Monday, July 27, 2015

Sewing for the warm... Tessuti Suzy pant again

Even though the weather is still cold here, I am going on holiday soon and as we are going North I will need some nice casual clothes suitable for warmer weather.... yay!

So I have been looking around the webs and have been loving seeing casual drapey pants and decided it was time to pull out the Tessuti Suzy pant pattern again.  Last time I made these in a size small and in silk (posted here).  I tried these on as I know my shape has changed a bit since early last year.  Crossfit has ensured my butt is a little more rounded than it used to be!  

The pants fit but the side seam told the story - it pulls to the back at my butt and pulls forward at my thigh and back again toward my calf... so I figured I would try on my original muslin (not blogged) I made in a medium.  Well they fit much better now and fit nicely over the new, improved butt.  So I traced the medium off and made the same one alteration as last time (shortened the leg length by about 1/2") and amazingly found some gorgeous rayon at Spotties on sale.  So a new Tessuti suzy pant was born made....  

 So much so that I went back to Spotties and bought more fabric for a second pair. 

The top is New Look 6150 made in a beautiful knit rayon from The Fabric Store.  I choose my size by looking at the finished bust measurement and using the one that gave me one inch of ease. It is a bit of a fiddly make with the pleats and gathers in a rayon knit, but so worth it!   I had been looking for a top similar to a RTW one I used to own - pictured in this blog post.  I think I have found it and plan to make more of these flattering tops. 

My new fave outfit.... Ciao kittens... more warm weather makes soon...

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Sewing for the cold ... Anima pants

I have made the Papercut Anima pants before at shorts length to trial the pattern and found that I liked the pattern but couldn't see the point of the faux fly.  Having the faux fly also made the front crotch impossible to adjust.  So I have used the pattern now without the faux fly and made myself some warm pants... tracky daks if you live in Aus!

The only other change I made to the pattern was to lengthen the leg length slightly (maybe not enough!) as I didn't add the cuff.

The pants are made in a gorgeous sweatshirt (listed as sweaty knit in the store) fabric bought from Crafty Mamas.  So warm and soft...mmmm!

As the fabric is so thick and luxe I made the waistband and pocket bag lining from some black cotton lycra blend.  It seems to be working out fine.  For the tie I used a long black shoelace - I really like how that works too.

As you can see they got cat approval even before I was wearing them!

The top I am wearing in the photos is a RTW one and the scarf is the Dory Scarf I made previously.

Review is here.

Very happy with my new trackies... Ciao for now kittens!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Same, same, different... Jalie 2682

Back in July 2012, I made a long sleeved gym top with Jalie 2682 - blogged here.  I wore this top a lot that year (and perhaps the year after?)   It was a little on the tight side around the upper back/chest as the fabric never had the stretch the top needed.  Regardless it served me well, but I moved it out of the wardrobe as my shape has changed and it was too tight to continue wearing.

Now in 2015 I am a little bigger but enjoying CrossFit and I must say a CrossFit Box is a cold place in winter and so I started looking for another long sleeved top.  I lucked across some merino/polypropylene blend fabric marked as wicking at the The Fabric Store in Brisbane and it was half-price... $8/m.  Well of course I bought that instead of investing in  a RTW top.  The ones I had been eyeballing were between $70 and $125!

The fabric is soft has plenty of recovery and is soft and fuzzy on the inside and has an active wear fabric look on the outside.  So I pulled out Jalie 2682 again and traced another pattern size off.  

I chose to go 2 sizes larger than my indicated size.  I was 2 sizes larger in the last top too, but because of the lack of necessary stretch in the fabric, it didn't fit so well.   This fabric has lots of stretch and seems to recover well, and this top is actually a little on the big/loose side.  However as I want to wear it over other tops I am not bothered by this.  I also lengthened it about an inch to give me plenty of coverage over the hips (I hate being cold!).  I did try and curve the side seams but I don't think I put enough curve in as you cannot really tell.  Never mind, I was hoping to make it look current but I am still very happy with the top.

I lined the bodice front with sports mesh as I did not want to double up on the the thick, fuzzy fabric and it works really well.

I put a piece of  purple fabric through the zip pull.  I sewed it in a narrow tube then threaded through the zip pull and stitched it to hold it together.  A cheats way of having a fancy zip pull.

I have trialed it now and this is my feedback.
  • The length and size is great for this top.  If I were to make it for everyday wear I would go back down 2 sizes.  
  • The high collar is great as it gives coverage on the back of the neck, when resting a bar on it (which in the cold is not at all pleasant!)
  • The half zip makes it easy to take off when I do warm up.
  • I really like this top and with the current cold weather it is getting a lot of use.  It is light in weight and very comfortable and I don't feel sweaty in it even after I start warming up.  
  • My only negative is that when I do wear it a bit and sweat into it (and I do sweat) it does get a bit on the nose and needs washing before I am game to put it on again.  That is a shame as the ideal gym wear does not get the stink up and can be worn many times.  However the other side of the coin is I didn't pay a lot for this top and I have enough fabric to make more so I can alternate them.
Oh and for completeness I did do the full squat.  (The medicine ball on the floor behind me is just to help me ensure I get the correct depth).

I have plans to use this pattern in another way soon for a different kind of active wear. 

Reviewed here.

Ciao kittens until next time...

Thursday, July 2, 2015

60's pinny and turtleneck... Burdastyle 09/2012-104 & 105

After sewing a ball dress it was with great pleasure that I returned to sewing regular, everyday, wear-a-lot clothes.  Especially as my winter wardrobe is still a bit lacking. 

