Shorts!

As any reader of this blog will know I have been on the quest for pants that I am happy with the fit for a long, long time.

Well at last I think I am on the right track and made this pair of shorts to see how the fit was so far.

I will share more of the pattern adjustments when I make pants, which I hope will be sometime soon but life is getting in the way of sewing at the moment.

These shorts did start out as the Ellen Woven Shorts by Style Arc but I soon realised that the fabric that I had found in my stash was not going to be drapey enough, so I then changed them to my adjusted pants draft that I made at the Australian Sewing Guild Convention in Melbourne last year.

During this process I also realised these would be for dog walking/working around the yard so the Ellen Woven Shorts pockets were then added.  It looks like I have misaligned one of the pockets as it is pulling/visible at the front leg,

but I’m certain Tomba won’t mind at all.

Here are some very washed out photos of the shorts so you can see the fit better.

I’m pretty sure it is the pocket that is causing the pulling.

My first fabric purchase for the year is 3 metres of brown polyester suiting, as I have decided to take part in the Australian Sewing Guild Pleated Garment Sew-Along I just hope my idea works out!

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2019 Stash Out: 3.3 m
2019 Stash In: 3 m

Delicate Nothings

One of the classes I attended at the Australian Sewing Guild Convention in Melbourne last year was a class with Tatyana Anderson, called Silk Camisoles that was a 1/2 day course.

Thankfully Tatyana and her staff had cut out our silk and stablised it so we could get started on the placement of our lace straight away.

At the end of the 1/2 day I did have my lace sewn in place, the side seams french seamed and the elastic pinned in place along one edge of the front armhole.

During a couple of ASG group meetings I worked on this to finish the elastic and also to hand roll the hem,

as I couldn’t get a nice finish by machine and then finished the straps.

This is where it was up to when I found out that Tatyana was holding a 2 day workshop in Sydney.  I jumped at the chance to do this, as we hadn’t really dealt with the initial preparation and cutting out of the silk and this is skill I want to work more on.

During the workshop Tatyana pinned my cream straps in place and I was able to sew these in place during the class as well.

Surprisingly to my fellow attendees I had chosen a black silk with a black and gold lace kit.

We set about laying out our pattern pieces on the silk and cutting it out before we started playing with the lace placement.

Seeing I had made a “v” neck for the cream camisole, Tatyana suggested I make this one a round neck which worked perfectly with my lace.

French seams are used and this time I was successful in getting a lovely machine rolled hem.

I was very pleased to get this finished within the 2 days of the workshop.

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T-Shirt with a Twist

This is a top that I finished in October last year and it has been worn quite a lot during the warmer months.

This is the result of the sew-along with the Australian Sewing Guild, T-Shirt with a Twist which was for ASG Members only back in May last year, but as we were experiencing Winter at that time, I decided to make it a summer top and leave it for a few more months.

I used KS 3740 as my base pattern and followed the instructions, but this is where I ran into trouble, 45 degree angles can be found both on the short length and long length of the quilting ruler I used, and I managed to use the wrong one.

Thankfully I made this at my ASG Sewing Guild Group at The Remnant Warehouse and Alison was very helpful in setting me in the right direction and also guiding all of the overs/unders for the lattice stripes.

Here are the lattice pieces in place.

Now this then leaves you a gap in the back neckline, so I used some Solvy  to create a false back neckline so I could used the B Binder on my Coverstitch to finish the back neckline

and continue around the plain front neckline.

Then at another ASG meeting another sewing friend, Wendy, kindly pinned the back hem for me,

which I finished with my Coverstitch.

I like that this top is plain in the front so I can wear a number of different necklaces with it,

and then there is all the fun in the back.

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2017 Stash Out: 21.9
2017 Stash In: 14.6 m

Cold Shoulder Top

Back in December during my first lot of toile preparation for Susan Khalje’s classes I decided to make myself a new top for summer.

To start with I pulled out my TNT knit pattern, KS 3740 and then thought I would add the cowl from the ASG Cowl Neck Knit Top Sew-along, so I traced of a new pattern and followed the great instructions and had a new front pattern.

Then I dug out this fuchsia knit that I had purchased at The Remnant Warehouse that worked with this skirt that is an orphan in my wardrobe now that the knitted top no longer fits.

I merrily cut out my top, stitched the shoulders and overlocked the side seams and tried it on!

Did you notice above the words “no longer fits”, well it was a complete disaster, partly due to the fact that I have gained some centimetres and the stretch of the knit wasn’t what I thought it would be.  The top has now had its side seams unpicked and I am trying to work out a way to salvage it.

However I was determined that I would have a new top by the end of the year!

Back to the drawing board, this time I pulled out some Coral Cotton Knit that I purchased from Pitt Trading back in 2015.

