A "Gem" of a top

Saturday, April 21, 2018

So the title is a really bad pun, but the top is really good!

I used the Style Arc Gem Knit Tee to create this top with long, slightly flared sleeves.

The pattern is a good one for a basic t-shirt and I used it late last year but didn't think it warranted blogging.  This is still just a t-shirt but I thought it deserved it's own post.

The idea for this has been rolling around in my head for a while.  It was probably inspired by something I saw on Pinterest or another blog.  It had to have long, slightly flared sleeves, be semi-fitted through the body with a scooped neckline.  I also knew that I wanted to make it up in this light weight ponte that I bought at Spotlight a couple of years ago.

To create the vision in my head I scooped 2 inches out of the front neckline, grading to 1/4 of an inch at the shoulders.  I extended the sleeve to a create a finished length of 68cm and a circumference of  40cm (yes, I do switch between imperial and metric measures!) and I used a facing to finish the neckline which I think provides a really clean finish.  I've kept the slightly high-low hemline as I like the touch of extra length in the back and the shape of the hemline.

I'm loving this top and plan on making at least one more in a sold colour, not sure yet whether it will have the flared sleeve or not.

April Plans

Friday, April 6, 2018

I hate to sound like a cliche, but... where has the time gone?!  I can't quite believe that it's already April.

I was trying to prioritise my projects for the month and thought that it would be good to blog them, helps me with my accountability but also helps to keep me on track.

Images via Closet Case Patterns and Grainline Studio

I think three projects is realistic - none of these are particularly complex but will be great additions to the wardrobe especially as we head into Autumn.

I've just realised that I'm almost exactly copying the photos above!  I'm planning the Closet Case Patterns Sasha trousers in a caramel stretch wool from Tessuti, the Closet Case Patterns Kalle cropped shirt in a white stretch cotton shirting and the Grainline Archer in a white viscose.

So far I've managed to cut out the Kalle shirt but Emerald Erin's Jordy Bralette is calling my name so who knows - there could be a change in plan!

#2018makenine and other goals

Monday, January 8, 2018

I like the concept of nominating 9 projects for the year so I've made a #2018makenine.  I've already posted it on Instagram but I thought I'd recap here and capture a couple of other goals too.

Let's start with the other goals.  Like so many others my stash is overflowing and I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by it.  As I was scrolling Instagram over Christmas I found Katrina's stash diet and decided to join in.  I have fabric piled high on an armchair in my sewing room and I won't be buying any other fabric until it's cleared (my cupboards are also overflowing but I'm trying to be realistic and set small, achievable goals).

This year I'm also saving for a coverstitch machine.  I've wanted one for a long time, Wade even told me to just go out and buy one, but I want to save for it and get the satisfaction of doing this on my own.

Finally, here's 9 projects that I really want to make this year.

True Bias Lodo dress - I already have the pattern and the fabric.

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True Bias Lander Pants I have the pattern and need to dig through my stash to see if I can find the right fabric.

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Swim Style Chic Bandeau Bikini - Pattern purchased, fabric in the stash, just need the findings.

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Grainline Studio Cascade Duffle Coat  I have the pattern, fabric and toggles.

Cascade Duffle Coat | Grainline Studio
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Grainline Studio Archer Shirt I have the pattern and some beautiful linen and I hope to make a start this week.

Archer Button Up | Grainline Studio
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Orange Lingerie Esplanade Bra Need to buy everything for this one - will be later in the year I think.

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Cloth Habit Harriet bra  I have the pattern and I have the fabric and findings.

Harriet Bra Pattern
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Style Arc Ziggi Jacket (in leather) I have the pattern.

Ziggi Jacket Sewing Pattern By Style Arc - Fabulous fully lined biker jacket with zip features & interesting panelling
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It's a bit of a challenge and I'm keen to get started.  It will be interesting to see if the plan changes as the year progresses.  Do you have sewing plans and goals for 2018?

Black linen Cleo

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Ever have a garment that you just can't get photos of?  That's Cleo, so I'm glad that I'm finally able to get her on the blog.  I made this back in September at Sewjourn so she's waited a while for her blog debut.

I'd been wanting a dungaree/overall dress for ages, but wasn't sure if the style was for me.  In the end I decided if I wanted one then I should just make one and enjoy wearing it.  So I did and I do!

This is the Tilly and the Buttons Cleo pinafore and dungaree dress.  It's possibly the easiest thing in the world to make.  I purchased the pattern locally from Maai Design (no affiliation, just a happy customer) as she has great customer service and I like supporting Australian small businesses.

This is a size 6 made up in the midi length from a lovely black linen from Spotlight.  My only adjustments were to chop an inch or 2 off until I was happy with the length and to sew down the straps as I didn't need them to be adjustable.

I only include the front patch pocket.  I do wish that I'd added jeans style pockets on the front as I keep reaching to put my hands in them.   They're not included in the pattern but it wouldn't be difficult to add them.

