Monday, 29 July 2013

CAKE: make, meet & eat

So this month I have been Sewing Cake with the WSBN.  The Challenge was to sew any Cake Pattern during the month of July and then come together on Sunday 28 July and eat Cake (high tea party).

I started by whipping up a Tiramisu Dress, blogged here.  While I was at it I thought I would learn how to make Tiramisu desert - wow what a mistake, it is soooo morish! Here is my first attempt - it doesn't look that appealing because someone (husband/kids!?) ate all the chocolate in the house.  This version is topped with berry sauce rather than grated chocolate.

First mission accomplished!  Next Cake Pattern - the Hummingbird, just because.  Okay, okay 'because' The Fabric Store had a 40% sale and who can't resist a sale - oh that would be me!!!

I haven't blogged about my Hummingbird yet, but I will get to that soon.  My Hummingbird top and skirt were the chosen items to wear along to High Tea - my first meet up with the WSBN.  What a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon :-)   Thanks to the lovely host Sandra of FlossieFT I've got the following photos to share ....

We did group photos, first was those of us who made Hummingbirds.  There was another group of all those that made the Tiramisu Dress and another who made the Pavlova top and skirt.

This is all of us - I wasn't brave enough to take off my jacket (because it's still mid winter here in NZ - not that you would know from this photo).

Can you see that .... I know it's hard to spot amongst all those yummy things on the table, but the Tiramisu hiding in the background - doesn't that look so much better than the first one!  

Anyway, my first meeting with the WSBN was truely enjoyable - thank you ladies, I look forward to the next outing.  I feel like I've officially been initiated!

Saturday, 20 July 2013

April Pant in July

After my success with the Jalie Jean I was super keen to get onto another pant - in comes the April Pant (legging) from Style Arc.

I made a wearable muslin from cotton lycra.  The fabric was in my stash - I had purchased metres of it to make some basic long sleeve Renfrew for winter undergarments, umm still getting to those!   The cotton lycra is okay but has a relaxed feel about them.  The weight means they will probably be okay for spring or autumn.

all black - nothing much to see!

The pattern recommends a Ponte, but I didn't have any in my stash.  However, I can imagine with a Ponte it will give a snugger fit.  I did make an adjustment to my pattern and took out some of the ease at the waist, hip and upper thigh before continuing on with my next pair.

The fabric for my 'real' version is a propylene merino blend and I would say is the same weight as a ponte.  The fabric is reversible, so I went with the black for the main colour and the reverse side is a dark grey which is used for the inner leg and side panel.
over exposed so the contrast panels are visible
The fit on the other hand is almost perfect.  I have 'zero butt' syndrome and there is still just a little more ease around the bottom of my butt than needs to be.  I think when I make my next pair I might shave a further 1/4" off the side seam.

While they look like a simple legging they feel A-maz-ing!  I believe this is because they have a horizontal seam just above the knee and at the back of the knee, an inner leg insert and a side panel.  All those seams = sturdy warm feeling.

These are really hard to photograph because they are black!  So not many photos of these.

This is my first Style Arc pattern because the postage is really high - to compensate each month they give away a free pattern with every order.

I am super impressed with the pattern and fit.  The package is nothing special, but included is a swatch of the recommended fabric for the garment.  The instructions were pretty easy to follow, however no visual images to help.  It kinda reminded me of sewing from the Burda Magazine, but the language was easy to follow and understand.  The pattern only comes in the size that you order, not the multi-size patterns we are use to these days.  On these pants there were lots of notches which made construction really easy.  Overall, I would definitely buy more from Style Arc and looking forward to sewing up my second pattern.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

PJ's Sewaholic Style

More sewing for my 'mini me' (don't tell her but I really wanted any excuse to make this pattern ... sssh).  It is winter here in NZ and there is nothing better than a warm pair of PJ's to hang around the house in.

I really love the piping feature of this pattern - I just think it adds a touch of class to the simple PJ.  Hey and who doesn't want to look their best when they go to bed!

I made the piping myself (using my new piping foot for my machine).  The only thing doing this is there is quite a bit of unused fabric.

This was really, really easy to do - in my opinion it was far easier to make piping than bias tape! I used a lemon yellow poplin from Spotlight.  The flannelette I also got from Spotlight, who by the way have a huge selection.

