Friday, 22 February 2013

Summer Liberty: Vogue 1308

We're still in summertime down here - and February gets really sticky, so it's not too late for a new sleeveless top in a light and gorgeous Liberty cotton.

I think it works with this black skirt, but I imagine it'd work with a something flared too.

Posing at the side of my house is so embarrassing. My nextdoor neighbours haven't said anything to me yet; I cringe to guess what they must think - perhaps:

          such a waste of the battery on that camera!

but more likely:

          what revolting narcissicm! 


Oh dear. Let's move right along.

*** Note to self: Fix mop!

The pattern is Vogue 1308, a summery little neck to ankle jump suit.  Although the idea of a silk jumpsuit seems strangely compelling to me, I have to admit it would be completely impractical for my harried (you know, just the working mother stuff) life. I guess I may still make the jumpsuit one day - perhaps for a retirement disco party? :-) 

Obviously I've only made the loose-fitting (absolutely no darts!) top from the jumpsuit, and I've left off the back ruffle. To turn the bodice into a top I compared the pattern pieces to a RTW top that I like to wear to work. I added about 10cm in length and widened a little from the waist down to account for hips. Very easy.

This fabric is one from my Sydney Sewing Social splurge; a grab for colour from Tessuti's remnant table. 0.85 metres at half the usual takes it to $19.10, minus a 15% discount for the Social means a total of about $16.25. The pattern was on sale at Vogue patterns in the US, and including shipping I guess it cost me around $7... everything else used (thread, bias binding) was a leftover.

The colours look more 'true' below, and you get some of our February sky, in-between downpours:

Sorry for the terrible ironing effort - it looked OK on the hanger in a darkened room, honest!
I've only used Liberty Tana Lawn once before (another Tessuti remnant used in this really imperfect '40s top), so I'm not an addict, but I do know the patterns and colours are spectacular, and I do know the fabric feels beautiful, fine and light, and it seems to work really well in hot weather.

Below you can see the lightness of the fabric - and sewing details on the front ruffle:

Neckline and armholes are finished with (green) bias binding, and since the top is loose enough I skipped the recommended centre back zip and have an opening that will end in a small press stud at the top.

Pre- press stud - not following the pattern instructions.

Next up I need to answer some tricky questions from Hazel (thank you Hazel, I'm getting there but I'm a bit stumped on a couple of them), and share The Skirt From The Dress That Didn't Want To Work.

See you anon, Gabrielle x

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Colourful Sarong Dress

Earlier this week I put off all my WIPs and sewed a dress from a sarong - such an easy project, but I'm in two minds about the outcome. As it didn't take long to make I guess I now have the luxury of some spare time to angst about whether or not I like it (HA).

Cutting the sarong - edges will make the bodice, middle will make the skirt
With the colour turned down you can see the shape of the eventual dress (well, what shape there is!):

and then (colour back on) here I am in the afternoon sun, wearing what is clearly a loud sack-dress:

On the positive side:

  • finally using a gorgeous handwoven sarong bought a few years back in Lombok (and bought with the intention of making a dress!)
  • cheap (less than $5...)
  • quick to make, and it was fun to experiment with an idea for sewing something out of rectangles rather than using a pattern
  • the colours, and the cute unravelling fringe
  • comfort - this dress is soft, loose, breezy and super comfortable on a hot day. Or night.
  • sun coverage

while on the negative side:
  • the fabric's loose weave meant it just kept shifting as I sewed, and the less than pristine look of my seams and seam finishes bug me
  • the fit isn't how I envisaged: it looks like a muu-muu rather than an arty sort of akira dress :-(. Basically I cut the bodice too wide because I didn't want to insert a zip.
  • I think the fabric is going to grow...
  • the colours are probably unstable and the fringe is going to keep unravelling
  • my 5 year old wardrobe consultant wants one and it has to be exactly the same (not possible!)

wiggly fabric and messy sewing

Navel gazing means looking down... and I do like the stripes and the fringe

Does comfort trump style?  I'm not sure it does for me - but I guess clothes for super hot days aren't usually particularly stylish.  Let's call this step 1 in a series of sarong sewing experiments...

See you!
Gabrielle x

Monday, 11 February 2013

Sydney Sewing Social ...

On Saturday I went to my first Sewing Social... oh, the anticipation; I was so excited!

