Friday, 25 July 2014

V8597 Revisited


A while ago I made a Vogue knit top out of a too stretchy knit and was disappointed with the results see post. Then Coco of Coco's Loft suggested using a different knit, so I did!
I'd bought a piece of lovely grey knit with a black overlay full of holes, a lucky find at my local Vinnie's charity shop and gave V8597 another go.

I refined the fit and made the shoulder and back neck a bit smaller and stay stitched the seam that goes from front arm scye to back neck to the other arm scye. That and the double layer material made all the difference.

This is what I hoped for.  I feel like spider woman!

I did a sway back adjustment.

Finding things in op shops its very hit and miss. I usually come out with nothing. But sometimes I find something like this. Here's a close up of the material.

The wrinkles were smoothed out before I pinned and cut! There is more leftover for something else and my daughter wants a sleeveless top out of it, grunge style.

Thanks to Sharon of Petite and Sewing for showing me how good ripped overlay knit can look in real life when she wore a knit jacket with ripped knit sleeves to a local sewist's meetup a couple of months ago.

We all take inspiration from each other, don't we?

Happy sewing,


Tuesday, 22 July 2014

V8806 Dress

Dear Bloggers,

I've had V8806 in my pattern stash ever since it came out and always thought it would make a good beach dress/swim cover up garment.

Of course it would make a good casual summer dress with hood as a fashion statement. At the end of our previous Aussie summer I dithered about thinking it would be great made up in my teal linen but at the end I could not, wanting to keep it for a shirt (it became the  teal linen Archer shirt) so the dithering continued.

Then in our autumn I joined a gym. There is a long cold corridor between the sauna and the indoor pool and I never bothered getting my towel out of my locker, preferring one dash to two but I  came up with the idea of making V8806 out of some double sided terry toweling from E.M. Greenfields, Sydney and make what is essentially a long hoodie.

Posing on my balcony early this morning, pretending it's summer..

Regarding the gorgeous terry toweling I knew this material, double sided and lush, was really too thick for sewing any sort of garment and that I should be making a poncho with a hood, if anything, but when I pre washed it the pile settled down a bit so I went ahead. Oh my! So hard. It took endless patience and a walking foot and much kicking of self. I eliminated the shoulder dart and the hood dart by folding them out before cutting and during construction I almost left out the zip to make this a throw on. But I was determined to finish it and finish it I did. I added two little round 'grommet' buttonholes that my Bernina can do to the hood on the outside of the hood edge hem allowance for a white drawstring to tie in visually with the zip. 

I love the pattern. As a dress in linen or hemp or bamboo it would be great. I love how the hood falls (see side view). I already have some hemp with this pattern's name on it. 

The pattern instructs you to line the bodice and hood to give a clean finish for the hood/neck junction but even on a summer fabric I think I would use only one layer for our hot summers and just bind the neckline in self bias.

The other thing is this dress needs pockets in the side seams but there was no way I was even going to do patch pockets on this toweling. The other problem with this dress is that once I have it on I don't want to take it off. That says something :))

It could become a house dress in the tradition of 'I don't know what I am going to wear today but I can actually open the front door in this if I have to'. Like in the fifties. Not everything about that era worn by our mothers or grandmothers was glamourous, kids.

Keep on sewing
and carry on..
Or words to that effect..


Winner July give away

Hello all,

Once again, in my year of give aways there is a winner. It was a close race with only a few contenders..

The winner is Paola of La Sartora, so Paola email me. It's Christmas in July for you!


Saturday, 19 July 2014


Two days ago a Malaysia airlines passenger plane, MH17. came down over the Ukraine.
The news bulletins say it was shot down by high tech missiles. A casualty of war, it seems.
Civilians are dead, mostly Dutch nationals going to south east Asia on Holidays. Australians coming back from Europe. Britons going about their business. The numbers and nationalities keep shifting as do the reports of who did what and speculation as to who is responsible.

I am sorry.

Sorry that there are missiles to fire. Sorry that this air route that flies over the grand river valley of the Dnepr will forever be part of this tragedy. Sorry for the senseless waste of lives. Sorry that there will be more as countries fight over oil, over power, over boundaries, over I don't know what...

I love Amsterdam. I love the city. I remember the hospitality I found amongst sewing friends in The Netherlands. I hope you and yours are all safe ..

Many have dreamt dreams of all men living in peace. You know that saying about not staying silent?

A preacher here said that sorrow for this senseless act goes beyond words and it does...

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

July give away, Claude Montana retro pattern

Hello People,

I have been sewing but not blogging much, giving sewing lessons to my daughter who all of a sudden wants to sew for herself. I enjoy watching her pick up things fast..She reckons she absorbed a lot of information by osmosis, watching me sew all these years. For whatever reasons, it gives me joy to teach her. She enjoys the fact that she has 'access to my brain' as well as to my patterns, my remnants but not as yet my stash..

I am also working on Vogue 8806 but making it up as a swim coverup with mixed results. That story in my next post.

Today I want to fling open my July give away.

The pattern is one of my charity shop finds that I bought because I could not resist a closer look. It is one size only, 14. It's complete but some of the pieces have been cut out ever so carefully (that's what we were taught to do in sewing classes in those days) and it looks like the top has been made.

The skirt is more interesting than it looks at first glance with the front panel wrapping over toward the back to make a longer pocket and a back princess seam. I love the pattern but know it would not suit me so if you want it let me know in the comments by Wednesday 23rd July.

Long before Hanna Montana, there was Claude Montana who designed this pattern for the Vogue Individualist series. It is dated 1986.

Isn't it a pity that more big name designers don't want to be identified with sewing patterns anymore.
I hope this will change. It reminds me of a story about my mother who sewed but loved to embroider even more. She made a lovely lilac shift and hand embroidered a lily on it. It was beautiful. When she wore the dress shopping a friend wanted to know where she bought it. My mother told her she had made the dress and the woman did not believe her. My mother coolly replied that someone somewhere had made what the woman was wearing so why was it so unbelievable?

Go Mum. I have to dig out some old photos of Mum in her outfits. My brother has them and it is hard to get them out of his hands even to go scan them. I might have to bribe him with cookies..

Keep on Sewing,

Friday, 4 July 2014

Winter Woolies

To paraphrase Patricia of Red Cardinal, I do believe that Sydney's three minutes of genuine winter have arrived. Arrived with a vengeance, bringing freezing night temperatures and cold air from the south.

So, as a break from sewing I did my yearly (or two yearly) bout of knitting which usually consists of a scarf but I made a hat as I now have short hair.

I made a striped 'elf' hat.

The pattern and wools are available from Lincraft. The thick soft 60 % wool 40% acrylic is Italian made and is available 'until sold out only'.  I love the stuff so much I also made a wide headband for my daughter, who normally gets irritation from wool.

Unfortunately this will be my knitting fix for a while. An old tendon injury to my hand has flared up as a warning sign. *sigh*

So bear with me while I get arty modeling my self-made-elf hat..

Have a happy weekend everyone, happy fourth of July to you in the US, and happy woolly wearing if where you are happens to be cold,