Sunday, February 7, 2016

Vogue 1179... the other one

This was the first Vogue 1179 I made, but I have only managed to get the photos organised.  We went away for a week-end to attend a family engagement party.  It was a great little dress to pack and take for this kind of occasion.


I look very white in these photos which were taken in our motel room.  My hair had the copper foils added the week before so I wonder if the strong colours of my hair and dress wash me out a little.

In this dress the fabric is lighter than the patterned one, and the fact I probably need a swayback alteration is more apparent.  Always interesting how different fabrics can sit so differently.


The patterned version is a big favorite of mine and has been worn to the office every week since I made it.  This teal one is reserved as my "going out" version.  Does anyone  else categorise their clothes that way?

Ciao.. activewear coming up next.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Vogue 1179 ... one of two...

I recently found Vogue 1179 on ebay (now OOP) after wanting it for awhile, so indulged and it was a worthwhile investment.  As per my last post I have made two of these, the first in a teal jersey and immediately a second version in a geometric print.  I have some photos of the second one here to show you.

The geometric print is a fabric I bought quite awhile ago and even though the colours are great for me, the print is a little large and imposing so it has been hard to find a pattern that I thought would work for it.  I am super impressed that this one works really well with it.


I choose one pattern size down from what was recommended by the Vogue size chart.  The main adjustment to the pattern was to increase the armhole size (by scooping it out at the bottom and taking that line back gradually to the armhole line near the shoulder.)   I also added 2" to the length as I prefer it to just cover the knee (and not be above the knee).


This fabric was very soft and spongy and when I put it on Diana (my dressmaker's dummy) before adding the collar, it seemed to instantly stretch at the front neckline with all the weight of the pleats.  So I quickly whipped it off and spent a night sleeping on it to work out how to ensure the neckline was not going to stretch out after adding the collar (more weight).  I ended up basting some clear elastic to the neckline just inside the seam allowance, so when the collar is sewn and overlocked on, the elastic is enclosed in the overlocked seam.  

BTW - I did what a lot of other reviewers did and just folded the collar wrong sides together and attached directly to the neckline instead of the multi-step process Vogue uses.  I also did not use elastic in the armholes, but just turned and sewed a narrow hem twice.

A really simple, quick make that gives you a easy to wear and stylish little frock I reckon.  


Ciao kittens, back soon with the teal version and then active wear... yep... back to active wear...

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

... and Vogue 9112 goes to...

Mae!  Please contact me via my email address on the side bar so I can get your new pattern posted to you.  I used the very scientific pull a piece of paper out of a hat type draw.   I hope you like it. 

And so this blog post has some pics I will give you some sneaky peaks of my next two makes.  It is Vogue 1179, now OOP but I have been wanting to try it for awhile and managed to snag one on eBay for a reasonable price.

The first one in a teal jersey...


... and obviously I like it as I made a second one in a largish geometric print I have had sitting in the stash for years.  Finally a pattern to suit it...


Once I wear them (road test them) and get some "proper" photos I will give you the full deets on the making of them.  Ciao kittens, thanks for playing along...

Monday, January 4, 2016

Stepping out of the comfort zone... Vogue 9112

I have been eyeing off Vogue 9112 for awhile and watching peoples makes around the interwebs.  I like the collar, the loose styling and the quirky piecing details but wasn't sure about the bell like effect if made in a firmer weave.  So in my quest for cool, loose dresses for summer, I though I should give it a shot.


I found a lovely rayon crepe (I think?) from The Fabric Store in Brisbane.  It is a good weight and a lovely drape but I wasn't sure how it would all go together.

My biggest hassle with the pattern was the sizing.  Using bust size I should be a large going by the sizing chart.  However I know enough about Vogue sizing that I bought the Xsmall-Small-Medium pattern size.  I then checked the finished bust size on the pattern piece and was still scratching my head about what size to choose.  The small would have been too snug at the bust but the medium had way more ease at the bust than I thought I needed.  I was a bit stuck.  They define Medium as a size 12-14 but it is obviously aimed right at the 14 and I think a 12 would have been the size I need (and the one I generally have made in Vogue patterns previously). 


I didn't want to make a muslin so I did the good old Palmer Pletsch tissue fit.  Taped the armholes and pinned the 2 front pieces and two back pieces together.  It seemed to fit alright across the bust but looked way too wide at the shoulders (particularly on the back armholes).  So I adjusted the pattern pieces for that by taking some width out of the armhole front and back.  I did have that thought that I find tissue fitting often gives a false impression of size, and it may be too big still, but at least it was within cooee of getting a reasonable fit.

So I cut out the gazillion pieces which took forever and got stuck into it.  The sewing is quite fun as it is like sewing puzzle pieces together.  If you make this dress watch you mark all the match points and keep your pattern pieces out as there are so many of them you will miss some!

The front and the backs are pieced and then sewed together at shoulder and side seams.  I tried it on for size at this point and I did need to take it in at the bust.  So I ran it in from the armhole to about the first notch.



My next challenge was the collar.  My fabric was not going to work in this collar but I had cut it anyway as I like the collar and thought it would be a bit plain without it.  It would not hold the height of the collar with the drape in my fabric and also the wrong side would show.  So I sewed the tucks in as per the pattern and pinned the collar to the dress, whereupon it pretty much collapsed as I expected it would.  So after a bit of head scratching I simply folded the collar RS together (folding along the length of it) and sewed the collar ends.  I then flipped it out and pressed, basted the raw edges together and attached the collar as per the instructions.  However I could not see the need to use the facing so I overlocked the seam together , pressed the seam toward the body and stitched it down.


