Sunday, 8 April 2018

Alabama Chanin inspired t-shirt

Last year, before our epic family road trip to the outback of Western Australia, I was looking for projects that I could take in the car to pass the time. Scrolling through the Alabama Chanin website, I came across a t-shirt with hand-beaded text on the front.
Alabama Chanin tee from their website
I decided to make my own version using the free Plantain tee pattern and the word 'Create'. I cut out the pattern from some blue knit fabric and stencilled the word across the front using a handmade stencil, silver acrylic paint and a sponge brush. Then I gathered together some beads, sequins, needles and thread and stuffed everything in a bag for the trip.

I'm not brilliant at looking down while I'm in the car as it makes me car sick, not to mention wanting to keep an eye out for kangaroos etc on the road, but I did manage to get a bit of beading done while we were travelling. After the trip, I carried on over the school holidays at the local theme park.

Finally it was done. I stitched the pattern pieces together by hand and embroidered a decorative stitch down the side seams, shoulder seam and on the neck binding using navy or pink embroidery thread.

Some close-ups:

I love this t-shirt with it's rustic, handmade look and added blingy beads. I wish I had more time to make all the Alabama Chanin things. I love them all!

I'm also wearing my Sasha trousers in these pictures.

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Tessuti Skylines Competiton - Burdastyle jumpsuit and Naughty Bobbin Cap

Well this was a slow sewing project if ever there was one! Many hours were spent during the planning, the pattern adjusting, the muslining, the additional adjusting, the cutting and the construction. This is, of course, my entry for the Tessuti Skylines Competiton, where the rules state that this checked fabric alone must be used for the entirety of the outside of the garment.

Choosing the project was fairly easy. I loved the idea of making a special occasion dress in this fabric, but such a thing would never have fitted into my casual lifestyle, so I chose a jumpsuit that I could wear every day. I was inspired by a loose-fitting jumpsuit I saw on Etsy. I perused many patterns trying to find something similar and finally settled on Burdastyle FS/2014 #I. In addition to the jumpsuit, I made a little cap using the Naughty Bobbin Patterns Summer Ensemble Pattern. That pattern for a skirt, top and cap is fantastic btw!

Burdastyle Jumpsuit FS/2014 #I
There were several features of the jumpsuit that I wanted to modify, so I began by making a muslin. I experimented with the bodice, trying a wrap style and a loose bib style, but eventually settled on this sleeveless shirt/boiler suit style.

Here I am wearing a heavily modified muslin and experimenting with sleeves (my family said NO to sleeves!). I made a size 42 according to my measurements, but then took in the sides, took 2cm off the bodice length and altered the back shoulder seam for a better fit. Other changes I made to the original pattern included: raising the neckline and adding a collar - I used the collar and stand from the Named Wenona shirtdress pattern; enlarging the pockets; adding a button placket and press studs instead of the zip - I used the button placket from the Closet Case Patterns Kalle dress and lengthened it so it extended into a fly front; adding back patch pockets; and lengthening the leg 5cm.

I cut the pattern on a single layer of fabric so I could match the print as perfectly as possible in every direction. I made sure the bodice and pants matched for the vertical stripes and that the horizontal stripes matched across the front and on the sides. I cut the shoulders, waistband and button placket on the bias for some visual interest. The stripes also match on the cap as much as possible with a little bias-cut pocket on the side!

Spot the front and back pockets!!

Here are some close ups:

I used press studs instead of buttons for emergency toilet situations...

...and a press stud on the back of the collar (I love the shape of the Named Wenona collar).

Topstitching on the waistband and pockets and the double waistband that hides the belt at the back.

The button placket extends into the pants

and the cap. I love this cap and have worn it every day since I made it.

So there we have it, finally finished! I really enjoyed the challenge of this project and I am very happy with the outcome. This jumpsuit fits perfectly into my casual lifestyle and the cap is so well-fitting and comfortable, not to mention providing lots of shade with the large brim. I'm very pleased I entered the competition as it pushed me to spend time making something I really wanted and love.

There's still time to enter!

Thursday, 22 February 2018

StyleArc Sadie Tunic and Closet Case Patterns Sasha Trousers


I've had my eye on both these patterns since they were released and they did not disappoint! I bought the StyleArc Sadie Tunic pattern after seeing Blogless Anna's gorgeous versions here and here. I've had this silk for quite some time after snatching it up at a local Morrison sale. I think quite a few of the Perth sewers have the same fabric. It is soft and dreamy to wear. I'm not even going to tell you what my teenage son said about the print. I think it's rather elegant!

