Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Drumming to the beat

My younger son has been doing drum lessons for a few months now, and really enjoying it.

We recently got him some proper drum sticks to practice with, so I made him a case for them to keep them together in his school bag.

He chose the fabric, and I made a long skinny pouch with a dome and some padding.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Seasonal Sew Wardrobe Sewalong

One of the Facebook groups I belong to is a Sewalong group. They have previously done a monthly sewalong of a specific pattern, but earlier this year put forward a wardrobe sewalong.

The start date and format were similar to a Pattern review contest, but rather than the 2 month time frame over there, this sewalong had a more sensible (to me) four month time frame.

The general premise was that in the time period you sew up 8 pieces that can be worn with each other. No orphan garments here please!

I started with a big list of patterns that wanted to make, and then loosely decided that I would follow a 2 dresses, 2 tops, 2 bottoms, 2 toppers plan to make up my wardrobe.
I also decided I would like to try and make it all from stashed patterns and fabric.

Style Arc Toni Designer Dress
Maven French Dart Shift Dress

Itch to Stitch Hepburn Turtleneck
Hot Patterns Breton Tee

Sewing Rabbit Cowl Sweatshirt
Swoon Scarf Neck Cardigan

Style Arc Allison Skirt
Trousers from my trouser block

 With a few patterns swapped in and out over the course of the sewalong, I finished up my 8 piece wardrobe and kept to the plan!
All of the fabric is from my stash, and only one of the patterns, the French Dart Shift, was purchased after the sewalong began, so I'm calling that a win!!

This has been a fun experience, and these pieces are already getting a good workout in my wardrobe.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Style Arc Allison Skirt

I recently made up the Allison skirt by Style Arc, a pattern I've had in my stash for a while. I was intrigued by how the pleats were made so they weren't bulky.

When I finally got to printing out the pattern, I have to say the pattern pieces are odd looking!
While it wasn't at all difficult, it did require some fabric origami to achieve. Once I had that figured out, it was reasonably quick and painless.

I used a royal blue merino I've used previously, and am happy with how it came out.

Worn here with my turtleneck to create a faux dress
The only alterations I made were to lengthen the back and shorten the front, which seem to be standard alterations for me with my prominent bottom and tilted waist.

I would like to try this again in something a little weightier, perhaps a ponte.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Style Arc Mindi Skirt

Waayyy back, last winter, on our Sewing Retreat I tested out a bunch of patterns, including the Style Arc Mindi Skirt.

I went with the longer length, and decided not to insert the pocket zips, but otherwise as drafted.

As has been my experience with all the Style Arc patterns I have made, this went together beautifully. The instructions were brief, but certainly sufficient for making a successful garment.

 This is a skirt I would wear with tights in the winter, but would need to add a little length to the back to account for my prominent bottom, as it isn't sitting very level at the moment. None the less, a successful test run.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Hot Patterns 2003 Weekender Breton Tee

This is a pattern I first tried a really long time ago, and then never got around to making again with the slight adjustments I decided would benefit it.

I pulled it again recently, after having found a nice striped fabric that I thought suited it.

The adjustments I made were to go down a size in the neck and shoulders, and then blend out to the previous size from the bottom of the armscye. This meant I made the sleeves a size smaller too.
I also added a small round back adjustment.

I love it! and have worn it loads already.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Women's Cowl Neck Sweatshirt

Is it just me, or does everyone have a sewing unicorn? - you know, that elusive sewing pattern where you kind of know what you want, but can't quite find the exact right thing you imagined.

For me it was a sweatshirt / jersey that had the potential to be slouchy and comfy, or more dressy casual depending on the fabric used.

I have tried out A LOT of patterns in search of this elusive garment, and followed many links to many more links.

And so it was that I found a free pattern on a website for a Cowl Neck Sweatshirt. It looked like it had potential, and hey it was free!, so why not give it a go.

I found some minky backed sweatshirting in deep stash, and cut it out. The pattern went together well, and the instructions were clear and had good photos to back them up.

I wasn't expecting too much, as it looked quite boxy, but OMG, I really like it!!

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Swoon Scarf Neck Cardigan

At a recent sewing day, one of the ladies made the Swoon Scarf Neck cardigan and was kind enough to let me try it on.
As we are a similar size, it fit beautifully!

