Sunday, November 24, 2013

Urban Don Flat Cap

Here is my Dad wearing his new Urban Don flat cap that I made for his 80th birthday. (If you don't know Urban Don go have a look as he makes such interesting clothing, hats and jewellery. The photography  on his website is really amazing also.) No one even picked that I made it - not until I blew my own trumpet and told them! Dad loves it and even though he knows it isn't polite to wear a hat at the table, he wouldn't take it off! I guess that's a prerogative it you reach 80! 

I forgot to take photos when I finished it up yesterday - doh so unfortunately I don't have any showing the inside - there's another blog post in that when I get some photos in the next few days.

I will say it was VERY easy to put it together - I lined mine also and it fits him perfectly. He's very happy with it and I'm happy he's happy. If you haven't made a cap before I highly recommend Urban Don's patterns. Again big thanks to Urban Don.

Friday, November 22, 2013

On hold - Urban Don Cap Done!

The strawberry dress is hold for a few days. It's my Dad's 80th birthday today and we are going out for a family lunch on Sunday. My Dad has always worn hats and caps and when Urban Don released a cap pattern a few days ago, I knew I had my gift. (Also one of my cousin's child is coming to Brisbane for a working holiday on Sunday morning also so I'll be busy with him for a little bit). 

Edit: The cap is done but I will post when I get a photo of my Dad wearing it tomorrow. It looks great!

The cap pattern is so easy, but I did mange to sew the cap pieces together incorrectly and only worked it out after I had sewn the lining together and had the cap and the lining topstitched (doh!). I just thought it was going to magically become a cap but unpicked it last night. I have most of it together but need some Petersham for the inside band. I bought some 1" bias tape but I think I'll get the Petersham tomorrow in my running around.

The fabric is a stretch suiting - not sure of the composition. It was a remnant from years ago at the designer fabric sale I go to. I had a skirt cut out from it and thought I wouldn't sew the skirt up - it was cut out 2 years ago?? I checked in one of my bins of fabric and found a piece so I could still make the skirt although I don't wear brown so I don't know what I was thinking. The lighter colour you see isn't actually white but a pale blue but the other colour is pretty spot on. I have the peak made there you see, and the lining which is just pinned together. The lining is some brown cotton which is quite heavy (maybe quilting weight) that a friend's mother gave me. As I said, I don't wear brown but it's great for this and as the suiting is quite light, it could be a summer cap as well as a winter in Brisbane cap. Honestly I have not made a hat before, but I reckon that you could knock this over in an hour.  Top Cap! Oh Urban Don also has put combat cap pattern up on his blog too - both FREE I might add. Thanks Urban Don!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Strawberry dress - help needed

I'm making Simplicity 8372. Instead of a shirt though, I'm making it into a shirt dress. I took the skirt pattern and put it on the top section and then cut it out. Made a boo boo though as I have cut the front skirt about 2 cm shorter. I don't need it shorter but will piece a big band on the bottom to make it longer and only you and I will know it was a mistake!

Then I straightened it at the waist area to get a smooth edge. I decided that just cutting it longer wouldn't accommodate my hips so I made it a little A line. This is more stash fabric. This is a left over from when I was making kindergarten sheets. It was bought at Spotlight about 4 years ago and it's just a cotton. 

 I used Sherry's turn of cloth tutorial for the collar. It works out really nicely. because it's just a cotton I used just a small 2-3mm allowance and that was enough. I also used a lime green polka dot fabric for the under collar.(you see the collar here with my small Ikea ironing board on the kitchen cupboard with the iron my son brought home from the street - hey it's just about new and is perfect for pressing while I'm sewing - saves me turing on the big water tank iron.)

Now I'm needing some help with fitting. It feels big under the arms but it feels like it is big across the front upper bust area. That is my narrowest point. Should I just take it in at the raglan sleeve area and up the side of the top? It feels ok in the back. 

When I sort the top fit out I'll put a casing and elastic in it too. I have 8 little buttons for the front in a soft blue-grey. I haven't made 8 button holes for a long time!

I added pockets to the side - easy!

