Showing posts from February, 2013

Fearless February Finale

Fearless February is soon over - I don't suppose it matters if one or two challenges are left for the rest of the year.  Many thanks to Victoria of .  I did manage to make two garments up. The first was a pair of pants that were supposed to be smart casual - unfortunately the pattern I chose was not flattering, so I made a different pair of more relaxed pants - not quite what I originally had in mind.  Ironically though, they have already turned out to be very useful as utilitarian pants - and we need those sorts of garments too!  I have already worn them quite a bit as "house pants" - comfortable and relaxed, good for ironing, gardening and so on.  My other pledge was that every garment made had to go with 2 or 3 others.  These pants certainly do - a relaxed pink polo and a pale blue dobby tunic blouse.  Now I have a casual outfit for the housework. My failure pants that became a great success! I also found a garment in th

Sew your own wardrobe for a year challenge

Image :  A new challenge starts this year on April 1st.  Join Vita and Natalea and all the new members who have committed to the attempt to sew all their wardrobe needs for a whole year.  You are welcome to join too.   A fun challenge and should motivate us all to move towards our sewing machines to make unique garments and away from mass produced RTW in the stores.  This challenge should be great fun and a lovely way to meet fellow sewists.  Sarah Liz

Guidelines for Style, Form and Colour in 1928. (4)...

For those of you new to this blog: I found an old book a few years ago "THE CUTTER'S GUIDE" A MANUAL OF DRESSCUTTING AND LADIES' TAILORING, by M.E. Roberts, published in Sydney in 1928.  At the back of the book, I found guidelines for form (what we now call style) and colour, and I'm sharing these with you over the next few weeks. This guide was written specifically for women's styling. The language used is so different from our very direct way of speaking ninety years later, but the principles outlined  are as sound now as they were then.   Please enjoy them :) (Image from ) This section is on FORM - and covers the basics of design elements. 12.  There cannot be rules framed to suit every contingency and every freak of fashion, but some forms of expression and their effects should always be noted in making a costume, no matter what the prevailing fashion. 13.  Horizontal lines or trimming decrease the height and inc

Welcome Elise

Elise, thank you for joining and following my blog - I will be taking an interest in your sewing projects (and your cats :).  I see you also like Burda magazines - so do I, so it will be lovely watching your interpretations of these  patterns.  I'm glad you joined the Fearless February challenge - it's nice to meet so many lovely sewists. Sarah Liz :)

Welcome New Followers

I'd just like to officially welcome all my new followers to my blog - I'm probably also following you.  I'm graterful to Victoria for organising the Fearless February sewing challenge, which is how I have met most of you.  Congratulations for picking up the challenge - I know I have a few more to tackle now - this challenge showed me all the areas I have avoided like the proverbial plague for a long time. So to all of you, a warm welcome: Allison   Lisa Velosewer Aminat Nothy Lane Mocha Scrapper Dorothy Dot Dot Jenny I'm looking forward to watching how your sewing projects progress through the rest of 2013. And for those of you in Fearless February who are not following me, good luck

Smart Casual Pants? Perhaps?

As those of you who have been following this blog know, I was attempting to make a pair of smart casual pants for the Fearless February challenge. My project changed form and I ended up with a very utilitarian pair of elastic waist pants, instead of the stunning smart casual pants I wanted.  Nevertheless, they have already proved to be a useful addition to the wardrobe, perfect for cleaning up aftermaths of leaking roofs and windows.  I did however make a pair of trousers out of an old pattern I had - I can't remember what I traced it off, and I made them in haste as well (while I was supposed to be completing my psychology degree - which I did complete, so no harm done).  I really need to find the original pattern and start again, because I think these trousers might suit me with a few modifications.  They are a waisted and classic cut of trouser - which I don't think many ladies can wear, but I think I can.  I would love your thoughts on this point... That'

Fearless February - Pants for Paddling

Fearless February has certainly provided me with an opportunity to challenge myself in that area that challenges most sewists - the dreaded pants!  I had two aborted pre-tests of two different jeans patterns (see earlier posts if you are interested in the whole saga) and then settled on doing something quick and easy.  Sometimes quick and easy is not the best way to go, but I did want something to wear fairly quickly. The original plan was that the pants would be smart casual for going to the supermarket and similar activities.  I wanted to make them out of 100% cotton drill because it is hardwearing and is cool to wear - we have very warm and very humid weather, and I find elastane mixes just too hot to wear  when it is warm. This was the pattern I chose: Kwiksew 3340 As I was getting quite frustrated with the Fearless February project (two pre-tests rejected), I very quickly made a pre-test out of a soft poly cotton that I didn't like and was not going to use in

