Monday, May 23, 2016

Me Made May Week Three.

I was finding it quite difficult to take daily pictures this week, and thought that maybe I would not continue with this challenge.  Then I suddenly remembered that I do this challenge in the way that suits me - I don't have to post a picture with me wearing the clothes. and I don't have to post on every social media site.  So this week I am taking picture boards along with some pictures of me in clothes.

Monday 16th May.  

Mildish, about 23.  Activities: Work, Chores.

Me Made Skirt and RTW shirt and tights:

Sewing :  Find fabric and iron, and iron traced pattern pieces for next top.

Tuesday 17th May:

Warm and Sunny, 27 .

Activities, Chores, Work from home.

Me Made Skirt and RTW t-shirt. It was warm enough for summer clothes and sandals.  Leggings at night.

Sewing - thread overlocker for next top.

Wednesday 18th May: 

Milder, 23-24.

Actitivities - Doctor's appointment, Chores, Pack for trip to Sydney in PM - mostly black basics so I don't have to think too much. It might be drab and boring, but it works. then The Problem contacted us.

I'm looking quite fatigued and careworn, - it's been a busy week, and I am getting a cold.

Wearing for the drive:  Me Made Trousers - Stretch cotton sateen tailored pants:

We were late leaving after dealing with The Problem by phone for 1.5 hours, so instead of going out to a casual place around Circular Quay, we had to eat in at the Royal Automobile Club. This is a conservative and formal place where dress codes apply, so I quickly put on tights and a ponte skirt.  I also combed my hair :).  This is a refashion from a dress I never wore.

I'm a master of the two minute change, which is why I take interchangeable black basics!

Thursday 19th May:

Day in Sydney shopping - my husband needed new shoes, and I paid a visit to Lincraft and stocked up on black buttons.

The we had dinner booked at the Fish Cafe at the Rocks. This is a fairly casual place, and we walk there from the Club.  It was cool, so I put on a little Me Made Scarf and a Me Made Polar Fleece Jacket.  Pants are RTW:

Friday 20th May:

Drive back home, with a quick visit to The Remnant Warehouse first :)

I wore the same Me Made Pants for the drive back home.  Plus my cardigan and necklaces. Different, as in clean,  t-shirt of course.

Saturday 21st May:

Quiet day today, I am quite tired, because both of us caught a cold a few days ago.  Just catching up with washing and grocery shopping and things like that.

It's still quite mild during the day, and I tend to peel layers off.  Wearing my new Me Made Top over a t-shirt and RTW ponte pants:

Yes, the top is new - I will give you the details in a future  blog post...And it did get peeled off late morning when it was warmer :).

Sewing - start sewing new top.

Sunday 22nd May:

Same's usually a short day after a quiet start to the day.  I did put on a clean t-shirt under the blue top though...  A

Sewing: Finish new top.

Phew, another week done. As you can see, I revert to black basics when I have to pack quickly for a day or so away.  But I am trying to make some more colourful tops as they do look more interesting and certainly the right colours flatter nicely.  And, I do get a lot of things made, but by the frustrating route of little and often - I would rather nice solid blocks of time.

Downhill run now - more picture boards next week - I'll be away for a few days, so I think it will be more of my black basics...

Take care everyone,

Sarah Liz

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Back Blogging - Finally The Wrap Dress, Vogue 8827.

Finally, here it is, the brightly patterned wrap dress, Vogue 8827.  I call it my Persian Dressing Gown Dress.

I have had Vogue 8827 in my pattern stash for a long time now.  It was published in 2012, but as far as I am concerned, a wrap dress does not date.

The pattern has a few variations:

Many of the  reviewers on made up the collared version of the dress.  I wanted to make the middle dress - it's just so elegant.  I chose to make longer sleeves though.   I have  a fabric in my stash that would be perfect for the middle dress, but it was expensive, so first I want to test the pattern, and also wear it to see if the dress works or needs modification.

The dress does not close with any sort of closure, it just wraps and ties inside like a dressing gown and then you place the tie around your waist and secure the dress.  Most reviewers said the pattern had a huge amount of ease, and I agree, there was plenty of ease - not surprising given the pattern describes the dress as very loose fitting.  But with this sort of dress that is not secured well, I prefer plenty of ease so that when you move, the dress does not start opening up too much if it needs more ease for the movement, if you see what I mean.  Of course, I shall wear a black petticoat underneath, just in case...

