Sunday, February 7, 2016

'For Comparative Purposes'

After making my Moody Blues dress in December, I was still curious about the  Papercut Patterns Flutter dress.  It was Lara of Thornberry that convinced me to make the real thing 'for comparative purposes'.  It has taken me a while Lara, but here it is!

I cut the pattern to extra small grading to small at the hips.  Rather than rush in all gung ho, I opted to make the top version out of some polyester from the $3 table at Fabric Vision for my trial. 

What did I change?  The back seemed to have excessive amounts of fabric so I made the seam allowance down the back 2cm and eliminated the vent in the process.  I also found that it ran really short so I had to make a false hem to eek out a bit of extra length.  To do this I used some of my bias fabric that I had cut to bind the neckline.

The resulting top is really pretty in the floral polyester but it did take some getting used to the shoulders being quite so low.  When I initially put it on, it felt like my straps had fallen off my shoulders.  After a while though,  I did get used to this strange feeling.

If I was to make another one, I think I would blend both patterns.  I like the looseness of the Papercut top and the width of the sleeves but prefer the curve and drop of my shoulder seam.  Will there be another this summer?  There just might!  I even have a choice of two potential fabrics to make another dress.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Black Thurlow Shorts

Black long shorts have been on my wishlist for a couple of summers now but because they aren't what you would call cake, they have been pushed to the bottom of my sewing queue.  Before Christmas though, I finally pulled out my piece of cotton sateen that was reserved for this project and spent a couple of evenings whipping them up.

Because my Thurlow pattern is a tnt, there was only a small amount of fitting involved in making these shorts.  Once again, I cut a size 6.  I made fake back welt pockets because I never actually use back pockets and lined the waistband with some light weight non stretch denim to keep the waistband from permanently stretching out.

Because this wasn't the most exciting sewing project, I decided to shake these shorts up a little with secret pocket linings made with a piece of quilting cotton from my stash.  I am not loosing my marbles, thank you!  I know exactly where they are!

In total now, including this pair, I have made 9 pairs of shorts using  the Sewaholic Thurlow pattern that isn't even taking into account the numbers of pairs of trousers I have also made using this pattern.  The way I figure it, this pattern actually owes me nothing! 

The above photos were taken at Split Apple Rock in Abel Tasman National Park.  The Kayakers in the background are on a tour.  They are quite funny to watch.  The entire Abel Tasman National Park area is dotted with groups of kayakers on guided tours at this time of the year.  These ones, have pulled up their Kayaks for morning tea.  They have even erected a makeshift shelter with a tarpaulin and a couple of paddles.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

End of January Wrap Up

Just looking at these photos, I really want to be on holiday again! January's blogging efforts were in fact December makes.  I still have January to photograph.  Not that there has been much sewing this month.  Between adjusting to a new working year, moving my daughter out of home and into her first flat and redecorating and  re allocating the rooms in our own home, I haven't had a very productive month on the sewing front.  In the process of moving into my very first dedicated sewing room, I have discovered that I have way too much fabric and rather than make it up into more clothes that I really do not need, I will be spending some time culling my stash in other ways.  Whether this means my family will be the recipients of some new clothes or I find other ways to reduce the growing mountain of fabric, it really must go.  So from here on in, I am on a stash diet.

January Wrap Up

McCalls Beach Dress
Pattern $7.50
Fabric $2.00
Total $9.50

McCalls White Top
Pattern (used before)  $0.00
Lace (gifted) $0.00
Fabric $2.00
Total $2.00

New Look/BurdaStyle Mash Up Top
Fabric $12.00
Pattern (used before) $0.00
Button (from stash) $0.00
Total $12.00

McCalls Modified Maxi Skirt
Pattern (used before) $0.00
Fabric $6.00
Elastic (from stash) $0.00
Total $6.00

Total Me Made $29.50
Total RTW $0.00

Thursday, January 28, 2016

New Look 6781 Version 2

After the success of my beach dress using New Look 6781, it should probably come as no surprise that this pattern has been used again.   This time I have made a top. I may even use it in its intended form one day! 

The fabric I chose is a white crushed crepe type fabric of unknown composition that I picked up at the op shop.   

Once again I cut the front on the fold but this time I opted to add sleeves.  I added a panel of 
guipire lace to the front inset of the bodice.  The lace is vintage and was gifted to me by my mother.  I used some of it previously on this dress.  Finally I finished the top with some white self made bias binding.

