sewing

{ EASY SILK } Copy Cat top…

Seven Years ago I purchased a lovely simple  pullover top that Ive worn pretty much every week of my life since…Its that lovely.

With easy knit at the back & a gorgeous printed satin in the front, it started to look a little worse for wear. Ok, ok…it looked a little worse for wear around 3 years ago already but for some reason, I still see it as pristine as it was the day I carried it home in my shopping bag.

It was time to reproduce.

So I traced the pattern off which wasnt very hard given its just a block with boat neck. I chose a grey knit/jersey for the back as well but for the front I used the piece of 8mm Light Pink Silk Habotai I purchased a few months ago. The baby pink was a little too clean for me, so I dirtied it up  with my favourite RIT liquid dyes using the colour formulation for “Titanium” from the Fall 2012 Pantone colours RIT has on their website. I used 1/4 tsp Kelly Green, 1/4 tsp Black with 4 cups of water & added extra colour as I needed to intensify where needed. I dipped my silk until it looked more or less how I wanted it, rinsed and laid it out to dry.  RIT_liquid_dyeing

 

RIT_dyed_silk

Pink & grey are one of my { FAVOURITE } colour combinations. Pink is so girly & grey is so soft, the two go together perfectly. In fact, I love grey with everything really!

The silk & jersey sewed together without any problems. I was anxious at first – it could have been a full on fuck up! I hadnt tested the two fabrics together….should I be admitting that?!? Truth be told, Im quite a rouge when it comes to sewing in a way. I dont muslin (or hate doing when my better judgement insists), I hardly ever test fabrics & sometimes, I dont even pre-wash….even though its one of the first things I advise when someone asks me about sewing!! hahaha. Rich, I know, but thats how I roll.

So here’s how she looked once sewn up :Silk_jersey_top_front

The neck facing near my right shoulder doesn’t sit 100% flat….think it has something to do with the interfacing in that area. Ive already unpicked her there & will give it another go just so she’s perfect but on the whole, I really love it. Its simple & so easy to wear. Id make this again…probably not with an 8mm silk because it is quite fine but definitely with the 2 fabric combinations.

Hope you all had an awesome weekend!!

x Ange

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

{ VOGUE 8601 } Riding Jacket

{FINISHED} I can hardly believe it! Imagine running a marathon, getting to the end only to realise you missed your target time…elation that you still alive but disappointment with your final result…thats how this jacket feels. Ive been working on it on & off for months (if not a year) and now its finally finished (sans button/s) and I just feel a little ‘flat’ about it. There’s puckering to be fixed on the collar and one armscye. I was so frustrated by it all that making the small adjustments was just not in me…I needed time to breathe – hence throwing myself into the frilly burdastyle blouse & the DKNY Vogue 1027.

I must admit, Poppy does not do justice to the fit. It does look much nicer when I have it on but for the sake of photographing it…well, you know. My intentions were to buy the remote for my camera so I can self-shoot but would you believe Nikon dont make a compatible remote for my model. { IRRITATED FACE }. Im looking into an alternative but until then…you got Poppy 🙂V8601_riding_jacket_front1

{ DESCRIPTION }  Vogue 8061 is a close-fitting, lined to edge with princess seams in upper section. Darts to lower section, back tails with slit and an option on buttons and collar. I sewed View D/E with one button closure & no contrast collar.

{ FABRIC USED } black gabardine which I purchased in the UK about 2 years back & I used a fushia pink somethin’-somethin’ for the body lining, with the arms lined in a black poly.  The poly was more slippery than the pink & I prefer my arms to slide easily through jacket arms!V8601_riding_jacket_lining

{ SIZING } I cut my usual size and it fits well, bar the issues I will speak about below.

{ INSTRUCTIONS } I followed the instructions as they are & did not add any extra tailoring foundations as you might have seen some other sewers had done on PR.V8601_riding_jacket_silhouette

{ CONSTRUCTION / ALTERATIONS }  I didnt want my jacket to be a tailored coat but something a little more grungy & casual…hence not going into too much tailoring. In hindsight, I would have constructed the lining differently as Vogue requests you sew the sleeves by hand AFTER. It would have saved me alot of time & trouble by sewing the arms onto the rest of the lining before feeding them through the arms and just hand stitching the wrists in AKA the V8438 coat I made here. Far easier solution with much less fuss. I added some black top-stitching to my fuschia lining for a little interest on the inside. I did not do all the seams, just the princess seams running right around.

