Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Top and bottom.

Finally I finished the Burda trousers I started way back at the beginning of December (link for for the original post), probably started late November even. I only had to overlock the seams, take in the back seam about 2 cm for my sway back and put the waistband on. As I said it was way too hot to even put these trousers on till now to fit that back seam. Even today was 27 degrees but in that cool, overcast way but I'm still wearing a sleeveless top (the one I made yesterday... up next).  Sorry about the dark, terrible photos. I went to the park with my son after school then promptly forgot to get him to take some photos... that's ok, if your son can't stop talking to you, photos come last!

This photo actually really shocked me as I know my right shoulder drops but I didn't realise just by how much! You can see my hips are relatively level - my hands are in my (terrific deep) pockets though and it's a funny angle but I am crooked! Those wrinkles in the pants aren't there when I don't have my hands in my pockets and when I haven't run around in them all day.

This is the front of the pants. You can just see the little pleats in the front there. I extended the waistband because I wanted this offset the closure because I didn't want to put the belt tabs on. I used some silver jeans snaps - just Birch ones from Spotlight a few years ago. I love these pants. Other than taking in the top 4 cm of the back middle seam a couple of cm I didn't change these at all. The legs are a perfect width and as "skinny" as I like. They are the perfect width all the way down for me. 
The fabric was a piece of fabric I got at the fabric sale I go to.

This is the fabric ... yep, .50cents! It's a great olive green and it goes with so much! It is crinkled but is a cotton.. it feels like it has metal threads through it. When I washed it, it crinkled even more than this but seems to straighten a bit when warmed up with wearing.

 When I was cutting the pants, I just couldn't get them out without that chunk you see in the photo above getting in the way. So I just cut a piece and stitched it together and made it a 'feature'.


There was also one little tiny chunk just out of the hemline, so a little label there and Bob's my pants!

This is my new top too. I got the fabric as a small piece from the Brisbane Spoolettes... a beautiful, buttery rayon and the pattern was a score from there too. 

I made the size 8 to the high bust and then out to a 14 from there. It's a Simplicity "Learn to Sew" pattern. It's a great pattern even if you already know how to sew.

I took 3 cm from the strap part of the front and I meant to take a little dart in the arm hole but from my bedroom to the sewing room I completely forgot, so the armhole gapes a tiny bit.  In this photo you see the gape but also the hemline which is lovely and a little bit longer at the back. THere's a lot going on in the fabric.

In this photo you see that the welt pockets gape and look like little spy eyes  - this happened because I tried being clever and I used the pattern instructions and then I tried to use some other tutorial but they did different things in different order and I think I missed a bit of inside under-stitching. I think I'll put a buttonhole and button to keep them closed. Ha.. as if... I'll move onto the next thing of course! (but I will learn my lesson and stick to one method). It's amazing that when you use fabric that is .50 cents you just do the steps and make welts... no stress. I have to say these are the 2nd set of welt pockets I've done.. the last ones about 30 years ago. Not avoiding them, they just never came up again.

So, my new outfit. I love it. It will be very useful in this mid season that should last about 2 days!

Pants pattern reminder. I think I made the straight 14. Easy

 This is the top pattern  - two different looks with really good sizing.

These are the great instructions for beginners. They give lots of tips for newbies and even very useful tips for sewing with sheer fabrics.

SO... I love my new top and pants and I will be making more soon. What do you think?

Next up...onto finishing my niece's kimono dressing gown... from pineapple fabric.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Done with Clouds

So the cloud shorts are finally finished and I am terrifically pleased with them. Just a reminder; these were cut from two remnant pieces bought from Spotlight at different times, both about 80 cm long, 112cm wide so I did need the two pieces. If son didn't like the fabric the first time it was purchased, it was going to be a bag.

The back pocket... I just did this free hand and they worked out perfectly... little label added. I think I need something else now for my son...something more teen like seeing as we are nearly there.

Back waistband and yoke matching. Even though it doesn't look like it the yoke matches perfectly too.