Pants and Posteriors

The last two days has seen me busy solving the casual/jean type pants dilemma.  After trialing two patterns that did not suit me, I decided to try a KwikSew one.  To refresh any one's memory, this is the pattern I am testing: KwikSew 3340 I've never used a KwikSew pattern before - I am not sure why but I suspect it was because they were not available when I started using commercial patterns.  I hastily drew out my size - XS bottom for and M for waist area (I'm a straight up and down sort, so charmingly (I don't think!) called rectangle by image consultants). I even more hastily cut them out of a piece of poly cotton I had lying around - it won't be used for anything else, and used even more haste in sewing them together. A quick try on and Lo! they work.  I'm going to make a pair in cost effective and serviceable cotton drill.  That way not much is lost if they don't work out quite as well as I want them to - but probably quite good enough for

Guidelines for Style, Form and Colour in 1928. (3)...

For those of you new to this blog: I found an old book a few years ago "THE CUTTER'S GUIDE" A MANUAL OF DRESSCUTTING AND LADIES' TAILORING, by M.E. Roberts, published in Sydney in 1928.  At the back of the book, I found guidelines for form (what we now call style) and colour, and I'm sharing these with you over the next few weeks. This guide was written specifically for women's styling.  The language used is so different from our very direct way of speaking 90 years later, but the principles outlined are as sound now as they were then.  Please enjoy reading them. :) 1928 Style Image from 8.  Dress must be considered from three standpoints of its three main uses: to protect, to conceal, and to  display. 9.  The first consideration is to protect.  The dress must protect from heat or cold.  The garment worn should always be suitable to the weather - remember the weather, not the season.  There may be cold days in the spri

Spring Dreams - The Perfect Pant Quest.

For those of you following my Fearless February postings, you know I am on a quest over 2013 for the perfectly fitting pair of pants.  I am very inspired by these trousers - and, I have some perfect fabric in my stash to make them with. So, this picture will inspire me no end - I can wear classic trousers really well because I also have no hips and thighs to speak of - like this model.  I don't think I would like them as skinny as this though.  Also, being underheight and short waisted, I don't think the tucked in top is such a good idea.  An Ashley Ishram drape top (see previous post) would look better on me and hide a multitude of sins (including the sewing ones!) Sigh, ohh for the life of unending sewing dreams and time to actualise them! Sarah Liz :)

Spring/Summer 2013- Florals and Vintage Style

For those of you in the northern hemisphere, spring is around the corner - I am sure you are looking forward to it.  I love to think ahead, and whatever I make during the tail end of our summer/autumn can still be worn during our next spring. Here are more trends: Ashley Isham floral pants. Temperley London vintage dress. I do love the dresses - I can't wear the full skirt look which is better for pear shapes - but the one in the background has potential!  The floral pants are beautiful -we've seen this sort of trend for a while, but I am only just starting to warm to it! So much to look forward to, so little time to sew and wear! Sarah Liz

Fearless February Frustrations

Frustrations abound over the last week.  Having joined the Fearless February Sew Along mid way through February I have a short month in which to face my sewing fears.  My main problem (like so many of you) is getting trousers to fit.  Sometimes you read advice that suggest that finding a ready to wear pair of trousers that fit and taking the pattern of them is the way to go.  I'd agree, except I can't get ready to wear to fit either!  My first Muslin "failure" M6610 I found some consolation by reading pattern reviews because another person also had fitting issues with this pattern - they sit extremely high at the back.  On me, they also sit extremely low at the front.  Altogether, not a good look and extremely uncomfortable and prone to falling down. Undaunted and reassured by Sandra Betzina that 50 % of patterns do not work, I decided to try Butterick 5682. Butterick 5682  I was a little worried, because, as with McCalls

Fearless February - Trials and Tribulations

My fearless February challenge is proving to be just that - a challenge.  I decided I needed a new pair of casual cotton jean like trousers and chose McCall's 6610. The back of the pattern claims that the waistband sits on the natural waist.  From looking at the picture on the front,  the centre front seems to sit at around the belly button level.  As I find my figure a little difficult to fit - waist about 27 inches (68-69 cm's)  hips 34 inches (87 cm's)  and high hips about 31 inches (79 cm's) I do not really fit into the standard size category.  I am fairly short (5' 4"/163 cm) with a short waist, rounded tummy, no hip bones to speak off, and I think fairly long from waist to crotch.  I thought it prudent to do a toile first.  I used size 10 as a starting point and made these up. The trousers were a little tight around the tum/waist area (as expected) and the legs were reduced to size 8 (as expected). The waistband was not contoured but a stra