Monday, December 31, 2012

Orange Circles

This is another version of my TNT blouse, Vogue 8572 (OOP) in a wonderful orange self patterned linen that I purchased in the USA last year.

For this version I chose to do French Seams and use Hong Kong finishes on the zip seam as well as the armholes so this has taken this blouse up a notch or two.

There is not much else to tell you, so here are the photos:

Note the colour of the zip pull.

The zip itself is very different in colour to the zip pull, but the zip pull is what you see!

This wasn't planned to be in my SWAP, however it will go with my everyday collection and can be counted as the "one garment may be sewn before the official sewing start date" so my first SWAP piece is completed.

Thank you for all the comments on the Hot Patterns Riviera Summer Breeze Tie Front Top, you have convinced me to have another go at this pattern and I will let you know the results, it may still find a new home.

Wishing you all a wonderful New Year and all the very best for a fantastic and sewful 2013.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas sewing

This is what I have been up to since my last post, well sort of, I also have an orange linen top nearly finished that I cut out on 1 December, but more about that one later.

Again this year, I left it to the last minute to produce Christmas gifts, even though I knew very early in the year that this is what I would be making.

First up was the Spice of Life bag for my very good friend with the fabric purchased whilst we were at the ASG Convention in Adelaide.  This is the 3rd time I have made this bag, so it was pretty straight forward.

Then it was time again to sew for the nieces and nephews and late last year I found this great tutorial for Circle Zip Earbud Pouch by Erin Erickson after seeing a whole lot of them on various blogs thinking they would be perfect for this Christmas.  My friends can tell you that at every craft show I attend this year the search was on for themed fat quarters and the effort was very much appreciated by the recipients.

Lastly was a necklace for my Sister as she already knew that she was getting the bag so using some 10mm Black Rutifated Quartz and 8mm black beads I made this for her.

I also found via Pinterest this great tutorial for making a Necklace Display by Bea Graansma.

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and I plan on being back before the New Year!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Riveria Summer Breeze and Giveaway

I have finally managed to try out one of the HotPatterns patterns that I won earlier this year and as predicted it is HP 1137 Riviera Summer Breeze Sleeveless Tops, the Tie-Front version from this pattern.

Not knowing what type of block Hot Patterns uses, I decided to make this one up with none of my normal adjustments and had it ready to sew at our fitting weekend with Angie.

I traced off a Size 8 as per my measurements on the envelope and found this steely blue wool/cotton blend knit in my stash that I purchased from an unnameable Brunswick distributor when the Aussie Pattern Review girls met up in Melbourne in 2010.

I found the instructions to be minimal, and even though I am Burda magazine sewer, the HotPatterns instructions seemed to be even less, e.g.
  • there are two notches for the placement of the long tie, however for the short tie there is only one notch and of course I used the lower notch as the top placement when from what I worked out later it should have been the bottom placement,
  • when it came to gathering the front piece there is no mention of what notches you match up or  how much it gathers up to, there is a diagram, but it did do my head in getting there.
I basted this together and tried it on and the only change we made was to reduce the short belt end of the oval dart by 3.5cm (1 1/2").

I found this pattern very long and took 12cm (5 7/8") off the length.

On reflection I probably chose the wrong size because I used a knit (which is also a suggested fabric) as the neck is very large and the side seams are too low and I have the bra showing.  It is a very loose style and the tie belt is the only way you can get any shape into it.

This top will be donated as I am not comfortable in it and even if I went down a size this will not change the amount of fabric that is in the front of the top, there is just too much of it for my liking.

Now if any of you would like to have this pattern, please let me know in the comments and I will let you know who the lucky person is.  Please be aware that I have cut off the instructions from the main sheet, but besides this the pattern is still intact as I traced of my pattern.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Zipper Workshop

Back in October, Maria, Alison and I headed to Canberra for the day to attend a Zipper Workshop by Nicole Mallelieu at Addicted to Fabric.

Our requirement list had us purchase fabric, lining and zips for the Large Tote and Satchel.

After checking out the Nicole Malleliue Design - Made by You flicker group I fell in love with the all the different flaps that people had added to their Totes, so I headed off to Ikea and found this wonderful print and then managed to get a reasonable match in some quilting cotton for the remainder of the Tote and the lining.

