Thursday, December 23, 2010

End of year post

As we will be busy with Christmas festivities and then going on our summer holiday, I am going to post a bit of a review of my sewing for the year.

I had a number of goals that I wanted to achieve this year. Here is my list, I am happy that I did quite a few of them. I did have a longer list than normal.
  1. Winter coats for both the kids Only sewed Jalisa' coat
  2. Flannelette PJs for both the kids Sewed PJs for Scott only
  3. Sew up something using some ugly fabric
  4. Jacket for me DONE
  5. Sew something from a vintage pattern and post on Sew Retro
  6. Little black dress for me DONE
  7. Black pants for me DONE
  8. Creative entry for the local show DONE
  9. Discharge dyeing DONE
  10. Tray dyeing using thickened dyed DONE
  11. Make 4 pairs of work pants for DH
  12. Make a body double DONE, just need to stuff it
  13. Trial 12 new patterns for me DONE, I managed 16
In 2010, with everything included, I sewed a total of 74 things. 33 things were for the kids (including clothes, undies and bags).

The unwritten goal I was aiming to do this year was to do a lot more 'me' sewing. This year I sewed up 41 items for me.

  • Dress = 5 (including 2 new patterns)
  • Skirts = 3 (1 new pattern)
  • Pants and shorts = 9 (5 new patterns)
  • Blouses, tees and cardigans = 11 (6 new patterns)
  • Jackets = 2 (2 new patterns)
  • PJs and undies = 11 (1 new pattern)

I think I met that goals. Overall I am pleased with all the sewing I have done this year.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Jalie 2909 - Stretch pants

I love reading sewing blogs. There are some fabulous ones out there. One thing that I don't get, that I wish I could do, is sew something, then wait and get all done up and then take photos. Love it, but I don't have a lot of patience, and I want to show off what I have done to my sewing buddies at Crafty Mamas. See, I finished my Jalie shorts then raced out to snap pictures. No makeup, hair every which way, old top with singlet that is sticking out....I just don't wait. One day I will learn.

There is a lot of love for this pattern, so when CM (see link above") did a Jalie buy, this was the first one I knew I wanted. Simple pants, with rave reviews about a great cut. Now, being summer here is Australia, I knew I did not need pants, but shortened, they would be fab.

I went with a green rayon blend Bengaline from the stash. I knew this fabric was stretchy, but I did not realise that the stretch runs lengthwise (rather than crosswise). I had already cut out and sewn the fly before I realised. Luckily, I had bought enough fabric to cut out another pair. For Jalie bottoms, U seems to be the right size for me.

When I tried them on before sewing on the waistband, I realised that I was going to have to make some adjustments. I had a lightbulb moment when I researched the frowns that were appearing at the front that I might need to reduce the length of the front crotch seam. For some reason, I just was accepting this little extra bit, but having tried on several pants and pinching the front, I could see that the front instantly looked better with a smidge less length there.
The other thing that was bugging me was the extra folds under my butt. With lots of research, I ended up scooping out the crotch (which lengthens) and then taking out at the top of the seam. This works for the moment, since I have made up the pants already and could not recut, but the actual alteration is a little wedge removed from somewhere along the back crotch seam (not right at the top). I have since gone on to make these adjustments on some other pants patterns, so hopefully it is the right one. It is an improvement, and that is what matters to me at the moment.

Ottobre 3-way dress

Gosh, this dress was quick to make. Actually, it was quick to sew, being a pillowcase type dress (Ottobre 3/2009, #18). I had to hand dye the fabric and that took two separate occassions due to storms (and me rushing to get the fabric dyed before it rained down on me). Each piece of fabric wasn't perfect but there was enough between them make a good rainbow dress.

For the front piece, I cut from the graduated rainbow fabric.

