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

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Blue Tops ( and Lots of Them ) .

Dear Blog Diary , I have been very busy but I have been thinking of you . I have been working and travelling lots . I flew to Townsville and then drove 3500kms back home . Then we drove to Merimbula for a short but sweet holiday. On the way back  I stopped at Bairnsdale and then cycled to Paynesville . A short ferry trip across to Raymond Island to see the koalas and then a train trip back home and to real life ( ie work ) . However real life includes sewing and even the occasional blogging so all is good. Before I went away I sewed blue tops and lots of them for literally every female in the family .

 DD 1 Blue Top.
My eldest DD just happens to live only about 10 minutes ( if the traffic is good ) away from Darn Cheap Fabrics  in Heidelberg . We went there for a bit of a cheer me up session and she really liked this stripey , diamondy fabric . She has a very favourite oversized top which is also very stained and pilled and wanted it recreated .
No problem at all ! A very easy sew as I was able to unpick the original top to copy. I have previously tried rubbing off an intact garment to make pattern pieces but found it quite tricky .

DD3 Blue Top

Well I overestimated the amount of fabric needed for DD1 top and DD3 loved the fabric too . There was just enough to cut out a top from the Burda April 2016 issue . This is a easy fitting top with dropped shoulders . All the vavoom is in the back with a V back and a little strap going across . Also a very simple sew but I ignored Burda`s instruction to add a snap to the strap at the back . I can see no purpose for it as the top easily fits over her head . DD1 and DD3 are very similar in appearance and in many other ways ( they both dislike bananas for example - weird !) so now they can be real twinsy wearing their stripey tops.

DD2 Blue top.
I have been unable to pin down DD2 for a pic. I made the same pattern as for DD3 using the silk I used to make my kimono jacket bands. So a plain blue top basically. But lovely nonetheless .

Me !

I bought this exotic peacock chiffon from the op shop . There was something like almost 4 metres of the stuff. I started sewing up a Kwik Sew tunic pattern but I hated it . Not the pattern , nor the fabric just the combination. The chiffon is a see through and slippery customer indeed . I hated the see through seams  and the crooked hems and the fraying sleeves . I was ready to chuck this big time but then thought NO . It is just fabric and I will not let it defeat me. So I soaked the chiffon in a gelatine mixture  ( I originally just used starch ) and since the Burda April issue was lying around traced and cut out a really simple little shell top. The only features of the top which are totally obscured are some darts at the neckline. I lined the top with self fabric but as you can see it is still quite transparent. However I have ended up with something quite wearable - a little shell top and it only took 4 metres ! I have sworn off chiffon for a bit now but expect it will be like childbirth .
I usually like to add pictures of the patterns I have sewn because personally I find this very helpful when reading blogs . But I lent the magazine to a friend who wants to make a tunic and a dress for her sister . It really is a terrific issue.
So Blog Diary I am glad to caught up with my sewy news . Hope to report back again soon.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Kwik Sew 3658 - A Miracle In Pattern Drafting .





My sewing output is much greater than my sewing blogging as I made this top early this month .
I was so impressed by this pattern I wanted to include a few pictures showing how it was made .




This is the two front pieces placed right sides together and stitched at the top and along the middle .


The fronts are ` opened up ` .


This creates a self front facing which is basted down .


The back is then stitched to the front . After this all that has to be done is sew the sleeves in the flat and then sew up the side seams and do the hems. So quick and easy and just amazing  ! Mind you I have no drafting skills so I might be easily impressed .


The close ups of the front and back neck line also show up my fabric well - a white waffly knit . It was only $1.00 from the op shop but it was covered with lots of little black dots which I did not realise until I had taken the fabric home. Luckily they washed out with a bit of that wonder pink napisan .
I am overall happy with the top but the neck line is a bit floppy and the shoulders too wide. Otherwise it really is a little miracle in pattern drafting.  I know Kwik Sew is not so popular or trendy so I do appreciate that they have reliable drafting and excellent instructions which is what really counts in the end.
Happy Sewing Janine.




Thursday, 22 September 2016

Simplicity 1280 - A Surprise Winner.