The fabric I used was a rayon twill purchased at my local Spotlight for $3.00 per metre.  My local Spotlight has poor stock control, and eventually had to clear their oversupply of fabric.  This fabric used to be $19.99 per metre.  I would never buy this sort of fabric at that price, and certainly not such a colour and patternway.  But I thought the fabric would work wonderfully for this dress, and the price sort of cinched the idea.

Of course I made a muslin out of an old piece of sheet and settled on size 8 armhole and shoulder and size 10 body and arms.   This worked nicely, but with the rayon twill, I have slipping over the shoulder area.  I have now learnt that with this sort of heavy and drapey fabric that shoulders need to be smaller.  I think the neck also did not hold in so snuggly in the rayon, which also contributes to the shoulder droop.  I panicked during the sewing process and thought the sleeves might be too tight as they are quite slim fitting

But overall I am not bothered by this.  The dress still looks effective, and I will probably be wearing it over a long sleeve black t-shirt for warmth - the dress will probably grab this a bit.  I would also wear stocking and shoes, but the day I took this photo (some months ago now) it was too warm to wear these, hence the slightly incongruous sandals :).

Okay, the pictures, which is what we sewing bloggers really like:

The side view shows quite a bit of pouching over the tie belt - there is a lot of ease in the back, plus with my erect, inverted triangle shape, this tends to happen.  I find a tie belt is really good - I don't mind the pouching over the top, because in fact the belt defines that I am quite small underneath.

 And the front - I have a very short waist as you can see - but with the extra ease included in this dress, the high waist sort of works, I think.

I really like this dress - it's a timeless sort of style, and I can see other variations being made one day.  I think this version, shortened, would make a lovely wrap blouse.  On the very long list.

See why I though the ease was a good idea?  With movement, this ease is needed so that the dress stays wrapped :).

All for now, wishing you all the best,

Sarah Liz

Costings : Pattern on sale, $10.00, Fabric $9.00, Thread and Needle allowance, $6.00, Ribbon $1.29,  Muslin Fabric and Thread, $3.00.  Total, $29.99.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Me Made May Week Two.

Week two of Me Made May 2016.  This is my first attempt at taking part in MMM and I have to admit that I did not think the timing was superb, as we have a lot of problems at the moment, and what I am wearing is the last thing on my mind. I also have two trips coming up, which I hate. I'm not one of these people who likes to plan a weeks wardrobe - I just put in black separates, a few tops, and that is it.  And my pearl ear studs.  I sometimes think my background as a Nurse affects my dress style - I started as a student nurse at the age of 17 way back in the 1970's. I trained in a very big and acute public hospital, and although we had the modern system, we still did hard, long hours and physically demanding work.  And we saw things that most 17 year olds do not see.  We grew up quickly.   So clothes as a young woman were not a high priority. And I think that habit stuck, so I wear clothes that are practical and interchangeable.

Monday 9th May:

Weather Cooler and Overcast.
I went to work to attack a pile of accounts.  I wore an old RTW t-shirt and Me Made tapered stretch cotton sateen pants.  Plus a wrist strap :)

Sewing activities:  a.m. -  overlock hems of top. p.m. - finish top.
Do chores, shopping,  cook dinner, put out rubbish etc....

Tuesday 10th May:

Weather - 23, Sunny and Windy.
Work to do more accounts...
Wearing a Me Made Knit Top and Me Made Pants - stretch cotton sateen.

Sewing activities: Find pattern, fabric and iron pattern pieces for next garment.
Plus the usual chores...

Wednesday 11th May:

Weather - cool and windy.
Back to work to do more accounts...
Wearing the Me Made check pants again, plus a Fleecy soft Blazer.
(Looking windswept her - I'm taking the photos when I get in...)

Sewing : cut out next top and thread overlocker.
Plus the usual chores.

