Showing posts from 2014

Traps for players - and the resulting GIVEAWAY!!!

A couple of weeks ago I was idly clicking through the Book Depository website, paying special attention to the sewing books section (as you do) when I came across this:
         Sew your own stylish clothes with this fabulous Japanese sewing book. Are you a DIY sewer,            with a passion for Japanese style? Look no further, "Happy Homemade: Sew Chic" is the                    Japanese Sewing book you've been waiting for--all new simple and timeless creations of                      Yoshiko Tsukiori, popular Japanese fashion designer and author of "The Stylish Dress Book,"             now available in English in the United States. "Happy Homemade: Sew Chic" features 20                   flexible sewing patterns that boast authentic Japanese style created simply--by you. Etc. etc…

I immediately sat up in my chair. This was up my alley! I already have The Stylish Dress Book and Happy Homemade Treasured Collection No, 1 by the same author, and real…

MBM - Liesl + Co Bento Tee

After making the Liesl + Co Girl Friday culottes I was in need of tops to go with them. First, I made a Grainline Scout Woven Tee in batik . And now I’ve made another Liesl  + Co pattern, the recently released Bento tee. I didn’t put much creative thought into fabric selection for this one. Here’s my tee:

Here’s the Liesl + Co pattern photograph:

Spot the difference! Not a lot. Bloggers will recognise this fabric as the Tessuti Jaywalk fabric from their competition earlier this year. That fabric went everywhere, didn’t it? And why not? A good quality knit in classic stripe for a great price. You can’t go wrong. I bought four metres and wish I'd bought more. Anyway, this stripe is made for this design. I cut according to my bust measurement on this, and didn’t do an FBA as is normal. There was plenty of ease there to accommodate my bust. I graded out at size for my waist and hip. I also didn’t lengthen, which is what I usually do.

With the Girl Friday culottes
The tee is a bit diff…

A bit of a book review - Gertie Sews Vintage Casual

The other day I saw Gretchen Hirsch’s new book “Gertie Sews Vintage Casual” (GSVC)  in the window of my local craft shop, Sew and Tell. And well, as is often the case with sewing books, I had to buy it even though I’m not that into vintage. Well, my reasoning is that I need to make sure Sew and Tell knows there is a market for these books locally, so they keep stocking I can buy them. This is purely selfless, I’m doing the local sewing community a service. Seriously. “Gertie Sews Vintage Casual” (GSVC) has the same, format, look and structure as the Gertie’s first book “Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing” (GNNBS) . A spiral bound book, in two parts. The first part focuses on inspiration, fabric information, and skills. GSVC has a chapter on knits, as there are three knit patterns in this volume. The second part covers the patterns: eight in all, with instructions on how to vary your pattern to achieve different looks. Here’s a rundown of what you get for your money, pattern…

MBM - Sewaholic Patterns Yaletown, the blouse version

This is a wearable muslin for a dress I had in mind for wedding guest wear. More on that later. First
to the pattern.

This is the latest pattern from Sewaholic. It is a faux wrap dress, with elastic waist, flutter sleeves and tie belt.
I liked the soft silhouette, great for a garden wedding I thought. And I do enjoy a flutter sleeve (I used to work with a boss who never  “liked” something. He always “enjoyed” it. This unusual example of English usage has lodged itself into my brain, and resurfaces every so often, even after 17 years). The fabric is a silk/cotton blend I bought in Cabramatta a long time ago. It was cheap, from what I remember. It’s been sitting in the stash, because I was never quite sure how to wear that pink-and-red print. Anyway, it’s cheapness makes it a perfect wearable muslin candidate. I cut an 8 at bust, grading to a 12 at waist and hip. I did a 1” FBA, using the Sandra Betzina “pop” technique which does away with the resulting dart from more usual FBA method…

Rerun - Grainline Scout Woven Tee, in batik

Even though I should be cracking on with a wedding guest outfit, my Liesl + Co Girl Friday culottes have caused me to veer off the planned course in the quest of tops to go with them. That, and the fact that I’d recently purchased a remnant of batik that I was itching to make up. I love ethnic prints and the colour of this batik was perfect for the culottes.

