Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Megan Longline Cardigan

When I was in Tessuti's Chatswood store last week I tried on a Megan Longline Cardigan sample that they had made up.  I love seeing sewing patterns made up especially if it "sort of fits" and I can try it on. It helps me decide if the pattern will work for me before all the hard work of sewing the thing!  The cardi I tried on in-store was a Size S, so it was a good assumption that the bigger sizes in the pattern would fit me...and it does! Woot!

I sewed a Size usual tactic is to sew the biggest size on offer and it usually works. The cardigan fits very well...though of course my right arm/shoulder doesn't feel very comfortable in this...but this is my shoulder's fault (I think I need to figure out what the issue is with my shoulder and how to adjust a pattern for it).

The fabric is from My Hung in Parramatta and is a polyester/spandex blend. It's somewhat stretchy, but next time I want a bit more stretch as I think this will help with the comfort factor. I really want to find some nice fabric in black for my next cardi.

I found this a pretty simple garment to sew and the instructions were pretty good. I didn't feel lost once and only read ahead a few steps at a time to ensure I didn't get myself too confused by reading the whole pattern before I started.

The only change I made to the pattern was to widen the neckband by about 1cm. It's a pretty narrow piece and I just wanted the extra width to ensure the band was easier to handle. I like the way the neckband and hem meet, and mine looks very similar to how the in-store cardi looked. Also happy with my's pretty neat (and straight) for me.

I wore this cardi to work today -- as shown in the pictures, and I'm super keen to make a black one ASAP! The shape is perfect for winter with skiny pants and boots!  At least I know what fabric I'll be shopping for this weekend!

Pattern: "Megan Longline Cardigan" by Tessuti
Size: XL, sewn with 3/8" seam allowance.
Modifications: 1cm added to the width of the neckband piece.
Fabric: 92% polyester/8% spandex fabric from My Hung ($6.50/m!!!)
Changes for next time: I might tapper in the sleeves at bit at the wrists as I'm finding them a tad wide.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

"Our Fave Top" by Tessuti

How great is this fabric that I picked up from The Fabric Muse during one of my lunch breaks. Rhetorical question as it's obviously fantastic! The print is so pretty and the fabric (polyester/spandex) feels so nice. I initially bought 90cm for another Maria Denmark Kimono Top but after feeling the two way stretch and drape of the fabric I thought it would do nicely as Tessuti's "Our Fave Top".

I've made this top once before and the underarms/sleeves have been widened to accommodate my ample "guns". I also decided to lengthen the sleeve pattern by 2cm and add a cuff. I think I could make the lower arms a bit wider still and the cuffs are a smidgen too tight (as I decided to make the cuffs 1cm smaller as I didn't want them to be loose and messy looking - if I'd just left well enough alone the top would be perfect - d'oh) but the fabric is SO stretchy that hopefully they'll not be too uncomfortable when I wear the top.

As my overlocker is playing up a bit I decided to stay stitch the neckline before overlocking as I didn't want the fabric to stretch out and be ruined. I think I should unpick the stay-stitching as it looks a bit messy on the inside now. I'm going to drop my overlocker in for a service next week and I shall miss it dearly whilst it's gone.

With the hem, as with my first version of this top, I decided to roll the hem with my overlocker...because I'm lazy! As I was sewing I kept thinking "ah, f**k, it's stretching out and I've ruined the top", but as soon as I finished and pulled it off the machine I LOVED the fluted finish to the hem. LOVE. IT!

So, whilst not perfect in sewing or fit I do love this top, mainly as I think the fabric is so well suited to the pattern and the print is just so lovely. I'm really going to enjoy wearing this once the weather cools down a bit more.

** I'm wondering if I have forward sloping shoulders (or something) as it's very obvious when on that this top is twisting and something funky is happening when I wear it???


Pattern: "Our Fave Top" by Tessuti
Size: One size fits...most
Modifications: added 1cm to each sleeve piece which continued under the arm and tapered off to zero at the bust. Lengthened sleeve by 2cm and added a cuff.
Fabric: Flashing Lights & Florals Printed Jersey (95% polyester and 5% spandex) from The Fabric Muse in Chippendale
Changes for next time: none, though leave the cuff piece as I've already drafted and don't make it smaller.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Sydney Jacket #2 (aka my Jedi Robe)

My second Sydney Jacket has come about as I was tagging along with Dave on one of his water polo trips to Canberra last weekend and was joining a sewing day held by the Canberra Spoolettes (aka Canberra Sewing Crew). I was happy to take my sewing machine, but not my overlocker as that was just too much "stuff" to lug around.

