Sunday, 30 June 2013

Winter wardrobe extension

Now that winter is well upon us, I have been getting into sorting my wardrobe out and finishing some basics so I can get on with the fun stuff. Sometimes the basic cake makes are just as rewarding as the frosting, and in the cast of these two skirts they are a welcome addition to extend my winter options.

Version 1 of the Sewaholic Hollyburn blogged here gets worn often and I find this shape skirt goes with almost everything I have, it was almost inevitable that I would make this pattern again.

For version 2 I had some lovely double wool crepe that I bought on Goldhawk Road for £6/m - a total steal! Knowing this would only be a winter wear, I lined the skirt to stop it sticking to my tights. The heavier fabric makes it hang differently, it sticks out a bit more than my other one, but I don't mind, and it is super warm to wear. I made the version with the waist tabs and finished them with a couple of vintage buttons from my recently bought stash .  Sorry forgot the close up, but they are cream with a black spiral on them.


For version 2 I used the same patch pocket variation as my first version (tutorial this week I promise), the fabric is a chocolate brown gabardine and is unlined. I wore this all day today and had no sticky tights issue, so yay for gabardine!


I did have one issue changing out of it this evening, the stupid invisible zip broke and I had to unpick myself out of it!!  This is not the first time I have had issues with an invisible zip, I am tempted to not use them ever again.  I don't have any issues with a lapped zipper, they never seem to break and seem to always insert with no issues.


I really like this pattern (obviously having made three) and think I will make it up in a patterned fabric next time- do you know I don't have any patterned skirts??

On my work table now:
- a dress in need of hemming, but I need to find someone to help me, it's too uneven (circle skirt) and needs serious attention (anyone local able to offer assistance?? Marjorie, Erin??)
- a dress my sewing machine hates - all it needs it hemming, but the stitches keep skipping with this fabric
- another Papercut Coppelia cardigan - so far going well

Don't you just hate when things don't go as planned??

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

To line or not to line, that is the question

I have been thinking about the whole lining thing...most patterns I use for dresses and skirts call for lining.  I like a silky lining in winter so I can wear tights without the skirt sticking to my legs.  However, in summer I like a cotton lining as it is so hot here in Brisbane, but that sticks to my tights.  Also, it seems like I am forever lining everything which is more timely and of course adds to the cost of the garment.

Would it not be better to make a couple of versatile slips/petticoats to put under things? 

Multiple choice:
A: You think I am being completely lazy and cheap
B: You think I am being clever and thrifty
C: You think I need to just get on with it and finish my garments properly!!

What do think and what do you do?

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Noir Coppelia

Finally I am getting around to blogging this, for followers you many have noticed it pop up on a couple of posts, but I have never posted it in detail before now. 


The Coppelia by Papercut Patterns is a lovely ballet style wrap around cardigan with long ties. Now I am not going to lie, these patterns are pretty expensive, in fact I think this is the most I have spent on a pattern. But, they come in the most adorable packaging, a cardboard box with a photo on the front and its own built in hanger! The patterns are printed on fabulous sturdy recycled paper, and of course you are supporting an indie designer.  On top of that, to put my parochial hat on, they are based in New Zealand - so what could be better than that?!

I was drawn to this pattern over other wrap cardigan patterns out there as I really liked the raglan sleeves and thought the style would wear better and provide a better fit.


I made this up in a medium weight NZ merino knit and cut a size medium which in hindsight is a little big for me and would cut the small next time.  I found it was too big across the shoulders and the sleeves were too wide. I have taken the sleeves in by 1.5" but as you can see in the pictures they are still roomy.  I feel the neckband is too long and doesn't quite pull it in the way I would like. I would recommend taking 2-4 inches off to enable it to pull in a fit better.  The waist ties are also super long, in fact I can wrap mine around the back, to the front and then to the back again!


Even though it is a little big, I just pull it a little tighter and it is all good and cozy. This is a great silhouette with A-line skirts and circular skirts and I love it with my Hollyburn, as seen in my meetup with House of Pinheiro's Rachel.


I have another of these on by work table right now in the smaller size, and already I can tell the fit is better.  All told, this is a great pattern that goes together easily and is easy to adjust to fit if needed.  Give it a go and hang the cost, it's one of those patterns you would use more than once so it gets cheaper the more you make it!

Have you sewn any of the Papercut patterns? I'd love to hear your experiences :)

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Aarrr, treasure me hearties!

So what is the result of 3 weeks in the US??  A booty of fabric!  I thought I would share my hoard with you all.

First of all, here it is in its entirety:


Yep, it fills the dining table.  Clearly I have a lot of work ahead of me...but I do have plans for all of it, long term plans admittedly, but plans nonetheless. I didn't just buy everything I saw that felt nice, believe it or not I was actually restrained!

This is the haul bought at The Loft in LA at US$2.50/lb.  It includes 5 yards of grey ponte, 3 yards of strip knit, 5 yards of wool blend black bottom weight and some light cream coloured georgette.  I believe this place is hit and miss, obviously I scored a hit with a purchase of 9lb of fabric!


Next up is my favourite piece bought, a gorgeous Ralph Lauren wool coating houndtooth bought at Mood in LA. I will definitely be doing a muslin before cutting into this, it is waaay too special.


