Getting started in 2016

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Happy New Year!

My first finished item of  2016 is the Grainline Studio Moss Mini and I'm pretty happy with the outcome.  I made view A using a coated twill from Joy's Fabric Warehouse which gives it a bit of a leather look (it also shows every wrinkle).  I cut this out over six months ago but I think I made a size 14 with several inches extra length.  I'm not sure of the exact amount because it was so long ago.  At a guess I'd say I added at least four inches and then removed two when I hemmed it.

I'm pretty excited to be back sewing.  I had a fantastic day in the city on Saturday with Mum and my sister - we hit up Darn Cheap Fabric, The Fabric Store and Tessuti, had lunch at Chin Chins and then saw Fiddler on the Roof.  Talk about kick starting the mojo!  I had such a great day and I can't wait to sew up the fabrics that I bought.

My only issue with this pattern is the instructions for the fly - they're just nuts. I'm tempted to make this again and if I do, I'll use the method from the Ginger Jeans.  It gives a much nicer finish.

I think I need to invest in a tripod and remote. When I asked Wade to take my photos he told me to spin slowly like a rotisserie chicken!  Ah well - at least I'm back sewing and blogging again.

Morris Blazer

Thursday, August 6, 2015

This jacket nearly didn't make it to the blog.  I didn't want to be the only sewing blogger that struggled with this pattern.

I love the pattern and the combination of fabrics that I chose, but the fit is just terrible on me.  I used a stretch sateen for the majority of the jacket and faux leather for the lapels.  Maybe I should have gone up a size to account for using stretch woven rather than a knit.

I measured myself up and my numbers put me right on a size 14.  I left the body length alone, but added  xx inches to the sleeves (should have gone more but couldn't believe I needed that much extra length to make them full length).

I had a moment with the instructions for joining the facing.  One step tells you to fold the facing in and press, and the then next step you join them together.  To get the join to work you need to unfold and sew what you have just folded up, but this isn't mentioned.  Not a huge drama, but it did seem counter intuitive.

As you can see from the photos the shoulders are way too wide for me, not something I usually have a problems with.  I also have fold lines on the sleeves in the bicep area and a great big fold across the back where the jacket is clearly too tight.  Sorry I didn't get any photos of the back when I was wearing it, but the wrinkles tell the story.  I also found that the armhole felt really small and tight.  I'm wondering whether the combination of the too tight armhole and too wide shoulders are contributing to the pulling across the back.

I really wanted this to work, it would be perfect for the more casual environment I'm in at work.  I'm not sure whether to work on the pattern (it really wouldn't be that hard to fix) or just move on to something else.

Second time around - Ginger and Jalie

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Dodgy photo alert!  I finished two and a half items over the long weekend, but I'm not sharing any of them today!

These Ginger jeans and Jalie 3245 top were made over my unintended blogging break.  Unfortunately my camera isn't working at the moment so I'm reduced to iPhone photos and you can't really see the details.

The Ginger jeans are almost exactly the same as last time but with a half inch adjustment for excess fabric under the butt and pull lines explained in this post.  I also slimmed the calves down even more to make these a truly skinny jean.  

The fabric is a really stretchy Ralph Lauren over dyed denim bought from Emma One Sock earlier this year.  It's beautiful and the fabric was lovely to work with.  I also used standard thread this time - my machine just doesn't like top stitching thread.

I've made the top before too but it seems I never blogged it.  I've used a gorgeous coral wool jersey I bought at The Fabric Store with my sister earlier this year.  From memory the only change I made was to add an extra inch in length.

Two nice new basics for the wardrobe.  Love the colour of the top and the shaped hem, but think I could have gone down a size.  I also love that I have jeans that are comfortable and long!  Oh the joys of sewing.

I love the feeling of the high waist but I'm not sure I like the way they look when you can see it through a top (like in the photos above).  I'm also not sure I have the right body shape for the high waist look, so I think I'll try the lower rise at some point in the future.

Day Dreaming

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

I've had such high hopes for my sewing but I haven't been able to turn those dreams into reality.

You know how it goes - there's a party so you think you'll make something awesome to wear, there's a job interview so you need a new outfit to give you that extra boost of confidence, there are important meetings where you want to be at your absolute best and you can't find anything in your wardrobe that feels right.  Surely I'm not the only one!  All these events have come and gone without a stitch of new clothing in sight and I've survived (I even got the job!).

But I'm itching to sew.  I bought some gorgeous new fabrics on a trip to Sydney, I've indulged in online shopping and even Wade has suggested that I'm going to struggle to make up all the patterns that are arriving in the mail.

It's time to put my foot to the pedal.

We have a public holiday on Monday which means a long weekend and for the first time in months I don't have to be out all weekend at kids sport.  Given that I'm the worlds slowest sewer I figure I can get through three simple garments, anything else is a total bonus.

So here's my Queen's Birthday long weekend sewing list:

The Morris Blazer - just need to pre-wash my fabrics and I'm ready to go.
Morris Blazer
Image via
Simplicity 1366 - So many versions of this top out there, but I just think it would be a great winter layering piece.

Papercut Patterns Anima pants - I have a beautiful bamboo/tencel french terry set aside for these and I can't wait to wear them.

