  They are not a fit issue, merely wrinkled fabric.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Wild About Stripes

What do you do when you buy a piece of fabric online and it isn't quite what you expected?  That was certainly the case with this piece.  It was quite expensive for a knit but more lightweight than I had expected.  I wouldn't say I was disappointed but it certainly threw up a challenge as to what to do with it.  In the end I decided on a tunic length A line tee that I could wear with leggings.

I used Sewaholic Renfrew as the pattern and lengthened it grading out to an A line at the sides.  It was a very quick process and one of those time poor instant gratification projects that we all need from time to time.

I really didn't think this tunic would even make it onto my blog when I accidentally washed it with my son's new burgundy chinos which bled badly.  A big pink stain was now gracing the shoulder.  That will teach me for not photographing my projects when they are first worn! Fortunately since then the wonders of washing and the sunlight have faded said stain into insignificance.  

I actually made this tunic nearly a month ago now and have completed a couple of projects since then.  Life lately has got in the way and I have a backup of projects to write about.  I will get there soon, I promise!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Crimson Inspiration

Project inspiration, for me, sometimes comes at very unexpected times and this is certainly the case with my latest project.  Originally this lovely crimson red satin was destined to be skirt lining, until a particularly cold dark July evening.  My door bell rang and on  the other side of the door was the mother of  my daughters friend.  In her hand was a bottle of wine to say thank you for rescuing her teenage French exchange student and the family dog  who had both inadvertantly been locked out of the house in the cold of the evening.  To cut a long story short, I don't know whether I was more struck by the bottle of wine being handed over or the lovely cheerful pink blouse that my daughters, friends mother was wearing.  I did however, have one of those, I know what I am making next moments.  So the lovely crimson red satin was destined to become another Burda Style Boyfriend Shirt from issue 2/2013.

For this particular version, I made it exactly as I had the previous, removing 1.5cm from the sleeve header but otherwise keeping everything else the same.  I have found this time that in the slightly heavier fabric that it looks a little more oversized but with slim fitting pants, this isn't really a problem.

Now, while I am on the topic of slim fitting pants.  I have made another pair of Tessuti Anita Ponti Pants made using some black ponti that I picked up at Cotura Fashions end of season fabric sale for a knock down price of $6 per metre.  As previously, I added 2cm to the back rise and reduced the front rise by 2cm.  I made the elastic tighter because my printed pair are a bit loose.  I made the legs exactly to the pattern, but now that I look at the above photo, after a day of wear, they are looking like they would benefit from running in.  I think I will do this to match my previous pair, before I wear them again.  I find it is a fine line between leggings and trousers and although I don't want them baggy, I don't want them to look like leggings either.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

End Of July Round Up

Tardy would be the best way to describe my blogging efforts in July.  I have to say life has very much got in the way.   Without boring you with the details,  work has been crazy, the kids have been on school holidays and the disasters that inevitably always come in threes began with my tooth infection and hopefully, after two other disasters this month, will be coming to an end, any day now please!  I am dying to put in some serious sewing time, but for now running has been my sanity saver.

There are a couple of projects that I simply ran out of time to photograph so these will have to be included in August.  I have just bought some lovely new dress fabrics, so I am looking forward to making these up as well.  Is anyone else out there as bored with there winter clothing as I am right now?

Totals For The End Of July

Running Jacket
Fabric $0.00
Pattern (Used Before) $0.00
Zips $5.75
Thread $3.00
Total $8.75

Merino Lycra Leggings
Fabric $10.00
Elastic $10.00
Pattern (Used Before) $0.00
Total $20.00

Wool Tie Cardigan
Pattern (Book Used Before) $0.00
Wool $23.92
Buttons (From Stash) $0.00
Total $23.92

Merino Alexa Tee

Pattern $12.00
Fabric $15.00
Total $27.00

Wool Pencil Skirt
Pattern (Used Before) $0.00
Lining $2.00
Zip $1.29
Interfacing $4.00
Fabric $14.00
Total $21.29

Hi Low Hem Cardigan
Pattern (Used Before) $0.00
Fabric $20.00
Snaps (From stash) $0.00
Total $20.00

Total $120.96

RTW Purchases $0.00