Sunday, 18 June 2017

A Sentimental Story about Super Power Fabric !

Most of my fabric stories read as ` See fabric I like , buy it , put it in my cupboard , several years later think gosh that fabric has been there a while , pull it out , cut out and sew `. The story behind this piece of fabric is very similar except for how I came to buy it.
In April 2009 my then 12 year old  middle daughter had to have back surgery . I was allowed to come into the operating theatre and sat with her while the anaesthetist administered a relaxant . He asked her what the name of her boyfriend was and as she opened her mouth to reply she ` fell asleep` . I was  bundled out of the room and then had to fill in 8 hours while she had her surgery ! I was very anxious and did not want to go far just in case . I could have gone to my family`s houses but it would take about 20 minutes to drive back to the hospital ( In Melbourne terms that is just around the corner the traffic is so bad there ).
Only a couple of minutes walk away there is a main street with lots of good shops. After filling in a couple of hours I found a Vinnies shop. Now at the time I really wanted to sew a pussy bow blouse but there were no current patterns available ( there seems to be heaps now ) . To my delight I found a vintage Simplicity pattern for a pussy bow blouse in my size( the op shop only had about 6 patterns ) . And also two really nice pieces of fabric , the silk of my top and some olive linen . I thought the sewing gods were looking after me and that this was a sign everything would be OK with my daughter. Now my anxiety free state lasted about 30 minutes before I started to think what a ridiculous thought that this was a positive sign.
In the end everything was OK . This was the first of two 6-7 hour surgeries she had to have and we somehow got through it .
Now the sewing gods may have been on my side when I purchased this lovely  fabric but they were against me when sewing it !

I used an Ottobre pattern I have used before , a simple little kimono top . This pattern does not need much fabric but I didn`t have much either - 1.2 metres  , 95cms wide . Add to that , in the middle of one end of the piece was a honking big gold painted advertisement Three Golden Somethings ( I can`t remember what crowns ? rings ? bananas ? )However I did a rough check and it seemed OK , so I cut out a piece , chop, chop , chop and then put the other main piece on but it didn`t fit. Oh that`s alright I just have the fabric the wrong way . Um no ! I didn`t have enough . Luckily I had cut the front piece out first ( just luck not forethought ) so I managed to piece the back and bias binding strips  together with scraps  ( with three golden written on my shoulder ) .

I don`t think it is too noticeable and I can`t see it so that`s all that counts !
Then when I was snipping the curves I cut into  the main fabric of the top . I never do that ! I ironed on some mending patch stuff and embroidered a little leaf over the cut to make it stronger .

I just wanted to include a close up of the fabric too . I really love this material and it has been in the very precious to use category . It has taken a while to work what pattern to use because I thought I would have to buy something else to make up a complete garment. Also  I find that after fabric has sat in the  cupboard for a while it  seems easier to sew it up.

Despite all my sewing mistakes I really love this top which is a good follow up to my last ` blah` project .
It matches lots of skirts , pants and cardigans I own . The top itself is comfy with a little bit of ease for growing room and of course it has a sentimental background  . Does anyone else have sentimental feelings  towards their fabrics or think they have super powers ?
Happy Sewing Janine.

Plenty of Pleats -Burdastyle 10-2012 Dress 108. .


I finished sewing this dress earlier this month and unfortunately I am a bit disappointed.
It is a knee length dress with several inverted pleats starting at the boat  neckline  and which end at the waist line creating a gentle fullness .

I`m not sure if it is the fabric or the actual pattern that is a bit meh for me . The dress takes quite a bit of fabric  so I used some op shop fabric that was in my cupboard . It is a soft rayon fabric and feels lovely but I think the print is quite 90s . In fact I had a dress made out of similar fabric in the early 90s.
The dress also took a while to make because of the multitude of pleats which are in the back as well as the front . I thread traced the pleat markings , then carefully pinned and basted the pleats. After trying on the dress to determine they were a good length etc I did the final stitching.

I have tried to include close ups to show the pleat construction but of course my photography skills are pretty dodgy.
Once the pleats were made the dress was quite simple to construct  . I sewed a lapped zipper and then the side seams. I inserted the sleeves in the round and then there was just the facings and hems to do . It did come together really well as per Burda`s great drafting skills.
However the dress was much larger than I expected . It looks quite fitted ( and beautiful !)  in the magazine pictures. Perhaps the rayon fabric stretched but I took in the side seams by several centimetres and there is still quite a bit of ease.

I have tried to style the dress up by adding a belt and my knee length boots which usually make my outfits look better but I still feel meh about it . However there has been too much time investment in this dress for me to just get rid of it so I`ll give it a go ( and I don`t have that many everyday winter dresses ) and perhaps I will get to like it better.
After sewing this dress I still had over 2 metres  of fabric left but  luckily my friend loved it  so win win for both of us ( and she has darker colouring so I think it will suit her better ) .
I think this is my first real meh sewing for the year . It is one of the difficulties of sewing that we can`t just try on things like in shops and say that works or not so every time we sew something new we are taking a risk time and fabric wise . However even though the dress is not a complete success I still really enjoyed sewing it and that is always a winner in my books.

Friday, 2 June 2017

My Maiden Me-Made-May.

I like blog posts with photos. So here is an outfit I sewed for a friend`s 80s themed  party a couple of years ago that I did not blog about. I also did not wear this  for  MMM17 . The suit is made out of taffeta and sounds as loud as it looks !! 

I just finished my first ever MeMadeMay made possible by joining Instagram. Prior to that trying to actively participate was too hard because loading up photos to Flickr takes a long time but Instagram is so easy. Take a photo on your phone or iPad and then load up on the app.
I have unofficially joined in past years by wearing my home made clothes and checking out the flickr or instagram or whatever social media MeMadeMay was on so I was very happy to be a part of this huge , incredible movement celebrating and encouraging home sewing.

Another unrelated MMM17 photo . This is my ( incomplete) collection of button front shirt patterns. I have made most of the patterns. Can you tell I like sewing shirts ?

So here are my deep and meaningful thoughts on MMM17 and wearing home made clothes in general.
It is rare that I don't wear something home made on a daily basis.
It is rare that I wear all home made clothes though.
I feel strange when I don't wear something home made ( incomplete perhaps ?) but that sounds a bit odd.
I managed to wear something different everyday and only repeated my orange cardigan ( I did wear RTW jeans and trackies on multiple days ) twice.
I still had a couple of jackets , a skirt and several shirts/ tops that were seasonally appropriate that I did not wear but  could have worn for MMM17 .
A combination of loving sewing, sewing for a loooong time , keeping my home mades and a stable weight over my lifetime means I have a lot of home sewn clothes.
Perhaps this means I have too many clothes but apart from the blue dress on day one and the suit on day 31 and my brand new Burda tie front shirt all of the clothes have been worn many times so perhaps I don't have too many ?
Lots of my clothes I wore are very old ,like even over 10 years old but I still enjoy wearing them.
I did a little clothes cull though as a result of MMM17. The blue dress on day one went as well as a matching jacket and a scarf.
MMM17 made me get out of bed earlier so I could get a family member to take a photo.
I am terrible at taking selfies !
I again enjoyed looking at everything else people had made.
I don`t know if I will officially join in with MeMadeMay again but I sure had fun completing the challenge.
Happy Sewing everyone.

The little photo I have next to my blogger name is actually this photo of a Kookaburra sitting in ( an old ) gum tree next to my old home. I thought there might be one person in the universe to wonder  what the strange blogger photo is all about.