Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Woodland Stroll Cape

When the new Woodland Stroll cape pattern was released by Liesl of Oliver and S recently, I thought it would make a great topper for our temperate but windy city!

It doesn't take a lot of fabric, and I was sure I would have something available to try it out with stash fabric.
For the shell, I had some eggplant coloured boiled wool/rayon. This is lovely and soft, and sewed up beautifully.

This will look much better when I wear it with a scarf and such!

For the lining, I selected a silk satin that I purchased because I loved the vibrancy of it - unfortunately it was still languishing in my stash because I just couldn't imagine wearing anything made from it!

Thankfully, it looks awesome as the lining in my cape, and will make me smile whenever I wear it.

For the fastenings, I used tack buttons (like on your jeans). I wanted something a little quieter, because I have some great scarves, and with the peeks of the lining, I didn't want them to compete. Obviously though, I can change them for something brighter if I change my mind!

As with all Oliver and S patterns, the instructions are superb with helpful diagrams along with the well written instructions. My only deviation from the instructions as written was to leave the opening for turning in the back neckline rather than in the lining. I was a bit concerned pulling the entire shell through a gap in the lining would shred the seam allowances on the silk. 
They provide the suggestion/option to edge stitch the entire cape, which I did do because the boiled wool was quite puffy and the edge stitching gave it a slightly crisper finish.

This went together quite quickly, with only three pattern pieces - in fact I think it took longer to cut out and interface the pieces than it did to actually sew up!

I can see myself wearing this a lot on windy or cooler days, when I often need to wear a little something extra, but not necessarily a coat.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Christmas Sewing Round-up

A quick round-up of the Christmas presents that were sewn up by me. Mostly, these are all patterns I have sewn previously, so not much to add.

Another Perfectly Preppy skort, from the pattern by the Scientific Seamstress. This was a popular choice again featuring favourite colour, purple. The spots fabric is a cotton, and the lining a poly/cotton poplin.

The free downloadable popover sundress pattern from Oliver and S. I chose not to use a contrasting fabric for the yoke and straps, as suggested in the pattern. This is made from a very light weight cotton.

These shorts in a size 18-24 months are made using the Oliver and S Sketchbook shorts pattern. These are made from a remnant of cotton drill used previously. These looked and sewed up very similarly to the previous pairs made with the Burda 9793 pattern. I would choose to sew the Burda pattern in preference to this one, while the boys are in the size range for it.

These mens boxer briefs were made using Kwik Sew 3298. Unfortunately, the yellow contrast fabric was a bit more contrasting than anticipated! They sewed up quickly and easily, would sew these again with a more considered choice of fabric. The main fabric is a cotton jersey, the contrast a cotton/lycra jersey.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Men's Shirts - in pursuit of 'the one'.

When I suggested to my hubby I might try making him a shirt he seemed keen, so I went looking at men's shirt patterns on Pattern Review. I found a few worth trying, so am undertaking a trial of patterns until we find the one he likes best - his shirt TNT if you will.

First up on our shirt trial was Kwik Sew 3422.
This pattern offers the option of a one piece or two piece collar, and short or long sleeves. As the initial trial was about the fit, I opted for the short sleeves, but chose the two piece collar.
I made it up in some mystery shirting I bought on TradeMe in bulk - I'm fairly sure it is a poly/cotton, heavy on the poly. 
This sewed up fairly easily with good instructions, and hubby was reasonably pleased with the fit. It has been in his shirt rotation for a couple of months now, and is holding up well despite my only zigzagging the side seams.

Next up was Burda 7767.

I made view B with the number III collar and omitted the pocket. 
I made this up in a red cotton shirting with stripes. The fabric insisted on going off grain as I cut it, and frayed at the drop of a hat. NOT FUN!
Because of the fraying, and also because I had done some reading between the first and second shirt, I elected to french seam the side and sleeve seams. Somehow with the 5/8" seam allowances on this pattern, it all went terribly wrong when I came to sew it up with the seams not matching up and the sleeve involuntarily taken in, in an attempt to get the seams to match. Apparently it wasn't my best idea as the side seam now ends in the armpit !
Looks alright on the hanger though!
It was a good opportunity to practice my sleeve plackets though, and they turned out quite well.
Despite the fit issues, this shirt does get worn occasionally. I'm not quite ready to write this pattern off yet, as the fit issues were of my own making rather than the pattern.

Round three, I tried Kwik Sew 3883.
This pattern has options for short or long sleeves, and has a separate button placket. I went for the short sleeves and omitted the pocket.
Hubby had requested I make his shirts 'more interesting', and made the suggestion that he liked some shirts he had seen with contrasting collar, cuffs and button placket. Thus, this pattern was added to the trial.
I perhaps took him a bit too literally when he suggested I make it more interesting - I used a printed cotton poplin, with a yellow cotton lawn contrast. I used the contrast for the button placket, collar stand, under collar and inner yoke. 

T. photo bombing!
This pattern had excellent, straightforward instructions and went together with no problems. I again french seamed the sleeve and side seams, and this worked much better with the included 1/4" seams.
My only head slap moment was when I went to add the button holes to finish it, and realised I had sewn the two fronts in reverse, so the buttons and buttonholes are on the wrong sides! Whoops! 
Hubby likes the fit on this one, though next time I will take some length off it, as it is alright tucked in, but a bit long to leave untucked.