The workshop consisted of 4 types of zippers which Nicole said we would probably only get 2 completed, maybe 3 but were given notes for all 4, which were:
  • Super Simple Zipper
  • Exposed Zipper Pocket
  • Lapped Zipper Pocket
  • Zipped Gusset
I decided to do the Exposed Zipper Pocket first in the Tote lining,

and then proceeded to work on the Zipped Gusset for the top of the Tote.

Over the last month (I'm not sure where the time has gone) I have:
  • Added a zipper patched pocket to the opposite side of the Tote lining;
  • Added a phone pocket on the end wall of the lining.

and now have a bag that looks like this:

and this:

I'm not sure if you can see the black pins on the strap on the right hand side of the Tote above but this is where the bag is up to.

It was whilst I was trying to decide on the strap length, that I realised that no matter what length I made the strap the actual size of the Tote was not something I would ever use, it wears me which is not how I want my bags to be.

Now it is fortunate that when my darling Mum and Sister visited yesterday the Tote wasn't quite finished but my Sister did like it "quite a lot" so maybe this Tote has a new home already, I am waiting for the call back!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Trench progress

I'm happy to report that since my last post I have managed to achieve all that was on my list:
  • Trace the pattern from the magazine.
  • Make a toile to ensure all is right.
  • Decide if I want it to be double breasted as my RTW isn't?
  • Decide on what zips I want to use and place my order with Zipperstop.
  • Gather my bedtime reading from a number of Threads magazines to figure what else I need to do.
During my bedtime reading I read Threads Issue # 19, page 30 where David Page Coffin talks about "Stalking the Perfect Raincoat" and this made me realise that I wanted a hidden-button fly front as my closure as this is what is on my RTW Trench and I really like the clean lines.

So the I traced off the pattern and then found quite a few places that showed me how to do a concealed button front for a shirt, so using my RTW Trench as a guide I made the folds 5cm each.  At the same time I also drafted the back storm panel.

Then it was time to cut out the Trench in calico to make sure it fitted and also to see if could understand the lovely Burda instructions.

A couple of notes I did make during construction were:
  • Is there a better way to do the pockets?  You sew the seam first and then fiddle with the pocket bags.
  • Is there a better way to do the collar?
  • Looks like the sleeve head has too much fullness in it for this type of fabric.
and this is how it looks so far.

I've decided that I don't like the gap between the centre front and the collar and I'm also not so sure about the collar extension or how it sits when the Trench is open?

Last weekend my sewing buddies and I got to spend some more quality time with Angie Zimmerman getting our patterns fitted and this is what we have decided to do with the Trench:
  • I can put the pockets in first (before I sew the seam), but I need to ensure that they line up perfectly when I sew the side seams.
  • Well the way Burda does the collar is the tailored way, you live and learn.  Angie did give me some more information for a better finish than the brief Burda instructions do.
  • Angie did think that I got the sleeves in very well in the calico version and suggested I leave them as they are but looking at the large tuck on the sleeve in the first picture above I'm not so sure.
The toile is missing the little bits that are part of a Trench but they will be included.

I'm still reading magazines/books and watching DVD's however it now looks like I'm ready to cut out my fabric, but first I need to make the lining pattern as I didn't want to do this until I had checked the fit.

Friday, November 16, 2012

SWAP 2013

I have been haunting Stitcher's Guild since September waiting for the 2013 SWAP Rules to be posted and here they are:

"Hurricane Sandy, site outtages and a fairly wide-spread sentiment among the members has convinced me to keep this year's rules simple and uncluttered.

We'll be following JenSA's suggestion to make two 4 or 5 piece collections, with a single other garment that can be worn with both capsules. 

Each collection is either 3 tops and two bottoms, or 2 tops, 1 bottom, and 1 dress, which all form a cohesive group.  The 11th garment should be a jacket or other piece that coordinates with both collections, both in style and color.

These collections can be for different occasions, or in different colorways, or simply reflect two very different styles or images. 

There will be no requirement this year to use a particular fabric or pattern choice, no fussy print matching or need to master any new skill. 

Sewing will begin December 26th, and all garments must be finished by April 30th, 2013.  Muslins, pattern fitting and cutting may be started whenever you are ready.

One garment may be sewn before the official sewing start date, and one may be purchased or previously sewn.

So this means that your SWAP collection can have a total of 9, 10 or 11 pieces.  As always there is a lot of discussion going on at Stitcher's Guild and some of the ladies even have a pretty good idea of how they are going to proceed.

JenSA's suggestion was made around the middle of October and quite a few of us really liked the idea, so I had started to play with my plan and had a pretty good idea what I was going to do, as long as I could work with the rules, and the answer is yes.