First I checked the amount of stretch and it was better than the fuchsia knit, so I went ahead and cut out and sewed another top but this time I only basted the side seams before I tried it on.  A bit snug but wearable so the sleeves were basted in.

Looking in the mirror it was very apparent that I hadn’t made the forward shoulder adjustment to my knit TNT pattern, and with the knit being rather thin it was really noticeable.

It took me a few days and then it dawned on me, what about a cold shoulder top!

I undid the top of the sleeve and then put it on, turning down what I thought looked good, pinned in it place and then took the sleeves out, stitching the new top hems on my coverstitch and then trimming the seam.

I hemmed the sleeves and then stitched the sleeves back into the armholes.  I added Lite Steam-A-Seam2 to the remainder of the armsyce

turned it under and coverstitched it in place.

After a few washes

Back to the sleeve pattern, I pinned what I had cut off and it was 6cm.  So for the next version I will create a new pattern and straighten the curve at the top 1cm of the sleeve so that I when I turn it to hem there is solid fabric all the way across.

The back view

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2017 Stash Out: 1 m
2017 Stash In: 4 m

Taupe shell top

I found myself very short of summer tops for work this year, and the paisley rayon’s I purchased recently had been earmarked for this hole in my wardrobe.

The first one is using my TNT top pattern, Vogue 8752 (OOP) which I am still fine tuning as my body changes as the years go by.

 The last lot of changes happened after a workshop at our ASG group back in July last year about armscye/sleeves by Anita McAdam who owns Studio Faro.

Anita suggested we bring/wear a top/blouse that we wanted help with, so I chose to use my TNT top and wore this yellow top.

Over the  years I have made a number of adjustments and it was the cream silk version that I made the round shoulder adjustment to my sleeve pattern and I was pretty pleased with that but I still get some stress lines around the armscye.

Anita suggested I also needed a forward shoulder adjustment and I have gone about it as follows:

1.  On the sleeve pattern I folded out 1.2cm on the back armscye and added 1cm wedge to the front armscye.

2.  I then did the corresponding adjustments to the front and back pattern pieces.

Front

Back

I didn’t expect this fabric to fray like it did after I put the invisible zip in, so

I did a Hong Kong finish on the seam allowances

and then did French Seams for the shoulders and right side seam.

I told a sewing friend that I used bias strips of organza to insert my sleeves, so thought I would try and explain it here.

*  After doing French Seam on the sleeves, I

*  took a 4cm wide bias strip of organza and placed this on the wrong side of my sleeve cap, starting at the dot and lowered the needle, with my machine on baste stitch, I put pressure on the bias strip as I stitched it around to the other dot,

and when you finish your sleeve already has a very nice shape to the sleeve cap.

*  and you can also use the basting stitches to put in more ease or reduce as necessary.

*  once the sleeve is in place, I cut out the silk organza bias strip.

Then to finish off the sleeve I added a Hong Kong finish to this seam.

and here is the completed top.

I’m not sure what is happening to the sleeve, even though I took out a wedge from the back armscye, it looks like there is still too much fabric.

Oh and I forgot to shorten the back darts, that would have given me just that bit more room at the back.  The pattern is now noted for next time.

Now off to work.

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2016 Stash Out: 6.1 m
2016 Stash In: 15 m

The Tiny Essentials Tote Bag

In November the Australian Sewing Guild posted that they were going to host their first Sew Along, The Tiny Essentials Tote Bag and I decided to sew along.

Back in 2012 when I did this workshop I purchased the fabric from Ikea, I also purchased the fabric below designed by Cilla Ramnek* 2008 designed for Ikea intending to make another Tote Bag.

However this, some black duck cloth and some green/yellow circles that were in my bag stash just wanted to play along.  

The interfacing was on hand but the 24″ Long Pull Zip that I wanted in green or black wasn’t and this isn’t something that I was going to find locally.   Luckily Alison pointed me in the direction of Zippit and I placed an order for the zips.

Whilst waiting for my zips to arrive I did manage to complete up to Day 2 of the Sew Along

Quilted, handles made and pinned on.

and then when my zippers arrived, it was decision time – green or black?

I ended up choosing the green as the gusset for the bag is black.

Then life got in the way and it has taken me until now to finish this bag.

and here you can see the gusset and zip

I decided to use a lingerie bag for part of the inside of the tote keeping the zip to keep the contents secure and then put covered elastic on the other side to hold chargers etc.

and loaded up to go on holidays, although I’m certain I take more cables than this away!

I learnt quite a few techniques with this sew-along and I also know that my piping needs more work.

Every time I look at this bag it makes me smile, I just love those trees!

* Here is some more information about Cilla Ramnek here.

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2015 Stash Out: 16.85 m
2015 Stash In: 18 m