Monday, November 28, 2016

McCall's 6886 Take Two

While I was in Sydney I visited Tessuti.  I very nearly didn't until I realised that the shop I had been looking at on Google Maps that would have been logistically difficult to get to, had a twin.  That twin was less than a block from my hotel. I couldn't get my butt down there quick enough!  Choosing fabric was the most difficult thing.  I usually ponder and ponder some more and often revisit said shop.  This wasn't going to happen for me though!  Firstly I had my husband in tow and secondly we were leaving the following morning.  After probably boring my husband silly wandering around and stroking every bolt in the store (fellow sewists will know exactly what I mean) I finally settled on three pieces of fabric and this is one of them.  It is a ponti in black and white stripe which is one of my favourite fabrics in my favourite stripes of all time!  I even knew what I would be making when I got home.

McCall's 6886 was my plan for my Tessuti fabric. The weight of ponti is perfect for this dress.  Because my pattern had been fortuitously permanently altered, this dress was cut and made within one evening.  I used a piece of white cotton interlock to bind the neckline on the reverse side.
My dress was ready for my weekend camping trip to Devauchelles two weeks after our return from the Gold Coast.  The weather at the time was typically fickle as can happen in spring so not really conducive to photos in spring dresses!

This dress has become a firm favourite in the short space of time between now and then.  It makes a great weekend dress worn as above or dressed up for work.

While we were taking these photos, my husband and I were focused on where the sun and clouds were and this happened....oops!  I had to take my sneakers off and wade!  I found out the hard way that the water is freezing in October!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Saving The Best For Last

This is my last version of McCall's 7284 for a while.  I will be retiring my pattern for a while now!  This time I have made view A but with the view B hem.  My fabric of choice is a lovely soft silk cotton from The Fabric Store that I picked up in their winter sale. Unusually for me, I bought this fabric specifically for this project.

Because I have made two of these tops already, this one was a quick and easy make.

As you can see it was a firm favourite on my recent Australian holiday.

 This brings to an end my series of pre Australian holiday makes.  I am really happy with all of the items that I made for my trip.  They all got worn regularly and were the perfect transitional garments.  This is true after returning home as well.  Before blogging I usually keep my projects in my sewing room until they have been uploaded.  All of these items have been taken from that pile regularly and worn during this time both for work and weekend wear which was my intention with most of these items.    I have in the past been guilty of being drawn in by new patterns and lovely fabrics and making items that tend to gather dust in my wardrobe.  Now I am working longer hours, I want to make clothing that works for me, that is multi purpose and can be dressed up for work or down for the weekend and clothing that I would class as slow fashion.  This top ticks all of those boxes.  Long may it continue!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Burdastyle Painterly Knit Top

I am a great one for buying Burdastyle magazines and putting Post It notes all through it with styles I want to make and then my plans just never come to fruition.  Before my trip to Australia, I decided to draft up Burdastyle 05/2016 115 and try it out in some a small piece of lovely drapey knit viscose that I really wasn't sure what to do with.  This stuff is quite slippery and very drapey so I was relatively confident that the two were made for each other.  I drafted up a size 38 which is my usual Burdastyle size and graded out to 40 in the hips.  A few reviews of this top expressed concern about the sleeves not sitting nicely and requiring some extra stitching on the shoulders for it to sit correctly.  I was fully prepared to do this and actually stitched the shoulders down about 10cm below the neck band.   The armhole openings, neckband and hem were all finished with a twin needle. 

I really love this top.  It provides good sun coverage but is lovely and airy to wear.   It will get lots of wear over the summer.  Will I make it again?  Probably, when I find just the right piece of fabric!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

McCall's 7284 Take Two

After my last effort at McCall's 7284, I was keen to try again but with improvements.  Yes, I do like the first version but me being me, I am often not satisfied until I create the perfect top.  My lovely silk one is a little tight across the back when I reach forward so this time I decided to try a different view.  So as not to waste any fabric, I found a piece of crepe like fabric that had been donated to me by my mother and fortuitously it matched the leftovers of my Liberty blouse perfectly.  The dusty pink of the crepe is not entirely a flattering colour on my skin tone so matching it up with the Liberty mean't I could actually use this fabric.  It is a good job that I didn't part with it like I was tempted to do.

This time I made view B with the wider yoke but cut to size small
the same as my previous version.  The Liberty is lovely to work with and the top turned out beautifully.  I cut the front and back yokes in my Liberty fabric as well as both the sleeve and neck bindings.  

I had intended to make this top for Courteney but actually ended up being quite roomy on me, so far too big for her.  What a shame, I was forced to keep it!  Roomy it may be but this top has been worn a lot since it was made.  I wear it with my Stylearc Elle Pants for work and either shorts or jeans for the weekend.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Peachy Beachy Poolside Coverup

Now that I have my swimsuit for this summer sorted, it was time to begin thinking about a cover up.  I knew basically what I wanted but wasn't sure where to find the pattern or what fabric I would use.  I did a bit of online research and came across Hot Patterns Peachy Beachy Poolside Cover up which as an added bonus is free!  

