Showing posts with label animals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label animals. Show all posts

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

How to Use Your Precious Fabric - Just Do It !

My latest project was totally inspired by the board on Pattern Review  discussing using our precious fabric. My coral / red / cream tweedy boucle is with no doubt my best fabric .I love the colours and  the texture and to top it off , it was my souvenir from my one and only trip to France in 2013 . 
I always thought to make a skirt using a TNT pattern but when I laid out the pattern pieces there was so much more fabric than I thought . The fabric was 150 cm wide ( I thought it was 120cm ) and the shopkeeper had been generous with the cut giving me extra ! This was good and bad news because it meant I had to rethink the whole project and make a muslin . 
I already have a handmade winter work  version of a pinafore which I wear heaps and this gave me the idea to make a warm weather one . 

 I chose this pinafore from September 2012 Burda Style ,a ripper of an  issue . So many patterns I want to make from it .  It has a deep V neck with front bust darts and inset pockets . The top part is lined .
I made only two changes . I lengthened the skirt pieces and opted to fully line the garment . 

I was very lucky and found some matching lining fabric at the opshop . It had pura seta printed on the selvedge and when I googled this found it meant silk in Italian - bonus ! 
The pinafore was very easy to sew and as the V neck is deep there is no need for a zip to get it on and off . I love the little bonus front pockets but if I make this again I would make the pockets deeper although I can  store a hanky in them. 

 This was a great project to follow up my coat which took ages to sew . I really do not know why I put off sewing my precious Parisian  fabric for so long because once I cut into it , it was really easy . So if you have any fabrics which you are saving because it is so special then I encourage you to just do it - go cut it out and sew it up.  

I will  finish with another picture of my babies - they are getting bigger .The lamb in the background with the brown head and white body ( I call her ChocTop ) is only 2 1/2 weeks older than the twins ( but twice as big ) . 
Happy Sewing Janine. 

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Vintage Style Burda Boule Coat - Finally !



My first hand sewn  coat .  I started this in May so I am more than relieved to be finished .
I seem to be on a bit of vintage kick this year and I fell heavily for the coat on the cover of Burdastyle 12/2011 .  I convinced myself that if I only make one coat why not do something totally different.
The coat is described as having a boule silhouette with 3/4 sleeves . The eye catching insert hides the snap fasteners. The sleeves are in two pieces being extensions of the upper fronts/ back . Inseam pockets are included.


I constructed the coat using all materials sourced from the op shop - from the magazine to the outer fabric , lining , interfacing , satin contrast and snaps !  Who says sewing has to be expensive ?  Admittedly I collected the stuff over many years - the outer wool blend has been waiting for 8 years and initially I was going to make a suit but this coat is far more interesting .

Surprisingly for Burda the instructions were understandable but as this was my first coat I also did some research especially about what pieces to interface , attaching the lining and the hand sewing of hems  . . Once the flouncey insert  was constructed and inserted into the front, the coat was relatively easy to sew . Last post I showed photos of how the flounce was constructed. Inserting the flounce required some care . I thread trace the corners of the coat front to allow accurate sewing and make it easier to see where you are sewing . I sew the along one edge then stop . Snip to the corner of the seam allowance but not too close and then sew along the other edge. This means you can get a really nice looking sharp corner.


I did change the edge finishing of the flounce . Burda said to top stitch along the seam allowance and then trim close to here. However I am never comfortable with unfinished seams ( even on knits that do not ravel ! ) so I did a rolled edge on my overlocker .I  left off the snap at the top of the flounce so this upper corner just flops down and  I also did not cover the snaps because you can not see them and it was the last step and I was getting impatient to finish and wear the coat . I added extra interfacing to the coat - to the front , hems , front facings and upper back and upper sleeves but apart from these changes made the coat as described.

Obligatory flashing the lining with mouth open wide shot. 

