Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Burda Style Contortionist



I love a knit dress for summer and anything that can go from shoved into a suitcase to worn is always a holiday winner, whether it be for a camping trip or a grander destination.  Burda Style 2/2013, very aptly named Contortionist, fit the bill.

The perfect piece of knit, and I can't for the life of me remember the composition, had been in my stash for a while having been acquired at one of Cotura Fashions fabric sales.




I had my doubts about this dress while I was constructing it.  If you have been following me on Instagram, you would have seen my frustration with the lack of instructions and complicated origami to get this dress right, despite this being the feature pattern in this particular issue.   The only change I made was to add fish eye darts to the back to take into account my sway back.   I would have liked to avoid the seam up the centre front but due to the design, unfortunately, it is a necessary evil.  I have to say though, Burda did a great job with fit on this one and I really like it.  The colour of the fabric is really intense  and I certainly won't get lost in a crowd.




Going from winter to summer, this dress did exactly as I planned! A quick switcheroony in the aeroplane bathroom off the California coast and I was ready for summer.




This dress did not get a lot of wear on my trip due to footwear choices and blisters so sneakers became my norm.  



I did get a quickly snapped photo as worn on my phone but for this dress that is the best that I could do.  I went away with great intentions but my holiday got in the way of the outfit photos, as it should.

Incidentally, this is the fourth pattern I have made up from this issue of Burda Style.  All in all I have made 8 items of clothing from this issue.  For me that is a record!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Grainline Alder V2



This dress was on my sewing list last summer but I simply ran out of time.  The need for a loose cool dress to wear in the Las Vegas heat made me revisit it in the depths of our winter.  



My chosen fabric is a rayon that was originally two hideous cheaply made kimono tops on the remnant rack in an end of season sale.  I loved the print so bought two for a knock down price of $10 for both.  The kimonos necessitated a seam in the back bodice.   Other than that small alteration, the dress was put together to the pattern.  


The finished dress I love as much as I imagined I would, although I am pleasantly surprised that I love the gathered skirt as much as the straight version.   Gathers are a complete departure from my usual style but I feel this style of gathered skirt is quite grown up.




This dress will be equally as useful with a jacket or cardigan in spring in New Zealand although judging by the above photo, not so much on one of our blustery norwest days!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Tessuti Meets New Look




So while I was making my New Look top, a plan was forming, a plan to combine the bottom half and bodice of the New Look top with the neckline and sleeves of the Tessuti Alice top.  How hard could it be!  It turns out , pretty easy!  





I didn't make a pattern and just laid one pattern on top of the other.  I used the remaining embroidered cotton for the bodice and lined it with an old white valance from the remnant bin.  The rest of the top was made from rayon I picked up at Spotlight's sale.


I love the resulting top and when I have the time,  I will be shopping my stash for small pieces of fabric to make more.


Monday, September 14, 2015

A Grand Top



Since, at this point I was feeling a bit uncertain about Tessuti Alice, for my next sewing summer clothing in winter project, I decided to make a complete U turn and sew something from the big 4.  I had bought New Look 6871 before Alice but there is just something about Alice that compelled me to make it up first. 

When Spotlight had a 50% off fabric sale in July, I think it was, I bought a piece of embroidered cotton and a couple of pieces of rayon with this top in mind.  Unlike my Alice top, this time I jumped in feet first and didn't make a muslin.  




I cut the entire top to a size 10 and really love how it turned out.  I used the embroidered cotton for the front and back bodice, some op shop shirting for the inside of the bodice and binding and a piece of the sale rayon for the rest of the top.



This top did go in my suitcase and was worn a ton while I was away.  It is lovely and cool to wear without exposing too much skin to the harsh sun.  I know it will become a wardrobe staple over the summer.

