Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Vintagey goodness - or why I shouldn't go op shopping often.....

I've been trying hard to avoid my local Savers mega op shop. I reckon it's been several months since I popped some tags but after my massive fabric reshuffle I had a bag of fabric to donate, plus some clothes, and it couldn't be avoided. Of course I could have chosen not to go inside, and just donate my stuff at the back door, but where's the fun in that? I set myself some strict boundaries - just a quick peek at the patterns and fabric, a whizz through the knitwear and glassware - and only purchasing truly useful items....

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Tyler Shirt - Named Patterns - my WIP

As soon as I saw the Tyler Shirt by the Finnish Named Patterns I knew I wanted to try it. I do love me a good raglan sleeve, and after seeing Laney's gorgeous Archer shirt in the same fabric that I bought in NYC from Purl Soho, I was itching to get started. I've also got some awesome orange Liberty fabric that would make a lovely shirt too - let the shirt making begin! 

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Finished - selfish ikat skirt

There's not been a lot of finished projects lately around here, but there are a lot of WIP's at the moment. I'm about 3/4 of the way through my Purl Soho lattice top, and am determined to finish it by the end of the month. I'm currently waging war against diagonal bust/armpit fold lines with the Colette Laurel and yesterday I made a muslin for the Named Pattern Tyler shirt and should be cutting that out tonight - very exciting! I promised my love I'd make him some clothing during August and his Jedediah shorts are 99% finished - I just have to hem them, and am just waiting on him to try them on and decide on a finished length. I made the bulk of them a couple of weeks ago, and am reasonably happy with the finish, but in the midst of it all I had a little mini selfish tanty and decided after a full day of sewing grey twill that wasn't destined to be worn by me I needed to make something nice!


Sunday, 15 September 2013

Ottobre Design Woman magazine review - yes, no, maybe?

A while ago I subscribed to Ottobre Design Woman magazine, a Finnish sewing magazine that produces a monthly kiddies edition, and a biannual womens magazine with sewing patterns similar to Burdastyle. The kids patterns looked great, but I couldn't find a lot of info about the womens patterns. For about $35 I took a gamble, and got the two back issues (Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter) from 2012, as well as subscribing to the 2013 issues.

I must admit I was pretty meh about them when they arrived - I received the back issues first, and then the Spring/Summer 2013 issue, and just this week Autumn/Winter 2013 arrived. Looking back through all of them today in preparation for this post I think there has been a bit of a direction change since last year. The 2012 issues are decidedly dull and frumpy, with the occasional glimmer of style, but this year seem to be a lot more stylish.

Apologies for mediocre photos....

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Giveaway results! Plus random crazy fabric find of the month....

It's time to reveal the winners of my little giveaway! I know you've all been desperately wondering if you will be the one to win some glow-in-the-dark knitting needles! My beloved decided he should be the one to pick the winners - winner of package number 1 is Mary Maryall, and winner of package number 2 is Danielle! Whoohooo! I will be sending you both an email soon to get your addresses and send off a nice big fat package to each of you - congrats! Do let me know what you make!


Saturday, 7 September 2013

Tips, tricks, tutorials and other life lines!

I've written in the past how I consider my iPad to be an indispensable part of my sewing equipment. It's portable, easy to use and over the last 12 months I have built up a formidable list of links, tips, tutorials and other useful bookmarks that I have found down the internet rabbit hole. It's probable very old school to use bookmarks these days - I've avoided Pinterest deliberately because as it is I already spend hours of my life on the internet reading other blogs, and getting inspiration - I think I'd be lost forever down the Pinterest whirlpool if I dipped my toe in!


So you can imagine my slight panic yesterday when for some reason all of my bookmarks on my Pad disappeared. Gone. At first I was in denial, and ignored it, but later in the evening when they were still AWOL my panic increased a little more. Fortunately the internet saved me yet again, and I was able to do a little trick that restored them all (go Tragic Computer Genius!) but it has spurred me into posting a massive list of all of my saved tutorial and tip links. I have been meaning to do it for a while - I truly think I use at least one of these every single time I make something - I can't tell you how much I have learned from the generosity of other sewists and bloggers.

So this is probably not a very exciting post but I hope it will be of some use to you - and it will prevent me from freaking out in the future if my iPad has a little conniption of its own. I do intend to come back to this post and add new links in as I find them. I will credit the website that I found the link on, and categorise them as best I can! Do let me know if any of the links are dodgy.

Don't forget this is the last day of my giveaway! And happy voting today fellow Australians - exercise your right to democracy with joy and enthusiasm and passion!


