Sunday, 5 January 2014

The T-Shirt Project - Part 2. The Cross Your Eyes T . New

New Look 6405.

 The second of the Ts as a result of the T Shirt Marathon Project .
New Look 6405 combined with what I call the hypnotist* fabric or the I am going cross eyed fabric.
I have wanted to sew this pattern for a while - obviously quite a  long while because this pattern is 10 years old ( and here I thought I was sewing up a modern pattern and being trendy for a change )
Whatever - I really like the result .

I used some poly knit from the opshop , a scrap of red ribbed knit and to tart it up a bit and use up some of my BABLE ( Button Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy )5 black buttons at the left neckline .
According to other reviews of this T shirt it is very close fitting and short so I went up one size and added 6 cm to the length after comparing the pattern pieces to my other Ts. Thankyou so much to people who do reviews of patterns otherwise I would have ended up with another fail .
I reckon the fit and length are just right . I like the little cap sleeves and high cross over style. It is a very easy project to sew as well.

Verdict- SUCCESS - complete. ( And I will definitely sew this pattern again ) .
(* I have an evil plan to wear this top   frequently thus hypnotizing my family into doing whatever , probably I will only end up tormenting them though. )

Saturday, 4 January 2014

The T-Shirt Project - Part One . Burda Feb 2013.

One thing I really do need are T shirts - I have a sparse collection and all have stains or holes except one ( which is only about 15 years old ! )  so the situation was getting a little desperate hence the T shirt project  was born. And since I have fabric and patterns stashed I got the sewing machines buzzing .
I started with a popular pattern from Burda magazine  February 2013 - the gathered raglan sleeve top.
Fact- this is the only pattern I sewed in 2013 from a pattern dated 2013 !
Fact - I only bought one ready to wear top in 2013 - and it was exactly the same pattern as this , in blue !

This is a very easy pattern but I managed to muck it up by sewing the back of the sleeve to the front bodice piece . Simple  enough to unpick though.
I sewed a size 38 but it was too small through the abdomen area. I have sewed just shy of a dozen projects from Burda over the years and size 38 has always served me well so I think this pattern may run small. However it may also have been my fabric choice - a good quality cotton lycra knit but quite hefty so perhaps a lighter weight fabric would have worked better?? It did fit well around the arms and bust though  . I found the neckline gaped a bit even though I shortened the neck band as advised by others who have made this up. Finally I do not think the horizontal stripes are doing me any favours  .I did manage to match the stripes but in the completely opposite way !

Verdict - FAIL- sort of.  (  given to my eldest daughter who likes it , fits her better  and has worn it )

PS - The T-Shirt project also refers to a book called The Rosie Project - highly recommended if you want to read a laugh out loud book to cheer you up - it is also set in Melbourne- a little nostalgic bonus for me .

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Simplicity 9915- A Trip Down Memory lane.

Standing in front of our new rammed earth wall in our straw bale/ rammed earth home !

My favourite project of the year has been this little white top.
I was given this white/ off white seersucker . I had 1.5 metres ( 1.6 yards )  but is was only 90 cm ( 35 inches ) wide . I initially wanted to make a top along the lines of Louise Cutting`s Ebb design. In my dreams ! I was really short of fabric . Then I tried Simplicity 5683 because I have made it twice before and it doesn`t take much fabric. Again I was way off the mark. I was getting a bit desperate now because I had also set my heart on using  these 4 vintage buttons which in my mind matched my vintage fabric perfectly  .
So it was quite fitting that I found this vintage pattern which matched my fabric allowance .

 Simplicity 9915 - It is dated 1981 and dusting off my memories this is the third pattern I ever sewed . And it is also the most made pattern I own ( apart from PJs ) . I love this pattern but it has been well and truly over a decade since I visited it. I think I have made it at least 8 times using all views in fabrics from pink butterflies, black and white gingham , coloured dotted swiss cotton , terracotta silk and taupe dots.
Once I made the little bow tie version in fabric that Princess Diana had a shirt from ( hers was black and white and mine was red but it was the exact same pattern ! )

photo courtesy  from Diana`s jewels website  - photo taken in 1983.

This is also my best sewn version of this particular view. According to the pattern description it has a funnel neck line and shoulder tucks and getting those right was tricky- the shoulder tucks are adjacent to the neck line . Apart from that the top is simple . The big difference this time ( apart from 20-30 years literally ! ) was thread tracing the shoulder tuck marks . This then allowed absolute sewing accuracy and everything came together really nicely . Because there has been a fair bit of chocolate , cakes and three children since my teenage years I also  did not add the waist darts ! The top has simple dropped shoulders and has just the right amount of ease.

A close up of the neckline, shoulder tucks  , fantastic textured seersucker and my vintage buttons. 
 This top will go with just about everything and since my favourite handsewn  white tunic has bitten the dust this is a much needed replacement . I have worn it several times already and my friend`s daughter commented that it was just like a burda style pattern she had recently downloaded .
Have a good day , Janine.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Butterick 4299 - More Remnant Stash Busting.

I told you that I really ran with the itty bitty remnant stash busting this year .
With only one ( holey ) windcheater and another ( even holier ) rugby top I really did need ( rather than my usual want ) a new windcheater.
I had a small piece of  french terry type fabric - only 80cm but very wide  - and a smaller  scrap of pale blue fleece fabric . Just enough to eek out my new windcheater. I used some piping type trim to cover the arm seams and make look like a ` design feature ` .

I used Butterick 4299 - a very OOP `Lifestyle Wardrobe ` pattern . As with all raglan sleeved garments this was a very easy sew. However I am not happy with the upper sleeves - they are quite voluminous . I have saved one of my daughter`s discarded raglan sleeved windcheater and one day ( those famous well intentioned words ) I will unpick this and compare the pattern pieces.
This is a very unexciting garment but I sew for  my real life and not my imagined life - so no pretty garden party dresses ( at least for now ) . This top has been worn heaps already.

