Wednesday, June 27, 2012


While I haven't been sewing as much as usual, I have been spending some time in my sewing room cleaning up and sorting. My fabric scraps have been growing at a shocking rate and needed to be tamed. Some of my scraps were from years ago and despite many sewing clean ups, I still couldn't bear to part with them, even though I had no real use for them.

So after bravely pulling together a massive IKEA bag (one of the big blue bags!) of scraps for my sister, I starting cutting all remaining small scraps into 2.5 inch squares.
So far I have half a box of them. One day it will become a postage stamp quilt, but probably not for a while.

I feel better that I will be able to make use of these scraps and they won't go to waste.

How do you manage your fabric scraps?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Pleated Top V3

Once I decided to make this project, it came together super quickly. How good does it feel to finish fast and easy projects?
I used Simplicity 2599 for the basic top pattern. As with last time, I cut the back on the fold, eliminating the back button closure. The neckline was slightly lowered and the bust darts raised an inch for fit.
Like last time, the neck pleating was guessed a little. I cut a long strip about 3.5 inches by the length of the fabric, sewed the long sides together with a 1/4 inch seam, turned right way, then pleated by hand. The pleating doesn't work as effectively as the horse fabric, but still I like it. And really, this is Liberty! So much nicer to wear!
I'm completely happy with this top and know it will be a wardrobe staple. I wore it yesterday and just washed it so I can wear it to school tomorrow.

Thanks again for your advice!

Pattern: Simplicity 2599 used many times = free
Fabric: Liberty Pauly Parrot 1.5m from Ebay = $35
Thread from stash
Total: $35

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Too many??

How many of any one type of garment do you need? Or more importantly, do you make?

Quite some time ago, I spied a lovely blouse at Emerson Made (now Emerson Fry).
Ahh - lovely!
I loved the  pleated neckline so much that I copied it.
Then I copied it again.
Then my sister gave me an original silk version that was too small for her (yay!).

The grey and pink horse pleated blouse has definitely been one of the most highly worn handmade garments since it was made. I love it and wore it again today. My only gripe about the design is it can be a little time consuming to iron and can get a little creased when you are lugging around numerous bags, as I was today, but all in all, I love it.

So anyway, the question. I have this lovely, lovely Liberty fabric...
Even though my piece of this fabric is a large 1.5m, I really want to make another pleated neck blouse with it, but I already own three. Is it OK to make another? or is a 4th just a little too odd?

Another interesting point - have you noticed the Liberty-like prints that are cropping up at Spotlight??
Can you see my birdy print in there in a poly chiffon or similar? I'm not sure how I feel about them. I think it's OK as it makes some of these designs more affordable, but it's interesting still...

Looking forward to hearing from you about the blouse. It has been playing on my mind for a few weeks now, stalling any progress with this fabric.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Vogue 1027

I'm slowly coming to the party with stretch sewing. Even though it's fast and easy to fit, it is still a little scary and somewhat tricky to get a super nice finish.
This dress though, was a cinch. Super easy, relatively fast and the dress is drafted to give a nice, neat finish.
Even though Vogue 1027 is recommended for two way stretch knits only, I used a one way knit. This super lightweight ponte was purchased from The Remnant Warehouse a few weeks ago. This fabric is so light and drapey, but still stable, and was lovely to work with. It cost $28 for a 2.8 meter piece and to make this fabric eating dress, I used almost all of it.
I cut a straight size 10 for this dress as I was a little concerned about the fit around my waist. The top half is a wee bit large, but certainly looks OK. I think I might size down the top next time. The dress has great bust coverage which was something I was concerned about as I intended to wear this to work and didn't want to show any cleavage (not much to show - he he) in the classroom - ewww!
The only changes made to the pattern was to cut four or so inches from the hem, omit the waist elastic and I cut the skirt pieces on the grain, as I was concerned the one way stretch would sag un-evenly when cut on the bias.

I'm very happy with this frock and can now understand why this pattern was so highly rated on Pattern Review (best in 2008). The picture above show how I wore it yesterday to work, with a warmer coat over for lunch duty.

Fingers crossed I get to squeeze in a few moment sewing on the weekend. I can't believe I'm dreaming about the weekend and it's only Tuesday!