You can see in this photo how I have somehow miss-measured and got a shorter length on the front. Measure twice, cut once springs to mind here. Is the fabric a bit 'young' for me?
I have these Simplicity 1918 Amazing Fit pants cut out in a black and colour stretch cotton to start on next. Actually these were cut out before I had the strawberry dress in my thoughts. They'll have to wait.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


I'm sure everyone has UFOs (unfinished objects). I think for every assignment I needed to distract myself from, I made started a new sewing project! Hence, I have had quite a few. This has now been rectified. I present:
(sorry it is formatting strangely after I post but the preview is fine)
Edit: Just wanted to add - all stash fabrics!  1. First up isn't really a true UFO but it needed to be done! This is the t-shirt that the owner of York Street Mechanic's in Auckland gave my son - he loves it but as a 9 y.o boy he is like "YUK!" at the boobies. So I made a slight modification below. I realise just now that's the photo with the pin in it, but all I did was zig zag around the bikini top and one boy happy again!

2. I had Butterick 5744 half made. I made it out of a light weight quilting cotton as a test run for the silk my friend bought for me in Vietnam. You can see the adjustments listed on the envelope and I have more on the instructions. It isn't a perfect fit. I think I forgot to add some length to the front bodice when I tucked a bit in the front so it pulls up at the front a bit higher than my waist and it looks a litre short in the bodice - I am very short waisted too. I would add a few centimetres of length to the skirt on my next one and made some more adjustments to the bodice - it's a little wide in the back neck so I may make an 8 for the back and 10 for the front grading to 14 at the waist. The skirt is really a good size - that's a 14 for this one.  From the back the skirt on the left side of the screen looks like I've hooked it under my arm or in the belt or something but it does sit straight.

I lined the bodice which is a first for me. I really like it. I used a very fine cotton voile I had on hand and it is very comfortable. This was good practice as the silk is white and I have bought some silk lining for it too. I didn't line the skirt because it doesn't need it. I love this dress. It is a very easy sew and it is very comfortable. It isn't perfect but I can see me making more of these and I think the fabric will disguise the use of the same pattern.

3. Simplicity 5128. I made a top from a remnant from the Fabric Store in Auckland. This is not a very flattering photo - I know but I was already wearing the white jeans so just took the photo (should have cropped it!). Anyway, this top is a little short but it was the whole length of the fabric but I think I'll add another colour strip on the bottom to make it decent. I love the fabric and the colour. A medium weight cotton knit. I lowered the neckline depth by about 3 cm as I don't like it so high on my larger bust. I t could go down another couple of cms I think. I have a royal blue remnant of the same length (both had a huge hole - like 20cm diameter - so I had to work around that) with another strip added on the bottom. I love this top too. Perfect casual but smart looking top for running errands. I wear it with a striped maxi skirt.

4. Butterick 3490. I bought this second hand and wanted to see the fit. I used a remnant that I bought at Spotlight a few years ago in Rockhampton. I didn't put the elastic in the waist and the elastic around the neckline is a little too long but I love this top. It is cool and comfortable and I normally wear it with some red jeans. I finished the edges with rolled hem on my overlocker and just quartered the elastic and stretched it out and sewed it on with a triple zig zag stitch. Quick and easy.

5. No photos, but I used this pattern late one night to make my son some more school shorts. Suddenly the old ones were just too tight and too short. I used some polo shirt fabric I bought at East Coast Fabrics at Springwood for $2 per metre! It is a bottle green. I bought 2 metres at the time and have made 4 pairs of trousers and 2 pairs of shorts. The trousers have been cut now to make shorts as they won't be long enough next winter. This is a really great pattern. When I placed the pattern pieces on the fabric it looked like the grain line was off but I trusted it and went ahead. They are a really great fit and so easy to whip up. It's quicker making boys shorts than getting in the car and going to the shops, as I've said before.

 6. This is a Butterick pattern too.

  I started this last summer and I just had to add facings and hem the sleeves and bottom. There was something wrong with the facings, I don't know what but they seemed short but they were as per the pattern piece. I think I may have marked the large pleat in the front wrong so I re pleated it to fit the facing. I made view A with fabric that looks very similar to view B. I really like the coolness of this fabric (Japanese cotton voile bought at Lincraft a few years ago) but I can't help thinking "pyjama fabric". What do you think - does it say top or pyjamas to you?

I have two more UFOs to show you. Both are Ottobre patterns. There are a couple more UFOs that won't get finished however - not unless I go down a size or two and that won't happen in a hurry. I have got a pair of Amazing Fit (Simplicity 1918) pants cut out but I'm not sewing them up until I get the other 2 UFOs finished.  More to come!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Cancelled - due to lack of interest.

I am cancelling the Brisbane Blogger's meet up. I have only had two takers and we think we'll try again next year some time. Thanks to Rosi and Bianca for their support however.