Monday 17 February 2020

V1456 not for me

Back when I was planning to sew the V1456 Sandra Betzina tunic for my mum, I figured I'd make a practice run in another fabric first.

I chose what would have been my size according to the pattern packet, and elected to make the simpler, sleeveless View B. I got as far as was necessary to know what fitting changes I needed to make to my mum's version. Then I went on to make hers. But I just hate an unfinished project so this one was sewn to completion in January.

But it's not doing it for me.

Maybe that's because I'm not a tight-pants-and-loose-tunic kind of person. I couldn't find anything to wear it with for the sake of these photos and eventually settled on the skirt just because the colour matched.

I suppose it would look nice over wide leg pants as well as skinny jeans or leggings.

I'd bought the pattern with the sole purpose of making that tunic for my mum so I shouldn't be surprised that it's not floating my boat. Yet I sort of wish it did...

It's a bit big in the bust for me, which you can see by the gaping under the arm. I'm not filling it out very well in the only place which is meant to be somewhat fitted, and so I feel a bit like I'm drowning in it.

The fabric is a nice cotton which I'd scored from another sewist who was destashing. I chose it for the muslin as I thought it would suit the pattern, but mostly because it would be so easy to work with compared to the crinkly seersucker gauze stuff of my mum's version.

I briefly toyed with the idea of throwing it in a dye bath to see if a darker colour made me like it more. but then I remembered the painfully sourced, colour matched, lightweight, double ended zip probably wouldn't take the dye and shelved that idea.

So I lent it to my mum, but she doesn't wear sleeveless things as a rule, didn't like the colour much and found it didn't fit well for all the reasons we'd changed her version. Obviously.

It was enjoyable to make and hopefully it will find a home where someone find enjoyment in wearing it. I'll post the measurement below and if it rocks your boat (even after all my doleful complaining about it's ugliness :) ) then stick your hand up.

Pattern: V1456
View B, no modifications
Size D (from pattern: Bust 38"/97cm, Waist 32&1/2"/83cm, Hip 40&1/2 /103cm)
Worn by me: Bust 38" (B cup with no difference between full bust and high bust measurements), waist 30", hip 40"

Monday 10 February 2020

School sewing and lessons learned

I don't care to think how many years ago it was that I last sewed a big batch of navy school shorts and skirts for the kids, but judging by how tight P's shorts were getting it was a while.
(whoops, 4 years, just found the post. Bad mummy! :) )

But they'd lasted well and so I'd put off any updating. Fast forward to the start of this school year and both kids were in need of some fresh clothing for their bottom halves.

I found some super cheap lightweight navy fabric at Eliza's and bought about 5 metres (for maybe $20). It has a little bit of stretch and I guess is best described as a tropical weight suiting fabric. I've used perhaps 2/3rds of it here to make the following:

3 pairs of Oliver + S Sketchbook shorts in size 10 for P - He's still comfortably wearing these size 8 ones, but I figured since he's almost 12 it was time to go up a size, and he measured perfectly for the size 10 although much taller. I didn't add length as they're a comfortably long pattern to start with.

For A, I made two of the Oliver + S Badminton skorts. This is a sweet pattern with a little pair of built in shorts and is one of the only skirts in her previous school wardrobe that she liked. I toyed with leaving the scallops off and just doing a straight hem facing but she said she liked the scallop bits.

And she got two pair of her favourite shorts, the Oliver + S Class Picnic shorts. Hers are all a straight size 10 as well cause while she's shorter and younger she's measuring the same in waist and hips as her beanpole brother.

As with any Oliver + S patterns, the sewing was a delight and I found I enjoyed working like a trojan to get them all made in the few evenings between holidays end and school starting.

And then the tragic part? After only two weeks of wearing and washing (like maybe two to three wears each for A's clothes) everything is falling apart.

I could cry, except in the scheme of heavy stuff going on in my life right now, some frayed school clothes is so trivial it's not funny. Which makes it kind of funny.

Anywhere I trimmed to 1/4" (and that was as close as I got) it's all falling apart. And of course with the Class Picnic and the Badminton patterns, that's pretty much the whole facing edges. I've just gone around the hem lines with a zig zag stitch as I could not bear to think of any more involved kind of rescue. That'll do and they still look better than the official school uniform clown sized trackpants.

Lesson learnt: Life is too short to buy shit fabric.

P.S. How classy is our rental? :) It's a bit of a dump but that clothesline is absurdly functional. Massive, blasted with westerly sun and ridiculous amounts of wind. If there was a surburban rental laundry competition I'd be all over it!!

Sunday 2 February 2020

Kraft-Tex book launch and GIVEAWAY!

Let's do something fun and have a giveaway!

(honestly, I'm doing so much un-fun shit right now, I need this more than you do!!)

I hadn't let on, but back in 2018 I was approached to contribute an original design to a new book on how to use Kraft-tex vegan leather.

You can imagine my first reaction was holy cow, YES! Quickly, followed by a wailing But-I-don't-design-I-just-make!!

But there it is! That's my bag taking up most of the front cover of the Kraft-Tex Creations book.

There's so much you can do with Kraft-Tex. You can cut, stitch, paint, print, fold... Pretty much everything you can do with leather AND everything you can do with paper in one medium. 

I decided I'd like to use the ability to cut and wet shape the Kraft-Tex. And so, my bag is made from a flat piece of Kraft-Tex, cut with a stencil, reinforced at  the base and handles with stitching, then wet moulded to shape.

There are lots of other great projects in the book that make use of all the different ways you can tool around with Kraft-Tex. I'm looking forward to making a few myself as I'm going to keep a copy of the book for me.

But how about you? If you'd like to win a copy, there's a widget at the end of the blog post and I'll give away two copies:  One to an Australian entrant and another to an international entrant (I'm footing the postage bill, so that's as generous as I can be!). There's also a third copy that I'll give away locally on Instagram so you can go there and throw your name in the hat too.

On the cover of the book they styled my bag beautifully as a knitting bag. But the book includes instructions to sew a little cloth inner bag to make it a functional handbag.

At the end of 2018 I decided it went well with my Frocktails dress so it had a little hush-hush secret outing before the book launch.

I've also used it as a day to day handbag, and I can vouch for it's strength! One day when I decided I needed some groceries and this bag was all I had with me I used it to carry a dozen eggs, a litre of milk and a packet of butter home from the shops. It held up just fine!

Kraft-Tex is available in Australia from Kraft Kolour, but you might also find it elsewhere online. This project uses the full width of a roll, but only about 2/5ths of it's length, so you'd get plenty of other projects made from one roll of Kraft-Tex.

I'm very excited to have created something for the book and I hope you can have a play with Kraft-Tex and create something yourself. Or maybe try my bag?!

Good luck!

Kraft-Tex Creations Giveaway