TGIF

16 Jul

What’s in the box?

Ta da!!

I got back to my desk on Wednesday and there were three big internationally posted parcels waiting for me. #1 was my BMV pattern haul which only took 10 days to arrive.

#2 was from Mum and Dad for my birthday a week ago.

My entire immediate family live in London right now. They went traveling separately but all ended up in the same place. This doesn’t mean I miss out on any mothering though – check out what was included here: a nice soft wool blanket, some candy from Florence, an alternative sewing magazine, a post card from Venice and, as always, a passive agressive news paper clipping. Let’s get a close-up of that:

She means well – I get that and I love her for it – luckily I’ve learned to laugh it off.

The last package was from my fab little sister. Just the excitement needed to get me through the rest of the week.

This weekend’s list:

– Finish the hallway*

– Attempt my first button down shirt, McCall’s 6035. Either the View B or C.

Although, the selfish seamstress just did a great version of the puffy sleeved one and I’m worried that after seeing hers, I’ll just be jealous when mine doesn’t come out as well.

– Now that the patterns have arrived, I need to finalize my self-stitched-september plan.

*No, I haven’t finished the hallway, yes it’s been like 3 weeks since I said I’d do it. So much for holding myself accountable.

Bastille Blouse: Simplicity 2372

15 Jul

Bastille Day was a few days ago but I still thought it was a fitting name for this pretty little red-and-blue print blouse. This was a last chance go at Simplicity 2372. I made the jacket a couple of weeks back and was a bit disappointed with the finished product. I was all set to throw the pattern away if this blouse didn’t suit but, consider it and it’s pretty pleats, redeemed.

I began cutting it out after a long day facilitating an 8 hour group session at work, which in hindsight was not such good thinking on my part. It takes quite a long time as you need to mark all the pleats on the sleeves and neckline and the pattern matching but I got through it, took it over to the machine to begin sewing when insanity struck. I’d lost my right back piece.

I thought I was going nuts – I sew in my lounge/kitchen area that is not that big and I’m the only one here but I couldn’t find it any where. I knew I had definitely I cut it as I had matched the left back to it using the fabulous instructions that Tasia, of sewaholic, had posted a couple of days ago. I went through all my scraps, I went through my drawers. I am not kidding – I actually looked in the fridge thinking maybe in my over-tired brain might have absent-mindedly put it in there. No such luck. All I can think of is that maybe I mindlessly cut the facings out of it. The thing was, this fabric had been in my stash since last year, so no chance of getting more. I went to bed demoralised.

In the morning I had a brainwave – a sacrifice could be made for this blouse. From deep in a box I pulled out the New Look 6180 dress from the last post. I hadn’t worn it more than once in the time since I’d made it so I removed the zip from the center back, ripped the seam open, took a deep breath and crossed my fingers that enough fabric remained to cut the missing piece.

Yes, thanks to those unflattering insubstantial bust darts, the project was back on.

The top has a centre front and centre back seam so I matched the front pieces but added 2 inches to each back piece so I could turn it into a back fastened blouse. I found some navy snaps which looked interesting and I’d never used them before. It was a bit of an experiment but I’m happy with how it came out.

For each snap there are four parts: a backing piece with sharp prongs, a stud, a socket, and a right-side piece with more sharp prongs. The set came with a double ended tool for application.

First I measured out the placement. I had 8 snaps and I marked each one with a pin.

Then I placed the backing piece under the fabric, allowing the prongs to poke through. I found it helps to spread the fabric taut with one hand.

You use the slim end of the tool to force the fabric onto the prongs.

The stud is placed on top.

With the big end of the tool stabilising the stud you whack the end a good 5 or so times with a hammer.

Ta-da! Repeat on the other edge with facing and socket.

I love this fabric and I’m so glad the pattern wasn’t a waste of time.

TOTAL COST:

Fabric: $0 (from stash – originally from Spotlight)

Pattern: $0 (from stash – previous outing here)

Snaps: $4.99

Total Cost: NZ$4.99 / US$3.60

Scalloped Dress: New Look 6180

15 Jul

This is a really quick little post. This dress is New Look 6180 in View C, which I made for a New Years wedding of an old family friend last summer. I ended up wearing something completely different as it was 32 degrees (90F) and the accomodation for the week was a 4-man tent (hippie wedding in the Coromandel = long story).

View from the wedding accomodation

So this one has only been worn once as I soon realised I’d hemmed it a little too short for comfort. This is also why I’m not wearing it in the photo. Why am I posting it you ask? Well, besides the fact I do really like how the scalloped neck edge came out, the answer will be in the next post.

Scalloped Neckline

When pegged skirts go bad… (or alternatively why I need a french curve)

13 Jul

So one of the ideas I played with when I was fitting Simplicity 2648 was pegging the skirt. Sure I thought – it looks so lovely and would work well with the fitted top.

Bad idea… bad, BAD idea (unless you like the Violet Beauregarde look). Maybe if I’d had more patience with it and used the proper process and tools, this could have worked – but I did not.

Luckily this fabric is seriously forgiving and even though I unpicked the pegged seams, it didn’t leave a mark. I’ll definitely be using it again so big thanks to Gertie and her post on sewing with double-knits which I kept up on my laptop screen the whole time to refer to.

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

Vogue Pattern Sale….

4 Jul

… US$3.99 patterns on the vogue website. Man this is not good for my budget!

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

TGIF

2 Jul

This photo is from just over a year ago. I was in Vancouver visiting some gorgeous friends, it was early June and yet already 30 degrees. The friend I was staying with had an apartment in Kitsilano, just up from West 4th. The trees and gardens were spectacular and we spent a week drinking berry mojitos.

I’ve just finished a long and spectacularly bad week at work. I was already under pressure in general but them I screwed up and made a bunch of people mad. I’m a pretty mellow person, and unfortunately a bit of a people pleaser so I worked myself into a real state about the situation. It’s still not fully sorted but I need to try and switch my brain off it for a while, though it’s easier said than done. Time to distract myself with this weekend’s to do list.

I will finish the rust coloured jacket. It just needs the sleeves and bottom hemmed but you know when you’re pretty sure a project isn’t going to work out it’s not all that motivational to get it done.

I want to cut out the navy double knit I have for Simplicity 2648 and hopefully have it finished to wear next week. (Maybe if I wear a pretty dress, I’ll feel better about being at the office).

Next, I’ve just signed onto self-stitched-september so I need to come up with my plan so I’m not all naked for the month!

And lastly I want to get my hallway organised. It mightn’t sound like much but I live in one third of a divided villa and if you’ve ever lived in one you would know built in storage is about nil and my hall has become a serious dumping ground. I need to get the storage sorted then move my dresser in so it can act as a landing point by the front door. Then I want to string up some cheap paper lanterns I found, hopefully something along the lines of this from an old post at Design*Sponge.

Thomas Wold at Design*Sponge