Thursday 30 June 2011

Burda 7441 - Trousers completed

I have finished my Burda 7441 trousers and I'm chuffed with the results. Don't get me wrong, there are imperfections and I did skip a step or two but I'm still very happy with the result.
This is the only photo I have to show you actually wearing them but since finishing them I have worn them twice to work already. I did a photo shoot with them, but don't like the result at all (my hair isn't right, my hands look funny, that type of stuff). This one is ok and it was snapped by my colleague during a lunch break. I promise more photos as I am planning to make a yellow mustard top to go with it and replicate my original inspiration look. Not sure when though.
But let's get down to business. After tissue fitting I've cut straight into fabric. The first step on the instructions was scary: make two slashed pockets with single piping. Basically slashed pockets are like giant bound buttonholes and these ones also have piping. I tested on some scraps unsuccessfully. Actually I did manage to do some but they were less then perfect. After a long time frustrating and fretting on this I decided to skip these pockets. I don't really use back pockets anyway. I might add some flaps at some stage as my behind is a bit flat and no pockets makes it worse.
The next big thing was a fly zip. I had never done a fly zip and was quite scared. I was pleasantly surprised and a wee bit chuffed with the result. The instructions were very clear and helpful and that certainly helped.
The pattern also has two side pockets which attach to the pants with a hip yoke. I was quite scared beforehand, as I had no clue what is was and what it was meant for, but once I got it I breezed through.
The waistband was also quite straightforward to attach and the instructions very good.
However the same instructions leave for last the attaching of a hook and a bar to the waistband and that means there's a bunch of thread in front of the waistband. I guess I could have pre-empted this before and sewn the hook before completing the waistband but I didn't. I usually follow the pattern instructions to the letter, especially in more challenging or new to me projects and sometimes when you read a step too far ahead it only confuses you.

All in all I am quite happy. I expected the pants to be more straight leg than cigarette pants but still love them and see myself wearing this quite a lot.

But now I want to know: have you done slashed pockets before? How about fly zips?

Wednesday 29 June 2011

Recent Fabric Acquisitions

So what did I buy and what did I swap last Saturday in Brighton? And also important, what do I plan to do with it?
From Ditto Fabrics I got 2 meters of this gorgeous printed cotton. Look at it, it's so gorgeous I am sure I will suffer from anxiety when cutting time comes. My initial idea was to do a shirt or maybe a skirt but still unsure. Suggestions?
For quite some time I have been looking for a light weight camouflage. I found it in Brighton and snapped 4 meters of it. Also unsure of what to do but have some rough ideas. Not prepared to share them yet though.
That was all of my buys but the excitement isn't over as I also swapped some not-really-me fabrics for some I look forward to use.
This gingham is adorable and should be just right for a wiggle type dress. I have already cut the pattern for this.
Next is this ultra soft striped fabric which will hopefully turn itself into a blouse. I have also already cut the pattern pieces for this.
And Zoe snapped this gorgeous anchor tape from the market and shared one meter of each with me. Thank you so much! Several ideas in my head but haven't decided which one to do.
So what do you think of my acquisitions? And what would you do with them?

Monday 27 June 2011

Giveaway winners

With the help of Random Number Generator, the winners have been chosen:
Winner of day one is....House of Pinheiro who said "Oi Susy Feliz aniversario ! Happy birthday ! How wonderful too that you started bloging in june so happy Blogyversary ! Well. I have the most funny photos on the 80's as I fully embraced. Black t-shirts with big bright slogans, converses, side ponitail.. lots of gold ! heheh and all that before 10 yrs old ! Totally fashionista."
Winner of day two is again, a very lucky House of Pinheiro who said "Hi, I never sew a blouse as they scare me !"
Winner of day three is...Gill who said "I enjoy patchwork and bagmaking as well as dressmaking! and I'd love to learn to embroider".
Winner of day four is...Christi, who said "That's a wonderful pattern! I've sewn one unprinted pattern before and didn't find it too bad. Took a little longer than usual but that's okay".
Winner of day five is...Beata who said "Pussy bow blouse :) Have had my eye on pussy-bow blouses in animal prints for a while!"

Thank you all who entered and celebrated with me my birthday/ anniversary week! Congratulations to the winners. I will be emailing you later today to ask for a mailing address.

