Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Stripe Stripe (Vogue 1174 skirt + self-drafted t-shirt)

Sewing has slowed round here recently due to Christmas distractions, but I have made a couple of stripey numbers that I am thinking will get a lot of wear over summer - assuming summer actually comes back...

First up, this is a stripey skirt made from the skirt pattern pieces from Vogue 1174 and a home decorating fabric that was living in my stash:

I quite like this as a skirt pattern, although I think it would be a better pattern if the front pleats and back darts moved out as the size went up. However, the fact that they don't means this is an incredibly easy skirt to take in - all the sizing variation is in the side seams.

This skirt has helped me with working out my skirt sizing too. I cut a size 18, took it in to a size 16, and it's still a little too big but likely to shrink on the first wash (no, this time I didn't pre-wash)... and if it doesn't shrink enough it will be really easy to take in.  

Actually, viewed side on like that it does definitely look too big doesn't it!

My son approves ("you look very nice mummy!"), and I'll probably use this skirt pattern again - but next time around those central pleats are going to be moved closer together.

Easy to make, has pockets, definitely wearable and I learnt something to boot.


Secondly, a self-drafted stripey t-shirt. The fabric is an el cheapo bought at Lincraft about a year ago, and the stripes wavered so much on the edges that even though I started with a couple of metres it was really just enough to avoid the waves. The neckline started smaller than it appears - it stretched out before I attached the folded over band, and I was all out of the flat see-through elastic I usually sew into jersey necklines so it's probably still growing as I wear it :-).

I cut this out with the front neckline mirroring the back neckline so I could make sure the stripes would match up on the shoulders and side seams. Once everything was lined up I made the front neckline a bit deeper than the back. Seems silly to have bothered matching stripes for such poor quality fabric - but I guess it's all practice.

The sleeves are a nice loose shape that tapers in to be fitted just above the elbow - super comfy and yet no one's going to cop an eyeful of underarm and bra.


Again, this is a 'pattern' (though currently more of a drawing on tissue paper to be honest) that I'll probably re-use.  It's so loose that I think it could work in a woven fabric - and in a jersey it could be cut a bit smaller.

One of my little helpers took this next photo hence the genuine smile. He likes the fabric so I'm hoping to be able to eke out a junior t-shirt for him from the scraps. 


I don't know what's up next - my daughter wanted a princess dress for Christmas but they're just $20 at K-mart, and my partner wasn't enthusiastic about my offer to sew him a linen shirt - so now I don't have any Christmas sewing commitments. What about you? Are you sewing for Christmas?

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Two-Tone Linen Top

Inspired by hazy image memories of designer colour-blocked sleeves, and also by the loose blocky styles that are in the shops at the moment, the other evening I found myself putting together contrasting linen fabrics and rifling through my second hand patterns.

I picked out a pattern that looked blocky in an '80s way, Vogue 7883. Here's the technical drawing:

It's only now that I check the envelope that I see it's printed in 2004 - not from the '80s at all - and an internet search shows it's a currently available pattern.  (Grrr should've checked PatternReview!)


The top went together quickly; linen is such a breeze to sew and this is an ultra-simple design - there aren't even any darts. I made really minor changes to put the hemlines on the selvedges (which also lengthened sleeves and body by 1.5cm), to show the selvedge edge on the waist seam, and to make the lower front pieces more angular than the pattern indicated.

Here you can see the selvedges:

and the neckline is unchanged from the pattern original:


This is the overall result (when the wind is blowing just the right amount to make a waist shape):


I thought it would be cool looking, but it's not. Then I thought it could be a beach cover-up sort of top, and was going to add some 'secret' pockets to carry a key and a credit card - but my keys are heavy and would have really distorted the shape of the top.

This is what it looks like when the wind blows from a less flattering direction:

Although the length is fine - longer at the front than the back - it's much shorter than I expected from the pattern drawings. And it's blockier than expected. And the two tone thing just makes me think of jockeys! Of course I am way too big for anyone to ever mistake me for a jockey - but might they think I was a horse racing fanatic - are these colours already taken?

I don't really like it on me, but I'm happy with my sewing. I suspect it might be alright on if it fitted...I think this pattern runs large, and I made the top a size larger (14) than I normally would (oops).

I will probably end up wearing this over the hot summer holidays as it will be light and give me good sun protection. And I do love these colours - so summery.  Maybe it just needs the right mango-coloured skirt or something?
14 mangos for $13
 Tomorrow we'll eat some more of these Calypso beauties and I'll move on to the next project.
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