Thursday, 20 October 2016

Jumpers - Burdastyle 02/2016 #121, Named Talvikki and Vogue 8962

As we approached the end of winter in Perth, I was all ready to begin my summer sewing. However, the cold weather dragged on and on through spring this year, so I decided to make just one four more jumpers to wear. I'm so pleased I did, these have been worn constantly over the last few weeks.

First up, this one from the February 2016 issue of Burdastyle magazine. This is the 'High Collar Sweatshirt', No. 121. I loved this design in the magazine and was so keen to make it, when I rediscovered it recently, that I did so despite the fact that I didn't have the collar zips. I assume the zips are there as a practical and decorative feature. Luckily, I can easily get the jumper on and off without having the zips there.

Burdastyle 02/2016 #121

I used oatmeal marle fleece fabric from Fashion Fabrics Club that has been in my fleece drawer for quite some time. It's lovely and cosy. The cord for the drawstring was saved from a boutique paper bag. I always save the cord handles from bags and knew I'd find a use for them one day!

Apart from omitting the zips, the only change I made was to lengthen the cuffs slightly. I used silver grommets for the cord openings.

I was so happy with this jumper that I immediately made another. This time I bought the collar zips and used a striped silver and blue cotton fabric I found on sale in Spotlight. 

I pattern matched the pockets and made a feature of the front panel by offsetting the stripes. The cuffs and hem band are made from navy ribbing.

I was expecting that the addition of the zips to this would enable the top to be worn with different collar variations. However, I don't really like the unzipped look. I don't know if it's the fabric, but it reminds me of the 80s and not in a good way. I don't bother to open the zips when putting this on or off either, so if I made this again it would be zipless.

One last word on the zips - if I were to put them in again, I would probably turn them over so the right side of the zip pulls showed then the collar was turned down. This is personal preference though.

I'm happy with this, but I prefer the plain fleece one.

Next we have another Named Talvikki (my first is blogged here). I love this pattern with the cool neckline darts and side splits. It is also very quick and easy to make.

This one is made from Fleece from Spotlight. I added cuffs with some pale blue piping just for a change.

This has been such a useful addition to my wardrobe. It goes with everything and I love it.

Finally, I made another Vogue 8962 tunic. My first was made with knitted fabric and looks completely different. This one was made with Spotlight fleece that I found reduced from about $25/m to $5/m. It's not my usual style, but it's lovely and soft inside.

I wanted to practise my coverstitching on this pattern as I'm on a mission to get decent coverstitching. It seems to be a skill that is very hit or miss. Coverstitching always seems to work better on thicker or more stable fabric and I had quite good results this time.

I chose orange thread to match the background of the fabric and highlighted the design lines and hems with coverstitching.

I lined the collar with turquoise fabric to match the cheeks of the faces on the fabric.

Although this fabric isn't quite me, the bold print is fun and the style of the tunic is great to wear. I've worn this a lot more than I expected.

OK, I think I've fulfilled my winter quota of sewing now and got good wear out of everything. Now it's time to bring on summer. Come on Perth!

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Summer Solstice Set - Naughty Bobbin Patterns

Well this is exciting. My online sewing friend Savage Coco (yes, the designer of the Presto Popover top that took the sewing world by storm last year) has completely rebranded and revamped her website and shop. Coco and I have never met, but have exchanged many emails. She is hilarious and very talented. To celebrate the website launch, Coco has released a pattern combo for this brilliant little Summer Solstice Set, consisting of a skirt, top and bonus cap. Take note Aussie and NZ friends - we don't often get new pattern releases that suit our seasons. We can wear it first for a change!

The new company name is Naughty Bobbin Patterns (formerly Savage Coco Patterns) and you have to visit the website just to see the cool sewing cartoons on the homepage!

Anyway, this set. The skirt is a simple straight design with a smooth elastic waistband and the top is a tank style with a flattering, square neckline that dips lower at the back. The top has a built-in shelf bra and is sewn together in a clever way that creates a completely clean finish inside. Both items are made from knit fabrics. I used ponte for the skirt and cotton jersey for the top. I made a size M with no changes. The fit is spot on and I love that the top completely covers my bra straps from all angles.

But wait, there's more! This is the Coco Cap, which also forms part of the Summer Solstice Set. I am thrilled with this as it gives lovely shade and looks so much better than a normal cap. I made mine from denim scraps left over from the Refashioners 2016 Jeans challenge. I forgot to wear it in the other photos so I tried to take some selfies - not easy when you are trying to show off a hat, I kept trying to look at the camera.

The hat is a great fit and has a back elasticated section that can be adjusted to fit during construction. I have a large head, so I was happy to find that this was big enough. It is lined, but not difficult to make. The brim is stiffened with pellon interfacing. This is not easy to get in Australia. An alternative would be two or three layers of your stiffest interfacing or steal the plastic cover from your child's school exercise book.

I am over the moon with this set and highly recommend it. Everything is well thought out, well fitting, stylish and with clear instructions. The skirt is so comfy and quick to make, I'm going to have one for every day of the week. Congratulations to Naughty Bobbin Patterns!

Thursday, 29 September 2016

PR Sewing Bee Round 3 Challenge - The Colette Rue Dress

I made it to the third round of the PR Sewing Bee! My second round entry is here. The competition is hotting up now and this challenge was a lot harder than the first two. We were to make a Colette Rue dress, but put our own 'spin' on it. This may not sound too bad, but my feeling is that the 'spin' needs to be pretty amazing to make the cut in this round, not to mention the perfect sewing required.