Pockets and stitch in the ditch for the waistband.

Inside fly ... I actually cut off the wrong side here then reattached it so I guess it's a bit of a mess but no one but we will see it ;)

I used the industrial way of attaching the waistband. This makes a great stitch in the ditch and catch the underside in one hit. No hand sewing!

Close up of stitch in the ditch.

...and does he like them?....well, yes! They are a winner. They have passed the cool test by my son and my niece's male friend, who saw them sans waistband last week, so age groups covered!

Action shot!

Best photos I could get, he was dancing around so much. This is just before I put the button and button hole on.

Back view... great pockets!

Crazy side view. Thanks again to Judith for the pattern. It's a great pattern and still has some sizes left for us, so bonus. So, what do you think?

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

One step bias binding application

 I said I would put up how I apply my bias binding in one step. This shows how lazy clever I am!

Firstly, if you put the fabric on the bias binding (bought bias binding here) past the centre to touch the  binding edge on the other side like it shows above.

Then start sewing your bias about 1 cm before the attaching fabric and with a bit of a tail... I find this helps place the bias in the right spot and stops that fabric down the hole problem. If you notice on the left to the photo (unfortunately upside down and unable to change??) the bottom part of the bias extends a bit further on the underside of the fabric and so if you concentrate on getting the top edge nice and straight, the bottom catches automatically. 

 You can just see above how when I moved onto the second pocket the bottom edge of the bias extends just past the top.

This is how it looks on the top and the underneath. All caught up. So that's my lazy quick and easy way to attach bias binding. Is this how you do it?

Monday, April 11, 2016

Bias Binding too girly?

So firstly, thanks for all the really lovely and complimentary comments regarding my Lonsdale dress. I see more in my future!

This is the second pair of shorts I have made my son... I made these on Saturday. I had a bit of this fabric left but not enough to cut the shorts on grain so I cut some parts on the cross. No matter, these shorts won't fit in a few months anyway. The fabric (a drill from Spotlight) actually does not have a directional pattern, so it won't be noticeable to non-sewers.  I had such little fabric that I couldn't even make the normal pocket bag type pockets, so I cut out the pocket piece and then decided to bind it with bias binding and sewing the pocket as a patch pocket directly on the shorts. This meant cutting the front pants piece right up to the waist band instead of the cut out for the pocket (which gets faced with the back pocket piece).  I just happened to have some binding in the same blue colour that is on the fabric (thanks stash).

I also put normal patch pockets on the back and just bound the top edge. (see the pockets are at different grains) I wasn't sure this wasn't a bit girly for a boy? I asked my son and he thought it looked great, but my sister wasn't convinced... still she doesn't have to wear it!

On another note, I was telling another sister at the same lunch yesterday that it is quicker for me to make a pair of shorts than it is to, you know, get in the car etc etc. Then sister 1 says I should be careful I don't make him a boy who can't choose his own clothing because he doesn't go to the shops to buy clothes (he does and he has very particular tastes, but loves - so far - what I make him but I do have to check what fabric he wants.. he's just about over Star Wars now though).  Ha, he's a very practical and capable boy, but if he doesn't have to get clothes he won't go out of his way!

(**Edit - Thanks to Judith of Made by J for Burda 9787, a boys pants/jeans pattern that I've now used 4 times, 3 without the fly for quick response to shorts crisis).

Next up I'll put some tips for putting bias binding on in one hit... pfttt I don't have time for one run then another.

