Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Merry Christmas gifts.

Merry Christmas readers! I hope the day was full of fun, family, friends and peace. This was my most organised and relaxed Christmas ever. (if we ignore the trouble with the machine for the togs - see last post). I had all the house cleaning, food prep done, gifts made, gifts wrapped and even finished a gift on Christmas morning waiting for my son to come home from his Dad's where he spends Christmas Eve and morning.

This is from a dinner I had with an aqua aerobics friend. She was skipping her husband's work Christmas party which is in the heavy machinery industry so she thought a girly catch up was fitting instead.  I wore my Simplicity off shoulder dress in Southbank with the lovely lights and fantastic weather. I've since washed this dress and it's shortened up a bit (natural fibres usually shrink up not across - of the the not so many things I remember from fabric studies in the '90's). I knew this so didn't make it any shorter. I'm hoping the green Christmas dress (unseen finished here) will also shrink a little too. It's great dress to wear - just so easy but you look so smart.

Next is the gifts I made for my sisters and niece and past step-daughter. Here's a little tassel. So fun to make. I bought all the findings (?) at Spotlight. Isn't the leather gorgeous... more on that later.

The lining was a recent remnant from Spotlight on the same trip... $2 and perfectly gorgeous for this project... a cotton slightly lighter than quilting fabric. I bought metal zips from Spotlight too.. they just did not have many in shorter sizes... I think I bought 4 and that was all they had.

Here's the work table out on the back deck. Great light and it's a huge 2 metres wide octagonal table I got from my sister. (It's so old and it's two-pac so I don't even use a big cutting mat... I just do it on the table. No table was harmed in the making of anything so far!) In the background you see the leather hide. It's garment lamb's skin... it's size small and cost about $48. I bought it from East Coast Leather (easy to remember). They had so much leather and I think it was very, very well priced. I also went to Mac's Leather but after just because it was nearby and wanted to have a look, but this is where I would go for any leather in the future.

This is the making of the tassels. A bit tedious and hurt my wrists with the cutting, but also fidgety but it got done and I was happy with the outcomes.  I used the scissors not the rotary cutter.

Finished tassels. The rotary cutter I bought years ago when Big W was getting out of all sewing supplies. I got a huge bag of elastic too with only about half gone now. The little cutting mat was from a $2 shop years ago too and just the right size to cut small bits accurately. I have a 60cm metal ruler I bought when Gardam's closed up in Adelaide Street when they were next door us when I worked at STA Travel. I bought a pile of scissors too which I still have and use.

This was the first go. This is upholstery leather. I bought this at Trad's ages ago... just a small 50x30cm piece for $3 to practice but I only got to it the last few days.
Edit: I did want to say, I used a leather needle and just ordinary polyester thread in a very light grey which was the best match I had. I didn't even think of thread when I bought the leather.

I used a zip harvested from an old zip wallet and like the orange with the cream colour and put a vintage tiny gingham lining to match.

Then I made the rose gold ones, branded one just for size reference. They aren't all photographed, as I made another two after I finished these. I made them in different sizes. Some are with 7" zips and two were with 10" zips, plus I used 2 zips I had on hand one being a plastic one.

All up I made 6 and I have another 2 I need to make but I can't find the interfacing and I have run out of zips of suitable colour.  I used mostly cream coloured zips and the plastic one is a bone colour.  I am so pleased with how they worked out. I read through this tutorial but modified it as I went on. I would cut the zip and tab about .5cm shorter each end so that when turning there wasn't so many layers to turn.

I also interfaced the lamb's skin or it would stretch. Initially I also interfaced the lining but decided it would be slightly too stiff. By interfacing you lose the super soft butteriness (to just soft butteriness)  but it will keep it more sturdy to really be used.

I was a bit hesitant but bit the bullet and dived in and I am so incredibly happy with the way they turned out. EDIT: II also wanted to say I've never made a pouch or anything like this before... straight to the leather. My step-daughter said she loved it but when I said I made it she said she loved it even more and was incredibly surprised.

Oh and my sister called and said was just talking to Mum and saying she thought I'd lost it with the size I made, but when she tried them on they togs fit perfectly. I tried to explain negative ease... in the end they fit and she loves them. I had so much joy making beautiful things for my family.

I hope to finish my gingham skirt next and make a top to wear with it. Any ideas what style of top I should make. The skirt will have a long tie to close it. I'm a bit lost. I feel like a sleeveless top but not sure. Any ideas welcome.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Togs and a struggle (Noelle bralette)

These are togs I've made for my sister for Christmas. This is the McCall's 7417 pants. I cut the panels not to match on purpose so that you can see the panelling. I like it. I wish I had some green or black lycra to make some 'piping' so the panels were more pronounced but I'm not too worried.

I made the front and the back and then cut the lining pieces off the made up front and back and fully lined them. Isn't the lycra pretty. It's from Pitt Trading and it was only $5 per metre. It feels pretty old but it still is fine and I couldn't resist it. It's slightly goldish and I really like it.  I've got more and another nice black one that for a bit of a laugh... show you that when I get time to make it.

This is the top and it's the Noelle bra pattern from Madalynne. It's FREE too. I cut a large and made the band half the width and put some elastic in as well.  Note the green hardware... harvested from an old pair of togs in the same green. This allowed me to make the tie adjustable as I can't get my sister to try them on and she is taller and more broad than me.

