Monday, 30 July 2012

Finished Project: Colette Peony

Another finished project - I've been on a bit of a roll these last 2 weeks! I actually finished this dress just over a week ago - before the 1950s Chicago Tribune dress in fact, I just didn't get round to taking pictures till this weekend.

So, another Colette Patterns design and, as with all Sarai's patterns, the instructions were really easy to follow. Since I'm a good little sewist, I did a muslin of the bodice as usual before making a dress. I cut a size 6 at the bust, grading out to a size 8 at the waist as usual. How grateful I am that I did do a muslin first in this instance! 

Colette Patterns are generally made for people with a c-cup bust (which I am not and never will be), but up until this point I haven't actually had to make any major nips and tucks  to any of the Colette dresses I've made so far. The Peony however, was WAY too large for me across the bust! I've never seen anything more comical than my Peony muslin on me, with this ballooning of extra fabric across the bust. The back piece fit fine though, as did the waist, so I cut out a  2" wedge from the centre of the bodice across the bust, grading down to nothing at the side seams. I made another muslin just in case and the alterations seemed to do the trick.

Like I said earlier, as usual with Colette Patterns designs, it was a dream to sew up, with no hitches. I chose to sew up a mash up of  the versions on offer. I decided I wanted short sleeves, but I also wanted pockets, so I went with a short sleeved version of V.1. I ended up not actually making the contrasting belt though as I have a cream bow belt I plan on wearing with it instead. I might get round to making the belt at some later stage. This was actually my fist time ever sewing pockets of any description (I know, I can't believe it either), but it was simple and straight forward so nothing to worry about! I serged all the seams too, so it's all nice and neat on the inside.

The dress is slightly shorter than I'd like - but it's my fault for forgetting to lengthen the skirt pattern pieces. It's not too short though so I'll still wear it loads I'm sure.

As for other projects, I've also finished up my Smooth Sailing shorts from Wearing History, so I'll post about those later in the week.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Friday Roundup #2

Happy Friday readers! It's the second installment of Friday Round-up! Hope all those of you in the UK are enjoying the sunshine. I'm getting properly excited about the start of the Olympic games now - can't wait to see the opening ceremony later! Is everyone else getting excited for the Olympics too, or is it just me?

But, on to the round-up...

So I've completed the muslin for my bombshell dress. I can't quite believe I'm posting a picture of me wearing a skimpy flesh coloured bodice on the interweb - the sunshine finally coming out this week must have sent me somewhat doolally!

But anyhoo, it basically fits fine as it is, but I've decided to add the barest 1/2" at the waist to allow a little more room for the boning / underlining / lining. The muslin is quite snug at the waist at the moment so I think the finished bodice would be a little too restrictive if I left it as it currently is. Hopefully the extra 1/2" will just allow a little more movement without changing the fitted appearance of the bodice.

I've re-cut the underlining and main fabric pieces for the bodice, and plan to baste them this evening whilst watching the start of the Olympics.

I've also got a pair of 1940s style shorts on the go from Wearing History's Smooth Sailing pattern. I've done a muslin and hope to get the final version finished this weekend - they're super quick to sew up which I love!

Friday Links
Enjoy the weekend everyone.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Finished Project: Chicago Tribune Mail Order Pattern

Hello lovely readers! I have another finished project for you today. After getting distracted by sorbetto re-fashions and the Peony dress I finally sat down on Sunday and made the Chicago Tribune dress I talked about making the other month. Yes, you heard it - I made a dress, including re-grading the pattern and making a muslin in the space of a day!

This was my first time working with an unmarked pattern and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be - in fact it's actually amazingly straightforward! The original pattern was a 34" bust, so a size smaller than my normal size. There was no information anywhere about the amount of ease in the pattern so I traced the original pieces and graded the bodice up to a 36" bust.

