My Sewing Room

Monday, 30 April 2012

There's still not a lot of sewing going on around here.  I'm home from work sick (can't remember the last time a bucket was an essential accessory) but daytime TV is doing my head in so I thought I'd show you my newly updated sewing room.  Last week's public holiday turned out to be a building day, rather than a sewing day, but I'm not complaining.  I should probably have tidied up before I took the photos!

 I hadn't realised how plain the room looks

Oh look - there's the vacuum cleaner...and a stubby holder. 

I can't tell you how much I love all that storage and the beautiful big cutting table.  It's not finished yet - holes need to be cut in the bench top for the machine leads, the buffet (side table) needs to come out and there are some built in shelves going in eventually as well.  And it needs some colour, I'd love some prints from Etsy but we'll have to see how the budget goes.  We still need to work out what we'll put on the top of the cutting table, at the moment it's an old piece of laminate, but I'll sort that out later.

So what have I been able to do?  Well I've started a refashioning project, cut out three pairs of PJ pants for my youngest and OOP McCall's 5630 is on the go for me.

And just as I was congratulating myself on how well my shirt was going, this happened.

Total rookie mistake - added the extra length for the waist but not for the hem.

Me Made May kicks off tomorrow - are you ready?

Updated Vogue 1257

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Thank you all so much for your feedback on Vogue 1257.  The general consensus was to shorten or remove the sleeves and/or shorten the hem.  I couldn't believe that it hadn't even occurred to me to do that, clearly I'm not very imaginative at the moment.

Sorry - it's raining and this is the best the kids could manage.

As you can see I chose to shorten the sleeves - I've lopped off 34cm and then used a 1 inch hem.  I forgot to mention in my previous post that I hadn't hemmed the dress at all so the skirt now has a 1.5 inch hem.  It's definitely an improvement.  I wore it to work today and it was comfy, but it doesn't rock my world.  I've also decided that this is a dress for someone with a bigger bust than me - I really don't fill out all those pleats up top!

Tomorrow is ANZAC Day so I'm planning a day of sewing and football.  Go Bombers!

Vogue 1257 - the problem child

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

I love a good wrap dress.  They can be casual or dressy and flatter so many body shapes.  So when Vogue released 1257 I couldn't wait to get my hands on it.  Lucky for me this was released as Australia headed into summer so it didn't get made up straight away and I got to benefit from other people's experiences.  Unfortunately I had one of those moments when you put on the finished item and groan.  It's just not for me.  I'm not sure why, maybe I'm too covered up, but this dress makes me feel very matronly.

 Doesn't look too bad...

 No. No good.

If you've looked at this pattern on Pattern Review then you'll know that the sleeves run super narrow.  I'll also say that this is one of the most bulky dresses that I've made in a long time.  Often the pleats overlap and then have a facing or another layer over the top again.  Way too much fabric and no easy way to trim away the bulk like you could with a dart. 

The 'knot' before the band is applied

So what adjustments did I make?  First off I added some extra inches to accommodate my height; 1-1/4 inches was added to the body and the sleeve hem and 2 inches to the skirt hem.  Also, to reduce bulk I didn't use the bias binding on the front cuts for the band, and I reduced the band size to eliminate the gathers.  With all the pleats at the front 'knot' there are 9 layers of fabric before you add the band.  Then you have to sew it to the bodice with all its pleats and facing - they're so many layers my machine couldn't handle it.

The waist seam where the knot meets the pleats

After reading all the reviews I decided I could tackle the problem sleeves in two ways.  I could remove the sleeve from the bodice front and add a separate sleeve (Vogue 8387 was suggested as a possible template) or I could increase the width of the sleeve.  I played around with 8387 but I just didn't feel like it looked right so I decided to add some extra width to the sleeve.  I cut all of the dress as a size 14 except the sleeve which I took out to a size 20.  I forgot to adjust the armhole curve so there is a lot of ease in my sleeve cap!

Also, you might have noticed that I've added a tab to the top of my blog.  This is my electronic list of all the garments I'd like to make for Autumn/Winter (I've got a little notebook too that I take to fabric shops)  I doubt I'll get everything made but it's fun to dream!  No point moping, I'm off to start my next project.

Signing on

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Not much sewing happening over here.  I've got patterns and fabrics matched up and ready to go (I've even pre-washed my fabric) but all the options seem to have overwhelmed me and so I'm doing nothing (except shopping - but that's another story).

To help get myself moving I've signed up for Me Made May.  While I struggled at times with the challenges last year I actually really enjoyed completing them.  This year I'm upping the ante a little and pledging to wear two me made items a day.

'I, Robyn of Sew Love Red, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '12. I endeavour to wear at least two me made pieces each day for the duration of May 2012'.

Last night I forced myself to cut out a dress in the hope that it would give me a bit of a jump's sort of working.  Hopefully I'll have something to show soon.  Aside from a melted credit card that is :)

Holy cowl - Vogue 1282

Friday, 6 April 2012

Going back a few months I treated myself to a couple of beautiful fabrics from Tessuti in Melbourne and this pale lavender silk/tencel (10/90) blend was one of them.  I knew when I bought it that I wanted to make a cowl top, but I didn't have a pattern in mind.  Then Vogue released their new patterns and 1282 went straight into my shopping basket.

It's a pretty clever design, all cut in one piece, but it's cut on the bias so it's a bit of a fabric hog.  

I found the drafting on this top wasn't as good as other Vogue's I've made recently.  The instructions have you reinforce two spots on the front cowl, yet when you sew it together they're on the outside.  I removed them, but the needle marks show on my delicate fabric so I wasn't very impressed.  I didn't like the way Vogue instructs you to finish the armholes either, and finished then my own way.  Rather than leaving the band as a single length, I sewed it into a circle and attached it in the round, then under stitched flipped to the inside and top stitched.   Also as a few others have noted the back neck sticks out and needs to be shaped.  Finally - I used a 5 cent coin for the weight in the front and left the hem unfinished.  Oh - it's reeeaally low cut.  I sewed it up as instructed because my fabric is sheer and I knew I'd need a cami underneath - but you might want to sew it a bit higher if you don't want everyone seeing your girls :)

Are you still with me?  Who knew there was so much to say about one little top!  This has been perfect for the indian summer we're having at the moment and the pastel colour is just right for Easter.

Happy Easter.