Sunday, 21 October 2018

Vogue 1294 - The Anne Klein Blouse with the Interesting Collar .

Finito finally .
I have being slowly sewing this blouse for a month . I just love the feeling when I have finished something whether it is a book or sewing (  I especially love the feeling of a completed bike ride and a work day ) .
This blouse is Vogue 1294 , an Anne Klein pattern dated 2012 .

I love sewing shirts and the collar on this one is particularly intriguing , a double flounce .
I used an off white rayon which feels very soft but is very wrinkly ( bought from an op shop in 2015 , 4 metres in total , so plenty left over for a long sleeve shirt ) .
I made some changes to the pattern - I did not line it and  I did not add the chiffon trim to the princess seams . Instead I added some lace to the upper flounce piece and the edge of the sleeves but just so it peaks out .I used buttons for the narrow front bands instead of snaps ( which I can not get to keep closed )
The instructions for the blouse are excellent so even though it looks complicated it all comes together really well.  Well , I don`t follow the instructions for making the narrow hems on the flounces - I use the method that involves three lots of stitching which ends up with a good result and worth the extra effort .
( 1 . stitch along the edge of the fabric , 2. turn this up and stitch again , 3. trim the excess fabric and then turn up again enclosing the raw edge and stitch close the edge creating the narrow hem )

 It was a windy day but I like how this photo shows how fluid the flounces are - you definitely need a drapey fabric for this pattern. Now this is finished I have traced out a pattern from the Patrones magazine my daughter bought me from Spain - have to enourage this kind of  behaviour from my children . 

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Tackling my Sewing Mindsets ( or My Burda Challenge )

I have this `thing ` about using stuff . According to Clear The Decks decluttering sewing spaces podcast this could be due to many different mindset issues like sense of duty or sentimentality or money ( these are great podcasts by the way - I have found them very helpful ) .
Backtrack a few years and one of the best sewing op shop finds I have ever had were  10 unused recent Burda magazines . I have been determined to make at least one project from each one - see `thing` above . But I have struggled with the last two magazines left .

Burdastyle June 2012 had a few items I could have made - a stretch lace dress ,  a pleated skirt ,  a loose fitting pleated neckline dress but I had no suitable fabric . I have really thought about this a lot and I mean a lot . I finally figured  the above jacket could work with scrap knit left over from a winter dress I made earlier this year and a piece of black knit given to me .
The jacket was easy to sew and looks really cute in the above photo .
However it is very short  , too short for me and the elasticated waist band creeps upwards .It is comfortable to wear but just not a good look for me .  I did  wear the jacket several times because I like to give something a thorough go before I make a decision on whether it is a winner or wadder and this is a wadder .
However the length is not the main issue here . The main problem is my mindset about using stuff and not letting it go to waste . I could have used my fabric better for another pattern or bought new material to make a different pattern . I am trying to tackle my mindsets and not get caught in this obsession.

Burdastyle February 2012 was the other issue I struggled to find a pattern to sew and I almost gave up .
This issue seemed to have either very loose , baggy clothing like the paper bag skirt below and the super puffy sleeved wrap top or very slim fitting dresses . There were also some maternity styles.

I finally took a punt on the pants above .I haven`t sewn many pants before but I have somehow accumulated quite a bit of navy blue fabric so there was nothing to lose and I got to satisfy my ` thing ` ( and replace my old navy blue pants which have a shiny bum and knees ) .
The pants have small waist pleats with slim fitting legs .  I used an old Kwik Sew pattern to construct the fly front ( I wasn`t even going to bother looking at Burda for this ) but overall pants are not hard to sew , it is just the fitting that is difficult .

Now this is a case where my using stuff mindset triumphed . I can see from the photos that my pants are too long and I should go back and rehem them but apart from this I love my new navy pants . They are comfy and I am pretty happy with how they fit and look.

I have now completed at least one project from each of my most recent Burdas I own and am tackling my unused envelope patterns but with more mindfulness and hopefully more success.

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Sewing Stash from the Abyss .

My latest sewing ticks a few boxes -replacing old garments, using ancient stash and trialling new patterns.
The  above top uses a Vogue pattern 8982  by Katherine Tilton . I made view E .I  thought this was a pattern for a shirt but it is for a vest / jacket so I had to make a couple of modifications to  make this work. Many reviews stated that it runs large so  I cut out size 10 instead of my usual 12 . Looking at the photos on the front cover I could see the arm hole is very low so I raised the  bottom by about an inch. The result is a top that still has plenty of room but won`t flash my camisole.

I used two pieces of navy and white ditsy floral cotton that Mum gave me 10 years ago . Turns out the fabric was really skirt pieces . I had no idea. I managed to just squeeze the main pattern pieces onto the fabric. I did not  have enough  fabric  for the armhole facings but I like the bias binding better anyway and not enough for  the bottom hem facing which wasn`t necessary as well. The small print covers up all the interesting seams of the shirt but it looks lovely on the inside. The shirt was quite easy to sew  and all the pieces came together really well. 

