Thursday, 7 December 2017

Chalk and Notch Fringe dress

This is the first time I've made a pattern from Chalk and Notch.  They don't have many patterns available yet, but I thought the Fringe dress looked like a perfect summer dress.

First, the photos





The dress has 2 options for the neckline.  One is the keyhole that I made here, the other is for a button front with V neck.  There is also the option to make it in a tunic.

I made this in a viscose.  I made it in a size 12, This fitted my bust size according to their size chart, but my waist measurement was between size 12 and size 14.  The pattern has darts at the waist in back and front. Their instructions include "Custom adjustments"  which tell you how to adjust the waist darts for more or less ease. Rather than grading the waist to between a 12 and 14 I adjusted the waist darts as they suggested by reducing the front and back darts by 1/2". This worked well.  I also lengthened the bodice by 1 1/2", I usually lengthen bodices by 1" but I needed slightly more with this pattern.  I normally lengthen the skirt, but didn't this time.  The sides come up slightly higher at the sides that I am comfortable with.  Next time I may straighten the hem instead of having it curved.

I'm very happy with this.  It's a lovely cool dress and finished just in the nick of time as we are having temperatures in the high 20's already.

I'm trying out a few dresses and want to make them in the same fabric to see how they all compare so I can get a TNT (tried and true) pattern to make over and over again.  This is definitely a contender and I'd like to make a tunic version also.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Birthday gifts and Style Arc Luna pants

Friday was a very good friends 60th Birthday.  A special day and a special lady deserved some nice gifts.
 Bathrobe/Dressing gown.  Made from flanelette with feather design.  I made this pattern myself.
 Slippers and a sleep mask.  The slippers are a design from Stitch Delight.  I got the sleep mask pattern when I first started machine embroidery and I don't remember where I got it from.
Another Love Bear from Sweet Pea.  This was made in a fleece.

My friend was very happy with the gifts.

Meantime, for me it was time for another pair of Luna pants from Style Arc.  This time made in a bengaline.

This time the fabric isn't so busy  so you can see the topstitching of the faux fly and faux pockets.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Itch to Stitch Bonn shirt.

This is my second Bonn shirt.  I previously made a long sleeve version in plaid flannel.  The shirt comes with various sleeve length options and a dress option.  This time I wanted a flared sleeve shirt.



It is hard to see from the photos but the fabric is a poplin from the Gertie collection and is a small black and white gingham type check with red cherries.

I knew I wanted to make another Bonn shirt and had already purchased this fabric when it was announced on Facebook there would be a Bonn sewalong.  The timing was perfect, so I have enjoyed taking part in the Facebook sewalong and seeing all the lovely fabric other sewers are using.

Rather than seeing the hem on the flare I wanted a pop of colour, so I added some red poplin lining to the flare.  You can just see a peek of it in the second photo above.  This is how it looked when I was getting it ready.

Last time I made a 8B, graded to size 12 at hips.  It was a little bit snug across the chest, so this time I made an 8C, graded size 8 to 12 from waist to hips.  I also lowered the dart apex by 3/4" and added 1" to the length above the waist.  I couldn't be happier with the fit on this.

The last shirt took me about 12 hours, but this one was done in around  8 hours.  No pattern matching or sleeve plackets makes a difference!

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Itch to Stitch Vientiane Skirt

I have so many clothes to make for the summer,  and most of them are from Itch to Stitch.  This is the 3rd pattern I've made from Itch to Stitch and I just love the attention to detail from  the designer Kennis Wong.  Her instructions are so clear to follow.

I made Itch to Stitch's Vientiane skirt




This skirt is so comfortable to wear.  The fabric is cotton sateen.  I love the flounce on the bottom.  The instructions are so good with Itch to Stitch patterns, even telling you when you need to finish a seam before sewing them (eg zips and side seams that have in-seam pockets).  The waistband is stabilised with twill tape.  I think all these extra attention to detail make for a well made garment.

The skirt has in-seam pockets.  There are also options for patch pockets.  I've made a  lot of garments with in-seam pockets and they have usually taken me ages to get right. However the instructions and drafting with this pattern made it come together effortlessly and very neatly.  In the photo above you can't even see there are pockets there.

