Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Finished - Vogue 1548 - the DVF wrap in luscious merino!

I try to buy fabric with a purpose these days, but occasionally I find a treasure that must come home, without firm plans. A few months ago I found a beautiful deep purple merino-lycra knit at The Fabric Store, printed with a very pale lilac and pink geo design and I'm pretty sure I squealed as I snatched it off the table. I had no idea what it would become other than mine. Shortly after the Dressmakers Do was announced - another social sewing event in Melbourne where one makes a fabulous outfit and spends the evening eating, drinking and examining others hems.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Melbourne Restash 2016

Hello lovelies! Just a quick PSA to announce that next Saturday July 9th, is RESTASH, a fabric/pattern/ notion and yarn swap here in Melbourne organised by Anna, Jane and myself!

Check out this post on Anna's blog for all the details - I can't wait!

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Finished - a scant Simplicity 1366

I know what you're thinking. Will this chick EVER so anything non-stretch? Turns out in the colder months the answer is likely not! My warm weather sewing is overwhelmingly wovens and cold weather sewing means knits. But I realised I hadn't yet blogged a project from early Autumn so you get some out of season action today.

Today I share with you a pattern that is OMG totally new and exciting and ground breaking! Or not. It's Simplicity 1366 and being the TOTAL trendsetter that I am, I've finally made it. Just.

It is a very simple top - no darts, dropped shoulders and quite cropped. I made a size 10, having tried on Anna's, and added some extra length. I was very cross with myself though, not having quite enough of this lovely printed cotton voile from The Fabric Store to make it as long as I'd like. I even bought it on sale, and still was a tightwad, just buying a metre (and being The Fabric Store, there was definitely not a cm extra....). I managed to preserve some length by making a bias hem facing.

I was delighted to discover I could make this 100% french seamed, including the armscye seam, which I did flat. Mmmmm such tidiness.

There's not much more to say about this little top. I didn't do a forward shoulder adjustment because I'd cut the paper pattern out last year before I knew such things were needed, but I think I will do a small one with future iterations (despite recently starting some Pilates classes to improve my posture, thanks Jillian for the kickstart I needed!).

I think next time I'll also draft a facing - I think a top stitched facing is such a nice feature on a simple top. The bias just looks a little..... not cheap, but a bit less pro....

It's a great little pattern for showcasing a really nice fabric. I'd be interested in seeing how it looked sans sleeves too. There'll be more of these at Chez Tragic come spring.

(photography by the eternally fabulous Blogless Anna Photography Service)

Monday, 13 June 2016

Finished - statement sleeves and stripes

Stripes. Will I ever get enough? My pre-frontal cortex says no. My stripe addiction continues unabated. Not even slightly sorry.

This jazzy little number is the Sea Change top, a pattern by the uber chic Debbie over at Lily Sage and Co. I was lucky enough to be able to try on Anna's a while ago (Anna did my photos too - I've lost my garage wall and she graciously lent me her fence and tree), and knew it'd be a pretty fab layering piece.

I made a size small, but added some extra length through the sleeves and body, the same as Anna, 1.5 or maybe inches I think. You can add length here and/or at the hem band. I also did a forward shoulder adjustment on the front and back (no need to change the armbands).  The proportions of my sleeve and hem bands are just a smidge different to the drafted pattern as I really wanted to use whole stripes. I literally had no leftover fabric - it worked out perfectly (I LOVE it when I have no leftovers)! To ensure I got them well lined up I didn't sew the hem and sleeve bands doubled - I did the visible outer side first to ensure a perfect line up of the stripe edge, then did a second pass of the other layer either right on or just inside the first stitching line. Then I finished with matching overlocker thread (the armband seams are quite visible - I'd do frenchies if using a woven.

There clearly is an enormous amount of design ease here, and there is actually little difference between the sizes.  The pattern is drafted for either knits or wovens, and Debbie gives instructions on how to finish the neckline depending on your fabric choice. This fabric is a knit (more on that below). I think that I'd probably narrow the neckline just a smidge if I was making a woven version......

The pattern is a PDF with the wonderful copy shop printing feature, very valuable for this time poor seamstress. Fabric recommendations are for lightweight drapey fabrics. My fabric is (ostensibly) a cotton from The Fabric Store (my iron suggests a blend). It's actually quite heavy but with a lovely drape - I knew from Anna's merino version that it would work. I usually stabilise my shoulders with iron on knit stay tape, but decided to use rayon seam binding due to the volume of fabric, and it worked very well.

Chic from the back don't you think? I think it's a lot of fun. 

Underneath I'm wearing a new Deer and Doe Plantain, made specifically to go under this top. It's not quite the right style in the neckline though, so I think I need a nice navy merino turtle neck. But I still thought it worth posting about because I used the most natty adjustment on the sleeve that worked a treat. This is the first garment with a full sleeve cap that I've done a forward shoulder adjustment on. I always use this tutorial from Maria Denmark to adjust my bodice pieces, and used this video tutorial off Threads for the sleeve cap which was so quick and easy. I'm really pleased with the fit. 

I can't wait to make a Seachange in something lightweight and drapey for summer. I love the effortless drama of the sleeves (just don't try to cook in it else you get another type of drama....).

Thanks so much too for all the kind words after my last post. I appreciated them more than I can say. 

Thursday, 2 June 2016

A most snuggly hug from Auntie Esme

Hello lovelies. I hope your week has been better than mine. I wont be dwelling, because I know you're all here for the sewing and not for my grief, but I had to let my little furry catternweight move on from this world on the weekend. My husband and I are still trying to accept the reality, and goodness knows I should be well used to the reality, having assisted hundreds of other pet owners over my career to do the same with their darlings, but nonetheless one of the loves of my life is gone forever, along with a sizeable chunk of my heart.

So when one needs comfort, one not only needs comfort food but comfort clothing, and what better than a big, warm, snuggly wool jumper with a collar that one can escape into when reality is just a bit hard to contend with.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Finished - La la la la Lola!

Autumn has been typically unpredictable in Melbourne thus far.  There's been glorious days, chilly days and fresh nights. And such days therefore have required layers. Jacket on, jacket off. Long sleeves, short sleeves. Sunglasses, umbrellas. Basically it's cardigan weather. I've written a couple of years ago about my love for the humble cardi. My most worn self-sewn garment has to be my Style Arc Fiona cardi, made 2 winters ago. It's my house cardigan - a bit frumpy but deliciously warm and my go to layering piece for probably 10 months of the year.