Friday, 28 June 2013

Goodbye RTW Jeans!

I can't believe I made jeans that actually fit!

Pants/Jeans have been on my 'must learn' list for a little while and I've been reading anything that I could find on pant fitting, but do you think I understand it - NO!  Earlier in the year I attempted a New Look pattern, very straight forward ... back, front, band, side zip - what a disaster! 

Thanks to the wonderful world of sewing blogs I discovered the Jalie Jean pattern - I read a number of blogs and Pattern Reviews looking for the hook, but it seemed that this pattern was fail proof ... my kinda pattern!  I placed my order and picked up some rather cheap stretch denim ($20 for 2.6m), thinking that if it all went to custard again I hadn't really spent a lot of money!

I chose the low rise option in a size u (US size 8), based on my hip measurement.  My waist isn't as small as the pattern suggests it should be for that size, but I figured that because they were low rise that wouldn't matter and I could adjust the waist band if necessary.

I selected a light weight denim so it would be easy on the sewing machine and I didn't have bulk to deal with.  The only adjustment I made to these jeans was to the leg style and length.  The pattern is a bootleg jean, I adjusted that to a straight leg and added two inches to the length.  My biggest pet hate about RTW jeans, is they just don't make them long enough for my legs.

I am super over the moon with how these jeans have sewn up.  I can't believe how easy they were to make actually.  And look, I can even wear a pair of heels with my jeans!

I'm ready to make my next pair!  I would also like to make a pair of skinny jeans, which I am thinking is just a re-shape of the leg from above the knee?

This will be my final project for Indie Pattern Month, whew!  I have completely exceeded my own expectations this month - I only planned on making one garment which was My Cordova.  That came together so quickly that I started on the Go Anywhere Dress.  I finished that last weekend and had the pleasure of wearing it this week :-)  Next on my 'to do' list were the jeans ... because they were pants I thought it would take me ages with a little frustration thrown in; how wrong was I!   Check out the other awesome projects, by talented people on the Pinterest Board

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Sewn Square One Dress

After the sleeves had to go, my Sewn Square One Dress is now ready for it's big reveal!

Sorry but it's such a hard colour to photograph.  I made it with a fine pin-stripe cotton that I picked up for a steel at just $4m about 8 months ago.  I just had to wear the white top, because it is so damn cold not to.  FYI: I wouldn't style it like this to wear out in public!

I have to show you a close up of the pockets - they are quite possibly my favourite part of the dress.  The top of the pocket finished just at my waist and runs along the seam line of the side panel - I think they give great proportion to the dress.  The small pleats make them incredibly comfy without adding a bulge to the dress.

As you can also see from this photo I cut the side front panels on the horizontal grain to give the dress a bit of interest - given the fabric is a bit on the boring side.  I must remember to wear one of my good bra's with this dress so my boobs sit in the princess seam as they are meant to!  I'm really happy with the fitting of the dress, now that I've taken the sleeves off. 

After taking a Craftsy course with Sunni Standing on Mastering Zipper Techniques I inserted my first zip using Wash Away Wonder Tape.  It was so much easier to get exact positioning of the zip before taking it to the machine.  Yep pins work but you know, you can get some movement!

And here's the real fun part - the inside of the dress ......

Don't you just love it?  I picked this up off Trade Me (NZ's eBay equivalent) for a steel earlier in the year and was going to make some summer boxers, but couldn't resist lining this dress with it.  I've tacked the neck and arm facings to the lining with a nice little catch-stitch.
I made my usual adjustments to get my hips into the dress.  The top of the dress is a size small and the bottom a medium.  I did have to add a 1/2" to the should seams to lower the bust and arm pit, which now fit better.  As a result of that I had to true up the transition in sizes around my waist and hips - but that was pretty easy.

This is my second project as part of Indie Pattern Month.  The pattern is the Go Anywhere Dress by Sewn Square One and is available HERE.  I would definitely make this pattern again - maybe a tunic that ends at the bottom of the pockets???