This pattern requires a fair amount of hand stitching (if you construct the way they tell you too), otherwise its not a difficult pattern but neither is it beginner level.  I had to take in the sleeves quite substantially too so bear this in mind. I would also have preferred the sleeves to have been made of 2 pieces making fitting a little easier IMO. I would also prefer to have the option of adding a sleeve with buttons so I would definitely do this next time..if there is ever a next time!! I also disliked the way they ask for the shoulder pads to be fitted AFTER the lining is in…why??? The jacket would look so much better with the shoulder pads under the lining & hidden!!!!!!!

I was waiting a little to post this review because I had not found the right button for the front. On Saturday I was at the store in Vienna & I purchased a button I thought would work but once I was home & looked at it, it just doesnt work & my stash of buttons has come up with nothing suitable….the quest to find the right button therefore continues. In the meantime, I might just sew a plain black button until I find the right match.V8601_riding_jacket_tails

{ LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY } ***

{ SUM IT UP } Im not sure I would make this coat again since it is quite unique with the “tails” however I enjoyed the process & would recommend provided you are looking for something quite unique.  V8601_riding_jackt_front2

Thanks for stopping by x

pattern review · sewing

{ AMERSON UNDIES } The good, the bad & the ugly…

I learnt { BIG } lessons from my experience sewing the Amerson brooks. I had wanted to sew some sort of lingerie this year because I had never tried it before. These stole my heart at first sight. The good, the bad & the ugly should sum it up…but first :

amerson_undies_cottonsI used a soft ivory cotton lycra which was a scrap I picked up from a friend that worked at a well known lingerie company. I used the cotton lycra because its super silky soft and feels wonderful on the skin. I used 4 different coloured cottons for the top-stitch zigzag & button : a soft peachy pink around the waist, a lime green at the sides & crotch, bright yellow on the leg openings & a turquoise blue to attach the little button.  The cottons (part of a 30 pack of the sweetest colours) I purchased from Hema in Holland a few years back.

{ THE GOOD } They are sweet brooks, very comfie and fun. I have cheeky brooks in my armory but these are different, more bloomers if you’d like.

{ THE BAD } At first, I was a tad baffled as to which edge was the centre front and which was the centre back. I had to do some scratching but once I figured it out I marked the pattern for future & got on. TAKE NOTE : The side seam is the short straight edge, the waist is the longer straight edge!!  I also cut 2 pieces of the front in the same direction so I had to scrap one side & cut another. I wish the pattern layout would include a cutting layout for those that are using fabric with a definite right/wrong side. Its not the end of the world though…such a small piece is not going to kill me is it?! 🙂

{ THE UGLY } As I said, lessons! I learnt that I dont know much about sewing with elastic – in fact read, I know { BLOW ALL } about sewing with elastic!! The fact that my elastic was already parched should tell you how much I sew with elastic! I struggled to find the lengths in my trims tin to accommodate what was required to sew this because of the condition of my white elastic. Sure, I use elastic in a channel { OCCASIONALLY }but top stitching elastic like this equalled a disaster! By the second leg opening I had kinda found my groove but even then…it was not pretty!  It means I have much to learn about sewing with elastics and that I need to purchase some decent elastic & USE IT!

{ MORE UGLY } I also realised I think Im much bigger than I actually am. I cut out the XL thinking my ass was so big even the XL wouldnt fit. Well blow me down, I had to go back & adjust sides & waist because the XL was just far too big for me. Now, I dont usually  take much notice of size labeling because honestly, every pattern we are labeled a different size right. Going on the measurements, the L should have been my best fit but I think the fabric helped to make it seem a bit bigger as well. Who cares – they dont fall down & they comfie, thats all that interests me!! Im also thinking perhaps the over-estimation of my size should be noted under { THE GOOD } hmmm…

amerson_undies_100I would recommend these for a quick sew & I would try them again in an alternative fabric & perhaps with elastic to the insides, maybe with a lace trim.

Difficulty Rating ** (only because of the elastic problems & the CB/CF problem).

Thank you to Maddie of Madalynne for all her hard work on this pattern & of course, for making it available { FREE }. She made me smile earlier as she explains her attire for weekend cleaning! I had my wedding dress on a few weeks ago (before the ankle mishap) and my SIL looked puzzled/worried when I told her I had spent the afternoon in it. I dont do it often, if fact, its only been the 2nd or 3rd time Ive had the dress on since I was married in 2008 but I { LOVE } the super highway it puts me on straight back to my wedding day.

Thanks all for stopping by x

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pattern review · sewing

{ NEW LOOK 6148 } Version E

Hi again –NewLook_6148

Last week I told you about a new project I had cut out in Somethings Brewing. Do you remember ?

