pattern review · sewing

{ PENDRELL } Perfectly…

This soft drapey black georgette was screaming to be a Pendrell, just { SCREAMIN’}.Sewaholic_Pendrell_closeup

Call me a bore, but I really like her in black. Equal parts sophisticated & chic to borderline american football player with those puffy cap sleeves but Im all in on american football players. Dont.dare.judge.

What can I say about the Pendrell that hasn’t already been said?! Well, nuttin’ really. She’s an absolute dream to sew up & an absolute thrill to wear.  Since there are no zips, buttons or any of that crap, she’s easy but like others have reported, somewhat tight to slip on. Once on though, she sits like a glove.

I found the extended length rather ,well…extended but it gave me enough to turn up quite a wide hem which Im so in love with so I didnt mind. I also took the opportunity to make little slits to the side seams before hemming. Apart from that, I sewed in the neck binding as per the instructions but opted to omit the armhole bindings & just turned them under & sewed….easy peasy.Sewaholic_Pendrell_side

While version C is a simple princess seamed blouse, the other two versions with cap sleeves or frills bumps this pattern up from being plain jane to unique & quite pretty. I have to admit that I am in { LOVE }.

Im digging Miss Pendrell so much Im thinking I might just take the time to increase the length & width to make it a dress. { WHAAAA }.Sewaholic_Pendrell_front

Imagine. All this loveliness in dress form.

Folks, thats all for today….now onto #SewDollyClackett 🙂

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pattern review · sewing

{ DATURA } Splat!

You know how excited I was for the Datura to drop through my box last week….I dont need to tell ya again do I?! Postage was super fast & efficient, direct from { PARIS }.

I got matching fabrics, cutting & sewing before the pattern could even make it to storage.  I decided to go for a version without the peter pan colour and without the cutouts & chose a fushia pink satin for the yoke which I used on the reverse side because I found the depth of fushia better and I didnt want the bling bling of the shiny shiny. The fushia pink I had used previously for another top but there was sufficient left over to cut the yoke although I will admit to having overestimated just how much, resulting in me having to cut the inner back yoke as two pieces instead of one. I just didnt have enough fushia to cut it on the fold so it means I have a join on the inner back. No great shakes coz no-one sees it – I just thought Id be honest coz Im down like that 🙂 I  used the offcut from my Cloudy Day Dress to cut the front & back pieces.

I think they make an unexpected combination that works well.Deer&Doe_Datura_front

Normally when a brand is new to me, I usually cut the pattern a size bigger just incase the fit is small. In the recent past you will have noticed all my efforts in this regard have taught me that cutting a size bigger is not really necessary because I usually have luck with sizing. Not this time Im afraid { SOB SOB }.  I decided to cut the pattern my size & let me just say the fit is snug….snugger than I’d like. Wearable of course, but snug! { DOH  DOH DOH ! }  So, I’ll be going back to my madness method in future. We live ‘n learn huh. Deer&Doe_Datura_sideDeer&Doe_Datura_top

This particular Deer & Doe pattern is marked as { ADVANCED }. I agree but disagree because although the yoke is tricky, I wouldn’t necessarily call it advanced sewing. Nevertheless, once you’ve gotten past the yoke, she comes together lightning fast. I did find the instructions a little hit ‘n miss in places but totally workable.

In lieu of using buttons to the back, I went for silver press studs/snaps instead. The buttons are not functional, ie. you dont need them to get the blouse on & off, but it does add a lovely touch to the back, one Id never omit because I love the button back detail. I purchased the Hemline brand Starter Kit snaps that has all the pieces plus the plastic tool for inserting these suckers. Well let me just say that even the hubster had a hard time with these things. { NIGHTMARE }. They instruct you to work on a hard, flat & impact proof surface. Fine. But once you hit that sucker with a hammer, the top of the stud gets stuck in the plastic holder & once you’ve managed to pry it out, the top of the stud is flattened!! We didn’t even whack it very hard, { PROMISE }!!! Indeed, practice made perfect but dear me, after ruining 4 or 5 studs in the process. Anyway, it adds a nice element to the blouse so lets forgive & forget shall we. Deer&Doe_Datura_snaps

Oh yeah, I constructed using fushia pink thread which looks kinda cool especially around the button placket and hem. Had I used buttons, I probably would have either used pink buttons or sewn the buttons on with pink thread. Plenty time for experimentation in the future ‘ey.Deer&Doe_Datura_back

Highly recommend the Datura. Will definitely be making more…. in a size larger! Im thinking pastels for spring this year and a plain white one for summer….Hmmmm.

Thanks for popping by x

pattern review · sewing

{ LIESL & CO } The Weekend Getaway blouse…

I could say I had my eye on this pattern for some time, however I had kinda forgotten about it because there were all sorts of other patterns clouding my mind, for instance, the Belladone, the Anna, the Pendrell! Sometimes you need a gentle reminder though….My reminder came in the form of a lightning strike when Sew Busy Lizzy posted about her Liesl & Co Weekend blouse earlier in December. Seeing her Hawaiian version reminded me how lovely this little pattern was & I downloaded it immediately so Id never have to forget again.

