Saturday, 27 September 2014

Two tops with Simplicity 6367

I was given some old patterns recently and one in particular caught my eye.
Now being a mature lady I do not think it's wise to show too much of the top of my arms so view 4 in the bottom left corner with the neat short sleeves was my choice but I liked the mandarin collar in the main picture, View 1.

So I got out some pretty green fabric from my stash and laid out the pattern pieces for view 4 but added the collar from view 1. I then cut out the collar again in fusible interface and ironed it on to one side then completed the collar ready to put on the body of the garment.

However, when checking the fit on the neckline - it didn't fit!!!! The pattern it seems did not allow the mandarin collar on view 4.

Here is a picture of the instruction sheet which shows the views diagrammatically and the back views but would you be able to tell that the necklines were different from this?
So I had to make the neckline as View 4 instructed and to be honest I was very happy with the result.

But I really wanted the mandarin collar so I found some more fabric in my stash and set about making version two. This time I re-drafted the neckline from view one onto the body of view 4 so the collar would fit. I also decided to cut out a lining for the yoke and enclosed the front and back seams as the yoke fabric was very light and needed some extra body. I also decided to make a feature of the placket and made it out of the yoke fabric, interfaced it and sewed it so that it turned out to the front.

 This is to show the inside lining of the yoke.

The lighting wasn't brilliant to take these photos but you can see the top either tucked in or left out as a tunic top.

This was an easy pattern and simple to adapt to my exact requirements. Now you may be wondering why I'm making short sleeved tops when Autumn is here and winter on its way? Well I'm trying to build a wardrobe for my holiday next year in Spain from January to March but in Aguilas we should get some warm days - well I shall be ready for the sun....

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Carpenter's Trousers

Well they're not really Carpenter's Trousers but they were made from the same fabric as the Carpenter's Jacket as shown in my last blog.

I hadn't set out to make a suit as such it was just a way of using up the leftover fabric.
 I can see that the rear view shows some spare fabric in the small of my back that I need to sort out in the next pair I make.

 I used the pink to make the pocket facing and edged the pockets with a double thread through the needle and chose a fancy stitch from my Janome's built in options to make a top stitch feature using the pink. I also used this on the belt carriers.
 Overall I'm pleased with the shape and they're super comfy to wear. I don't think I'll be wearing them together as a suit much though!!

 Showing the jacket lining.
My next project is a shirt for 'he who thinks he should be obeyed!!!'

By the way the electric bike is great fun. We spent a couple of days in Gosport, Stokes Bay to be exact where there are lots of traffic free cycle paths. I needed to get a bit of confidence with the bike and this was just perfect. It was also my birthday so we went to a local hotel for a meal.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Carpenter's Jacket

I recently bought Built by Wendy, Coats and Jackets by Wendy Mullin and was inspired by the Carpenter's Jacket. I bought some bargain fabric from Fabricland in Southampton in a sort of milk chocolate colour and a contrasting sugar pink. The fabric feels like suede but it's very thin and soft however it was easy to handle and let me make a good attempt at a jacket.
 I did the collar and slanted welt pockets in the pink. I had wondered if this would look good with a belt but realised too late that it would cover the top of the pockets. You may wonder why I placed them so high in the first place but this was because I like deep pockets that nothing is going to fall out of so naturally they need to start highish to get the depth.
 I did have to modify the pattern quite a bit as I didn't want patch pockets and the neckline on all the basic patterns in the book are too low for me. I like a jacket or coat to be up round my neck comfortably so re-drafted the front, back and top of raglan sleeves to do this.
Close up of Collar

I found some brown buttons that were just the right size for the look I wanted and used pink thread to do the buttonholes as a small feature.
 This is my first attempt at lining a jacket and I must admit I learned a lot in doing it. I mitred the corners at the hem and had to study a couple of You Tube videos to get the hang of making them.
I have enough fabric left over to make a pair of trousers so maybe that's my next project.

It's my birthday on Monday and I've bought myself an Electric bike to celebrate. We are going to take our Motorhome down to Gosport for the weekend as there are plenty of traffic free cycle paths around the peninsular so I can gain some confidence. I must admit the experience is a little scary to start with and as my previous cycling career included me falling into a canal, I aim to take things carefully.

Have you got an electric bike? Do you have any suggestions for traffic free cycling in the South East of England? Let me know.

Monday, 8 September 2014

The Finished Peplum Blouse

Yes well the peplum blouse is finished and even though I would NEVER have bought this fabric as flowers are not my choice to wear, I do think it looks OK with the plain teal contrast. I happened to have this in my stash and it went so well with the plain offcut I had that it kinda grew on me as a together item.
 The self made belt was also a first for me and I can see this outfit working with the blouse tucked in to white jeans and the belt through the loops.

I think I was checking for cobwebs when the camera went off in this photo!!

I also made the trousers awhile ago and wore them because they were the right tone but looking at the photos I know I've come a long way since I made them as they look too baggy in the legs now.

I must say that studying the photographs gives me a good angle for self criticism.

Next blog will see the finished jacket I'm working on.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Purple Fleece Hoodie

I made a fleece hoodie a few weeks ago but only managed to get round to photographing it this morning so here are the photos.
 I made the hood so that it didn't fall over my head and into my eyes as the first one I made had done. I wanted more of a 'Scottish Widow Cloak Type Hood look' if you know what I mean?
 I purchased the fleece from a market stall and these were 2 ends of roll. There wasn't enough to make one so the two-tone design was more a matter of having no choice but actually I think it works well enough.
 This was also my first attempt at putting in an open ended zip. I realise I should have bought a longer one but the bit at the bottom was an afterthought to balance the design better and I had already ordered the zip. It was also my first attempt at Kangaroo pockets and these were a lot easier than I thought. The trick was to get them evenly placed.
At least it's cosy and warm and will be useful as Summer turns to Autumn. I'm thinking of buying an electric bike so this will be a good garment for that as it weighs very little but will certainly keep out the wind.

I have more photos of me wearing the peplum blouse in my previous post and will have more of the brown jacket that is nearing completion.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Peplum Blouse

It's been awhile since my last blog and I have been busy sewing but I seem to read other blogs more than write my own so I really am trying to get down to do it more often. Apart from anything else it's a great way for me to store all my projects.

The pictures below show a peplum blouse based on Burda Pattern 110 from Sept 2014 issue. The pattern shows three variations with detachable cuffs and collar but I have decided to sew them on permanently. I added some thin elastic to the inside seam where the bodice meets the peplum and added the belt as you see.
I could also wear this tucked into a pair of white jeans with the belt through the jeans loops...
I had the floral fabric in my stash which I acquired some time ago and the teal was left over from another project. I bought the belt for 50p from a boot fair so this was a really inexpensive project that had me pushing my very amateur skills up a notch. The belt was a first for me but I'd definitely do it again as I think it brought the whole thing together. I will try to get some photos of me wearing it as it looks better on me than Dolly Model.

The next project to test my skills is a lined jacket using a basic idea from Wendy Mullins book of Coats and Jackets. I will report back when I've got stuck in.