Saturday, September 27, 2014

Kimono Covetness

This weeks sewing effort, in between working on a very tedious assignment, much of which was done last week, was to make this kimono.  I had decided that I wanted one after seeing  Annie's kimono.

So I decided to make one.  I rummaged through the stash and found this fabric, purchased by mail order  from The Remnant Warehouse.  :

It's a self stripe gauzey-viole -ey sort of sheer cotton.  I purchased it to stash, knowing that one day the perfect idea would come along that would need this fabric.

And I thought a kimono was the perfect idea.  So out came the fabric :)

I used a combination of patterns:

The one on the left has a 90 degree angle at the sleeve/bodice junction - and I made a kimono years ago using this sort of sleeve.  It doesn't turn well unless you clip into it, and then you can't finish it. 

I morphed the kimono pattern onto the jacket pattern on the right and took the sleeves from that pattern.  They are not quite as wide as the kimono sleeves, but wide enough.  I also had to shorten the sleeves, as I did not have enough fabric to make them longer.  Anyway, I like the finished length - this kimono is planned to be worn over summer tops, so shorter sleeves are better.

The neckline on the left hand kimono I liked - and the neck and front are finished by facings, which look smart.  I also used french seams, as I wanted this garment to look nice inside and out:

I even matched the stripes perfectly.

The neck facing.

Enough said, now for the pictures. Unfortunately, I am studying today and am wearing study clothes -perhaps not quite right for this lovely jacket :).




I think this jacket is going to be a firm favourite, for dressing up casual or for dressing up - and being cotton, is not going to feel hot and sticky, unlike the polyester mass market RTW ones currently on the market.

Do have a great weekend everyone,

Sarah Liz :)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Take Two....White Tops.

I'm having a very casual Sunday today - just doing chores and editing (yuk) an assignment.  So my appearance somewhat reflects, that, but then, sometimes it's just nice to have a relaxed feel.

And this little white woven top just works for these sorts of occasions. Which is what I wanted it for.

I used Burda 7079:

I've used this pattern a number of times and now have a black version, and a striped version.


The black was cut as size 38 (12), and the blue as size 36 (10).  I wanted the fuller look, just like the pattern envelope with the black top. With the striped top, I was working with a stiffer fabric, so I thought it would be better slightly smaller.  The white top is size 36 (10) - I thought this would be about right, as white tends to look larger.  

I used the black bodice of the dress as my top pattern, and just morphed the bottom of Top A onto it as the hemline.  Simple!   I raised the slit at the neckline a little bit, because I don't like any hint of my lack of cleavage :).  Mind you, if I had a much of a cleavage, I would still have a higher slit.

All tops have been made from cotton - the black and white are from calico - it handles nicely, and is cost effective for a casual throw on. 

A few  pictures and then I must go and do those chores...

Front view.

Back view

 I made this top last Sunday after my exam, and I made a second one this week - it's  so simple to run up, especially when you have made it a few times.  And the machines were all threaded :).

I'm now wondering what to make next - I think I am making a little summer wardrobe, but being me I don't specifically plan, except in a very broad way. 

I'm wearing RTW pull on pants - these will soon be RTG (Ready to Go).  You can see how large there are around the thighs.  My me-mades, while not perfect, tend to be no worse, and often lots better !

Have a great week everyone, where ever you are :)

Sarah Liz

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Two horrible days and then some sewing :)

Hello everyone,

What a funny week I had.  Despite best laid plans, things went a little haywire.  Especially Friday and Saturday.  We had a open book exam that was scheduled on Friday,  -3000 words total over 5 topics.  The questions were available for downloading at 0900 on Friday.

Guess what?  Our phone line went down on Thursday, which meant our internet connection was also down.  I managed to get onto the university website on my mobile phone so I thought I would sort of manage with that.  On Friday, could I use my phone to get onto the website to download the questions?  Of course not - I kept trying, but to no avail.  Would the wireless dongle that my husband installed late Thursday night work on Friday?  Of course not. And apparently the sim card for my tablet was out of date!

Okay, next step - ring the lecturer.  He said he would fax the questions if I had a fax available.  Well, I did, half an hour drive away.  So of I went  to get the questions, and then back to draft the best part of 4.5 questions.