These PJs are really easy to make, with lots of straight line stitching.  The only fiddly bit is threading the elastic and tie through the waist band casing.

The legs have a decent amount of length on them.  I had to cut a good 2" off the bottom before hemming - these are a size 12.

Excuse the night photos, but I wanted to get some photos before she worn them to bed!

Friday, 12 July 2013

Tribal Tiramisu

I had been waiting and waiting and waiting for my Tiramisu from Cake Patterns to arrive and when it finally did I ripped into it immediately, 'cause I had already bought the fabric in anticipation.  Within a week my Tiramisu was cut and sewn up - it has taken me longer to photograph and blog than actually making it.  But here I am so let's talk Tiramisu ...

The Pattern:  I understand Steph has changed pattern printers and this edition of Tiramisu is the first from the new supplier.  The pattern paper is great, it is much sturdier than the normal/standard (however you want to say it) tissue paper.  I love it!

I had a bit of a dilemma deciding on which size to make.  I fall smack bang in the middle of a size 30 and 35!  After reading that the dress is designed with 0" easy and would result in a relaxed fit, I chose to make a size 30.  Having made that decision I had to choose a cup size, which has nothing to do with my bra size.  I chose the D cup being the closest to my measuring tape measurement.  Last decision was waist size where I also went for a size 30.

A quick read of the pattern and I was away.  The beautiful thing with this pattern is that it is all sewn on the flat and that size checks can be made along the way.  I've never seen a pattern quite like it before - so ingenious!

With the bodice all carefully put together, I stopped for a fitting check and much to my disappointment I just don't have enough boob to fill out the D cup *sigh*.  What to do, unpick and start again with a smaller size?  Hell no - it is a knit fabric, surely I can hide this some how.

Moving on with the waistband and the skirt.  I didn't think pockets would work with my fabric so didn't have to faff around with those, and I'm so pleased with that decision.  Although I'm not a fan of the side seam pocket - I don't need my hips looking any bigger than they naturally are.

Aside from the cup size being wrong my Tiramisu was perfect.  From the reading I had done it was highly recommended that I leave the dress hanging for a day before hemming.  I was quietly hoping that hanging would also settle the fit of the top somehow *shrug*.

The very next day I adorned my Tiramisu with delight and disappointment.  The size 30 fit was the right decision and the length was perfect.  I secretly had fears that it would be too long and I'd look like my grandma did, with the all in one knit print dress *shudder*.   So off to the sewing machine to finish off the hem and think about my cup problem.

Cup solution ... I placed two darts on each side of the bodice from the wasit-band toward the shoulder, tapering out just above the arm pit.  That took just enough fabric out - luckily the tribal print fabric disguises every!

I think it will be a dress that can be worn all year round?  The summer look is super easy, I just have to work out how to style it for a winter look.  Thinking maybe a black wrap cardigan and black boots???

Monday, 8 July 2013

Messy BUT Cuddly Faux Fur

When I agreed to sew a fur vest for a friend, I really didn't know what I was getting into!  Shopping for the faux fur from Global Fabrics (oops The Fabric Store) was fun - given that this type of fabric hasn't ever attracted me before.  I didn't realise how much of a choice there is. 

But man is it messy!  I had fur absolutely everywhere!  

After an internet search on faux fur vest patterns I found a Kwik & Sew PDF pattern 3731.  I really like this pattern because there is a choice of neckline - either a round neckline or V neckline.   For this version the owner chose a V neck.

Oh but wait, I didn't agree to make just one .... NOOO ... two requests were placed and I couldn't resist the challenge.  Version two is the round neck.

Apart from having fur all over me, the floor, my sewing table (oh that's right it's meant to be my dining room table!) I love it because it has no closures and both options are fully lined.  I used a stretch satin as a lining - that worked out perfect with just enough give to ease onto the faux fur.  The slippery nature of the satin means that it will wear well over any garment. 

From start to finish it took me three hours per vest (not including taping the PDF pattern together).  The faux fur was actually easier to sew than I anticipated, despite the mess.  I had to use a 14/90 needle and slightly release the pressure on the feed dogs to '4' on my machine.    

The V-neck version is a long raccoon faux fur and the round-neck version a soft 'teddy bear' short faux fur.  I can't say that one was easier or better to sew than the other - the length of the further didn't seem to matter.  

So a few pics ... new owner super happy with her teddy bear fur.

Winter sewing - gotta love it!