Friday, 13 April 2018

Vogue 8825 and McCalls 7465

So two for the price of one this week!  Vogue 8825 is a pullover wrap dress and I love it.  I cut a size 14 and raised the waist by 1".

It has a wrapped bodice and long ties which give the waist a lovely definition.  The sleeves are full bishop sleeves (made of two pieces) gathered into a cuff.   I cut 1" off the length of the sleeve and made the cuff a lot narrower by 1.5".    It's really important to get the sleeve tight at the cuff.  This did make the cuff very fiddly to sew, and am I the only one in the world this has happened to but I managed to get my finger stuck in the machine, panicked, turned the machine off, couldn't then get my finger out and ended up with a nasty cut!  Otherwise ,I enjoyed sewing it and particularly as Sian from Kittenish Behaviour had vlogged this as a sewalong.

I used stretch interfacing at the neckline, which makes it a nice snug fit and also in the cuffs.  I like the raglan sleeve and the gathers at the waist.  There are two darts in the back.

The fabric is a 4 way stretch jersey bought from the liberty man at Birmingham rag market.   It was only £6 a metre.  It is a liberty print, though I think not genuine liberty as it ran a bit in the wash, but it's still good enough.  There is a long story about how I ended up with enough for 2 dresses involving overlocking a bodice through the middle, it took about 4 metres for both.  So the second dress I made is McCalls 7465, a pullover dolman sleeved dress.

This is a pretty different dress.  It has a cowl neck.

You gather a very long side in the skirt and mount it on some powermesh and add elastic to the waist.  This does mean there is quite a bit of weight in the skirt, which may pull over time.

The sleeves are great, but you do have to keep adjusting them.   It's an interesting dress, but I wouldn't make this one again.


Sunday, 25 March 2018

March BurdaStyle challenge

The second completed challenge in March, this time for Hila's BurdaStyle challenge (#burdachallenge2018).   So this is my choice from the March 2018 magazine, a peplum blouse.  I do like a peplum, so this was a fairly easy choice for me.  Had trouble with the photos today due to the sun! (can't believe it!).  

I cut a size 40, raised the waist by 1"  and otherwise the fit (including the neck which is a really nice one) is pretty good.    I made a quick Colette Mabel skirt from ponte scraps to wear with it.  (Has anyone else noticed how similar the new Tilly and the Buttons Bibi skirt it?).  I have a bit confession to make, a started to trace the pattern, got fed-up and actually downloaded it.  It costs about another £5 and there is the sticking to do and the seams to add, but when you are tracing a quite complicated pattern with lots of pieces to find it just takes me hours!

I didn't make this as per the magazine at all.  There is supposed to be a full lining and a back separating zip.  Now if you live along a back separating zip doesn't seem like a good idea!  So I  skipped the lining, and used a satin bias binding for the back neck facing.  I decided to put buttons on the front edge instead of the zip, however, this has made the blouse feel a little bit prone to moving  straight around and I think I might be pulling it straight all the time, so I'm not sure about this one.

The fabric was in my stash bought from Barry's in Birmingham a year ago.  It's a very stretchy cotton and actually the stretch is another reason the blouse doesn't quite feel secure, pretty though.  You might just be able to make out the button edge below.  So overall, glad to have completed the challenge, but a bit bleh about this one.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

SewMyStyle The Kalle dress

I wasn't sure about the Kalle dress.  You may know I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with baggy dresses, mostly they drown me, so when the Kalle came out I gave it a wide birth, but I thought as it was this month's Sew My Style (#SewMyStyle2018)  I would give it a try, and I'm glad I did.

This is fabric from my stash.  I'm can't remember what it is something like a peachskin or cupro and I think it is perfect for the Kalle, which I think needs something drapey but with , weight.  I love it for this dress including the colour.  The only downside is that it doesn't press and thus wasn't easy to manage particularly with the placket.  By the way I did get a little confused by the instructions relating to the placket and I used the sewalong for additional help.  One thing I did find was how crucial it is to get real accuracy with your strips of interfacing and your folds.

One of the things I am going to need if I wear it with tights is a shorter slip!  It's peeking in the photo above.  I cut the size 10, a 36.5" bust sizing (I'm 37.5" bust).  I then graded down at the waist/hips by 1/4" at each seam, so a total of 1" .  I think the ease is pretty generous.

