Friday, 23 December 2016

Sleep tank #116 and sleep shorts #110 BurdaStyle 12/2016

So I needed some new sleepwear for the summer.  I also wanted to get rid of some of that accumulated stash I just don't know what to do with and some knit remnants.  A perfect marriage.

First were some sleep shorts.  I made these from some polyester that was on clearance at Spotlight when I first started sewing.  I'm not really keen on the shinyness of the material, so used some on these shorts.

They should be really simple to make, just 2 pattern pieces, with the tie for the casing being enclosed in self-facing.  However the fabric was horrible, it shifted about when I was cutting it and I ended up with one front piece being longer in the leg than the back, and the other front leg being longer at  the top than the back, so was real fun (not) trying to match these up.

The pattern is also meant to have 1/8" cording in the piping.  I elected not to put any cording in, so just had the bias fabric showing in the side seams.  I also embroidered a little white cat on the bottom of one leg.

The waist is tied with a drawstring, I used twill tape, the drawstring is inserted into buttonholes which are made on the top side only of the waist casing.  I've tried to show this in the photo below.

Again, this should have been easy to do.  When I put the buttonholes in I hadn't realised the fabric had shifted so far off, so I used the pattern to measure down from the top for placement of the buttonholes.  As the fabric itself didn't align, this meant my buttonholes were off, so I ended up having to redo one of them and had to fudge around the waist casing as well.

Anyway, they look OK.  I don't think anyone else would notice the problems, and as these are for sleepwear, no one else is going to see them anyway.

The second one was a sleep top to use up scraps of knit fabric.

So the colours are a bit odd together, but hey it uses up scraps, and again no one is going to see it. 

Thankfully this one came together easier.  However the instructions for attaching the band to the bust pieces made no sense to me, so I had to figure it out myself.  Notice I added a little  embroidered kiwi on a cloud to the bottom.  I'm not really into cute for clothing, but for sleepwear thought he was just right.  Nice coincidence that the brown of the kiwi blends into the brown of the top.

Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Xmas Sewing

The last couple of weeks have been spent making my mother some shirts.
The first pattern I chose was this Bow Blouse from BurdaStyle 11/16 #131.  Burda describes it as:" A look inspired by the fiery secretary chic styles of the 70s, the blouse is sewn in a sheer leopard print with a tying loop and gathered sleeve caps."

The pattern is for long sleeves, but I shortened as more suitable for summer.  After making this I wasn't very happy. As it is a surprise gift I couldn't do fitting and my mother is a completely different size and shape from me, but I felt that the neckline was too low, and it seemed very long.

I decided to remake it, but shifting the necktie 2 -3 inches higher and took 4 inches off the bottom.

Much happier with the changes I've made.

Then just to be sure, I made her a TNT (tried and true) from BurdaStyle 11/15
I've also been making a lot of gifts using my new embroidery machine.  Will post pics once they've been gifted.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Burdastyle dress 7/16 105

I'm just loving the July issue of Burdastyle.  This is going to be my Christmas dress
I first saw this neckline on an episode of The Great British Sewing Bee where it was one of their challenges.  When I saw this in the magazine I knew I had to make it.

 I made a mistake with the fabric.  I thought I was buying cotton sateen because it was with other cotton sateen fabrics.  However it is very, very stiff.   When I went back to the fabric shop for another shopping trip, I looked at the label and it is a nylon/rayon/spandex mix.  It is stiffer than I would have liked, however for this style of dress it actually works quite well.

There is a sort of flap over one side of the bodice, joined with a neckband to the other side, creating a faux cut-out look.Here is a close up of the overlapping 'flap' and the neckband.  The neckband took me about 4 hours to do and get sitting right.  Trying to turn it was very difficult, but worth it.

I made it in a size 44.  I should have gone with 42 on top and 44 for the skirt as I ended up having to take the side seams in a lot - about an inch on both sides.

I think I would make it again, but this time in a cotton sateen.  I would also probably leave that flap off, as the neckline under that is quite a nice shape and size for me and leaving the flap off would make it a fairly quick dress to make up.  I would also have to check the bodice properly and redraw it to a size 42.  I was lazy this time as I wanted it made up ready for next weekend for a Xmas dinner with friends.

It closes with an invisible zip in the back.  It also has nice inseam pockets in the skirt.  I'm very pleased with how I did these as you really can't see them at all.  The instructions say to sew the side seams to the pocket notches, then you insert the pockets.  I've done this in the past and found it impossible to get a perfectly straight seam as the pocket edges.  This time I stopped a couple of inches before the notches, then sewed the pockets to the seam.  

Here are some more photos

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

T shirts, Kwik Sew 3766

The last few days I've been making t-shirts.  It is a very easy pattern using Kwik Sew 3766.  the pattern offers a short sleeve t-shirt and a long sleeve T.  I opted for the short sleeve version, which is view B, but I used the higher neck from View A.

I made 3 white t-shirts and one floral.  White is so versatile, I can either wear on its own, under shirts or under this sheath dress.

