T-shirts for days

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

At the start of every summer I'm amazed at how few t-shirts I have, or more truthfully, how many t-shirts I have that I actually feel good wearing.  Making t-shirts isn't the most exciting project and as I was sewing these production line style, I wondered why I didn't go out and buy some (now that my RTW fast is over!).

Like most basic items we choose to sew, the answer lies in the fit.  I struggle to find t's long enough - I don't like worrying that my stomach will show or ones that ride up my back when I sit down.  I feel most self conscious about my stomach so I don't like t-shirts that are tight across there.  All things I struggle with in RTW tops.

I've mixed two patterns together to create one I'm pretty happy with.  I always liked the fit through the body of the Sewaholic Renfrew, but the shoulders/arms were too small.  I made a few Tessuti Lola t's late last year and I liked the fit through the shoulders, arms and bust but the body felt too big.  I feel like Goldilocks, because combining the two is just right!

The mixed fabric tops were inspired by an Anthropologie t-shirt I saw on Pinterest and were great for using up some larger scraps and I couldn't resist buying the cobalt blue jersey in the Tessuti sale earlier this year.

So, not exciting sewing, but they filled a gap and have been in high rotation.  Excuse the total lack of ironing in these photos!

Keeping track of my fabric purchases is actually encouraging me to sew the fabric up a lot quicker than I normally would - two other purchases have been cut and one is nearly finished.  

A lucky buy

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

If you've been sewing for any length of time I'm sure you've struggled with pattern storage at some point.


Mine have been stashed in a spare cupboard, everything thrown in together.  It had got to a point where I was too scared to buy any new patterns because I wasn't sure what I had!  

I was pretty excited when Mum mentioned that she'd seen a local Spotlight selling an old pattern cabinet on Boxing Day.  I was so worried that someone else would have snapped it up but when Wade and I went down first thing the next morning it was still available and Wade even talked them down on the price.  It's a good thing he supports my sewing because we had to put the cabinet on the car roof rack for the four hour drive home!

Once we got it home Wade gave it a fresh coat of paint and I transferred over my patterns.  I'm not even close to filling it but it was fun to go through all my patterns, remembering all the plans I had. Funnily enough I discovered that I had nearly three times more dress patterns than any other type, which seems strange as I wear more separates than dresses.

Here it is in all it's repainted goodness.  I'm loving the extra storage space on top of the cabinet nearly as much as the pattern storage and going through all those patterns has got the mojo roaring.  Here's hoping I can translate the enthusiasm into actual finished garments :)

StyleArc Ivy Knit Top

Thursday, January 8, 2015

It was back to work for me this week so I made myself a new top to ease the pain.

This is the StyleArc Ivy knit top and I think it's a winner.  I've used a straight size 12 with an extra inch in length added to the hem, which it really doesn't need.  

I used a bright rayon knit to make this up, it doesn't have the best recovery so by the end of the day the sleeve bands are quite relaxed.

You can't see the style lines very well in the fabric I used - here's the picture from the StyleArc website.

New square shape T-shirt with design lines

I will be making this top again because I want to take advantage of the colour blocking opportunity. I really like the way this top in put together with the side seams wrapping around to the front on an angle.  The neckline on this top isn't crooked, I was just in a hurry to get the photos taken and didn't think to make sure everything was sitting correctly.

You may notice I now have an additional page at the top of my blog.  For my own interest I was keen to keep track of what I buy and how much I spend on sewing each year.  Feel free to take a look, I had a little splurge during the last day of the Tessuti online sale to ease the pain of going back to work!!  Each piece of fabric bought so far has been for a specific project so hopefully I can bring my plans to life.

Happy New Year - new happy pants

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!  I've chosen to skip the reflective blog post this year and dive straight into 2015 and I couldn't be happier with my first make.

These are the Papercut Anima pants and they were all done a couple of days ago apart from the cuffs.  With the rest of my household sleeping off a very, very late night I enjoyed a few quiet minutes in my sewing room completing these.

