Wednesday, 27 January 2016

The Up-To-Scratch Blouse

The Belcarra blouse by Sewaholic patterns was my next planned garment from my summer sewing list, and I finished sewing it late last week, and managed to wear it to work on Friday. This was the first thing I had made with my new sewing machine, which was pretty exciting!

As I had planned, I made this in a white synthetic crepe-y fabric. I almost didn't use this fabric, because it collected so much dust in the drier after I prewashed it from all the static electricity it generated! But I'm glad I forged ahead as I like the fabric now that it is made up, and the static has settled down. I just have to be careful what I wash it with!

The details:
Fabric: White crepe-like synthetic
Pattern: Sewaholic Belcarra blouse, view A with the view C cuffs
Size: Size 8

Special touches and alterations: Combined views A and C, lengthened by 2.5cm

The only issue I had was with the neckbinding, it was soooooo thin by the time I turned it in that topstiching it was quite difficult, especially as the fabric was fairly thick.... it was quite a bulky binding!! Regardless of the fabric I use, if I make this top again I think I will stitch the binding on with a smaller seam allowance, so there is more width to the binding to turn over and topstitch.

This is one of the first items I made for myself that I have stitched a label to! Pretty useful in this case, as it can be a little tricky to tell the front of the top from the back of the top! I got the labels from NinaTags on etsy, and I'm really happy with how they came out :)

Unfortunately, I was wearing this top when we went to pick up our new kitten, Agent Awesome, on Friday... and he may have put his claws into it a little, hence the title :( It is not too bad, just a couple pulled threads, but still pretty annoying! But he is SUPER super cute so I can't be mad :)

Saturday, 16 January 2016

The Spring in my Step Dress


This Sewaholic Saltspring certainly does put a spring in my step! :D

I mentioned this dress in my last post as being the first project from my planned sewing list that I had started. Well, it's finished now, and I can't get enough of it! I wish I could wear it every single day!

The details:
Fabric:Tulip cotton voile from Spotlight
Pattern: Sewaholic Saltspring dress
Size: 8

Special touches and alterations: Lengthened bodice by 2.5cm and skirt by 4cm. Reduced the blousing by 1cm.

The fabric really makes the dress, I think. It's a tulip print voile from Spotlight, lined in a soft white rayon. I love the colours... I have some of the fabric left over and am seriously thinking about framing some to put on my wall!

My sewing machine made me scream and swear countless times during the making of this dress, but besides that I had hardly any issues (and I have since purchased a nice shiny new sewing machine, yesssss!). I love the fit and the design. I was worried that the fabric wouldn't be drapey enough, but I love the way it looks and the way it feels around my legs when I walk :D

This dress definitely cements me as a Sewaholic fan!

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Project planning

Let's pretend it hasn't been three years (THREE YEARS!!!) since my last post, and get straight into it!

I started 2016 on a sewing high and am super keen to be a bit more productive in terms of sewing this year. I made a list of a few garments that I would like to make, and I have actually almost finished one already! (My Saltspring dress just needs to be hemmed, and will hopefully be making a blog debut soon! And might be my favourite make yet :D).

First on my list was the Saltspring dress from Sewaholic, and as I said, it is almost done! I had a lovely tulip print voile that I used for it from Spotlight, and I am in love with the final dress.... but I'll tell you all about it shortly!

Next on my to-do list is the Belcarra blouse, also from Sewaholic! Being pear-shaped, I've had good luck with Sewaholic patterns so far. I've started putting the pattern together for this project already (I bought the downloadable pattern) but I am still undecided about fabric. I had a synthetic white crepe in mind, but now I'm thinking natural fibres might be the way to go....
After that, my order may change, but my current plans involve making the Seamwork Adelaide dress in a black and cream floral fabric of unknown composition, but that feels like rayon. Maybe with pearl snap fasteners...

Another Seamwork pattern on my list is the Akita blouse. Again I'm undecided on fabric, but maybe something maroon and drapey.

The Gabriola skirt by Sewaholic has been on my to-sew list for ages, so I hope I will get around to it this year! I bought a navy cotton fabric that I had intended to use, but I'm starting to worry it'll be too lightweight and wrinkly. I'll have to think about it!