Burdastyle magazine had an outfit from the 09/2012 issue that I have always loved.  Love the 60's vibe, the simple styling, the ease of wear and the comfort factor. 

I made the turtleneck top 09-2012-104B.  It is the longer version (down to the hips/bottom) and works so well to keep me warm and snug.  It also sits well under the pinafore.  The fabric is a beautiful merino with a fine stripe from The Fabric Store in Brisbane.

I did actually muslin this (not something I would normally do with a knit top) but the merino was so lovely I didn't want to forsake it for a muslin.  I ended up using the armhole/shoulder width of one size smaller to the rest of the top.  I like this turtleneck style. This one is high enough to keep you warm without choking you.  I have tried a few over the years.

Kwiksew 3740 a great pattern made many times but a too open neckline for a really cold day.

but not as tight a neckline as Burdastyle 09-2011 -121 ...

or  Ottobre 5-2008-121...

Thinking I may have found my ideal turtleneck pattern. 

The pinny (09-2012-105) I made from a ponte which was lovely and soft bought from The Sewing Place when they had an offer for cheap shipping.

I didn't muslin this but probably should have.  I don't think the darts are quite right, but I love it enough that it has already become a favorite in my wardrobe.  For the days I don't want to wear the merino turtleneck I have a RTW purple rayon turtleneck that goes with it really well and is not quite so warm. 

The pockets look a little whoopy in this photo but really don't sit that badly in reality.  Very happy with my start to sewing winter wear.

Ciao kittens... active winter wear next....

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Ball gown.... Burdastyle 12/2008 103

My second ball gown.  We decided to go to the ball this year in support of Careflight   It is great fun but of course I needed a new dress (shoes, bag, hairdo) for it. 

Once again I used Burdastyle 12/2008 but chose style 103...

I did muslin the dress and made a few changes (shortened the back bodice, added some width to the back at the upper back and some other minor adjustments).  Well worth muslining when you make a dress like this.

I got a reasonable fit but still had creases on the back bodice. I was not willing to spend anymore time that I already had on this dress so figured I could live with it.

I bought Genoa which is like a matt back satin.  I used the matt side for the body of the dress and the shiny side for the bow.

The main design changes I made was to use the back slit from Version B instead of the side slit and I also made the bow as a more proper double bow.  The pattern has you make it with only the back half of the bow and the tie part.  In the photos they have flipped the top loop of the bow to the front.  Not sure it is meant to be styled that way, but I suspect it will look like a lump on your shoulder if you didn't.

I accessorised  with blingy shoes and bag and put some bling earrings on as well.  However I went and had my hair cut on the afternoon of the ball (rather than trying to put it up) and the cut did not really let the earrings show.

We had a great time at the ball, but I am so happy to return to my regular everyday sewing. Sewing formal dresses is worth the time as there is quite a money saving to be made but they sure take a lot of time for a dress that will probably be only worn once!

Ciao for now kittens!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wardrobe Contest 2015 - piece 4 ... almost

I apologise for the break in transmission, I seemed to have dropped out of the blogosphere once again... anyway a very quick catch-up post.

I was on a roll with my wardrobe contest entry and my fourth piece was another Burdastyle blouse 06/2013-119  However I decided to play with this one.  I added some pin-tucking to the front and that took a little playing with the fabric.  I also choose to use more feet in my collection and made flat-fell seams.  This also added time to the make.  Anyway this is as far as I got before stalling.

As you can see no buttons or buttonholes.  Also the sleeves have been basted in but I am not happy with them so will be re-doing them.

So why the wardrobe contest entry fail?  Well I had sewing that became a bit more important.  I am going to a ball this week-end and needed a new frock.  So I have been making muslins madly and after quite a few changes I was able to cut my fabric... gulp!

The dress has progressed since cutting stage and is almost finished.  I did get way-laid by having a sewing week-end in Tamworth with some of the girls from Pattern Review.  We had a great week-end and did get help to pin my hem (Thanks Sharon!

So that is where I am currently up to - hand stitching - hemming and stitching on the decorative bow at the shoulder.  I hope to blog more about my sewing week-end but will leave you with a picture of a sign outside a lovely little cafe in Geln Innes where we stopped for lunch on the drive down to Tamworth.

Ciao kittens... pretty gown pics soon...

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Wardrobe Contest 2015 - piece 3 - Burdastyle 09/2011-128

My third piece, another top but this time a button-up blouse.  This is a pattern I have wanted to make for ages and I wish I had made it sooner as I really like it.   It is Burdastyle 09/2011 -128 called "Straight Ahead".

I love the simple lines but interesting details that makes this an interesting sew as well as lifts the top out of being too simple.  I think I will have to make another one soon in a plain fabric.

The only real alteration was to shorten the pattern.  That sucker is seriously long!  I did shorten a little more than I might normally but I was constrained by the amount of fabric I had.
Add caption
Every top in this contest is either fabric from a remnant bin or a left-over from something else I have sewn!  A real left-over wardrobe!

I love the set-in collar at the back that lines up with the level of the pleats at the front.  Hard to photograph in this fabric though.

The fabric is a Japanese cotton (lawn?) from Spotties.  Fairly stiff so not the best choice for the pleats in this top.  I am hoping it may soften with a few washes.  When I make it again I will try for a softer fabric.  I like how this one coordinates with my central piece, the cardigan.

So the full review is linked here

See you soon kittens, one more top to go...