Sunday, 25 October 2015

Why You Should Not Stash Fabrics !

I have had this piece of light weight denim for about  20 years now . It has been either stored in a covered basket ( when my stash was small ) or in various cupboards ( as my collection grew ) . It has always been kept away from the light . 
Check out that serious fabric foldline fading ! 
This was leftover from making a shirt that well never made it to a shirt. I  kept on sewing the patch pockets unevenly and was so totally frustrated I threw the project out . I remember that so well such was the frustration ! However I kept the large scraps and the sleeves which are in pieces ( I don`t know why ) because it is lovely soft smooth fabric and I paid a decent price for it. 

I was going to sew a knipmode tunic out of this . The tunic is made up of lots of pieces - the sleeves and back are from two pieces and the front from three pieces so I was hopeful that I could juggle all these small pieces onto my irregular scrap. Alas despite my best efforts I could not get those pieces to fit the fabric. Sigh. So again laziness made me turn to an  old pattern that I have made many times and I knew did not take much material. 

I may be trying to reduce my fabrics but I keep hold of old patterns. I bought this one about 10 years ago because I loved the white lace version on the front . Of course I have not recreated that look but I have now made this pattern up three times and I still do intend to make the white lace top. 

To get all the pieces on I had to cut the back from two pieces of material and I barely had any seam allowance. Trying to overlock that seam nicely was impossible so I used a fancy stitch and matching embroidery thread to sew down those seams. 
Then I repeated the stitching along the front neckline and bodice seams. 

I know some people would think why bother sewing with such faded fabric but it really is lovely and soft and as I have probably written before  I do not like waste . I am just calling this my shabby chic top :).
So this is just about the last of my really old fabric I have now . 
But please learn a lesson from me - do not stash fabrics ( well at least not for 20 years ) .

When Cynthia Rowley Meets Missoni. Simplicity 2472.

Mum gave me this interesting zigzag knit ( I do sometimes buy my own fabric ! ) . It is a textured knit but has very little stretch.  I admit  my choice of pattern was based purely on laziness . The pattern is Simplicity 2472 a Cynthia Rowley pattern for a top/ tunic/ dress  using woven fabric which has cut on sleeves. I was worried about pattern matching those zigzags so was attracted to that sleeve feature.

This is a deceptive pattern. The pieces look large and shapeless and likewise so does  the finished garment .
However wearing it is a different matter . I felt quite pleasantly trendy for a change !
It is incredibly easy to sew with just a front and back and narrow bands for the neck and sleeves. I was considering bias binding for the neck but having recently made a nightie with a very narrow neck band and liking the effect I stuck with the pattern .

I had to sew a centre seam in the back instead of cutting on the fold because of restricted amounts of fabric. However I need not have worried about pattern matching because the zigzags and colours are so irregular .
I should mention that I made the shortest version but would love to make the  dress one day . I would highly recommend this pattern but it is probably OOP like most of the patterns I seem to sew.

I have tried to capture the lovely woven texture of the fabric but as per usual the photography is the hardest thing to do here .
Happy Sewing Janine.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Kwik Sew 3121 - Snuggy Shawl Collared Polar Top

taken without a flash 

I just made a polar fleece jumper  in time for the monster El Nino weather effect that is going to affect eastern Australia !  When I started this the weather was still cool but then bam all of a sudden we had a mini heat wave . Mum gave me the polar fleece and said it could make a blanket . No way Jose ! I only have two fleecy type tops both of which are ancient .

I used ( a rather tatty ) Kwik Sew 3121 . I really like the shawl collared option .
I used Size M which is very roomy but I like these jumpers on the larger size so I can easily wear a shirt and woolly vest underneath . There is no shaping to the body although the envelope gives that impression.
The instructions for the shawl collar are excellent and there are separate pattern pieces for the under and top collar. Because the polar fleece is so thick I used some leftover black ponte for the undercollar .However my polar fleece is navy so  I  under stitched and top stitched the collar pieces to minimize any peekaboo black sticking out .

Luckily our mini heat wave was only mini and typically the temperatures plummeted and I was quick to wear my new top while I could  . My husband commented that the top is very soft and it is indeed very cozy to wear. I would highly recommend this pattern for a casual

photo taken with a flash . 
I have made some more weather appropriate clothing that I just need to photograph - always the slowest process in this house.

Happy Sewing .

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Scrap Skirt One - The ( Faux ) Luxe Version .

I`m continuing on with clearing out scraps . I don`t like waste and  also find it a creative challenge to make the most with what I have.   I have had a small piece of ( faux silk )  satin in my cupboard for a looong time that was just not big enough to do anything with .It was starting to bug me what I could use it for .  For some reason I thought it might make a nice skirt flounce . I pulled out my navy blue fabrics and found the best match was with the ( faux ) suede a leftover from making my Mum a pair of pants and matching sleeveless jacket 13 years ago !
I then found three flounce skirt patterns but chose one from Burda April 2005 - this is the same issue that has the twist top that was really popular 10 years ago .
I changed the skirt a bit - it had a zip on the side and the skirt front had a centre seam with a split at the bottom. I changed the skirt so the back had a centre seam allowing the zip and split to be in the back.

I finished the skirt last week and was able to wear it out a couple of nights later to Hamlet at the local Arts Centre . I wore it with the navy charmeuse top I sewed earlier in the year and felt quite appropriately dressy and swishy . Unfortunately though it did not help me understand Shakespeare any easier although by the second half I worked out the plot . ( I didn`t study Hamlet at school - we did Macbeth and The Merchant of Venice ) .

I am in the midst of making another scrap skirt - this will be more a day / casual version but it is taking a bit longer because I am going to embellish it  . And there is  still some suede/ satin fabric leftover which I am hoping will be enough for a bag !
Happy Sewing Janine.