Thursday, 4 September 2014

Lola dress

I squeezed in my last winter make just before the weather started getting warm. Hopefully I'll get a few more wears out of it before I pack away the winter stuff.  This is Victory patterns Lola dress.  When I bought the fabric earlier this year (a mystery knit from East Coast Fabrics) it was always going to be a Lola. I kept thinking it might be more useful as a cardigan or sweater but in the end I just went with it.  The pattern arrived promptly from Indie Stitches in an envelope that was sewn shut!  Nice touch.  I borrowed some of this fabric for the neck band for this jumper, which ended up being a bit stupid because no matter how I lay the pattern pieces I could not fit all the pattern pieces!  Even making the sleeves the correct elbow length (I wanted below elbow) still didn't create enough fabric.  To be fair to the pattern, I didn't know how much fabric to buy at the time - totally my fault.  So I just made it up without the hem band and just turned it over with a zigzag stitch.  Thankfully it's not inappropriately short!  I did add the little triangle at the neck although you can barely see it in the photos and IRL.

Pattern: Lola dress, Victory Patterns
Fabric: knit, probably cotton, from East Coast Fabrics Burleigh
Alterations: lengthened the sleeves, omitted hem band, shortened torso

There is a big event in Brisbane this November.  No, not the one with twenty world economies or whatever.  It's Frocktails!  Brisbane is having it's own version on Saturday the 8th of November.  If you haven't already expressed interest please email rosibutton at yahoo dot com dot au to let me know you're keen to come.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Harper *2

I'd been keen to make a Style Arc Harper jacket ever since I laid eyes on Leith's rad version.  There was hesitation to spend about $20 on essentially three pattern pieces but after I realised this would be a style that I would make multiple versions of and wear a lot, the price seemed justified.  Style Arc threw in a free pattern of a different style cardigan that I actually like so that makes it cheaper again.  Right?  So, I love this pattern.  Yep that's Jaywalk fabric that I bought at the announcement of the competition with no idea about what I would make for it and then before I knew it I was viewing the competition winners!  Oh well, I'm glad I bought it.  It's beautiful fabric.  The pattern suggests leaving the edges raw but I turned them and used a narrow zigzag stitch.  This cardi has been on high rotation since making it and the fabric is actually quite cosy.

Pattern: Style Arc Harper Jacket
Fabric: Jaywalk viscose elastane
Alterations: omitted centre back seam and hook and eye closures

I was stoked to find a leftover piece of black merino in my stash that was actually big enough to squeeze out another Harper.  A very quick and satisfying make.  I noticed that the edges of the merino rolled when I pre-washed it so this time I did leave the edges raw and it looks fine.  I may go back and hem the sleeves though.  Again, this is on high rotation. 

Pattern: Style Arc Harper Jacket
Fabric: Black merino from The Fabric Store
Alterations: omitted hook and eye closures

Thursday, 14 August 2014

A couple of winter staples for the boy

Those of you who came to the June Brisbane Spoolettes meet up may remember me lugging these two massive bolts of fleece to the counter at The Fabric Store, with plans to make two small jumpers (sweaters).  I actually made them up quickly after the meetup as they were needed somewhat urgently for winter. I used the Pauley's Pullover pattern from the pattern book 'Sewing For Boys'.  While I was cutting them out I was thinking "it looks a bit too wide and a bit too short".  Sure enough they turned out a bit too wide and a bit too short.  After about a month of high rotation wearing and every time I saw him wearing it thinking "it looks too wide and too short", I brought in the sides and added a band on the bottom (photos done before this). 

Pattern: Pauley's Pullover, from Sewing For Boys pattern book
Fabric: cotton fleece from The Fabric Store
Alternations: Stripe: omitted the waist drawstring, added a hood from this pattern
      Grey: omitted the waist drawstring, added a kangaroo pouch pocket
Alternations round two: brought the side seams in and added a band to the bottom to both (not pictured)

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The cutest pattern in the world

 The cutest pattern in the world, according to me anyway.  It's the Oliver and S School Days Jacket and this is the second time I've made it up.  The pattern comes together much more easily than it looks.  I made this size three with cotton that was supposed to be made into curtains.  Then we moved house and I'm now left with 6 x 1m x 140cm pieces of natural heavy weight cotton!  Now there's only five pieces left that look destined to become little boys clothes.  I used quilting cotton scraps to line the jacket and some acetate lining scraps to line the arms.  I put a contrast cotton at the bottom of the sleeve lining because I knew I would be turning up the sleeves.  I kind of wish I'd made the arms even shorter - I think it's designed for places that actually get cold, like a real cold and the sleeves have to go over the hands to keep them warm.  I used plastic snaps instead of toggles and although they don't look as interesting as toggles, they are far more practical. I left off the pockets as Owen doesn't seen to interested in pockets at the moment and I also shorted the length of the jacket because he's a shortie.  You can't really see it in the photos, but I did all the topstitching in a bright blue thread to match the snaps.