Purchasing & downloading the pattern was super simple. I printed it off during the holidays & although it took a few head scratches to get it all glued together, once it was done, I was well on my way to sewing bliss. Their PDFs are a little unique in the sense that they are printed & put together differently to what you  may already have experienced with PDF patterns. A few of their pages are printed with 2 parts of the same pattern piece on one A4 for instance so you need to cut off the side of one to fit to another if you catch my drift. Its not complicated, its pretty easy really because each corner has a corresponding letter & number but it can be confusing at first. After figuring all the glueing, sticking & cutting out, I quickly made the FBA just incase I needed it. The instructions for the FBA are included in the pattern too!!Liesl&co_weekend_getaway_blouse

I wanted to make the dress but since I had no experience with the sizing of these patterns, I thought I would “muslin” up the blouse to check  before cutting into some nicer fabric. I used a piece of the polka dot crepey georgette I used to make NL6242 years ago. It had been languishing in my stash waiting for this opportunity. I then realised quite early in the project that the sizing was working well so it was quickly upgraded from muslin to the real deal. I had cut a size bigger than I should have but I was glad I had the extra fabric to make some little adjustments. Liesl&co_weekend_getaway_blouse_back_pleat

Sewing this blouse couldn’t be easier. I love the little pleat to the back and I love how the front comes together in the centre. I dont really understand why the back neck facing needs to be separate/different from the front facings so next time I might do those all in one thereby avoiding the bulk at the shoulder seams. I also sewed my front pieces together with a wider seam than instructed but thats only because I had the extra fabric to play. I would have made them wider if I had had more & again, I might adjust the pattern to allow for an even wider fold-out on the centre front for the dress.  I chose to french seam my shoulder & side seams which gives the blouse a lovely soft feel inside, with no tattered edges. { PLEASED }. I omitted the pockets coz I dont like pockets pasted right on my boobies  but I can imagine the pockets looking good with some fabrics.Liesl&co_weekend_getaway_blouse_back

All in all, I would highly recommend this pattern. Its a couple of hours with no difficulty at all and I can’t wait to try the dress with some lovely contrasts.

I still need to put together a post/review on the denim skirt you see with this blouse…coming soon, promise!

Here’s to more happy sewing in 2014 x

sewing

{ TICKING OVER } New projects…

I fell instantly in love with a few of the garments featured in the La Mia Boutique magazine in September. Anna of Paunnet showcased a few on her blog & I knew right there I would have to find that magazine. I was unsuccessful in locating a newsagent in my neck of the woods who stock this mag but after much searching, I found two suppliers online in Europe who could send the magazine on so I quickly ordered this issue before it sold out. I could have driven all the way into Vienna to the bigger newsagents but then again, I might well have just driven to Italy to pick one up myself too. Isnt Europe amazing like that 🙂

So, first up I traced this blouse : La_Mia_Boutique_09/2013/06

Then I traced this blouse :

La_mia_boutique_09/2013/08

which looks boring from the front, but the back is gorgeous so you’ll have to wait until I make this to see… :

& then I traced off this dress : La_mia_boutique_09/2013/11

those pleats!!! I mean, what is is about a pleat that gets me so excited? Anyone else suffer from the same wonderful addiction to pleats ?

So these 3 patterns should keep me busy for, oh lets call it a month or so. Did any of you purchase the September issue of LMB? & if so, which garment/s do you plan on making? Oh, & since October is now here, what are your plans for #RedOctober? I found some knit fabric in a lovely red yesterday but Im still not sure it will become.

I guess I also need to start thinking about what to knit since it would seem we just missed Autumn completely & nosedived straight into Winter.

Trust you are all having fab weekends so far…

sewing

{ BURDASTYLE } August is out…

After taking a break from BurdaStyle in feb & march, much was my irritation when I realised march probably had the nicest offerings in a long time…the open back dress & a few other things – uuuurrrgh. If anyone has a copy of march they dont want, please feel free to send it my way ok.

August is out & as much as I am bummed to see Fall/Autumn already in the mag, I feel kinda excited about it because there are a few pieces that make me oooh & aaaah….3 of my favourites being :

burda_style_augu_2013

The peplum top which I love because its a combination of frills & pleats…pleats being my absolute favourite thing { EVAH }. The blouse on the top right Im digging because it looks so over-the-top feminine. Problem with this collar is if you use the wrong fabric, your’e on the super highway to Bobo the clown & we dont want that. Now my favourite is that black leather jacket/blazer….dear me, look at those poofed sleeves, with pleats { BLOW MY WHISTLE } – that is soo cool Im already thinking of what colour I should make that in…

There are some other cute pieces in the August magazine as well, but for now, these 3 have me plotting & planning. Off to the leather shop I go….

pattern review · sewing

{ McCALLS 6650 } Keyhole blouse…

mccalls6650_frontAt the heart of this blouse is McCalls 6650 however I made enough changes to the neckline for it to essentially be any basic blouse front & back with modifications.  I used McCalls 6650 because I needed a basic bodice but also because it mentions the blouse is loose fitting, I wanted to see exactly how loose fitting before I made a 6650 of my own, neckties, sleeves & all. The reviews thus far have been somewhat mixed however the majority of sewers have mentioned the fullness of the necktie being a little too full & some of you had mentioned the sleeves causing some restriction.