I used the box pleat because I think it hangs better.  The only real change I made was to reduce the difference between the front and back hem lengths and also to reduce the side split, I didn't want to flash too much thigh.  I also didn't notice that the hem facing was for the cropped shirt and so having drafted and cut one, I thought I would use it any way.    I'm it w not sure yet whether I will wear loose  or chicken out and add a belt.    Either way I like it, glad to have had a go and I've already bought some cupro for the next one.

Monday, 12 March 2018

Simplicity 8511 and IAM Casiope

Sometimes you really don't enjoy the sew but like the dress and sometimes you enjoy the sew but don't like the dress .... here is one of each!

First Simplicity 8511, and just in case it isn't obvious this is the one I like, but it really was a nightmare to make. 

I cut my ususal size 14, though looking at the photos it could have been a little more fitted. 

I love, love  the sleeves, I removed 1/2" from the length (and they are still a bit too long) , but the main difficulty was that the cuffs were far too big by at least 3".  You can see below that I have had to overlap the cuffs which you aren't supposed to.

The main problem was due to bulk.  This crepe is quite heavy and doesn't press.  The neckband was particularly bad, although I love the look of it, you end up with 8 layers at the shoulder seams, and although the zip went in really well, it was awful at the top (and rooky mistake but I actually poked the corner though on one side and had to resort to a bit of glue!  The kick-pleat was bulky and difficult to hem (better to just have a slit), and the sleeves had lots of bulk in the seams.   The cuffs were cut in 2 parts and they could be made in one, so cutting down on bulk.  With all this it, did the pattern go in the bin?  No, cause actually I do like this dress and think it has a lot of potential with the right fabric (which unfortunately I haven't figured out yet), it needs to be lighter than this crepe, but still with some structure.  Ideas welcome!

So one to the one I enjoyed sewing, particularly as I love this babycord from Higgs and Higgs, but I will never wear.  This is the IAM Patterns Casiope, and there are some lovely versions.

I cut the size 42 (37" bust and I am 37.5"), however, even though I took 1" off each side seam and it is still enormous.  Room for two more in here!  Perhaps you need to be taller to pull it off!  Or maybe the fabric isn't drapey enough.  Likely a combination of all.    Anyway,  shame, but this one for the British Heart Foundation!  Anyone made this with more success!

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

The Burda Style challenge Feburary; The Tunic Dress

The second challenge of the month!  I'm taking part in Hila's BurdaStyle challenge #burdachallenge2018, so this is my second garment, this time from the February 2018 magazine.  I love Hila's blog and Vlog (SaturdayNightStitch), if you don't follow her what are you waiting for?

I have actually never made a tunic before, because I'm not sure I like the shape on me (I really like fitted garments), so I'm not sure why I picked this pattern.  I think it was partly because after the January difficulties I thought this would be straightforward but mostly because I had this fabulour Nano Iro fabric in my stash and I thought it would be just right.
The pattern recommended fabric with some body and this is quite a stiff fabric (actually I think it will soften with washing and it might look better then).

The other thing I wouldn't normally do is mix patterns, but I have to say I love this combination.  I used another Nano Iro for the placket, cuffs, hem and inside yoke.  Because this fabric was a little thinner it really helped with the bulk, and I think the darker teal really lifts the main fabric.

When I said straightforward, it wasn't, I found the placket instructions difficult and I've come to the conclusion that I really miss diagrams on instructions and that it's much better when I don't need instructions.  In this case I did the placket my way and it seems to have worked.  The rest was straightforward.

I cut a size 14 (for a 36 1/4 bust).  I'm a 37 1/2" bust, but even so I think I could have gone down a size.  There is a lot of fabric in the body.  I took over an 1" out of the shoulder width (I usually need 5/8"), so I think the yoke is particularly wide.

So overall, love the fabric, not as sure about the dress, though as I look at the photos it is growing on me, so I will definitely wear it.  I was hoping to get my March BurdaStyle today to pick next month's choice , but no post due to the snow! 

Friday, 23 February 2018

The Rumana Coat; Sew My Style

Well this was an epic effort and not one I really enjoyed.  In the main this was due to the fabric, it is Lux melton from Fabworks and when it arrived I thought it was going to be great, but I just don't think I like melton.  It just has a feel like felted carboard, and I think you can see in the photos that it just has a peculiar look.  Plus I found when I was trying out my fusing that it really easily pilled.  So I felt put off by it, but I had bought 3 metres and I so I carried on.  This is the By Hand Rumana Coat and it was the Sew My Style challenge which I had decided to join in.

