pattern review · sewing

{ VOGUE 1247 } Rachel Comey top…

Friends, Ive been scarce around the blog due to a combination of things really. Work, stress. Then I got sick. Its just made me really tired and in the meantime I lost my sewjo so bad I started wondering if it would ever return. Luckily, Im getting back into it but the break has been good.  Trust you all had a good Christmas (if you celebrate) and I’ll wish you all a good New Year now.

This V1247 pattern had been on my wishlist for forever but it was only once I saw “Seeker of Sewing Highs” Sophie’s insanely gorgeous version, did I gasp & decide I had to have the pattern.  Don’t get me wrong folks. There were some stunners out there already, Sophie’s just spoke my kinda language. Luckily for me, Vogue were having a sale at the time. { WHEW }.

I knew just what I was looking for in fabric too – something soft & patterned without a pattern if you knowwhatimean. I wanted the panels to mismatch but be matched at the same time to show off the front panels. Anyway, once I stumbled upon this cotton/silk (70%/30%) blend, I knew immediately it would be the one & due to all the lovely reviewers who agreed the pattern runs rather large & one can easily go down a size or two, I ordered the minimum of fabric & used every last scrap. V1247_front V1247_back

She sewed up without fuss. I took great care in matching up my shoulder pleats and did my best to align the front panels. As 2 separate pieces (top and bottom), the seams aligned perfectly but once I sewed together the top portion to the bottom, my lines were off slightly so I didnt get the perfect point but hey-ho I swoon at all the other bits of perfection.V1247_alignmentV1247_pleats

With french seams throughout and a lovely bias neck facing, she’s casual but with some awesome finishes. I didnt fold my sleeves over as instructed because my fabric, while beautiful, is not that slouchy slouch so when folded they just stuck out too much overall & decided therefore to leave it sheer.

My fabric is sheer but perfect for summer & you may be wondering why Ive been sewing summer instead of winter… Simple really. Im headed home on holiday for 3 weeks soon. Home means hot, summer, friends & family – a decent vacation. Its been 3 ½ years since Ive been home.

I cannot wait!

A xx

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pattern review · sewing

{ VOGUE 8907 } Marigold Superwoman…

This Vogue 8907 makes me laugh out loud. Vogue8907_front1

Its so pretty but view A is every inch Superwoman…which is why I decided to make that particular one. Just like every kid needs a Superwowan/man cape to insist on wearing to school & grocery shopping, I need a Superwoman top to wear to every meeting! haha Vogue8907_front2

Sadly, this pattern is now OOP. { SORRY FOLKS }. There aren’t that many made up versions on the internet either. Erica B made a beautiful cobalt blue version in silk & Melanie made one in red but besides those 2, Ive not been able to track any others of view A as yet.  Have you perhaps made this ?

To be honest, I finished this months ago together with various other pieces. Ive just been so crap at taking photos so forgive me.

Right, down to the deets :

I used the beautiful yellow silk crepe de chine (14mm) that I purchased & blogged about earlier in the year. Its such a happy colour that yellow. For any of you wanting reference, its code is 2035 Bright Yellow. If you click on the post Ive just mentioned above, the details of where I purchased is all there with a contact. Zoe is the nicest lady & she’ll be more than happy to assist you with silk buying.Vogue8907_side1

The silk was not the easiest to handle but I tried to cut single layered where I could. I also used silk pins within the seam allowance to avoid any unsightly holes which regular pins sometimes leave in silk. I also used tailor tacks to mark instead of chalk or erasable pen. There were only 3 pieces to handle in total so it really wasn’t too bad.  Im currently working with the hot pink silk received at the same time as this yellow & its already giving me far more trouble….but the project is far more complicated though.

The pattern was easy with the most ‘difficult’ part being the gathers at the shoulder. Sizing seemed pretty spot on at the time but having photographed this a few months later, it seems I have some excess space under the arm area but this could have something to do with loosing some inches since I sewed this.  { DOH }. Vogue8907_closeup

The edge of the ‘cape’ is my favourite part looking so whispy & super feminine. I achieved that by stitching a few mm from the edge…just a plain stitch. Then I used that stitch as a guide to turn over a small hem & stitched it again. Perfect finish.

