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Showing posts from 2015

MBM - Colette Patterns Laurel, in lace

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Back in August a friend of mine sent a “save the date” email for her 50th birthday party in October. Anticipating a glam event, as my friend enjoys a bit of glam, I thought, “Excellent! Finally a reason to make that Laurel in lace that’s been hanging around the sewing queue for a while, because I’ve not had a reason to sew it”. Unfortunately, when we received the official invitation, a week before the party, I found out it was to be an Australian themed costume party. Sigh.  So, here’s the story of the lace Laurel, the dress with no place to go (yet). I made my first Laurel back in February. I was pretty happy with the fit, which gave me the headspace to deal with sewing with lace and polyester double georgette underlining for the first time. I cut out the underlining first, marking the darts. I then sewed a narrow hem on the front and back pieces, attempting to use my narrow hem foot. The trouble with me and the narrow hem foot is that I only use it every so often, so every time I …

MBM - Style Arc Pearl Knit top

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The Style Arc Pearl top was one of their freebies from a few months ago. It caught my eye as something a bit different, even though it’s not something I’d normally wear. The fabric is a viscose jersey I purchased at Tessuti a year or so ago. The colour reminds me of Dijon mustard. It has a good drape for this top. This is a not too demanding sew, but there were a few tricky bits:
 There is a bit of fabric origami going on there with the drapey pocket. Putting it together is not too difficult though. Just follow the directions literally, and try not to overthink it. The most difficult bit is getting a nice corner in the middle of the top. That took a bit of doing. I had another case of twisting knits doing the hem on this. I guess hemming on the bias was the culprit. The front hem was ok, maybe because it was in two pieces. The back hem though: that twisted quite a bit and took a few goes to get right. I ignored my sewing mantra “To avoid sewing regret, make an FBA” because I was just…

MBM - Style Arc Kate, with long sleeves this time

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A quick post for a quick sew: the Style Arc Kate dress, made before here. At the time I made the first version of Kate, I was pretty sure I’d be making at least another one. It’s taken this long mainly because I hadn’t seen the right fabric in 18 months. However the moment I clapped eyes on this fuchsia stretch poly crepe in Spotlight, I knew I had found it. A couple of small variations on the first version:  I sewed long sleeves on this one, but without the tucks above the wrist the pattern is designed with. The thought of making nice even tucks in a slinky knit was enough to make my eyes cross. And tucks on that part of the sleeve don’t make a lot of sense to me anyway. I also used the Vilene tearaway specified to sew and stabilise the neckline and wrap edge of the dress this time. It was only $2 a metre from the Tessuti website, and well worth seeking out. Other than that, there were no fit changes on this dress at all, not even length, which is unheard of for me. From my experi…

MBM - Style Arc Tessa pants and a Planfrew/Rentain

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A pattern for a pair of elastic waist pants wouldn’t interest me much ordinarily, as it is a pretty simple draft to make your own pattern if you have a pant block, which I do. The blurb for Style Arc’s Tessa pant piqued my interest though with this pitch: "The pants have an elastic waist with little fullness to allow them to sit flat when on the body" I’ve made a few self drafted elastic waist pants, and the puffiness around the waist is a bit of a thing, so I decided to see if the Tessa draft was an improvement. I made two fit changes to the pattern. The main one is to add about 5cm to the back crotch hook. This alteration is a standard one on pants for me. It is the key to getting a comfortable fit around the back, but the downside is that the inside back leg is always substantially longer than the inner front leg, and so requires careful easing. This can sometimes be a bit fraught, depending on the fabric I'm sewing with. However, I was flipping through some old Aust…

MBM - Style Arc Cosy Cardi

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One of the most worn items of clothing in my wardrobe is a RTW  light wool cardi, that after seven years of constant  wear even I had to admit, was looking pretty sad. I have been in denial about this for a while, because I love that cardigan. There’s nothing special about it stylewise- just a V-neck cardi that hit me below the hip, but always seemed to be in the equation on cool-ish days. So I had to replace it, but unlike seven years ago, I now have the skills to make one. I used some merino knit I bought at the Fabric Store a month or two ago.  For the pattern, I chose Style Arc’s Cosy Cardi which is a near-identical pattern to my RTW version.   The only difference is that the RTW cardi has a button band, whereas the Style Arc has a facing that is topstitched down. I compared the measurements of the pattern to my RTW cardi. They were almost identical, except for the pattern being longer in body and sleeve, which was fine by my calculation. So I decided to cut this pattern with not…

