Friday, November 29, 2013

Sea Scout

 I have given in to temptation, I have to admit!  I have been admiring the Scout Woven  Tee by Grainline Studios for quite some time but really couldn't justify buying such a simple pattern when, if I just got organised, I could draft my own.  In the end I just gave in and used time constraints as my excuse, along with random thoughts of using up leftovers.

I am glad I actually went with it.  I taped the pattern in front of the tv last Friday night and made two on Saturday.

I cut the pattern to size 6, according to my measurements but actually, could have gone down to a size 4.  I made no changes to the pattern.  I found my binding maker a godsend yet again for making the narrow facing.

As luck would have it, my chosen fabric, a very light weight cotton lawn from, is quite forgiving of an oversized top.  I wore it to Corsair Bay on Sunday which was a very summery day.  Because the style is loose and boxy, it is lovely to wear in the heat and the sleeves afford sun protection from the savage Kiwi sun.

There will definitely be more of these.  I am keen to try it in something crush resistant that I can take on holiday with me.

Now, Lara of Thornberry and I must have been communicating telepathically recently because look what turned up in my blog feed today!

On a side note, there is a little photo bombing going on here.  I wonder if you can work out who!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Raspberry Sorbetto

I arrived home from work last Thursday, to find out my daughter who was procrastinating from studying, had cleaned the house from top to bottom.  Fantastic, I had a three day weekend ahead and no chores!  What is a girl to do; sew of course!

I began with a pattern that has been on my radar for quite some time, Colette Sorbetto.  I had some very bright pink floral seersucker that I wasn't sure what to do with and found a remnant of pink gingham in my leftovers basket.  I knew the two were destined to be together.  I whipped down to the mall and picked up a bias binding maker to make the job easier.  Up until now, I had made binding manually.  This little tool is a revelation.  Why had I waited this long to buy one of these things!  They are worth their weight in gold.  I made the Sorbetto up in a size 4 and lengthened the pattern to the larges size.  I graded to a size 6 in the hips.  I really like this top and I know there will be more.

It was while I was making my Sorbetto, that I had a brainwave!  I had tragically spilled bleach on my lovely linen shift dress earlier in the week rendering it useless.  After mourning it's loss for a few days and berating myself for my carelessness, I whipped out the zip and using the useful pieces, a remnant of compressed dacron, and the leftovers from my Sorbetto, I made a bag.  I feel a whole lot better about the demise of one of my favourite dresses now!  As a bonus, it is the perfect size work tote.  I can fit in my diary, morning tea, and a cardigan and my keys, phone and other little essentials all live in the two small interior pockets. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Spring Florals

I bought this lovely stretch poplin on Trademe at the beginning of spring with a fullish floral dress in mind.  It is quite light weight being a poplin so was best suited to a somewhat full skirt.  The problem however was, how to choose a style that 'A' suited my bottom heavy hour glass shape and 'B' make it not look like a dress best worn by a teenager.  Another words, a pretty, age appropriate, full skirted summer dress that didn't make me look like a sack of spuds tied in the middle....hmmm, a tall order, perhaps!  Enter Vogue 1353.  Now this pattern has received mixed reviews but being a recent Vogue convert, I forged ahead anyway undeterred. 

I traced the pattern to size 10 in the bodice, grading out to size 12 in the hips.  Had I listened to the reviews, I would have narrowed the shoulders slightly as well and this is my only regret with this pattern.  If I were to make it again, I would narrow the shoulders at the arm opening about 1 cm and add this back in at the neck edge.  The problem is only minor however, and is nothing a couple of bra stays made out of grosgrain ribbon and snaps won't fix!

I realised when I began sewing the dress, that I didn't have an invisible zipper.  In fact, I didn't have a zipper at all.  I did however have a roll of beige diy zippers that I bought to make cushion covers,  so I ended up using this and cutting it to length.  I also didn't have thread in the correct colour but did have a roll of invisible thread, so rather than have my stitches showing, for the first time ever, I hand stitched my zipper in, leaving near invisible stitching.  I am quite happy with the result because it made avoiding the pleat that is quite close to the zipper, a simple process.

So, boyed by my zipper success, I hand stitched my hem using the same thread instead of the wide hem facing that the pattern called for.

Yesterday while I was perusing the internet, looking for inspiration for my next project, I came across this just about identical dress by Lisa Law which I find quite spooky really!  Or is it just a case of great minds think alike!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Elephants & Spiders

"One elephant went out to play 
Upon a spiders web one day 
He had such enormous fun 
That he called for another elephant to come. "

A strange heading, I know, and you may be wondering what the two can possibly have in common!  Well, summer arrived in Canterbury, finally, on Saturday.  My husband had been waxing lyrical about the lovely summer weather in Sydney the previous weekend when he was working there and I had been wondering if any of that lovely summer weather was ever coming our way!

Because this weekend was anniversary weekend, and Saturday was perfect beach weather, we grabbed the opportunity to do a little fishing, torpedo style.  We caught this rather impressive elephant fish.

Now, this post is not about elephants or spiders per se, but actually my new shorts.  I was in need of a pair of shorts that would take me from the shops to the beach as the need arose, without feeling half dressed.  In fact, that is exactly what these shorts did on Saturday, a quick trip to the fabric shop for supplies on my way to said fishing spot.

Once again Sewaholic Thurlow came to the rescue.  I used my redrafted 7/8th length version and widened the legs slightly to achieve the slim legged shorts version.   They are made of white stretch denim from Cotura Fashions.  White is a very versatile colour choice for matching but not so for practicality.  I admit, I am not very good at keeping anything white clean.