The back closes with an invisible zipper.  I was very pleased with how this looked.  In the past the fabric hasn't always sat smoothly at the bottom of the zipper, but this time it is perfect.

I made this in a size 12.  However the waistband was too big, and I ended up taking it in.  Next time I will make a size 10 waist, and grade to size 12 at hips.

The only alteration I made was to add 1 5/8" to the length.  The shorten/lengthen lines on the pattern pieces make this super simple to do.

I say next time, because there have to be more of these in my wardrobe.  But so many other things to make first.  In my sewing room at the moment is my next Bonn shirt - I'm taking part in a sewalong on Facebook for this pattern.  Then I want to make my mother 2 Bonn shirts for Xmas.  I've prepared the pattern for a Sirena dress.  Then I want a couple of Anza dresses, a chai dress, a beausoleil top, a beausoleil dress, Vienna tank.  Can you tell I like Itch to Stitch patterns?

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Burdastyle 10/17 111 and ITH gifts

After I had made my Luna pants I had a vision in my mind of a long white flowy top with double flared sleeves to wear with them.  I had a look at Indie designers online but couldn't find any that fitted my vision.  So I went back to my Burdastyle magazines and found this one in the October issue.  It was almost exactly what I envisioned, except it was in petite sizes, definitely not me!  However I thought with a few changes I'd be able to make it and get the vision I was after.

The version above is double georgette.  The bodice is 2 layers, one longer than the other.  The 2 layers means I don't have to worry about wearing a cami underneath.  the sleeves are exactly what I wanted, double flares with one slightly longer than the other.  The magazine wasn't quite as long as I wanted and the neck was too low for my taste

The changes I made to change it from petite and to the length/neckline I wanted were:
Used size 21, lengthened 1" above the waist.
Lengthened 1 1/5" at hem
Lengthened 1" at sleeve
Raised neckline 1"

With all the changes I made I decided to make a muslin first.  I've been using a bedsheet purchased at an op shop as my muslin fabric.  The fabric is quite nice, a soft cotton gingham effect.  When I made up the muslin the changes were perfect and I decided I really liked the sheet as a top, so went ahead and made it up.    It is hard to tell from the photos but this is a soft pink and white gingham.
When I was happy with my bedsheet top I went ahead and made the georgette top.
More photos of the white georgette top.


It was a friends birthday last week, so I made her a couple of small gifts.
An ITH bag, the bag is from Kreative Kiwi, the cat, I think, was from cute embroidery, a freebie at the time.  I filled this with sweets.

And a purse.  An ITH design from Sweet Pea. She is of Chinese heritage, so red for luck. With of course a coin inside "so it will never be empty"



Sunday, 22 October 2017

StyleArc Luna Pants

I bought some checked cotton sateen a couple of months ago.  When I bought it I was thinking of making a dress with it.  However when I got it home I looked at it again and thought a dress would look too office-like.  So instead I decided on a pair of pants and there will be enough left over for a skirt.  2 for the price of 1  I like that!

I liked the look of StyleArc's Luna pants.  They are for a stretch woven, have an elastic waistband with faux pockets and faux fly details.  They are 3/4 length with a side slit.




I really like these pants.  I'm thinking of wearing them with a tunic length flowing top for my xmas dos this year. The annual dinner and walk up Franklin Rd to see the Xmas lights and Xmas lunch out with my Mum. They have a kind of 60's pedal pusher vibe that I really like.  My Mum says they remind her of the pants worn  by the lady pro golfers.

The only change I made was to add 1# to the length.  I'm 5'9" so often need to add length, but I also wanted them a little longer than the pattern photo showed.  I love the side slit, but had trouble following the illustrated instruction that StyleArc gave.  I tried it on a scrap of fabric and it was just a mess.  Instead I found  this photo tutorial by BurdaStyle that is for the same technique, but clearer instructions and this tutorial made it a breeze to do.

The only problem was the fabric is so busy that you can't see my topstitch detail of the faux pockets/fly, even though I used the heavier topstitch thread.  Good excuse to make another pair.

According to Style Arc's size chart I fit perfectly in the size 14, so I made size 14.  These are a wee snug, the sateen didn't have quite as much stretch as I thought, also I have put on a couple of kilos since last taking my measurements.  Working hard on getting those 2 kg off, so then they will fit perfectly!