The Colette Chantilly is also on my list. I have a border print floral in mind for this one, bright and summery! I haven't had the best of luck with Colette patterns before, fit-wise, so it may require some muslin-ing.

Last but not least, the Cloth Habit Watson bra and briefs! I actually atrempted the briefs some time ago but they ended up very large... it may have been a matter of choosing the incorrect size, along with fabric choice and possibly the elastic stretching out... I have an issue with my sewing machine not being able to do a narrow zigzag, so I sewed all the elastic with a wide zigzag, and I'm worried that might have contributed to the elastic fatigue. But I think I can save them by simply bringing in the side seams a couple inches! And I'm excited to attempt my first bra!
In other news, along with the zigzag issue mentioned above, my sewing machine seems to  be on it;s last legs... I took it to a repairman who said one of the plastic cams is broken, which would cost quite a lot to replace, so I'm thinking I may need to invest in a new one. I'm excited to go have a look at some this weekend! 

And just in case you were wondering, my sewing machine has not been idle during my three year hiatus from blogging... I have a number of unblogged projects to share, so look out for those in the coming weeks too!

Monday, 4 February 2013

The Blueberry Meringue Skirt

Yay, I have completed my first project from the Colette Sewing Handbook! I posted a plan to make this skirt back in September of last year, but I will make no excuses. I am a busy person and I don't get the chance to sew as often as I would like, and that is that! 

Here is what you need to know:

Fabric: Blue and white polka dot cotton poplin from Spotlight ($3) and unknown white fabric from op-shop
Pattern: Meringue skirt from the Colette Sewing Handbook
Features: Scalloped hem, invisible zipper, lining and pretty blue bias tape on the lining hem
Alterations: I adjusted the scalloped hem to suit the scale of my fabric, and this also meant taking out a bit of width at the hem to avoid a half-scallop at the side-seam! I could have added width instead, but I wanted a straighter silhouette. I also added a free hanging lining. I cut a size 8, then ended up doing a smaller seam allowance at the waist as it didn't look like it was going to fit!! It is still tight through the hips, maybe next time I would cut a size 10...
Notions: 9" white invisible zipper and bias-tape for the lining hem (~$2)
Total price: ~$5.00

There are a 3 main things I would like to improve: the fit, the zip and the scallops. There are horizontal wrinkles across the front, and it tends to ride up, so I think it's a bit small around the hips. I'm also unsure about the darts, particularly at the front, I feel like they don't help the wrinkle situation.The next garment I plan to make is the pastille, so I think I will really concentrate on getting a good fit with that one, but anything I can learn from this skirt would probably be quite helpful! Any comments to help with this are appreciated :)

The invisible zipper isn't perfect. It's not quite invisible, and it bubbles at the bottom. I need more practice I think!! Also, the scallops. There is quite a bit of puckering around that area! I pressed them carefully, but I should have taken more care in sewing them, not to make the points too pointy! Pointy points when sewing become puckers when turned inside out :(

There are some things I'm happy with, too! I like that my original idea came together, and it doesn't look ridiculous! In fact, I think it looks quite cute!

I also am quite happy with the lining, and the blue tape I finished the lining hem with :)

So, overall thought? I like the shape of the skirt, so I may try it again without the scalloped bottom in a plainer fabric. Realistically, I probably won't wear it much. I like the way it looks in the photos, but it really isn't "me" in real life!!

I did have fun taking the photos though :)

Monday, 29 October 2012

The Black Swan Tutu

Just a quick post with the only sewing I have done recently - a costume for a soiree I attended this weekend! The theme was 'A Celebration of Dance!'

I decided on Thursday night I wanted to come as the Black Swan, based on the costume from the recent movie. I bought 8m of tulle and got sewing!!

The tutu is 8 layers of gathered tulles, sewn on to a pair of underwear! The first 4 were sewn on by machine, but I got worried it wouldn't manage well with the rest so I sewed the last ones on by hand! I found an old black bodysuit, and with some feathers and rhinestones, I was all set!

