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

{ #RedOctober } The Polly with sick hemming…

The colour red really is one of my favourites & Id take it over green or blue any day of the week so I really didn’t need much encouragement when it came to sewing for #RedOctober.

Some of you might remember that I had mentioned in January I wanted to sew more red this year. I finished my red pea coat and the lovely shoulder tie top but I didnt feel like I had sewn enough red so #RedOctober came at a good time.

A few weeks back the By Hand London girls send out an email to those subscribed offering the very cool Polly Top & if that wasn’t enough, they are offering this pattern as a { FREE | GRATIS } download. Say what? Yeah free….and, they even have a little vid on their website to show you how to stitch it up. I immediately sent off my request to receive & { PING } that pattern touched down on my inbox with record speed. { THANKS GIRLS }.

Unfortunately she had to sit in the queue waiting for the La Mia Boutique top & the New Look 6191 pants to be finished first. { Deets on these coming soon }.ByHandLondon_Polly_front

Miss Polly skidded into October with not many minutes left on the clock but she lives on the edge like that 🙂 October was a disaster month for me, too much going on in my head, too much procrastination & not enough focus on my part. Yes I finished 3 garments but I feel like I could have done more. If truth was to be told Miss Polly was finished, bar the hemming, on the 30th October. The evening of the 31st we headed out to see Nickelback live in Vienna. I already had tell-tale signs of illness setting in but it didnt stop me from queuing in the cold, shaking my ass & signing ’til I was hoarse and therefore I woke up on the 1st Nov with the strangest kind of sick Ive ever had. I therefore finished Miss Polly’s hem in the depth of this “sick” & Ive been man down ever since. { HEY HO } moving on…

Ok, so what did I use :

The black polka dot fabric is a woven, very light weight georgette offcut I had left from the Burda wrap top I made back in 2010, and the red is a viscose jersey I found recently.  I had reservations about whether these two fabrics would marry well but they seem to be real content with each other.  Far be it for me to tell them otherwise! I topstitched the side seams and the shoulder seams with black thread. I was thinking of topstitching the front panel too…Im just worried it will distort the shape so Im leaving it for now.  I did have a little difficulty with the binding around the armholes & neckline but I recall having trouble with the polka fabric and bindings when I made the Burda top too. Its not a 100% perfect job but it will do I suppose.ByHandLondon_Polly_side

Its difficult to get a sense of the sheerness of the polka fabric on the dress form so here is a pic so you can see how the fabrics differ.

ByHandLondon_Polly_sheer

As far as the pattern itself is concerned, I found this project really easy & the sizing, for me, was spot on. I cut my usual size and had to make absolutely no alterations whatsoever. Id really like to make another Polly or two because she’s so versatile & there are so many different fabrics you could pair to make the Polly something really special. Think lace around the edges, think polka dots & stripes, think colour blocking… { OH YEAH }!

I really liked the BHL pattern & Ive been putting off buying the Anna pattern for so long. I really wanted to make it during summer but I was overwhelmed by all the Anna’s popping up here, there & everywhere that I figured I’d give you all a break & re-introduce her next year 🙂 So all of you thinking you’re the last to make the Anna, think again 🙂ByHandLondon_Polly_back

Im seeing more and more #SewRedOctober makes coming out of the sewing rooms & Im more and more impressed. If you want to see another Miss Polly, head on over to Gjeometry….she’s a stunner!

Anyway, Im hitting the sack soon – hopefully some zzzz’s will help rid me of this terrible “sick”.

’til next time xx

sewing

{ GET INSPIRED } #RedOctober

It would appear the Sewcialists have conjured up yet another challenge over on Twitter. This time the challenge/inspiration is to sew something red for the month of { OCTOBER } ! The lovely Leila has blogged about it so check out her blog for details.

Ive already sewed a few things this year in red to meet one of my New Year Resolutions however Im loving the idea & I would never say no to anything in red. I already have a few ideas.

Dont forget to tag your October me-made with #RedOctober for all to see. Look forward to seeing all yours.

Happy sewing x

pattern review · review · sewing

{ VOGUE 8550 } Red Pea Coat, this girl is on fire…

For those of you that have been following my blogging journey for a bit, you’ve probably seen me talk about the red Vogue 8550 pea coat that has been haunting me since I started way back when in late 2010. Im not proud to say I started so long ago, the truth hurts. I had terrible trouble with the sizing (of which Vogue referred to as ‘ease’) &  lost interest which so happened to (thankfully) co-incide with our relocation out of Holland so the sad pieces were boxed up. This box did not make the “cut” to our move to the UKso it stayed at home & waited patiently while we completed our work on the island. I should have known the pattern would give me nothing but trouble, the moment it arrived I noticed page 3 of the instructions  missing. It took a few weeks for it to be sent on. Was it a sign of things to come ??….