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Love Bear

A very dear friend is recovering from surgery on both her feet.  I wanted to make her something special to give her cuddles.  Sweet Pea's Love Bear seemed perfect.


The bear is made from fur, the ear, heart on chest and face are from suede left over from my suede jacket, the black nose is leather from the leather jacket that I got at an op shop.

I added a handmade label and on the back added " I attached the label to the ribbon and when I had added the label it reminded be of Paddington Bear, so on the back of the label I wrote "Please look after this bear".

I gave it to my friend today and she loves it.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Simplicity 1716 and Love Notions Laundry Day T

I made a couple of tops using Simplicity 1716 when I first started sewing.  I love the cowl neck and I've wanted to make another top since.  When I saw this ITY in Morelands fabrics I thought it would be perfect.
 I quite like it hiked up at one side to give an asymmetrical shape.
 The back is cut in 2 pieces rather than on the fold and is shaped in slightly at the waist so gives a more fitted shape.

The pattern comes in various lengths and different sleeve options.  I used view E for the body, and view F for the sleeves.  I made size 16.

I had bought 1.5m x 148cm and I needed the full amount of fabric, though there is a bit left over I could colour block with some other fabric for a top.

This top didn't take long.  About 4 1/2 hours from start to finish so was completed in 1 day.

As I had time left this weekend, I made my 3rd Laundry Day T, the free pattern from Love Notions.  This just took 2 1/2 hours to sew.  Fabric was from the remnant table at Spotlight and cost me just $3 for 1.5m x 148cm.  Again I have some left over.  I need to check, there may be enough to make a Lago Tank, the free pattern from Itch to stitch.  If there is I'll pair it with a pair of sleep shorts to make a sleep top for summer.




Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Style Arc Stacie Jean jacket

I've never owned a denim jacket.  They are all over the place at the moment, so decided it was time I made one.




Naturally it had to have embroidery on it.  The designs are from Urban Threads.  The roses on the front yokes are the same as on the back pocket of my jeans, just different colours.
Close up of the rose on front yoke.
And I couldn't resist putting this cat on the back.

The pattern is Style Arc's Stacie jean jacket.

A lot of the jackets in at the moment are cropped length, but I think the longer length of this suits me better.  I already have a long enough torso without emphasising it with a cropped jacket.

I made a size 14.  There are a few things worth noting.
  • The pattern says 1.2m x 148cm for sizes 6 to 18.  However I had 2 metres x 148cm and I needed that full 2 metres.  
  • The pattern says 8 buttons required.  However it takes 8 buttons down the front of the jacket, plus 2 for the packet flaps.  10 buttons in total.
  • The instructions don't state what size seam allowance - they are marked on the pattern pieces.  However you need to be aware that they differ.  Most are 3/8", however the collar, attaching collar to neck, facing and pockets are all 1/4".  As the collar meets exactly at the facing, if the collar or facing aren't sewn correctly then they won't match.
  • For a jacket there is very little ease.  My measurements sit between size 12 and size 14 according to the size chart on the Style Arc website.  I made a size 14 and it is pretty snug.  Fortunately I made it out of stretch denim, if I hadn't used a stretch it would have been too tight.  I don't think I'll be able to wear a jumper under this which I sometimes would want to do. To be fair Style Arc describe it as fitted, and the Stevie jeans jacket for a looser fit.
  • There are no 'real' pockets.  The flaps are faux pockets.  I like real pockets for carrying a tissue.
I enjoyed making the jacket and I do like it.  However I'm not sure I'll make it again.  Unfortunately I bought sizes 10-14.  If I made it again I would prefer size 16 so can wear jumpers under it.  As this means I'll have to buy another pattern I may look for another one with pockets.  A possibility is the Style Arc Stevie jean jacket which they describe as an oversized jacket, and it has welt pockets.

Anyway I have a denim jacket, in the same dark denim as my 2 pairs of jeans.  Next year I'd like to try light coloured denim for both jeans and jacket.  But right now it is time to start sewing for spring/summer.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Bonn shirt - Itch to stitch

I made a flannel shirt last year and it is so useful, nice and warm for the in-between weather we are experiencing in spring.  They are also handy for wearing as a light weight jacket over a t-shirt. One day when I was out recently I noticed a lot of people wearing plaid flannel shirts.  For this version I decided to make my first Bonn shirt.





