Monday, December 30, 2013

Foldy shopping bag

I hope you all had a Merry Merry and such.

I went to the Spotlight sale today. 3 for $10 patterns and 40% off fabric!  The sale is on until Wednesday, which is New Year's Day.  (Most Spotlight stores are open, not my closest one though.)  I came back with NO patterns!   I hoped some would jump out at me; I got through one and a half pattern books then my attention span failed me.

I bought 1 metre each of these cotton drills:

and traced my current favourite fold-up shopping bag, and now I have a foldy shopping bag out of the Mexico travel poster fabric: 

I added a tab and snap because one of the problems with my current shopping bag is it has a separate little sack you put it in once you've folded it and I am so going to lose that. (Half the time I can't find the sack in my handbag and I end up just stuffing the bag in unfolded, which is not ideal.)  

The tab is attached in the middle between the handles and I just folded the bag up and marked where the snaps should go.  I practised folding a few times before I put the snap on to make sure I found the best folding size and position.  Whether I can reproduce it in the wild when the pressure is on remains to be seen.

Have a fabulous and safe NYE all!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Copying a vintage frock

I have always loved this barkcloth vintage dress I bought years ago.  It's a bit shabby so I haven't worn it much as a result.  I don't want it to totally wear out.  It was lovingly handmade by someone many years ago.

I found this fabric online (vintage they said, but it must be new old stock as it is pristine) and the weight was perfect to try to reproduce the vintage frock:

It is the same weight as barkcloth, but it has more of a pique-like texture.  

I folded the original frock in half and traced the front and back necklines onto a bodice tracing from another pattern with similar style lines.  I love the low back on this frock.  It seems saucy, but is high enough so the bra doesn't show.  The straps turned out a bit narrower on my version, I probably fudged adding the seam allowances or something.  I like the look though.

I made a one piece facing and used this tutorial to make a half-circle skirt
The original dress has a full circle skirt but my fabric was too narrow and I only had 3 metres anyway.  I only just realised in time that the fabric is directional too, so I had to cut two pieces of fabric and lay them out so the flowers wouldn't be upside down on the back of the skirt.  The skirt has side seams now, which is fine by me.

Here she is:

 Perfect for Christmas drinks parties, which are coming up scarily soon!

Friday, October 11, 2013

New Look mash up

 This is New Look 6968 with the neckline and facings from New Look 6736  because I love those facings.  Finish the neckline and armholes in one?  Yes please!  The facings stay put with just a tack under the arms too, which is fab. 

 The fabric is vintage from my stash, I'd say early 60s because I have patterns from that era with very similar fabrics illustrated.  Also it was very narrow, so even though I had 4 metres, it took about 3 metres to make this frock.  I wanted a waist seam, because I thought it would suit the vintage vibe, so instead of just making 6736 again, I franken-patterned.  

I put the zip in the mid back like my last 6736.  I like not having to muck around with the top of the zip at the neckline.  Looks neat, still easy to get on. 

I used one of my vintage belt kits to make a self belt.  Buy these kits when you see them people!  They are awesome.  It adds to the vintage vibe, no?  (Oops blurry pic; but does remind me of a Monet, so I'll post it anyway)

Pics above show it on me with and without the belt.  The belt makes it I think, even though it is well camouflaged.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Better late than never?

Anyone would think I'd given up sewing. Not the case, but I haven't been blogging 'cos I can't seem to take a decent pic (not like Kitty, she's got the knack!). Anyway, hopefully these will give the general idea. Here is today's Sunday sewing output:
First up is an rose print knit fabric - it's a bit ITY like, nice and drapey. It's a recent eBay buy - I also got brown background / orange rose and navy background / pink rose - hey, I like a giant rose!
It's the top from New Look 6735, extended into a dress. I've made a few of these, very quick to sew and show off a print well - only a couple of hours to sew too. I love the neckband, a very clean and neat finish. Excellent travel frock too, I took the plain black one with me on the last trip.

Next up is a frock made of Erin Michael's 'Lush Uptown' paint-by-numbers quilting fabric - I've wanted this ever since I saw it AFTER it was out of print a couple of years ago - luckily it's recently been reprinted (and is already hard to find, but I found a great eBay seller with it). I used my tried and true (this must be the fifth or sixth one I've made) Butterick Retro 6522 - this is a great pattern for a bold print as the lines don't interfere with the pattern. I made this to go and see The Handsome Family on Saturday night - somehow the deers seem appropriate!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

New Look 6736

I bought this stretch cotton sateen from Gertie's etsy shop.  Gertie described it as "Shaheeny" and I thought it would make a great sarong dress and also I loved it.  I love Shaheen frocks. 

I have a mildly fancy frockortunity coming up, so I decided to put this fabric to work.

When I was play-gathering the fabric, the wide bands of darker colour looked a bit too diagonal, so in the end I let the fabric be the star and decided to make a plain sheath dress.

This is New Look 6736, which I've made a couple of times before.  I always leave out the neckline notch because I prefer it plain.  I put a zip in the mid-back because I only had a 14 inch zip, and I like how the back neckline looks neater that way.

