2 July 2016

Schnittchen Coatigan Sylvia

It has been a while since my last post but that does not mean I have not been sewing! I will have to play catch up with my makes, but for now here is my version of the Schnittchen Coatigan Sylvia .

I was after a coat pattern that would make best use of some Italian Boiled Wool fabric that I picked up from Super Cheap Fabrics. I also wanted to make best use of the non-fraying properties of the wool and avoid a hem. It was difficult to find a pattern that was not too structured and was designed to be sewn without a lining if preferred. The Schnittchen Joanna Coat was also an option but it was double breasted and the collar did not continue all the way around the back of the neck.

The measurements put me in Size 38, but I could probably have used Size 36 as it was naturally oversized. The pattern is made using a top and bottom front piece for both left and right which is used to incorporate the large pockets. The back is cut in two pieces rather than on the fold lengthways which provides a seam running from the neck to the hem. This adds a bit of interest to an otherwise plain back.

I cut the pattern as marked but joined the top and bottom fronts to be one piece as I was not using pockets. If I were making again I would probably leave the front waist high seams in for balance. I also enlarged the shawl collar a small amount.

The sewing was easy, even though the instructions were fairly basic. Maybe not a beginner make unless you have a good understanding of construction since there were no diagrams at each step. 

I love the cocoon shape! I sewed the back seam with the layers on top of each other rather than with a traditional seam. I used two rows of stitching with a matching thread. This could look great with contrast stitching. I hemmed the sleeves (I don't know why?) but I will probably trim this and leave the sleeve un-hemmed as they are a little long. There is room for a single button but I decided to leave it loose as I like the shape.

Overall I love this coat(igan)! It really feels like a lovely warm cardigan but wears like a coat (duh!). This could easily be made in a medium to heavy weight knit as well.


6 March 2016

A First - Grainline Studio Archer Shirt

Ok lets hear the applause - I have made my first collared shirt! 

The Grainline Studio Archer button-up shirt has been around for quite a while but of course I am WAAAAY behind the rest of you! 

I must admit I was a little bit nervous about shirt-making. Collars and cuffs looked tricky and I wasn't sure I had the skills. Being self taught means I don't have a clear idea of my skill rating - beginner, intermediate, advanced or somewhere in between. 

However my need for shirts in my wardrobe pushed me to give it a go and the Archer pattern seemed to be the most popular among the indie shirt patterns. So here we are:

It was getting rather late in the day when I was finally (OMG) able to persuade my 18 year-old photographer to fit me in to his schedule.

My 20 year old stylist has flown the nest and is no longer available for make-up and styling advice. I am left to my own limited abilities. 

I made a straight size 4 from the pattern and am pretty pleased with the fit. The sleeves are a few cm long but that is not a major problem. The body length is perfect. The collar was so easy to construct - the instructions were fantastic - though I did refer to the sew-along on the Grainline Studio site several times to make sure I was on the right track.  

The fabric is a Japanese cotton lawn from Spotlight, which was inexpensive and great as a first shirt fabric. I prepared a muslin of the body pieces to check the fit before cutting into the fabric but otherwise I did not try it on until the very end. 

Looking at this last photo several things come to mind 

1. I think my hair is getting a bit long - time for a trim

2. I love these jeans so much - must buy some more in different colours

3. I have my mother Alice's profile - I have no problem with that 

Next up might be another shirt in voile, but we'll wait and see.


12 February 2016

Darling Ranges Dress

Hi all,

My make for this week is a Megan Nielsen Darling Ranges dress. No PDF cutting and taping this time - I purchased the pattern! What a time saver. With paper patterns I usually trace my size onto tracing paper (or baking paper if needed) rather than cut the pattern.

I made a size small using the sizing on the pattern for Version 1 but made a few adjustments:

  • Shortened the bodice by 1 inch and repositioned the bust darts
  • Raised the neckline by 1.5 inches so that the v-neck did not sit too low
  • Shortened the skirt length by around 5 inches
  • Shortened the sleeve length by around 5 inches
I suppose it is obvious by the amount of shortening I had to do that my frame is somewhat small - I am 5 foot or 152cm on a good day (or after a yoga class!!).

