review · sewing

{ M7542 } in butterflies…

When this McCalls 7542 landed in my postbox early January, it was instant jubilation. Those sleeves just scream { SEW ME }. I went about cutting & sewing her up within a day or two but my excitement ended abruptly when I tried her on & realised she didn’t fit so well.

I was initially quite excited about this pattern as it boasts various cup sizes A-D. I had not fitted a pattern with optional cup sizes so I figured cutting my cup size would give me a good fit. Was I wrong. The bust darts sat horribly high & the whole bodice just felt too boxy & tight.

I finished her anyway & even wore her a few times but my heart just didnt connect.

Last week I took her out while I was sorting out my wardrobe & I figured since I dont wear her, I should just donate it but even though my heart didn’t connect to the fit, it beat to the fabric { SO LOUD } so donating just wasn’t an option. The fabric, btw, I purchased last year from Empire Textiles and its a Mitex Holland Wax Print.M7542_1

I set about unpicking the areas that gave me issues. I started with the side seams to release those bust darts & I moved the darts down (at least an inch & a half) to give my bewbs more room & to co-incide with my real bust apex. Sorted! Next up I released the sleeve seams a little as I found the original seam made the sleeve just a bit too snug. I also stole a little space from the back seam & sewing up the final side seams I managed to steal some space here too.M7542_sleeve

M7542_2All of those changes resulted in a much better fitting top, one that I now just want to wear every single day. Its still boxy & short but summer is coming so woo-ha!

So I learnt two good things while sewing this top :

  1. Make more muslins!!!
  2. My body really has changed so much since having a baby. I lost so much weight post-partum & gained so much again since I stopped nursing that I really do need to admit that my bewbs just aren’t up north & perky no more! 🙂

So, Is there another M7542 in my future ? Why yes, certainly. Its a basic boxy bodice with some lovely sleeve options so why not.

Till soon,

Ange x

Advertisements
chit-chat · interiors · sewing

{ SEWING IN 2016 } Plans…

Ive been out of sewing action for a few months but here is me telling you that my will to sew is back!

Baby has been all-consuming, therefore its been tough to find the time to sew…or do anything really but bubs is getting bigger. He doesnt need my 100% attention any longer & finally he’s linking those sleep cycles in the day better so he’s sleeping longer which gives me more time to do me stuff. Some people asked me why I dont sew in the evenings & here’s the thing : I dont like sewing in the evenings very much. I prefer natural daylight as opposed to artificial light. Also, the room I used to hang my laundry & do my ironing is now the baby room so all that laundry ended up in my sewing room! We finally decided our bathroom was big enough to take the laundry, it just needed planning so we’ve installed the wardrobes we always wanted, installed the hanging rail for laundry & all that laundry crap has moved out.

In the months that I haven’t been sewing Ive been taking advantage of fabric & pattern sales so I have a lot of good materials stocked up just waiting for some action. Cant wait.

One of the first things I need to do is re-measure myself because our bodies change shape after having a kid. I somehow managed to lose all my pregnancy weight gain 6 weeks post birth & went on to lose a further 12kgs. Im not sure how, it just melted off to be honest. I dont say that braggingly either. I guess Ive just been lucky or the combination of high summer, nursing, sweating & walking just really paid off. While it may be good for my self esteem, it has presented problems with my wardrobe in the sense that a lot of my me-mades from pre-baby no longer fit… so I need to assess these & figure out which ones I love enough to alter & which to donate.

The next thing I need to do is decide on what I want to make. I know Im not even bothering with winter garb (not that I do much winter sewing anyway) so summer sewing it is. Ive had a piece of fabric earmarked for another Rachel Comey Vogue 1247 (see the first one I made). I also purchased the Papercut Flutter pattern last year so I’ll be making one of those as well as the Named Patterns Delphi Dress which I adore. Perfect for summer.

Apart from those new projects, Ive got a never-ending list of alterations I need to do to my denim shorts, some new jeans to hem (coz dammit they always too long) as well as some sewing for my sweet little boy.

Writing all this seems like Ive already bitten off more than I can chew..{ YIKES } but I guess if I dont start I’ll never know.

OHHHHHH & while I was taking that sewing pause, I purchased a new overlocker. I’ll have to tell you all about that soon. { WINK WINK }.

