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. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Sharp corners for zipped pouches

I loved going through my stash of Japanese cottons and 'Ink and Spindle' screen printed fabrics to choose the ones made into these zipped pouches.
Why so many? They're an order for my friend who will sell them in her shop,  'Bay of Apostles'  in Apollo Bay, Victoria. Very exciting!
One of the techniques I've used for making the sharp corners is a method called 'wrapped corners' invented by the well known American sewing instructor, Nancy Zieman. This technique is explained in her book 'Sewing A to Z'.

There's no need for trimming and once turned right way out, just like magic, you have a sharp and square corner . Nancy Zieman also uses this method when making corners on collars. I can see it being used any time you would normally do the 'pivot and turn' method of sewing corners.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

When Tessuti's Pia met Eva

I wanted to make the Tessuti Pia dress but with sleeves. So I used my Eva pattern for the bodice from the armholes up and the Pia pattern from the armholes down. The neckline though is more Pia than Eva. It's turned out to be a great combination. I added a small dart in the front armhole to close the armhole gaposis before setting in the sleeve. It did mean a bit more easing was required for the sleeve.
I love the pocket detail of this dress although the busyness of the fabric doesn't highlight this feature as much as I would like. 

And I love the fabric which is Collette Dinnegan!!!! It's a cotton/silk that I bought at Rathdowne Fabrics at the beginning of last year. It was so easy to work with and it's just lovely to wear.
So with Collette, Pia and Eva combined, I have a very stylish and easy wearing dress.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Stylish Dress Book Dress E

This is my version of Dress E from Stylish Dress Book by Yoshiko Tsukriori, I made it tunic length to wear over pants. It is quite roomy and even though I made it using a fine lawn fabric it just doesn't look right on me.
It's very billowy (if there's such a word) so it won't make a public appearance but I will wear it at home. At least it gave me a chance to continue practising using binding on necklines and making pleats!