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

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Make do and mend

19 Jul

Look what I found in the centrefold of the July/August frankie magazine – a “Make do and mend” poster by Clare Owen (Check out more of her beautiful illustrations on her site). This will have to go on the wall beside my sewing (ahem… dining) table.

I’ve had two great magazines to pour over this week. The Australian frankie has some cute articles.

How to make musk sticks.

Handkerchief collection.

Vintage storybook coasters.

The other magazine came in the parcel from Mum and Dad. It is the UK produced Selvedge. It has a art/sewing/craft focus. Here’s some that caught my eye.

Jane Austen’s needlework.

How to make pillows from print fabric.

Wisdom for new graduates. (I am not a graduate of any kind… I just like the embroidery).

P.s. Here’s how I ended up wearing the blouse to work today.


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

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.