Monday, 29 December 2014

New Year's Predictions/Resolutions

As we approach the end of the year I can now reflect on all the projects I intended to do but never got around to.  Firstly, I would like to say that as a collector of vintage patterns I’m fairly satisfied with the amount of vintage patterns I actually used in 2014.  However, when I do sit down in my spare room to go through the piles of patterns I discover ones I completely forgot that I even bought. Some of them are really lovely patterns too and I can’t believe my enthusiasm for them waned after the initial purchase.  But I am the type of person who sometimes has trouble focusing on just one project. I tend to have several projects on the go at the same time.  I get all enthused by the latest thing I’ve purchased and then put aside a frock that is maybe ¾ of the way finished.  My hat is off to you fellow sewers who start one project at a time and just work on that one. Also if you don’t have a penchant for buying new patterns all the time then it must be easier to focus on the job at hand. 

So if I believed in making New Year’s resolutions then I guess here are my picks for things I intend to make this coming year – 2015. 

Japanese Sewing Books

At least 3 years ago now one of my good friends bought me my first Japanese sewing book.  What a great idea thought I.  A lovely little book with a reasonable number of patterns that would be easy to make up.  I hit a stumbling block initially because this book required you to buy pattern paper and draft your own pattern pieces using the instructions which provided the basic measurements for each piece.  It seemed a little daunting but I went ahead and found my pattern paper. Then I simply put it away somewhere.  In the next few years I was to find a website where one lady had actually made up a number of projects from various Japanese sewing books. So I went through all her recommendations printing out various projects. Also this meant finding some new books to work with.  So now in total I have 4 books.  Still haven’t made a one little ol thing from any of these books. Though I do so enjoy just perusing their contents every now and again.  One book is actually in Japanese which isn’t exactly helpful. Should have checked the details more carefully before purchasing, like perhaps that it was an English translation. 

So 2015 I vow to attempt at least 1 item from this collection. Heck I should aim for the stars and say 3 items.

Vintage patterns

I absolutely love both of these patterns. It is just the usual problem of finding the right fabric. Also as far as the Butterick pattern goes, The white contrast wouldn't work for me so it's finding contrasting material that will suit this one. 

I actually found pink material for the Simplicity 7193 at Skafs about a year and a half ago. I have no excuse for not making this up. Boo for me. 

Now for the Style pattern I bought the perfect vintage style fabric for the short sleeve version of this top.  I intend to make this up in the  next few months, seriously I do.  As for the Vogue pattern I attempted to make this up a few years ago. My mum even told me she had the exact same pattern in the 70's.  I almost finished it too, only to discover that it was just far too tight under the arms and across the back.  Such a shame, perfect summer dress. A goal for this summer, give this pattern another go with some slight tweaking to the sizing. 

Other goals for the year should be to finish off the projects in the half made, or almost finished category.  It’s not rocket science I know but I guess I just need to knuckle down and try to finish them. Pretty sure I’ll be satisfied if I finish some in the first half of the year.

And amongst all the resolutions will be my usual inclusion from the good intentions file. Try to sell some of my handmade jewellery on line.  I just need to finish off my half made projects. 

Happy New Year to everyone.


Monday, 22 December 2014

Festive feline

From the non-sewing related file, and because it's nearly Christmas, here is a little pictorial of my fur child getting in the festive spirit .

Camouflage cat 

Glamour Puss

My favourite toy, a "Cat in a Box"

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Summer halter

Simplicity 2176.  At the end of last summer I made this easy halter style dress.  I was after more of a real halter style top but couldn't get my hands on the right pattern.  This will do for now and brilliant on a hot day.  I got the pattern on sale for $5 and the fabric was all pretty well priced as well. It's an easy pattern to make. It's just getting the top section of the bodice right. Not too tight, no too loose.  Because the check fabric has a bit of stretch to it, I will need to adjust the halter strap. I already did this once but since wearing it it appears to need a further adjustment. Just one of those projects that will take 2 seconds to fix but I haven't got around to it yet.  This is a perfect cool summer dress pattern with the variations for the bodice. I added the contrast myself. I wanted the skirt to be longer and so added a border and then decided that the bodice band would be a good option also.   