Sunday 26 June 2011

Brighton Me-Made-June Meetup

I didn't take part of Me-Made-June just because I don't think I have enough me made clothes I could wear to work, however when Zoe announced a meetup to celebrate Me-Made-June in which everyone would be able to attend I couldn't say no. And let me tell you, what a brilliant time I had! I had been itching to meet in real life other sewing bloggers, especially as I was unable to get to the Walthamstow Shopping Frenzy or the Goldhawk Road Fabric Fandango. I met gorgeous and talented sewists and we had a great time together.
Zoe prepared the lovely map underneath to guide us through the day and Claire was kind enough to print enough copies for everyone. We were divided into 2 groups, as most shops are way too small for a large group. And led by Stevie, my group went along.The tour involved 3 fabric shops, including the eye-watering Ditto Fabrics, and a street market, where we lusted after old and used haberdashery. The tour finished at the pub, where food, drink and much merriness was in store.
After much needed food we shared our buys.
And then we had fun swapping fabric!
The bottom right pile is what I swapped for a gorgeous blue gingham, possible destined to be a wiggle type dress, and a oh-so-soft stripy fabric. I also bought some fabric, but I'll share that in another post as this one is already going long.
What a fantastic day, we need to do this more often!

Friday 24 June 2011

A Week of Giveaways - Day 5

And so we come to the last day of my week of giveaways. I should probably have said it was a 5 day week giveaway but I forgot. I'm sorry if you expected two more days, hopefully todays prize will be worth it.
The photo is not very good but what you have here is 2 meters of grey leopard chiffon fabric (exact contents unknown). I bought this very early in my sewing journey when I was still unaware of different fabrics and how easy or not it is to work with them. Lately I have also been thinking about what patterns and fabrics and textures I like to see on other people and those I like wearing myself. I'm also thinking hard about my own style and what style I want to work towards. Chiffon, aside from possible being a nightmare to sew, is not on my list of preferred fabrics and although I love animal prints, grey is possibly my least favourite. So it's up for grabs.

To enter this giveaway is simple:
1) You have to be a follower on my blog
2) Leave a comment on this post telling me what you would sew with this fabric
3) Very important, leave your email address. I had trouble in the past contacting people because not all profiles allow access to email.

The giveaway is open to my readers all over the world and deadline for entry is Sunday 26th June 2011, 6pm GMT time. Winner will be announced the following day.

Good Luck!!

Thursday 23 June 2011

A Week of Giveaways - Day 4

Todays giveaway will hopefully appeal to vintage fans.
A gorgeous 1940s pattern for pantie and vest. Two version, one plain and one with a lace insert. Size is a  37 bust. Which is exactly the reason I am parting with this gorgeousness. You might recall a few months back I shared I was going to attempt this pattern first on cotton poplin for a plain version and all going well a second version then on satin(ish) with lace insert. The fact the pattern is unprinted was a bit daunting but I pressed ahead and didn't let that deter me. However when I got my head round the pattern pieces I realised the size was way too big for me. And even though I really like this pattern I don't like it enough to try and resize it. There you go, up for grabs!

To enter this giveaway is simple:
1) You have to be a follower on my blog
2) Leave a comment on this post telling me your experience with unprinted patterns.
3) Very important, leave your email address. I had trouble in the past contacting people because not all profiles allow access to email.

The giveaway is open to my readers all over the world and deadline for entry is Sunday 26th June 2011, 6pm GMT time. Winner will be announced the following day.

Good Luck!!

Wednesday 22 June 2011

A Week of Giveaways - Day 3

When I started sewing I had plans to not only do clothes but also accessories, home decoration items and other small crafty items, like pincushions or little fabric hearts and flowers. I dabbled on it but have to confess small sewing bores me to death. I have no patience to do crafty little things, which is a shame as they are so many things you can do to utilise fabric scraps. Every now and again I "force" myself on a small project but have to confess find little satisfaction in it. I often say I love sewing but I guess I should say I love dressmaking.

The items (yes, items; today's prize is a lot) up for grabs today are all part of my early intentions to do crafty stuff and will be sent to one lucky winner, who I hope will use them and get some sort of satisfaction it can't give me.
 - One Simplicity pattern for 10 pillows designs
 - About 2 meters of bright green organza/ tulle, with a corner cut out
 - About 1 meter of dark green felt, with a small corner cut out
 - 5 A4 felt sheets, various colours
 Not in the photo above but as part of this craft pack is some ribbon and some other small surprise crafty items. I just have too  much of it that I won't use.

All this is part of one prize for today. If craft is your thing or you have children and know you can use these items, please enter. I'm dying to get rid of it ;)

To enter this giveaway is simple:
1) You have to be a follower on my blog
2) Leave a comment on this post telling me what crafty hobbies you have
3) Very important, leave your email address. I had trouble in the past contacting people because not all profiles allow access to email.

The giveaway is open to my readers all over the world and deadline for entry is Sunday 26th June 2011, 6pm GMT time. Winner will be announced the following day.

Good Luck!!

Tuesday 21 June 2011

A Week of Giveaways - Day 2

Thank you for the birthday and anniversary wishes! And how exciting to read all your comments about the 1980s! I have to say there is little I like about the decade. I fell victim to its fashion partly, as I was to young to dress by myself or choose my own clothes, but have to say towards the end of the decade my older cousin looked so fashionable to me. Big hair, leggings, the whole thing. I'm glad I didn't fall victim to it!