Given how much work there was I'm not sure it was worth the effort.   First there was printing and sticking the PDF then I had to make changes, raising the waistline by 1", reducing the shoulder width and taking first 4 3/4" from the length and then later another 2".  Given the number of pieces and that there were no lengthen/shorten lines that took considerable time.

The instructions weren't always clear; the diagram for step 4 is actually incorrect, the collar took a little figuring out and I had a nightmare with the lining.  At certain points there was so much thickness that I thought my machine might struggle, particularly sewing the facing/collar, thank goodness my trusty Pfaff coped.  The sleeves were difficult to ease in and I have seen some others found this.    I bought a gorgeous button from Akahban, but it was 1 1/4" inches wide and my button-hole foot didn't make button holes that big, so I went for a  bound button-hole.  I thought the wool would be too thick for this so made the lips from some silk.  Not sure that has really worked and from the photos it also looks a little high.  I added shoulder pads to fill out my rather narrow shoulders.

Sorry there is a lot of whinging here.  As you can see I didn't really enjoy this make  (and because I was trying to finish it for Sew My Style I did it in a week).  I'm not really pleased with the result, mainly because of the fabric ... but .... I may try it again.  I do think this coat has potential.  I love the shape, love the easy welt pockets, look the topstitching and in the right fabric could be great.   Also there is a sewalong currently happening, which will clarify any difficulties.   There are changes I would make:  the sleeves seem a little big, narrow slightly, lower the button hole, perhaps put an inch back on the length, and length the lining to avoid pulling and the welts would benefit from light interfacing  By the way I love this lining!

Monday, 5 February 2018

#burdachallenge2018 the drape top

Firstly welcome new readers and I am very excited to now have over 400 followers on Bloglovin and I will shortly be having a give-away. 

I'm a little late posting my latest make which is part of the Burda Style Challenge organized by Hila.  I posted on my dressform in time on Instagram but didn't get any photos of me wearing it ... so here it is!  The drape top from the January 2018 issue.

This is a sort of hit/miss make.  I do like a garment where the front is quite plain and the drama is in the back, but in this case I'm just not sure how wearable it is.  You wouldn't wear it to exercise in as the drape would flop about!  It was much more complicated to make than it looks.  I used some lovely bamboo jersey from Ray Stitch, which is lovely though expensive at £15 a metre.  But I'm really not sure what is the right fabric for this top because the weight of the drape means it is pulling at the back.  I cut a size 40 and thought it might be a little tight so added a tiny bit at the fold, and in retrospect that was a mistake as it had added a bit too much fabric around the waist.  I shortened the sleeves because I didn't want the thumb holes.

Making the key-hole and drape was a bit of a nightmare.  Burda have you make the drape as a closed-ended piece and there is just no reason for this as it adds an extra 2 layers of thickness at the side seam (which makes 6 layers), so I just cut that seam off.  You can probably imagine the weight at the bottom here (and the bamboo is quite weighty).

On the left hand piece here there are multiple thicknesses to cope with and there was a problem with the size of the facings and key-hole,which may have been my mistake or the pattern.  Also the bit of interfacing at the bottom of the key-hole still shows which I don't like.  Here are the insides.

You can see the problem I had below  .... definitely a dog's dinner.  So not an entire success, but I can still wear it, though in retrospect there were better choices to have made from January's issue.

I am much happier with my progress on making leggings though using Vogue 1517.  I have had a Marks and Spencer pair and have worn them to death, and they don't seem to make them anymore, so I am desperate to be able to whip up replacements. My first version was above my ankles and unwearable.  This is the second and almost there, if I can just sort out the lines at the crotch (any ideas?), but I'm pretty pleased and wouldn't wear them with tops tucked in.  When I make my next pair I'll give more details.  Just to say they come up big, I'm usually a size 14 in Vogue, these ended up around a 12- and there is still a little more to take out.    These are made in Croft Mill ponte roma at only £7 a metre and its lovely, really soft, though for leggings something less soft (and thus showing lumps and bumps) is probably better.