Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Sewaholic Yaletown

I can't think of a fancy title for this post, so tough, you're getting a title telling you what it's about. Call a spade a spade me...

So if you haven't guessed, I've made up the Sewaholic Yaletown. I bought the pattern not long after it was released. I just took a while to find the fabric to make it up. During my successful trip to The Fabric Store where I got my Pretty Flamingo fabric from my last post, I also got this blue crepe. The fabric is perfect for this dress, it has a great drape, but, it was a nightmare to sew!

OK, so where to start. I decided to cut a 14, mainly based on my body measurements. The dress is meant to be loose-fitting, so this seemed the best size. I think in hindsight I'd have done better to cut a 12. It's ended up quite loose-fitting! I didn't make up a muslin, it didn't seem worth it for a make like this.

The pattern is a really easy make. It's certainly not difficult and Tasia's instructions are so clear.

I hemmed the sleeves with a rolled hem. Just check this out!

Slight cheating. I was going to hand sew the rolled hem, but that looked awful. So I decided to try something I'd done before. Fold over the hem about 1cm, then sew a short narrow zig-zag stitch so that it just catches the edge of the fold. Trim the excess fabric when done and, voila - one perfectly rolled hem. [Yes I know I could have done it on my overlocker, but I didn't have blue thread for it and really just wanted to get it done!]

All the seams are straight stitched on my regular machine and then overlocked to finish them.

This was the finished dress! Just a wee bit big.

Checking with my WSBN guys the suggestion was that as well as too big, the bodice was too long. So I unpicked the waist seam, took out the elastic. I straightened off the side seams of the bodice, which meant I had to loosely gather the skirt onto the bodice before I attached it again, shortening the bodice by an inch. This has helped the "blousing" effect slightly, but I think it's still a wee bit too big.

The waistband is really easy to deal with. It's stitched with a normal seam allowance, then that is pressed down and stitched again to form a casing for elastic - great for those large meals! Or even high tea, which was the first outing for this dress!

I might catch the wrap front down so that it lies flatter. At the moment I think it gapes, but I'm looking down on it, it might not look like that from the front.

However, one great thing - it's a wrap dress that's drafted really well and doesn't gape when I lean forward!

And... it has pockets!

The details...
Fabric:  Blue polyester(?) crepe from The Fabric Store, August 2014.
Notions:  Thread, elastic and interfacing
Pattern:  Sewaholic Yaletown View A
First worn:  High tea at James Cook Hotel with some lovely sewing friends last Sunday

Worn with:  Shoes from Overland (quickly becoming my fave shoe store!)
Changes made:  I straighten up the bodice and shortened it by about an inch (2.5cm)
Another one/Recommend?  I certainly recommend the pattern, it's well drafted and quick/easy to make up. I wasn't thinking I'd make another one, but I've got some fabric which would make a great Yaletown blouse, so perhaps I might and cut a smaller size!

Thanks to Jenna who wielded my big girls camera along Lambton Quay on Sunday by the fab Invisible City sculpture, where in theory anything is possible when a friend is just snapping away...

I'm happy though, this is a great dress and makes me feel really girly as the fabric just drapes so well!

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Pretty flamingo

I made this in December and haven't got around to photos. Well you know, life. Sorry, not sorry.

I saw the fabric in The Fabric Store last August and knew straight away how I wanted to make it up. It was just one of those fabrics which spoke to me straight away.

After the success of my teal Pendrell, I've been meaning to make another one for some time. I originally intended to make view A as before, but then decided that was feeling lazy and really couldn't face making up that double sleeve with the pleats - as cute as it looks! View B is just too frilly for me, I'm just not into all those gathered layers, so found inspiration from this blogger when I was looking at various Pendrell images on the Interweb. That decided it, View B without the top gathered frill. It was the perfect choice.

I decided the size of my previous Pendrell was a wee bit too big. I really should go with my instincts and trust the pattern sizing. I think last time I cut halfway between the 14 and 16, then ended up taking in the side seams so they were 3/4" seam allowance. This time I cut it the same and ended up sewing 3/4" Princess seams and 5/8" side seams. I'm sure I could possibly still take it in more, or possibly just cut a straight 14. The fit is certainly better this time though.

There's not really a lot else to say, it went together really quickly, it helps having made a pattern before! The seams this time were finished on my overlocker - I love my new Baby (Lock)!

So that's about it, I'll let the photos do the talking this time!

The details...
Fabric:  Flamingo printed cotton voile from The Fabric Store, August 2014.
Notions:  Thread.
Pattern:  Sewaholic Pendrell View B
First worn:  Actually when I went on a wee jaunt to Sydney before Christmas, but worn here between Christmas and New Year, on the beach at Mt Maunganui, near Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty.

Worn with:  A RTW skirt I got from Kathmandu (an outdoor store here in NZ)
Changes made:  I left off the top frill and also shortened it by about 3/4 inches.
Another one/Recommend?  I certainly recommend the pattern, it's well drafted and quick/easy to make up. I think I will probably make another one for the reasons above and I've got some lovely Thai silk that would look fabulous as View A!