For the back, I used the more random rainbow piece.
For the dyeing, I laid it on some other fabric to soak up the excess dye. I think it would work better with a 100% polyester fleece, but I need to buy some because I plan to use what I have on hand. I used procion dye on a stretch poplin, squirting it on and then using a paintbrush to soften where the colours blended.
I have another one cut, this time a plain + print combo, then I am going to make Jalisa a halterneck dress with flared skirt.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Burda dress for Summer

While I was trying to find inspiration in the sewing room, I came across this fabric that my SIL gave me many years ago. Despite not digging this print 100%, there was something about the fabric that kept me holding onto it and it was never chucked out in my recent clearout. It's actually a polished cotton. Clear colours with a tropical theme. I thought it would make a good dress to wear while on holidays. This time last year I made a couple of tropical print dresses. Maybe this will be a tradition - my version of those loud hawaiian shirts.

I used #123 from Burda 6/2005. Actually, this way one of the patterns for one of those dresses, but this time I morphed it onto a pattern with a flared skirt (just like I did my last Burda dress).

I like the look of a fuller skirt, especially for everyday wear. Sitting down is so much easier and there is a chance of not flashing my undies when I have to pick stuff up (like Scott's thong at the supermarket today).
This pattern has princess seams and a square neckline. The back is really high, which makes it a little hard to zip up. I really like the straps, which are curved slightly to sit flush with the skin and allow a narrower front than back.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ottobre for my boy

I have recently made some new clothes for DS, but since they are good clothes, and he is generally grubby, I haven't bothered to take some photos until now. I am lazy so of course the shorts are the same pattern, as are the shirts.

The shirt is from issue 2/2003. This is a really good issue, I think I have made at least 6 of the patterns as well as an applique. This particular shirt (#27) has raglan sleeves with extra darts that you can topstitch as well as the usual pocket and collar (no actual stand but has that look rather than the lapelled effect.

The shorts are the "Ahoy" ones from 3/09 (Summer issues of Ottobre are the best I reckon).
The pattern came together really well, I left of the drawstring because I couldn't find something that I liked at home. The denim is leftover from my jeans, and the dog print is a SL poplin, again left over from Scott's first birthday outfit

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I love Burda because

1. One issue can have many fabulous patterns
2. I can easily morph two or three patterns together
3. They are drafted so well.

This dress is #109 from Burda 5/2010. Actually, the dress is also from 3/2009. I traced the 109 and then layed it over another tracing to get the flare that I wanted. I like swishy over hip hugging. I actually wanted the neckline from #140, a plus size, but at the timeI did not feel like grading down a few sizes, I just wanted to sew.

The fabric is a cotton stretch, which is a dream to sew. I used the facing that came with the pattern, since I think it is crazy to add a lining to a Summer dress. The fabric is surprisingly opaque.

I took in the strap seam an extra 1.5cm, I suppose to account for my sloping shoulders. But I did forget to take out under the arm to compensate before cutting and sewing on the facings, so I did just fudged it a bit and called it a day. When I tried it on, I had the whole horrible, stick-out thing happening at the back, but it mostly went away when I extended the dart an extra 1.5cm.
I have already traced another pattern but using #106 to get the square-ish neckline that I want. I think that will be a lot more flattering on me that this ultra wide neck. I do like the way the straps widen towards the top.

I traced Burda Easy Fashion (2009) #4 pants a while ago. I liked that they have a wide waistband with a little fly and button closures (rather than the fly all the way up). I am pretty sure I traced the size 40 (which is my hips size, not my waist, I figured I could take the waist in). I actually traced these off between lengths, for long shorts. No way would I ever wear shorts like that.
I used a stretch poly rayon bengaline. When I tried them on, I was really dismayed. They were pretty tight. The pockets sticked out, making me look wider. And they come right up to my natural waistline (which is high, I don't like them that high). I really wanted to chuck them, because I really thought that the sizing must be different for the Easy Fashions. It is not apparently, and when I layed it over my other pants patterns, it was the same. Maybe I have put on a little weight.
Now that they are finished, I realise it is a pretty good fit after all. And I like how the bottom of the leg starts to flare out.
I was ultra confused about the pockets, which extend out to the fly, and because it is all in German (and being to lazy to find another pattern with a similar pattern piece), I just slapped it together any which way.
My next pair of shorts is going to be from Jalie 2909 (or 2908, the stretch woven pants anyway, not the jeans). When I layed this pattern over the Jalie one(have misplaced my tracing, argh), they are a similar draft, but the Jalie has a narrower waistband and no pockets. I do like to have pockets (to shove pens in when I am at work) but maybe I will be able to add bound pockets to them, like a pair of Esprit capris that I have.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Rainbow nightie

