Wednesday, 18 January 2017

A burda a month

Hi there,

Over at PR there is a sewalong for doing a burdastyle a month. It's about getting out those mags and actually making something up instead of looking at them and filing them away again. Here's the link to the discussion. In keeping with Sydney's current heatwave I've made up a rayon maxi dress in a loose style. If anyone in the northern hemisphere is wondering why Aussies like myself are carrying on about the heat, it's because as well as hot days of 40 degrees Celsius, we have been having midnight temperatures of 34 degrees Celsius. That's 93.2 Fahrenheit. So it's either air-conditioning or the fan going all night! Makes it difficult sometimes. Anyway I promise not to mention the heat for at least a few posts. Heatstroke and whining aside, I've made up 03/2010/111 Kimono Dress.

Modifications: The pattern as drafted is extremely billowy in the upper half and I had to shorten the bodice pieces by 2 cm, extend the skirt pieces up by 2cm, scoop the armhole out instead of the batwing shape they had. Most importantly I had to raise the too-plunging neckline. I added ties stitched to the side seams instead of making a separate Obi type belt as in the pattern.
Instructions:  Shock horror for once they were good, especially the flip the facing to the outside and topstitch neckline treatment.

I interfaced the back neck and front band pieces with lightweight interfacing found in the stash. It wasn't iron on so I used glue stick to dot some glue on then ironed it on a silk setting. This worked quite well!

Disclaimer:  I have already fallen off the stash wagon, well not really if you read the rules that I allowed myself one pattern & one piece of fabric per quarter .. I got this beautiful cotton/lycra Pique at the Fabric Store.

At first I thought of making an unlined sheath dress but that big white border is just screaming out to be used somehow. Decisions, decisions..

Stash tally Project 3:  Stash pattern and stash fabric used for dress. Another piece of stash fabric used for a muslin (too awful to show here, pattern placement chaos). One piece of fabric in.

Edit: To any new readers who are wondering 'What on earth is going on with her hair?' I am growing out the dye and letting it go grey. I've had my first round of chopping it off. I did consider shaving my head but took the (slightly) less extreme route. Once it's all out I will let it grow.

Happy sewing,

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Stye Arc Maggie/Blair mashup

Hi there!
The last time I ordered a pattern from Style Arc, their freebie of the month was the  Maggie Shirt. It was on my list of 'do it someday' patterns. Then while reading sewing blogs I came across a version of Style Arc Blair Shirt or Dress that I liked on this blog Bombazine.  I noticed that the silhouette of the Maggie shirt was very similar to the Blair so I had the bright idea of modifying Maggie into Blair, being on a pattern fast and all that. Well, I drafted a collar, added crosswise seams, decided to leave the back alone, made a collar that was too small, made an unwearable muslin, modified the underarm curve, shortened the edge of the sleeves, made the collar longer, straightened the curve of the collar stand then dug out some pretty blue crinkle cotton from the stash and made this shirt.

Yep, another loose top. The collar is similar to one on a Vogue shirt pattern from years ago V8689 which I used as starting point. It took a total of three collars and two stands but with lots of measuring and tryouts I ended up with a shirt collar that sits better than any I've made before with the amount of ease I want. Would it have been simpler to buy the Blair? Yes but I would probably have had to tweak the collar on that as well. This has more to do with my neck and shoulders than any pattern. Anyway I decided to see it through and I am glad I did.

The collar done up.

Will I use my version again? Probably, in some form or another... summer, winter, dress. But right now I feel like sewing something straightforward without too many modifications.
Edit: I traced off everything and left Maggie intact to try later. (In days past I would have hacked into the original and lived to regret it!)
Another Edit: All respect to pattern makers everywhere. True-ing one piece to every other is not easy!

Stash tally Project 2: Stash fabric used for muslin and for shirt, stash pattern and self drafted collar.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

V9067 Top A

Hi everyone,

We are having another heatwave. I have made two hot weather tops. This one swirls and drifts away from the body. It reminds me of the big circular smocks that were briefly popular in the 70's. I made my own way back then too! Number two top is a loose short sleeved shirt, which I will photograph later today. My daughter's been saying 'Mum why are you making all this loose stuff?' Because I want to, that's why. When the weather cools down I will get into something more fitted. But back to this post. I am already a fan of Vogue 9067. The pants work on me and I've made the frilly floppy View C top. I may even make it again as my flimsy voile one from last year already has rips in it that I've repaired! From memory that top ran large as well as having a lot of ease. This top fitted better across the neck and shoulders but also runs large. More on that later.
I had several metre lengths of Japanese cotton from Spotlight bought a summer or two ago in my stash so I could play with colour blocking. I could maybe have gone for a green panel on the left front instead of the slightly darker yellow for a bit more drama, but I like this anyway considering it was a  experiment.

Caught in the breeze, you can see the circle based shape.

I almost didn't post photos two and three but the drapey fluid nature of the top prevents it from looking quite that 'maternity' when in motion! It pools nicely when I sit down.

Adjustments: As mentioned the body of the top runs large. It's one of those patterns where there is a small increment between sizes XS and S then twice as big a jump to 'M'. I took it back to between size S and size M and trust me I am not usually a Small.
I lowered the armholes a smidgen to compensate. I lowered the neckline by half a centimetre so I could pull the top over my head and eliminated the back button and loop. It would have just fitted over my head anyway.

Re directions, they are good but I finished the neck and armholes using this method.
1.  Stay stitch the neckline.
2.  Trim the neckline to exactly where you want the finished neckline to be.
3.  Make your bias fabric in a loop to the finished measurement of your neckline.
4.  Fold it in half lengthwise and press, making sure you do not stretch it.
5.  Apply to the wrong side of the garment 7mm (3/8") from the edge.
6.  Press towards the neck edge all around, then press the bias edge over the raw edges towards the  
     right side of the garment.
7.  Machine stitch 2mm from the edge around the neck. This stitching will land just under the
     original stitching.

It is my current favourite finish. The next time I do it I will try to take photos, because it is easier than it sounds and works on knits too and all the raw edges are encased.

Stash tally: 1 project, Stash material and stash pattern used.
Grey roots update: I have a big ring of grey and look quite frightful. A bit of length and a lot of spray and styling no longer covers it. I am looking forward to getting quite a bit of it chopped off on Friday. Super short. Would rather look like a spiky skunk than a madwoman. #thirdworldproblem  :)

Have a good day!