December garments of the month – finsihed!

The final stitches have been completed and I now have a tweed suit that will need to find some serious outgoings to go to!!

Looks like DH should have mowed the lawn!

The benefit of both of these pieces is that they will work extremely well individually with plain tops, bottoms or jackets so I have a lot of ideas running around my head at the moment.

The skirt is my Self Drafted TNT skirt pattern, with the fabric being completely fused with Superfine interfacing to help stop it from bagging from sitting as well as lining the skirt in my normal fashion with Sun Silky lining.

Unfortunately this skirt can’t be included in my SWAP plans, but that is okay as I have the perfect brown summer weight wool ready to be made into a skirt and the remainder of the silk crepe de chine that I used to quilt my jacket with for a top.

I would like to thank all of you for reading my posts this year and enjoying my journey with me and your wonderful comments that you have taken the time to share.  I look forward to seeing your sewing adventures in 2014 and wish everyone a wonderful New Year and a sewfantastic 2014.


Stash Out:    32.65m

Stash In:      24.80m

Chanel inspired workshop

Back here I mentioned that I was working on a 2nd Chanel inspired jacket and I am now happy to say that the jacket is finished.

Now it all started back in October 2012 when I saw an advert in Dressmaking with Stitches magazine.

Rita Camastral from Ricama Fabrics had written a 2 part article for Dressmaking for Stitches, Volume 20, Issue 7 and Volume 20, Issue 8.  Then in Volume 21 Issue 2 Rita advertised this workshop for early 2013 and I very quickly contacted Rita to find out about attending.

As the workshop was being held in Brisbane I chose to only attend the main workshop that was over the weekend of 9/10 March and Rita was very generous in sending me the pre-workshop information as well as samples of her tweeds and gro-grain ribbons.

I also did some shopping and found this perfect cotton tweed at The Silk Shop

and purchased this silk crepe de chine and the foldover gro-grain ribbon directly from Ricama Fabrics.

This workshop is a technical workshop and because my fabric didn’t fray I had all my pieces cut out and the edges fused as per Rita’s instructions (this is very different to the LFJ). The other advantage about the workshop being held in Brisbane is that I could stay with my sister, so before I headed off to the workshop on the Saturday morning we overlocked the jacket edges and cut out the silk ready for quilting (again following Rita’s notes).

By the end of Saturday I had machine stitched the side backs to the back, the front sides to the front – this left the side seams open as well as stitching the 3-piece sleeve seams leaving the under seam open for both the Tweed and Silk. My homework that night was to tack the silk lining to the tweed ready for quilting the next day.

On Sunday I started quilting the silk to my sleeve and then realised that if I focused on the sleeve for the remainder of the day it would have me accomplish:

  • Sewing the last seam of the tweed
  • Finishing the silk lining on the seams
  • Adding the bias binding edge to the sleeve vent.
  • Adding the special gro-grain ribbon (it has a groove in the centre) which will bind the whole jacket. 

For the remainder of the Sunday, I then worked on quilting the remainder of my pieces and then proceeded to tie-off the ends in-between the silk and tweed by the time the class finished.

It was at the beginning of October that I picked up this project again.

At the workshop Rita also gave us cardboard templates for the sleeve edge and neck edge for us to pre-shape the gro-grain around the corners with the addition of some small gathering stitches.

Whilst working on the jacket I realised that I needed some additional trim.  I found this rather challenging and even pulled a lot of threads and crocheted a trim but it needed some additional threads to make it better.

Crocheted trim from threads pulled from fabric

When I was at the ASG meeting at The Remnant Warehouse I found this trim and Patricia suggested I place it on the edge, perfect.

Purchased trim

Once the trim was hand sewn in place, I headed to All Buttons Great and Small at Newtown and let the girls find all the different buttons that would be suitable for my jacket.

Then it was off to see Mick at Quick Buttonhole Service at Alexandria to get the 7 buttonholes stitched, which cost $27, very good value in my mind. I waxed my thread and sewed the buttons on.

Finally the chain was stitched just on top of the gro-grain ribbon at the hem edge.

and a few more views:

oops I must have moved!

This will be my first piece for SWAP 2014 – “if you have an item you’re working on now, you may include it as long as it is completed before the official sewing date of 26 December 2013.”

It is also my first piece to be completed for my December Garment of the Month, now to get my skirt hemmed!

I also must thank one of my lovely sewing buddies for loaning me her copy of Claire B Shaeffer’s book, The Couture Cardigan Jacket it was a wonderful resource.  Fingers crossed my 2nd copy arrives, not sure what happened to the first one.


Stash Out:    29.45m

Stash In:      24.80m

November garment of the month – finished!

I did it, a bit late posting, however Vogue 8572 (OOP) has been made up using the damask fabric.

This fabric is a lot thicker than my previous versions and it shows a completely different type of fit which is interesting to me.

For this version:

  • I moved the bust dart down 3cm, and I can’t make up my mind if it is too much or not, and
  • Piped the neckline and sleeve hems
The sleeves in this thicker fabric did cause me a lot of thought and fitting.  There is a fold of fabric at the back of my sleeve above and then when you look at the back view below, there seems to be excessive fabric all through the back and something funny is going on with the right sleeve.
Even with this being not as perfect as I would like, it is definitely wearable and will be a good staple in my wardrobe.