Thursday 12th May: 

Mild day.  Our house is cold though so clothes today reflect that.
Work from home batching and posting accounts.  Plus problems.
Plus a birthday in the house - so I wore my new top:

Me Made Top and Me Made trousers:

Sewing - first seam on top, but busy with birthday...

Friday 13th May: 

I can't remember what I wore, was more concerned with finishing the accounts and doing the chores.
I think it was the check pants and a white tee. We are in the middle of hassles with the roof and insurance, so had no time or energy to think about clothes or photos.

Sewing - worked on top. 

And for Saturday14th  and Sunday 15th,  I just wore the same as last weekend - so now all of these clothes have been well worn and can go in the wash.  I don't like piles of half worn clothes lying around, so I try and wear things  with this in mind - Day three of pants tends to be home wear and chore days, work and going out tends to be the first day or so of pants. Tops of course are changed daily.  That's why you need more of those and why I am working on some now :)

And sewing - worked on the top and finished be revealed in the future.

Well, I'm starting to flag with daily photos - as I though, Me Made May in this form is not really for me.  I enjoy blogging about my sewing and seeing what you are sewing, but I really don't like taking selfies every day. I find it hard to be that self obsessed - or that is how it feels to me. And when there are other priorities, I sort of wonder whether this is really misplaced time.  I'm finding these thoughts quite fascinating, because normally I don't stop to think about things like this!

See you soon,

Sarah Liz

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Back Blog #3, Vogue 9085.

I made this little top some time ago from a leftover piece of fabric after I had made a dress from it.  I have not yet blogged the dress - that will be blogged next weekend.

I decided to make a wearable muslin from Vogue 9085:

Line Drawing

This looked a fairly straightforward top, and I quickly made a toile out of an old sheet. I cut size M for the body as I like quite a bit of ease especially as I will probably wear this over a long sleeve t-shirt in winter.  For the neck, armhole and shoulders I used size XS (4-6).  I only had enough fabric to make the shorter sleeve version (A), so that is was I made :).  I also took off 4.5 inches from the length as this was a tunic length top, and I wanted a blouse length top. The minimal fabric sort of also decided the length :).

The calico looked as though it was an okay fit in the neck and shoulder area so I went ahead and cut out the top and made it up.  The fabric I used was a rayon twill, with a large and asymmetrical pattern.  I did not have much, so it was hopeless trying to sort out any sort of aesthetic placing of the pattern - other than the back, where I did place a central line of pattern.

I did not like the central seam line with my strange pattern placement, so I added buttons down the centre front to try and distract the eye and give some purpose to the centre front seam.

I'm pushed for time today, so I will just quickly post some pictures to show you the finished top:

As you can see, the front shows quite awkward pattern placement, but as this was more a wearable muslin, and a bit of wearable colour fun.  I am not going to let it bother me, but will enjoy the top for what it is.

You will also see that the sleeves are quite wide - again, I decided to cut them as the pattern suggested, to see what I thought of them.  If I make the top again, I will probably take some of the fullness out.

You will also see that the hemline at the centre of the top seems to flatten out - I checked the pattern pieces and it does flatten out. The line drawings also show this section as straight across. The centre front  seam also tends to pull this area up a little as well.  Next time I will round the hem down at the front.

From the side you can see the top drops down at the back.  I need to do a narrow and erect back adjustment, but I don't tend to bother on these little unfitted tops that tend to move around quite a lot. And with high low hems still popular, I figure this dip just looks fashionable :)

And back view - I did manage to put a central line of diamonds down the back - but as you can see, the pattern is asymmetrical either side, and there is nothing I can do about that!  This was also why I did not worry too much about pattern placement for the front or sleeves, not that I could anyway, with a minimal amount of fabric to work with.

You can also see the slight flattening of the hemline at the centre back, but there is no centre back seam so the hemline is not further pulled up.

If I make the top again, I think I will narrow the shoulder a little bit - although I think my floppy fabric is also contributing to the floppy shoulder line.  Although size 4-6 should be fine, I think these shoulders sit too wide on me - it could be the open neck causing this.  Anyway, it doesn't worry me - this is a fun, happy, colourful top and I really am not going to let floppy shoulders interfere with my enjoyment of this top.

Because I rather like it, flaws and all.  I don't mind imperfection, because I am not perfect either :).

