Tuesday, December 29, 2009
So yesterday they arrived at my home all ready to wrap me in a dry cleaners bag and then proceeded to stick framers tape from my neck to my hips (widest part) to create my body form.
After an hour this is what I looked like from the back, the whole body is done but the front is TMI for public viewing, with very sore legs from standing still for so long (please excuse my messy cupboard, DH didn't think to close the door before he took the photo.)
At this stage DS took a measurement of my hip area for reference further on.
This is then cut up the back and you carefully step out of it and then stick the cut back together. This is your opportunity to check that there aren't any thin spots and if so you can put more tape on the inside of the form so as not to distort the outside widths. You then use your hair dryer to dry it is as much as you can.
We then stood the form on a piece of paper and traced around the bottom edge, then took a tape measure on its side and measured around it to make sure that we hadn't added/subtracted any width from the measurement taken above. The template was then cut out and checked to make sure that it fit in the bottom of the form and then a cardboard base was cut out with a hole in the centre for it to be placed on a stand, and then you carefully tape the base to the body form.
Now DM and DD did this for me about 9 years ago and with putting on weight (yes it was intended) and gym work the body has changed a bit so my old "me" wasn't a usable sewing aid for fitting garments.
When I first started sewing I purchased one of the adjustable manequins which just wasn't shaped the way I am, so we discarded the top and this is where my "old" me was hanging around. So we cut off the "old" me (on the floor) and put the "new" me in her place.
My shoulders are sitting on a wooden coat hanger which is attached to the pole. You then roll up newspaper and drop this into the cavity to stop it from collapsing (don't worry the tape drys as hard as a rock, it is more for when you press on it).
My new dress form will come in very handy for the top I am currently making so I had better get back to the sewing room.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
I spent last Saturday at the Alexandria Achievers ASG Group doing a lot of frog stitching and managed to work out how to change this dress to a sleeveless version. It is still not 100% to my liking and instead of rushing it and "just getting it done", I have put it aside this week to restore my sense of achievement.
This is BWOF 05-2008-104 which is the longer version of this top I made in January. My inspiration came from a dress by Phase Eight I saw in a magazine and my fabric is from KnitWit.
As I had already done the pattern alterations for the orange top, I only had to extend the pattern to a dress and trace off the new band to incoporate the buckle that I purchased when we visited Victoria Island in Canada earlier this year.
I cut this fabric out on Friday night and then on Saturday with my sewing buddies I got it up to the hem stage, and then today after DH levelled the hem for me, I hemmed it with my Janome CP 1000 (I had also used this for the hems on the band) and wore it to the Rhodes Fashion Sewers ASG group for their Christmas Lunch. (You read correclty I attended two ASG Groups and sewed with my regular sewing buddies this month.)
This knit has more stretch than the top I made so the neckline is a bit lower than I normally wear and it did take me quite a few tries to find a necklace that worked, and I can see that I need to find one similar to the one they have pictured with the inspiration dress.
Here is the view from back once I got home.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
I have had my eye on this Dolly Mamas pattern for quite some time as it is my DDS all over. I finally bit the bullet and stitched it for her for her birthday this year.
My local framer did a fantastic job of framing it for me. He used the hot pink in her skirt as the first mat and then black as the larger one with a black frame. Unfortunately the photos that I took had too much reflection and I had to get it in the post to reach DDS for her birthday.
I got a very excited phone call the day of her birthday to say that she loved it and it was so correct, then I had to admit it was supposed to be for last year's birthday LOL.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
This is one of my favourite fabric shops in Sydney and there is always something there to tempt me.
Whilst wandering around I heard a "Sharon" and turned around and Sandra (who was also signed up for the "Go Chanel Go Home Sewalong") introdued herself. We had been emailing each other about our Chanel jackets as we had both purchased the exact same fabric for our jackets at The Fabric Store. Needless to say Sandra's Chanel jacket is a lot further progessed than mine.
It was so nice to meet up with someone that you have blogged/emailed with and the fact that we fell right into chatting about fabric and what we were going to do, was such a treat and reinforces even more to me that the friendships that are created in the internet world are wonderful.
Now do you want to guess what colour I purchased?
This is a Japanese cotton that I plan to make a top out off and it will go brilliantly with the burgundy wool pants I made in August. I also have enough of the burgundy wool fabric left over for a skirt.
Yes, you guessed right, here is the brown linen and I couldn't pass up this cream linen either.
I've seen a Chanel Inspired jacket and I am really keen to try and get the same sort of look. I ended up with what was left on the roll of the brown linen 4.5m (paid for 4.3) and 1.5 metres of the cream linen.
