Friday, 31 July 2015

MonStoriaDen: My Astoria/Linden/Moneta mash up...

After a trip down to Geelong in early July - I came back with a stash full of fabulous fabrics from Joy's Fabric Warehouse (FYI - I have also had some pretties delivered following a phone order).. All of which have now been sewn up - excluding some gorgeous white, navy and red light wool coating. My purse is still recovering after I nabbed the delicious wools, stretch cottons, rayon knits and other bits... But I did grab some grey and black softer than butter ponti. 

bottom L-R: Stretch bottom weight cotton (now a chardon skirt), navy/purple rayon knit (now a copelia cardigan), The offending striped ponti, Top L-R: quilting cotton, checked coating.

top: rayong knits (now copelia's and mandy boat tee's). Bottom: french terries Yellow is now an Astoria and the blue is a Linden - Stay tuned for posts on these babies!

Full disclosure. This dress is slightly more than inspired by the gorgeous Renay - over at The Long Winding Bobbin - she posted a shot on instragram of her own Astoria dress mash up  in this same striped ponti- and my poor fabric never had a chance to become anything else... 

feat. Zoidberg.

The mash-up comes about by popping in my favourite features of my current favourite sews. I have been loving the Astoria and Linden jumpers to death recently, and have been merging a few of my favourite features. This dress takes the mash up cake. The bodice and skirt are the Moneta. The sleeves and neckband are a feature from the Astoria, which smoosh in together perfectly with zero adjustments, and finally the cuffs from the Linden by Grainline. 

Windy As F.

The fabric is really soft under hand, and handled very easily. The whole make took me about 2 hours (or two episodes of misfits, netflixs why you ruin my life!?!?!) and this was including cutting time. I have knocked up a few of each of these patterns now (at last count, five moneta's, three lindens, and another five Asotria's). So I sometimes need to stop and make sure I am not rushing a quick make like this, BUT I JUST WANT TO WEAR IT THIS VERY SECOND - despite half finished hems.....

My most recent versions of the Astoria have the added cuffs. I was originally using the cuffs from papercut patterns copelia cardigan, however, have found them slightly too long and the Lindens a much smoother fit for the cropped sweater look. The ponti had just enough 4 way stretch to cut the cuffs off grain for contrasting stripes. That said, it took some muscle to pin and sew them down. I do like how they have finished up though. The cuff finish is also a bit nicer than just a turn of edge seam.

Cuffs from the Linden pattern.

The Astoria neckband piece stretched easily into place into the Moneta bodice pattern, which makes sense as I have a sneaking suspicion the Astoria is drafted from the same block. Colette had a tutorial on how to turn Moneta into a sweater which I pinned on pinterest before the pattern came out. And as i had never gotten around to actually following the tutorial, as is the way with anything that comes from pinterest, I was very happy to see the pattern released in Seamwork!
Neckband from the Astoria pattern.

After a wear out and about, the fabric has dipped a bit on the bias, so will need a bit of a trim and tidy up along the hemline, which I am hoping won't make my stripe matching look awkward....

spot the ginger fur ball...

For the first time ever I am LOVING winter sewing. I think this may have something to do with all the soft cosy knits being snug as fuck when they come out of the dryer after a pre wash and I just want to roll about in them. Cosy. Toasty. Warm. Melbourne Winter. Go Away. But seriously. Wintery snug sewing for the win.

It's business time...

Fabric: 2m of striped Ponti from Joys Fabric Warehouse in Geelong.

Pattern: Colette - Astoria & Moneta, Grainline Linden

Size: mash up between a L & M.

Alterations: Toooo many. Basically just stretching all the bits to smoosh them all to fit. I think I may have trimmed my sleeves to short in hindsight, they sit just on my wrist and I usually prefer them a bit longer.

Other bits: Belt, C/O Heli (thanks mum) and boots are Merchant and Mills.

See Also: Rach (also check out her awesome Astoria cropped cardi tutorial), Melissa, Cut Cut Sew.

Is anyone else relishing in wintery sewing or are we all ready to move into the spring frocks and light weight cottons and linens? xx

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Summery kimono's and blue suede shoes.. baby.

This piece was made for the sole purpose of wearing with my amazing blue suede boots I got made in Vietnam. For anyone travelling to Vietnam, more specifically Hoi An, I can recommend 09 Shoes and leather at 65 Tran Hung Dao StreetHoi An 0510Vietnam... I got four pairs made and they all looked fairly lovely - two for my sister and two for myself... As long as you are prepared to get them resoled when you return home after about a season or so of wear (it just keeps them looking lovely, and they stay well shaped)...

Anyway... Enough about amazing blue leather boots... More about this kimono. There isn't much to say that isn't covered in the tutorial I used to make it from - which can be found here. It was a really quick sew up - probably about an hour. Mainly due to me whipping the seams through the over locker instead of taking the time to french seam the thing. Being able to wear it the same afternoon was totally worth it though :)

The fabric is a spectacular silk crepe de chine remnant I picked up in 2013 in Malaysia - in the KL fabric markets. I have another 5 or six of these in different colourways floating around. This was the biggest piece, and also my favourite print, and I was able to eeek out the Kimono by adjusting my rectangle sizes to fit.
I won't cover the construction details, as it is quite easily laid out in the tutorial that I have linked too. But It was really simple. Next time I make this I think I will add a hem band around the neckline and sides so the finish a little bit more professional. Currently I have just completed a rolled hem, which looks OK, but is a little on the wonky side around the curved front.