Anyway, fast forward 2 & some years  –  January I mentioned the red coat had been retrieved from its box & lovingly pressed, ready to tackle once & for all. I trimmed, re-measured & marked but then all the other sewing got in the way & I quickly realised this coat was going to have to be nursed, slowly & calmly…inch by inch…

Im proud to say, its { DONE } & Im so proud of myself for buckling up & getting it finished. (Ok ok, its missing its buttons…but more on that later).Vogue8550_front

Buckle up – a kinda long review but here are the details & more info on the process :

{ DESCRIPTION } Vogue Divine Details – fitted, lined coat with front & back tucks, standing collar, princess seams, full length sleeves and shoulder pads. Above mid-knee length, button closure and belt.

Vogue8550_back

{ FABRIC USED } A medium weight red wool found at Schröder Stoffen in Rotterdam, Holland. It was quite expensive but I loved this particular shade of red. I had been looking for a red wool to make another coat (using the V8438 pattern I had sewn before) but after seeing the V8550 in red, I was sold.

At first I was quite tempted to use a “WOW” lining, something wild & unexpected, but once I finished constructing the outer, I realised the red is { WOW } enough & my SIL had gifted me with this black fabric & I thought would be perfect for the lining so I went ahead & used it. I did however use the red thread to stitch the lining up which adds a very subtle accent to the black & ties the two together.Vogue8550_lining_front

{ SIZING } This was my biggest headache & I have left my original Pattern Review WIP as it was so it can still be read. I very rarely do muslins because I find they sap me of the excitement of making the real thing. Ive been sewing for long enough to know which measurements are important for me & I thought I had gotten quite comfortable with the Big 4 sizing that cutting my usual size would be ok. I was kinda wrong. This was grossly { HUGE }. I immediately thought I had farked up with my cutting so I double checked all the pieces had been cut the right size before contacting some other sewers/bloggers who I thought may have sewn this coat to enquire if they had similar problems. Unfortunately, no-one had sewn this so I had no sewcialist assistance . I then contacted Vogue directly. They came back saying the pattern had a “fair amount of ease on a FITTED coat but that they did not think there was anything wrong with the sizing”. So I got on with chopping, trimming & wasting expensive fabric to fit. Its not the ease that annoys me, its the fact that the pattern does not mention the ease at all. Anyway, moving swiftly on…

{ INSTRUCTIONS } Overall the instructions are not bad however some steps were not as clear as I thought they could be. Nearing the end, I battled to make sense of how the lining fits to the wool at the front seams. I gave up & constructed the way that I thought made sense.

{ CHANGES } The only little change I made was to the pockets. Instead of having them lined & sitting on the inside of the coat, I sewed them into the wool layer but did not bring them through the lining….in other words, they sit between the lining & the outer. I did this because I dont like pockets flapping on the inside of my coats. The pattern called for the lining to be made with the same pieces as the outer however instead of tucked like the outer, rather just pleated in. At first I thought all this extra fabric on the inside would be quite bulky however once pressed & stitched down, it gave a good weight to the inner & supports the wool well.

The coat has no loops/guides for the belt/waist tie! WTF am I meant to do with the tie when I take the coat off? I eeeked out every last bit of red wool to make the tie so I really hope I dont lose it in an absent minded outing…I might still go back & make chain loop guides…

{ LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY } ***Although it took me so long, it was not because of the level of difficulty per se. The tucks have a fair degree of complexity, even with the markings, however apart from the tucks, this is a standard princess cut coat. It was not an easy sew, but I dont think it was an advanced sew either.

{ TIME } HAHAHAHAHAHAA really!?  I normally keep a time card for kicks …I kicked this time card into the bin!!

{ LESSONS LEARNT } Take your time. I was eventually having nightmares about the coat but I knew if I rushed it would end up being a rubbish looking garment.

{ SUM IT UP } This is a lovely coat, the tuck detail is gorgeous & Im so pleased I finished it….all 2,5kgs of it!! Initially I had my doubts about whether it would keep me warm enough in the winter but once I joined the lining & felt the weight, I knew this would be a great winter coat… & I do love the RED. I had purchased big red buttons in Holland before I started but once it came time to use them, they just looked too big & the coat felt kinda clown-ish. Im hesitating with sewing them on until Ive managed to make a trip to Komolka to see if they have something slightly smaller & more suitable. Once the holes are cut, they cut so I need to be 100% sure.

I have hemmed the coat but I have not attached the lining to the wool as yet – the reason you ask? Well, Im not 100% happy with the darn shoulder pads. I feel like they are limp & lacking in the stiff department. I think Im going to change the shoulder pads. Im sure on my next trip to Komolka, I will have luck with finding alternative buttons & shoulder pads.

I might also go ahead & move the pockets from the side seams to the princess seams. I know this sounds crazy but the side seams seem too far back for me to get to the pockets. I may also just remove them completely!!

