Saturday 14 December 2019

BurdaStyle 04/2019 Ruffled Garden Tea Party Dress

I`ve made a new summer dress -  flowy soft rayon in a loose comfy style . Just tell that to our current weather . While WA melts , NSW burns , parts of Queensland is getting mega hail stones and severe droughts we are still getting very cool and wet weather . I`m not complaining though .
This is dress 120 from April 2019 Burda , a ripper of an issue . I love so many styles in this magazine and this dress wasn`t even one of them but I fell in love with it when I saw a couple of great versions on the internet .

It is a  loose fitting  button front dress with dropped shoulders , low placed waist seam and ruffled hems and sleeves . It turns out I am a partial ruffle person - love the hem ruffles but not the sleeves so obviously I didn`t add them which turned out to be an extra bonus later on .
This dress is an easy sew but Burda was not very clear on adding the ruffles to the hems - you do need to set the gathered ruffled portion back from the front bands ( which are not sewn on separately ) . I didn`t set mine back far enough so my front ruffle side seam does not meet the side seam of the dress but I`m not fussed about these kind of things ( if I was then there would be very few clothes in my wardrobe ) . The dress really is loose fitting and needs a belt to give it any shape.

The fabric is from Spotty - a rayon called Garden Tea Party .  I was lucky and bought the last of the roll which was about 4 metres .  I managed to cut out my dress from about 2.5 metres so had enough leftover to make a pair of short PJs for youngest DD who thought the fabric was really pretty too.  ( so no chance of our wearing matching mother - daughter outfits ). It is a  bit slippery to work with and can stretch out too but the soft , cool feel and the heaps of great prints outweigh that .
I know the super hot weather is about to hit us too but I think I`ll be a prepared as I can in this dress.  Highly recommend .

Tuesday 5 November 2019

Arbitrary Sewing and Janies and Eliza Fabric Shopping .

For no particular reason my next sewing project was a two piece dress using some fabric bought on a whim. It is described as a ponte with navy blue roses on a pale pink background. I wasn`t sure about the fabric when I received it ( the risks of online buying ) but I'm always willing to give it a try because sometimes the end result can exceed my expectations and it certainly did this time.
                                                            Floral printed ponte  - dusty pink/navy
  I used an old favourite pattern Simplicity 4074 for the skirt and tried an old Burda WOF pattern  03/2005 which I have wanted to sew for over 12 years . Definitely better late than never because I love it and I think I will be sewing a summer version.

Simplicity 4074 is a classic pattern which I`ve made several times now , the skirt twice and the faux wrap dress once . Luckily the first time I  made the skirt I was bothered to lengthen the skirt at the proper lengthen/ shorten lines so it was a very easy matter to cut and sew the slightly flared elastic waist style.
The  knit T pattern comes in two versions . A short sleeve, tie neck , hem band variation and long sleeves , simple V neck and no hem  band so I made a combination of the two styles . The sleeves are a  two piece design which fits nicely and I know it`s hard to see but I used the tie neck pattern.

The older style Burdas come with two large pattern sheets so even though there were more different styles back  then there were fewer patterns per page so tracing was much easier. I even understood all the instructions this time ( miracle ) but stitched around the base of the V neck to prevent stretching which Burda doesn`t mention . 
Since the fabric was really easy to work with (  and I didn`t even have to stabilise the hems ) , this was an easy , satisfying , morale boosting project.  I`ll mention that the ponte came from Janies Fabrics  , a Melbourne based online fabric shop ( with a bricks and mortar shop as well which I`ve never managed to visit ) since it is still available . I`ve bought quite a few pieces from there now and usually I`ve been happy . Speaking of fabric shopping I went to Eliza`s in Sunshine last week. I`ve seen/ heard a few recommendations for it now and then read on Thornberry`s blog that it is closing. I thought I would regret not going so after an  hours drive ( not even peak hour - how I  hate you Melbourne traffic ) I thought I better buy something .

OK so ignore that the top and bottom pieces are not from Eliza`s . The green, blue and red are described as viscose spandex knits , the cream underneath is a textured poly knit and the plum under that is a wool / poly blend knit . All knits because my  existing fabrics are overwhelmingly wovens .
I`m not sure that I will get back to Eliza`s again but I`m now  thinking there were a couple of other pieces I could have bought . For 5 pieces of fabric measuring over 8 metres I paid under $29 . Unbelievable and a soothing balm for the preceding city driving .
My advice is to check out Eliza`s if you haven`t already and to save your old Burdas .

