Showing posts with label tops. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tops. Show all posts

Friday, 23 August 2019

Plethora of Pale Blue

Patrones Top. 

Simplicity 8601

 Moving on with my catch up blog posts I made three ,yes three pale blue tops all from magazines my daughter bought me from Europe. I also managed to use fabric which I have stored for a long long time ( between 9- 14 years ! )
The two tops pictured above were made in response to my first semi failed one . I don`t have pictures of that top but I will show the pattern involved.

My semi-failed top was made from a Polish Diana Moden magazine . It is a  knit top with a frilly V neck . The pattern included darts which I was a bit surprised about being a knit but I went with it  anyway. I should have trusted my instincts because the darts were way too low for me and it just looked wrong. Luckily however it suited my mother`s shape better so she now has it . I used a fine ribbed pale blue knit which Mum gave me anyway .  Apart from the darts I was impressed with the pattern. The sleeves fit in the armscye perfectly and the amount of ease in the body was just right. I had no idea how to really sew the plain back neck collar to frilled front section so I just kind of fudged that bit and it looked a bit messy but Mum didn`t  care.

The first pale  blue top pictured  was sewn  from a Polish version of Patrones  .  I have  made four Patrones patterns now and two have been good and two have taken a bit of work to get something wearable.  This top in the former good category . It is  a very simple pullover top with a back neck slit  and cuffed sleeves. The pattern is based on an actual RTW clothing company Triana by C  that I assume is Spanish .

Back of Patrones top . 
 The back slit opening was finished off with a tab with a button hole . I find loops to be flimsy to use and tricky to make . This idea was inspired by pinterest .

The front tie knot top is from the  German Meine Nahmode magazine which is a compilation of Simplicity and New Look patterns - I counted 14 different patterns ,which in Australia would be at least $75 dollars worth if the patterns were on super sale. ( I write down the pattern numbers on the magazine so I can check the reviews easier ) The knot top seems to be a very popular pattern. I lengthened the front pattern pieces which form the tie knot because I noticed in many reviews the tie was very short  . I also had some trouble easing the sleeves in and so I have some little puckers which I could not entirely eliminate . Despite this I really like it . I rarely tuck in tops these days so any blouse which is designed to be worn outside of pants etc  is a winner for me.
I`m really impressed and jealous with how many sewing magazines are published in Europe . Australia used to have Australian Stitches but that never included sewing patterns . There are some Australian crafty magazines around but absolutely no garment ones that I am aware of.
Anyway my daughter could not have bought me better souvenirs than this and she knows how much I appreciate them !

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Vogue 1309 Issey Miyake Twisty Turny Top Modelled !

As requested super glam modelled shots of my top . I even brushed my hair ( well I thought I had ) , put on lippy ( can you tell ?? ) and wore matching earrings ( at least that bit was OK ! ) .
This is my second Issey Miyake Pattern I`ve made and I have been impressed both times by the design details. I have one more of his patterns in my collection and I`m keen to try it out.

Tops - from Burda Easy to Advanced Vogue Designer .

 My next post is about two tops I made from the completely  different end of the spectrum.
First up Vogue 1309 an Issey Miyake pattern from 2012  which is classified advanced . This is the first time I have ever sewn an advanced pattern . I had read the reviews prior to making  this and to say I was intimidated is an understatement.  I got there in the end but it was not all smooth sailing.

Vogue 1309 front . 

  I used fabric from my neighbour ( who I mentioned in my  last post and showed pictures of  her latest kind donations ) . The pictures do not show up the richness of the colours in this fabric but if you think of magnificent peacock hues then that would come close. I am pretty sure this fabric dates from the 90s being a shiny polyester but I love the abstract pattern and colours and I am happy with how it suited this pattern.
vogue 1309  back . 

 This pattern is incredibly clever and it starts with just three rectangles ( and bias binding ) so you think how can this be advanced as the cutting out is the easiest thing ever . Then you cut a slash down the centre of the largest rectangle and then the fun begins . Well it was fun to begin with as I thought I was doing OK . But as I got to the end I thought I have mucked up somewhere as nothing was making sense.

vogue left side with zip 

  I must have twisted one of the shoulders around so I unpicked a couple of seams and luckily was able to untwist the whole mess . Then it  all made sense and I was able  to finish the top. At one point I was feeling quite the failure that I could not get it right and was lamenting the potential loss of a lovely fabric .

