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
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 .
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, 22 December 2016
Saturday, 5 November 2016
This beautiful burnout velvet was offered up at the sewing group I attend and as no-one else wanted it I snaffled it up as I had bought a kimono pattern earlier in the year and then realised I had no suitable fabric .
But then I had a closer look at the pattern and became unsure because I really love the fabric and did not want to muck up.
I do not sew muslins unless for very good fabrics or a special occasion outfit . If I was expected to sew a muslin for everything then I would just quit sewing . So it really is a testimony to how much I liked the fabric that I ended up making three muslins of different patterns.
From left to right is a Knipmode jacket from March 2014 , jacket pattern 110 from Burdastyle April 2016 and finally Simplicity 1588.
The Knipmode kimono jacket was too large and tending to look like a potential dressing gown , not the look I was going for . I sewed up the the size small kimono from the Simplicity pattern which corresponds to size 10-12 . I am usually a size 12 in Simplicity but the kimono was too small . Also it takes 3.00 metres ( 3 1/4 yards ) of material which I did not have .
The Burdastyle pattern was just right ( perhaps I should call this blog post Goldilocks and the Three Kimonos ) ! However I did make changes . The jacket comes with an extra flap in front and welt pockets which I eliminated . I added 10 cms in length as well but otherwise the slightly loose fit and dropped shoulder and wide sleeves were what I was imaging. The sleeves in the burda pattern are separate and not incorporated with the body pieces like the other patterns but I again I preferred this as there was no puckering under the arms .
I finished the front bands with some slightly contrasting silk and added the same width bands to the end of the sleeves ( another change ! ) . The jacket was very easy to sew .
Well I am very happy with final product and would highly recommend this pattern . In fact this particular issue of Burdastyle is really good . I have already cut out two patterns . Thank you so much Bruna for your gift. Now I just need somewhere to wear it !
PS Bruna , your husbands xmas present is done. I will bring the goods next visit 😜
Thursday, 27 October 2016
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
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 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 ) .
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 .
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.
Wednesday, 31 August 2016
My latest project was totally inspired by the board on Pattern Review discussing using our precious fabric. My coral / red / cream tweedy boucle is with no doubt my best fabric .I love the colours and the texture and to top it off , it was my souvenir from my one and only trip to France in 2013 .
I always thought to make a skirt using a TNT pattern but when I laid out the pattern pieces there was so much more fabric than I thought . The fabric was 150 cm wide ( I thought it was 120cm ) and the shopkeeper had been generous with the cut giving me extra ! This was good and bad news because it meant I had to rethink the whole project and make a muslin .
I already have a handmade winter work version of a pinafore which I wear heaps and this gave me the idea to make a warm weather one .
I chose this pinafore from September 2012 Burda Style ,a ripper of an issue . So many patterns I want to make from it . It has a deep V neck with front bust darts and inset pockets . The top part is lined .
I made only two changes . I lengthened the skirt pieces and opted to fully line the garment .
I was very lucky and found some matching lining fabric at the opshop . It had pura seta printed on the selvedge and when I googled this found it meant silk in Italian - bonus !
The pinafore was very easy to sew and as the V neck is deep there is no need for a zip to get it on and off . I love the little bonus front pockets but if I make this again I would make the pockets deeper although I can store a hanky in them.
This was a great project to follow up my coat which took ages to sew . I really do not know why I put off sewing my precious Parisian fabric for so long because once I cut into it , it was really easy . So if you have any fabrics which you are saving because it is so special then I encourage you to just do it - go cut it out and sew it up.
I will finish with another picture of my babies - they are getting bigger .The lamb in the background with the brown head and white body ( I call her ChocTop ) is only 2 1/2 weeks older than the twins ( but twice as big ) .
Happy Sewing Janine.
Saturday, 6 August 2016
I seem to be on a bit of vintage kick this year and I fell heavily for the coat on the cover of Burdastyle 12/2011 . I convinced myself that if I only make one coat why not do something totally different.
The coat is described as having a boule silhouette with 3/4 sleeves . The eye catching insert hides the snap fasteners. The sleeves are in two pieces being extensions of the upper fronts/ back . Inseam pockets are included.
I constructed the coat using all materials sourced from the op shop - from the magazine to the outer fabric , lining , interfacing , satin contrast and snaps ! Who says sewing has to be expensive ? Admittedly I collected the stuff over many years - the outer wool blend has been waiting for 8 years and initially I was going to make a suit but this coat is far more interesting .
Surprisingly for Burda the instructions were understandable but as this was my first coat I also did some research especially about what pieces to interface , attaching the lining and the hand sewing of hems . . Once the flouncey insert was constructed and inserted into the front, the coat was relatively easy to sew . Last post I showed photos of how the flounce was constructed. Inserting the flounce required some care . I thread trace the corners of the coat front to allow accurate sewing and make it easier to see where you are sewing . I sew the along one edge then stop . Snip to the corner of the seam allowance but not too close and then sew along the other edge. This means you can get a really nice looking sharp corner.
I did change the edge finishing of the flounce . Burda said to top stitch along the seam allowance and then trim close to here. However I am never comfortable with unfinished seams ( even on knits that do not ravel ! ) so I did a rolled edge on my overlocker .I left off the snap at the top of the flounce so this upper corner just flops down and I also did not cover the snaps because you can not see them and it was the last step and I was getting impatient to finish and wear the coat . I added extra interfacing to the coat - to the front , hems , front facings and upper back and upper sleeves but apart from these changes made the coat as described.
|Obligatory flashing the lining with mouth open wide shot.|
To make the coat something that is more me I used a dark navy blue wool blend . The front insert is left over fake silk dupioni from my suede flounce skirt and not as shiny as it looks in the photos. I am ridiculously pleased with using the dupioni. It was only one metre and 112 cm wide - not enough a single garment - so really required some creative thought on how to use it . To think I was going to send it back to the op shop a few times in the past. I do not have very many lining fabrics and there was only one other choice - a navy floral silk - but I thought that might get made into an outer garment so the bright red garish silk it was ( this is actually genuine silk - a lucky find ) .
I am certainly glad to be finished - I tend to get impatient when things take longer than a few weeks to sew but I am determined to not have UFOs so just keep on .
I will leave you with some photos of what else has been taking up my free time - my new babies .
This post is already long but I delivered the white one ! With only 20 minutes until I was meant to be at work I had my arm up the sheep trying to bring down the second front leg so she could deliver normally . I did it ( and got to work on time ! ) . However my daughter ended up calling the vet to deliver the second black lamb who was also presenting incorrectly . I used to deliver human babies and what I did to the mother ewe was nothing like I had done to a human - poor thing !
|Our entire motley flock.|
Happy Sewing Janine.
Costings - Outer fabric $3.00, flounce fabric $0.25 , lining and interfacing $4.50 , notions - snaps and thread $0.50 and burda pattern- nothing ( costs accounted for previously. Total $8.75.