Tuesday, 1 September 2015

MAGAM September

The theme this month is Snoop Sewing

And snoop sewing means.....too snoop around in stores and find some inspiration to copy.
As luck would have it, early this spring I broke my RTW fast and bought a crazy patchy sweater that I just loved. I rationalized the purchase because I told myself it would be almost the same price as buying a pattern and making it myself. The sweater was 35$ and the last Vogue pattern that I bought- not on sale was, 35$.
This is the sweater. It may not look like much on the hanger but I think it's very cool and interesting with all the different fabrics and textures mixed together. All the seaming is serged on the outside.
The first day I wore it to work, one of my co-workers asked me if I paid 200$ for it. Apparently she had just seen it in a little boutique for that price!
This summer I visited a girlfriend in Calgary. I haven't seen in over 10 years as she has been living out of the country. As the evening chilled off she slipped on this little number and I thought to myself- why was she in my suitcase? Then I realized I hadn't brought my sweater with me - She owned the very same one! We had a good laugh.
It's nice to know I'm not the only one with different taste.
My process began with collecting odd bits and remnants of fabrics. No holes barred, I'll collect from any where. The black crushed velvet is from Value Village- 2 meters for 2.99. There is a lace and sequined top that never quite fit me right...
And a mixi skirt from the Sally Ann. The rest were scraps from previous projects.
Next, I merged together a few sweater patterns to come up with one I liked, similar to the inspiration piece but different enough that it's not a direct copy.
The original had some curves and organic lines in it but I opted for a straighter linear look.
I marked them with numbers,hash lines and very loose grain lines to help with cutting out and construction order.


This is what that all looked like.


Then I cut my pattern up into little pieces. It's a good thing I took pictures before I cut it up. I had to refer to them more then once!


I added 1/4 inch seam allowences as I went.


All the horizontal pieces were seamed first, then the vertical ones- just like in quilting. Things got a little hairy a few times but fortunately there was no seam ripping involved.


This is it before sleeves. It doesn't look like much I know!!!


Testing it out on the dolly lama.
Finally finished .... doing a little happy dance in the back alley!

From start to finish this probably only took me 4 hrs total to make. I used 8 different fabrics, putting a nice dent in the scrap box, and I upcycled 2 previously used garments!

I wore it to work the next day and and got many compliments, starting with the lady at the coffee shop and the gas station woman and Kathleen who works up stairs. My boss does not want me to shorten the sleeves because she likes to get my cast offs when I'm tired of them and she has long arms. My hubby has christened this my "witchy sweater"

Thanks for stopping by!






Friday, 22 May 2015

More Burda skinnys.

Oops, I did it again! 6855 Burda.

I'm just loving this pattern! This is my fourth pair.

The print is a little wild, so my details get lost in it, but all the same I love this cotton twill with a wee bit of stretch. Just picked it up at Fabricana Imports.

White top stitching thread would have shown off the details better but my butt did not want all that attention. All the details are there - in black ,and this time I added rivets to the stress points with my Prym snap tool that I never shut up about!

This season I am having serious wardrobe issues. All my tops last summer were patterned and nothing goes with all the printed bottoms I've been making this year. Anyone else having this problem?

Thanks for stopping by.


Alabama Chanin Corset Top

A little slow stitching for me this weekend!
This is my first attempt with AC's Corset top. I use two men's medium sized t shirts I collected from the thrift store.
It turned out well and I really enjoyed making it while I sat outside enjoying the sunshine. But I have to say it's a bit racy for me and I will only wear it at home. I did a Google search and found that this looks really good on less busty women.
I learned a few things on this project I will regard for my next one.
I will make alterations so it fits better! The neckline was way too low and a bit wide through the shoulders. I threaded elastic through the neck and arms to bring it closer to the body. Once again I need to make Muslins!!!
The fabric was very thin so it offers zero support. Next time I will use a heavier knit or use a double thickness.
I needed to add a 3" flounce to accommodate my muffin top. I really like the addition. It's very feminine.
Last but not least , I will use a thimble!!!!!!! When I've joked in prior posts about sewing till my fingers were bleeding-I wasn't kidding. It's starting to heal but man that little sucker hurts like the dickens. I can't blame my injuries solely on this project. I have been diligently working on my AC style 4 panel skirt as well.

