Thursday, 28 January 2016

Hello Hi-Lo Jumper - Knipmode December 2013.

I am really giving my Knipmode magazines a workout now .  I have been slow to jump on the uneven hem  bandwagon ( which is nothing different from usual ) but I like how the front gently curves out to meet the side seams and a lower back hem hides a lot . 

I used a thin slubby jumper ( sweater ) knit from Darn Cheap bought at the end of 2014 from the $2 table  .  I love the colour but the fabric is a bit delicate so I will have to be careful about snagging . It was also a bit stretchy so I was as careful as possible while sewing it . I was worried the neckline would end up near my navel. 

Knipmode December 2013 . 
The pattern is very simple V neck , slightly dropped shoulder , front centre seam , hi- lo top with pockets . It looked a bit loose fitting on the models so I did NOT add seam allowances to any of the pattern pieces . In retrospect I should have added seam allowances to the neckline but as I will always wear another top underneath I got away with that . I also did not add any hem allowances because I am discovering that Knipmode patterns are quite long . The only other changes I made were to use some navy satin bias binding on the neckline as the pattern uses a facing here  and for the curved hemline. 
I lined  the pockets  with matching scrap satin and finished the pocket tops with more navy binding . Using lining and the bias binding on the pockets actually made it easier to sew the pockets because of the fine stretchy nature of the knit. 

I used steam-a-seam on the sleeve hems , clear elastic at the shoulders but just overlocked and stitched the body hem . I was very careful applying the bias binding to neck line which I think also adds some stability to the stretchy knit as well as a nice contrast. I used a ballpoint needle and the inbuilt walking foot on my sewing maching so making the jumper was not as hard as I worried it would be.
Despite the knit being a bit see through I am happy over all with my new jumper and if the world or I gets tired of hi-lo hems then I can just chop off the back portion. 

So I have now sewn just over 1/2 of all my knipmodes. Just over a year ago I made a resolution to 
sew up garmets from my unused new pattern envelopes and pattern magazines . Unfortunately those pattern piles have increased . 

 Recently Spotlight had a great sale  - all patterns except Vogue were 3 for $9 if you were a member so I bought 6 new patterns . Also the majority of my burdas pictured here were a lucky find -10 for $20 so how could I not be greedy and scoop them up !So lots here to keep me busy for a long long time.  Happy Sewing Janine. 
Costings- Fabric from Darn Cheap $2.60 , Pattern - Knipmode $15, Notions - new ballpoint needles $4.30, thread $2.00, other notions - clear elastic, steam-a-seam, bias binding , pocket lining from stash. Total cost - $23.90

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Fresh New Start and Dresses for 2016.

Last year while I was just sitting at my sewing table, my dress form spontaneously fell over - no-one knocked her , there was no wind , she just fell over.  It might have had something to do with the mending and altering I have been piling on top so I took this as The Sign and vowed I would do something about this. I made a list of what needed doing and  for the last couple of months I have been gradually working my way through the pile and crossing off that list - so satisfying !

Fixing up a wonky hem on my dress ( has been waiting for  three years !) with the help of my best friend .
Moving buttons on two of my jackets.
Shortening a silk crepe dress for my middle daughter ( absolutely gorgeous fabric )
Shortening one of my old dresses for my older daughter.
Making a cushion cover for my eldest daughter .
Sewing up some underp@nts  that I had cut out months ago .
Fixing a torn chiffon top for my eldest daughter .
Changing the buttons on some pants for my middle daughter .
Shortening the sleeves on an liberty shirt from the op shop .
Making dishcloths out of old hand towels .
Mending a silk dress for my eldest daughter .
Adding ribbing cuffs to a top I made in 2015 .
Making another pair of underp@nts from a knit dress that would otherwise have been thrown out .
Finally cleaned out my little sewing basket and threw out some rubbishy bits and bobs.

I can now move forward in 2016 without my dress form and my sewing basket making me feel guilty.
Well I do have one cardigan left to alter but I need assistance from a sewing buddy for that as well.
The only thing is that my mending did conceal my very sad looking Daffy duct tape dress form . ( Perhaps I can get a new fancy one in the future ? )

So with all that terribly boring mostly for other people stuff out of the way I have sewn a couple of new very easy dresses.

I used a pattern from Knipmode supplement from March 2014 - Dress 103 .
A really easy pullover scoop neck dress with dropped shoulder sleeves with sleeve bands.
The first dress is made from a present of  Indonesian Batik bought in Singapore by a friend ( who helped me with the hemming ) . It is 100% cotton  . I made the pattern up exactly as shown. I did not hem the dress to make full use of the border print. I also used the darker borders for the sleeve bands and tried to centre the pattern at the front and back .  I wore it during out recent heat waves and the dress was so comfy and cool.

I sewed the dress on the far left . 

The second dress is made from that  single knit where the edges curl up all the time. It was given to me from my Mum . The knit does not have much stretch or good recovery so I may have stretched out the neck a bit. Instead of using a facing I added navy ribbing to the neckline . I added an elastic waist with attached navy grosgrain ribbon by cutting the dress pattern at the waist level , sewing the skirt and bodice together to make a casing and sewing two button holes in the front for the ribbon to tie .
I made size 38 and it is quite roomy . I think the pattern would be good shortened to just a top as well.
These dresses will be getting a good workout soon as  I head up to Townsville with my daughter who is moving there to study - bittersweet times .

