Archive | Sewing RSS feed for this section

Experiments in fitting: Simplicity 2648

12 Jul

I finally finished Simplicity 2648 last night – just in time to wear for a full day presentation at the office. This was really fun in parts and in others majorly frustrating. The pattern is one of the Amazing Fit series from simplicity which includes A-, B-, C- & D- Cup pieces and skirts cut for Slim, Average, and curvy. I cut a size 22 curvy on the skirt and a size 20 D-cup for the bodice. The pieces were fine to work with but my body is unusually shaped in many parts (aren’t we all) so there was a lot of adjusting too. I liked that the instructions give you a lot of guidance to fitting the garment but I still found I was making things up as I went.

The bust was the trickiest as I wear a 34GG bra. Beneath my bust is probably my smallest part but overall I wear a size 20-22 so figuring this pattern out was a challenge. Below is what I ended up doing on the princess seam as it was gaping badly at the arm hole.

The instructions you baste together most of the seams first then adjust as you fit. I used the left over rust coloured thread from the skirt and jacket I made last week so it was easy to see what needed to be removed once the actual seams were sewn. To fit this part, I unpicked the princess seam.

Then, with the side front piece laying flat, I overlaped the bodice front piece with the seam allowance tucked under then pinned in place.

I took out a lot from the side seam and from under the bust.

By the pattern; Pin fitting; Finished shape

In the end I probably took too much out but by this point I had gone back and forwards with pieces too many times and was quite over it. I took out the zip in the back as I was sewing with lovely thick navy double knit.

I paired it with my lovely new Veronika Maine birthday coat (thanks Mum & Dad) and was happily blue all day.

The BMV Haul

8 Jul

Well here they are. The 16 patterns winging there way here to me thanks to my sale fever:

Vogue 1109

Vogue 1161

Vogue 1174

Vogue 1186

Vogue 8333

Vogue 8596

Vogue 8604

Vogue 8631

Vogue 9668

McCall's 5525

McCall's 6035

Butterick 4461

Butterick 5250

Butterick 5327

Butterick 5463

Butterick 5472

Shift Dress: New Look 6643

6 Jul

So I ended up buying 16 patterns off the Vogue/McCalls/Butterick website on Sunday. 16? 16! I justified it by the fact that a Vogue pattern will cost me aprox NZ$27 here but I got them for US$3.99. So that’s like 75% off. It certainly helped sort the Self-Stitched-September planning too. I’ll post the goodies & plan shortly.

In the meantime, here’s what I wore to the office today. This is View A of New Look 6643 and I call it my fall back dress. I made it last year before I had attempted any fitting or altering of patterns and whilst I look at it now and think of the adjustments I might make (I mean there’s not even any bust adjustment), it’s always so comfortable.

The thing is, I always forget I have this one. I’m not sure why that is, but I run through in my head what I’m going to wear for the day (usually whilst procrastinating on getting out of my warm, warm bed) and this one never occurs to me. Then I see it, throw it on and it never fails to make me feel good.

It’s the simplest pattern – two princess darts at the front and back, neck facing and bias bound arm-holes, a centre back zip and vent. It’s made out of that super soft and silky feeling satin (sorry I’m no good with knowing my fabrics) and a beautiful rich print. It doesn’t show in the photos, which were taken in artificial light at 6am (eek), but it also has flecks of turquoise in it.

I had a similar pattern 12 years ago in high-school that I sewed in everything from satin to Hawaiian print to white linen. It’s nice to see some things are always classic.

Does it look like the envelope?

TOTAL COST:

Pattern: $10.0

Fabric: $27.99 (1.4m @ 19.99/m – Centrepoint Fabrics)

Notions: $15.0 (Aprox)

TOTAL: NZ$52.99 / US$36.70

Rust Jacket: Simplicity 2372

3 Jul

So I finally worked up the motivation to finish the jacket to match the rust skirt. Weekend task 1 complete. Honestly it doesn’t flatter me much and I’m starting to think there is a reason no one else has reviewed Simplicity 2372 on PR.

It was a pretty simple pattern to make, the only thing that slowed me down was figuring out how I would line it as the pattern only provides for facings. In the end I added full lining just using the original pieces then laid the facings on top and top-stitched before joining to the fabric.

It has nice little pleats in the raglan sleeves and a box pleat in the centre back. (It’s not actually crooked, I just can’t stand straight, apparently).

I thought maybe the matchy-matchy with the skirt wasn’t helping things, and it’s a little better dressed down with my grey jeans.

But I think it still reminds me of this:

Oh well, live and learn.

TOTAL COST:

Pattern: $7.5

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

Lining: $9.0 (2m @ $4.5/m – Centrepoint Fabrics)

Button: $1.20

Thread: $4.50

TOTAL: NZ$36.20 / US$24.90

Mermaid Dress: Simplicity 2692

30 Jun

Don’t be fooled by the pictures…… or the line drawings.

This dress nearly drove me up the wall!

Reason number one was the fabric – my first time sewing with sheer fabric that frays if you even glance at it.

Reason number two was the fit.

I was looking for a simple one-shouldered dress for a black tie event I was attending for work. Simplicity 2692 looked like it would fit the bill and be pretty easy to alter for my full bust. I mean gathers – they’re designed to adjust right?

Wrong. I’m not even going to go into how many tries I made with this one. A lot of it was my own doing as I haven’t done a lot of FBAs but there were also funny things going on with the midrif panel and the back.

I ended up extending the bodice front by 3 inches, raising the arm holes by an inch so that my strapless bra wouldn’t show. I narrowed the back piece as it was gaping and changed the angle of the midriff pieces.

Pattern pieces before.

Pattern pieces after.

