Thursday, March 20, 2014

Vogue 8956 Skirt in Paul Smith Brushed Cotton


Thank you for your comments on my last post.  I have been absent for a while, partly because I have done no sewing at all since the middle of January, and partly because I just couldn't seem to have the wherewithal to blog!  It's taking the photos that does it.  I can be so lazy in that respect.

The thing is I really do have loads of stuff I have made (before January) and just haven't blogged.  I truly always intend to catch up but somehow I never get round to it.  Today, because my ten-year old son is away and I have extra time to myself, I have actually made the skirt I'm showing you right now, and I've taken pics of two dresses I made at the start of the year.  I'll blog the dresses soon (honestly!)

My new sunglasses! Ignore the wrinkle near the skirt waistband. The brushed cotton sticks to itself. I should have smoothed it down!

So, this skirt is V8956, which is described as a "semi-fitted, wrap skirt".  Simple as that!  Mine is view B, which is the longer of the two asymmetrical options. I should make more skirts...this was so easy and quick.  It has no lining, just facings to finish the two vertical edges, and two buttonholes and buttons to deal with.  I did slipstitch the inner waistband to the skirt, but I love hand sewing as you know!


I did have to make an alteration, as the regular, straight side was quite a bit too wide from just below the waistband.  To be fair, I am quite straight up and down in my shape, so I always have to have a size or two bigger in the waist or smaller in the hip.  However, this time I had to take out nearly two inches in total all the way down the right side.  Partly because it was too wide in the hip, and partly because it looks much better narrower on the regular side.

I love this skirt!  It was so easy peasy to make, and it's so easy to wear, too.  Also, a big plus point is that, being held together by just two buttons on the waistband, I can easily alter it to fit (should I need to) by moving the buttons along.  Yay!

Maybe I will actually wear these sunglasses instead of just sticking them in a drawer!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Butterick 5526 with McCalls 6035 Sleeve in Liberty Branchflower - orange colourway

I have made two shirts in the last week, both in Liberty lawn because I just love working with it and wearing it; it's lightweight but closely woven (which makes it seem somewhat silky), the designs are beautiful and it's very easy to iron.

In the past I've made several M6436s and I love that pattern for a semi-fitted shirt, but I was looking for a more fitted shirt on this occasion.  I didn't, however, want it too fitted so I chose Butterick B5526, which seemed just perfect.  I wanted a shirt (I suppose this is really a blouse) with short sleeves this time, but there wasn't an option for that in the pattern so I took the short, slightly puffy, sleeves fromMcCalls M6035.  Maybe I shouldn't have been, but I was surprised to find that the frill on the front is a circular ruffle, and not a pleated strip as it seems to appear in the pattern cover illustration.
I made a quick muslin and immediately realised that the bust apex of the princess seams fell too low, but cutting an 8 at the shoulders (and a 10 everywhere else) remedied this perfectly.  I made no other adjustments.  Oh, actually I did cut out four ruffles and sewed each pair together and turned them inside out instead of cutting just two and narrow hemming them.

I have discovered that shirts and blouses are definitely my favourite things to make, especially since I have started using woven interfacing, which actually feels like part of the fabric instead of something stiff and separate.  I love the hand sewing, the precision required when attaching all the pieces, and the way it all comes together to be a wearable work of art!  Also, it means I can wear my jeans but still wear my home made stuff (well, I could wear my jeans if I could fit comfortably into them, ahem).  I have turned forty-eight today, so I'd better get cracking back on my health and fitness regime before it's too late for EVER, hehe!
As I mentioned, I have made another shirt (another McCalls M6436) and I will post it soon.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

McCalls M6833

Happy new year to everyone!  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.

This is my Christmas dress this time around.  McCalls M6833 view B.  I made it with something that I assume is quilting cotton.  I would never use quilting cotton for a shirt, but for a dress such as this one, it's perfect as it has enough body to hold its shape a bit.

 So that the hem had a little more oomph I sewed some horsehair braid onto it.  It did the trick!  This pattern has an integral net petticoat as part of the dress lining itself.  As I wanted the option to use the petticoat with other garments I chose to line only the top part of the dress and make the petticoat separately, which worked really well.

As usual I hand sewed the zip in, as I like a bit more control over matching the waist seams and making sure the back neck edges match, which I find a little more difficult when machining the zip in.

I love all the hand sewing!  I find inserting the zip and then hand sewing the lining to it very satisfying.

I will definitely be making view D in the future. I already have the fabric:

There is only one thing I will change for the next version and that is that the neckline will have to be higher.  I'm not a particularly modest dresser but this neckline is about as low as it gets.  In all of the rest of my Christmas photos my underwear is clearly on show!  That's okay for a party dress but I intend for my next version to be more wearable.