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

{ 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

pattern review · sewing

{ McCALLS 6173 } Missoni madness…

I made leggings.

Missoni-inspired leggings.

& guess what peeps ? They are super comfie.

The only pants you will find in my wardrobe are jeans { PLENTY } and leggings. I have no other pants…oh no wait I lie, I do have a pair of navy pants & a pair of floral pants I purchased late last year that Ive never worn, but besides those random pairs, I prefer jeans or leggings.

Now Im not one of those girls who flaunts her ass to everyone in sundry when wearing leggings ok. Im quite conservative when it comes to showing ass actually. I dont like to see butt crack, on me or anyone else, & I certainly dont like seeing camel toe! So I keep my privates rather layered over because Im a good girl like that. Call me Old School if you’d like but thats how I roll so leggings only just make the grade in my wardrobe & even then, they have to be super cute & fit really well otherwise they { OUT }.

I like to wear leggings because they layer so well & you can get such awesome leggings these days to brighten up any wardrobe, especially during Autumn and Winter. A little peek-a-boo colour between your boots & a knitted dress is pretty cool IMO. I love to browse the Black Milk website for inspiration. I particularly like their Galaxy leggings as well as their Mermaid variety.

So when I saw this Missoni-inspired fabric, I knew I had to purchase a metre in order to squeeze out a pair of leggings for Autumn. These are the first leggings Ive ever made, but certainly not the last!!

Here are the deets peeps : McCalls_6173_tights2

{ DESCRIPTION }  McCalls 6173 Close fitting pants with various finishes ie. View A has waistband with mock fly front zipper and exposed zippers at the ankles, View B is straight up normal, View C has a normal elasticated waistband with gathered/ruched ankles. I made the straight up B’s.

{ FABRIC USED } 1 metre of viscose jersey purchased via Buttinette.

{ SIZING } Hmmm….I read all the reviews on PR but it was hard to judge on the sizing because stretch fabrics have various degrees of stretch(iness). Based on the envelope sizing, I cut a large but once I sewed the legs together I knew immediately I would drown in them so I cut away & then cut away & cut away some more. Im guessing I cut right down to a small! This is a picture of the leggings laid down under a pair of my store bought leggings. This was { AFTER } the first cut so I still had a way to go before they fit. McCalls_6173_tights1

{ INSTRUCTIONS } Since these leggings are pretty much one piece for each side & a waistband, I didnt even look at the instructions. { SIMPLE SEWING }.

{ ALTERATIONS / CHANGES } Absolutely none..unless you count the sizing issue an alteration.

{ LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY } I know over the summer I branded many a pattern super easy, for instance the McCalls 6751 and the Vogue 2091, this really is the simplest, easiest thing Ive sewn to date & perfect for beginners.

{ TIME } No time at all. An hour at the most providing you dont need to do numerous size adjustments.

{ SUM IT UP }  Highly recommended pattern for a basic legging that you really cant go wrong with. Super comfie if you use the right fabric & easy enough for a real beginner to make. I have short-ish legs so I managed to cut my leggings out of a metre fabric with a nice size offcut down one side. I always keep my offcuts because I know I can use them for something along the way. McCalls_6173_tights3

Have you made leggings ? If so, which ones? Id like to try leggings with some detail next time, not just at the ankle ie. zips or ruching. Id like to give it a go at some point with pleather strips or combination fabrics – could be really fun.

Whatever you do, or wherever you venture this weekend, stay safe x

pattern review · sewing

{ VOGUE 8827 } Ready for Autumn…

She’s done. Finally.  Autumn can now begin. Vogue8827_front

Many of you have probably already seen my previous posts on the journey thus far with the Vogue 8827 and while Ive had my fair share of hurdles from the “ready steady”, I have quite enjoyed the process.

After sewing multiple no-brainers all summer, like the McCalls 6751 (eerhm twice) to the DKNY LBD and the New Look 6150 (again twice), I decided it was time to dig into something a little more advanced. Vogue8827_back

So without further ado, here are the deets on the pattern :

{ DESCRIPTION } Very loose-fitting, wrap dress. Has front extending into collar with various draped fronts. Self-lined yoke back, inside ties & belt. I sewed up a mash-up of all three versions. I sewed View C with only one draped collar front, 3/4 sleeves & knee-ish length.

{ FABRIC USED } A beautiful berry coloured viscose jersey for €6/m. The colour is perfect for Autumn but the fabric did have me cursing a little.

{ SIZING } After ready a few of the previous reviews on PR I decided to cut my dress 2 sizes smaller.The fabric I used was super stretchy so I knew Id have room. The lovely ladies from A Challenging Sew and The Slapdash Sewist  have extremely helpful reviews on this dress so taking all the measurements into account, I knew I wouldnt bugger up.

{ INSTRUCTIONS } The instructions are not bad overall however the complicated collar area could have been a little better explained IMO.

