Monday, 17 November 2014

Burdastyle 08/2014 #131

The August 2014 issue of Burdastyle has some lovely patterns. This one caught my eye straight away. I like that it looks like quite a smart outfit, but is really a breezy, comfortable dress.

Burdastyle 08/2014#131

I made the whole dress from linen. The top is white linen bought in Bali and the skirt is thicker, blue linen from Spotlight, left over from my Wyome jeans. The linen is looking rather crumpled in these pictures but, not being much of an ironer, I'm used to the crumpled look. I did actually iron this dress before wearing it, but kids and hospital visits* and lunch and beach happened and this is the result.

*My lovely Dad has had major surgery, but is doing very well.

The lines of the dress are very appealing. The diagonal seams of the wrap front continue into the skirt and incorporate pockets. The cross-over part of the bodice is stitched down most the the way as it was gaping.

The skirt back has vertical seams which continue down from the darts in the bodice. The bodice has side seams, but the skirt does not. 

The sizing for this pattern is 'petite', designed for a height of 160cm. Having never used this sizing for Burdastyle patterns before, I chose a size 20 based on my measurements.

I am around 175cm tall, so added some length to the bodice and skirt pieces. The first time I wore this dress, I decided the proportions were wrong, so whipped it off, removed the skirt and raised it to the level originally intended by the pattern. I also took the dress in at the sides. Conclusion: make one size smaller than my measurements in regular and petite Burdastyle patterns.

 You may have spotted my hat in these photos. It is a recent attempt at a second fabulous hat (aka Vogue 7600). I will have to talk more about this in a separate post as it too is about to be ripped apart and remade.

As I made it, I had a fit of misled inspiration and halved the height of the crown. The hat now perches unsteadily on the very top of my head and flies off at the merest hint of a breeze. 

However, I am rather chuffed with the frayed edge detail on the hat, so will make a new crown and try to stick to the pattern next time.

 As for the dress, it's very me. I love it and will wear it a lot this summer.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Triple denim and a Bee - Vogue 1247 skirt and Bellini blouse


Lots to talk about today and lots of pictures. It all started with the Surprise Sewing Bee contest on Pattern Review. This is a fun competition based on the 'Great British Sewing Bee' series shown on the BBC. Each week, for four weeks, the Pattern Review website will announce the garment to be made for that week. The entries will be judged and eliminated from the competition, presumably if they don't follow the specifications of the particular garment.

For week 1 of the competition, contestants were required to make an A-line skirt with a zip, lining, button or hook closure, waistband and hem.

I decided to go with Vogue 1247. I used this cotton fabric, made of pieced strips with lace detail, that I bought in Bali years ago. I decided not to include the skirt pockets to keep the stripes neat and to make sure I was adhering to the competition rules.

I was really careful making this to keep everything neat. I cut the back first, then lined up the front to match the stripes. I pinned the upper and lower pattern pieces together and cut as one piece (below).

I even went to the bother of binding all the raw inside edges!

I lined it too!

Here are the pictures of the finished skirt:

I matched all the stripes as best I could, but the way the fabric was made meant that it wasn't possible to get this completely neat. The lace had been sewn on a bit wonky by the manufacturer (I unpicked and redid part of it) and the check pattern was not even. Still, I am really pleased with the way it turned out. 

Sheer, cotton lining with folded darts.

Now it just so happened that I had found this washed out chambray, denimy fabric at Remida recently that just so happened to match the skirt fabric rather well! I immediately thought of the Bellini blouse pattern by Capital Chic that I won in the Refashion Contest by Sew Amy Sew (thank you Amy and Sally). I decided that my stripy skirt would not be complete without the Bellini. In fact, I became obsessed with the thought and cancelled all engagements (except my Melbourne Cup lunch) so I could make both this week.

The Bellini has two collar options. I went with the scalloped one to fancy up my plain fabric.

The Bellini was a joy to make. I followed Sally's sewalong, which I expected to be just for beginners, and was quite amazed at how helpful it was. I even watched the pressing videos with rapt attention! My blouse turned out so neat and tidy with French seams and everything.

It's a simple pattern, but cleverly thought out so it looks far more complicated than it really is. The pattern pieces go together like a dream. I am really pleased with this blouse and highly recommend the pattern.

To top it off, I wore denim shoes for the photos.

If double denim is a fashion faux pas, I don't know what this is!