MBM - another Sewaholic Granville in Liberty

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After making two previous Granvilles here and here, I felt confident enough to make yet another Granville with  some Liberty cotton I’d bought at the last Tessuti online sale in late June. Unfortunately, that purchase wasn’t quite what I’d hoped, as sometimes happens with online shopping. The colour of the fabric on the monitor looked orangey. When it arrived, it was more pink – not a colour that I wear a lot of. Disappointing, as even at sale prices, Liberty isn’t cheap.  (That order was ill-starred, as I also ordered a length of linen in a colour described as “Denim”. The colour on the monitor looked mid-blue. The colour denim Tessuti was thinking about when they named this linen was a sky-blue . Sigh.) Anyway, the pinkish Liberty grew on me, so I proceeded with the Granville. I’d love to say that on the third try, this Granville came together quickly and easily. It did not. The light and airy Liberty cotton was more difficult to deal with that either the cotton or linen I had used…

MBM - Style Arc Misty Pull-on Jean

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To tell you truth,  the idea of Style Arc's Misty Pull-On Jean didn't excite me at first. I read "Pull-on jean"and thought "jeggings", then wondered if someone at my time of life was doing themselves a huge favour by wearing them.   Then again, as someone whose waist measurement is capable of expanding and contracting alarmingly  as I watch, the elasticised waist has it’s attractions.  Then Style Arc offered the pattern bundled with the appropriate yardage of stretch bengaline and elastic for only $30. I figured if I hated them, I would have invested time but  not too much money… First off I was impressed by the feel of the bengaline. I’d read good things about Style Arc bengaline, and I wasn’t disappointed. I’ve only sewn Spotlight bengaline before, and this one had a much nicer hand. And the petrol colour I had chosen was pretty close to what I expected.
Worn with Grainline Scout Woven Tee, blogged here and Simplicity 2603, made pre-blog
The yardage prov…

Fabric stashing

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For someone who thinks that one of the best bits of the whole sewing caper is hanging about in fabric stores, it is very sad that in the last 18 months or so I have barely been in one. That is apart from the odd purchase from Spotlight, which to my mind doesn't count. Which tells you a bit about the ambivalent attitude I have to that store.
Anyway, it has come to pass that in the last two weeks I have been to Sydney twice, and have managed fabric store visits on both occasions. And here is the best bit - these forays into fabric stores have been sans offspring. Amazing.
Before I went shopping I made a mental list of what I really needed:

Bottom weight fabrics - I'd just about come to the bottom of the stash here.Knits, as always Denim - I really want to make both jeans and a denim jacket, so this was a priority.
In addition, I gave myself a stern talking to and told myself to stay away from:

Big floral printsCotton sateenSilksAnything obviously destined for formal wear
In short,…

MBM - Sewaholic Granville, Version 2

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After my first go at the Sewaholic Granville shirt, I thought it would be a good idea to consolidate some of the shirtmaking techniques I had picked up by making another fairly quickly. I’ve also enjoyed wearing the first Granville, so I had to have another one, soon. And so, here it is.. I was pretty happy with the fit of the first one, so made no fit changes. The only issue I wanted to address was the slight constriction I felt around my bent elbow. This is after adding 4cm in width between bicep and elbow, which seemed to give me plenty of ease. Maybe my elbows are unusually broad. Maybe my arms do weird things when I bend my elbow? Whatever. I cut the sleeve on the bias to facilitate a bit more “give” in the elbow area. It’s a trick I picked up on a Pattern Review course quite a while ago, and it works a treat. You have to be a bit careful handling the pieces as you do with any bias cut piece. And I can see in the picture below  that there is a slight "step" between the…

MBM - Liesl + Co Bento Tee, sweatshirt version

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A simple sweatshirt today. A couple of months ago I bought a few metres of some nylon/merino sweatshirting from The Fabric Store to make some  trackie pants to play tennis in on chilly winter Wednesday nights.  They are a bit too TBTB – too boring to blog –elastic waist pants, what’s to say? I’m stumped, but here’s what I’ve done with the extra fabric: As I was considering my pattern  options, Lara blogged the sweatshirt variation of Liesl + Co’s Bento Tee recently. It’s easy to forget – L+Co don’t show the sweatshirt option made up at all, it’s only there when you look at the line drawings. I’ve made the Bento Tee twice before here and here, so had a fair idea of the fit I was going to get. For this sweatshirt, I made a few minor design changes: I cut the back in one piece, not two, and lengthened it to get a high/low hemline happening. I also made splits in the side seams. The only fit change I made was to lengthen the sleeve by 5cm. It wasn’t until after I cut out the shirt, that…