I did sew some more itty bitty remnant stash busting projects but if you  get my drift I will not be posting photos. However I will say they are more comfortable than RTW and stay up ( a bonus !) . I will also say sewing un-die grun-dies are harder than they look .

This just about covers my remnant sewing for now . Cheers Janine.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Kwik Sew 2694 -Happy Families.

Continuing on from my small remnants stash buster I sewed another Kwik Sew 2694.

I love the grey and black print knit left over from making a totoro hat .What you don`t know what a totoro hat is ? Let me explain . On my eldest DD`s last day of school in 2012 she wanted to dress up as totoro - a Japanese anime comic  character . We needed dark grey fabric and the reverse side of this fabric was the closest we could find in the one and only fabric shop in town ( well I did have some dark grey/silver/ black shot dupioni look silk in my stash but I am not that nice a mother ) . So I only had 50cm of this minus all the hat pieces already cut out - that is not much fabric at all !
Hence Kwik Sew 2694 was about my best option . I combined the print with black bamboo knit ( I love this fabric too! ) remnant from Cleggs famous Boxing Day Remnants Sale . That event is a whole nother story as well - imagine scores of women three deep rumaging through a long table covered in 100s of remnants.  I lived to tell the tale and scored this beautiful knit - it is so soft . Once I pawed this I did not let go !
Truth be told I have probably overdone this pattern. This is now my fourth rendition .

Nuclear Happy Family of Kwik Sew 2694 
This pattern is still available and it is easy and a little more interesting than a plain Tee and it has certainly allowed me to make the most of remnants stash.
Here`s to happy healthy families.
PS I would love to show a photo of totoro daughter but she would probably kill me.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Tee for Two or Three ?

I have been informally sewing along with a group of ` Stashbusters `this year  . Each month was a different theme and February`s was using small pieces of fabric . I embraced this idea and ran with throughout February and then just kept on going .

I started with sewing two T shirts using four pieces of fabric that has been festering in my stash for years .

Using Simplicity 7692 - a very old basic T shirt pattern I slashed, cut and re- taped the pattern to recreate the above tops. 
Top one has an asymmetrical neckline with a matching asymmetrical two pieced front. I used three pieces of material to complete it - a small remnant of maple leaf print poly knit in the colours of navy, black, teal, violet  and  gray and matching teal mesh and navy cotton lycra . There was not much of the maple leaf print left and I absolutely loved it . I was determined to use it but it did take some thought on what to do . This project was certainly stretching my creative side and in the flush of success - yes I can do something a little different ! - I went and melted the top of the front while ironing it -duh . ( Oh well it was just going to be a wear around the house top anyway ) 

 Top two is a shameless knockoff of a vogue pattern released last year I think. Well it is just a variation of a simple T and for $25 plus for a vogue pattern  why not? I used a remnant knit of a blue/black/ gray/ white stripey soft knit  given to me from Mum and the remainder of the navy cotton lycra from Top one. Again there was not much of the stripey knit so some care was required.  I also took more care with the ironing !

This was a fun project. Using an old pattern and remnants ( the exception being the navy cotton lycra ) I had nothing to lose so I just kind of went for it . I ended up with two wearable tops from fabric too small to do anything else with. I would recommend others to have a go at this as well. 

And then as mentioned I kept on going with the remnant stashbusting . I sewed more short PJ bottoms for my middle daughter using material left over from her Kwiksew circle skirt. And then I made another Kwik Sew top from more remnants but that can be another blogpost for another day. 

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Happy 80th Birthday Mum! -- New Look 6009 Top.

After doing a suck-up - I mean some sewing for  my MIL I needed to be fair and do the same for  my own Mum. She has just turned 80 years young and still sews most days - most of her own clothes and  patchwork and machine embroidered quilts. She can also do that thing with knitting where she knits really fast without even looking and doesn`t make a mistake - totally jealous and hate that but then again I am not a knitter so there.

Just when I was wondering what am I going to make Mum this year  I found 3.6 metres of Thai hand woven  silk in the op shop for $8.00!  In a background colour of mauvey, browny I don`t know what with blue and brown diamonds it was perfect . Talk about lucky - I just wish I could find that winning tattslotto ticket .

So I nicked - well borrowed - a pattern from my Mum`s stash - which is only fair really since it was for her ( and I promise I gave it back too - except I might nick it again to sew up for me ) -New Look 6009.
It is a simple drop shouldered top . The cute part of this pattern is the keyhole in the front with a loop of fabric above which gathers the  material into a sort of a bow look. The back is done up with one button / loop  .

It is a REALLY easy pattern - with only the front , back and facing pieces and a small rectangle for the loop.
The only tricky bit was because I used fabric with such an obvious pattern it just took a bit of  care to match the diamonds . I found some matching bias binding to finish the facings and a cool vintage button for the back from  my stash ( bummer that I only had one ) .

End result - one happy Mum who loves receiving ( and giving ) home made gifts. ( And the other best bit is that there is heaps of material left over for me .)

As Jen S said in her blog - yesterday was sewing group. One lady was doing a toile for a red lace dress for a wedding, someone else was sewing a self drafted dress , another was completing a chanel style jacket  impeccably  fitted mind you, another perfecting a toile for a shirt which already looked  well  perfect , another was making a lined coat , Jen cut out her houndstooth jacket and what was I sewing - a plastic fold up shopping bag - I am all class I tell you. Our new group is called From Tshirts to Couture - but perhaps it could be changed from plastic bags to couture :)  .

Cheers . Janine.