12

Plaid Flannel Negroni

Hooray for Indie Patterns Month! Although actually this year there will be a two-month celebration, given that the annual Indie Pattern Month being run by The Monthly Stitch is in June, and the month organised by Mari from Seamster patterns is in May. It’s a busy month with Me-Made-May as well and this week is Selfish Sewing Week on Kollabora.

I kind of missed out on the selfish sewing week because (other than the bra) I only sewed for Mr. Guy this week.

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I’m quite a fan of checked flannel shirts, and have wanted to make him one for a while, inspired by “The New Zealand Legend”, the Swanndri. After I had such success with his first shirt, I decided to finally get around to making him one. I can call this one a success as well, he’s worn it almost every day since I made it!

ImageI used Lladybird’s tutorial when cutting out the fabric to ensure all the stripes matched. I thought I had made sure the sleeves matched as well but I’m thinking that the flatness of the sleevehead means you can’t match? I don’t know, it didn’t work anyway. But everywhere else – that is some MATCHING, ladies and gentlemen! I would like to point out the matching stripes at

  • The front
  • Both side seams
  • Each pocket and pocket flap! That one required re-cutting
  • The sleeve placket and cuffs
  • The collar!
  • Even the damned facings match even though there’s no way you’d be able to see that.

ImageOnce I get a hand sewing needle and stitch the pocket buttons on, it’ll sit flat and the stripes will line up PERFECTLY

I’m surprised I got it all so lined up, I used every last bit of fabric I had – which was only 104cm wide! Luckily I bought 3 yards*. I’ll admit the collar matching the shirt body was accidental, but it is a beautiful sight. I initially cut the yoke to match the body of the shirt but Mr. Guy thought it would be better cut on the bias, and he’s right – even if the lines matched in the middle they wouldn’t have on either side once the pleats get in the way.

* srsly I’ve decided to pretty much stop buying fabric from online – they only cut the exact measurement (and it’s usually in yards rather than metres), unlike our fabulours local sewing ships, and it’s often really narrow. Plus all the other obvious stuff like, supporting local, travel miles, not being able to feel the fabric.

ImageI made no changes to the fit since it fit perfectly in the first place, although there was something weird going on in the front (too much fabric at the center front so I chopped it off). The facing of the last version can swing open sometimes and you see the little seam there, so this time I did my trick of sewing the facing and interfacing right sides together, then turning and pressing so the seam is nice and pretty. I also, y’know, used black interfacing (unlike the white interfacing in the navy linen shirt) which helps.

I also drafted a collar stand and proper collar – when I asked, Mr. Guy said he would much prefer that to the camp-style collar, and even Zara from Off-Grid Chic said only Hawaiian shirts are allowed to not have a collar stand. For lack of a better option and following the suggestions on the Male Pattern Boldness – Men’s Shirt Sewalong, I traced off a pattern piece from an existing shirt. This worked well except I must not have had a right-angle at the “cut on fold” side. It looked a bit weird but luckily I was able to save it. Next time I might try and add a button placket rather than having a facing.

ImageThe only thing I don’t like is how the pocket flaps attach – the edge isn’t finished and because the back of the fabric is white, it looks bit odd, but not many people will see that. I guess it’s a sign of me growing up as a sewer that I care how so much about how the insides look.

ImageI love how this shirt turned out, and am quite jealous of Mr Guy – I tried it on and it’s soooo comfortable, so I’m just waiting on some muslin before I can plan my own flannel Archer shirt.

Details

Pattern: Negroni shirt by Colette Patterns

Fabric: Cotton plaid flannel from fabric.com, about $25 including shipping

Notions: Interfacing, thread (stash) and buttons, $3.70

Total: $28.70

ImageHave I convinced anyone else to try making stuff fo’ yo man? Sonja, I’m lookin’ at you. Look at that happy face.

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27

Curvy Colette #2: Show Me the Moneta’s!

