Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Japanese Stylish Dress Book - Tunic G .

getting used to this self timer/ self shots thing. 

 My last sew of the year - This is tunic G from the Stylish Dress Book .
I was gifted this book from my  friend  this year. She loves sewing for her grandchildren and she thought her teenage granddaughter might like the styles but she apparently totally rejected the idea  . So there is one positive to be said for difficult teenagers ! I ended up with a great book .
Now after I cut this tunic out another friend told me how roomy the patterns are and she made a different top in quite a small size - umm too late !

 Here is a totally unadulterated shot of how large it was to start with. There are no finished garment  measurements that I can see anywhere so  I used size 12 which pretty much accorded with  my personal measurements. I thought that this would be OK because yes the tunic did look very large in the pictures but the models are petite waifs . So I took out a total of 24 cms from the bottom edge  6 cms from the front and back both sides tapering to nothing at the armhole. That was an improvement but still not quite right so I also took about 10cm from the length.
The tunic is still very very roomy but it is comfy and I like the style so it is a keeper. I used a pale ice blue textured ? poly blend and also my favourite buttons - ying and yang mother of  pearl beauties recycled from a top I sewed in the 90s. Wish I hadn't waited so long to re-use them.

I love lots of the patterns in this book so I definitely will  be making up more items but I will be totally more aware of the sizing. The tunic was relatively easy to make and the instructions and diagrams were adequate for someone with experience.

I`m glad 2014 is coming to an end - its been a mixed bag this year - good and bad - and I am just happy our family survived it.
In terms of sewing I managed to sew 25 garments for myself and my family.  16 were for myself and 9 for my husband and daughters. I also sewed curtains , pillowcases and kitchen hand towels for my eldest daughter who moved to Melbourne to go to uni. I was happy with what I made -both in quantity and quality and it all gets worn .
I hope everyone has a happy and healthy and safe 2015. Cheers to a New Year - Hip Hip Hooray.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Vintage Simplicity 9497 - White and Navy Spotty Dress.

Simplicity 9497 80 a

I sewed this pattern a few years ago  but at the time of cutting out my fabric I wasn't  quite sure if it was home dec or dress fabric. Well after a few wears and washes I realized it was definitely home dec stuff. I mean if the large roses and flowers which looked like my great aunt's couch weren't a giveaway the scratchy feel which did not improve with washing made it a certainty . But the fabric was so pretty - lemon background with large various pink roses and I got lots of positive comments too! But they didn't have to  wear it so out the dress  went . But I loved the pattern so out it came out  again with fabric that was definitely of the dress variety this time. 

 This is one of the few patterns where I think the dress made up looks better than the pattern cover photo . 
On hanging this up in my wardrobe when finished I realized that out of my five summer work dresses three are basically the same variation - 1/2 shirt waister dresses with notched collars . This one has dropped shoulders , the sleeves are cuffed and the bodice is slightly gathered and attached to a yoke but otherwise very similar to Simplicity 2923.My other 2 summer work dresses are wrap styles made of knit . So there I am in a style rut . I'm not making any resolutions sewing or otherwise for 2015 but I think I will at least try another dress style next year.
I have one other completed make to blog about and am currently sewing some shorts for my daughter as well . Then I will tackle my ` coffee` twin set I recently posted about  and see what I can do with that. After that I have no  projects planned so can start  afresh .
Hope everyone had a great Christmas and is well.
Cheers Janine.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Issey Miyake Maxi Skirt -Vogue 2796

 I bought this pattern on the strength of the many glowing reports on Pattern Review many many years ago and only now finally making it up for me. The main issue was really finding a suitable fabric so when I saw this denim look knit at Darn Cheap I knew it was the one ( bonus it was on the $2.00 table as well )
I have a uniform of sorts . I prefer separates and mainly wear plain bottoms with a patterned top , less commonly a patterned bottom with a plain top and even less frequently dresses or completely plain separates worn together. So I was basically looking for a plain knit but with some  interest to it. This knit is in denim blue with silver grey threads in it.
The pattern itself is rather conservative for this designer but despite its simplicity it has some lovely style lines with a curved side front and back. It is hard to see but I top stitched along this curved seam with some silvery grey embroidery thread .This pattern is very easy to make especially if you ignore some of the instructions ! I did not add the waist band or zip. Sewing is meant to be a stress buster not a stress creator and I can imagine adding a zip in knit fabric would  be crazy . It's just not necessary anyway - the skirt stretches over my hips easily enough .
With its maxi length and swishy curved sides I feel just a bit trendy wearing this one and think I  will pull it out for Xmas Day - the stretchy waist band will be rather handy as well ;) .
Happy Sewing Janine

Saturday, 13 December 2014

A Tale of Two Twinsets .


