Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sew Serendipity Sabrina Tunic

With my right hand I am typing and drinking a green smoothie.  But my left is busy playing with Pickle, and her ball.  Good grief, the noise of this squeaky ball is intense.  Maybe it's worse for me as I have hearing aids, or maybe it's that bad for everyone.  Pickle doesn't mind; she's having fun.

Here is another black dress that is difficult to photograph with any clarity of detail (and another in the pipeline). Part of the pleasure of making my own clothes is derived from working with fabrics that are visually interesting or beautiful, which usually means colourful.  So, if I make a garment in black it means I want it to be useful, and plain often means more versatile.

This sleeveless dress is made in a soft, fluid, draping black linen (at present I'm wearing a sheer top under it).  It creases like crazy, which is why it looks a bit crumpled in the photos.  I would show you a line drawing of the pattern but can't find one.  The pattern comes in three lengths: tunic, above-knee dress (my version), and below-knee dress.  There are bust darts, and no waistband.  The bodice finishes just under the bust.  The zip is centre-back and there are neck and armhole facings.  The skirt is an A-line shape.  It is unlined.
This dress was very quick and easy to make indeed.  And it took only one metre of fabric.  I don't usually like facings but now I pin them in place first, so I can stitch them to exactly the right length (for some reason if I sew the ends together first, the facing is never the right length!), I get along with them much better. I thought I would get away with no alterations to the fit whatsoever but, once I tried the dress on with the skirt part attached (I had made a muslin of just the bodice, which took about ten minutes), I could see that, on my shape in particular, I needed the bodice to be much closer fitting under the bust, otherwise it looked like a maternity dress.  Obviously, that effect is alleviated if you choose to make the crossover tie belt, as suggested, but I didn't quite have enough fabric for that.  So, I pinched about 3/4 of an inch pleats both sides, under the dart points, and it worked perfectly.

In the summer this dress will be so perfect for a hot summer's day.  I think I will make another, more brightly coloured one.

Thank you very much to Fiona at Chainstitcher for nominating me for the Liebster Blog Award.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Vogue 1258...Thanks to Evie!

A few months ago, Evie very generously gave me this beautiful stretch crepe, having posted it on her blog as being available to anyone that wanted to give it a home!  Having been immediately smitten as soon as I laid eyes on it, I was very lucky to get it before anyone else did.

I eyed it on and off ever since it arrived in the post (a few months ago, I think, although I can't be sure, as time seems to fly every time I so much as blink).  Honestly, I liked it so much...the retro geometric look of it, the feel (my fave type of stretch fabric), the drape...I didn't want to ruin it by using it for something that either went totally wrong, or went right but didn't suit me.  I was planning to play it safe and make yet another Vogue 2091 DKNY dress (you know how I love that pattern).  Thing is, I knew I would be much happier if I made a bit more effort and really did it justice.

So, here is Vogue 1258!  Gosh, I love it.  The whole time I was making it up, right from the cutting and marking of the fabric, I was expecting it to go all wrong.  But I decided that I would take it second by second, and step by step, and not worry about it along the way.  So, by the time I had reached the end, and was hemming the skirt, I was kind surprised to find nothing had gone wrong, though some of it felt a bit risky at the time.  I'm talking about all those pleats, which converge at the centre front, and the sleeves, which did go wrong, but which I somehow still got to look good.

But weirdly, the whole thing was a very quick make indeed, the fabric behaved itself, the pleats were easy and all the pieces fitted together perfectly.  I mentioned the sleeves; I had to leave the actual sleeve/cuff off altogether, and just hem the edge of where it should have been attached (I couldn't get it to sit right where I had clipped diagonally on a corner).  Here is the line drawing so you can see what you are looking at!

The upper front and upper back are sewn together and between them make a long tie.  There are quite a few pleats which drape from the centre front, as I mentioned earlier, and they are hidden under the tie.  The skirt is narrow at the lower edge, with no vent.  And yippee, the whole thing just pulls on over one's head!

The only thing I altered, apart from the sleeves, was the neckline, which I raised by a couple of inches or so, otherwise it would have been unwearable for me.

Would I make this again?  Yes!  Undoubtedly.  I want to make millions of them in every colour.  It's the new Vogue 2091!

Thank you, Evie, for your generosity.  I am so glad I didn't play it safe!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Sewaholic Hollyburn Skirt and Sirdar 8486


Thank you for your comments on my jumper, skirt and shirt.

Oh dear, it looks like me with my really huge, giant twin in the photos above.  Let's just say photos aren't my strong point!

