Sunday, July 31, 2016

Japanese kimono silk drawstring bag

I used the KimoYES drawstring bag kit to make this lovely drawstring bag. The kit came with everything that's needed to make the bag. I have to admit I did struggle with working out how to put the pieces together but it did work out in the end.  It has five rectangles each topped with a triangle to make up a circular bag. The bag's finished size is 16 x 16 cms with a 42 cm circumference upper opening. My addition to the kit instructions was to make fabric covers to go over the cord knots. I found this technique in one of the first books I bought about Japanese textiles - Omiyage by Kumiko Sudo.  I think it finishes the bag off really well.
I filled the bag with small bottles of Japanese Cherry Blossom body lotion and shower gel and a bath sponge from the Body Shop as a gift for my mother's birthday.
Although I enjoyed the challenge of putting this bag together, I plan to do so some research into simplifying the shape and the number of pieces that make up the bag to make the construction process easier and faster.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Kim Swing Top Mark 2

Following on from the success of Stylearc's Kim Swing Top in a heavier weight knit than the pattern suggested, I've gone for an even bulkier knit. The fabric is a soft and warm Italian wool knit from Rathdowne Fabrics. The adaptations I made to the pattern were: shortened the body by 6 cms, lengthened the sleeves and made the neckband 30cms wide. I used the walking foot on the machine to sew the seams before neatening them on the overlocker. I really like the collar as it rolls perfectly around the neck at just the height I wanted.
from the side

from the front

from the back

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Kim Swing Top by Stylearc

From the side
Although Stylearc's Kim Swing Top is designed with elbow length sleeves and for a jersey knit, I thought I would try it out with a heavier knit for a winter top. I lengthened the sleeves and widened the neckband to 13cms so that it would sit higher around my neck. The fabric is a synthetic boucle knit with minimal stretch that I bought last year at the Fabric Store. I like the fit of this top across the shoulders and the way it falls across the body but as the fabric is not that stretchy it is a touch tight across my upper arms!
Front view

From the back

Monday, March 28, 2016

Daisy Designer Tunic in Embroidery Anglaise

A couple of years ago I bought two metres of a Collette Dinnegan white Embroidery Anglaise from Rathdowne Fabrics and it has been sitting in my stash waiting for the right moment. Hopefully this is the right moment with a Stylearc Daisy Designer Tunic. I have made this pattern before with a much lighter weight fabric but found the length just that little bit too long for my liking. For this top with a heavier weighted fabric, I decided to shorten the bodice by 10 cms which brings the centre back length to 68 cms which is still long enough to cover my derriere. I underlined the back and front with white voile and I finished the neckline with bias binding turned to the inside rather than a facing. It's very comfortable to wear.

The side view shows off the shape of the tunic.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Tessuti Eva Dress by the pattern (mostly)

I've made a few Tessuti Eva dress versions over the last few years. I really like the fit of the bodice and the lantern shaped skirt. For my final version (I think this is make number 6), I pretty much followed the pattern. I shortened the bottom panel so that the skirt finishes at my calf rather than just above my somewhat skinny ankles. The other modifications were to add small darts at the waist of the front bodice for extra shaping, to take a pinch out of the back centre to shorten the back to compensate for my short waist and to bind the neckline with self-fabric binding rather than turn it all to the inside as per the pattern. I didn't include the pockets. I used a size Large bodice and a Size Medium skirt and manipulated the sizes at the waist line so the seams matched.
The fabric is a heavy linen which I bought at the Melbourne Fabric Store a couple of summers ago. This is a casual, easy to wear dress that is very stylish.
Front view

Side view

Back view - Showing the creases after wear!

The bound neck line sits beautifully. It's my favourite neckline finish.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Japanese linen is the focus

With this simple tunic adapted from McCalls 6102, it's the fabric that's the star. The material is a Japanese linen bought from The Cloth Shop last month. I was lucky as there was only 1.7 metres left on the roll which was just enough to make up this A-line (although the photos don't show that it's A-line),  pull over tunic with cap sleeves. It works well with 3/4 length black linen pants. I wore the tunic yesterday and received compliments about my outfit! It's very encouraging when people say "It doesn't look home made".
Front view

Back view
A close up of the self fabric bias binding stitched in the ditch. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Tessuti's Eva dress with inverted pleats in the skirt

I've made another dress using the Eva dress bodice, this time the sleeveless bodice, with a self-designed skirt. The skirt has three inverted pleats at both the front and the back, with the larger inverted pleat at centre front and centre back. The fabric I used for this dress is a heavy weight cotton that was better suited to pleats than gathers. I bought the material at Rathdowne Fabrics but I noticed it was also available at The Cloth Shop and Clegs. I spent yesterday afternoon visiting some of Melbourne's well know fabric shops checking out their sales and coming away with some lovely additions to my fabric stash.
Front view
front bodice
Back view
Back bodice