Thursday, 14 December 2017

Top 5 hits of 2017

So on Sewcialist they are doing a top 5 hits and top 5 misses of 2017 blog tour.  This got me thinking, what were my top 5.  How do I categorise top 5 - what gets the most wear, or what was my biggest accomplishment.  So looking back over the year, here are my top 5 hits.

First, has to be my Jalie Womens Stretch Jeans 2908, with the pattern hacked to straight leg rather than bootleg.  I first made the bootleg and wore them a lot, but once I had the straight leg made I wore them ALL THE TIME.  For someone who has never worn jeans because RTW just doesn't fit my small waist/big hips this is a major lifestyle change.  Yes, these jeans have changed my life!

Second is the Style Arc Stacie jean jacket, embroidered with designs from Urban Threads.

This has to be my second most worn make of the year, even though I only made it in October and December has been too hot to wear it.
Love it, only problem is there are no pockets and it is meant to be snug fitting, meaning no jumpers under it.  So 2018 will be a new denim jacket - the Style Arc Stevie jean jacket is a looser fit and with pockets.

Third is my discovery of Itch to Stitch patterns, in particular their Bonn shirt, Lisbon Cardigan and Vientiane skirt.  At number 3 is the Vientiane skirt.  Once December arrived it was too hot for jeans, so this skirt has been worn heaps. 

Number 4 instead of a single garment I'm going to give the position to a pattern.  This is the Itch to Stitch Bonn shirt.  There are many variations possible, different sleeve lengths, dress length.  So far for myself I've made 2 Bonn shirts (one flannel with long sleeves, one poplin with flared sleeves).  I'm also working on 2 shirts for my mother for Christmas.  A grand total of 4 shirts after only getting the pattern in September.

5th place is going to be a tie between Love Notions Laundry Day T and Itch to stitch Lisbon cardigan.  I see both of these as being TNT patterns with lots more to come.
I've so far made 3 Laundry Day T's

And 2 Lisbons

And as a side, I just have to mention this gorgeous Love Bear by Sweet Pea machine embroidery.  Too cute.

So, yes I can count and I know that is more than 5 hits, but hey,it's my blog and I can do what I want!

Monday, 11 December 2017

Xmas Machine embroidery and Itch to Stitch Sirena dress

I don't have much in the way of Christmas decorations and what I do have is pretty old and sad looking.  Now I am into machine embroidery there are so many wonderful things to make so over the last couple of weeks my machine has been running hot.
Crazy patchwork Xmas stocking. Design by Kreative Kiwi.
Wallhanging with fairly lights.  Santa design by Amazing Designs.  I added my own wording in software and added extra eyelets for more lights.

 I made this last year.  Gingerbread cottage by Urban Threads.  It has a battery operated tea light inside it.
tree decorated with FSL ornaments from various designers. The 3d Angel at the top is by Stitch Delight.

I also completed another summer dress.  This time the Sirena dress from Itch to Stitch.

I altered the sleeves as the pattern has quite long sleeves and a flared option.  As I want this for summer, the shorter sleeves are better.  Other changes I made were:
  • Lengthened the bodice by 1"
  • Lengthened the skirt by 1  1/2"
  • Lowered bust dart apex by 1"
  • Removed the front centre seam on the front bodice and front skirt and cut on the fold.
The skirt is still a bit short for my liking, so next time I will lengthen by another 2"

The neckline is bound by bias binding.  The instructions don't say how wide this should be.  I made my own from some pale yellow poplin in my stash and made it 1 1/2" wide which seemed to be the right width for this.  This dress only used up about 1.9m of 140cm width fabric so is quite economical.  I should have enough of this fabric left over to make another vientiane skirt.  In total it took me around 9 1/2 hours to make.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Chalk and Notch Fringe dress

This is the first time I've made a pattern from Chalk and Notch.  They don't have many patterns available yet, but I thought the Fringe dress looked like a perfect summer dress.

First, the photos

The dress has 2 options for the neckline.  One is the keyhole that I made here, the other is for a button front with V neck.  There is also the option to make it in a tunic.

