Sunday, May 29, 2011

Silk Blouse

At our ASG meeting in April, Angie Zimmerman held a workshop for us to discuss the various techniques for working with silk and also gave us the opportunity to get patterns adjusted.

I decided to get Angie to give my Marfy 2254 blouse a fine tune so I could finally use the silk that I purchased in China for this blouse.

Angie made very minor changes to my original toile:

1. Took off the 1.5cm at the centre back neck edge that was added.
2. Reduced the armhole and sleeve additions by 0.5cm (half of what we added).
3. Increased the cuff and sleeve edge width so that the cuff doesn't grab my arm.

Here is what we did to the front pattern and then did the corresponding adjustments to the back and sleeve.

Then it was time to cut out the silk. Oh did it have some movement in it, thankfully with Angie's help I got it cut out. What was really surprising was the sleeve cuff which is cut on the bias. When I took this off to cut the 2nd lot, the way the fabric expanded was rather terrifying. Angie advised me that I need to cut out the cuff interfacing from the pattern and then get the fabric to fit it!!

I did quite a bit of hand basting with this blouse to make sure that it didn't move when I sewed the seams. I used a silk Gutterman thread for the basting as this won't leave press marks in your fabric.

Angie showed us a number of seam finishes and I chose to use a normal seam as the french seam was too thick.

You sew your seam normally and then press to one side and sew a small zigzag (L1, W2) right next to your original stitching and them trim back to the zigzag.

I don't have a button stash, so I called into Spotlight on the way home yesterday and purchased these buttons.

and plan to drop my blouse and buttons at Mick's on the way to work tomorrow for him to do the buttonholes for me.

Here is the blouse completed as far as I am going to work on it.

It will make its debut during Me-Made-June.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Even though I said here that I have plenty of skirts, the following two skirts have been sitting around for a while so I thought I would finish them as they will be great additions to my winter wardrobe.

The first skirt is a self drafted skirt from when I attended the Australian Sewing Guilds Convention in Sydney in 2007. I did a class for skirt drafting with Ronda Braybrook. Our first objective was to have a straight skirt pattern ready to use, and I have since used this pattern to make the brown linen and the brown/cream/red linen skirts here.

Ronda then challenged us to draft a different pattern from our block, and I will admit right now that that is a huge stumbling block for me and this is what I came up with, a wide yoke with a half circle skirt attached.

The skirt is fully lined again with an A-line skirt pattern. Isabel and her predecessor have been wearing this skirt for the past 4 years while I got around to hemming it.

Here is a side view which show the fullness of the skirt.

Now the 2nd skirt hasn't been hanging around as long and was supposed to be part of my wardrobe for the trip to the US. In fact it did travel with me the whole trip waiting for me to do some hand sewing on the side seams and add the buttons to the yoke which I purchased at M&L Fabrics on our 2nd last day, aren't they cute.

Needless to say, it came home in the same state as it was packed.

This is another version of BWOF 04-2009-101 and really there are no changes from the original skirt. It will be a great base for my casual wardrobe and already goes with so many of my tops.

Aren't pictures wonderful, I couldn't see how the skirt was clinging to my tights in the mirror and seeing that the cord is a lot lighter in weight than the previous version, I'm thinking seriously of adding a lining to this skirt.

Now to focus on some tops.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Summer Skirt

This skirt was cut out before I headed to the US and seeing I was close to finishing Green Gable, I thought it best to finish the skirt as well so they could be worn together when we have our first warm day later this year.

I have made view A of this skirt (2nd from the top on the left) once before in a Japanese cotton and just love how girlie and cool it feels.

This time I used a cotton voile from Spotlight.

Photos taken by DM

The skirt has the pleats stitched down and it is fully lined with a white voile using an A-line skirt pattern as this gives me enough room to walk without adding a lot of volume around my legs.

The only change I made to the pattern was to take 1cm of each side seam from the waist to the hip line, a very small adjustment, however the skirt now sits where I want it to.

Now to keep my eye open for fabrics for tops to go with this skirt.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Green Gable

When I saw Amanda's cute knitted summer top I just had to find out where I could get it.

I purchased the Green Gable pattern by Rachel Bishop from the wool shack who are suppliers of the Zephyr Style knitting patterns here in Australia and they recommended Jo Sharp Soho Summer DK cotton.

I started this in October 2010, so you can see that I'm not a fast knitter.

This pattern had a few firsts for me:

1. Knitting in the round
2. Knitting from the top down

Thankfully YouTube helped me out with the backward loop cast on, otherwise I would have never got there.

This is the second item of chartreuse (although Jo Sharp calls it Cactus) that I have bought into the house.

I love the lace at the neckline and have just about finished a lovely summer skirt to go with it - just in time for winter.