Of course, now I have an embroidery machine I needed to add an embroidery touch to a couple of the white t's.
Embroidery #1, Little black cat, Embroidery #2 faux pocket with flower

And here is the floral T.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Brother Innovis-950D, Burdastyle Woven dress 7/16 #115

10 days ago I picked up my first sewing and embroidery machine. It is a Brother Innovis-950D.  I was wanting to upgrade my sewing machine and this one was within budget and included embroidery functions.  It is just a small embroidery field - 4inches x 4 inches, but as the embroidery function is the cherry on top I'm not complaining!  I love it.  I've spent the last week playing with it.  Here are just a few of the things I've made.  At this stage its mainly playing rather than serious sewing, just so I can learn.
Rocking horse candy cane holder.  The cane goes between the hooves.

Cat on TShirt.  Doesn't show here but cat has green eyes.

Strawberries on a tea towel

In my previous post I had made the woven shirt from Burdastyle 7/16.  Since then I have made the woven dress.

This time I wanted to have contrasting colours for the woven front so used red and blue poplin to match the colours of the main fabric.  The neckline was done with plain red poplin.  The belt was to be plain blue, however I had to put my new embroidery machine to work so I found a design that was similar to the design on the fabric and embroidered the belt.

I didn't have quite enough blue poplin for the belt, so I added a red panel at the back, changing the embroidered red flowers to blue - there are blue flowers in the main fabric, so again it matches.
I love my new embroidered dress.  It is something that will be uniquely me - good or bad!

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Festival of quilts

I've had an enjoyable day today visiting the Festival of Quilts.  What made it extra enjoyable is that I ordered a new sewing/embroidery machine.  I've had my eye on the Brother NV950D for quite some time and have been watching the Sewing Machine World website for a few months hoping for a sale.  It is a sewing and embroidery machine.  I was wanting to upgrade my sewing machine and discovered this one in my price range, which also has embroidery capability.

 Imagine my delight when I arrived at the quilt show to find the shop had their own stand.  It was the first place I visited.  They didn't have the machine at the shop, but there is a show special of $150 discount.  I've ordered the machine.  It has to come from Tauranga so will be in their Onehunga shop on Monday.  Can't wait.

In the meantime I looked around the other stands and bought some specialty scissors - applique and specially shaped scissors for trimming machine embroidery threads.  I enjoyed looking at all the beautiful quilts, but of course my main focus was on those that incorporated machine embroidery.  There weren't that many, so I snapped photos of those - inspiration!

These flower blocks were probably my favourite - just cause it looks like it might be something I might be able to do with my embroidery machine.

This was probably the one I liked most, but it also looks the most complicated.

Not too keen on the appearance of this one, but have included as an example of simple coloured thread on a black background.

Redwork.  I like this as well.

Not embroidery, but this yellow challenge wall of lots of wall hangings was so bright and cheerful I had to have a photo.

Loved this bird.  The stippling looks like a Maori design.
And some flower wallhangings

that's all for now.  Hopefully I'll post next week with a photo of my new sewing machine,however I may be too busy trying to learn how to use it to post!

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Burdastyle 7/16 #114 Woven top, and Hardanger finish

I was waiting very impatiently for the July issue of the Burda magazine to appear in the shops here.  Finally mid-October it came in the shops.  There are so many patterns in this issue that I want to make, but I especially had my eye on this woven plastron top.

 I wasn't sure how the woven part would work, so didn't want to get expensive fabric in case it went horribly wrong.  I'd already picked up some striped shirting fabric from the Hospice shop for $5 with this top in mind.
Here is my version.

The pattern calls for soluble stabiliser to be used and the woven plastron strips to be sewn to this before attaching to the shirt.  The only sort I could find in Spotlight was some plasticy type stuff.  I was a bit worried that it would move too much, and I was right.  The plastron shape got horribly distorted and I had to pin and tape like crazy and then mark the plastron tape from my original traced templated onto the woven strips.  However it came together well in the end.  I found out later that there is a soluble stabiliser that looks more like interfacing.   This would have worked better, or even possibly tear away stabiliser.

The only change I made was to increase the number of buttons from 6 to 7.  The pattern markings are for size 36 and it tells you to alter the top placement according to your size and to leave the bottom button placement where it is, then evenly space the other buttons between the top and bottom.  As I made size 42, if I evenly spaced the remaining buttons there would be 3 7/8" apart which I felt was too wide.  When I increased it to 7 buttons, the space reduced to 3 1/4".

The other issue with the buttons is to do with size.  The pattern says to use small buttons, you really need to use the smallest you can find.  As the buttons are underneath the band, the buttons have to fit within the stitched seam lines,  One of my buttonholes was ever so slightly to the side, which in normal buttonholes wouldn't have mattered, however trying to put the button in is very fiddly as the edges of the button are right up against the stitched line.  If I make it again I would be tempted to make ordinary buttonholes, apart from that one wonky buttonhole, the buttons are fiddly for fastening.

I like the outcome of this top.  I plan to make the dress version in a floral poplin with plain contrasting colours for the plastron.

On to other things.  I actually finished this Hardanger piece a couple of months ago, but forgot to post.  About a year in the making.  The base fabric is a light purple, I wish I could remember what fabric I used and the count.  If I remember I'll add to this post.