Sunday, November 15, 2015

Lu Lu Tunic by Stylearc

Here is another Stylearc pattern, the Lu Lu Tunic. All in all I'm happy with it, except if I make it again I won't bother with the arm hole bands, I'll just add a couple of centimetres to the dropped shoulder when cutting out and finish the sleeve with a facing, a hem or binding. I found the arm hole bands fiddly to work with and the sleeves are a snug fit around my upper arms (which is my problem not the fault of the pattern). As suggested by other reviwers of this pattern on Pattern Review, I didn't add the neck opening which meant the back could be cut on the fold. I like the mitred corners of the top's front and back skirt as well as the fit around the neck. I only interfaced the inside of the neck and armhole bands although the pattern instructions called for both sides to be interfaced. As the fabric had enough weight I didn't think it needed the added bulk that the double interfacing would have caused. I used a cotton from the stash as a wearable muslin. I may make this again in a silk that has been sitting patiently in a cupboard for a number of years waiting for the light of day.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Daisy Designer Tunic by Stylearc

The Daisy Designer Tunic is my latest make using a Stylearc pattern. I used a vintage Italian voile that had been gifted to me by a friend from her elderly mother's fabric collection.
I didn't have quite enough for the required 2.6 metres of fabric but I got around that by using a similiar weight white cotton for the hem facings. When I make this pattern again, I will use a lighter weight complimentary fabric for the hem facings so as to reduce the weight that is added to the hems because they are faced. Due to the sheerness of the fabric I bound the neckline rather than used the pattern facing. I also elimated the centre front and centre back seams by cutting the front and back on the fold.
When I make another one, I'll shorten the body by 4 -5 centimetres as it the finished garment is quite long. Other than that, it fits really well and is very comfortable to wear.

Monday, October 5, 2015

StyleARC's Lani Woven Tunic Take 2

I really like the Lani Woven Tunic so I've made a second version, this time using a linen-cotton blend that I bought at Spotlight a couple of weeks ago. This fabric didn't linger in the stash as so many of my fabric purchases do!
I made a few adjustments to the pattern so that I could highlight the print. I made the back as one piece cutting it on the fold. I joined the two left side back pattern pieces and as this made it an exact half of the back, I could then put the centre back seam on the fold.
The other change I made was to the right front panel. I added the two right side panel pattern pieces together and cut it as one. It meant that I couldn't include the optional pocket, but that was okay as it simplified the construction of the top.  
The rest of the tunic was made according to the pattern instructions. I'm looking forward to wearing it as a transeasonal piece.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

StyleARC's Lani Woven Tunic

This is the first time I've used a styleARC pattern and I'm very happy with my lani woven tunic.
I really like the asymmetrical hem and the diagonal seams in the back and front.I made a size 16 and it has plenty of ease which I minimised by taking taking in the side seams. The fabric suggestions for the pattern are for linen, silk or any soft woven. For my colour blocked version I used three different coloured light weight wools. I lengthened the sleeves by 10 cms so they were full length rather than 3/4 length. I also bound the sleeve hems and the neckline with a bias binding made from the red wool to give an extra pop of colour. The colour blocking highlights the interesting diagonal seams. I will be making this again in a linen for summer. 
Back view
 Right side with inseam pocket.
Left side 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

new winter skirt

This isn't a very exciting sewing project as it is my tried and true straight skirt pattern, New Look 6843 that I have used many times. I make version B and rather than have a waistband, I stablise the waist seam with cotton tape and fully line the skirt, and add 7 cms to the length so that it's knee length and don't bother with the split.
One of the reasons I sew is to have have high quality, well fitting clothes for a fraction of the price of ready to wear. And this skirt fits the bill perfectly. It's made from a remant of wool suiting that I bought from Rathdowne Fabrics  for the princely sum of $4.50.
I knew that it would be tight getting a skirt out this length of fabric, and sure enough when I went to lay out the pattern, it was too short. But who said you have to use the straight grain of fabric? When I laid the pattern out using the cross grain as the straight grain, there was just enough! And to keep the cheapskate theme going, the lining is from a friend's stash and the invisible zip came from my stash.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Fabric brooches

I have been playing around with fabric to make brooches with kits from KimoYES. In a previous blog here I showed some button brooches that were made from kimono silk. This time I used cotton. The two cat brooches are made from Japanese cotton and the heart fabric is a light cotton that I think I bought from Rathdowne Fabrics. I added iron-on interfacing to stop the silvery shine of the button shell showing through the fabric. It also had the added benefit of giving the fabric more body.
I have a cat-loving friend who will be receiving these as a birthday gift.
I also have had a go at making a fabric origami butterfly brooch. As with origami, folds need to be precise to get the best results. After making the butterfly using the fabric that came with the kit, two rectangular pieces of silk 7 inches by 5 inches, I thought I would try to make a smaller one but keeping the proportions of the rectangle the same, 7:5. This one is made from rectangles of kimono silk 10.5 cm ( 7 x 1.5 cm) by 7.5 cm (5 x 1.5 cm). It is by no means perfect but it does look like a butterfly. The kit suggests using firm fabrics or to interface softer fabrics. I interfaced this one but I think I should have used a stiffer interfacing to help make crisper folds. Maybe next time.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

kimono silk brooches

My latest project: kimono silk button brooches using a kit from kimoYES. The kit comes with 10 x 4.5 cm diameter button fronts and backs, brooch clasps and glue (for attaching the clasps). The fabric choice is up to you. I have slowly been accumulating a small stash of vintage kimono silks without any specific purpose in mind. And at last I have found a purpose!
Really, any lightweight fabric would be suitable for making these brooches. And it's a great way to use up those precious scraps of fabric that you just can't throw out.