Of course I have tried them on. They look great. The back fits so nicely. It's such a great pattern and so very quick. I didn't use the instructions as it's pretty easy. I cut lining too, just the same as the pattern, this is also from Pitt Trading and it's nice quality. Over all this was such a quick sew.. well till the last 30 cm.

I was attaching the step to the top and then the finishing fold over of the last side .. this is 3 layers of elastic, and 8 of lycra. My thread would not stop nesting underneath. I spent more time trying to do this last 30 cm than I did making the whole set. I looked online... rethread - tick, new needle - tick, larger needle - tick, different thread and woolly thread - tick, tick, I even got out my old computer Janome (such a nice machine.. just purrs along), but still it would not sew without nesting. It was going through those layers like butter, I hand cranked it, nope still nesting... I made contact with the Brisbane Spoolette's on the FB page (the only thing I use FB for) and got some great tips, but mostly I'd tried it. I gave it a rest for a couple of hours, mostly to stop me from giving up sewing for ever.. but I would not be beaten. I talked to my machine, and told it clearly that I would win so it should give up this power play but it still wouldn't work. I had to go out and when I got home, I rethreaded it again, changed another needle to a jersey needle (I used microtex needles before - 2 different sizes and stretch needles - 2 different sizes also) and the only other thing I did was just adjust the stitch length and width a smidge.. like a hairs breath... and it worked. Finally. It took about 5 minutes and it was finished. I was so pleased but just so tired. I think I spent hours doing this today. Thanks Spoolette's for the tips and the will to go on.  Arrggh.

I have some other sewing I want to do for Christmas. I bought a beautiful hide of leather to make some zip purses and hopefully I'll be able to show you those next. I haven't made any zip purses/pouches before but I've made a wedding dress, how hard could a zip purse be? Will I even get them done in time? Are you making things for Christmas gifts?

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Gingham Skirt - New Look 6390, and Burda 3490 alias Lois.

I don't often get obsessed by clothes but I saw this skirt and I really love the simplicity.

Then I remembered some purple gingham I bought at the op shop a few years ago. It's a beautiful polished cotton with such a nice hand and drape almost like a rayon. I have cut view D which is on the bias and have cut long (will be pieced together) ties. I was playing pattern tetras with this because the fabric was a 1.5 mt square but the pattern suggests 2.1 metres so I have cut the front overlay and the back piece whole, and the under wrap part will be pieced.

The other problem with this fabric was it was stretched on one side... so I lay it flat on the floor for a week and kept pulling and stretching it back. I wasn't perfect but not as bad as it was. Did you notice how much for that simple skirt... US$301 and sold out! I'll need a top and I have a cut of beautiful cream crepe (remnant from the designer fabric sale $1) that I will make something up - not sure what though.

This is what is nearly finished at the moment ... Burda 3490. It took ages to cut out but a quick sew now just waiting for the neck facing, arm holes and hem to be finished. I omitted the zip.. it doesn't need it.

Here's a close up of the line drawing ... Lois anyone? Great op shop find a few years ago for $1.

This is the fabric I've used.. rayon from East Coast Fabrics earlier in the year or last year. I should finish that today if I can... I'm so tired and just don't trust myself sewing when I haven't sleep well for 2 weeks. There is some tricky overlocking to be done at that front point under the bust too and I won't chance it... been there done that, hole by overlocker.

I have next week off and want to do some Christmas sewing for some sisters. A dress for one, swimwear for another and maybe some active wear tights for another... lets see what gets finished.
Are you making anything for Christmas gifts?

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Simplicity 8296 again in a dress

So I've made another Simplicity 8296 but in a dress. I made view E sleeves with length of B probably but I just used the length of 2 remnants from Spotlight.  I think this is the first time in simply eons that I have made something in the current fashion, in current fashion fabric!

Here's the back... bad iPhone photo. I made a size 10 at the shoulders and armholes and then graded it out to the 18 at the hips. I could probably go to the 12 or 14 really... it's a bit swishy. I could also use a sway back adjustment too.

Bit of a daggy length though. I may take it up a smidge. I also like that this pattern has a bust dart but I make it a little shorter. I have the McCall's that's pretty much the same but no bust dart and no flat panel on the front. Plus it's a much narrower fit so this one is better for my shape. I probably wouldn't have bought this fabric if I'd seen it on a roll for $16 per metre, but as a cheap remnant I'm happier to test patterns. I don't mind this at all now it's made up. I was going to make this in a cut of rayon I did buy at Spotlight with a voucher my son gave me for Christmas last year, but then I loved it so much I wanted to test this dress first. I may make it up for Christmas day.

I wore this to our work Christmas celebration last night. My colleague neighbour kept stopping people telling them I made my dress! How embarrassment! Start to finish is probably 3 hours. Pretty quick dress. I also made the straps and instead of sewing them on,  I'm going to make button holes on each end and then put buttons on the dress and voila, straps when I want them. The beauty with this dress also is I just wear my ordinary bra and pull the straps down. It was quite comfortable which surprised me but when you have larger breasts it's quite heavy on the shoulders so that is probably why. Also near impossible to get a strapless bra that gives you some support and comfort so I don't mind this.

I noticed this morning that the fabric is the same as the one on the back cover of the family Ottobre design magazine just out. Theirs is much more saturated colours and much more colourful (more colours) but it's the same print and their fabric is listed as viscose satin. That sounds nice.
If I can bear to part with some fabric, I'm going to make my sister one for Christmas and I just remembered I bought her some fabric years ago for a dress. (I have 4 sisters but I can't make tham all a dress... or maybe I can?)

Not sure what's next. Thanks for all the great comments too.