On the positive side – I didn’t change anything on the skirt.

The whole thing was lined with navy acetate and I used a scrap of poly satin for the midriff. In the end it came together okay – except for one little thing. I forgot to add the ease back in when I adjusted the midriff so I couldn’t exactly breath in this one. Believe me when I tell you it took three people to get that damn zip up!

If I decide to make any of the other views on this pattern, I may just take The Mahogany Stylist’s lead and make it from a knit.

TOTAL COST:

Pattern: $7.5

Fabric: $38.85 (3m @ $12.95/m)

Lining: $12.0 (3m @ $4/m

Zip: $8.95

Thread: $4.5

TOTAL: NZ$71.80 /US$49.40

I want a white lace dress…

28 Jun

You know when you get a vision of something in your head, then you start seeing it everywhere…

Alexa Chung; The Telegraph; Linda Brownlee

Trelise Cooper; Summer 2010; Marzipan 'Pearls of Wisdom' Dress

Josephine over at The Silk Futures made a truly gorgeous version she called the ‘Doily’ dress.

View B of New Look 6949 could work, and I already have it in my stash…

Rust Skirt

28 Jun

So I rightly figured that if I wore this skirt all day it would be pretty wrinkled from sitting at my desk. Happily, I snapped these before I left this morning.

This is halfway between Views E  & F of Simplicity 2605 and looking at it now I think next time I’ll just go with the shorter version which would fall just above my knees.

I’m really happy with how it worked out. I’ve already used this pattern to make view A and I think it’ll be another “go-to” pattern in my stash.

P.S. Not quite the Karen Walker in the previous post – but maybe some day.

TOTAL COST:

Pattern: $7.5

Fabric: $7.7 (1.1m @ $7/m – Centrepoint Fabrics)

Zip: $5.0

Thread: $4.5

TOTAL: NZ$24.70 / US$17.0

Weekend Work

27 Jun

Well, it’s half past 11 on Sunday night and the only reason I’m still awake is that my neighbour (I live in a villa that has been divided into 3 flats) is talking loudly and giggling with his girlfriend. The noise through the thin walls is the only drawback to what is otherwise a lovely place to live.

Anyway, maybe it’s payback for the sound of my sewing machine going all day. I decided to make a start on the rust coloured skirt and jacket and made pretty good progress. The skirt came together super-quick and I’m going to wear it tomorrow with a simple long sleeved tank, taking Karen Walker’s outfit as inspiration.

Of course, due to not being so unusually long and lean as the model above, I have my Weight Watchers meeting tomorrow night so won’t be able to get a snap of it till Tuesday.

Hopefully by that time the jacket will be done. This one took a little longer as I’ve had to improvise lining for it, rather than just facings. I’m also a little concerned about how it’s going to look as it’s seeming a little matronly right now.

Also I caught the photos of the twilight premiere over on gofugyourself.com and it’s possible that, combined with the skirt, the outfit might just be the girls version of this:

Fingers crossed that it is not.

Khakis

23 Jun

So back in high school the first and only trousers I made were a pair of purple satin pajama pants. 12 years later here is attempt number two.

I’m pretty happy with the results. I used New Look 6190 and they ended up not too far off what’s on the pattern envelope. I bought this one about 4 years ago when I wasn’t quite so voluptuous so it was already cut out in a size 18. I adjusted this by adding 4″ to the hips (1/2″ to each seam allowance) which I carried down the whole length as it handily also equaled the 2 inches I needed to add to the thigh. The other adjustment was to add an inch to the crotch depth as I’m paranoid about showing butt crack (can you blame me, really?). Once sewed up, I had to take 3 inches off the hem. I may be 5′ 9″ but that height is not in my legs!

I used a cheap polyester drill as I just wanted to give these a go before making some black pants for work. They were super easy to construct and I got to put the green machine to work on the overlocked seams. Originally I purchased the fabric intending to make New Look 6949 but found I already had this pattern and it had a nice waistband which 6949 didn’t. Unfortunately this one uses just a smidge more fabric so I had to make the facing from left over fabric but I quite like the contrast.

TOTAL COST:

Pattern $- (From Stash)

Fabric $16.80 (2.4m@$7/m – Spotlight)

Thread $ 4.50

TOTAL: NZ$21.30 / US$14.7

PS. Found my package I left at the supermarket  so more sewing to come.

Yoke

22 Jun

For as long as I’ve been sewing I only ever seemed to make dresses and the occasional skirt, the reason behind this escapes me as I swear, 80% of the time, I’m to be found in comfy tops and trousers. As part of committing to sewing more and also wearing more of what I sew I decided to start with Simplicity 2594 (View A).


It’s also the first time I’ve sewn anything with a yoke, so I wasn’t sure how it would go but it turns out it was all good. View A has a bias cut front and back with the yoke cut on the grain. After checking out PatternReview.com, it seemed that this one has a lot of ease built in so cut it in a size 20, and went without a full bust adjustment. Does it look like the pattern envelope?

Pretty close. I chose a very light weight cotton I picked up cheaply as I wanted to try this more as a wearable muslin but it’s thin enough that it drapes ok, even with my ample bosom. The instructions were pretty straight forward, but with a heads up that step 17 is incorrect I just went with my gut and it came together quick and easy – even the yoke and back gathers.

This is definitely going to be one of my staples, I even picked up some lovely dotted cotton in both white and turquoise this afternoon but I was having a daft moment and left it at the supermarket checkout on the way back to the car. Fingers crossed I can collect it tomorrow!

Total Costs:

Pattern $7.50 (On sale)

Fabric $9.20 (2.3m @ $4/m – Centrepoint Fabrics)

Thread $4.50

TOTAL: NZ$21.50 / US$14.80