Morris Blazer

Thursday, 6 August 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, 10 June 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, 2 June 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, 30 March 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, 25 March 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, 11 March 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?

Silk Scout III

Friday, 6 March 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, 2 March 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, 26 February 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, 27 January 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, 14 January 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, 8 January 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, 1 January 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 :)