This is my second post for the Curvy Colette Blog Tour. When you’ve finished reading, why not check out the rest of the posts:

Wednesday, April 16th: Jenny at Cashmerette
Thursday, April 17th: Mary at Idle Fancy
Saturday, April 19th & Sunday April 20th: Laurence at QuirkyPrettyCute
Monday, April 21st:  Tanya at Mrs Hughes
Tuesday, April 22nd and Wednesday, April 23rd: T at UandMii
Thursday, April 24th: Jenny at Cashmerette
Friday, April 25th: Mary and Idle Fancy
Saturday, April 26th and Sunday, April 27th: Sophie-Lee at Two Random Words (me!)
Monday, April 28th: Mary at Young, Broke and Fabulous 

Welcome to my second post for the Curvy Colette blog tour. This time, I’m here with their new dress pattern, the Moneta. This is a simple, but cleverly designed knit dress but 5 extra collar options. Readers, this dress is rad.

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When I got the Tiramisu dress by Cake Patterns, I thought “this is it! Comfortable dress that looks good” and planned to make a heap. After making it twice (the first had poor fabric choice, the second got stained somehow on the first day I wore it) I realised that the shape/design didn’t really suit me – the bias skirt made my hips cu-razy (especially with the pockets) and for the seams to sit in the right place the mid panel would have to be 15cm long, which looks odd. So without a pattern, I’ve been sewing purely woven dresses. Until the Moneta.
The pattern has a fitted bodice, shaped quite differently from other knit bodices I’ve seen, short- or long- sleeves, and a gathered skirt with in-seam pockets, which because of the fuller skirt are hidden well.
 https://tworandomwords.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/p1070694.jpg
This version is made from a knit I bought at last years Fabric-a-Brac, I’m not sure of the content but it feels like a viscose, heavy but quite thin. I had just enough of the fabric and couldn’t fit on sleeves, and thought a collar would be too busy so I went with the plain sleeveless version. It’s lined with leftover “ponti” from my Mabel skirt (which is, in fact, the perfect weight for a bodice lining, go figure).
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Size cut: I cut the size L in the bust and waist and an XL in the hips.
Changes made: Thinking this might be a bit short on me, I added 10cm to the length. This was TOO much length to add, when I tried it on before hemming it looked… weird. I did a 3cm hem (just zig-a-zag ahh’d) but it could be a couple of cm shorter.
Things to change next time: Because the bodice is drafted for sleeves, when I made it sleeveless the shoulder seams are a bit too far over – which I think is the reason why I have some gape at the front. Next time I make it sleeveless I’ll narrow the shoulder a bit and see if that helps. I also felt that the waist seam was a touch too high so I lengthened the bodice 1.5cm.
https://tworandomwords.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/p10706881.jpg
Now because I had so much success with this first one, and only kind of because The Monthly Stitch’s April challenge is “Sew Double”, I quickly made up another version, this time with my favourite collar:
https://tworandomwords.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/p1070640.jpg
This version is made from a merino-viscose blend from The Fabric Store. I had initially bought it to make another Sew Over It Wrap Dress, but I hadn’t got around to it yet, and my stash knows that my plans are only solid until another plan comes to mind. Annoyingly, the stripes are completely off-grain (by about 20-30 degrees) – when cutting the skirts I had thought I made them straight, but they shifted (silly for cutting on the fold). Luckily it’s not very obvious (small stripes and gathered skirt) but I had to be a lot more careful when cutting the bodice/sleeves/collar.
https://tworandomwords.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/p1070664.jpg
This version has the added 1.5cm length to the bodice, so I don’t know if that was too much fabric (amazing how 8mm will make such a difference with comfort) or if it’s because the fabric seems to have stretched vertically a bit – the hem feels a bit longer than it did when I first made it.
https://tworandomwords.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/p1070669.jpg
Other than that, this dress is so good. The collar is cute as, even if Jessie-Dog got excited when we were playing and somehow bit a hole in it, meaning I have to tie it weirdly. It’s a thin merino wool which means it’s appropriate for all seasons. Because it’s thin and extra stretchy it does show bra straps etc which is annoying but I can live with that.
https://tworandomwords.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/p1070648.jpg
What else to say? These photos were taken on our anniversary weekend again (this time with crappy weather) – the first is in the harbour of Okiato, a tiny town that was New Zealand’s first ever capital before it was shifted to Auckland in 1841 (later moved to our current capital, Wellington, for political reasons). There was also some FLASH houses there. The second dress was photographed at Flagstaff, where the British flag was cut down 4 times in protest against colonisation. We also got to see where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed, which was cool.
https://tworandomwords.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/p1070679.jpg
Details
Fabric: Houndstooth knit from Fabric-a-brac, $5, leftover knit for lining. Merino-viscose knit from The Fabric Store, $45
Notions: Thread, interfacing and elastic from stash (I used picot elastic because it’s all I had but I don’t think it’s quite strong enough)
Total: $5 and $45
25