Okay, my theory for the dye patterns was this: blue dye reacts slower than any other colour dye. There are some little dots of dirt on my tray, since it was kept all winter up against the shed in the garden, and somehow the slow moving blue was attracted to the dirt and then reacted or stained the fabric from there.

Usually procion dyes will only react and bond to the fabric within a short time frame, not the 2 and a bit days my fabric was sitting there. It can stain I imagine.

Look at how pretty the fabric looks made up. This is a nightie for Jalisa. I used the freebie Ottobre singlet pattern (obviously shortening it by folding the pattern) and used the width of the fabric for the skirt. I tried gathering by zig zagging over some string - worked like a treat.
Thought I should take a picture of Scott too, since he has new jammies too. I reverse coverstitched the hems but got lazy with the neckline and just turned and topstitched. Tee is from Kwik Sew for Toddlers, shorts are some Ottobre pants (the pattern is for woven, but I used a size 62, so it works in a knit fabric without being too baggy).

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Aliens visited our house.

Last weekend, I used my dyeing tray to dye some rainbow coloured fabric for a nightie for Jalisa. I covered it with garbage bags and left it for a couple of days. I checked on it over the course of the two days that I left it, but boy did I recieve a surprise. I found all these little blue rings all over the fabric. Tiny crop circles if you like. It was a bit of a mystery at the time, but I think I have the mystery solved.

Can you guess what caused the blue circles?

Friday, October 01, 2010

Jalie 2908 - stretch jeans

When I saw Dawn's Jalie jeans on her blog, I was inspired to buy this pattern. She churned out some awesome jeans and it made me believe that I could too.

Being the lazy sewist that I am, the pattern sat there for awhile. I only trace patterns when I am in the mood, and it is not often. Meanwhile, Liz created some jeans from Ottobre which seemed to enthuse my mood for creating my own jeans once again.

I found some denim in my stash which seemed to have some stretch that I thought would work for a test pair. I read all the reviews and tips that I could find (mostly on Patternreview, a site I haven't really looked at in years).

Anyway, here they are.
Based on my measurements, I went with a size U. However, my denim is not a stretchy as the 20% recommended, so I used 6mm seams at the side seams instead of the 1cm allowed for by Jalie. I had read that the pattern can be a little tight in the thighs, and with my saddlebags, I am wondering if I need to add extra when I use this pattern next.

My sewing machine was happy topstitching with upholstry thread in the top and regular in the bobbin (apart from the buttonhole). I used Gutermann 887, which is golden brown.

I used a regular zipper, not the metal jeans ones. I could have bought a shorter one - the 8 inch was plenty big. I couldn't find any jeans needles, but my universal size 14s worked fine.

Love the back view. I have to wiggle to get them on, but they are comfy when all zipped and buttoned up.

I used the low rise version which was a good length for me (but then again, I am short waisted and have a long mid section).
I will be making these again, in denim as well as stretch cord.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

SSS Day 25 and 26

Outfit: Anthropologie inspired tee (with ruching) and cord pants
Plans: Visit the Gold Coast to visit family holidaying and to book a unit for our annual Christmas holidays. It wasn't exactly beach friendly, but it was comfortable and warm enough during the winds and light shower.
Outfit: Beige cotton lycra tee (kwik sew 3003, vee neck version) and bonds tracksuit pants. I later changed into a beige short sleeve tee and black cotton skirt.
Plans: Today I dyed, raked up some grass and pottered around the house, hence the house clothes.