This is a rerun of the Grainline classic Scout Woven Tee. I’ve made two I’ve written about before here and here.
The batik was a sizeable remnant. I probably could have squeezed some sleeves out of the remnant too, but decided to go with contrast sleeves. The sleeves are from the dregs of a lovely drapey cotton chambray I’ve used here, here and here. I only have shards of this fabric left, but am holding on to them. Even as shards, it is too nice to toss. There is not much to say about the Scout that I haven’t already said. As the sewing blog world well knows, it’s a great basic, and I’m pretty happy with the fit I’ve developed…

MBM - Liesl +Co Girl Friday Culottes

It is not normal for me to see a new pattern, purchase it, and clear the sewing queue to make it immediately. But this is what I did with Liesl + Co Girl Friday Culottes pattern recently released. It was with a start that I realised that I last owned a pair of culottes, pretty similar to these, 25 years ago.  I loved those culottes. I wore them to the office. I wore them on the weekend. I wore them on the first date with my husband on December 2, 1989. I loved how the fullness  looked  feminine , but I could also do stuff in them, like run for the bus and sit on the grass in Hyde Park (Sydney) in the sun at lunchtime. Ah, yes, I still have a soft spot for culottes which I didn’t realise I had until I saw this pattern. So, this is a nostalgia make, big time. This is my second Liesl + Co make and I have to say (not counting a Lisette Traveler dress) I am impressed with their draft and the instructions. 


Culottes, gotta love ém, you can do this in them:

Getting on a horse –…

MBM - Named Clothing Cameron Flare Pants

My plans in July were to make a pant suit by the end of August. Didn't make that deadline, sadly.  Still managed to complete the pant suit a few weeks ago, the blogging has taken a while, yes!
The pattern I chose was Named Clothing Cameron Flare Pants, because my fabric, a wool/rayon blend, has a lot of drape, and I was looking for a pattern to show this off.

Named Clothing Cameron Flare Pants, with dachshund on patrol
Same pants, this time dachshund is on sentry duty
This was my first foray into working with Named Clothing.  As a newcomer to Named Clothing patterns, here are some things you might find useful to know: This pattern (and from what I can gather reading reviews of other Named Patterns their other patterns) is drafted for a height of 5’8” (I am 5’9”). Instead of adding 7cm as normal, I only added 2.5cm length, and could probably have gotten away with not adding length at all, as the pattern is designed to be worn with “Sky high heels”.1cm seam allowances used throughout. …

MBM - McCalls 6441, princess line, zip front jacket

It’s been a while since my last post. After making some big plans in July, it has been a winter of sewing discontent around here. I did not make my deadline to make a jacket, pants and blouse for a lunch at the end of August. About a month ago, I came down with a weird virus thingy that hasn’t been bad enough to send me to bed or take sick days, but has been bad enough to have me choosing an early night over the sewing machine most nights. So progress has been slow. And in the end, I felt too under the weather to haul myself to Sydney for a lunch, so I cancelled anyway. So where were we.. oh yes, McCalls 6441. After my last hissy fit of a post,  I poked around the net to see if I could come up with another pattern, so I could boot McCalls 6441 out. Then I gave myself a good talking to, and told myself to woman up! Was I going to let myself be defeated by a paper pattern just because McCalls didn’t use/forgot to use/forgot how to use a measuring tape in making their finished pattern m…

Encounters with McCalls' quixotic definition of acceptable ease

Well, let me say upfront that I am one unhappy sewist.
Over the last week, I've been working on a muslin for McCalls 6441:

I have spent hours of my life I will never get back, and it's been a waste of time as far as I can tell.
The problem:  that chestnut, the unusual definition of ease adopted by the Big 4 pattern companies.

Pictures tell a story, here are two that say it all.
I'm pinching out a good six inches there are at the waist. Ridiculous.

And the back is completely out of control.
And this is the muslin for what is described as a "close fitting" jacket. Sorry, but I find this completely unacceptable.
I am the first to admit that I am no expert when it comes to fitting. But I am not a beginner either. I don't think this is the result of a mistake I've made.
For info, I traced a 14 at the bust according to my high bust measurement, then graded out to an 18 at waist and hip. (I did an FBA.)My measurements at waist and hip place me between 16 and 18,…

MBM - Sewaholic Minoru jacket

Like thousands of others since 2012, I made a Sewaholic Minoru jacket. More importantly, for the first time, I made a lined jacket. I did it! Go me.

The Minoru has been a very popular pattern since its release. A scan of reviews on-line show that there are no major issues in the draft of the pattern, and there is good feedback overall.  So although I had never attempted a lined jacket before, I felt I was on solid ground giving this pattern a crack.
First of all, the fabric: a good-quality baby wale stretch corduroy I bought at Paron Fabrics in New York in 2012. The cord is lovely, just the sort of fabric I like to wear and feel in winter. I wish I could have bought more.  

The lining is some sort of stretch something I bought in Cabramatta in my very early days of sewing. I bought it, then looked at that print, and thought “what in heck will I make out of that?”. Well, it took a while but here it is. The zip is also from New York, ordered on-line from Zipperstop to be precise. Thank…