Sunday, February 28, 2016

Vogue 9103

I don't often treat myself to quality fabric, more often than not, picking mine up on sale tables and op shops.  In this instance I did treat myself at The Fabric Store's end of summer 2015 sale, to a piece of lovely weight linen.  I had in mind a dress and shortly after acquired Vogue 9103.  Both sat in my stash over winter and then I began researching.  Oddly enough, Googling Vogue 9103 didn't produce many results.  This should have raised a red flag and experience says I should have shelved this pattern right there, or at the very least made a muslin as I often do, out of some less expensive fabric.  But no, I plowed along with my dress plans.

I cut the dress out to a size 10 grading to a 12 at the hips which is my normal big four size.   I had a piece of satin lining in my stash that I used to line the bodice. I then put the dress on to trial the fit.  Hmmm!!  Oh my goodness!  To my credit, I didn't realise this pattern didn't come with a no butt ruffle option or I would have chosen it but the only word that springs to mind over this feature was, UGLY!  It stuck out like a Victorian Bustle and pulled the entire dress out of shape.  It took me all of about 30 seconds to realise that it had to go!  Had this been a muslin I would have abandoned this dress there and then but the lovely linen and my aversion to wastage kept me going.  Out came the unpicker there and then.

A couple of hours and a little thinking time later, I had my rescued back pieces and my pattern pieces laid out on the floor.  My solution was to cut the back to mirror the front, taking into account the back hip section.  I wasn't sure it would work but at this point it was worth a try.  It did make my pieces slightly shorter but given I had cut it to midi length, it wasn't a complete disaster.  I had already decided I needed to let the entire dress out a fraction through the mid section, so I did this at the time as well.

I really like the resulting dress.  It is lovely and swishy to wear and I actually, quite surprisingly like the creases, a day in linen inevitably produces.  There are a couple of things that do irk me slightly about this dress though.  It is a lovely dress to wear to work on a hot day, but I do wish I had used something other than satin for the bodice lining to make it a little more comfortable in the heat.  The second irk is the centre front seam.  The linen being a loosely woven fibre doesn't like that seam and I fear it will pull over time.  For now though it is fine, but sitting in an office all day, this is an obvious area for strain.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016


Yesterday was the fifth anniversary of Christchurch's deadly earthquake of 2011.  While the shakes of the last couple of weeks have been a real reminder of what we have been through, the past year for me has been all about progress. We have been progressively putting back together what we lost in the 2010 earthquake so the past year have been all about renovating.  The end is in sight but it has all necessitated a bit of home decor sewing. I must admit I really am not a great fan of making curtains but it does save a lot of money and mean I can have something unique, a bit like clothes making really. 

My daughter moved out of home last month, into her first flat and took with her some of my furniture.    Somehow she managed to convince me to not only donate the contents of her room but also one of our lounge suites as well which of course necessitated the purchase of a new one and then well, you can't have a new lounge suite without new cushions and because I had fabric in my stash, I couldn't justify the purchasing of cushions.  You know how the story goes!  New cushions made, I still had a completely empty bedroom which my youngest son quickly claimed.  After all of this effort though I was rewarded with a dedicated sewing room for the first time in 17 years.  It was a good opportunity to have a purge and the only things in my sewing room now are fabrics and patterns that I really like.  Everything else has either been thrown out or put aside to rehome.  It has been a couple of weeks now, and I have been very good and managed to keep my new room tidy.  I intend to keep it that way!

While I was in a charitable mood, it was a good opportunity to do some unselfish sewing so over the last couple of weeks I have made my youngest two new pairs of training togs using Jalie 3242, and underwear drawers have also been restocked.

Right!  Now I have all of that out of the way, it is time to make something for me, before I have to make another set of curtains!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

'For Comparative Purposes'

After making my Moody Blues dress in December, I was still curious about the  Papercut Patterns Flutter dress.  It was Lara of Thornberry that convinced me to make the real thing 'for comparative purposes'.  It has taken me a while Lara, but here it is!

I cut the pattern to extra small grading to small at the hips.  Rather than rush in all gung ho, I opted to make the top version out of some polyester from the $3 table at Fabric Vision for my trial. 

What did I change?  The back seemed to have excessive amounts of fabric so I made the seam allowance down the back 2cm and eliminated the vent in the process.  I also found that it ran really short so I had to make a false hem to eek out a bit of extra length.  To do this I used some of my bias fabric that I had cut to bind the neckline.

The resulting top is really pretty in the floral polyester but it did take some getting used to the shoulders being quite so low.  When I initially put it on, it felt like my straps had fallen off my shoulders.  After a while though,  I did get used to this strange feeling.

If I was to make another one, I think I would blend both patterns.  I like the looseness of the Papercut top and the width of the sleeves but prefer the curve and drop of my shoulder seam.  Will there be another this summer?  There just might!  I even have a choice of two potential fabrics to make another dress.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Black Thurlow Shorts

Black long shorts have been on my wishlist for a couple of summers now but because they aren't what you would call cake, they have been pushed to the bottom of my sewing queue.  Before Christmas though, I finally pulled out my piece of cotton sateen that was reserved for this project and spent a couple of evenings whipping them up.

Because my Thurlow pattern is a tnt, there was only a small amount of fitting involved in making these shorts.  Once again, I cut a size 6.  I made fake back welt pockets because I never actually use back pockets and lined the waistband with some light weight non stretch denim to keep the waistband from permanently stretching out.

Because this wasn't the most exciting sewing project, I decided to shake these shorts up a little with secret pocket linings made with a piece of quilting cotton from my stash.  I am not loosing my marbles, thank you!  I know exactly where they are!

In total now, including this pair, I have made 9 pairs of shorts using  the Sewaholic Thurlow pattern that isn't even taking into account the numbers of pairs of trousers I have also made using this pattern.  The way I figure it, this pattern actually owes me nothing! 

The above photos were taken at Split Apple Rock in Abel Tasman National Park.  The Kayakers in the background are on a tour.  They are quite funny to watch.  The entire Abel Tasman National Park area is dotted with groups of kayakers on guided tours at this time of the year.  These ones, have pulled up their Kayaks for morning tea.  They have even erected a makeshift shelter with a tarpaulin and a couple of paddles.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

End of January Wrap Up

Just looking at these photos, I really want to be on holiday again! January's blogging efforts were in fact December makes.  I still have January to photograph.  Not that there has been much sewing this month.  Between adjusting to a new working year, moving my daughter out of home and into her first flat and redecorating and  re allocating the rooms in our own home, I haven't had a very productive month on the sewing front.  In the process of moving into my very first dedicated sewing room, I have discovered that I have way too much fabric and rather than make it up into more clothes that I really do not need, I will be spending some time culling my stash in other ways.  Whether this means my family will be the recipients of some new clothes or I find other ways to reduce the growing mountain of fabric, it really must go.  So from here on in, I am on a stash diet.

January Wrap Up

McCalls Beach Dress
Pattern $7.50
Fabric $2.00
Total $9.50

McCalls White Top
Pattern (used before)  $0.00
Lace (gifted) $0.00
Fabric $2.00
Total $2.00

New Look/BurdaStyle Mash Up Top
Fabric $12.00
Pattern (used before) $0.00
Button (from stash) $0.00
Total $12.00

McCalls Modified Maxi Skirt
Pattern (used before) $0.00
Fabric $6.00
Elastic (from stash) $0.00
Total $6.00

Total Me Made $29.50
Total RTW $0.00