Saturday 31 May 2014

Thrifting luck: Indian fabric

We do have a couple of charity shops where I live and I like to go there to buy old duvet covers that I use as muslin fabric. I am fitting a shirt for Lescha at the moment and my gosh the pattern pieces are just massive. I am on my fourth muslin and you can imagine how much fabric you need to assemble a long sleeve mens shirt. But at least, I am almost done now and can soon cut into the real fabric.

The cotton fabric

When I went to the charity shop I did not only buy duvet covers, but was extremely lucky and found some beautiful fabric. For just £6, I got three meters of this amazing pink cotton/poly-cotton and two meters of a pink chiffon. The start and end of the cotton piece is decorated with colorful and golden flowers - I just love it. I think the fabric was intended for a making a sari, because it said Indian fabric on the price tag.

Golden flowers

The chiffon is pale pink and looks like the sides are batiked in blue. It is decorated with the same flowers as the cotton fabric. 

The chiffon on top of the cotton.

I haven't decided yet, what I am going to make with them. A dress obviously. But should I combine the cotton and chiffon in one dress or should I make a dress from the cotton and a thin summer scarf from the chiffon? What do you think guys? Any ideas?

I am playing with the thought to participate in Laurens and Andis outfit along. I think the cotton fabric would make a perfect Simplicity 1803 dress. In my mind I see a pink bodice and a skirt with flowers printed all over it :) I haven't bought the pattern yet, but I am tempted. As for the knitted cardigan, I am going to knit Andi's Hetty Cardigan in pink wool. 

What about you? Are you participating in the outfit along?

Saturday 24 May 2014

Stripy Colette Parfait

A few of you might have seen this dress already, because I wore it at the NYLon2014 meet-up organised by Rachel. The weather was beautiful, sunny and warm. So a perfect dress to wear!

Fabric: Blue and white striped linen from my stash. I bought the fabric already one year ago in Goldhawk Road with a different dress in mind. But when looking through my stash for a fabric to use for the Parfait, I just knew it would be perfect. Also, have you seen these lovely stripy versions from Anna and Julia?

Embellishments: I had started sewing the dress before my holidays in Kiev, but didn't had the right buttons at home. So I got these lovely red flower buttons.

Alterations: As always with Colette patterns, I had to make a small bust adjustment to get the fit right. There are two tutorials out there: the on the body adjustment from Gertie and the flat pattern adjustment from Shaerie. I used Gerties tutorial, which was very clear and easy to follow (I am currently trying Shaeries adjustment as well). Because of the SBA, I had to take out 1" at the side seam of the top bodice (the bra portion), which meant I also had to take out 1" from the back bodice side seam to match both seams.

Having done this, I made a muslin of the bodice and checked the fit - which was great. What I did not anticipate, however, was that because of the 1" shorter bodice, the skirt would be pulled up by 1" in the back as well. Because of the higher back, the skirt flared out towards the hem and I looked like having a little propeller! I only realised this, when trying on the almost finished dress.

There was no way, I would leave the house with a propeller! Luckily, the skirt has 3 back panels and with Leschas help, I was able to pin the additional fabric out and sew new back seams. You can see how I pinned the fabric out in the photo below. It was a lot of fabric, but at least made the dress wearable. The only problem is that I can't sit down, because the fabric bunches around my belly even when I try smoothing it down.

Constructions: As always for Colette patterns, the descriptions were detailed and sewing was a breeze. I only struggled with setting in the invisible zipper. The problem was that the top of the bodice is closed by a 5 cm seam and you have to insert the zipper just below. It was a bit fiddly, to get the zipper in because of this seam, but in the end I managed (somehow).

Because you can't zip up until the top seam of the bodice, you can't fit the bodice too tight. I first did, but couldn't get my shoulders through the opening anymore. So beware!

Do I like it? Despite it little faults, I really love the dress. It looks so summery and feels so light. And my bust does not look small in it ;) I might have to make a slip for it, because Lescha told me you can actually see my bum through it depending on the sunlight! Who would have thought that. He actually told me just before leaving the house to go to the NYLon2014 meet-up. Which resulted in me frantically browsing my wardrobe to find something to wear below. I wore an old skirt under it. It is made from polyester, so not something you want to wear under a sumer dress.

