Thursday, 27 April 2017

Patrones Especial - The Skirt of Many Angles .



 Better late than never perfectly describes finally getting around to using my one and only Patrones magazine. I was so excited to find it for sale in a Melbourne newsagent  that I snatched it up but alas I only ever saw one other issue for sale and did not buy it !  Ah regrets . I think this must have been around 2010 .


The issue is number 292 and there are lots of great patterns in it  ranging from quite basic to artistic to extremely fashion forward unique designs that I have not even seen in Burda . Likewise the sewing complexity  ranges from advanced beginner to couture level .  The magazine is Spanish and I have assumed like all European sewing magazines that there are no seam/hem allowances included.


I made the skirt on the right . A straight skirt but with lots of  interesting angled pieces involving the pockets , the front waist band and the upper back. 





The pattern came together so well with all the side seams matching perfectly . My only gripe which I should  have realised and altered are that the pockets bags are not that big .                                                            
Also the skirt was not long enough for my tastes . I added some wide ribbon to the bottom to give me a bit more hemming room . 

                                                                                                                                 
The big difference that I noted between Patrones and Burda and Knipmode etc is the sizing. The patterns do not come in all size ranges and are limited to just three . With Knipmode and Burda I make a size 40 but my equivalent sizing with Patrones is 44 ! I am glad I checked this before making any assumptions here .
I used a dark silver grey polyester dupioni - another op shop buy . I bought it rolled up and tied and until I came to make this pattern had never unrolled the fabric so I was delighted to find it had a soft smooth black satin lining . A black lining in a silver cloud ! This saved me lining the skirt as the outer fabric is a bit rough . The pattern recommends a stretch woven but my fabric does not have any stretch . Luckily it still worked and the skirt is comfortable even after road testing it last night and having a four course meal !   In real life the fabric is not as shiny as it is showing up in the photos but at the end of the evening out it was quite crinkled. 
Overall I would highly recommend Patrones magazine and if I ever get the chance to purchase more I will have no hesitations . 

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Sabrina Slouchy Top.


I have been on a personal mission to use all my sewing magazines. This top pattern came from one called Sabrina that I bought in 2013 in Germany. I was totally amazed at the  vast number of sewing pattern magazines available at the train station we stopped at .


In the case of this pattern I think it is best shown by a floor shot !
It consists of a really over sized body with tiny armholes with attached narrow long bands . Hard to believe it is the same top when looked at like this.The only alteration I made to the pattern was to add 8 cms in length .It is hard to tell from the modeled photos but I hazarded a guess that the top was short.  I used up a remnant knit from my Issey Miyake maxi skirt I sewed in 2014 . To make this top work you need a drapey and very stretchy knit .I love the look of this knit - navy with fine silver threads but unfortunately it is cheap quality so already it is pilling and snagging.


Sabrina magazine was a relatively cheap magazine compared to others I have bought - 5.5 euros so about AUS$7.50 . The magazine looks cheap too but lots of patterns are included. Get a look at the line drawings though ! I can only imagine whoever draws these are fulfilling their freestyle artistic fantasies. I did not find them completely helpful . I changed my mind on what pattern to sew from this magazine on the basis that I could not work out what was going on with both the line drawing and photo.   I rely heavily on the line drawings in making up clothes from foreign sewing mags. This one is in German and although I actually studied this language in high school and also relearning German using the duo lingo app ( according to my last assessment I was 7% proficient in German - how optimistic !) this didn`t help  much . I could find little about this magazine on the internet.

Sabrina magazine at the far right.  
The top was very easy to sew and  is comfortable enough to wear and for me a sure sign that something I have sewn is a success is when my youngest daughter said she wouldn`t mind having a top like this too. Overall I am happy with the result and I actually feel a bit trendy too .

Saturday, 18 March 2017

In-Vest-ment Sewing.


It feels like I have been sewing this vest for ages for although it is plain it is actually quite a complicated pattern. The pattern is from Knipmode Mei 2013 .