Ok lovelies. Till soon xx

 

pattern review · sewing

{ NEW LOOK 6242 } Cloudy day dress…

Ive sewn NL 6242 before, however only the top version so I decided to try the dress { VIEW A } this time. NewLook6242_front1

I had remembered the pattern was a great success so I pulled out the cotton I purchased from Alfatex a few months back. I loved the tie-dye type effect which looks like a cloudy, overcast sky. I didnt expect the flocked pattern so that was an added bonus once it arrived – hazards of shopping fabric online. Luckily in this case it was a good hazard, or is there such a thing?!

I chose a bright orange piping (which was already in my stash) for the contrast along the undersides of the bust & midriff & continued the piping through the back. I had a little trouble matching the piping at the seams on both sides initially. The zipless side I managed to fix, the zipped side I figured the difference was so minute I wouldnt bugger with a good enough thing. For the zip, a white invisible did the trick however I used a slightly shorter one than specified. NewLook6242_leftside

I also remembered to increase the length of the halter ties but I still think they could be even longer…so next time….

I cut the pattern to my size and although it fitted well, the skirt was a tad tight over the hips at first so I let out the seams slightly just for a little extra space – perfect.  I noticed some bagginess at the back waist area after some wear. With regular straps this wouldnt have been a problem, but the nature of a halter neck means the bodice is pulling up on the front so naturally it will shift slightly on the back. I was going to remove the small bit of bagginess but instead I decided to try this magic “Sockenbremse” ( Socken = socks, bremse = brakes) instead ie. it turns your bare socks from neck breaking enablers into slip-proof pad-around-the-housers! I ran a small thin line of this over the top edge of the back & et voila…no more shifting back = no more bagginess! The latex comes in a variety of handy colours, can be used on a variety of fabrics but it does need around 10 hours to dry. Its also washable to 40 degrees which is perfect since I would never wash this dress any hotter. NewLook6242_rightside

I used my 10mm hemmer gadget for hemming which I had much better results with this time round than the last time I used it. I think this hemming gadget works best with cottons though so I still feel like its a hunk-a-junk in terms of it being marketed as a “foot”. NewLook6242_back

The pattern is relatively easy to construct and although I wouldnt go so far as to say its great for beginners, I do think an advanced beginner could tackle this with relative ease. NewLook6242_closeup_piping

Thats all for today folks, till next time x

{ Related Posts }

pattern review · sewing

{ McCALLS 6751 } Again ?…

Yep, again…albeit this time View D.McCalls_6751_front

I had such fun with View A last week, so before it had a chance to be categorized & numerically stored (because thats how the OCD side of my personality rolls) I decided to whip up View D for some extra fun.

I dug around my stash & found this poly-cotton blend in black with pink polkas. Ive had this fabric in my stash for about 8 or 9 years so it was time to be used. Im not one to blame my tools or materials, but this fabric made the sew fairly troublesome. It slipped around while I was sewing & I noticed the overall finish not as good as I know it could be. Once it got its final press, things looked better but I still dont think this top will be worn any place other than around the house – and thats ok with me because its cool & comfie. McCalls_6751_side

As I said with View A, this is a terribly easy pattern to sew which can be turned around in one hour. For all views, the same front piece is used only swapping out the backs for whichever design you prefer. View D is more conservative compared to View A with a full covered, sloping back & cute pleats to the top for a little detail. As with View A, I french seamed side seams as well as shoulder seams however this time I also sewed down the french seam giving a top-stitch to the seams for something different.McCalls_6751_back

You can bind the edges with bias binding or do as I did by simply hemming.

Im guessing I wont stop sewing this pattern until Ive made at least all 4 options….so you will have to bear with me lovelies 🙂 Since this pattern is so perfect (& easy) for summer, Im making the most of the 35 degree plus weather & getting some last summer sewing in while I can. McCalls_6751_detail

In other news, I also wanted to thank Red Point Tailor for the thoughtful Super Sweet Blogging Award from a few weeks back. I absolutely appreciate every single visitor to my blog, but love reading  your blogs even more 🙂 For me, the community of sewing bloggers is a positive reminder every day that there are wonderfully talented & thoughtful women (and men) out there always ready to inspire.