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Anna and Victoria go to tea

Look! I made a jacket (oh and another dress)!!

The jacket is the By Hand London Victoria blazer. I've not made a jacket and really needed a light jacket for the summer. This was intended to be a wearable muslin and I think it worked.

The pattern is actually really easy to put together. It is designed to be relaxed and has a LOT of ease. There is about 9" (18cm) of ease around the bust, so I decided to go down a size, which would give me about 7" of ease.

The problem I had was my old lady arms which are obviously larger than they need to be. I ended up with tight sleeves and had to let them out a wee bit. I managed to let out the seam by about 3/8" which has helped, but it's not ideal.

A couple of things I don't agree with, the patterns states that there's no need to finish the seams on the lining or shell, I've overlocked the seams to the shell and the lining has French seams. I just feel as if I've made an effort doing this. I don't like throwing things together!

The jacket doesn't have a facing, the lining is attached to the edge of the jacket and the collar is attached to that. My fabric choice means that it doesn't lay very flat. I need to steam the whatsits out of it so it will lay flatter. I might even stick a couple of catch stitches in too.

As to my fabric choice... Ha ha, well the black shell is actually an old long black concert skirt of mine which I grew out of a few years ago. I decided it was perfect to try out this pattern. There wasn't enough to cut the back piece on the fold, so I gave it a centre back seam. I don't think this detracts from the jacket at all, in fact I really like it! I think the black fabric is a kind of viscose. It does crease, I have to use a warm iron, not a hot iron to press it and erm (no I haven't done a burn test on the remains! The lining is a shot purple/blue lining fabric which I used to make a Simplicity jumper dress about a month ago (not get blogged about). So it's all made from leftovers! My kinda make.

Ha ha, this was the only photo I could find of the original skirt. This was the early 90s!

Next time, I think I'll have a play around to make the sleeves bigger and also line the sleeves. I don't really like attaching the lining to the armholes and I honestly think they would better lined. I'm not convinced by the cuffs either. They are attached with a French seam to the sleeve and personally I think my fabric has ended up making these a bit bulky. I might consider a different way another time.

Lining finished by hand to the bottom of the back and attached to the armhole

As for the dress... I really don't think this needs much more introduction. It's another Anna dress. With the V-neck front. I forgot to lengthen the bodice and it really could do with an extra half inch, but I'm quite happy with it. I have noticed though that where the boat neck version fits nicely, the v-neck bodice has a tendency to gape. Anyway, this is the 3rd time I've made the dress as a whole and the fourth time I've made the bodice up (one bodice made for my Gabrianna dress). I just love this pattern, It's great if you're feeling a bit meh and can't be bothered, as it's quick and easy to make up and is so easy to fit.

The details...
Blazer - Viscose? from an old black concert skirt. Lining left over from another make, but from Fabric Warehouse
Dress - Cotton from Fabric Warehouse early November (it didn't make it to stash!)
Notions:   Thread, and a zip and some interfacing for the dress.
Pattern:  By Hand London Victoria Blazer and By Hand London Anna Dress
First worn:  Sunday to the WSBN 2nd birthday party at Martha's Pantry in Wellington, photos taken by Mel

Worn with:  Sandals from Mischief a couple of years ago.
Changes made: 
Blazer - I actually shortened the long length jacket by 3 inches (lack of fabric!) and put a centre back seam again because of a lack of fabric. I didn't put any pockets in the side seams. Otherwise no changes made and I also followed the instructions properly!
Dress - Just realigned the front pleats and shortened them to fit me better. Otherwise no changes.
Another one?
Blazer - This was always intended to be a wearable muslin, so I'm pretty tempted to. It's a really comfy jacket to wear, but next time I will possibly make the sleeves better.
Dress - I should think so, I love this pattern! Surely the fact I've made so many says something?

And I've realised I've managed to make something else in time for The Monthly Stitch challenge!

Current Challenge: November

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Papercut circles - I'm in love

This was the first Papercut Pattern I've made and I have to say I'm besotted with this one.

Papercut Patterns are designed and made here in NZ and I can't really believe it's taken me this long to make one up. There will be more Papercut in the future, I promise! Papercut love has made it to this blog!

If you haven't already guessed, this is their circle top and I made up two in pretty quick succession...

It's so clever how Katie has drafted this, but conversely the pattern is so simple, a big circle cut on the fold with two holes for sleeves, two sleeves, two cuffs and strips for the binding around the edge. That is it.

Attaching the sleeves is not a problem. I think the hardest part is actually trying to get the binding around the edge tidy, but fortunately with the knit fabrics it's not obvious that I've not made the best job!

That's about all I really have to say. The first one I made from this purple and black merino which I got from the Fabric Warehouse pop-up store. I made this true to the pattern. I find the cuffs a bit deep for me, but it's still a fab top to wear. I love the way the stripes work!