I am fully aware that pretty floral prints like this belong in spring and summary makes - but it makes me very happy to don something this bright and pretty in the depths of winter! All in all.. a simple a fun make, which has been in high rotation, despite the chilly weather, since it has been made!

The Specs:

Pattern: Tutorial by Elle Aparrel - adjusted to fit my measurements.

Fabric: Silk Crepe De Chine remnant from Malaysia.

Time: from cutting to finished - an hour.

Cost: The remnant was $4- AUD and a free tutorial. So this number was a cheapy!

See also: Julia Bobbin

Sunday, 12 July 2015

A Wintry Chardon - a sad tale of some terrible fabric...

Many months ago, I stumbled across Anna's gorgeous version of the Chardon skirt by Deer and Doe. Of course, after spying this perfect little number I had to have myself one! It is a high waisted skirt featuring inverted box pleats, and has the option of a contrast hem and bow belt. I am boring and a copycat, so I made up view A.

I was hoping to find some mustard coloured twill or drill for the project, alas, no luck, until I stumbled across this fabric on Ebay for a ridiculous next to nothing amount, for five whopping meters. Aaaannnddd impulse purchase. Without knowing fibre content, weight, drape..... There wasn't a lot of detail there. Anyway... mystery fabric of unknown quality arrives, and is the perfect colour. But is a horrible fabric. Poly something or other that won't press, melting under even the slightest heat and looks all bubbly at the seams.... So I cut the skirt out, and let it sit there. Shaming myself for impulse purchasing five meters of horrendous fabric. This week I had my yellow thread in my overlocker, so pulled it out and figured I may as well sew her up! And treat it like a wearable toile process...

This is the finished result! Not quite what I was after, but still good to see the fit, and it will get a few rounds in the wardrobe this winter before it gets replaced. I have just purchased a heavy navy cotton to make another, perhaps slightly longer, version, with the hope that it will hold the pleats better.

Because the fabric was so tricky to press, it didn't hold the shape of the pleats at all. So it has warped into some kind of weird tulip skirt. It still looks ok - and obviously I just pretend that I meant for that to happen.... #cowboysewing. Some of the versions I have linked to at the bottom look fabulous with the pleats looking very schmick and well pressed and tight seams... The aversion to heat and ironing also meant my seams are kind of concave-y. (Yes. It's a word. Google it).

The pattern is very basic sew up - and ticks all the boxes being a skirt with pockets! I was really happy it was my first venture into deer and doe patterns... Halfway through the construction process I lost my english patterns, so the last few steps I used the images in the french instructions to fudge my way through... It's a skirt... It didn't seam too tricky!

I purchased the Belladone, the Reglisse, the Anemone skirt patterns with this order, and now also want to add the Bruyere shirt to the stash.... The packaging is pretty (hello pink!) and the pattern itself is printed on sturdy paper - much better for tracing... although I still cut straight into this one... (that shows how long ago I cut this out... before my tracing skills evolved!)

I used some pretty blue gingham for the bias binding hem, and using a contrasting thread (white) and bobbin colour (the mustard), a tip I picked up in the finlayson sweater sewalong, I was able to skip any hand stitching. This kept the sewing time to a minimum... It would have been even quicker if I didn't have to recut the front skirt panel. An iron burn print on your vajayjay isn't a good look...

I also used some leftover chambray for the facing. Contrasting facings are always a win! I did end up needing to topstitch it into place. I am unsure if this is because of the poly again, or the differing weight of the chambray.. either way, the top stitch sorted it out! It feels like secret sewing when you have pretty insides... Although it wasn't until after I finished those little touches that I felt it was a bit of a waste because the cheap poly hasn't been what I hoped!

The deets:

Size: 42

Fabric: HORRENDOUS mustard poly/twill blend sourced on Ebay... The remainder since passed on to a friend to use for her own toile making.

Cost: Fabric $15 for 5m (enough said), I used about 2 (more once I had to recut the front piece), so $7.50. Pattern $25. Threads and Notions: $ 5-
= $37.50

Alterations: I left off the belt loops because the fabric wouldn't press nicely, so they looked pretty average. Otherwise, sewed straight up out of the packet! I think I may use a slighter smaller seam allowance next time to give me a just a touch more room through the waist.

Otherbits: RTW boring bits. A sweet as circus brooch (from Modcloth) which I wear EVERDAY and with EVERYTHING. Because I can. And ankle boots from Merchant.

I have taken a barrage of blog photo's for the last few makes (moneta's, astorias, kimono's....) 

Consider yourself warned for the spam alert for the next few days/weeks...

Getting photo's of my makes is always the tricky part for me... any tips fellow sewing bloggers!?