In hindsight, the problems with the sizing was almost two-fold. I still think the pattern has way too much ease however I also think my choice of wool did not help, especially with the extended periods where the WIP sat on Poppy pleading for attention. Even though this was post-tuck production, I think the wool may have stretched slightly adding to the list of problems.

I would recommend V8550 especially if you love the tuck details however, I would urge you to make a muslin first just to make sure of the sizing. I know I know, me advising making a muslin – I must be drunk! I think this coat would look amazing done in cream, but I dont think Im gonna be the one to make it!

This image clearly explains what got me through some painful & frustrating moments { Nespresso Vanilla Infused coffee }coffee_break

& elation at finally finishing! I had made a deal with myself that I would finish this before starting on something new….Im so excited to start fresh 🙂Vogue8550_elation

{ related posts }

pattern review · sewing

{ NEW LOOK 6088 OOP } Red shoulder love…

New_look_6088_front1New_look_6088_backCan I get a { WOOT WOOT } ??!! Le sewing mojo has returned, thank goodness…& no, the pins in Poppy’s jugular are not in celebration thereof 🙂

I celebrated by whipping up this New Look 6088 in a red. Super easy & super fast. I left the edges raw because this knit does not fray & since its a casual top, I prefer to go a little rock ‘n roll. I had cut out the facings however when I tested them, they just looked too structured & didnt give as much stretch at the neckline as I like. So I omitted them & got on with doing the shoulder ties.

Below the deets :

{ DESCRIPTION } Easy top options (seven in this pattern) to combine as you like however now OOP, sorry if you dont have it!

{ FABRIC USED } A red single knit purchased in Rotterdam, Holland.

{ SIZING } I cut my size & the fit is perfecto.

{ INSTRUCTIONS } Good, however I glanced at them & did my own thing.

{ CHANGES } As I said above, I left the facings off & instead of  cutting my cording into two & securing at the neck, I simply U-turned it & fed it back out the other end & tied it. Saved me having to cut, sew & bugger around with lengths. If you insert the facings, you would have to do it their way though! I also made my own ties instead of using ribbon or cording.

{ LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY } * Super easy

{ TIME } With cutting & making my own cording, this project took me 3 hours.

{ SUM IT UP } Super chuffed with a top that Ive been wanting to sew for ages. Look forward to getting plenty of use out of this & will probably make more of the styles in this pattern. Highly recommended.New_look_6088_shoulderNew_look_6088_frontNew_look_6088_shoulder_ties

Thanks for stopping by.

pattern review · sewing

{ BURDASTYLE } The Jenny…

BS_JennyContinuing with the catch-up of old PR reviews today while I have some time….

This Jenny skirt was made some time ago however it is one of my favourite skirts { EVER }.  I love to pair it with my V8032 black & white polka blouse & Zara peep-toes.

The deets :

{ DESCRIPTION } The Jenny skirt 6058 which is a BurdaStyle downloadable. Pencil skirt with plenty oomph.

{ FABRIC USED } A home decor fabric which was left-over after making a ginormous bed throw. The tomato red spoke volumes…

{ SIZING } Pretty accurate, as BurdaStyle sizing goes. I allowed a wee bit extra on the hips for comfort though.

{ INSTRUCTIONS } Good, but not necessary since this is a straight forward pattern.

{ ALTERATIONS } After fitting the muslin, like others, I preferred the fit of the waist band on the straight rather than the bias. I also preferred this skirt with a back vent rather than the slit which I went ahead & added without much hassle.

{ LEVER OF DIFFICULTY } * easy & highly recommended

{ SUM IT UP } A great versatile little pencil with loads of oomph. I love wearing this in fall & winter for a pop of bright colour but still stay warm & fairly well dressed. An excellent pattern for any sewist.BS_Jenny1

Original PR review here if you interested.

Thanks for stopping by x

sewing

{to be completed….}

One of my 2013 resolutions is to complete unfinished projects! Yes, those nasty projects that have been a thorn in my side for years, lurking in the alterations box. No more!

Ive checked McCalls 5241 off the list {TICK} and Ive started on Vogue 8550. I started this project in 2010 {without doing a muslin first} and got into some fitting issues. Some of you may recall seeing the WIP post on PR on this. End 2010 we relocated to the UK & unfortunately we had limited space when moving so I left alot of my sewing goodies at home in Austria & moved with just what I needed. Hence, this project was never completed.

A few days ago, I decided to start the tackle & this is what it looked like from THE dreaded box, all crumpled up, chewed & spat out :

Vogue 8550 messThis is what it looks like now after a little TLC pressing :

Vogue 8550 pressedI will be completing this as soon as I can & reporting on how it all went, full review, pics etc. Stay tuned.

Thanks for stopping by. a x