Showing posts with label lace. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lace. Show all posts

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Not A Knitter, So A Sewer .

I  don`t really like to knit all that much although I am very tempted when I see my friend knitting beautiful socks and knitting jumpers from wool she has spun and dyed herself- incredible !
My last knitting effort was abysmal .I spent one year knitting the front , the next winter knitting the back and then one winter each for the sleeves. I left my project under the bed for the next winter and took it out and gave to my Mum who kindly sewed up the pieces . The next year I knitted the neck band and the end result was absolutely awful , incredibly daggy and baggy and ugly jumper . Seven years to produce such fugliness.
So whenever I see woolly knitted fabric that I like I buy it.

This fabric was from ClearIt late last year -black floral lace bonded onto off white ribbed knit . I`ve never seen fabric like this before so I scooped up 1.5 metres .

Such beautiful l fabric just needs a simple pattern and I had to go all the way back to a Burda Magazine from 1998 to find what I wanted. I have bought a few old issues of Burda magazines at op shops ( they are a rare find ) but this is the first time I have used one . Just a simple pullover which was very easy. I am very happy with the fit although perhaps not as loose as I wanted but I can easily wear a shirt underneath and that is all I needed.

This jumper only took about three sewing sessions -perhaps three hours and I can honestly say I am pleased with the result. So seven years knitting fugly , three hours sewing satisfaction - is it any wonder I don`t knit !
( PS I am though seriously considering finishing knitting the socks I started in 2010 )

Saturday, 25 October 2014

New Look 6143 - A Vision of Lace and Silk.

The most special and important part of my life as it is for most people is watching my children grow up into their own individual selves.
My middle daughter has just finished secondary school and is now preparing for the next stage of her life.
Part of the final school activities include a whole school assembly where they celebrate their academic , sporting and community achievements , a Valedictory dinner and the final celebratory day of school ( renamed because too many pupils muck up on Muck Up Day - one year it was quick set cement in the toilets causing over $30,000 worth of damage ! )

So with only three weeks until her Valedictory dinner my daughter asked if I would sew her dress and showed me a photo. This was quite a scary challenge because I think my daughter overestimates my sewing ability and I did not want to disappoint her on a very special day and did I happen to mention I only had three weeks . So the easy part was finding a pattern and New Look 6143 was virtually exactly the same as her choice of dress - a sweetheart neckline  satin lined lace dress with three quarter sleeves.

The next part was finding fabric and the time to squeeze this in amongst study and work. So one day we travelled to Melbourne and went to Spotlight . We bought the pattern and looked at their evening fabric selections. They had a  wide selection  but I suggested we keep looking and went to Darn Cheap Fabrics. 
Now Darn Cheap fabrics sounds well tacky but they actually have lots of beautiful fabrics and we found some lace and then real silk satin - in so many colours.  Once you have felt silk satin there  is  no going back to the Spotty Poly . There happened to be a full length mirror near the satins so she held up nearly every colour with the lace to her face and finally chose a muted rose colour . 

After making a quick toile and some fitting changes the sewing started. It really is a bit intimidating 
 cutting into silk but with such limited time you just have hold your breath, cross your fingers, hope for the best and do it. 

The pattern and instructions are fine. We made some minor changes to the pattern(  apart from her personal fitting alterations ). I narrowed the sleeves so they were more slim fitting . I also finished the neckline with concealed bias binding rather than it showing and using another sewing pattern added a wide sash. 

Also because we were using the sweetheart neck line bodice I had  to make some construction changes  - the bodice was fully self lined and then hand tacked to the lace. We were both mainly happy with the finished result but I should have also shortened the bodice for her and if I make this again I would consider sewing the lace and satin skirts separately .

We had a lovely night and I will have everlasting memories of my daughter running around the room  laughing and giggling  collecting about 30 helium filled balloons at the end of the night.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

New Look 6356 Top - A Lace and Floral Concoction.

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Or the fabric that my daughter stole.
I suppose it is only fair. After all I turned her old bedroom wardrobe into my stash storage when she left home AND she did buy the fabric in the first place AND I have sewn her two sisters a top each this year .
Well she has obviously been rumaging through my fabric on one of her trips home and spotted some left over lace from her youngest sisters school sewing project ( a lovely Simplicity Cynthia Rowley pleated dress )and thought to put them together.
I think the combination works really well - a Japanese cotton voile with a vague splotchy floral which peeks through the black lace on the sleeves and shoulders .

