Sunday, October 16, 2016

New Look 6648 and Simplicity 2560

I made a New Look 6648 a couple of weeks ago. It's made from a white fairly stable and not very stretchy fabric I bought at Trad's Emporium last year. It's a pure synthetic  but I just wanted to try the pattern for size. 

Top looks quite nice and I need some white tops. I made the small but it is so big in the shoulders and neckline and with the limited stretch it is too small in the hips. I should have foreseen the hip issue. It's a quick make though but I'm not sure the big wide sleeves are good on me either. I gave it to a woman at work it would fit nicely.

Gathering at the sides. I really like this but probably not good for my shape. I'll try another one in a drapier and stretchier fabric though and resize it for shoulder and hips.


Close up you can see there is a small square woven in. It's quite nice to not be plain white. I have  2 small remnants of some white rayon that I might get it out of so I'll try soon.

Next up was Simplicity 2560. I really like this style and have wanted to make this up for ages. The fabric is from Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 table from the recent trip to Melbourne. 

It is nice and cosy. The fabric is very pretty and I love the way the neck band really cosies up to the neck and keeps you warm. The pattern has you just add the band all way round and then turn a small hem around it. I turned it over double.... I like it better this way and think it makes a more tidy finish. Although with a drapier fabric it would work too. It's also a quick make.

Close up of the fabric. Very boucle like with a little gold thread through it.

That's where I turned it over .... my stitching was done on the inside but made the outside look crooked which annoys me... I should have hand stitched it. I should have had a longer stitch and then I may have been able to unpick it but it's nearly impossible so I'll just have to live with it.

This is the shoulder where I put in the little ribbons... I ran  out of the pink one and threaded through a gold one to finish.  It works really well and keeps the shoulder very stable.

 That's the back. The sleeves are supposed to have a flat inside facing and then the top part is gathered or this size and the sleeve folded, but my fabric is too thick for this so just left the sleeve bells longer and just folded over to hem it. I do love it ... it's warm and pretty but it goes with nothing. I thought it may go with a black skirt but it only looks good with jeans. Maybe it's the proportions? but when I wear it I feel like I'm wearing a dressing gown.  I will try and get a photo of it on me.

What do you think?

Friday, October 14, 2016

A small but useful modification.

That's a velcro strip from Daiso (Japanese $2.80 shop - incidentally full of all the little useful things you didn't know you needed or that would be made) that I cut lengthwise - with a little rotary cutter also bought from Daiso (good to not make your good one blunt - also $2.80).

My Dad is in a nursing home with dementia :( and it is getting more difficult to get him dressed.
I think this is a huge problem for a lot of less abled people.. getting in and out of some clothing can be frustrating for the person who may not have the patience, strength or agility to get clothes on.  He is losing weight and he gets cold in the air-conditioning so he wears long pants year round. He likes to wear track pants in the winter but when we take him out it's too hot now here. Putting some elastic waisted chino type pants on him last week it was difficult (and he was impatient) to get the pants up over the under things he needs with this elastic waist. I thought I would put a strip of velcro along the side and let him get the comfort and ease of the elastic waist but with quick access. It is surprisingly strong and it was available in the right colour... bonus.

Firstly I sewed the elastic in the waistband through the whole waistband about 3 cm either side of the side seam, unpicked the waistband then I cut the elastic. Then I unpicked the flat felled seam to the pocket opening end.  The velcro had adhesive, which was very strong actually and this made it useful to hold in place and not have to pin. The only problem I struck was that the adhesive stuck itself to the needle then the needle couldn't go through the fabric and velcro.. it even pulled the thread out. However, tea tree oil to the rescue... I dipped a cotton tip in the oil and rubbed the needle clean with it which did two things. One; it  cleaned the needle and two, with the needle lubricated, it made the needle able to really slide in and out easier and less of the adhesive would stick. I had to clean/lubricate the needle a few times but it worked a treat. So that's my small but useful modification. I'll test it on Sunday when I go get Dad for our weekly family lunch and report back.

It's been a busy, busy time lately what with working full time and two lots of overseas friends here. Friends have gone and my job officially ended today... it was a short contract of 4 months... however, although that contract is over, a new opportunity starts on Monday with the same department for an unknown length of time. It's been a huge learning curve and there was many changes throughout this time. It's great to be part of a team that literally is like turning a ship around quickly....being responsive and adaptable. So not much in the sewing for me but hopefully I'll get something made up this weekend. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

What to do with those tiny ribbons.

I finished a little cardi... just in time for the warmer weather to start. I feel better that it's raining and a bit cooler today. I have yet to photograph it but thought you might like to see a little thing I tried. I don't actually know what this little slot in the overlocker foot is for but I figure elastic maybe? I have never tried this before but I thought I would put this tiny ribbon (the ones you get on clothing for hanging - I hate wasting them) on the shoulders of my new cardi. It is nearly impossible to hold that tiny sucker on to sew it so thought I'd slip it in here.  It worked! It was so easy once you got the ribbon in and my tip would be to have a length threaded through further past the fabric start. I found it made it easy. 

I actually ran out of that pink that was a perfect match but had a skinny gold one and finished off with that. Notice my nice fabric (of course that's the wrong side) but it's very pretty - a remnant from Darn Cheap Fabrics from our recent Melbourne trip. It was only a few dollars and has made a lovely cardi.

I haven't really had time to sew, but yesterday finished this little cardi and a top (that was a trial and doesn't fit unfortunately) and went to Spotlight and bought 9 Kwik Sew patterns that were on sale - 3 for $12. I got some great ones and one cut out already. The reviews of a couple of them are really good so I have high hopes. In those are some active wear and swimming togs - just for "stock" - you know stuff that's good to have on hand - staples if you will.