Friday 1 November 2019

Marcy Tilton Vogue 8590 - Amateur Bag Making Tips .

 This is the fourth handbag I have now made , they are a bit addictive and fun to sew.  I used Marcy Tilton`s pattern Vogue 8590 which I bought several years ago and some perfectly coordinated fabric which originally was in a kit to make placemats / pillowcases .

I originally wanted to make view D with the double connected bags but after a previous Marcy Tilton bag making experience I realised that no matter how lovely the bags looked a pattern based on a two dimensional rectangle doesn`t create any useful carrying capacity  so View B it was.

View B which is  the smaller tote  has a gathered top created by inserting elastic in a channel and pockets on the ends. It includes an inner zipped pocket and an open pleated pocket . If there is one wisdom I have learnt from making bags it is that I need two inner zipped pockets so that is what I did.

Like the last Marcy Tilton bag I made the pattern pieces are not labelled but included in a larger rectangle which labels the piece and how many you need to cut etc . Also the same pattern pieces are repeated multiple times . This is meant to help if you are using multiple different fabrics but overall I found this a bit confusing,  not helped by having the flu and sciatica at the time of cutting. 
However the sewing directions were very good including for the  inner zippered pockets . I was a bit worried about the elastic insertion but it wasn`t hard as long as there is enough room for your hand to get between the outer and inner handbag. The other change I made apart from adding a second  zippered inner pocket inside was to add a magnetic clasp at the top . The bag has ties here but imagine doing and undoing ties to keep the bag top together . I know I would get sick of that quickly.

 I used some cute vintage buttons to keep the outer end pockets a bit more secure . 
Where I live there is a dearth of sewing shops so I make do with alternative sources for my bag making . I line all the outer handbag pieces with leftover fleecy . It creates a padded more firmer feel but it is not stiff . I used one of my vintage belt making kits for the bag handles inserting the webbing into handles and then fusing them with a hot iron  . The belt webbing is one metre and was the perfect length for the handles . I`m  really pleased with the result so I will be buying these up whenever I see them from now on. I bought a cheap ugly  old bag from the op shop and removed the magnetic clasp to re-use. There was a metal chain as well which I kept but the rest of the bag was discarded .
I think this is the best bag I have made so next time I will be ready to use some favourite home decor fabric I have been saving . 

I was quite surprised to find this is the sixth Tilton pattern I have sewn . I know they are different companies and sisters but apart from the knit  top in the middle of  the upper row I have found some issues with all the patterns ( to be fair the twinset on the left bottom row just didn`t suit me)  . I haven`t really encountered this before so it`s a bit disappointing.  However overall I would recommend this version of this bag pattern. 

Monday 28 October 2019

Scrap Habits - A Tilton Butterick 5891

  Scrap Habits , I can't help myself ! I keep almost all my scraps so this blouse has been years in the making . There are five different white remnants involved ranging from one to 25 years old. As a bonus I got to use some lovely vintage mother of pearl buttons which I have had for ages too.
They were a perfect way to trial a new to me pattern , Butterick 5891 , a Katherine Tilton pattern as there are lots of smallish to medium sized pattern pieces .

I really like the end result but it is worth checking other reviews as the pattern is not without issues. The main omission are missing stitching lines ( which create a kind of pleat ) on the right peplum pieces which didn`t bother me as I elected to leave the peplums plain. As others have noted the collar pieces are unfaced showing inner seams . It is simple to cut out a collar facing from the collar pattern if you prefer a clean finish . Also the pattern says to make buttonholes on the left front and sew the buttons on the right side ! Oops .
Despite these errors it was fun sewing this shirt with all the details of the peplum and double collar .The instructions were very good ( except for the mistakes ! ) and it all came together really well.  I was worried it would be very loose fitting and overly large but it isn`t at all .

The back view is just as interesting as the front with a slanting hem line and peplum . ( And I'm really pleased with my little crab apple tree in the background which we only planted last year . Covering one of our water tanks in the background are some kiwi fruits hopefully to bear fruit soon . )

Since coming home from our road trip to Townsville I have managed to sew up quite a bit. I loved our trip away although it is bit depressing to drive through severe drought affected areas which actually seemed like most of the country except Victoria . I did miss having a creative outlet so when I came back I hit the sewing machine hard finishing a new nightie out  of very soft cotton lawn bought at an op shop in Montville Queensland and a pair of track pants since I haven't  owned a pair for a couple of years and missed wearing them . I`ve also made a new handbag which I will review next time.

back view 
front view

Saturday 14 September 2019

Ottobre Woman Gorgeous Grey in Cream.