To make the coat something that is more me I used a dark navy blue  wool blend . The front insert is left over fake silk dupioni from my suede flounce skirt and not as shiny as it looks in the photos. I am ridiculously pleased with using the dupioni. It was only one metre and 112 cm wide - not enough a single garment - so really required some creative thought on how to use it . To think I was going to send it back to the op shop a few times in the past. I do not have very many lining fabrics and there was only one other choice - a navy floral silk - but I thought that might get made into an outer garment so the bright red garish silk it was ( this is actually genuine silk - a lucky find ) .

I am certainly glad to be finished - I tend to get impatient when things take longer than a few weeks to sew but I am determined to not have UFOs so just keep on .
I will leave you with some photos of  what else has been taking up my free time - my new babies .

This post is already long but I delivered the white one !  With only 20 minutes until I was meant to be at work I had my arm up the sheep trying to  bring down the second front leg so she could deliver normally . I did it ( and got to work on time ! ) . However my daughter ended up calling the vet to deliver the second black lamb who was also presenting incorrectly .  I used to deliver human babies and what I did to the mother ewe was nothing like I had done to a human - poor thing !

Our entire motley flock.

Happy Sewing Janine. 






Costings - Outer fabric $3.00, flounce fabric $0.25 , lining and interfacing $4.50 , notions - snaps and thread $0.50 and burda pattern- nothing ( costs accounted for previously. Total $8.75.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Birds and Blossoms Tunic - Knipmode March 2012.

I managed to sew one more garment before 2015 ends !
Here comes a dog !

This one is more like me - I am definitely a print girl and I love sewing button shirts especially with those front insert yokes .
The pattern is from another knipmode -the bonus magazine  to  the main March 2012 issue  . I could see myself sewing everything in this great little supplement .

Yes you can have a pat . 

I used a rayon print from Spotlight - I saw a top made up in an instagram picture ( no idea who because I get really sucked down into the abyss of instagram ) from this fabric and loved it but I was even more delighted when the owner said it was a recent purchase from Spotlight . I have wanted to sew a bird print garment for myself for ages but  have  never found anything suitable.
Again I found the knipmode  pattern well drafted.  It is a tunic with raglan sleeves and shoulder darts , lined front button up inset , long sleeves with slits and cuffs , sleeve tabs so you can roll up the sleeves and a curved hem. The neckline is finished with a narrow self fabric bias binding strip.  I made size 38 and this fitted well BUT the tunic was so long - almost a dress and I did NOT add the hem allowances.
Terrible photo  which is meant to show the details of the tunic. 

A better close up photo - still hard to see anything though.  I tried to match that upside bird . 

Using the markings on the patterns and closely looking at the garment line drawing and pattern layout I was able to work out how to sew this . I used instructions from a Burda envelope pattern and a Kwik Sew pattern to make sure I was on track with the insert yoke and sleeve slit . I removed about 13cm in length and it is arguably still a bit too long . I am 170cm or 5 foot 7 so the models wearing this tunic must be 6 foot tall !

Looking a bit nightiesque prior to cuffs , hems and neckline finishing. 

Knipmode biljage ( supplement ) March 2012.  Blouse 107. 
I was going to just use cream buttons but they looked insipid . Luckily I  found some buttons where the reverse side matched the blue blossoms and there was just enough !
I love my new tunic although it is too hot to wear it just now  . A great way to finish off 2015. I am not going to bloody miss you 2015 .
Here`s to a content , healthy and peaceful 2016 !

Thank you to my photographer who took an unwitting selfie !

Saturday, 29 August 2015

A Bloggy Catch Up and Ramblings about Fabric .

It is a lovely Sunday morning here - the rain has stopped ( our sheep at one stage had their own personal olympic sized swimming pool with a Murray River run off in their paddock  - I put a stop to their backstroke lessons when I unclogged the roadside drain ) and it is sunny.
I have had my breakfast carefully supervised by my food taster . If he does not drop dead one millisecond after eating my toast ( multigrain BTW )  prepared for me by my husband then I proceed to enjoy. My fitness instructor has taken me for a walk. The fitness involved depends entirely on how many fitness instructors have preceded us. Sometimes we need to inspect every single blade of grass and other times a quick sniff of some select trees and fence posts will suffice. Now my bodyguard will allow me to sew whilst he pretends to curl up and sleep . However I see him opening a single eye now and again to check for any potential assassins .