Happy sewing everyone,

Sarah Liz

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Me Made May Week One.

I wasn't going to take part in Me Made May 16 because it just didn't appeal to me - taking photos everyday and trying to wear Me  Mades all the time.  I do now wear quite a few me made garments, but there are still gaps in my wardrobe, especially during transitional seasons, and especially Autumn.  I've also concentrated on making basics, and still have  quite a few gaps to plug before I like fully presentable.

But I sort of made a non decision about this - and that sort of took the pressure off, so I am not feeling so overwhelmed by MMM16.

So this is the week that was - some photos are reposted from old blog posts when I didn't have the time or inclination to photograph them.

I'm also documenting my daily sewing activities - some of you comment that I seem to sew a lot, but in fact it is that I sew little and often sometimes that gets the results.  I also don't watch television in the evenings, and often get up very early and use that early morning time to do some sewing.

Sunday 1st May :  At home - cool and wet today so I dug out my Me Made Fleecy tip made last year and wore it with old RTW track pants.  This outfit will also take me through cooler evenings.

Reposted photo.

Monday 2nd May:  Running around day.  Cool in am and evening, sunny and warm during day, about 25 degrees: some work in afternoon.  Feel like I have hayfever.

I wore a Me Made top and Me Made Pants! ...

MMM16  -2nd May photo


Tuesday 3rd May: Blah - woke up with a cold!!!!  Quiet day reading threads and doing some chores and pre washing fabric because I don't feel up to sewing.  Knitting this evening...Cool am, and warm sunny day later - about 26 degrees. Quite warm for May:  Found a spot in the mess that passes for a garden with the right light for the photo.  Must look for more photo spots.

Me Made Pants: 
MMM16 - 3rd May photo.
Sewing - traced two patterns ready for cutting out the toiles.


Wednesday 4th May: 
Woke up not feeling blah - just as well, because there was lots to do.  I shan't bore you with that, but will say that when I am busy of course I don't have much time to sew - so I just do a bit everyday.  Today I traced two patterns ready to muslin - also checked that I had all the threads needed for the fabrics I plan to use for these garments should the muslins encourage me to proceed...

Weather, cool mornings and evenings, sunny day, about 24 - layers needed.

MMM16 - 4th May photo.
 pants and t shirt - you can see now why I don't like RTW pants - my legs show up as far too thin.  Yuk. Gradually replacing all my old RTW, it just takes time.

Scarf and polar fleece vest are of course Me Made. The little vest is really handy in changeable weather.  And the scarf adds just enough warmth and not too much when the sun is up. Sleeves get rolled up when I get too hot - I need some 3/4 length sleeve tops.

Sewing - pre-shrink fabric for planned garments. 

IDENTIFIED NEED - Tops for transitional weather - 3/4 sleeve knit tops.


Thursday 5th May:

Reposted photo

While our days are really warm and sunny (think sort sleeve t shirts by 9.15 am today) it is getting quite cool at night.  I had to pull out my  Me Made polar fleece dressing gown this morning.

Sewing:  Quickly made two toiles for garments to be made later...

Friday 6th May

It's been an emotionally demanding and stressful week (Practice problems, and Insurance hassles - roof is still not fixed and we spent some time dealing with issues to do with that this week).  I am starting to look quite frazzled.  Going to the office this morning, may get some sewing time in the afternoon.   Weather is still really warm for May - about 25 degree maximum and sunny.   Lovely.

MMM16 - 6 May photo

RTW t-shirt and vest, and Me Made Trousers is stretch cotton sateen. 

Sewing - tried on toiles - the first is not going to work for the fabric I had in mind and will be put to one side for my spring sewing - due to start in a few weeks.  The other toile is perfect for what I had in mind. 

Saturday 7th May:

Still getting over the week - and today I will be going to the office to do some work, and then to the supermarket on the way home.  Plan to do some sewing this afternoon. 

Weather warmer than average and sunny, about 24.

RTW t-shirt and cardigan.  Cotton drill pants are Me Made - and they have pockets.

(Can't wait for my fringe to grow - last time it was trimmed, it was trimmed far to short).

Sewing - traced and cut out a planned  wearable muslin - hope it turns out. 