The plan for the linen is the Jacket (cream with a brown band or brown with a cream band), a simple sleeveless shift dress, pants and a skirt and with careful cutting out maybe a sleeveless shell top.
Now I'm not saying when this will be done, however I am in desparate need of summer clothes so I had better get back to finishing the LBD.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
I arrived around 8am to make sure all was set up and the others slowly followed me. By morning tea we were all there and getting stuck into our various projects.
The Mercure at Parramatta did a fantastic job in feeding us at regular intervals and were happy to assist with some very unusual conference requests e.g. a power board for each table and two irons and ironing boards please.
I chose to start on Vogue 8280 LBD and after doing the toile thought it would be finished that afternoon. How wrong can a girl be!
This is where I am up to after 2 full days of sewing. The wool I used gave me some challenges with easing the back onto to the flange (tighter weave) and there are just so many seams and darts that need pressing and clipping it just didn't seem to stop.
Left to do is:
- insert the sleeves, how come one always goes in with no pain and the other one just wants to fight you every step of the way,
- Finish off the back neckline,
- Hem both the fashion fabric and lining.
Needless to say the blouse didn't even get a look in.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
So far we have been to Panthers at Penrith, Ferndale on the Hawkesbury River and The Mecure Hotel at Pararmatta.
This year we are going back to the Mercure Hotel at Parramatta (right across the road from the Rosehill Races which hosts the Craft Show in August).
We arrive on Saturday morning and sew to our hearts content until Sunday afternoon with food being delivered to us on a regular basis.
I really like to achieve as much as I can at these weekends so today's job was to check that all the bits for my two projects are all there.
First up is the LDB which I cut out last week and now have made sure that all the pieces are together in a zip-lock bag including zip, wound bobbins and organza bias strips for inserting the sleeves.
I then plan to work on a lemon blouse that I started to make a while ago and made sure that I had interfaced all the pieces, wound bobbins, found some buttons so it is also ready to go.
Here they both are in their bags ready to be put into my sewing case.
I think I will purchase one of those collapsable crates to hopefully hold:
- Table ironing board and iron
- Table lamp
- Pressing tools e.g. sleeve roll and ham
If I have time this week after work I would like to trace off Burda 5-2008-104, which is the dress version of the top I made in January this year. I have already done the adjustments to the bodice, so only need to add the skirt to the pattern. Then use this fabric to make it up.
There is a lot of "fingers crossed" going on to get this last dress achieved, so wish me luck.
So at the end of next weekend I will at have at least two garments to show.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
During July Angie helped us adjust our patterns to fit our various versions of the LBD and then in September I had my toile made up in gorgeous calico for the final tweaking of the fit.
I chose to use Vogue 8280 View F (top right picture, cream long sleeved dress) without the little cap sleeves and shortened the sleeves to 3/4.
We started with a size 6 using my High Bust measurement and a lot of adjustments had to be made from there LOL.
Here are the pattern pieces and I will try and remember what we did to each piece.
Skirt Back - same as front except the addition at the waist is at the side seams.
Now Black is not a colour I wear near my face, so I have decided to make my dress in the Burgundy Wool that I purchased in Melbourne.
I'm not sure why but Vogue hasn't lined the skirt of this dress but has lined the bodice. I will be lining the skirt as well.
Monday, August 31, 2009
This made my day on Sunday when he finally installed it (Roscoe just had to check out the extra space). I have soooo much more room to move around and I am still playing around with the poistioning of things but am rather restricted by doors, windows, French doors and the buit-in wardrobe but I am still smiling from ear to ear when I walk in the door.
Here is how it is set up at present.
This is where I think the cutting table will live and the slats on the bed base could be used for hanging my rulers from and I can also see it would be useful for draping fabric from for picture taking.
Now in the corner are my sewing machines on a Horn Cabinet. This is the next thing I want to find a solution for. I have a Janome Memory Craft 3500, Janome CP 1000 and my old faithful Singer 14u 34B basic overlocker. In the wardrobe is my old Janome JD1818 which is a great back-up machines. Now the Horn Cabinet worked very well when I only had two machines, but now when I want to sew knits I use the three machines for various sections and I am finding it very frustrating rearranging the three machines so I can sew. I would dearly love a corner type desk that will hold the 3 machines and then get some moveable drawers for underneath for storage that can be hidden when guests come and move out into the room when I want to sew.
