Saturday, 13 January 2018

All Day (Christmas) Shirt: Vlisco / TRON version

Long before the All Day Shirt was released I was dreaming of making my husband a non conventional "Hawaiian" shirt and I was hunting for the perfect fabric. Eventually I found this amazing Vlisco Java wax print at Brave Fabrics and then the pattern came out and it was all just meant to be.

To read more about the fabric, click the image below to check out the Brave Fabrics blog post that Erin invited me to write, and then have a look at the other gorgeous fabrics she stocks. How loud could your next garment be in Vlisco wax print?!

Here I thought I would just make my usual notes about pattern adjustment so that I can keep my ledger in order.

As for his Atelier Brunette double gauze shirt I shortened the sleeves by cutting them at the lengthen/shorten line, then sewing a 1" deep double fold hem with total hem allowance of 1&1/2".

Of course I had a bit of fun pattern matching and had to get the ruler out to make sure that where my orange stripes crossed the front placket they would end up the same length as any other orange stripes elsewhere on the shirt!

Can you spot the chest pocket in that photo above? I thought not ;) I wondered if it might not be a bit invisible when worn too, so I actually unpicked a bit and slipped a ribbon tag under one edge then restitched it. But then I decided that was "too much" - like this shirt hadn't gone way over the top already, and took it out again.

The electric blue is ever so slightly teal and I knew a button match would require the expert assistance of Buttonmania, so I went down and blinded the poor things with my shirt. But of course the perfect button was found. It was surprisingly quite teal in colour and in the box didn't look like it would be the one to pick, but worked perfectly when placed on the shirt.

My aim had been a Hawaiian style shirt but just avoiding any obvious floral or islander style prints. To make it even more of a casual shirt I squared off the hem. Flipper thought the hem should be slightly shorter than the side height of his other All Day Shirt, so I cut straight across the front and back pattern pieces about 3/4" above the highest point of the original hem line. Then still finished it with a 3/4" hem.

At each side seam I left just over an inch of the side seam unstitched and created a small side vent. I didn't get close up photos but I'm sure you can imagine a narrow 1/2" hem on each side of the vent that is topstitched and then a bartack at the end of the side seam. It look great and allows that little bit of extra movement at the hip.

And then it got a little label (cool labels from Kylie and the Machine) and was wrapped up as part of his Christmas present.

The fabric is great and a delight to sew with. Imagine the weight of a traditional quilting cotton type fabric but with the fineness and weave of a Liberty lawn. It was like stitching crisp butter!

I have a feeling he'll be happy to receive more shirts like this one, so I still have my eye out for any dark, non floral, quirky prints that would make great party shirts., Then we'll just need to get invited to more parties!

Size: L
Modifications: Short sleeve and straight hem with side vents
Notions: buttons, thread, interfacing and label - but no Swear Words, the pattern is too good for that!

I'll be back in a day or two with some Oliver + S sewing and then we can pick a winner of the Seashore Sundress giveaway...

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Photo collage time! - 2017 in review

Even though it takes me forever, I like organising all my year long makes and sticking them together in giant collages.

As always the first collage I make is the Oliver + S patterns:

In previous years I've had three of even four collages just of Oliver + S. I suppose now that both kids spend 5 out of 7 days in school uniform I've slowed down a little on sewing them clothes. However, with the exception of some emergency shopping when my son forgot to take his packed bag on holiday, I don't think I've bought them anything this year either.

There was a lot of lycra purchased and scrounged (thanks to my local sewing machine repair guy's scraps stash) and so swimwear, leotards and cycle bits all needed a collage of their own:

I made lots of things that can't be classified in just one craft category, so from tiny macrame earrings to giant ears for a Renault; here's all the "other stuff" of 2017

And then it looks like 2017 was the year of sewing for me. Move aside kids, yes, you kids, the ones dressed in last years too short, worn out clothes, I'm making something more for MYSELF!

But first: The reason I ended up sewing even more for myself was that I finally got around to making that wholesale change in the way I was eating. We've all heard it, right? You can't eat in your 40's like you did in your 20's without getting steadily bigger and bigger. I was proving that point, and while I was exercising and staying strong I was on a steady, couple of kilos every year, upward flab trend. So In March I did that predictably dull thing and stopped eating breakfast cereals, bread and pasta.

Here's a collage of various photos of breakfasts and lunches taken over the last 10 months...

Of course the real joy in saying goodbye to 10kg of fat was saying hello again to all the ready-to-wear clothes I'd stashed away post kids and lamented ever wearing again. I've always been one for buying only a few items of clothing, spending big and avoiding trends. So I'm happy to be rediscovering things I hadn't worn for 10 years and finding they fit right back in to my wardrobe.