This issue features patterns based on various style icons - Brigitte Bardot , Jackie Kennedy , Coco Chanel and Kate Moss . There are also patterns for garments  worn by Queen Maxima of the Netherlands.
I chose the vest because I identify with Kate Moss. Not really. If I had any style icon it would be Princess Mary of Denmark , an Aussie who just happened to meet her prince in a pub !!
No, I chose the vest because I have sewn a couple of others and they are very useful outer garments to add some light weight warmth and  for carrying stuff - mainly hankies, bits of paper , the phone and doggy bags.
The vest has lots of features.


1. Notched collar which was the tricky bit . The knipmode instructions were great though so I had no troubles. Kidding - for all I know they might be fantastic and there are no diagrams to help with construction . So I used my Singer Photo Guide to Sewing book to help and played around with the pieces basting them in until it looked right. Kudos to Knipmode because the patterns really do come together well.
2. Epaulettes.
3. Lot of buttons even where you don`t normally need them. The pattern calls for snaps but I don`t have the snap equipment . My Mum does but when I have used them the snaps pull away from the fabric. I found some dark buttons ( ? black or dark blue - I can`t tell ) with little gold centres which breaks up the expanse of plain dark blue .
4. Pleated pockets and flaps .
5. Waist casing to add some extra shape but not really necessary because the vest was not over sized at all. I had to buy some dark navy cotton tape for this but had already squirrelled away the cord stoppers. Yay for sewing squirreling.
6. Separating zip . One side of the zip is sewn in between the front of the vest and the facing but the other half is just sewn freestyle on the other front. I haven`t seen this before. The pattern calls for a shorter zip but I thought that looked a bit odd so bought a separating zip that reached the garment hem.

I really like this vest although I was starting to tire of sewing all the fiddly bits . I have to be careful at the end not to rush to finish sewing because that is when I make mistakes. I have learnt the hard way many times .
The fabric is just a very plain dark navy suiting that Mum gave me 5 years ago  that was given to her by her SIL that was given to her by some-one else. Yes , I adopt the fabric no-one else wants but it eventually finds a caring place in my wardrobe. Now the weather is turning ( glorious Autumn days but could use some rain but not like what NSW is getting ) this vest will gets lots of use and truly be an investment in sewing . ( sorry so corny )


Sunday, 26 February 2017

Overthinking Sewing.



Sewing is my main form of relaxation and my only form of creativity ( unless you include 100+ different ways to use zucchini in Summer and pumpkin in Winter ) . Now thinking is of course very important but overthinking or rumination  is a whole different matter . I bought this small remnant piece of knit from the Clegs Remnant Xmas sale a few years ago thinking I could combine with another piece in my stash for a top  but the colours were way out . Then I tried to combine it with some other fabrics to make a pullover but the pattern was a wadder . Earlier this year after making my Burda pullover I thought I had the answer but there was not enough material . Garrghh! Enough ! There is only 70cm of this knit which is a light weight jumper ( sweater ) knit so I pulled out my trusty TNT Kwik Sew 2965 and just sewed it up before I overthought  any more .


And in another case of overthinking sewing I present my new skirt .


This red polka dot fabric is deep deep stash being left over from making a pinafore dress for my then 10 year old daughter ( 20 and a 2nd year medical student now ! ) . It must have been already quite old by the time I acquired it because it was only 90cms wide . It is a really good quality cotton with a smooth tight weave but it just positively screams Minnie Mouse so it has sat in stash all those years . I have thought and thought what to do with it from getting rid of it , to making a Minnie Mouse costume and to making something as unMinnie Mouse as possible. In the end I have made a `wearable` muslin of a knipmode skirt from May 2013.                                                                                                                                                              
   

A plain straight skirt with the front divided with a centre piece and narrower sides . I made the shorter version with cargo pockets .

One thing I don`t overthink with my blog are the pictures .I brush my hair , put on lippy and then convince someone to take pictures . The whole photo bit takes a few minutes . This time though took longer and I used several props to get photos .