Well I finished that project, New Look 6148…and my something new totally worked! { YAY }. I made version E without the sleeves and instead of using a contrast fabric as such, I used a fine stretch tulle instead. I had never used stretch tulle before so this was completely new for me & Im so excited it worked. I had prepared myself for torture with this tulle in the form of puckering, pulling & whatever other nasty things one expects when trying something new but it behaved itself so well, I almost feel like it could become a friend. I made sure to always stitch with the tulle on the top so it was not able to snag on the feed dogs, & maybe this was my saving grace.tulle_on_top

The fushia pink is sari fabric { AGAIN } that I purchased in South Africa many years ago. The die-cut end with the crimped pattern was cut from the end of the sari & I was initially going to use this die cut panel for the entire front but then my inner voice pointed out it might be too much so I shifted it off to my left & Im pleased I listened to that inner voice. The back is plain, only following the gold border to tie it together.

I had planned to bias bind the tulle edges at the neck & arms with the fushia pink. I completed one arm & it looked dreadful so I pulled it out & left the tulle raw & simply folded over & stitched the fushia under. Since this made the tulle bigger at the arms, I worked two pleats into the tulle at the shoulders & neatened the raw edges.NL6148_tulle_edge

This top is by no means perfect.  I had already taken in the sides considerably when I fitted it the first time but it would seem I could have taken it in more. I also would have preferred if this sari was pure silk & not art silk but alas, the colour makes up for that! I also realised now that I could have tea-dyed the tulle slightly to make it match my skin colour more, something which Im sure I could still do now with care of course.NL6148_sari_pattern

Its a great pattern and really easy to construct. Had I had a full day to sew this, it would have been done in a few hours however I stole moments here & there { PLUS } the fiddling with bias tape & tulle resulted in it taking much longer than it should normally if stitched as is. Highly recommended with some adaptations. Im thinking a lovely lace contrast on the top or a bright colour block contrast may be on the cards for the next time I sew this.

Difficulty Rating *

Thanks all for stopping by x

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chit-chat · sewing

{ SOMETHINGS BREWING }

Hi Lovelies –

Thus far,the week has been both exciting & tiring! Monday I had the ankle shackle aka yellow submarine cut off. I was quite intrigued as to how exactly they would do this but it seems there is a unique tool (similar to a grinder) that cuts through the cast but { MIRACULOUSLY } does not cut into the skin! I know, right! Anyway, it felt like freedom to finally have the anchor removed. I was then scheduled in yesterday to have the big screw { LITERALLY A FUCKING BIG SCREW} removed. I was told it would be pain-free and while the actual procedure was only mildly irritating, the after effects were horrific so much so that I had to dose it down with some painkillers. Today the dressing was changed & Im doing much better – read only ONE CRUTCH 🙂 I can only hope Ive lived this whole thing in full colour so I remember {NEVER EVER} to toboggan again. EVER!

Anyway, back to the reason I have this blog before I bore you all to death with my handicap –

fushia_top

Ive cut out a new project & its ready for sewing. Im just preparing the bias tape first & then I”ll get going on the construction. Im trying something new – jeez I hope it works.

Fushia bright & screamin’ summer. Should be finished in a day or two…promise to review & post pics.

Hope you are all well. x

{ Related Posts }

sewing

{Wrap skirt – self drafted}

sari_skirt_lime

I made this wrap skirt some time ago but unpacking boxes {JUST MOVED}, i rediscovered it & realised I should post this for any beginners looking for an easy skirt to start with.

It has to be the simplest skirt I have {EVER} made. no.word.of.a.lie…& I didnt even use a pattern. I simply cut a whack of triangular shaped panels, stitched them together until it wrapped around my hips (I cut 5 panels), cut some strips, sewed them together & then onto the skirt, cut a trim & sewed that on. {FINISHED}. I left the skirt unlined because I wear this on summer days over my cozzie or layered over another skirt. The fabric is not transparent or sheer so I dont have issues with wearing this as soft as possible, without lining.

sari_skirt_full

The fabric I used was part of an Indian Sari. Since a sari can measure anything from 6-9yards, there was {PLENTY} fabric left over for some more creativity later on.

The lime green was cut from the centre of the sari, the shocking pink ties were cut from the top end of the sari which would usually be used to make the accompanying under-blouse and the pink & gold trim at the bottom was cut from the side trim on the sari. very easy, very simple!

sari_skirt_closeup

This is an image of the panels. If anyone would like the dims I used, please feel free to ask. You can of course adjust the quantity of panels, length & fullness according to your requirements.

sari_skirt_panel

All that is left to say is may 2013 hit you with more sewing inspiration than ever before. May you all be blessed & {HAPPY NEW YEAR}

Thanks for stopping by x