Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Hoodies for the fam

In true housewife fashion I have sewed a series of hoodies for my nuclear family. I even made a couple for my boy's kinder teachers!

I used an old Kwik Sew 2275 pattern I found at the op-shop. I have quite a collection of kids 'leisure wear' patterns as they are ALWAYS in op-shops for 50c and in perfect condition. Clearly, I am not the only one with a penchant for daggy tracksuit sewing patterns.

My husband scored a jumper made from Simplicity 1261. I really must make a matching set for all of us to wear on Christmas day. Ears included.

I used novelty fleece from Spotlight. It's held up pretty well, I have to say. And they had some cool prints this year.

Still haven't made one for myself, but don't worry, I have been embarking on plenty of selfish sewing. Right now I'm just finishing up Deer and Doe's Fumeterre skirt. And let me tell you, it's a winner.

Stay tuned...

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Monochrome maxi

There's nothing quite like a bout of gastro combined with PMS to slow down a ladie's sewing/blogging mojo. Yet here I am, looking rather pleased with myself and my latest maxi make: the Ama cowl neck frock by Named.

I bought this pattern entirely on impulse from Sew Squirrel because it was on sale and then I left it sitting on my shelf for months because I had some kind of fear that it would be difficult and ill-fitting. Turns out I was totally overreacting: this was a breeze to sew, even with this somewhat shifty rayon I recently bought from Spotlight. 

I absolutely love the cowl neck and how cute is the back? I used a piece of silver pleather, also from Spotlight, for the contrast panel. Just in case you were wondering, it's fine to shove this pleather in the washing machine. I can be brutal with my garments, and hey, you would never, ever know...

I have a feeling my summer wardrobe is going to be all about jumpuits and maxis.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Planet Clare Sallie

You never forget your first concert. Mine was The B52's Cosmic Thing tour. I was 12 and boy did I love that band. Living in a small, conservative country town they made me feel like I was not the world's only weirdo. This galaxy print reminds me of them.

Galaxy print jersey from Etsy seller Land of Oh
 In case you hadn't already guessed, it's another Sallie, this time as a maxi frock.

I did try to reenact my B52s concert experience when I dragged my husband to see them the last time they were in town. But alas, it was not the same. They were old and over it and totally jet-lagged. I was 10 weeks pregnant and kind of nauseous. 

Yep. Better to pay homage to childhood fandom through fashion.

And always try and co-ordinate your outfits with your pet mutt.

Monday, 31 August 2015

Jail break

Who am I?

a) an inmate, trapped within the confines of an underfunded, overcrowded prison system
b) a primary school teacher from the '80s?
c) a home seamstress obsessed with the production of a tencel all-in-one

I used my beloved Spotlight denim-look tencel to create this snap-studded sensation.

I really love the sleeve tab detailing.

Cool sleeve tabs
This is the pattern I used:
Hello 1984
I scored this vintage Burda pattern from my friend's late Mum's pattern collection. While I was tempted to recreate the camo number, complete with mesh pocket, I had a feeling that this tencel from Spotlight would drape beautifully and be seriously comfy.

I was right.

I made view B with very few changes. Those old Burda patterns don't have seam allowances included so that was a bit of a pain and I had a terrible time attaching the snaps. Oh My God. My Internet research told me that snap attachment is easy. Lies. All lies. I made such a mess of the whole thing I ended up my local Vietnamese tailor and they unpicked and reattached new snaps within an hour, all for $20. Part of me feels like I cheated, but hey, it was worth it.

Beside the snap debacle this was an easy pattern that came together much more smoothly than I expected. I cut a size 12 for the top and graded out to a 14 and I'm happy with the fit. You don't want wait until the last minute when going to the loo, but that's a small price to pay for all-in-one convenience, don't you agree?

Friday, 28 August 2015

Made up: the Inari t-dress

I don't want to come across all single white female, but with our shared passion for sewing and literature I like to think of Karen from Did You Make That? as a kindred sewing spirit. So when Karen blogged about the Made Up initiative to raise money for the National Literacy Trust I knew I had to be part of it.

Besides donating money, contributors are asked to pledge to make something to show their support. I vowed to whip up this simple little Inari t-shirt frock by Named. There are some pretty cool versions out there in blog land. Be sure to check out Heather's linen version and Helen's scuba knit if you haven't already. And I love this ikat version.

I'm on a total Named kick at the moment. Sure the patterns are on the pricey side and tracing sucks, but the designs are unique, really cool and beautifully drafted.  I've just finished tracing the Ama maxi frock so that's next on the list.

My version is in a black ponti-type knit from Rathdowne fabrics. As Nina Garcia would say, black is NOT very editorial and hard to photograph, but you get the idea. Next time I'll use something with a little more drape like a linen or even a piece of silk. I feel like this fabric is a bit stiff and wrinkle-prone - not the best choice for this make. Even so, I've been wearing it a lot.

The Inari is a fun, quick pattern. It's an easy to throw on piece when you want to give up but can't quite get away with ugg-boots and leggings because it is simply unprofessional to rock up to work looking like an inpatient.

And sometimes that's exactly what a girl needs.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Time to shine corgi legs

I'm not putting myself down when I say I've got the legs of a corgi. I mean, it has it's advantages. Budget airline travel, for example, is less squashy than it is for, say, long limbed Giselle types. And I can stretch my pins out in the bath tub with ease.  But when it comes to rocking a pair of comfy, yet cool, woven pants? Aye Carumba. 

So when I scored a copy of the Hudson Pants sewing pattern from my new sewing buddy, Liz, I had me some serious doubts. I'd already recently donated a freshly sewn pair of Guise pants to the op-shop because they looked absolutely hideous and left me feeling rather lacklustre: stumpy and large of hip. 

Then one day the Spotlight catalogue arrived in the post letting me know that not only did they have a tonne of Tencel (the eco-wonder-fabric!) in stock, but that it was on sale for VIPs. Hello 5 metres. Hello Hudsons.

Maybe I'm stuck in 1995, but I've had a major craving for Tencel pants lately. The ladies at Rathdowne Fabrics told me that hadn't seen Tencel for years, so I went a little crazy when it popped up in Spotlight. I'm glad I did, actually, because it drapes beautifully and is so soft and pretty much goes with everything. As the Hudson pattern is designed for stretch fabric I sized up three sizes and the fit is spot on. 

I didn't add any length to the legs because I thought that I wouldn't need to. Mistake. Take it from me: even if you are short, you will probably need to lengthen these pants by at least two inches if you are going to make a woven pair without the cuff. To remedy my error I cut a pair of cuffs, adding width to fit and sewed them onto the bottom as a subtle design feature. I'll probably just lengthen the pattern for future makes, but this technique worked out fine in a pinch.

The top, by the way, is the super popular Simplicity 1366. It's a great one if you've only got a little bit of fabric to work with. I made it up with some Nani Iro double gauze I had left over from my beloved Sewaholic Yaletown.

All in all, this corgi-legged lass is one happy seamstress.