Saturday, 28 November 2015

Just a little adjustment to V9067

In sewing a little adjustment can make all the difference, dear reader.

A pattern that worked perfectly fine in one material can turn out differently in another. Each material has different drape and different 'give'. I'm probably stating the glaringly obvious but this was brought home to me when my silk version of V9067 View C top turned out looser than my cotton version of this top. (See previous posts with the label V9067.)

I had tried taking it in all the way down which did not work. After mulling it over I ha the idea of taking out the sleeve ruffles and pinning them 5/8" higher on the shoulders and almost all the way around,  tapering to 1/14" at the bottom of the sleeve. This brought everything back into proportion but retained the amount of ease the top needs.

Catching the breeze ..

I like it better now.

In my sewing queue is the downloaded and waiting to be printed and pieced Tessuti "Kate" top. I'll make a wearable muslin but the remnant of this silk has been earmarked for it if it works out.

Happy Sewing for your season..


Tuesday, 24 November 2015

V9067 View C in silk

It's a busy time of year, counting down towards Christmas. I made this top the week before last but am only managing to write this post now and you may be relieved to hear this is my last post about V9067  link to pattern for a while. Really! There are other things in the queue.

I've made up a second View C top in silk bought on my latest overseas travels, instead of being afraid to cut into the good stuff. Time to take a risk...

The conclusion. When I wore the top for this quick early morning photo shoot I loved the way it felt and even though in photos it's voluminous and seemingly shapeless it came alive whenever I moved. It swished and swirled then floated behind me when I walked.

This top was cut the same as my previous version link to V9067 View C top in cotton voile but it felt bigger. I took it in a half cm along the sides which brought the sleeves a bit higher. Taking it in more than this did not work on my wide shoulders. The garment's shape needs a fair amount of ease and I found it hard to strike the balance between too much and too little.

Also, thinking I knew better than Vogue, I cut the sleeve frills on the bias. But ultimately I think they are better cut on the straight as per the original instructions which gives a bit of definition to those seams. Cut on the bias they are just a continuation of the way the whole garment falls. Not that that's a bad thing but I am still undecided on whether to cut new sleeves from remaining material.. I have just enough left for a shell top so somehow I may end up leaving it. I have some functions coming up and we've been having some fiendishly hot days (and nights) here in Sydney. I don't know.

I could style it with white cropped slim leg pants, high shoes and big jewellery..

Should I redo the sleeves? Thoughts?

Meanwhile I'm running up some Style Arc Elle pants link to Ellle Pants  in black scuba knit for DD while I think about it. This pattern is a favourite of hers and she's going to visit friends in Vancouver in January..

Happy pre Christmas sewing,


Saturday, 14 November 2015

Vogue 9067 View D straight legged pants

Hi everyone.

I've made up Vogue 9067 again, this time the straight legged pants, View D  V9067
These pants are loose and flowing with pockets at the side seams and an elasticised waist. Super quick, super easy. Going by the picture I thought they may be too wide on my short self so I made them up without pockets to see how they'd go.

The jungle print rayon was gift from Melodie from sew as part of the partner exchange from Prttynpnk's purrfect-pairings back in January of this year. Thank you Melodie. I didn't know what to make from it till now but better late than never! It was the perfect weight and has a nice drape.

Changes:  I ommitted the pockets but if I make them again I will do pockets. It needs pockets!
I put elastic all the way around. The pattern actually has a little front panel and the elastic attaches to the ends..I cut my own casing from a strip of selvedge.

I folded out 5 cm from the length of the legs.

My most important change was a sway back adjustment. In the past I have done this by angling up the side seam to add an extra inch to the top of the centre back seam but I've discovered that it works far better on me to do a wedge across the back just above the crotch curve. See photo:

I put the white paper behind the  pattern so you could see it. 
On this photo you can see why this adjustment works on my body.
Me = angled  Pattern = angled

The result. They are easy to wear, not too voluminous and I like them more than I thought I would!
I hope all of you stay safe and well,


Saturday, 7 November 2015

V9067 View C top

Hi! I've just made - and worn - the View C top from Vogue Five Easy Pieces pattern V9067
I liked this pattern when  first saw it - from Fall 2014 - and I bought it with the View A colour blocked top in mind then got pleasantly distracted, as you do, by other patterns.

The ruffle sleeved top does not present as well in the envelope photographs and quite frankly in white it looks a bit like a hospital smock. Then I saw it made up on the V9067 on the Tessuti blog and thought aha it can work.

I made out using the voile I tie died using the Shibori method, see this post, by putting centre front and back seams on all the pieces except the front flounce and the sleeve flounces. The print was busy enough to hide the added seams. This top is a material hog with two curved bias front flounces and a long flounce across the back.


