Saturday, 14 September 2019

Ottobre Woman Gorgeous Grey in Cream.

This is the last of my main sewing projects I have to catch up on . This is a raglan sleeve cardigan from the Winter 2015 edition of Ottobre Woman. I used a fine , thin cream woollen knit which although was not difficult to work with , I was a bit worried about . I thought it might possibly unravel or stretch out so I handled it very very carefully .

I changed the pattern by doubling the size of the long rectangular band , then folding this in half  rather than a single thickness band with a curled selvage front outer edge . I also eliminated the interesting pockets because I have never made this type before and I didn`t want to start on this fabric . If they went wrong it would muck up the whole cardigan . What I did follow on the instructions was to finish the seams and hems with a coverstitch type top stitch. I don`t own a coverstitch machine so I used one of the fancy stitches on my Pfaff . I carefully cut strips of tissue paper to stabilise under the seams before doing the stitching . Although the ` coverstitch ` is not obvious , the tissue paper made a big positive difference to how this went. The down side was carefully tearing away the tissue paper afterwards - a labour of love for sure.

A close up of the hard to photograph ` coverstitch ` top stitching . 
The cream cardigan turned out to be another good wearable basic which will hopefully see years of use.
Apart from this I have  made a pair of shorts and some pajamas for my daughters  ( I don`t have any photos ). I also refashioned a Liberty lawn blouse my Mum gave me by changing the puffy sleeves to fitted sleeves with a slightly gathered  elasticised hem . I am currently making up a Katherine Tilton shirt out of several scraps but I am having a holiday so  completion of that will probably be a few weeks away.

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Fait Main La Chemisier .

close up of the crinkly dotty fabric 

This top is about the second thing I made this year so my memories are a bit hazy about the process . What is not hazy is how much I love this fabric and the pattern. Some of my favourite fabrics are from the op shop and this is no exception and it only cost 50 cents. I love the small asymmetrically placed and shaped dots on the white crinkly fabric . There was only 1.2  metres but this was enough to give me some choices in pattern selection.
I went with this simple button up , dropped shoulder sleeveless shirt from yet another European sewing magazine my daughter bought me. It is obviously French and includes lots of great patterns of all sizes. Each individual pattern comes in limited sizes though .
I do remember changing the front facing which is part of the fronts and not a separate piece . The facing was only a narrow single fold type so I added the same width of the facing when cutting out the fronts so it could be a double fold facing ( does this make sense ? ) . This provides more support and looks neater inside .


The top is very comfortable and I wore it on a fantastic 6 day holiday to Luganville, Vanuatu to visit my daughter ( she gets around for sure ! )  where it was quite humid at times . I am about to go to Townsville  , Queensland ( to see another daughter !)  as well so it will  get good use up there too .  I will definitely be using this magazine again at some time.

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Lingerie .

When I made my grey woollen skirt earlier I was going to be lazy and not line it so I had made this petticoat to go under it . As it was I guilted myself into lining the skirt . However I have worn the petticoat heaps anyway. I used an apricot satin fabric with a hammered finish given to me years and years ago  by my Mum. This fabric has survived a couple of close shaves in being donated and now I`m glad that I didn`t .
I had enough fabric left over to make a matching camisole and one of the best parts of this whole project ( apart from stash busting an old fabric and making something totally useful ) was finally getting to use some beautiful vintage what I think you would describe as broderie anglaise. I have more leftover of this and another design and I have an idea on how to use some of this in an outer garment where others can see how lovely it is.
I used two old New Look patterns to make my cami/ petticoat set. I used the pull on skirt minus the flounce  on the right for the petticoat and the even older pattern on the left for the cami. I often use old patterns for my sewing since they don't seem much different anyway to newer ones being produced.

I have also made several pairs of acacia undies, a free pattern from Megan Nielsen. They are very comfortable and the pattern is full size so it is easier to work out if it will fit onto various scrap knits. This year I have used old T shirts that were not donatabled but the fabric was still pretty good baring some minor staining in places. I have adjusted the elastic amounts on the legs as from memory they were too large . It is a win win being able to produce comfy underthings and reduce land fill and the purchase of new items.  I look out for suitable lingerie elastic as this is something that really can`t be recycled.

Monday, 9 September 2019

Vogue 1501 - Rachel Comey Pleated Dress.

 This is one of my favourite projects of the year . The dress has a very clever design with the top of the dress only attached to the front skirt , lots of  pleats in the top and the skirt  and that the skirt tapers down easing some of the fullness . The back of the dress has the top hanging out and the skirt is plain .

