T-shirt Dress

Early last summer I got fixated on t-shirt dresses.  So I made one.  I only wore it once before it was way too hot to contemplate wearing again until the weather cooled down.  Which would be now.

I extended my t-shirt pattern down from the hips and lengthened the sleeves a little.  Looking at these photos, I should probably widen the shoulders of this pattern a little.

I put a seam down the CB, so that I could shape it in at the waist a little.  Then, whilst I was cutting, I made a last minute decision to add some width at the CB below the waist to accommodate my butt. Lucky I did, as it is looking a little snug back there.

This fabric is a cotton lycra knit from EmmaOneSock.  Do you remember how I used the leftovers?  I like this dress, but this is another one of those fabrics where the leftovers end up getting way more wear than the original garment.


Swimwear 2016

It is only 2 weeks off swimming sign-up, and I have ordered a heap of funkifabrics ready to make the kids new swimmers...and I haven't even blogged last year's makes.  Here we go...

I made this first pair to go on a beach holiday.  I love the fabric, which I got from Tessuti, and originally wanted to make a more elaborate design that I was trying to design / muslin.  But it was the day before the holiday, I was trying to get the kids to pack and help sort out the house, and there may have been shouting.   I decided to cut my losses and go with this simple halter design, that I originally got from Stuart's patternschool site. 

I left the fabric of the neckband raw, as halter necks tend to give me headaches, and this seems to reduce that.  A bit softer on the neck.  I used a picot elastic for the neck edge.

This next pair looks great, at 6 in the morning, but as the day goes on and my tummy swells up, the little diamonds do some sort of distortion thing and it doesn't look so good.  I should have put a ruched panel on the front.  The fabric is from my stash, but was originally marked Anna & Boy from the Fabric Store.  The pattern is Jalie 3350 .  I like the twisty bit and will make this again.

I made this next pair to swim laps in.  The idea is to do laps once a week, but in reality, it is the first thing I drop when I get tired or busy.  The fabric is from Funki fabrics.  The pattern could be my own, or adapted from a Jalie, I can't remember.  The kids took a photo of me wearing these at a rockpool one day, and it was less than flattering.  Probably should not wear bikinis in public.  There weren't many people there and usually there are only 2 or 3 people at the pool when I do my laps.

The next two pairs were for my son.  The fabric is from Funkifabrics and the pattern is my man-i-fied version of Jalie 2563.

This next pair was for my daughter.   It was adapted from OOP Jalie 2564 to have a higher neckline, which seems to be the current fashion.  I made another pair in donut fabric for her cousin, which she wore out, so then I made a second donut pair, but I don't seem to have any photos.  A daughter of a friend in the swim squad liked these city scape ones, so I made her a pair in the left over fabric.

We love the new prints from Funkifabrics and are all set to make the next round!!


Named Inari Tee

I bought this fabric the moment I saw it, because I thought it would pair so nicely with my peach jeans.  Which it does, but it was warm the day I sewed this up and I was wearing these shorts.  The fabric is from Miss Matatabi, and is a rayon, cotton, wool blend..

The pattern is the Inari Tee, lengthened by 15 cm.  I had read quite a few comments about the restrictiveness of the sleeves, but I decided that this first time, I would make the pattern up as-is. I go through phases of making muslins, but at the moment, I am in a not-making-muslin phase.  I did make a forward shoulder adjustment, as you might be able to see as the pink penciled line in the photo below, which worked out quite well. I took some off the back of the sleeve and added some to the front.  The sleeves are restrictive, as you can see by the wrinkles in them, but this fabric has a bit of give, so it works out okay.  I will change them for next time.

My daughter used the scraps to sew up Jalie 3352 - a dolman sleeved top.  Actually, she finished hers before I finished mine, because I had to stop and cook dinner.  This is her third Jalie 3352 top, so I should do a post on those soon.


Stylearc Amber Woven Top in Guipure Lace

This is my entry into the sewing with lace competition over at PR.