My SWAP plans consist of:
  • an evening collection
  • an everyday collection 
  • with the all important cross over piece being the rain coat Trench.
I'm pretty certain all this will come from my stash and I'm working out the patterns, but plan on using some of the TNT patterns I achieved last year.

So who is going to join me?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A lot more animal print

Here is the cardigan finished and like the t-shirt before it has all the alterations of the Fractured Knit cardigan except the FBA.

This is the first time that I have done buttonholes on a knit fabric which had me very nervous, however Suzanne told us to use tearaway underneath the band, and using the knit buttonhole on my Janome I was very pleased with the result.

Now Sew Hopeful did make a comment about my use of waxed thread, Burda have the perfect explanation for this Unsung Notion.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A bit of animal print

This is the T-shirt from Jalie 2566 which I had cut out before I went to the ASG Convention, so it has all the same pattern changes as the Cardigan, except the FBA.

This fabric jumped out at me when we were leaving Pitt Trading back in May of this year and  I have been wanting to make it up ever since and thought I only had enough for a cardigan, but with some fussy cutting managed to get this t-shirt out as well.

I didn't add the neckband as this fabric is a sweater knit and I couldn't get it to sit flat enough for my liking, so I simply overlocked (serged) the neck edge and turned it under and used my coverstitch to stitch it down.

I will do the FBA on this pattern as well as adding a bit of width to the sleeve hem as they are very snug.

The cardigan only needs the buttons sewn on and Alison did show me yesterday how do this by machine, but I like a thread shank on my buttons and also like to use a waxed thread, so by hand they will be sewn on.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Trench coat sewing

This is something Maria, Renata and I have been chatting about for some time now so Maria  has set up a sew-along on her blog here.

I have a RTW trench that I purchased in Melbourne back in 1985 which has seen better days and I really like the style and want to copy some of its details for my new trench.

Looking through my Burda Style magazines there are a lot of trench coat  patterns but the one that is closest to the RTW is this one from November 2008 - No. 123 which they have made up in wool.

and then I have the January 1975 Burda Magazine that I won which has another great trench coat pattern and this will come in handy as well for the details.

Back in February 2010 I purchased this wonderful dark brown Designer Raincoat Fabric from Gorgeous Fabrics and have been waiting for the time when I felt confident to use it,

and then of course the lovely lining material that I received with the 1975 Burda Magazine works perfectly with this fabric.

My plan for moving forward is to:
  • Trace the pattern from the magazine.
  • Make a toile to ensure all is right.
  • Decide if I want it to be double breasted as my RTW isn't? 
  • Decide on what zips I want to use and place my order with Zipperstop.
  • Gather my bedtime reading from a number of Threads magazines to figure what else I need to do.
So is anyone else going to join the sew-along?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fractured Knit Cardi - Convention 2012

This was the other 2 day workshopI attended at the ASG Convention, the Fractured Knits Cardi and after Suzanne described the workshop on Sunday night I did wonder why I had challenged myself to be arty, when that is so far from my usual style.

The workshop started with us getting our cardigan pattern to fit our individual shapes.  Most of the ladies worked with Kwik.Sew patterns 2759 or 2948 and I used Jalie 2566.

The weekend before the Convention I traced off Size S (6) and then did my standard adjustments to this pattern, as it was quite clear to me from the Burda cardigan that they were necessary no matter what pattern I use.

My standard adjustments are:
  • Round shoulder
  • High round back
  • Sway back
  • Gaposis on the front neckline
I then pinned together my pattern for Suzanne to do a tissue fit, thankfully the adjustments I had done were correct and we then did:
  • 1cm FBA
  • Removed 4cm from the length of the sleeve
  • Added 1cm to the sleeve from the elbow to the hem as the sleeves are very tight.
Front - FBA, gaposis and round shoulder
Back - Round Shoulder, high round back and sway back
Sleeve -  4cm taken off length and width added 
Our requirement list for this workshop asked us to take to Convention:
  • Approximately 1-2mts of a two way stretch knit fabric in a base colour that you like.
  • A selection of coordinating knit fabric scraps (again two way stretch) from your stash e.g. 60cm will give you a sleeve, 30cm a yoke etc.
Luckily when I was in Puyallup I purchased a bundle of fabrics from Marcy Tilton that all coordinated so I had these as well as some brown Mercury Jersey and this is where the challenge really started for me.

