Friday, 28 August 2015

It's not a nest - it's Simplicity 1253

"Is that a nest?" inquired Mr B.
"Er, no.  It's a drey"
"Fox?...Badger?...Ah, Squirrel"

Nests, and by that I mean an arc of mainly paper based objects surrounding my end of the sofa, have been outlawed. But we had just got back from holiday and there were a number of things I was looking at.  They kind of sum up what I have been getting up to or am planning to get up to.

  • A vintage Yves Saint Laurent Vogue pattern bought to remember my visit to Yves Saint Laurent: Style is Eternal at the Bowes Museum.
  • My noise cancelling headphones in a handmade pouch, I've made a couple of make up bags also.
  • Sew Today magazine, only one and a half patterns catching my eye.
  • Three Simplicity patterns bought in the half price sale (1253, 1504 and 1278).
  • A plant catalogue.
  • 'The Secret Adversary' by Agatha Christie; Partners in Crime is currently on the BBC (I'm not convinced by David Walliams).  We visited her house, Greenway, on holiday.
I've not been great at blogging recently so I thought I'd make a start with post inspired by the nest drey.
So first up - Simplicity 1253!

I've been eyeing up this pattern for a little while but I don't really like paying full price for patterns (or things in general) so it was a happy day when I stumbled on Simplicity's half price sale!  I ordered three patterns whilst on holiday and they were here waiting for me when I got home.  I've had this yellow, elephant print cotton lawn for a few months and bought the pattern with it in mind. (You can still get it in blue from ebay here but I can't find the yellow version anymore)
I cut a straight size 10, view A, after what I thought was carefully measuring the pattern pieces at the hip.

Image result for Simplicity 1253

Turns out I must have forgotten a couple of seam allowances because I had to take in a very narrow side seam allowance for the bottom six inches.
I'm really pleased with the finished garment but I did make a couple of minor changes.

The instructions direct you to topstitch the neck facing down. I didn't want to do this because it would show up easily on my patterned fabric (I was using white thread but yellow wouldn't have been any better), the band is narrow so it might look weird (?) and I didn't think I could stitch round a curve neatly enough anyway. So I stitched in the ditch instead, which did need to be redone in places but worked well - next time I would just hand sew the facing down, it would be a lot less hassle!
I also didn't stitch over the neck slit and at the cuffs to avoid too much white thread showing (this wouldn't bother me on a solid).

I got to use seven covered buttons.  I love covered buttons.
And how about my accidental pattern matching at the back seam...

Time to go now I think- this post has turned out to be quite long!

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Vintage Vogue 2509 - Part One

I'm going to two weddings this summer - my sister's and a friend from school's - a great opportunity to sew something.  However I'm not feeling particularly inspired and am struggling to find any fabric I like.
I've made a toile of Vogue 2509, an early 1970's pattern, by Sybil Connolly.

I was drawn to the neckline, the sash and the inverted pleat, I've had the pattern in my stash for a little while now.  The pattern is a size 12 but my bust is closer to the size 10 and my waist and hips to the size 14.  There are no finished measurements given so I decided to make it up as it is.

Its hard to see past the hideous duvet cover I used to make it out of but its fine at the back...

... but about two inches to big at the front.

To see how much I needed to get rid of I pinched out the centre front seam.

I think the bodice is sightly too long also.  I've roughly pinned the hem but I think that it needs to be shorter than designed.  I'm not sure about the sleeve length either (I'd like to say that I put the sleeve in inside out on purpose but...).
The pattern has some really nice features like crooked darts at the neck.

And I've not seen a sleeve where the easing doesn't go all the way over the top of the sleeve head before.

My plan is to lose some of the excess fabric on the princess seams, some in the centre front seam and narrow the front section slightly also - two inches seems a lot to get rid of.  But I'm not sure whether I really love it.  Hmmm.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Butterick 5997 - Artist's Top

I've been away from blogging for a little while again, the bridesmaid dress project stalled (more on that another time), but I have sewn up a couple of things since March.
I've just finished a Butterick 5997 top.

I've had this pattern a while, I bought it because it was similar to a ready to wear top that I loved (and wore to death).  I decided to combine views to make my version - the pin tucks from C and D, sleeves from A (but minus the tab), collar from A and D and yokes from A and B.  To incorporate the yokes I compared that front pieces from both views and cut the pin tucked version to what I guessed would be the right shape at the shoulder.

The fabric is cotton, I think, pale blue with multi-coloured flecks (like paint splashes) that you don't notice until close up. I must have had a particular project in mind when I bought it from Barry's in Birmingham last year because I bought 2.2m but I can't think what it was I wanted to do with it.

The pattern is rated easy but I think the instructions are a bit vague in places for a beginner, I've never done pin tucks before so I didn't find the 'stitch close to creased edges' part particularly helpful, as a consequence my tucks are a little uneven.  It turns out you need to stitch really close.

My collar isn't the most even  - is there a special trick to attaching this sort of collar?  I did learn a few things after my Vogue 8847 attempt - such as drawing the stitching line on to the interfacing and using a really small stitch size to go round the corners and this has led to a much better shape over all, but its the join at the front neck I can't quite master.  Still I think that's the kind of thing other people don't tend to notice.

I cut a size 8 but graded out to a 12 at the hip and it fits really nicely.

I definitely want to make this again, Mr B bought me some Liberty lawn for my birthday that I'm going to use.  The only change I'd make is to lengthen the sleeves slightly as the cuff is lying just on my elbow.

So on to version 2 of H's bridesmaid dress...

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Bridesmaid's dress - Part One

I can't believe its half way through March already!
I've not done much (any) sewing so far in 2015 as we've been doing some quite major kitchen renovations - weeks without out a kitchen sink, days without a hob... its just about done now so this weekend I got on with some sewing.
My sister is getting married in August and my mother and I are making the bridesmaids' dresses.  To be fair I'm only making one and my mother is making three but its nice to be involved.
The strange thing is I've never met or even seen a photo of the bridesmaid I'm making for so I just have the measurements to go on and the fitting will be done by post.  It its weird sewing for someone who is a completely different shape to me so I'm having trouble visualizing what the end result will be.
The dress I'm making is Butterick 5708 - a retro pattern with shoulder ties that can be worn in multiple styles.

I think H wants to wear it as the black dress is styled.  Another bridesmaid is also having this dress so my mother and I are able to compare notes.
All four will be made up in Liberty Tana Lawn.
I've made a bodice toile, it went together very easily - I had the bodice cut out and sewn in under 4 hours.  I'm sure its not going to be this straight forward but I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a good fit.

The great thing is I'm not a bridesmaid (don't worry my sister wasn't bridesmaid for me either - I've not been snubbed, its just the way our relationship works) so I get to wear (sew) anything I want!

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Sequin Print Vogue 8847

I decided in the run up to Christmas to make an outfit to wear on Christmas day.  I've had Vogue 8847 in my stash for a while now but after purchasing it I wasn't sure if I liked it. I chose to make view A, although not cut crosswise, as I liked the shaped front hemline.

A similar story for the fabric, a wool viscose sequin print bought from ebay.  So it was a wearable muslin I was after.   It was a really tight squeeze to cut the pattern out as I only had 2 metres of 145cm wide fabric which I shrank slightly when I prewashed it compared to the 2.1 metres of 150cm wide needed, so no pockets!

I cut an 8 top and widened to a 10 round the hips although I think I could have cut a straight 8.
I totally forgot to get any pictures taken on Christmas day so Dolly is modelling.

I'm still not sure about the fabric or the pattern but I think its probably the colour that I'm not keen on. Note to self: don't buy any brown or beige fabric it the future!