Thursday, 28 January 2016

Hello Hi-Lo Jumper - Knipmode December 2013.

I am really giving my Knipmode magazines a workout now .  I have been slow to jump on the uneven hem  bandwagon ( which is nothing different from usual ) but I like how the front gently curves out to meet the side seams and a lower back hem hides a lot . 

I used a thin slubby jumper ( sweater ) knit from Darn Cheap bought at the end of 2014 from the $2 table  .  I love the colour but the fabric is a bit delicate so I will have to be careful about snagging . It was also a bit stretchy so I was as careful as possible while sewing it . I was worried the neckline would end up near my navel. 

Knipmode December 2013 . 
The pattern is very simple V neck , slightly dropped shoulder , front centre seam , hi- lo top with pockets . It looked a bit loose fitting on the models so I did NOT add seam allowances to any of the pattern pieces . In retrospect I should have added seam allowances to the neckline but as I will always wear another top underneath I got away with that . I also did not add any hem allowances because I am discovering that Knipmode patterns are quite long . The only other changes I made were to use some navy satin bias binding on the neckline as the pattern uses a facing here  and for the curved hemline. 
I lined  the pockets  with matching scrap satin and finished the pocket tops with more navy binding . Using lining and the bias binding on the pockets actually made it easier to sew the pockets because of the fine stretchy nature of the knit. 

I used steam-a-seam on the sleeve hems , clear elastic at the shoulders but just overlocked and stitched the body hem . I was very careful applying the bias binding to neck line which I think also adds some stability to the stretchy knit as well as a nice contrast. I used a ballpoint needle and the inbuilt walking foot on my sewing maching so making the jumper was not as hard as I worried it would be.
Despite the knit being a bit see through I am happy over all with my new jumper and if the world or I gets tired of hi-lo hems then I can just chop off the back portion. 

So I have now sewn just over 1/2 of all my knipmodes. Just over a year ago I made a resolution to 
sew up garmets from my unused new pattern envelopes and pattern magazines . Unfortunately those pattern piles have increased . 

 Recently Spotlight had a great sale  - all patterns except Vogue were 3 for $9 if you were a member so I bought 6 new patterns . Also the majority of my burdas pictured here were a lucky find -10 for $20 so how could I not be greedy and scoop them up !So lots here to keep me busy for a long long time.  Happy Sewing Janine. 
Costings- Fabric from Darn Cheap $2.60 , Pattern - Knipmode $15, Notions - new ballpoint needles $4.30, thread $2.00, other notions - clear elastic, steam-a-seam, bias binding , pocket lining from stash. Total cost - $23.90

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Fresh New Start and Dresses for 2016.

Last year while I was just sitting at my sewing table, my dress form spontaneously fell over - no-one knocked her , there was no wind , she just fell over.  It might have had something to do with the mending and altering I have been piling on top so I took this as The Sign and vowed I would do something about this. I made a list of what needed doing and  for the last couple of months I have been gradually working my way through the pile and crossing off that list - so satisfying !

Fixing up a wonky hem on my dress ( has been waiting for  three years !) with the help of my best friend .
Moving buttons on two of my jackets.
Shortening a silk crepe dress for my middle daughter ( absolutely gorgeous fabric )
Shortening one of my old dresses for my older daughter.
Making a cushion cover for my eldest daughter .
Sewing up some underp@nts  that I had cut out months ago .
Fixing a torn chiffon top for my eldest daughter .
Changing the buttons on some pants for my middle daughter .
Shortening the sleeves on an liberty shirt from the op shop .
Making dishcloths out of old hand towels .
Mending a silk dress for my eldest daughter .
Adding ribbing cuffs to a top I made in 2015 .
Making another pair of underp@nts from a knit dress that would otherwise have been thrown out .
Finally cleaned out my little sewing basket and threw out some rubbishy bits and bobs.

I can now move forward in 2016 without my dress form and my sewing basket making me feel guilty.
Well I do have one cardigan left to alter but I need assistance from a sewing buddy for that as well.
The only thing is that my mending did conceal my very sad looking Daffy duct tape dress form . ( Perhaps I can get a new fancy one in the future ? )

So with all that terribly boring mostly for other people stuff out of the way I have sewn a couple of new very easy dresses.

I used a pattern from Knipmode supplement from March 2014 - Dress 103 .
A really easy pullover scoop neck dress with dropped shoulder sleeves with sleeve bands.
The first dress is made from a present of  Indonesian Batik bought in Singapore by a friend ( who helped me with the hemming ) . It is 100% cotton  . I made the pattern up exactly as shown. I did not hem the dress to make full use of the border print. I also used the darker borders for the sleeve bands and tried to centre the pattern at the front and back .  I wore it during out recent heat waves and the dress was so comfy and cool.