Stash Out:   26.35 m

Stash In:     24.3 m

Raglan T-Shirt

I have finished Burda 02-2013-126 the short sleeve version of the gathered sleeve t-shirt using a latte mercury jersey that was in the stash and purchased from Lincraft a few years ago.

This was supposed to be my October garment for Make a Garment a Month as promised.

This is a quick t-shirt to sew, but this is where I let myself down.  I tend to sew too far along before I try on anything and at this stage I had overlocked the sleeves in place before I tried it on.

Oh no, far too much fabric in the front and back  necklines and the gathers on the sleeves weren’t even (I thought I had checked those).  I’m not certain if the neckline stretched or the fact that I didn’t do my normal 1cm gaposis tuck to the front neckline.

Not sure why I put the beads on!

I am not a fan of undoing 4 thread overlocking so I decided to put the neckband on and see what the result was.

You can see above that the front of the T-shirt has gathers where I don’t want them especially when there is not enough fabric across the bust!

The back neckline wasn’t quite as bad, but it still needs some work.

The sleeves also grab my arms when I move them forward, not comfortable.

I am calling it a fail, as this top doesn’t meet my expectations of a wearable garment e.g.outside the house.

I can see the possibilities with this top so I will give the pattern another try with more care with the gathers, some adjustments and trying it on much sooner.

On other news I managed to pick up Vogue 8904 from the Spotlight sale but now that the weather is warming up I have suddenly realised I am in dire need of summer tops so it looks like my garment for November will be a top!

Stash Out:   25.5 m

Stash In:     22.3 m

Jeans style skirt

I wanted another skirt to wear with my Rachel Comey top for summer and had on my wish list a denim skirt but not necessarily in denim particularly after I had pinned this bright yellow denim skirt.

I started with my Self Drafted Skirt pattern and then dug out the detailed instructions that Sue Marriott had given me during her workshop on “how to use your TNT pants pattern to design and construct a pair of jeans” at the ASG Convention in Ballart in 2010.

I made the following changes to my pattern:

  • Added seam allowance to the skirt front so that I could have a centre front seam.
  • Drew in the fly front extension.
  • Drew my front pocket shape and drafted the pocket facing and pocket stay patterns.
  • Drew in the back yoke, adding seam allowance to both pieces.
  • Copied the back pockets from my Jalie Jeans as I like the shape and size.
    Copied the waistband from my Jalie Jeans pattern, adding a bit more length to it, just in case.

Next up was to find some fabric and I settled on a forest green twill from Spotlight and in my stash I had some wonderful cotton for the pockets.

The construction from there is just like a pair of jeans – you just don’t have a crotch seam to sew!

This time I have finally put in the pocket stay, besides keeping your pockets in place which avoids “tucking in” the pocket when getting dressed, it is also known as a “tummy control panel”.

 I also edgestitched and topstitched all the seams, including the side seams.

When I went to install the jeans button and rivets I realised that they weren’t the same colour so last Saturday night I headed to the M.Recht Accessories website and ordered antique brass jean buttons and nails and much to my delight they arrived on Tuesday, talk about wonderful service!

So here it is!
Wish I could get the colour consistent!
This is a great skirt and can see it getting a lot of wear during summer and even autumn.
Stash Out:  24.65 m
Stash In:     22.3 m

Make A Garment a Month

You may have seen that I have in my side bar a badge for Make A Garment a Month challenge which SarahLizSewStyle is hosting to help keep us focused on sewing a little each day for ourselves.  There are a lot of wonderful fellow sewers joining up.

My garment for October will be this raglan t-shirt from BurdaStyle Magazine as I have a RTW coral one that I wore constantly last year as I really liked the style.

However, I also want October to be the month to completely finish a number of garments that I have  in various stages of completion:

  • Chanel style jacket, that I started back in March during a weekend workshop in Brisbane. It is up to binding the jacket with a special gros-grain ribbon that has a groove in the centre.  Once this is done the sleeves are set in and then the buttonholes (I think I will let Mick do these once I have purchased the buttons from All Buttons Great and Small).
  • Pencil skirt in the same fabric that has the darts sewn and ready for the invisible zip.
  • Denim style skirt in a forest green twill that only needs a buttonhole and jeans button which I have ordered from M.Recht to arrive.

 I wonder how much I will achieve?

Now it is confession time, look what has followed me home from my last two ASG meetings at The Remnant Warehouse, the girls there are so obliging in pointing out fabric they think you will enjoy.

Silk mix (more silk than anything) with every colour in it for a jacket
Very dark brown and cream stripe knit for Vogue 8904

Looks like I have got November’s garment already lined up, but first I need to purchase the pattern whilst it is on special at Spotlight!

Rachel Comey Top

This is the top from the Vogue 1247 Rachel Comey pattern that includes the skirt pattern that I made the burnt orange linen skirt from and thought that some navy chiffon with off white spots that was in the stash would work well with.