Coincidentally, I have had this pattern downloaded and printed for a while, but had never got to sticking it together.
This pattern is a bit different to a lot of others I have used in that to save paper (I'm guessing?) smaller edge pieces are put on different pages together. While this was initially a little odd, the edges where pieces joined were all clearly labelled, so it was fairly painless.

Having tried on my friend's cardigan I had my size sorted, so went ahead with a navy blue merino wool.
This sewed together easily and quickly, with all seams matching as they should.
The most time consuming part was hemming it!

I am really happy with the fit and the style, and can see getting a lot of wear from this.
I plan to make this again.

A great result from a free pattern. Yay!!

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Itch to Stitch Hepburn Turtleneck

When Kennis, the designer behind Itch to Stitch released her latest patterns, I was quite keen on the idea of the Hepburn Turtleneck.

I selected my size as recommended in the instructions, and went merrily on my way with a remnant of merino.
The pattern pieces went together as intended, and the instructions were clear and concise.

The neckline is close fitting without being restrictive, and I feel the body is a reasonable fit without being too clingy.
The only alteration I would make is to slim the sleeves down a little from elbow to wrist. I'm not sure if this is a drafting issue in the larger sizes, or a 'me' issue.

Verdict: Will definitely make again.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Maven Patterns - French Dart Shift Dress

I had been contemplating options from my stash for a new dress for my Mum's birthday party, and then came across the Maven Patterns French Dart Shift. All stashed patterns went out the window.

I was hopeful the french darts would lend some subtle shaping to the waist while still keeping all the wonderfully comfortable aspects of a shift dress.

I did a stash dive for fabric to try it out in, and came up with a polished cotton I seem to recall purchasing not long after I began sewing.

After making my usual alterations of a Full Bust Adjustment and a Full Butt Adjustment, it sewed up really nicely with all notches and seams matching as they should.
The instructions were excellent, with the option of both quick instructions or full instructions with pictures.

While I think this fabric was not the right choice for this dress, being a little too lightweight, I would definitely make this again something more weighty.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Cake Patterns - Carmine Jacket

A few months ago I was chatting to one of the ladies at our Fabric Hoarders sewing Sunday, and she was lamenting the fact that she had all sorts of lovely garment fabrics and patterns, but was not getting around to using them.
She mentioned a particular pattern, the Cake Carmine, was one she had fabric earmarked for.

I offered that I also had that pattern sitting unused in my stash, and that we could make it together one Sunday.
We agreed this was a great idea, and set our March meetup (today) as the day we would do it.

As this was my first try of the pattern, and Cake has an unusual size selection method, I opted to make this up in a fabric I wasn't in love with from deep stash - a purple polar fleece. (No, I don't know why I have purple polar fleece either!!)

This is one of those patterns where the pattern pieces look a little odd, and it is not necessarily clear how it will all work until you get to the end.
We started out by cutting our pieces in our designated size, and then sewed each step together until our big ta-da! moment when we had completed garments.

This was fairly straightforward to put together so long as you trusted the instructions, though we felt it would have benefited from a couple more notches on the large circular piece that forms the front bodice and collar.

We both were really pleased with how our jackets came out, and my friend was pleased for the confidence boost of making them together.

Verdict: will make again in better fabric.

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Jalie 2565 - Singlet Top

In my sew-cation I gave myself over the Christmas break, I wanted to try finding a good singlet top pattern. As this is an item of clothing I wear most days, my current RTW ones are getting a bit tatty looking.

I have a good selection of Jalie patterns, and found a couple of options that were either similar to what I had, or were a style I was interested in trying. I decided Jalie 2565 was first up.

I had some merino/cotton left over from my Muse Tahi shrug, that was juuust enough to get the main pieces out of. I used some black cotton/elastane for the bands.

It went together quickly with no dramas, and fit as I wanted to. It is a good length, and fits closely without hugging every single cuddly lump and bump.

The only issue, which was a case of fabric choice rather than the pattern, was that the fabric I used for the bands had a lot more recovery than the main fabric, so tends to pull the neckline up a little higher than shown in the pattern photo.

Verdict: I do intend to make more of these, but will use the same fabric for both body and bands, so they are not fighting each other.

Saturday, 27 February 2016

That 70's Blouse - take two!

I've made Butterick 6037 previously here, so won't bore you with going over the same ground again.