Then I made a muslin... it was WAY too big at the front. I had to take out 2" over the bust, grading down to 1" at the waist. So I sewed up a second muslin using my graded up back bodice piece, but the original 34" bodice front (with a 1" wedge taken out over the bust, grading to nothing at the waist) - random way of doing things I know, but it seemed to work fine!
I had this red cotton lawn in my stash and thought it would be perfect for a sundress but it was a little thin, so I underlined it with a thin muslin since it's what I had to hand.

I serged all the seams using my trusty new overlocker, but the side zip was an absolute b*gger to put in! Especially since it doesn't start at the top of the side seam. I got it in eventually though.

The only thing I might change about the dress is the neckline. The pattern didn't call for any kind of seam binding / facing at the neck, it just instructed you to fold the top of the neckline over. It's a little narrow though and has a tendency to roll outwards so I might add some seam binding along the edge as a facing.

All in all though I'm really pleased with this make and the time it took to finish it. And it was made in perfect time make the most of the sunshine that's come back!

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Finished Project: Pink Sorbetto

Hello lovelies! Another finished project today. A re-fashion and a Sorbetto in one... what could be better.

I was originally intending to use this shirt to have a go at Sunni's button-up refashion box blouse, but the shirt wasn't quite large enough for it to work, so I decided to fall back on an old faithful and make another Sorbetto - I'm not sure it's possible to have too many of these tops! I wore my red and white versions so much during MMM '12 because they're just so easy to wear.

I like the fact that the button placket makes this version a little different from the others. There's not much to add in terms of sewing notes really. I used french seams to cover up all the raw edges, bound the hem with hem tape and stitched along the edge of the placket to avoid any unnecessary gaping.

All in all, this took about an hour to make - basically the time it took my other half to pop round to a friends for a chat. I started sewing just as he left and by the time he got back I was putting the finished top on to show him. I think he was quite impressed with my speed sewing too! So that's one more basic top to add to my me made wardrobe. Now I just need to try and sort out the re-sizing of my 1950s top and I'll have another top to add to my wardrobe.

Friday, 20 July 2012

New Post Series: Friday Round-up

Happy Friday lovely people!

I've decided to start a new blog post series - I'm going to (try) to do a round-up post every Friday sharing any interesting blog posts I've read and my WIPs.

I read some really interesting blog posts every week and thought it only fair to share them. Some of you may well have already read them but I thought it might be interesting to share them with those of you that haven't!

So without further ado...


My Peony is almost done - just the zipper and facing to add then the hemming. I'm hoping to have it finished today.

Gertie's Bombshell Dress (Craftsy video course): This will no doubt be a bit of a slow burner, but I've taken the plunge and bought this course as I thought it might be nce to learn a few new skills under Gertie's expert guidance! There have already been some gorgeous versions of this dress completed by the likes of Karen over at Did You Make That, and Suzy at Suzy Sewing - so hopefully mine will be just as lovely!

So... on to the Friday Links:
  • Sarai's post about sewing and happiness is a really interesting read - and I agree completely with her! Some of the comments to this post are also just as interesting!
  • One Little Minute shared her method of getting perfectly straight and equal pleats on a skirt - I'll definitely be trying this at some point.
  • Have you ever made a second version of your first ever successful make? Karen's post about revisiting the beginning is really interesting.
  • Check out Zoe's sailor collar t-shirt re-fashion. I want me one of these!
  • The Little Red Squirrel shares how she organises her sewing journal - This is something I've been thinking of doing for a while seeing Katie's post has kicked me in to gear. I'm going to get one started this weekend!
  • Finally, Tilly shares her thoughts on using quilting cottons in dressmaking

Monday, 16 July 2012

Summer Sewing Swap Goodies!!!!

So a month or so back, Kestrel Finds and Makes decided to host a summer sewing swap and I signed up instantly.

I was partnered with Hazel of Disaster in a Dress. I was so excited about this swap - it's always nice to receive parcels and even nicer when the contents will be a lovely surprise!

Here's what I got from Hazel:

I am loving this fabric - it would be perfect for maybe a shirt dress or a 1960's shift dress.

