Friday, September 25, 2015

Feeling Blue X 2, Butterick 3383.

It's time to start sewing again after my protracted absence (I traveled abroad for 6 weeks).  I find that whenever I have had a break from sewing, my first few attempts when I restart are a little woeful.  But you just have to start and get back past this stage and get the brain rewired and thinking about sewing again. 

I made sure that I had a couple of simple tops cut out before I went away, because I am even worse at cutting than sewing when restarting.

I wanted a couple of really loose cotton tee tops for summer.  We have a really hot and humid climate, and you just don't want anything to cling.   And boxy tops are really in at the moment - and with Butterick 3383 in my stash, now was a good time to pull it out.

I used a  fine blue cotton jersey  which was in my stash,  purchased from The Remnant Warehouse's online store.

The top does not have bust darts, so I would not make this in a woven - unless it had some sort of give in it, like cheesecloth. I don't like woven tops that have no darts.  But I have no problem using this pattern with a knit fabric.

I cut view C, the shorter length with sleeves,  in size XS.  This gives a finished bust measurement of 38 inches, which is much larger than my bust.  But I wanted loose and boxy, so I decided this was the right size for me to use to achieve my goal. 

I knew the neckline would just slide over to and down my shoulders, so I altered the neckline and faced it - I think the Butterick pattern used a binding,  which I did not want.    I knew what I wanted to do, the pattern was just the base for the idea. I also shortened by half an inch along the L/S line as I am petite. 

As I am short on time today (and just like the tops, feeling a bit blue with  having done a squillion and one jobs since I have returned, with quite a few more still waiting) -  I shall just post pictures of the garment:

Front - and I told you it was loose and boxy.... Design objective achieved: 

Side view - which I quite like :

Back (and I really must learn to straighten things before I take a photo:

A very quick and easy sew, loose and cool and boxy and comfortable to wear when summer comes:

And, I had just enough fabric to make two:

These are not the most perfect tops I have made, but I don't let perfection get in the way of the start up practice I need again.  They are wearable and do just the job I want them to do and I got some sewing practice.  So I call that a really great outcome.

Now to go and tackle something else and keep the practice flowing.

Until later, please take care and good luck with your sewing,

Sarah Liz

Friday, September 18, 2015

Back from Six Weeks (Yes, 6!) Abroad.

Before I begin to tell you my news, I would like to thank you all for your lovely comments on my blog posts of the last six or seven weeks.

All these posts were scheduled and the sewing down by the end of July - because I was going away during August and the early-ish part of September  A long way away, the other side of the world.  And I really did not want to advertise that this was the case, because not everyone on the internet is one of my sewing friends and some people are a little on the creepy side.  Enough said, that is not us.  I did let a few of you know, in case you wondered why I was not commenting on your blogs.

Regarding commenting on your blogs - I think I  have caught up with most of you this week. I was wanting to while away, but a combination of poor wi-fi in places and a tablet that refused to comment on blogs was not helpful! 

Back to my news, DH and I visited England, Paris, Poland and Prague.  And this week I have been tackled by the lurgy (which I caught last week in Prague, but I think it is everywhere), and the paperwork and washing and shopping.  Which in turn, I have tackled.  Maybe tomorrow I can start sewing again :).

In the meantime, many of you are probably already familiar with the image at the start of this blog post.  If not, let me introduce you - this is the famous Liberty store in London.  Home to all the fabulous Liberty lawns, and other fabrics, and all sorts of delightful things.  I'll tell you more about this store later.

In the meantime, I shall just share pictures of my purchases of the lovely Liberty cotton lawn. And only one is for me - the other two are for my sister and mother respectively.

For my mother

For my sister

And for me :)
Next week I plan to have a simple top sewn - it was cut out before I went away, because I know that it is hard to get back into the swing of things post jet lag.  So I always ease back in with simple sewing.

And some of you are wanting to know more about my travels, so I shall post every few days to show you a little about  my time away.

It's good to be back and communicating with you all again :)

Bye for now, Sarah Liz

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Looking frazzled in my new work pants - Kwik Sew 2960 again.

These trousers took me a total of five hours, and that was not pushing myself, to make - cutting, sewing and hand sewing the hems.  And then I wore them straight away :).  They are made out of stretch bengaline - a mix of 72% viscose, 24% nylon, and 6% elastane.   I purchased it at Spotlight, on a half price sale, so the total fabric cost for these trousers was $11-03.  Plus elastic, thread, serger thread - say $16- $17 dollars.  And they fit and are very comfortable to wear.  Better than RTW - and the cheapest I can purchase is $49.95 plus postage of $9.95.  And the RTW version  does not fit well, and always needs the hem to be taken up. Give me five hours of leisurely sewing from cut to finish in preference any day:).

I used Kwik Sew 2960 again- you will find all my previous posts here. Now up to 9 pairs of pants from this pattern.

This is the pattern envelope - I used version C, but eliminated the zip and added elastic at the waist - so the waistband became my elastic casing.  I also raised both the front and back rise.  I used size XS from hips down and S at high hips/waist.  There are back darts.


There isn't really much to say except I think these look better than my RTW work pants.  I'll show you these first and then post my RTW work pants for comparison.

( I think my me-made t-shirts look better than this old RTW one as well - certainly not as much riding up into the middle of the back).

RTW Bengaline Pants

Me Made Bengaline Pants.

My home sewn trousers looks as good as the RTW ones, in fact, slightly better fitted around the hips and bottom.  

I'm looking rather frazzled in these pictures - I literally had just finished the pants, and then dashed to the office to do some paperwork, then home to do some housework, and then some packing for going away. So my hair is all over the place, and I quickly decided to take these pictures and post them for today - the day that I am due back from a holiday. In fact, the last few posts were scheduled :).  So in a few days, when the jet lag is past it's worst, and unpacking done, the washing attended and the mail sorted, I'll tell you about it.  And get back to some sewing, which I can't wait to do :).

And I can't wait to catch up with all you have been doing as well.

Bye for now,

Sarah Liz :)

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Refashioned Top....

I made a little black and white t-shirt two years ago. It was one of my early forays into sewing with knits, and I really did not like the stitching inside the neckband - it was a little untidy.  I never felt happy every time I looked at the inside of that band.   And so the top languished.  The other problem was that it looked too much like the RTW styles that have been popular over the last few years.  And this is not a RTW top, but a Sarah Liz Sew Style top.  And, it was a very nice Japanese knit fabric, so it is a shame not to wear it.  So, I decided to refashion the top into a more stylish (I hope) and original looking garment.

This was the original top, also blogged here.

I had a small piece left over, which I had made into a twist scarf, and very rarely ever wore:


I carefully unpicked the neckband on the top and took the scarf to pieces.  I cut a collar from the scarf piece.  I thought about making a cowl collar, but you need crosswise stretch for these, and my small leftover piece was cut along the grainline and had very little stretch.  So I played with the piece, and decided that a loose collar shape would sit well, go over my head (essential) and generally work. It did:

And the sewing along the neckline looks nice and neat.  Blissful sewing happiness regarding both style and finish :).

(Actually, I'm rather taken with this lovely, soft, collar...)

And, best of all, I like wearing this top now:

I think the collar gives a smart touch to this othewise very relaxed top.  And an hour or so of sewing has changed this top from unloved and unworn to a smart, casual top for all sorts of wearing occasions.

That's what I like about sewing :) - the opportunity to create garments you love to wear.

Sending you my thoughts and best wishes,

Sarah Liz :)