Friday, April 12, 2013

Second serve of Tiramisu

I made myself a second Tiramisu after finding myself wearing my first version to work on a weekly basis. I bought this lovely and bright cotton lycra fabric specifically for this pattern, but in it's first wash (with the fabric for this dress), it developed a few blue stains. Note to self - don't be lazy wash only like colours together in their first wash.
Being the second run through, it went together very quickly. I couldn't remember if I had moved the notches on the pattern like Steph had suggested in an email to me. It does show up some drag lines on the midriff that I don't notice in real life.
The weather is starting to cool down now, so I am going to experiement with layers to see how long I can wear this for. I am a wimp when it comes to cold weather - I do like to wear bright colours but need to wear a few long sleeved layers normally, so not sure I would cope wearing the shorts sleeves during a cold day. For my next version. I am thinking of changing the bodice to a tank style and keeping the waistband and skirt portion. Maybe I should think of doing something with sleeves for wintertime.
I should add that to my to-do list which, as like most sewist, is a mile long. I am contemplating a show entry (for which I have less than a month to get done), dreaming of new jackets but currently working on some wool pants which I thought was going to be an easy project but giving me grief with lots of wrinkles.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Good sewing day, bad sewing day

Thursday was a good sewing day. After shopping for groceries, I devoted the day to sewing some pants. Normally I get a bit distracted when sewing for any longer length of time and will usually finish a pants project over 2 or 3 days. I kept going at these since I want to increase my sewing production, and have other projects I want to get onto.
The pattern is Jalie 2909. I have made this pattern several times but always as shorts, never actual pants. Like the jeans, I folded out a little of the flare to make the legs more straight. 2.5cm each side seam, so a total of 10cm of flare is removed from each leg. The pattern uses a stretch woven pattern. I did add some length to the back crotch length as per usual (based on my pants block) but obviously the block doesn't translate as well. I will continue to make these pants as they are uber comfortable, maybe just trying different alterations each time. I just need to find some more bengaline. This stuff is so lovely.
I used a charcoal grey cotton/nylon/lycra bengaline, purchased from The Fabric Store in January of last year. There is a slight woven stripe running down the length of the pants. Like the Jalie jeans I just finished, I used a curved waistband borrowed from a Burda pants pattern. Before topstitching around the waistband, I quickly basted the inner band so that it is very neat on the inside.

Saturday was not a great sewing day. I was going great guns when I realised I had made a boo boo and had traced a pattern 2 sizes two big (bad memory - I thought my last My Image pattern was one size larger than my burda pattern, turns out it is actually one size less). The underbust seam is close to my waist and it is huge. And there is not way of fixing it at the moment. 

Friday, April 05, 2013

Two simple knit tops

I have used Kwik Sew 3242 before to make the skirt pattern but this was the first time making the top. Not much to write about, I just wanted something simple that wasn't my usual Jalie tee. The fabric is Stella knit from Crafy Mamas Fabrics. For some reason, I had a lot of trouble using my coverstich on the binndings. It did not like sewing them and kept missing stitches. Perhaps it was the new green thread I was using, I had already inserted new needles.

The cowl top is from the Winter 2011/12 edition of the My Image magazine. I just left the sleeves off and turned the sleeve allowance in (seeing as I had had a lot of trouble with the bindings on my last knit project). I bought the material from The Fabric Store in Brisbane when they were having their 40% off sale. It is a delightful rayon knit which ended up just being one of those painful fabrics. First, it stretched out when I had washed it. I purchased 1m and ended up with close to 1.7m. And it was off grain. Decided at that point I needed to treat it more carefully and wet the fabric and let it dry flat.

After letting it dry the second time, it was more on-grain so I cut out the top and sewed it up. The coversitch machine hated it, so I did the arms on the sewing machine and only hemmed it on the CS. After one wash, it has stretched out of shape  (my fault,must have cut it off grain after all); shredded at the hem, made a hole where I have topstitched. And it wrinkles like crazy.
I do like the colour though.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

An oldie but a goodie

I spend a portion of my day at work sitting on the floor. Generally it is when we are playing literacy games that require a flat surface (most desks are at different heights making it near impossible to play memory). I need to sit on the floor to preserve my back - I simmply cannot sit on a chair when kids are on the floor. Most days this term I have worn shorts to work, but I have also started wearing my Tiramisu dress because it's full skirt keeps my modestly when I am on the floor. And it is comfortable and fun.
I wanted to make some more knit dresses suitable for work. I have made another unblogged Tiramisu but I wanted something for Winter. I bought this plaid ponte and immediately thought of the perfect pattern to make it in - Burda magazine 9/07 #121, a knit pinafore dress. However, my old university lecturer popped into my head at that moment and I wondered if the dress was practical enough for work with the pegged hemline. He told us to our work attire should be professional, practical and comfortable and I have always stuck by these rules because that is what I do(I used to take it to the extreme and wear joggers in my first year out).

Too bad Dennis. I will be wearing the dress to work whether it fits your rules or not. It is so comfortable and will be great for wearing in with 3/4 and full sleeved tees in all sorts of colours and of course stockings.

 I made the dress entirely on the sewing machine, as I though the overlocker would add to much bulk at the seams. I also wanted to baste the seams first and try on because I was afraid the dress wouldn't fit properly. I shouldn't have worried because the fit is spot on and I am sold on working with ponte. Actually, I lie. I did go back and overlock the seam joining the bodice to the waistband for added stability.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Jalie jeans - finally something to show

It has been awhile since I sewed some jeans. Not counting some shorts made with the same pattern, I haven't made jeans since June 2011. It has also been a long time since I used my fabulous blue HG Palmer Princess sewing machine, aquired for the sole purpose of sewing through the thick layers of denim. So long that I had forgotten how to thread the thing and spent a good hour trying to get it to sew nice. Turned out I was threading it fine, but had put the needle in the wrong way.

This time around, I made a few changes. First, I straighted the leg. I just folded out the flare from the knees down. The other change was using a curved waistband and a contrast fabric for the inner waistband to reduce bulk. I used a waistband from a Burda pattern - I measured the flat pattern at the stitch line and only had to reduce 1cm from the centre back to fit correctly.
I have a heap of back pockets saved on my computer and this one looked the easiest. I made a template on some paper first and used a plate to make the curved lines. Then I just drew the lines on the pockets with chalk. I did forgot to edgestitch the top of the pocket before I sewed it onto the jeans.

When I make myself another pair, I plan to make the seam allowances wider. The only time I had trouble with the princess was when sewing through just 1 layer of denim (when topstitching the second row, it was just outside of the seam allowance and thus 1 layer only). The thread would break over and over. Yet it never broke at any other stage. This machine lives for sewing through layers. The most layers it achieved was when sewing on the belt loops. The loops are 3 layers, but then they are folded over so that is 6. Add the 4 layers of the waistband with the seam. that is 10 laters of fabric. The jeans only just fit under the presser foot too.

Work has been a lot more stressful than I could have imagined. Weekends have been usy and I have spent too much time surfing the net, looking at everyone's wonderful projects and feeling inadequate with my creative output. I did not feel like blogging about my simple knit fabric projects which were staggeringly easy but all I could manage.
After spending the first couple of days of my break feeling down in the dumps, I decided to do what I love, even if it not the latest pattern or fabric. I love sewing, I dress for comfort and this is my chance to get out of the rut I am in. I finished these jeans and another dress and have taken photos and I am now feeling very enthused, relaxed and refreshed.