Curvy Colette: My Mabel Skirts

This is my first post for the Curvy Colette Blog Tour. When you’ve finished reading, why not check out the rest of the posts:

Wednesday, April 16th: Jenny at Cashmerette
Thursday, April 17th: Mary at Idle Fancy
Saturday, April 19th & Sunday April 20th: Laurence at QuirkyPrettyCute
Monday, April 21st:  Tanya at Mrs Hughes
Tuesday, April 22nd and Wednesday, April 23rd: T at UandMii
Thursday, April 24th: Jenny at Cashmerette
Friday, April 25th: Mary and Idle Fancy
Saturday, April 26th and Sunday, April 27th: Sophie-Lee at Two Random Words (me!)
Monday, April 28th: Mary at Young, Broke and Fabulous 

There are some patterns that as soon as you make and try on, you laugh. Why on Earth haven’t I made one before??

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Colette Mabel is one of those patterns. I used to have a black knit, princess seamed skirt that I loved, and wore all the time. At least once a week. One day a year or so ago it went missing and ever since I’ve thought “I should really make one of those”. I’ve half-heartedly tried a couple of times, using this pattern from Burdastyle, but they ended up going to my sister-in-law Tough Chick.

When Colette Patterns released their two new patterns, the Mabel skirt and Moneta dress, it took a bit of time to sink in. “Oh, some basic knit stuff, how nice” and on I continued with my day. Then I realised – this is EXACTLY the sort of stuff that’s missing in my hand-made wardrobe. With Me-Made-May coming up, I’ve really had to think about which garments I reach for more than others, and what kind of things I’m missing.

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This pattern has definitely filled a gap in my wardrobe. It’s quick to make, quick to pull on and sooo comfortable. I would warn you though: be very careful what kind of fabric you use! Being so far away from any fabric stores, I bought this online and while it was described as a Ponti de Roma “knit wear, tops, skirts and pants”, it’s a bit thin for this kind of thing. I cut the XL size, grading to a size L at the hips, and it’s a bit clingier than I would like.
https://tworandomwords.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/p1070588.jpg

At first I thought I would have to give it away as it was showing all sorts of bumps and VPL’s, but I’ve found myself reaching for it quite a lot. Unfortunately the fabric has already started to pill, only a week after making it (and wearing it about 4 times since making it).

https://tworandomwords.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/p1070584.jpg

Thinking that the clinginess was a combination of the fabric choice and the pattern being slightly too small, I quickly made another one to test out the theory. Luckily I had just cut out a jumper for Mr. Guy and had easily enough of this wool blend leftover:

https://tworandomwords.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/p1070600.jpg

This second time I traced off the 2XL for the front side panels, giving me more room all around. I chose only that panel to trace bigger as I wanted the princess seams to sit further towards the middle, so they sit over the “fullest” part of my puku (stomach). You’ll also note this version is longer – while my black one has 2cm added to the length, when I walk it rides up to sit at mid-thigh. This version has a total or 12cm added to the length, and a 1.5cm seam allowance (for reference, I’m 178cm or 5’10”)

https://tworandomwords.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/p1070592.jpg

This is a much more “work appropriate” length, and is what I usually wear, although the shorter black version is nice to make me feel a bit like a babe (and it’s nice to finally have clothes that I can only wear out of work, rather than everything being work-appropriate – I don’t feel I can wear my ships or lobster dresses to work, for example).https://tworandomwords.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/p1070615.jpg

You’ll see that this thicker fabric still shows a lot of lumps and bumps, so it’s nicest with a cardigan over it. It’s quite thick so I can’t really wear a top over it (plus I don’t have many tops that are for wearing untucked). This is the main thing to be aware of when choosing fabric for this skirt – the more stretch the fabric has, the more it’ll show what’s underneath (because the fabric will “stretch” over the lumps/seams rather than sitting flat over them). Thicker fabric will help alleviate that, as would a fabric with two “layers” such as a terry knit. https://tworandomwords.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/p1070599.jpg

 I just love my facial expression in this photo.

