Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Rash Vest

Now, since I have been back to reality for quite some time, it is a good thing that I am finally catching up on my holiday posts.  One thing about a camping trip, there is plenty of time to be alone with ones thoughts.  My thoughts were largely occupied by sewing plans some of which could wait but one such plan was for a rash vest suitable for sun protection on the kayak.  I had a piece of metallic looking lycra that I had intended for young J's swim shorts but open arriving in the mail, Courteney declared it to be too stripper like so it was relegated to the cupboard in disgust.  It may not have been suitable for swim shorts but a rash vest is a whole different story. When I returned from my first camping trip, I put said plans into action.  

The pattern I chose  was my favourite Tessuti tee pattern, the Tessuti Alexa.   I teemed my rubbery looking stripper fabric with some black from my stash and ended up with a very tee shirt looking rash vest which is exactly the look I was after.   I spliced the front and added black panels at the sides, sleeves and neckband.  Finally, I twin needle top stitched the seams and hems.

There is not a lot more to be said about this top, except that it worked a treat and was perfect for throwing over wet swimwear for the walk back from the beach.

Finally, and it does not have anything to do with my rash vest, after watching the kids jump off the bridge in the background for a week, my 11 year old decided he was going to have a go, against his mothers best advice....boys!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Swim Wear

After seeing Gabrielle's gorgeous lycra, I used the fact my son is a swimmer and always needed new swim shorts as justification to buy more Lycra.  I admit to buying the exact same fabric from Spandex House.

I have been tempted to buy Jalie 3350 since it was released and this fabric was the enabler.  I cut the pattern out to size R but a one piece was not part of the plan.  I envisiaged a tankini and it was a simple process to convert it from a one piece to a tankini.  I lengthened the body of the suit and simply cut the pant section off.

The cross over top had me stumped briefly but was actually quite simple to construct.  I did line the front of the top which was not part of the pattern and added a piece of elastic under the bust.  Rather than get my coverstitch machine out I decided to twin needle the hem.  I also made the straps thicker than the pattern dictated.

For the pants I used my trusty McCall's 5400 but instead of adding narrow elastic to the top I added a large coloured band and threaded through a piece of 2cm wide elastic before topstitching it in place.  Unlike previous pairs, this time I fully lined them with swimsuit lining.

I think this is perhaps my favourite swim suit yet and I really like the pattern.  I like that it is designed to contain removeable swim suit cups and also like the support the design gives without being frumpy.  Beware though to those intending to make this suit, that this suit is more designed for a A or B cup and anyone larger may find it a bit skimpy.

Just looking at these photos after the fact, apart from the very strange tan lines going on, I can see that my top would actually benefit from being longer.  Because I have quite a large waist to hip ratio, I find that a two piece tends to ride up which is extremely annoying.  The answer may well be to add ease below the waist instead of the negative ease that rtw suits tend to have.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Unlucky For Some

Before Christmas I just had time to make my annual camping hoody.  It should come as no surprise that for the 13th time I made Jalie 2795 again.   By now I could probably make this pattern in my sleep!  The fabric I chose was a gorgeous 100% cotton soft quality brushed cotton sweatshirting that I have been keen  to use for quite some time.  I originally bought 8 metres of it when making nappies for a living so it has been in my stash since then.  Luckily I also managed to pick up some perfectly matching ribbing in my travels at some point as well.

Just like my last version, I added a facing to the front which looks a lot neater when the zipper is down.  I then lined the hood with some white interlock.

As it happens, I really didn't need the hoody!  It did get a little cool occasionally outside after dark but over the two and a half weeks of camping it actually didn't rain once!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Staying Cool In The Heat

Jumping forward a little bit, I thought I would show you my last make of the year.  After holidaying at the beach for a week, I returned home for two days to clean up and re pack before leaving on a second beach holiday.  In my two days at home I decided I needed a cool to wear pair of shorts.

I had some pinkish crepe type of fabric in my stash that was soft and non crush and gifted to me by my mother. It was the perfect weight for elastic waisted shorts. 

I used  the shorts version of Papercut Anima as my pattern and added 1cm to the width of each piece to account for the woven fabric.  Finally I added some cotton lace to the hem because I had seen a lot of rtw shorts finished this way.