This is my favourite sewing out of my recent projects. It is the cross over top from Simplicity 1280 which is a very popular pattern for good reasons as I have discovered.
I was hesitant about this style because I carry most of my extra fluff around my lower tummy and thought this cross over elasticized top might emphasize it. But I really liked the versions I have seen so gave it a shot anyway.
I used a piece of chiffon which has been hanging around close to a decade 😳 . The pattern says you need 1.4 metres  of 1.5 metre wide fabric but I only had 1.25 so I was really happy when I managed to not only squeeze out the  top with this but also lengthened the sleeves to reach my wrists.
The  other change I made was instead of adding elastic to the sleeve hems I made bias binding strips the same width as the neck band to finish off the sleeves. Personally I find this more comfortable than elasticized sleeves but that could be because I cut the elastic too short.

As others have noted it really is a modest top with the deep cross over pieces. It is very easy to sew but you do  need a soft drapey fabric for it to work. The chiffon was perfect for this. I did not sew any extra stitches to secure the fronts because I think that kind of changes the way they fall and I did not find it necessary.  I highly recommend this pattern and also want to try out the other style top included in the pattern.I have included what is a totally useless hanger shot where all details are obscured by the print !






Happy Sewing Janine.

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. 

Friday, 13 May 2016

Scrap Sewing - Winners and Wadders .



  I might have mentioned I do not like waste and might be a bit of a hoarder when it comes to fabric scraps . Sometimes Mum also gives me little pieces like the blue patterned  cotton voile  fabric above. There was only 80 cms and I accidentally found an even smaller  piece of blue in my scrap bag which matched really well when I was searching for something else  . It was left over stretch cotton from making my husband a shirt for Christmas 2 or 3 years ago .


I really wanted to make New Look 6187 after seeing some versions on the internet and was able to squeeze this  top out using the two scraps . I used the plain blue for the yoke and tunic back and the pattern for the front yoke and sleeves.


I altered the pattern slightly - 3/4 sleeves because I did not have enough material for the full length and I extended the yoke pattern so I could make a button placket instead of a button/ loop closure. Also instead of using a facing for the yoke and tunic back I managed to eke out some bias binding to finish off the neckline.

Always times for pats in our house.




OK onto the next scrap busting project.  One late insomnia filled night I was perusing Pinterest ( not very good for actually helping one to get back to sleep BTW ) and saw a picture of a sewing machine pocket pad . Brilliant ! If I had a dollar for every time I have knocked my tape measure behind my sewing table then I would  have lots of dollars . I was seriously considering making another scrap top with this checked / little Japanese girl fabric but again only had 80 cms . Well for this project I had plenty of material and I also managed to save myself from making a dubiously appropriate shirt and I have a place for my errant tape measure ( and quick unpick /  little scissors/ glasses /secret chocolate stash ) . I was pretty happy with the result so I sewed two more for my Mum and a friend using all stash fabric, wool wadding and bias binding .

Well they are the winners :)
Now for the wadder :(
I had lots of black based scraps ranging in age from just last year to 10 years old . I wanted to use my Knipmode magazines and found a windcheater where the fronts and backs  consist of  3 pieces each  . I had enough of the various scraps but did not have a good feeling from the start of the sewing . I got the point of the hems and adding a neck band but OH in capitals . Gosh seriously ugly.  Too many fabrics  ,  too many differing textures and thicknesses  , too big , sleeves too dropped .  Most of the failure is my fault but the sweater is seriously oversized and the sleeves very low .


This photo does not do justice to how ugly the top is . Oh well  , I gave it a try and no big loss. However Bruna I do think you are right and these scraps should have been in the bin long ago.
I am off to lick my wounds now and have cut out a Kwik Sew camisole pattern - quick , easy, needed  and made before so I know it will be a success .
Happy Sewing Janine. Costings : Fabric remnants free in stash. Pattern - $3.00 . Buttons and thread in stash. Total - $ 3.00

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Birds and Blossoms Tunic - Knipmode March 2012.

I managed to sew one more garment before 2015 ends !
Here comes a dog !

This one is more like me - I am definitely a print girl and I love sewing button shirts especially with those front insert yokes .
The pattern is from another knipmode -the bonus magazine  to  the main March 2012 issue  . I could see myself sewing everything in this great little supplement .

Yes you can have a pat . 

I used a rayon print from Spotlight - I saw a top made up in an instagram picture ( no idea who because I get really sucked down into the abyss of instagram ) from this fabric and loved it but I was even more delighted when the owner said it was a recent purchase from Spotlight . I have wanted to sew a bird print garment for myself for ages but  have  never found anything suitable.
Again I found the knipmode  pattern well drafted.  It is a tunic with raglan sleeves and shoulder darts , lined front button up inset , long sleeves with slits and cuffs , sleeve tabs so you can roll up the sleeves and a curved hem. The neckline is finished with a narrow self fabric bias binding strip.  I made size 38 and this fitted well BUT the tunic was so long - almost a dress and I did NOT add the hem allowances.
Terrible photo  which is meant to show the details of the tunic. 

