Sunday, 18 June 2017
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.
I finished sewing this dress earlier this month and unfortunately I am a bit disappointed.
It is a knee length dress with several inverted pleats starting at the boat neckline and which end at the waist line creating a gentle fullness .
I`m not sure if it is the fabric or the actual pattern that is a bit meh for me . The dress takes quite a bit of fabric so I used some op shop fabric that was in my cupboard . It is a soft rayon fabric and feels lovely but I think the print is quite 90s . In fact I had a dress made out of similar fabric in the early 90s.
The dress also took a while to make because of the multitude of pleats which are in the back as well as the front . I thread traced the pleat markings , then carefully pinned and basted the pleats. After trying on the dress to determine they were a good length etc I did the final stitching.
I have tried to include close ups to show the pleat construction but of course my photography skills are pretty dodgy.
Once the pleats were made the dress was quite simple to construct . I sewed a lapped zipper and then the side seams. I inserted the sleeves in the round and then there was just the facings and hems to do . It did come together really well as per Burda`s great drafting skills.
However the dress was much larger than I expected . It looks quite fitted ( and beautiful !) in the magazine pictures. Perhaps the rayon fabric stretched but I took in the side seams by several centimetres and there is still quite a bit of ease.
I have tried to style the dress up by adding a belt and my knee length boots which usually make my outfits look better but I still feel meh about it . However there has been too much time investment in this dress for me to just get rid of it so I`ll give it a go ( and I don`t have that many everyday winter dresses ) and perhaps I will get to like it better.
After sewing this dress I still had over 2 metres of fabric left but luckily my friend loved it so win win for both of us ( and she has darker colouring so I think it will suit her better ) .
I think this is my first real meh sewing for the year . It is one of the difficulties of sewing that we can`t just try on things like in shops and say that works or not so every time we sew something new we are taking a risk time and fabric wise . However even though the dress is not a complete success I still really enjoyed sewing it and that is always a winner in my books.
Friday, 2 June 2017
|I like blog posts with photos. So here is an outfit I sewed for a friend`s 80s themed party a couple of years ago that I did not blog about. I also did not wear this for MMM17 . The suit is made out of taffeta and sounds as loud as it looks !!|
I just finished my first ever MeMadeMay made possible by joining Instagram. Prior to that trying to actively participate was too hard because loading up photos to Flickr takes a long time but Instagram is so easy. Take a photo on your phone or iPad and then load up on the app.
I have unofficially joined in past years by wearing my home made clothes and checking out the flickr or instagram or whatever social media MeMadeMay was on so I was very happy to be a part of this huge , incredible movement celebrating and encouraging home sewing.
|Another unrelated MMM17 photo . This is my ( incomplete) collection of button front shirt patterns. I have made most of the patterns. Can you tell I like sewing shirts ?|
So here are my deep and meaningful thoughts on MMM17 and wearing home made clothes in general.It is rare that I don't wear something home made on a daily basis.
It is rare that I wear all home made clothes though.
I feel strange when I don't wear something home made ( incomplete perhaps ?) but that sounds a bit odd.
I managed to wear something different everyday and only repeated my orange cardigan ( I did wear RTW jeans and trackies on multiple days ) twice.
I still had a couple of jackets , a skirt and several shirts/ tops that were seasonally appropriate that I did not wear but could have worn for MMM17 .
A combination of loving sewing, sewing for a loooong time , keeping my home mades and a stable weight over my lifetime means I have a lot of home sewn clothes.
Perhaps this means I have too many clothes but apart from the blue dress on day one and the suit on day 31 and my brand new Burda tie front shirt all of the clothes have been worn many times so perhaps I don't have too many ?
Lots of my clothes I wore are very old ,like even over 10 years old but I still enjoy wearing them.
I did a little clothes cull though as a result of MMM17. The blue dress on day one went as well as a matching jacket and a scarf.
MMM17 made me get out of bed earlier so I could get a family member to take a photo.
I am terrible at taking selfies !
I again enjoyed looking at everything else people had made.
I don`t know if I will officially join in with MeMadeMay again but I sure had fun completing the challenge.
