Thursday 26 March 2015

A full slip to wear under cotton dresses - a necessity!

The big problem of cotton dresses (at least in my opinion) is that they stick to your undergarments. They stick to vests, shorts, not to mention leggings. It does not look nice when your dress is clinging to you and it restricts your movements.

To solve this problem, I would usually fully line a dress. It takes a lot of time because you have to make to dress essentially twice. I decided it was time to sew a full slip. I had planned to make the Ruby Slip pattern, which is pinned to my pinterest board since last year, but sadly couldn't access the website anymore. I found another free slip pattern, but there was a problem: it didn't have any online instructions (by now I remembered that there is a slip pattern plus instructions in my GBSB book series 2 - next time!).

Pattern: Vintage slip pattern from House of Jo (in association with the Sew Magazine). It's free!

Fabric: I bought some 2-way stretch shinny fabric on a market stall. It was only £2.99/meter. It is blue, feels soft to the skin, frayed like crazy and I guess is polyester.

Construction: When I made the slip I couldn't find sewing instructions, but I've just seen that they are on Jo's website in the comment section. I decided to use french seams to have a neat finish and hide the fraying seams. Surprisingly this went very well.

However, I had problems finishing the neckline. In hindsight and as suggested by Jo, I should have finished the neckline with a binding or some lace. But I decided to attach the straps to it and then fold the raw edge of the neckline under twice. Which didn't work well. The neckline stretched out slightly and because of folding them twice, the straps are now too short.

It means the bust does not sit on the bust but above. It makes the dress too tight over the bust. I'm thinking about cutting the straps off the back and making a new piece of strap that I'm attaching to the old one and then to the back. If you have any other suggestions, please let me know.

You might notice that the bra cups look pointy. That is because the pattern tells you just to sew a triangle dart. I'm not sure if this is the style of vintage patterns? It does not show under the dress, so I'm inclined to leave it like that.

Have I worn it? Despite it's fault I have worn the slip underneath some cotton dresses and it fulfills its function. It prevents the clinging of the cotton to my undergarments, yeah!

Will I make it again? I would like to make it again, now that I know how to finish the neckline. The only problem, there are too many other garments that tempt me and not to mention my wedding dress.

Thursday 19 March 2015

A knitted Cardigan: Myrna

Today I'm showing you a knitted make. A cardigan that I finished last year in November. I call it my commuter cardi because most of it was knit on my commute from Cambridge to London. Sometimes I got surprised views and remarks from fellow commuters.

I even talked with a couple of interested woman about knitting which was really nice. Sometimes people kept starring, which is especially annoying when the person in front of you turns around on her seat the whole time and watches you through the gap between the seats. Have you ever made something on public transport? How did people react?

I only realised when looking at these photos that there is button peaking out from the center of the keyhole, haha.

Pattern: Myrna by Andi Satterlund. In contrast to Andis pattern my cardi  has long sleeves. That's because I'm always so cold and my three quarter or short sleeved cardigans don't get worn in winter.

Wool: I had three skeins of Cascade Yarns Cascade 220 in lilac mist which I bought for half price when sadly the online retailer closed down. Because I had only three skeins, I was a bit limited for the length of the sleeves. I would have liked them to be 2" longer but had no wool left.

Construction: I think it took me about 1.5 month to finish this cardigan. I could have been faster but it took me a while to figure out how to knit the long sleeves.

I knitted too many buttonholes - 6 instead of 5 - by mistake. I was knitting in people carrier
with 5 lovely ladies and just got carried away ;)

Have I worn it? Several times although I'm not so sure the color suits me well. Saying that I have a color consultation in April, which hopefully will shed light on the colors that suit me best! I'm a bit scared that my favorite colors don't suit me!

You might remember my Megan Dress from last week. Here you can see that it is too short
and my slip is displayed because I'm lifting my arm.

Friday 13 March 2015

Yeah for Buttons!

Fabric: Cotton with printed buttons on it. I would say the fabric and pattern match very well, as this pattern was designed by Tilly and the Buttons.

Pattern: Megan Dress by Tilly and the Buttons featured in Tillys book Love at First Stitch. This pattern tempted me because it has gathered sleeves. It meant I wouldn't need to do any sleeve alterations because there is space for my shoulders. I also love the fit under the bust.

Size: I'm a size 2 for the bust, a size 3 for the waist and between sizes 3 and 4 for the hips. Thus when tracing the pattern I graded between the sizes.

Fitting: Before cutting into the fabric, I did my usual tissue paper adjustment - a forward shoulder adjustment of 5/8" - and then "tried the tissue paper on". As the tissue seemed to fit, I went ahead and cut the fabric. Something I usually wouldn't do. I'm known for being patient and making many muslins. But this time all I wanted to do was sew! Do you know that feeling?

Construction: As I was sewing with cotton the sewing itself was no problem and Tilly's instructions are also very clear. But because I was fitting the dress when sewing, it took me about one weekend to make it. I made a couple of more changes: sway back adjustment of 5/8" on back bodice and skirt; shaved off the curves for the hips on both back and front skirt.

I lined the bodice with some polyester lining to prevent it clinging to my underwear. I didn't line the skirt as I've made a half slip recently which I can wear underneath - theoretically. I shortened it and it is still too long and peeks out when I sit down.

I really like the dress, however, sadly there are a couple of problems. Firstly, it is too short which becomes apparent when I sit down. This is the reason why I can't wear the dress in public or only to parties where you don't sit down, haha. Secondly, the back is a bit too tight and I have problems moving the arms forward. So for my next version, I will do a broad upper back adjustment. Moreover, the bust dart is (as always) sitting too high, so it will be moved down by half an inch.

Do I like it? I really like the style of the dress and think it suits my shape well. It means there will be further Megan Dresses in the near future, yeah.

Sunday 8 March 2015

I'm back...

I'm creeping back into the bloggosphere.

The last six month were exhausting. After I started my new job in September, I moved to Cambridge. The flat I rented was very small - too small for Lescha and me - and I hated it. Why did we rent it? Because we thought we can live there for 6 month, find a better place and town to live and then move on.

View from my sewing table. 

But as it happened, we were wrong. Being confined to a small space and being unhappy about the situation, my inspiration went zero. I didn't knit, I didn't sew. I read books instead (which is not bad).

Then before Christmas we started to look for a flat in Hertfordshire, aiming to live somewhere in the middle between Cambridge and London (our working places). We succeeded and moved into our new flat mid February. It is a lovely two bedroom house. So plenty of space.

L-shaped tables with cutting mat and sewing machines. The iron is also close by!

The new location means that I have to drive to work. Just the thought to drive on the left and on busy streets scarred me like crazy - I'm still scarred after having made my way to work for 3 weeks. I keep telling myself that I will be fine soon.

Our new flat feels like a home already. One of the first things I did was to get my sewing machines out and organise the sewing room study. Since then I made one dress, one slip and finished a quilt top. My Sewjo is back! I have started to read blogs again :)

Shelves full of fabric, sewing patterns, sewing books, notions... and my mannequin.
Which is about time because I have to start working on my wedding dress. I bought some lavender chiffon for the shell fabric and I'm planing to get my hands on a cream colored silk lining.

So tell me, did your sewjo ever go down because you were unhappy? I really expected the sewing to pull me back to happiness, but it didn't. Have you made similar experiences?

There is sleeping couch covered in one of my quilts as well. So if guest are staying - no sewing for me.

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