pattern review · sewing

{ VOGUE 8888 } Sleepwear…

Im notoriously bad at buying sleepwear. What I do have lasts me forever because to be honest, I dont wear that much sleepwear. Sounds weird I know but in the past its been too easy to throw on a t-shirt & shorts or sweats & be done with it but Ive come around to the thinking that some pretty sleepwear is not a bad thing. Ask the hubster, he’ll tell ya its a great thing.

So I decided to give V8888 a try. I chose the cami & the panties/shorts to start. I wanted to see what the fit was like before I made it with something expensive like charmeuse so I pulled out this really old stretch something or another that ive been hoarding for years. I never really loved this fabric so it seemed like the perfect option for  a muslin if you will… but as you know, I do not like that particular “m” word.

The first thing I noticed about the instructions is they fail to mention that pieces 12 & 14 are required! These pieces make up the cups of the cami & the yoke front so IMO, very important pieces. Anyway, now you know. Apart from that little error, instructions are good.

I did not use lace overlay to my cups because this was a (insert “m” word here) remember. I overlocked all my pieces and the cami came together remarkably quick. As it started to take shape I realised I actually liked how it was looking so I decided to add some lace trim to the bottom of the cami & the knickers once it was all finished. For the straps I used double organza ribbon in cream & brown with little bows on the ends. The little shorts are so easy to make. 2 seams, some elastic & lace trim & they done.

As much as I love you all, this quick iphone image is the most you’ll be getting out of me as far as finished garment is concerned.  Vogue8888_sleepwear

Its cute huh?!

Overall, a great pattern with additional length on the cami as well as another slip & gown options. I do love the Vogue patterns with multi-garments in one envelope – they are such good value for money. This pattern is still available in print so do check it out if you looking for sleepwear.

Keep sewin’ on xx

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pattern review · sewing

{ McCALLS 6839 } Party’s in the back…

The hubster is away & its raining outside so it seems the universe finally straightened itself out & gave me the well overdue time I needed to sit & sew. It actually started Friday in fact. I had work to do but since a lot of my work relies on the UK folk (& they were bank holidaying), I decided to pull out my ‘ol Ellie & get her all cleaned up before starting a quick project, you know, something to give me that instant satisfaction I was craving.

Some of you may recall my post last year when I told you that I had not used my overlocker in a year….that was last year MAY!! So its been 2 years since I used her & I have to say, I feel the same way about it all now as I did then.. I loved taking the break to explore my other options on finishing seams but I’ll be honest & say its nice to have her back too, plus, my pinking shears are farking blunt!! Anyone know if those can be sharpened??

Ellie needed { A LOT }of TLC to make her happy. I must have spent at least 2 hours trying to figure out her problems – tensions, needles, thread, re-thread. Nope, she did not want to know my business, so I left her overnight. Saturday she was still skipping stitches & messing me around until a light came on…{ DING } LUBRICATION!! A couple drops of oil to her vitals & she was purring like a kitten. Back in business ….

So, the task at hand was McCalls 6839 version B, with no sleeves. I used an olive viscose jersey I had purchased last year and found as close a finish dark green to match in thread. She whipped up quite easy & before you judge her from the front in all her boring-ness….McCalls6839_front

…check her out from the back!!! McCalls6839_back

I mean really, what is there not to love about a top that comes together in a matter of an hour or so, complete with party in the back??? Nothing right.

I overlocked my side seams, shoulder seams & the back drape before turning over to finish. To avoid any stretching out on the back yoke & neck I used an iron-on strip interfacing & a bias one which I bought here for the neck area. You could make your own by bias cutting soft interfacing of course – its cheaper!

So the big question – is it underthings friendly?? Well, that depends on the type of underthing you wear. I have an average sized torso & I find my normal cross strap shows if it sits centre but I do have some that sit much lower so these work fine. For example in the pics above Im wearing a low fitting bra & it does not show. (aaaahhhmmm, excuse what looks like smartie action happening on the front….oh you see, you didnt notice it at first, now Ive gone & brought it to your attention…) There are so many lovely lacey underthings on the market these days anyway,that who cares if you see something peeking…

Its worth mentioning that the back drape can be made as drapey as you like. Cut the back drape from a scrap piece of fabric & then play with what suits you best. Increasing or decreasing the back piece will give you options on how deep or high the drape hangs.