Colette Rue Dress
The Rue Dress is a vintage-inspired design with a fitted bodice and two skirt options. While I love this 40s style on some people, it is not my thing at all. To make this wearable and fitting with my style it needed to be modernised and made into a more flattering shape for my body type. I didn't want to change the pattern too much though. It still needed to retain the essence of the Rue. I thought long and hard about what to do and eventually came up with this design.

I used View B of the pattern with the slimmer skirt. The bodice was redrafted to move the curved pieces away from the centre and towards the sides. The curves were redrawn and the new style lines continued down into the skirt and made into pockets. The sleeves were omitted as we are heading into summer. In addition to the design changes, I needed to make numerous fitting alterations, mainly to the bodice. I wanted the curved pieces below the bust, rather than on it, so that required some fiddling with the two curved pattern pieces and the bust pleats - not easy. I also needed to lengthen the bodice and lower the armholes (complete list of changes available here)

Here are the alterations I made to the two front bodice pieces. This alone took many muslins!

I chose this floral stretch denim fabric bought ages ago from Potter Textiles. The dress is lined with a cream floral cotton voile and the piping is made from polka dot fabric from the shorts I made in Round 1 of the Sewing Bee.

I was as precise and careful as possible with matching the piping at all the seam lines and the neckline. As for the invisible zip, let me just take a bow. I think it's the best I've ever done!

This process was difficult and stressful and took many hours. I often had a houseful of hungry teenage boys and my time limit was reduced by three days as I'm attending a felting course this week. A couple of muslins in, I did contemplate not completing this challenge. I emailed my sister who said that if she'd been doing it, the dress would have been a ball on the floor by now. That suddenly made me realise how long it's been since I hurled a sewing project at the wall (a fairly common occurrence in the early days). My gosh, maybe I have actually come quite a long way, if only in controlling my sewing hissyfits. I was spurred on to finish. Thanks sis!

I am really happy with the finished dress. It is a bit of a departure from my usual style, but still feels like me. My favourite thing is the pockets and how they blend into the new style lines. I am also very proud of the sewing I did here. Fingers crossed I make it to the final round of the competition.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Patrones magazine bias-cut dress 10/2013 #20 for the Sewing Bee

I have entered the Pattern Review Great British Sewing Bee competition this month*. The first challenge was to make a pair of shorts or capri pants. My polka dot capris will be blogged soon. Suffice to say, they got me through the first round. Challenge number two was a bias cut garment. 

Bias cut? I never make bias cut garments. They have a habit of showing lumps and bumps I'd rather keep well hidden. This was a challenge indeed. After examining and rejecting every pattern in my arsenal I finally turned to my stack of Patrones magazines. I love those magazines, they have interesting and lovely designs. I flicked through the pattern layouts and looked at anything that was cut on the bias. Eventually I settled on this dress.

This is dress number 20 from the October 2013 issue of Patrones Extra Magazine (No 33).  It is completely bias cut, but is not too clingy. The skirt is quite full and the ruffles add some extra interest.

I chose a lovely cotton voile with an abstract print that I had bought from a Morrison (Australian designer) sale a few months ago.

This light fabric required careful sewing and I used French seams throughout (inside picture above). This was tricky as the fabric wanted to gather along every stitching line. I also had big problems working out how to French seam the neckline flounce. It took me three goes before I got the right side showing!

The flounce follows the neckline and then extends past it down the front of the dress. The hem of the flounce and all the other hems of the dress are finished with a rolled hem on the overlocker. The flounce has a bit of hand beading on it too.

The skirt is made up of ten pieces, all different and asymmetrical. There are ruffles along four of the seam lines and the hem dips at the front and back.

The back has a slight racer back, which is nice with the ruffle falling over the shoulders.

This dress was quite involved to make, not least because the instructions were in Spanish so no use at all to me! It took quite some working out just to determine which pieces were meant to go where, let alone how to sew them together. It seemed to work in the end though and I didn't have any pieces left over, so something went right!

 I am very happy with this dress. The bias cut bodice is fitted, but not too tight. The skirt is swishy and cute and the ruffles and print distract from lumpy areas beneath. Now to sew some of those other gorgeous Patrones patterns I've remembered after searching for this one!

*There is no public voting in this competition, a judging panel makes all the decisions. There are four rounds in total.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Pilvi Coat Dress - Named Clothing Evolution Theory Collection

The Pilvi Coat Dress was the second pattern I tested from the Evolution Theory Collection by Named (see my Talvikki Sweater here).

The Pilvi Coat Dress by Named Patterns

I love that Named often produce patterns with a difference with clean lines and cool details.

The Pilvi is a double-breasted, fitted coat dress made from knit fabric. It is a really lovely pattern with princess seam detail, pockets and a belt with loops incorporated into the side seams. The style works equally well as a coat or a dress.

The back seams ensure a great fit.

The instructions recommend a medium-weight, knit fabric with 40% stretch. I used 2.5m of a bone-coloured ponte from Remida. The front overlapping sections are stabilised with knit interfacing. I unfortunately used interfacing with less than 40% stretch and have a bit of pulling around the bust as a result. Bummer. Check your interfacing before you iron it on!

The instructions are very clear and well illustrated and the pattern is well drafted, as is usual with Named patterns. The pattern would suit advanced beginners. One thing I love about Named patterns is that when I print them on A4 paper, there are no margins to cut off so you can get straight to the sticking-together stage. This is a huge time saver! I don't know whether this is also the case with US letter paper.

What can I say, another successful Named pattern. I love them all and I've been wearing this coat dress a lot since I made it.

 Named, you rock!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...