Friday, August 24, 2012

Elephant tee

It is really starting to heat up where I live. No doubt when spring starts, it will cool off again. Bernice celebrated the start of spring with a gorgeous dress but I have gone with an old staple in a cheerful print.
I won this fabric from a recent crafty mamas competition. I was able to chose a metre of Vincente knit fabrics. I thought the elephants were kinda cute. As part of entering the competition, I said I would make a bright top for me - so here it is.

The pattern is Kwik Sew 2306, which used to be my staple t-shirt pattern. I dragged out this pattern because I thought the elephant needed to be broken up with a plain fabric and a raglan sleeve. I used a reverse cover stitch in white to hem becuase I thought the printed lended itself to some contrast there. It looks a little rash shirt like, but no matter.

The fabric is 160cm wide and there is plenty left for some matching shirts for my kids.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Another bite at a pencil skirt

After the disaster of my last project, I was determined that the next one would be more successful. I had already cut the lining for another pencil skirt so just went along with it. Luckily it went a lot more smoothly. The pattern, by the way, is Burda #127 from 1/2008. There are princess seams front and back as well as a slit at the back.

This version I changed the slit to a vent, which only required a small adjustment to angle the vent seam on the pattern. I think the vent makes the lower back sit a lot nicer than a slit. I did not do a lot of research into vent linings, having found a nice tute at a Fashionable Stitch but after further research (after the fact), I should have added some vertical ease above the vent. Live and learn etc.

I again ended up omitting the waistband due to fabric shortage. I found this wool tweed at an op shop and it only measure just  over 65cm long.
Here is the back vent and lining. The overlap is mitred in the corner. As I bagged the hem, it looks ugly in the corner where the pleat forms. I did read today that bagging a skirt hem is not necessary, but I like it.
I used the machine to attach the lining to the zipper tape. It was a little tricky having bagged the hem, but not impossible. To finish the waist, I used a strip of black bengaline cut along the non stretch grain. It was sewn doubled over and then I handstitched it to the lining on the inside.

It feels good to finish this skirt. This is a silhouette I have always avoided sewing prior to this year because I never thought a pegged skirt was flattering to my lower body. I think I need to experiment a little more.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Pencil skirt

Don’t they say pride comes before a fall?

This was going to be a great little project. I was going to use a couple a Sandra Betzina’s techniques (underlining and mitring corners) to lift my humble pencil skirt project to something a little special.

 As I was sewing, I realised that the underlining technique Sandra describes is little different to the faux Hong Kong finish and is not really suitable for bulky fabrics (whereas the faux Hong Kong finish is). The seams joining the centre front and sides together stuck out like speed bumps from the bulk. It was at this point that I was going to throw it away. But sometimes I get a little stubborn and I decided I had nothing to lose. My solution was to topstitch the seams down.
Little did I know that by pressing ahead I was starting a chain reaction of thick seams and dodgy fixes. For example, the hem. It is machine sew because I did not think my hand stitches would hold.

The waistband was chucked because I thought it would be too bulky. Good thing too since it ended up being too small. I finished the edge with a strip of black cotton.

I wanted this to be a post of triumph, a story of little ol’ me battling the fabric giant and winning. Instead, I am stuck with a slightly bruised ego. Care to share your garments of woe with me so that I can feel better.

Monday, August 13, 2012

I have a confession

I enter things in the local show. Things I have sewn. Every year. For about 6 or 7 years now. I started entering items because I was bored witless as a SAHM and needed a goal with a deadline to motivate me. I no longer need a goal to motivate me but I like to enter something all the same. Probably because I never recived many prizes when I was younger.

The last few years I have been entering in the Natural Fibres Creations competition. You enter through the local show and then there is a state final held at the Ekka if your entry comes first or second.

This year my daywear entry (trench coat, shirt and pants) came in second. I am thrilled to say the least.  My aim for this year and future years is to only enter garments that I will actually wear - so that genereally rules out the evening wear and creative clothing categories and makes the daywear category a little more restrictive since I am not doing fun racewear.

I am only a little cranky that the Lord Mayor called me Murray. That totally sent me back to high school.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Dodgy dye job cardigan.

I have had Kwik Sew 2759 for a long time, ever since I saw Gigi review it on Pattern review (oh look, that was back in 2001). I made it a few times but I think I have only made it once since I had a coverstitch machine.  I had never come across a tutorial that addresses how to start off on the coverstitching and get a nice finish that doesn't ravel, so I had filed making cardigans in the  it's-all-too-hard-for-me-to-wrap-my-brain-around basket and not given them much thought. Then one day it occured to me that I could hem it before applying the band. Yay, I can make cardigans again.

 The fabric is a silk metallic knit that I did a dodgy dye job with. I used food colouring and vinegar. I actually have procion dyes that I could use with vinegar, but I decided to go the food colouring route so I could just shove it in the oven and not buy a special pot to dye. I was really very slapdash. Wet the fabric, added vinegar and colouring to a bucket with hot water, swish around, pour into an oven tray and keep warm in the oven. Acid dyes need heat, unlike the dyes I am used to doing with  regular tap water.
 When I trying it on, I remembered why Kwik Sew was my favourite pattern company years ago. The fit is not skin type. Pattern piece match correctly. Instructions are super clear. I actually adjusted the length and made it 5 cm longer, but I am not sure if it is the right decision. It feels a little too long now.

This is the photo to show that it does sparkle - a lot. I am going to wear it to a wedding later this month I think.

Here I have shortened it back to about the length drafted by Kwik Sew. I am thinking it might be slightly less dowdy at this length. I am also thinking of tracing the next size down at the shoulders, as it seems a little too wide there.

Can't wait to sew a couple more. I love cardigans.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

A fabulous fabric sale

I read about this fabulous annual fabric sale on the Summer Flies blog. It was very tempting but since I had bought way too much fabric lately I wasn't going to go. But then my husband convinced me I should go. Isn't he a sweetie?

It took me a while to actually locate the joint and had to circle around the block - the things you do for a good fabric sale. All the fabrics were $6/m and I had to spend quite some time considering the fabrics because I only had a limited amount of cash on me.

I ended up with a brown checked wool, a charcoal mystery fabric, a purple boiled wool and a charcoal linen. From the sounds of it, the boiled wool is the same as Summer Flies bought. It really is a gorgeous colour. They will end up as pants, a jacket and shorts or a skirt.

I really have to get cracking on some sewing. I have no more storage room at all. Well, in the sewing room that is.