Pattern: Oliver + S digital school days jacket and coat pattern, size 3
Fabric: recycled heavy weight cotton, cotton and acetate scraps for lining
Alterations: arms shortened, length shortened, pockets omitted

Here's some pictures of Hugo in the jacket I made for Owen two years ago.  This is the size 12-18 months and I didn't make any alterations to the pattern.  Since taking these photos, I've added some snaps hidden under the toggles because the toggles have a bad habit of coming undone.  Don't you reckon a cute pattern?  I'm already dreaming of what fabric I'll make the size 2 and 4 in next winter.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Liberty shirt

After a muslin success with this shirt, I was confident to chop into a piece of Liberty Mauverina gifted to me from my mum after a London trip.  Definitely my kind of souvenir.  It is a directional print so I made sure I was feeling fresh when cutting this out.  I was sure I double checked all seam matching but I still stuffed up the side seams!  (You might be able to notice in the last photo).  As the print is busy I'm sure no one will notice but the perfectionist in me is a little annoyed.  I will give myself a pat on the back though for the pattern matching at centre front.  This time I straightened the sleeve seam which was slightly billowy in an eighties way.  Comparing the photos I can't really see that this made a difference though. I'm kind of regretting the purple contrast now.  I don't love the colour and the cotton just doesn't feel as nice as the lawn.  As anyone who has sewn with Liberty before probably knows, the lawn was lovely to sew with and even nicer to wear.  My mum also brought home a piece of Liberty for a shirt for my husband and two boys.  I'm almost finished hubby's shirt, but Liberty for a one year old and three year old?  Almost seems disrespectful.  Perhaps I'll leave it in the stash until they are a little bit less grubby!

Pattern: McCall's 8040, size 12, 1982
Fabric: Liberty lawn in Mauverina, Purple cotton contrast
Alterations: Straightened the sleeve seam, cuffs made longer 

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

So that pattern from the eighties...

Around the same time I pulled McCall's 8040 from my mum's pattern stash, I was noticing some pretty cool tapered, loose fit pants around the place, on blogs and IRL.  And what do you know, the '80s pattern came through with the goods again!  The pants in this pattern have wide straight legs but I thought I would easily be able to taper them in.  I had to smile to myself when I pulled out the pattern and it already had hand drawn lines on the pattern tapering the width!  In 1982 my mum had a 3 year old (me) and my 2 year old brother and here I am thirty-ish years later with a 3 year old and 1 year old making the same pattern with the same alteration.  I'm still a little bit blown away by that.  Clearly this is a mum-friendly pattern.

The pattern also had sections to lower the waistline and shorten the length to a petite fit which I did because I do not like the way high waisted pants feel (see how high they are in the photo).  Unfortunately they still sit a little high for my comfort, but I can just turn down the elastic waist and its perfect.  I could unpick all the stitching and redo the waist a little lower, but you'd just turn the waist over too, hey?

I checked out East Coast Fabrics at Burleigh for the first time and was pleasantly surprised.  Not many rolls of fabric had tags with the fabric details so I was a little nervous approaching the counter.  I got about 4m in total of 3 different fabrics plus elastic and thread and it came to a grand total of $29.  It does mean that I don't really know the content of the fabrics but they feel nice and I think I can guess what they are.  I am guessing that this fabric is a rayon judging by the drape and the fact it can withstand a pretty hot iron.  The pants feel lovely - unfortunately not quite warm enough for this winter at the moment but will get a fair bit of use soon.

I can't believe how gold McCall's 8040 has been!  I am keeping it forever.  Do you have some vintage pattern gold?

Pattern: McCall's 8040, 1982
Fabric: rayon from East Coast Fabrics, Burleigh
Alterations: petite adjustments on pattern, tapered the legs

Thursday, 3 July 2014

A shirt with a history

I was pretty keen to get my hands on the Archer pattern after seeing so many awesome versions around the blogosphere.  But before I spent precious time taping up a PDF pattern, I thought I'd browse my mother's pattern stash and came across McCall's 8040 printed in 1982.  In size 12.  Already cut.  Looks pretty similar, no?  Ok, it's pretty hard to tell from the cover art.  Trust me it's similar.  It also had, what is now a prerequisite for me, a collar stand.  I had some Liberty lawn given as a gift that I wanted to make into a shirt but given the eighties nature of the pattern I thought a wearable muslin was probably wise. 

This gingham is pretty old.  I believe it started life in Betty's stash, then made its way to my mum's, then to mine.  It smelt old.  And the checks didn't look exactly straight.  And it was only 90cm wide - a sign of age right?  While you may think the floral contrast on the cuffs and collar were a creative choice, it was actually because I didn't have enough fabric.  The yoke lining was some leftover chambray too.  Anyway, I made it up exactly from the pattern, which was only in size 12.  The only modification was to make the cuffs a little wider (longer?).  I did all the french seaming, flat felling, placketing and top stitching I learned when sewing my first shirt.  I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out and now have the confidence to chop into the precious Liberty.

Pattern: McCall's 8040, size 12, 1982
Fabric: gingham cotton, floral lawn (possibly from Spotlight - stole from sister)
Alterations: cuffs made wider - actually I think I made them longer.  I don't know.