pattern review · sewing

{ VOGUE 1127 } Denim basics…

Hello friends…

Last year I was on somewhat of a “basics” kick for some time & this little denim project fitted right in. I had a metre of medium weight denim lounging around my stash for a while & decided to put it to good use. I had purchased a denim skirt a few years ago that I really love but since loosing some weight, its just become bulky around the waist which I do need to take apart & adjust – just haven’t had the time { YOUKNOWHOWITGOES }.

I chose the skirt from the Vogue 1127 Badgley Mischka pattern because it looked like just the right kind of simple; with just two little darts on the back waist, a zip to the centre back & a little slit to the back. What more does a basic need to be.  Here you can see it teamed together with the Liesl & Co Weekend Getaway Blouse which I cant believe received so many oohs & aahs. Thank you so much, you guys rock! Liesl&co_weekend_getaway_blouse

Since I was using denim, I chose not to line the skirt. I only used the waist facings which I cut from some gloriously purple underwear fabric. I have no idea what FABRIC it is, its kinda stretchy but not….but it feels like a dream & the colour is so oh-la-la. I matched my thread to the purple & topstitched the side seams on either side of the seam. I also used the purple to stitch in the zip & used my bar tack stitch to sew down my back slit with a giant arrow screaming {LOOK AT MY ASS}. Love it! In the pic it looks like one side is narrower, but honestly, its just the way the fabric was hanging….I triple checked – the arrow is accurate 🙂  To finish the skirt off, I turned the hem up 6cm & blind hemmed it. Vogue_1127_stitch_detailVogue_1127_skirt_detail_back

I cut the skirt at my size which I usually have no problems with. Unfortunately, this time it was too big. Id rather have too big than too small so I  increased the size of the back darts equally & reattached the waist band. I would benefit from a snuggier fit by taking in the side seams but I ain’t gonna be doing that.Vogue_1127_contrast_dart

Whats not to love? Well, absolutely nothing. Ive been wanting to give the little pussybow top included in this pattern a go but Ive got so many pussybow tops already, could a girl really need another? Come to think of it, the little cropped jacket included here is also very cute…maybe I’ll give that a go too.

Ok, thats all from me for now. xx

pattern review · sewing

{ SIMPLICITY 1642 } Mind the gap…

Friends – I have a hard time believing its almost Christmas again…{ HOLY MOLY } where on earth did the year go huh?! Im trying to sneak in as much sewing as I can into the little free time I have at the moment so this top comes courtesy of November.Simplicity_1642_front

What should have been a quick ‘n easy project turned into a near nightmare. The nature of knits coupled together with THAT gap almost drove me to the looney bin. Which gap you ask?? (Scroll down to see what this little pretty should have looked like).

I had intense issues trying to get the gap level & pucker-less, let alone sans frilly stretch. I eventually decided it would be much safer for me to just stitch it closed & try again another time, than to keep torturing myself. Funny how the easy things sometimes end up giving you the biggest headaches.

I used a piece of the same red knit I bought to make my #RedOctober Polly. As you know, this wasnt my first knit/stretch rodeo so its not like I was novicing this one but for some reason, everything I stitched stretched & warped, rolled & sent me into fits of cursing. I lowered the pressure on the pressure foot right down to zero which helped slightly but I still couldnt get that darn detail on the front to give me what I wanted.

My machine needs an urgent service so Im not too surprised its misbehaving….the agent I had bookmarked to service Sapphy  has been closed for months while the centre renovates & every time I look at their website its another month & another month….Im thinking I may just have to take that day off & drive across country to get her to the doc!! The joys of living { WILD }.

Anyway peeps, here are the deets :

{ DESCRIPTION } Simplicity 1642 – top & skirt. NL1642_top

{ FABRIC USED } A red jersey knit purchased for €6/m.

{ SIZING } I cut my usual size. The bust area fits like a glove but I had to make adjustments to the sleeves because they were way to wide.

{ INSTRUCTIONS } Good to follow & understand.

