Archive | Sewing RSS feed for this section

Suedette Skirt: Butterick 4461

29 Jul

My Saturday afternoon was spent indulging in a little Spotlight binge shopping. I live about a 25 minute drive from either of the two closest Spotlight stores, one north and one south. Without thinking I headed north, which ended up being mayhem. The fabric space is woefully small for the number of people that go there and I’m guessing Saturday afternoon is their busiest time. Poor planning on my part.

As is common for me I found myself drunk on the sales fabric stand and wound up dragging some 9 bolts of fabric up to the queue that was 10 people deep. It was quite comic as I was literally trying to carry them all at once with a basket of notions slung over one arm. And of course, being Spotlight, several of the tubes at the center of the bolts had broken in half so they were springing in all directions as I tripped over the fabric dragging on the ground.

Amongst this stash was this fabric not-so-charmingly called “Suedette”.

I don’t think it’s possible to find a more synthetic fabric. It has a super soft knit backing and a sort of cracked suede look on the front. When I came across it, more first thought was, my god, who on earth buys these hideously fabrics. Then because I’m insane I started looking at it as a challenge.

Could I possibly make something wearable out of this tacky knit? It was only $5 for the metre I bought, and I’m not one to back down from a challenge.

I kept it simple with Butterick 4461, which is the most basic of A-line skirt patterns. I sewed a size 22 and swapped the lapped zipper for an invisible one. Unfortunately, spotlight was all out of black ones… and navy… so I ended up using a hunter green one which fortunately blends well enough with the faded look of the Suedette.

The  skirt is so basic you could make it in your sleep and I must have made 100 of these in highschool. I was pleasantly surprised with the overall look of the suede it the simple silhouette, but what kept me from wearing it work this morning? The damn fabric somehow shows every teeny tiny bump underneath it!

With the light bouncing off all the lumps and bumps (believe me it is worse than this photo shows) I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Time to buy some spanx, I’m thinking.

TOTAL COST:

Pattern: US$2.99

Fabric: $4.0 (0.8m @ $5/m – Spotlight)

Zip: $3.0

TOTAL COST: NZ$11.11 / US$8.10

African Print Skirt: Simplicity 2605

26 Jul

I made this one a little while back. It’s from the same pattern as the rust skirt (Simplicity 2605)but it is View A, which is longer and has a faux wrap with pleating at the waist.

Simplicity 2605

The length isn’t the best on me but I really liked putting this skirt together. The instructions are straight forward and the skirt is actually sewn on both sides, so no chance of accidental exposure at work.

Faux Wrappage

I saw this slubbycotton print in Centrepoint Fabrics and fell in love.

But, unfortunately I made this skirt before seeing Tasia’s fab print matching how-to at Sewaholic.net.

Back view - matching fail.

Oh well, we live and we learn.

TOTAL COST:

Pattern: $7.5

Fabric: $20.8 (1.6m @ $13/m – Centrepoint Fabrics)

Zip: $4.0

TOTAL: NZ$32.30 / US$23.50

Works in Progress

26 Jul

Here’s what I’m working on currently:

Butterick 4461

I’m almost done with this one and it’s walking a fine line between edgy and trash-tastic… so of course I love it!

McCall's 6035

Another view of McCall’s 6035. I’m trying to improve the fit a little more but I may have gone a little out of control.

Vogue 8631

Butterick 5212

This one will be my $30 version of this US$165 J-crew dress.

J Crew Sophia Dress

The Uniform Project: Dress Pattern

24 Jul

How  cool is this? Hopefully most people have come across The Uniform Project already, where Sheena wore the same dress for 365 days in a row, raising funds for the Akanksha Foundation.

The Uniform Project Dress

Each day she created a new look, pairing the dress with donated accesories.

She has been selling the dress via her website for a while now. It’s reversible and has a button on collar (plus if you look at the website there are 365 styling ideas!).

Reverse Side. Day 89.

I loved it and would have bought one but I wished it was a little longer in length. But fear not, now that they have added the dress pattern for purchase I can lengthen my own! US$20 and 10% goes to the Akanksha Foundation.

U.P. Dress Pattern.

Mine is on it’s way.

Thanks to G, at lin3a rossa for pointing this out.

TGIF

23 Jul

Not much of a to do list for this weekend. Just catching up on housework and the like, yawn.

But I am starting to get there with the sewing plan, now that some of my stash of fabric has been cleared away with recent projects.

Here’s a sneak peak:

I spotted this Orla Kiely coat via Vivat Veritas and realised it was a good match for the 70’s coat pattern I made as my first ebay purchase this week.

