Monday, April 28, 2014

Lekala 4329 In Pleather

I have just completed my first ever sewalong with Lara of Thornberry.  The pattern Lara chose was Lekala 4329.  I had been scheming a similar type of jacket for a while at this point so jumped at the opportunity.  I must admit that it also helps that Lekala patterns are soo cheap to buy and customised to individual measurements.  I am a lazy sewist so muslining and fitting alterations I find a bit of a bore.  I like visual progress and none of that behind the scenes stuff screams visual progress at all.  Now I took a punt on this pattern and after a cursory wave around with the measuring tape over the pieces I began nervously cutting.  

The fabric I chose is a looped back knit with a coated front side.  The coating means the fabric has very little stretch.  It is nice to work with but very unforgiving of mistakes which meant every seam needed to be carefully considered.  Also, I bought the remaining fabric on the roll from Cotura Fashions so there really was no going back once this was cut out. 

Fortunately as I found out, the fabric can be lightly pressed. Because the fabric was quite light and drapey, I felt I needed to add some extra warmth for the winter.  So, instead of lining the jacket in an acetate lining, I have opted for a poly sateen with a flannel interlining.  This did make the process quite convoluted but I am really happy with the weight and feel of the resulting lining.

I felt that the jacket was a little long so before finishing it, I shortened it by 3cm.  This of course meant shorteneing the collar as well.  I was a little concerned that this would alter the proportions of the collar but because I intended to wear the jacket without the recommended belt it ended up being a fortuitous decision and now the collar is a more petite version of its former self and actually sits neater without the belt.  I think if I had left the extra 3cm on it, it may have flapped about and been quite annoying to wear.

And the verdict!  Well, I think the last photo speaks for itself.  I am extremely pleased with how it turned out and actually wore it to work today, in the rain.  No, they are not stripes on my back but actual quite heavy rain!

Friday, April 25, 2014

I Am The Last Sewist On The Face Of The Earth To Make This

Okay that may well be a slight exaggeration but I am definitely way behind the eight ball making up Grainline Archer.  I have resisted the tempation to purchase this pattern since it was released but in the end, the desire for more button up shirts for autumn out weighed my reasoning that I already had more than adequate shirt patterns.  My successes with the Tiny Pocket Tank and the Scout Woven Tee may have had something to do with my relenting on this one and I wasn't disappointed.

The fabric I chose was a sheer white rayon that I purchased over the summer to make exactly this type of shirt and with short sleeves.  I only had a little over 1 metre so I did not have the choice to make the sleeves long.  It would have been nice to have a little more length going into the cooler weather but hey, I can always wear a jacket or a cardigan.  

I cut the shirt to size 6 grading out to size 8 in the hips.  The construction was pretty straight forward although I did have to consult the sew along to figure out how to work the front button band. 

To shorten the sleeves, I cut them as long as the fabric would allow and once stitched cut my facing from the bottom and reattached it to the right side.

I was determined to include a pocket but with absolutely no left over fabric, I used the piece I cut off the front to attach the button band and simply stitched two pieces of it together, overlocked and pressed the seams open before topstitching.  The seam down the middle of the pocket became a feature on the pocket.  I was so short of fabric that the back facing also had to have a centre back seam.  This piece was actually on the inside so thankfully can't be seen.

Like everyone else that has gone before me with this pattern, I am really pleased with how this shirt fits and there will definitely be more.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

All That Glitters

After torrential rain for over a week, the clouds finally parted and warmth returned for a few days over Easter, if briefly.  This morning it is once again raining.  I took the opportunity over the weekend to photograph the last of the summer makes and this one got worn yesterday for a bit of shopping and lunch.

It is of course Grainline Scout.  It is make of a scant yard of shot cotton that I bought from  When I bought it I neglected to take into account the narrower width of this fabric (110cm wide)
so actually didn't order enough.  

I have played with this fabric and put it back in my stash several times over the past few months before I actually worked out what I could do with it.  Due to the fabric constraints, I cut the top short and added a band to the bottom, also running the sleeves in the opposite direction.

I made a bias binding neck facing out of some co-ordinating cotton out of remnants to complete the top.

I am really happy with how his top worked out and I am sure it will be another regular in both my weekend and weekday rotation. 

Leibster Award/Me Made May

Way back at the beginning of March, I was nominated by Paola
for a Leibster award.  Now, everything has got in the way of my blogging since then.  In fact on many an occasion I have had to choose between typing up a post and sewing and guess what?  Sewing won every time.  I now have a small backlog of projects.  Anyho, with Easter approaching what better time to play catch up!  I hope you don't mind Paola, I haven't been ignoring you, merely procrastinating.

The rules of the award are, as I understand, that I need to answer the questions set by the nominator and then pass the award along to blogs with under 200 followers.  Let the games begin :)

1:  What is your greatest achievement?

My answer to this question is probably pretty predictable considering I am a Mother of 3 but I have to say my children.  I have 3 children aged 10, 15 and my oldest who will be a fully fledged adult of 18 years old, in two months time.  I am not sure I am ready to be a mother of an adult child!