The standout feature of this pattern is the sleeve design. It is so cool and interesting and I should have got a better picture of it. I was careful to follow the instructions and it was fairly straightforward to put together.

I also love the curved hem and the neckline and just everything really. The proportions seem to work very well together.

The back has a centre seam to accomodate a button and loop closure at the neckline. I ended up skipping this as I can easily fit the top over my head without it. Next time I may cut the back on the fold.

OK, now I'll just tuck that tunic in so you can see the pants. These are the Closet Case Patterns Sasha Trousers. (Embarrassingly I always have to stop myself saying that name in a Canadian accent since I heard Heather Lou speaking on the 'I love to sew' podcast! By the way, that episode is worth a listen if you haven't heard it yet).

I spent ages examining the sizing of these pants before cutting them out as the ones in the pattern pictures looked too tight to me. I wanted mine fitted, but not super tight. I read the blog posts, I looked at the size charts and got myself into a bit of a tizz. In the end I decided I was overthinking it and just made the size according to my measurements.

I made a toile and did a couple of fit modifications according to this very helpful blog post. I could have been fussier on the fit, but I had had enough of taking back selfies over my shoulder so got started. 

I am very happy with the result. These pants are so comfy and look smart and modern. The fit is just right and the stretchy bengaline allows easy movement. As an added bonus they go with my new blouse. I'm ready for an outing!

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Tessuti Ruby Dress

I've had my eye on this pattern for quite some time, particularly after seeing versions by Rachel on Instagram. I also loved some of the variations posted on the Tessuti blog. Actually one of them, the Bondi Dress, has been made into a pattern in its own right and released today.

I made this a while ago and wore it on Christmas Day. It's made from an indigo-printed linen from Tessuti, which I've also seen in Potter Textiles. I bought the pattern and fabric with a gift voucher from a sewing friend and I'm so happy with both. I love indigo in all its variations, so this is perfect.

The pattern has slightly cut-away armholes and a high neck. I added pockets in the side seams and I think I added some length, but I can't remember now! The edges are bound with blue, ready-made bias binding.

The back neckline has a little opening and a button closure.

This is such an easy, comfortable dress and the bound neckline and armholes are very flattering. The skirt has just the right amount of flare. I love this dress so much. I can't believe I waited so long to buy the pattern!

Monday, 4 December 2017

Named Wyome Boyfriend Jeans and StyleArc Brooklyn Knit Top

About three years ago I made a couple of pairs of Named Wyome Boyfriend Jeans. Those were made in a size 38 and were quite close-fitting. This time I wanted a looser fit like the cool kids I see on Pinterest. So, for this pair I went up two sizes to a size 42.

Screenshot from Pinterest 'Boyfriend Jeans'

For my previous, tighter pairs I had altered the crotch curve for a better fit. This time I didn't make any alterations to see if the original cut would give that classic boyfriend look in the larger size. I think it did! The only changes I made this time were to enlarge the back pocket and use a zip, rather than a button fly.

To achieve that faded, worn-in look, I used a gorgeous enzyme washed denim from Tessuti, purchased with a gift voucher from the best internet sewing friend ever. This colour denim doesn't seem to be available any more. It is soft and gorgeous and perfect for these jeans. I topstitched with gold Rasant thread from Homecraft Textiles and added a leather tag. I managed to stamp the B on backwards, but you'd have to be looking way too closely to notice when I'm wearing them.

Jeans topstitching is one of my favourite things to do. So satisfying!

These photos were taken months ago when it was cold enough for snuggly jumpers. I don't know where the time has gone. This particular snuggly jumper is the Brooklyn Knit Top by StyleArc. I've made this one in a quilted knit fabric from Textile Traders. It's a simple pattern with pockets and a roll neck and the resulting jumper is cosy and slouchy. I wore this a lot over the winter.

Now I can slouch about with the best of them!

I love both these patterns and I am very happy with the looser fit on these jeans compared to the previous pair I made in my 'proper' size. I have worn these so much since making them as they always feel so comfortable and fashionable. The colour also goes with everything.


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