Thanks for stopping by x

chit-chat · knit

{ FRIDAY FAVOURITE } Obsidian…

obsidian_lisamutch

{ source : lisa mutch via ravelry }

I may be slightly obsessed with this Obsidian knit from Lisa Mutch, just slightly.  And I would assume that 100-odd other lovely ladies were obsessed too.

It may be the height of summer but I am already thinking about knits for the winter & this pattern isn’t going to know what hit it….the trouble is, I have to decide on a colour! I think Im going to go with either a dark ruby red or a dark intense purple…no surprises there really.  Although….I am thinking a black with a drop of sparkle would be good too….hmmmm.

Its so farkin’ hot here at the moment that I can barely think, let alone sit at my Sapphy in the sewing suite. We have a passive-blah-blah house which is supposed to keep everything cool as a cucumber however it would appear to be battling under the heat. The only cool place to retreat is the basement really, or a pool…. { ANY POOL }.

Im also waiting on some new patterns (hooray for pattern sales) and we have a bumper packed weekend ahead of us so I doubt I will get any sewing, or knitting for that matter, done this weekend. I downloaded 2 new BurdaStyle patterns recently (while I killed off a forest in the process), one of which is already pieced together & ready to rumble, the other still requiring some attention which I might go & do now…down in the basement 🙂

Whatever your plans, have a great weekend x

pattern review · sewing

{ NEW LOOK 6150 } Autumn ruching…

Ive been doing a fair bit of jersey/knit sewing recently & this top caught my eye when I saw Annika’s version in a stripe. Before my pattern even arrived, I had selected fabric from my stash. I went for the floral matte jersey I had left over from the Butterick 4788 dress I made a few years ago. Can I just say until now Ive always loved seeing twin needle work & Ive always had a twin needle (three in fact) but never used them. I wasnt scared of trying it, I was just lazy to try it I guess. While I was sewing the DKNY LBD, I made a promise that I would make use of the twin needle whenever I sewed my next jersey/knit. Boy am I glad I did. How easy does the twin needle make sewing knits???  { INSANELY EASY }NewLook_6150_front Anyway, I used the twin needle for the first time on this top & its { LOVE AT FIRST STITCH }. I cant get enough. It was in no way perfect but DAMN it looks sooo much better than a single stitch. Now I just want to sew everything with a twin needle. I need to tweek my tension because I think its making too much of a welt between the 2 lines of stitching. The curse of the computerised machines means Im battling to figure out how to adjust my bobbin tension but I will conquer. Ok, moving along…

{ DESCRIPTION }  New Look 6150 knit top with various options. I sewed View E which is a basic crew neck with ruched sleeve detail

{ FABRIC USED } A floral matte jersey

{ SIZING } For the most part pretty spot on. I do have some loose fabric around the upper arms but I will get to that…

{ INSTRUCTIONS } For the view that I made, instructions were not necessary but I browsed them over anyway.

{ CHANGES / ALTERATIONS } Initially I sewed in the exact length elastic they advised via the elastic guide however I didnt think it gave me sufficient ruching so I removed the elastic, cut it slightly shorter & stretched it more to give a nicer, fuller ruching. I still would like the upper sleeve to be poofier but hey ho, I know this is not the last one Im going to make so I will make the adjustment on the next. At the underside of my sleeves I have some baggy-ness so next time I know to cut the whole sleeve slightly smaller. I did not use binding around the neck as advised, I ironed on some bias tape & then turned it over & stitched it down using the twin needle. Again, its not perfect but for a first timer using the twinny, I think its good! Also, Im not entirely sure this top needs a seam down the back to be honest. I think the next attempt will have no seam & maybe a size smaller…lets see.

{ LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY } ** Easy, however anything with sleeves automatically gets another *.

{ TIME } A couple of hours – I didnt really check on this one.

{ SUM IT UP } Such a basic T-shirt pattern but the ruched sleeves give it a little kick in the ass & I like that. To make this top fit the last of the fabric I really had to do some genius cutting which had me scratching my head for a bit but it worked & Im so glad I took the time to find a solution. I reckon I can wear this summer & winter but I am looking forward to layering this with scarves & light jackets for autumn. NewLook_6150_back Sewing has been a little slow of late because we are having an awesome summer. When I sit & sew I feel bad because the sun is shining & I should be outdoors enjoying but then when I sit in the sun & think about sewing I feel torn – first world pains huh !!   { PFFFT }NewLook_6150_sleeve

pattern review · sewing

{ COMPLETED } Fiesta Denim shorts…

NewLook6100_pocket_trimI called these the Fiesta shorts because they make me { SOOOOO } incredibly happy…& I think it has more to do with the peek-a-boo colour than anything else.