Not that that stopped me from sewing for myself. Here's mostly me, but also my mum and Flipper, in everything made using Lisette for Butterick or Liesl + Co patterns:

And finally, when I'm not sewing under Liesl Gibson's guidance I make a few other things for the kids and myself. Here's the final collage of mixed "other" garment sewing.

I'm too lazy to caption all the images, but if you see a garment and want to know what the pattern is, or would like a recipe for a lunch idea then just ask away in the comments section below.

What next?
My wardrobe is fairly full now, not that I'll be stopped from cramming more in. First project for myself will be some more swimwear. The pattern is looking at me from the other room right now..... Gotta go!

Happy new year everybody, may you have a wonderful, healthy and productive 2018

Don't forget to check out the Seashore Sundress post, which is one post behind this one, 
for the chance to win a paper pattern. I'll pick a winner next week.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Seashore Sundress & a GIVEAWAY

My last handmade thing to hit the bog for 2017 is a new dress for A.

The Seashore Sundress is one of the earlier Oliver + S patterns but one that I've never made until now.  You know what I'm going to say next, right? Why, oh why did I wait? It's such
a lovely little pattern!

I waited so long in fact that she has outgrown the smaller size range (6m to 4 years) and we're straight into the bigger pattern with a size 6. She measures with the width of a six but the height of about a size 8 so I added 3/4" in length to the body of the dress and another 3/4" to the hem of the skirt. I think it came out just right!

If I'm honest, the main reason I never sewed this dress is that when it's hot enough in Australia to wear a dress like this, then it's unwise to have so much skin exposed to the sun. But then there are days when it's so jolly hot you don't even go outside, so a pretty, bare shouldered dress is OK after all.

The fabric is a very light, semi-sheer cotton that I bought from The Fabric Store quite a few years ago. I think it may have been intended for the Fairy Tale dress pattern as there was more than my standard 1m-cut-for-kids-clothes, but I liked the look of the scalloped print matching with the Seashore moniker.

Little pockets  -yay!
Of course the fabric did give me the challenge of matching the print across all those seams. I was confident I could do the horizontal line part OK, but to get the curves to be at the same point in their wave form across each seam would be impossible. The solution to trick the eye away from the slight mismatch of the waves was to throw in some flat piping along every seam.

For the smaller sizes (size chart here) the pattern also comes with a cute pair of bloomer style knickers to wear underneath. Given the way this kid cartwheels non stop, and seems to be upside down as often as she is right way up, I should probably try drafting up the pattern and making her a matching pair!

In my quest to own every Oliver + S pattern in paper form I had accidentally bought the paper Seashore Sundress pattern in the smaller size range twice. After I realised my mistake it took many months of searching to track down the paper pattern in the larger size.

I think that pose says "Get to the point, mum!"...

So, I have a Seashore Sundress (6m to 4) paper pattern to give away as a little New Year's gift to a lucky blog reader. I'm happy to post it to anywhere in the world.  Just leave a comment below, and to help you think of something to say, how about telling me about the pattern that you left on the shelf for ages but then fell in love with - or at least the most recent one of those as I seem to do that very often.
(Please make sure you leave an email address so I can contact the winner regarding postage)

Now, have a happy new year! And that's an order!

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Vogue 9112: Marcy Tilton meets Nani Iro

Back in the depths of winter there was a sale at Urban Sew and Janice was selling Nani Iro double gauze at half price. With no idea what I'd do with it I snapped up two different fabrics. Seemed someone else had the same idea and Janice emailed me to say her website had been too slow and my order had already sold out. Still, she would send me some of the newly arriving Nani Iro fabric for the same deal. Nice!

As the weather warmed up and I sewed Flipper's double gauze shirt I had an urgent hankering for a double gauze dress of my own. And while I'm out of town this week, if it's hot, you can be sure I'll be wearing this dress....

I'd not really known what I would do with this fabric until I started thinking about V9112 , the Marcy Tilton "Cirque" dress and suddenly I had a pattern/fabric match in my head.

A little search on Sewing Pattern Review gave me a few tips - size down to the minimum bust measurement, double layer the collar and why not throw in some flat piping to highlight the seam lines.

I had a 3 yard cut of the double gauze which allowed me to play a bit with placing the print in places that I thought would work. Honestly, I don't think the pale background colour and the yellow suit me at all, but the fabric was there and needed to be used up somehow.

I made some of my own flat piping with bias strips and every time the pattern called for staystitching one of the curved seam allowance, I simply basted the piping on as my stay stitching.

I didn't make a muslin, which is kind of sacrilegious when using Nani Iro, but apparently not if using half price Nani Iro.