Happy Sewing everyone.
|The little photo I have next to my blogger name is actually this photo of a Kookaburra sitting in ( an old ) gum tree next to my old home. I thought there might be one person in the universe to wonder what the strange blogger photo is all about.|
Thursday, 25 May 2017
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.
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 !
Tuesday, 23 May 2017
Around mid 2012 I discovered knipmode magazines via a friend who was born in Holland . Over the next couple of years I bought several issues via CraftyMamas website , an Australian stockist of fabrics and patterns but sadly they no longer sell Knipmode . Since then I have been slowly trying to sew at least one pattern from each issue and last month I finally completed my knipmode challenge.
It ended with a wadder and the photo above does not even come close to showing how bad it was. I must at this point emphasize that it was not the pattern that was the problem but the fabric.
I used a pull on skirt pattern from the supplement magazine to the May 2013 issue. In total I bought 9 knipmode magazines and 5 of these came with supplementary mini magazines with several bonus patterns. Overall I have loved the knipmode magazines and supplements but I struggled to find a pattern out this particular mini magazine.
Most of the patterns were for very simple and over sized garments . The fabrics used were quite drab and the clothes were photographed with bleak scenery . I finally chose the pull one skirt because it would be very handy to have a well fitting comfy basic skirt pattern. I think this could still be a winner but the fabric I bought especially to complete my knipmode challenge with ( and to add to the insult broke my fabric fasting pledge for !! ) was terrible to sew with . I used a textured navy ? scuba knit from Darn Cheap which looked great but stretched out so easily despite handling it carefully . Overlocking seams caused waviness and applying the waist band was just a plain disaster . I know when to quit and quit I did . I didn`t bother trying to hem the thing - I took a photo for posterity , removed the elastic and binned it .
Despite this wadder , I have mainly had winners from my Knipmode magazines . Here are all the ones I have made and most are still in my wardrobe being worn regularly.
My first Knipmode project was a Michael Kors knockoff pattern. I wear this skirt for special occasions.
Unfortunately despite being an interesting pattern in a lovely knit the cross over bands kept on shifting and revealing bits underneath which I don`t have :) . I blame myself not the pattern because I could not work out where to attach the bands and stitch them down so this T shirt is no more :(.
A simple top pattern , slightly oversized but I wear this regularly because it is comfy and cool and my oldest daughter bought me the fabric from Japan so it is sentimental to wear as well.
Another sentimental make because a friend from England gave me this Liberty fabric . I have never had Liberty fabric before so I took a long time to decide what to make . I am still very happy with my choice of pattern.
A cowl neck top and I still like this although the neckline is low . This top made me get out the rust coloured skirt I am wearing it with above which I made when my middle daughter was a baby but had never worn !!
I love love love this skirt . I will make this pattern again for sure. The skirt got worn heaps over summer .
Another winner and I don`t think I will get sick of the pretty fabric. I ended up buying this bird / blossom rayon fabric three times ! Two of my daughters loved the material too so I have made one some PJs and the other a top. We don`t all wear them together .
I love this dress and the fabric was a gift from another friend so yet another sentimental wear. I wore this dress to Townsville and the cool batik and dress design made life slightly easier in a place where it is so humid my glasses fog up - it`s true I swear.
Same pattern as above but the cotton knit had no recovery so that neckline was really wiiiide. But you know what, it makes a great nightie !
A hi-lo hem pullover. I got a bit lazy sewing this and the hems were wavy so just recently I chopped the hem off and stabilized the bottom with fusible hem tape and restitched the hems . Much better now .
A long line vest from another fabric gift . I really like wearing these longer vests - they cover so much which is especially useful for when you like chocolate just a bit too much.
Another total wadder . When I look at the magazine photo I can see the top looks huge on the model and she is doing a jumpy pose which I think conceals some of this ( fun fact - Knipmode models jump a lot )
I am really happy with my scrappy tunic shortened from a knipmode dress pattern.
A knipmode mini cargo skirt - another great pattern which I think I will use again.
Another long line vest and another happy camper .