On the opposite wall is the built-in-wardrobe. Half of this has my fabrics, magazines and books in and the other half is the linen cupboard (can't find anywhere else to put this). I have even started putting some fabrics in boxes on the top of the wardrobe.
Now one thing I will miss is that the double bed provided a very large flat area that I could lay out all my bits and pieces on, however I don't think this will cause me too much grief.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
One of the main reasons I was keen to get my hands on these patterns was that at Pattern Review they were having a Simplicity 2603 Cardi sew-along and after watching the video and seeing it made up by all sorts of shapes and sizes and looking good on all, I felt this would be a good top layer for someone who is always cold.
Luckily for me one of the lovely ladies on Pattern Review offered to purchase the patterns on my behalf and post them to me.
So I ordered 2 of 2603, one for me and one for DS; DS wanted 2648 and I liked the look of this so ordered I ordered one myself as well and then Amanda from Amanda's Adventures in Sewing made 3775 in a cute floral so thought I would add this to my pattern stash.
On Saturday I had to go to Spotlight to get some stretch sewing needles to sew my knit garments for the WiaW.
Of course I had just collected the patterns from the post office, so you never let an opportunity go buy to purchase fabric so I just had to check out what knit fabrics I could find and trying to keep away from brown I chose this turquoise "Dry Knit" Polyester/Spandex at $10.95m.
It does have a nice drape, but after purchasing it I did think that it may be a bit thick for the knot tying that goes with the various wearable variations of the cardigan. I did see a very nice patterned knit with the pattern on both sides that would be wonderful, just not sure if it would be too much in this style.
First of all I need to hem those pants.
DH came home with a cold last week and by Friday I was thanking my lucky stars that I had't managed to get it, unfortunately I came down with the sore throat and stuffy head that night.
I had managed to sew the Black and Burgundy Wool pants during the week after some major frog stitching and letting the seams out, and these are up to the hemming stage for both the pants and their linings.
The Mauve cross over top was next on the list. This is the first time I have sewn mesh and I have learnt a few things maybe about this mesh in particular e.g. when I sewed the Seams Great around the neckline I usually pull this reasonably tight to prevent gaposis, however after I had coverstitched the tape under, the side seams didn't line up, so frog stitching again, the coverstitch is quick to unpick once you find the looper thread but the zig zag I used for the Seams Great took forever. Second attempt was much more successful until this afternoon.
I have learnt a very large lesson - do not to touch the overlocker when I'm not feeling 100%.
When I first did the coverstitch hem on the neckline of the cross over top it just wasn't working so I logged onto Pattern Review - Sergers, Coverstitch and Blindhemmers Message Boards and I found under Vonnevo's Tips to use the Bostik BluStik to glue down the hems and once dry this gives the mesh enough body for the coverstitch and it washes out in the wash. It worked brilliantly.
The plan is to finish the pants and make up the mauve cowl neck top and take my mesh top to the next ASG day to see if any of the ladies there can show me a creative way to fix this.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
This has been a quick put together and the hems still need to be done, but I am quite happy with the cowl drape and look of the pattern and will finish it.
This is a knit fabric that velowsewer gave me a little while back and it has an elongation ease of 80% (using Christine Jonson's "Perfect Sewing" Worksheet) and the Merino Wool has 100% elongation so I may need to reduce the length of the cowl.
Friday is nearly here, but I will have to wait until I get home from work to start sewing.
(Sorry about the grainy photo, not sure what I did wrong)
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I've cut out the black and burgundy wool pants and their lining and have pinned the darts and inner leg seams for the first sit down at the machine, also the bobbins have been wound for both and all the pieces are together in their zip lock bags with the invisible zips and threads.
The Burgundy Abstract Mesh Print Cross-over top is cut out after much fiddling to make sure there would be no bull-eye's present once finished.
Trying to follow instructions on how to adjust your knit t-shirt pattern to create a cowl collar is not the easiest thing to do at night after work, but at last I got the pattern finished last night and might try and sew up a quick toile tonight before I cut into the Mauve Merino Wool.
I visited The Fabric Store last Friday afternoon and found this wonderful tweed and it was on sale as well.
It has a cream base with mauve, aubergine, brown through it and it really lifts my aubergine wool. I'm so happy.
I am trying to find some interesting lining to use. I keep changing my mind about my trim, will I use the fringed edge or braid. I have 2 Chanel jackets and they both have braid and I think I do prefer this style.
One of my problems is that I'm having problems finding any trims here in Sydney so if anyone knows where I can look please let me know. My sister is visiting me from Brisbane this weekend, so I will give her a sample of both of my fabrics so she can visit Scakfs Fabrics (who advertise such wonderful trims in the Australian Stitches Magazine) for me when she goes home to see what they can come up with.
