Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Vogue In Splatters

I am being very brave today standing in front of the camera.  I spent the long weekend (in New Zealand) at the beach camping and got eaten alive by mosquitoes.  To make matters worse, my face seemed to be the tasty morsel of choice.

I was going to take this dress with me to get some lovely scenic back drops but a muddy swollen river in a howling gale was not going to produce the effect I desired.  I am making my break away sound really good aren't I?  Actually the sun shone for most of the weekend and a good time was had by all so I am not complaining.

I got really excited making Vogue 1351.  I had already completed the very popular Vogue 1250, but felt a little blah about it, so this dress came as a surprise.  I was initially drawn to the A-line shape but I think the lining is what really sells it to me.  Lining a knit dress may seem a little odd but in this case, it gives the bodice stability and prevents the cowl flipping out.

I chose a lycra knit (composition unknown) from Cotura Fashions in this yummy splatter pint.  I cut the dress to a size 10.  The pattern calls for both the bodice front and skirt to be cut on the bias, which I did, but for future reference I won't bother.  I left out the zip and skirt lining.   I lined the bodice in a white cotton interlock which gave the bodice stability and added the skirt last which enabled me to catch the lining in the waist hem of the skirt.  The interlock had no real vertical stretch so proved to be the perfect lining for the bodice, avoiding any potential drooping of the bodice. I did have to shorten the bodice by 1cm.

When I make this dress again, there will be some changes.  The armholes are a little large for my liking and the neckline a little big. It isn't work appropriate unless I wear something underneath as leaning forward produces awkward results.  I like the slight A-line of the skirt but may make it just a tad fuller in future and while I am at it, narrow the waistline just slightly.  All in all though, I am really happy with this dress and I think it may, with some slight modifications, become a new tnt.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Spot On

Obvious puns aside, that is exactly how I would describe my latest trouser offering, although if I was going to be completely critical, they could have done with being slightly more snug around the waist.  Oh well, there are worse things in life than wearing a belt!

Once again I have used my altered Sewaholic Thurlow pattern but this time I added 2cm to the back rise, which makes the back side of my pants sit far nicer.  You will just have to take my word for this because I draw the line at close up shots of my derriere!

The fabric I chose is a stretch cotton canvas that I picked up at a recent Lincraft half off end of season sale.  Lucky for me, they had some new seasons fabric in at the time.  This fabric is fantastic.  I wish it came in different prints and sold colours but their floral was just a little over the top for pants for my liking.

So what now?  Well, now that I have a comfortable and flattering tnt pants pattern, there will be more making an appearance.  As much as I like making skirts and dresses, actually pants suit my lifestyle and our fickle weather conditions for three quarters of the year more!  Oh, and I am still debating whether I need to add a little more fullness in the back to accommodate my athletic calves (not my words, that is what the pattern drafting sites call them)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Tangerine Dream

I wrote a couple of months ago about the mother of one of my daughters friends and her beautiful pink shirt that brightened up a dull winter day.  Ever since, I have had this fixation about bright shirts.  I tend towards dull colours in skirts and pants so a bright shirt provides the perfect antidote to my sometimes dull work clothes.  When I visited the end of winter fabric sale at Cotura Fashions, this fabric just about jumped off the shelf at me.  It is a lovely crushed georgette with the most stunning mottled orange, black, yellow, beige and pink design.  It is a lovely weight and I knew the moment I saw it that it would be a dream to sew.  I wasn't wrong.

Once again my pattern of choice was New Look 6050 because of its gentle shaping and v neck collar detail.  Like the last version I chose to lengthen the sleeve and add cuffs and a placket, something that would have scared the heck out of me a while back.  Phssh....they don't bother me now!  I can whip one of these things out in no time which is probably why so many shirts are suddenly appearing in my wardrobe.  That, and the dire need of air conditioning friendly office attire, given my last job was from home.  

My sewing efforts these days seem to be broken into one hour slots and I try to slot in an hour each day.  I say try, because sometimes it just doesn't work out but doing this I can produce an item a week. This shirt was made from go to whoa in about three days because it was such a dream to sew.  The only problem I did have with the fabric was because of the crushed nature of the fabric, I couldn't really iron it.  This has mean't my back pleat sits stubbornly crooked.  I am loathe to touch it with the iron though, so I will just have to live with it!  Fortunately when I am wearing it, I can't see it anyway.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Pursuit Of Perfection

After the relative success of my last pair of Sewaholic Thurlows, it was time for a new and improved pair.  I had always intended to do some radical surgery on this pattern in the pursuit of the perfect trousers but time like always, is in short supply.  I had however spent an exhaustive amount of time researching pattern fixes on the internet.  I decided that the wrinkles under the seat could be fixed with a fish eye dart.  Some of the information on the internet did not appear to work in my eyes, so I settled on this tutorial by Ann Rowley of The Great British Sewing Bee.  After seeing the beautiful work she did on the show, I had confidence in her methods so armed with my pen and paper, tape and scissors, I set to work.  I had already pinched out some fabric on the finished pair and ended up taking out less in my fish eye, but did not want to over do it.

Interestingly enough, after narrowing my front leg to match my Colette Clover pattern, my new Sewaholic Thurlow pattern was nearly identical in shape but a little wider than my Jalie Jean pattern which had remained unaltered......hhmmm!

