Saturday, 24 September 2016

Self drafted kimono/waterfall drape top with tutorial

About a year ago I bought this beautiful polyester crepe with flower borders running along both selvedges.  When I bought it the intent was to make a kimono type top however with the traditional patterns I couldn't figure out how to get the pattern positioned to show off the flowers, so it sat in a cupboard.

On Friday I went out with my mother and we called in at Ballentynes Fashion Central.  In there they had some waterfall tops, labelled as kimonos.  When I looked at them, they were just a rectangle of fabric with rectangular holes in for the armholes, all just finished with an overlocked rolled hem. Not really kimonos at all, more like waterfall tops.   Easy as to make.  Unfortunately I didn't have a tape measure with me (yep I usually carry one!) so had to eyeball the sizes for the armholes and how far from the top they were.

So Saturday it was my mission to make one. 

 All I needed to work out was the size of the armholes, how far apart to space them and how far down the fabric to place them.I tested size and placement first on some scraps of fabric. Once I'd got the armholes figured out, the rest is easy; overlock the edges cut out and overlock the armholes.  

  I did a tutorial as I went along, so here goes

1m - 1.4m of fine fabric.  Width anywhere from 112cm to 150cm. I used polyester crepe, could use chiffon, or a large scarf
Matching Thread
Small amount of card for template, I used back of a cereal carton

The fabric I had was 1.4metres by 150cm.  It could be done with less fabric,  the placement of the armholes from the top of the fabric would need to be adjusted.  I also wanted the back to end below my bottom, so again by adjusting the placement of the armholes, this can be raised or lowered as desired.

First make a template for the armholes 18cm deep by 8cm. Round the corners from 3cm on the longer edges to 2cm on the shorter edges.  If you want deep armholes, then this could be lengthened to around 22cm
Finish all the edges on the overlocker with a rolled hemming stitch, trimming away selvedges and frayed edges

Fold fabric in half lengthwise to find the centre back.
Measure desired depth of armholes from top of fabric to where the top of the armholes will be.  I measured down 65cm. Place pin at mark
Measure in from centre back to where inner side armhole will be.  I wanted a distance between my armholes of 54 cm. so measured in 27cm (fabric is folded in half).  This measurement gives plenty of ease for a swinging back and going over clothes. Place pin at mark.
Place template between pins.

As the fabric is fine and shifts very easily, use plenty of weights.  I also used painters tape to hold the template to the fabric.  Cut very carefully around the template.
Take to overlocker and do rolled hemming stitch around the armholes.

Put on and wear with pride!

1 disaster and 1 success

well I've had my first true sewing disaster.  A garment I really can't wear - well maybe around the house but that will be all.

I wanted another pair of pants so decided on these flared pants from Burdastyle 12/15 116a.
I usually make size 42, however after my last dress was a bit tight I doubted myself and cut a size 44, thinking I could easily adjust down if needed.  Unfortunately I couldn't get a true fit until I'd sewn in the front fly zipper, such a lot of time went into the fly zipper and I was so pleased with how neatly that turned out I really didn't want to unpick it all.  So when I tried on the trousers I was disappointed to find they were really big.
So I then took them in at the side seams and tried to take in at the crotch.  I've never yet mastered the art of adjusting pants for differing rises in the front and back seams, so I ended up with too a low a rise in the front, resulting in bagging at the front crotch, and too high a rise at the back, resulting in really horrible tight lines across the back of the legs.  Also the legs are quite close fitting at the legs, and I really took them in too far in the thighs.

On top of all that, even though they are too tight with all those drag marks, and the waist is a good fit, the stretch woven fabric has way more stretch in it than I realised and so when I wear them they start falling down.

I'm almost too ashamed to show the photos, but here goes:
too high rise in back, horrible creases on back legs, embarrassing

too low rise in front, saggy crotch, can feel it dragging when walking

side seams too tight at thighs

Fortunately after those I had a sewing success.   This was an asymmetric midi skirt from Burdastyle 8/15 #111AB.  I've made quite a few items from the 8/15 issue and not been disappointed in any.
This was cut on the bias so I was a bit hesitant and very careful not to stretch it out of shape.
This was made with a poly suiting from The Fabric store in Otara and only cost $8 for 2metres x 150cm.  I went back to my size 42 and it fits perfectly.  I love the hi-lo look and it fits lovely in the waist due to front and back darts.
note that invisible, invisible zip!

This was quick to sew up just took 2 afternoons and that includes putting in an invisible zip, which I take a lot of time over.

I'd be happy to make this skirt again.  I think it would look great with an exposed zipper down the back as well as an accent, though don't know if that is something I would do, I quite like tailored looks.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Burdastyle Dress with piping

This dress was in the 5/2016 magazine, style #107 called dress with slanted seams.
The slanted seams have piping between them and there is also piping at the neck edge.

I've never tried piping so was keen to give this dress a go.   I got some pale blue polyester suiting from SmartDress fabrics.  For the piping I wanted a clear contrast so bought .5 metre of orange poplin from Spotlight for $2 and the piping cord from Spotlight, not sure how much that was, about $3 I think.  To buy pre-made piping I was going to need to buy two packets of bias binding, plus the piping cord.  That amount of pre-made bias binding was going to cost $30- more than the fabric of the dress, plus I couldn't find any bias binding in the colour that I wanted.

To make the piping I followed the various tutorials on and it worked pretty well.

Here is my dress

I'm pleased with how this has turned out, love the colours.  Now I just need some warmer weather so I can wear this!