Last week this book found it's way to my home.
I must admit to not reading too much at this stage, I've been busy getting my prep week in order for the WiaW.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
WiaW's idea is to create 4 pieces that match any combination of the 4 e.g. three tops and one bottom, or three bottoms and a purse - all that matters is out of the four things if you wore two of them on the same day together you would not look out of place.
It is actually over two weeks, you have a Prep Week and A Sewing Week as follows:
Prep week: Friday August 14th from 7:00 am wherever you are to Thursday August 20th 11:00 p.m.- Cut, mark and interface, first pin, any of your garment fabrics, wind bobbins - any activity that in fact does not involve actual needle piercing fabric sewing.
Sewing week: Friday 7:00 a.m. August 21st wherever you are and ending 11:00 p.m. (really we shouldn't be sewing till midnight) August 30, which is a Sunday.
No rules on pictures or posting, but if you can put up pictures on Stitchers Guild WiaW site that would be good because everyone wants to see what you are making.
The prize is that if you complete four compatible pieces by the deadline you get to go out and buy for yourself a yard (or meter) of fabric you really want - one for each garment completed, so that means that every finisher wins four meters (or yards) of fabric that they really love. If anyone in the family asks why you are buying more fabric you can quite truthfully say that it is because you have won a contest. Personally I think this clause is bullet proof.”
These are my fabrics:
As I am desparate for pants in the cold office I work in, I have decided to make 2 pairs of pants and two tops as follows:
Vogue 9537 is my TNT Pant pattern and I am going to make up the black and burgundy wool in the first pair on the left on the pattern envelope, and will fully line both pairs.
Butterick 3344 is my TNT Cross Over top pattern which I have made here. I will be using the Abstraction Print Mesh Burgundy that I purchased from KnitWit last week.
Vogue 8151 - view B, round neck and make it up in the Mauve Merino Wool. This is the pattern I used for this top and I am tempted to add a cowl neckline as described in a few tutorials in the Australian Stitches Magazines (yeah I can search for key words in the excel indexes I have crearted and can find them so easily!!).
Today I purcahsed the lining, zips and threads and DH goes to Thredbo for 9 days tomorrow night so I can set myself up in the lounge/dining room and have fun
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Last October at the ASG Conference in Queensland I did a Palmer Pletsch fit workshop with Wendy McKinnon and we worked on this pattern. I ended up doing View B with C neckline mainly because this is what I had cut out and tapped around all the curves for the tissue fitting. This was the first garment that I did a FBA on and doing this on a princess dart was a lot of fun, however we did get there.
This is my toile of the pattern adjustments in this polyester green/grey tweed fabric that was in my stash. I cut out the fabric and lining the other Friday night and had finished it to hemming stage by Sunday afternoon and then it has sat around for weeks waiting for me to hem it which I managed today.
Now I was either wearing a very new bra for that class or gravity has been at work as I have a curve which isn't being filled out above the girls so I will need to adjust this for the next version.
The back looks pretty good and the final test will be wearing this to work.
I had also been reading Yorkshire Lass's post about using scrap fabrics to create bias strips so decided to try this out instead of using the facings for the neckline and armholes and I'm very happy with the result.
Monday, August 3, 2009
I will be using Vogue 7975 as I did for this Jacket which gets worn to all the different activities of my life. I only have a small adjustment to do at the neckline at the centre front, the edges overlap :)
One of my sewing buddies has samples of the Linton Tweed so I am keen to have another look at these.
I also really like how Lindsay T has made a Summer Version of the Jacket and this is may be another one that I will make for Summer.
There is so much inspiration on the Go Chanel or Go Home Sew-Along thread that I will change my mind a million times.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Just before I left to go overseas I purchased this Milano Printed Gold knit from Knitwit to make the Burda dress 5-2008-104 adding long sleeves as I have seen something very similar in the shops. I have already made the top 5-2008-103 so I have a lot of the fitting issues already worked out.
I managed to find some fabric shops during our travels and purchased a gorgeous piece of Cashmere in London – 2 metres which DH commented that he had never seen me make a decision so quick LOL. I plan to make a jacket of some sort, not sure of the style as yet.
Then in Paris this blue/brown patterned silk leaped into my bag and I plan to make a blouse with this.
The Fabric Store in Sydney had a sale night the other week and Velosewer and I went to see what they had to offer. I purchased this brown spot knit and two pieces of Merino Wool in a mauve and brown colour.
