Thursday, 26 February 2015

Maria Denmark Edith in Blue

As I was rushing out the door on my way to work this morning, I managed to talk my darling husband into putting on his photographer's hat and taking a few shots of my third attempt at the Maria Denmark Edith Dress

You can read about my earlier attempts here and here. As the saying goes "third time's the charm". I am really happy with both the fit and the fabric for this one.

The fabric was purchased locally at Patchwork on the Bay. It is a lovely soft 100% cotton chambray. The colour is a lovely blue with black undertones. The bright blue threads can be seen along the selvedge. This was a lovely fabric to work with. It sewed and pressed beautifully... a very well behaved fabric which certainly added to the pleasure of sewing.

My pattern alterations can be seen much clearer in this version with the plain fabric. It was rather difficult to see the details of dart placement etc in my second version with the jungle inspired print.

I only had 2.5 metres of this fabric (112cm wide) so I had to piece the self made bias binding together to finish off the kimono sleeves. This worked out fine and I'm glad I went to the extra effort to do this.

I found these blue buttons at the same shop that I purchased the fabric from. They are a perfect match and the shop owner even threw in an extra button, no charge, as it was the last one left in the tube. This could come in handy if I ever lose one. Love the service at Patchwork on the Bay. I did some research on which direction button holes should be sewn and I discovered that garments with a button band usually have vertical buttonholes as there is not enough room to make horizontal buttonholes. That made complete sense to me, but this dress doesn't have a button band, it has a generous facing that allows plenty of room for horizontal buttonholes. I thought horizontal buttonholes would be safer...less likely for any wardrobe malfunctions if the buttons are put under any strain.

I have had some fun accessorising with different coloured necklaces and scarves to change the look. I think the blue is a little plain on it's own and benefits from a splash of contrasting colour. Very happy with this one!

Happy Sewing

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

The Skirt Experiment (aka Simplicity 2451)

I have been deliberating about whether to do a post about these skirts for quite a few weeks. However, this blog is about documenting my sewing journey and that includes everything, not just the things I am really happy with. I'm sure we all have those disappointing moments when things don't work out quite as we had planned.

I have had Simplicity 2451 in my pattern stash for a while now, purchased from Pattern Review during one of their great pattern sales.

 There are 74 reviews of this pattern on Pattern Review and it has been quite popular, so I had high hopes.

Simplicity 2451 View B
My mother had given me this beige fabric (of unknown composition - probably some sort of synthetic with a nice drape) that she had originally purchased to make a pair of pants. It had been stored for several years and had a few areas damaged by mildew, but I was able to cut the skirt out without using the damaged areas of fabric. I traced off a size 14 and graded the waist up to a size 16. This is where I went wrong. The waist is actually a bit roomy and doesn't hold any tummy bulge in, yet the fit is too tight in the hips, causing some unsightly wrinkling.

The fit across my behind is way too tight for my liking revealing the lines of my underwear. I used an invisible zip instead of a lapped zip as the pattern instructs and I do like the curved yoke in place of an actual waistband. I skipped the decorative side tabs as I always intended to wear this skirt with a longer top, so they would never be seen.

I also like the flared shape of the skirt. It feels quite swishy. After taking these photos I unpicked the side seams and made a bit more room across the hips.

I also made view C with the same pattern alterations.

Simplicity 2451 with Maria Denmark blouse
This style fitted much better through the hips but was a bit loose at the waist.

Simplicity 2451 View C
I purchased this fabric from the discounted shelf at my local Bargain Box fabrics for $5.00 a metre. It is a fairly loosely woven cotton that unfortunately bags out in the seat after a few hours of sitting.

Pockets and pleats almost invisible in this print.
Although it is very difficult to see in this print, I stitched the pleats down for approximately 3 cm so they didn't cause too much poofiness. I have enough natural poofiness in this area.

Back of View C
Again, I used an invisible zip and there is a vent in the back as well, which makes it comfortable and practical.

Although I have been a little disappointed in both these skirts, I have learned quite a bit, and I would like to try making this pattern again. I just need to remember that the waistline in this skirt is quite generous and does not need grading up. Also, View B is very fitted in the hips/upper thigh area and I may need to add some width here. Fabric choice also has a significant effect on the resulting fit and loosely woven fabrics are not suitable for fitted skirts. Now, onto some more successful sewing.

Happy Sewing

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Knit Scout for Camping Weekend

I have some knit fabrics languishing in my stash that really need to be made up into comfy T-Shirts. Inspiration struck when I saw what Christy had made, using the Grainline Studio Scout Woven Tee pattern. This pattern is designed for woven fabrics but works equally well in knit fabrics. I needed a nice comfy T-shirt for our Valentine's Day Camping Weekend.

Roast lamb cooking in the camp oven for our Valentine's Day dinner.

This is my sixth Scout Tee, but the first time I have used a knit. I have previously tweaked the fit to suit my figure and you can read about the changes I made here.To compensate for the extra stretch, I sewed the seams at 5/8" instead of 1/2" as the pattern instructs. The only other change I made was to lower the neckline at the centre front by 5cm.

Scout Tee in a knit with neckline lowered.
The fabric is some sort of cotton jersey with no spandex. It was quite stable with a slight stretch and not very good recovery. I used a scrap of cotton/lycra jersey to bind the neckline. I turned this completely to the inside and secured with twin needle stitching. All other hems were stitched with a twin needle. I like the rtw finish this gives as it looks similar to a cover stitch on the right side. 

I love the loose fit that hides all the lumps and bumps.
This T-shirt was very comfortable to wear and I don't know why it has taken me this long to try it in a knit. I can see myself making a few more of these. I might tweak the shape of the neckline and cut it a bit wider for the next one.

Deua River
We had  a lovely camping weekend on the banks of the Deua River. Despite some rain, we also had beautiful sunshine and warm temperatures and went swimming in the river a couple of times. The water was freezing, but very refreshing.

The view from our camp kitchen.

Deua River in the morning sunshine.
After having a break from sewing over the weekend I am keen to get back into my sewing room. I have quite a few projects lined up.

Happy sewing