Zip Tips
- Invisible zip tutorial from Colette Patterns
- Invisible zip tutorial from Tessuti via Burdastyle (many more on Burdastyle
- Jeans fly tutorial from Stitches and Seams (also apparently a good fly tutorial on Grainline, and on Thread Theory great video tutorial).
- French fly or waist stay tutorial from Handmade by Carolyn - amazingly talented seamstress!
- Invisible zipper insertion into side seam from J Stern Designs

Finishing techniques
- Side splits in trousers (or sleeve cuffs) from Pattern Scissors Cloth
- Single welt pockets from Poppykettle - I'm yet to make welt pockets, but this is a very popular tutorial.
- Adding a vent to a skirt from A Fashionable Stitch - she has a million other MARVELLOUS tutorials. There are links off this one for drafting a lining that also has a vent.
- Bound button holes from Julia Bobbin - I am yet to make bound buttonholes and there are many tutorials out there but this looks great.
- Adding a vent or kick pleat to a skirt at Tuppence Ha'Penny Vintage - this is a fantastic tutorial and I have used it several times with pencil or slimline skirts.
- sewing slash pockets using french seams from Sewaholic
- neat facings from the Sew Convert - I LOVE this idea and have written about it before. It's at the end of the posting, really good photos.
- scallop hem from Colette Patterns
- Underlining and seam finishing in one posted by JulieB on Pattern Review
- general list of tutorials off Fashion Incubator - welt pockets, zips etc
- nice button hole finishing from Threads (as mentioned in my last post)
- Making thread belt loops from Colette Patterns

Drafting and fitting tutorials
- Drafting a collar for a t-shirt from So Zo
- adding a waistband to Meringue skirt from Colette Patterns
- Drafting and sewing your own leggings from One Little Minute
- Removing excess fabric from neckline of dress to help with gaping from Bernie and I.
- Altering bodice width/length from Texas University - in search function type 'Pattern Alteration' and a heap of fitting and alteration PDF links come up - fantastic resource.
- Removing neck gape from Phat Chick Designs
- Sway back alterations from Pattern Scissors Cloth
- Sway back alterations from Miss P
- Front and back neck width relationship from Madalynne (many other awesome fitting tutorials too)
- Gaping neckline from The Naked Seamstress
- Dart tips from Gertie - specifically how to make a pointed dart curved to be more flattering.
- Setting sleeves from Gorgeous Fabrics
- Setting sleeves - extract on Google Books from The Complete Book of Sewing Shortcuts - this is great and helped me do my best sleeves ever on my Liberty Laurel.
- Setting sleeves from Diana's Sewing Lessons
- Bust increase pattern alteration video from Professor Pincushion - an FBA tutorial without slashing and spreading the pattern - I am yet to try but looks great.
- Drafting a peter pan collar from Gertie - great video tutorial.

Sewing with Knits
- Hemming Knits from the Snug Bug
- Tips for working with knits from Sew Mama Sew
- Sewing with knits from Luvinthemommyhood - this is a link with other tips and tricks too.
- Sewing with Jersey and Knits from Bygone Glamour
- Stretch fabric waistband tutorial from CJ Patterns - how to self draft a skirt waistband from a knit fabric (plus a heap of other PDF tutorials).
- Sewing a t-shirt neckband from Craft Stylish - excellent tutorial. 
- Neckine binding video tutorial from Threads

Non-garment sewing tips
- Boxed cushion tips from Design Sponge
- Paper tape dress form from Making it Well

Monday, 2 September 2013

A little more on the red Beignet

I wrote yesterday's post pretty quickly, and glossed over a lot of the technical nitty gritty with making my Beignet. I did take some pictures along the way of how I did my buttonholes, because that is definitely the Achilles heel of my old Husky (bless her she's older than me - she does ok!).


So firstly to the fabric - obviously the shell was a fine corduroy. I hadn't sewn with cord before - I have a few cord RTW trousers which I love - its a beautiful warm fabric that seems to wear quite well. It was also the first time I had sewn with something that had a nap or direction - I was careful to cut my pieces with the nap running down the skirt. With cord you also have to take care with pressing - if you press the soft wale side you can crush the nap, and you can mark the fabric if you iron over seams etc.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Finished - Red cord Beignet skirt - and the Sew Weekly Reunion

Crikey. This Beignet has just about finished me this weekend! I've been chipping away slowly at it over the last few weeks, and was stalling myself on the buttonhole stage. After  reading about the Sew Weekly Reunion Challenge that I decided that it was kick up the bum I needed to finish it. Submissions are due today! So that left me with 4 days to hand hem it, do 12 button holes, sew 12 buttons and sew the belt loops. And I had to work the weekend unexpectedly. And was out Friday and Saturday night. Pressure? Pffft!

The Sew Weekly Reunion Challenge this year was to make an outfit based on the 2013 Pantone Autumn Colours (for the Northern Hemisphere - I'm conveniently ignoring the fact it is the first day of spring!). Because I had literally just finished my deep navy/purple gathered wool top, and was making the red Beignet particularly to wear with this top, and they are 2 of the colours I figured it was meant to be!

All was going well. I smashed through the buttonholes on Thursday, carefully cut them out Friday and finished hand hemming in my lunch break and did half of the belt loops before work. I packed up my buttons and thread to sew in my break on Saturday, and all was going well until I realised (how, HOW?) I only had 11 buttons. Sigh. After work today I whizzed up to Spotlight, grabbed another 12, cut the 11 sewn buttons off and redid the new ones. They are actually nicer, so it's all worked out for the best.

My beloved took some photos for me, (neglecting to tell my I had the droopiest boobs ever - apologies) and after I uploaded them and deleted them off my camera the computer crashed, and I lost them. Sigh. So, another round of photos, and a few surly facial expressions later and it's done!