Friday, February 26, 2016

Stashbusting the greens...New Look 6374 Tunic

A few colours don't really suit me, and warm greens are in that group.  I had a piece of greyed green cotton lawn (from Spotlight) in my stash, and decided that it was really not quite right for me, but it did go with a scrap of patterned lawn I really like that  I had leftover from another recently made top.. Now, there are a few things I don't like having around in the stash - that's little bits looking for a garment, and colours that don't really suit.

I put these two together and made myself a top I did like immensely :).  And, although the colour is not the best for me, there is something I really like about this soft, peaceful grey green colour.  And the contrast placket and collar stand give a nice focal point.

I used New Look 6374:

 I made the long, plain version A but instead of sleeves that roll back and fasten with tabs, I decided to make short sleeves.  And chose to make a contrast placket, a bit of a high risk strategy because as I was about to start sewing this top, I realised that I hadn't made a placket front like this before.

I'm not one to get scared of sewing a new technique.  When I was young I used to sew with gay abandon, and I think that is still a good approach. The worst that can happen is you muck something up, and if you are making for yourself, you can usually do something creative to fix the problem. With a bit of concentration and fiddling, I managed to do a reasonable job, although there is room for improvement - that's the great thing about sewing....

 I added buttons because the placket is very long, and is anchored by a row of stitching half way up the placket - which happens to be just above the top button.  There was a bit of gape, and I also knew I would catch things in the hole, so I anchored it back down with buttons.  Which I think looks quite nice....

So, for those of you that like details - I cut size 10 (the smallest size) and a 12 front.  The shoulders are a little large on me, but passable. Not surprising, because I usually cut size 8 shoulders and armscye.  The pattern said to interface both collar stand pieces and all of the placket area.  I thought this might turn out to be a bit stiff, but decided to try the method to see what happened, as much as anything.  I found the lightest piece of interfacing I had , but I still think the finished result was a bit too stiff.  Next time I shall either use a piece of light woven something, or not interface both collar stand pieces.  The placket could have interfacing only to the fold line.

Some  quick views and then I must go and do some chores before a sewing fix:

Well, that's another New Look pattern tried.  I'm trying to use patterns closer to when I buy them - usually I leave them a few years (decades, sometimes) before I get around to the pattern.

And this is a pattern I will come back to - I love the variations, and I really like the style and shape of this tunic in the longer length - I think it is very flattering.

Have a great sewing weekend, wherever you are..

Sarah Liz

P.S. Costings - Pattern $9.95, Lawn $11.98, thread and needle allowance, $5.00, buttons $0.  Little shirt buttons come off my husbands discarded worn out business shirts.

Total : $26.93

Friday, February 19, 2016

Emergency Khakis...Vogue 9067.

These are my new emergency pants, because an emergency happened this week.  The hot pink cotton voile trousers I have had for years seemed to attract a substance this week that stained badly and would not come out.  Leaving me with no option but to quickly run up a replacement pair for around the house.  The pink ones will be relegated to dirty jobs in the garden...

I decided to try the wide legged pants from Vogue 9067:

V9067, Misses' Top and Pants

This pattern has two top variations (neither of which appeal to me and will not get made) and two pant variations, a wide legged and a tapered legged elastic waist pant.  The tapered pants have pockets, the wide legged ones do not.  But mine do :)

I found a piece of cotton lawn that was already washed in my stash.  I had 2 metres of 105 cm fabric, and I found a flaw 20 cm in.  So a bit of quick thinking and I realised that I could cut crossgrain and have just enough to cut the pants.  I could only make them the length of the width(if that makes sense) of the fabric, so that was the length they became.  In all I took out 5 inches of length from the pattern leg length.  I am 160 cms, with longish legs for my height, so the pants are very long...the picture above shows them flopping on the floor, and I think the model is wearing heels.  With the rain we have here, and with steps to navigate at the door, pants that flop on the floor are going to get wet or present a trip hazard...

So mine are ankle grazing - just right for thongs or strappy little sandals.

