Saturday, August 27, 2011

...and another OOP

In my last post I said I'd show you what that wearable muslin skirt (from Vogue 1915, OOP) looked like on, so here you are:

If you're wondering, it's not that my neck comes out to the side for a dance or something, it's that the top has squirmed off to the side. 

The shadows are tricky too, aren't they - something to do with the time of day I believe.



Here on the left is proof of at least one functioning pocket - oh wait, make that two functioning pockets - very handy.

























You may be wondering about the top too...


... I wondered about the hemline when I saw this photo!


Evidently the top is from the late 1980s - same era as the skirt, which is why it kind of matches even though yes, it is mostly navy blue whereas the skirt is black. I cut this top out ooooh about 20 years ago (woah!) and then left it because it looked too boring. It was a good low-mojo kind of project - the sewing was much easier than expected and I had pretty low expectations and no need to finish the thing if indeed it was too boring.

The pattern is well and truly OOP, a Tamotsu Vogue "career" pattern (V2454). Very easy to sew, very loose, very basic.  The fabric is some kind of chiffon that the younger me had cut out very carefully and precisely, and my sewing machine coped fine with it (with simple French seams wherever possible). A bit too boxy for my liking these days with no darts to shape it, but good for a quick production and no doubt easy to wear.










PS That hemline is straight. The top is not hanging straight. Nothing to worry about.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Life, Interrupted

It feels ages since I last posted although I know it's only been a little more than a week... My dear friend Chris passed away about 10 days ago from brain cancer, leaving behind another dear friend, his wife, and their young son - I just really haven't felt like blogging since.  There has been some sewing though... Chris' memorial service was last Thursday, and I sewed a cover for the coffin trolley (in a regal looking red velvet) - my first completed project in velvet, but I don't imagine it would make a particularly interesting sewing post.

I had also been doing minimal sewing for the school book parade, but the parade was postponed due to rainy weather - nothing to show there either!

So all I really have to show for the last 10 days is a wearable skirt muslin. The skirt design is vintage but looks current enough to me (do skirt styles just keep getting recycled, or am I just insensitive to the variations?). The pattern is Vogue 1915 (OOP), an Anne Klein pattern from the 1980s or 90s that I picked up recently for 50 cents.



Skirts should be easy but I always struggle with the sizing. This time I cut out a straight 14 but then had to sew narrow side seams, so maybe that should have been a 16. The fabric is a stretch one, that I used before in these trousers (no longer being worn because I did something stupid to the zipper)...

The skirt fits but for now I'll just show it on the dressmaker's dummy:

 
Photographic evidence suggestive of decent pleats and pockets... but dodgy waistband and vent...

 
If I can get my blogging mojo back I'll take a picture of the skirt on me and share that; I know the dummy can mislead on fit.

What else to say.... well, if you come across this pattern second hand, it is certainly worth 50 cents or a dollar. Everything lines up well and the pleats and side pockets look good. They'd look better than the above photos in a non-stretch fabric too. There's a centre-front seam, which might even make this a stash-busting pattern.  I wouldn't pay a lot for the pattern though because the vent at centre back is not the schmick kind, and the waistband is cut as a straight piece but seems to need a bit of curve.

I'm considering making this in one of my Tessuti remnant sale pieces... no promises of course :-)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Knight Time

So... I finished that knight's costume last night, and didn't get a chance to show my son till this evening, just before bed. He LOVES it, hooray! Here are some photos showing what knights do (apparently):




 
I like the costume overall, and it turns out we have a great need for a knight in our home. I wish I hadn't made the centre seams and stitching so puckered - my bobbin case was misaligned grrrr!  I won't be redoing the affected parts - I have two other projects due by Wednesday evening or before.

Details:
Pattern: Mc Call's 5907, View C (knight). View A is a costume for a king, and view B is for a forest man.




Review:
This is a straightforward pattern, and one that will be very adaptable for other boy's costumes (tunic, hood...). It comes together well and as it's intended to not be too close-fitting, you don't have to be too too careful with the sizing imho. Not much more I can say really....just that I have one happy knight in the house!