A better close up photo - still hard to see anything though.  I tried to match that upside bird . 

Using the markings on the patterns and closely looking at the garment line drawing and pattern layout I was able to work out how to sew this . I used instructions from a Burda envelope pattern and a Kwik Sew pattern to make sure I was on track with the insert yoke and sleeve slit . I removed about 13cm in length and it is arguably still a bit too long . I am 170cm or 5 foot 7 so the models wearing this tunic must be 6 foot tall !

Looking a bit nightiesque prior to cuffs , hems and neckline finishing. 

Knipmode biljage ( supplement ) March 2012.  Blouse 107. 
I was going to just use cream buttons but they looked insipid . Luckily I  found some buttons where the reverse side matched the blue blossoms and there was just enough !
I love my new tunic although it is too hot to wear it just now  . A great way to finish off 2015. I am not going to bloody miss you 2015 .
Here`s to a content , healthy and peaceful 2016 !

Thank you to my photographer who took an unwitting selfie !

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Vintage Simplicity 7601 - Blah Humbug .



I have managed to make another blah garment - the last for the year .
I liked the look of the pattern Simplicity 7601 from the 70s - dropped short kimono sleeves , open neck , fine pintucks on both the front and back , pullover style .


However it ended up being huge both in width and length and  had giant wings sticking up at the ends of the sleeves . I chopped off about 20cm in length and took in the sides by several cms which made a big difference . I resewed the sleeve hems which helped a little  but they still stick up .
The end result is perfectly wearable - a sombre top  suitable  for work which will match unoffensively with other plain skirts and pants but it doesn`t really ring any bells for me.
The one saving grace is the fabric is a lovely sand washed silk - a remnant from Rathdowne Remnants.

I am hoping my first sew of 2016 will be a happier one - a tunic from a Knipmode magazine using a pretty japanese themed bird/ floral rayon print from Spotlight. I have traced the pattern , cut out the fabric and made a start on the sewing.
I hope everyone has the Christmas that they are wishing for  and a happy and healthy New Year.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

New Look 6009 - Simply Navy.

I sewed this pattern for my mother's birthday a couple of years ago I think and loved the  neckline  and the casual relaxed fit so  I have wanted to make one for me as well. The pattern is very easy . The front is sewn from two  pieces and a gap left  near at the top. A narrow loop is then wrapped around the gap and the top of the neckline creating a gathered bow appearance. So simple! The pattern is designed for wovens but I used a navy bamboo knit remnant from Clegs and eliminated the back button/loop closure. I was able to easily put this on without the back opening. I will definitely sew this pattern again but for now I better return it to its rightful owner since it has been a couple of years since I ahem borrowed it. 



    

Friday, 4 December 2015

Snakes And Flounces and Peplums and New Buttons - Simplicity 2501

I have combined four things in this blouse that I don't normally do such is the pull  of this great pattern. I have sewn  this once before years ago in what is my favourite fabric EVER - cream vintage silk with a self pattern of scattered bamboo, blossoms ,irises and chrysanthemums combined with a circular asian symbol. Seriously beautiful fabric but I treat the shirt with the respect it deserves and only wear it for special occasions ( by the way I bought the material at the op shop for $1 - crazy ! ).
So I have always wanted to make this again in a less special fabric and when I saw Marec's version this project pushed itself to the top of the list.

The snake print started off as a scarf so there was only  just enough to sew the sleeveless top. I have avoided snake prints because where I used to live we saw a few  snakes each summer with at least one next to our house. Now we have shifted I have only seen one in the last two years and it was dead! So the nightmarish memories of snakes are fading .Also I  am not usually a frilly/ flouncy kind of person but this flounce is understated and I think makes the blouse elegant. Same with peplums - I think they are hard to wear and carrying my weight around the middle I didn't think peplums would like me but this one being split in the centre seems to drape nicely and not protrude. Finally I had to buy buttons for this top . I can not remember the last time I had to do this  - it must be many , many years.
The end result is worth it though. This pattern has many lovely features apart from the peplum and flounce. It also has pleats giving  a relaxed blouson feel and a mid riff band. I love the tie neck and there are a couple of interesting sleeve variations too.


I would highly recommend this pattern but I think it is a more recent OOP.