Friday, 28 November 2014

V1247 Top

Hi all,

On December 1st it is officially the start of summer here in the land down under. We've already had a taste of real heat and on a day of extreme heat last weekend I got to thinking about a top I made last summer which I had rolled in a ball and put in the back of the wardrobe. Not because I didn't like it, not because it didn't suit me or didn't fit but because the fine white cotton that I had made up so carefully was just a bit too sheer.

Or is it? Am I being too - I can't find a word - bashful -  here? In any case it seems a shame not to use it or possibly salvage it in some way.

The skirt is also from V1247 and has become my go-to pattern for a subtle A line. I reviewed it here

But the top..thoughts? Dye? Crop top bra? My aim is to wear it on hot days so I don't want to layer it with a camisole.

Have a good day,


Sunday, 23 November 2014

V9050 Dress

There's been constant sewing going on here but not much blogging. I like doing blog posts but life  dramas and pre-christmas work kept getting in the way.

But today I am finally able to get some photos and do a catch up post.

V9050 is one of a clutch of recently released Vogue patterns and was hidden in amongst much more flamboyant dresses but it caught my eye immediately. I had some fire engine red pure linen in the stash. I decided to try to fade the colour into something more subtle so I soaked the material, which had been re washed for shrinkage, in a tub of hot water with a cup of White King bleach. The result was the orange/brick colour I wanted with some interesting marbling. Success!

Then I measured and adjusted the pattern, made it up with basting stitch and adjusted some more. Going by measurements and guesswork I thought I did not need to do a sway back adjustment as I had plenty of seams to take in and the back seam was already curved.

Well - I Should Know Better but all was not lost. I took the back piece up at the shoulders and cut down the shoulders and back neck by 5'8" to hike up the upper back.

There were other issues at work here, the back neck to waist length was too long and I have a slightly rounded back neck. I had enough ease at the armholes as I had added a bit of width at the sides. It worked but my armholes now are a bit too wide at the back at the top of the arms. I am going to go back and fix this. Ah the joys of turning two dimension into something that fits a three dimensional body..

Also, due to my fitness & careful eating regime I keep slowly shrinking. I'm not complaining but it makes fitting a continuing process. Just before the photos were taken this morning I took the upper back princess seams in and the side seams in. Maybe I should have cut a smaller size at the start but taking from is easier than adding to! The aim is to get a fitted look while skimming over the remaining bulgy bits. Challenging but six months ago this dress would not have been flattering on me at all.

I did not line the dress. It has to stay breathable through the Sydney summer and even though it creases as soon as I sit down, it is very comfortable to wear.

Would I make it again, yes, but not right now. There are too many things in the pipe line.

The pattern is ready though, with these modifications:
Altered back neck/shoulders.
Sway back adjustment.
Knee skimming length.
Slanted side seams brought up by 2"

There it is. Regarding the weight loss, I have 2kg left to go, more for medical reasons than vanity although my vanity is coping quite well :))

Weight loss is such a individual thing and there are many factors involved in making it stick but if anyone is interested I'll do a post on how I did it.

Have a good week,


Sunday, 9 November 2014

Jalie 3024 top

Readers I have frankenpatterned myself a sleeveless summer top using Jalie 3024.

I am starting to become a real fan of this Canadian pattern company because of their excellent drafting and their multi sizing and the fact that their pattern pieces remind me of building blocks and I like nothing better than interchangeable bits so I can run with my own ideas.

The top I made uses the bodice of View C for the back (the back and front the same on that dress) and  the bodice of View B without the crossover. I traced these then added enough of the skirt to make a top.

I added a CB seam so I could do all in one facings that end under the bust.

Bring on summer...

The order of construction and method for the facings is:

Join the fronts to backs at the shoulders on the bodice and also on the facings.
Lay the facing piece on the bodice piece, right sides together.
Serge the neck edge 
Serge the armhole edges.
Turn the whole thing right side out pulling the backs through the fronts.
Sew the side seams.
Sew the back seam.
Top stitch the neck edge. Top stitch the armhole edges.
Cover stitch the hem.

An almost instant top.

My alterations to the pattern were:  Take 1cm off the back at the shoulders and 2cm off the front at the shoulders and to raise the front armhole a little, also widen the armhole curve 1cm at bust level.

My straps ended up a bit wider because of all this but that is my preference.

I bought the pattern for the dress but I am very pleased with this basic tank top. It's going to be a TNT.

By the way, my first version was supposed to be a yellow top to go with my V9007 skirt (see previous post) but it turned out too awful due to the cheap & nasty material used. Lets just call it a non-wearable muslin shall we?

In case anyone is wondering I did not make the pants, they are Target skinny jeans with 6" cut off to make them into capris.

I have a pile of sewing that I am going to do for DD from a recent material buying spree.. Off to clear the cutting table.

Happy sewing,


Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Vogue 9007 Skirt

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As spring teeters on the edge of summer here in the southern hemisphere, Spotlight sent out a 40% off coupon and my eye was distracted form all the other things I want to sew by a set of circle skirts, Vogue 9007 and some green paisley cotton.

I am a sewing floozy, I go where the whim takes me..

V9007 View B

The skirt is a six gore circle with squared off points and hangs from a snug curved yoke. There are pockets in the skirt side seams and a zip at the back.

A skirt this voluminous needs a fitted top, so I am making a pale yellow v-neck tank top from a newly arrived Jalie pattern to go with it.
The skirt feels nicely swishy to wear and just floats around the legs as you move.

This pattern is a real fabric hog but I lengthened it 2cm because on the line drawing the short part is hovering above the model's knees. In the vogue link on a real model it is not quite that short. 

No matter I like skirts like this longer rather than shorter and am thinking of making it from a knit and lengthening the four curves into points. We shall see.

n.b.  The skirt pieces are all cut on the true bias and do drop a little. The beauty of the uneven hem is that the drop doesn't matter!

The pattern recommends broadcloth, linen blends, lightweight denim. Denim? Maybe they mean chambray... it needs fabric that is lightweight but firmly woven and with a nice drape.  

The envelope also says 'not suitable for obvious diagonals'. One day I am going to make this out of diagonal stripe and see if anything awful happens. Will the bogey man jump out of the closet? My own fabric rebellion..

Happy sewing,