Tuesday, July 29, 2014

More basics - Colette Mabel skirt and knitted accessory love.

As part of making some basics for my winter wardrobe I figured a few basic skirts would be in order.  The Colette Mabel  is the one I chose and it is great for this kind of basic sewing - quick, doesn't use much fabric and gives a great wardrobe staple.



I made version 3 - above the knee with a kick pleat and some nice seam detail.  I used a left-over piece of black double knit. 




 It was close to perfect.  I wore it as made and decided that I really needed to make a size down from the size I made in black.  I also think (regardless of size made) a bit of elastic in the waistband is a good idea.  You may need wider hips to make this baby feel secure.  I think if you had young children who love to tug on your skirt you may end up with it around your ankles.

So I did add elastic to the waistband.  I did it in the manner described in the Kwik sew yoga pants - sewn to the inside of the seam then stitched with a zigag to the inside band.  It is not tight but adds a bit of security.  I also ended up lining this skirt in a tricot as I had real problems with the skirt riding up/bunching when walking with the tights I wore.  The skirt is nice lined but I decided the black tights I were using had a rough texture that made it worse.   I did try all sorts of ways to take out any static but I do believe it was those tights (which have since been binned).

My other make which has added to my wardrobe was a knitted cowl.  Details are on my ravelry page for those interested in more info on it.  



I love this cowl - the style and the yarn.  This colour graduation goes so well with a lot of my wardrobe (the black/clear colours part of my clothes).  I recently bought a dark blue jacket that it also coordinates well with.  So a big win for me. 



Ciao kittens - another Colette Mabel to come (and a few other pieces.)...

BTW - the jacket is my Stylearc Harper jacket - blogged here.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Catching up - Kwik Sew 3740

My blogging has fallen in a pile lately but I will try and catch up and get my act together.  I think one of the reasons is that I have been making lots of basics and they are not the most exciting to blog about, but they are good additions to the wardrobe as they get lots of wear.

I have put on weight and so many of my clothes don't fit, while waiting for this issue to resolve itself (hopeful, eh?)  I have made some basics in my new size so I have *something* to wear! Another reason a lot hasn't been blogged is that my picture getting and quality hasn't been the greatest lately.  However so as to move on, I am going to use the photos I have or I may never get my blog moving again!

First cab off the rank is a Kwik sew 3740.  This pattern is a TNT in my wardrobe.  I made a larger size than in the past, and even though I wear it, I don't believe I achieved a great fit.  I should have kept the same shoulder size as my previous makes, maybe done a FBA and added some to the side seams.  However I still have a wearable top and it has been worn a lot already. 

Without further ado... a picture for you... no details as this has been reviewed many times already.


I also made one in black bamboo without the collar but have no photo.

Two basic tops done now but more wardrobe basics to come... Ciao!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Orange briar

At the Brisbane Sewist's High Tea I managed to score a copy of the Megan Nielsen Briar top.  I decided to make my 'wearable muslin' from a sweater knit as I loved the idea of the long length in a sweater.  I bought this gorgeous orange sweatshirt fabric from Spotlight and went for it.

The first issue (and probably the major issue) is that the sweatshirt fabric has very little stretch.  I cut the medium size which corresponds to my measurements and the only change I made to the pattern was to shorten the sleeves slightly, a very usual pattern alteration for me.



First up I discovered the fabric was not going to have enough stretch to use the fabric for the neckband.  I was kicking myself as there had been matching ribbing at Spotties but I hadn't thought to pick it up.  However a stroke of genius and a bit of searching, I found I had a small piece of ribbing left from making my Stylearc Maggie jacket.  It is a grey/charcoal stripe and I really like it with the orange sweater fabric.  The piece I had was actually a bit shorter than recommended but this ribbing is from Crafty Mamas and is great quality (similar to this one), so stretched and sat beautifully.



I had a fit issue in that the sleeves were very tight and the top was tight across the bust.  I let the side and sleeve seams out and that helped but it is still a bit snug and you can see I have a classic need a fba crease happening.  However the fabric does not have much stretch so that was part of the problem I think.  I will have to look at again if I make another one.

I wanted this orange fabric as I wanted to wear it with my knitted honey cowl on the cold week-ends.  


Well I love this for casual week-end wear.  It was nice and warm around my hips and bottom when we went to the Hampton Food and Wine Festival recently and my DH even noticed how many other people had 'imitated' me by wearing tops with the high-low hemline. 



I will probably make this pattern up again but will need to consider a FBA and look at the stretch of my fabric.  A quick simple sew that gives a cute result.  Ciao for now kittens!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Stylearc Harper Jacket... the cold has arrived!

I was invited at the start of the month to a High tea for a 50th Birthday party... yeah! I thought I can get out the Anthea High Tea dress again!  Then the weather started to get really cool... ok, I still have a nice frock (McCalls 5974)  I haven't worn a lot so I can still do the 'frock up' for the occasion!.

