Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Sewing Workshop - Alex top

I recently bought some lovely black pants which are very slim in the leg (like leggings but a really firm nice fabric).  Sooo as always happens I decided I needed a tunic length top or two to wear with them.  After a little hunting around the web I ended up buying the Sewing Workshop's Alex and Olive pattern.   (For the aussies reading this, you can purchase this pattern here at Can Do Books.) Being tunics I needed a good length of fabric so bought some on my last visit to Brisbane at the Fabric Store.

I ended up with a gorgeous purple fabric for the Alex and stripe in green for the Olive.  The purple was marked as vintage and when I asked I learnt it came from a dance wear company that had sold stock off and it was from the 1980's.  The quality is divine, the colour is vibrant and I wish they still made fabric like this!  


I made the pattern to my bust size and think the sizing is pretty true.  The only change I made was to shorten the sleeve length.  The instructions were pretty good but I did insert the sleeves flat rather than follow the pattern instruction which does them in the round.


I love the details - the collar, the gathering at the back neckline and the insert piece in the centre front.  However the gathering at the back looks which lovely on Diana....


 on me does not sit nicely... 


That is about the only disappointment with this pattern. I have shown it here with my Mabel skirt but I love it with my new trousers (more than this combo).   So it has fit the bill.

Photo bombing kitten cannot be left out....


Ciao kittens , the Olive top soon...

Monday, August 18, 2014

Crafty shopping... live, laugh, love

To take a break from clothes sewing exploits, I will show you the results of a lovely Sunday out.   Saturday was miserable... wet, windy cold so on Sunday when the sun came out we went for a drive out to Highfields (just outside of Toowoomba) to a little precinct called the Village Green.

First I shopped at the Quilters Angel and then we sat in the sunshine and had lunch at the Chocolate Cottage.  At the Quilters Angel I knew I would find what I need to make some gifts and I also picked up a magazine.


After lunch we strolled some of the other shops and I bought a few pieces to decorate my sewing studio.  Theses are the pieces hanging on the wall.



And to give you perspective on how it looks from the doorway of my sewing studio.


Ciao kittens - some Sewing Workshop tops and (obviously) some crafty goodness soon...

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Teal Jalie drop pocket cardigan 3248

I bought the most beautiful merino heavy weight teal merino specifically for this pattern from the Fabric Store in Brisbane,  Expensive but sooo worth it!  The pattern is Jalie 3248 the drop pocket cardigan.

I think the only alteration I made was to shorten the sleeve length which I do with just about every long sleeved pattern.  

What can you slay about a Jalie pattern... so great - fit is great, instructions are great and the finished product is ...well... great!


My only negatives with this pattern is that it is a fabric hog because of the doubled up fonts. Expensive merino... ouch!  The only other negative is that the cardigan does not meet at the front.  It is the design and is clear on the cover picture, but I didn't think that through.  However the style of it is perfect, just not for the coldest days!


This teal colour is so, so versatile on my wardrobe and goes with my two winter basics of black and brown so I have worn it heaps!  I think I wore it 3 times in the first week after I made it.

I also love it with my willow cowl.


I had a strip of teal merino left over and I wasn't going to waste it so I paired it with some leftover mustard merino (form this cardigan) and made a cowl (you know I love a good cowl!)



Ciao kittens...

Monday, August 4, 2014

Basics in brown... another Mabel skirt

As part of the basics I made a second Mabel skirt.  The same version 3 with kick pleat.  I made it a size down this time and still put some elastic in the waistband.

The fabric used was a leftover piece of brown suede-like double knit.


It is a great pattern given that it takes little fabric, is a quick make and looks smart with some nice features.


Another post soon with the teal cardigan shown above... Ciao!

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!