Friday, September 24, 2010

SSS Day 24

Outfit: Red wool blend pants (Burda), rayon elastance tee.
Plans: grocery shopping, hanging out with my SIL and 3 nephews
Yesterday I wore old, me made clothes. This morning when I was washing windows and dyeing, I wore an old black cotton lycra tee and red stretch cotton poplin pants.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Outfit: New black wool dress and metallic cardi
Plans: I cleaned this morning in my PJs then dressed up to drop the kids at SIL for a playdate. DH is taking me to the movies.

Black wool blend dress

I used the same Burda dress pattern as my rainbow dress - bascially a princess seamed, A-line dress. The straps are from Burda too but they are supposed to be pleated and I like them sewn in flat. I had to add to the length of them, but I did make them a little too long and now they slip off.
The fabric is a wool lycra fabric that I have had stashed since my uni days. I think I would have bought it from Lincraft. I lined it in a cotton nylon fabric.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

SSS Day 21

Outfit: Rayon elastane knit dress. I made the pattern by morphing a top and skirt from Kwik Sew (3003 and 3032 I think). I think the top and skirt would have been more flattering on me, but I only realised after it was made.
Plans: Going to SILs to get my hair cut and coloured.

Monday, September 20, 2010

SSS Day20

Outfit: Pink rayon (?) elastane knit tee with grey wide leg burda pants
Plans: Birthday cake prep, small family party for Scott and FIL, my parents over for birthday dinner.

Karen - it wasn't really warm enough for cotton voile yesterday!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

SSS Day 19

Outfit: White cotton lycra tee (modified kwik sew), cotton voile gored skirt (burda)
Hair:Pin curls set.
Plans: Shopping
There is no picture from day 18. When I finally got dressed, I wore an black velour skirt (ahem, old maternity one), a beige tee and a grey marle hoodie. I did not even brush my hair. It was not a good day.

Friday, September 17, 2010

SSS Day 17

Outfit: Kwik Sew jumper (sweater knit) and modified Kwik Sew skirt (rayon elastane knit)
Plans: School drop off, grocery shopping, chores at home

Thursday, September 16, 2010

SSS Day 16

Outfit: Anthropologie inspired tee (based on a Kwik Sew pattern) and cotton paisley print skirt (Burda)
Plans: Help out in Jalisa's class with guided reading group, tutoring this afternoon.

SSS Day 15

Outfit: Cotton voile peasant top (Burda) and cotton washer canvas shorts ( modified Burda)
Plans: School drop off, into work on my day off and special lunch for my boss who is getting married on Saturday.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

SSS Day 14

Outfit: Cotton linen pinstripe shorts (modified Burda), metallic shirred shirt (Burda pattern).
Plans: Work

Note: my name badge was on straight! It looks wonky sometimes.

Kbenco (sorry, don't know your name) asked what Burda pattern yesterday's black pants were. They are actually two patterns morphed: 107A from 1/2006 for the curved waistband/pockets and the straight legs 113 from 8/2003. I tend to use the Burda's I have already, so they tend to be from the mid noughties, unless I borrow them from the library. I can and sometimes do buy them single issue from Crafty Mamas but I tend to be a staples girl and use my patterns over and over.

Monday, September 13, 2010

SSS Day 13

Outfit: Burda wool pants, Burda striped cotton voile blouse with flutter sleeves and Burda blue jacket
Plans: Work

I recieved quite a few compliments today, especially on the blouse. Most people were surprised that I had made my entire outfit.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

SSS Day 12

Outfit: Cotton elastane tee (Kwik Sew), stretch metallic cardi (Kwik Sew) and rayon blend pants (Burda)
Plans: Sunday School movie day, schlepping around the house

Saturday, September 11, 2010

SSS Day 11

Outfit: Kwik Sew tee in rayonc elastane and thrifted skirt that I slightly revamped.
Plans: Library and general chores around the house (dishes, washing etc)

Friday, September 10, 2010

SSS Day 10

Outfit: Kwik Sew sweater knit jumper and Kwik Sew asymmetrical skirt.
Plans: Taking daughter to get a check up at the doctor, general schlepping around the house.