Here are a group of us in Tessuti's (and I forget our photographer's name, but thank you for the photos and sorry I'm so useless with names!) - quite a few people to meet, and this is not even everyone there:

Do you recognise everyone? Names and links are listed on Christy's post. And Renee I have to apologise to you too as I thought your name was Annie - sorry for calling you the wrong name. I'm really terrible with names!

I was initially kind of overwhelmed to meet all these interesting sewing voices in the flesh, so I didn't buy much at Tessuti's: just an irrestistible Liberty Tana Lawn remnant and some gorgeous embroidered blue cotton that happened to be lingering on the counter while I was being served.

I was originally thinking to make a Sorbetto with the Liberty cotton, but there's 0.85 metres of decent width which means I have the option of something more frivolous.  So I'm thinking instead of the top part of V1308, lengthened, with the front ruffle only. That's the tech drawing to the right, and I am unlikely to be able to wear a jumpsuit to work in the near future.

The blue cotton may end up becoing a pleated summery skirt :-). There's 1.5 metres - what do you think? I don't have a specific pattern in mind.

We then walked down to the Fabric Shop, where I went slightly nuts lugging heavy bolts around the shop (but it was the last day of their 50% off sale, so it wasn't an expensive kind of nuts). I bought some DKNY denim, stripey stretch cotton,silk for a dress, and some t-shirt fabric. I also bought upholstery fabric for an overdue chair fix and black jersey for an equally overdue Ninja mask. Everything except the Ninja fabric has been photographed:

That's a t-shirt and jeans, right? Probably a simple kimono sleeve t-shirt and trousers rather than jeans as it's a thin denim with no stretch. I'd like to try some interesting pockets but I don't have a pattern in mind - might have to spend some time going through my BurdaStyle magazine "collection".

These colours have come up looking more muted than they really are. The upper fabric is silk - dark blue with a gold-brown brocade-like pattern on it - for which I'm thinking along the lines of either V1122 (tech drawing on the right) or something from the 60s.

The lower fabric is a charcoal / blackcotton upholstery fabric, intended for a small chair repair job at home. Maria thought it looked good for a jacket and I agree (wish I'd bought more than 1 metre!).

And finally a nice sturdy stretch cotton, intended for some mid-length shorts. Jillian also has some of this fabric for shorts; I think she had a pattern in mind so I expect she'll get to it before I do!

When everyone had what they wanted - and had gone back for anything they'd forgotten - we ambled up to The Clock Hotel for drinks, sewing goss and wedges. Yum!

 Christy got us all wedges!

I had a smile plastered on my face all the way home :-).

Thank you Christy, I'm so looking forward to the next meetup!

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Vogue 1098 -> Green Shorts

Alas, the boiling hot weather has disappeared too soon - when my shorts are finally done!



I used V1098 yet again, because as I now know, not all Vogue trouser patterns are shaped the same - and I think these are a a pretty good fit.  This is my fifth time using this pattern: I've used it to make pinstripe linen trousers; grey wool trousers; black mystery fabric trousers; and a turquoise cashmere jacket.  I have so got my money's worth from this pattern.

With these shorts so similar except in length to all those earlier trousers I don't have much to say!

The fit is quite snug in the rear, but I intentionally made these up a little smaller than usual this time around because the pinstripe linen trousers have gotten significantly looser after wearing.

My vintage button stash included some buttons that coordinated really well. The button holes aren't perfect but they're what my machine does. Oh and that curve in the waistband is from my pulling the button up for the photo; in real life the waistbands are straight and aligned.


This time around I added side pockets using the Vogue Basics pattern that I had originally planned to use. You can see one of them bulging open in the photo above :-0


The pocket openings are reinforced with tacking stitches, which you probably can't see even in the side view... nice deep (5cm) hems in case I decide they need to be longer. And the photos moved inside because the nextdoor neighbours came out onto their very nearby balcony :-(.  Oh no - caught in the act, looking like such a poser!

I took some time over the fly to try to make it look neat and flat, but by the time I got to finishing the waistband I just wanted to get the shorts finished. So both the waistband and hems are machine rather than hand stitched.

Fabric from The Fabric Shop - a medium weight linen.  Speaking of which, if you're in Sydney this weekend, are you coming to the meetup?

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