Sunday, May 15, 2016

Morris blazer

Grainline Studio's Morris Blazer is a winner for me.  I finished it a couple of weeks ago and it is already a high rotation garment in my autumn wardrobe.  While the pattern is great and I love the finished product, a word of caution about fabric choice.  I bought this interesting double sided ponte (?) print from Tessuti's Surry Hills store with a Morris blazer in mind.  What I didn't realise is that four-way stretch isn't suitable for the design.  So I ended up with an odd bubble at the hemline on the right front. To fix it one of my clever real-life sewing mate at the Australian Sewing Guild suggested a tuck dart under the collar.  It's an invisible mend that rescued my project.

Next weekend is a sewcation - three blissful day with nothing to do but sew with women who share my passion.  I'm always over ambitious about what I can achieve at the annual getaway.  True to form, I've cut out four garments and plan to cut one more.  Lets see just what can be achieved.  Meanwhile happy sewing and thanks for your encouragement.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Happy returns

I'll let you in on a secret.   I often think of dropping blogging, turning to instagram or not recording my sewing at all.  So I take a break which somehow turns into a lengthy absence and it becomes apparent to me that blogging and the virtual friendships I have are important to me.

So here I am making a comeback with a long list of completed projects to talk about.

Project 1: Stylearc's Edith top pictured above was a dream sew in light weight cotton chambray purchased from Tessuti.  I'm a recent convert to Stylearc.  Their designs are contemporary and their pattern making precise and true to size.  I wore it lunch at my friend's gorgeous home on Sydney harbour.

Project 2:  Vogue 1247 (OOP) Rachel Comey's popular A-line skirt design with inseam pockets.  This project was a test run for a leather skirt that lives inside my head.  I agree with my daughter's comment that the colour is a "bit odd" but the verdict is yes go ahead with production in leather.  

There are a few tricks to this pattern. First use a woven without any stretch as the weight of the pockets will cause the yoke to stretch and bubble slightly, and second, make sure you use a tape or interfacing to support the pockets.  

Project 3: I raced to put together two t-shirts in merino wool from an ancient copy of Ottobre magazine (May 2010) to take to Japan trip.  They were worn to death but Japan in March/April is very cold and rarely came out from under layers of wool for a photo. I really love the teal design for its versatily.  It looks equally good over jeans or under a suit for work.  The sleeves on the casual t-shirt are a little long and baggy at the wrists. If I could be bothered I'll taper them in one day.

I've completed a few other projects.  I'm especially happy with my Morris Blazer and that will be the hero of my next post.  Promise not to be a stranger...again...! 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Apparently the 70s are back

Cullottes are a runway trend that I've shyed away from.  It's a tricky look to carry off, especially the wide and wondrous varieties in street style blogs and magazines.  

Let's face it, front pleats and overly wide legs aren't likely to be worn successfully by an woman who is only 156cms tall, with a 100cm hip circumference!  

But after seeing a particular pair by Sir the Label I was keen to try out the type of cullottes I wore in the 70s.  These pants were flattering, fitted through the hips without a pleat in sight, roomy pockets without adding bulk and wide floaty legs.  

Having committed to try it out, next came finding a pattern with that 70s feel.  A relic from my history,  Vogue 9873 to the rescue, the most perfect cullotte pattern on the planet.  Unfortunately the pattern was more suited to my 70s body and needed 10cms extra in the hips - an adjustment not for the feint-hearted.

I made them up in a polyester, that has the look of distressed silk on the outside and a satin finish on the inside.  Loving the results, pants that do equally well for weekend laziness and glammed up with heeled sandals and a shirt.  They've gone to work on casual Friday with chunky heels and been worn twice on the weekend in the first week of their life.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Street wearables

This post is a bit of a cheat.  I finished the skirt in December during my blogging hiatus.  Anyway I wore it up the street for lunch with my daughter and asked her to take a candid snap or two.  The thumb print in the corner shows just how seriously she took my request, but you get the general idea!  The pattern is 01/2008 109 from Burda magazine's golden age of plentiful and practical designs, printed on four sheets.  I made it up from a simple cotton gaberdine, that doesn't have any stretch.  I recommend sewing this skirt in a stretch denim as the diagonal shape of the pocket seam takes quite a lot of tension as you walk.  I had pocket rivets and a jean stud button (not visible) inserted by the lovely Mick at Quick Buttonhole Service in Alexandria.  May he never retire!  I love the man.

Speaking of love, I also love the princess seams at the back of this design.  They make fitting easy and create a flattering line over the booty.  

I made the t-shirt a few years back- another ancient Burda.

I'm currently working on some culottes from a 1970s pattern.  Meanwhile happy sewing!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Weekend winner

 I'm going to give you three reasons why I love the Sutton blouse by True Bias.  

One - the pattern is well put together with good instructions that provide a garment that is quick to put together and looks almost as good inside out.  

Two - the front is slighter narrower than the back which creates shape and allows the fabric to drape well.  The longer back is also great cover.  And three - the design is economical and uses less than a metre of 150mm fabric.  Great scrap buster too if you are working with contrasting fabrics.

I've used printed crepe purchased in Portugal last year and some black crepe from stash.  I made it up in size 12 without any alterations.  The only change I'll make when (note I didn't say if) I run up another is to use bias tape for the arm hem.  This is simply to reduce bulk from the French seams. 

Not sure what I'm making next, so meanwhile happy sewing! 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Italian job

Thanks for all your comments welcoming the prodigal sewer back into your midst.  I value your encouragement.

I'm surprised Vogue 1351 has been overlooked by sewers.  What's not to like about it?  It is easy to fit, falls nicely on the body and the construction techniques are excellent.

I've posted a photo of the inside of the cowl neckline, which is machine sewn into lining.  This is much better than a facing which can flap up when you least expect it.

I understand why the DKNY team made the dress in a block colour.  The entire garment, except the upper back is cut on the bias, and finding fabric that works on the diagonal can be quite a challenge.  In the end I choose a silk twill purchased in Rome a few years ago.   I just love the result and am sure it will be a high rotation frock for summer.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Spot the dog

One of my goals for 2016 is to make time to post my finished work, so here is the first of many (I hope!).  I've been absent from the blogosphere for so long I'm not sure if anyone is still following.  

My first garment of 2016 is exactly what I needed - walking the dog weekend wear-  but it is not a favourite.  The fabric is fabulous navy and white Japanese (?) linen purchased at my spiritual home Tessuti Fabrics.  

Unfortunately Rachel Coomey's design (Vogue 1247 OOP) doesn't exactly thrill me. 

My point of comparison is the Sutton Blouse by True Bias.  Kelly's pattern is beautifully put together and the cut is more flattering falling softly against the body.  Will post wearing photos and more details shortly.

I've had a great start to 2016 with two other completed projects to show you.  My new dress is being worn tomorrow, I guess you'll see that next.

Don't be strangers - stop by my blog and say hello!