Friday, April 8, 2016

The Brisbane Spoolette's High Tea

Wow! The delightful Busy Lizzie in Brizzie organised the third Brisbane Spoolettes for a High Tea at the Brisbane Marriott again. This time there were so many of us, we had a private event room. It was terrifically beautiful with big fuchsia and tangerine sashes on the chairs... I originally walked past this room because I thought it was for a wedding but heck, we are such a gorgeous crowd, why shouldn't we have a terrific room! Well done Lizzy - this was a great bonus plus I'm sure the hotel prefers us keeping the squeals in a private room! Counting the number in the photo above, there are 35 of us here, and there were a few who couldn't make it. Quite a (beautifully dressed) crowd wouldn't you say? There were people from far and wide.  As usual I am too busy talking to take too many photos; too busy talking and I tried to talk to as many people as possible but I know I missed chatting to probably half the people there :(

There was great pattern and fabric swaps and although I promised I wouldn't (get any), I did..just a few and fewer than I put in. I need to cull patterns seriously. (I love looking at them but I now admit they distract me from actually sewing ... if I have fewer patterns to dream through, I'd probably have more clothing to actually wear!) Anyway, I'm going to get some up on Etsy anytime in the next X (X = time taken  with X - unknown)... I have some terrific things ready to sell so when it's done I'll let you know. (I also have a lot) I also won't be putting them up for exorbitant prices as I'd like someone to feel like they got a bargain and actually move them to another home to be used or loved.

I, as usual, promised I would not do a last minute dash to make something, and then promptly did exactly that, except that it didn't feel rushed at all. I made a Sewaholic Lonsdale dress... my first Sewaholic pattern and one I got at the second high tea last year, with fabric I got at the first high tea! Anyone know who donated this fabric? I didn't think to get a close up but the lilac print is a leaf design but it has an earring hook on it so I think this is one of the print your own design fabrics. It's a cotton in the weight of quilting cotton and is easy to sew and wear.

So I made three toiles of the bodice and cutting out all the who ha,  I make a size 10 toile and a size 16 and then one size 10 with a 8 cm FBA. This all just wasn't right so took a chance and I cut a 10 in the back and a 16 for the front with a dart pinched out of the upper bust to fit my tiny weeny frame with adjustments for the side seam of 16 at the waist and 10 at the top, smoothing all seams and a size 16 skirt.  I had to narrow the skirt about 20 cm all round as the pieces wouldn't fit on the length of fabric and cut it on the cross. I had to also piece the straps on the dress as well as not self facing the bodice so just the straps are self faced. The other big thing was that I omitted the waist band. I debated it but as I am so short waisted I figured I could do without it. I think it works out ok for me and without the band I could wear a belt should I want. All these adjustments and modifications worked really well and the dress fits pretty well, if not a little big at the waist and I love it.

When I got this fabric, I knew I wanted to make a Lonsdale dress out of it and the next year the universe or rather the Spoolettes provided!  I was going to make this a wearable muslin and see about making another one in a fabric also earmarked for a Lonsdale. After making one, I think this is a terrific pattern that is easy to make and very, very quick (after the adjustments - but worth the time).  I can see more in my wardrobe and finally made something that is cute to wear as day wear, but still a bit special. I think this dress would suit my youngest sister too so there will be more in my sewing future.

The early evening of the high tea, I took my son and his friend to see a movie and just changed shoes to walk to the cinema. After washing my hands in the bathroom, someone yelled out to me they loved my dress and I said, "thank you" then she asked where I got it and said "I made it yesterday!" and swanned out... I saw her turn to her friend and say in complete surprise "she MADE IT"... I was so chuffed. Then today when visiting my Dad at the nursing home, two people asked me about it ... one in such detail that she wanted to know the pattern... I don't think she was up on modern sewing internet thing but she was very keen to know the pattern.

Here it is, with Lizzie  (Inari dress) and Colette (Simplicity 2444) and me in my Lonsdale. I really wanted to rip those shoes right off Colette ask Colette where she got her shoes, but I forgot. SO gorgeous!

What is going on here? 

Oops... sprung Lizzie!

Ok... I'll show you... Lizzie and I were talking and admiring the gorgeous red dress and commenting about the skirt ... we knew there was a petticoat but ..... there's nothing quite like touching and feeling and where else would this be acceptable behaviour?

Sorry I don't have more photos... there are lots around though. Thanks for great organising Lizzie and thanks everyone who attended for a great, fun afternoon.