This time I added a small FBA that I rotated into the shoulder gathers, and a full butt adjustment to account for where my previous version was getting a bit hung up.

I had a little fabric left over from my Appleton wrap dress, but since this fabric is a knit, I probably didn't need to bother with the changes.

Need to adjust those shoulder straps a bit?

Verdict: Still like the pattern a lot. Will make again, again.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Style Arc Toni Designer Dress

This dress, though not my usual style, really appealed to me when it was released at the beginning of last year.

I right away set to shortening the pieces, and then found myself some navy seersucker to trial it.

I was going along merrily until I got to sewing the centre front seam, and could not for the life of me get the collar points to meet in the front, as shown in the illustration above.
Then the neckline facing was trying to escape out that same gap!

This was hung on the back of my sewing room door with the other W.I.P's, and there it stayed until a couple of weeks ago, when I decided to release it from it's exile and see if I could save it.
I took it in for some advice from the always lovely Maryanne, at Made on Marion, where she diagnosed my error and promptly explained what I needed to do to fix it.

After the fairly simple fix, all it actually needed to be finished was side seams and the hem sewn! 15 minutes of work, after languishing for a year. Doh!

Having now completed it, I believe the fabric to be a little too firm for this design, as it has a much more architectural look than I was hoping for.
As this was originally conceived as a pattern trial I'm not too upset, though I may take some of the width out of the 'wings', because I otherwise like the fit and colour on me.

Verdict: I would like to try it again in another more drapey fabric, perhaps a rayon, tencel or similar.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Style Arc Harper Jacket

Yet another pattern I made, that gained some popularity within the Fabric Hoarders group was the Style Arc Harper Jacket.

I made my first version from a double faced wool that upon pre-treating became slightly felted looking. I left this version with raw edges, as designed in the pattern, as this fabric did not ravel or fray.
I wore this almost constantly through last Winter, and on cooler nights through the Spring.

With the success of my first version, I made a second one over the Summer break, this time from a merino sweatshirting in a raspberry colour. For this version, I narrow hemmed the edges to neaten.

I have yet to attach the hook and eyes on the shoulders, so for the moment this only functions as a drape front cardigan/jacket.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Sew House Seven - Alberta Street Pencil Skirt

I initially decided to give this pattern a try for Indie Pattern Month, but procrastinated as usual, so while it was finished, I didn't get to taking photos in time.

I love a good pencil skirt, and with the added benefit of pockets, trialing this pattern was a no brainer.

I went with the size that matched my measurements, and with the exception of my usual full butt adjustment, made this as designed.  I ended up turning a very narrow hem with bias tape, as I liked the final unhemmed length, which hits just below my knee.

I used a herringbone weave denim with no stretch in a faded grey colour.

Having worn this skirt at least once a week for the past few months, I can confirm it is very comfortable and has a nice fit that I like.

For when I make it again, I will narrow the waistband slightly, and also shorten the pockets a tad as they are a bit deep at the moment.
I may lengthen it in order to do a standard double fold hem, but actually really like the bias tape finish in this version.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Muse Patterns - Tahi Shrug

When Kat released her Tahi pattern late last year, I was quite keen on the shrug. As expected it was a quick sew, and a bit of a remnant buster.

I used a small piece of merino/cotton that is navy and white striped, and went for the 3/4 length sleeve option.

This has been worn much more often than I expected.

It works great over sleeveless tops, and because the stripes are very narrow and not overly obvious, it blends well with a multitude of colours and patterns in my wardrobe.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Cashmerette - Appleton Wrap Dress

I'm a bit of a sucker for a wrap dress, so when Jenny of Cashmerette released her first pattern, I was smitten.

I liked that the Appleton offered different cup sizes, and that it was a nice basic no frills wrap dress.

After reading various sewalong posts on Jenny's blog, I picked a size and dived in. I went with a size 14 E/F.
As usual, I did a full butt adjustment and sized up the back skirt for some comfort room.

My fabric was not as stretchy as recommended, but still gave reasonable and wearable result. I will however use a fabric with the correct stretch next time.

This is fairly close to the true colours

Good bust coverage
Full length mirror selfie

While I'm happy enough with this, I will be sizing up the front skirt also next time, as the overlap on the skirt is not sufficient enough for me to feel comfortable.