While I was sewing these shorts, I had an epiphany – Im pretty darn pleased with every single New Look pattern that I have ever used. I find their fit so spot on therefore minimizing fitting issues & baggy this or gaping that. I just love how true & tested these patterns seem to be. Sure, Ive sewn one or two that Ive had choice words for (& in hindsight the problems have probably been me making stupid decisions about fabric choice or short cuts etc), but in the big scheme of things, I seem to be far more pleased with this pattern company than some of the other big names.NewLook6100_front

The weather has been disappointing & rather chilly the past couple of days so I will have to wait for a good sunny day to wear these & photograph them in action. Will update pics when I do so. The Fiesta shorts did not disappoint….so here are the deets :

{ DESCRIPTION }  New Look 6100 from the WORKROOM / Project Runway collection. 2 styles of shorts – one straight leg with cuffs & one flared leg, both with waistbands, pockets & optional waist tie.NL6100

{ FABRIC USED } I blogged about my fabric choice but incase you missed that, I used a light-ish weight denim which I pre-washed before cutting. The denim has a geometric pattern which is not printed on, its actually a burnout…or at least thats what I think its called. For the pocket facings & waist facings, I used a burnt orange taffeta I had in my off-cuts stash.NewLook6100_facing_fabric

{ SIZING } I cut my normal size & had no problems.

{ INSTRUCTIONS } I glossed over but did not refer to them too often. These shorts are pretty basic.

{ CHANGES } I omitted the waist tie so therefore by default omitted the carriers. I also wanted some colour so instead of using the denim for the pockets facings & waist facings, I used the burnt orange taffeta which worked really well & I love the peek-a-boo pop of colour. I had mentioned that I was thinking about using a white cotton embroidery anglaise or something similar for the edges but once I saw the indigo blue & burnt orange together, it just seemed like a match made in heaven. Instead of machine stitching the waist facing down after folding back, I hand stitched which took forever but I prefer it.

I also inserted my zip on the right side. Just because! I did not have a navy zip or an invisible zip so I improvised with a regular black zip. Instead of fussing with making a lapped zip cover to accommodate the regular zip, I simply stitched the zip in the wrong way. Yes it means the zip opens from the inside but who cares. Its in, its invisible & it works. Ok, its not { 100% } invisible  but its not freakin’ bad.

Instead of machine stitching the leg facings (ie. the turn-ups) to the underside, I decided to hand stitch them to the understand thereby allowing me the flexibility to wear the shorts without turning up the bottoms if I wanted to without having the stitch lines showing…{ AH HUH }.

{ LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY } * Easy peasy!

{ TIME } I sewed this together in a couple of hours including screwing around with my trim choice. The handstitching added extra time to my clock but this was a personal preference that does not need to be done.

{ SUM IT UP } I really love these. They are comfie & depending on what fabric you use, they can be super casual or quite dressy. I can imagine these in a polka dot, I can see them in a stripe, the lovely Erica B made an awesome denim pair with stars, but sew them up in a black with gold trim perhaps & you have a chic pair of shorts to pair with a blazer. Im pretty sure this denim pair will not be my last & I love that the pockets open up so many opportunities for creativity – piping, lace trim, ribbon, ric-rac, funky bindings, fun fabrics – the possibilities are endless.

Perhaps its my choice in fabric but without the turn-ups they can look a little pajama-bottom-ish…it may also be because I left off the waist tie. But paired with a nice white cotton frilly tee-shirt, Im thinking PJ-ish or not, they are going to get lots of wear.

Highly recommended ! NewLook6100_pocket_trim1NewLook6100_inner

{ BTW } that nail colour Im wearing that happens to match the shorts so well is Catrice Squeeze Me. Its a really dark charcoal grey with a hint of blue but it has these beautiful gold shimmer undertones in natural light. Im finding it the perfect alternative to my usual black. Catrice_SqueezeMe