As a tribute to the recent Sweet Bloggers Award, a slice of home made fudge ... mmmmmmmmm

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Super Sweet Blooger Award

I very much still consider myself a newbie to the world of blogging my sewing journeys, so to get nominated for the Super Sweet Blogger Award most definitely caused me to blush.  A super sweet thanks to Dresses and Me

The Rules
  1. Thank the Super Sweet Blogger that nominated you.
  2. Answer 5 Super Sweet questions.
  3. Include the Super Sweet Blogging Award in your blog post
  4. Nominate a baker’s dozen (13) other deserving bloggers.
  5. Notify your Super Sweet nominees on their blog.
The 5 Super Sweet Questions
  1. Cookies or Cake? Coffee & Cake, but Milo & Cookies (am I allowed both?)
  2. Chocolate or Vanilla?  Mostly chocolate
  3. Favorite Sweet Treat?  oooh that is too hard, my homemade chocolate fudge slice hmmmm
  4. When Do You Crave Sweet Things The Most? I have a sweet tooth, so usually never pass up the opportunity.
  5. Sweet Nickname? honey!
My nominees are….

So check out these lovely ladies’ blogs today!

Sunday, 16 June 2013

No sleeves thank you!

This week I've been working on my second Indie Pattern, the Go Anywhere Dress by Sewn Square One.  The pattern provides for three variations: a dress, a tunic and a top.

I selected the dress to make first up, with a woven pinstripe from my stash.  All was going well and literally finished today, BUT .... they just had to go - yep the sleeves just had to come off.

It wasn't just the sleeves of the dress but also the sleeves of the lining, which I had just finished hand stitching in place!  Although my fault, I didn't place the sleeves in when I did the muslin.  I figured a 'sleeve is a sleeve' and I've never really had any problem with a sleeve before.  My usual adjustment of a dress is for the hip and when I make that adjustment the waist is slightly adjusted when I true up the curve.

I think the dress will be great with no sleeves and actually more my style.  Maybe that was the message!   The pockets are a great feature and really make the dress - here is a sneak peek.  You will see what I mean when I reveal the finished garment :-)

Monday, 10 June 2013

My Cordova

I can't believe how quick this Cordova jacket has come together.  Here's all the deets on my preparation.

Usually I would sew a size 8 Sewaholic, but I decided to go with the finished measurement of the garment rather than the body measurement and have sewn up a size 6, although I could have gotten away with sewing up a size 4 - maybe next time :-)

I'm really liking the effect of reversing the fabric on the side panels and peplum.   Hopefully the next photo will show clearly the difference.  It's really hard to tell whether it's a deep deep dark blue or black, so I have gone with dark blue and added a blue lining and zip.  I think it looks great with jeans.

I would definitely make another Cordova.  The back pleat is a great feature and will make the jacket comfy to wear.  Next time I would think about adding another half inch to the lining to allow for a little bit more ease vertically.

I would also add another inch to the length of the sleeve.  Although it looks okay it only has a half inch hem and I would prefer at least a one inch hem.  My sleeve lining isn't attached to the sleeve fabric because it isn't long enough.  I am debating whether I add 1.5 inches to the sleeve lining and then attach it to the sleeve fabric.  I might wear it a couple of times before I decide.

Gee these photos make my bottom half look smaller than the top, but I think that is the idea of the jacket.  I am most definitely bigger on the bottom than the top according to the measure tape!

Gee, should really have done my hair before taking photos!

Oops you can see that I've been sitting down!

Final thoughts:  would definitely make again with a few adjustments; I'm still undecided on the double peplum; the construction techniques make it a dream to sew; Love Sewaholic :-)

Yay for completing my first project for Indie Pattern Month .... next!

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Cordova Jacket on the table

As I mentioned in my last post I am constructing my first Cordova Jacket for Indie Pattern month.

