Friday, 25 November 2011

Vogue 2033 - The Geoffrey Beene Designer Band-aid Top.

I reckon it is pretty important to have a good sense of humour - it helps to  get  you through the tricky bits in life and there are lots of those and to not take yourself too seriously. I think I have a healthy sense of humour hence why I am posting this top I made.

I was given quite a few patterns back in the early 90s and through successive culls only a couple remain including this Vogue 2033 - a Geoffrey Beene designer pattern for three quite different and classical styled tops / shirts including the dropped shoulder loose fitting version . Lately I have seen tops around like this and delved into my pattern stash and thought it was time to give it a try - I mean
I have only had it for about 17 years.
 The fabric is a soft gold paisley jacquard with small white polka dots . It looks and feels like silk but it is not - I will not lie. I very pleased with this fabric and imagined wearing this top out to romantic dinners  and other such soirees .  I altered the pattern to add in bias cut bands for the sleeves  and added store bought white satin bias binding for the neck. I used french seams twice ( I took a too big a bite the first time and the top was too small for my liking ) and added a self fabric belt  .
Once finished,  with great excitement I tried on the finished garment and looked in the mirror and then A GREAT BIG OHH moment . - I`d just sewn a really large bandaid. The soft gold colour suddenly looked like a  flesh / beige tone and even the little white polka dots resembled  those tiny perforations you see on bandaids.
So learn from my mistakes - Do Not sew flesh coloured fabrics unless you are in need of bandaids.
PS - I quite like the pattern - I will use it again - perhaps in bright green or blue or pink  or anything but beige. Cheers Janine

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

The 80 Year Old Burda Skirt .

Headless shot today - just out of the shower and early in the morning - you know what I mean.

Finally complete - this skirt seems to have taken so long . I started this in mid-October and finally finished two days ago. I wore it all day yesterday at work and can say it was a success.
Why am I calling this the 80 year old skirt?
Well,the  fabric is at least 40 years old, the buttons are 30 years old , the pattern is 6 years old and the lining I `ve had for a few years as well. Only the zip and thread were new.
I was given this linen ( along with various other dress and craft and home dec fabrics )  from my (ex) neighbour Steph when she moved. Steph tells me this came from  mother`s stash and she can remember it from when she was quite young ( Steph is in her mid 60`s) so I feel really honoured to be given this . This heavy weight linen is really lovely and was very easy to work with. I can see how people become very fastidious about fabric after working with this stuff.
Burda skirt 107 from April 2005.

I used an old Burda WOF pattern -Issue April 2005 which includes the infamous twist top ( yes I have made it !) . I needed a simple skirt as the fabric is heavy weight but did not want the skirt to be completely plain . Burda is great for providing patterns which are bit different to the Big 4.
 This is a straight skirt with forward placed side seams and includes a belt which is sewn into the back darts. I eliminated the fly front and inserted a lapped zipper in the back seam. I also did not add in the pockets and walking vent but top stitched the front seams .Despite eliminating the walking vent I did not have any restrictions in walking , bending over etc at work.
 This time I remembered to add a lining to ( hopefully) reduce the linen wrinkling but forgot to insert the lining inside out ! Oh well what`s a sewing project without some kind of mistake hey . Anyway I love my new skirt - it is very summery and fruity and I can`t ever remember having a pink skirt before ( unless I was six years old or thereabouts ). I would recommend this pattern to anyone ( oh and the chance to sew with linen too ).
Close up hanger shot of skirt front.
back view showing belt insertion.

Next up are some quick and easy PJ shorts for my two older daughters while I ponder on a pattern to use with another special fabric - Liberty of London cotton given to me by another friend !
Have a nice day. Cheers Janine.

Monday, 14 November 2011

DIY Top Stitching Thread and a Sneak Peak.

Sewing time has been severely  restricted in my little sewing world leading to symptoms of withdrawal - buying fabric when one already has more than enough , thinking and dreaming sewing and sometimes getting a little crabby . I have however been sewing a skirt in small increments over the last couple of weeks and today being a `real` day off I have made quite a bit more progress.
Now about top stitching thread - I am aware that this stuff exists but either the shops I frequent do not sell it or I am doing a `man` look ( a thinly veiled reference to my husband who can not find things even if they are right under his nose ) . A few years ago a sewed a Kwik Sew jeans jacket and it had this great little easy tip for top stitching . You simply thread your machine with two spools of thread.
This provides a subtle but definite difference to the top stitching. It also means that there are more choices with the colours you can use.I have obviously used a very closely coloured matched thread which is more forgiving of any wonky stitches.
 I have been really enjoying sewing my skirt because the fabric is such a pretty summery peachy pink colour and a divine heavy weight vintage linen with all its slight variations in texture and colour.It is also very easy to sew . I hope to finish this soon because our weather is warming up now and I am looking forward to enjoying my new skirt. Until then, Cheers Janine.