Bookweek 2015

We've had a few years without a bookweek parade.  Back into the swing of it this year and probably only one more year to go.  Without further ado, I present to you

1.  Moonface

2.  Geronimo Stilton

Moonface's vest was made from a Burda pattern I traced off years ago.  Don't know the magazine or pattern number, sorry.  His bow tie was made by his sister.

Geronimo Stilton's jacket was a quick make from Burda Boy's Classic Button-Up Blazer 02/2015 #142  So quick that I didn't get the pockets on or buttons in the sleeve vents.  Wonder if I should bother doing that after the event??  I didn't line the jacket.  I am not that familiar with sewing jackets and when I went to look up some instructions in my sewing books for how to do the collar and lapels, I realised that there was no way I could absorb that information and do it properly in my very short time frame, so it really is a bodge job. It fits pretty well.  The fabric is a cotton chamois that was an internet purchasing mistake back in 2007.  I am pleased to be finally rid of it from my stash.

Geronimo made his own tie.

Geronimo's mask was a lot of fun.  I downloaded the pattern for a fox mask from Wintercroft and we  didn't stick the ears down to make it a bit more Geronimo-like.

(ears falling forward to fox mode for this photo)

In this age, when we are always looking for free stuff on the web, these masks are fully worth the asking price.  They are seriously cool.  I'm trying to think of an occasion where I could wear a mask, just so I can make one for myself.  Perhaps I am thinking of it all wrong and shouldn't be looking for an occasion.  Perhaps I could get about in a unicorn mask in my everyday?


Inadvertent Cocktail Waitress Dress

This is the V-necked dress I drafted as part of the Craftsy course "Creative Necklines" with Suzy Furrer".  I am slowly making my way through the drafts in the course.  I want to make the patterns up for real, not just in muslin, and I had the idea that I could do this from my stash.  Initially I paired this eyelet with a textured blue fabric for the skirt, but at the last minute, I decided the blue would get greater wear as the shorts for which it was originally intended, so switched it out for a black sateen remnant.  Once completed, I could see that the pairing is not so great, with the eyelet being day wear and the black not so much and so I have ended up with a cocktail waitress looking dress, which will probably be relegated to the dress-up box.

I made a little peplum thingy.  The eyelet is lined with cotton batiste.

 It was a bit tricky deciding how to construct the dress. Black zip or white zip?  Lining or interlining of the eyelet?  How to work the zip with the peplum?  I went with an invisible zip in the side, so that it would be less obvious if it wasn't completely invisible.  I really need to get a stash of regular zips so that I can do lapped zips.  I don't think it turned out too badly.

I am reasonalby happy with the fit in the bodice I am not super happy with the fit of the skirt on my dress block.  It is a bit poochy at the front hips and pulls on the buttocks.  I guess there is only so much shaping that can be achieved with a single dart front and back.

I really need to go back to my block and adjust the back length, as it is a bit long on all my dresses.  The frustrations of making that block has left me a little scarred though, so I am hesitant to go back and fix it.  Also, I think I really need a bit more ease in the waist, even though I added the recommended amount to the initial moulage.  I have another dress made on this block and another cut out, but then, I should perhaps review my block.


Craftsy square neck dress

I am making my way through the dresses in Suzy Furrer's craftsy course "Patternmaking + design: creative necklines".  This is the fourth dress I have made - I haven't actually worn the second and third dresses yet and so have not got around to photographing them yet.  This queue jumper is a fitted dress with a square neckline and an a-line skirt.

 I didn't actually muslin the skirt after I drafted it and it is not as sticky out a-line as I was expecting.  The dress also ended up a little closer fitting than I expected.  Theoretically, I have included about 4 cm of ease at the waist, bust and hips, but it doesn't feel like it.

The fabric is a cotton drill from Tessuti.  I wish I had cut it so that less of the green colour was near my face, but I wasn't really thinking about it when I was cutting.

This drafting exercise was about drafting a neckline with corners...I think I have hit my corners pretty sharply!  I don't have a necklace that works very well with this neckline though.


The back neckline also has corners.  I got carried away and added corners to the back armhole as well.  I used an invisible zip.  I would have preferred a lapped zipper for this design, but I didn't have a normal zipper the right colour and length and I don't have good quality zips available to me locally.  I recently bought a new sewing machine (more on that in a later post) and the invisible zip foot that came with it works pretty well, which I am happy about.