It has a mandarin collar, rather than the usual collar.  I like it!  I did make a boo-boo when cutting out the pattern.  I looked at the pattern and made size 8, grading to a size 12 at hips.   I was getting over a bout of flu - my second this year! and not paying enough attention to my actual size.  Consequently the size 8 is a fraction too small, as I should have gone with a size 10.  To get around it, I shortened the bust darts, and now it fits fine.  The apex sits a bit high though, so next time I will need to shorten the bust dart and lower around 1 -  1 1/2 inches.

The only other change I made was to add 1" to the length above the waist.

I am pretty pleased with my pattern matching.  I spent a loooong time working on getting this right - it took me 2 hours to cut out 8 pattern pieces, but it was worth it.  Also the flannel was horrid for transferring markings.  In the end I used painters tape, added it to where the marks were and put the marks on top.  The tape can be easily removed without leaving any residue.  From cutting out, to finishing it took me about 12 hours.  I reckon without pattern matching and with a fabric that can easily be marked I could do it in about 10 hours.  A short sleeve version, without sleeve plackets and sleeve pleats would be even less time.

I am happy with this and will be making more using the other sleeve variations that come with the pattern.  I may also make the dress shirt version.  I've bought some lovely patterned tencel that I will use for either this or the Beausoleil dress- another Itch to stitch pattern.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Jalie Jeans 2908 - second pair.

I've been busy making Christmas presents, but I did manage to make another pair of jeans.  This time I changed the leg to straight leg instead of bootcut and I added a 1/4" extra at both inner and outer thighs.  These are soo comfortable.

They are exactly the same as the others, apart from the cut.  Same colour denim, same embroidery on the back pockets.  I want to do a denim jacket and want embroidery to match when wearing jeans and jacket.



These took me around 18 hours over 8 days.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

My first Vogue pattern - 9227

I ordered some Vogue patterns a few weeks ago when they were on sale.  When on sale they are cheaper to buy from the US than from NZ, even with the cost of posting. 2 are summer patterns, but one is a long sleeve knit, perfect for spring when it can still be a bit cool.

I was keen to try my first one - Vogue 9227.




The fabric was a jersey from Morelands Fabrics.  When I saw the fabric I knew it was perfect for this top as the stripes would really show up well.  The collar and button band were a black ponte remnant left over from a previous project.

The button band took me forever to correctly place the buttons.  At the neck, instead of a button I used a press stud and sewed a button on the outside.  I knew my machine would not be able to cope with making a buttonhole through all the fabric that sits inside the neckband there.   I also wasn't satisified with the tiny bit of gaping that remained at the buttonband, so I slipstitched from the armscye to the third button.  As it is  a jersey I don't need all that space to get it on and off.  After all the effort I am pleased with the way it looks.



This certainly wasn't a quick sew, it took me 12 hours from cutting to finishing, compared to the last Lisbon cardigan that took me 4 hours.  However it is a smart t-shirt type top.

Alterations I made to construction were:

  • Added buttonholes to buttonband before attaching to bodice
  • Press stud at neck edge and sewed button on top
  • slip stitched button band from armscye to 3rd button
  • 3" sleeve hems!
  • 1/2" back hem - had to taper side fronts to line up at back hem


There are a few changes I would make next time:

  • Add 1 - 2" to length
  • Shorten sleeves 1" ( had to do a whopping 3" hem)
  • Narrow shoulder adjustment - 1/2"


There are a few other variations of this pattern that I might try.


The other Vogue patterns I bought were:
There are a couple of variations, including this one with short sleeves.  I've bought a couple of different shades of pink linen for this.

This dress, also with variations, with or without roll collar, short sleeves or sleeveless.

I particularly like the pleated skirt on this, so may attempt to make a skirt on it's own.  As suggested in the pattern you can use a different colour for the top to create a skirt/top separate look.  I've bought 3 (!) pieces of cotton sateen for this.  2 of the fabrics I'm not sure of, while one is a black and red very fine check.  I may use one of them to make a skirt and different colour top, I'm thinking an embroidered eyelet or something similar for the top part.

Anyway summer sewing is still a while off, as spring has just sprung so a few more spring items are needed including more jeans, denim jacket and a flannel shirt.