Monday, 30 April 2007

Don't You Just Hate it When....

If only I read German.

I bought this pattern a while ago in a second hand shop. I thought it looked like a really cute shirt, soft and feminine and would look excellent in a very light weight pretty cotton. It is a bit too small for me but I really wanted to make a shirt with raglan sleeves.

The back should have alerted me to a potential problem:

If you look carefully you will notice no English at all on the back cover. I did not notice this. When I looked inside the packet the instructions are entirely in German (I think) with no English translation at all. The pictures are quite good so I'm thinking that I'll send a copy of the instructions to my Mum and see if she can translate the for me.

Sewing with Stretch: A Success Story!

Chocolate and Pink Lingerie

I have finally made something with stretch that I'm quite happy with.

I made this using Knitwit 5100. A pattern I picked up at a second hand shop for $1.

I have very narrow shoulders so generally don't like shoestring straps so decided to make a camisole using view B.

I had some chocolate jersey in my stash and had recently bought some chocolate and pink stretch lace and matching pink elastic.
So here is the camisole front:

And back:

And because they were in the pattern I had to make the matching knickers. Unfortunately I seem to have had a mental breakdown when I bought the pink elastic and only bought enough for the top.

It is all made on my new machine. No overlocker used. I LOVE my new machine! The seams are beautiful with no puckering or bubbling.

What do I really love about this pattern, the knickers fit really well and best of all the cami tops come in cup sizes! The top actually fits!! I will have to make this again in a variety of fabrics and colours.

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Vogue v2903

Vintage Vogue


I have been wanting to make this for ages, but have been a little apprehensive because I need to do a full bust adjustment. The problem is, it has princess seams and I still am not quite happy with my previous attempts. I have been searching the net to see if anyone else has made it and if so how it looked, but I have had no luck. Therefore I bought 10 metres of green 1/4" poly cotton and decided to give it a go.

First was to trace the pattern and start the full bust adjustment. All went OK until I realised that the method I was using altered the waist as well??? I was using the very well respected and highly recommended "Fit for Real People" by Palmer & Alto. I have reread and reread the method and no matter which way I look at it the method definitely increases the waist as well as the bust! So I came up with my own modification and graded the waist back in.

I tried it on for the first real fitting. One of the biggest problems was the shoulders seemed to be very wide, but after a closer look it really was that I have a reasonably narrow back and by taking it in quite a lot in the centre of the back the shoulders fit much better.

I also repositioned the zip to the side seam for the mock up as I felt it was easier to place and adjust.

This is the first try on after the facings were attached. The fit was looking OK so I decided to continue. When I make it again I will try to increase the width of the front panel across the bust as I think the princess seams are not quite in the right place.

This is the front after the sleeves had been attached. It was a very unusual design as the sleeves are attached to the shoulder of the under yoke and stitched to the body of the dress under the arm, quite an unusual design.

A close up of the upper back the pins are holding the yoke to the dress. I still have to attach it to the facing to anchor it.

The sleeves will need to be adjusted slightly as they are a little tight around my biceps and it makes it almost impossible to take off at the moment.

I am still undecided whether to fix the sleeves and level and hem the skirt so it is wearable or not. Is it a little too 50's house wife crossed with country hick?

I am going to work on a more suitable crinoline to give the skirt a bit more volume.

Then I need to decide if the design is suitable to be made into a dress to wear to a black tie wedding and if so what fabric should I use? This dress is quite a bit shorter than the actual pattern which is more like a lower calf length.

Suggestions are welcome.


My Birthday Present!

Many thanks to all who contributed to my Birthday Present Fund.

This is how the money was spent. I finally made my decision about which machine I wanted on Tuesday, but after I got it home there was no way I could leave it in the box until today. I was way too excited, I had a cup of tea read the users manual then go it out. It's much more advanced than I need right now but I hope I won't need to buy a new machine now for 10-20 years.
This is what was the biggest selling feature. It has a little foot which feeds the fabric from the top as well. I took a piece of nasty to sew but beautiful to wear knit fabric to test on it and it could do a nice neat seam across the stretch without nasty stretching and pulling of the seam. I was impressed and decided to get it despite the rather large price tag.
So far I love it and go back to the store for my first lessons today!

Baby Blue Mens Shirt

"When are you going to make me something?"

My DH asked the other week after I had finished my last dress. So I figured I had better get my act together and make that shirt I had been procrastinating about.
I pulled out Simplicity 9469 which I had already traced off 6 months ago in anticipation of this project.
It is a size 46 with 17 inch neck band.

It is made from a pure cotton that is self striped, from memory it was a special at about $2 per metre.

I referred to David Coffin's book "Shirtmaking. Developing Skills for Fine Sewing" for some of the construction methods. I did not flat fell the seams but I did try stretching the collar to give it natural curve.

Unfortunately my machine had been a bit temperamental and was leaving odd little messes of thread intermittently on the under side, so some of the top stitching is not as neat as it could be. I think it needs a service!
Overall I am reasonably happy with the out come. I will make another shirt for him later now that I have my new machine.

Sunday, 1 April 2007

Simplicity 4118

Shift Dress with Shaped Neckline

Things have been a bit busy of late and I have been a bit lazy with updates.
Here is my latest creation.

Pattern: Simplicity 4118. View D. Size 18 with D cup bust.
Modifications: lengthen torso (above waist) by 5cm and shorten skirt by 5cm.
Fabric: Linen/rayon blend lined with poly cotton.

Side front:

Close up of neckline, it is slightly curved.

It is fully lined and I hand stitched the lining to the zip.

A close up of the frill on the hem. It is just below knee length.

I really love this pattern range with the separate patterns for B,C & D cups. I can get a good fit without the trouble of a full bust adjustment.

My aim was to achieve a more professional finish.