Showing posts with label tops. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tops. Show all posts

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

New Comey Vogue 1503 and Old McCalls 2094 and How Long Do You Keep Your Clothes For ?

I love the colour red and in particular red tops . This is the fourth summer red top / shirt I own !
I finished sewing this red  rendition  a few weeks ago and was initially disappointed in the outcome but I have come to realise that the bottom piece I wear with it is essential to its success.
The pattern is Vogue 1503 and I made view A . There are lots of lovely details . The back pieces extend over the front shoulders and the front has a gathered peplum but the back piece is plain so avoiding extra width in this area. The sleeves are finished with bands creating a  neat look. The front and back necklines are finished with self made bias binding.  The instructions include french seams and  bias binding covering exposed seams so the inside looks very professional.
I used a very fine red dobby polyester with small white and green dots and black dashes which Mum gave me over three years ago. A fine drapey fabric is needed to make that gathered peplum work.
Image result for vogue 1503

These photos were taken with me wearing a loosish pair of linen pants and the combination did not look good . However later on I tried a pair of skinny navy pants  and I liked my peplum top much better.So for now it is a keeper and it will match up with newly completed embroidered skinny jeans ( have to get photos taken of those yet ) . As an aside I really love the long sleeved version too and will make that one day !
I should say there was one small mistake in the instructions. They forget to tell you the finish the back  neckline with a bias strip after staystitching. The pictures show the bias binding though. Apart from this the instructions are fine and the pattern is easy to follow.



I have been reading  a few  blog posts about how many times we wear our clothes and the number 30 seems to have been chosen as representing environmental value. It seems a quite random number and I am not sure if there are any studies which proves its worth.

The above red and white floral broderie anglaise shirt would fulfil the 30 wearings number ( as would my other red tops) .
I made it using McCalls 2094 in 2007 which makes the shirt 11 1/2 years old. It is probably one of the best fitting shirts I own and I still love it. In all honesty the upper back is starting to get a bit yellowed as is under the arms but nothing that can not be covered with  a cardigan or jumper .  This is not the oldest shirt I own though. 
 Also using McCalls 2094 is this sleeveless shirt made using some cotton lawn . I sewed this in 2001 so it is now 17 years old ! The cotton is so soft and wonderful to wear on hot days. It is not stained or holey.I simply can not bear to get rid of it and I can see no reason to . 
So am I weird to have clothes for so long ? Does anyone else have clothes this old which are worn over and over ( past the magic 30 number !) 

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Selfless Sewing Series - Linen Knit and Are You A Sewing Hoarder ?

MERRY XMAS .
This is the next top I have made my daughter using the linen knit we bought during our Melbourne Shopping trip. Oh my goodness this is wonderful stuff. It is soft and has a slight stretch with good recovery. It has the subtle texture and variation in colour like its woven counterpart . It is easy to sew and iron . And I am told that it is very comfortable to wear. 


My daughter was very easy to please when it came to choosing patterns to match up with the fabric . She really liked the top part of my recent swallow print dress- Butterick 5975 . She didn`t want to go through my other almost countless patterns or magazines . 


I just lengthened the top by about 9 cms and she was happy with this length . 


I ordered 1.3 metres and after washing measured the length ( I didn`t measure prewashing ) and had about 1.37  metres . I was told to prewash the linen knit as it shrinks. So either it didn`t shrink or I was given a generous 1.3 metres or it stretched. Either way I had enough to make up another top when I had finished with this one. 


I used my Kwik Sew 2695 pattern - this is now the fifth time I have made this. I really really like it as do my girls who stole one of my versions. This top has gone to my youngest  daughter . I will definitely be going back to  The Cloth Shop to buy more linen knit for my middle daughter who lives in tropical Queensland . It will be perfect for her. I want to add the colour does not come up true here - it is like a eucalyptus green , a bit richer in colour that the khaki showing up here . The shop had quite a few other colours available. 


Now I have lots of patterns - just over 250 envelopes and many many pattern magazines. I also have a bit under 170 metres of fabric now . Lots of lace and ribbons some of which I can not even recall where it came from and more buttons than I will ever use . But the one thing I really have not accumulated much of is threads and especially overlocking threads.


This is the sum total of my overlocker threads bar two pale blue  ones where the plastic has distintegrated badly . The medium gray ones at the bottom left hand corner are only new purchases too. I manage to make do with what I have by combining the colours so for my dark green tops above I have used my single medium brown with dark grey. It seems to work for me. 

Ever hopeful for a play with his fluffy ball pillow .
I store it all in a medium plastic bag which fits in well under my sewing desk .  Do you hoard sewing stuff or get creative with what you have ? 
 Janine. 

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Selfless Sewing Series -Pattern First or Fabric First ?