I made this in a viscose.  I made it in a size 12, This fitted my bust size according to their size chart, but my waist measurement was between size 12 and size 14.  The pattern has darts at the waist in back and front. Their instructions include "Custom adjustments"  which tell you how to adjust the waist darts for more or less ease. Rather than grading the waist to between a 12 and 14 I adjusted the waist darts as they suggested by reducing the front and back darts by 1/2". This worked well.  I also lengthened the bodice by 1 1/2", I usually lengthen bodices by 1" but I needed slightly more with this pattern.  I normally lengthen the skirt, but didn't this time.  The sides come up slightly higher at the sides that I am comfortable with.  Next time I may straighten the hem instead of having it curved.

I'm very happy with this.  It's a lovely cool dress and finished just in the nick of time as we are having temperatures in the high 20's already.

I'm trying out a few dresses and want to make them in the same fabric to see how they all compare so I can get a TNT (tried and true) pattern to make over and over again.  This is definitely a contender and I'd like to make a tunic version also.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Birthday gifts and Style Arc Luna pants

Friday was a very good friends 60th Birthday.  A special day and a special lady deserved some nice gifts.
 Bathrobe/Dressing gown.  Made from flanelette with feather design.  I made this pattern myself.
 Slippers and a sleep mask.  The slippers are a design from Stitch Delight.  I got the sleep mask pattern when I first started machine embroidery and I don't remember where I got it from.
Another Love Bear from Sweet Pea.  This was made in a fleece.

My friend was very happy with the gifts.

Meantime, for me it was time for another pair of Luna pants from Style Arc.  This time made in a bengaline.

This time the fabric isn't so busy  so you can see the topstitching of the faux fly and faux pockets.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Itch to Stitch Bonn shirt.

This is my second Bonn shirt.  I previously made a long sleeve version in plaid flannel.  The shirt comes with various sleeve length options and a dress option.  This time I wanted a flared sleeve shirt.

It is hard to see from the photos but the fabric is a poplin from the Gertie collection and is a small black and white gingham type check with red cherries.

I knew I wanted to make another Bonn shirt and had already purchased this fabric when it was announced on Facebook there would be a Bonn sewalong.  The timing was perfect, so I have enjoyed taking part in the Facebook sewalong and seeing all the lovely fabric other sewers are using.

Rather than seeing the hem on the flare I wanted a pop of colour, so I added some red poplin lining to the flare.  You can just see a peek of it in the second photo above.  This is how it looked when I was getting it ready.

Last time I made a 8B, graded to size 12 at hips.  It was a little bit snug across the chest, so this time I made an 8C, graded size 8 to 12 from waist to hips.  I also lowered the dart apex by 3/4" and added 1" to the length above the waist.  I couldn't be happier with the fit on this.

The last shirt took me about 12 hours, but this one was done in around  8 hours.  No pattern matching or sleeve plackets makes a difference!

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Itch to Stitch Vientiane Skirt

I have so many clothes to make for the summer,  and most of them are from Itch to Stitch.  This is the 3rd pattern I've made from Itch to Stitch and I just love the attention to detail from  the designer Kennis Wong.  Her instructions are so clear to follow.

I made Itch to Stitch's Vientiane skirt

This skirt is so comfortable to wear.  The fabric is cotton sateen.  I love the flounce on the bottom.  The instructions are so good with Itch to Stitch patterns, even telling you when you need to finish a seam before sewing them (eg zips and side seams that have in-seam pockets).  The waistband is stabilised with twill tape.  I think all these extra attention to detail make for a well made garment.

The skirt has in-seam pockets.  There are also options for patch pockets.  I've made a  lot of garments with in-seam pockets and they have usually taken me ages to get right. However the instructions and drafting with this pattern made it come together effortlessly and very neatly.  In the photo above you can't even see there are pockets there.

The back closes with an invisible zipper.  I was very pleased with how this looked.  In the past the fabric hasn't always sat smoothly at the bottom of the zipper, but this time it is perfect.

I made this in a size 12.  However the waistband was too big, and I ended up taking it in.  Next time I will make a size 10 waist, and grade to size 12 at hips.

The only alteration I made was to add 1 5/8" to the length.  The shorten/lengthen lines on the pattern pieces make this super simple to do.