My collar now is basically half the height of the collar but I like it as the higher collar probably would not have suited me as my neck is not very long.

So I am pretty happy with the outcome and think I will get a bit of wear out of this dress.  I don't think I will ever make another one though as it is quite distinctive.  So I want to pass the pattern on to someone.  If anyone in Australia (sorry not willing to pay for OS postage) wants it please let me know in the comments.  The pattern is cut at the Medium but I have tried to keep all the lines.  I have also narrowed the shoulder (taken width off at the armholes) a bit on the pattern pieces.  If  more than one person expresses interest I will do a draw.  I would like to mail it next week, so let me know by Monday 11th Jan if you are interested.  

My review is here.

One more pic to show the breezy nature of this rayon fabric...



Ciao kittens, please let me know if you are interested in having this pattern.  I am in de-clutter mode and would love to pass it on to someone rather than have it sit here in a box gathering dust.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

2015.. the good and the bad

2015 has been a pretty good year all up.  I started the year participating in the Wardrobe contest on Pattern Review, but didn't keep the momentum up so didn't complete it.  

After that, a real highlight of the year was attending a PRDU get together in Tamworth. I enjoyed that week-end very much and caught up with on-line friends again and met some others for the first time.

What I have sewed has varied greatly and the posts that seemed to generate the most interest highlighted that.  The highest hits were for my ball gown and for a Jalie top made as gym wear.  From one extreme to the other.


I think this might have been the year of the pant as I made a pile of casual pants and a lot of them were for another major highlight of the year - our road trip/ camping / kayaking holiday in North Queensland.


I felt refreshed from the holiday and it fired me up to join the Pattern Review Great Sewing Bee.  I was chuffed to make it through 3 of the 4 rounds.  I really enjoyed this challenge.  It made me do more research and planning than I have for ages.  I also made some items at a higher difficulty rating than I usually would.  


The blouse has been worn quite a few times, but not the dress (need an occasion) or the jacket (need the cold weather), but I am happy that the pieces I produced will get some use.

Nothing bad happened this year but something sad.  My little dog unexpectedly had to be put down at the end of October.  It was a complete surprise as even though he was 15 years old his health had been really good to that point.  However he passed peacefully and had his family all around him.

Cosmo the wonder dog

Now to 2016.  I have my first make under my belt (finished today) and plan to join in the active wear contest on Pattern Review which starts in a few weeks.  I plan to make some more bags this year (got the bug!) and hope to keep the momentum going from the PR Sewing Bee to keep improving my fitting skills and pushing myself to try new techniques.  I do plan a denim jacket and will see what else hits the radar.

Happy new year kittens, Ciao for now.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Gift sewing

I spent most of December making some gifts for Christmas.  I can show them here now that the gifts have been handed out.  I joined the Australian Sewing Guild's sew along and enjoyed making these bags as part of that crew. 

The pattern used is the Tiny Essentials Tote Bag from Little Moo Designs.  This is the most complex bag I have ever sewn.  The instructions cover many pages and we did get extra daily tutorials through the sew along.  I still found there was a few mistakes in the pattern and I believe there is probably better ways of doing some of the steps in making this bag.  However saying all that I think the outcome was successful.

I made one bag for my husband who requested the lining be orange.  I made the bag for carrying all the cords and chargers around when going on holidays.




I made three pockets on one side and two on the other and tried to make them roomy enough to hold the cords.  the netting pockets are edged with fold over elastic.

I also made one for my cousin in feminine fabrics that I hope she likes.




To go with the bags I decided to make some earbud pouches.  I used this tutorial from Dogs Under My Desk patterns.



The instructions are really good and the only difficulty I had was sewing a neat circle. I had to unpick the pink one a few times until I was happy with it.

Since then I have bought some more Dog Under My Desk patterns and plan to make some more bags next year.  It is a bit addictive.

I think the gifts were well received.  Ciao for now kittens!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Another Ottobre 02/2013-14 summer frock

I have finished my "proper" version of this dress.  I made my trial version and details are in my previous post here.   



There was some changes I decided I needed and they were to:
  • narrow the shoulder width a little 
  • adjust the back for swayback.  
and I am pleased that my changes worked.  Particularly the sway back as I haven't done it too often.  The waistline seam made it easy to do.  I just took about 1.5cm height at the centre back seam along the waist seam of both the back bodice and skirt pieces tapering to nothing before the side seam.  The green arrows point to my alteration.



No fabric pooling in the back

Once again I used a facing and not a lining.  The facing is a combined neckline/armhole one and looks like this cut out. 


Click to see larger
 I was able to follow the instructions pretty much for inserting the lining to sew in the facing.  The only additional steps were to finish the lower edge of the facing (with the overlocker) and tack the bottom of the facing to the side seams (just to help hold it in place).

I wanted to show you my finished invisible zipper.  I was very proud of how the waistline seam matches up after inserting the zip.


I was thinking of making this version an inch or so above my knee but after consultation with my DH, I left the hem at knee height.




Here is a shot of the neckline without a necklace so you can see the shape of it.  A bit different to what you see about.  I quite like it but do cover it with a necklace as I don't believe the black/white is my most flattering colour.  




The fabric is a rayon twill I bought from Tessuti fabrics ages ago.  I think I had planned to make the suzy pants originally.  I obviously changed my mind and now I have a lovely cool summer frock (and a remnant to make another small item).

Ciao kittens - next gift making season is in full swing!