I rather like it. It makes me feel like a cowgirl.

 Oh yeah, a cowgirl....

 YEE HA!!!

Friday, 24 October 2014

StyleArc Lola pants and Patrones top (329 #9)

Some time ago I went to a fabric sale. It was a moving sale at the crazy workshop of an eveningwear designer. I've mentioned this sale before, but I haven't shown you any of the silk I bought - until now!

I'm not usually one to spend heaps on fabric. When I began sewing a lot for myself I was a uni student and did it to save money. Then I never really got past that 'sewing to save' mentality. However, I have been conditioning and training myself at various textile establishments over the last few years and can happily say that the money I spend on fabric and associated accoutrements is increasing in an exponential fashion! 

But I still can't resist a sale. And I don't spend that much on fabric reeeeeally (just in case Mr M is reading).

So anyway, this sale had lots of silk and, although I resisted the more expensive rolls of fabric in favour of remnants, I bought a nice selection. The added bonus was that it was cheap enough that I didn't feel terrified to use it.

First I made these StyleArc Lola pants. I used navy silk charmeuse with the non-shiny side as the right side. I didn't have quite enough to fit the pattern pieces on properly, so I added a strip down the sides, shiny side out. I had to piece the strip but it's not terribly noticeable.

I used the shiny side for the waistband too. I left off the elastic at the hem.

I love these pants. The fit is great, I think they are on trend with the stripe, they are super-comfy and the silk is gorgeous.

My sister disagrees, but I'm ignoring her. Here's me practicing the look I will give her when I show her the whole outfit!

So then, getting a bit carried away and running the risk of producing pyjamas, I made a silk charmeuse blouse and wore it with the silk pants! Don't mess with me girlfriend.

The blouse is pattern 9 from Patrones magazine No. 329, which was a lovely gift a while back from Katherine of Bloom's Endless Summer. I must ask her how her move is going.

Patrones 329, pattern 9.
Before I began sewing, I helpfully spent some time typing the instructions into Google translate. This was the result:

I was at a bit of a loss as to where to begin, but I noticed the 'drinks between aplomas' part near the end so did quite a bit of that first, ignoring the aplomas as they didn't seem important. After that, the bit about 'two necks in front and one behind' started to make more sense and I went from there.  

The neckline was the trickiest part and mine isn't perfect. I blame the drinks and aplomas. Luckily the slight asymmetry and odd hand stitch are not noticeable when worn, partly due to the gorgeous idea of the decorative bead, which also helps to hold the neckline in place. I need to tighten the thread holding the bead so it can't be seen. I did not add elastic to the hem, preferring to leave it loose.

So there we are, I'm dressed head to toe in silk charmeuse and I'm loving it! I wore this out last night to the opening of an art awards and exhibition where my Mum had a painting. I was elegance itself!

Thursday, 9 October 2014

I have a new boyfriend - meet Wyome

By Jove, I think I've got it! This is my third attempt at making Named Wyome jeans and this time I'm much happier (see attempt one and two here).

These were made from some lovely blue 100% linen from Spotlight, which I nabbed on sale for $15/m. I definitely think this beautiful fabric has helped with the success of these jeans, along with some other small changes described below.

Oops, cut a bit too close to the selvedge along the side there! That's because I was squeezing another pattern out of this fabric too. All will be revealed soon.

The most obvious change I made was to change the pockets to those from the Jamie jeans pattern. The Jamie pockets are larger and the placement is much higher. This detracts slightly from the boyfriendness of the Wyome style, but improves the look around the bum region. If you don't believe me, ask my sister.

I also changed the shape of the front crotch curve. The picture below shows the new curve (arrow) and the original curve (flap of paper). This is only a tiny change, but makes quite a difference to the fit. 

Happily I can report that camel toe is no longer an issue.

The other changes were to add 5cm to the leg length and to use a normal zip fly, instead of buttons. I don't know why I didn't use buttons. I think I went into autopilot and kind of forgot. I will try to remember buttons for a future pair.

The extra leg length means I can wear these down...

...or rolled up. I like them both ways, but rolled up is probably my preference. I didn't change the leg width at all.

I am rather thrilled with these jeans. The tweaks and twerks took a while to get right, but I think I appreciate the final result even more for the effort involved. Also, the linen will be perfect for summer. Yay for new boyfriends.

Natural Fibers Contest


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