What do you think of the new Colette patterns? I’m absolutely stoked that they’ve graded their patterns up – yes, I fit their standard block (although I would grade up in the hips) but so many women are stuck using Big 4 patterns because the indie patterns don’t go big enough. When looking at the patterns you can tell they actually did a fair amount of work getting a good “plus sized” sloper, as there’s some extra shaping in the 2 and 3XL sizes, to keep the proportions right. Well done Colette!https://tworandomwords.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/p1070576.jpg

This is how short it actually wears.

Details

Pattern: Mabel by Colette Patterns

Fabric: Black ponti, $14 incl. postage. Grey and black wool, ~$15

Notions: Thread, stash

Total: $14 and $15

In case you were wondering, the photos were taken in Russel in the Bay of Islands, where Mr. Guy and I went for a few nights over this ANZAC weekend, for our first wedding anniversary. Damn but I love that man. You’ll see a couple more Bay of Islands photos in my next post for the Curvy Colette Blgo Tour – tomorrow!

26

I made a freaking mens shirt!! Negroni by Colette Patterns.

So there I was, on a Saturday morning, saying to Mr. Guy “I really want to make you something, but don’t know what yet”. I have fabric for another Newcastle Cardigan (my first one here) but TBH I dislike the fabric – but he chose it and loves it so I will make it up. I have fabric for some Jedediah Trousers but haven’t traced the pattern yet. I also recently bought the Negroni Shirt but didn’t have any fabric for it – I always have a had time finding/buying/imagining “shirting” so have never bought any.

And then, I realised that of course I could use the linen I had set aside for shorts, for a shirt. Therefore, I can present: my first mens shirt.

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I really did think that this was going to take me several days, even two weeks, as I carefully made a muslin and slaved over the tailoring details of a menshirt. I find it odd that I can say this took me only two half days, including researching by reading the Mens Shirt Sewalong by Male Pattern Boldness, and downloading David Coffin’s e-book on Shirtmaking (use the code SHARE20 for 20% discount over the next few days).

I actually didn’t do a muslin at all (because I didn’t have any spare fabric!!) but I did make sure the yoke fit well. This was the first version – I measured his back between both shoulder points (I use the tip of the acromion) then measured the pattern pieces and starting with a small:

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It’s a bit tricky to tell because his tshirt doesn’t fit right on the shoulders, but the size small yoke wasn’t nearly wide enough – I unfolded the seam allowance and it was about perfect. That actually gave me exactly the medium size:

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Other than that, I also added 1.5cm to the shoulder seam on the yoke, and cut away a bit at the neckline-shoulder corner. I held up my front and back pattern pieces (traced to a size medium, which matched his chest and waist measurements) and they seemed to fit well; I also measured his arms to make sure the sleeves would be long enough. Then I just got cracking!

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I did make sure I took my time, getting the stitching square, my top- and edgestitching perfect, etc. I did have a problem with the collar being waaaaay too short, which confused me until I remembered that 1.5cm I added, and the fabric I took away at the neck-shoulder corner – this added a total of 6cm onto the neck seam, so I re-cut the collar (so I had no more mishaps like this dress, where the collar ended up being crazy ugly short. I wore this twice then took it to the op shop).

The good thing about sewing for others is that I really take my time, making sure I unpick and fix things that I would often let fly if I was sewing for myself (the bad thing is that sometimes I’m too scared to start; I’ve had some black merino to make my mum some leggings for almost a YEAR now). For this shirt I only needed my quick-unpick three times which is pretty good for me as my haste often breeds mistakes.

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I must say, I am so incredibly happy with this shirt. It’s one of the best (if not THE best) thing I have ever made. The whole thing in constructed without an overlocker or handsewing, yet there are no exposed seams; the instructions for sewing the yoke are brilliant and easily enclose all the seams (why doesn’t everyone use this method? Gertie why does your shirtwaist dress involve so much hand sewing??), and the shoulder, sleeve and side seams are all flat felled.

