Once you choose hope, anything is possible.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Culotte slip

Black silky culotte slip, adapted from a Burda PJ pant pattern and great for wearing under skirt in the summer.
This is a mystery fabric - probably viscose (rayon) perhaps silk - and absolutely lovely to wear.
I am planning to take this with me on holiday to wear under my travel skirt.

Monday, 14 April 2014

SWAP completed

I am really pleased that I have finally finished the SWAP. The last two garments were hard to get started, but enjoyable once I got going.

The SWAP rules say this about the photos , though no dates have yet been given for submission, I am guessing about a week after the end of sewing time on 30th April.
You'll need to take a minimum of six photos, maximum 12 will be accepted. Please keep a copy of all images you upload on your hard drive in case SG's server fails or something is accidentally deleted.

The photos may be on you, on a dress form or any other way which shows them well.

You should show how you plan to combine tops and bottoms, and together should show everything. You’ll probably need to photograph some bottoms more than once.

Composites will be allowed, but only if they show details of the same outfit, e.g. a back view, a close up or the “before” photo if you are recycling. You may not show two different outfits on the same photo; such photos won’t be posted!

A single photo showing all the items together will be allowed but not required.

Please number your photos and then add a brief note to describe each one and when you plan to wear it, e.g. 1) Pink cotton Jalie top with khaki  poly/cotton BWOF pants; weekend shopping.
 So I am planning to wear my SWAP pieces and get photos taken of them in action. I will share them here as I know many people are a little frustrated with the hanger shots.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Vogue 2989 Charcoal Grey Skirt completed

The Vogue 2989 Charcoal grey ponte skirt is completed.
I have lengthened it by 6", by adding a strip of tissue paper above the pleat detail (this is where the lengthen shorten lines are marked). This allows it to fall gracefully below the knee, more flattering on my figure.
I am really pleased with this skirt, which completes my SWAP.
 Vogue's line drawing (above) and model photo (below).
Here's the final collection.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Vogue 2989 Black Dress Completed

The black ponte dress from Vogue 2989 is completed.
My alterations are
add 3.5" to the hem to come just below the knee
forward head and high round back alteration to both fronts and the back, and all the facing pieces.
Cut the pleated overlay with a curved hem as short of fabric
slightly shorten the sleeves as using 1/2" coverhem finish
16 upper bodice moving to an 18 at the waist.
Did not use the back zip. Added a 6" long centre back slit for walking ease.
This is great on, sophisticated yet comfortable, and the neckline shaping stops a wool jacket from touching the neck of the wearer.

here's the Vogue versions (in a smaller size!)
I am really pleased with this and it will be useful in my work wardrobe.

Here's what the collection looks like now
Those ivory tops are already proving very useful in the wardrobe.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

SWAP Collection so far (2 items to go)

Here is the SWAP collection so far
The black ponte knit dress from Vogue 2989 is cut out and I am starting to sew it.
Then I will make the charcoal grey skirt also from this pattern, and the collection will be complete!

Vogue 2989 Ivory Top Completed

 My version of Vogue 2989. To avoid the top layer (which is cut on the bias) fighting with the lower layer (which is on the straight grain) I did not hem them together as per the instructions, instead I curved the lower edge of the outer layer, so it was more of an overlay. You can see the line drawing below.

Overall I am quite pleased with it, although the collar does not sit on me like it does on the model. It does look stunning with a chunky necklace - I was trying it with chunky oversized pearls - but the edges of the shaped upper bit, pop out a little more like a little collar, but in a very flattering way.
Only two more SWAP garments to go, or I could do one SWAP garment and add in something purchased.

My current plans are to do two more items from Vogue 2989 - the black dress and the grey skirt.
 I will slightly curve the hem of the dress in the same way as I did with the top. I suspect it will need some length adding too.
This definitely needs lengthening, but there are pattern markings above the interesting pleats to do so.

The black wide legged trousers will probably be in May after SWAP when things are a bit calmer.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Ivory top alteration and cutting out

Yesterday evening I finally got round to checking the pattern sizing against a tried 'n' tested pattern, doing the forward head and rounded back alterations on all the front, back and facing pieces, laying out on my fabric and cutting out.

I add a wedge across the back which adds an extra inch. And I also take a little bit off the top of the centre back seam. This is a super easy alteration on things which have a centre back seam.
Basically draw a line across the upper back (I do mine about half way up the armhole) at 90 degrees to the grainline. Cut through this from the centre back almost to the armhole leaving a small 'hinge'. Then add extra tissue behind and spread the upper section by the amount you need - 1" in my case. I also curve in the very top of the neckline (not clear on my photo) but same as the image below. That little curve affects the shape of any back neck facing and/or collar pieces, so you'll have to take matching wedges out of them.
Here's someone else's diagram with extra red lines. My alteration is more extreme and further down the back, but you get the idea.

