November 11, 2014

Sew: Vogue 1349 in Magenta Ponte

Another dress that I made a few months ago. And another round of photos taken by a 5 year old. He's getting better! Excuse the wrinkles, this was at the end of a rather long and busy day of kicking goals!!

This is Vogue 1349, a DKNY Vogue pattern. I'm not very good at matching different prints so I decided to keep it simple. I picked up this delightful magenta ponte knit at The Fabric Store at one of our sewing meet ups this year. It was in the special bin for $20 per metre. I really didn't need any fabric but I couldn't resist a ponte in this colour.

The dress design is very simple and has limited shaping. It is a glorified sack. I took it in at the bust side seams but couldn't take it in any further as it started to mess with the lines. There was also some drag lines starting to appear, so I let it be. I feel like it's a little big but it looks ok and I get compliments when I wear it. So it must be a winner!

I stuffed up the lining at the armholes and neckline. The lining didn't fit the width of the shoulder piece. I must have cut it off grain. So the lining is pulling the fabric and preventing it from sitting flat. It looks ok but bugs me greatly. I decided a massive necklace would help to hide it!

Project Details
Pattern: Vogue 1349, size 16-18
Fabric: Magenta Ponte knit from The Fabric Store
Alterations: 4cm sway back adjustment, removed 3cm from back neckline
See Also: Little Betty | Sew Dixie Lou | Sew Little Time

The pattern is probably knot designed for a ponte knit but I tend to think most things can be made in a ponte. I would like to try it again in a printed cotton sateen or even a denim.

I have a little bit left of this ponte and am planning to make a simple knit pencil skirt. Maybe the Colette Mabel skirt??

Once again, I wore it to work with my Cordova jacket and black tights. Are you seeing a common theme around here??

L x

November 03, 2014

Sew: Red Colette Myrtle Dress

Oh, I love a good cowl neckline! Combine this with my favourite colour and it's a match made in heaven. My love of a cowl neckline is well documented with my numerous V1250's. The Myrtle dress has a more blousier (?) cowl bodice combined with a floaty A-line skirt. The final dress has a more relaxed and casual look than my beloved V1250.

The method of finishing the bodice is pure genius. As always, the Colette Patterns instructions are well written and clear. I had no trouble making this dress and everything came together easily and quickly.

I did lengthen the dress but ended up going back to the pattern length. It runs quite long. I made a size XL and did my standard sway back adjustment in addition to removing 3cm from the back neckline.

I quite like this dress and I will wear it but I'm not sure if it is very flattering on my plus-sized figure. I am of the belief, that a more fitted silhouette is often more flattering on a fuller figure than loose, voluminous garments. I don't mean tight fitting, just well fitted. The volume of fabric in looser fitting clothes seems to make me appear larger. Does this make any sense??

Project Details
Pattern: Colette Patterns Myrtle dress, size XL
Fabric: She Read Red viscose spandex jersey from Tessuti Fabrics
Alterations: 4cm sway back adjustment, removed 3cm total from back neckline, omitted pockets
See Also: Thornberry | Frocks & Frou Frou | The Drapery | Miss Make

I wore it to work today with a slim black belt and my beloved Moneta jacket.

I've decide that iPhone photos by a 5 year old are better than none. At least it allows me to blog my makes and stay connected to the online sewing community during the reno. And it keeps me sane!!

Photo bombed by a cheeky 3 year old!

L x
October 31, 2014

Sew: Tessuti Laura Pant in Denim

I sewed something!! These were meant to be made out of cobalt blue linen but I accidentally bought the wrong amount. I was determined to sew something so I dug through my stash and found this length of denim left over from my crazy kid shorts and pants sewing days. I love this denim.

I've mentioned before that the basic items of our wardrobes are the hardest to photograph and blog. These were no exception. Rachel tried to take photos today at the park but it was super sunny. These are the best we could do.

There's nothing much to report about this make. They came together beautifully and quickly. I will increase the back rise by 1.5cm next time and possibly lengthen them by 7.5cm. I noticed in the pattern photos that they're designed to hit the ankle and mine clearly don't. However, I don't mind them this length.

They are a much needed pair of basic pants! I did go back and buy more cobalt blue linen. So watch out for another pair of Laura pants soon!

Project Details
Pattern: Tessuti Laura Pant, size XL
Fabric: Texan Light Weight Denim from Kelani Fabrics
Alterations: None

PS. I noticed that this Country Road top is very much like the new Tessuti Alice top pattern. I'm stoked that I can now replicate my fave summer top! I plan to dive in to my stash again this weekend...
October 07, 2014

Blog Hop: From Poppykettle to Ernest Flagg and Boo Dogg & Me

Many moons ago, Melanie, of seamstress: poppykettle, nominated me for a blog hop. I then promptly got inundated by life and work and kids. I then threw it all in and hit the road for 3 weeks on an epic road trip! So here's my belated post on the now widespread blog hop. 

what am I working on?
I'm not actually working on anything at the moment. We are 7 weeks in to a 7 month renovation of the back half of our house. We are living in the front two bedrooms and a bathroom. My sewing machines are looking at me longingly from behind the bedroom door. The contents of my sewing room are stored in six large storage boxes in the boy's bedroom. They were too precious to be stored in the shed! I have a few things cut out, ready to sew but I'm actually enjoying the break from sewing. It was becoming more of a chore rather than a hobby. I felt pressured to sew, both to clothe myself and to keep up appearances on the blog. I was starting to feel overwhelmed juggling working, mothering, renovating, sewing and blogging. Blogging was the first to go. And then sewing. I have enough clothes, so I'm going to enjoy the break and look forward to my weekend away with my sewing buddies in December. 

why do I write?
When I think about why I started blogging, there are many reasons. I had just finished my second stint of maternity leave, during which I had really got in to sewing. After raising two boy babies, I wanted something for myself and sewing was my thing. It brought me great joy and challenged a different part of my brain to what my work did.  