The fabric used was given to me by my ex neighbour , a slightly shiny dove grey with blue and mauve daisies.  100% polyester  and I reckon it was bought in the 90s . I was a bit meh about it but as the dress takes almost three metres and I don`t have many fabrics of this length I was limited for choice ( I am trying really hard to stash bust here ) . In the end I really love this dress AND  the fabric used . BTW I only had 2.75 metres and it was enough for me to make the  dress with the size 14 skirt and size 12 top.

 I read a few reviews as I usually do before I made the dress ( and it is a popular pattern ) . A few people mentioned about the instructions for  lining  the bodice and I started over thinking this. However, in the end I went with what the pattern stated and it turned out really well , a very neat way of lining  with no seams showing . I was also a bit worried about all the pleats in the skirt pouching out with my fluffy stomach but they actually conceal it so big win there.

I`m not sure if this pattern is still currently available ( dated 2016 ) but  I would highly recommend it and as KS Sews says it also makes a great stand alone skirt . I really want to make this again one day even though it is quite distinctive.

Thursday, 5 September 2019

Burdastyle 04/2019 -Belt Bag Skirt .

I super love this issue of Burdastyle . There are so many designs I would love to make eventually.  But I got a quick start on the magazine by sewing up the skirt with the cute little belt bag pocket thing .
I used some really old striped twill which was leftover from a pants making saga ( more on that later ) . The fabric is at least 14 years old and I wonder if it just old enough to look dated , or old enough to look vintage or if I am ahead of a new stripey phase. Whatever,  it is 100% cotton, feels great and the colours in the stripes are quite lovely with pale blue, coral , soft browns and beige . And it was perfect for this pattern as the fabric was  narrow but long  and this skirt uses several  narrower pieces - two skirt fronts , backs and sides.
The skirt was fun and  not difficult to make but there are a lot of steps with the  zipped skirt , the belt , the loops and the pocket .  I made a couple of changes to the pattern. I  lengthened the button tab on the pocket bag to extend all the way to the top , just a look I prefer to the original and lengthened the overall skirt a few cms to stop at my knee . As per usual with Burda the fit was spot on for me.
As mentioned the fabric was left over from making some pants. Arguably pants are the  hardest garments to fit and I had basic issues from the start . It didn`t help that I was using a Patrones magazine in Spanish . I have now found with Patrones that it is hit and miss for me .  This is the pattern I used below.

Pants with two pleats at the waist , side zip , moderately loose fitting and tapering to the ankles.
The first version the legs fit great but I couldn`t get anywhere near to closing the pants at the waist . I went to the largest size and the waist fit but the legs were very loose. I then cut out my main fabric and took the leg seams especially around the thighs in .Of note I use size 44-48 for Patrones and size 38-40 for Burda , the sizing numbers are very different.  The pants are comfortable but not a success. I showed my family and asked if they were too baggy. My husband replied ` What for pajama pants ? ` !! My daughter was obviously diplomatic. I will wear the pants but not beyond the perimeter of my home.

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Classic Skirts with Classic Mistakes .

More catching upwith . I made this skirt a couple of months ago using this Burdastyle skirt from September 2012. I have made it once before using a denim look wool. This time I used what is arguably my best fabric I own , a cashmere / merino blend fine woven wool which has been in my stash for 8 years.  I had been contemplating how much longer I will actually work for and well I am in the home run part of my career . 5 years ? 10 years ? I am unsure. What I was sure about is this fabric is not something I would use in an everyday garment but would be perfect for my work . So I thought I better sew it up .

 Such a fine fabric deserves to be made into something that will be used in the long run and this classic A line skirt with a single deep inverted pleat is perfect .It is easy to sew but what I forgot from making this skirt before is that I added several cms to the length of the skirt when cutting out . So this version is a bit short for my liking ! Oops !

 If I wear the skirt with dark stockings I feel OK but I feel as if I have to keep pulling my skirt down.
On the plus side I only used less than half of the fabric so I will be able to make another slightly longer skirt next time . In the meantime I have worn this skirt a few times this winter so all was not lost.

I also made another classic skirt but instead of making it too short , I made it too big.  You see I used a Polish Anna Moda magazine pattern and I assumed that like most other European magazine patterns I had to add in the seam allowances . Not so ! They are included . The magazine is great with lots of good Simplicity and New Look patterns.

I made what is the equivalent of Simplicity 8175 , a very popular straight skirt with a front slit and curved waist band and slant  front pockets. I used some navy crepe with a slight stretch to it , left over from some Burdastyle pants I made last year . I did try on the skirt while I was making it and took in the side seams but the too large curved waist band and pocket openings could not be fixed . There are no photos , it just didn`t look good.  Such a pity . I used some lovely silk to line the waist band and pockets and invisibly hand stitched the hems. Writing up this blog post was the stimulus to donate the skirt so I hope someone gets to enjoy it. I will definitely be making this skirt again using some more navy crepe I have .

Only a 50% success rate but at least I used a ` precious ` fabric .