Fail! ... the weather got colder and colder and winter arrived even though it is still officially only autumn.  So luckily I whipped out the jacket I had made ready for the cold in the previous month. I teamed it with a RTW turtleneck and my black pants - made here, but I have slightly narrowed the legs.  (oh and worn with leggings underneath... needed lots of layers!)


This is the Stylearc Harper jacket.  I made it in a heavy weight merino picked up at The Fabric Store in Brisbane.  I love it but do think it is a little big for me in the shoulders.  

This is it closed as per the design picture.


That is both hook and eyes closed.  This is not my favourite way to wear it but certainly makes it a warm jacket for those really cold days.

This is my fave way to wear it - only one hook and eye closed..


I really quite like it.  It is a simple sew.  I left off the the little squares they give you in the pattern pieces to cover the hooks.  I just hand sewed them tidily in a great matching thread and was happy enough with the finish.  I assume they little squares were meant to cover the stitching??  I wasn't 100% sure, but was happy enough with my finish that I didn't use them.  BTW they give you a set of two hooks and eyes with the pattern... nice!

It also lets you leave the edges unfinished or to use a narrow hem.  As this fabric is quite thick I did not want to use a narrow hem.  I considered leaving them unfinished but was worried the merino may ladder.  So after consultation with my buddies on Pattern Review (sewing down under board) I used a 2 thread overlock stitch.  This is my first time using my overlocker with two threads so it was a bit of a learning opportunity.  This is how it looked...


It was much neater running along the fabric than along the grain, but is still preferable to no edge finish (in my book at least).

So a great jacket - easy to sew, comfortable to wear and warm in the thick merino.  I have worn it another time since the High Tea so think it will come into heavy rotation over this coming winter.

Ciao for now kittens, my blogging is a bit ad-hoc at the moment but I promise to have something new to show you soon. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Blue and green should never be seen... a new shawl

I have got lots of sewing to blog but I am getting myself organised with photos for them, so in the meantime for your amusement is my latest knitting project.  Not many words but plenty of pictures...


The pattern is Cameo.


I knitted mine in Malabrigo Yarn Silkpaca in the colours Vaa (dark green) and Azul Profundo (dark blue).  The shawl is started in the green then changes to stripes in the blue and the green and then the lace portion is all blue.  The colour change is more subtle on mine than some but I love it!



The ravelry link is here for those interested.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Active wear - vest KS 3453

As part of updating my active wear wardrobe I made a vest.  It can get cool and the car park at the gym is particularly cold and breezy.  So a vest to keep the cool breeze off my shoulders and keep me warm once sweaty workouts were done is what I needed in my wardrobe.  

I ordered Kwik Sew 3453 and bought some fleece from Lincraft during a sale they had and viola...

It looked tricky with odd pieces but came together quite easily.



The only change I might make if I made it again is too lengthen so it sits over my hips more.


I have worn it on a few cool mornings to gym and find it very comfortable and snuggly warm.  I would love to make one out of a more technical fabric like Polartec but I am not sure I can justify it for my lifestyle... wish list...


Review is here... Ciao!  

Friday, April 4, 2014

A frock for a High Tea - Stylearc Anthea Dress

I am sure you have seen and read about the Brisbane Sewist's High Tea that was held last Sunday.  I attended and had a lovely time meeting some lovely sewists from SE Qld.  I wish I could have spoken to more of the ladies there.  I did not take any photos of the day but have got some piccies of the dress I made for the occasion.  

I had decided a floral frock was in order for this occasion and had a gorgeous cotton bought from Gardams Fabrics (before they shut up shop locally).  I scoured the net for a suitable pattern and settled on the Stylearc Anthea dress.



I made three muslins of the bodice before cutting into my real fabric.  I think I got a reasonable fit.  My alterations included lowering the bust darts.  I think I actually lowered them a little too much.  

I had gappiness in the arm holes so did my first ever proper fba and also adjusted the back shoulder seam to be cut on more of an angle.  I found this youtube advice very helpful in this regard.  



The only other alteration was to lengthen the bodice slightly.

Oh - and when making a muslin for a bodice I discovered you need to use a zipper as long as specified -  I made my first muslin with a zipper only as long as the bodice and had great issues getting in and out of it!



I fully lined the dress with a chocolate voile which I had in the stash.  Lovely quality bought from Gorgeous fabrics a few years ago  This fabric may be a little too light for a lining but this dress is lovely and cool and comfortable to wear.  I love that separate lining pattern pieces are provided for the skirt.  These have little less fullness than the main skirt... however don't do what I did and cut the lining piece out of the main fabric and the main skirt out of the lining... lucky I had a little extra main fabric!


The instructions are pretty basic and I haven't lined a lot of dresses so still managed to muck up the order of construction.  If you are not familiar with lining a dress I would recommend looking for more details elsewhere as to how to do this.

I love my new dress and it was super comfortable to wear in the Brisbane humidity.  I did enjoy the afternoon and also have the obligatory shot of my haul from the swap.


A lovely green linen, matching lining (not sure I will use it for the linen though), a lovely cotton print and a Megan Neilsen pattern.  The review of my dress is here.  Ciao for now!