This year I was making a concerted effort to really sew down my fabric stash/ collection / hoard or whatever you want to call it. I made a policy that if I bought fabric then I would HAVE to sew it up straight away.



This policy works really well. I bought the mesh knit for my knipmode scarf top  from my previous post .
I bought this cream cable rib knit above  for my practice run for my black lace bonded knit . The bust darts are too low and the sleeves are too short but I was happy otherwise.


I bought this border print from an op shop - a bare one metre and sewed up Simplicity 4368 again . This is such a nifty little pattern - to be able to get a top with sleeves from such little fabric ( I use size 12 )  . However it seems the fabric buying policy expired in late July.
My excuse is my daughter had an exam in a regional town a couple of hours away. I rarely go there and I had 3  1/2 hours to spare . So I went and looked at an op shop . And found a mother lode of fabric . In the end I limited it to just under 20 metres - taupe  tropical wool, cream rayon, floral dotted swiss , cream rib stretch, cotton-silk ( I think ) floral , lemon and rust coloured crepe de chines and a pale grey mystery . Yes so in one swell swoop I bought the amount of fabric it has taken me to sew for the year . Sigh - there is always next year yes ?


I will finish with a word about my  food taster / fitness instructor / bodyguard. Just in case you are jealous or think he is perfect , well he is not . I have given him several dissertations on how to make the perfect cup of tea. He knows the theory well but has yet to put it to practice.

Happy Sewing Janine.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Burda Style Henley T - Much Ado About Nothing.

I just sewed a T -Shirt.
The pattern is from December 2009 Burda Style and why oh why does it take me so long to finally make something from my patterns .Probably because I am catching up sewing from all the other old patterns.

This should have been just  a quick simple make but it took several days and used  several different products. Lots of people would think why bother and I sometimes ponder this as well .
Well there are several reasons why I bother.
1. I have the fabric in stash anyway -  a decent quality  mid- blue cotton pique knit - an op shop find from years and years ago.
2. I  enjoy the sewing process as much as the finished garment .
3. I don't think I could buy a T shirt so well constructed and I want my clothes to last - none of this one season, throw away fashion for me.

Burda Style instructions are notorious for their brevity and this was no different. Thank goodness for my Kwik Sew patterns which I referred to for the front placket. In fact when you know what you are doing the burda instructions do  kind of make sense ( the trick is knowing what you are doing ) .

Apart from the front placket there is stabilising the shoulder seams with cotton tape, interfacing the placket bands, under stitching and stitching and top stitching the neck band and adding hem fusible tape to the sleeve and body hems which I think helps prevents those wavy stretched out hems .Also the buttons I retrieved from an old shirt so I then had to resew on different buttons on that shirt .

Yep , so lots of effort for just a Tee.  ( not to mention tracing out the pattern and adding seam allowances ) .
I made mistakes as well .The twill tape I used was really too thick for the purpose , I added a 1.5 cm allowance to the neck line but only sewed the neck binding on using a 6 mm seam and mis-spaced the buttons despite carefully measuring them. Sigh.
I do like finished  top and will likely remake this. Hopefully without the mistakes .Hopefully I'll remember to read this post .
So all these words to say I sewed a T-Shirt.
Looks like even the dog is giving me an eye roll. 

Friday, 30 May 2014

New Look 6345 - Denim Skirt with a Twist.

Yippee - I finished something for me. And I am very happy with it.


New Look 6345 ( OOP ) is a shaped yoked skirt with  A line mini, straight or flared  gored options.
I sewed the version on the model photo seven years ago and it is still regularly worn to work .
Mum gave me some really lovely embroidered mid weight denim - the pattern  is in teals and bronzes with that special sheen you get with embroidery thread but I am not sure how hardy it is going to be.
There was just under 90cm of fabric but it was 150cm wide which narrowed down my choices of pattern and also with the large repeating embroidered pattern I needed something simple.