Vogue 1309 right side

As everyone else has said in their reviews it is absolutely essential to carefully mark all the circles and squares on the pattern . I used coloured numbered dots and even wrote the colours and numbers on a separate piece of paper to keep track of it all and this helped me.
I did not use bias binding as recommended on the pattern to the inner slash but over locked it and I also over locked all the outer edges of the rectangles . On the pattern the outer rectangles are left unfinished and I don`t know of too many wovens that would not fray in time .

When I finished the top I noticed that it felt quite tight on the left side but the right shoulder strap area was loose and in danger of falling down and revealing more than I would like. So I unpicked along the left side of the top with the long middle sized rectangle until it felt comfortable and added in a wedge of fabric here. On the right shoulder I tacked it down to the underlying fabric so hopefully I won`t do any inadvertent public flashing.  There were also places where the overlocking stitch could be seen externally so I made narrow hems on the machine there. The pattern recommends an open ended zip but since I didn`t have one of those that matched I just used a regular zip and there were no issues in doing so .

I am glad I made this pattern successfully ( eventually ) . It really is like the sewing version of Twister and you need your wits about you and your eyes by the way  ( the lettered circles and squares are small and faint ). I look forward to wearing this on an evening out.

 So top two . The just about easiest ever T shirt made from Burda Easy January 2018 edition which is also my first ever Burda Easy project . My daughter bought me the magazine when she was in Europe and this version is in Polish . I know absolutely no Polish although my paternal grandmother`s family immigrated to Australia in the 1830s from Prussia ( which is where Poland now is ) as a useless aside for anyone to know.


 The front is a slight scoop and the back is V shaped but it is not a deep V so it can be worn with the V in front as a bonus. I used a white ribbed cotton interlock with a small mauve floral but since I see this as nightwear fabric this top is relegated for PJs only  . This is a really useful little pattern and and  I will make it again .Burda Easy is unlike the usual Burda Style magazine. There are not so  many styles  in each edition but the patterns are printed separated on tissue paper like your usual envelope patterns so need to go cross eyed tracing tangled messes of lines. There are  also clear step by step construction diagrams .

 I am happy with the end result of both projects. Next up more tops !

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Voir la Vie en Rose ( To See the Life in Pink ) *


 My eldest daughter travelled all around the world in 2018 and brought me home several sewing magazines from Europe . This is my first project from them - specifically Patrones No. 386.

I made the dress on the left which has a  round neck , sleeveless bodice gathered at the waist , waist band and gathered maxi skirt . The main difference is my dress is knee length ( not enough fabric ) but my version turned out with a much higher neckline . Also there was too much fabric at the front armscye  but this was easy to cut away.

I used an embroidered pale pink linen which is not my favourite but  was good to test out a new pattern from a relatively new pattern company ( I have made one previous Patrones pattern , a skirt , which I adore -just wore it last night for a Christmas party ) . I love the embellished look of the original dress and I was lucky enough to find some matching pink lace in my stash  which I applied to the waistband.

This photo shows exactly why it was good to do a ` wearable ` muslin . The back is tightish ( but wearable ) but look at all that fabric pooling in my lumbar region . This has not happened with my other sewing ever !
With the back adjusted I  think this will  make a terrific dress , I do really love the magazines version but mine is a bit meh. I will wear it  and  give a go though .  I just also wanted to include a photo of  the Patrones pattern sheet - much clearer than Burda`s and Ottobre`s as well.

For my next project I can truly say I am tickled pink .

I used the very very popular blouse pattern 115  from Burda April 2014 . Heaps of people have made this one and I can now see why. It was easy to make, very comfortable to wear  and is just a bit different to your usual top. The only  change I made was to lengthen the blouse by 5cms . I used another pale pink embroidered fabric - cotton voile this time - which is a bit sheer . I realised this pattern with the double crossed  over front would be a perfect match for the sheer fabric.

I highly recommend this pattern . I hope everyone has a good Christmas. I am certainly looking forward to getting 6 days off , eating some good food and spending time with my precious family.

* means to look on the bright side of life.

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, 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 !