Showing posts with label skirt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label skirt. Show all posts

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Overthinking Sewing.



Sewing is my main form of relaxation and my only form of creativity ( unless you include 100+ different ways to use zucchini in Summer and pumpkin in Winter ) . Now thinking is of course very important but overthinking or rumination  is a whole different matter . I bought this small remnant piece of knit from the Clegs Remnant Xmas sale a few years ago thinking I could combine with another piece in my stash for a top  but the colours were way out . Then I tried to combine it with some other fabrics to make a pullover but the pattern was a wadder . Earlier this year after making my Burda pullover I thought I had the answer but there was not enough material . Garrghh! Enough ! There is only 70cm of this knit which is a light weight jumper ( sweater ) knit so I pulled out my trusty TNT Kwik Sew 2965 and just sewed it up before I overthought  any more .


And in another case of overthinking sewing I present my new skirt .


This red polka dot fabric is deep deep stash being left over from making a pinafore dress for my then 10 year old daughter ( 20 and a 2nd year medical student now ! ) . It must have been already quite old by the time I acquired it because it was only 90cms wide . It is a really good quality cotton with a smooth tight weave but it just positively screams Minnie Mouse so it has sat in stash all those years . I have thought and thought what to do with it from getting rid of it , to making a Minnie Mouse costume and to making something as unMinnie Mouse as possible. In the end I have made a `wearable` muslin of a knipmode skirt from May 2013.                                                                                                                                                              
   

A plain straight skirt with the front divided with a centre piece and narrower sides . I made the shorter version with cargo pockets .

One thing I don`t overthink with my blog are the pictures .I brush my hair , put on lippy and then convince someone to take pictures . The whole photo bit takes a few minutes . This time though took longer and I used several props to get photos .

Above my camera is resting on a bookshelf and magazines.
Camera propped on the back of a car with a turtle emerging from the ground .
Camera propped on the back of another car with an attractive compost bin in the background.
Up a ladder with the camera on a nappy bucket on the washing machine .
The best photos were the camera resting on the upside down old nappy bucket on the dining room table - must remember that one for future.
I have promised myself that I will wear this skirt for the remaining warm weather and if I still feel like a middle aged Minnie then the skirt will go.
Sometimes I feel a little bit crazy with how much time I think about these things but somehow if you are reading this blog then I know I am not alone .


Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Burda Style Vs Ottobre Design.


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 ) .
It is a slightly A line skirt with a single inverted front pleat . It does not  have a waist band, is fully lined and has a side zip . There are only two pattern pieces !
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 .

 It is so easy to make but I made a change by not lining the skirt and finishing off the waist band with grosgrain - after all who wears a lined denim skirt ! I also added a button tab to top . In the end though my pretend denim skirt is a little scratchy so I may need to wear a petticoat with it ! The upside is that this fabric ironed like a dream - that pleat came up really nice and sharp and sewed easily.





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. 

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Scrappy Skirt 2 - The Everyday Version.


This skirt came close to being a UFO which I have so far avoided in my sewing room ( piles of mending and altering tell a different story ).
I sewed two skirts several years ago using this peached cavalry drill from Spotlight. I dilligently followed the pattern suggestions for fabric allowances so had a large grrr  when there were generous remnants leftover  not enough for a garment .A couple of years ago I had a lightbulb moment when I realised that combining the fabrics would give enough material for a skirt and being the same drill and toning colours it should sew up well.


I used a pattern from my Knipmode supplement from October 2010 and finally decided dark on the
bottom , waist band and hips ( supposedly to provide an illusion of slimness) . But the resulting skirt was a bit boring for me. I like patterns, textures, any kind of interest . And this is why this skirt was almost a UFO because it took ages to decide on an embellishment. I found lots of beautiful inspiration on the internet but I currently don't have the time to fulfill those kinds of projects.
I checked out Mum's whizzbang price of a small car embroidery sewing machine and she had some really lovely inbuilt designs so I just went with that. Mum and I had fun choosing some colours and I helped snip the threads . We left the back just plain.
The knipmode skirt pattern came together really well . I even managed to use small cotton voile scraps for the waistband lining and inner pockets.
.

