31 March 2013

Happy Easter 2013

My foster mummy is busy today - keep your fingers crossed for her and her band! - so she left me in charge!

If you're the slightest bit interested, you can watch the live stream of the competition at http://www.brassbanned.com/ if your timezone agrees!

27 March 2013

Challenges and Contests

Now I've broken my sewing drought with a laurel or two, I got to work on a new muslin for my Mad Men 2 dress. Well, my first Mad Men style dress. I traced a fitted shirt from my burda stash, and played around with it- FBA (!) then rotated out the horizontal dart, adding a pleat or two to the shoulder and the rest will he in the vertical dart.
This is my inspiration pic, but I've decided to leave the collar off as I think it would put me off wearing it. So instead the little pleats will add a little bit more interest. My plan is to take some of the fullness out of the waist and the arms, but leave enough to keep the feel, especially with something poofy underneath for pictures!

Mad Men sewing challenge betty draper dress

And my fabric of choice:

Like last time I tried a burda shirt, it came out much bigger than expected from sizing, but I think I can save it. (I gave up on fixing the princess seams of the last one and threw it out in the last round of clear-outs) So that is tomorrows job. Well, actually, tomorrows job is finishing attaching the gate that is half hanging off the wall, but maybe after that.

Did you hear about the Laurel contest? Huge! And 6 different categories. And no entry limit. One of the categories is aimed at we antipodeans currently going into winter (and boy don't we know it. Single figures here last night! I put a jumper on for the first time in months and months). I'm tempted, though I have no real ideas yet. Maybe something black and warm, to go with the crazy tights which may or may not be back in fashion. Or a Laurel "Christmas jumper"?
(These confuse me. I get it at Christmas. But Christmas jumpers in April just because its cold?!")
Closes 30th April, so some time to think still. Not much though :S

Then after that closes, its May... and we all know what that means!

And for a totally different kind of contest- I won't be sewing over Easter weekend because its the Australian National Band Contest. So excited! Keep your fingers crossed for us!

And finally, because no post is complete without cutesy dog photo:

25 March 2013

Its been a long time coming.

I did my first ever full bust adjustment/alteration on the laurel. 

OK, so I should probably have been doing them previously, but what can I say...

 I think I still fudged it a little as I didn't want to do the front darts so I graded the extra width from the FBA back into the side seam. It definitely makes it sit nicer over the girls and around the neck.  I used the same fabric as the Kimono Sorbetto, because I love the print on these simple tops. 

Looking at the pictures I kind of wish I kept the sleeve caps in all purple. Still looks OK though. The sleeves are hemmed and finished with a pretty stitch. I think I'd prefer them about an inch longer next time. Still have a full range of movement. Never had that with something that I have sewn sleeves onto before!

colette laurel top version 4 blue and purple print fabric coletteprint sleeve detail

And the back:

colette laurel top version 4 blue and purple print fabric coletteprint rear

No closure needed- pulls on and off fine. I lost a little of the pattern to the darts, but its only really noticable if youre looking for it. Again, should have really moved them across a little so they were entirely in the purple, but I didn't think on at the time. 

And I am proud to say that I finally mastered the french seam of the armscye. Looks very pretty on the inside too! The neckline is bias-taped, and the hem is a simple double fold over. 
Very wearable, very me.
Bring on the autumn!

23 March 2013

I'm not one to jump on the band wagon...

...but I already made my first Laurel. The new release from Colette didn't really float my boat until I saw version 4- a 1/2 sleeve top. Considering how many sorbettos I have made, I figured something with a little more shape would be a great addition. And just that morning I had seen purchased the perfect fabric to show the simple shape off.

colette laurel top version 4 blue cotton voile

For this version I used some turquoise voile left over in the stash. I just about had enough, though had to shorten the sleeves a little. to get them to fit. Following my gut instinct from many sorbettoes, I cut a size 8 body with the sz18 length, and size 12 sleeves. I think I need to do a bit of an FBA, but otherwise I'm really happy with it.

colette laurel top version 4 blue cotton voile, back view

This is so comfortable. Definitely a "this is not a t-shirt" top! The gentle gathering in the sleeves, and potentially my slit in the back means my arms have heaps of movement, which is something I usually struggle with.

colette laurel top version 4 blue cotton voile

Most of the seams are french-finished, and the external edges are finished with lime green bias tape, with accent buttons in a different shade of turquoise to maximise the clash! I think it gives it a very funky look. I even hand finished the bias tape, as I wanted clean lines. 