I say next time, because there have to be more of these in my wardrobe.  But so many other things to make first.  In my sewing room at the moment is my next Bonn shirt - I'm taking part in a sewalong on Facebook for this pattern.  Then I want to make my mother 2 Bonn shirts for Xmas.  I've prepared the pattern for a Sirena dress.  Then I want a couple of Anza dresses, a chai dress, a beausoleil top, a beausoleil dress, Vienna tank.  Can you tell I like Itch to Stitch patterns?

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Burdastyle 10/17 111 and ITH gifts

After I had made my Luna pants I had a vision in my mind of a long white flowy top with double flared sleeves to wear with them.  I had a look at Indie designers online but couldn't find any that fitted my vision.  So I went back to my Burdastyle magazines and found this one in the October issue.  It was almost exactly what I envisioned, except it was in petite sizes, definitely not me!  However I thought with a few changes I'd be able to make it and get the vision I was after.

The version above is double georgette.  The bodice is 2 layers, one longer than the other.  The 2 layers means I don't have to worry about wearing a cami underneath.  the sleeves are exactly what I wanted, double flares with one slightly longer than the other.  The magazine wasn't quite as long as I wanted and the neck was too low for my taste

The changes I made to change it from petite and to the length/neckline I wanted were:
Used size 21, lengthened 1" above the waist.
Lengthened 1 1/5" at hem
Lengthened 1" at sleeve
Raised neckline 1"

With all the changes I made I decided to make a muslin first.  I've been using a bedsheet purchased at an op shop as my muslin fabric.  The fabric is quite nice, a soft cotton gingham effect.  When I made up the muslin the changes were perfect and I decided I really liked the sheet as a top, so went ahead and made it up.    It is hard to tell from the photos but this is a soft pink and white gingham.
When I was happy with my bedsheet top I went ahead and made the georgette top.
More photos of the white georgette top.

It was a friends birthday last week, so I made her a couple of small gifts.
An ITH bag, the bag is from Kreative Kiwi, the cat, I think, was from cute embroidery, a freebie at the time.  I filled this with sweets.

And a purse.  An ITH design from Sweet Pea. She is of Chinese heritage, so red for luck. With of course a coin inside "so it will never be empty"

Sunday, 22 October 2017

StyleArc Luna Pants

I bought some checked cotton sateen a couple of months ago.  When I bought it I was thinking of making a dress with it.  However when I got it home I looked at it again and thought a dress would look too office-like.  So instead I decided on a pair of pants and there will be enough left over for a skirt.  2 for the price of 1  I like that!

I liked the look of StyleArc's Luna pants.  They are for a stretch woven, have an elastic waistband with faux pockets and faux fly details.  They are 3/4 length with a side slit.

I really like these pants.  I'm thinking of wearing them with a tunic length flowing top for my xmas dos this year. The annual dinner and walk up Franklin Rd to see the Xmas lights and Xmas lunch out with my Mum. They have a kind of 60's pedal pusher vibe that I really like.  My Mum says they remind her of the pants worn  by the lady pro golfers.

The only change I made was to add 1# to the length.  I'm 5'9" so often need to add length, but I also wanted them a little longer than the pattern photo showed.  I love the side slit, but had trouble following the illustrated instruction that StyleArc gave.  I tried it on a scrap of fabric and it was just a mess.  Instead I found  this photo tutorial by BurdaStyle that is for the same technique, but clearer instructions and this tutorial made it a breeze to do.

The only problem was the fabric is so busy that you can't see my topstitch detail of the faux pockets/fly, even though I used the heavier topstitch thread.  Good excuse to make another pair.

According to Style Arc's size chart I fit perfectly in the size 14, so I made size 14.  These are a wee snug, the sateen didn't have quite as much stretch as I thought, also I have put on a couple of kilos since last taking my measurements.  Working hard on getting those 2 kg off, so then they will fit perfectly!

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Love Bear

A very dear friend is recovering from surgery on both her feet.  I wanted to make her something special to give her cuddles.  Sweet Pea's Love Bear seemed perfect.

The bear is made from fur, the ear, heart on chest and face are from suede left over from my suede jacket, the black nose is leather from the leather jacket that I got at an op shop.

I added a handmade label and on the back added " I attached the label to the ribbon and when I had added the label it reminded be of Paddington Bear, so on the back of the label I wrote "Please look after this bear".

I gave it to my friend today and she loves it.