Costings. Pattern $15 averaged out including postage costs. Fabric - Batik a gift - Stripe knit free Notions- thread- stash - interfacing -stash - grosgrain ribbon -stash - 2cm wide elastic - 50c ( op shop ) - steam-a-seam - $3.00 ( for the whole new role from the op shop ) Total - $18.50 for the two dresses.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Welcome to 2016 And My Corner of Contentedness.

Welcome 2016 - I have been looking forward to you for a long time.
We are hosting a Japanese student for a few months and so I had to clean out my daughter`s old bedroom where my fabric treasures live. Thus my sewing corner has had a transformation .

We moved out an old desk where my youngest daughter used to sew as she has moved the machine I gave her to her own room and prefers it there. We then shifted an old wardrobe that used to belong to my dear husband`s grandmother into that space where I now store my fabrics . 

I managed to get it all in there but the wardrobe is packed pretty full now - the fabric in the shelves is stacked two deep so there is more there than what it looks like . Looks like my New Years resolution this year really should be to sew more fabric than what comes in . I mean I have been saying this for years but all I manage is a sort of status quo . Resolutions never work for me .

The wardrobe is next to the sewing machine table and next to the wardrobe is a cupboard where I keep my patterns . I rearranged my patterns this year and bought two new pretty boxes to supplement my baskets . There are various bits and bobs like bias binding , zips , unused sewing magazines and beading stuff in the glass fronted cupboard and drawers . 

In the opposite corner is Daffy the duct tape model who is really my storage area for clothes to be mended and altered and my Dalek embroidery thread holder . My husband also recently bought a large book shelf  which you can see so I have been able to put my various magazines and books in there . The two dolls in the shelves  were bought for me by my parents when I was a young teenager from San Franscisco . The costumes are handmade and are exquisite although the blue dress includes a real mink muff which I do not feel comfortable about . 

So there is my little corner of contentedness . 

Now I love reading about everyone`s 2015 sewing achievements so I am going to add my 5 cents worth.  I sewed 34 items this year which includes six  for other people / places . I sewed 4 pairs of shorts for two of my daughters and a top for myself was stolen by the oldest DD ( I really don`t mind ). I also made some fitted sheets and pillowcases for work . Not included in my total though is a dozen hat fly nets ( and still counting ) . I have been  making these to sell as a fundraiser for our local sustainability group using all scraps and what is in my collection . 

My favourite garment of the year was my Katherine Tilton top using all scraps. I would also say that my favourite sewing of the year were my scrap projects -my navy flippy skirt and my colour blocked twill skirt . I really did have to think about how to use the restricted amounts of fabric in the best way. 

I was pleased that I used up some fabric that I had had for over 20 years -that was starting to bug me . I have worn my faded denim top lots and the red skirt is lovely to wear , matches with so much and looks good if I might say so. 
The top here is what my daughter took . 
I made up 16 new patterns . I made patterns from all the major companies but the most came from Kwik Sew and Simplicity ( six each ) and then Knipmode ( five ) . I only made the one Vogue but it ended up being my favourite so perhaps I should make more Vogues . 

The most made garments were tops - no surprises there for me - as they are what I love to make the most ! I made 13 . I also sewed 6 cardigan/ jumpers , 4 skirts , 2 dresses  and  3 garments in the nightwear/undergarment type category . I didn`t blog about these . 

I did buy new clothes for myself - a lovely jacket , three  pairs of pants and a jumper .An unexpected event  meant I also bought new pajamas and underclothing .  I also bought a few things from op shops - three shirts and a skirt  made out of silk cotton or bamboo cotton , a woollen short tweed jacket , a twin set, a pair of jeans and a leather handbag . I had a big wardrobe clean out this year and only regret throwing away my Winnie the Pooh windcheater but it meant less came in than out . Almost everything I got rid of was disgusting and not even fit for donating so it was time for that to happen.  
Anyway again I wish everyone a Happy New Year . I really love reading people`s blogs from all kinds of sewers with all different styles  from all over the world .

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.

Friday, 11 December 2015

McCalls 4093 - Red Cardigan Replacement.

.When my red merino cardigan finally got one too many holes in it for public viewing I was all set to buy another one. But then I remembered I had this red fabric in my cupboard for at least a few years from the op shop for only 20 cents ! It is lightweight and very slighty scratchy but still soft so it wasn't quite right for a shirt .I thought I would have a go at making a lightweight jacket and no big deal if it didn't work out. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. 
I occasionally love to peruse my mother's pattern stash and she had a McCalls wardrobe pattern 4093 which she has had for yonks but never used. I liked the folded back lapels on the front and the split back seam which is a little different .

Because the fabric is lightweight my friend wisely suggested I should add a lining. I had to buy some lining  from the local craft shop which has a very small selection of dress fabrics and luckily they had some closely matching chiffon. I chose to underline the fabric and did hongkong seams especially as they may be in view from the back. The body of the pattern fit quite well but the sleeves were massive. I did realise this when looking at the pattern but went ahead hoping some  Harry Potter magic might occur when I was sewing ( a bit like sewing faster when you are running out if thread hoping that will get you through ! ) When I put the jacket on I thought I was in for a wadder but after taking in about 4 cms from each seam on the sleeves and removing about 10cms off the length it starting looking a bit more hopeful. I used two vintage buttons and my nickyknack loop turner. 
I have since  worn this jacket about three times ( I am behind on blogging as usual ) and I think it is passable - not great but OK for now. I just also want to pass on my thanks to Anne for all her great hints with the loop turner - ironing the seam open after sewing the loop and how to position the turner were great so Thanks Anne !
Happy Sewing everyone. 

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.