Confession: I did not even brush my hair or wash my face for the 11:20 appointment.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

SSS Day 9

Outfit: Hot pink cotton lycra tee (modified Kwik Sew, my jewel neck standby) and stretch poplin skirt (Burda)
Plans: Parent teacher interview and grocery shopping. Tutoring ended up being cancelled.

Confession: Yesterday I had school photos so I had to wear our school uniform. I never got around to taking a photo of me yesterday, so you will just have to imagine the 2 sizes too big maroon, bright yellow and bottle green polo shirt (tunic length on me - so eww).

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

SSS Day 7

Outfit: Burda jacket, Burda straight leg pants and peasant top (modified from a Burda dress pattern)
Plans: Work day, including playground duty that ended up being quite full on.

Monday, September 06, 2010

SSS Day 6

Outfit: Purple ruched sleeve tee, adapted from Kwik Sew pattern, Kwik Sew jumper and Burda pants
Plans: Teaching at school then professional development afterwards.

I wasn't sure what the weather was going to be like this morning, since it was been raining. You know, sometimes we get warm rainy, sometimes we get cold rainy. It ended up clearing and became really warm, too warm for my half sleeved tee.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

SSS Day 5

Outfit: Black Burda twirl skirt, off white Kwik Sew tee, blue Burda jacket.
Plans: Father's Day lunch with DH's family.
Notes: Possibly cold out in the country, so need a jacket for Justin (you know, just in case)

Saturday, September 04, 2010

SSS Day 4

Outfit: Burda blouse and skirt - both made by me this year.
Plans: Going to a first birthday party and a high tea bridal shower.
Thoughts: This is the first time that I have worn this blouse. I quite like the style of both the blouse and skirt, but I have actually tweaked some other Burda patterns to be a little more what I was going for (twirly skirt with less work, blouse with less wide but still open neck and slightly less puffy sleeves_.
Above was my afternoon outfit. Here is what I wore this morning.

Outfit: Blue rayon poly knit tank (circa 2000), hand dyed cotton lycra skirt, fabric curlers.
Plans: Chores, wrangling children and general around-the-house schleping.

Afternoon outfit again:
Confession: I move the photos around so that my schleping photo would not be on those blog lists people have!

Friday, September 03, 2010

SSS Day 3

Outfit: Rayon elastane tee from modified Kwik Sew pattern (changed the neckline) and rayon linen blend bias cut skirt.

Plans: School drop off, cleaning, maybe some sewing or pattern tracing.

Thoughts: It is nice to see how my sewing has evolved. A few years ago, I just about only made elastic waisted skirts. They were so easy and quick. Now I prefer skirts with a wide waistband (or yoke, not sure which it is. Burda says yoke) and invisible zipper.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

SSS Day 2

Outfit: Polka dot peasant top from thrifted fabric and rayon elastane knit skirt (modified Kwik Sew pattern). I also had a green cardi that I had made this morning when it was chilly.

Plans: Helping out with morning groups at school, grocery shopping, general chores around the house and tutoring after school.

Confession: I couldn't find any shorts or pants suitable for exercise, so I wore some store bought ones with a tee that I made to my PT session.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Self Stitched September (SSS) Day 1

Outfit for Day 1: Burda blouse (white and silver) with shirred waist, Burda straight black wool pants and Kwik Sew metallic cardi.

Plans: School drop-off, buy some zippers, home to sew, and regular chores like washing and dishes.

Thoughts: A little dressier than I would normally wear for sewing and chores, but I wanted to start off the month with a bang rather than a fizzle. I will have to change this arvo as I have a personal training session at work.

Here is the first garment finished this month.

Burda gored skirt, like my jade version, again with godets. I actually made the godets a little longer this time, and added them at the side seams.
Fabric is a rayon polyester faille ( I think). It has been in the stash since my uni days, so I have to set up my old computer to look up my fabric stash record if I wanted to properly identify it exactly.
I love twirly skirts.