Even though I'd sewn for years, I didn't have any friends who sewed. My mum sews, my mother-in-law sews, my sister-in-law sews but none of my friends sewed. I would discuss sewing for hours with my mum but I didn't have anyone in my own generation to discuss sewing with. During my second maternity leave with Mr H, I would go in to Tessuti every week while exploring the city to buy fabric for my next project and discuss sewing with the wonderful Lisa and Nikki. I would then go home and sew that project, returning the next week to buy fabric for the next project. I was on first name basis with the lovely ladies in Clegs. They knew my kid's names and what fabrics and notions I liked. I would chat endlessly with them about what project I was working on and what machine I should upgrade to. I needed more people to talk about sewing with!! Lisa from Tessuti had suggested I start a blog and I laughed her off, saying it would take time away from the actual sewing. But then I started reading blogs and commenting on them. I wanted in! I wanted to be a part of this community. 

I never in a million years thought I would meet actual real people through blogging. I thought it would be a bit of an anonymous thing. I created, I took photos, I shared and I discussed. Nothing more. But then I got an email from Rachel. Asking if I'd like to meet for a coffee one day. Hell yes!! We met at a safe place, Clegs (in case I was a serial killer, hey Mike?!). We then had a few blogging meet ups which were fabulous. I met more sewing buddies. I can now safely say that I have met some of my closest friends through blogging. I am forever grateful that I decided to start writing a blog.  

how does it differ from others of it’s genre?
How does my writing differ from others?? Well, I don't consider myself a good or creative writer. I'm good at writing technical information, directional instructions, business cases and negotiation discussions.  Hell! I'm married to an engineer who doesn't even include dear and regards in his emails. Straight to the point.  He does put xx in emails to me! 

I'm a pharmacist plus a project and business manager so I spend all day carefully crafting my written correspondence to be precise and to the point. I write instructional protocols and guidelines as well a negotiation and legal emails. I spend my days organising, negotiating and liaising. I find it easiest to approach my blog posts like a case report or laboratory report. I use the project details section to clearly define the specifics of my project and then the paragraphs to describe the process, issues and thoughts. I find it really difficult to write creatively. I'm a very succinct and precise person. What you see is what you get!

I don't tend to write very wordy posts. Personally, I stop reading blog posts if they're too long. I want to the know the details not the waffle. I love pictures. I will often search the images section of google when  planning a project. I notice that a lot of bloggers don't include pictures of the back of the garment. Drives me nuts! 

how does my writing process work?
If I'm making a new pattern, I will start writing the blog post while I'm sewing. I note all my alterations and issues while they're fresh in my mind. I don't do this with the basic everyday items (which tend to be a majority of my sewing) and this backfires on me when I come to blog it and I can't remember what I've done or changed. As I mentioned earlier, I like to write in a structured way with the details and my process clearly defined. I do include a bit of chatter but not a lot!

So it's now my turn to nominate a few bloggers to join the blog hop and discuss their writing styles. I would like to know more about Emma behind Ernest Flagg, who I had the pleasure of meeting on our epic road trip, and Rachel of Boo Dogg and Me, because we could talk sewing forever! Ladies, your challenge if you choose to accept, is to address the questions highlighted in bold. 

L xx
August 10, 2014

Sew: Style Arc Simone Cardi

Another successful Style Arc cardigan! I got this pattern, the Simone cardigan, free when I bought my beloved Harper jacket pattern. I wasn't that interested in it until I spotted this beautiful pink and black patterned merino knit at The Fabric Store. Something clicked in my sewing mind and I knew the fabric and pattern would be a perfect combination.

The Style Arc Simone Cardigan is described as "the clever cardigan pattern" that has been designed so the drape creates the pocket. It can be made with or without buttons. I made it without the buttons as I will never button it up.

Despite the fact that the pocket looks a bit tricky, it was exceptionally easy to put together. The instructions are limited but you don't really need them much. Just follow the notches and look at the pictures. I debated about whether to interface the neck band or not and ended up not as I thought it might be too thick. It is fine without but I would interface thinner or slinkier knits. This merino knit has a bit of body to it.

From the instructions it is not clear that you have to cut two neck band pieces. You do need two of them and there is a seam at the centre back. It is strikingly obvious that the neck band is too short to make it all the way around but I did still hesitate. Take it from me, you need two!

If I was to make this cardigan again I would size down one size, or sew it with larger seam allowances. I feel that it is a touch too large, especially across the shoulders. That could be the style but I'm not used to over-sized styles and I keep wanting to pull it up.

Besides that, it is a perfect cardigan to liven up a black tee and jeans. I wore it yesterday to the sewing meet up at Little Creatures. It was great to meet some new faces and catch up with friends.

Project Details
Pattern: Style Arc Simone Cardigan, size 16
Fabric: Printed merino knit from The Fabric Store
See Also: Thornberry | What Katie Sews

Mr Sew Brunswick photo bombed my photo shoot! Can you see him in the shed window? Our house and yard is an absolute mess while we prepare for a major house renovation. We ran out of "nice" space to take photos, so in front of the shed it was!

L x
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