Once the shorts were finished though, I decided that actually they were a little too casual for my liking and they instantly became pyjama shorts.  I must have known something because these shorts have been a life saver in the heat this month.  These photos were taken at 8.30am yesterday morning when the temperature was already 24 degrees celcius in the shade and rose to a very warm 35 degrees by early afternoon.  Hmmm, maybe I need another pair!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Hats Off To You!

My usual hat of choice in the heat is a baseball cap but sometimes something a little more girly is called for and this is where the gap is in my wardrobe.  You see, actually, I am not a hat person at all!  I do however suffer from migraines and a lack of a hat and the heat tend to be a migraines worst nightmare.

Vogue 7600, has been in my pattern collection for over a year but other more attention grabbing patterns have always got in the way of my making it.  Not this year however!  Right before Christmas my hat making went from want to actual need and I bit the bullet and dug out some suitable fabric and got to work.  I had a large piece of black light weight non stretch denim in my stash left over from a pair of jeans I made early on in my blogging.

I chose view A with the flat top and large brim.  Given my denim was a little boring I lined the hat crown with some lovely black and white floral cotton duck to add a little interest.  Okay, when worn, it wouldn't be seen but I knew it was there!  

Initially, I was keen to work with fabrics and notions I already have so proceeded to make the hat with some medium weight iron on interfacing.  I opted to add the interfacing to both sides of the brim and the crown.  Part way through though it quickly became apparent that a brim of this weight required a heavier solution, so a quick trip to Lincraft was in order.

With my now much heavier interfacing, I proceeded to undo most of the work I had already done (don't you hate that), and recreated my hat with heavier structure.  I removed a couple of centimetres of width in the brim because it sat a little low around my neck.  I then added a removable band in the same fabric as my lining, just to give the hat a little more interest.

The resulting hat is now a perfect fit.  It is still something that languishes in my wardrobe for the most part unworn, due to my hat aversion, but when I do require a girly hat, I now have just the thing and a hat I actually like!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Active Pursuits

 Courteney had a holiday planned at the end of  December with friends.  Australians will be familiar with the term schoolies and this was our version, a trip for high school graduates to celebrate the end of the year and graduation, or translated, something to be avoided if you are over 18 years old.  She planned to swim while on this holiday and asked me to make her a bikini.  She didn't want any bikini though, she requested one that would stay on.  I would have thought that would be a prerequisite with any swimwear but it appears that a lot of what can be bought in the shops does not perform this function well during any form of active swimming.  It seems that this type of swimwear is more suited to sunning one self on the beach, an activity that is not encouraged due to New Zealands harsh sun and high skin cancer risk.

Our pattern of choice for the bottoms is M'Calls 5400 in size 10, and should come as no surprise to my regular readers given I have lost count of the pairs I have made using this pattern. 

 Courteney's top pattern of choice is Jalie 3247.  This pattern is designed to be used with fold over elastic but I had different ideas.  I added 1cm to the edges that required the application of elastic and attached swimwear elastic.  The fabric I chose was nylon spandex from Spandex House.  I lined the top with white swimwear lining from The Remnant Warehouse.

This was a really quick make.  On trying the top on though, Courteney did request cup liners for the top.  Since it is complete now, this required that I hand stitch them in but for future versions I will add an extra layer of lining and pockets to insert them.  She is however really happy with the performance of the set and has requested a second set.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

More Christmas Sewing

My husband got quite enthusiastic when I suggested to him I would make him a new shirt.  The problem was that patience was not his greatest virtue and after being hounded mercilessly during the construction of this shirt I was actually regretting my decision.  His excitement did wane considerably however when I suggested I take his photo for my blog.  He has managed to escape the camera lens thus far but a photograph is part of the sewing deal and my family are usually happy to oblige.  He has this hurry up and get this over with so I can go to work face on.

Once again I used Italian cotton from The Remnant Warehouse.  This time though, the fabric is not stretch so I opted not to add front dart like in 'M's shirt.  I was initially going to trim the shirt with white but after a little perusal of the quilting section at Fabric Vision, I chose a piece of Timeless Treasures cotton in a leaf print.  I decided that this was not too feminine bu gave he check the lift it needed from it's boring business shirt origins.

