Silk Scout III

Friday, March 6, 2015

I'm demonstrating my love for the Grainline Scout pattern again today.  I treated myself to some amazing silk in Tessuti's summer sale, it's possibly the most expensive fabric per meter that I've ever bought.  I promised myself it wouldn't sit in a cupboard and become to precious to cut in to.

Yes, I appear to have a flower on my boob - despite my very best efforts not to.  There are worse things in life!

This is my third silk Scout (here and here) and my fourth overall (here).  The cotton version has been moved to my scrap box for re-use, but my silk ones are in constant rotation.  They're perfect at work, I think they look just as nice tucked into a skirt as they do left out over pants and they're great with a pair of casual shorts too.

I guess this post is more about me proving to myself that I do use my special fabrics rather than sharing any particular sewing info!

Copy cat - Papercut Anima Pants

Monday, March 2, 2015

From a so-so project to one that I love.  I'd been admiring all the great woven versions of the Anima pants and the very similar Hudson pants and thought I'd be a copy cat and give it a try.

I wasn't convinced these would work for me so I used a piece of rayon that has been in the stash for several years and figured I had nothing to lose.  Because I was using a woven I went up one size and used a slightly smaller seam allowance.  

I went back and forwards about whether I was going to cuff the hems or not, but in the end I decided not to.  I did add an extra 1.5 inches to the length and then used a facing to finish the hem so I didn't lose the length, the little bit of extra weight also helps them to sit nicely.

I have to say when I first put these on I thought I'd made pyjama pants and immediately decided to cut them down and turn them into shorts.  But a strange thing happened - I kept reaching for them.  They are perfect when it's hot because they're so light (and you don't get stuck to the seat watching your kids play sport like you do when you wear shorts).  They're great at work with a pair of heels and a silk top or I can throw them on at the weekend with a t-shirt and pair of thongs (flip-flops)

Using such a light weight fabric the do tend to bag a little at the knee and at the back, but you don't get that 'full nappy/diaper' look which I was a bit worried about!  A quick wash brings them right back into shape.

I'm incredibly happy with these pants and so glad that I didn't cut them down to shorts - although I may yet make the shorts length :)

I'm not in love - Sewaholic Alma blouse

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Bonus points if you immediately started humming 10cc's song!

Sleeveless tops tend to be my favourite style, but the air-conditioning at work means that I end up so cold my fingernails turn purple and I lose feeling in my fingers.  Not ideal.  Time to make some sleeved tops, preferably in a woven fabric.

I bought the Alma pattern a couple of years ago when there were so many great versions all over all the popular blogs.  I actually made up the version with a peter pan collar in a size 14 and felt ridiculous.  It felt both too big and cutesy and 'cute' is not a word I've ever associated with myself.

This time around I used a gorgeous cotton from Tessuti and went for the notched neckline, in a size 12 with an extra inch of length added through the waist and another 1.25 inches length added to the hem.

You can see that there's still extra fabric in the back but otherwise the fit is pretty good and is actually quite comfortable to wear.

I really wanted to love this top but I'm just not feeling it.  To be fair it looks better paired with a black pencil skirt or slim fit pants.  It fills a gap in my wardrobe but it's not something that I'm going to reach for when I need my clothes to give me that extra little boost.

On a happier note I've just finished sewing up a gorgeous silk that I bought from Tessuti earlier this year and I love it - I'll share it soon.

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 :)