Thursday, 11 December 2014

Vogue 8645

A search of one section of my wardrobe(s) revealed a frock I had quite forgotten about. This is a very easy Vogue pattern. No zips no buttons, always a nice change.  The only real problem with this pattern was that I used a heavy lining. It's 100% cotton but it is quite a heavy cotton (I want to say poplin) compared to the a voile.  Also in the end I found I had to wear the dress back to front. The front V section in the front was a tad low cut for me. And my penchant for not showing off cleavage necessitates a more modest frontage.  I don't think you can tell that it is backwards.  It is an easy pattern to make though it does take quite a bit of fabric - 3.5m for the longer version (plus your lining).  I've got another couple of Vogue patterns in a slightly similar style but I balk at making them up due to the amount of fabric required.  Would recommend if you want a quick and easy summer dress. Obviously if you make the shorter version you won't be needing the oodles of fabrics.

My front section that is now the back.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

New Look 6224

It was love at first sight for me and this pattern. It has several variations so it will be a pattern I will return to.  I chose this cotton drill fabric which is quite heavy. Alas I shan't get to wear this dress until the weather cools down again. The only adjustment I made to this pattern was to the skirt section. The pieces looked a wee bit narrow for my belly so I extended the pieces by a few centimetres. The only major complication I had with this pattern was attaching the yoke. For some reason you attached the facing section to the inside first and were meant to finish it off on the outside.  When you are working with a curve you can guarantee it is not going to be smooth. Usually this is done inside and when you hand sew it it will look a little uneven but who cares no-one can see it. I mean you turn over a seam allowance as accurately as you can (but who is going to get an accurate 1cm) and then press it, but it definitely never looks even and smooth.

So I went ahead and did it the way the pattern instructions said, and even finished it off on the outside with a top stitch. It looked terrible.  I unpicked it all and went back to the way that made sense attaching the right sides together, turning it over and finishing it off on  the inside of the garment - voila. I had done the version with a bow for the front, but because of the busy fabric the bow was a little over the top. 

It would be interesting to try this dress with a softer fabric and the variation on the sleeve. Though I don't really like the version with the skinny neck piece as much.  

Monday, 1 December 2014

2014 Party Frock

It's that time of the year again to be thinking about Christmas party wear.  Although I don't go to too many actual parties, there is always a frock to be made at least for the work do. So I set out for the 2014 venture with the idea of finishing off a maxi style dress that I started last year. However, try as I may I couldn't find the pattern or the remaining bits of fabric. I'm sure they will turn up.  After going through my cache of fabrics I found some fabric and a Simplicity pattern I had been keen to make for the right event.  My idea was to use a cotton fabric with a brown and pink pattern for the bodice and team it with a silk style magenta for the skirt. 

So I got stuck into making up the bodice. All was going well. Then when I looked at cutting out the skirt section with the magenta I just couldn't bring myself to use this fabric for this particular dress. Instead I decided it would be perfect for a dress all on its own. I quite literally have hardly any me made items that are in a plain colour. And for some reason after seeing an episode of Masters of Sex I was quite taken with a green necklace one of the characters was wearing and I was keen to make a version of this necklace when I found the right type of fabric.  This is how some of sewing projects come to be. They start with an idea from some buttons I bought or some jewellery I am wanting to make.

So here it is the 2014 party frock. Using my trusty New Look 6223.

I know the fabric looks a bit crumpled but it is the way the actual fabric is. One of those crushed look fabrics.

I was happy with the necklace though I think a third string of beads would have been better. Can always add later I guess.

Sadly this is a one wear party frock.  I noticed a flaw in the fabric behind one of the arms before I left for the function. When I got home it had become an actual tear. Plus I really made a hash job of the zip. After 2 attempts it was probably one of the worst zips I've ever done. I think maybe it was the fabric. So as luck would have it I can at least use the skirt section for the original project. Just a bummer because I did quite like this item.