Friday, 7 July 2017

Up In Arms Top

I found this pattern somewhere amongst a lot of google images on the interweb.  I think it was from a magazine, but you can purchase the PDF of the Up in Arms Blouse for $5.  Even when I bought it I knew it was very similar to the Alice top. However, the sleeves are much easier for this top and there are a few sleeve options.  

This is a very fast and friendly pattern to make.  The only alteration I did to the pattern was to make a facing for the sleeves.  I just thought since you can see the underside of this style of sleeve, it would look better to have the fabric pattern on the inside as well. 

I also should have added maybe another inch for the hem, but that's not really a big issue.  Once again my fabric is a soft furnishing fabric from Spotlight. Couldn't go pass up the kitties.  

As white is not really my colour I did make a contrast yolk panel. Unfortunately the piece I cut out was actually for the back yolk. Doh!!

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Lulu Dress

Yay, this frock makes me feels like it's 1994 again. Double J have been playing all 90's music over the last few weekends and that takes me to my happy place.  However, when I made this frock I was listening to Audioslave and the Singles soundtrack and mourning the loss of the supremely talented and Chris Cornell.  

So to the Lulu dress.  I was sitting at my computer at my ever exciting office job when I received an email from Sew Over It announcing the Lulu pattern.  I think they mentioned a "great summer dress".  However, when I see 3/4 length sleeves as in the promo photo I think "Brisbane winter".  I think I bought this flannel material before I actually downloaded the pattern. Very happy I chose this for a winter dress that I can wear with tights and a cardie or jacket if need be.  

I'm pretty sure this is my first Sew Over It pattern.  Even though putting together PDF's is a bore, I sometimes manage to put it together on a friday afternoon if it's a little slow around the old office.  The pattern was easy to assemble and instructions very easy to follow.  The sleeves come in 2 pieces. I've only had that experience once before with a 60's dress. I'm not sure why that technique is used, I suspect maybe for the shape at the shoulder.  

The only thing that wasn't clear in the instructions was when you attached the neck binding. It only mentioned to do gather stitches on the front section, however, the neck binding wasn't long enough, by quite a lot.  So it was either, cut another piece of binding or put some more gather stitches somewhere around the neckline.  I decided to put gather stitches in the sleeve sections as well and that seemed to work, the binding fitted.

So hooray for Lulu.  It is a nice easy and basic pattern that you could do with a fair variety of fabrics and unlike a lot of the "independent" pattern companies the measurements were bang on.  And of course the big bonus, not zips or buttonholes!!!

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

The Peplum Top

This New Look 6130 pattern had been lurking in my stackasaurus of patterns for some time. I've always liked the peplum style top, but I can't say I've worn one since the 1980's.  I had high hopes for this pattern and I wasn't disappointed.  In fact it all came together very easily. I chose the round neck version rather than fiddling with the v neck.

The fabric is a 100% quilting cotton I bought on sale at Spotlight quite some time ago. And yes, it does get a tad creased throughout the day.  But I actually like how the peplum sits given the stiffer fabric. 

The cap sleeve has an unusual feature with a pleat at the top. I'm not sure if that adds anything to the shape of the sleeve, it's just a different feature. 

The only oopsydaisy moment I had with this pattern was the pleats in the peplum. It wasn't until after I took the photos and was about the walk out the door to go to work that I noticed my pleats were both going in the same direction. I think they are both supposed to fold outwards.  You can probably see it best in the first photo.  Though I'm sure not that many people would observe it.  I wore this about 5 weeks ago and I still haven't fixed the pleat issue. It won't take much time to correct, but just distracted by too many other sewing projects.  

So I'd definitely recommend this pattern. It is easy to make and a very accurate fit.  I may try again with a softer fabric.  

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

McCalls 7314 Shirt Dress

Ok, so here's a fact, collars maybe don't suit me.  Well some collars.  It appears if it is a bulky collar/high collar I should avoid it. I had my eye on this McCall's pattern for awhile and thought it was a pretty awesome idea to be a shirt dress, but with elastic at the waist.  Also the high waist makes it super comfy.   This was the first time I wore the frock, the second time was probably better with some navy blue tights. I almost looked a bit hip, almost. 

Now, I know it does look a little bit like a maternity frock in the photos. I think I didn't get enough good photos before I left for work so it is what it is.  The fabric does scream a bit of school uniform on top of that.  It was a cotton/rayon from Lincraft.  It's a really love blend, very soft, almost like a knit.  I see they currently have the fabric on sale.  Unfortunately I'm already noticing pilling under the arms which is a big fat drag cause I'm pretty happy with the dress.  

The pattern was very easy to make, sizing was perfect.  I didn't have to make any adjustments.  It all came together easily and quite quickly apart from the general time it takes to put in collars and button holes. I am definitely going to make the dress again but would doing some adjustments to the collar, either make it smaller or use a pattern for a more rounded collar.  It's definitely too bulky for my neck.  Still don't understand as a tall person that I don't have the longer neck.   

As you can see from the photo on the left, it would definitely be a good maternity dress. I would also consider maybe a sleeveless version next. That way it can worn in summer and also with a cardie in the cooler months.  So all in all McCall's 7314 gets my tick of approval.   

Monday, 5 June 2017

This One Goes Out To The Little People

Here's a short and sweet little post with some makes which I have recently done for my niece.  She is now of an age where I don't mind making something because she won't grow out of it in 2 weeks time.   

