Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Bird Belcarra

Left over from some unselfish Christmas sewing I have been doing, was the tiniest piece of bird print chiffon.  I had my heart set on another Sewaholic Belcarra for it's use.  The only problem was there wasn't enough.  I had enough for both the front and back in both length and width but not enough for sleeves.
After pondering briefly, I pinned the front sleeve to the front and the back sleeve to the back and cut the top out in two pieces...well four pieces if you count the sleeve bands.

Just like my lace Belcarra, I narrowed the neckline by 1.5cm.  I used french seams for both the shoulder and side seams for duribility and made neck binding out of ivory voile curtaining from my stash.  The whole project came together within an hour.

I think this is perhaps my favourite version to date and is already on regular rotation.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Jalie Jeans

With all of the fuss being generated over the release of the Ginger Jeans pattern at the moment, I thought it was time to make up another pair myself.    The fabric of choice was a nice weight stretch denim I purchased way back, maybe even a couple of years ago, and promptly shoved to the back of my fabric cupboard.  One of my weakenesses is buying fabric with great intentions that are never realised.  I don't do New Year's resolutions but if I did, this could be something I could work on....matching sewing aspirations realistically to the time I have available.  Anyway, there is nothing like a little peer pressure to kick start ones mojo for a project.  

After debating for quite some time the merits of buying the Ginger Jeans pattern, and boy was it tempting, I eventually decided to err on the side of frugality and use what was already in my collection, the Jalie Jeans pattern.  

For past versions of the Jalie Jeans, I have used the bootleg pattern and simply folded in the sides to get my desired leg width but this time I decided to take a less lazy approach and redraw the entire pattern.  I also wanted to add some width to the back leg pieces at the hip because the side seam was not straight on me when worn.  Pattern pieces now altered, I preceded to make them up.  

I actually bought top stitching thread to ensure a professional finish but couldn't decide between two colours.  My solution was to use both!  For the pocket bags, I cut up a too small white school shirt of my son's.  The zip was rescued from an old ready to wear pair of jeans.  I decided against using a twin needle to topstitch these jeans, instead stitching two rows of top stitching.  It was time consuming changing between two rows of thread but I really did enjoy the jeans making process.

The only real difference between these jeans and rtw, is I didn't flat fell the seams.  I really don't think even a seamstress would notice this when worn.

Do I love the result?  Oh yes!  These have to be the most comfortable jeans I have ever owned!   Please excuse the close up butt shot but I had to share the dual coloured stitching. Yes, the fabric is a little stiffer than my rtw counterparts.  The only slightly annoying thing about them is I have yet to work out how to permanently secure the button.  Despite adding extra denim behind the nail, it tends to want to fall off.  I am not sure whether it is the design of the thing or execution.  If anyone knows the answer please share.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Of Course...It Is Only Summer!

I did this last year, although probably not in quite such an extreme manner.  Yes, the weather by and large has not been really summer like, but a chunky wool jersey in summer is ridiculous even in our temperate climate.  I did however play the game, despite itching my neck the whole time I took these photographs and promptly removing the jersey after these photos were taken.  Under normal circumstances wool does not bother me but as soon as the mercury rises I really can't handle wool.  I really can't see how it can be cool in summer.

The pattern I used is Owls by Kate Davies and is knitted in a lovely quality handspun wool which I repurposed from a jersey I made quite some time ago.  This is only the second time I have knitted in the round.  I can't say I am a huge fan of knitting on circular needles.  I prefer to knit my garments in individual pieces on regular needles.  The obvious benefit though is no sewing up which is my least favourite part of the
knitting process.

What I do love about this jersey is the back shaping.  Because of my sway back, I find unshaped jerseys just don't sit nicely on me.  This shaping is something I am keen to incorporate into all of my jerseys in future. 

I did find that my bands were a little loose and risked stretching out, so before trying on I threaded through two rows of shirring elastic through each of the bands.