{ CHANGES / ALTERATIONS } The instructions call for slip stitching of the yoke facing inside. I was able to pin & sew my yoke on the inside which I was happy about….less handstitching makes me a happy camper. I did however have to slipstitch the shoulder yoke facings down but this took no time at all.

I made quite a big change to the way the belt ties work. I sewed one tie to the left side which passes under the right side so you dont see the stitch line. I then made a small-ish hole in the right side seam for the tie to pass through & wrap right around my waist & meet in the front. For the right side, I opened a small gap in the seam & sewed in the tie (which is another reason I left this side faced). In other words, I made the wrap dress a proper wrap dress with ties that wrap around the entire body. I feel its a little more secure this way & I feel like I have more control over how loose or how tight I want it to be. Vogue8827_tie Vogue8827_tie_hole

When I first sewed the collar (which is self-faced), I didnt like the drape of the extended front piece & I was debating on whether to remove the facing. Some of you lovelies urged me to leave it the way it was which I decided to do & Im glad I did. Thanks for the advice. I think if I had changed the collar to a single, unfaced piece, it just wouldnt have felt or looked right. While the second layer of fabric adds bulk, its not terribly heavy & gives the much needed body around the neck. Here is a pic of the collar extended…. Vogue8827_front_collar

For the hemming of the dress & the sleeves, I zigzagged my edges & turned them over once & stitched really close to the edge. Its not the best finish in the world but it works.

{ LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY }  Vogue call this pattern Easy…I beg to differ. I wouldnt call it easy but I wouldnt call this pattern intermediate either. Its more a combination of the two. The dress is easy if you didnt have that complicated collar. I would not recommend this pattern to a beginner unless I knew they had someone who could guide them through the collar. The rest of the dress however is pretty straight forward.

{ TIME } I didnt keep my usual time card on this dress unfortunately but I would say from layout to finishing took around 6 or 7 hours in total. I stole moments here & there to get this dress finished & made a few stupid errors along the way ie. the one yoke is a little off grain. Not sure HTF that happened!

{ SUM IT UP } I recommend this dress & I would even recommend it in a crepe or something drapey but not necessarily a jersey/knit. Ive seen a few made in cotton which work well too so dont feel obliged to make this in a stretch.  Super comfortable & incredibly flattering which reminds me of a DVF classic wrap dress, without the price tag of course. Even if I counted all my beans & decided I could afford an original DVF, I wouldnt need to because I have this gorgeous piece of berrylicious loveliness. I will get plenty of wear out of this over Autumn but I know nearing Winter I will need to layer it with some other things to make it wearable over the colder days. In hindsight, I could have gone with a much thicker jersey which might also have been easier to work with.Vogue8827_side

Would I sew this again ? Maybe, but with there being so many other superbly drafted wrap dresses I doubt it. I also have that queue to get through…

Am I happy with the overall result? Yeah, mostly. This isnt my best sewing due to the fact that the fabric is fairly troublesome but overall its a great finish.  Im super chuffed with my new dress & I cant wait to make tons of use of it over the coming cooler seasons.

Thanks for popping by x

chit-chat · sewing

{ VOGUE 8827 } Cut ‘n Ready to rumble…

V8827_cut_ready

Vogue 8827 is well underway…after a shaky start!

Firstly, I didnt have nearly enough fabric to even get the short version out so I beetled off back to the fabric store for more, all the way praying they still had this colourway in stock. When I purchased this fabric I didnt have this dress in mind, I just bought some because I loved the colour…just so you dont think Im an egg-head for not buying enough. { OK }. So once I got the extra piece home it needed to be washed which I smacked through on Saturday evening & by Sunday evening I had already cut more than half the pieces.

With German school starting this week, I pretty much came home pooped both Monday & Tuesday. Sewing does calm & clear my mind but I felt exhausted & didnt want to make any mistakes or worse still, cut my finger off with the rotary cutter. Since today was a shorter school day, I came home feeling stronger & cut the remaining pieces.

So Im all cut ‘n ready to rumble.

The cutting process was quite tiring in the sense that viscose jersey rolls & flops so its quite difficult to get a hand on it but now that the cutting is done, Im excited to start the sewing process. { GRIN }

A wedding this weekend has scuppered my plans to sew on Saturday but I see  you Mr Sunday… & its a date. { BTW }, this will be the first traditional wedding I attend in Austria & therefore the first time I get to don a dirndl.  I hate to admit this but I did not make my own dirndl. At first we weren’t going to wear traditional kit but last weekend we decided why the fuck not??!….. The thought most definitely crossed my mind but I couldnt find a dirndl pattern I fancied. Lord knows I have enough fabric to whip up a few… so if any of you lovelies know of a great dirndl pattern, please leave the deets down below. Thanks

Okie dokie thats all I have for today x