Monday, 30 November 2015

Milano for the Mama!

So a few months ago - I nabbed myself some dreamy navy cashmere blend wool coating, and a very fun white and fuschia spot crepe for a lining. I had envisigned a Milano Cape by papercut patterns, I needed it! I wanted to be a superhero dammit!! When I told my lovely mother of these plans, she pondered it for about three seconds, looked at the pattern and then demanded one too. What can I say... we all wanted to be a superhero...

I haven't sewn mine up as yet, but thought I better get a wriggle on with sewing up mum's, mainly due to mum finishing my beautiful crochet quilt (it's only taken 3 years, thanks mum), and I thought I better have a little something to contribute to the gift exchange..

Also - I am well aware that tomorrow marks the first day of Australian SUMMER and I am blogging a winter cape.. It was finished a little while ago, but nabbing photo's was tricky! So thanks mum for donning your winter cape on a 30 degree day!

My lovely crochet blanket!

The pattern in the Milano Cape from papercut patterns. I have no complaints about the construction of the cape, it was well laid out and quite simple! I did however, not fancy a winter cape without a lining fabric.. And a lining the pattern does not have! I googled. And then googled some more.. and couldn't find a tutorial on drafting a lining for the cape - So I used the principals from Lladybirds little spiel on drafting a lining for her Rigel Bomber (also by papercut).. and just kind of.. fudged it. 

I used a super lovely floral silk to line mum's cape in, which contrasts really nicely with the bottle green cashmere wool blend outer. I found all the essentials at my old haunt - Eliza's in Sunshine. She seriously has some lovely little bits. Or nothing. Some days there is literally crap in there - like nanna floral chiffon and dance fabrics... other days, she delivers these! In winter the coating supplies are pretty excellent!

Now, back to my lining drafting experience. This was my first time, and I basically used a little bit of maths, a little bit of tracing, and then prayed and cut... I had a similar experience to Amanda over at Bimble and Pimble and had some excess fabric in places (maths fail), however, I was able to pleat this in which is now definitely a design feature! And the lining fabric is VERY BUSY, so the teeny tiny pleats are well hidden, I had to point them out to mum, she wasn't too concerned. I used a litle V pleat at the neckline, mainly because all my RTW coats have this little vent feature, and it looks kind of neat, even if it isn't neccesarily a funcitonal feature for the coat.

The other win was my first attempt at welt pockets. And this SHIT IT THE BEST. Such a professional looking finish.. I did have a bit of trouble with them, and one may be in upside down... I ummed, and ahhh'd about what to do about it (it also took me a ridiculously long time to realise one was upside down) and after trying to fix it for a while, I just left it as is.. not my proudest moment, but it's happened now.. Ooops.

Overall, I am very happy with the cape. Very happy with the lining. So is mum! So that's always a win. It took longer to prep all the pieces, fusing etc, and to draft the lining than to sew up the cape! I would guess that there is about 10 hours of prep + sewing time. Plus another 1-2 hours on the button holes, the fabric was a little thick for my machine to handle, so took a few attempts (and some swearing and wine)

The little bits:
Fabric: Wool/Cashmere blend coating, floral silk for the lining ($35, $25)
Notions: six buttons, thread ($7-)
Pattern: Papercut patterns: Milano Coat.
Size: M
Total Cost: $67 (excluding pattern at $22-).

See also: Amanda, oneslook

Thanks Heli for being a gem and posing for some shots. Stay tuned for my version next winter!


Monday, 9 November 2015

TwoPieceSetacular - Spring Racing Carnival

"(two piece) Setacular, (two piece) Setacular 
No words in the vernacular 
Can't describe this great event 
You'll be dumb with wonderment 
Returns are fixed at ten percent 
You must agree, that's excellent 
And on top of your fee" - Mouline Rouge. 
I feel this song is definitely about Ada Spragg (Sophie) two piece setacular challenge!

Show tunes aside. I am ridiculously happy with this make. Pause for a moment to appreciate that I am over a year late to the party, but to be fair I have been planning this two piece set since March this year. But as I didn't have a real reason to sew it, the pretty fabric just sat there waiting for it's time to shine. Enter Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival 2015. I am not going to touch on the debate here about horse racing. But I definitely understand why it is a big no no for some people. I thoroughly enjoy the fashions, and watching what others are wearing on the day - also a special mention to the cup day fashions on the field winner in her home made dress. Her fabric was a Tessuti purchase!

The set was ridiculously easy to sew, and CHEAP. It was actually one of those sews that turned out EXACTLY AS I PLANNED IN MY HEAD. That shit never happens. I am appreciating the marvel of this sew. I knew I wanted some kind of boxy crop with a more fitted skirt. initially I had been thinking of cropping the scout and having little sleeves, potentially a ruffled hem... but then I remembered the lovely cropped version on Workroom Socials page and knew that was what I wanted. I missed out on nabbing a copy of the Charlotte Skirt before production of BHL paper patterns stopped, luckily she is available in PDF. I wasn't sure if this pattern was going to be one that would work for me, so my lovely friend allowed me to try hers and I traced it quickly a few months back.

The Charlotte skirt is a beautiful pattern, very easy to sew and very easy to fit! It has 8 darts around the top of the skirt to create shaping, and then is pegged in towards the knee's. This pattern is drafted for those ladies like me who are sporting a badoonkadoonk. Yep. Junk in the trunk. Hello hippy heaven! Previously I have avoided pencil skirts like the plague, BHL ladies you have opened up a new world for me. Am planning a leather look version right now!