I love the billowy cape back the most I think. Its fun, its unique & you certainly don’t see a top like this every day. Im so glad I bought this pattern & I look forward to making more of these.

A good weekend to you all.

xAnge

 

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

{ BURDASTYLE } Twisted tank…

Ive had this pattern cut out for an embarrassingly long time. In fact, not just the pattern, but the chartreuse satin I used for the lining had been cut out for this top too. I just didnt have the right fabric to finish it off – { ENTER} lovely piece of gorgeously coloured silk….and right there it was a match made in heaven.

The satin is a heavier weight which made it much easier to sew but the multi-coloured bit of loveliness was a real pain in the ass. No amount of spray starch, cutting through paper or pointing at it with that “now you listen to me” tone in my finger could possibly tame this beast. I struggled & cursed & eventually, defeated, I lost my sewjo & she hung, hung, hung.

A few weeks ago I decided it was time to finish her so I steamed through & refused to leave the sewing room until she was done!Burdastyle_07_2013_103B_front

I used the Burdastyle Twisted Tank pattern. I cut my usual size but found the fit ran a little on the big side so I nipped in some under the arms. I also lowered the V-neck for a better look & fit because it was sitting way to high for me. While I love the pattern, Im not that in love with the join down the middle. I dont mind it, Im just not overjoyed with it. The join is necessary in order to get the twisted effect on the front but twisting & joining in the back would also work so if I were to make this again, Id probably look into changing that aspect. You should also notice I gave my straps an extra twist – no reason, just did.

Its a simple tank top with a little bit of whimsy on the shoulder. Its easy to sew up & since the lining & the outer fabric are both luxurious fabrics, its indeed a very luxurious piece to wear – light as a feather!

I cant wait to pair her with my denim mini for summer…

’til soon, Ange x

 

 

sewing

{ HAPPINESS IS } Silks…

Fabric makes me incredibly happy…

Happy like summer rain, like bacon & eggs, like hearing children laugh…

But what makes me even happier is { SILK }.

Oh dear, the lengths I would go to for a piece of silk…

Enter FD Silk, based in China & its instant EL-OH-VEE-EEE { LOVE }. I discovered their website last year via Red Point Tailor (thank you) & quickly saved the deets for future reference. I had held out so long on purchasing The Great Anna so when I eventually took the plunge in December, I thought it only apt that I teamed it up with some silk. Hence the reason I was trawling for a good silk supplier. Admittedly, I could have just ordered from Mood but the postage to Europe would have cost me a small fortune over & above the cost of their silks.

So I selected some colour options over at FD Silk & contacted Ms Zoe for some assistance. She went above & beyond to help me with sending extra images of the silks I had enquired about so I could compare the colours – helpful in every single minute detail. What more could you ask for huh??!!

It was time to select the weights of the silks & what type of silk I needed. They offer Silk Organza, Silk Crepe de Chine (CdC), Silk Stretch Satin (Charmeuse), Silk Charmeuse, Silk Georgette / Chiffon in various weights ranging from 8mm to 40mm…the higher the number, the heavier the silk allowing for better wear.  The heavier the weight, the more expensive it becomes too but well worth the investment especially for those special garments. The mm stands for Momme (pronounced MOE-ME) specific to silk.

I purchased 1m each of 8mm Silk Habotai which I plan on making a slip vest/blouse with. I love these two colours together. They look like a swirly fresh summer ice-cream & believe me when I say it feels like heaven. The sheen is absolutely beautiful. For reference, the colour on the left is called “Pinkish Purple” similar to a lavender mauve type shade and the lighter shade on the right is called “Light Pink” naturally.8mm_habotai_white

I also purchased 7m of 14mm Crepe de Chine which I specifically have one in mind for my Anna. Can you guess which one ?? 🙂14mm_crepe_de_chine

The CdC is gorgeous but quite different to the Habotai. While its completely luxurious & soft, it doesn’t have the same sheen you see on the Habotai & thats ok because it is a different finish of course. From L-R “Plum Purple” which is a hot pink, “Light Purple” which is self explanatory & screams Pantone 2014 Colour of the Year and “Bright Yellow” which is the brightest happiest piece of fabric I think Ive ever purchased. All completely different, but equally beautiful.

