Friday, 19 October 2012

Sewing plan

After clearing out my wardrobe the other week, it's become QUITE clear that I need some clothes, and clothes that I can coordinate and throw together. I've been thinking over my wardrobe, and have been trying to buy patterns and fabric for those patterns, that fits my plan for my wardrobe. There's been a lot of discussion on the blogosphere about picking a wardrobe that mixes and matches and that you actually wear.

Since I'm starting with very little as a basis, I'm working on basics and steering away from the "frosting", sticking to the "cake".

So, this is what I'm planning to make over the next little while:

Image via

2 x white renfrew
2 x black renfrew
2 x grey renfrew
2 x navy striped renfrew

I need basic t-shirts for layering and wearing with skirts and jeans. I tend to throw on a simple top like this and have a cardigan over the top, most days. Hence me making 8 of the same pattern.

Image via

1 x khaki thurlow shorts
I've tossed around a few ideas for these shorts, and I think some simple khaki shorts will be really good. Flexible, and easy to wear. Any of the above renfrews would work with them, so it should be pretty versatile.

Image via
2 x Cambie dress
I am working on this at the moment, and the fabric for my first one is above. The second will probably be in a solid colour, as I try to sew solids where possible.

Image via 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World

2 x Tiramisu dress
I'm so excited to get my pattern of this dress! I'm going to make one striped and one solid of this one too. I'm really excited to start making it - Steph C from 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World has been drip feeding us her construction techniques and it is fascinating! The pattern comes with a range of cup sizes and stripe matching lines, and you draft your own waist band based on your measurements! I'm really impatient for this to arrive. I need to start sourcing the fabric for this, STAT!

Image via Colette Patterns

1 x Anise.
I love love love this pattern. I have two blazer type jackets and three longer wintery coats, but since I wear a lot of v-necked cardigans I've been looking for a jacket that will go with them and has a higher neckline. This is exactly the kind of thing that I've been looking for! I plan to make this in a pale grey wool with white buttons.
Image via
2 x white alma
2 x print alma
You might be noticing a pattern here! I seem to have developed a full blown obsession with Sewaholic patterns. I really like how simple this top is, and some more structured tops to wear to work would be good to have. I quite like wearing smart blouses with jeans, too, but don't have many wearable ones in reality. I haven't picked out the fabric for the print ones, but I'd like to use some simple patterns that will coordinate with my jeans and solid colour skirts. I love all three views, but will probably make a mix of views a and b.

I also have that gorgeous fabric from Kat that I posted the other day.  I'm still looking at patterns to do the fabric justice. But that will make an appearance here too once I do!

Monday, 15 October 2012

Cambie FBA

I made my first muslin of my Cambie this weekend! yay! It looks really good, all told, and there aren't many adjustments that I need to make to it. I made a straight size six of the bodice only, thread tracing as I went - go me!

I knew that I'd have to do an FBA, and whilst it zipped up without one, it's a bit tight. I'm going to add about an inch and a half to the front bodice.

This is a bad shot of my unmade bed and the tight front of the Cambie muslin. It feels pretty comfy, but I think a little more ease would be ok.

 Here's a back shot of the muslin. It's a tiny bit tight, but I think the FBA would fix that. I don't think I'll make any other alterations to the back at this stage.

This is the fabric that I'll be using for the Cambie. Pretty, huh?

I went to do the FBA but got confused, as there isn't a side dart on the bodice or a clear arm scythe. So I did some googling and asked twitter and came up with a couple of suggestions. One was to do an FBA which would create a side dart, and another was to convert it into a princess seam.

I wasn't sure how either way would work, so I made a little mockup of the former this morning to test. It's very rough, and was just done to test the idea and see if it would work, before I cut into my traced pattern. It looks like it would work ok, so since it's the easy option of the two, I'm going to attempt that first. I got a bit confused when looking at the princess seam option, and since I don't have a french curve, I might leave that off for the moment. I'll come back to it once I have a bit more experience.

Here's my tiny model. I made a mark of about where the apex would be and drew across to the side from there. I then made a mark to where I thought the arm hole would be (between the sleeve notches and the seam allowance) and I drew down from the apex into the waist dart. I didn't lengthen the other side, as this was just a quick mock-up, but I think that could work! At least I feel prepared now to give it a shot and try it in the muslin. The FBA has the benefit of lengthening the bodice too - which I need. It's just a tiny bit short at the moment. 

I went to a restaurant with The Chef a little while ago and we sat at barstools at the bar. He couldn't work out why we were at eye level and thought I was sitting on a taller chair. It took a little while for it to dawn on him that I have a long torso and very short legs!

Oh that my legs were longer. Sigh.

In other news! Below is the fabric that I had picked out for my Hazel. Now that I've decided to leave that pattern, the fabric is free for another project. I have 2 meters of it and a white cotton to underline it with. What to make!? 

