Sunday, January 22, 2012

New Blouses and a change of plan.

The blouses that I referred to in my last post about the SWAP, are now finished. I met up with my sewing buddies yesterday and they levelled the hem on the Navy/Gold/Brown blouse for me and I stitched and pressed it last night.

Burnt Orange Blouse

This is the burnt orange blouse and by the looks of it I need to lower all the darts however that is an easy fix for any future versions. I took off an additional 1.5 cm on the neckline for this version and now need to work out more jewellery to wear with this top.

Navy/Gold/Brown Blouse

This remnant of silk was purchased during our trip to Paris in 2009 and I have been working up the courage to cut into it. I really don't know why it took me so long, it was lovely to sew with, just a nightmare to match the pattern :(

I used a bias strip of the silk to bind the neck edge and I'm very pleased at how this has turned out.

Both blouses have an invisible zip in the left side seam.

SWAP Plans

So much for the Navy Jacket.  When I laid out the material I couldn't fit both the jacket and skirt on the piece I had left. Even though I really wanted the jacket (and I spent hours trying to get it to fit) I realised that a skirt would get a lot more wear as I have another 2 tops in my wardrobe that are orphans at present. So Vogue 7937 Skirt View A has been cut out and I'm now searching my patterns for a vest pattern.

Now back to sewing jeans.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sewing with a Plan

I am once more attempting the SWAP Contest at Stitcher's Guild and this year the SWAP focuses on fitting, and making tried-and-true patterns: testing and fitting paper patterns, muslins, and fashion garments that will help lower the overall sewing failure rates,  result in fabulous clothing to be proud of, and (hopefully) give every contestant a pattern or two that works every time it is used.

You choose any seven garments from this list:

Button Down Shirt w/Collar         
Blouse or shirt   (collar is optional)               
Shorts or Capri Pants     
Jacket (jean jacket, windbreaker, hoodie, etc.)                   
Coat  (suit or sport coat)
Overcoat or Raincoat   
Bathing Suit Coverup  

From those seven, you can choose four to make twice for a total of 11 garments that will work together.   Those four may either be repeated garments from the same pattern, or one each from two different patterns.

The contest runs from 26 December 2011 until 30 April 2012 and you can have 2 previously sewn garments amongst the total 11.

Now I'm planning on using my last 2 garments as the pre-sewn items, so it looks like Navy will feature quite strongly in my SWAP.

The garments I have chosen so far are:

2 x Blouse or Shirt - Vogue 8572  (OOP)
- Burnt Orange - completed 
- Navy/Gold/Brown - completed

1 x Dress - Simplicity 2648 
- Navy linen with pickstitching - completed

2 x Jeans - Jalie 2908 
- White Jeans completed
- Navy Jeans completed.

1 x Jacket - Vogue 7975 
- Navy with some seam details added

1 x Skirt - Vogue 7937
- Navy linen, View A - completed

1 x Raincoat - Minoru 1103 
- Navy ripstop - pattern adjustments done and fabric cut out and nearly finished.

1 x Shorts - Sure Fit Pants
- Navy twill - completed

1 x Vest - Jalie 3129
- Navy linen - completed
2 x Knit Tops 
- Navy/Green striped using Kwik.Sew 3740 - completed
- Brown/Navy/Cream abstract print from Fabulous Fabrics using BWOF 02-2009-108

The remaining 4 garments are still a question mark:

  • Do I make 2 knits tops, but
  • I really need shorts, which can be a test for the fit for pants :) 1 pair now in the plan
  • I will need a navy skirt to go with the jacket (fingers crossed I have enough fabric) Now in the plan
  • I really want to fit the Connie Crawford B5300 shirt, but not sure if I have a shirt fabric that will go with the Navy as I'm tyring to work from my stash.
 Now I need to make some final decisions and that includes a name for my SWAP.

As I don't like having a pictureless post, I thought I would share with you one of Roscoe's favourite things to do:

It takes days to get the sand out of his fur :)

22/1/2012 - Plan edited - Jacket out and Skirt in.
17/4/2012 - Plan edited - Shorts, Vest and 2 knits tops are in.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Perfect for a summer's day

Happy New Year, everyone.

I was surprised the other month when sorting out my stash, that I have quite a collection of blues.  They are in my colours and three pieces have materialised in my wardrobe - the cargo pants and then the navy pants and top during last year.

I then found some navy linen in my stash, Simplicity 2648 and inspiration from DrienPA on Pattern Review, I have completed the 2nd version of this dress.

I remembered seeing an article in Australian Stitches (Vol 19, Issue 7) that Alison, The Sewing Lady had written where she had constructed a Marfy jacket and then hand stitched around the jacket and pockets that looked like pickstitch.  Luckily for me Alison had adjusted this pattern for me, so I was able to contact her to find out a bit more detail on how to do the pickstitch on my dress.

The dress was cut out and the front (princess seams and waist) and back (darts and waist) pieces where sewn together (but not at the shoulders or side seams).   Then I,

  • Set up my Janome sewing machine with the G foot and a 4.0 twin needle.
  • Threaded the machine with a cream Gutterman thread, reduced the tension to 1.5 and the stitch length to 3.5 and needle position at 2.4.
  • Stitched from the armhole, lining the G foot guide along the princess seam and stitched all the way down both front princess seams, making sure that the stitches crossed the waist seam at the same point.  This gave me a good reference point for the pickstitch.
  • Then on Boxing Day, I threaded up a Size 24 Tapestry needle with Gutterman Topstitch thread 722 and proceeded to pickstitch using every 2nd stitch as my guide to bring the needle back up.
  • Carefully removed the Gutterman thread and gave the seams a good press.

    The rest of the dress went together pretty quickly.
      The dress is lined and has a lace hem and the back vent has a hong-kong finish to the edge.

      Then I found this necklace that needed to be reworked.

      After sitting all day

      Here is a close up of the pickstitch after the guide threads have been removed.

      I can see this dress will get a lot of wear.