Forgive the wrinkles; I should get a camera remote because running back and forth with a 10 second self-timer doesn't give me enough time to re-smooth.  When I walk it doesn't crinkle up like that.  

LOL at the different bangles in pics one and three.  I was trying to decide which went best.  Which do you think?  Bamboo or beads?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

New Look 6013

This is New Look 6013, view D, made in mesh knit.  I bought the mesh snake print from ebay.  I folded out all the darts (including the bust darts) after I traced the pattern.  The raglan sleeves are also a meshy knit, some metalicus fabric Moggy found in Melbourne.  The snake mesh is quite sheer, so I have to wear a slip.  I am too lazy to line.  Don't judge!  I like wearing slips.  There, I said it.

Here it is on Betty Dressup:


I kept the centre back seam in case I needed to shape it more, but I didn't have to.  This is a nice, easy pattern, and being New Look, no crazy extra ease.

I constructed all the seams on the overlocker, and coverstitched the hems and neckline using my Coverpro 1000CPX.  I love that machine.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

*Peeks around corner; waves sheepishly*

Hi!  Coming out of winter hibernation, finally!

My sewing room is cold, ok?  And how many boat neck, three-quarter sleeved ponte frocks do you want to see anyway?  It's almost all I made for a year.

The weather has warmed up, and I made this frock last weekend out of some polyester border print I bought at Remnant Warehouse a while ago.  It's woven, no stretch, sort of a cross between a charmeuse and challis in feel, maybe?  I don't know,  it's silky, but still a bit crisp.  Twill?  Anyway, it feels nice for a poly.

It's a border print, but I needed a waist seam because I wanted to use the sparser diamond pattern in the bodice.  I couldn't just cut the dress out in the middle of the print because I wanted the sweet black hem border to remain.  Needs a press too, that hem, oops.

I have many patterns.  I don't want to seem boastful, but I'm a pattern thousandaire.
I didn't, however, have a pattern in the massive stash which was suitable for my (admittedly simple) needs.

So I made up a pattern, making a wide-ish bodice it so I didn't need a zip.  I didn't put darts in, but did slash and add pleats to the neckline to add a bit of interest.  The skirt is just two trapezoid shapes, and I zigzagged elastic onto the seam allowance at the waist.  I made a quick muslin out of an old bedsheet, to check I didn't need a zip (I didn't, yay!)

Hands on hips pose:


Neckline pleats, with sweet 1960s horse pendant:

On the roll, showing reason a waist seam was needed, unless I wanted a mid calf length or maxi dress, which I didn't:

So, what have you all been up to?  *Whistles, tries to distract from own slackness*

Monday, March 11, 2013

More travel wardrobe

 How is it that it has been so long between postings? It's not like we haven't been sewing, just not posting - how remiss!

I'm off to Europe at the end of March so of course I've been tripfit sewing. You'd think that by now I'd have the perfect combo of clothes but making / sourcing a new wardrobe just seems to be part of the planning.

I'm going for all of April. The trip includes Bangkok, London, Reykjavik in Iceland, Edinburgh, Germany (Berlin, Cologne and other bits to be determined) and Paris, with average temperature in Bangkok 35c (95F) and Iceland 0-5c (32-41F). So it's an interesting challenge to keep it to carry on - under 10kg (22lb) so there will be lots of layering going on, with various silk and merino underlayers going in the case and a cardigan and wrap or two.

I'm finding Pinterest very handy for planning - you can add and subtract outfits and bits and pieces (although still no ability to move the pics around which is a little frustrating). I'm taking a couple of existing pieces (leopardskin frock - either this one, or this) and some assorted plain tops.

I've been looking at Metalicus clothing because The Fabric Store has a roll of their standard black knit. I did try some of their clothes on but lets just say 'one size fits all' is never true... so I thought I'd try making my own so I don't get mistaken for a sausage in Germany.

Anyway, the knit is opaque but not too thick, and no need for ironing of course. So I've made a dress, a wrap cardigan, and a black pencil skirt (not shown because, well, it's a pencil skirt...). I used New Look 6735 to make the long cardigan as well, but I don't have a picture of that. Not that these pics are that detaily, black will do that of course. The t-shirt top in the pattern is great with a really nice banded neckline - I just did a simple lengthening to make it into a dress.

knit dress - New Look 6735 top
extended into dress

New Look 6149 - Knit Top

I also made a version of McCalls 6163 - I left the collar off and put a 2.5cm band on the neckline.
I made this out of a lovely silk jersey I got at Rathdowne Fabrics a month or so ago. Very soft and drapey and folds up nice and small, and silk jersey feels so luxurious to travel in.

McCalls knit dresses 6163  
As usual I'm struggling with sewing for cool weather when it is hot - that glow you see on my head up there is the sun, it's been a record run of hot days here - over 30c (86F) for over a week, which is unusual for March as we are meant to be moving into Autumn. It's too hot in my sewing room after 11am so I've just been doing morning sewing.

Roll on Reykjavik!