First cab off the rank, the pinafore.  I just printed a template off the internet of a pattern I liked the look of.  It was the basic outline of a dress, I just expanded it to A3 and it then cut 1 template doc which was front and back and the facing was just cut using the top section of the pattern piece.  Fast, easy and very satisfying make.

This was a recycle job. I had an old denim skirt which had worn badly in one section. Plenty of material still useable and I kept the seams from the original skirt for front and back.  Have stocked up on a lot of cute iron on transfers. This little one with a barn on it was perfect for this one.

Next, I had a small amount of pink corduroy which was given to me. I may have cut this one too short, but it will look nice with jeans.  I have a bag load of these cat buttons I bought on line, they are just fab.

This was leftover material from a 50's style dress I've almost finished. Unfortunately I had a bit of fiddling to do with it and the fit wasn't great, so I haven't yet finished it.  I love this fabric so much. Hopefully my dress works out. Anyway, no pattern was used for this, pretty basic little elastic waist skirt.

Finally, my piece de resistance.  I spent a couple of hours putting this together on Saturday morning.  I found this material from a failed skirt project. I think I gave the skirt to a friend because it was tight in all the wrong places for me.  Anyway this fabric is so adorable so I had to make something for said niece.  I made it up as I went along. Cutting out pieces free hand and working it into some shape.  There's binding around the neck but the armholes are just hemmed.  I put elastic in the waist to give it shape and it looked a bit short so I added the free at the bottom.  Really happy with it. Just hope it fits. Would look great with tights and little boots. 

Quite satisfying making a bunch of clothes that weren't too complicated and fast to boot.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

New Look Maxi 6096

I've always liked the maxi dress, but it is only recently that I have taken to wearing them.  I guess I didn't really like their popularity when they came out.  Everyone was wearing them, and not always well.  But here I am spruiking one of my favourite summer makes. I think I found this pattern during a Spotlight sale.  I was actually more interest in the shorter versions. It is a great little pattern with a number of variations.  

I bought this lovely paisley style rayon fabric at Lincraft.  It's a medium weight rayon which makes it almost crush free. Hoorah.  

This is a very easy pattern and takes no time to whip up. I don't think I had any problems or any alterations to make. I've made another shorter version with elastic in the sleeves and tried to make a nightie from one of the strappy versions. Didn't quite get around to finishing the nightie.  Seemed a little bit baggy around the bust, my usual problem.  So I abandoned it for another day.  

I'd definitely recommend this pattern.  It suits a number of summer dress variations, but I think I'd like to make a long sleeve version of the shorter dress for a Brisbane winter.  

Sunday, 21 May 2017

The Last Goodbye

Not that I've been keeping up with too many regular blog posts in the last 12 months, and this one doesn't relate to sewing.  But this is not off topic from my blog as it relates to my love of cats. So I'd like to pay special tribute to a much loved family member who left this world last Tuesday.  My family have a long history with cats and have been very lucky to have them in our lives for so many years. Wynton, who was 181/2 was not exception. He was a lovely, sweet natured cat who was just full to bursting with love for all of us.   

I can't believe it was 18 years in February since my mum and I took a drive to see a breeder who had 1 male Burmese kitten left from a litter.  When we arrived we met 2 kittens, one a fiery little girl who was tearing around the living room and a very laid back little boy who wasn't doing very much.  Now, mum will freely admit that she wasn't super keen on him when they first met.  Our previous boy had been a crazy ball of energy with loads of personality.  This new kitty had big shoes to fill. After some quality time together, it was decided that he should come home with us.  He brought such joy into our lives.  Our house was a home again.  We were all smitten with this little brown kitten.  

I stayed living at my parents for another 12 months. Wynt and I developed a really strong bond that remained throughout his life.  There was a point when I was still living there where I was having a bit of a stress in my life due to a theatre production I was working on. I'd come home from rehearsals feeling a little despondent and anxious and there he'd be greeting me at the door. I'd pick him up and he'd be like a big soft valium pill.  He just made you feel relaxed and happy.  And every time I visited my parents, no matter where he was, even sleeping, he'd hear my car pull up and was nearly always at the front door to meet me or on his way down the hallway. 
He wasn't the most crazy adventurous cat, but he still managed to get himself into a few scrapes along the way.  Like a number of cat fights. One in which shredded his ear into 3 sections. Mum said he casually wandered into the bathroom that morning and there was his ear hanging in pieces.  After quite a few stitches it just left him with a slightly pointy ear.  He also liked to get up on the roof of my parents' 2 storey house and look out at the world and the dog next door. Pretty sure he fell off a few times, that would explain the limp he regularly had.  We have so many stories, so many great memories as a family. 

Like all cats in their senior years, Wynton slowed down a bit and started to shrink in size.  He was always such a nice big muscly cat so it was so strange when he started to become a little bony old man.  Sadly, last September, he suddenly lost sight in both of his eyes.  It came at the same time I was due to be recuperating at my parents after a fairly serious operation.  But the family adapted to this new situation, and eventually Wynton did too. I was so glad to have those quality weeks staying at my old home and being able to cuddle with my favourite cat. 


My parents had put their lives on hold as they took care of their much loved cat, but we all knew the day wasn't too far away when we would all have to say farewell.  And now we say the last goodbye.  He will be missed for many years to come and hopefully one day our broken hearts will mend.

Farewell beautiful boy.