Once Suzanne determined that I was going to have an arty cardigan (instead of classic) she so kindly worked out my fabric placings and suggested a design, which I was very happy with.

At this point, Suzanne suggests you trace off your pattern using your new style lines and we had chosen to add a princess seam to my design so the FBA I did gave me the perfect line to add this once I smoothed out the curve, added seam allowances to each piece, so I have a full set of pattern pieces for this version of Jalie 2566 which I have called "Marcy".

Front with princess seam and seam allowances added
Back with princess seam and seam allowances added
I then proceeded to cut out all my fabric pieces which concluded Day 1 and Day 2 was for construction and checking the fit as the day progressed.

Suzanne also very generously provided us as part of the workshop a set of extensive notes as well as patterns for the various collars, pockets and frills that she has used on her own cardigans and it was one of the collars that I used for this cardigan.

Unfortunately I didn't finish the Cardi at Convention, it still needed the zip, collar and cuffs to be done and this was done during this week and at my ASG Group at The Remnant Warehouse last Saturday.

And finally ....

This was an excellent workshop, I have a cardigan pattern that fits and I am loving my new cardigan.


Monday, October 8, 2012

ASG Convention 2012

I really like looking at people's travel wardrobes, it gives me ideas and after reading Carolyn's travel wardrobe and the interest that was shown in the comments about looking at other people's travel wardrobes, I thought I would share what I took with me to Adelaide for the ASG Convention.

Time away:
7 days

Where to:

Spring one month in and looking at the weather forecasts it was still going to be cool with 24c being the warmest during the day.  The weather really turned it on for us, some nights as low as 6c and most of the days ended up being around 18c except for Wednesday and Thursday when temperatures reached 26c.

Attending the Australian Sewing Guild Annual Convention, so there is a lot of walking to/from accommodation, classrooms, dining hall as well as a lot of stationery activity during the workshops.

On Wednesday we either had a tour of the fabric shops in Adelaide or a tour of the Adelaide Hills.

Colour scheme:
black, pale brown, chartreuse, grey and navy.

What I packed:  (each garment is linked to its original construction post - left to right; top to bottom)

brown/grey/black top;
Minoru jacket; worn every day
cream boat neck top;
chartreuse/grey/ink navy knit top
Shona vest;
black jeans;
salt and pepper skirt;
navy jeans;
grey cardigan;
black loafers;
taupe flats;
brown/green/cream abstract print top


This wardrobe worked very well, I didn't feel as if I was in the same outfit as everything got worn at least two days each, except for the jeans they were worn for a total of 3 days each and the skirt for 2 days.

I mixed and matched the four tops with the jeans and skirt and the Shona vest went with both green mixed tops as well as the cream boat neck top and the grey cardigan went with all the tops and was a very handy layer under the Minoru jacket for the cold mornings and evenings. I also had a collection of jewellery that changed the look of the tops.  I'm glad I took two pairs of shoes as this let my feet wear a different pair/style each day.

I decided to go on the Fabric Tour to check out some of the fabric shops in the suburbs of Adelaide, however only one piece followed me home for a cardigan and two pieces of quilting cotton for another version of this bag for a very close friend who requested one for Christmas (who luckily doesn't read my blog).

Blue, caramel, cream, rust, brown sweater knit
Floral print for the exterior, dots for the interior - Spice of Life bag

Now to find time to take a photo of the finished Fractured Knit Cardi.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Leather Workshop - Convention 2012

Well I'm home again and what a fantastic week I had at the ASG Convention in Adelaide.

In my previous post I did tell you about the Fractured Knit Cardi workshop I was going to be doing, however I didn't mention the Luscious Leather Handbag 2 day workshop with Yvonne Twining.

My kit for this workshop was $48 for the small bag and that was for the leather and pigskin for the lining.

The class started with us choosing 3 or 4 types/colours of leather and Yvonne had so much gorgeous leather to choose from and what colour pigskin lining we wanted to use.  This is my leather choice, safe but perfect for me to use every day.

This is during construction showing the 3 leathers
By the end of the first day we had cut out the leather pieces, pigskin lining and had completed the sewing of the pigskin lining.

2 side zip pockets and an iPhone pocket
At the end of the 2nd day, all 9 of the workshop attendees had a finished bag and here is mine:

The 3 leathers on the front and the back is the plain leather

Not sure how I'm going to fix that wayward stitch :(
Internal view
I am thrilled with my new bag and it was an excellent learning experience for working with leather.

The Fractured Knit Cardi just needs a few more finishing touches.