I am wearing a very classic combination today of my new white shorts with my black Burda Style tee which I wrote about but didn't photograph in situ.

I am happy to report, that the ugly elephant fish barbequed up beautifully and since it was a lovely warm night to eat outdoors, the boys got busy in the kitchen and whipped up a refreshing coke spider desert!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Retro Print Vogue

I did promise there would be another!  After a few cooler days,
which is the norm in spring, I hatched a plan to add sleeves to Vogue 1250.  I had in my mind a replacement pattern for my favourite New Look 6071 which I am really quite sick of but love all at the same time.  I felt sleeves of some sort would be a little more work appropriate than sleeveless and also mean't I could go without a cardigan in my highly air conditioned office.  Because the cotton lycra I chose was a more wintery print, it leant itself to longer sleeves.  I bought the fabric for $3 per metre, a couple of years ago at Fabric Vision, so wasn't overly concerned if my plan was an epic fail, but it had to be done!

To achieve the desired effect, and a better fit, I added 1.5cm to the front and back neck and 1cm to the armhole openings.  This mean't the shoulder seam was longer and the neck opening smaller.  I cut out all of the pieces on the grain this time because I felt that a knit dress on the bias was overkill and used more fabric than necessary.  I added 1cm  swimwear elastic to the back neck and stitched it between the back and the lining without stretching to add some stability.  I topstitched the back neck once the dress was finished and the elastic is incased in the topstitching.  For the sleeves, I used the pattern from New Look 6071 which just proves that there really is no getting away from this pattern completely.  Like my first version of this dress I shortened the bodice by 1cm but this time, I let out the skirt side seams as much as I could and just overlocked the front and back together without removing any fabric at the hips in the process.  I then ran the bodice in at the sides by 1cm also on each panel.  I eased the skirt onto the bodice, and hey presto I had a dress with a fit I am extremely happy with!

My verdict....I have a new favourite dress!  There will be another, perhaps with cap sleeves next time!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Totally Inappropriate!

I was actually guilted (I don't think there is such a word) into it!  There have been a flurry of southern hemisphere ufo knitting projects popping up on my news feed.  I got an attack of the guilts and pulled out my own winter knitting project and did just that, completed it as inappropriate as it is for summer!  

This jersey is made using Oki Boucle Mohair which I picked up at Lincraft's half off end of season sale, last year.  It is made in Turkey.  Other than that, I don't know a lot about it, except it is variegated which appealed to me.  My initial plan was a cosy over sized cabled number to wear with  jeans and boots in the winter.  My daughter had a lovely over sized wool jersey/jumper that she bought in the menswear department in Country Road and this was my inspiration.

I started out with a cabled pattern, but quickly realised that this would get lost in the variegated fluffiness of the yarn so unraveled it and started again.  What I ended up with was a reasonably loose fitting dropped shoulder design with a crew neck that I made up as I went along.  It wasn't a difficult design.  I made dozens of these in the 80's.  The recipe is simple.  Cast on 100 stitches, an inch or so of rib and continue until it reaches the desired length to the armpits in 4mm needles.  See, I have done this soooo many times it is stuck in my head, like a constantly repeated favourite recipe.

When I arrived home from work in the rain the other day, I jumped at the opportunity to photograph it.  I wasn't about to drag out boots and winter coloured jeans however, so set about styling it in more seasonable colours.  Hey presto, I think this just about works.  My daughter told me I look nice, so maybe it does!  Wearing this is like being wrapped up in a big teddy bear and since it was raining, I opted to stay this way for the rest of the day!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Burdastyle Tee

drawing from
Every year I tend to replace my tee shirts.  This is more because of necessity than any other reason.  Tees are in heavy rotation in my wardrobe.  This year, I was keen to try a different pattern and Burdastyle 2/2013 view 126 caught my eye.  This had already been made most successfully by Kbenco so I knew I was onto a winner.  One problem I had in the past with Burdastyle though was there sizing.  This time I opted to draft to my measurements and chose a 38 in the bust and waist and 40 in the hips.  In all honesty, I could have gone a 38 in the hips but in all honesty I quite like a looser fit.

The fabric I chose was a synthetic knit.  In fact the same knit that I used to make Courteney's lady skater dress.  I don't think it will wear well but I love the embossed pattern on it.

I loved the fabric and tee so much, I had to make it up in green as well!

The only real change I made to the pattern, was to shorten it.  Man this pattern is long!  I didn't bind the neckline as per the instructions but made a small neckband using the width as outlined in the pattern and twin needle finished it.

And because black is always a versatile colour, I just had to make one in black as well!

I love this pattern, and I will use it again.....just not this season!

Friday, November 1, 2013

End Of October Wrap Up

End Of October Wrap Up

Hawaiian Dress
Pattern $13.50
Zip $4.99
Fabric (remnant) $0.00
Total $18.50

Black Thurlows
Fabric $12.00
Buttons $2.99
Zip (from stash) $0.00
Pattern (used before) $0.00
Total $14.99

Spotted Thurlows
Zip $2.50
Pattern (used before) $0.00
Interfacing $11.00
Fabric $12.00
Total $25.50

Colourful Shirt
Pattern $0.00
Fabric $12.00
Buttons (from stash) $0.00
Total $12.00

Splatter Dress
Pattern $16.00
Fabric $6.00
Lining (remnant) $0.00
Total $22.00

Total October $92.99

RTW Purchases $0.00