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Showing posts from August, 2013

New T Shirt Muslin

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I was hoping to have a new knit top to post today but have got rather slowed down by work demands.  But I have done the muslin for my stripey knit top.  I decided it would be prudent, as the knit itself is quite pricey.  It's soft and drapey, a cotton polyester knit - Japanese.  I only bought a small amount as it was not cheap (One of Spotlight's nicer fabrics). As I am not experience in making up knits, I decided to use a very simple pattern.  I was also worried about the drapey- ness and the  stripey-ness - not a good combination for a beginner.  So sleeves were vetoed.  I chose this New Look pattern: Prudently, I decided to make a muslin out of some horrible, thick, nylon, knit that seemed a good idea at the time ( I think I thought it might work to line stretch fabrics, as stretch lining is next to impossible to find where I live).  But it is so hideous, I decided to sacrifice a piece to trial this top: And I am glad I did - the neck doesn't sit at al

Moving on - what shall I make for Spring?

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I don't waste too much time being upset because something does not go as planned.  I just learn from the experience and then make new plans. So, after the jacket did not work out, I started clearing out simple things that do not suit me.  Lipsticks and nail polish in colours that look louche on me and remain unworn.  Actually, I tend not to wear much makeup of any sort, so maybe a further toss is needed.   Then I contented myself with cutting up envelopes for scrap paper.  My father always used to do this, but I grew up in an era of plenty, so I used to buy it.  Then one day I asked myself why??  Why throw good paper away only to buy more. My favourite is this brown paper envelope a utilities bill comes in every quarter:  Then it was time to think about what to sew next.  I thought to use up some of my black and white patterns while they are still fashionable.  I like black and white though, so fashionable or not I will wear it. Knit stripe fabric and woven fabric

No little jacket just yet...

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Well, I had great hopes of making a little cotton wearable muslin jacket, but I had another learning experience instead... As you can see, the jacket is far too big across the shoulders.  I had already made the shoulder half an inch narrower, and also taken in the armscye to match.  I had taken in the back and remover some of the wrinkling, but as you can see, a lot of fullness still remains in the upper back. I get this look with all my RTW clothes as well - one reason I want to make my own, because I am rather tired of looking look a saggy clothing sack.  I had no idea that I had such a petite frame, but it seems I do. That is blogging - I never used to take photo's of my back, so I didn't really know what I looked like. A blissfully ignorant state of affairs, but no more :). I checked two of my fitting books and it seems I have to make a narrow back adjustment.  I'm also narrow across the upper chest, so I would need to adjust there as well. Sandra

3 Finished, 1 to Go...

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Garments, that is.  I've been busy making those boring basics you need to run errands, go to the supermarket, clean the house and so on.  Everyday clothes.  Casual clothes.  Clothes that are dull to sew and don't make for inspirational blogging.  But necessary in the wardrobe. Two of the three are 7/8th length pants - one pair navy, the other black.  I made them in cotton drill, using Butterick 5687. Butterick 5687 Black Pants Navy Pants I am also making a wearable muslin out of the black cotton drill - I want to test the pattern and I will be able to wear the jacket after as a summer throw on - once again, for running errands.  I'm using Burda 7559. I've used the pattern once before and it's quite good. But it has been some time since I did, and bodies change.  I also didn't take self timed photo's of the back, so it may have been awful.  I actually used a cheap cheesecloth, double layered, so it was a sort of cardigan throw on. H

My Little Sewing Space ...

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I have been really busy the last few weeks  sewing a few basics - I haven't had time to blog about them yet - or more honestly, I haven't felt like taking self timed photo's of them yet. When  all is complete I'll blog them. Finished clothes I'm not sure it is a good idea to show you my little creative space, because it tends to collect interesting things like fabric, patterns and so on.  Anyway, I am sure you will understand, so, here is a picture of some finished pants - two pairs, one navy, one black- made out of cotton drill.  They are 7/8ths length, with side pockets, and really comfortable - just what I want for house basics.  You can see the recent set of blouses peeping out from behind them.  I'm also making a little straight skirt, a bit loose, for, once again, throwing on around the house in hot weather.  It's eeked out of the leftovers of the black cotton drill. Work in Progress -Skirt I work in a passage at the moment - it us

For my Australian friends - Fabrics from Rathdowne's.