Todays giveaway is a modern one. Vogue 8557 is a "Misses blouse(...)with sleeve variations" and it's part of the Very Easy Vogue range.
The pattern is brand new, still in factory folds, size (8-10-12-14). I was attracted to this pattern because of the cute puffed sleeves and at the time of purchase also got Vogue 8476, as it features a similar puffed sleeve design, but with a different collar. The reality is now that Colette Patterns have come up with Violet I doubt I will use this pattern. So it's up for grabs!

To enter this giveaway is simple:
1) You have to be a follower on my blog
2) Leave a comment on this post telling me what your experience with shirt making is, or if you have never sewn one.
3) Very important, leave your email address. I had trouble in the past contacting people because not all profiles allow access to email.

The giveaway is open to my readers all over the world and deadline for entry is Sunday 26th June 2011, 6pm GMT time. Winner will be announced the following day.

Good Luck!!

Monday 20 June 2011

A Week of Giveaways - Day 1

Welcome to my first giveaway of this week! As well as June being the month I started sewing and blogging, one year ago, it's also my birthday month. It's actually today, so what better day to start celebrating.
Without further delay, the item up for grabs today is this lovely 1980 sewing book:
Despite its name, the book re-assures its readers that sewing with shortcuts does not mean lower standards and all the book shortcuts "...make for excellent results."
The book has two main sections: processes and techniques, with all the range you can see from photo below and designs featuring 15 patterns (unscaled) very 70s/80s.
I purchased this book from a charity shop some months ago but have not used it. I decided to part with it as I do have two other technique books that I refer to more often. I am also not attracted to late 70s/ 80s  fashion, so the designs don't appeal to me. I hope this book will be of more use to someone else.

To enter this giveaway is simple:
1) You have to be a follower on my blog
2) Leave a comment on this post telling me what you think of the 80s, fashion wise.
3) Very important, leave your email address. I had trouble in the past contacting people because not all profiles allow access to email.

The giveaway is open to my readers all over the world and deadline for entry is Sunday 26th June 2011, 6pm GMT time. Winner will be announced the following day.

Good Luck!!

Friday 17 June 2011

A week of giveaways

One year ago I used a sewing machine for the first time and quickly feel in love with sewing and dressmaking. It's an essential part of my life now and I couldn't see myself without it! I also started blogging about a year ago and writing up my latest sewing adventures and knowing they are of interest to someone is very fulfilling. I'm also thrilled at having discovered a world of sewing blogs and a great community who is caring and interested. Thank you so much for being part of my life and allowing me to be a part of yours!

So all that out of the way, and because next Monday is also my birthday, I have planned a week of giveaways, starting Monday. I had initially planned for one big giveaway but changed my mind when looking at the items up for grabs. Let me explain; none of the items were given to me by a seller or business as a way to promote their work. It's all things I have bought as part of a lot but doesn't suit me or things I bought that no longer serve a purpose. Because of this they don't match or have a common theme. All together on one giveaway would look silly. Does that make sense? I will also ramble a bit about myself and sewing.

Conditions of entry, deadlines and prize to be won will be given on the daily post, expected to be up at 9am GMT time. Miscellaneous items for grabs, but all sewing related!

Wednesday 15 June 2011

In Construction: Burda 7441 Casual Trousers

Sewing has been slow around here. In fact everything has been slow lately. I have been extra tired and lazy in the evenings and end up doing nothing. However I know that doing nothing for long leaves me frustrated so I hope to get out of this rut quick.
Last weekend I have started construction on my ambitious casual trousers, using Burda 7441. The pattern claims to be of average difficulty and rates it a 3 out of 4 in difficulty. The trousers also have a variety of features I have not sewn before, like a hip yoke (which I still have no clue how it works), lots of inner and outer pockets, fly zip, etc. I think I will take this one slowly.
I decided to do tissue fitting and follow Pants for Real People guidance to the letter. First you trim the pattern pieces on your size or a larger one, if you're unsure. It then advises that pattern pieces are pinned to a gridded cardboard cutting mat to help accurately mark changes equally in both sides. I confess I had never heard of such cutting mat, but eventually found one online and bought it.
Once pieces are pinned you proceed to doing any changes you know you'll have to make. I decreased leg length by 7cm and also created new line from size 10 waist to size 8 hip.
After these changes are made, Pants for Real People suggest you mark stitching lines. To do this you can use a measuring tape, as they are usually 5/8" wide. I actually found this very useful as sometimes my cutting can be a bit jagged. And I think it was the talented Sherry, from  Pattern Scissor Cloth that once said all you need are the stitching lines, the cutting lines don't matter as seam allowance size can vary. Sherry, correct me if I'm wrong.
In order to tissue fit you have to tape the crotch area, otherwise you run the risk of tearing the fabric. Scotch Magic Tape is the one to use.
After, you pin front to back piece on stitching lines and "dress" it on. I do not have photos of this, so I do apologise. I found it very odd and not entirely convinced I can identify fitting issues easily. After all, paper doesn't behave the same way as fabric. All I looked for was length and CF and CB. Maybe I am not doing it right?
I used the cardboard mat to cut the fabric and see if it would improve my cutting experience but apart from helping me match selvedges I didn't find many advantages. Maybe because I did it on the floor. If you look at all those photos you see me crouched down. My back didn't enjoy this at all and I was very tired when I finished. I don't think I'll use it like this again until I have a proper cutting table.