Really, I'm not sure why I even bought the lace.  I'm not a lace sort of person.  I guess I just like trying out new sewing techniques.  Perhaps that is why I have a wardrobe full of clothes I never wear :)

Well, there were a bunch of new techniques for this.  Here are some notes from my entry.

Cutting out.

- I traced my pattern in full, without seam allowances.
- I placed the pattern on my lace to best use the lace pattern. I decided to use the finished edges as the hem of the top. My lace had two finished edges, but they were not the same design. I did not have enough of the lace to lay both the fronts and backs on the one edge, so the hem design changes from front to back. I would have liked to have had symmetrical motifs on each side of the centre front strip, but my lace did not lend itself to this feature. This is my first time working with guipure lace, and I did not think of these things before I bought it. 
- I hand basted my seam lines
- I cut around the basting, to the nearest motif. Where possible, I avoided cutting through motifs

Darts and seams - floral lace to floral lace
- I lay the basted seam lines on top of each other, and then decided whether to use the motifs from the underneath panel or the upper panel, changing as required, up the length of the seam. I cut away the motifs I decided to discard
- I pinned the seam to tear-away paper
- I stitched the underneath and upper motifs together, using my sewing machine, with a zig-zag stitch of 2.5 width and 0.5 length
- I pulled away the tear-away and trimmed the motifs from the wrong side
- where required, I filled in any gaps with a small motif, again using tear-away to stabilise the lace during stitching

Seams - floral lace to mesh lace
- again, I lay the basted floral seam on top of the basted mesh seam on top of tear-away paper
- I think it would have been too difficult to zig zag around the floral motifs to attach them to the mesh lace
- instead, I put my free motion foot on my machine and stitched around the floral motifs with small stitches

Seams and darts - mesh lace to mesh lace
- I sewed the should darts as regular seams, using tear-away to stabilise the seam as I sewed it.
- For the sleeve seams I experimented with different fagoting stitches on my machine, but none of them worked as well as I hoped. Instead, I lay one strip of the mesh dots on top of another strip of mesh dots and sewed a straight stitch in a line down the middle of the dots. Again, the seam was backed with tear-away for the stitching.

Lace to denim
- sewed as a regular seam

The neckline edge was finished with a double fold bias strip made from a silk charmeuse that I dyed to match.

The hems of the sleeves and top were left as the finished edge of the lace.

This was my first time working with lace and I enjoyed it. I find the lace a bit scratchy to wear, and I don't normally wear such frou-frou garments, but it's always good to try something new. I'd like to have it as a wear-often garment, rather than as a save-for-special occasion, so I will start by wearing it to book club this week! I want to try it with different coloured camisoles and see what works with the lace best.  I have a nude camisole under it for the photos...that is not my skin!  The nude one does look a bit weird around my bra.  I think a pink one would dull the lace.  Maybe black? White? As always, photos around here are taken in a hurry, so I went with the first option.

The pattern used was the Stylearc Amber Woven Top.  This is the third time I have made up this pattern, and each top looks very different.  You can see my cotton version and silk version in earlier blog posts.

The lace is from EmmaOneSock.  (The little circle mesh lace is still available in pink and blue, and there is a black version of the floral lace).


Funny Fabric Story

I heard this story on the radio yesterday - made me laugh!  I thought you fabric lovers may appreciate the link.

I went to the fabric store she is referring to.  It was over twenty years ago.  I didn't have such a fabric obsession then (I didn't have much of anything, to be honest.  Very low on funds).  I didn't even have a stash.  Not one piece.  For some reason, my boyfriend and I decided to make everyone hats for Christmas.  One day, when we were wandering through the city, we saw this dusty little shop with all these rolls of fabric, on the floor, filling up the corners.  I remember buying a purple wool with a white check stripe running through it.  I just spoke to that boyfriend about it (he still lives with me!) and he doesn't remember it at all.  I've often wondered if the shop was still there and why I never heard about it, but it sounds like it must be gone.