Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Kelly Skirt AKA the Shorts that Weren't...and a Sorbetto

Originally I had planned to make some capris next as per my Spring/Summer Plan however for some crazy reason when I bought the fabric thought I could get long shorts out of one and a quarter yards. What was I thinking? The fabric is only 44" wide....unless I was going to make hotpants.... nah, never going to happen.

No matter which way I tried to manipulate the shorts pattern it just wasn't going to work. So onto plan B - a skirt, the Kelly Skirt to be precise.  It seems I was very slow catching onto the Megan Nielsen patterns, but I am now converted having recently completed two Banksias blogged here and here.


The pattern was a dream to sew up and miraculously I made no adjustments.


Ok, well I didn't cut the waistband in one piece as prescribed, I didn't have enough fabric for that, so I cut in in three pieces, one back piece and two fronts, as the seam allowances all line up it looks like it was supposed to be that way.


The side seams and waistband are all topstitched which I think has given a more professional finish.


To remove bulk and add some fun, I lined the pockets with fabric left over from a previous Banksia. 
Not being able to find buttons that I was happy with I went with covered buttons.
Initially I wasn't sure I would like the pleats and thought they might stick out weirdly, but they don't and I think the silhouette is actually quite flattering - look, I have a waist!
For the observant Colette fans you may recognise the top pattern, it is the ubiquitous Sorbetto not previously blogged.  This is my only Sorbetto so far as I found it a bit boxy but it works really well tucked into this skirt.

Interestingly I was on Twitter tonight and saw the link to a news article where some researchers have worked out mathematically the perfect skirt length to make your legs look fantastic.  Now I never considered there would be an equation for this, surely it depends on the occasion and one length is not for all styles or events?  However, curiosity got the better of me and coincidentally this skirt turns out to be my perfect length!  (84cm from my shoulders if you are interested)

In reality it is actually this length because it is the length of the original pattern piece and I didn't have enough fabric to make it longer!! But I am pretty happy that I didn't make it longer.
I expect I may be making more of these - when I bought this fabric, I also bought two other pieces in different colouts with the intetion to make several shorts, but of course that fabric is too short too - DUH!  Guess my summer wardrobe will be skirt based, not shorts!
Does anyone else make stupid mistakes like me, buying the wrong amount of fabric for a specific project and then having to revert to a plan B??

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Buttons are Expensive!!

I have been a little obsessed with shirt-dresses of late and seem to be collecting patterns both new and old, especially vintage 40s & 50s patterns.  I have had this one planned for ages but I was waiting to find the right buttons - finally I found them!!


The pattern is New Look 6587, the envelope leaves little to be desired, the styling is bad and the fit isn't good either, however the line drawings led me to believe I could be onto a winner.

I made version B with only a couple of small changes, rounding off the collar and removing the collar stand (mostly because I was short on fabric and making do!).  I have always thought patterns overestimate so I never seem to buy what it says - I have fixed numbers in my head as to what garments require e.g. a sleeveless top uses 1m/1yd, a dress uses 2-3metres etc - I am such a tightarse and can usually make it work.


I bought the fabric and the pattern months ago but it took me ages to find buttons to match the fabric. When did it become so hard to buy decent buttons and when did they become so expensive? I bought these at Mood, yep, I was so desperate to find the matching buttons I took my little swatch all the way to NYC.  These ended up costing me $1.50 each - crazy when the dress requires ten! That's more than my fabric cost.


The pattern was super quick to make and not many alterations were required.  In retrospect though I should have cut about two sizes smaller and done an FBA instead of cutting my bust measurement and having to alter the shoulders and waist darts - but as you may know by now I really don't do muslins unless it is a vintage pattern so I live with the results.  I have never really had any big non-fixable disasters.


Oh yeah, I added pockets too - it is always good to have places to store stuff!
BTW - did you check out my new favourite shoes?? Super cute and comfortable - awesome!!
I have more shirt-dresses planned - anyone have any tips on where to get good buttons that don't cost the earth??

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Hole-y Moly Banksia


First of all, let me apologise for the quality of the photos, the weather was dreary and this fabric is sooo difficult to photograph properly.

Aside from that, check out my pretty new top!!

I used Megan Nielsen's Banksia pattern again (version 1 here) as it was such a great fit and easy pattern to use.  I cut a size 8 in the shoulders, graduating to a 12 in the hips and I shortened it through the waist since I am a little deficient in the height department!

The fabric is the Marc Jacobs cotton eyelet that I purchased at Mood in NYC recently.  The fabric is so pretty and I really wanted to show it off to its best.  I first sewed it up with an interlining because I was worried the eyelet holes were too big and possibly revealing, but this made all the eyelet detail disappear so I removed it all and the top isn't as hole-y (see the blog title makes sense now) as I had feared!


I altered the back pattern piece by adding a horizontal seam about 4" from the top and cutting the lower piece with an allowance to gather it. 


I inserted a faux placket and outlined it with two different trims, a light blue which picks up the light blue leaves on the fabric and a beige. The buttons are shell buttons.


I edged the neck and armholes with a narrow hem folded over twice.

Of course during these pics the rain started - I still don't understand Brisbane weather, 30 degrees and raining - crazy!


Again, this Banksia pattern was a dream to work with and I love how versatile it is for summer, winter, long sleeve, sleeveless, whatever!! I think this has become my new TNT pattern. Do any of you have a tried and true pattern and if so, what is it?

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Apronalong Show & Tell


Dontcha just love a quick project?!

Karen from Didyoumakethat held an Apronalong and I knew I just had to participate.  I have been meaning to make an apron from ages now and somehow just never got around to it.


This was the perfect opportunity to get organised for Christmas presents and this is my prototype.

I didn't use a pattern as I had a pretty good idea in my head of what I wanted.  Basically the skirt is using the full width of the fabric with the bottom corners rounded off and then all edged in a contrast fabric.

Pockets - of course I wanted two as my personality type likes balance and symmetry!


The top is a trapezium shape (remember them from school?) and then edged in the obligatory ricrac that I feel all aprons simply must have. I really wanted red ricrac but my local store didn't have any so I had to settle with blue, but I like the result.


Sorry, no pictures of me in this. Reason - I finished it early this morning before I had a shower or got dressed and no-one needs to see that!! Besides, it is waaay too cute to wear, I don't want to get it dirty!!

Look out family - guess whatchyall getting for Xmas?!

Thanks Karen for fun sewalong!!