The Anima pants come together really quickly.  I've made a medium in a french terry knit from Girl Charlee with a couple of minor adjustments. I added an extra two inches to the length - one at the hem and one at the cutting line for the knee length version.  I also added an extra 1.25 inches to the depth of the pocket bag.  I like to be able to use the pockets in my clothing and as drafted they just felt a little shallow.  The only other change I made was to leave out the draw string and associated top stitching on the waistband because I knew I'd never use it and it would only add bulk to an area that doesn't need it.  

Over the last few months I've come to the realisation that I've fallen into quite the rut.  I find/make something I like, wear it until it falls apart and then replace it with an exact replica. So I'm extra happy with these pants because it's the first time I've used this pattern company, the first time making this style, and I believe it's also the first time I've owned patterned pants.  And I love them.  My only trouble now will be restraining myself from making multiple copies!

Wishing you a happy and wadder free 2015 :)

McCall's 6992 - out of season

Sunday, December 21, 2014

At the start of winter I bought this great quilted knit fabric from Spotlight - it's light, warm and so soft.  The problem was I couldn't work out what I wanted to make with it and it has been hanging round the sewing room for months.  Once fabric gets put into the appropriate stash cupboard it can be quite a while before it comes out again and the cupboards might be pretty full :)

I finally decided McCall's 6992 would be a good option just as the weather started warming up for summer!  Oh well, there has still been plenty of cooler days and this great little top is getting plenty of wear.

This is sewn up straight out of the packet with 1.5 inches added to the hem - surprisingly I didn't need to add any length to the sleeves.  I used black ponte for the contrast neckband and cuffs.  That worked well on the neckband but not quite as well on the cuffs.  I tend to push my sleeves up and it doesn't have quite enough stretch to do that comfortably.  Love the shoulder dart, it makes the top sit really nicely.

This make has been a great addition to the wardrobe and it pairs well with both jeans and shorts so will likely get a few wears on cool nights over summer too.

Stash additions - Joy's Fabric Warehouse

Friday, December 19, 2014

We are done!!  No more work, school or sport for 2014.  We're all completely exhausted and really looking forward to the holiday break :)

Last month Wade and I celebrated our wedding anniversary in one of my favourite places in the world - Torquay.  On the way home we stopped in at Joy's Fabric Warehouse in Geelong.

It's a nice sized shop with a good range of fabrics - I visited in the middle of a thunderstorm which seems to have influenced the fabrics I chose!

From left to right I bought a coated cotton drill, a soft knit blend (it's so soft I thought it was poly, but it definitely has a good amount of wool in it), moleskin, a beautiful woven bamboo/silk blend and a fine stretch mesh.

I'm planning on the coated drill becoming a pair of Ginger jeans and hopefully a Moss mini, the knit has already been sewn up, the moleskin is for another pair of Ginger's, no idea what I'm doing with the bamboo/silk but it felt so amazing I couldn't leave it, and the mesh was bought for lingerie - I'm thinking the Watson bra might be a good option.

I've managed only the most minimal of sewing lately so I'm looking forward to spending some quality time in my sewing room over the next few weeks.

White for summer - Simplicity 2250

Thursday, October 23, 2014

As I put this jacket on again this morning I realised that I still hadn't blogged it.

As I was making this up I didn't think I was going to like it.  The sleeves are wider than I was expecting and a lot shorter (despite adding additional length) and I was worried that it wouldn't work very well with either my figure or my existing wardrobe.  It was miserable on the day we took these photos hence the dark, slightly blurry indoor shots taken by my totally disinterested 11 year old.

Turns out I shouldn't have worried - it's incredibly versatile and very comfy and I'm surprised how often i'm wearing it!

This is Simplicity 2250 in a size 14.  I added 1.5 inches in extra length to the sleeves and through the body.
I couldn't find an exact match for the bias binding, and I didn't want a contrast so I finished the edges with a narrow band (below).

This was made using leftovers from another project so I had to piece the band, but I think it has worked pretty well.  I've also left off the shoulder pads and front self lining.  This is possibly the most basic jacket anyone could make - it would be a great beginner project.

At the end of September I drew myself up a sewing plan for October - I was more than a little ambitious and have barely had time to get to my machines.  I'm considering taking patterns and fabric in to work and using the boardroom table on my lunch break - does anyone else do this?