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

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. 



Sunday, 18 June 2017

A Sentimental Story about Super Power Fabric !



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.