I cut size Small, and added a tiny bit to the front rise.  I added pockets - I used the pockets from the tapered pants version.  I also checked the size of the front of the wide legged pants against the front of the tapered pants, and added a bit at the sides and tummy to match. The wide legged pants pattern is narrrower across the front than the tapered pants front -and these fit me well (blog post here).   I added a casing - if you look at the picture of the pant (D) above, you can see the waist band is flat at the front. I did not think this would work well with such a fine fabric as lawn, nor was it necessary.

Then it was on with the pants.  I really like these - they feel just right and feel like me.  It's funny how some clothes feel like you, and some don't.

A quick few pictures, and then I have got to put the old pink pants on and go and do some watering :)

And the costings?

I have already used the pattern so nothing for that, 2 metres of lawn, $11.98, elastic, $1.95, Mettler  thread purchased, $3.45, Overlocking thread and needle allowance, $4.00.

Total: $21.38.

And worn with Top, New Look 6273, blogged here.

Back next week, have a great weekend everyone,

Sarah Liz

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Time for Twee, Top and Trousers

This week we are getting the usual February humidity. I decided that I wanted a cool top to wear.  I also needed a very lightweight pair  of cotton pants - of course, these can be worn with some of my lightweight blouses, but were really planned to go with this top.

The top was New Look 6344:

This looked a simple little top to make and was perfect for Japanese lawn that Spotlight had in stock and which I have had my eye on, looking for an excuse to buy it, for ages.  The pattern was already in my stash, but is one of my more recent purchase - usually they mature until they are well past there use by date but not vintage enough to do something interesting with.

And the fabric for the pants was a hail spot voile, originally purchased from The Remnant Warehouse.  It was already washed and ready to go.The pants were just cobbled together from my recent more successful makes - pockets from one pattern, torso from another, legs from another, sort of thing. Done early in the morning and not really noted which patterns I used...And the length was governed by the amount of fabric I had - 1 metres x 150 cm.  So they were hemmed at about 7/8 length, which works nicely in summer.

The size I used was size 10, which finishes at 42 inches around the bust, so plenty of ease ( I am 34 inches).  Lots of ease is nice in the hot weather - plus you can move.  Even with all this ease, the top does not look sloppy.

The pattern suggested finishing the neckline with bias binding, but I decided to do a facing instead, because I like the stability of a facing.  I topstitched the facing.  My neckline is a  little smaller than the pattern - I added a seam allowance to the facing of 3/8 inch, but did not take away the allowance used for the binding.  Worked out to be the perfect size for me - usually the necklines are too loose.

I also did not sew the pleats down as suggested by the pattern - I didn't think it necessary for this top.

It's hard to show any detail with the black, but I will try to show the pleats:

And the pants fabric is so cute with the little spots - I added a bow at the back of the waistband casing which holds the elastic:

Pockets of course neatly inserted - I used ordinary black lawn for these :

And that's it - a simple little top and trousers - pretty, wearable and fun:

The last picture was one of those I am not quite ready when the self timer goes off pictures, but I thought it was quite nice - and it does show the pleats of the top nicely :). Mind you, most of my self timed pictures are not quite ready ones,or the light is wrong, or something...

Well, time for Twee Tea   now...

Sarah Liz

P.S.:- Costings

Top. Pattern $9.90.  Fabric $14.27, Interfacing $0.50., Thread/Needle allowance, $4.00, Button $1.00 (from stash).  Total, $29.67.  To compare, little cotton tops in my local boutique with less detail than this retail over $100.00.

Trousers.  Fabric $8.95 plus $5.00 freight allowance, Lawn, $1.00, Elastic, $1.75, Thread/Needle allowance, $4.00,  Bow from an old pair of underpants.  Total $20.97.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Not my usual sort of post....

Before I start this post, I just want to thank you all for your lovely comments.  I always read them, and usually reply, but life has been odd recently, and I haven't had time to do this.  I think it is more important to make sure that any time I have is spent commenting on your blogs. 