Above my camera is resting on a bookshelf and magazines.
Camera propped on the back of a car with a turtle emerging from the ground .
Camera propped on the back of another car with an attractive compost bin in the background.
Up a ladder with the camera on a nappy bucket on the washing machine .
The best photos were the camera resting on the upside down old nappy bucket on the dining room table - must remember that one for future.
I have promised myself that I will wear this skirt for the remaining warm weather and if I still feel like a middle aged Minnie then the skirt will go.
Sometimes I feel a little bit crazy with how much time I think about these things but somehow if you are reading this blog then I know I am not alone .


Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Burdastyle 04/2014 - Love of ( Modified ) Detail Dress .


My sewing and stash busting mojo is on a roll .  I spent a leisurely few hours choosing patterns from my unused sewing magazines and matching them to fabrics from my collection . Burdastyle April 2014 is a fantastic issue - there are heaps of things I would love to make from it . When I first bought the magazine ( 2 1/2 years ago ) I was really keen to make up a very stylish slim fitting dress 117 but all the reviews were that it was quite difficult to fit and the instructions were baffling - this coming from very experienced seamstresses so the magazine languished in my pattern piles.
I also liked the extremely popular top with a front overlay but none of my fabrics were right so I went with dress 123 described as Love of Detail - Smart Peter Pan collar and a tie band for a shapely waist - all the ingredients you need for an uncomplicated summer dress. Further pretty details are the puff sleeves and a wraparound effect yoke.


Before I sew up a pattern I usually check the internet for reviews . I like to see what the patterns look like in ` real life ` . I love to check out the Russian Burda site - boy can those Russian women sew . I am gradually learning to search and navigate the site with no knowledge of Russian. I also look at the Burda Addicts webpage as well as Pattern Review. There were plenty of dresses ( and tops ) made from this pattern and I generally liked what I saw so I went ahead with cutting out some of my ` precious` Japanese fabric ( I think it is rayon ) which my eldest daughter gave me in 2013 after her 5 month visit there. I really liked how Burda used a contrasting fabric for the collar so I blatantly copied their idea and used some left over dotted cotton voile here.
I followed the pattern pretty much as is except I did not add any elastic / ties to the sleeves ( and I forgot to add hem allowances there too )The neckline is very wide so I  added extra buttons on the top yoke instead of the two little ones they had. I made buttonholes but I could have just sewn the buttons straight on as it is very easy to get the dress over your head.


  The collar pulls the front yoke down a little but the neckline is finished nicely with self made bias binding so  it still  looks OK . However I will be very wary of bending over in this dress. The dress has an inner casing and fabric ties attached to elastic are threaded through to give the dress shape. Otherwise it would be quite shapeless as you can see below.


The blue rose / spotty fabric is very soft which is important to create the blouson effect .


My daughters were not overly enthusiastic about the dress but I like the end result.
Now I have about 15 projects lined up to do , the theory is that will keep me out of fabric shops .
Happy Sewing Janine.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Boho Tunic - Kwik Sew 3670


Late last year I fell in love with some navy chiffon printed with peacocks and attempted to sew a Kwik Sew tunic I have made once before. It was an utter dismal failure and I was ready to chuck in the towel . I have faced a few life challenges behind my smiley face photos and darn it if I am going to let a mere fabric and sewing pattern defeat me . In a previous blogpost I wrote about my win over the fabric.


So that was the chiffon fabric under control but I was unhappy that I had failed at making up the pattern which I successfully made before and loved ! Kwik Sew 3670.


So back to the stash cupboard . Mum gave me this boho print crinkled georgette ( there must have been about 5 metres ! ) and learning from my chiffon nightmare I gelatinised the georgette until it was almost crisp . I then very carefully pinned  the sides of the fabric together to match the wide patterned stripes . The pattern pieces were placed , pinned and cut like I performing some delicate surgery . I really was determined to  make this work. Well all that preparation was the hardest part because with the treated fabric it was relatively easy to sew up the tunic. This really is an interesting pattern with a rectangular extension of the front pattern piece gathered and then folded over the front yoke / sleeve part.