Worn with my Miette Cardigan.
Will I make it again? I will and have started already. I am trying to solve the above mentioned propeller problem without changing the design features of the dress. I have been working on it for the last 3 weeks and encountered several problems (and I am only half way there). But I will tell you about it next time.

At the NYLon2014 meet-up. Source: Kitty Wong.

Saturday 17 May 2014

Yeah For Pink: Burda Kimono Top

Yeah for pink! Pink top, skirt and flowers :)

Pattern: Burda No 1 from Burda Style Special autumn/winter No5/2013. When I saw this outfit, I fell totally in love with it - with the top and the skirt. So today I am showing you the top, which I actually finished 2 month ago. The skirt I almost stitched up as well, just in time for the warmer weather.

Fabric: Some super soft and silky jersey which I bought in Goldhawk Road. It has an amazing drape and was only £3.50/m. I bought enough to make another shirt - probably a Renfrew.

Alterations: Unluckily, the smallest size for the top was size 38 and I am only a size 36 in Burda bodices. So, I graded the whole top down one size. I have no idea if I did it right, but I only measured the difference between the sizes 38 and 40 and then subtracted the difference from size 38 to get size 36.

Construction: I sewed the whole top on my overlocker, hardly looking at the instructions. The only thing I struggled with was the V-neckline. According to the instructions, I had to start and end attaching the neckband at the tip of the V and then somehow stitch the neckband together. After loads of swearing and hand stitching I managed to get kind of a V tip I could live with. If you have any tips about how to finish V-necklines of jersey garments - please share them.

To gather the sleeves and bust, I first basted with my sewing machine and then used my overlocker to attach the sleeves to the sleeve band. I finished the hem with my twin needle. Although the instructions didn't say so, I stabilised the shoulder and waist seams with clear elastic.

Do I like it? I do and have worn it already several times. It just makes me feel so relaxed and actually the top is the perfect garment for a lazy weekend. I have worn it already combined with jeans, a skirt and my weekend jogging pants.

Worn with my Colette Meringue.

Saturday 10 May 2014

Butterfly Sorbetto Top

A few weeks ago the catalog from Boden landed in my letter box. And I was instantly hooked. So many lovely summer dresses and blouses. I love the fabrics and the style. Then I saw the Vintage Sun Top and immediately the Sorbetto pattern from Colette pattern sprang into my mind.

Vintage Sun Top from Boden (source)

So here we go: my Boden-inspired Butterfly Sorbetto Top.

Worn tucked in with my Beignet Skirt.
Fabric: I used a cotton lawn from my stash. And actually I had cut the Colette Parfait from the fabric already and managed to squeeze out the Sorbetto from the leftovers :) Win! (The Parfait is still waiting for its zipper, so as soon as that is done you will see it as well.) For the collar I used some white cotton lawn scraps.

Or not tucked in worn with the Meringue Skirt.
The hem is finished with a rolled hem done with my overlocker.
Construction: I had to modify the Sorbetto pattern a little and added a collar and the back button stand. I have made a back button Sorbetto before (here), but modified it even more to avoid any topstitching at the button stand. My button stand is 2 cm wide and I stabilised it with fusible interfacing.

The buttons came from my stash. I had only one gold button and thought it is cute to attach it to the top. I tried to sew it into the middle of the collar, but because the sewing machine had problems with stitching the top buttonhole, I was not able too. I actually had to hand stitch half of the buttonhole.

Buttons :)

To draw the collar I used my french curve. The Peter Pan collar is a bit small for my taste and when I am going to make the top again, I will make the front curve a bit bigger. I finished the neckline with bias tape and the part you are seeing is 1/2" wide.

I then made spaghetti straps using this tutorial from the Fashion Sewing Blog. It worked amazing and the straps turned out super thin :) I hand stitched the strap onto the necklines bias tape and also finished the ends with a couple of hand stitches.

The armholes are also finished with bias tape. But this time I folded it in half, stitched its raw edge to the raw edge of the armhole on the right side. Then turned it inside and stitched with a 1/4" seam allowance.

Do I like it? Absolutely! I haven't worn it yet, but see myself wearing it loads during summer (in the hope that we are getting a proper warm summer in the UK). I love the style of the top, the butterflies (obviously) and that I managed to copy a RTW blouse. Without wanting to clap myself onto my shoulder, I have to say that my blouse fits even better at the back than the one the model from Boden is wearing, yeah.