Since choosing colours online is so hard, I also asked Zoe to send me some samples for future use as well as some samples of the different weights. Silk_sample_card

The colour swatch card is the one on the top. I folded my swatches out so I could see the back of the fabric too because sometimes the reverse side takes on a different colour as is the case with the charmeuse especially. Its kinda cool to see how the finishes vary depending on which side you use. Amanda recently posted a project in which she did exactly this – used the reverse side of her silk for the blouse & the shiny side for the collar. { STUNNING }

The bigger sample cards are all different examples of the various weights which is { SUPER SUPER } helpful & extremely fun to paw through. The stretch satin/charmeuse has such a gorgeous hand it will blow ya socks off & the 30mm CdC has me totally captivated.

So, if you’re looking for a silk supplier, head on over to FD Silk & speak to Zoe about what you require. My parcel was sent with UPS on Friday & was delivered to my front door on the following Tuesday – amazing. Even the UPS dude was amazed at their own service. I do love me some instant(ish) gratification, especially when it involves fabric & silk. The cost of postage varies depending on where & the weight but I found the postage fairly reasonable given the distance.

***For those wondering, I paid for this entire order, nothing was sponsored***

I just love to spread the word on great product & excellent service especially because it seems to be few & far between these days.

Happy Shopping my lovelies x

 

chit-chat · sewing

{ TREASURE } Found…

The hubster has recently made us 2 lovely tables for our home – one for the dining room & one for outdoor. He made both these tables from timber that has been lying around the factory (some inside, some outside in the elements) for 20+years….yip! They chopped down a European Walnut tree in their garden all those years back. The timber was chopped & stacked but no-one ever did anything more with it.

Now my beady eye sees { EVERYTHING } & I am fortunate enough to have the ability to see potential in old things so I “commissioned” the timber to be used for our tables. Some of the timber is worm eaten but I kinda dig the character of timber that is bashed around a little. I hate perfect looking timber with perfect grain & finish. I like a little roughness & natural oiled finishes – so the results are exactly what we wanted…

Now, you thinking WTF has this got to do with sewing??!! Ok, well in my scrounging around the factory, I came across this : thread_find

{ EXCITEMENT }  how amazing right?! The majority is really old Gütermann silk threads for buttons but there is quite a bit of cotton thread there too. We think they had something to do with either coats or jeans because the colours are all dark, muted tones (grey, dark greens, blues etc) with one or two brights mixed in.  The boxes are really old but there are no dates on them so we have no idea how old they are!! There was even a box of buttons (mostly black) and buckles so Im thinking coats or perhaps military wear??!

There was so much loveliness bundled up in one place I think my heart skipped a little beat. Lets say I wont be needing blue, brown or black thread for quite some time!

 

sewing

{ FABRIC BUYING DIET } Never…

I could never { EVER }  go on a fabric buying diet. I simply love the stuff too much.

And I dont buy fabric every day or even every month – but when I see something that I love & can visualise it as a garment, then I will indulge in a metre or two. Sales do help with persuasion.

A few weeks back, I indulged

With this soft cotton floral from Komolka in Vienna, floral_komolka

and this black & white stretch something something from Stoffwelt in Wiener Neustadt, b&w_fabric

and more recently with this floral silk from the Wenatex Haus der Stoffe in Salzburg, floral_wenatex

oh & this cotton “oil painting” masterpiece panel also from the Wenatex shop in Salzburg..oil_wenatex

The florals are destined to become maxi dresses (see Mapping a Maxi), & the panel directly above I think I might use for the front of V1174 which is a Cynthia Steffe strapless number from Vogue which Ive been coveting for some time. I would leave the back in plain black but carry through the contrast piping to tie it all together. Im thinking a deep magenta or purple piping!! What do you think??V1174

Id better go & get on with the muslin for the maxi…yes, Ive picked one 🙂

Thanks for stopping by x