I am really happy with the fit and the style. Despite the interesting seams being lost in my fabric it still has the shaped and lovely hem line . I will have to make this again and try emphasise those curved seams (  my list of to do one day projects is getting  impossibly long ) . 

My next project was to make a much needed long sleeved winter PJ top  ( I only have one other ! ).It was a perfect opportunity to trial an unused pattern with another piece of 10 year old stash . Nothing to lose. The pink fabric is that old fashioned polycotton interlock with not much stretch or recovery . 

I used this T shirt pattern from Ottobre Spring /Summer 2016 . It appears to be fitted around the shoulders and bust and flares  out at the waist and hip . I obviously lengthened the sleeves and had a bit of fun practising some machine embroidery. 
The top is easy to make but I have the same criticism that it is hard to trace Ottobre patterns because there is no distinction between the different sized pattern lines. My top did not seem to flare as much at the bottom as I was expecting but it still makes a very comfy PJ top which I  have worn heaps with our cold weather. I am not sure if I will make it again though . 
Now for some reason I always get a bit worried about sewing with really old fabric. Sometimes I have thought so much about what it will become that I think I will be sick of the garment before I have even worn it. But so far I always get double the pleasure from wearing them and satisfaction of using the fabric . Silly and a bit weird I know. 

Now with these garments finished my sewing room is actually looking a bit tidy . Using the Katherine Tilton pattern fulfills my personal sewing challenge to use my unused patterns. A couple of years ago I blogged about my pattern piles and looking back at that post my piles have definitely shrunk. The patterns below are what I have left to make but that will keep my busy for a long time . I have cut out the paper pattern pieces for the Marcy Tilton Vogue  bag pattern 8407 ( all rectangles ! ) and will have a play around with some fabric scraps I have . 

The magazines in the picture above are a lucky gift from my eldest daughter travelling around the world in her gap year. These are magazines I could not get in Australia . My favourite is the Patrones but I have picked out something from each magazine to make . So what is the oldest fabric anyone else has used and do you have reservations about sewing it ? 

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Burda Style 2/2018 Pencil Skirt.

I tried to get more interesting photos outside today if you count a capeweed lawn as interesting.  

 I have made a brown skirt to replace my previous  brown skirt but this version is just about as opposite to my old one as can be . My old brown skirt was plain , this is a print . My old brown skirt was a gored trumpet style , this is a pegged pencil skirt . My old skirt had a wide yoke , this one is high waisted with darts and no waist band.   My old skirt was made from an indestructible non stretch woven  polyester so that it still looked new , this one is made of a stretch  cotton sateen ( that I hope will also be a bit indestructible ) . The latter was one of the problems - I was just so sick of my old skirt .

The pattern is from the  most recent Burda Style that I own  , 2/2018  , pencil skirt 119 , part of this beautiful suit . The most interesting ( and trickiest ) part of the skirt are the rectangular insets which also incorporate one of the pair of front darts. The rectangle extends across both the front and backs of the skirt. Because I usually do not tuck my tops into my skirts this feature will never be seen . Now Burda Style have a gazillion pencil skirt patterns and I really only chose this one over the others so I could at least have the satisfaction of having used the magazine. ( I bought this magazine for jacket 105 -a kimono inspired jacket with interesting front bands ) .

I did quite a good job of matching the print at the sides but a not so good job at the back.centre seam .  However I am gratified that this does not show up too badly in these photos. But what I can not really get past in my other photos is that the hem looks uneven in the front because of the skewiff print . I hate going back fixing up finished projects but I might just be forced to do something about that hem . 
Till next time , happy sewing. 
( PS- I had enough of this fabric left over to make my middle daughter a  skirt as well. I used another Burda Style pencil skirt pattern but did not get photos. ) 

Saturday, 28 July 2018

New Look 6000 and Vogue 2101 Combo Sweater Dress .

After my previous sweater knit sewing disaster I got back on the sewing seat so to speak and made up another one . Ahh, much much better this time . This sweater knit was a delight to sew - it didn`t stretch out , it didn`t unravel and was easy to stitch . This fabric came from the same internet seller as the awful ( but pretty ) sweater knit  but was accidentally sent instead of another order . I contacted her about the mistake and she sent the correct fabric and said I could keep this one ! Bonus !

I used a combination of the Vogue wardrobe pattern 2101 and New Look 6000.
I used the Vogue pattern for the main  body of the dress and added the fabulous asymmetrical collar detail from  New Look .This is now the second time this year I have used the Vogue pattern  after having it in my stash unused for probably close to a decade. I love the fit and it has been easy to adapt for different neckline looks . Who knows I might even get to use the original pattern as is one day. There is something to be said about not destashing or decluttering !

I love the collar detail .  New Look 6000 has been a very popular dress patter  but I only discovered  it after it become  OOP . I was lucky to pick up the pattern from an op shop but it was not complete. No matter the collar pieces were intact . I am loving accessorising this dress with the handful of brooches that I own. This one is a vintage silver and paua shell butterfly . I am not sure if brooches are considered a bit old hat but I love them and this one came from a special friend .

This is my third warm cosy winter dress I have made this season but I will stop there now .
I am reaching saturation point in my wardrobe but want to keep on creating so I am now sewing up replacement items of  older items that are had it or I am entirely sick of. Such an enjoyable ( but first world ) dilemma.

