pattern review · sewing

{ DECADES OF STYLE } An unlikely paring…

Hi dears,

This garment was worth coming out of blog hibernation for. Honestly. It took me totally by surprise and Im so pleased with the end result.

Janet from Decades of Style Patterns contacted me to ask if I would be keen on testing their TLC Caftan from their Decades Everyday range. She sent me the line drawing & for a moment I was thinking…Nope. Never. This is not me. Then….I had a little brain wave. When I looked at how the waist cinches in & actually how fitted it can be, I thought { WAIT } there could be something here. I know that V-necks suit my figure. I know that cross-overs & wraps suit my figure. So this seemed like something I should take a shot at.

Decades01

Decades02

Before the pattern even arrived I had already earmarked a fabric for it.  I bought this Vintage Silk Sari from India years ago & I had taken it out of my stash numerous times thinking it would be suitable for a pattern. Alas, it was never used. I could see the sari was well used but incredibly well looked after & loved. I really always wanted to find a pattern that was worthy of this gorgeous cloth and so, when the pattern arrived I just knew that it would do the silk justice.

Deciding on fabric layout was difficult. I wanted to incorporate the gold border detail in the caftan but running down the “wing” side seams just felt like too much. So I used the gold border on the hem & I think it gives just enough detail without being too overwhelming.

Decades03

The Caftan is not lined so the silk is pretty sheer however I do plan to make a plain grey slip { Named Patterns \ Lane Slip, which I think is now OOP } to layer underneath for when I do want to wear it without showing my underthings. Otherwise I still have the option of wearing it as is over my swimsuit etc.

I have a round birthday coming up this month so Im thinking of wearing it then, glam’d up with heels, appropriate hair & makeup. Should be fun. Decades06

Decades04

The Caftan is pullover so there are no zips, no buttons, no clasps. Just straight over the head. The waist inset has ties on the inside that you then tie back to front either side as tight or as loose as you desire. I like mine to be tied pretty tight because it gives the fitted look without it being fitted at all. Bloody Genius! To make things even better, there is an option to add pockets (which I omitted) and 2 lengths to choose from but as us sewists know, we can make things as short or as long as we want or need anyway. Also, the wings on the side which make this a Caftan, can be made in 2 lengths but again, cut those panels as wide or as narrow as you like. It really is up to you.

The pattern comes in 11 sizes and includes bust sizes 32 to 52″. Amazing.

This pattern took me totally by surprise folks. I did not think I would love it as much as I do. Its a clever little design showing off some lovely gathers at the shoulder & waist so I see another of these coming soon. The next wedding we are invited to I will have to make an evening version of this. I can see a beautiful double crepe in a rich jewel colour with beading on the front & back waist inset which would just look amazing. I really love that this pattern is so versatile depending on your choice of fabric.

Thanks Decades for trusting me with this. You were not only a pleasure to work with but you also pushed me beyond what I thought was possible for me to wear & for that I am so grateful. Its made me revisit other patterns I never thought would suit me either so I’ll definitely be taking more chances in the future.

xAnge

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sewing

{ SHUCKS } & bugger ups…

I spent all day sewing last Sunday.

Only to be left disappointed when I sewed this dress together & hated it. { PLUS }  it doesn’t fit either!!

I will admit though, this project was doomed from the start. I had the feeling this fabric would not work  but I fought my feelings.

I spoke myself into using a fabric I knew { INSTINCTIVELY } was all wrong. { STUPID STUPID STUPID }.

So friends, here is my disaster project.

IMG_1670

So much of a disaster, I couldn’t have even been bothered to photograph it by day, let alone take out the nice camera 🙂

The fabric is an offcut from a previous project years ago. You know how I love me some indian sari right.  It just doesn’t work though & I knew it. Only God knows why I went ahead & cut it anyway. Lesson learned I say.

The pattern is the Liesl & Co Weekend Getaway. I had such great results from the blouse version, I was dying to try the dress. There is absolutely nothing wrong with either the pattern or the fabric, but together, they just didn’t work unfortunately.

