Friday, January 28, 2011

My not quite summer pants

Well here they are, my first trousers cut from a pattern (Burda 2010/06 105), muslined and stitched. I am calling them my 'not quite summer' pants - simply because they are not the light summer pants I envisaged. The combination of the linen/polyester blend fabric and slimline cut is quite hot when the mercury goes up in ol' Sydney town. 41 degrees predicted for Tuesday (thats 105 on the US scale).
My other little niggles -and believe me they are little ones- are that despite lengthening them from the mid calf length pattern, and lengthening them from the muslin they are a fraction too short; and I accidentially put in the invisible zip on my left side. Now this is not an ascetic problem, but try getting them done up again when you've had a few glasses of wine at your own dinner party!?

On the plus side, I very happy with the fit. I love the way they can be worn with ballet flats or chunky high heeled sandals and that I can wear them into the cooler months.

Some of you may recognise the blouse. It had rather cute sleeves in an earlier life, but those sleeves for some reason threw the whole fit of the shoulders out. I tried to rotate them to no avail, so I binned them and added some of the vintage seam binding I bought on ebay. I have 67 cards of the stuff! It is very light and in my opinion, must nicer to use than the stuff we use today.

What's next? I am nearly finished my leopard print cape jacket. I am doing the jacket a month challenge but in a very uncommitted way. This pattern would be Very Easy Vogue if it didn't have a massive Vogue drafting error - the collar piece is 5 cms longer than it should be. So I need to retify this and complete. Then I am making a self-drafted blouse in white linen. And yes ladies...there will be a muslin and it will be IRONED.

Thanks for all your help. Your tut tutting is turning me from slap dash to a 'precision sewer' as Lindsay T puts it.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Trousers for 2011 - the muslin

I must admit that I was optimistic when I measured the front and back crotch lengths of my Burda 06/10 trousers against my trousers sloper that I made in pattern making class. They matched exactly. This muslin has been cut straight from the pattern and I'm reasonably happy with the fit. I have to add a hem allowance (I changed the original curved hemline from the pattern) and take the upper thighs in a little.
Can you see any other adjustments? This is my first time so your help would be appreciated.
PS. Do you iron your muslin fabric before you cut? I can't shed all my bad habits can I?
I'm also wearing my new gun metal grey t-shirt that I've hardly taken off since it was finished. Pity it's not in the photo as it doesn't warrant a separate post.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Waiting for Godot

That's what it feels like waiting for someone to take my photo wearing a finished garment. So these images will suffice for now. I am so pleased with this garment which can be worn as a dress, and as a coat over jeans. I also really like the buckle. Originally I made a tie belt but didn't care for it. My husband was going over to Newtown, home of the best button store in Sydney and I asked him if he could look for 5cm buckle to match my buttons. I wasn't expecting much, but he came home with a very expensive bone buckle that sets off the garment beautifully. When I commented on its price, he said "I thought the cheaper one would spoil your good work". I love that man!! I'm also pretty happy with my buttonholes, which I did myself - mainly out of impatience to finish the garment on the weekend.

I also need to credit Celia from Miss Celie's Pants for the inspiration to make this dress. Her jacket version was quite awesome.

Meanwhile I have declared 2011 'Year of the Girl Scout'-I am going to be prepared. I confess to being a sewer who never prewashed fabrics, rarely made a muslin and leapt from one unrelated garment to another.

That behaviour is at an end. So I have just washed ten pieces from my stash. I am working up a sewing plan based on 'the merchandising formula', that is a typical six-look collection could consist of the following offerings:

Three outer wear options (a tailored option, a shorter options and novelty option); three jackets; three woven blouses; three knits; three trousers; three skirts and two dresses.

I am planning a Spring/Summer collection and an Autumn Winter collection. This is also an exercise in stash busting - my aim is to use up as much of my existing collection as possible, sell the pieces that just don't fit the theme and only buy essentials.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Off to a great start in 2011

I'm not one to reflect too much on past achievements, so will not be reviewing my 2010 outputs. Rather, I'm looking forward to a great year of sewing - with a better sense about personal style.

This current project was commenced just before Christmas and interrupted by an idyllic week at Pearl Beach (pictured below) and a failed swimsuit for my daughter. I could do a whole post on why it is foolhardy to attempt a drawstring triangle bikini in a hurry for girl with D-cup but I won't. Lets just say it was terribly immodest.

My trench dress was inspired by this magazine story about summer trench dresses and a picture I saw on a street fashion zine of woman wearing a sleeveless trench coat over jeans and a striped t-shirt. I've jused Burda 4/2008 107, eliminating the pockets and lengthening the pattern by 27cms. This pattern is not as difficult as it looks, just a bit fiddly.
Now it is tantalisingly close to being finished - I have to finish top stitching the belt, do the hem and underarm bindings. Having put so much effort in, I have decided to outsource the buttonholes. Next projects - two much needed casual summer tshirts, a striped black and white ponte jacket, black pants and white linen blouse. I have enough fabric to last till 2012, so the projects will keep rolling in. Or at least that is the plan!