Anyway, its a good pattern, one that could even be good done in a drapey woven although you’d have to allow a little extra fabric to compensate for no stretch factor. I cut my usual size but it was around a size too big so I pinched in where I needed  before finishing off the seams.

Highly recommended so dont be surprised if you see another version before the summer is out.

xx Ange

 

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

pattern review · sewing

{ NEW LOOK 6003 } The tame animal skirt…

I was instantly all over this pattern because of the lovely variations of skirts offered. Although it shows a couple peplum options together with a standard basic pencil skirt, you could absolutely go mad with alterations to custom this skirt to anything you need it to be. I love skirts with back vents so this pattern is a winner for many reasons.

I chose View E not because I wanted to be boring but because once I had selected the fabric I knew adding a peplum would just add too much “wild” & the fabric was wild enough. NewLook_6003_skirt_front

{ DESCRIPTION } New Look 6003, pencil skirt in various lengths, with back vent and various peplum options.

{ FABRIC USED } The fabric is a stretch cotton, think stretch denim & your’e heading in the right direction.  The fabric was a printed panel. I cut the front from the upper part and the back from the lower part of the panel. I like how the patterns are so different but the colouring is the same and doesn’t look mis-matched….or does it?

{ SIZING } I cut my usual size however it was a little too big. I removed at least an inch off both side seams and little more than an inch over the hips. Once I got the waist & hips fitted, the length of View E just looked rather frumpy so I chopped off 4 inches and then I pegged in the hem & used my french curve to shape the sides so the skirt gives a bit more of an hourglass shape than a straight pencil skirt. Due to the stretchiness of the fabric, it works really well however I dont think I  would do this if the fabric were non-stretch.

{ INSTRUCTIONS } I did not use the instructions. This is a basic pencil skirt, you really cant go wrong.

{ CHANGES / ALTERATIONS } Instead of installing a normal zip or an invisible one, I installed an exposed zip! { WHAT ?? } Oh yeah, an exposed zip! I used the Gretchen Hirsch tutorial  which explains how to do this & I think it looks pretty cool. I chose a white zip with silver metal teeth & its by no means a perfect installation but its pretty good for a first attempt. Word of warning & if you’ve already tried this method, you will know already – but installing an exposed zip challenges everything you already know about installing a zip. They go in so differently to a regular zip that you almost start to question your sanity. Rest assured though, it looks great & its so easy to do that once I was done I started seriously contemplating why every zip is not installed this way…it makes life much easier.

More changes….Hmmmm…oh yeah. Once I sewed on the waistband, instead of hand stitching the facing under, I sewed the facing on normally with raw edges & finished the whole lot with bias tape to hide the raw edging and give a better finish. I could do that all by machine which means I avoided the handstitching all together. { BONUS } NewLook_6003_skirt_bindings

{ LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY } * For me this was an easy sew & I would recommend it to a beginner, perhaps a slightly experienced beginner.

{ TIME } This skirt took me around 4-5 hours.NewLook_6003_skirt_side

{ SUM IT UP }  This skirt was definitely an experiment & for various reasons. I had wanted to experiment with fabric pattern ie. the animal print on one side and the grass etc on the other. I also wanted to try an exposed zip somewhere along the line because I had never tried before….but I didnt start this project with those plans in mind, it kinda just fell together as things evolved.

Overall, I really like the results and I like patterns that are simple and therefore allow for maximum self expression through additions and changes to make them unique. This New Look 6003 certainly fits that bill so its fast become one of my favourite patterns.