This is the last of my main sewing projects I have to catch up on . This is a raglan sleeve cardigan from the Winter 2015 edition of Ottobre Woman. I used a fine , thin cream woollen knit which although was not difficult to work with , I was a bit worried about . I thought it might possibly unravel or stretch out so I handled it very very carefully .

I changed the pattern by doubling the size of the long rectangular band , then folding this in half  rather than a single thickness band with a curled selvage front outer edge . I also eliminated the interesting pockets because I have never made this type before and I didn`t want to start on this fabric . If they went wrong it would muck up the whole cardigan . What I did follow on the instructions was to finish the seams and hems with a coverstitch type top stitch. I don`t own a coverstitch machine so I used one of the fancy stitches on my Pfaff . I carefully cut strips of tissue paper to stabilise under the seams before doing the stitching . Although the ` coverstitch ` is not obvious , the tissue paper made a big positive difference to how this went. The down side was carefully tearing away the tissue paper afterwards - a labour of love for sure.

A close up of the hard to photograph ` coverstitch ` top stitching . 
The cream cardigan turned out to be another good wearable basic which will hopefully see years of use.
Apart from this I have  made a pair of shorts and some pajamas for my daughters  ( I don`t have any photos ). I also refashioned a Liberty lawn blouse my Mum gave me by changing the puffy sleeves to fitted sleeves with a slightly gathered  elasticised hem . I am currently making up a Katherine Tilton shirt out of several scraps but I am having a holiday so  completion of that will probably be a few weeks away.

Thursday 12 September 2019

Fait Main La Chemisier .

close up of the crinkly dotty fabric 

This top is about the second thing I made this year so my memories are a bit hazy about the process . What is not hazy is how much I love this fabric and the pattern. Some of my favourite fabrics are from the op shop and this is no exception and it only cost 50 cents. I love the small asymmetrically placed and shaped dots on the white crinkly fabric . There was only 1.2  metres but this was enough to give me some choices in pattern selection.
I went with this simple button up , dropped shoulder sleeveless shirt from yet another European sewing magazine my daughter bought me. It is obviously French and includes lots of great patterns of all sizes. Each individual pattern comes in limited sizes though .
I do remember changing the front facing which is part of the fronts and not a separate piece . The facing was only a narrow single fold type so I added the same width of the facing when cutting out the fronts so it could be a double fold facing ( does this make sense ? ) . This provides more support and looks neater inside .


The top is very comfortable and I wore it on a fantastic 6 day holiday to Luganville, Vanuatu to visit my daughter ( she gets around for sure ! )  where it was quite humid at times . I am about to go to Townsville  , Queensland ( to see another daughter !)  as well so it will  get good use up there too .  I will definitely be using this magazine again at some time.

Wednesday 11 September 2019

Lingerie .

When I made my grey woollen skirt earlier I was going to be lazy and not line it so I had made this petticoat to go under it . As it was I guilted myself into lining the skirt . However I have worn the petticoat heaps anyway. I used an apricot satin fabric with a hammered finish given to me years and years ago  by my Mum. This fabric has survived a couple of close shaves in being donated and now I`m glad that I didn`t .
I had enough fabric left over to make a matching camisole and one of the best parts of this whole project ( apart from stash busting an old fabric and making something totally useful ) was finally getting to use some beautiful vintage what I think you would describe as broderie anglaise. I have more leftover of this and another design and I have an idea on how to use some of this in an outer garment where others can see how lovely it is.
I used two old New Look patterns to make my cami/ petticoat set. I used the pull on skirt minus the flounce  on the right for the petticoat and the even older pattern on the left for the cami. I often use old patterns for my sewing since they don't seem much different anyway to newer ones being produced.

I have also made several pairs of acacia undies, a free pattern from Megan Nielsen. They are very comfortable and the pattern is full size so it is easier to work out if it will fit onto various scrap knits. This year I have used old T shirts that were not donatabled but the fabric was still pretty good baring some minor staining in places. I have adjusted the elastic amounts on the legs as from memory they were too large . It is a win win being able to produce comfy underthings and reduce land fill and the purchase of new items.  I look out for suitable lingerie elastic as this is something that really can`t be recycled.