Here are two more things I have made recently, the first being the Sewaholic Hollyburn skirt, above.  I made it in black needlecord so it's not showing up very clearly in the photos (what's new!)  In the photo below, it looks grey, but it's definitely very black.  I got the fabric from DC Fabric Traders on ebay and it's fantastic!  I washed it and popped it in the tumble-dryer before cutting, and it's still gorgeous.  It irons really well, too.

I am a totally different shape to the Sewaholic and Colette patterns and for that reason I wouldn't bother with anything too fitted (Thurlows, forget it, I'm afraid) but for this skirt (the longest option on the pattern) I didn't have to make any alterations at all, apart from cutting a size 6 on the waist and a 4 on the hip.

I really really like this skirt a lot; it's so easy to wear: it's comfy and goes with everything (looks especially fab with my Chuck sweaters).  The skirt was ridiculously fast to make up, and very simple.  I made the option with buttoned tabs, but no belt loops.  The zip is in the centre back.
There is no doubt I would like to make this skirt again, maybe in a shorter length.

The other thing I'm posting today is a jumper I knitted for Charlie.  Charlie chose the colour himself, which his Dad and Grandpa dislike intensely (which makes it all the better, hehe!)  After altering the white balance on the camera, this is a pretty accurate representation of the particular shade of purple.  It's not at all a blue purple.  I believe if I'm going to make something for Charlie he may as well like it, otherwise he will never wear it.  But this jumper, he loves it, and calls it his "designer" jumper, for some reason.  In his opinion, it's all the more special because I made it for him and he chose the pattern and the colour, too, so I couldn't be happier, and neither could he.
I think this jumper took me about five or six weeks to knit.  Apart from the sewing/seaming bit, I loved every minute (cables are my fave thing) and am in fact knitting him another in his second, more practical, colour choice of grey.  It's taking ages as I'm also knitting a black HUGE version for Nick (my Other Half) and a cardi for myself.

The pattern for Charlie's jumper is Sirdar 8486 (this pattern goes from a 24" to a 46" chest) and the yarn is a much more "budget" yarn than I have ever used before but I like it a lot and, in fact, ordered some in a mixed brown for myself.  It's Sirdar Hayfield Bonus Aran.  It's lovely to knit with and it feels light and warm and woolly but it's 80% acrylic (or somesuch nonsense) but it's surprisingly good to look at, too.  I haven't washed it yet, so time will tell!

Edited, to add: Charlie has just asked me why I have included our dog's bottom in the first photo.  I hadn't realised...sorry!

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Another Chuck Sweater, Another Beignet and Vogue 8772

Despite having not been around on the blog for a while (though still lurking on others), I have been making stuff.  Quite a few things, actually.  Problem is, because I didn't document any of it at the time, I can't remember many details.  I suppose that's not much different to the usual state of affairs around here, since I tend to post a pic and a (relatively) short description most of the time.

So, here I am, posting three of my recent-ish makes.

The first is another Chuck Sweater, but this time in red Cascade 220.  I won't go into details, except to say I made the Small size but it could do with being smaller still (despite having a 35.5" bust measurement.  That's me, not the sweater).  And again, sorry it's a dark photo.  Still having trouble on the old photo front.

Next up are tie-front shirt, Vogue 8772, and a green cotton drill Beignet skirt.  I won't go into details on the Beignet skirt.  I think it's my fourth one (I have a denim one I haven't blogged and, in fact, had forgotten about until now.  I made it last July and still have never worn it - it's a bit tight).  This skirt: it is what it is!  I like it.  It's useful.  And, yes, I have a bow overload going on here.
The shirt.  Hmm.  Yes, the shirt.  It's one I wanted to make for ages, having made a couple of the McCalls M6436 shirts, which are loose-fitting, where V8772 has a closer fit.  It certainly does have a closer fit, and I wish I had kept that in mind when I made my muslin.  Yes, I made a muslin but only checked the bust and the general width of the garment.  I didn't make a complete muslin; I made a sleeveless shell, and didn't realise the shirt was actually a bit too long from shoulder down to bust.  What I needed to do was take it up quite a bit at the shoulder seams, as I now have quite a bit of excess above the bust, which I am always pulling down and adjusting.  I think that is the alteration I should have made, but I'm not sure.  Because the photo was so hurried I'm afraid it doesn't show up.  Other than that, the shape of the shirt itself is great.  Quite form fitting but not too much so.

The instructions have you cut out the huge tie ends on the bias, which means the whole thing is very tricky to iron smoothly, without getting those horrid bias-y unruly things happening (if you get me).  I'm wondering why one would need to cut the tie on the bias in the first place.  Is there a reason for this?

I have quite a few more things to show you and will try to do that soon.  Although I'm afraid the photos don't get any better!