The pattern once again is Burda 7045 .  This time I cut size 44 and like my last version, shaped the hem the same as my Grainline Archer.

The fabric was lovely to work with but not quite as nice as the cotton stretch.  It is a lighter weight fabric. 

I am pretty happy with the final result despite the finer weight fabric.  Oh, and I am really happy with the fit!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Scrappy Shorts

With holidays looming, shorts were on my must have list.  I have a total of one pair that actually fit.   The pattern would be a no brainer but fabric choice was the difficult part.  I tend to make shorts out of leftovers from previous projects and this pair was no exception.  The fabric I used for this pair was leftover from my Thurlow Capris from last year. 

I didn't actually have quite enough fabric so a piece of white cotton duck out of my stash was used for the waistband and fly facing.  I was just able to squeeze out belt tabs and had to be a little miserly with the pocket facing.

For the pocket bags I cut up an old valance.  The zip was also rescued from old trousers and matched the brown spots.  The buttons which surprisingly are a perfect match, were also rescued off an unloved garment.

I cut the shorts, Thurlows, to a size 4, but ended up running them in at the sides a lot.  Next time I will make a size 2.

All in all this project cost me nothing.  I think they are set to become firm favourites.

Friday, January 2, 2015

End Of 2014 Wrap Up

It has been a huge year in our household.  It began with my 17 year old daughter going on a school trip to India for a month and actually missing Christmas.  In the middle of the year she turned 18, so is now officially an adult.  This was followed by her year 13 formal and finally high school graduation.  To mark the occasion of her last school formal I once again made her dress and this is without a doubt my greatest sewing achievement of the year.

Rated second on my achievement list is more of a lightbulb moment than achievement and that came in the form of  'M's' waistcoat.  Although not technically difficult to sew it did sew the seed, if you pardon the pun, for more menswear in the future.

 Number 3 on my list is a more recent make, and is the latest pair of Jalie Jeans I made this month.  I am really pleased with these and would love to clone them half a dozen or so times because jeans are the true work horse in my wardrobe. 

Number 4, is another workhorse although has been put into storeage for the summer.  My wool coat was the most worn item of the winter.  Aside from the fact the fit is perfect, the style enables it to be worn over multiple layers for both casual and work.

Number 5, is a tee shirt.  This is the least technically difficult and quickest make of all but I really love the fit of the multiple Tessuti Alexa's  I have made this year.  There are currently two leading favourites, my black and grey quilted version and my black and blue striped short sleeved version.

In the special mention category has to be the Grainline Archers.  I love this pattern and there will be more in 2015.  

Oh and let's not forget to mention Sewaholic Belcarra.  To date I have made 5.  My favourite is my most recent, the bird print. It is also my most successful chiffon make to date.  I have discovered, I am no longer intimidated by sheer fabrics.

My total me mades this year come to $1,103.08

My total rtw purchases this year came to $980.34

I am not even going to count how many items I made or whether they were tops or skirts etc. because at the end of the day, it really doesn't matter.   I have ended up with some real tnt items in my wardrobe and that is really what I hope to achieve when making clothes for myself.  As nice as pretty one wear items are, they really are not a great use of my time or other resources.  For 2015, I hope to extend on this and have more trousers and skirts and perhaps a couple of dresses for good measure.  

End Of December Wrap Up

End Of December Wrap Up

There has been a lot of sewing going on behind the scenes this month that will not get blogged until a later date but what you see above is most of my selfish sewing for December.  The rest will be revealed in due course!

Denim Jeans
Fabric $20.00
Pattern $0.00
Zip $0.00
Buttons $0.00
Thread $14.00
Needles $10.99
Total $44.99

Owls Jumper
Wool $0.00
Pattern $9.27
Total $9.27

Bird Belcarra
Pattern $0.00
Fabric $0.00
Total $0.00

Striped My Image Dress
Fabric $12.00
Pattern $10.75
Total $22.75

Coral My Image Jacket
Pattern $10.75
Fabric $28.03
Interfacing $4.98
Buttons $2.00
Lining $13.47
Total $59.23

Total Me Made $136.24

Total RTW $9.00