For those that don't recognise the location above, these photos were taken at the Grand Canyon hence my lame attempt at a title!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Didn't Make the Cut



 Packing for holidays is always a bit of a lottery.  I have tried packing for all possible situations and also the minimalist approach. This time I aimed for somewhere in between.  Knowing I had no laundry facilities for a week, minimalist was not an option.  I think this top was the only thing in my bag that came home unworn.  I think I would label this top a failure, although not totally because there are things I do like about it.  I love the neckline and the arm bands but I do not like the way it sticks out unattractively at the front.  This reminds me of a maternity top and having been the wearer of maternity tops in the past, admittedly reluctantly, the whole idea of maternity tops sends me into a cold sweat.  




The fabric in this top is somewhat sheer which does not help the cause and does not drape at all well.  I think made in a rayon it may well sit very nicely but a cotton shirting does not do the pattern justice.  The pattern is Tessuti Alice, which looks lovely on everyone I have seen it on so far which just added to my disappointment with this one.  Fortunately I chose to trial the pattern in a piece of op shop fabric so the only real investment I made was time.  While on holiday, I couldn't even bring myself to wear it for a photo. 


I actually consider myself fortunate to come home with any photos after leaving my camera at home on the dining room table and inadvertently packing my daughters boyfriends camera instead, complete with zoom lens only and no charger!  Fortunately my daughter realised our mistake before I went through airport security and rushed mine out to me....phew lucky save!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Form and Function




I am just back from two weeks in USA and before I show you what I made for my trip, I have to show you what I made to wear during the 27 hours between leaving home and arriving at my destination. There were a couple of issues to overcome in deciding on what to wear on the plane.  The first, being we were leaving winter and arriving in summer and when I say summer, I mean 10 degrees celcius to 42 degrees celcius!  The second consideration was due to our flight conditions, I needed to be dressed in corporate attire during the duration.  The third consideration was comfort due to the duration of travel. 



I had intended to take photographs before leaving for the airport but due to a near disaster ran out of time.  We were due to fly out of Christchurch at 3.30pm so I decided to go and watch my older son's rugby final.  I had planned to arrive home from the game, make a leisurely lunch before heading to the airport.  My plans were foiled when I got back to the car after the game.  The car in front of me and behind me had parked so close to me I could not get out.  Knowing the drivers of the vehicles may not be back for a couple of hours, I began to panic.  In the end my husband had to drive over and rescue me and we arrived home just in time to quickly change and head straight to the airport, hence no photograph.  So above is a recreated version.



I got my husband to snap a quick but awkward phone photo as the rest of the cabin looked on.  Perhaps I should have finished the bubbly first.   I may not have been quite as concerned about an audience!



My chosen travel outfit consisted of My Image Ponti Pants, McCalls/Belcarra frankenpattern top and my third version of Grainline Morris which I whipped up during my Grainline Morris making streak.  

This version of Grainline Morris is made using remnants.  I had a piece of black quilted knit left over from my Tessuti Alexa sweat shirt and added a large remnant of ponti.  Just like I did with the red version, I left out the centre back seam and lengthened the sleeves.  Like my red version also, I had to put a seam in the sleeves and used both fabrics out of necessity and to tie the two fabrics 
together.  



As I said previously, this pattern really is a great one for using up leftovers and although this is the last version in my current queue, there will be more during spring.


Saturday, September 5, 2015

End of August Wrap Up





I am a little bit late with my August wrap up but I have been a little preoccupied exploring the western states of USA over the last couple of weeks.  Because I have been missing in action, I only had the time to post three of my August makes.  I had hoped to photograph my travel wardrobe while I was away but until I wade through the thousands of images on my memory card I really don't know whether I have any suitable images.  I do hope so!


End of August Wrap Up

Silk Wool Shift Dress
Pattern (used before) $0.00
Fabric $20.00
Zip $0.00
Total $20.00

Lindy Petal Skirt
Fabric (free) $16.95
Pattern $0.00
Total $16.95

Ginger Jeans
Denim $31.92
Pattern (used before) $0.00
Zip $3.00
Button (from stash) $0.00
Interfacing (from stash) $0.00
Thread (from stash) $0.00
Total $34.92

Total Me Made $71.87

Total RTW $0.00