I really like boho type tops at the moment but patterns for this type of top are few and far between and at 1.60m tall the trend is one that I have to be careful of.  Boho styles don't generally favour short people and I have to take care not to add too much volume to my small frame.  What I really like about this top is, although it has pleats in the front, it skims over the body rather than attempting to hide it.

The resulting top has become a firm favourite.  Unfortunately though, being white it spends a lot of time in the laundry so I might just have to make one in a more practical colour.   

Thursday, January 21, 2016

New Look Burdastyle Mash Up

While I was Christmas shopping at the mall, I got a little distracted at Country Road.  The object of my distraction is this top:

I went straight home and dug through my stash to find a piece of white linen and some black rayon knit.

My plan was to use the top of Burdastyle #109 04/2013 and join it to the lower section of New Look 6871.  The top half was to be in linen and the lower part in the knit.  I then proceeded to draw out my bodice using a Frixion pen and ruled horizontal lines where my embroidery was to be.  This is the first time I have really used the embroidery stitches on my Juki sewing machine.  I didn't bother with embroidery thread, just using regular black thread.  After I had completed all of my rows of embroidery, I cut out my bodice and then ironed the pieces which erased all of my pen lines.

I cut a facing for the neckline out of more of the linen and made a loop closure from a piece of poplin.  The button was from my stash. I used a knit binding to bind the armholes then finished the hem with a twin needle.

My finished top is actually quite different from the inspiration top but the embroidered bodice was what drew me to it in the first place.  I am really pleased with the way this turned out.  The black rayon knit is really quite drapey and hangs nicely when worn.


Would I make this style again?  Yup definitely in one form or another.  This is the third time I have used New Look 6871 and all three versions are very different so I certainly wouldn't rule out a fourth.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Maxi Skirt McCall's 6559 Hack

Right before Christmas, and I am talking maybe a day or two before my house guests arrived and I finished work for the year, I decided I simply must have a maxi skirt to take away on my camping holiday.  I had some lovely rayon knit fabrics I had bought at Fabric Visions half price sale on their sale fabric table.  I wasn't sure what I was doing and didn't really have a pattern.  Talk flying by the seat of my pants!  I just knew that I must have that darn skirt. 

After obsessing about said skirt for around 24 hours, I cut it out and whipped it up.   I used I used McCall's 6559 for my pattern and simply cut it off at the waist.  I then added a waistband  and threaded through some wide elastic....job done!

I wore my new skirt out to dinner on our camping holiday.  It was perfect to cover legs that had already seen a lot of sun that day and just dressy enough for our casual restaurant overlooking the beach.  I have had maxi dresses in the past and these haven't really had a lot of use.  A skirt just might be a bit more practical for my lifestyle and the fact that it has already had it's first outing is a positive start!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A Beach Dress

Red and white candy striped fabric reminds me of beach huts, deck chairs and beach bags.  It is quite surprising then, that even though these images are conjured up when I see this fabric, it took so long to realise that this fabric was destined to become something beachy!  I bought it at the op shop, ages ago.  So long ago in fact that I can't even remember when!  It is a seersucker so the risk in making it up was that I would turn it into something juvenile.  I did however need something to throw over my swim suit this summer and this fabric was the obvious choice. It was light weight and didn't require ironing which is essential when camping.  Right before Christmas I set about turning an otherwise useless piece of fabric into something altogether useful but even as I cut it out I wasn't sure whether I was on to a winner.

I chose New Look 6781 which was already in my collection but at this point unused.  I cut both the front yoke and the front pieces on the fold, lengthened of course,  and hoped like heck I would be able to pull the dress on without the need for a zipper.  The yoke I cut with the stripes running across and the rest of the dress running down.  I then cut bias strips to finish both the neck and armholes.  I had just enough leftover to cut pockets for no other reason than I wanted pockets.

After trying the dress on I thought it would benefit from a couple of fish eye darts in the back and I think this really helped elevate it from shapeless sack into something altogether wearable.

I am really pleased with the results and glad I took a risk on both the fabric choice and the creative licence I took with the pattern.  Oh, and I was really relieved to discover that I could pull it on over my head with ease, thank goodness!

Did I wear this dress on holiday?  As you can see, yes I did and as a swimsuit cover up.  No, that is not my underwear you can see in the photographs, phew!

These pictures were taken at Kaiteriteri beach, one of my favourite parts of New Zealand.