Wednesday, 20 June 2018

A (new) York Pinafore

Wow, it's been a REALLY long time between sewing project and blog posts. I have just NOT been feeling the sewing love recently and despite that I did sew two Mandy Boat Tees that had failed in a spectacular way (here and here) so that put me off sewing even more. One problem is that over the summer my arms seem to have expanded (probably due to overeating and not the humidity) so the sleeves on the Mandy Boat are too tight unless I use some crazy, super stretchy fabric. Hmmm....

However...I had kind of been feeling like perhaps I should be sewing something rather than spending all my free time binge watching Outlander and Scandal but couldn't think of what. I had seen the release of the York Pinafore pattern by Helen's Closet but dismissed as "not for me, not my style" until I heard her talking about it on her seemed like a simple sew, in my size range and I had some fabric in the stash that would be perfect for it (a long sold out Cotton/Elastane Stretch Woven Velveteen from Tessuti that I had leftover of from another project). we are!

The pattern comes with two options for different types of "patch pockets" but I decided to go sans pockets as I felt it would make the pattern more "streamlined" and also because my sewing is not that neat or straight and dodgy pockets will make the pinafore look homemade in the worst kind of way. I was also jumping right in with my "good fabric" and fitting pockets into a side seam was more than I could bear as it meant basting...ugh ugh. Turns out that was a good decision as I ended up taking in the side seams but 0.75cm each as the cocoon shape was just too much fabric at my hips. I have been thinking about going back and perhaps adding in the kangaroo pocket so watch this space.

Overall this project was a quick and satisfying sew, made even more so by leaving off the pockets. Using bias binding is always super fiddly and slow but it does give a pleasingly neat result that makes me smile smugly whenever I look at it.

I sewed the largest size there was (XXL), and also added an inch to the upper bodice straps to account for a bust size that is bigger than the pattern is drafted for. There are two neckline options and I sewed the more scooped neck version. I ended up taking in the side seams about 0.75cm as it was just too big and I would like to straighten up the seam around the hip area as there's just too much fabric there making me feel bigger than I am. I sewed the longest length available but am going to unpick the hem and take things up about an inch or so.

The VERDICT: Whilst I like the concept of this pinafore what I really hate WITH A PASSION is layering . I hate wearing multiple layers with things riding up and down and me constantly adjusting my clothes. I wore this out to a family do on the weekend and I felt so fat and frumpy. I'm willing to give this another try though once it's shorter and slimmer at the sides; and I'm even thinking of making one in denim that I think would be better to wear in warmer weather - no tights = less layering!


Size: XXL
Modifications: a
dded 1" to the upper bodice straps for a large bust. Took in side seams about 0.75cm.
Cotton/Elastane Stretch Woven Velveteen from Tessuti
Changes for next time: sew a smaller size/straighten up the hip; reduce the length. 

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Another Sewaholic Rae Skirt

After experimenting with a few elastics waisted skirts (here and here) I've returned to my OG pattern  - the Sewaholic Rae Skirt (my original version is here).

I like this pattern as it's made up via a number of panels that taper towards the waist so it's less bulky than the more simple method of sewing two big rectangles of fabric together. That said I didn't get the elastic length quite right, and it turns out this non-roll elastic has a lot of roll. I've really stitched the elastic in so it would be A LOT of effort and unpicking to remove it and replace it. I might replace it but I'm worried the fabric might not cope too well with that.

I have no idea why, but this version of the Rae Skirt is quite a bit longer than my first one. Why would that be - everything is exactly the same as last time?

The fabric is an Atelier Brunette rayon/viscose that I swapped some of my fabric for - one of the Sydney Spoolettes is now the owner of some Nani Iro jersey I was never going to use. I love this fabric - it feels so light and floaty to wear and was so easy to sew with. I looked at getting some more in a different colourway but with currency conversions and shipping it was a firm NO from the bank account.


PatternSewaholic Rae Skirt
Size: 16
Modifications:  none.
Atelier Brunette viscose rayon swapped with Tanya (thanks Tanya!)
Changes for next time: none - though use some better elastic!

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Papercut Patterns - Sway Dress

This make is a TOTAL departure from what I usual sew or wear...a dress in woven fabric! Who am I anymore?

I think I've mentioned before that I am feeling a little bored with sewing. I can't quite put my finger on why but it's probably a lot to do with sewing the same thing all the time (simple knit garments) and that my skills are not really progressing - I'm not even sure I've learned anything new in years. I have a bit of a mental block with learning - I think things are hard and that I am not clever enough to work them out. Plus I'm lazy. Blah blah blah...

Anyway - I started thinking that I would like to make a non-knit dress. It would have to be sleeveless as I KNOW that I hate tight things on my arms. I didn't really mind too much if the dress didn't actually fit because I wanted to learn something new (not zipper or buttons new mind you). I settled on the Sway Dress by Papercut Patterns as there was a chance it could fit me (spoiler alert: it does) and it has a full-facing installed using the "burrito method" which has never crossed my sewing path before, along with a v-neck, belt loops and self-fabric belt.

All in all this was a fairly simple sew though I did find getting a nice clean point around the v-neck tricky. I also had a bit of trouble understitching the facing around the neckline so to make sure things don't flap around up there I also top-stitched the neckline down.

I felt that when it came to making the burrito for my facing the instructions were quite....brief. I read that part of the notes about 20 times and just thought WTAF every time. I nearly gave up at that point, but I put out a cry for help on our Sydney Spoolettes facebook page and someone sent me a very useful YouTube link (thank you Evelyn). It was actually not very difficult but it really isn't until you pull the fabric through on itself you see that's worked (I have no idea how it worked, it just did)!

I am also pretty chuffed with my belt loops. I was going to leave them off (lazy) but thought I should add them as a) it's a learning experience and b) they might actually be useful. I found them quite fiddly to make so after a few attempts I made them longer than suggested, stitched them up and cut off the excess (they are still 1cm longer than drafted). The belt was quite easy although Dave turned it inside out for me as I was struggling.

Also, pockets!

So, the fabric! This is from Tessuti and they are selling it for $15/pm as part of their Skylines Sewing Competition. I was looking for a linen for my Sway dress and this came along at just the right time. The fabric is 63% cotton, 16% linen, 20% viscose and 1% elastane - it was nice to sew with and held a press well. It was impossible for me to tell the right side from the wrong side so I didn't even bother with it. I wasn't going to submit my dress to the competition but in the end I'm pretty proud of this make - I think it's well made so why not?

The big question now is, belted or unbelted I know which I prefer)?


Pattern: Sway Dress by Papercut Patterns
Size: XL
Modifications: none
Fabric:  Skylines - 63% cotton, 16% linen, 20% viscose and 1% elastane from Tessuti.
Changes for next time: none, although I think a more drapey fabric would be better