{ CHANGES / ALTERATIONS } I cut 2 neck bindings in error & didnt want to throw the extra one out. Instead, I cut the extra one in half & used it to bind the sleeve edges. I topstitched the bindings down on both the sleeves & neckline giving them a nice finish. I used my twin needle to finish off the waist hem.

As I mentioned already, I also sewed that front gap shut!! Yes, SHUT. It looked really nice open but no matter what I tried, I just couldn’t get the edges of that opening to sit flat. If anyone has any advice on tape or some kinda trick then Im all ears. It was gaping & misbehaving like a child, I couldnt take it any longer.Simplicity_1642_neck

{ LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY } Really quite simple if you dont have the gaping issues.

{ TIME } November. I was bad!!

{ SUM IT UP } While I do love the idea of the original top with the gap/slit in the front, I dont mind the shut-up version at all really. Its a fantastic basic tee for layering or for when comfort is key & lets face it, there’s less chance of catching a cold. Id recommend this pattern though even if you leave the gap out of the front all together & just use this pattern as a basic basic starter knit tee. There is nothing wrong with having basics in  your wardrobe, especially when they come in the form of { RED }.Simplicity_1642_back

From  friday I will be on a little 2 week holiday from school. Crikey, I need it. Firstly I cant tell you how disturbed my sleep has been since enrolling in Deutsch school. I wake at all hours of the night mumbling stupid german phrases. Have any of you ever had to immerse yourselves into full time, intense language school?  Did you also find your sleep was disturbed in the way I described above ? Is this even normal ? Is it a good sign??

Ive also been working again part time with the hubster, assisting with some admin stuff as he’s taken on a new project. It means more traveling (which isn’t necessarily a bad side effect) but less time with the hubby (which is a terrible side effect). We’ve also had to purchase another car because sharing one became almost impossible. Between the school and the work & trying to find a decent car, its left very little time for sewing. I haven’t even begun to think of knitting…..

So with that, I wish you all a good weekend. Don’t forget to enter my { BLOGIVERSARY GIVEAWAY } which closes on the 20th December.

Till next time xx

pattern review · sewing

{ LA MIA BOUTIQUE } Another berry delight…

This pattern was my first choice on receiving the September 2013 La Mia Boutique magazine. Its so me its scary!LaMiaBoutique_september13_06_front

{ DESCRIPTION } Drapey top with pleated shoulder seams resulting in a cowl back & front.

{ FABRIC USED } An off-cut of the berry Viscose Jersey I used for the Vogue 8827 dress a few weeks back.

{ SIZING } I had no previous experience with the Italian sizing so I erred on the side of caution & cut one size bigger than I would usually have. Turns out I could have cut my size & would have been fine. LaMiaBoutique_september13_06_back

{ INSTRUCTIONS } My Italian sucks so dict.cc worked its magic where I needed to be 100% sure of things but in all honesty, this was a basic sew :: a back, a front, some pleats &  hemming { DONE }.

{ CHANGES / ALTERATIONS } After sewing the front & back together at side seams & shoulder seams, I didnt like the way the pleats looked at the shoulders so I picked them out & snipped off the threads. I much prefer its drapiness without the pleats sewn down.

{ LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY } * Really easy.

{ TIME } An hour and a half at most!

{ SUM IT UP } I liked sewing this and I was impressed at how trouble-free it was to sew, even in Italian! I love the colour that looks good with white, black, grey or brown :: perfect for autumn & winter.

LaMiaBoutique_september13_06

I do have a warning though for those that dont like to show shoulder or décolletage, this top takes on a life of its own. If you have broad shoulders then the top will not fall as easily but I find it slides down quite easily on me.  Do I dare to bend over? Urrrhhhm { NO }.   I think I would make this again & in that case I would make the shoulder section a little narrower. It looks very chic with very little effort.  Highly recommended sew.

Have you considered sewing anything from the LMB September issue ? If so, do let me know.

‘Til next time x

sewing

{ GIFTS } are the best me-mades…

Making things for people can be so rewarding, especially when its for children.