I had this light wool in the stash and there was just enough for a Sydney Jacket (no overlocking or seam finishing required) -- hence the idea for this garment was born. Dave thinks the colour of the wool makes it look like I've made a Jedi Robe. Pffft - Jedi's are not this stylish!

Like my first Sydney Jacket I sewed the size XL. I had thought my first jacket was too big, but this one fits OK (I'm fatter this year than last but not that much fatter I'm sure).

This is a very simple sew, but as I was sewing with a group of 20 other people I was distracted by the conversation and meeting new people and fluffed things up at the very first step! The very first thing I did was to cut the pocket hole in the jacket which should be done AFTER you stitch the pocket front to the front of the jacket (as I guess the stitching reinforces the material and ensures you know where to cut). Luckily it all turned out OK and I would actually do it this way around next time as it seemed simpler and less fiddly. I also stitched the pocket onto the front of the jacket as this very early stage rather than right at the end as the instructions have you do. Again I'd do it this way next time as it seems less fiddly and easier.

I'm really happy with how this jacket turned out and as there was no temperamental overlocker involved it was actually a really enjoyable and relaxing sew. I NEVER find sewing relaxing so that was a surprising feeling for me! My overlocker is being a bit temperamental at the moment and does need to go in for a service, so it was nice to ignore it for a change.

...and the back view.

The fabric is a light wool from My Hung in Parramatta that cost just $7/m!!!! I bought it about 2 year ago to make a vest but the pattern I bought was so badly made I asked the company for a refund and got it! Since then it's sat in the stash waiting for a project to come to mind.

Because the fabric is virtually the same on both sides I used a sticker to mark the front of each piece so I wouldn't get confused - it worked well! The colour fabric was also great as it easily showed up the chalk markings that I used to ensure I was getting the correct seam allowances when overlapping the pieces prior to pinning and sewing.


Pattern: "Sydney Jacket" by Tessuti
Size: XL, sewn with 3/8" seam allowance.
Modifications: None.
Fabric: Mystery wool(ish) fabric from My Hung
Changes for next time: Sew an XL but try and make the sleeves longer!

Sewaholic Rae Skirt - a toile

I haven't finished this skirt; and I'm not sure if I can be bothered, but want to write my notes for when I next embark on the Rae Skirt journey.

I was interested in this skirt as it has an elastic waist (no zipper = yeah) and the panels mean less bulk around the elasticised waist.  I decided to make up a toile in some floating Rayon bought from my beloved My Hung in Parramatta.

The instructions are OK, though I scratched my head a lot as to which panels matched up with each other. In the end I decided that the more flat sides must be the side seams?  I was hoping to put pockets in to this skirt; but it's just too confusing to figure out where they'd go (sadly, no pockets included in the pattern).

The pattern has you make a channel for the elastic which is fiddly and annoying and my elastic twisted TWICE whilst trying to put it in. Next time I'll see it in the round and overlock it straight onto the skirt and then turn it over and stitch it down. I've not been bothered to hem my toile.

So whilst I've lost motivation to finish this skirt (cool weather = I've moved on to warmer things) I'm keen to make one next summer out of chambray or tencel. This rayon was very...wiggly, so something a bit more stiff, but not too stiff, next time would be good!


Pattern: "Rae Skirt" by Sewaholic
Size: XL
Modifications: none this time
Fabric: Rayon from My Hung Fabrics in Parramatta
Changes for next time: change the way the elastic is sewn onto the skirt.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

A week of Mabels

Last Monday I wore my new denim ponti Mabel Skirt to work.  I was pretty happy with the simple outfit I came up with. My work is fairly casual, so a me-made pencil skirt with a RTW t-shirt and sandals is PERFECT - especially on super hot days (and when the s-hirt is a linen blend). Perfect summer work outfit!

On Tuesday, as I reached for another of Mable Skirts, I realized I had made more than enough Mabel's to be able to wear a different one each day of the week (and then some) I did!  It was SO hot here last week and I have to say the skirt was perfect for the gross humidity we've been suffering through.

I loved wearing all my Mabels and after the week was over I wore another to work...old habits are hard to break! I have a mix of the "old waistband" vs "new waistband" style in my wardrobe and I can report the new waistband method is far more comfortable for me....

I look so grumpy in most of these photos - it was a rough week at work I'll tell you now! But by Friday I was smiling and happy as I was off to dinner after work, in my green skirt, with the Sydney Spoolettes.

Do you tend make a the same thing over and over again - I'm not the only one, am I?