Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Frockin Heck

FrankenFrock strikes again.  I wanted to make something with long sleeves, with no fuss zips or buttons.  After success with the Washi dress pattern I thought I'd use the Washi as my basis.  I changed the neckline to make it less scooped and used the sleeves from New Look 6068. The cotton material I bought from Spotlight last year. It's quite a sheer fabric but has a certain stiffness to it.  I just love the olive green colour.

I also decided to gather the front section instead of doing the pleats. Again I just wanted something that was super easy. 

Probably the only disappointing bit to this frock is that the shirring at the back appears a little high. I think it's obvious because of the gathering in the front. Basically if I turn side on it looks like the shirring should be about 2 inches lower. So I shall just avoid being seen side on.

When I look at the finished product it looks like a good basis for a medieval frock. So if I ever do go to a medieval fair I'll be able to whip up a slightly longer version.  

I also just put elastic in the base of sleeves rather than using the facing.

Given the lame Brisbane winter weather I hope I get to wear this before it heats up again.  I planned to wear it last week as I had some birthday celebrations and it was the usual festival of food. This frock would have been perfect to wear if the weather was a tad cooler.  

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Tube Turner

This may not be news to a lot of sewers out there but I recently discovered the simple and yet awsome tool for turning straps and ties inside out.  I've spent many a time sitting watching tv trying to turn out a strap or tie that I've sewn. I've tried the different techniques using a needle and cotton on one end and pulling it through. I've also used my fingers, chopsticks, the end of scissors or whatever was about trying to push through one of of strap/tie.  Then I discovered this simple little kit which is basically some pieces of plastic tubing and with either skinny pieces dowel or metal objects to push the fabric through. So instead of taking me make 30 mins to pull through 4 ties, this all took under 5 mins.

I bought the kit for the Turn it All online at Amazon.

You simply insert the tubing piece into the material. 

And then push the closed end piece through with the dowel.  So wonderfully simple and time saving.  I thought it would be nice to share since I get so much useful information from other sewing blogs.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Scout Tees

I made my first Scout Tee a few years ago.  This is a super easy top to whip up in a few hours.  My only issue with these type of nice loose fitting t-shirt tops is that I don't have a decent pair of jeans to wear with them.  I have a few pairs of jeans that fit well enough, but there is always too much stretch and once you move in them the waist drops down a smidge and then you've got that whole weirdness around the crotch area. I know I could wear a belt to hold them up, but then I don't really like things restricting me around the stomach.  Hence I don't wear my jeans as much I would like as I only really feel comfortable wearing them with longer tops. The original Scout Tee has had only a few outings.  Again, might just need to whip up a decent straight denim skirt to wear with them.

This first version was made from craft fabric and I embellished it with a nice blue heart shape button which was in my button collection.  I think also, this was the first time I actually made my own bias binding. What a great discovery that was. I did recently buy a bias making kit, but the size of the tape maker is too thin. I bought it online and didn't pay any attention to the different widths you can buy. Though I don't mind just making it up by hand either. 

Not a great photo but PJ looks pretty darned cute
My second version was made very recently. Again just a breeze to whip up. I bought the 100% cotton stripe in a Lincraft sale.  Though for some reason the neckline seems to dip forward instead of sitting flat. It's not too noticeable given the stripe pattern. I wasn't sure about putting the buttons on incase it caused the top to dip forward even more, but since they are small and lightweight it didn't make a different. I really love the buttons.  

Given the way the shirts sit, the choice of 100% cotton isn't exactly ideal. I shall have to try one in a lighter fabric so it gives it a better drape. I just love 100% cotton though being as it's so cool to wear.

I bought some black denim to make a skirt to go with this top. I decided to finally sew the Colettte Ginger skirt pattern.  Quite an easy pattern to make. I went with the plain waistband, but it doesn't sit flat. Very disappointed with the finished product. It is still sitting in my spare room waiting to be hemmed. I just lost interest when I realized it was fail.  Nothing like being a seasoned sewer and failing with a pattern for a beginners. Maybe I'll unpick the waistband and give it another go.   

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Retro Simplicity

This is one of my 60’s patterns that I have had 2 goes at.  The first version of the Simplicity 7129 pattern I made up for a work Christmas party 2 years ago. I knew at the time I wanted to make a second version with the back variation.  The original version had a tie back, which didn’t work so well given the heavy fabric used for the dress.  This time, however, the heavier fabric was a benefit with the backward style collar. Though it does sit out a little at the back making me look like I have wings.  Apart from the sizing being quite large, as most of my vintage patterns have been, it was an easy pattern to adjust down and I don’t mind it being a little roomy. I decided to go without the sleeves as I will get more wear out of a sleeveless dress given our endless summer weather.

The end result is a comfortable and quite striking looking frock. The fabric is a heavy cotton which I bought at Spotlight maybe 3 years ago.  I thought the pattern and colours were quite unique.