The fabric I chose for my pants was a lovely black stretch suiting.  I could make the pants out of a mere metre of fabric, so I lined the waist band in some cotton sateen from the remnant bin and the pocket bags with some lining so as not to add bulk.  I left the back pockets off completely with this pair because after all of the alterations to the pattern, there was the risk that this pair could be a complete disaster.

After making my pants up, I realised that there was still the odd wrinkle, and I read that scooping the crotch would help. Right, this was my next step.  Once again, I was a little conservative in my approach, only taking a mere 5mm off.  It certainly made a difference though.

After the final fitting I was actually quite chuffed with my accomplishments and set about hemming late at night in front of the television.  BIG MISTAKE!  Instead of chopping off each leg to a 7/8th length like I intended, I cut the same leg twice!  OH NO!  You could imagine my disappointment.  My husband scuttled his way to the other end of the house to avoid my now foul mood.  I couldn't just go to bed and leave the disaster until the next day, because I feared my mood would just get worse in the hours of darkness.  I had to try and fix this problem and quickly!  

I chopped off the second leg by the required length twice as well and then proceeded to stitch it back on again, and made the second side match.  After a bit of top stitching, it now looks like a design feature.  My hem is still a bit shorter than I would have liked though!  Anyho, crisis fixed!  I now have new favourite pants, despite the unintended design feature!

Friday, October 4, 2013

A Rather French Hawaiian Party/Une Partie Hawaïenne

Last weekend we attended a Hawaiian themed 40th birthday party. It was pretty short notice and the weather still not really settled enough for baring too much skin.  I had a scant metre of fabric left over from this dress and a minute piece of cotton in the same colours but a much smaller floral from the remnant bin.  Being a fan of shift dresses, I was keen to try out the shift dress in Burdastyle 6/2013.  The pattern is actually piped but I couldn't find a third matching fabric and was concerned that the piping wouldn't sit nicely so omitted it altogether.  I drafted the pattern to size 36 like my measurements dictated but was pleased I decided to fit the pieces on my mannequin before cutting into my fabric.  I had to add 1.5cm to each side seam to get the dress actually fit and that was after adding my seam allowances.  This was the only alteration I made.  

The dress came together really quickly and easily.  Unusually I managed to match up my patterns perfectly first time and even my zip inserted perfectly first time. The sewing gods were smiling on me with this project.  That is Murphy's law isn't it?  I was sewing with left overs that I wasn't really concerned about and my project came together like a dream. Had I invested large amounts of money the opposite would have been the reality.

The outfit was completed with a flower from the $2 Shop and a shell necklace from the Op Shop.  

I actually really like this dress and know it will get worn again over the summer.

Now, you may be wondering, why my title is in French. Google translate French to be exact because I don't speak French. Well, this party was in the beautiful historic French town of Akaroa. Akaroa was settled by the French in 1840 and to this day still retains French character.

We enjoyed a birds eye view of the harbour while we lunched on the terrace of the beautiful French Farm Vineyard on Saturday afternoon before our evening Luau.  Not a bad way to spend a weekend really!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

End Of September Wrap Up

I am getting a little behind with my posting at the moment.  I have a couple of projects all ready to load once I have the photographs. 

There have been a couple of kid projects amongst this months total but as usual I haven't included the costings below.

End of September Wrap Up

Linen A Line Skirt
Fabric $2.00
Pattern $0.00
Zip $1.27
Lining $6.99
Total $10.26

Navy Mandy Boat Neck
Fabric $1.99
Pattern $0.00
Total $1.99

Aqua Spot Set
Fabric $2.00
Elastic $12.00
Pattern $0.00
Bra Hooks $12.25
Total $26.25

Ski Pants
Pattern $0.00
Zip (from stash) $0.00
Snaps (from stash) $0.00
Fabric (from stash) $0.00
Total $0.00

Red & Navy Dress
Pattern $12.00
Fabric $12.00
Total $24.00

Grey Merino Boat Neck
Fabric $12.00
Pattern (used before) $0.00
Total $12.00

Total For September $74.50

RTW Purchases $60.00

Layers For Spring

After my success with my last Tessuti Boat Neck Tee, I wanted to see if it would work as a jumper using some of my now stored for twelve months, merino knit.  This lovely light weight merino has been taking up far too much real estate space for a while now so it was time to move it on.  I did however want to make something out of it that I would actually wear so was mindful of what I chose.

Because I wanted to wear this top as a layering piece over tees for cooler spring days, I changed the neckline up a bit and used the Tessuti Alexa Tee neckline and band with the free Tessuti Mandy Boat Neck Tee and what do you know, it works, even though you can't see it in the photo because it is hidden under my scarf.

This jumper has been made for a few weeks now, but  I had to play dress up today to finally get a photo on here.  Luckily my house was full of willing photographers given it is school holidays so no need to faff around with tripods.

While I was in photo mode, I took a selfie of my new sandals, a birthday present to myself.  They are Bresley Sublime bought from Shoe Connection.  I saw a similar style worn everywhere last summer and made a mental note to buy a pair this summer.  They are a very practical style and will be my go to sandals for work and play this summer.  

Oh, and the green toes, well I had a party to go to this weekend gone, and the green matched my dress!  But, more on that later!