I did a proper sleeve placket which went together very easily, and I narrow hemmed the bottom without the special foot. After trying it several times and then being shown another method by Mrs. C, I’ve come to realise that the hem foot is basically a gimmick, and it’s much easier just doing it with the normal foot; folding as you go, then trimming and folding again, leaving the iron for the very end.

ImageI probably should have trimmed the neck/facing corner better as it isn’t pressing crisply

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The inside is as pretty as the outside 🙂

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(oops I took a photo of the uglier side – I forgot to pull the wee lever down on my buttonhole foot so there’s extra stitching)

You will have noticed the polka dots – I couldn’t help myself! I asked him whether he wanted the facing to be self-fabric, or the polka dot fabric I had left over from my latest Cambie (asked in a very leading way), and I decided to do the cuffs the same. I didn’t realise until later on that part of the facing would be visible when the shirt folds open at the top – but I like it! As Mr. Guy pointed out, it almost looks like a little bow tie. I also love the flash of spots when he rolls up the sleeves.

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It fits extremely well, for having basically no alterations from the pattern. It’s a slim fitting pattern which is good for my slim-fitting husband. I’m glad it has no darts in it because I’ve taken David Coffins words to heart for a mens shirt – that darts are “merely evidence of ill-cut side seams” (this doesn’t apply in womenswear, obviously). Even the length of the sleeves and body is perfect – he can easily tuck it in and it’s not too long to be worn untucked. We decided to leave off the pockets as it looked so good without them.

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Mr. Guy is also very happy with his new shirt – he’s already requested another “in parchment coloured linen with this exact texture”, not seeming to understand that it’s uncommon to find textured linen. I also asked him if he’d ever wear “crazy patterns” (although I don’t think he could quite pull this or this off) and he said “only if I match what you’re wearing” – ohh, be still my beating heart! I’ve been waiting to hear that ever since I found out about this couple who have worn matching outfits for the last 35 years (this is my favourite – I want a dress just like that!!).

You may have already recognised the fabric this shirt is out of; yes, we already have one matching outfit!

ImageCouldn’t quite get the photo even as the camera was balanced on a spherical boulder.

So, there’s my first foray into mens shirt-making. Now that I have a pattern that fits (and it fits WELL), I’ll be able to easily make up more shirts. I  have some fabric on the way, with which I’m planning to make a shirtwaist dress, so I might buy more to make us another matching outfit.

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Details

Pattern: Negroni by Colette Patterns, $18

Fabric: Navy linen, $3/m from sale = $6, plus polka dots leftover from a dress

Notions: Navy buttons, $4.20, interfacing and thread from stash

Total: $10.40 as is, $38.40 including pattern

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Photos were taken at the Koutu Boulders.

24

Sew, miss bossy: my finished Crepe dress

Thanks to this months The Monthly Stitch challenge, I have finally used a pattern I’ve had in my stash for over a year.

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I’ve just noticed that the waist tie is uneven in all the photos, soz.

Right throughout the voting, the Colette Crepe was out in front (followed equally by the 1940s tea dress and the Ultimate wrap dress, both of which I’ve already made). I’m not very good at being told what to do, so I’m quite pleased with myself for getting this done so quickly.

ImageAs I’ve mentioned before, I think the main thing holding me back from making this was the amount of fabric needed: I’m quite a fabric stinge so 4m of fabric for one dress wasn’t going to happen easily; but with this being the challenge winner, I just had to suck it up (and even then I only bought 3.5m).

ImageIt turns out that I did actually need 4m of the fabric, so I had to compromise and used the last scraps of the blue rayon for the ties, and I lined the bodice with my muslin fabric (a thin purple gingham – purple! I know) instead of a facing.

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As you may have guessed, this is the same fabric as I used in my 1940’s tea dress, but in the red; a drapey rayon from The Sewing Shop (Kerikeri). I actually had to get Mr. Guy to pick this up when he dropped me off at the airport last Thursday – I rang up and asked for what I wanted, so there would be no mistakes!