Ok, til next time x

pattern review · review · sewing

{ NEW LOOK 6150 } Protea lovin’…

Ive sewn New Look 6150 before, rememberNewLook_6150_front

The reason I sewed it again is because I have a little crush…it fits so well { PLUS } I had this white knit lurkin’ in my stash for about 3 years so I figured Id better dig in while its still white. True, Ive had fabrics lurk in my stash much longer than 3 years but this white was looking particularly needy & with autumn knockin’ who doesnt need a plain white tee-type with some extra spunk?!

It was View E, again…you know, the one with the puffy sleeves & plain crew neck. Remembering the little bagginess I had with the first attempt at this tee, I cut the entire pattern one size smaller than last time. I also cut the back piece on the fold. Not only does it all fit better but I love that the back has no seam down the middle – so unnecessary IMO. NewLook_6150_white1

I tackled the sleeve elastic without measuring anything prior this time. In other words, I took the long piece of elastic & just sewed it in, pulling the elastic as I went along…It gave me more control of the elastic & it meant I could use as much or as little as needed until I got the poofiness I was looking for. I simply snipped off when I was done. Far easier than using the elastic guide length included in the pattern & then not having enough to grip as you near the end.

And my twin needle came in excellent use again!

I had some left over fabric at the end so I thought maybe  a flower or something  could be pinned to the tee to give it some detail…as if the poofy sleeves aren’t enough. I played a little & came up with the protea so I drew it out, cut & started to sew randomly. I stitched it straight onto the tee, without any backing or interfacing….straight on. I wanted it to stay soft & take the shape of the tee rather than feel stiff & badge-like. I was quite impressed with the end result. What do you think of my fabric protea ? NewLook_6150_protea

I doubt I will ever grow bored of this pattern. Its one of those that hit the favourite list at first sew. Its easy & it doesnt munch up stacks of fabric so I may just head to the fabric store next week & grab a navy & black or a red to make another one or two or three. I have to go into the fabric store anyway because remember the Vogue 8827  I mentioned was on the cutting table? …yeah well, I dont have enough fabric…but I am determined to make it in the berry colour jersey.

 Well my friends, Monday my german course kicks off…can you hear the enthusiasm?! Im expecting next week to be one big headache, literally. I know Im not going to drink or eat enough while Im in class & just the sheer shock of having to do german all day, every day is going to be  headache inducing. Perhaps my sewing will come to the rescue on the afternoons I have off – lets see.

Whatever your’e up to this weekend, stay safe xx

chit-chat · sewing

{ ON THE CUTTING TABLE } Berrylicious…

Firstly, thank you to all of you who sent such lovely comments about the Cloudy Day dress. Wow, you guys really are diggin’ on the contrast piping huh! I wore the dress yesterday & I have to say, it felt amazing to wear something that I know I will { NEVER } see anyone else wear, ever. One of the biggest ups to me-mades. 

We are still very much in summer albeit slightly cooler than the past few weeks with a flutter of wind every now & then. You know what that means – so Im starting on with some autumn sewing while I still have the chance. Im thinking things that I can wear with tights & later with boots…so Ive started with Vogue 8827 because Im usually all about jeans & blouses over the colder months but this coming autumn/winter, I definitely want to try & wear more layers.

I found this viscose jersey in a lovely berry shade so I think this is going to become the V8827. Im going to go boring with this one & keep it simple without any contrast trim. I think the cooler months offer opportunity to accessorize with gloves & scarves so Im going to leave it as such. Im also going to go with the 3/4 sleeves option with only side extending into the draped front…{ VIEW C with 3/4 }….I just hope I have enough fabric!!

V8827_cutting

In other news, Im having to start with a new german language course which is going to take six months….starting 2nd September. I passed my first german exam in June however the next step is the next step so bugger it, Ive gotta buckle down.  A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.

I cant say Im looking terribly forward to being stuck in a classroom for six months but I am looking forward to meeting new folk….oh, & learning more german. { Y A Y }!! Its pretty full on monday to friday but at least wednesday to friday is only half day-ish { LUCKY ME } I still get some time to sew in the afternoons providing I dont have “homework”. 

Ive also been having some fun with my new dyes…..but more on that another time 😉

Have a good weekend lovelies x