Along one long edge of the fabric was a largish area with no embroidery. This was actually an advantage because I was able to cut the yokes out of this avoiding the hassle of pattern matching and making the skirt look a bit RTW . I sewed the straight version and was a bit concerned with no walking flap I might have to do the penguin walk but no you can take normal long strides ( phew ) .



The dreaded back view - I was pleased that I could kind of match up the pattern at the back and one of the sides even with my fabric limitations . I also thought having the flowery things on the sides might avoid some unfortunate flower placement at the front and back. I admit this is something I would not have considered prior to finding so much sewing info on the net but is something I can not unlearn now !


I added an inch in length to the pattern whilst cutting out but after trying on the skirt thought that was not quite long enough so I used for the first time that nifty trick of adding a bias binding to the skirt edge to make the most of my material. I found a scrap of kind of matching cotton to make my own ( I made the bias binding 3cm in width ) and also used this to line the yokes. ( for the record I am 5foot 7 or 170cm )
The flappy things at the yoke are totally useless but I love them .

 My best friend patiently waiting for a play with his  totally disgusting fluffy pillow . I received positive unprompted comments from my family with this make and I also love the fabric and the pattern so this one is a success. 

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

A New Pincushion and SSS Day 10.


Here is a little pincushion that I just whipped up - no  , of course it is an echidna. This little fellow ( or girl - who would know) hangs around our house about once a year for a few days before snuffling off somewhere else. This is such perfect timing because at the moment we have a Japanese exchange student staying with us for a few days.


Now SSS stands for Silly Sheep Saga. Last week we bought two whizz bang self shearing sheep ( SSS! ) - dorpers. A certain someone reassured me the paddock was sheep proof. The next day my youngest DD tell me the new sheep are in the next door neighbours  paddock. I checked this out and found a 10 metre gap in the barbed wire fence big enough for well sheep !The next day we spent 3 hours chasing sheep trying to get them back.Have I  mentioned I live on the side of a mountain , that the next door neighbours paddock is about 50acres with NO fences. We finally got them back to our property only to discover that a certain someone had fixed the fence and the sheep although they tried could not get back in !!Oh the irony .  They then ran off into some bush and haven`t been seen since. ( Don`t worry there are lots of waterholes and lots of green grass - they will be very happy ) . The only relevance to sewing here it that after 3 hours of running up and down hills etc I declared the next day to be a sewing day and neglected my motherly and housewifely duties . I made very good progress on my pintucked simplicity tunic and hopefully will have another finished garment to blog and wear. Cheers until then Janine.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Simplicity 2418 and my sewing mate.

This is my little dog Toby and he loves being with me all the time including sewing. I wanted to show this photo as he has FINALLY learnt not to just plonk himself down on my fabric and pattern pieces  -hooray . Ask him how he learnt this ! He still needs to learn though to give me space while enjoying my cups of tea and chocolate. He comes and sits right next to you and just stares the whole time .
I completed Simplicity 2418 - a pattern that is still in the current pattern catalogues ! It is the cowl neck version. Although rated easy I had to think carefully about the yoke attachment which has you sew the wrong side of the back and front pieces to the right side of the yoke - also there wasn`t much difference between the wrong and right sides of my fabric so I had to be careful.
I took the advice of pattern reviews of this and sewed size 10 instead of my usual size 12 and also took the side seams in by 2 cms instead of  1.5. In the end I didn`t really need the self fabric belt as doing these adjustments meant the top was not too baggy. I also used some `satin` bias binding around the `sleeves` which I did enlarge to accomodate my size 12 arms . I will definitely be making view B - sooner rather than later. I am going to do a more complete review over at Pattern Review ( love that site - I always check it out before sewing any patterns these days ) Cheers Janine.