Friday, February 28, 2014

Burda Style In White

It has been a strange old week.  It began with my son turning 15, yay and ended with my husbands brand new car in the panel shop for 7 weeks with thousands of dollars worth of damage...grrr!  So, when I got home from work this afternoon in the pouring rain, instead of sewing, I thought stuff it and sat down with a glass of wine!  Just kidding!  I wanted to sit down with a glass of wine, but it is a little early in the day for that!  I thought I would upload some sunnier pictures onto my little blog here.  Actually I am procrastinating!  I should be taping together a Lekala pattern for a sewalong, but more on that in another post!

I have seen a lot of loose fitting simple woven tops on the streets this summer and have been searching for a suitable pattern ever since. Since making this top I have found out that Sewaholic are releasing exactly what I was after in April.  Sadly, that will be too late for this summer but will be in my shopping cart none the less!   This sort of top, I knew would become a 'go to' in my wardrobe and I really need more of this type of clothing.  Burda 4/2013 view 106 looked promising, although I wouldn't say I am completely confident with Burda patterns.  I have to date had equal hits and misses with Burda.  Just to be certain, I used a fabric I had no emotional connection with, if you know what I mean!  This fabric may well have originated in the curtain department of the fabric store and came to me as part of a mystery bundle.

I cut a size 38 and chose not to face the neck and arm openings because I didn't want the facings visible or to flip out during wear.  Instead, using my trusty binding tool, I made some binding uing a cotton flannel remnant in white.  

I am pretty happy with the fit but haven't worn it yet because I think it really needs a plain white tank to wear underneath.

These photos were taken a couple of weeks ago on a camping trip at Ashley Gorge.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Citrus Scout

I am definitely drawn to colourful fabrics and this fabric is no exception.  I love the vibrancy and it is lovely to work with.  The remnants of this blouse were earmarked for a summer top for me, despite my daughter trying to claim it for herself.  Actually my daughter wanting it made me more determined to keep it.  Is that wrong?

As the summer wore on and no pattern contenders in sight despite now having the perfect skirt combination in the form of my floral pencil one, I became a little desperate.  This desperation caused me to choose a pattern that I was not too sure about.  The Grainline Scout became my pattern of choice.  

Now, while I will wear this top a lot, there are a few disappointments associated with it.  Grainline Scout I think, is best suited to cotton.  This is georgette.  My first complaint is the neckline is too wide and my second is the sleeves.  I accidentally ironed out most of those lovely creased causing the sleeves to hang loosely.  

Disappoinments aside, this top was intended to wear to work and as such performs very well.  The perfectionist in me however, wonders if I should have been less selfish and given the fabric to my daughter after all.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Urban Safari

I can't believe that three years has rolled around since the deadly February earthquake!  I know, to some, this topic is tiresome but this day is not about feeling sorry for ourselves but to celebrate how far we have come.  There are frustrations because things are not moving as fast as some of us would like and I am certainly guilty of that.  I am still waiting after 3 years and 5 months since the 7.1 earthquake, to get my house fixed.  The longer the process takes, the more I want to add to my renovation list.  I am sure my husband is rolling his eyes about now!  Anyway, today is the 3 year anniversary.  It is hot, 26 degrees celcius at 9am, after a hot week (34 degrees on Tuesday), so not much sewing has been done.  I did though managed a new dress last weekend using a piece of fabric picked up last week at Cotura Fashions end of summer sale for $6 per metre.  With anniversary day looming we decided to take a walk around the city centre and get some photos amongst the changing street scape.

My new dress is Urban Safari from Burda Style 2/2013 view 114 and made with a piece of rayon lycra in what I call snake print. This is the only snake you will find in these parts because New Zealand is one of the few countries in the world that don't actually have snakes.

I cut the dress to size 38, grading to 40 in the hips.  I used some cotton interlock which I interfaced for the facings.  The pattern didn't call for interfacing but I felt the dress fabric was super stretchy and I didn't want the neckline to pull any lower than the photograph showed.  I shorted the dress and this proved to be my biggest challenge.  Upon wearing it I quickly discovered that it dipped really low at the front.  So once I got home from our site seeing expedition, I got my husband to measure and pin it for me. I was struggling to find volunteers on a hot day and my husband must have felt sorry for me at this point. 

I really love this style and I think it may well be a replacement for my much used and loved NewLook 6071. I am very much looking forward to making an autumn version with long sleeves.

Back to the earthquake....the city is recovering.  The trams have just started running again but on a much smaller route.  Large parts of the city have been reduced to gravel parking lots but new buildings are starting to spring up.  Cathedral square is still dominated by the ruins of the cathedral and it's pigeon residents but the container (Restart) mall still strikes me as a thing of beauty and a testimony to the resilience of the residents of the city.

There is still a way to go as can be seen by the half demolished multi storey building seen on my right in the picture above.

And there are other buildings that are exactly as the urban rescue crews left them in February 2011.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A Freebie!

