Thursday, 17 October 2013

Vogue 8889 - Part Two

Well, it looks unlikely that Mr B's shirt will be ready for our anniversary (in five days' time). Fortunately for me he is very understanding about these things.
I have got the fabric, a Liberty Tana Lawn called Coward - I'm a bit sad about the name - was hoping for something a bit more romantic! 

I wasn't sure how much to get as no yardage is given for 135cm wide. So I settled on 2m in the end and it has all fitted in just fine. 

I'm not sure why the given pattern layouts say to cut most of the pieces separately (rather than in layers) I guess I'll find out if I should have done that later on!
Just out of interest I'm timing how long it takes to make this shirt. One hour 15 minutes so far. 
I had to shorten the sleeve by two inches. I was wondering if my husband had super short arms but when I checked against his shirts it turns out that this shortened length matches what's in his wardrobe.
"Maybe Vogue are designing for gorillas?" Said he.
By the way, I've written this on my phone. How amazing!

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Vogue 8889 - Part One

Time seems to have flown by recently - September is always a hectic month!
I've just 'finished' my trial version of Vogue 8889 for Mr B.

It will be our second wedding anniversary in under a month and I am making a shirt as my gift as we are going with cotton presents this year.  I'm not convinced it will be finished in time as I haven't picked any fabric yet.
I don't normally sew for other people, I'm totally selfish like that.  I think I made my sister a tissue holder once upon a time!
I had no idea of sizes for vogue shirts so I measured Mr B's chest, 36" exactly, and cut out a 36. My Daddy donated one of my Granny's old sheets that he had been keeping in the shed, no expense spared here!
The fit doesn't seem too bad except for the sleeve length but that's easily sorted.

It more the finishing that's the difficulty.  I've never done flat felled seams before and I found they aren't too hard apart from the one joining the sleeve to the body (must try harder next time) and the underarm one which was like sewing down a tunnel (is that really how you do it?).

And some how I sewed the placket for the cuff in the wrong place.  I don't know how.  I thought something was a bit strange when I attached the cuff but I wasn't too concerned.  Then when it was on it was clear it wasn't in the correct position.  I've even found the markings for the correct placement.  Really, I've no idea how that happened!

So all I need to is shorten the pattern piece for the sleeve (easy); pick some some fabric (hmm...); and sew the shirt (what could possibly go wrong?).
If I can master making a man's shirt I will be very proud of myself.  If...

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Dining Al Fresco Dress

I've finished Vogue 1353 just in time, Mr B and I are heading off on holiday on Tuesday! Progress has been slightly slowed by the hot weather.

I did a lot of tacking on this one, marking the pleats with tailor tacks, tacking the pleats and then there was decorative hem stitching to finish off.  I'm not normally a massive fan of hand sewing but I've found it quite satisfying.
I cut a size 8 at the top and graded out to a 10 waist and hips and it fits well (the shoulders are a tiny bit wide but I don't think it's that noticeable).  The bodice is actually quite short, I don't normally have any issues with length, and if I were to make it again I'd definitely lengthen it by a couple of inches.

I was a bit worried about the pleats coming so close to the zip but through a slight misfolding there is actually about a quarter of an inch between the pleat and the zip so no problems there.

I decided to follow the pattern and do the hem facing because 1) hemming is my least favourite bit and I thought it would make a change and 2) the fabric I used is really lightweight so the facing helps it hang better.  I'm pleased with the effect, my stitches may leave a little to be desired but it unless you are examining it in great detail you won't notice the unevenness.

Hopefully my mother will be pleased because the inside also looks neat!

Let's just hope the weather stays good!

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Explorer Skirt

I finished the skirt from Vogue 1357 last weekend but rather selfishly Mr B went off to Sorrento with his camera so I've been waiting to get pictures taken.
"I think you'd really like Capri" said Mr B.
I'm sure I would...
Anyway I'm calling this my explorer skirt because I've made it for our summer holiday, I think it will be practical and cool for wandering around new places in.
I've made it up in navy linen with a polycotton lining.

It made up really easily and the most amazing thing was that I cut out a straight size 12 and the waist fits perfectly.  The only slight issue was that somehow the lining was about an inch smaller than the outside so I've had to fiddle things about the zip a little to make it fit together - don't know how that happened at all.
The envelope doesn't give any fabric suggestions for the skirt, I'm glad I've used polycotton for the lining as the linen is very soft and it it needs a bit of body I think.
A couple more pictures below...

To make the hem of the front insert look in line with the rest of the front I had to curve it up significantly towards the centre.

It may just be my behind but the hem across the back seems to curve really nicely - it looks straight on the envelope.
I'll definitely make this skirt again - I'm toying with the idea of a contrast insert.
I've already cut out my next make, Vogue 1353, so hopefully more sewing soon!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Bye Bye Vertical Blinds

I totally dislike vertical blinds, sure they have their uses - like in my room at work, but not on the landing in our house!
So I've spent the last few evenings making a roman blind to turn the window from this...