I ended up taking home the prize for best dressed, too :)

Unfortunately I have to go back to exam study now.... but on the 12th November, I will sit my last exam for my degree, and on the 26th, I will start full-time work for the first time, after 19 years of education :)

While I'm here, a quick thanks to everyone who participated in the Patterns and Postcards swap with me!! It was a whole lot of fun, and I hope you all enjoy your new pattens and magazines. I know I will!

Now wish me luck for my exams, and I will see you on the other side!!!! :D

Sunday, 16 September 2012

The Belle Dress

I have been a bit absent in the online world recently, and will probably continue to be for a few weeks yet! Unfortunately my reason for this isn't as exciting as Casey's - I just have a thesis due soon, plus a whole bunch of other assignments/tests/other uni stuff to work on...

Meanwhile, my sewing plans were put on hold this week, when I realised I had a fancy dress ball to go to on Saturday night, and no costume!! The theme was animated characters, so, obviously, I went for a Disney princess! Belle has colouring closest to mine, but I have never been a fan of her yellow ballgown, so I decided I'd wear her blue day dress:

Screenshot from YouTube

I bought some old bed sheets and managed to whip myself up a dress and an apron over a few nights. Towards the end, there were many short cuts taken, but it turned up all right if I do say so myself!! I had planned on making a blouse as well, but luckily I found one I already had that did the job. I was running late, so I only managed to take a few pictures beforehand. There might be a few more of me taken by others floating around, I'll see if I can find any :)

I was literally the Belle of the ball ;)

And here is what you need to know:

Fabric: 2 second hand bed sheets (~$1)
Pattern: Dress pattern 8736 from March 1956 Australian Home Journal. No pattern for apron.
Features: The dress has back, waist and bust darts, a round neckline, a gathered skirt and a side zip. The apron is simply a gathered piece on a waistband.
Alterations: The dress pattern was for a 36" bust. I cut it out without adding seam allowances, but added around an inch to the bodice, and cut the straps super long, so I could adjust them before sewing to the right length. I sewed the straps together instead of making the button closure. I ended up taking in the side seams about 2 inches at the bust, tapering to an inch at the waist.
Notions: 1 zipper (~10c)
Total price: ~$1.10

If everyday clothing is cake, and special occasion dresses are frosting, I wonder if sewing a costume is like sprinkles?? Hehe.

Which leads me on to a few links I'd like to share:

See you next time!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Project Planning - Colette Sewing Handbook - Meringue!

Having bought the Colette Sewing Handbook earlier this year, I have been meaning to get around to sewing from the provided patterns for a long time! I really wish I could have joined in with the Sew Colette sew-along, but I was a bit too busy at the time! But! I think I am getting close to being ready to start! ;)

So, I wanted to share the planning I have been doing. I hope to create a mini-collection from the patterns, and have been scheming about this for weeks! I looked through the fabrics I already had before settling on a colour scheme, so that I can do some stash busting while I'm at it!

Here is what I came up with:

The colours I went for are cornflower blue, black, cream, navy, orange and steel blue.  I want the pieces to be bright and fun, but elegant at the same time. I'd like to share the fabrics I chose, but I am still deciding on a few of them, so they will be revealed one by one as I start each project!

I made inspiration pages for each pattern in the book, too. Since I am starting with the Meringue skirt here is my inspiration page for that pattern:

I love the embellished skirt in the bottom right hand corner of the first page! I'd love to make a Meringue like that one day... In the meantime, the fabric I actually chose? 

Sorry it's so wrinkly!!!

I decided that the Meringues I like best are the ones where the scallops are more than just scallops, they are linked to the fabric in some way - like in the embellished version I pointed out. When I saw this fabric, I thought it would be perfect for this concept! Here's a rough idea of what I'm trying to achieve:

I'm going to cut the scallops based on the print of the fabric. I hope it works out!!

I've also started planning my mini-wardrobe based on the BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook. I've gone for a more colourful summery palette and feel for this one:

I love the planning stage of sewing! In fact, I'm itching to start designing a mini-collection for the patterns in Gertie's new book!!!