I can't wait to have time to get started on a project with these lovelies, so thanks Hazel!

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Finished Project: Mint tee

Although I thought a slightly smaller version would be better, I really liked the simple lines of the Grainline Scout Tee so I decided to make a second version with some mint polycotton from my stash.

There's not much to add in terms of  construction notes except that this time round, I cut a full size smaller than the one recommended for my measurements. I also used french seams throughout the make rather than my serger and I didn't have quite enough material to cut front and back on the fold so I seamed the back piece. Personally, I think this version fits me much better.

So, thats three new basic tops so far added to my me made wardrobe since the end of MM May. Not to shabby if I do say so myself! I've also added another future project to my 'To Make' list after seeing Scruffy Badger's kimono sleeve t-shirt - so lovely! For those of you who haven't seen it, pop on over and have a look! 

I've also sewn up about 3 versions of the1950s top |I wanted to make and just cannot get it to fit, so I've decided to shelve it for now since there are plenty of other projects I want to get started with. I still need to trace and cut the pattern for the 1950s Chicago Tribune dress, but I'm in the middle of finishing off my first version of the Colette Peony dress for a wedding in a couple of weeks so i'll get started on the 1950's dress once that's done. So lots to be kept occupied with.

Monday, 2 July 2012

A Place to Call My Own

Sorry for the grainy picture, but I just wanted to share what I got up to this weekend:

Mr HM and I spent a couple of hours re-arranging the furniture in the spare room so I could have my very own sewing space, which has made Mr HM very happy since I'm no longer clogging up the dining table with my sewing ans other crafty stuff.

All I need now is a chair... :-)

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Finished Project: Grainline Studios Scout Tee and Tiny Pocket Tank

Sorry for the radio silence since the end of MMM. I wrote this post ages ago and then managed to break my camera before taking photos of this make so had to wait for the new one to show up!

Having seen so many lovely versions of Grainline Studio’Scout Tee and Tiny Pocket Tank, I just knew I had to get myself those patterns – especially after MMM ’12 showed me how lacking I was in tops!

I’m not the biggest fan of print out patterns, just because of how precise you have to be with the sticking together, but it doesn’t stop me using them if there’s a pattern I like – and I really liked the Grainline patterns!

So, once the pattern was stuck together and cut out, this has to be one of the quickest projects I have ever completed. It’s up there with the speed of completing the Sorbetto – I don’t think I spent more than 1 hour making this top! The instructions were so clear and simple; it’s definitely going to be a fall-to pattern when I fancy a new t-shirt.

I cut out the recommended size for my measurements, and although it’s meant to be a lose fitting top, it was a little too lose for my preferences – not that it matters as it’s still perfectly wearable both with jeans or tucked in to a skirt I think.
All in all a successful make. Also, look at these seams – notice anything special?

They’re serged… That’s right, I’ve splashed out and bought myself an overlocker (Brother…)! They’re not the neatest of serged seams, but I’m working on it.

As for the tiny pocket tank; well not quite as successful although still wearable. ..

So… being absolutely positive that I had checked the ‘scale to 100%’ box on the printer, and being positive that I had actually measured the scale box on the pattern, I happily stuck and cut the pattern and then cut out some black poly-cotton for it straight away. I spent a merry evening sewing away, only to try it on and have it straining across my bust! Now, I’m not exactly large of bust it has to be said, so I was at a loss to know what had happened. I found the scale box and measured it off with a ruler, only to find that it was 2 ½” square rather than 3” square… ooops!

In order to try and save the top, I decided to do a bit of a bodge job. I found some brightly patterned cotton in my stash and cut out two panels for the side seams and a new pocket. I stitched the new panels between the old side seams and replaced the pocket and voila! One wearable, loosely fitted, vest top.

I’ve since re-cut the pattern pieces so it’ll be ready for another vest when I get round to it.
In other news, I have traced the simplicity 1201 vest top pattern, graded it up to my size and cut out the muslin pieces to sew. I’m planning on getting the muslin sewn up this weekend.