I call it AC style because it's her technique but my own designs.

I have yet to finish it, but it will be ready to wear this summer.
It started off quite organic. Just paint and reverse appliqué.
Then I decided to make it more of a sampler.

Experimenting with different styles of her work.
Then the beading happened.
And you know, now I just can't stop.
It's become one of those things when more is just not enough- does that make sense?
I need to let my pointer heal up a bit more and then I'll get back in the saddle again- because I can't wait to wear it.

Thanks for stopping by.

Your comments are welcomed.


Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Making Jeans- My way. Part 2

I know in my last post I was all about my boot cut , dark denim jeans and now I'm making skinnys??? What? I'm still on my quest to make a great fitting pair of pants that I can just whip up in a day or two. I figure if I can morph together all the things I love from these pant experiences into one pattern, at the end of it all I will have my go to TNT!
Enter Burda 6855!!!!!


These are the first pair of pants I have ever made that I did not have to alter- at all!! Okay- maybe the length. It's like they were custom made for me.


I'm a happy little sewer. If you kiss enough frogs your Prince will appear. Right?
This is pair #2. I made them with a light weight polyester stretch twill. It's not the kind of fabric I would normally buy but I just loved the print. It went from shopping bag to cutting table within minutes of purchase.That almost never happens!
I thought the poly might not work. I was wrong. It could be mistaken for denim.
This pattern went together just beautifully. It was so much easier to sew with then the heavy denim, and I could still use all the jeans style topstitching details - or not.

This pattern has a shaped waistband so there was no gaping at the back.

I have a feeling these fit me so well because they are a "young" size which translates to old school Misses size. I'm not small enough for petite size and most average woman's are too big so I'm thinking it's almost a 1/2 size- like a size 9. I'm curious to know where all the half sizes have gone!!! It must be a manufacturing cut back of some sort. Trying to find shoes with 1/2 sizes is getting harder and harder these days too.

Oops, I fibbed, one other thing I changed was to make the back pockets a 1/4 inch larger all the way round.

I opted not to put belt loops on so it would present a flatter face when I wear them with form fitting t-shirts.

I used Mettler topstitching thread and had a few issues. It kept shredding when I went through a few thicknesses of fabric. I was using a new Jean topstitching needle too so I'm thinking maybe it just didn't like the polyester?? Any Ideas?

The only thing I didn't love about this pattern is the fact that it does not have a back yoke, which would give them a true blue jean styling. I'm hoping as I gain proficiency at drafting or grafting I will be able to frankenpattern my own yoke. In the mean time I can live with the back darts.

I have also learned how to fashion a non stretch panel, or front facing that acts as a tummy suppressor, I have used it with these. It is especially nice to use this technique with light weight fabrics as it gives body and camouflages my body at the same time;)

This is my first pair. They also fit great but they SHRUNK. Yes- I pre washed. But next time I may have to pre wash 2 or 3 times.
I have to do a few deep knee bends when I first put them on ....... I'll just have to wear a tunic with them!
For topstitching thread I used Güttermann this time and it did not shred. It seems to have a tighter twist to it. This will now be my go to brand.

For a little added custom detail, I used 2 strands and did some cross stitch - by hand - on the belt loops. I really like how it turned out. I thought it needed something because of the absent yoke.

Here on the bum the pockets look like 2 bullseye targets. Another reason to wear them with tunics!! I have been doing a little research on back pockets. There is quite a science to them. Above all you want to avoid the dreaded "mom bum". This is a is something I will be studying further as I have a flat bottom and I get the mom bum look automatically. In the meantime I find myself checking out other women's tushes and back pockets- kinda weird, LOL!! Strictly research. I'd rather learn how to make perfect back pockets then take up the Brazillian Butt workout any day.

Thanks for stopping by:)