Thursday, January 28, 2016

New Look 6781 Version 2

After the success of my beach dress using New Look 6781, it should probably come as no surprise that this pattern has been used again.   This time I have made a top. I may even use it in its intended form one day! 

The fabric I chose is a white crushed crepe type fabric of unknown composition that I picked up at the op shop.   

Once again I cut the front on the fold but this time I opted to add sleeves.  I added a panel of 
guipire lace to the front inset of the bodice.  The lace is vintage and was gifted to me by my mother.  I used some of it previously on this dress.  Finally I finished the top with some white self made bias binding.

I really like boho type tops at the moment but patterns for this type of top are few and far between and at 1.60m tall the trend is one that I have to be careful of.  Boho styles don't generally favour short people and I have to take care not to add too much volume to my small frame.  What I really like about this top is, although it has pleats in the front, it skims over the body rather than attempting to hide it.

The resulting top has become a firm favourite.  Unfortunately though, being white it spends a lot of time in the laundry so I might just have to make one in a more practical colour.   

Thursday, January 21, 2016

New Look Burdastyle Mash Up

While I was Christmas shopping at the mall, I got a little distracted at Country Road.  The object of my distraction is this top:

I went straight home and dug through my stash to find a piece of white linen and some black rayon knit.

My plan was to use the top of Burdastyle #109 04/2013 and join it to the lower section of New Look 6871.  The top half was to be in linen and the lower part in the knit.  I then proceeded to draw out my bodice using a Frixion pen and ruled horizontal lines where my embroidery was to be.  This is the first time I have really used the embroidery stitches on my Juki sewing machine.  I didn't bother with embroidery thread, just using regular black thread.  After I had completed all of my rows of embroidery, I cut out my bodice and then ironed the pieces which erased all of my pen lines.

I cut a facing for the neckline out of more of the linen and made a loop closure from a piece of poplin.  The button was from my stash. I used a knit binding to bind the armholes then finished the hem with a twin needle.

My finished top is actually quite different from the inspiration top but the embroidered bodice was what drew me to it in the first place.  I am really pleased with the way this turned out.  The black rayon knit is really quite drapey and hangs nicely when worn.


Would I make this style again?  Yup definitely in one form or another.  This is the third time I have used New Look 6871 and all three versions are very different so I certainly wouldn't rule out a fourth.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Maxi Skirt McCall's 6559 Hack

Right before Christmas, and I am talking maybe a day or two before my house guests arrived and I finished work for the year, I decided I simply must have a maxi skirt to take away on my camping holiday.  I had some lovely rayon knit fabrics I had bought at Fabric Visions half price sale on their sale fabric table.  I wasn't sure what I was doing and didn't really have a pattern.  Talk flying by the seat of my pants!  I just knew that I must have that darn skirt. 

After obsessing about said skirt for around 24 hours, I cut it out and whipped it up.   I used I used McCall's 6559 for my pattern and simply cut it off at the waist.  I then added a waistband  and threaded through some wide elastic....job done!

I wore my new skirt out to dinner on our camping holiday.  It was perfect to cover legs that had already seen a lot of sun that day and just dressy enough for our casual restaurant overlooking the beach.  I have had maxi dresses in the past and these haven't really had a lot of use.  A skirt just might be a bit more practical for my lifestyle and the fact that it has already had it's first outing is a positive start!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A Beach Dress

Red and white candy striped fabric reminds me of beach huts, deck chairs and beach bags.  It is quite surprising then, that even though these images are conjured up when I see this fabric, it took so long to realise that this fabric was destined to become something beachy!  I bought it at the op shop, ages ago.  So long ago in fact that I can't even remember when!  It is a seersucker so the risk in making it up was that I would turn it into something juvenile.  I did however need something to throw over my swim suit this summer and this fabric was the obvious choice. It was light weight and didn't require ironing which is essential when camping.  Right before Christmas I set about turning an otherwise useless piece of fabric into something altogether useful but even as I cut it out I wasn't sure whether I was on to a winner.