Not much sewing has been going on around this part of the world even though I am just at the end of two weeks holiday. I have been making some slow progess on a coffee table runner but put that aside when my eldest daughter asked  that I make her a couple of tops for her travels next year. So last week my eldest and youngest DDs and myself  drove to Melbourne to hit the fabric shops. 

First up was Darn Cheap where my youngest found a couple of pieces she liked ( I didn`t know this was a part of the deal - oh well ! ) . She really liked some floral poly crepe which she wants made into a wrap around dress and found some zigzag cozy knit for a jumper . Luckily the latest Burdas here ( August and September ) have patterns for what she wants. 

Next up was The Cloth Shop in Ivanhoe where it  was commented on  that we looked like a pack of hunters. I suppose we were stealthily stalking the aisles. Here my eldest daughter fell in love with some green linen knit pictured above . She also found a small remnant -60cm - of Japanese cotton which is absolutely gorgeous . I had to use every last mm of the length to eke out a top for her . We used plain navy crepe to make up the shortfall. The pattern is based on one of her old tops in a boxy loose fitting style. I copied an idea from a German blog and made a tag out of the cute selvage. 

So this year I have been trying very hard to use what I have to make up my unused Knipmodes and Burdas. However as the year progressed I hit some hurdles. For some of the patterns I chose I just did not have the right fabric. More recently I bought some patterns I wanted to make up now but had absolutely nothing so that meant  a shopping trip for me. 


I went to ClearIt in Fitzroy and found some navy/ grey argyle double knit to make a raglan sleeve windcheater . I also picked up some beige cotton lycra to make some camisoles but simply could not leave the spotty / stripey cozy knit behind. I hope to make the patterns below .


And then I received an email from Style Arc about some stretch denim and jeans pattern and did not hesitate to push the buy button. They came with another free top pattern which I really like. 


So this year I have been choosing patterns first and fabric second. Now I have stocked up on fabric  for now I can continue with the patterns first trend but I think next year I will have to have a new approach to sewing. But for now I have a bit of selfless sewing to get through. So how do you approach sewing ? Fabric first or pattern first ?? 

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Three By Two Piece Dress.



I have been gradually stash busting during 2017 and turned my attention to a piece of knit purchased from Frou Frous in 2011 .It was a terrific little garment fabric shop which shut down. By the time I managed to get to the closing down sale the shop was quite bare and I may have made a few impulsive buys which I would not normally have done including the knit above. I ordered 2 metres but received a very generous 2.5 metres. Now this fabric is very loud and bright, something I am a bit shy about wearing and thought it might be a bit too much as a dress. So then I had the brilliant idea ( tongue in cheek ) to make a two piece dress and to be able to mix and match and water down the loudness. By being very careful I was able to make a skirt and two tops from my 2.5 metres.


I used three patterns to make up this outfit. The skirt has 6 gores using 2 pattern pieces with an  elastic waist .I used Simplicity 4074 . I have made the dress from this pattern which I made in 2008 and still wear heaps and have always wanted to make all  the other views . Now I just have the top left to make .  I lengthened the skirt as the dress I made was on the slightly too short side. I am much happier with this length which hits just below my knee. ( I am 169cm tall - used to be 170cm !!)


The  gathered raglan sleeved T-Shirt was made from Burda 02/2013.  I have made this before but not successfully and have always wished to retry it again with modifications. I added width to just below the waist line and also cut the neck band a lot shorter . The finished neckline measures at 75 cm and this is the length that Burda says to cut the neck band hence why mine appeared floppy. The longest piece of fabric I had left was 66 cm and this was lengthwise so not as much stretch as the crossgrain but it turned out much better. I will not make this T-shirt again but there are lots of other patterns I want to try from the magazine.



The cowl neck top was made from New Look 6470  . I have never made this pattern before and wish I had made it earlier now. I had to cut the back from two pieces because of my limited fabric but this was just as well because I had serious gaping issues at the back neck. Instead of just overlocking the neck edge and turning in and stitching down as instructed I made some narrow strips cut on the cross grain to apply. I did the same for the armholes. I was  very careful about applying this but in the end with the gaping I had to unpick it all so the back of my neck from being neat and tidy is a bit messy but at least it is not gaping anymore. I would like to make this pattern again and will be aware of making alterations to the top of the centre back or again cutting the back from two pieces.



So there is my two piece dress which will be able to be worn multiple ways.  I do love the handful of  dresses I have but I tend to wear more separates and with some hot weather coming up this week I will be able to start wearing this one straight away.  

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Learning to Trust Your Sewing Instincts .


I  wish I could have just shown this flattering photo of this sewing project but that wouldn`t have been right .