MBM - Sewaholic Granville fitted shirt

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Every day is Casual Friday in  my job. In winter, this means I normally wear jeans, a long sleeve t-shirt and jacket of some sort. It wasn’t long before I started to think of the long sleeve shirt option as a way of mixing things up a bit. I haven’t had much history with the long-sleeve shirt in my wardrobe, in either the me-made or RTW form. Well, nothing at all in the me-made form.  I bought three classic long sleeved shirts from Thomas Pink in London in the mid nineties. I still have them, but rarely  never wear them, despite the wonderful fabric and finish, and the classy French cuffs. Their shape decrees they be tucked in, and being of the short waisted persuasion, I’ve never felt all that comfortable with tucked in tops, even when I was at my skinniest. I bought the Grainline Archer when it first came out, but haven’t gone there because on reflection I decided I really needed a fitted shirt . The boxy cut of the Archer wouldn’t be all that a great a look on my Cello body type, …

Breaking a sewing drought - Measure Twice Cut Once Darcy boxers x 2

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So I’ve had a little hiatus from the blog for various reasons: a)            Holidays! b)            A month long breakdown in my internet connection (egh, don’t get me started on that one – hello Skymesh and the NBN!!), which had me reduced to reading blogs on my phone. And while I was reading blogs, I wasn’t commenting much either– I find typing on my phone something I only do under sufferance. And I always have to find my glasses to do it anyway. Which I keep losing. c)           I readily admit that (b) is a bit of a furphy, really, because even if I did having a working internet connection, I wouldn't have much content to post due to a persistent  sewing fog settling over the last few months.  I’ve endeavoured to lift this lately with a an easy boxer short make for each the teenagers.
I used Measure Twice, Cut Once’s Darcy boxer pattern to make a pair of boxers each for my son and daughter.
You can see Maria Denmark Olivia muscling in on the right of the photograph


This is a …

MBM - Burdastyle 09-2011-128, in Liberty print

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A couple of years ago, I made Burdastyle 09-2011-128, a sleeveless blouse with neckline pleats in cotton pique. I didn’t wear it much, but over the past few months, it suddenly makes sense in my wardrobe.  I’ve been wearing it a lot and I don’t know why.  Has this ever happened to you? Anyway, it was time to make another..
Some random thoughts on this make: ·This project reminded me of one reason I keep a blog. There was no record anywhere of what I encountered in making the first blouse. I didn’t even keep the pattern pieces, which is uncharacteristic of me. I was starting from scratch, albeit with a finished blouse to refer to.
·Going on my hazy memory and the fit of the first blouse, I made an FBA, and slashed and spread the back and front to deal with a slightly high armseye.
·This pattern is drafted very long. The photo in Burdastyle shows the model with this blouse  tucked in. Where all that fabric is going, I have no idea.


·I didn’t have enough fabric to add a 4cm hem, so I did wi…

MBM - Colette Patterns Laurel in Tuscan Print

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Want to know how to kickstart a flagging sewing mojo?  Simple. Enrol in a course of non-sewing study, that has a steady stream of assessments. Then watch how irresistible the pull of the sewing machine becomes. Eureka! Sewing mojo found! This Tuscany dress project has been on the to-do list for quite a while, and uses both pattern and fabric that have been in the stash for even longer. Naturally, given I had two assessments due on the same day last week, I had to make this dress IMMEDIATELY. The Tuscan border print cotton was purchased from Gorgeous Fabrics in 2009. I love Italian painted pottery, and this print reminds me of that.   I made 02-2011-101 from Burdastyle in this fabric in pre-blog days. I only wore the dress once, enough time for me to realise I look ridiculous in a dirndl skirt. What was I thinking, seriously! I unpicked it, and scavenged the zip for this dress. The Colette Patterns Laurel was purchased on its release in 2013. I muslined it at the time, but put aside …

MBM - Simplicity 1419

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Well this make has had a bit of a tortured history, let me tell you. I’ll try and keep it brief. This project started with my daughter Amelia pointing out the Fit and Flare Halter dress, a variation on the shift dress in Gertie Sews Vintage Casual, as a dress she would like for Christmas. This is the dress in question. This shift dress is redrafted to make this "fit and flare"dress:


I was kind of keen to make this project after I had written a review of GSVC on the blog, and was on the fence about it, reserving judgement until I’d actually made one of the patterns. Here was the opportunity to put it to the test. Well, I found trying to convert a French darted shift dress into a dress with a fitted bodice and half circle skirt proved way more problematic than I needed just before Christmas.  I wrestled with it for  a while with little progress. Before too long,  I cut my losses and binned the muslin. The final verdict on GSVC will just have to wait. I reckon I can pinpoint th…