I chose New Look 6781 which was already in my collection but at this point unused.  I cut both the front yoke and the front pieces on the fold, lengthened of course,  and hoped like heck I would be able to pull the dress on without the need for a zipper.  The yoke I cut with the stripes running across and the rest of the dress running down.  I then cut bias strips to finish both the neck and armholes.  I had just enough leftover to cut pockets for no other reason than I wanted pockets.

After trying the dress on I thought it would benefit from a couple of fish eye darts in the back and I think this really helped elevate it from shapeless sack into something altogether wearable.

I am really pleased with the results and glad I took a risk on both the fabric choice and the creative licence I took with the pattern.  Oh, and I was really relieved to discover that I could pull it on over my head with ease, thank goodness!

Did I wear this dress on holiday?  As you can see, yes I did and as a swimsuit cover up.  No, that is not my underwear you can see in the photographs, phew!

These pictures were taken at Kaiteriteri beach, one of my favourite parts of New Zealand.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

2015 - A Wrap Up

Just looking through my photographs I realise just how many successes I have had this year.  My sewing has finally moved from pretty to practical and my me made items are some of my most worn and favourite items in my wardrobe.  That being said, me made makes up 90% of my wardrobe also.  Despite working extended hours now, I hope this is something I can keep up because a recent shopping trip made me realise just how much I value the fit and quality of the items I make compared to their rtw counterparts.

Most Worn Items

This is a tough one because there are now so many.  I would have to say, both versions of my Ginger Jeans.  These are by far the best pants I have ever made and since I wear jeans outside of work constantly they also give me the best bang for my buck.  Followed closely by my Merino boyfriend cardigan made using Jalie 3352 but altered to a cardigan.

Item I Am Most Proud Of

I would have to say the item I am most proud of is both versions of leather jacket I have made this year.  I began by making one for myself and quickly followed this with one for Courteney out of the leftovers.  This is closely followed by my Grainline Cascade which is the first coat I reach for in the winter months.

Noteable Mentions

Well, this is perhaps the most difficult category because I could name so many but I think simply because I have worn the darn things practically to death, I would have to say both my Grainline Morris blazers and Sewaholic Oakridge blouses.  This is currently being closely followed by my Tessuti Alice New Look mash up.  I have worn this top so much lately and I think it will need a friend sometime soon because I have noticed it is starting to show signs of wear.

Not My Best Work

I am not sure what to put here so my benchmark is items that have now passed on to the Op Shop and I am happy to report that nothing I have made this year has been given the flick but there may be one item moving on at the end of the summer and that is my Vogue 1395 dress.  I just don't like the way it pulls backwards and it annoys me when I wear it.  To date this dress has only been worn twice.

The Tessuti Alice top was a non starter and in hindsight this was probably more due to the fabric than my earlier complaints.  The fabric was not at all drapey and way to sheer so it didn't get worn even once.

Lastly this Sewaholic Belcarra went in the donation pile because I just didn't like the fabric.

The Figures for 2015

In 2015, I made a total of 83 items.   Not all of these were for me.   My me made items totalled $1573.79 and RTW $983.32.  Most of my RTW purchases were shoes but some underwear featured as well.  This total was a little higher this year due to an overseas trip. One thing that has altered is my fabric stash.  This seems to have rather taken over and is another thing I hope to get under control in 2016.

Plans for 2016

I am not really one for making sewing plans but, I have another pair of Ginger jeans planned plus I would like to improve my swimwear and underwear skills.  No doubt there will be many more things made but I tend to sew what I feel like making and not planning too far ahead.  For now though, I have finally caught up on photographing the things I have made recently thanks to a trip to Abel Tasman National Park and a couple of weeks of much needed R&R in the form of camping.  So without further ado, lets get on with 2016!