This year I decided to make a special little girl a tutu for Christmas. Her mama said purple & white would be perfect so here it is, finished & ready to be wrapped as beautifully as can be.

Ballet_mystery

Ive never made a tutu before so this first one came out { MUCH } better than I anticipated. All in all, it took around 2 hours and its really easy once you get going & find your rhythm.  The hardest part was holding a little 2 year old still for long enough to take her waist measurement 🙂

I cant wait to see her little face when she sees it 🙂

Have you started with your Christmas sewing ?

pattern review · sewing

{ McCALLS 6173 } Missoni madness…

I made leggings.

Missoni-inspired leggings.

& guess what peeps ? They are super comfie.

The only pants you will find in my wardrobe are jeans { PLENTY } and leggings. I have no other pants…oh no wait I lie, I do have a pair of navy pants & a pair of floral pants I purchased late last year that Ive never worn, but besides those random pairs, I prefer jeans or leggings.

Now Im not one of those girls who flaunts her ass to everyone in sundry when wearing leggings ok. Im quite conservative when it comes to showing ass actually. I dont like to see butt crack, on me or anyone else, & I certainly dont like seeing camel toe! So I keep my privates rather layered over because Im a good girl like that. Call me Old School if you’d like but thats how I roll so leggings only just make the grade in my wardrobe & even then, they have to be super cute & fit really well otherwise they { OUT }.

I like to wear leggings because they layer so well & you can get such awesome leggings these days to brighten up any wardrobe, especially during Autumn and Winter. A little peek-a-boo colour between your boots & a knitted dress is pretty cool IMO. I love to browse the Black Milk website for inspiration. I particularly like their Galaxy leggings as well as their Mermaid variety.

So when I saw this Missoni-inspired fabric, I knew I had to purchase a metre in order to squeeze out a pair of leggings for Autumn. These are the first leggings Ive ever made, but certainly not the last!!

Here are the deets peeps : McCalls_6173_tights2

{ DESCRIPTION }  McCalls 6173 Close fitting pants with various finishes ie. View A has waistband with mock fly front zipper and exposed zippers at the ankles, View B is straight up normal, View C has a normal elasticated waistband with gathered/ruched ankles. I made the straight up B’s.

{ FABRIC USED } 1 metre of viscose jersey purchased via Buttinette.

{ SIZING } Hmmm….I read all the reviews on PR but it was hard to judge on the sizing because stretch fabrics have various degrees of stretch(iness). Based on the envelope sizing, I cut a large but once I sewed the legs together I knew immediately I would drown in them so I cut away & then cut away & cut away some more. Im guessing I cut right down to a small! This is a picture of the leggings laid down under a pair of my store bought leggings. This was { AFTER } the first cut so I still had a way to go before they fit. McCalls_6173_tights1

{ INSTRUCTIONS } Since these leggings are pretty much one piece for each side & a waistband, I didnt even look at the instructions. { SIMPLE SEWING }.

{ ALTERATIONS / CHANGES } Absolutely none..unless you count the sizing issue an alteration.

{ LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY } I know over the summer I branded many a pattern super easy, for instance the McCalls 6751 and the Vogue 2091, this really is the simplest, easiest thing Ive sewn to date & perfect for beginners.

{ TIME } No time at all. An hour at the most providing you dont need to do numerous size adjustments.

{ SUM IT UP }  Highly recommended pattern for a basic legging that you really cant go wrong with. Super comfie if you use the right fabric & easy enough for a real beginner to make. I have short-ish legs so I managed to cut my leggings out of a metre fabric with a nice size offcut down one side. I always keep my offcuts because I know I can use them for something along the way. McCalls_6173_tights3

Have you made leggings ? If so, which ones? Id like to try leggings with some detail next time, not just at the ankle ie. zips or ruching. Id like to give it a go at some point with pleather strips or combination fabrics – could be really fun.