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I don't live in Melbourne or Sydney and don't have access to interesting fabric stores.  I live in Newcastle at the moment, and our fabric store is the very basic Spotlight.   Very basic fabrics at not so basic prices.  I had to find something better than homespun for some of my summer tops.  And voile at $14.99 a metre is far too much to pay - it's not even a great quality.   I have found a great place in Melbourne who will do mail order.  They don't have a web store, you must ring and ask for the type of fabric you want, or at least tell them what you are trying to make. They will post a sample card to you and label the swatches 1,2, 3 etc.  You choose the fabric you like and place the order with the description and what number it is on your card.  They also have a card with the same information on so your 1 is also 1 on Rathdowne's card.  They do all the basics and lots of quality fabrics as well.  Fabrics come and go quickly so there is no guarantee tha

Playing with PicMonkey

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Look at that - my three shirts (*New Look 6963)  all in a row.  A collage made at  picmonkey.com  Most of you probably already know about these sorts of editing suites.  But I didn't.  I thought I would share this with you in case a few of you are as ignorant as me about internet photo editing services. Blogging is so amazing - take a novice like me who used a computer to complete an online degree, but had no idea how to blog, code a blog button, or how to edit or compose images. I barely knew how to take a photo - yes, snapshots on holidays, but lots of photo's for blogs was not on my horizon this time last year and  I had no idea how to upload pictures! So, I have learnt a lot, just be being a amateur blogger. I have a lot more to learn as well, but step by step, I think, or it would all be overwhelming :). For those of you that don't know picmonkey, it is a free photo editing site. You can edit your photos, or create a collage.    You can do all sorts of in

What about Scarlett?

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Hello everyone - I loved your comments yesterday where you shared your thoughts about my retiring Wonky Jane - and for those of you with tears in your eyes about her - I feel the same way - she is going to a good home.  I will give her to my local charity op shop - she is not so wonky adjusted out for a larger size, I just can't push her all back together again for my size.  I am sure someone who is just starting out will love her. I also loved all the different names you have given to your dummy.  I also loved the suggestion by Elise that I call this one Ruby, because she is red.  I thought about this for a while, and nearly called her Ruby Red.  That name reminded me of Ruby Wax, the comedian.  That thought triggered another one - what about Scarlett, after Scarlett O'Hara, the female protagonist from "Gone with the Wind"? So, meet Scarlett.  She is my size around the shoulders, hips and bust, and I have moved her out at the waist.  However, she indents un

A New Dress Dummy.

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Yes, the time has come. Wonky Jane is finally going.  She's seen a lot of years of work - she had been very busy before I purchased her second hand.  She is adjustable, but just doesn't really want to adjust back so much anymore.  I understand.  Sometimes I am a little like that as well. So, sadly, the time has come to part. As you can see from the photo above, she is a little crooked - as I mentioned in posts sometimes, if my garments looked crooked, it was because of Wonky Jane. My birthday is in August, and finally my present arrived - a little late as I was waiting for the order to come in.  Thank you DH. It's waiting to be unpacked, and I have just got in from work. So you know what I am going to do this evening...put my new adjustable dummy together. She is nice and small around the hips - Wonky Jane was always too large in the hips for me. I wonder what I should call her. If you have a dummy, do you name yours?  Bye for now Sarah Liz