Sunday 8th May:

Another at home day - the weather is very mild and humid, so cotton outfit today.  The top is RTW and the trousers are Me Made from a recycled cotton jersey :

Reposted photo.

Sewing - worked on the wearable muslin - exposed zipper in and sleeves in.  May finish tomorrow.


And that was the first week and a day of Me Made May!  Not an inspiring collection so far - it seems practicality reigns with Sarah Liz :)

The weather has also caught me out - don't have much in the way of transitional separates so must make them for next year.

SEWING NEEDS FOR AUTUMN 2017 - 3/4 sleeve tops, layering pieces for transitional wear.

That's it for now - 23 more days to go.  I'm wondering what to wear tomorrow...

Sarah Liz

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Fashion at long last on Sarah Liz Sew Style...

I recently finished these pants, and although I have just written a post, I was so excited about these pants, I wanted to share them with you as soon as possible.

The pattern I used was Burda 6701, a wide leg pant.  I picked it up recently for $5.00 in a Spotlight sale.

As you can see from the line drawing, the side seam is placed a little to the front. This works really nicely, and I found gave a lovely line to the back of the pant.  I'll show you later...

The fabric also came from Spotlight - our local Newcastle store has been getting rid of their surplus stock recently, and I found a piece of polyester and viscose gabardine 150 wide for $2.00 per metre.  It is normally  $14.99 per metre and is still currently in the Spotlight range. (* This fabric bleeds a lot, so I used a dye fixative to set the dye when I was pre washing the fabric).

Now, as this is a fashion garment I would not want to spend too much, so the pattern and material were about the right price as far as I was concerned :).  $9.00 plus notions - about right for a high risk garment that may have a short fashion life.

I was also very out of practice with sewing a more tailored pair of pants, having made only elastic waist trousers for the last eighteen months.  So a fashion garment seemed a good way of getting back into practice, because really, if it isn't quite up to scratch, it will have a finite life.

This was quite a greedy pant as far as fabric was concerned - for the shorter leg version, 1.9 metres was required (and this is 150 wide fabric).  Luckily, when the fashion life of these pants is over, I will be able to use a leftover piece combined with the back panels of the pants to make a skirt!

Before I do that though, I am going to enjoy these pants.  Before I show you some pictures, just a few technical details:

* I made version B, the shorter pant.

* I cut size 10 hips and 12 waist - with just a smidge more.  I took up 1 inch in length along the L/S line.  I added one inch to the upper waist of pants front and back as I have a long rise.  This meant I also had to move the pockets up an inch.

* Yes, I did make a quick muslin out of old sheet to check that this size was about right. That was a bit loose, but I knew the fashion fabric was thicker so that all the little seams and darts would take up some of this ease with the thicker turn of cloth.

* In seam pockets are a feature of the pattern.  I used a thin poly cotton to reduce bulk in this area.

* The pattern used an invisible zip in the back of the garment.  I hate back zips so I added a false fly opening at the front and inserted a standard zipper.  I also interfaced the zipper area.

* As I am on my lower range of weight at the moment, I added a seam at the back of the waistband with a wide seam allowance.  If I reach my upper weight I can easily undo the waistband and then adjust darts  and the waistband seam to give me more room.

*Trousers were still too long, so I had to remove 1.5 inches from the hem of the trouser to get them to look about the same length as shown in the picture.

* I was careful to level the hems at the centre especially because with this sort of obvious hemline, if one leg is a different length to the other, it shows. With full length you can get away with the odd discrepancy, not that we aim for that, do we??


Could be a skirt....

But no, it's a pair of culottes....

Aren't they fun...

Neat from the side too...

And the back...

I'm going to enjoy wearing these...

Well, that's it for today...I'll be back at the end of the week with one of my back posts.

Happy Me Made May 16 to all the participants this year...

Sarah Liz

P.S. Costings : Pattern $5.00, Fabric $4.00.  Pocket lining $1.00.  Interfacing $1.00. Zip $1.50.  Retayne fixative, $1.00.  Thread, $3.45, Needle and Overlocking Thread allowance $4.00.

Plus a muslin from Op Shop sheet, $2.00

Total: $22.95.