Using a combination of the Style Arc Abby Cardy and Kwik Sew 2965 and a cream lace knit .
I`ve made the Abby Cardy before but the top was a new sew. I was wearing this set to work a little while ago and someone commented that they hadn`t seen a twin set for years !  Well I suppose they haven`t been in fashion what since the 50s ? Another great reason to sew - you can wear what you want and not be dictated to by a higher fashion authority .


This twinset was made using Vogue 8559 a Marcy Tilton pattern. I used a lovely slubby capuccino coloured knit but as there was not enough to make both pieces I had to use a remnant of a spotty knit. I have only worn this twice since making this a year ago ! Once when I had finished sewing it and for the photos.

The cream twin set works I think because both garments are made from the same fabric , the cream suits me and both garments are a flattering length.
The brown twinset fails on so many levels. I only had one metre of the  brown knit ( but the fabric was extra wide - at 200cm !) and was just trying to do too much with  too little  . The colour is not so complimentary and the cardigan is just too short and finishes where the widest part of me starts . I could not find a suitable trim so I used a dark brown lace ( which again is lovely ) which was too stiff . Also the spotty contrast tank  is just too much . It`s a pity because the brown knit is actually quite good and every image I have seen of this pattern made up looks great .

I love twinsets as part of my wardrobe because they really do reduce dressing thinking time in the mornings. Each time I wear them it saves precious seconds ( and as you get older those seconds get more precious !)

Happy Sewing Janine.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

A Neighbourhood of Hoodies - Kwik Sew 2848 and 2875.

Kwik Sew 2848

Kwik Sew 2875

Kwik Sew 2875

I was never one of those girls who could keep an up to date diary and blogging is the same although perhaps with age some things have improved because I have at least been more persistent although still not very up to date.  I sewed these hoodies a few months ago but I am trying to get all up to date for a fresh new start next year.
Both patterns are Kwik Sew . I sew a lot with these although I don`t actually own a great number  because I just keep on reusing them . I was reading Paolo`s blog post about her disappointment in sewing a McCalls Jacket and I was nodding along because I had the same experience in sewing a McCalls twinset using some really lovely ( read expensive ) boucle knit and it ended up being so boxy and large and shapeless . I was so disappointed but wore it anyway because I adored the fabric. And then I discovered Pattern Review and the site highly recommended a few Kwik Sew patterns so I bought a couple on the strength of that and what a discovery. I was so happy with the fit and the shaping and hence I am always keeping a lookout for patterns I like.

The striped hoodie uses Kwik Sew 2848 on the left above and some sturdy rugby type knit( love the colours ) .  I modified the pattern by adding welt pockets and a contrast  trim along the front of the hoodie extending down the front bodice slit. This is only the second time I have made welt pockets so I practiced a few times with scraps and they looked very nice thank you very much . So I proceeded with my real fabric and managed to insert them upside down ! Luckily the pocket bag fabric is very soft and flexible so it doesn`t really  matter but I it means I have to continue on my journey on making that mythical perfect garment . 

The navy blue and  `sea foam ` cardy hoodies use Kwik Sew 2875 and both are sweater ( jumper ) type knits . I  added some bias binding along the front edges but otherwise sewed them up as is. Very simple pattern and very easy. I don`t really knit so I love sewing `knitted` garments. I used to be a bit scared of using sweater type knits but I have practiced several times using opshop and in the case of the sea foam cardy very cheap ( read nasty ) spotlight stuff . Kwik Sew 2875 came with a bonus camisole/singlet pattern which is excellent +++. I wear these all the time so am glad to have a great pattern which will be useful in using up scraps. 
Kwik Sew 2875

I`m not normally a hoodie type person but you know they are great for covering up bad hair days ( basically everyday for me ) and adding a little extra warmth or even sun protection when needed so really are very useful garments. 
Ok now I only have four more completed garments to catch up on. 
Cheers Janine.