Anima Pant
image via

Hopefully having a dedicated list will stop me from becoming overwhelmed by everything that I want to sew - I've been going into my sewing room and looking at all the lovely fabrics and patterns and not quite knowing where to start.

Do you have any weekend sewing plans?  Do you ever get overwhelmed by the long list of things you want to sew?  How do pick what you're going to make next?

Ginger Jeans - take one

Monday, March 30, 2015

I'm so impressed with this pattern!  It gives a great result and the sew-along is just fantastic.  I am ridiculously happy with this pair of jeans even though I know that they're far from perfect.

These photos were taken after a long day at a netball tournament and these jeans passed the wear test with flying colours.  Despite sitting down, standing up, jogging and climbing spectator viewing stands these jeans were completely comfortable.  The only twinge of discomfort came from my jeans button, it's irritated my stomach.  I think that's likely the cheap button (not nickle free) - I'll be buying the good hardware from now on.

So, the details.  These are Closet Case Files Ginger Jeans view b (high waist, skinny jeans) in a size 14.  I added one inch in length above the knee and narrowed the calves by taking in both side seams by 1/2 inch tapering to nothing 4 inches below the pattern notch near the knee.  I also moved the position of the back pockets up 1/4 inch and in 1/4 inch.  I also extended the front pockets to form a bit of a waist stay - love the way that worked.  I used a stretch cotton blend fabric for the pocket linings and waistband facing and chose to leave out the waistband interfacing and the leave off the belt loops.

As you can tell from the photos the fit is not perfect.  I'd say about 50 per cent of the wrinkles are due to my poor fabric choice.  I used a moleskin fabric of uncertain content that I bought at Joys Fabric Warehouse back in November.  It has some horizontal stretch, but no vertical stretch and doesn't have great recovery so by the end of the day the knee area and the back of my legs felt really baggy.  My machine really didn't like the top stitching thread, so I ended up with three machines set up and now my sewing room looks like a bomb hit it.  The fly insertion method is unique, but I absolutely love it will use that method from now on.

The areas I really want to focus on for my next pair are the front crotch area (removing the wrinkles there) and removing some of the wrinkles from the back thing area.  Both of these fitting adjustments are covered in the sew-along so I just need to read over it again.  And next time I'll use denim!  

I'm not sure the novelty is going to wear off any time soon - I've already started planning my next pair and I'm thrilled that I've finished one of my top three for winter :)

My top three for autumn/winter

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I loved the responses on my last post about what you were planning to sew next, it really got me thinking about my own plans.
I dug through my stash for inspiration, grabbed a note book and pen and started making a list.

It was a great list, but there were way too many items.  I'd be lucky to have a total of five hours a week for sewing so there was really no way that I was going to be able to make 20+ things.  I thought about splitting it into work and casual priorities and making a list for each, but in the end I decided it would be much more realistic to aim for three items that I would really love.  So here's my top 3 for autumn/winter...

image Via Closet Case Files
I have worn my current jeans so much I can actually see through the fabric on the backside - they're not going to last much longer.  Also I have had the same style/pairs for many, many years and I am completely sick of them.  The sew-along looks fantastic and I've loved every version of the Ginger jeans I have seen.  I want some of that goodness for myself. 

Grainline Archer
Archer Button Up Shirt
image via Grainline Studio
Curiously - I have no shirts in my wardrobe. I had a white tuxedo shirt in rotation for over five years but it's no longer in a state fit to be worn out of the house.  I really need a classic white shirt and again the Archer has had great reviews.

I hit buy on this pattern the day it was released - I love it.  With the amount of outdoor sport my kids play I need a good coat.  I have fabric and toggles in my stash and can't wait to get started on this one.

I might also have bought fabric to make Vogue 8926 :)  I was inspired by the picture below on pinterest and I'm considering this one my bonus!

image via pinterest
So that's my top three, plus one, for autumn/winter.  If I can make all these I will be absolutely thrilled.

Simplicity 2584 - Linen LBD

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

In a last hurrah for summer I decided I needed a sleeveless LBD.  I wanted something that I could wear to work or casually, that I could layer for winter, and it had to be quick to make. 

I've found myself pinning this neckline a lot recently, so using Simplicity 2584 was an easy choice.  I've also made it before so I knew I could leave out the zip and still slip the dress on easily.  The only change I made this time was to raise the neckline split 2 inches.

The great thing about this dress is that everything came from stash.  I've used a heavy metro linen from Spotlight (bought to make Wade some shorts) and lined it with a silk habotai.  I love the lining, it's colour that I'm drawn to but it doesn't look good on me, this way I get my colour fix and it feels very luxe.

I thought this was a great fit until I saw the photos with the drag lines everywhere!  It looks like that back seam could use another press too.  Oh well, it was just beautiful to wear on the last hot day of summer and it got the thumbs up from all three of my daughters. I think I also went a little too short for the office, but I figure it'll be fine over tights in winter :)

With the cool autumn weather hitting Melbourne I've started thinking about winter sewing - I have big plans but I know that I need to pare them down because I just can't sew everything I want to!  Do you have sewing plans for the new season?