2:  What motivates me?

I have a lot of different motivations for doing what I do.  Where sewing is concerned, I am motivated by sheer enjoyment of what I do.  In other areas of life, including my work, my kids motivate me in all sorts of ways.  They are all achievers in different ways and I try to lead by example.

3:  What is number one on your bucket list?

I actually don't have a bucket list, partly because I would rather live in denial but also because I would rather achieve what I want to achieve now than in some point in the future.  More travel would be nice as the kids get older though.

4: I find $100 on the pavement, what would I spend it on?

I could think of all sorts of nice things to spend it on.  I tend to get buyers remorse after a shopping trip so a bonus $100 would probably ease my guilt.  In reality though, it would probably just go in my wallet to be used for boring stuff like bread and milk!

5:  Summer or winter, which do I prefer?

Easy peasy....summer all the way.  Winter here tends to be cold and damp and I love the outdoors and sunshine.  I love camping, the beach and barbeques.  I also like making dresses and summer fabrics are just so much more pretty than winter fabrics.

Now, the last bit of the award, I am going to renege on a bit because I am so late with it and everyone else seems to have already received it but thank you Paola for nominating me.

Now while I am playing catch up with the house keeping, I have decided after much debate to sign up to "Me Made May" again this year.  I know the daily photographs can be a bit tedious but I do like looking back at the outfits I wore and it does force me to think outside of the box when I dress each morning.  So let's see what I can come up with this year.

 'I, Andrea of Fabric Epiphanies blog, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '14. I endeavour to wear  me-made clothing each day for the duration of May 2014'

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

And I Shall Call It "White Cardigan"

Last winter I happened across some very retro white flecked Crucci Cotton Crinkle.  This yarn is 58% cotton, 26% acrylic, 13% wool and 3% nylon.  I knew I wanted to make a cardigan but finding a pattern was a little more complicated.  Initially I began a Miette but discovered that the textured lumps in the yarn made for uneven holes in the pattern.  After extensive searching through both my patterns, and Ravelry, I decided to make something up.  "Making something up" was something I did a lot in my youth and at this time most of my jerseys and cardigans were originals.  Knitting is only something I have returned to recently so this was a brave move on my behalf.  My memory however did not fail me and the resulting cardigan is very much made up.  My biggest challenge was trying to match the winter white cotton blend yarn, to something more suitable to make bands.  I settled on winter white Cleckheaton 10 ply country Aran in 100% wool.  This stuff was lovely to work with and made nice even bands.

I am really happy with the resulting cardigan.  I am not happy however in the resulting tennis elbow.  Sadly I have just worked out that my elbow which has been aching for the last couple of months has been aggravated by my knitting interest being rekindled.  After my current project is off the needles, I may have to hang them up until it is healed.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Rainbow Set

When the underwire began poking out of my seaspray spot set it became increasingly obvious that it was time to make another underwear set.  The whole process is still very much a learning experience.  My favourite set to date is my white set.  Why?   Well this set is made of sturdy fabric and lined with a thick non stretch cotton sweat-shirting.  This works very well for support but does mean that the centre cup seam is visible under clothing. 

Once again I used Kwik Sew 3300 and McCalls 5400.  To
avoid the visible cup seam issue, I changed the order of construction on the next set.  Instead of joining all of the pieces at the centre cup seam in one big thick seam, I constructed the outer lining and cotton fleece interlining separately.   I also flat zigzagged the cotton fleece at the centre cup to avoid a large ridge.  I then stitched the front cup seam and under stitched all 3 layers together at the centre cup seam.  It all sounds very complicated but was actually quite simple. 
The fabric I used was leftover from this dress and the sweat-shirting was a remnant from kids sweatshirts.  The only thing I really had to account for was the hooks and elastic which were in my stash and the power net for the back straps.  The slides and eyes I picked up really cheaply at Lincraft.  The escaping wires were from the previous set so all in all it was quite cheap to produce.
When I showed my husband what I had made he commented that I won't be wearing it under a white top.  This is quite true but given winter is coming, I quite like the idea of colourful under things on an otherwise dull day.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

End Of March Wrap Up

End Of March Wrap Up
March was a slow month on the blogging front.  This was largely due to life getting in the way of regular blogging but also because there are a couple of projects that I was completing which are yet to be written about.  One of these was a knitting project and the second a sewalong which has been just about completed for the past few weeks but I am not able to write about just yet!  The suspense is killing me.  When I have completed a project I ususally like to write about it straight away.
Jaipur Dress
Pattern $10.78
Fabric Gifted $0.00
Lining $15.38
Zip $3.99
Total $30.15
Black/White Vogue Dress
Pattern $10.78
Fabric $2.00
Total $12.78
Grey Tessuti Tee
Fabric $6.00
Pattern (used before)$0.00
Total $6.00
Vibrant Colette Dress
Pattern (free from library) $0.00
Fabric $31.00
Lining (remnant) $0.00
Zip (from stash) $0.00
Total $31.00
Total Me Made $79.93
Total RTW $151.00