The last piece of knit above caught the eye of Velosewer at Spotlight and as it was in the remnant bin I am now the proud owner of 3 metres of the "giraffe" knit.
I have a lot of ideas floating around, so need to focus on getting the patterns cut out and adjusted LOL.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Now this top is not new to me, I have made it quite a few times, however this time I have finally managed to have enough fabric for long sleeves LOL.
The other plus is that it goes with my brown cropped pants for the 2009 SWAP so I am quite happy about this.
The sad news is that this is the extent of my 2009 SWAP. Time and patterns didn't mix too well and we fly out for a month's holiday on Monday so madly packing and not sewing this weekend.
Here is the pattern review.
Pattern Description: Close-fitting top has neckline variations and stitched hems. View A - elastic neck, mock wrap, long sleeves
Pattern Sizing: Size 10
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes
Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? The neckline was a bit low so I added to this and a used "seams great" for the next edge, stitched this on stretching it a bit and then turned under and coverstitched the neck edge.
Fabric Used: Knit of unknown quality, it was a gift from my sister.
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
Front Pattern Adjustments
* Round Shoulder
* 2 x Gaposis on the neck edge
* Full bust and folded out the dart
* Added 1/2" to the neck edge
* Added 3/4" between the bust and waist
Back Pattern Adjustments
* High round back
* Sway back
* Broad back
* Large bicep (same as I did for the Grey Knit Top)
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, this is the third top I have made from this pattern.
Conclusion: This top is such a great wardrobe item. I have it in a lace for evening, a quieter knit for work and this one is going on holidays with me and will be great for casual wear.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Pattern Description: Pullover tops with set in sleeves. A: wrapped front, band, shirred sides and long sleeves. B: top with three-quarter length sleeves and optional tie front. I made view B.
Pattern Sizing: 32" to 55". I used 32" (A)
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes
Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I found it very quick to construct.
Fabric Used: A grey rayon knit with 80% cross grain stretch.
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
* Round shoulder - I added 5/8" to the back shoulder and took 5/8" off the front shoulder
* High round back - added 3/8" at the centre back reducing to zero at the side seam (FFRP page 124)
* Gaposison the front neck line - took out 3/8" tuck via slash and pivot method
* FBA - added 3/8" (FFRP)
* Sway back - 1/2" at centre back to zero at side seams
* Full Arms - I added 1" (FFRP page 169).
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes it is quick to make, and feels very comfortable to wear.
Conclusion: I will be making this up in other fabrics and will try some different necklines and finishes.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
We stayed in the city and caught trams and trains and did a lot of walking and had a wonderful time.
Arriving lunch time on Thursday we booked into our accommodation and caught the #19 Tram from Elizabeth Sreet to visit Brunswick Fabrics, Anne's Discount Fabrics, Hahn Fabrics, Spotlight and Unique Fabrics (which are unfortunately closing down).
At Spotlight I purchased a 100% cotton called Blossom Printed Khaki for a blouse and then at Unique Fabrics I purchased this beautiful burgundy wool, enough for a suit. It wasn't until we got back to our accommodation that night that I noticed they also worked well together.
On Friday morning we caught the #8 Tram from Swanston Street, for our first stop at GJ's Fabrics where I purchased this colourful mesh for a top.
Next stop was Clegs where I fell in love with this Mongolia Pattern Acrylic Knit, I'm not sure what I am making with it yet, and any suggestions are most welcome, but I just couldn't leave without it...
We then went Rathdown Fabrics where this natural wool/cotton jumped out at me and I'm thinking of making BWOF 131-10-2008 Jacket
After lunch we caught the tram back to the city and then caught the train out to Darn Cheap Fabrics at Heidelberg and then back one train station to The Cloth Shop at Ivanhoe. When we got back to the City we still had time to go to Clegs as I had been thinking about the Picadilly Cocoa Lace I had seen earlier and had decided that it had to come home with me after seeing the wonderful lace garments at Stitchers Guild.
We woke on Saturday to a very wet day but this didn't deter us, we caught the #70 Tram from Flinders Street and headed to Richmond. Luckily we were a bit early for Dancing Queen to open so we just had to check out all those wonderful shoe stores and I found chocolate brown shoes, what heaven.
We then wondered up the road to Astrotex and drooled over all the wonderful fabrics and then headed to Bridge Road for lunch and more retail therapy.
Sunday saw us go to Victoria Markets where there was even more fabric :)
We are all back home and are busy planning what we are going to do with our fabrics.
Thank you my buddies for a wonderful time in Melbourne.