Anyone do this and please pass on any tips... does this work for elastic for swimwear for example? I have some swimwear on the list so I'll have a go in any case. Look out for finished items soon.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Busy busy.

Victoria Bridge with the Wheel at Southbank at left and the city on the right.

Story Bridge from the "City Cat" ferry with the city in the background.

Pink in September is Brisbane Festival time. The bridges are lit up hot pink and there are so many great things on. I have had 4 nights out in a row.... The new Nick Cave movie "One more time with feeling." Devastating to watch... after his recent family tragedy. Friday night was spent at the Spiegleltent watching Mick Harvey, an ex member of Nick Cave's bands since The Boys Next Door in the late '70's. It was fabulous. Sitting in front of us was Robert Forster from The Go-Betweens my all time favourite band... wonderfully from Brisbane.  The next night I was at the Spiegletent again watching Custard, a band very popular in Brisbane in the '80's (they played really a lot but curiously considering the amount of live music I would see then I never saw them live... They were great and Robert Forster was there again. I had a little chat to him when we were walking out. Alex and I are going to his show on Sunday night... start of school holidays. I saw his show last year when his album was released and it was terrific and he said it is even better than then... he's just come back from touring around the world. The beauty with the Spiegletent is that the noise levels are not too loud so it will be perfect for young ears.

Then Sunday night my niece, who works for Brisbane Festival, offered some free tickets to Shakespeare Mid Summer Night's Dream... a bit of a modern comedy take, at the Playhouse. The whole purpose of this post really is to show my skirt (and last year's cape) in action, rather than showing off how busy I was/am. Its a little short really, but I love it with my boots and red cape. I felt swish but also a bit 'out there'. Perfect weather for the cape. It's not too cold and it just keeps you warm enough for a ride home outside on the City Cat ferry. I love my city!
(apologies for the terrible phone photos)

Saturday, September 10, 2016

This and that, zig and zag.

It's been so long since I have sewn. I did get to make a few things for work but not as many as I made in my head. Sewing takes so much longer than you think, as do most things. I often say, if I thought doing this or that took so long I wouldn't have started, but once you start you kind of commit (stop looking at me UFO's).

So, I did make a little red peasant style blouse out of a lovely cotton remnant I bought  years ago. It's much more red like in the skirt. It's a pattern I've used before for years, I forgot to take a photo of some open ended pleats (like a box pleat)I put in the back to make it a bit more fitted at my sway back. I had such little fabric I had to piece one of the sleeves with scraps but with the gathering no one notices. The skirt is my graduation dress with the bodice cut off. It never fit very well but I did like the skirt, so I cut it off about 6cm above the waist, opened up the side seam and put in a lapped zip, and turned over the top part and made a waistband out of it. I enclosed some elastic in the waistband and it's a useful piece of clothing now. I wear these together.

I also wear the top with a zig zag skirt I made. This was a scrap from the fabric sale I go to and it was $1. I have another scrap bit left too. It is a tube with a centre back seam, I hemmed it with the appliqué stitch which I really like. For the waist treatment, I put a tube of elastic at 4 points and then attached it with the overlocker and then just zig zagged down. Pretty basic but it makes a bit of a statement with the zig zag. The fabric is a knit and only three way stetch, it's a spongy knit and I really like it.

I wasn't sure about the zig and zag going up and down but then I saw this skirt in a magazine and thought ok, if they can do it for ***$620*** (WHAT????) then I can... saving $619! ok lets say $618 'cause the elastic and thread costs something. Really! Even if I didn't sew, I would never think "oh I need a skirt, I'll budget about $600!" I mean in some things I can see that it has some great fabric, great and time consuming techniques but have a look at that skirt, I can't see that it would be such a complex make that it would justify $100 let alone $600.

The next thing I finally finished was the Burda dress. It's a raglan sleeve with some open pleats at the front coming from the princess seams. It's a lovely and very easy dress (sorry just looked but can't find it just now). I thought first it may be a bit nothing and a bit out of date but I saw someone (a trendy young thing) in town wearing exactly the same style a few days before I finished so I ploughed on. I cut the smallest size in the shoulders and took it in about 4cm but it's still too big - needs about 4 cm out of the mid back. I keep underestimating how tiny my back is.. it's hard to fit yourself too. When I think it's taken in enough, when I finish sewing up it's not. So, see the pins along one side... it's getting refitted for my niece who loves it it fits her beautifully in the shoulders but it needs some slimming on the sides (which it did for me too but I probably wouldn't have bothered for myself). I will make this again as I really like it and it's very quick and easy.

I put in an exposed red metal (thrifted) zip which brightens up and adds interest to a pretty boring back. The fabric was from the (now no more I think) $2 table from East Coast fabrics last year. It's not a very stretch knit but it's very nice and I wish I had bought more. It's a dark navy with a light blue dot woven through it. They had it in a red too but that wasn't $2.  Don't be fooled.. the zip is in straight.. I just had it hanging on a hanger for the photo and it's heavy so it twists a bit. The zip is a big reason why I didn't keep this dress for myself... it's heavy and as the dress is too big in the mid back there, the weight of the zip makes the dress really pull away from the back. I'm happy for my niece to have it though and she loves it.

So a couple of things half done. I have been so busy with friends from overseas they left last week  and in 10 days I have other friends coming too. Not much time for indulgences (is it an indulgence?) I'm enjoying reading all the blogs around though and catching up on the Sewing Bee for Pattern Review. Thanks also for the comments on the Miss Fisher's costume exhibition.