The Matrix Dress - Simplicity 1873

Friday, September 19, 2014

Operation 'Clear the decks in September' is off to a great start.  I had a bit of sewing time last weekend and managed to complete three items and I'm feeling pretty good about them too!  Excuse the wrinkles in the photos - I'd just finished work.

This dress is Simplicity 1873, previously made here.  I loved this dress and knew that I'd be making it again.  I fixed the back issues I had last time but looking at these photos, particularly the one below, I think that the back also needs a little bit of length taken out.  It's probably also a smidgen tight, but how good is that invisible zipper!

I know I'm often pretty down on Spotlight fabrics but I really like their printed cotton sateens. This one was labelled Matrix green and it kind of stuck in my head, hence the Matrix dress.

When I went to cut this out I realised that it had light and dark stripes running through the pattern.  So while I didn't worry about pattern matching, I did make sure that I kept the light and dark stripes consistent.

When I purchased the fabric I forgot what a fabric hog this skirt is.  Like last time I ended up folding out several of the pleats just so that I could fit all the pattern pieces on.  I've still got a lovely full skirt, but I've removed the pleats which would have sat on my hips.  I should have added a couple inches to the skirt length, but completely forgot.  It's a little shorter than I usually prefer to wear to work, but I think I can get away with it.  

I love my Matrix dress and I received several compliments from people who don't usually comment on my clothes, which just made my day.  I had planned to wear this with a Nettie bodysuit underneath - I have the pattern and the fabric but decided against starting another new project :)  I'm really glad this dress is finished and in my wardrobe.

Dance leotard...just because.

Monday, September 8, 2014

No plans for September sewing - I really need to clear off the WIPs first.  Too many things on the go has me feeling really unsettled.  So, I'm hoping that I can clear the sewing decks in September.

I made these leotards a few weeks ago.  Just because Paige asked.  And asked.  And asked.  You get the picture.  Paige tells me she has been asking for over three years so I guess it was time I came to the party.

Paige doesn't take dance lessons, or calisthenics, or gymnastics.  But she loves to do hand stands and cart wheels and walk overs with the best of them.  She'll spend hours flipping on the carpet in the lounge room.

In the last 40% off sale at Spotlight I picked up this beautiful blue, four way stretch velour.   I went through my Ottobre magazines and picked out design #30 from spring 2007 (1/2007).  Paige wanted long sleeves and no ruffles or frills.

I ended up making a size 122 and adding an extra 1 1/4 inches of length through the body and I think I added about 3 inches extra length to the sleeves which I ended up leaving unfinished or they would have been too short.

This was so much fun to make.  Super quick - all done on the sewing machine and it fits pretty well.

Then I made another one in some loud orange and silver lycra I picked up on the Spotlight discount table.  I added another inch to the length through the body this time as the blue one tends to creep up when she's flipping.  You can see the difference the extra length makes in the photos below.

These are so much fun to make - really quick and easy!

I managed to do a little sewing Sunday afternoon so one of my WIPs is almost finished - hopefully I can show you later this week.

Tropical birds or silk scout number #2

Friday, August 29, 2014

I actually made this top several weeks ago and haven't had a chance to blog it.  I completed a silk scout top not that long ago and wasn't planning another, but somehow this got pushed to the front of the queue.

It's a silk crepe de chine from the depths of my stash and it was popular blogger choice a couple of years ago.  I'm a little behind the times so I'm just making it up now.  There are no changes from last time I sewed the scout - french seams through out and lined body.

Spring is definitely in the air in Melbourne, but it's not quite warm enough to wear a silk t-shirt, so this top is getting layered with a cardi and tank top for work.  It's actually had quite a bit of wear, the colours in the birds give you lots of options for coordinating.  I, of course, chose to wear black :)

I thought I'd write a list of a few things that I wanted to sew in September - I was thinking maybe three or four items to help overcome my exceptional procrastination skills.  I ended up with a massive list, so it's back to the drawing board.  Time to prioritise and be logical (boring but necessary).

Repeat offender: Vogue 8742

Saturday, August 9, 2014

I needed a dose of colour to chase off the winter blues and a project that would free up some room in the cupboard.  Enter Vogue 8742 and a ponte in a colour that falls somewhere between grape and fuchsia.

