Thursday, February 25, 2010

My D cup runneth over

Mini-me did not want to take my photo...better things to do...I am snarling at her to hold the camera up...not waist high tilting up ...this angle is flattering to 14 year olds on Facebook but certainly not for a D cup 50 year old! Sadly as a result of our little altercation my face doesn't look as great as this blouse.

This is my second blouse from Simplicity 2614. It is from a beautiful silk remnant that I've had in the stash for two years. I made some piping in cream dupont silk for the shoulder seam only and did not bother with the tie. For this version I followed the pattern directions cutting the back and the lower front on the bias and the front bodice on the straight grain. Having done the blouse both ways I prefer the fit and feel of the garment cut on the straight grain. The only thing I don't like about it is the neck facing. It could sit a little better, so I think I'll replace it with black satin bias tape on the weekend. If I do another one in a 'slippery' fabric I would self-face it by creating a double layered bodice.

I went to the Remnant Warehouse on the weekend and bought some great pieces of fabric for a total of $44. My loot included a 1.5 metres of brown and white cotton, matching piping, 3 metre piece of wool mix boucle, a 5 metre roll of red suiting, 2 metres of charcoal grey wool, 3 metres of navy blue cotton sateen and a lovely 2.5 metre piece of navy and red chiffon. I felt greedy but there was so much good stuff I was like a kid in a candy store. Suddenly I have an enormous stash - something I am not particularly approving of. The guilt will keep me on my minimum one garment a week sewing regime.

And then to my delight my newsagent now stocks Patrones!!! Issue no.286 is filled with inspiring designs for blouses and coats so I will certainly put it to good use. Next one is available on March 13.

My next project is another kaftan in the cotton, then I'll think about doing something different before I bore you all.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Bedouin tents

Ok I know I am meant to be concentrating on my corporate wardrobe, but the white cotton was still on the machine and the overlocker. So I worked on my 'other mission'. I'm travelling to Israel and Jordan in late March to visit my daughter and return to the land where I met my husband 30 years ago! As we will be spending most of our time in Jerusalem, the Sinai and in the Wadi Rum region of Jordan I need some light, modest garments that are respectful of both my ultra-orthodox co-religionists and of Bedouin culture.
This blouse could be mistaken for a Bedouin tent, but for the fabric-the softest Swiss voile. Voile is too see through for modesty, so I will need to pop a cami underneath. It is perfect for the humid, hot Sydney summer. I used Simplicity 2619 a borderline hideous pattern, but super quick and easy. I changed the sleeves by gathering in the sleeve (without adjustment) and adding a small band. I plan to make at least one more of these and am making the trousers in khaki cotton. Suggestions for another kaftan pattern would be welcomed.
Tonight I'm cutting out some more corporate blouses. I'm concerned that my look is a little dull and want more edgy garments like the red, crumpled jacket. I often receive complements on this one. So look out for more interest in the fabrics.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

In praise of D cup patterns

I'm feeling rather guilty for not blogging, but frankly I haven't have much time for myself of late. I've completed two blouses in the last week. One I love, the other is lets say a 'work in progress'. I have another stalled blouse and about five more in my head.

Let's start on a promising note. I love my black and white striped cotton blouse. I used Simplicity 2614 which includes separate pattern pieces for A, B, C & D cup sizes. I cut a size 14 D cup and achieve a perfect fit without any adjustments. If you are currently doing FBAs on garments, support Simplicity and McCalls by buying these patterns. Hopefully they'll realise how viable the market for this product is.

The pattern calls for the back and lower front to be cut on the bias and the upper front cut on the straight grain. Working with vertical stripes I reversed this plan, cutting only the tie and the upper front on the bias. I also added black satin piping at the shoulder seam and on the cuff band. I love the fact that this blouse has no buttons or zips to contend with. I completed the whole garment in about two hours once it was cut. Matching the stripes and working out the correct angles was a bit tricky. The only change I will make to this pattern for future versions is to add 0.5cms to the sleeve band which is slightly tight around the 'tuckshop lady arms'. The skirt I'm wearing is my Vogue skirt I made last year and have worn and worn and worn.

They say every corporate wardrobe needs a crisp white blouse. Hence, my second completed blouse - the BWOF July 07, 106. I used white stretch cotton sateen - which gives a nice crisp look but is a little too heavy for a collared blouse. Initially I left off the front tie but it looked so plain and frumpy that I unpicked and inserted them. I actually pulled this out of the wash basket to photograph for the blog-it does look a little bit nicer than this photo presents. If I make this blouse again, I will take it in a little more, bring up the line of shoulder and change the sleeves. A lighter fabric is also a must.

Meanwhile my other BWOF silk blouse is cut, half sewn and sits on the sewing table. I blame KBenco for blogging about how unflattering the positioning of the gathering is on the blouse. She has me thinking...what to do.

And finally before I hit the sack...It is my blog's first birthday. I have completed about 26 garments including a fabulous formal gown. Of the garments I've made for myself, I wear about half of them regularly, a few irregularly and I've put some of my earliest work back into the sewing room for remaking.

Goodnight...and thanks for all your support and cameraderie. You've kept me sewing.

And look out for more blouses. I need about 10 corporate blouses as I have none...well two now!