 Now that I have made 4 dresses as part of the course, as well as a Burda dress that I also have not shown you, and an emergency dress for my daughter, I am getting quicker at making dresses.  For this one, I drafted the bodice and made up a muslin in one short "school day"  and drafted the skirt, cut out and sewed the dress on a second "school day".  Admittedly, it is not a complicated dress.  I am trying to put aside one school day a week to work on the drafting course, which should equate to drafting and sewing a pattern every 2 weeks.  However, family stuff gets in the way and there are always other things to do on my drafting day...looking back, it has taken 16 weeks to make the last 3 dresses instead of the planned 6 weeks.  Still, I am excited that I can finally make fitted dresses that do fit....feels like I have achieved a very big item on my sewing bucket list...one that I was worried would forever elude me.

Do you have a sewing bucket list?  For the big stuff, not the every season want-to-sew stuff?  What's on your list?


Jersey Layers

I got my daughter to take a quick snap when I realised that two of the garments in my outfit today are not-quite-recent unblogged makes.

The top is Tessuti's Mandy boat tee, made up in a silk jersey.  I made a slight modification by adding side splits and cutting a hi-low hem.  Possibly I made adjustments to the length also.

The bottoms are a shorter version of this track pants pattern mash-up, made up in a rayon jersey.  I wish I had made the elastic a smidge tighter as they have a tendency to slip down when I am wearing them.

The tank top was previously reviewed here.  It hasn't worked its way into my wardrobe too much, so I was pleased to incorporate it into an outfit today.

My daughter made me the necklace from some shrinky dink plastic.


Funki Steeplechase leggings

This is my first time running in less than tropical conditions, so when Melissa posted about a sale at Funkifabrics a couple a weeks ago, I thought it was time to give them a try.  I bought a metre of FL0134 fracture purple printed titan and made it up into a full length pair of steeplechase leggings.

Melissa did a great review of funkifabrics technical fabrics, but the temperatures that she considers warm (15 - 17°C) are temperatures that I find cold.  Up until now, most of my running has been done at 25° to 32°C.  Once, I ran in Brisbane, at 12°C, and my ears hurt, my hands hurt and I wore 2 t-shirts.  Call me soft :)  So anyway, last weekend we had a cool moment of only 12°C when I started my weekly longer, slower run and seeing as I had made these leggings just the day before, it was perfect timing to test them out.

First up, I didn't know whether to wear my knee guard inside or outside of the leggings.  I have never worn full length leggings to run in, and I thought if I put it under, I would not be able to access it if I wanted to adjust it, but if I put it on the outside, it might slip around on the lycra.  I chose outside.  Big mistake.  Even when it was done up so tight it was cutting off my circulation, it still slipped down and I fussed with it the whole run.  I don't have to wear it.  My current physio is not convinced the braces help (her words...they are like "farting against thunder"), but I wasn't wearing it in the months leading up to my current need for physio, so I have decided to go back to it.  I am allergic to tape.

Apart from that, how did the fabric go?  Well, at the 1.5 km mark my legs started feeling warm.  Not enough to bother me, but enough for me to notice.  At the 5 - 6 km mark, I was running in the rising sun by the waterfront, and I would have happily swapped my leggings for a pair of shorts.  I ran 10 km in total, and whilst I was "warm", it wasn't like that feeling when I wear synthetic clothing and I start to sweat and prickle and get irritated.  10 minutes after I stopped running, I went in search of a jumper as the day was still cold.  When I took off my knee brace, the area under the brace was wet, which means that the fabric must have been wicking moisture away from everywhere else, the brace just stopped the water escaping.

I did buy this same fabric in another print, but I think I will use it for a capri version, to eliminate the knee brace issue.  I have taken up cycling, on the recommendation of my physio, so might save these full length ones for that (and hello...duathlons and surf-to-summit...nothing like needing to sew new clothes for a new hobby!)

Now, some notes about the pattern, as a record for next time.
- I started with my test version of the pattern, as it was already cut out
- I shortened the upper leg by 3cm.  This gave me the right length, but I should have checked that my marks for each side of the leg still matched up before I cut it out.  I didn't, and the pieces didn't match so I had to ease the legs together at the back.  This had made the back thigh area a bit loose, as you can see in the photo below (well, maybe you can't see, if you don't know where to look...the unusual seaming on this pattern combined with the graphic print might make it a tad hard to spot) .  For my own reference, I have corrected this on my pattern for next time.

- I lowered the front rise by 3 cm
- I used 4 cm wide elastic instead of 2 cm.  I have a long torso, so Melissa's pattern don't reach anywhere near my natural waist.  I don't know if it is my long torso, or the having had 3 babies thing, but I prefer to wear my pants under my belly.  The combination of lowered front rise and wider elastic put these in the perfect place for me.
- it is hard to stick the back pocket in the right place with the waistband this low...it runs into the yoke seam, so I left it off.

I did feel a bit self conscious running in such bright clothing, but my kids are fighting for the scraps!