Prior to Christmas I placed an order with Style Arc Patterns and the Lu Lu Tunic was a freebie that came with it.  I liked the tunic styling, finding it very rtw in it's detailing and knew it would slot into my work wardrobe effortlessly.

I had a piece of cream crepe in my stash that I picked up from one of my op shop hauls and fortuitously it was the recommended fabric for this make.  I do like the fact that Style Arc send a little swatch of suitable fabric with their patterns.  I am not very good at recognising fabrics by name but feel is a whole different matter!

I ordered a size 8 pattern after much deliberation.  I looked at the finished measurements of a 10 and found it contained a lot of ease.  Despite normally buying a rtw AU/NZ size 10, I threw caution to the wind and ordered the size 8.  I am pleased I did because the fit is perfect.

Because this is my very first version, I made it as per the pattern.  I was going to remove the horizontal pleat at the front but left it on a whim.  I may remove it in future versions.  The neckband I attached as per the instructions but found it quite fiddly and time consuming so opted to stitch and overlock the sleeve bands on rather than turn and slip stitch.  You don't notice the difference when it is worn so if I made it again, I would treat the neck in the same manor.   I did go to quite a bit of effort making the loop for the back button loop closing and subsequently found out I can pull it over my head easily without it so would not bother making an opening in any future version.

My verdit on this top is that it is a very nice go to work top and I am please I made it up.  

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Vibrant Summer Florals

This is my second official make of 2014.  I still have one more 2013 post to write up, but for the life of me can't find the photos I took of it on the weekend.  I suspect they are on Courteney's camera and it is at home and I am still using the wifi at the pool.  February 14 is roll over day and I can't wait.  This is wearing very thin!

It should come as no surprise that my second make of 2014, also utilizes the lovely colourful floral stretch cotton fabric that I made Courteney's shorts out of.  This fabric was always destined to become a pencil skirt.  

Once again using V1247 in my redrafted pencil form, I have made a skirt I really like.  I was tempted to make a dress out of the fabric because after making the shorts I ended up with a very generous offcut.  This print is however extremely busy and I felt a skirt was a better choice.  

I lined the skirt so it didn't stretch out too much.  I did consider buying a length of orange or beige bemsilk lining but had a lot of baby blue satin lining in my stash and given that there is blue in the skirt, I went with blue.  The zip and button were also from my stash so all in all this was a very economical skirt to make.  Best of all, I still have a small amount left over.  Now I wonder if I have enough to squeeze out a pair of shorts for myself!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Floral Thurlow Shorts

While at Lincraft's 50% off fabric sale last month, Courteney spotted this lovely floral, light weight stretch denim and requested a pair of shorts.  This was not entirely what I had in mind for my $10 bonus voucher but with very little else inspiring me at the time, 2 metres managed to make it's way home with me.  

Courteney really liked the shape and fit of my favourite Thurlow shorts.  While my generosity did not extend to giving her my much loved floral shorts, I did agree to make her an identical pair in a floral print.  

Because the print is so busy, we left off the back pockets.  I cut the internal waistband out of some white cotton duck from my stash to stabilize the waistband and prevent it stretching out.  The zip was also from my stash as was the button closure.  All of those spare buttons from rtw clothing do come in handy for such projects.

These were a really quick make because no additional alterations were needed.  She is really happy with the outcome and I am sure these will get a ton of use over the remaining summer. 

End Of January Wrap Up

I have a little confession to make, all of the above which were actually written about in January, were really December makes.  December was a very productive month and January not so much.  January was all about holidaying with my family.  I am okay with that!  What I am not okay with is my kids spending all day on the internet.  This happened as well when I returned to work.  So much so, that they used up all of my bandwidth and I have been forced into internet exile until my plan rolls around again.  I had a cunning plan though!  If I take my laptop to the pool while my son swims, I can use the internet for free.  So here, I sit looking like some sort of sad nerd, tapping away, while sitting on a bleacher beside the pool.  If I wanted to look really important, I could sit in the cafe and drink coffee and pretend to be actually working, but as unglamorous as this is at least this way, I can keep an eye on the swimming progress at the same time.

End of January Wrap Up

Green Tessuti Lola Tee
Pattern $11.16
Fabric remnant $0.00
Total $11.16

Red Tessuti Lola Tee
Pattern (used before) $0.00
Fabric remnant $0.00
Total $0.00

Beach Dress
Pattern (used before) $0.00
Fabric $2.00
Elastic $2.00
Total $4.00

Beach Shorts
Pattern (used before) $0.00
Fabric $2.00
Zip $2.50
Buttons $0.00
Total $4.50

Green Jalie Hoodie
Pattern (used before) $0.00
Fabric $2.00
Zips $3.00
Ribbing $5.00
Total $10.00

Thread $2.99
Fabric (remnant) $0.00
Needles $3.49
Hook $3.99
Elastic $2.45
Total $12.92

Maria Denmark Tee
Fabric $6.00
Pattern (used before) $0.00
Total $6.00

Total January Me Made  $48.58
RTW $0.00