I think it was only about a week later and I happened to be in the Fabric Warehouse - again - oops! I found this mustard/lime green wool. This fabric is so thick and warm. It's lovely. This one, I made the cuffs not so deep and I'm much happier with them that way. This second one went together in an afternoon, all except finishing the binding.

I was invited down to sew it at Kat's and she let me use her overlocker! At the time, I'd never used one and it was such an eye-opener. I loved it. It was so quick and easy for the knit fabric and this pattern. All I needed to do here at home was finish off the binding! Easy, peasy!! But a warning, that binding takes a long time! I think nearly as long to attach that as it does to make the rest of the top!

The details...
  1. Purple and black striped merino from Fabric Warehouse pop-up shop (November 2013)
  2. Lime green merino wool from Fabric Warehouse, September 2014, this didn't make it to stash!
Notions:   Thread
Pattern:  Papercut Circle top

Changes made:  I made a change to the second circle top to make the cuff shorter. This was just personal preference on my part. On the first one, I top stitched the cuffs down using my double needle to give a tidier finish.

Worn with:
  1. Purple and black striped merino circle top, cream Renfrew, RTW skirt from M&S (UK), black tights, Everybody pumps (photos taken by Kat sometime in August on Mt Vic)
  2. Lime green wool circle top, pink and green shirt (not blogged about but made last February with my culottes), purple Gabriola, green shoes from Overland

Another one?  Well I've got two of these now, but they are such an easy make, so I'm tempted. I'll see where the mood takes me! I've got a white knit downstairs which I reckon will be perfect for a summery evening one...
Recommend:  Oh yes, if you want an easy top to make which can be worn anywhere this is your answer. They are so easy to make and wear. I'm also so happy with how much in my wardrobe these both go with - who says black goes with everything?

And I can do this with these tops too :-)


Thursday, 30 October 2014

Crazy Cat meets acid!

I blame this all on Mel. She saw the post on Miss Crayola Creepy's blog and convinced us (the WSBN) that it would be a great thing to do in a group.

Well you know sewing and cats seem to go together well and lots of us have kitties which try to stop us sewing by sitting on fabric, dragging balls of wool all over the house, etc. And so, the WSBN Crazy Cat lady challenge was born. [A wee bit of artistic licence allows us to add the word "Crazy"...] A date was chosen and... oh, we'd booked to go away! :-( Was that going to stop me? Never! So to cut a long story short, the Crazy Acid Cat skirt was born!

I bought this fabric from MrsC's shop Made Marion. It's a kind of fine cotton twill, so quite stiff, but presses like a dream. I knew straight away after seeing the fabric how to make it up.

Originally I toyed with the idea of drafting my own skirt from my pencil skirt block, but then Fabric-a-Brac happened. The perfect place for old patterns. I spied two A-line skirt patterns and nabbed them both. Well at 50 cents for one and $1 for the other I couldn't really let them go!

In the end I used the Practical Pattern 6568. Has anyone ever heard of this make? The pattern is for a size 12, but I decided I could soon grade it up, it's a long time since my waist was 25.5"! I added an inch to each of the side seams based on the pattern measurements and my own.

There was actually not that much fabric spare. Originally I thought it wouldn't matter what way up the fabric needed to go, but actually it was important...

Spotty cats down or spotty cats up?

Mr N decided the cats looked like they'd been on acid and hence the acid crazy cats were born, he also decided the spotty cats needed to be up.

The skirt was so quick to go together, well lets face it, an A-line skirt with a pleat front isn't really rocket science!! I hardly used the instructions, except for the pleat, just the pattern pieces! That's lazy from me, I could have drafted it myself! I cut this out on the Saturday evening after Fabric-a-Brac and had done all but the buttonhole and hem by the end of Sunday.

I finished the seams with my overlocker, which made life a whole lot easier. For the waistband, I used waistband stiffening. The zip is a lapped zip in the side seam and I added a green button to match the crazy cat eyes on the fabric.

The hem is just finished on the machine. And, er, that's about it.

The deets...
Fabric:  Cotton twill in cream and black with crazy cat pattern from Made Marion September 2014.
Notions:   Thread, a dress zip, waistband stiffening and a button from stash
Pattern:  Practical Pattern 6568, an A-line skirt pattern from Fabric-a-Brac October 2014, which was graded up to fit.
First worn:  Last Friday on the way up to the Forgotten Highway and worn here in New Plymouth on Sunday with a RTW top from Monsoon, UK; green cardi from Glassons and pumps from Overland. Yes, it was windy! [Other photos take on our deck at home when it was slightly less windy, but still windy nonetheless!]

Another one?  I actually am really pleased how this pattern turned out. I had the idea that the style might not suit me much, but it actually looks good and I love wearing the skirt. It's great for windy Wellington weather, as it's not too full and I reckon it'll get year round wear. Woohoo!

Oh and you wanna see where the photos were taken in New Plymouth? Just check out this cool bridge!

Te Rewa Rewa Bridge, New Plymouth