Anyhow, below are the deets on how I did it :

{ DESCRIPTION } As already mentioned : loose fitting, pullover tops with gathered front neckline and back-button placket. Various options on no sleeves, short sleeves or long as well as no neck tie finished with binding or bias collar which extends into ties.

{ FABRIC USED } I found a soft striped rayon georgette with some stretch on the width. The colours dont immediately read summer, but I think the lime green & orange make it a great fabric for all seasons.

{ SIZING } I cut my usual size allowing for a little extra on the hips however trimmed this off on first fitting because the blouse was loose enough without the extra.

{ INSTRUCTIONS } I did not follow the instructions.

{ CHANGES } I cut only the front & back of this pattern as if I was going to make up View A. I cut the front on the width of the fabric & the back on the length allowing for the stripe/pattern change between the back & front. Since this blouse was so simple, I wanted to add some detail to avoid it being too plain.mccalls6650_side1mccalls6650_side2

I stitched the side seams & shoulder seams together & then fitted & made adjustments to the sizing to suit me. I then measured how low I wanted my keyhole to sit, marked it & cut straight  to that point down the centre of the front. Once the blouse was back on the cutting table, I shaped the  keyhole using pins & then re-fitted. At this point I also lowered the neckline so that it wasnt sitting so high & added 2 small pleats each side of the keyhole to keep the shape & avoid the “flaps” from sagging.mccalls6650_closeup

I omitted the placket/buttons to the back because the top would still slip over my head due to the keyhole.

I made strips of binding using the same fabric & got on with binding the keyhole first, then the neckline allowing the neckline binding to cover the tops of the keyhole & allowed extra for the keyhole opening ties. I did not make these strips on the bias because the fabric has sufficient stretch however the keyhole could have benefited from a bias strip not only to get it easier around the curve but also because a bias strip would have given the keyhole a diagonal stripe which would have looked quite cool. In hindsight, I could have gone narrower with the binding but as you probably know, sewing binding is not the easiest to do with a rayon because its hard to keep its shape, unlike cotton which is a breeze to bind with.mccalls6650_back

{ LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY } ** Super easy at first, but the binding was a beeatch to get right!

{ TIME } Cutting & sewing up the side seams & shoulders took under an hour. The fiddling around with the keyhole & binding took almost 3 times as long as the rest.

{ LESSONS LEARNT }  Sewing slow will minimize top stitching mistakes & get you your desired finish!!

{ SUM IT UP } I really like the way this blouse turned out, especially the clash of the stripes on the sides. I can wear this with a pair of jeans or dress it up with a black, cream or army green skirt for work…it just works as a great cross-over blouse.

Many years ago I spotted the image below in a magazine & loved the keyhole tie so I kept the image for inspiration.  keyhole_blouse

I know there are mixed reviews about this pattern but the shape & fit of this blouse is really good IMO. It could be because I have not yet attempted the blouse with the necktie or sleeves….but we shall soon see 🙂

I have already worn this as part of MMMay’13, however I am a little behind on processing the pics for MMMay….should be good to go soon though.

Thanks for stopping by x

chit-chat · sewing

{ VOGUE } New offerings, part II

Vogue have released their part II of new offerings for spring/summer 2013.

Im crushing on 5 of the new patterns ..vogue1348vogue1354vogue8898vogue8904vogue1357

{ All images from Vogue Patterns }

V1348 is a Tom & Linda Platt number – very basic but with the right print could look amazing. Last year I purchased a dress from Zara which was cut exactly like this however the only difference is the back zipper only went up to around the level of the middle back which I personally prefer more – gives the dress some added interest. I see this dress being a stunning LBD, uncomplicated & chic.

V1354 is a grecian style maxi from Anne Klein with stacks of potential. I love the cut of this & I love how inexcusably feminine it is. Prints or plains will work with this dress, short or long but it does look like alot of work all that gathering.  Had this been 4,5 years ago, I would totally have picked this dress for my beach wedding.

V8898 I guess we’ve seen before but for some reason this just looks effortless, both to wear & to make. Casual evening wear or to the office, this pattern is going to sell.

V8904 – funny, when I saw this Marcy Tilton I immediately thought of Mimi G 🙂 This is so her style & I bet it wont be long till we see her in this. Its simple & fun, in a rather sophisticated kinda way…i think. I would love to make it in black too.

V1357 I find this Rachel Comey kinda flirty & fun. The blouse is super cute & I love the centre pleat in the skirt.

So, these are my picks from the new collection. See anything you like ?

Thanks for stopping by & have a good sunday x