Sunday, July 20, 2014

Vogue 8582

I really like the shape and cowl neckline of the Marcy Tilton Vogue Pattern 8582. I used a black wool knit that I bought from Tessuti to make this top. The pattern has the top as asymmetrical but I cut the back and front on the fold so that the drape was on both sides.
The twisted cowl neck gives the top a designer look. 

I used the walking foot on the machine to stitch the seams before overlocking. I picked up this sewing knits tip from watching a Craftsy class given by Katherine and Marcy Tilton. I found that it made sewing the seams so much smoother. I stitched the hems using a twin needle giving this top a 'ready to wear' look. It also has a bit of stretch to it too which helps with the knit fabric.
I

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

20% off printed cottons at Rathdowne Fabrics

If you are in Melbourne and have time, go to Rathdowne Fabrics in Brunswick this week for a 20% discount on all printed cotton fabric. I picked up some vintage cotton today that was marked at $6 a metre for $4.80 per metre. Bargain!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A new winter skirt using New Look 6843

The New Look 6843 is my 'go-to' pattern when I want to make a winter pencil skirt. I have had this pattern for years and years. The stamp on the pattern envelope is from a fabric shop that has been gone from my local shopping strip for well over a decade. But the pattern is still available so the skirt has remained fashionable. I lengthened version B by 7 cms and omitted the waistband and side split. Instead of the waistband I reinforced the waist seam with cotton tape and added a lining. This gives the skirt a ready to wear look. I also find that as the skirt is just above the knee, it's roomy enough to walk in without the need for a split or kick pleat. This version is made from a grey and black wool plaid that I picked up last year from the remnants table at Tessuti in Melbourne.
The skirt does sit at my waist, but my waist is bigger than my dress form's. Once I made sure that I matched up the stripes and checks in my cutting out, I found working with a plaid quite enjoyable. It certainly made marking the hem line straight forward!
I am really happy with the invisible zip and my matching of the horizontal lines and placement of the vertical lines.
And I used a Hong Kong finish on the hem.  Feeling quite couture!!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Tessuti's Pia Dress - for winter

The design feature that I liked most when I first saw the Pia dress pattern was the pockets. I had made a couple of versions of Tessuti's Eva dress earlier this year, so I knew that their patterns were flattering and easy to wear as well as great to sew. The pattern instructions said that it was suitable for linens, medium weight cottons and lightweight wools. The 'lightweight wools' got me thinking about using some lightweight wool in my stash and making this dress work for winter. The fabric I used was from an Alannah Hill end bolt that I bought at Clear It in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy a couple of years ago.

I tried very hard to match the vertical stripes where the bodice met the skirt. It's not perfect but I can live with it. I made the dress in size L and made a very small dart at the front armholes to stop the gape. I top-stitched the seam allowances at the shoulder to strengthen the shoulder seam because of the weight of the fabric. As with the Eva pattern, I found the length just a little too long so used 4 cm hem allowance rather than the suggested 1.2 cm. For the neck and arm hole bias bindings, I made them from a black lining fabric rather than the fashion fabric so as to reduce bulk.
The back has a centre seam which you can leave out by cutting the back on the fold, but I liked having the seam as I think it gives the dress more structure.
And here is the Pia dressed for winter. I was so happy when I found a fine knit woollen jumper that not only matched the colour of the vertical stripes but also had a cowl neckline.
This outfit will be getting a lot wear this winter.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Sashiko and appliqued circles

I'm still hooked on sashiko stitching and for my latest effort I incorporated appliqued circles. I was inspired by a panel I saw on the website of indigo niche and thought I could break into my stash of Japanese cottons for the circles. I am giving this to my sister for her birthday. I hope she likes it.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sashiko Cherry Blossom

I felt like a little girl again as I stitched this sashiko cherry blossom design for my mother for Mother's Day. She was delighted with my hand made gift.
The frame is 5 x 7 inches. The fabric is a Japanese indigo cotton and I stitched it using white sashiko thread.
There are still a few things to work on with my technique but I am enjoying the practice.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Sashiko - making progress

I have been practising sashiko stitching using an indigo pre-stenciled cotton fabric that I bought at Kimono House. I used an off white sashiko thread. The pattern is called waves and it was easy to follow. It did take quite a few hours to complete the 30 cm square!  I plan to use this sample as the central panel in a cushion cover. 


As you can see this pre-printed fabric has the stitch size marked to make it really easy to follow.
But then I got a little too confident and thought I could graduate to copying a pattern that involved sharp angles and central points.
I learnt a few things:
1. Choose your fabric carefully. With all the lines on this cotton fabric, I found it really difficult to find and follow the lines that I had traced.
2. Take care with stitching at the central point of these stars. The centre of the bottom star looks okay but the middle one is a mess.
3. Take care also when stitching at corners and points. Keep those points sharp.

I will continue practising.