ImageThis picture shows how I wore it for the morning – I was devastated that it fit so poorly, especially as I didn’t really have to make any changes to the muslin other than lowering the bust dart. I did still get several compliments at work, but at lunch time I realised that I had just done the ties up too loosely! The pictures from this afternoon (no fog!) have this fixed and it looks a lot better in the bodice.ImageI still do have some issues with the fit, namely:

  • Some sagging of the sleeves that I think would be fixed by taking in the shoulder seam by 1cm; I have altered the pattern for this in case I forget.
  • The pockets are too low, by 1-2″. I can still put my hands in them but they’re not the right height for comfortable slouching
  • Both where the ties start on the bodice piece, and the hole in the side that one tie goes through, are too high. This would be fine if the ties matched the bodice, but the blue ties makes it really obvious – you can see this in the photos of me side on.

ImageAlthough I quite like this dress (once I sorted out the tying-it-too-loose thing), I’m not sure I’d make it again (although I’d still love one like this – I need to get some blousing action going on!). Firstly, it uses a HEAP of fabric and I am still a stinge. And I don’t feel that it adds anything to my “dress repertoire” – the cap sleeves are cute but I prefer regular set-in sleeves or even kimono sleeves; the tie is nice but makes it hard to wear cardigans, and is fiddly (I’d rather just wear a belt). It is comfortable but I’ve had to adjust it constantly throughout the day.

ImageI also rather like the low-cut v-neck back neckline, but I’ll just try this with my regular bodice patterns (perhaps using this technique).

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So there you have it: the results of my TMS challenge. I’m very pleased I finally made it (it probably would have taken me aaages otherwise).

Details

Pattern: Crepe by Colette Patterns

Fabric: Spotted rayon, 3.5m at $18.5/m = $64.75

Notions: Thread, $4

Total: $68.75

 

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1

Colette Rooibos in teal linen

Another old project; I think I made this in April 2013. I had lurked google images of this dress for weeks before I ordered the pattern, and then had to wait for it to arrive from Sew Squirrel (all of like, 3 days to get from Aus to Wellington). I made up a full muslin and didn’t change much, just narrowing the shoulders. The waist and hips fit well with my usual grading of sizes, although I think it has too much ease – because of the shape and fabric the excess fabric over the hips sits out a touch, widening my waist (because the “waist” band sits around my rib cage, not around my natural waist)https://tworandomwords.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/dscn5435.jpg

 

It’s made in a teal linen from (then) Global Fabrics. The trim is a cotton with a tiny floral print that I bought from Spotlight in Christchurch some time last year – I made a dress from it but, not even knowing about muslins, made it way too small (can’t get the back edges to approximate at all) and with really thick interfacing (also not knowing that much about interfacing).

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I actually still have it in my wardrobe as I love the fabric sooo much I can’t bear to get rid of it. I recently realised that I could just lop off the bodice and use the fabric for a skirt, phew!https://tworandomwords.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/dscn5436.jpghttps://tworandomwords.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/dscn5439.jpg

  Next time I make this – and there will be another, when I get the right fabric – I’ll reduce some fabric around the hips. As I said above, it has a bit too much ease, which isn’t very flattering. I also want to lower the neck somewhat as it hits me in a strange place, and use more piping (this one had so little because I screwed it up when making it). I thought about removing the tiny collar like some people have done, but it’s one of my favourite aspects so it’ll stay. The pleats make for pointy side boobs.

https://tworandomwords.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/dscn5434.jpg

 

It’s also a bit too short for my tastes, meaning I can’t wear it to work and needs pantyhose worn with it. It does look amazing with bright pink stockings, as I found out on Tuesday.

Details

Pattern: Colette Rooibos, bought from Sew Squirrel

Fabric: teal coloured linen from Global Fabrics, $20/m (I’m not sure if I got it on special or not) and leftover floral cotton drill for the trim

Notions: I actually bought matching thread for this baby; so thread $4.50 and zip $6

Total price: $50.50

I ‘m finding it’s quite useful to actually work out how much each piece costs. I’m often unsure as to whether I’m actually saving money or not by sewing my own clothes, given how much I can spend on fabric. $50 for a dress seems a lot, but when you consider the minimum you’d spend on a dress at Glassons would be $50 (and probably not linen at that price); Mac, Jacqui E and other women’s clothing shops you’d spend minimum $130 full price.