Looking forward to all the variations that will be possible on this! And a great wardrobe builder. I have plans for 2 more basic ones in gorgeous, and one with a button up back.

MadMen sewing has totally stalled, but at least I'm sewing something, so I will hopefully get on with it soon!

Looking all grown up

The wonderful people at Pet Art Photography took some pictures of our beautiful foster dog last weekend.
This is the sneak peak. Isn't he regal! I wish we could keep him, he's so lovely but not quite right for us.
Look how clever he is! In the last 3 months he has gone from being a shivering skinny wreck of a dog to a bold and clever chappie who is so eager to please and loves life.

Remember... don't shop- Adopt!

22 March 2013

Pirate Shirt

Don't you think it looks pirate-y?!

Maybe less so with number 4, but the rest?
This is a 1971 pattern I won as part of a Sew Greatful week, from the lovely Claire at Errant Pear
As part of the giveaway, she begged the winner to make view one. 
Those sleeves- just look at them! I love big sleeves, yet they feel so overwhelming. Could the fitted bicep help rein them in?!

I'll let you decide:

Seaside hair in Cottesloe

I added a slit centre front, closed with a button, and played around with the stripe directions to break it up a little. The sleeves are tight. They only just fit, and that makes the neckline pull and sit unevenly. 
But the biggest issue I had was the size. I took 20cm off the waist of this sack, and its still a sack. It has no fastenings and no shaping, so I should have expected it, but really, huge sack. I could do the waist shiring, but I don't really like the feel of it. 

I think the only way I could pull this off is to have it tucked in to a pencil skirt that I don't have yet. 

But... the sleeves. I think I like them. Maybe with a centimetre more ease, and maybe on a more fitted top! With the volume of everything else it still feels too much, but I think on a slim fitting top I would love them. 

15 March 2013

In a bit of a lull

I have been trying to work on the muslin for my MadMen dress, but I can't make the sleeves work and frustration won out. I haven't touched my machine in ages! I'm almost tempted to go and buy a pattern. must... resist.... must... draft...

I've been doing a fair amount of crocheting though. Various sized burial cocoons that with matching hats. I'm having issues with sizing though- I'm adding extra stitches everywhere some how, and when I do my best to follow the pattern exactly it comes out way too small. Hmmm. Maybe I just crochet too tightly. I think theyre all useable though. Thats the benefit of not having a specific size to work for!

These little booties have open backs that will have ties to stay on. 
Most of the preemie patterns are from MamaThatMakes.

And how cute are these newborn sized AFL themed hats.
(Go Eagles!)

The other consequence is that my yarn stash has grown quite considerably...

04 March 2013

Bye Bye Summer

After a scorcher of a Summer, its finally Autumn. And this morning we got our first significant rain for a while. A whole 2mm in the last 24 hours!

I think the boy was a little impressed  by my skills after all that baby crocheting (skills? erm, yes dear. 2 types of stitch in a circle...) and asked if I can make him a hat. Where he works it gets cold fast as winter approaches (Western Australian cold that is- very occasionally they get frosts. That kind of cold) and he can end up spending quite large periods of time outside.

I nearly fell over with shock. I've made him stuff before, but he's never asked for anything before.

So obviously I jumped on it! He wanted a black beanie, and when I was looking for pattern ideas I found some with bear ears. I jokingly showed it to him and he said- "That would be cool! Especially if the inside of the ears were paler"

There was my design brief! What do you think?

I didn't actually follow a pattern, I just followed the idea of how you make a hat- increasing circles then straight down circles when it looks right. Its all double crochet apart from the last three rows which are half double to make a slightly more snug band. 

Woolly hat and singlet. Good look, yes?! 

The inside of the ears are the same wool as the hat, plus some thinner grey acrylic yarn worked together-
Magic circle
7 double crochet- no join. 
Pull tight Continue with just one strand
Ch2, turn, 1 half double in first (same) space, 2 half double in each remaining.

Should give you just less than a semi circle, so the ears have a bit of shape to them when sewn on.

It took about 3 hours.
I'm sure someone with a little more expertise could whip them up in no time!

2 x 50g chunky wool = $8 (maybe less, should pay more attention! I think it was $3.99 a ball. It feels lovely and soft, and its really thick and luscious)

I hope he likes it! Or I might steal it...

And because I needed to know if I could actually scale up, I had to make me one too.
(Though thinner, cheaper 100% Acrylic yarn for me)

1/3 x 100g acrylic = $1.33.

Loving the colours in this one.
I didn't think I could pull of bear eaers, so I went with a flower.

Now we just need the temperature to drop so we can wear them!