I sewed a medium throughout and did not do any alterations to the shape of the pieces, only to the construction. The sleeve ruffles are cut on the straight grain and even though the pattern piece curves gently the sleeves stick straight out at the shoulder seam. If you self line them as the pattern says to they would stick straight out even more. Anyway, I did not have enough material to line them so I did them as one layer and narrow hemmed them.

The armholes are very deep. I raised them by 5/8" both front and back and eased the sleeve in, to give them a slightly softer fall.  When I make it again I am going to try cutting them out on the bias instead.

I raised the neckline a little bit by keeping 1/4" of the seam allowance to wrap the bias strip facing over then stitching it down. While I was at it I closed the back opening by overlapping the ends of the neck facing instead of using a button and loop as it says to in the pattern, as I had no trouble pulling the garment over my head.

Will I make it again. Yes! I wore it out to lunch with a friend who thought I'd bought it. Sweet!

The conclusion. I like the top, it's summery and breezy. the sleeves are growing on me. I might leave them as is on the next version. What do you think?

Happy sewing,


Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Collette Dinnigan and Sewing Inspiration

For anyone in Sydney who needs some sewing inspiration, go along to the Collette Dinnigan Unlaced exhibition which is on until August next year at the Powerhouse Museum at Darling Harbour.

I was lucky enough to get to this event last Sunday as a guest of Gail of My Fabrication
Also there were Sharon of Petite and Sewing, Gabrielle of Up Sew Late, Sandra who is known as Dilliander on Pattern Review and Anita, the brilliant Pattern Maker of Well Suited/Studio Faro
There were other ladies there who do not  blog but love to sew. All found Colette's gowns an inspiration. I especially loved her inspiration boards. She starts with colour, then art, then mixes in people and life experiences and come up with gowns that are wonderful..

I did not now that photos are allowed (no flash) but here are some of my iPhone pics.

Apparently it all started with a love of lace..

Happy to have sewing inspiration,


Sunday, 1 November 2015

Zombies, Shibori and Me

Happy Halloween!

It's been a very eventful weekend for me.  Yesterday, Halloween coincided with a charity event held in Sydney called the Zombie Walk which is held to raise funds for research into brain cancer. This year was the first I'd heard of it but it's the sixth one. I was surprised at the size of the event. It attracts quite a crowd of participants, onlookers and photographers.

I met up with some of my photo group buddies from the Sydney Street Photographers Meetup Group. I decided to zombie up. It was such fun. I had forgotten how liberating it is to put on a costume and a face of greasepaint! I did my hair and some of my make up at home and went on the train in costume and it was amazing how few strange looks I got, just a few laughs along the line of 'she's getting ready to party early'.

Which brings me to the costume. What do the undead wear? Tattered, dirty, 'decaying' clothing and skeleton face make up, according to google, with optional latex scars and fake blood. I was going to be taking photographs so I didn't want to do latex or 'blood' and I wanted to keep it relatively simple.

Last week I had done a bit of experimental Shibori tie dyeing. Shibori is the Japanese art of pleating, folding then tying material between two blocks of wood then dyeing it blue to get that beautiful crackle effect that is on trend for summer. I googled again and found out how to do it from this
Ellle magazine article

I did not use the kit mentioned in the article but Dylon Velvet Black (really a very dark purple) for the blue effect on two pieces of white cotton. I did it in a 15L plastic tub and rinsed in the laundry sink by hand rather than using the washing machine but other than that I followed the instructions on the packet. The only thing I did differently was to put a bit of Woolmix detergent in the rinse water to stop the dyeing process, then rinse again. I wasn't sure how they would turn out but I am pleased with the result.

Stash cotton voile

Stash cotton jacquard

The dry T shirts folded and tied with lots of rubber bands

Then sandwiched tightly between off cuts of wood

For my zombie outfit I already had a pair of grungy grey 'dead' black jeans. I just need to dye some T shirts. I decided to use the same method to dye a grey T shirt and also a olive grey T shirt that I had hardly worn. I was going to layer the green over the grey.

I liked the result on the grey one so much I decided to keep it and not to shred it. 

The green one was a poly cotton mix so I had to do it twice, reheating a 2L plastic bowl of the leftover  dye mix carefully in the microwave to just simmer point on low power with the re-knotted T shirt immersed in it (no wooden blocks this time) and it worked. 

A little artwork with the pinking shears and the seam riper and I had my zombie T. I wore it over a black V necked Tank.

The colour variation is sunlight on my balcony but I took this photo as I was getting ready so it'll have to do!

I had a great time.

Me in Zombie mode
Photo above by Raymond Horsey.

There's more to tell but it'll have to wait for another post.
For more Zombie photos taken during the event see my photo blog Learning to Focus

My next sewing project will be the tie dyed voile. I have found the perfect pattern for it.

Happy sewing,