Friday, 25 November 2016

Skirt from Jeans refashion

Hi everyone,

My daughter came over today and walked out with a skirt I made for her out of a pair of bootleg jeans she was not wearing any more. It was a experiment but lets just say she liked it! I was waiting for her to try it on and give a verdict and I had left the bottom of the skirt unfinished, thinking I could run a line of topstitching a couple of cm from the edge to stop fraying but she wanted it left raw and got busy pulling out a cm of threads out leaving an edge of white fringing - after I took the photos of course.

The bands are made from the jean legs so they are on the lengthwise grain but there is a bit of elastane and it worked ok.
The How:  
First I unpicked the crotch for about 10cm each side. then I cut across the jeans at the level of the unfolded crotch seam allowance. I unpicked both the back and the front curved parts of the crotch seams.  I overlapped the fronts until they lay flat and topstitched with rust coloured Gutermann topstitching thread, straight stitching down along the original fold. BTW I used normal white thread in the bobbin. I used the same method on the back because the bum had bagged out a little bit. I did not finish the inside of anything in this skirt, just trimmed off the excess.
I cut 2 x10 cm deep strips 4cm wider than the width of the 'skirt' from one of the jean legs. I curved them ever so slightly, following the existing knee curve of the inner leg of the jeans. I overlapped each piece over the other at the sides by 2cm and topstitched using a wide triple zig zag. I trimmed off the excess.
I attached this to the skirt using a straight triple stitch.
Then I cut the lower bands from the other leg, using the finished width of the first band plus 4cm and also went 10cm deep. I repeated the method used for the first band.
You can glimpse the band zig zag topstitching in the photo below.

It was all very quick and easy and nothing but the jeans and thread was needed. 
Happy sewing!

Saturday, 19 November 2016

V9176 Vogue Wardrobe Sheath Dress

Hi all,

Here we are with just over a month to go till Christmas and time just seems to speed up faster every year in the busy-ness of it's approach. Parties and get togethers galore, work and more work, plans and deadlines.  In Sydney we don't get a white christmas but we do get hot summer nights that are great for parties and pre-christmas dinner cruises. Last Friday night was such a night for my work's Christmas party harbour cruise. When the invitation came in I had the 'what will I wear' moment even though I of course have things to wear .. I had patterns I wanted to try and wanted something simple. I chose  V9176,  ran up a quick cotton muslin, refined the fit then decided to risk it in heavy *silk from the stash.
*Edited to add I did a burn test and found out it is not silk. I think it is cotton sateen. It's ultimately a mystery but it is a beautiful quality fabric I bought from either Tessuti or The Fabric Store, Sydney. I really should keep notes..


I lined the dress as per instructions. I also interfaced the neckline and armholes. Strangely, no sort of reinforcement is  mentioned in the instructions. I did an invisible zip, the best one I have ever done, following the sewing divas invisible zip tutorial

Just for my own records I am going to summarise what I did in my own words:

Pin back seam together, mark where zip will end, leaving 5cm of zip below the mark. Mark this with chalk on the zip, and also by your preferred method on the seam allowances.
Machine baste to mark then change stitch length and sew a few stitches, reverse a few stitches then sew the rest of the seam shut.
Press seam open.  Make sure you have pressed it enough so it will hold the crease when the basting is taken out.
Press the zipper tape and teeth open, carefully, on low heat.
Undo the basting stitches. Align zipper, face down on the seam and pin to seam allowance so that teeth are aligned with pressed edge. Pin zipper to seam allowances.
Machine baste zip to seam allowance down the middle of the tape. This is what I do to keep the zip in place for the proper stitching - it really helps. You can also do the zip up and check that both sides are sitting evenly.
Then switch to a zipper foot and sew close to the teeth from top to bottom, both sides, stopping at the chalk mark and back-stitching a few stitches.
That's it. Easier than stitching the bottom of the dress seam last, but I find even if I have to redo the bit below the zip it's somehow easier with this method. Thanks Els!

My alterations: Square shoulder adjustment, shortening the pattern at the waist by a total of 6cm and bringing out the waist curve a bit. Adding back 3cm to the hem. Note:  Watch the dress length, it's designed to be a mini. Pinching a scant .5cm out of the front neckline 'v' curve just above the bust to prevent gaping. The previously mentioned neck and armhole interfacing.

This will now be my go-to sheath dress pattern.
Leaving you with a couple of shots of Sydney harbour :)