My very good friend Sandra (Dilliander on Pattern Review) had already made up this top twice and had taken a lot of excess fabric out of the pattern, and seeing we are similar in size (definitely not height)  I borrowed her adjustments and made them to my pattern as follows:

  • Square shoulder adjustment
  • Shortened front horizontal dart by 1.5cm
  • Reduced the circumference by 3cm
  • Added some gentle shaping to the side seams.
  • Raised the front neckline by 1cm taking it back to the original neckline by the shoulder seam.
  • and then my standard 1cm gaposis in the front neckline.

I then proceeded to suffer paralysis on cutting the fabric and remembered that Lena Merrin from The Sewing Space had posted on Pattern Review and also on her blog a tip about using Gelatin to tame the chiffon and luckily there was some in the pantry.

Once the fabric air dried it was like silk organza and was much nicer to handle.

I also remembered seeing a very detailed review by JenleeC on Pattern Review and followed her tips on stay stitching the various pieces to stop them from stretching out.

French seams are used throughout and one of my sewing buddies also suggested that I topstitch them down as she knew that they would annoy me otherwise.

Now for the finished top

I’ve still got 3.5 metres of this chiffon fabric left and last Saturday at The Remnant Warehouse I saw a very cute peplum top in very similar fabric, now that could be interesting!

Stash Out:  23.25 m
Stash In:     19.8 m

Summer sewing

I’ve really enjoyed wearing my Rachel Comey brown denim skirt during winter and thought this wonderful burnt orange linen, purchased from Tessuti, would make a perfect summer skirt.

This time I used the same fabric for the pockets as I was concerned about show through. 

I lined it with Sun Silky and this was the best colour match that I could find and also tried out my rolled hem foot for the lining hem. 

and the back view

and someone managed to be in most of my photos!

There is a new top to go with this skirt on the sewing table so fingers crossed I will be back soon.

Stash Out:  21.65 m
Stash In:     16.3 m

Drum roll please ….

the Trench is finished Facebook smileys

It first started here, then the toile and pattern changes and lastly how it looked when you last saw it,

and now!

This has been one of the most challenging projects I have undertaken ever, but so worth it.

The rain coat fabric had its own requirements, but once I worked up the courage it was very easy to work with.

  •  I used fusible interfacing, Sheerweft TM for the facings and this fused very well using my Singer Magic Press, 
  • I used a Sharps needle,and increased the stitch length for my top stitching to 3.5 (previously using 3)
  • The fabric ravels quite a bit, so I over-locked/serged all the seams.

When you last saw the trench I had basted in the lining.  When I sat down again to work on the trench I realised I should have sat down a lot sooner and sorted out my to do list in a logical construction order as I hadn’t,

  • added the hanging strap,
  • installed the eyelets on the storm flaps,
  • made or sewn on the belt loops,
  • made and sewn on the double d-ring closure at the neck edge
this meant I had to do a lot of “going back”!

Now for a lot of  detailed photos:

Pocket bags secured to seams

This is a great tip from my sewing buddy Dilliander which she has posted on Pattern Review.

Batting used for sleeve cap

Bagged the sleeves using this great tutorial from Grainline Studio

Caught the lining on the sleeve seams to stop the sleeves moving forward

French Tacks from Couture Sewing Techniques at the shoulder and underarm seams

Pockets made for hem weights

Interfacing fused at hem, weights in place and hems finished

French seams used for the lining

Double D rings for neck closure, storm flaps have eyelets with washers installed using a Prym Kit
I purchased from the UK.

A closer look at the zippered pocket on left sleeve

Belts and buckles.

Lining with piping and hanging strap

Concealed buttons

oops, I missed a belt loop!

and last of all

can we go play now!

Even with the challenges and time this has taken I am thrilled with my Trench and look to forward to getting a lot of wear from it.

Stash Out:  19.25m
Stash In:  3.3

Ribbon Skirt

I am always drawn to sew-a-longs and had to join in the Julie Starr Ribbon Skirt Sew-a-long over at Goodbye Valentino especially when I saw one of my sewing buddies putting up her hand as well.

The biggest challenge was finding the 38mm (1 1/2″) wide grosgrain ribbon that this skirt is made from in tonal shades in Sydney in quantities of 5m.

Thankfully this is where the Internet really comes in handy, a search revealed Sarah Lauren who has quite an extensive range of grosgrain ribbons here in Australia and then I found Crafts Now who ship to Australia free with a larger colour range of 38mm grosgrain ribbon.

I ordered the ribbons from both and the service was perfect.  The cotton for skirt backing is a brand called “A Day In the Country” purchased from The Remnant Warehouse.

The instructions for this skirt are very easy to follow and this skirt takes a lot of precision measurements to make sure that your side seams match.

This is the small amount of ribbon I had left over!

Golden Brown, Chocolate, Turftan, Natural

So here is the finished skirt …

I am not a fan of waistbands so I have used cotton twill tape as my waistband stabiliser which is then hidden by the lining.

and then some lace for the finishing touch.

I can see this skirt working well with my evening tops I made for SWAP.

Stash Out:  14.55m
Stash In:  3.3