Whatever you do, or wherever you venture this weekend, stay safe x

pattern review · sewing

{ McCALLS 6751 } Stripes ahead…

mccalls_6751_front

I realise this pattern has a big { EASY } button smacked on the front of the envelope & believe me, not only is it easy, but its super { FAST } to sew up too. From cutting to final press, this took exactly 1 hour….& that includes having to take a little break to rest my eyes after the first round of hemming because the stripes were screwing with my eyes. I used the break to fill my tummy with some chilled After Eights but Im sure you didnt come here to read about my chocolate addiction!

This McCalls 6751 pattern shows 4 variations which are all super cute. I chose View A & sewed it straight from the envelope, zero alterations. I omitted the pocket because I find it kinda stupid thats why. The length was fine for me, but for those with long torsos, you will need to make the adjustments.mccalls_6751_back

I used a slight stretch cotton that I cant tell if its navy & white or black & white! When I stare at the stripes too close or too long, my eyes give up. Whatevs, I dig it….& I love how the stripes change direction on the back…OH & the criss-cross back!!!. Instead of using the bias hemming method, I simply hemmed with a small hem using a contrast lime green thread for a little detail of colour which came out looking really cool – I think.mccalls_6751_contrast_stitching

This is super beginner, super easy, super fast which kinda equals { INSTANT GRATIFICATION } sewing. There are endless possibilities with the use of colour, edgings & fabric choices. You could even substitute lace for the back pieces which would look amazing, providing you use the right lace of course.

If you dont already have this pattern in your collection, I highly recommend it. If you already have this pattern, go & make it….you need but 1 hour!

pattern review · sewing

{ FRUSTRATION FUNDAY } Shifting to a wadder…

Ive been wondering why its the simple patterns that have me in a fit sometimes….Why is it that I feel Im so competent in details like the pea coat or my wildest dreams dress but when it comes to some piss-willy basic shift dress, I lose all ability to make it work. Is it me or the freakin’ pattern ?

Not so long ago I was praising New Look patterns. { HA } Big fat HA. I failed to recall I had in fact tried to sew the 6862 shift dress before – in the same fabric too! I mean honestly, WTF was I thinking?! Perhaps I thought because I had tried this pattern back in 2005 & assuming my skill had improved since then (which it absolutely has), why was the second attempt as nasty as the first?  It just looks like a sack!!NewLook_6862_front1

The fabric is so sweet with the borders & the beautiful soft colours. The print is so tight that you can hardly see the seams making it so perfect for this little shift. But Im just not loving it at all & I can already hear the choir singing the muslin song…!!!? But quiet down…if sewing is a religion then no judging please 🙂

My issues with this pattern stem mostly from the fact that it is indeed not a pattern for women with curves. If you have booty, you WILL be screwed by this pattern because without darts to the “skirt” you will have all sorts of nasty everything going on around the middle parts. Which brings me to the suggestion that more pattern companies jump the bandwagon suggesting ,as Vogue calls it “Figure Flattery”, ie. the inverted triangle, the triangle, the rectangle & the hourglass. { GENIUS }. All of those symbols are pretty self explanatory!!

Anyway, Ive started tackling the middles with darts giving the sack some shape & pinned out the top of the border to make the lines cleaner & its beginning to summon up some affection, if only somewhat.

NewLook_6862_front2NewLook_6862_side

I fear that it dont matter what I do to this dress, I will probably never feel comfortable in it so Im playing with the idea of pulling it all apart & using the “scraps” for something else along the line…somewhere!

Frustration doesnt even begin to explain, but what really hurts is the fact that looking at the pattern, it should be an easy sew.

I’ll be letting this stew for a few days…somethings gotta give!!

pattern review · sewing

{ VOGUE 2923 OOP } Clouding around blouson…

Another one of those patterns I have been wanting to make for ages but I was fraught with fear to cut into the “real” piece of fabric until I saw what it would look like on me so I decided to make a wearable muslin…I know, { ME MAKE A MUSLIN }…so I used this poly-cotton blend that I have love for..but not that much love for ifyouknowwhatimean. The pattern specifies a “moderate stretch only” & since rules mean absolutely blow all to me, I decided to wing it with the polycotton which doesnt give as good an idea on the final drape, but definitely gives me enough green light to go on & cut the real deal.