But wait, it's not all fabric, I also bought some yarn at Bliss Yarns in Nashville.


and a book:


I also had a couple of great finds at an antique mall, two fab patterns, and a lot of vintage buttons!!


I love the great finds you have when travelling, so much nicer than your typical souvenir. Only problem is I have been away three times this year, so my stash is totally out of control!  But don't worry I have already made a start so look out for some finished items soon.  I am working on some winter items as the chill has really set in now.

Be back soon with some newly made stash busting items :)

Sunday, 2 June 2013

MMM - Day 11 and a new Tiramisu

Day 11 of Me-Made-May was a reasonably warm day in Nashville and I was able to take this dress out of my suitcase finally!


This is my second Tiramisu, my first (blogged here) was reasonable successful when first made, but over time has stretched and stretched and now is not looking so great. Still comfy as heck but I don't really leave the house in it too much now.  The fabric has a lot of looseness to it and when it stretches, it doesn't bounce back. Aaah, the things we learn from fabric choice.

MMM'13 - Day 11

My second version I made a little differently. I cut a size 35 bodice but with an inch off the bottom. I also took just over an inch off the depth of the waistband (since I am a shortie). This fixed some of the fit issues I had on the first version. Instead of following the pattern marking, I draped the bodice on to get the bodice to sit right. I also ended up running in the side seams by about 1.5"and now, finally, I am happy with the fit.

Also as before I omitted the pockets, whilst I love pockets, I didn't want to add them, stick my hands in them and stretch the dress out of shape.


My best improvement this time was my choice of fabric, a high quality cotton rayon with a small amount of spandex.  I think the spandex has really helped the fabric to keep its shape rather than stretching indefinitely.

With these changes I am now really happy with this pattern, I love the swooshy skirt and the flattering neckline, plus the dress can easily be super casual or dressed up.

I hope you are all enjoying Me-Made-May!

MMM - the final days and a couple of new things

Well MMM has now wrapped up, and whilst I like wearing me-made each day, it turns out for the most part I wear at least one me-made item each day, taking a picture of myself everyday is a little tedious.  I apologize in advance for the pics that all have the same backdrop.  I am now back in Brisbane and it turns out winter is well on the way and it is now dark at 5.30pm so I can't go outside to take pics.

Day 20
A bonus for you - two outfits today! One a new one, still not sure how I feel about it though. The top is a Sorbetto (free download don't ya know!), and the skirt a simple dirndl.


That evening I met up with Erin of MissCrayolaCreepy for ice cream in Arroyo Grande.  I had emailed her for some fabric shopping tips and she suggested we meet up. "Hell Yeah" I thought, what a fun opportunity.  Of course we talked sewing patterns, adjustments and blogging all over the most delicious ice cream!  I had Strawberry with a chocolate fudgy ribbon and Erin had one called Motoroil, a super chocolate-y one!  Yum-o!  If you haven't checked out Erin's blog, go do it, she has some lovely makes and is currently hosting a Gatsby Challenge.

It was a little cooler and I wanted to wear a cardi, so I wore my Spring has Sprung Hazel.

 photo courtesy of MissCrayolaCreepy
Day 21
Off to LA in my I Feel Pretty Hazel.  Here I am rummaging through fabric at The Loft where they sell fabric offcuts by the pound, and when I say offcuts they were mostly 5-10 yards a piece! I bought 9lb of fabric - go me!!

MMM '13 - Day 21

Day 22
Guess where we went today (in Colette Sorbetto blogged here):
MMM '13 - Day 22

Day 23
Lunch at the Cheesecake Factory, wearing Tiramisu (appropriate perhaps??).

MMM '13 Day 23
Day 24
We had a super long day as our flight was not until 11.45pm. We filled most of the time in an Outlet Mall for some last minute shopping. This is a new top, a variation on the Banksia by Megan Nielsen.

Day 25 - Ha - we totally missed this day on our flight home!

Day 26 - No pics sorry, I was feeling super average after our long overnight flight. I can't even remember what I wore!!

Day 27
My Buttons are Expensive Dress
MMM'13 - Day 27

Day 28
Hmmm, black photographs so badly, I have tried lightening the photo, but now it looks like my top is see-thru!! It's not, but it is printed with little charcoal polka dots that reflect the flash. The skirt is my basic black made last year and blogged here.


Day 29
Breakfast meeting today so I had to look presentable, wearing Vintage Vogue 9463.

Day 30
More black - what can I say, it feels like winter today and the colour seems appropriate. Merino ruffle top and BurdaStyle skirt.

Day 31
Working at home today, yay, in my Hollyburn skirt, look out for two more soon!
MMM'13 Day 31
MMM Summary
So I really learnt about my wardrobe shortfalls this month, although perhaps it wasn't super indicative as I was away for most of the month and my travelling wardrobe is always different from what I wear day to day.  Not sure why this is, I guess the majority of my time is spent at work so I need work appropriate attire.  But being away made me really notice how many casual clothes I need to make. Tops and skirts will be the go before my next trip away, whenever that might be!! This week I have also noticed a desperate shortage of work appropriate winter wear. I have started on some of these items already and hope to blog them soon. 
Whew, so glad to not have to photograph myself everyday - that is hard work!!  How did you all go?