Pattern: Vogue 1027 inc part shipping $9
Fabric: Ponte from The Remnant Warehouse $28
Total: $37

Friday, June 15, 2012

hmmm... life.

I'm sure you've noticed that things have been a little quiet on this blog lately. I'm still sewing a little, but just a little. Only on weekends. Only during naps. Slowly. Slowly......

I've been working full time these past two weeks and it has been pretty good. I'm really enjoying working. Full time is hard though, and I'd much prefer having a day or so off each week, but still it's good. I still have a couple more weeks of full time work booked until the end of term.

So sewing is taking a back seat at the moment. I am planning on sewing up a storm during the holidays, but for now, I am mostly planning and taking care of work and the kids.

I hope you are still stealing moments at the machine...If I'm lucky I'll finish a new Vogue 1027 dress this weekend...
The token blog post picture - another project completed. Fabric from Spoonflower - details noted here.

Happy Friday!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Serious Seam Ripping

Just thought I'd share a new gadget that I've been using these past few weeks. It's a Gingher Seam Ripper with retractable blade.

It wasn't cheap, but it's very good, and fast, and it looks seriously dangerous! I'm quite worried about what will happen if the kids get their hands on this, so am very conscious about keeping it up high.
The over locked edge above took just minutes to rip out. The replaceable blade is so shape the fabric doesn't warp or fray during seam ripping, which is extremely handy when you can't afford to hog up any more seam allowance to re-sew a seam after a boo boo.
With all the knits I've been sewing lately (and lazily using my over locker instead of my regular machine for the first row of stitches) this little baby has gotten a good work out. I'm still yet to test it on button holes, but I'm sure it will do a lovely neat job.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

McCalls 6553

I purchased McCalls 6553 a couple of weeks ago at the Vogue sale. As it was being shipped to me, I saw Sallieoh make it and instantly felt a just a little bit cooler than my daggy, tired, mum-self. I don't think I'm a particularly fashionable person. When I sew, I sew what I like, want and need. ?Generally not what's in the shops or what other people are wearing. Anyway, this frock rocks!
I made a trip to the Remnant Warehouse just to buy fabric for this dress and I'm very happy with this double sided knit. This dress is a fabric eater though, so make sure you check the yardage. I think I used well over 2 meters of 150 wide fabric.

As it was an unlabelled remnant, I think this mystery fabric is a double knit of some poly or man-made content, but I can't be sure. It is thick and warm and drapes well and that's all that counts.
I made a size 6, as the ease in this dress is generous (42 inch finished bust size for a size 6). I ended up removing about 1 inch from each back pleat and also took in the underarm an inch each side as the gape was little indecent for school.
Surprisingly I like the mullet hem. I think it adds a little interest without looking odd. I sewed a scant 1/4 inch hem to retain some length and I'm glad I did. I'm definitely not cool enough to wear this shorter!
The dress can be worn with the back flowing, or belted around fully, which I prefer. I made the belt with just a strip of fabric cut against the stretch, as I think the striped underside looks cool.

I'm very happy with this dress and have worn it twice already since last Saturday. I might even have to start planning another...

Pattern: McCalls 6553 = $7 inc part shipping
Fabric: 2.8m @ $6p/m = $16.80
Thread and button from stash
Total: $23.80

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Simplicity 2603

Not much to say about this pattern except that I'm happy with it. There are two variations to this front draped cardigan, which I think was Pattern Reviews top pattern in recent years. Not knowing which I would prefer, I started making the longer version, but quickly decided to cut the hem back to the shorter version.
Long version - meh, not me.

BIIGGGG wings!

Ahhh, that's better!

I used a poly wool double knit fabric that I purchased from Spotlight at their 50% off sale. The fabric is a little scratchy, so needed to be worn above my clothes. It also isn't very thin or drapey which meant I couldn't wear this cardigan in any style option pictured on the envelope.

I omitted the elastic at the back neckline, as I don't think it needed it. I also didn't hem any edge as the fabric finished nicely without it. The fabric is super warm and lovely to wrap myself in on a cold day at school. My only gripe - I made the wrong size! For some insane reason I cut the smallest size in the envelop and the cardigan is a little snug around the back. Any tips for stretching out a wool double knit??