I love this Brian Reyes dress and when I saw Vogue 1109 I knew I could channel Tim Gunn and “make it work”. Or at least I hope so. If I can replace the sleeves with facings and extend the hip panels into a skirt, I may be in luck. I also like the Alice + Olivia blazer but I can’t seem to find the right pattern for it. Any ideas?

And finally, to indulge my love of the whimsically ridiculous – these Issey Miyake pants inspired by Balenciaga Resort 2011.

Twofer: New Look 6190 & Simplicity 2593

22 Jul

Here are two super quick patterns to throw together.

The pants are my second go at New Look 6190. Unlike the khakis, this fabric had a little stretch to it so I only added 1/2 an inch to the all the vertical seam allowances versus an inch on the woven fabric. I didn’t intend to have the elasticity – it was just the by product of fabric shopping in a rush and hoping for the best.

Initially I sewed the pants on my machine with a straight stitch. When I bent down to pin my hem (the joys of fitting and pinning by ones-self) I promptly split the seam on the butt, so I sucked it up and attempted threading my serger with new thread for the first time since I bought it. This step took longer than the entire project from cutting to hem… and I still don’t have it right. But it was enough to make these pants safe for work.

I also added 1 & 1/2 inches to the crotch depth. On the Khaki’s this bought the waist to just below my belly-button. With this fabric it sits just above, don’t ask me why. Still I love the high waist, so no complaints there. These were super comfortable to wear so I know they are going to get a lot of use.

The top is a Cynthia Rowley pattern, Simplicity 2593. The design is pretty simple just a one piece back, one piece front with easing at centre front. The arms holes and neck are bound with fabric bias binding. The design element is the neck band inView A, with is a long twisted tube hand stitched to the neck edge.

I threw this together with some gingham I had hanging around for making muslins. It was definitely wearable but I’m not sold on the design on me. Again, I already know I shouldn’t buy patterns without darts or other shaping but I get sucked in with the idea of simple un-complicated designs. Unfotunately this means it’s a little boxy on me.

I made a Size 20, which gave me 3 and a half inches of ease at the bust, and I lengthened the pattern by 1 and a half inches. I also had a couple of issues with the instructions. When it comes to the arm holes, it asks you to trim off 5/8 inch once the shoulder and side seams are sewn. I couldn’t, for the life of me figure out why it asked you to do that – so I didn’t, which probably doesn’t help the boxy. Also, I found the lack of detail on how to attach the neck band, super frustrating, particularly at 11 o’clock last night when I was stubbornly  hand stitching it on. I know some people on pattern review have made some lovely versions, but I don’t know if this is a keeper for me.

Here’s how I wore these to work:

TOTAL COST (TOP)

Fabric: $8.0 (2m @ $4/m – Spotlight)

Pattern: $7.50

TOTAL: NZ$15.5 / US$11.13

TOTAL COST (PANTS)

Fabric: $24 (2.4m @ $10/m – Spotlight)

Pattern & Thread: $0 (From stash)

Zip: $4.0

TOTAL: NZ$28 / US$20.11

Poet Blouse: McCall’s 6035

18 Jul

Yes! I got it done and even enjoyed it. Believe it or not I haven’t sewn button holes since highschool. Or collars for that matter so it was a bit of a refresher,although I wouldn’t look too closely at either one. This is McCall’s 6035 in View B and the first of my box-o-patterns out of the gate. I was all set to complete View C, with simple tabbed sleeves, when the selfish seamstress posted the blousy ones and inspired me to go with these.

There’s something slightly ridiculous about them that I love and I can’t put my finger on it. I used a slightly sheer swiss-dot cotton blend that I thought was white in the store but is actually an ice-blue shade. It fits pretty well as it comes with different cup-size pieces. The body is a Size 20, D-cup.


I graded out to a Size 22 from the waist to the hem which probably wasn’t necessary as there is plenty of fabric there. I also cut the sleeves in a 22 (20 at the cap) and added 3/4 of an inch to the band. I do a lot of typing at work and I can’t stand that feeling of sleeves being too tight.

Next time, I’m planning to make View C as one only needs so many poet blouses.  I’ll fit it a smidge more under the bust and lengthen it a little (yes, that is my butt-crack paranoia surfacing again). But I’m just so glad to have a button-down shirt that doesn’t gap at the bust or cut off circulation to my hands.

TOTAL COST:

Pattern: $5.6 (McCall’s online)

Fabric: $14.0 (2m @ $7/m – Centrepoint)

Thread: $3.0

Buttons: $2.45 (7 @ 35c each)

TOTAL: NZ$25.05 / US$17.80