The truth is shown in the bottom photos .
I bought the fabric  from Spotlight on March the 7th 2006   - I found the docket tucked inside ! I know I liked it when I first got it and I had a RTW shirt made out of similar fabric which I wore to death but over the years I gradually became meh about it . Anne Whalley had a recent post about fabric having a use by date and I agree !  But despite my meh instincts about the pink stripey fabric labelled a vintage dobbie I went ahead and used a new to me but very old Burda pattern 8918 . I really liked the tie neck , bottom hem band and flouncy sleeves which are a nod to the current sleeve fashions and thought this might be enough to overcome the fabric shortcomings .


There are a few reviews about the place for this pattern and they mentioned too tight sleeves so I used a narrower seam allowance and found they were fine but as for the rest of the tunic , well  not fine ! I am barely a B and it was too tight around my bust - this just never happens to me . Also there is quite a bit of pooling  of fabric at the back and  again this is unusual . The arm holes are uncomfortable and the bias tie neckline sticks out .Also  I realise now that part of the reason I am meh about the actual fabric apart from the fact it has been in my cupboard for over 11 years is that it is perhaps a bit too close to my skin colour . This tunic is definitely in the give away pile but if I had listened to my instincts I would have just saved some precious sewing time and given it away .


On the plus side at least I didn`t use some precious fabric to make this up , I have trialled the pattern and will keep it for now ( perhaps I just have to accept that I need to make a larger size ), it was fun to sew  and I used the very last of my Spotlight fabric .
To lick my wounds I have followed up this project with a usually never fails pair of PJs. Happy to report success there. Hope everyone is well .Janine x

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Simplicity 2501 -Silly Unseasonal Sewing .


I have a good excuse this time to be sewing a summer top in winter .
I have used this fabric previously to sew this skirt


and then last month the  bottom of this skirt .


I had a largish piece left over with a wide short piece,a longer narrower section and a couple of small scraps.

Rather than put it away in the cupboard where it had already lived for probably over 10 years I was determine to make a top which made sense anyway to match my new skirt . I pulled out a few patterns but it wasn't until the third one that I managed to fit all the pattern pieces on . The secret being that this has lots of smaller pieces rather than fewer larger ones.

This is the third time I have made this now and I realise that each time I have used fabrics where there is not much yardage. So I highly recommend this pattern in general but especially if you have limited fabric . Of course this pattern is OOP and I was shocked to realise that it was released back in 2009. It has a vintage vibe but I really like the gentle peplum . I never got onto the peplum bandwagon a few years back because I don't think they suit me but with this pattern the peplum does not stick out too much .






The front has small pleats in the bodice while the back has darts . The peplum is finished with a narrow hem but I did not follow Simplicity's instructions for this . I use a technique described in threads where you turn up the fabric and sew  a very narrow hem , trim the excess fabric and then fold this up and sew again which encloses the raw edge . Easier and accurate if you sew slowly. I used bias binding to finish the back neck and front facings but ironically I had to buy more thread to do the last couple of buttonholes as result . Should have just overlocked the facings ! I did not use the supplied facings for the armholes ( not enough fabric ) but more bias binding . I love this fabric , linen being a material I have rarely had the pleasure of using but it is all gone now . I think I will ` retire ` this Simplicity pattern now too as even though all three versions are different , they all still reside in the wardrobe and I don't want to get bored of them. 
Happy Sewing Janine. 

Monday, 3 July 2017

Stay Calm and Sew Ruffles - Burdastyle 08/2012 Blouse 130


Actually that is not really correct - about the ruffles I mean. The description in Burda is as follows - The casual jersey blouse narrows over the hips and has soft appeal. An angled ruffle , lovely bateau neckline and raglan sleeves are all flattering details. Quite a contentious statement in more ways than one  :)  So I know I have really sewn a flouncy top but I liked my post heading :)


Burda lists this pattern as easy to sew and initially I was skeptical about that but it really was. It is  essentially a raglan sleeve top with two extra flounces. 


Above shows the front piece which consists of a lower and upper front .The lower large flounce is laid on top of the lower front piece and basted together and then sewn to the upper front. 


The flounce is then folded so the wrong side shows and the edge basted to the side seam. 


The smaller upper flounce is laid over the lower flounce and basted to the neckline and armscye . The rest of the construction is just like a normal raglan sleeved top so pretty easy. The back is totally plain.  The raglan sleeves consist of two pieces . The neckline is finished with a facing and the flounce edges and hems are left unfinished. The instructions also have the sleeve hems left raw but I couldn`t help but hem at least those ones. 




I had trouble finding reviews for this top. Sharonsews made one and found it to be oversized . This made me a little bit nervous but as I was using a non-sentimental piece of cheap jersey from the op shop I just went for it. I do like to sew using different fabrics and to experiment with different styles . I cut out my usual size 40 but did not add seam allowances to the sides. I found the top to be comfortable but not oversized. However I was surprised by how long the top was. Burda drafts for heights of 168cm and I am just slightly taller than that. My top seems longer than what the modelled shot shows. 
Overall this is a very nicely drafted top with clever details that came together really well.