Sunday, 8 July 2018

My Most Precious Fabric Sewn ! Ottobre Woman S/S 2016 Kimono Top.

 I finally used my most favourite piece of  fabric that I own .
This piece of silk was bought in Beijing in 2008 . Perhaps it was because it was 10 years old , perhaps because I am getting bigger and my fabric is not , perhaps because of life stuff but I finally used it .
I only had 1.1 metres and I had quite a different pattern in mind when I purchased the silk but that pattern is looking dated now .
Instead I used what is becoming a TNT pattern , the Ottobre Woman S/S 2016 Kimono top pattern.

A simple darted woven top with a  scooped neck with a  bias binding finish  , dropped shoulders forming a small sleeve and  a relaxed amount of ease. And it only takes about a metre of fabric.  It is a classic pattern that will not date quickly.

The silk is  predominantly  in a minty green with swirls of  mauve , ocean greens and blues , chartreuse and charcoal.
It was purchased at the Silk Road Markets in Beijing . Most of the market was taken over by stalls selling fake designer clothes and bags , pashminas and chop sticks etc but on the top floor there was a very large area selling silks and the variety was overwhelming. It took me some time to narrow down my choices but then you can not just simply buy the fabric. There were no prices displayed and I suppose you are meant to haggle which I hate. Next to me were an American couple negotiating  costs  and what they were being offered was  much higher  than what my shop assistant told me were the prices so I just accepted that and said yes ! It worked out to be about $15 Australian and I thought that seemed quite good although I am not in business of buying silk regularly.

 My photos unfortunately do not show up how beautiful the silk is in real life . Now that I have sewn  it  I suppose that means another fabric moves to the top of the precious list . I still have two pieces of silk from Beijing and another couple of pieces of cotton from Shanghai. Then there are three remaining  pieces of cotton my daughter bought from Tokyo for me . I also bought a spotty georgette from Toyko as a souvenir in 2013 . I have a piece of cashmere wool blend to make a skirt and Mum gave me a large remnant of  some pink and white striped Swiss cotton which feels as good as Liberty . The theme of precious fabrics being they are souvenirs from overseas or of  exceptional quality . I am working on a plan of sewing about one of these per year to extend the joy of my precious fabrics which equates to a decade !
If anyone has any precious fabric stories they would like to share then I would love to hear them !
Cheers Janine.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Sewing Ups and Downs.

A sewing ` up ` was this T shirt using my favourite pattern Kwik Sew 2965 . I think this is my 6th version now.  I only had a mere scrap of stretch panne velvet so I had to cut the back with a centre seam. The pattern is quick , easy and only uses small pieces of fabric. Win.

Another sewing `up ` was my first ever refashion ! I wish I had a before photo but years ago I made a jacket from some blue polar fleece . I paid full price for the Butterick  6835 pattern and full price for the polar fleece which wasn`t particularly cheap.  I wanted to make the shorter version and bought fabric according to requirements listed on the back of the pattern envelope. This turned out to be way too  much so I had enough for the longer version. The end result was a humongous ugly short coat / long jacket . But because I had actually invested some money in this I wore it - in public ! ( Amazing my daughters let me do this ) After a couple of years I came to my senses but put the jacket away in my cupboard to do something with.  Several years later I finally got around to it. 

Image result for butterick 6835

I unpicked the jacket and because it was so huge it was easy to get new fronts , sleeves and a back on the existing pieces. I used another old pattern, this time  Burda 8881.  This pattern is much better sized but the instructions are  weird. It says to hand sew in the front zip !! What the heck !! No way. Apart from that little bit of Burda madness the pattern was very easy. I left on the pockets from the original jacket but they were massive too in keeping with the whole over sized thing  . I unpicked them but you can just see the impressions where they were. Still this is much better than the original garment and I have worn it many times . Win. 

But what goes up must come down . 
Sewing down . 
Down . 

 OK I think I have found a worse fabric to sew than silk chiffon . Really. Loosely woven sweater knit . Ravelly . Poor stretch recovery . Curly. It looks so pretty with its raspberry ripple appeal and so soft . It lured me in but what a devil to sew. I did try really.

I cut strips of bias cut interfacing and stabilised all the seams as directed. I treated the fabric like a new born baby , handling it so gently. I mean look how nice my collar looks . It was the hemming that led to my down fall. I measured where I wanted the hem but ahem,  cut a great bit honking hole in the main body of the pullover. I cut this off and overlocked the edge and it was all downhill after that . I tried to rescue my pullover by adding a wide band to the bottom but the seam line hits right on the fluffiest bit of my stomach and looked just terrible. I took a photo and chucked in the bin.
I am wondering if this failure is just not sewing karma because I used an old Burda magazine (August  1993 ! ) and cut out the pattern . Yes , I didn`t trace the pattern , I cut it out . After looking at the magazine several times I realised that I would never make anything else . Despite all this I really like the pattern and will try again . In a more cooperative fabric . And I won`t cut a hole in the front .
Hope your sewing is all up , up , up !