I have discovered that sewing up my scraps has been one of my favourite sewing activities this year. I have had to think of creative ways to make it work and  it feels good not to be wasting resources. 

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Scrap Skirt One - The ( Faux ) Luxe Version .


I`m continuing on with clearing out scraps . I don`t like waste and  also find it a creative challenge to make the most with what I have.   I have had a small piece of ( faux silk )  satin in my cupboard for a looong time that was just not big enough to do anything with .It was starting to bug me what I could use it for .  For some reason I thought it might make a nice skirt flounce . I pulled out my navy blue fabrics and found the best match was with the ( faux ) suede a leftover from making my Mum a pair of pants and matching sleeveless jacket 13 years ago !
I then found three flounce skirt patterns but chose one from Burda April 2005 - this is the same issue that has the twist top that was really popular 10 years ago .
I changed the skirt a bit - it had a zip on the side and the skirt front had a centre seam with a split at the bottom. I changed the skirt so the back had a centre seam allowing the zip and split to be in the back.

I finished the skirt last week and was able to wear it out a couple of nights later to Hamlet at the local Arts Centre . I wore it with the navy charmeuse top I sewed earlier in the year and felt quite appropriately dressy and swishy . Unfortunately though it did not help me understand Shakespeare any easier although by the second half I worked out the plot . ( I didn`t study Hamlet at school - we did Macbeth and The Merchant of Venice ) .

I am in the midst of making another scrap skirt - this will be more a day / casual version but it is taking a bit longer because I am going to embellish it  . And there is  still some suede/ satin fabric leftover which I am hoping will be enough for a bag !
Happy Sewing Janine.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

The Essential LRS - New Look 6896.



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, 28 February 2015

Knipmode May 2012 -Amazing Technicoloured Dream Skirt .


 Hello , I have finished sewing a new outfit in February .



Pattern Used - Knipmode May 2012 - Skirt ( Rok 16 ) . Out of my 4 Knipmode magazines this is my favourite. There are heaps of patterns I want to sew and this particular one was not even on my radar.
I was inspired by a photo of Princess Mary wear a gently pleated colourful skirt with a cowl necked satin top . I finally chose this pattern - a semi-circle skirt with deep box pleats in the front  and in-seam pockets .
The pattern is well drafted and the markings on the pieces are all the directions you need if you have sewn heaps of skirts before.

Fabric - Liberty Tana Lawn - This was a special gift from an English friend posted to me 4 years ago . The print is called Ian Rhodes and was from the Spring/Summer 2011 collection. She suggested I sew a dress and I even bought a couple of dress patterns for this but finally decided I would get more wear by making a skirt and fabric like this deserves to be worn. It is an unusual  liberty print made up of rectangles of   muted  colours of aqua, rose, terracotta , indigo, chartreuse , ecru etc. The colours are so crazily varied but somehow it works ! This is the first time I have ever made myself a garment from Liberty and hopefully not the last. I lined the skirt with some blue whatever stuff that was in my stash as the lawn is too fine as is for a skirt.

 I was so hyped up from sewing this Liberty ( finally ) that I went and bought some - for  another  friend- paying it forward so to speak . She is turning 50 this year and is a seriously good seamstress ( like drafting her own designs, only using natural fibres, proficient at fitting  etc ) . There are hundreds of designs to chose from but the decision was really easy because I chose the one that has her  professional name - how seriously cool and weird  is that -having a liberty fabric name the same as your own .

Now I have so many tops that  match this skirt already but a project like this deserves a new one . So I also sewed a new top .                                                                        


Pattern Used - Simplicity 2418.
Fabric  - Navy charmeuse from the Clegs remnant sale in 2012 . If ever there was a way to slow down your sewing then charmeuse is it.
Slippery and difficult but beautiful. A real prima
donna of fabrics .






And then because I was procrastinating making yet another pair of New Look shorts for my eldest daughter I went and sewed yet another top to match.


Pattern - Simplicity Threads wardrobe  Pattern - 4368 . It includes patterns for a jacket , pants, skirt and top . I love the square neckline with three little pintucks . It only took one metre of fabric and it includes sleeves !
Fabric - lemon light weight silk look dupioni .