I'm so glad that I just went for it and made this up as I really love it.  Looking forward to following my instincts even more in 2018!

#2017makenine review

Saturday, December 30, 2017

I hopped on board the #2017makenine train back in January, at the time these were things that I really wanted to make.  I thought it would be good to check in and see what got made, what got worn and what didn't even make it to the cutting table.

Closet Case Patterns Sophie swimsuit: This one didn't even make it to the cutting table.  It's still something I'd like to make, so you may see it in 2018.

Baste and Gather Birkin Flares: These are a work in progress (WIP).  In my mind I'll have them finished to wear on New Year's Eve, but that's tomorrow and I'm just not sure I'll get there.  I'm determined that these will happen soon.

Grainline Studio Cascade duffle:  Another one that didn't even make it to the cutting table but I love this coat and so I've added it to my #2018makenine.

Tessuti Patterns Ruby top/dress:  Made, but not blogged.  I have posted it on insta if you want to take a look.  It's a winner and will be coming to the blog soon. 

StyleArc Blaire top/dress:  Also made but not blogged.  My fabric choice wasn't quite right, it's a little too short and my collar looks sloppy - very 'home made' but in a bad way.  I'll blog it soon but think I'll just harvest the buttons and try again in a different fabric.

Silk fabric: Also a WIP, this is on its way to be a Ruby top.  I told you the pattern was a winner!

Orange Lingerie Montgomery briefs: I've made a selection of these and really like the pattern.  Fabric choice has a big impact on which pairs I reach for.  The microfibre and lace ones get worn the most, the other two I just don't reach for unless everything else is in the wash.

Evie la Luve Bella panties:  Totally addicted to making these!  I love them and they've become my undies of choice!  This pattern is a total winner for me.

Evie la Luve Esme panties: These are one of my recent makes (scroll down) and I'd like to make them again.  Next time I'll go down a size and use fold over elastic to finish the legs.

Not too bad - 5 made, 2 WIPs and 2 not started.  I'll post my #2018makenine next week, but if you want an early look you can check it out here.   How did you go with your plans/goals for 2017?

Simplicity 8228 bralette and bonus knickers

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

So I finally took my first step into the world of bra making and it's pretty fun.

I decided to start with a relatively easy project and chose Simplicity 8228, partly because it was a soft cup bra so no fiddling with underwires and partly because I love just about everything about Madalynne's aesthetic.

This is view A with a 36 band and a DD cup and I used a lovely kit from Tailor Made Shop so I didn't need to worry about finding all the bits and pieces.  My standard RTW size is a 34D but I went with the sizing indicated by the pattern.  I also noted that on Maddie's website she mentions that some people find the halter straps too short so I added around 3 inches in length.

This was so much fun to make - it's by no means perfect but it was a great starter project.  If you'd like to see a modeled shot take a look at this instagram post (scroll to second photo).

In the end I removed 2.5 inches of the extra length that I added to the straps, I also added elastic to the bottom of the band.  This wasn't included in the instructions but I noted that Ying had done that on her versions and had included enough elastic in the kit.  It certainly makes the bra feel more secure.  Unfortunately, my cup runneth over!  Despite making the DD, there's still not enough volume in the cups (conveniently, what you can't see in the insta photo is what doesn't fit in the cup!)

I actually bought a couple of kits to make this so I'm hoping that at least one of my teens would like the racer back version because I'm keen to sew it up.

Still on a lingerie bend I recently made these Evie la Luve Esme knickers.  They're a really quick sew and despite the front edges looking quite fluted in the photo below they sit flat when worn (there's no elastic on the leg edge, it's just overlocked and sewn down).

The overlap detail is really pretty and it's a great pattern for showing off a gorgeous stretch lace.  I don't think these will replace my beloved Bella's but they're a nice option to have.  I've got plans for a couple of other colour combos so there's likely to be more of these in the future.  Now I really need to go finish my work pants so that I have something to wear over these!

McCalls 6886 T-shirt dress

Monday, November 13, 2017

I'm way behind on blogging finished items, which is actually a good thing, because my mojo seems to have left the building.

This is McCalls 6886, which I've made before for my daughter (you can see that version here).  I'd always planned on making myself a version in black and I eventually added it to my August sewing plans list.

I'm pretty sure this is a size 14 with a little extra added at the side seams.  Surprisingly, given my long arms, I didn't need to add any length to the sleeves.  I cut view E with the neckline of view C. 

I made two minor changes to the pattern - I finished the neckline using fold over elastic and I added side splits to the skirt. 

My only regret is that I didn't alter the back, there is so much excess fabric back there.  I'm beginning to think that I need to do a short back adjustment, rather than a sway back adjustment.  Does anyone have any good references that they recommend? 

I like the fit of this dress, it's fitted without being too tight and is so comfortable to wear.   If I can get that back issue sorted I'd love to make a sleeveless or short sleeve, version for summer.