Anyway, I changed the order of sewing slightly so that I stitched up most of the side seams with their pockets before sewing the centre back seam and collar. That way I could play with the seam allowance of the the centre back seam. I gave myself an extra 1/4 inch through the upper back, but it's arguably still a tiny bit tight through the upper chest.  I could then finish the centre back seam allowances, add the back lower hem section and then finish the right side seam below the pocket.

It was an easy change to the order of things and allowed for fitting on the go which isn't really possible when the side seams incorporate in seam pockets.

Yes! Pocketses!

Sewing the collar with two layers of fabric (and no interfacing) gives it just enough structure, but still plenty of  "casual crumple".  The collar has a couple of pleat tucks and I sewed these pleats in each layer, my collar and collar facing, separately before joining the collar pieces around the edge and then turning it right side out.

In this big, sparse print, the flat piping really helps to show up the lovely seam lines of the dress.

On the left side and the back it's pretty short and the Marcy Tilton blog indicates they added as much as 7" of length to the version they made for their runway show back when the pattern was released. Not a bad idea if you don't want to layer it over leggings or flash a bit of leg.

If you reach up too high to steal the neighbour's figs you could be caught out with that hem line....

But it's worth it, cause someone else's figs are always the tastiest.

Pattern: Vogue 9112 Marcy Tilton
Size: 12 (I measured closer to 14+) and it is a wee bit tight around the upper bust
Modifications: Flat piping and double layer collar
Fabric: Nani Iro - Komorebi Tender Days from Urban Sew

Monday, 25 December 2017

Christmas gift making


Did you have a lovely Christmas day? I'm going to guess that I did, but I'm writing and scheduling this post in advance as I'm going to be out of town. Lets' imagine I ate and drank too much and we're probably not far wrong.

But now that the unwrapping is done I can share all the Christmas gifts that I/we made.

First up: the wonders of Kraft-Tex washable paper fabric...

I cut out this little box pattern and then drew in, using a mechanical pencil, the areas that would be each side (minus the fold down at the top) and the bottom, then A painted it. Even with my obvious THIS WAY UP arrows she still got muddled and did some upside down painting, but she took it all in her stride and turned her upside down flower into a flower on a vine. On the bottom she wrote a dedication to her teacher and signed it. Good job kid.

When the fabric paint was dry I ironed it to set the paint then stitched the box together, wet it and then rolled the top down with it damp. We filled it with dark Lindt chocolate balls and wrapped it in cellophane. Only hiccup was the grey lead pencil doesn't wash off the white Kraft-Tex as well as I'd imagined it would.

P used some black Kraft-Tex paper to sew a little wallet for his teacher

He has a "very cool" teacher who plays guitar and I've now learned is a vegan, so the choice of washable paper for his wallet was perfect. The pattern is one of the Wallet Set from Thread Theory which I'd bought with gifts and this washable paper fabric in mind. The little front pocket is perfect for a single key, or your guitar pick. If you're that cool....

P read the instructions, glued the PDF together, cut out the pattern and then did the first line of topstitching before freaking out and asking me to do the rest of the stitching. Fair enough, as the little Janome had to fairly hammer to get through three layers of this stuff. I used a leather needle and upholstery thread.

The last Kraft-Tex project was a commission for my mum's newly renovated bathroom. She gave me the dimensions for a bucket bag to hold some cosmetics and requested a black/dark grey colour scheme.

This one has had a bit more scrunching after washing and you can see how nicely the paper behaves. When it's wet it really feels like the chamois your dad used to use to wash the car.  I'd previously given my mum a couple of the Uashmama branded bags and she uses them in the kitchen, one as a breadbag for the table, and the other to collect produce in from the garden. they have aged really nicely.

I found that Kraftcolour, here in Aus, stocks all of the colours in 1.37metre rolls at quite reasonable prices. I bought one roll of every colour for about as much as one extra large commercial bag would cost. Expect a lot more Kraft-Tex paper projects to come! ;)

I thought my choice of lining fabric was terribly clever until I realised that the print on that quilting cotton would be sideways or upside down on three out of the four sides of the bag. Ah well.

Here's a little Ida clutch (free pattern from Kylie and the Machine) that I made for the daughter of one of my friends I do french conversation class with. She had gifted me a fat 8th of fabric from their trip to japan earlier last year. I've turned it into a little clutch purse to gift back!

I've never let a Christmas go by without making something for my nephew. We don't see him often enough to have any idea what his "latest thing" is, but my kids were pretty sure he'd still be a big fan of Nexo Knight LEGO.

OK, time for a stencilled T-shirt, right?!

The T-shirt is a straight size 8 Oliver + S School Bus T-shirt. I used some Lisette knit for the sleeves and back, a perfectly matched Ottobre ribbing for the neckband and a nice white cotton/lycra for the front. All from the stash.