OK so now I really don`t have any excuses to not sew that fourth pair of shorts - sigh.
Hope everyone is having a great weekend . Janine.


Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Issey Miyake Maxi Skirt -Vogue 2796

 I bought this pattern on the strength of the many glowing reports on Pattern Review many many years ago and only now finally making it up for me. The main issue was really finding a suitable fabric so when I saw this denim look knit at Darn Cheap I knew it was the one ( bonus it was on the $2.00 table as well )
I have a uniform of sorts . I prefer separates and mainly wear plain bottoms with a patterned top , less commonly a patterned bottom with a plain top and even less frequently dresses or completely plain separates worn together. So I was basically looking for a plain knit but with some  interest to it. This knit is in denim blue with silver grey threads in it.
The pattern itself is rather conservative for this designer but despite its simplicity it has some lovely style lines with a curved side front and back. It is hard to see but I top stitched along this curved seam with some silvery grey embroidery thread .This pattern is very easy to make especially if you ignore some of the instructions ! I did not add the waist band or zip. Sewing is meant to be a stress buster not a stress creator and I can imagine adding a zip in knit fabric would  be crazy . It's just not necessary anyway - the skirt stretches over my hips easily enough .
With its maxi length and swishy curved sides I feel just a bit trendy wearing this one and think I  will pull it out for Xmas Day - the stretchy waist band will be rather handy as well ;) .
Happy Sewing Janine

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. 

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Knipmode - The $2.50 Op Shop Michael Kors Skirt


Michael Kors would be rolling around in his  NY penthouse suite or Monaco Yacht or where-ever he hangs out to think us sewists could make up one of his skirts for only $2.50 but isn`t that one of the reasons we sew ? 

Sewing this skirt ticks lots of boxes for me .
1.  I finally got to use of of my Knipmode magazines. This skirt pattern comes from the supplement to May 2012 `s edition. The supplement was only for skirt designs. 
2. I used an old stash fabric - this has been maturing for at least 6 years . It is a turquoise light weight linen . It was so easy to sew with and the colour alone made me feel good . And it was only $2.50 .  Luckily I still have a remnant leftover  .
3.I finally got to try out bound buttonholes and mitred hem corners . 

The skirt is unusual but simple in design - It has a slanted side on the left to  which is attached a long rectangle . Then buttons are added to this same side to create the unstructed pleats. 



    


My first bound buttonholes . The buttons are sewn on the inside of the skirt.
Knipmodes are dutch sewing magazines . For any Australian readers who are interested I bought mine from Crafty Mamas and as a bonus there is free postage .  I  started to use google translate but it is quite a slow process. I did a little research to find that like other pattern magazines there are no seam or hem allowances. 
After that I sewed the skirt by instinct because it really is a simple skirt. 
The steps I followed are -
1. stitch darts in the front and back. 
2. sewed up the back skirt pieces . 
3. added the zip. 
4. sewed the front and back skirt pieces together. 
5. sewed the front and back waist facing pieces together ( after interfacing them ) 
5. sewed this to the skirt then trimmed , snipped and understitched  the facing. 
6. added a bias binding trim to the waist facing and handstitched this to the zip area. 
7. measured out my rectangle piece needed and attached this to the skirt front and back. 
8. sewed the hems (  by hand except the mitred corners ) 
8. made bound buttonholes and attached the buttons.
  
Now why was this skirt only $2.50 ? 
Well the fabric was only $2.50 from the opshop and I only used about three quarters of it so say $1.70. 
The buttons were also from the op-shop - $0.50 and finally the zip  came from the op-shop as well  - they were three for one dollar so about $0.30 . ( I did try to buy a zip new but there were no zips that even came close to the colour of my skirt . I walked a few doors down to the oppie  and found a really close match and it was Australian made !) 

Finally channelling my inner Angelina Jolie ( and by inner I  mean really really inner. ) 

Cheers Janine. 
PS Jane I tried to find another photo of this skirt but all I have is  the photo from the magazine.