Having made this before here and here I don't have a lot to add.

I did my first ever sway back adjustment following this tutorial and I chopped an inch off the neckline. Looking at these photos I think I'll probably go back and chop a couple of inches off the length (if it doesn't shrink in the wash!).  I bought this fabric about 18 months ago at Spotlight.  I was so excited to see some bright colours that I bought three lots but unfortunately I'm regretting that decision now.  The ponte pills really quickly and it doesn't play nicely with a twin needle.  I tried ball point, jersey, universal and sharp, I adjusted the stitch length, tension and changed the thread but nothing worked.  It kept skipping stitches and stripping the thread.  I've never had this happen on any other fabric so I can only assume that something in this ponte really disagrees with my machine.

It's a fun dress and if it only lasts for one winter, I'm OK with that.

Re-igniting the mojo

Monday, August 4, 2014

All I have to show you today is my new infinity scarf - a glorified loop and the most basic of beginner projects - but it feels so good to be sewing again.  There has been a constant drip of nastiness at work, just enough to take the enjoyment out of the day and steal away any energy I had for sewing once I got home from work.

With Thursday and Friday out of the office I was able to get my head in a more positive place and spent some quality time in my sewing room.

This scarf is made from some lovely 100% wool jersey from Tessuti and it had been playing on my mind.  I had a specific project in mind when I bought it, but when it arrived I felt like it was too light weight.  It's quite sheer.  Now, it's entirely my fault, but Tessuti isn't cheap and the cost of adding two meters to the stash when I couldn't envisage a project was adding to the negativity I had going on.

When I hit on the idea of the infinity scarf it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders.  I whipped up the scarf (perfect for the extra chill in Melbourne at the moment), cut and sewed a dress and traced off two new patterns.  Mojo restored and I felt so much better heading back to work today.

Such a long post for such a small project, but sometimes sewing really is the best therapy :)

Winter warmer - Jalie 3355

Thursday, July 10, 2014

I really need some new work tops, but sometimes family sewing takes priority.

With the winter chill that has hit Melbourne we were all in need of some new tracky dacks (sweatpants to anyone outside of Australia!).

In size order we have me in the Y with 2 inches extra length, Caitlyn in the S with 1.5 inches extra length, Paige in the K with 8 inches extra length and Georgia in the Q straight out of the envelope.

I'm becoming a big fan of Jalie patterns - one pattern has sizes to fit the whole family and the cut and drafting are always excellent.  Jalie 3355 is one of their new releases and includes a hoodie, sweatpants and a sweatshirt.

They're track pants so there's not a lot to say - On mine I went for a contrast pocket and left off the ankle elastic.

I'm sure the hoodie will get made up at some point too.  As Wade was taking these photos he did make the comment that he was feeling a bit left out - all this family sewing and nothing for him.  I highly recommend this pattern if you're in need of a solid basic pattern and the pockets are the easiest thing ever - perfect for a beginner.

Skirt bonanza - StyleArc and Simplicity

Monday, June 16, 2014

Getting dressed for work each day has become something of a challenge.  In previous years my go to winter outfit was a ponte dress; they're comfy, it's quick to get dressed in the morning and they sew up quickly too.  But I think I've had too much of a good thing because this year I'm only reaching for my ponte dresses as a last resort.  Time for a few separates.

These latest makes are all pattern repeats.  First up is StyleArc's Ursula knit pencil skirt.  This time around I left off the side panels - they don't add any additional shaping and I didn't want to break up the awesome fabric from Tessuti.  I've included a close up of the fabric to show you the texture - it's amazing and as soon as I saw it I had visions of the Ursula pattern running through my head.  I'd love to make a raglan sleeve top to use up the leftover fabric.

I've also reused Simplicity 6107, this time to make a basic black pencil skirt in a wool blend and an animal print brocade.  Excuse the wrinkles - photos were taken after a long day of work.  No changes from last time, but I've found a great tutorial on Maria Denmark which addresses the tummy issue so I'll try that in the future.

Very utilitarian sewing, but much needed and I've already worn all three skirts several times.  Now I just need to sew myself some interesting new tops because my good old RTW merino ones look and feel a bit boring!