My favourite part of the costume was the part I was dreading - the cut out and iron on insignia.  I used double sided iron on stuff (I forget what it's called, I just had some lying about - as you do) and ironed it onto a square piece of black felt, then pinned the pattern piece on and cut out the shape before ironing the shape onto the tunic. You're supposed to make two insignias and iron one inside the other, but I thought it would get too thick and hard to align.





One of my two projects on a deadline is a costume request - my son wants to dress up as Leif from Deltora Quest for the book parade at school next week. I'm thinking just a blue hood/cape, and the special belt as a separate craft activity...

Here's what Leif looks like in the Japanese Anime version of the books:




hopefully I can turn this into a not much sewing project.  I've still got that coat looming, and I've also cut out Vogue 1915 skirt (OOP) in a test fabric...

Monday, August 8, 2011

Stash Building - A Spectacular Effort :-(

I'm actually having a go at myself in the title - I shouldn't be stash building! I already have plenty of stash, but it's just so hard to resist (a) something really lovely that whispers 'I have so much potential' to me, or (b) something cheap. If it falls into both categories forget it!

It'd be pretty embarrassing to show you all my purchases at that Tessuti remnant sale I mentioned in  Saturday's post, but here are the pretties:

  • a mustard yellow net with large silver sequin pattern in the bottom half, and a dusty pink pure silk with small silver sequin pattern all over - both of great interest to my sparkle-loving daughter:

 
  •  this silvery fabric which will be used in a costume for my son if he tells me he's interested in it:



  • a patterned lightweight cotton that I would like to make into a summer blouse (yes, there is enough of it - about 2 metres), and a small piece of heavily embroidered stripey cotton that my daughter insists be made into a dress (no, there's really not enough - maybe I should call all the Tessuti shops and see if they have any more scraps of this!):

 




















  • some mostly small pieces of coloured pure silk - apart from the three shown below I also got some dark blues that I didn't manage to photograph well.  I would love to try my hand at colour blocking with some of these; maybe in a simple loose, A-line dress?




I also got some sensibles - good lengths of crepe, silk jersey, wool/poly and masses of something that looks like ticking but is more like sheet weight.  It worked out at less than $5 per metre... is it excusable?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Hey, she pushed in!

Yes it's true, V1129 and M5907 were already there, and V1250 simply pushed in last night - and I let her



But she's so easy-going and straightforward... and such a flatterer!  I guess that's why she's so popular.  She didn't even seem to mind being cropped off at the waist - said something about her neckline being her best feature anyway???





I'm really enjoying V1250's company; she's definitely staying on the sewing table for a while. I guess I'll have to spend some time with V1129 and M5907 soon though...  M5907 had already stopped cooperating because I was taking too long; I'd hate for V1129 to act out like that too.

















Details:
Pattern: Close-fitting knit DKNY dress with a distinctive cowl neckline and front skirt pieces wrapping around to back. Due to fabric constraints I cut the back piece + 2 inches extra length, and matched the front length to this. On trying the pinned together version I decided I needed more length so added rectangular bands to front and back. Otherwise I followed the instructions religiously - they are pretty clear.

Fabric used: merino wool jersey remnant - there was just 1m, but it was also just $3!

Time to make: cutting took less than 1/2 hour on Thursday evening and then all the sewing took just a few hours on Friday evening, even though I always sew at the slow speed setting.

Conclusion: A big tick!





PS If you're in the Wynyard/ Surry Hills/ Chatswood areas of Sydney in the next few hours, Tessuti shops are having a remnant / end of roll sale that ends today. I stumbled across it yesterday on the way home from work and will post later on my stash-creating finds - but there are some really good quality fabrics in there (Lisa Ho remnants I think), and all at $10 or less (including roll ends).

PPS and my head is all better now, thanks.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I have a headache

Well that's this week's excuse. I bumped my head very hard on Monday evening and gave myself a touch of concussion, so this week is going to have to be pretty quiet. Last week was just busy, so I didn't manage to finish anything....

My head isn't up to scanning and talking about my latest vintage patterns, but I can show you a little bit of sewing progress - I had hoped to have one of these two projects finished early this week.

First up, V1129, an easy unlined jacket - currently full of pins and messy tailor's tacks, but I think it will work out nicely:

 


then secondly a knight's costume, based on M5907 and a very easy project - but I think I've snagged the fabric already:



















A completed project and more details when my head feels better - promise!
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