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

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.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Button Front Shirt with a Tie Front Twist - Burdastyle 11/2011 .



My  sewing has been very slow in the last month and in fact it feels like I am not achieving much of anything .
But I have finished  another project .
After finally completing my Knipmode challenge by sewing up at least one pattern from each magazine  I have turned towards my Burda magazines now.
I had about 6 unused Burda magazines and the idea was to get through those as well but something happened. Last month I went to a Melbourne op shop and I spotted a basket on the ground full of Burda magazines . I almost fell over myself in trying to get there before the man and child in front of me could steal them . Luckily they were not interested  in sewing magazines so I plonked myself down on the ground  , emptied the basket and started trying to work out which ones to get . After a little while I realised that was useless so I just lugged the magazines to the front counter and bought them ALL. Ahem , 31 of them .
Now they were old - ranging from the years 2000- 2006 but for 75 cents each I don`t think I would be the only crazy sewing female to get them ( would I ?? tell me I`m not nuts ) and there are some really good patterns in there that don`t look out of place for now and besides I am not exactly the most fashionable person around in case you hadn`t noticed.
So there goes my Burda Challenge because sewing a pattern each from 37 magazines might take a long time.

So back to the really important stuff - the shirt I just sewed.

I used  pattern 107  from November 2011 which has side pieces which tie at the front . I am seeing quite a few patterns around with this feature even now but I figured if I get sick of them I can unpick the side seams and remove those bits and just have a plain shirt . They really remind me of how we used to tie our jumpers around our waists at school . I went to two secondary high schools and at the government school no-one cared that we did that but at the private school we used to get told off by teachers and prefects so wearing this shirt makes me feel a little bit naughty . I am tempted to call this post Naughty School Girl Fashion or the Tie Me Up shirt but can imagine the creeps that might look that up !


I used some very old stash to use the shirt - a seersuckery striped cotton in beige with blues and greens and plums . The fabric looks much nicer in real life . The last couple of shirts I have sewn , I have made the sleeves first because I think these are the trickiest parts trying to sew the sleeve slit / bands well. It then feels like the rest goes quicker and easier. The shoulders on this shirt are wider than I would like but not an easy fix . After sewing the shirt I noticed that  it  looks wide on the models as well . It is also very long which is fair enough since Burda calls this a dress not actually a shirt . I did make the shortest version of all three variations ( but I have included a photo of the midi one not the short one ) .


Overall I like the pattern but I won`t be making it again ( hello  37 unused  Burdas and many more  unused envelope patterns  ) I wore the shirt today for Me Made May which I am participating in for the first time . So off to post this on instagram and also the facebook stashbusting group I am in ! 

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Sabrina Slouchy Top.


I have been on a personal mission to use all my sewing magazines. This top pattern came from one called Sabrina that I bought in 2013 in Germany. I was totally amazed at the  vast number of sewing pattern magazines available at the train station we stopped at .


In the case of this pattern I think it is best shown by a floor shot !
It consists of a really over sized body with tiny armholes with attached narrow long bands . Hard to believe it is the same top when looked at like this.The only alteration I made to the pattern was to add 8 cms in length .It is hard to tell from the modeled photos but I hazarded a guess that the top was short.  I used up a remnant knit from my Issey Miyake maxi skirt I sewed in 2014 . To make this top work you need a drapey and very stretchy knit .I love the look of this knit - navy with fine silver threads but unfortunately it is cheap quality so already it is pilling and snagging.


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.  
The top was very easy to sew and  is comfortable enough to wear and for me a sure sign that something I have sewn is a success is when my youngest daughter said she wouldn`t mind having a top like this too. Overall I am happy with the result and I actually feel a bit trendy too .

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 .