My new jersey has now been packed away for the duration of the warm weather.  I do look forward to wearing it though next winter.  For quite a few years, I didn't make or wear hand knitted jerseys but really, you can't beat them on a frosty morning.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

End Of November Wrap Up

End Of November Wrap Up

Spot Archer
Pattern $0.00
Fabric $2.00
Buttons $5.00
Total $7.00

Citrus Belcarra
Fabric $2.00
Pattern $0.00
Total $2.00

Black Woven Papercut Anima
Fabric $2.00
Pattern $0.00
Elastic $2.10
Total $4.10

Melon Archer
Fabric $12.00
Pattern $0.00
Buttons $4.00
Interfacing $0.00
Total $16.00

Lace Belcarra
Fabric $12.00
Pattern $0.00
Thread $4.00
Lining $14.69
Total $30.69

Lace Pencil Skirt
Stin Party Lining $5.77
Fabric $0.00
Pattern $0.00
Zip (from stash) $0.00
Total $5.77

Fabric $2.00
Pattern $0.00
Elastic $2.10
Total $4.10

Total Me Made $69.66

Total RTW $63.50

Thursday, November 27, 2014


Pyjamas are usually well down on my priority list when it comes to wardrobe planning.  Why, well, they are just plain booring right?
But with a regular houseguest and a summer of camping planned it was certainly time I upped my game.  My previous pair, made with a big 4 pattern had always seemed a little Nana like in their tiny floral print on a white background in a quality but matronly knit.  A fabric that was kindly donated by my mother, from her stash, I suspect because it was too Nana like even for a Nana.

Languishing in my ever increasing fabric stash, was a piece of crushed light weight knit from the op shop that I was struggling to actually find a purpose for.  Pyjamas were the obvious choice.  Teamed with a remnant of rayon knit for trim and using Papercut Anima and Tessuti Alexa patterns, I had a plan.

The only alteration I made to either piece was to reduce the leg band width by around half.

I now have a very much camping ground and lazy Sunday morning friendly pair of pyjamas.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Coral Archer

There is a theme beginning to emerge in my spring wardrobe in the form of this coral colour.

When I bought this rayon fabric from Cotura Fashions last year, I envisioned exactly Grainline Archer for it's use.  My vision hasn't altered in the last twelve months.

I noticed in the previous spotted version, that the yoke didn't sit quite as I would like it due to what I thought of, as my square shoulders, so for this version I raised them by 1cm.  It isn't a drastic change but does look better I feel. Other than that, the Archer was made as instructed.

I love this pattern, I have to say, despite my being a late comer to the party both with the pattern and button up shirts in general.  I am not really a fan of masculine silhouettes but have adapted to shirts due to practicality and good looks and have discovered that in the right fabric they don't have to look masculine at all!

Will there be more?  Definitely, in fact I have just purchased a piece of fabric to make one more!

Because of inclement weather mentioned in my last post, this is what I wore to my daughters graduation.  The lace Belcarra has also been worn out to dinner but I am yet to wear the two pieces together.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Two Piece Set


Two piece sets have been popping up everywhere lately in blog land.  In light of my wearability resolve, I have been quick to jump on the band wagon.

I have been coveting lace skirts for quite some time but what held me back was potential durability.  With the remainder of my black lace from my lace Belcarra, I have made a matching pencil skirt.  For the pattern, I used my pencil version of Vogue 1247.  As per my Sewaholic Belcarra, I have backed the chosen lace with coral coloured satin but this time I lined the entire skirt with heavy black party satin in an attempt to provide as much durability and structure as possible.

Because I wanted to wear the skirt with my matching Belcarra top to resemble a dress, I left off the waistband.  I created a vented split at the back and lined it using instructions from an online tutorial.  Lastly I added a hook and eye at the waist.

The verdict.....I love it!  I can use both the skirt and top in various combinations for various situations.  My initial plan was actually my daughter's high school graduation but because of inclement weather on the day, I revised my plan, but more about that later.