Do you do tissue fitting? Do you use a cardboard cutting mat? What are your experiences?

Monday 13 June 2011

Vintage Knitting Patterns - Magazine Scans

A few more scans from the two vintage magazines I bought  a few weeks back. Hope you enjoy these and if you knit any of it, do let me know! I do not yet dare tackling an original vintage knitting pattern. And apologies in advance for the 5th scan down, it's a bit wonky.

Saturday 11 June 2011

Projects ahead

I had a few days break after finishing my Sencha and Ginger but quickly started to think about what to do next. This has taken some time to decide. I have a fair amount ::cough cough:: of patterns and fabric on my stash I want to use but I confess that a lot of what is in my stash, pattern wise, is stuff that I would make and wear once. Like dresses, for example, love them but don't wear them as often. Saying that I am on a mission to wear more skirts and dresses but I need to get some long or 3/4 sleeved dress patterns, as my definition of hot weather is above 30 Celsius and that is a rarity in UK. Feel free to suggest any vintage or vintage inspired ones.
My next project is not vintage or vintage inspired. It's a Burda 7441 and it's for trousers. I quite like the outfit in the above photo so keen to have some similar casual smarts on my wardrobe, instead of jeans or formal work wear. A quick look at pattern instructions scares me. There are a lot of techniques and things I haven't done before on here. But, I will have a go! I debated on doing a muslin but decided against to. I confess to doing muslins for everything and often feel uncomfortable with the waste. Fitting wise, I don't think I'll need massive alterations (unlike with bodice pieces) and new techniques can be tried on scraps before on the main fabric. I will also, for the first time, use tissue fitting method, religiously following Pants for Real People. I'll keep you posted on how this goes.
At the same time I will be tackling a shirt for my bf, who has recently upgraded himself to f. I'm using Mcalls 6044 and have no idea how my fabric will behave, as I will have to cut cross grain. The fabric was bought in Hungary quite cheap so I see it as a working muslin that if works awesome, if not I will have learned something (I hope.) I confess I would rather use Colette Negroni pattern as I know the instructions are great, but couldnt resist the discount on this one some months ago.

Thursday 9 June 2011

Sencha blouse - The Construction

Colette Sencha Pattern in a gorgeous blouse pattern and I was immediately drawn to the keyhole version, as my fabric was very simple. I made a muslin for this as usually patterns are to big for me in the bodice and was pleasantly surprised as the fit was very good. The shoulders fit perfectly well, the waist was nice and snug without being tight and the bust part was ok. Not snug, but then the pattern is not meant to be snug at the bodice anyway. But somehow my final garment is not as well fitted as my muslin. I either made some mistake cutting (possible as fabric is slippery) or the fabric itself gave a different fit to it. It's not as snug at the waist and the back is very loose. With a belt I get round it but without it just hangs there.
I had the idea of using lace for this project as well, to add an extra especial touch and to "connect" with my Ginger. I originally constructed the ties pieces like the waistband. The main fabric in lower layer and lace on top. But the time came to use a easy loop turner and it was impossible to turn such thing. After a couple of frustrating hours I decided to do the ties in lace only with the downside that they are too fragile and I have to be careful not to pull them strongly (which has actually happened tonight). I also struggled to turn the facing and make it fall flat. It doesn't really, can you see all the bunching in photo below?
The pattern suggests using a catchstich invisibly and I couldn't, for the life of me, figure how to do it invisibly. It was my first time doing this hand stitch type and I followed this tutorial . The result is pretty but not invisible. Was I suppose to catchstick inside the facing?
For the back opening facing I decided to slipstich as it renders as invisible result but...not that invisible on the outside. I think due to fabric type. How do you manage invisible stitching on complicated fabrics? Can you truly render them invisible?
The buttonholes and buttons went smoothly, which was a relief, taken in consideration previous experiences. I fell in love with the leopard buttons and had to have them
Alteration to pattern instructions included finishing hem with bias binding. I quite like the contrast!

Have you done a Sencha? What are your experiences and what were your frustrations, if any? 


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