 And this gorgeous fabric is the fabric that Kat from All the whimsical things gave me at the last sewing meetup. I'm so excited about making something with it! I was thinking maybe even another Cambie - but the colours are very similar to the other Cambie that I'm making. Hmm. I am on the lookout for a pattern for this fabric too. Can't wait to use it, I love it!

 Finally, I went for a walk to the market yesterday and saw little Oscar! a few months ago, The Chef turned up at 4am with a tiny kitten that he'd rescued. It went back home to it's owners after stealing our hearts, but lives a block away so I can go and say hello occasionally. Look how cute he is?! Aww!

I want another kitten!!!

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Breaking up is hard to do.

But I have broken up with Hazel, at least for now.

I started making progress at the Social Sewing day - the bodice fit well after I took in a tuck across the bust, but the stomach area was baggy and my attempts at fixing that didn't really work. I put on my muslin on Saturday to do some more work in it, looked at it in the mirror and sighed, pulling it off.

I might revisit this pattern in the future, once I'm better at fit adjustments, but at the moment it's not inspiring me to sew, and it's putting me off turning on my sewing machine, so it's not worth the effort.

I have the bodice of Cambie traced out, ready for me to make my first muslin, and I'm pretty excited to get into it - I've got things on the next two nights and have been concentrating on cleaning the poor neglected house, so I'm going to block out my Friday night for a big sew fest. I'm looking forward to trying this pattern!

I've also been thinking more about my sewing plan for the season. I went through my closet the other day and got rid of a couple of bags of clothes. I really don't have much in the way of clothes at the moment, so need to get stitching! what a liberating feeling. I'll keep tweaking my plan and hopefully can show you it in a couple of days. I'm basically pretending that I don't have any clothes at all, and working from there. I've got some priority sewing projects and some "Would be nice" projects.

A sneek peek is that I have QUITE a few Renfrews lined up - I got rid of all my layering t-shirts in the clean out - they were cheapies from Cotton-on and weren't very nice to wear. I quite like the idea of a Renfrew Assembly line-up, and might try to make all of them in a marathon sewing session! I guess I'll definitely get some good knit sewing experience, if nothing else!

Monday, 1 October 2012

Social Sewing day!

This Saturday a gaggle of sewing enthusiasts around Melbourne gathered at GJs Fabrics for a day of non-stop sewing. I thought that 9-4 sounded like a good long amount of sewing, and didn’t think I’d end up staying the whole time, but once I was there and in front of my machine, I couldn’t believe how quickly the time flew by. Before I’d blinked, I swear Rachel was telling us all we had 15 minutes to pack up and get out!

All my grand plans about the prep work that I was going to do before the meeting evaporated in a flash, with a grand total of zero of the items on my to do list complete. Sigh. I meant to cut out a Renfrew on the day, but my fabric was pretty fluffy (thanks Cat!) and I left the pattern at home, so it didn’t get a look in. Instead I spent the day working on my muslin of Hazel. Everyone gave me help with fitting, which was super useful, and although it’s still not quite right, I’m so much closer to having a wearable dress than I was before I went in. The issue of the triangular bosom has been solved, and I’ve managed to shape the bodice to fit my curves a bit more. One more slight adjustment to the bosom and a little bit of width taken from the top of the bodice and I think I’m ready to cut into my fashion fabric. I didn’t like the gathered skirt at all when I tried my first muslin on, but now that the bodice is fitting better I’m liking it a lot more. Though to be honest, it’s still not my favourite.

Kat from All the Whimsical Things was super generous and brought along a collection of items from her stash that she was taking to the op shop for us to get first pick. I managed to score a truly gorgeous fabric – pale blue with white embroidered birds and cut out pieces of fabric. I have plans to make a skirt out of it, and maybe even another Hazel, if I get the fit right on the first one! It’s really truly stunning! Thanks so much, Kat!

Two more dates have been booked in, and I’ve cleared my diary for both. Coincidentally, my friend Danika, who came along on Saturday, and I had booked in a day of sewing on the first date anyway, so that worked out perfectly.

My eye got caught by some beautiful quilting fabric on the way to the sewing room, and I think next time I go I’m going to have to stop sewing for a minute to buy some to make cushions with. I’ve been looking out for some cushion fabric and our sofa is in bad need of some cushions.

It was so great to chat to everyone there and I came back feeling so energised and excited to get back into sewing! I have the next two days off work, and Wednesday looks set to be a sewing day! I’m excited! I’ve been tracing my Cambie pattern ready to make my first muslin of the bodice. And I might even get to cut out my Hazel - EXCITE! EXCITE!! I'm nervous about matching all those stripes, though.

Thanks so much, Rachel for organising such a great day! Check out her post about the day here.