Three cotton shirts in a row...plus one

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I haven't been blogging much on this blog this week. Rest assured though, if Sarah Liz is quiet, she is probably busy and will be back... So, what have I been busy with?  This week I have made another shirt from New Look6963. New Look 6963.  I have made this shirt three times now.  I have used a cotton broadcloth that is not very expensive but makes a great serviceable cotton shirt for smart casual wear.  I have only one fabric store within close proximity and they only stock the basics - for those of you in Australia, I am referring to good old Spotlight, the store I love to hate.  Still, it is within walking distance, which is handy for threads, interfacings etc. If I want better fabric I use mail order. Right, so, variation 3:  This weeks blue variation of New Look 6963. Front Back I think this will look and feel cool on a hot summers day. My other variations: Pink version Original white version The white blouse is half an inch shorter th

What's on the Cutting Table?

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Butterick 5687  Tuesday is my day off, and today I put it to good use by cutting out a selection of summer basics that have been on the list for a long, long, long time.  Such a long time that I think really I am not that motivated to do basics at the moment.  Because I have done lots of them.  But every year I want a casual outfit that is smartish too, so the only way to get the mojo is to get on with it. I have already started making a pair of trousers from Butterick 5687: These are in navy drill and although not yet completed, I know they fit nicely. So, I cut out a second pair in black cotton drill.  Then I cut out a little blazer jacket, again in the same black cotton drill. Burda 7559 I've used this pattern before  for a loose blazer, so I only needed to cut it out.  I don't want to fully line this jacket as it will just get too hot in our humid summer, so I will probably put a partial lining in.  That is still being thought about... I had just enough

Weekly Hello and Welcome to New Followers

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Hello everyone - another week has gone by.  The seasons are starting to move along - I notice quite a few of you are now getting ready for Fall/autumn sewing.  Downunder, I am getting on with summer sewing so that I actually have a wardrobe of me mades to wear this summer.  Usually I am starting summer sewing far too late, but this year I decided to change that pattern. At this time of the week I always welcome new followers to my blog - so hello Patrya, Lado and Kelly.   The Sewing Week That Was : I finished a blouse.  Most of you are familiar with it from the tutorial I ran this week while I was making the blouse. The Tutorial: - Thank you everyone for your lovely comments.  I actually enjoy putting tutorials together and plan to make more in the future.  The first will be on buttonholes, because quite a few of us do have anxiety about making the.  I will think about starting this in a week or so - I need to get over this tutorial first and get on with making some of my

Tutorial part 7 - parting words. New Look 6963.

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This is the last of this series on New Look 6963.  Sandra suggested labelling it as a tutorial, which I have done, so that you can easily find it again. New Look 6963 is a lovely simple beginner's shirt - you will note that it is marked easy, which is why I chose it for this tutorial.  I think it is still available but there are plenty of other shirts like this at the moment. The pattern has variations in collar shape, and also has a three fold front band (really nice look), and sleeve variations. Do make a quick muslin first to check the fit and to practice the steps your particular pattern advises.   You will also find out if all the pattern pieces fit together well, and what sort of ease the sleeve cap has (many commercial patterns have excess ease in the sleeves which has to be removed). Sometimes I see if the shirt I want to make has been reviewed on pattern review.  This one has quite a few reviews and they are all good, except for a quibble about the yoke no

Tutorial part 6. New Look 6963.

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New Look 6963  Hello Everyone This tutorial series has covered the making of New Look 6963, shirt/blouse version C. I've made it before, so I know that it acutally works well.  It has a collar, back facing and front facing. Today we are up to the last stage - the buttonholes. I always have a bit of a thing with buttonholes - I don't have an automatic buttonhole on my machine, and have to rely on what is called "operator skill". If you have an automatic buttonholer, you will find my lines and measurements unnecessary - you will just need to mark where your buttonhole starts. Some of you may do hand buttonholes, in which case work them the way you normally do. In your pattern you will find a piece called "buttonhole guide".  It does both the long and short versions of this shirt. Version C only uses 4 buttonholes, so mark these. I mark the top, then I assess what size I need to make the buttonhole. Next, I make a sample of my but