Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Its time we had a talk

This blog has been in a period of hiatus. Interestingly my sewing hasn't rested, but I get like that sometimes.  I once waited 17 years to go to the dentist and the longer I left it the more embarrassing it became.  

Since I last posted I have completed two t-shirts, a blouse and two jackets!

The jacket featured was made for my daughter's graduation.  The pattern is Vogue 8865 that I think is still available in out-of-print sale.  I love my version made from crazy splatter print ponte from Tessuti with very good quality faux leather sleeves and collar purchased from Cleggs in Melbourne.  The zips give it an edgy feel.

Now the ice is broken, I'll post more photos soon.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

One pattern three looks

When work requires corporate wear, weekends in casual gear take on special significance.  Up until recently I've  focused on work wear at the expense of leisurewear.   

At the Stanwell Tops weekend, my fellow Aussie blogger Ann of Cherrypix lent me her Ensis teeshirt pattern from Papercut patterns.

This pattern is highly recommended.  The shape and fit is great.  But its key strength is as a scrap buster.  The version I'm wearing includes left over ponte from a skirt I made a few years ago.  Ponte works really well on this pattern, giving good structure to the neckline.

The two versions on the dummy (of the plastic variety!) are refashioned from scraps and old garments. The orange and blue striped fabric was leftovers from a toddlers outfit that I made for my now 22 year old daughter! The navy merino is from an old store bought wrap dress that was worn so little the moths attacked it.  I managed to recycle the bottom half of the sleeves and unpicked sections from the skirt to make the body.  Not quite enough to finish the bottom,  not to worry, a scrap left over from my orange merino debacle did the trick.  The black and white version began life a decade ago as a singlet dress and as I've aged has become quite  unflattering.  I still love the fabric so with some deft unpicking and the addition of lightwear knit sleeves cut from the body of a very old cardigan both garments live again.  For this garment I used only the top section of the pattern to shape the neckline and arm hole, and cut joined the separate sleeve pieces into a single pattern piece. 

Now I'm looking swish, I'll take my dog for a walk around the block.

Happy sewing!

Friday, June 6, 2014

My sewcation and robes of saffron thread

I recently had the pleasure of a weekend away at Stanwell Tops sewing with fellow Australian Sewing Guild members.  I completed three garments and made quite a bit of progress on the blouse that I'm working on in the picture above.  

One of the garments I've decided is a wadder, an orange merino wool version of Vogue 8669.  There is nothing fundamentally wrong with the pattern but it is so under engineered that it doesn't flatter.  I'm in the process of salvaging the fabric to make another version of the Ensis T-shirt by Papercut Papers.  

The skirt and top (my saffron robes!) pictured above were completed at Stanwell and I'm very pleased indeed.  The skirt is my standard self drafted pencil made up unlined in ponte purchased from Clegs in Melbourne.  My only misgiving is that I didn't centre the pattern repeat.  It isn't noticable when worn but screams from the photo!

The top is my first attempt at McCalls 6513.  It is a lovely fit and the only alteration I'll make for next time is to taper the sleeves more.  I'm considering a little reverse sewing on this one too - I love it, so why not take some extra time to make it perfect!

I'm focusing on the top half at the moment - casual t-shirts, blouses and jackets - and have a number of garments in various stages of completion. I'm usually much more regimented with my sewing and drafting.  You know finish one garment at a time, make things that add value to the existing wardrobe rather than create the need for new items to match.  But I'm having rather a lot of fun...and that is what counts.

Meanwhile happy sewing! 

Friday, May 9, 2014

I've been sewing but...

I've been sewing but don't have a lot to show for it.

I don't rate my new skirt pictured a success, but it's not a failure either. The twist design is taught has part of Anita McAdam's skirt design course.  To be honest I was playing around and may not have constructed it correctly. It is made from very cheap patterned ponte with a pull on elastic waist. 
The linen dress below is also self drafted from the block made for my daughter's formal outfit.  She came home from university for a short visit and asked for a casual dress in linen.  

She choose the linen from my stash. I should have been more forthright in telling her it was not the right weight for a dress but she wasn't interested in the other options. The muslin fitted well, but the finished dress does not. I suspect the wrinkling across the back is caused by the lining and the fusible interfacing.  I plan to add about 5mm to the hip seams in case the firm fit is pushing the fabric up. Readers' suggestions would be welcomed as my daughter loves the style.

I've finally finished my jacket block and am working on design now.  I'm also very involved in preparation for an upcoming sewcation with the Australian Sewing Guild.

To make the most of the weekend, I need to have everything cut, interfacings applied and notions put together for each garment. I'm aiming for a set of three related garments over two days.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Weekend wonder

Chambray shirt completed, pull on a pair of stretch black ponte pants, pop on the sneakers and I'm laughing.  

It has been the loveliest Easter weekend.  With youngest daughter home from university and eldest daughter's boyfriend here for a visit there hasn't been much sewing. But had the chance to finish my shirt and get three quarter of the way through a linen dress for my daughter.

Once again I've used my  go shirt pattern McCalls 6436. I'm not sure where my sewing will take me next.  I'm still refining my muslins, eldest DD has made a half-hearted request for a ball gown for the Law Ball, and I have no weekend tshirts.  Rest assured something will make me smile.

Happy sewing!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tribal take two

I just love this dress!  Still a few tweaks to perfect the fit and design.  

I need to resolve an annoying shoulder wrinkle, coming off the armhole. I think I need to lower the arm scythe a fraction.  I also went a little overboard tapering the sleeve for a 'fashion fit'. Could only just raise my champagne glass.  Anita is very keen on elbow darts and now I believe her!

A future version of this dress might use darts rather than panels and increase the angle of the neckline towards the centre front for more drama.

Currently I'm working on my trouser pattern and a chambray shirt.  Meanwhile, happy sewing!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


I couldn't wait to show off my latest self-drafted dress from my work with pattern making teacher Anita McAdam.  I bought this amazing but somewhat overwhelming tribal print fabric a few months ago  from Tessuti in Surry Hills.  It was love at first sight, but then came the obvious question "What on earth will I do with it?".  Teaming it with black was an obvious solution.  The result is a flattering, princess seamed frock that is just is little bit out there.  The body of the dress is lined to the edge, with unlined three-quarter length sleeves for trans-seasonal comfort. 
For those of you who are wondering, those tribal eyes sit well above the bust point.  I love the way the print matched along the centre back zip and seam line.  I'll be wearing it to a function in Melbourne on Sunday, so will post wearing photos.
Check out my new sewing space...courtesy of youngest daughter studying interstate.