Monday, February 15, 2016

Apparently the 70s are back

Cullottes are a runway trend that I've shyed away from.  It's a tricky look to carry off, especially the wide and wondrous varieties in street style blogs and magazines.  

Let's face it, front pleats and overly wide legs aren't likely to be worn successfully by an woman who is only 156cms tall, with a 100cm hip circumference!  

But after seeing a particular pair by Sir the Label I was keen to try out the type of cullottes I wore in the 70s.  These pants were flattering, fitted through the hips without a pleat in sight, roomy pockets without adding bulk and wide floaty legs.  

Having committed to try it out, next came finding a pattern with that 70s feel.  A relic from my history,  Vogue 9873 to the rescue, the most perfect cullotte pattern on the planet.  Unfortunately the pattern was more suited to my 70s body and needed 10cms extra in the hips - an adjustment not for the feint-hearted.

I made them up in a polyester, that has the look of distressed silk on the outside and a satin finish on the inside.  Loving the results, pants that do equally well for weekend laziness and glammed up with heeled sandals and a shirt.  They've gone to work on casual Friday with chunky heels and been worn twice on the weekend in the first week of their life.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Street wearables

This post is a bit of a cheat.  I finished the skirt in December during my blogging hiatus.  Anyway I wore it up the street for lunch with my daughter and asked her to take a candid snap or two.  The thumb print in the corner shows just how seriously she took my request, but you get the general idea!  The pattern is 01/2008 109 from Burda magazine's golden age of plentiful and practical designs, printed on four sheets.  I made it up from a simple cotton gaberdine, that doesn't have any stretch.  I recommend sewing this skirt in a stretch denim as the diagonal shape of the pocket seam takes quite a lot of tension as you walk.  I had pocket rivets and a jean stud button (not visible) inserted by the lovely Mick at Quick Buttonhole Service in Alexandria.  May he never retire!  I love the man.

Speaking of love, I also love the princess seams at the back of this design.  They make fitting easy and create a flattering line over the booty.  

I made the t-shirt a few years back- another ancient Burda.

I'm currently working on some culottes from a 1970s pattern.  Meanwhile happy sewing!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Weekend winner

 I'm going to give you three reasons why I love the Sutton blouse by True Bias.  

One - the pattern is well put together with good instructions that provide a garment that is quick to put together and looks almost as good inside out.  

Two - the front is slighter narrower than the back which creates shape and allows the fabric to drape well.  The longer back is also great cover.  And three - the design is economical and uses less than a metre of 150mm fabric.  Great scrap buster too if you are working with contrasting fabrics.

I've used printed crepe purchased in Portugal last year and some black crepe from stash.  I made it up in size 12 without any alterations.  The only change I'll make when (note I didn't say if) I run up another is to use bias tape for the arm hem.  This is simply to reduce bulk from the French seams. 

Not sure what I'm making next, so meanwhile happy sewing! 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Italian job

Thanks for all your comments welcoming the prodigal sewer back into your midst.  I value your encouragement.

I'm surprised Vogue 1351 has been overlooked by sewers.  What's not to like about it?  It is easy to fit, falls nicely on the body and the construction techniques are excellent.

I've posted a photo of the inside of the cowl neckline, which is machine sewn into lining.  This is much better than a facing which can flap up when you least expect it.

I understand why the DKNY team made the dress in a block colour.  The entire garment, except the upper back is cut on the bias, and finding fabric that works on the diagonal can be quite a challenge.  In the end I choose a silk twill purchased in Rome a few years ago.   I just love the result and am sure it will be a high rotation frock for summer.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Spot the dog

One of my goals for 2016 is to make time to post my finished work, so here is the first of many (I hope!).  I've been absent from the blogosphere for so long I'm not sure if anyone is still following.  

My first garment of 2016 is exactly what I needed - walking the dog weekend wear-  but it is not a favourite.  The fabric is fabulous navy and white Japanese (?) linen purchased at my spiritual home Tessuti Fabrics.  

Unfortunately Rachel Coomey's design (Vogue 1247 OOP) doesn't exactly thrill me. 

My point of comparison is the Sutton Blouse by True Bias.  Kelly's pattern is beautifully put together and the cut is more flattering falling softly against the body.  Will post wearing photos and more details shortly.

I've had a great start to 2016 with two other completed projects to show you.  My new dress is being worn tomorrow, I guess you'll see that next.

Don't be strangers - stop by my blog and say hello!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Studio Faro Dinner Shirt

Anita at Studio Faro is working to expand her range of patterns.  I was thrilled to test her dinner shirt pattern which I started back in July before I went overseas.

I'm ashamed to say this sat finished but without buttonholes for nearly a month. Last night I dragged myself to the machine and did the deed.

Anita's pattern isn't available on her website yet, but look out for it.  She describes it as a "production-ready women's shirt pattern in nine sizes 6-22".  The instructions and seam allowances are geared to commercial construction, but not beyond the home sewer.

My vintage John Kaldor fabric worked really well with the pattern but tends to hard the design lines.  This traditional tailored shirt features a dinner shirt bib panel with princess seams, double layer back yoke and full gathered sleeves with continuous placket.  

I made a size 12 with adjustments only to the length which is suited to someone around 5 ft 7 in.  Next time I make this shirt - and there will be a next time - I'll add about a cm to the bust for wearing ease, but otherwise I'm very happy with the fit and practicality of the design. I'll also make more of a feature of the bib, perhaps with pleating or fabric variation.

I've finished a few other garments so will make the effort to post.  Love to hear your comments, meanwhile happy sewing!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Sparkly business

Couldn't let lack of a willing photographer get in the way of showing off my latest business wear.  It's all a little bit sparkly with a subtle metallic back thread.

I love the 70's vibe of the jacket.  It is begging for a button down A-line skirt, but for the time being I've teamed it with a flip skirt, Burda September 2014, no.104.

The pattern for the jacket is from January 2008 Burda magazine (no.117).  The details are great, especially the extra large cuffs with an extra decorative band.  The leather trim was the result a "happy accident".  I cut the garment and forgot to trace the collar stand.  There wasn't enough of the brocade left to cut the piece.  The Fabric Store had run out of the original fabric but did have an unusually small skin of soft lambskin in the perfect collar.  My old friend Mick from Mick's Buttonholes at Alexandria did the studs.  May he never shut his doors!

I've also completed two blouses and a striped skirt since my last post.  I've been promoted recently and I'm spending more of my free time sewing than my blogging about it.  Not sure what is coming up next, so until my next catch up happy sewing!