Anyway, I may still try & fix it, remove the { Y } trim down the middle & perhaps cut it into the blouse version. Im not holding my breath though…

So Happy Weekend to you all. x

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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sewing

{ STASH SORTING }

Happy Friday to you all –

A few days ago I was sorting some of my fabric stash because since we moved into our new house, I pretty much transferred fabrics straight from boxes to their storage without giving it much thought – in other words – I simply needed to have the boxes out of the way so I could think.

I use the Ikea 4-drawer Malm chests for my fabric storage.

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{ source : Ikea }

I line the drawers with craft paper first and each drawer is dedicated to a specific type of fabric ie. on the bottom I have heavy winter fabrics (wools etc), next drawer up I store my cottons, then my lightweights ie chiffons, lace etc.  I do this because its easier for me to keep track  & I dont have to wade between heavy fabrics when Im looking for a silk…you get the idea right?! In the top drawers I keep my bits ‘n bobs for instance, buttons, ribbons, bindings, notions etc. As I mentioned in my NY resos post, I do plan on doing some shelves in the sewing room for books & I had thought of using the underside of the shelves for bottles of notions etc – we shall see.

Anyway, while I was sorting I realised that I have so much fabric that Ive bought on my travels and there are a few pieces I simply {CANNOT} even think of cutting. Its like Ive grown some attachment to them & its gotten all emotional & stuff…. {SERIOUSLY?} yes, seriously. Ive posted a few pics below so you can see which ones Im referring to :

fabric_stash_1

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I’ll admit, the majority of these fabrics are found on my travels to Canada, South Africa, Holland & UK so they all kinda hold sentimental memories of these travels. I guess cutting into them would still mean I have memories albeit in the form of a garment…Im pathetic with this {CANT CUT} thing but I feel like they are all too sentimental…..what can I do ?? Ive thought of going shopping for new pieces which might help to cure me because as soon as you have a new favourite, the old favourites seem to be demoted {HOWEVER} looking at how old some of these favourites are – it would appear Im not demoting anything. ever!!

Do any of you suffer from the same syndrome ? & if so, how have you overcome it?

Thanks 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

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pattern review · sewing

{ New Look 6190 (E) }

new_look_6190

Hello again –

Im not sure about all of you, but in the summer when Im lounging around in the sun & then I have to get  up & walk around for longer than 2 minutes, I never want to wrap my towel around me but I do like to have something that I can put on just so I dont feel so exposed – especially if you on the beach & have to head over to a little store to buy water etc. I thought I would make a “skirt” that I could slip on quickly but still looked like it was beachwear & fun.

I settled on version E of the New Look 6190 & what a gem it turned out to be… I love pleats { LOVE.LOVE.LOVE } so this skirt ticked all the boxes.

new_look_6190

I used a piece of the same purple sari I used for the V8241, only difference was it had a few more bling bits on which will sparkle in the sun & therefore suits me just fine. I didnt want the skirt to be heavy or even very skirt-like so I left it unlined to appear more “sarong-style” & slightly transparent. I also left it without a zip & put 2 purple bows in its place instead. {  VOILA }. I think I might just make one or two more of these..Whatcha think ?

new_look_6190_closeup

Click here for the review on PR.

Thanks for stopping by x

sewing

{Vogue 8241 – Pompeii Purple}

Vogue8241-f

This pattern is another {EXTREMELY} simple pattern requiring minimal time scanning the instructions & even less time constructing it. Yes, that easy.

I used a beautiful lavender coloured sari with gold trimmed border & used the same fabric to line as well. The skirt part I wanted to have more of the border so I cut the top layer shorter. What really appeals to me about this pattern is you can use the most detailed & exquisitely beaded fabric for this & it would be {KNOCK OUT}. Since there is no fussiness with the pattern, the fabric needs to do all the talking…if you know whatimean.

{CONSIDER} : Before you cut, measure where your bra strap sits on your back because the keyhole sits quite low. If you are going to make the keyhole a little shorter, check that you can still get this dress over your head. Also, a strapless bra is necessary if your straps sit low on your shoulders as they will be seen.

Vogue8241-b

Recommended as a basic beginner pattern but like I said, I would love to see this made up in a heavily beaded fabric. It would look stunning. My casual version I typically pair with a belt…& pressed but for some reason I rushed to post the original review without pressing. unheardof!!

Original pattern review here.

Thanks for stopping by x