(Its really hard taking good photos of windows, isn't it?)

To this...

The old person extra handrail has gone too - hoorah!
The blind has been made for under £40, half of that going on the fabric, which is called Twist from Clarke and Clarke, the full length of the blind is nearly 2m.  I've made it with blackout lining, the old blinds were useless at keeping light out and in the winter it will hopefully help keep the heat in.
Mr B was glad there was no drilling - the blind is attached by velcro at the top and the screws for the cleat went it by hand (I'm not sure that is a good thing though, wonder what is underneath the wallpaper?)
We won't be properly decorating the hall, stairs and landing for a while but this has made it much more homely.
And look at these guys...

50% off from Laura Ashley at the weekend - they light up!  I've had my eye on them for a while. 

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Vogue 1327

I've just finished making Vogue pattern 1327, its taken a little while because I am trying to improve my finishing!
This is what it looks like made by Vogue...


And this is what it looks like made by me...

Pretty similar don't you think?
The main feature is the twisted bodice and its worked out well despite me pinning and sewing the lining in and then trimming the seams before realising that the twist had come out before I'd pinned it - oops!  I managed to rectify but only just - this fabric frays as soon as you look at it, my house is covered with duck egg blue thread.
Here is a close up.

And this is what took me a little while on the inside.

The bias tape on the hem is making me really happy!
Mr B isn't sure whether I made enough bias tape...

... I may have gotten carried away.  Still plenty left for future makes!

And I can't resist a little moan about the pattern.
How can I be a size 6 bust and a size 14 hip?  Ridiculous! 
Pattern pieces overlapping on the tissue?  Annoying!
And what about these for pleat markings?

I don't know what is going on at the fold line. Somehow when I folded it all I had 8 pleats going one way and 5 in the other so I ended up gathering it in the middle instead.

I'm determined to have made something else by the end of June.  Definitely.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Simplicity Mash Up

Wow - April's nearly done!  My craft room is fully decorated so I'm sewing again, hooray!
Everything I've sewn recently seems to have been shiny or stretchy so I decided to make a quick top from some cotton fabric I've had for a while.
The top is a mash up of Simplicity 2599, which I made last summer, and 2253 which I made for a ball a couple of years ago. View A/B top base from 2599 and the shoulder ruffle from 2253.
Last time I made the top I found the bust dart to be a bit on the low side so I re-drew the front piece with it moved up about an inch and a half.  I was really pleased because I got the whole thing cut from a metre.

It was lovely to work with fabric that doesn't stretch or move so my finishing is a lot better than normal.

"Are those french seams in the sleeves?" says Mr B.
"Why, yes they are" says me.
Somebody's been watching Great British Sewing Bee!

The fabric is much nicer in real life than the photos show (the sun is not shining yet again), it has got gold thread through it.  I haven't permanently attached the ruffle because I'm not sure how it will stand up to washing and ironing.  I am totally into covered buttons at the moment so I put three on.
The bust darts are now in a much better position and there seems to be endless possibilities to vary the top so I'm already thinking about making it again...

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Snow Day

I promised myself that if I was given a snow day I would use it wisely and get back to my blog.  And here I am watching snowflakes falling like feathers from the comfort of my sofa.  Granted I've lost a 'ten pence and a kiss' bet with Mr B as to whether I'd be at work today and I do have to share my day with plasterers and the boiler man but its always better to be at home than at school.
I'm going to try and make 2013 a year when I do much more crafting - not least to justify the setting aside of a whole room for the purpose!
So I'm going to try to
  • Make at least one item of clothing a month (January already sorted, see below)
  • Make more separates including Trousers (capital T definitely needed).
  • Get ahead with card making (instead of a rush job after looking at the kitchen calendar and discovering birthdays looming)
  • Use as many languishing craft supplies up as possible (before buying more)
  • Blog more regularly (to record progress on the above)
These are very definitely not New Year's Resolutions more New Year's Intentions and terms and conditions apply.

My first make of 2013 is complete (I've not been sitting here doing nothing all of the time), a Very Easy Vogue dress 8825.  I'm feeling really smug about it after getting loads of nice comments at work (my vanity again makes me easily pleased) including one from a colleague who came to see me specially as she'd heard I was wearing a dress I'd made myself!

I bought the jersey fabric (John Kaldor cheap off of ebay) flushed with the success of Vogue 1287 and then got caught up in a whole host of other things to do.  I used the last days of the holidays to get it started and finished it last week.  I wasn't too sure about sizing but decided on an 8 top through to a (whisper it) 14 hip - could I be Festively Plump?!
It's not Very easy in my opinion, but not at all hard and the lovely long sash hides any imperfections (in both dress and body).

Here are some pictures of the dress and me modelling it - please excuse the poor lighting.

Cuffs could have been a bit tighter perhaps?  Nevertheless its worked out well, even if I do say so myself