The next step was to find some fabric.  I stress the word find, because I also wanted this to be a stash busting exercise if possible.  I came across a rather size able piece of red crepe type fabric that I had procured on one of my op shop trips.  For the record my op shop trips have not been nearly as lucrative recently so my op shop stash is starting to reduce in size considerably.

What I like particularly about this pattern is that it is sized.  This means the cover up is more like a dress than a sacky type of cover up.  I am more than okay with that!

To finish the ties I found some coloured plastic beads in my stash 
that I threaded onto the tie.  The plastic button closure was also rescued so all in all this was a very inexpensive project to sew up. 

I am pretty happy with the resulting dress/cover up, it is extremely comfortable and easy to wear and it doesn't look too shabby either! 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Closet Case Files Sophie Swim Suit

I am going to start by saying I read this very good article the other day about accepting how our bodies look in swimwear and how the lumps bumps and wrinkles that come with middle age tell the story of our lives.  There is a lot of fun time had while swimming and hiding from it we miss out.  I don't intend to miss out so what you see here is my story.

My Sophie Closet Case Files Sophie bikini was not all pain sailing. This is why I chose to start with a bikini.  They are easier to fit.

I had some left over fabric in my stash and this became my starting point.  I did have to buy sheet foam, bra channeling and a clasp.  These all came from Elle-Joans.  The wires were rescued from an old bra.

The pants were up first.  I chose to add navy sides to my pale blue floral fabric for a slimming effect and to add interest.  But after finishing them I realised that these do not suit my shape.  They were cut way too low in the leg and way above my belly button.  Shortening the rise was easy but I also wanted to raise the leg openings.  I did this using my tnt bikini pant pattern, McCall's 5400.  While I am relatively happy with the final pants, they aren't my favourite, but more on that later!

After spending quite a bit of time deciding on my top sizing, I made a rookie mistake and overlapped my foam.  I then wondered why it didn't fit.  After up sizing my cup considerably, I read the instructions and worked out my mistake.  I then went back to my original cup size and hey presto, I had a top that fits, phew!  It was becoming a little tense there for a while.

I still wasn't 100% happy with the look of the bikini though.  In theory on my middle aged body, high waisted pants seemed lit a good idea, on me I wasn't so sure!  I still had enough fabric for another pair of bottoms so made a pair of lower McCall's 5400.

So, while I am owning my body, lumps and bumps and all, for the purpose of this exercise I will only show you the photos of my wearing my favourite bottoms because I doubt the others will see much use, although you can catch a glimpse in the above photo!

Will I make this pattern again?  Definitely yes!  While I am not convinced by the pants, I love the top and a wired cupped suit is something I have wanted for a few seasons now.  I am sure with the collection of patterns I have I can certainly turn this pattern into something that works for me.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

McCall's 7284 in Silk

Kiwis and Australians may be familiar with Nina Proudman, a character on the tv show Offspring.  I love the stylish version of boho that Ninas character seems to pull of so well.  All going to plan I am hoping to emulate her just a little in my spring wardrobe and my latest top is the first in my plan.

The blue silk was a The Fabric Store sale find a couple of years ago.  I love it but was a little daunted at the thought of making it up.  Unusually for me, I didn't trial the pattern I chose to make it up in, instead diving in head first.

McCall's 7284 has not been overly popular if Google is anything to go by.  I wanted to make view A.  I cut the pattern to size 10 but after nearly completing it and trying it on, I found it was too tight across the shoulders and chest.  I was a bit gutted to say the least.  In my favour though, was the length of the sleeves, too long for my needs.  To overcome my fit issues I did two things.  I recut the sleeves with more volume in the sleeve cap and reduced my seam allowances to 1cm.  The fit is now okay but there is definitely room for improvement.  
In hindsight, I should have really trialed this pattern on a less valuable fabric.  

I really like the look of the resulting top and it works well as both a work top and for casual like I have styled it here.  I do however find it a tad snug across the chest.  

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

End of October Wrap Up

End of October Wrap Up

Merino Lindy Petal Skirt
Fabric (remnant) $0.00
Pattern (free) $0.00
Elastic (from Stash) $0.00
Total $0.00

Denim Ginger Shorts
Zip $3.00
Pattern (used before) $0.00
Fabric (remnant) $0.00
Buttons (from stash) $0.00
Rivets (from stash) $0.00
Total $3.00

Denim Moss Mini
Pattern (used before) $0.00
Fabric (remnant) $0.00
Zip $3.00
Button (from stash) $0.00
Total $3.00

Cynthia Rowley Top
Pattern $7.00
Fabric $8.00
Total $15.00

Floral Knit Dress
Pattern $7.00
Fabric $15.00
Total $22.00

Total Me Made October $43.00