I sewed the dress on the far left . 

The second dress is made from that  single knit where the edges curl up all the time. It was given to me from my Mum . The knit does not have much stretch or good recovery so I may have stretched out the neck a bit. Instead of using a facing I added navy ribbing to the neckline . I added an elastic waist with attached navy grosgrain ribbon by cutting the dress pattern at the waist level , sewing the skirt and bodice together to make a casing and sewing two button holes in the front for the ribbon to tie .
I made size 38 and it is quite roomy . I think the pattern would be good shortened to just a top as well.
These dresses will be getting a good workout soon as  I head up to Townsville with my daughter who is moving there to study - bittersweet times .

Costings. Pattern $15 averaged out including postage costs. Fabric - Batik a gift - Stripe knit free Notions- thread- stash - interfacing -stash - grosgrain ribbon -stash - 2cm wide elastic - 50c ( op shop ) - steam-a-seam - $3.00 ( for the whole new role from the op shop ) Total - $18.50 for the two dresses.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Welcome to 2016 And My Corner of Contentedness.

Welcome 2016 - I have been looking forward to you for a long time.
We are hosting a Japanese student for a few months and so I had to clean out my daughter`s old bedroom where my fabric treasures live. Thus my sewing corner has had a transformation .

We moved out an old desk where my youngest daughter used to sew as she has moved the machine I gave her to her own room and prefers it there. We then shifted an old wardrobe that used to belong to my dear husband`s grandmother into that space where I now store my fabrics . 

I managed to get it all in there but the wardrobe is packed pretty full now - the fabric in the shelves is stacked two deep so there is more there than what it looks like . Looks like my New Years resolution this year really should be to sew more fabric than what comes in . I mean I have been saying this for years but all I manage is a sort of status quo . Resolutions never work for me .

The wardrobe is next to the sewing machine table and next to the wardrobe is a cupboard where I keep my patterns . I rearranged my patterns this year and bought two new pretty boxes to supplement my baskets . There are various bits and bobs like bias binding , zips , unused sewing magazines and beading stuff in the glass fronted cupboard and drawers . 

In the opposite corner is Daffy the duct tape model who is really my storage area for clothes to be mended and altered and my Dalek embroidery thread holder . My husband also recently bought a large book shelf  which you can see so I have been able to put my various magazines and books in there . The two dolls in the shelves  were bought for me by my parents when I was a young teenager from San Franscisco . The costumes are handmade and are exquisite although the blue dress includes a real mink muff which I do not feel comfortable about . 

So there is my little corner of contentedness . 

Now I love reading about everyone`s 2015 sewing achievements so I am going to add my 5 cents worth.  I sewed 34 items this year which includes six  for other people / places . I sewed 4 pairs of shorts for two of my daughters and a top for myself was stolen by the oldest DD ( I really don`t mind ). I also made some fitted sheets and pillowcases for work . Not included in my total though is a dozen hat fly nets ( and still counting ) . I have been  making these to sell as a fundraiser for our local sustainability group using all scraps and what is in my collection . 

My favourite garment of the year was my Katherine Tilton top using all scraps. I would also say that my favourite sewing of the year were my scrap projects -my navy flippy skirt and my colour blocked twill skirt . I really did have to think about how to use the restricted amounts of fabric in the best way. 

I was pleased that I used up some fabric that I had had for over 20 years -that was starting to bug me . I have worn my faded denim top lots and the red skirt is lovely to wear , matches with so much and looks good if I might say so. 
The top here is what my daughter took . 
I made up 16 new patterns . I made patterns from all the major companies but the most came from Kwik Sew and Simplicity ( six each ) and then Knipmode ( five ) . I only made the one Vogue but it ended up being my favourite so perhaps I should make more Vogues . 

The most made garments were tops - no surprises there for me - as they are what I love to make the most ! I made 13 . I also sewed 6 cardigan/ jumpers , 4 skirts , 2 dresses  and  3 garments in the nightwear/undergarment type category . I didn`t blog about these . 

I did buy new clothes for myself - a lovely jacket , three  pairs of pants and a jumper .An unexpected event  meant I also bought new pajamas and underclothing .  I also bought a few things from op shops - three shirts and a skirt  made out of silk cotton or bamboo cotton , a woollen short tweed jacket , a twin set, a pair of jeans and a leather handbag . I had a big wardrobe clean out this year and only regret throwing away my Winnie the Pooh windcheater but it meant less came in than out . Almost everything I got rid of was disgusting and not even fit for donating so it was time for that to happen.  
Anyway again I wish everyone a Happy New Year . I really love reading people`s blogs from all kinds of sewers with all different styles  from all over the world .