Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Quicky retro top

Sometimes you just want to make something fast and easy.  And if all goes to plan it's a very satisfying thing to complete an item in one day or even afternoon.  I am lacking in longer sleeve tops because I don't always see the point when we have such a short period of cool weather here in Brisbane.  This top was a happy compromise in lightweight gingham and a 3/4 length sleeve.  


I made some changes to a 70's peasant style blouse pattern.  The neckline and bodice are basically the same but instead of the long sleeve with ruffle in the pattern I simply cut a shorter length which left the top with a wider bell sleeve look. 


Once again I find myself saying that I should have added a few extra inches to the length of my garment. Looking at the pattern pictures this top is meant to be tucked into a skirt so it's not all that wide or long, so the shape does look a bit boxy.  I would definitely add length and more width to this next time. I also added some ric-rac to the front for a bit of contrast.  


Overall a very satisfying little make in one afternoon. A versatile base to make a few variations on the pattern. 


Saturday, 13 August 2016

Alder Shirt Dress by Grainline Studios

I'm almost annoyed that this dress sorta kinda of looks good.  I almost gave up on it and wasn't even going to bother putting on the buttons. I seem to have the worst luck with these independent patterns companies and their sizing.  I do my measurements against whatever the pattern says, then during the construction process I try it on and it is generally 2 or 3 sizes too big.  This was such a drama with this dress particularly regarding it having a collar. Everything just looked like it was swamping me when I first tried it on.  And the neck band didn't quite work out as it should have.  I don't think I had any trouble making it up as the instructions were clear. In the end I added some darts to the front to take it in. Fortunately the pattern and colour of the material hides them.


I even got so far as doing buttons holes, then gave up on this dress. It sat there for months and months on my dressmaker dummy.  Putting the buttons on was a bit of a horror show.  I laid the dress out flat on the floor and marked where I wanted the buttons to go trying to cross over the front sections enough to make the neckline look reasonable.  I had to move buttons a few times. Fortunately I was on holidays when I did this so I didn't feel as annoyed about wasting all this time on a simple task. 


I am happy with how this dress looks on and I wouldn't mind trying to make another at some stage.  I just feel a certain amount of bitterness towards the pattern which I may never quite recover from.  At least it's a super comfy dress best to be worn in the cooler months with tights and maybe a cardi. 



Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Style 1838



I bought this 1970's pattern late last year on ebay.  Even though I have already had some peasant top patterns I quite liked the dress with the long sleeves in this.  Unfortunately upon opening the packet I discovered that the back section of the top and dress was missing.  Looking at the pattern and the elastic neckline I figured I could just use the one piece for front and back.  I've discovered with some PDF patterns that some front and back sections of dresses and tops are pretty much identical. And definitely when you have to construct each piece of the pattern from the A4 print out, I try to find a shortcut. 



I went on a rayon buying spree recently at Spotlight. I do love that fabric. So light and floaty and not too crushy mccrush.  Shame I won't get a lot of wear out of this top with our short winters. Ah well it's a style I'll wear for years to come. 

 



Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Simplicity 6103



Another little something something from my 60's pattern collection. I purchased this pattern late last year mainly for the the blouse.  I certainly wasn't disappointed with the pattern.  The pattern was very simple and easy to follow and absolutely no unpicking was needed during the sewing process. Hooray.


I can't remember where I purchased the material, but I suspect it was quilting cotton. It is the perfect material for a vintage top.  I couldn't find enough buttons in my collection so I did covered buttons. The only alteration I should have done was lengthen the body as it's quite short. Also there was no guide for the button holes but that's not exactly rocket science to work out where to place your buttons.  



I love this top and will definitely make it again.  




Monday, 18 July 2016

Alice, Working Hard for the Money

I haven't been doing a whole heap of sewing in the last few weeks.  I made a vintage peasant top and cut out a few things.  I decided I needed a nice fast project for a work pinafore. Come on down the Alice by Tessuti.   This is my second dress in the Alice pattern and I've done 3 tops.  I wanted something quick and easy and that patterns is great for such a project. 


The fabric which is 100% synthetic has the look of a wool blend.  I'm quite optimistic it might not be a crusher.  I have way too many of those in my work dresses repertoire.  Even fabrics I'm not expecting to crush do.  I even took it old school and bought some fabric starch spray.  That didn't seem to work on the fabric I needed to de-crease. It just left a nice film of starch on my iron which flaked off on the next thing I ironed. 


Back to Alice.  This is a very simple make and a versatile colour for work. It is actually a blue background but looks grey in most lights.  As I don't have an overlocker I had to zig zag my seems twice because this fabric freys like the Dickens. 


I used some buttons for a bit of embellishment.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Drawer of Horrors

I was quite confident that I had my sewing/spare room in some sort of order.  Alas my patterns are stored in various locales due to lack of storage.  I started out my Wednesday morning trying to find one of my vintage patterns, which by rights, should have been in a particular place that I keep my pre-used vintage patterns.  A peruse of the 2 storage bags did not yield the pattern in question.  Then I went to the next 2 or 3 locations it could have been in.  No luck.  Of course this venture of looking through all my patterns, drawers, baskets, storage containers is all very interesting, with forgotten patterns giving me pause to think about when I might actually use them.  
 
Finally, I came across my bits and bobs sewing drawer.  Like the drawer most of us have the kitchen for all things that have no place elsewhere, I have my sewing drawer with various odds and ends, interfacing, zips, tube turner etc.  However, after starting to unload the drawer I found many many things that maybe should not have been in there.  Behold........
 

Firstly, the patterns. What was I thinking discarding so many patterns in this drawer. I even had loose pattern pieces all belong to one pattern marked 6020. There was no 6020 pattern in the drawer. There were even some other pattern pieces pined to material.  2 lots of large material off cuts, enough to use again. And partially made dress which I had helpfully put in a bag with material and pattern. There was string, there was ribbon, some felt. Junky material offcuts which I assume I was keeping to do covered brooches. Other random fat quarter material pieces. Covered button kits. A PDF pattern for a bag. The good news is that I found the only pants pattern that I’ve had success with and recently assumed was at my parent's house. I certainly wouldn’t have been looking in that drawer for one of my much loved patterns. 
 
I was grateful to google for helping me to locate what pattern 6020 belonged to. It was hard to find the actual pattern company on any of the pieces initially but once I did I found the missing pattern. I'd actually wanted to use the pattern late last year for a sewing project and found pieces missing.  
 
In the end I did find my vintage pattern. Where you may ask? Well in one of the original places I looked. I just didn't look hard enough.  A wasted morning with my drawer of horrors, but I guess a good excuse for a clean out and clean up. 
 
 

Saturday, 18 June 2016

New Look 6187

I've been trying to branch out and make more tops recently. I bought a  couple of patterns last time when Spotlight had their $5 sale on patterns. Whenever these sales are on I go through the draws with my list of patterns and mostly they aren't there. Then I just start trawling through the drawers at random to see if anything takes my fancy.  This is where I found the New Look 6187.  I liked the looked of the mandarin collar version. 
  

Alas I was not happy with the end result.  Perfectly easy little top to make, but I didn't make the top long enough and also the sleeves are very boxy.  At first I thought I wouldn't wear it, but I guess it is wearable I'm just not l-o-v-ing it. 



As the basic style of the top is nice I might give one of the other versions a go in the longer sleeve and add a couple of inches to the length. 


Material was a quilting cotton that I've had for about 12 months.  Funny how it matches the diagram on the front of the pattern.