Now on to my post - which will be in two parts.  The first part will be about the Big Tidy Up.  The second part of the post will be more personal, something that I do not usually blog about.

This week I have been tackling my stash - those of you who follow me on Instagram   already know about this to a small degree, but not quite about the  the extent of the tidy up.

I have a very large and extensive stash - built up over the years.  It is not easy to find fabrics when you want them.  And also, with the exchange rate changing, and with uncertainty about the financial situation in Australia, not only with view to the global financial markets, but also the taxation and superannuation system, it makes sense to have some stash gold on hand.  Yes, Sarah Liz as a financial stash planner :).

Somehow, the stash had managed to become untidy piles of stash, instead of neat and tidy  piles.  So I spent some time sorting both the stash and sewing space into some sort of order.

As far as the Big Tidy Up is concerned, I shall just let the pictures do the talking for me:


Fleeces and Pontes and Heavier knits

Threads, Machines, Fabrics

Fabrics and things like Interfacings on top and to the side.

Things I use all the time.

And this bookcase now tidy as well.

And blue stash is hidden on an under desk shelf :)

I feel so much better now that the sewing room is in order.  Sewing is very important to me for a lot of reasons...

Now the personal bit...most unusual for me to reveal the more emotional Sarah Liz, but I am a real person after all :)...

Something else that is important to me, for a lot of reasons, is the little cottage pictured below.  It is a semi-detached Victorian cottage in a lovely part of the Belair/Blackwood Hills in Adelaide.  It is currently rented to a lovely lady and I hope she is happy there - the cottage has a very good feeling inside:

 3 Johnson Parade, BLACKWOOD SA 5051, Image 0

So, then, this is my cottage and also my sanity, along with sewing.  I will tell you why.  I am from Adelaide (well, from the UK, then to Australia, and I have lived in Adelaide, Alice Springs and Perth, but Adelaide is my Australian spiritual home).

I moved to Newcastle about 12 years ago when I married DH.  We had decided to retire to Adelaide - well, it was rather non-negotiable, as far as I was concerned.  I took the to be DH around, and he decided Adelaide was delightful, so that was that.  However, retirement keeps receding, with all sorts of changes here (or proposed changes) to the superannuation scheme.  So I think it will be a staged transition, and in a few years I hope to be making regular trips back home.  I can't wait, as I have never adjusted to Newcastle.   I won't say much more than that as I do not wish to offend, but I will say it is rated  number one in Australia for  drug/alcohol and violence problems.  It's an ex-industrial very working class town, and is quite rough everywhere - my neighbour down the road actually said that. It is not quite my cup of tea, to put it mildly.  I am sure if you are born here (they are very one eyed about the town)  and have lots of relatives, it is okay, but I don't have this and need to find succour in  the environment.  It's also a very machismo sort of place, and I am just not into that.     In short, although I tried hard to be positive about the place, especially in the first two years this did not work, and I became quite depressed.  I have recovered, and have my own interests (sewing of course) so I can cope but   I do not fit in, whereas I do in Adelaide. I  have to admit I still hate the place, and can't wait to leave.  And I loved Perth and Alice (after the usual homesick period) so I think it is the place...there is nothing here to feed my soul.  And strategies for coping with a situation are no substitute for fitting in and belonging to a place.  We need to be and belong.

So now I am starting to get ready - I went through the kitchen cupboards and started tossing junk.  The house needs lots of work prior to selling, and I thought the best thing to do was to start by tossing out clutter.  It has to go.  Then make plans.  It's all quite exciting really.  In the meantime, I can catch up with the practice accounts, and start working out how to wind down ready for DH's semi-retirement - I doubt he will ever fully retire, but I have dangled the commute to Adelaide regularly for nice breaks carrot...And he loves the Adelaide restaurants...and the Art Gallery...and the theatre...and I haven't introduced him to the free concerts on Friday at the Elder Conservatorium yet.

This should all keep me busy - I think the drains have started to get things moving, if you will pardon the pun.

All for now, back next week with some sewing....

Sarah Liz