Im quite keen to sew the little jacket included in this pattern too – I like the wavy extended collar down the front & I love that its unlined with a two-piece sleeve…right up my alley. With all the success Ive been having with DKNY lately, Im convinced the jacket will be a hoot.
Anyway, here’s the deets on the blouson – V2923_top_front

V2923_back

{ DESCRIPTION } V2923, now OOP, DKNY loose-fitting, blouson, pull-over with keyhole back opening, thin shoulder straps and elastic waist.

{ FABRIC USED } Poly-cotton blend in black with print. Can you see these are flowers ? Sure you can…then why do I keep saying cherries….dang, must be because Im eating cherries in copious amounts at the moment!

{ SIZING } I cut my usual size for this & it absolutely fits like it should. It is loose-fitting & adjustments can be made to straps.

{ INSTRUCTIONS } I did not use them…therefore I completely forgot to make the keyhole feature to the back – alas, I couldn’t care a less I forgot it.  I sewed the sides using french seams which worked really well & gave such a clean finish to the inside.

{ CHANGES }   Besides the change in suggested fabric, the only other change I made was using black satin ribbon for the straps instead of making it with the same fabric.

{ LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY } * Super easy!

{ TIME } Start to finish, 1 hour.

{ SUM IT UP }  Easy, comfortable, simple – can be made with your eyes closed to be honest.  A great little top that can be worn alone or under a blazer for work – quite versatile really. Because I used the poly-cotton instead of a stretchier, more drapey fabric the blouson is a tad billowy at the bottom but I kinda dig that I can really eat in this & not have to worry about tummy bulge..or at least thats my story!V2923_front_blazer

Also, I think this top could quite easily fit into any maternity wardrobe…with the elasticated waist & the lovely drape, it would absolutely make space for growing tummies & boobies.

Oh & before I forget – I know Ive been reviewing a lot of OOP patterns recently & if your’e anything like me, I have choice words when I cant get hold of an OOP – drives me batty…something to do with being a gemini I think. So if that is the case with you, here are my sincerest apologies { SORRYYYYY }. There, now I feel better.

Thanks for stopping by x

pattern review · sewing

{ VOGUE 2091 OOP } “Hang my head in shame” dress…

I am embarrassed to say Ive had this V2091 pattern, now OOP, since 2001 & never made it…hence the title!

But the shame ends there peeps. V2091_front

This little number is gorgeous in every way – comfortable, easy to sew & versatile. What more could we want from a pattern right. & since this is my first me-made LBD, I couldn’t be more satisfied with the result.

Im not sure why it took me 12 farkin’ years..since it requires no zip or button or any of that crap, it really is probably one of the most rewarding 1 hours Ive ever spent in front of my  Sapphy.  { YEEHAA }. The last DKNY pattern I sewed was the V1027 & I fell head-over-heels for that one so Im thinking I may be developing a serious crush on these DKNY numbers.V2091_backSo below, the details of whats & hows :

{ DESCRIPTION } DKNY Pullover, tapered dress with right side pleats

{ FABRIC USED } Black cotton knit jersey – 2 way stretch

{ SIZING } I cut the 12 & decided to wing it. Sizing turned out great – no thanks to the stretch & the spanx!!

{ INSTRUCTIONS } Easy, simple. Had me snookered for a second at the construction of the darn cap sleeves but otherwise A-OK.

{ CHANGES } None – however next time I do plan to increase the width of the shoulders slightly.

{ LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY } * Super easy, this is beginner frockery at its { BEST }

{ TIME } 1 hour, no serious!

{ SUM IT UP }  Easy, comfortable, simple, classy, casual but can be dressed up ….in one word { MAGIC }.V2091_boatneck

V2091_front1

I look forward to making many many many more of these. Im thinking I should be trying View C next.

Thanks for visiting lovelies…trust you all had a fabulous weekend x

pattern review · sewing

{ COMPLETED } Fiesta Denim shorts…

NewLook6100_pocket_trimI called these the Fiesta shorts because they make me { SOOOOO } incredibly happy…& I think it has more to do with the peek-a-boo colour than anything else.