I do realise that I spend more than I think on each item though, when you take in to account thread and zips. I used to just use threads from my stash but am getting better at matching threads (as a lady – Georgia? – from The Fabric Store said, you have to work a lot harder with non-matching threads because you can see mistake easier). I’m planning on building up my collection of colours so I have hundreds! The husband aka The Mustache is hopefully making me a thread holder to go on the wall to display them, like this one:

We have bought the dowels and a drill piece, and have spare wood in the garage, so I just need to nudge him to actually doing it!

4

Ginger ginger ginger!

So, I have finally finished my fourth Colette ginger! The first (in a navy cotton twill) I gave to my friend Alina Savin (amazing photographer, unfortunately moving to Berlin with her partner in a couple of weeks) because the waist gaped a bit, both due to too much fabric and the boning I inserted. I’ve asked her for a photo of her wearing it.

The second is my favourite, in a brown wool from The Fabric Store (previously Global Fabrics) with a bow at the front, lined with a forest green polyester from my stash (originally bought from trademe). The wool drapes beautifully, the waistband sits snugly at my waist (because of my uber-pear shape I usually have huge difficulty finding clothes tight enough at the waist with enough room for my generous behind). I bought 1.5m (can’t remember how much it cost, about $30?) and found out that I only needed a metre for future projects – possibly because The Fabric Store’s fabric is so wide (around 1.8m)

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This was my second ever lined garment (the first being my Cambie which is lined in a delicate cotton batiste that was a bitch to work with but lovely to wear) and dear lord I will never go back – because the cambie is a summer dress I don’t wear it with stockings, whereas this brown wool is definitely a winter skirt, and it doesn’t pull up at ALL when I walk.

The one issue I have (only one! Seriously this skirt is probably the best thing I have ever made) is that the hem on the lining is really off – probably because of the parts that are on the bias it has pulled funny, and I’ve probably done too wide a hem anyway.

IMG_1641Bad posture (this is my norm) brings out the main fitting issue with the blouse, the excess length in the upper bust.

I’m wearing this with my second Pendrell blouse, made out of some sort of floral polyester from Spotlight Thorndon.

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And the insides, with an awesome tag – bought this and several others (half of which I’ve LOST somewhere in my house!) from a fabric shop in Lower Hutt – their fabric is really quite overpriced ($30/m for cotton sateen that’s only 130cm wide? Okay, it was polka dots, and yes I loooove sateen, but srsly) but they have a wall of these garment tags for around $1 each.

The third Ginger is made from a gorgeous watermelon linen, also from The Fabric Store, lined with a capsicum-yellow fabric (??content) from my stash, also bought off trademe. I love the colour but the linen (predictably) creases like crazy so it probably isn’t really that great for wearing to work where I go from sittinng to standing and back a LOT. The creasing also means that the lining peeks out quite a lot, so I’ll have to shorten the lining a bit – and I’m also on the look out for a matching lace to add (like this one from Sewaholic). I am getting better at adding little personal touches to my items – it’s taken me a long time, considering these sorts of things are what catches my eye in RTW clothing)

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The fourth is my recently (almost) finished ginger in red tartan, from The Fabric Warehouse, lined with a black fabric of some kind, from a Lower Hutt op shop – originally planned to use for a dress but I couldn’t find black lining that I wanted to use, so this was sacrificed. It’s been hanging up for about a month waiting to be hemmed!!

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I’m quite proud of how I lined up all the lines at the front and sides. I think it may have made the seams a touch sqiuffy though – now sure if that’s the fabric or the sewing. My sister-in-law came over to help with a photoshoot and this was the last one photographed, hence the silly dancing. Enjoy!

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She told me to spin

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Chicken dance?

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This is me showing how it’s not hemmed, and how naughty I am for not hemming and finishing stuff as soon as I’m done. I hate hemming.

Awesomely, all three skirts are machine washable – although the tags advised against it for all three (srsly, you’re not supposed to machine wash linen?). The wools are textured in such a way that they wont felt, not really, and when I was discussing it with the lady at Fabric Warehouse, another customer popped up to say she’d just made a shirt from it and it came out fine in the machine.