I love that you can wear the top either tucked in or not tucked it. I like both looks :)

Tuesday 6 May 2014

Color Blocked Lady Skater (No4)

As you might have realised by now, I looooove the Lady Skater Dress pattern and just couldn't stop myself to make another one. But don't worry :) I have also fallen in love with the new Moneta Dress pattern from Colette. So as soon as I get my hands on this pattern, you will be seeing loads of Monetas.

Fabric: When making this dress, I was trying to use as much scraps from my stash as possible and I managed to use two! You might remember the grey fabric from my second lady skater and the dark purple one from my Burda raglan top.

I think another sway back adjustment will get rid of the folds in my back.

The pink fabric I have from my stash, yeah! I bought it 3 years ago in Cloth House in Soho (that was when I didn't know about cheap fabric in Goldhawk Road). The pink jersey is quite stiff and I think you usually use this ribbed jersey for wristbands and neckbands. But, I really wanted to get rid of it :) 

Construction: I made only one adjustment - I shortened the upper chest/armhole by 1/2". Then I did some serious squeezing to cut the bodice from the grey fabric leftovers. There are still some scraps left - like for panties - but most of it is gone.

I topstitched the seams down.

Because I had sewn the lady skater already three times, sewing the color blocked variation did take no time. I just took my time and tried to match the side seams as best as I can. I didn't bother to use my twin-needle and top-stitched only with a normal jersey needle on a slightly longer stitch length.

Do I like it? I love it! And I have worn it several times already. The only thing I don't like is that the stiff pink fabric likes to cling to leggings and tights. But I found an old skirt, made from polyester, in my closet, which I can use as a petticoat and then the dress sits perfectly :)

Matched side seams.

Will I make it again? No 5? I might! After I looked at these photos and realised which adjustments I could do to improve the fit even more, I really want to sit down on my sewing machine :) Luckily for you, I have a swollen knee since one week (no idea why - too much sewing, haha?) and I am not allowed to use the sewing machine. Maybe I should practice to use my left leg instead? Have a great week!

Where you wondering why I didn't show my shoes? That's why!

Thursday 1 May 2014

Meet Agatha!

Pattern: Agatha Cardigan from Andi Satterlund.

Yarn: I used the recommended Cascade Yarn Cascade 220 in gold yellow. Although yellow is not my favorite color I wanted a cardigan in a happy vibrant colorway to go with all the blue fabrics (and soon to be garments) in my stash.

Knitting: For my detailed knitting notes you can check out my Ravelry notes. All in all the cardigan knits easier than I thought and I was especially worried about all the purl stitches that show on the right side. My tension is not really even yet and you usually see this on the purl side. However, it was no problem for this cardigan. I suppose that is because you are knit1 and purl3 stitches.

You can see here that it is a bit loose at the waist.

I knitted the body in no time, but the sleeves took me a while. It was especially annoying that I had to knit one sleeve twice! I knitted the first sleeve in size M and realised that it was too big - at this point the sleeve reached already to my underarm. So I frogged it up to the sleeve shaping and decreased until I got size S. Much better.

But as you can imagine, my motivation was really low at this point and I just kept going because I wanted to take this cardigan with me to Kiev. I was also running low in yarn and thus I finished the neckline and button band before finishing the sleeves. These sleeves are the longest I ever knit because you turn the ribbing, you knit them like 10 cm longer than your arms actually are.

Embellishment: I ordered some beautiful dark wood buttons for the cardigan, but because they didn't arrive in time I used some buttons from my stash. And actually I think they go perfect with the color and style of the cardigan.

I even put my label in :)
Do I like it? I love the cardigan. And I practically lived in it during my holidays in Kiev. The color does not only go nicely with my blue clothes, but also with my pink Lady Skater dress :)

Will I make it again? At some point yes! The only thing I would change then is the size of the waist ribbing. I knitted the bust in size S and the waist in size M to accommodate my bigger waist. But I think now, the waist turned out a bit to loose and I would have preferred it a bit tighter. This might also be because of my sway back. I was thinking about unpicking the bind-off at the waist, but can't find the beginning.

However, I washed the cardigan already a second time and I have the feeling it is a bit tighter now. It is not supposed to shrink at cold wash (I have a wool program in my washing machine), so I don't know what happened. But it is wool, so it will widen again.

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