While I was sewing these shorts, I had an epiphany – Im pretty darn pleased with every single New Look pattern that I have ever used. I find their fit so spot on therefore minimizing fitting issues & baggy this or gaping that. I just love how true & tested these patterns seem to be. Sure, Ive sewn one or two that Ive had choice words for (& in hindsight the problems have probably been me making stupid decisions about fabric choice or short cuts etc), but in the big scheme of things, I seem to be far more pleased with this pattern company than some of the other big names.NewLook6100_front

The weather has been disappointing & rather chilly the past couple of days so I will have to wait for a good sunny day to wear these & photograph them in action. Will update pics when I do so. The Fiesta shorts did not disappoint….so here are the deets :

{ DESCRIPTION }  New Look 6100 from the WORKROOM / Project Runway collection. 2 styles of shorts – one straight leg with cuffs & one flared leg, both with waistbands, pockets & optional waist tie.NL6100

{ FABRIC USED } I blogged about my fabric choice but incase you missed that, I used a light-ish weight denim which I pre-washed before cutting. The denim has a geometric pattern which is not printed on, its actually a burnout…or at least thats what I think its called. For the pocket facings & waist facings, I used a burnt orange taffeta I had in my off-cuts stash.NewLook6100_facing_fabric

{ SIZING } I cut my normal size & had no problems.

{ INSTRUCTIONS } I glossed over but did not refer to them too often. These shorts are pretty basic.

{ CHANGES } I omitted the waist tie so therefore by default omitted the carriers. I also wanted some colour so instead of using the denim for the pockets facings & waist facings, I used the burnt orange taffeta which worked really well & I love the peek-a-boo pop of colour. I had mentioned that I was thinking about using a white cotton embroidery anglaise or something similar for the edges but once I saw the indigo blue & burnt orange together, it just seemed like a match made in heaven. Instead of machine stitching the waist facing down after folding back, I hand stitched which took forever but I prefer it.

I also inserted my zip on the right side. Just because! I did not have a navy zip or an invisible zip so I improvised with a regular black zip. Instead of fussing with making a lapped zip cover to accommodate the regular zip, I simply stitched the zip in the wrong way. Yes it means the zip opens from the inside but who cares. Its in, its invisible & it works. Ok, its not { 100% } invisible  but its not freakin’ bad.

Instead of machine stitching the leg facings (ie. the turn-ups) to the underside, I decided to hand stitch them to the understand thereby allowing me the flexibility to wear the shorts without turning up the bottoms if I wanted to without having the stitch lines showing…{ AH HUH }.

{ LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY } * Easy peasy!

{ TIME } I sewed this together in a couple of hours including screwing around with my trim choice. The handstitching added extra time to my clock but this was a personal preference that does not need to be done.

{ SUM IT UP } I really love these. They are comfie & depending on what fabric you use, they can be super casual or quite dressy. I can imagine these in a polka dot, I can see them in a stripe, the lovely Erica B made an awesome denim pair with stars, but sew them up in a black with gold trim perhaps & you have a chic pair of shorts to pair with a blazer. Im pretty sure this denim pair will not be my last & I love that the pockets open up so many opportunities for creativity – piping, lace trim, ribbon, ric-rac, funky bindings, fun fabrics – the possibilities are endless.

Perhaps its my choice in fabric but without the turn-ups they can look a little pajama-bottom-ish…it may also be because I left off the waist tie. But paired with a nice white cotton frilly tee-shirt, Im thinking PJ-ish or not, they are going to get lots of wear.

Highly recommended ! NewLook6100_pocket_trim1NewLook6100_inner

{ BTW } that nail colour Im wearing that happens to match the shorts so well is Catrice Squeeze Me. Its a really dark charcoal grey with a hint of blue but it has these beautiful gold shimmer undertones in natural light. Im finding it the perfect alternative to my usual black. Catrice_SqueezeMe