I used New Look 6356 dated 2004  , the same pattern for my youngest DD`s lace top and amazingly is still available in the current catalogues. It is a very basic darted  top for wovens with various necklines. And luckily all the hard work I did in fitting her paid off because my eldest DD is very similar to her so all I had to do was slightly lengthen the top and  sew  slightly smaller side seams.

  The only changes I made in construction of this top was to eliminate the facings and use bias binding at the neckline and instead of using a zip at the back I used a button and buttonloop .I hand stitched the lace to the sleeves and played around with the lace placement on the front bodice until it looked fairly symmetrical( I sewed the darts before adding the lace )  . We wanted to add lace to the back shoulders as well but there just was not enough. After handstitching the lace the top was a breeze to sew - shoulder seams, add the sleeves, side seams, centre back seam , hems , add a button and it is done.

I think I might need to start getting my daughters to give me some fashion/ sewing advice !
Happy Sewing Janine.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Hallelujah ! New Look 6356 Parisian Ombre Lace Top .

Finally ! I finished something .
This `simple ` top only took 6 months - that is three different patterns, four toiles , goodness knows how many trial sleeves and lots ( and lots ) of adjustments to get the final finished product.
I feel almost embarrassed to say all of the above.
The problem ( well two problems) was that the top was for my daughter and we bought the lace in Paris so I have never felt so nervous before in sewing anything - ever .

My daughter is quite petite - the top she wanted me to base this lace on was only size 4 ! None of my patterns get close so I looked at every pattern company and could not find anything suitable. I traced off an old Burda magazine pattern from 2004 and even a Top Kids pattern but for some reason they did not suit .
I settled on New Look 6356- a very basic top pattern  and started the long , seemingly never ending fitting process.
In the end I had to take out several cms from the back, fix a gaping neckline, raise the bust darts several cms and work out how to stop the `sleeves that bind` .
Do you know how hard it is to coordinate getting a teenager to try on toiles with a mother who can be bothered to then analyze the fitting problems ? In the meantime while you are doing this my youngest DD has the affrontery to keep on growing so your toiles are then getting too small .

However in the end I did it. I don`t think this top is perfect but we are both pretty happy ( and relieved ) with it.

Cutting and sewing the  actual lace was easier than I thought after all the toiles.
I sewed the sides and shoulders with french seams  but just sewed the back seam and sleeves the` usual` way.  I pondered how to finish the back/armscye  seams and in the end thought it was just all getting crazy so just overlocked the edges.We had decided to not line the lace because she has a few matching camisoles.
The final act of madness was to make my own bias binding out of some satin charmeuse which I finished both the neckline and sleeve hems with  .

And now guess what. I have to do it all over again for my middle daughter with fabric we bought in Tokyo !
( I know I know - I can`t complain )
Cheers Janine.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

A Touch of Lace Top - Burda WOF 04/05- 106.

I have been loving the lace trend and in the past have had some lace shirts/tops which I  adored  but are long gone. I was going to buy some lace but then remembered that I had a small remnant left over from a lined lace dress my oldest daughter sewed about 3 years ago - sometimes  my stash surprises even me . I also love white shirts - they are my most used and practical garments but I like them to be a little different and interesting rather than just plain. So enter .......

This Burda model looks so self assured, relaxed and chic - of course I want to sew this.

Burda WOF - Pattern 106 from April 2005 - one I have been wanting to make since well 2005 . It is a dropped shoulder almost kimono looking top with a waist band  . I used a scrap of white soft poly to interline the lace pieces . The main part of the top was cut from a fabric which looks like a light weight silk dupioni  . The top was easy to construct but I did not completely follow the instructions because they made the sewing the top harder than it should be . I only sewed up the side seams once I had completely constructed the top and then added the waist band.

The lace panel continues around the back and I added lace to the arm bands.
Overall this is a terrific little pattern - really great for using small pieces of scrap  fabric and the main part of the top took only 70cm  . I am thinking of trying this pattern again using some scraps of satin and experimenting with colour blocking but who know when that will happen - probably when that trend has totally passed and looks out of place :).

But for now my middle DD has announced that she does want to buy any new summer clothes but wants to me to sew her a pair of shorts and a dress - patterns and fabric have been chosen after a marathon 2 hour trip to Spotlight - I am sure this will keep me out of trouble for a while.
Cheers Janine.