Sunday, 18 June 2017
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.
Thursday, 27 April 2017
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
In the case of this pattern I think it is best shown by a floor shot !
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.|
Wednesday, 14 September 2016
|Burda skirt , Ottobre top . In real life I will not tuck in the tops .|
I have just recently finished sewing a skirt from Burda Style and a top from Ottobre Design and it was interesting for me to note some differences between the two European sewing magazines .
First up the skirt is from Burda Style September 2012 ( the same one I made my pinafore from ) .
The back story to sewing this skirt is a family trip to see our daughter in Queensland. We were standing waiting to board the plane and my eldest and youngest daughter were discussing my clothes - I was wearing an old denim skirt and even older knit top . A lady just in front must have been listening as she turned around looked me up and down and smiled but in a nice way as she caught my eye . That is when I realised I was being talked about and heard what they were saying . I admit I was feeling pretty frumpy in that skirt so I pledged to make a new denim skirt . I have had the material for yonks - it looks like denim but is not .
Now the Ottobre top. This the the ` Kimono ` top from the Spring/Summer 2016 Issue. The magazine was for sale at a local newsagent and as I have never seen one before I couldn`t resist buying it. It is another simple garment to make just having two main pieces and bias binding strips to finish the neck and armholes. It has slightly dropped shoulders , flared sides and front darts.
I cut the fabric for the top out on a Friday night and sewed it up the next day . It has been a long time since I sewed anything in one day but again the top was so easy to make. The fabric was given to me by my eldest daughter after her travels to Japan 4 years ago.
Now the comparison between the magazines . The burda patterns are easier to trace as the different sizes have different dots/ dashes to distinguish them. The ottobre patterns are all the same coloured solid lines . There were places where it took me a while to work out where to trace the top . Ottobre does include hem allowances but not side seam allowances . The bias binding pieces including all seam allowances were also printed out. Burda does not include any hem or seam allowances and you have to make your own pattern pieces for simple rectangles etc.
The instructions for the ottobre top were very clear and easy whereas sometimes Burda instructions can be a bit goobledygook.
The Ottobre magazine cost me $22.50 compared to Burda Style ( I bought one of those too on the same day ) which was $17.50 . There are more designs in the Burda and the patterns in Ottobre seemed quite basic . Lots of basic shift dresses which I already have patterns for .I did like another peplum type top in the Ottobre , a pleated dress/jumpsuit and some pants . There was also a useful T shirt which I will make up some day.
Overall I prefer the Burda and will need a bit convincing to buy another Ottobre magazine .
Lastly I would like to thank my photography assistants for today - the supervisor and the photographer`s socks.
Wednesday, 23 September 2015
LRS being The Little Red Skirt.
Earlier this year I sewed up a really old stash inhabitant , the pink and blue plaid , and I love the end result. This got me thinking about other similarly elderly pieces of fabric. I do not subscribe to the theory that she who dies with the most fabric wins . I think about the lost opportunities , unfulfilled sewing dreams and not to mention the plain waste of resources . So I feel a bit ashamed to admit that I have more 20 + year old fabric languishing in my cupboard.
This red crepe was actually a two metre remnant ! I originally bought 5 metres to make a 3/4 length dress with multiple gores - very much a look at me dress - so not me ! I ditched that plan and sewed another dress up but it was what I now know to be a wadder . I did wear it but my sewing was less than stellar so I turfed it after just a few uses.
I was skimming through pattern review a few weeks ago and saw a really lovely looking skirt . I then googled more images of the same pattern made up and the cogs started slowly turning until bingo I realised this would be a great way to use my red crepe . However after accumulating sewing treasures for 30 years I knew I would have a similar pattern in my collection.
I found New Look 6896 in my French pattern magazine which was very much what I wanted . I really like this magazine because although I do not know the french language all the patterns have clear construction diagrams which are helpful in trickier areas.
The skirt is a simple wide yoked semi-circle style with belt carriers and pockets . The zip is on the side which was the only real difficulty because I added pockets from another view to my skirt .
I used some tips I found in a Vogue magazine to hem the skirt - first sewing a long gathering stitch to gently bring in some of the fullness of the hem before hand sewing the hem in place . I then removed the gathering stitches , gave the hem a press and it looks pretty invisible to me ! I added some cotton tape to the top of the yoke to stabilise this area and I think this does help a lot .
I have so many tops that coordinate with this skirt that it is a wonder that I never thought before this was an essential garment to have !
I have worn my new skirt with a new top as well using a long narrow remnant that Mum gave me . I used Kwik Sew 2695 which has become a favourite pattern to use up small pieces of fabric . It is so quick and easy but I managed to make more than one mistake in sewing this up . And now I have just realised looking at these photos that I have achieved the dreaded bulls eye effect so I don`t know if I will keep it or not now.
As I was sewing up my red crepe I felt quite pleased to be using up all my really old fabric until I realised that no there are still a couple of pieces left that are 20+ years ! So I predict a denim tunic coming into my life in the near future but the other piece is only good for night wear so that will probably reach its silver anniversary.
Happy sewing , Janine.
Saturday, 18 October 2014
|pattern piles !|
1. to continue to take my time when sewing and do the best possible job I can.
2. attempt some new sewing techniques.
3. reduce my pattern piles.
4. reduce my fabric stash.
Unfortunately I failed in the last two months with the final goal ( I was doing so well until September - oh well there is always 2015. )
I was about to tackle my pattern pile but my middle daughter threw a spanner in the works and announced only three weeks ago she wanted me to make her valedictory dinner dress !
So in between toiles and fittings etc I snuck in a quick top and finally started to rectify those painful piles ( sorry a little bit of doctor humour - sick I know - I will stop now trust me ).
I chose to use my Tendances Couture magazine . This is a french magazine I bought last year in Paris for the princely price of 6.5 euros or about $10 AUD. It contains 13 different New Look and Simplicity patterns so is an absolute bargain. It seemed to be available from just about every train station and little newsagents that frequently lined the city streets.
It is of course all in French but unlike other pattern magazines every pattern has diagrams of all the steps .
Also after getting two different opinions from french speakers ( including a genuine Frenchman - ooh la la ! ) we worked out the patterns do include seam allowances.
This pattern is for tunics and dresses with a pleated scoop neck and sleeve variations. I used the shoulder pleated sleeves with a central lower gathering ( created by sewing stretched elastic to the fabric ).
I was worried the sleeves would be too puffy which reminds me of little girl dresses but perhaps because the fabric is so thin they worked out fine. However the scoop neck is quite low and shoulders narrow so if I ever sew this again I would raise the neckline and make the shoulder wider. Also I can get the top on easily without needing the back opening so I would just cut the back on the fold .
|pleated scoop neckline finished with bias binding|
|gathered edge of the sleeve topped with a shell button|
PS I have also finished sewing my daughters valedictory dress and just have to convince her try it on so I can get a pic.
Have a happy weekend. Janine.