The only thing I am not quite happy with is the somewhat wobbly hem but if I try to level this out the black patterned stripe  at the bottom will look off so I would rather the wobbly hem. Obviously I did not quite have the fabric straight  when I was cutting it but I did manage to match the stripey pattern at the side really well but forgot to take a photo so you will just have to take my word for it.
Overall I  love the tunic - the patterns and colours and  the fact that I conquered the pattern as well . No more frustration at being bettered by fabric and pattern. I think this version will be as successful as my last one which came to  nasty end after a run in with a velcro vest .
Well January is obviously an energising sewing month for me because I have also completed a dress .
So until next time Happy Sewing everyone. Janine.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Burda Style 11/2012 . A Warm Snuggy Pullover in Summer !


Last year I made a pledge to myself that I would sew my 2016 fabric acquisitions in 2016 . A friend joked that I would be crazily sewing at 11.59 New Years Eve . Well , not quite because I like having flexi-solutions not resolute- lutions . But this pledge does explain why I have sewed a ` woolly jumper ` in Summer . I bought this knit late last year - another op-shop find so of course I couldn`t resist at $3.00 plus I have never seen fabric like this before. It has a fuzzy print on the outside with a smooth plain wrong side with only a small degree of stretch. I liked the abstract print in neutral colours too .
To fulfill another pledge to use my un-used patterns I found a pullover from Burda Style November 2012 which has been very popular. It is a very simple pullover , the main style aspect being the uneven width front and back hem bands which are sewn on separately.


This is a very popular patterns and checked out lots of reviews and took my fellow sewist`s advice. I made size 38 instead of my usual 40 , I did not add any seam allowances to the bottom thereby shortening the pullover slightly and raised the neckline by an inch . The neck line is still a little too low and I feel like the shoulders are a bit too wide but not too annoyingly so. The sleeves are longish but the narrow bands help to keep them off my hands. I didn`t use the bias binding for the neckline but  ironed on  fusible tape , turned this inside and stitched it down.
























It was very easy and satisfying to sew and when the cooler weather arrives I will be able to warm my body and my soul with my home made jumper.
Happy Sewing Janine.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

2016 Sewing Overview.

My favourite garment of the year. 


For some reason I really love ❤️ reading 📖 about everyone's annual reviews of their sewing and their plans for the coming year. I actually find these musings fascinating and  inspiring. We all have the common denominator of loving sewing but have different perspectives in how we fulfill that love.
My take on sewing is to sew slower so my output is not high. I am not a perfectionist but hate it when things don't go right. However once a garment is completed ✅,  no matter what mistakes , it goes in the wardrobe and I don't seem to care anymore . A few years ago I went through a phase of churning out  more clothes and was a bit slapdash so I have had quite a turn around in attitude. I prefer how I sew now because I have fewer failures .

So in 2016 I sewed 42 items which sounds like heaps. 24 were for me and the remainder of 18 for my daughters mainly but also a friend and Mum.

The 24 items for me included one ☝️ total wadder , 3 underthings, 1 camisole , 1 nightie and 1 pair of long PJ pants. I didn't blog about these but I will have a post about my wadder in the future.
The 18 items for others included 9 short PJ pants , 5 tops and a couple of scarves.
A major goal for me was to use what I had and move a bit more fabric out than what came in. FINALLY after so many years of trying I succeeded with only 9 pieces of fabric in and quite a bit more sewn up. It was also my intention to sew the fabric acquired in 2016 in 2016 ! I almost managed to do this so I found myself have a little cutting out frenzy on the second day of January !


Apart from my one wadder I wore everything I made quite regularly apart from my vintage burda dress which was a special occasion garment anyway ( and my middle daughter likes it so is going to use for a function later this year ) .
 This year I basically just want to continue on with the same theme -  just plodding along really doing my imperfect best and making the most of what I have.