Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A leopard can change its spots

I made this skirt very quickly from heavy weight knit fabrics and a self drafted pattern. I love the combination of fabrics. It is very comfortable and looks quite well with my red t-shirt (also self drafted) and short leather jacket. I particularly like the deep pockets and invisible zip on the centre back seam. I've been wearing the skirt all day, so the waistband looks a little wrinkled...oh well.
Next up, I'm making a Jalie scarf collar top 2921 in a purple knit. I also am ready to cut my Chanel jacket. My sewing guild group is doing fitting and construction workshops with Angie Zimmerman, who will be well known to readers of Australian Stitches. At last I've learned how to do a full bust adjustment. Looking at this photo you can see why I need one!

Monday, May 17, 2010

I've been having a love affair

....but not the kind you thought! With a piece of the finest silk that was gifted to me by my daughter's friend's mother. The woman in case is extremely tasteful, elegant and only wears black, white and creme clothing (usually of the expensive variety). Imagine my delight when she handed me 2 metres of gorgeous, hideously expensive silk - left over from a dress that she'd had made.

I have been working on this blouse for quite a while. Silk is not a particularly cooperative fabric and I wanted my blouse to be something special. I think I succeeded - just needs buttons to finish.

I used Simplicity 2501 a pattern that I have been keeping my eye on since I saw Eugenia's version back in September. It has separate sizing for D cups, so didn't need much adjustment. I did make two changes to the pattern and construction. Firstly, after cutting the longer ruffled sleeves, I decided I didn't like them. This left no choice but to cut away the massive sleeve head and pleat the sleeve into place at the shoulders. I really like the sleeves which look very vintage. The other change I made was to self line the flounce and to line the peplum. I did this to achieve a couture finish and to provide the extra weight needed as the fabric was very fine.

I was also able to put to use the understitching technique I learned at my first sewing guild meeting. This is such a simple thing - after clipping facing seams, open the facing out and stitch the facing and both seam allowances very close to the seam. This helps the outer fabric to roll neatly over the facing. I also did it around my peplum lining to great affect. I wish I knew the things I'm learning 20 years ago!

I promise to post a picture of me wearing the blouse when the buttons are on.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Ladies that lunch dress

I'm really not sure about this dress. It certainly doesn't have 'hanger appeal' but looks much better on, worn with a black singlet and black boots. The fabric is very light cotton with a metallic sheen and embroidered border. I'm calling it my 'ladies that lunch' dress because I can't see myself wearing it to the office, but would happily wear it with sandals or boots for a lunch or coffee outing.
I bought this fabric ages ago in Armidale NSW, and I reckon I needed my head read. It just isn't me. I originally planned to make a Burda coatdress with shirring at the waist. Unfortunately I didn't have enough fabric and was left to ponder what on earth I'd do with it.
I was immediately attracted to Burda Style 02/10 127 because it didn't have any seams to break up the embroidered border. I've shortened the sleeves and added a cuff to balance the border pattern on the hem.
While the look is fine, the fabric is way too light for collar. I haven't ironed or stitched down the join of the collar on the front, so it looks a little lumpier than it actually is. If I make this again, I would use a heavier wool crepe. I've never inserted in under arm zip - quite proud of my efforts on that score.