Monday, 24 April 2017

Itch to Stitch Anza Dress

For me to reach for a dress in RTW it has to be a plain colour office dress or I will find a shirt to wear instead. When I saw the Itch to Stitch Anza dress I knew it was very 'me'.  It has the same chic look as the Bonn dress, but it was exactly what I was after - the military pockets. Interesting even in plain colours, a sensible length for an elastic waist dress to avoid that rise on a pear shaped figure, the drawstring also helps to keep the waist in place. It is snazzy enough for pub / evenings. It has that breezey non-fussiness about it unlike with some of the 1950s shirt dresses, the skirt is neither too full nor too 'mens shirt'. It was also fun and satisfying to sew! I ended up wearing this dress on 4 days during testing because it is comfortable and versatile.

I cut the drawstring but then decided on shoelaces tied together in the middle as liked the contrast to bring out the black in the print and dark buttons. I finished the facings with a tiny close knit zigzag. I sewed size 4-C bodice, 4 elastic casing, 4 elastic using the materials chart, 8 skirt.  1.7cm faux horn buttons from Fabric Land.
I had 4 metres of this fabric and some 'dud' pockets so decided to make a bag! Simplicity 1598 The fleece was originally too thick, but I managed to press it flat with the iron on a silk-synthetics setting. Baby pink piping to match the liquid satin lining.  The cream marbled buttons are beautiful, bought for a dress originally at 30p each from Fabric Land.

I have an Anza dress in navy with silver buttons to complete. It's the perfect work or weekend dress (in fact, I feel guilty wearing office clothes out of hours like I'll wear-out the fabric!) I will make the jumpsuit when it gets warmer as an alternative to a maxi dress.
Itch to Stitch Anza Ad 300 x 300

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Style Arc Barb - Bengaline

I made no changed to the pattern but to add 0.6cm to the full-hip and thigh outer seam. I ordered a whole roll of black 5cm elastic this time to avoid trips to the local fabric shop! Elastic waist stretch woven Barb pants: Etsy size 10-12-14

The top is just a white broderie anglaise peasant top I purchased last year. I wore it with a vest underneath as it is fairly sheer. Blazer from Collectif (on sale).
I originally enjoyed Style Arc for their range of trouser patterns but they have other sleek modern designs.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Denim Arielle Skirt

I washed the fabric twice and put it in the drier to make it softer. I bought the denim to make jeans but I cut a jeans pattern from lilac leopard print bengaline instead! I used a jeans needle and 23mm brown buttons, which are on the right as worn side as I ignored the cutting layout which has you put the front pieces on the wrong-side-up of the fabric. I left off the interfacing and instead cut the waist facings with the vertical grain with less-stretch. I also understitched all the edges and then topstitched the waist which worked well with the denim. The buttonholes were a pain as my machine wouldn't sew them so I used a zizag stitch. I sewed the skirt in one night!  This is size 4, I took 8cm off the length of the pencil skirt. I hemmed it at 2cm and it covers my knees.
 Puppy insisted on dining on the table.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Rocky Mountain Mens Raglan

Rocky Mountain Mens Tshirt - I received a Peek-a-Boo Patterns pdf of choice in a giveway so I went for a men's pattern to sew as a gift (Pay it Forward!). My dad chose a short sleeve tshirt and  drapey jersey instead of standard cotton tshirting as it would be better for the gym. I think I got the colours right as he wanted bright colours, and red / charcoal grey is sporty. I really liked the idea of a contrast baseball tshirt, they look flattering and make for fun colour combinations. I laid the Rocky tshirt against a RTW tshirt to check my sizing without having a 'model' fitting. Size L was accurate to a size L. Really happy with this baseball T and will definitely make more! It doesn't use a lot of fabric of each colour.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Lisbon Cardigan

I had four metres of French terry sweatshirting. I sewed the regular bodice Lisbon + full length sleeves in size 4 graded to 6 hip and the bottom band is a size 6. I took 1cm off the neckband which gathers the fabric a little.
I used 23mm olive green tortoiseshell buttons and the guide for 2cm buttons as my button foot creates too much space. I fused another layer of (light to medium woven)  interfacing to the underneath and tore off after cutting the button holes. I had to zigzag stitch the other side of the buttonholes as the buttonhole foot stopped at the turn. I used ten buttons rather than the seven button guide. I ordered them on ebay (20 for £3.80) as my local fabric shop had sold out of the faux horn ones I always used - love the brown / natural pools of colour! I topstitched the seams with a zigzag stitch which makes all the difference for a traditional cardigan appearance. The shoulder seams are pretty! The difficult part was topstitching each side of the arm seams, which join nicely to the side seam stitching, and the pressed-up seam allowance on the sleeve cuffs took some manoeuvring.
Pattern Review Lillian Dress - Raspberry stretch lace (£6.50/m Fabric Land); red heavy tshirt or sweatshirting; navy lingerie lace (60p Fabric Land). I sewed size S. I actually love this dress! Pattern comes in XS-L or XL-4XL, approx. £8 for PDF. Finished garment size for S is 35.5 bust and 38 hip, I'm 40 hip and it fits. My neckline in sweatshirting was too short, then I had the idea that lace would look softer and prettier so I cut a line of the raspberry lace and folded it widthways in half and attached it at 6mm (instead of 1cm) then topstitched over the seam. I also narrowed the shoulder slightly to make it fit closer.  I hemmed the dress then pinned the lingerie stretch lace underneath to that line of stitching and topstitched from the front.  It doesn't use much fabric, and once you've sewn the front insert the rest is easy. I plan to make a grey french terry version of this dress. It makes me want to collect lace and put it on all the patterns with contrast options! Ideal dress for creativity.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Newport Top - Sweater

Newport Top - Itch to Stitch PDF Sewing Pattern  After making a tshirt, I went for a sweater! Loop backed sweatshirt fabric from Fabric Land UK £4.99/m. I sewed the 3/4 sleeve size 4 and it used less than 1.5 metres. From taping the pages together it took me 4 and a half hours. A quality sporty sweater in no time! I loved the initial design and the pattern went through a third revision to achieve the loveliest fit and boat neckline with envelope folds. 
Took these photos in Oxford on a long walk. I needed something cosy and easy to wear.
Newport Top - PDF Sewing Pattern