This is the first time I have used the button hole function on my sewing machine and I think I am addicted - that is dead set fun! I remember sewing button holes by hand when I was in my twenties.

The material used was a graduated print cotton purchased online from Style Maker Fabrics in a gorgeous eggplant colour. I did a prewash of the fabric but it will be interesting to see how the colour maintains after several washes.

I will be making another Darling Ranges in a rayon next time and might add a hi-low hemline and make it sleeveless. Well that's the plan anyway......


6 February 2016

Playing catch-up - Rigel Bomber

It was hard work but I finally caught up with the rest of the indie pattern user world and made a Rigel Bomber !!

It was a hard fought win though - those welt pockets nearly cost me my sanity. 

Finding ribbing that was anything but your basic black, white, yellow and green was a bit of a stretch (blaah). I would have liked to use a hot pink or teal blue for the ribbing but this dark navy had to do.

I made a size XS which was a pretty good fit. The sleeve length was perfect.

With such a strong jacket fabric I let the lining be softer in a pink bemsilk.

I will definitely make another of these and most likely use a plain outer with a mad over-the-top in-your-face lining.

As this jacket turned out a little long in the body I will make an adjustment and take about 2 inches off the length.

It will mean finding a zip to fit or otherwise attempting to shorten one. There are some great tutorials online about this and it seems do-able.


25 January 2016

Self-drafted T-Dress

Well I've finally found time to post about my recent make - a self-drafted t-dress made from one of my recent fabric purchases (see last post).

The last few days have been especially busy with my daughter moving out of home for the first time (insert sad but proud face emoji here) and my son turning 18. Exhausting but memorable party antics and subsequent clean up have left little time to spend blogging.

I decided to make a t-dress based on an old rtw purchase and added a bit more shape. I managed to have just enough of this lovely cotton to make the dress although I might have made it a bit longer if I'd had extra fabric. I think it's a bit short, although I don't usually wear a belt.

I usually wear dresses loose with my hair au-natural and thongs - not like this at all! I'm a bit of a hippy in my styling and so my daughter decided to up the standard and also took the photos xx

Here is the dress on my dress form. It's a simple pull-on design with no buttons/zips to worry about and kimono sleeves so no sleeves to set in. The neck and sleeve openings were simply finished with bias binding made from the same fabric.

Here is the binding on the neck edge.

I think I will get heaps of wear out of this dress and love the quality of the Art Gallery fabric.


11 January 2016

Fabric paradise!

Good afternoon and welcome to my first post! 

Exciting is not really the feeling at this end - terrified is more like it!

I've been wanting to create an online presence for so long but have never had the gumption (I think this is a word) or in fact the knowhow to be able to do it up til now.

So a new start for 2016 was to begin - sort of a resolution made while relaxing on the beach over the Christmas break. 

so here goes nuthin....

So to link back to the title of this first post, I actually found a new fabric source today - Treehouse Textiles in Mornington, which is about 20 minutes drive from my home. (I am not sure how long they have been there but I have been known to be a bit slow on the uptake if you get my drift)

It was such a lovely shop and was laid out in colour ways with a lovely eye, making selection easy if you new what you were looking for - however I just roamed all over the place trying to locate a print and a texture that felt right! I hope other sewists do this too. I never know what I will buy until I am there and then need to feel my way around a shop to make my connection. Is this weird? 

Anyway this is what I chose today:

This is a lovely Japanese Tana Lawn that has the feel of a double gauze. Maybe a  shirt out of this one.

My other selection was an Art Gallery cotton fabric in a steel blue (couldn't get the photo to show the true colour though). It is lovely and soft and will make a lovely dress I think - maybe a BHL Anna dress?

Hopefully either of these will be made up into something wearable for my next post.

Namaste x