I admit it does feel wrong to be blogging about such stuff when the world has experienced yet another sad terrible evil event . I can not even imagine the pain so many must be going through now but I have also read about many brave and kind acts which gives hope that good will prevail.
Friday, 5 May 2017
Usually I am OK at matching patterns to fabrics and vice versa but lately my brain has been in a funk and nothing was working . I washed up several fabrics . I traced out a couple of Burda Style patterns complete with lots of hassles which I don`t usually encounter . But I could not get the fabrics and patterns to work - not enough fabric , not wide enough fabric or way too much fabric with useless sized leftovers . I couldn't face tracing out another pattern so I turned to my trusty Kwik Sew Patterns . I had a couple of small remnants from projects from a few months ago littering my dresser with the idea to make some tanks trialling a new to me pattern . Well higher up forces were obviously telling me now was the time to make them.
This is a really old Kwik Sew of the white pattern paper variety . Like my other Kwik Sews it proved to be reliable but not totally without more hassles . This was all down to the fabric choices though.
I used the leftovers of the burnout velvet that I made a kimono with - the fabric is so pretty I could not waste it . What I did not think about was the nap of the velvet so the tank fabric is cut different to the kimono - my astute sewing friend noticed this when we went out for tea ( Hello Kelly ) . Also I used the leftover silk from the kimono bands to make my own bias binding instead of using the facings supplied with the pattern. My bias bindings were wibbly wobbly and at one point I did not sew them properly onto the fabric so I had to cut them off and start again ( no way I was unpicking this fabric which frays easily where the burnout part is ) .But overall the tank top was a success and has made up a nice `twin set ` .
The other fabric was some crinkly georgette I made using another Kwik Sew pattern for an interesting tunic. This time I did use the facing patterns but boy were they out with this shifty fabric . So I used bought bias binding which is really a bit too stiff for the georgette but since I intend to mainly wear this camisole under the see through tunic it doesn`t matter and I know when to quit and not worry about perfectionism . The bust darts are a little low with this pattern . I tried to correct this with the georgette but they are still too low perhaps because of the shifty fabric factor ?? Anyway overall this pattern turned out a winner , great at using up small scraps and for ( mainly ) restoring my sewing confidence.
Since sewing the tanks I have managed to match up the couple of burda patterns I traced with different fabrics and the paired the fabrics I washed with other patterns so I think I just had to step away for a little bit to sort it all out . Here`s to tanks of the peaceful kind .
Thursday, 27 April 2017
The issue is number 292 and there are lots of great patterns in it ranging from quite basic to artistic to extremely fashion forward unique designs that I have not even seen in Burda . Likewise the sewing complexity ranges from advanced beginner to couture level . The magazine is Spanish and I have assumed like all European sewing magazines that there are no seam/hem allowances included.
I made the skirt on the right . A straight skirt but with lots of interesting angled pieces involving the pockets , the front waist band and the upper back.
The pattern came together so well with all the side seams matching perfectly . My only gripe which I should have realised and altered are that the pockets bags are not that big .
Also the skirt was not long enough for my tastes . I added some wide ribbon to the bottom to give me a bit more hemming room .
The big difference that I noted between Patrones and Burda and Knipmode etc is the sizing. The patterns do not come in all size ranges and are limited to just three . With Knipmode and Burda I make a size 40 but my equivalent sizing with Patrones is 44 ! I am glad I checked this before making any assumptions here .
I used a dark silver grey polyester dupioni - another op shop buy . I bought it rolled up and tied and until I came to make this pattern had never unrolled the fabric so I was delighted to find it had a soft smooth black satin lining . A black lining in a silver cloud ! This saved me lining the skirt as the outer fabric is a bit rough . The pattern recommends a stretch woven but my fabric does not have any stretch . Luckily it still worked and the skirt is comfortable even after road testing it last night and having a four course meal ! In real life the fabric is not as shiny as it is showing up in the photos but at the end of the evening out it was quite crinkled.
Overall I would highly recommend Patrones magazine and if I ever get the chance to purchase more I will have no hesitations .