With a sinus headache!

Then yesterday, I edited, added references, in text references, and so on.  Meanwhile, DH organised a wireless modem, and rigged that up. Success, and I could upload the paper at the end of the day and then enjoy some sausages for dinner!  Already planned as they are simple to cook :)

So today I rewarded myself with some sewing - I really needed the therapy :)

And made another cotton top:

Next week I'll wear it for you and take a photo.  I love it, so I think I'll make a second.  White tops are always handy to have.

Now I must go and see what you have all been up to.....

Bye for now,

Sarah Liz :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

You win some, you lose some...

I'm in the middle of the next batch of assignments, and decided to distract myself by shrinking a piece of fabric that has been in the stash for twelve months.  It is the check fabric shown above.  It's cotton so should be pre -shrunk.

So I dutifully dunked it in hot water.  Big mistake.  The red dye is not colourfast.  So I now have a plaid with pink patches on it.   It probably was not meant to be washed in hot water, but I am afraid Spotlight always manages to detach any price or care label from it's fabrics, at least in my local store. So I had no idea of the care needed and just followed general principles.   This year I have ruined 3 Spotlight fabrics this way.  So in future I shall not buy any high contrast fabrics that may bleed in hot water.  I know I can wash in cold, but one day a mistake would happen and shrinkage and dye run occur.

I'm glad I found out now.  Luckily I only bought a metre, so no great loss.  This piece will now go into my pile of stash that gets used for muslins.


My next distraction was a walk to Spotlight - mainly for exercise, and also to purchase a reel of thread.  While I was there I found that they had a new job lot in - and there was a piece of 60 wool/40 poly twill in a lovely cool red colour.  This colour has been on my to buy one day list for ages.  So I bought 2 metres - and at $5.00 a metre, I think this offsets my fabric shrinking mishaps  this year nicely.

In fact, I think I won more than I lost :) 

Sarah Liz :)

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Seeing double ...

This is the dress I made this week - in between reading bits and pieces that have to be read before next week (and I am still going on that task - I will be glad when the semester is over.  Commiserations to those of you who have gone back recently!).

I made version one of this dress, in the same sort of fabric but with a teal stripe instead of blue, last week - you can find it :  here.

My pattern review can be found at sewing pattern review :  here.

The pattern I used, for those of you who prefer the information without clicking on  a link, is Burda 7066.


I used a cotton furnishing fabric that I purchased at Spotlight, which was much cheaper than cottons designated for clothes.  And Spotlight has an atrocious range anyway - fine if you want cheap, cheerful, retro or any other look I don't want, so this fabric sort of was the only thing that was closer to being something I liked.  Of course, sometimes Spotlight surprises me and brings in fabrics that are more to my taste.  Spotlight knows how to intermittently reinforce my behaviours in a way that keeps me going back :)

 I wanted the dress to be a simple slip on thing to wear around the house, but I have to admit, with the belt on it works for going out on errands as well.  In fact, I like it a lot :).

The dress is effectively just a big A-Line tent like thing, with the only shaping being bust darts.  I added pockets:

I added a button to the front of the V neckline - as you can see, the stripes are squiffy, and don't quite make a neat statement at the V point of the neck.  A button solves this problem nicely.

I also tend to top-stitch seams for added definition in something as casual as this.  Top-stitching also helps to hold the seam just where I want it.

The sleeves are flat set in and the side seams stitch in one.  I also top-stitch the armhole seams:

The dress has splits at the bottom of the side seams, to allow room for movement.  I always add a button at the top of these sorts of seams (and I reinforce the seam first with a bit of scrap interfacing).   The twin needle look hem is not done by twin needles at all, but by me - I go around twice - my old machine can't take twin needles, and in any case, it is a fast and effective machine.

Now the shots with the belt, front, side and back:

I must have taken my mother's maxim one to wash, and one to wear very seriously:

So that's it, two new dresses ready for summer (if it ever comes - it's been pouring with rain for days and days where I live).

Back to reading now, and then some enjoyment this evening - reading your blogs :)

Take care everyone,

Sarah Liz :)