I cut a freezer paper stencil to get the main shape and details of the character

And then most of the shading and painting was done by hand once the base stencil was dry. I've used Setacolour opaque paints and just mixed them to get the shades of grey I wanted. I love doing these!

The last sewn project was another All Day Shirt for my husband. This one will certainly get a blog post all of it's own but here's the sneak peek:

The fabric is some crazy vibrant Vlisco Wax Print from Brave Fabrics. I bought it quite a while ago and I was careful to consult the bloke as I wasn't sure he'd go for it. He has a bit of a tradition of wearing a Hawaiian style shirt for Christmas lunch and I thought it would be fun to make him one. I struggled to find the exact print I wanted (not classic hibiscus, not too floral but not like a quilting cotton surfboard print either...). When I saw this fabric and when I showed it to him and said the magic words: Tron Legacy, he was 100% on board!

Can you spot the pocket?!

Let's hope he doesn't change his mind when he sees it!

After the sewing came the knotting....

My daughter has been wanting a dreamcatcher for a long time. I think they're mostly pretty hideous, but I wondered if I couldn't make a "tasteful dreamcatcher" (oxymoron) with macrame cord. the pattern came from Fanny Zedenius' book "Macrame" . I happened to have just the right amount of 3mm natural colour cotton cord in my stash and only needed to buy the plastic ring for a couple of dollars.

The ring is 30cm across, so it's quiet a sizeable wallhanging. I think it's not bad as far as dreamcatcher's go, but the husband's first comment was "isn't it meant to have feathers and stuff?" so I'm not sure the kid will think it's authentic enough after all.

My final bit of rope craft, and the gift I put off making for fear I had been overly ambitious, was this:

With much cheering on from my lovely Instagram followers, I made a rope mat for my brother in law's new boat. I bought 100 metres of 10mm navy, marine nylon rope that was on sale and when it arrived it looked like a massively overgrown sewing reel! This project required me to cut 40m but I probably only ended up using just over half of that once it was all tightened up.

With all the leftovers I'm thinking I can kit his whole boat out in co-ordinating navy rope things!

The instructions came from my Des Pawson Book of Knot Craft & Rope Mats and I loved the quote for this project: "giving a modest yacht a touch of class" Perfect!

For a first go it's not bad although I can see that with practice in working it not too tight, not too loose, I will have plenty of room to improve.

The pattern suggested that in 10mm rope it should be 60cm across, but mine has only ended up 40cm in diameter. Not sure how that worked, but let's hope his yacht is more "modest" than some.

here it is with feet to give a sense of scale

And the back view shows my first ever go at a side splice finish. You can see the splicing at about the two'o'clock position. It worked quite neatly I think.

So that was all my Christmas crafting, but I'll leave you with some little reindeer biscuits that the kids and I made last week. The inspiration came via Deb and the LMLD food blog.

Not all of our reindeer muzzle biscuits worked out and the first batch were a bit more like mini scones. So we made some random woodland creatures to go along with our reindeer.

Thanks for sticking it out if you've made it all the way to the end!
Wishing everyone a safe and happy festive season. Hopefully I'll be back with one last post before the New Year and that one will include a giveaway. Stay tuned!

Friday, 22 December 2017

Liesl + Co Chai Tee

This one also dates back to the pre-Frocktails procrasticrafting. I decided to bust out the new Liesl + Co Chai Tee pattern and whip up a quick T-shirt.

The details of the T-shirt pattern are somewhat lost in my print, so here's the line drawing from the Oliver + S website:

As you can see I made View A, which is really the same as View B but you don't fold the sleeve cuffs back and tack them up. That's the only difference as far as I can gather. I liked my sleeve cuffs flopping down.

The pattern comes with five sizes, XS through to XXL and the three different bust cup sizes A/B, C or D. As per my measurements I made the size M with A/B cup size.

I was on the hunt for something quick and easy and so I constructed the whole thing with the overlocker. The sewing machine only came out at the very end to twin needle the hem of the body.

I made it with a 1metre cut of a mystery, very drapey rayon knit that was in the stash. I made no modifications at all, but in such a drapey, stretchy knit you can see that the neckline has become very large. I don't mind it at all for general wearing, but I find if I carry a shoulder bag, the top ends up coming off my shoulders and there's a bit of bra strap peekage, which is something I'm not a fan of at all.

But as a light, loose t-shirt with a flattering shape and some interest with the shoulder pleats I'm calling it a winner. I'll be curious to see how it sews up in a more stable fabric, or even by blocking a woven fabric for the front panel and the rest in a knit. Definitely a pattern worth playing with.

pattern: Liesl + Co Chai Tee, View A
size: M, A/B cup
modifications: none (other than different sewing construction to use the overlocker only)
fabric: Cheap rayon knit from the local Vietnamese fabric shop via the stash.