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

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

 

sewing

{ 2013 } in review…

I think I did pretty good this year, certainly managed to make the most Ive ever made in 12 months…. { EVER }. 28 or so garments (including my 3 knitting projects) but excluding some little kiddie crafts and one or two projects from yesteryear that I had to go back to for whatever reason.

My favourite me-mades were these…

NewLook6191_side2

These are the NL6191 pants which I {ADORE}. So comfortable & effortless, easy to dress up or stay casual. I’m pretty sure I’ll be making more of these soon.

mmmay2013_day21This lovely V1027 dress is a super huge hit. I love the fit, the monochrome fabric choice allows it to be paired with absolutely any colour. Its such a fantastic pattern that comes together in no time, with very little hassle. I know some of you have had fitting issues with this pattern & Im so sad for you, honestly. Ive worn this to death & I’ll be making more!

NewLook_6150_proteaNewLook_6150_frontYou can read all about my love affair with this NL6150 pattern here & here. I cant count how many ways I love this pattern. The autumnal colours came first followed very shortly by the white version with the protea applique. I wear these both regularly, in fact, Im wearing the floral one today!! I will be making more of these in 2014 for sure.

Simplicity_1642_front

This little red number was a happy accident really. Its made using the S1642 pattern which had to be adjusted but Im loving it & its always in the wash when I look for it so that means Im wearing it too much 🙂

sizzle

Last but not least, my Sizzle knit which I haven’t had the opportunity to wear that much but when I have, Ive just wallowed in it. Alot of work, but fun to knit. Im obsessed with the white & get a real kick out of wearing a knitted garment in summer-ish…ok, perhaps not on those strip-down-and-sew-in-undies days in august,but youknowwhatimean.

Ive already got some plans for my 2014 sewing schedule, some challenges indeed. The crazydontgiveafuck ange decided to order 3 wishlist patterns recently before the sensiblegivesafuck ange could kick in. All 3 are big hits in the sewcialist world & I would not be at all surprised if I am the last to join the rodeo. Let’s see shall we 2014.

On that note, {HAPPY HAPPY}. Stay safe wherever, whatever or however you celebrate the New Year.

Thank you all for sharing your 2013 with me x

 

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

{ #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

{ TICKING OVER } New projects…

I fell instantly in love with a few of the garments featured in the La Mia Boutique magazine in September. Anna of Paunnet showcased a few on her blog & I knew right there I would have to find that magazine. I was unsuccessful in locating a newsagent in my neck of the woods who stock this mag but after much searching, I found two suppliers online in Europe who could send the magazine on so I quickly ordered this issue before it sold out. I could have driven all the way into Vienna to the bigger newsagents but then again, I might well have just driven to Italy to pick one up myself too. Isnt Europe amazing like that 🙂

So, first up I traced this blouse : La_Mia_Boutique_09/2013/06

Then I traced this blouse :

La_mia_boutique_09/2013/08

which looks boring from the front, but the back is gorgeous so you’ll have to wait until I make this to see… :

& then I traced off this dress : La_mia_boutique_09/2013/11

those pleats!!! I mean, what is is about a pleat that gets me so excited? Anyone else suffer from the same wonderful addiction to pleats ?

So these 3 patterns should keep me busy for, oh lets call it a month or so. Did any of you purchase the September issue of LMB? & if so, which garment/s do you plan on making? Oh, & since October is now here, what are your plans for #RedOctober? I found some knit fabric in a lovely red yesterday but Im still not sure it will become.

I guess I also need to start thinking about what to knit since it would seem we just missed Autumn completely & nosedived straight into Winter.

Trust you are all having fab weekends so far…