I went along to the Fabric-a-brac in April and acquired this lovely reversible fabric, 2.5 metres for just $25!  I immediately thought jacket when I saw it and the Cordova was ideal, where I could use both sides of the fabric in the jacket.

I wanted the jacket to be quite close fitting so have chosen to construct a size 6 which has a finished bust of 36, whereas I would usually make a size 8 based on body measurements.  I double checked that this would work and made a quick muslin - perfect!  Sorry no pictures of that, I was too quick to pull it all part and get started.

I'm pleased to say that I'm no longer a tissue paper murderer!  I now trace all my patterns onto calico, sew up the muslin and then pull it apart and use it as the actual pattern from which I cut my fashion fabric.  For this pattern I've stitched all the seam lines to provide stability of the pieces and cut along the 5/8 seam allowance edge.  I only do this after I've made the muslin so I can make any adjustments to the pattern first.
Here I've cut out all my pieces in the fashion fabric.  The peplum, front side and back side will be the reverse of the fabric.  You can slightly see the effect in the pic below.
I decided to make version B of the pattern as I don't want to draw too much attention to my hips.  I might change my mind after I've finished this one, but for now the jury is out on the double peplum.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Sewing Indie in June

This month I am joining The Curious Kiwi and Macskakat for Indie Pattern Month.

It just so happens that my next project was going to be the Cordova Jacket by Sewaholic - good timing girls :-)
I had purchased a piece of fabric at the Fabric-a-brac which I thought would be ideal for the Cordova - more on that later.

My stash of indie patterns current contains quite a few from Sewaholic - Tasia's style just appeals to me although I am a rectangular body shape rather than a pear.  A small reduction to the hips and I'm done which is proving easier than having to adjust the waist and hips out-ward when sewing one of the big 4.

Recently I have added others to my list (more parcels in the mail - fun)
Tiramisu Dress by Cake Patterns
Rooibos by Colette Patterns
April Pant by Stylearc
Go Anywhere Dress by Sewn Square One

I also purchased Newcastle Cardigan PDF download from Thread Theory, which I thought would be fun to sew for either my husband or son.

I'm not going to get all these patterns sewn up this month but I'm looking forward to each and every one of them.

A Good Wardrobe hosts an extensive list of Indie Patternmakers which is like my own little index to sewing fabulousness!  Thanks Lizz.

For now back to my the sewing machine to progress my Cordova.  I'm posting progress on Instagram ( if you want to follow along.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Quick Fix with Merino

Yay for quick fix sewing projects!  After the Burda Sew-Along in May and with by Robson Jacket hung on my "I'm not impressed" hanger I was looking for some instant gratification! 

First off the rank was McCalls 5006 which is a pattern I've had in my collection for a few years and never ever sewn!   I've had my eye on this merino for a few weeks now, specifically to pair up with my Cambie.  But for today I've paired it with my shirt dress and jeans. 

I lengthen the body by one inch and opted for long sleeves for winter wear.  I really like this pattern and after wearing the top all day today it is really comfy and warm.  Next time I make this I would consider adding a band to the bottom and shortening the ties by about two inches.

Then I thought I would make the Meg McElwee Surplice Dress, shortened to a top.  Again I opted for long sleeves (original pattern had short sleeves).  Clear elastic is used around the neckline, for modesty and again around the empire line to hug the body. 

I had my first Renfew all lined up with another piece of merino, however it wasn't quite enough fabric for a true Renfrew, so with a slight modification to the pattern here is my third quick fix merino.  I used the front neckline and bust from the surplice, because it's not required to be cut on the fold and the result: a Renfrew with a twist  :-)

I really enjoyed making these garments and can't wait to return to the shop for more fabric to make a 'proper' Renfrew.

Sorry no photos wearing these last two, they just got completed today so they are about to be washed.  I'm looking forward to enjoying these basics in my wardrobe.