Back to the set. After completing the darts, I popped in an invisible zipper (with my new invisible zipper foot. LIFE CHANGED). This happened twice. The first time my brain malfunctioned and I put the zipper in at the legs end... this was naturally the most perfectly inserted beautiful invisible zipper of my life. Seam ripper action, swearing, zip inserted into correct end, then it was fitting time. I put the skirt on inside out, and then had some lovely friends to assist me by pinning the excess down the side seams of the skirt, playing with the amount of peg at the knee's until we were all happy with the effect. I roughly transfered these markings to my traced paper pattern, but I feel with a pencil skirt, it will always take some fitting to get the right fit for each type of fabric I use. I made a little kick pleat at the back of the skirt and am cursing myself for not getting a photo of the pretty topstitching I did there. After that it was simply sewing down my new seam line, finishing my seams and popping on the waistband. I hand sewed down the waistband for a clean and professional finish and closed the skirt waist band with a bar closure. I really like the overlapped tab drafted for the charlotte. It meant I didn't have to be as pedantic about fitting the waistband.

The top was a cropped version of the Workroom Social Tate Top. I have made this number before - see. This time I went for the cropped version. I also added a little detail of a back cut out instead of using a zipper. It wasn't a particularly professional process. I decided I wanted a cut out. So I cut one out, and then I used bias tape to close it up. The inside of the top looks very clean as I used the bias tape on the cutout, arm holes, neck line and hemline keeping the insides streamlined and uniform. The bias tape is a vintage liberty bias tape I found on etsy a few months ago. I only have a little left of this navy, but I also have a yellow and white gingham vintage one sitting there I am planning on using on my Adler dress I cut out yesterday.

The fabric is a pretty little find I stumbled across at Eliza's fabric warehouse in Sunshine. This shop was located around the corner from my old work, so half my stash is made up with fabric I have stumbled across in my lunch break. It is a cotton sateen with enough stretch to work with the charlotte pattern. I didn't line the skirt, due to time.

The important bits:
Patterns: BHL Charlotte Skirt, Workroom Social's Tate Top (borrowed and free pattern = $0-)
Fabric: Eliza's Fabric Warehouse - floral cotton sateen $7pm. $14-. (It is ridiculously wide this fabric)
Notions: Zip & Bar closure ($1.50) Also from Eliza's. Thread from stash.
Total Cost: $15.50
Other bits: Shoes - wittner. Fascinator: target. 

And some more candid shots from race day. 


Sunday, 1 November 2015

Screw cake - i'm sewing frosting!

After spending most of my winter making cake - aka basics - lots of knit dresses, jumpers and tops, it is time to sew FROSTING.

Now - I am sewing frosting for a purpose - 1. everyone needs a red skirt in their wardrobe. Preferably eyelet. 2. Midi's are definitely in at the moment. And 3. I had to use Megan Nielsens brumby pattern that has been giving me the evil eye from the front of the pattern stash for a while.

IT WAS SUCH AN EASY SEW. But I took my time and sewed the shit out of this skirt. The fabric is a dreamy red cotton eyelet that I picked up in the fabric store in September, with this specific project in mind. I took my time, and used a lovely light red silk as a lining fabric - which is where things got a bit tricky. I wanted to use horse hair braid in the hem, but also wanted to have the eyelet raw at the bottom for the scalloped edge. I decided to stitch the horsehair braid to the silk lining instead of the eyelet fabric.

I used an invisible zip, which was a bit tricky with the eyelet fabric, but it works. I then stitched in the ditch to enclose the waistband tidying up the insides of the skirt. All raw edges are hidden behind the gorgeous silk which makes it look gorgeous on the inside as well as the outside.

Wanting the raw scalloped edge meant I wouldn't be able to baste the silk to the eyelet and treat them as one fabric. But I also didn't want yucky seams poking through the eyelet holes.  I was scratching my head about the best ways to go about this, and eventually had no choice but to go with the french seams as I didn't have enough of the silk to make bias binding either. So it was decided: french seams on both the eyelet and the silk, which turned out beautifully in the end.

The only changes I made to the pattern was to omit the pockets. Again, it was an eyelet pokey outy seams issue. When tracing I just continued the edge lines until they met. It was a gathered skirt so i wasn't too worried about losing size, as it would be hidden in the gathers. I also took the L size in about 2cm on the waistband. It is a bit droopy at the top and might need to be taken in again a bit further.

All up, it was lovely to sew up. I have more plans for bumby skirts. Definitely with the gorgeous pockets on my next one, potentially in a chambray... Definitely a pattern that can become at TNT stash pattern, and easily versatile for more casual wear, or made in frosting fabric like this!

More frosting is planned for my sewing table with a floral two piece set-acular planned for Melbourne Spring Racing carnival! I am not a fan of horse racing in the slightest, but I am a huge fan of the fashions, fascinators and styles it produces! So much sewing inspiration!

This number got it's first spin out for wear last night to celebrate a lovely friends engagement party. Congratulations Gaz & Rhi! A wonderful evening for a wonderful occasion. 

The deets!
Pattern: Megan Neilsen - Brumby pattern
Size: Between a M-L.
Fabric: 2m of red cotton eyelet - the fabric store & 2m of silk from Eliza's Fabrics.
Notions: Invisible Zip & horsehair braid
Other Bits: Shoes - wittner & top - portmans.
Cost: pattern: $18, fabric & notions $55. Total: $63-

Is anyone else playing along for BPsewvember!