This will then need a matching forward head alteration to remove the excess from the front neckline. 
Again draw the line at 90 degrees to the grainline. Then mark 1" up from the line and draw a second line at an angle back to the hinge point in the armhole. Fold so the two lines meet and tape in place. Alter any facing and collar pieces to match (easiest done by transfering the two lines onto the facing piece and then folding afterwards).
This leaves you with a bit of a step in the edge and you can fill in with tissue if liked. I tend to just mentally add the tissue and cut accordingly.

This leaves the armholes and sleeves exactly the same and thats not been a problem for me.

I thought for ages I needed a small bust alteration but I don't - the excess fabric for me is between the bust and the neck so this is where I need to remove it.
I tend to pick styles with scoop or V neck as I don't like the sensation of a neckline at the collarbone level. However if you do have a higher round neck style and do this alteration, you will need to redraw the front neckline slightly lower, and alter any facing/collar pieces accordingly.

I hope this helps!

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Ivory Top Prep cont

feel free to skip over this if you only like to see finished garments!
these are my musings when tackling a new pattern, and some people might find that helpful.
I will also show the alterations I make as I go along as I this might be useful.
Yesterday evening I rough cut the Vogue pattern, and studied the shapes of the pieces as I did so, plus read through the instructions again.
The next step will be to compare to a TNT and think about what alterations I need to make, and how those might affect other pattern pieces (e.g. facing).

If I want to lengthen the dress it is from the hem.
The front of the dress/top is a really wierd angle so will have to be careful handling, stitching and hemming it. There is already a centre back seam which should make round back alteration easier to do.
I plan on omitting the back zip.
The fabric I want to use is not hugely stretchy but it does meet the stretch guide on the envelope and does return back to shape afterwards. This is a good indicator that it will be OK.
Since there are two pieces for the front, I need to make sure the forward head alteration is done in the same place and for the same amount on both, and that these two alterations will affect the size/shape of the facing pieces which will also need altering.
Note: these are wedge shaped alterations.
The extensions which make the top into the dress will probably need to be cut off for making the top, so I will need to write on them the pattern number, pattern piece etc so they can be reused in future when I make the dress.
I need to check the sleeve width across the bicep area, as my arms are full here. I may need to do a full bicep alteration (not always needed in a knit). I can either measure or compare to a TNT (treied n true pattern).

The little skirt looks really easy, but really short. They provide lengthening lines though, so before I cut the skirt out (a future project) I will measure a previously made skirt which I hemmed to a flattering length, allow for the hem and the elastic waist and lengthen appropriately by adding tissue into the section.
Note: this will just be a simple lengthening, but from above the pleat detail.

The trousers (pants) have a really shallow crotch both front and back. I will compare to my burda TNT and alter accordingly. This is likely to include more wedge alterations. As with the upper body, I add extra at the back, but sometimes need to remove from the front. I am fairly average height so lengths on trousers are normally OK.

The jacket has a peplum, raglan sleeves and a shaped shawl collar. I am limited on fabric yardage (its an Ikea throw) so may cut single collars using the finished edge of the throw, this may change construction around the collar and the shape of the lower part of the collar.
The waist seam needs to sit on the waist, so I need to check the front and back length after I have done the usual round back/forward head alterations. I have a level waist, but sometimes extra length is needed (not often).
Since this has raglan sleeves I may need to adapt the usual round back/forward head alterations for a raglan pattern. Any changes to the bodice pieces affecting the neckline will also impact the collar pieces which will need altering also.
The throw is a loosely woven fabric not a knit, and frays very badly once cut and handled. So I need to cut this one out immediately prior to sewing it up, so best done when I have a chunk of sewing time available.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Vogue 2989 - first item - ivory top prep

I'm going to make this top as my next project.

I read that the pattern is 'close-fitting' so measure myself to find I am a 16/18 top and a 20 hip according to the size chart. So I shall do a test accordingly and see what needs to be altered in addition to the forward head, round back and grading out to the larger hip. I'm also hoping to skip the centre back zip, but will flat finish the back seam (instead of serging it) in case I need to unpick and add it later.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Vogue 2989 Personal Challenge

I have posted Vogue 2989 before but not made it up. Then I thought to myself that i actually fancied trying to reproduce the pieces on the envelope (though of course in my size (16ish) ).
It is for knits only, and for most of the pieces I can do that from stash. The fabric I planned for the jacket is actually a loose woven, so we shall see about that one. And the one piece of black ponte I have is more likely to be the dress than the trousers. I will have to alter everything so lets see if I can do it. In particualr the top and dress are planned for SWAP, as are the Burda trousers I posted a few days ago. So those will get done first before I move on to the jacket, skirt and trousers from this pattern. Somehow I don't expect to look quite like the Vogue model when everything is done!

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Ivory marl cardigan jacket

The ivory marl cardigan jacket is complete. This is the eighth item in the verdigris SWAP and has an optional cowl scarf I cut out at the same time as the jacket.
The fabric I used was a a loose weave textured fabric which ravelled terribly, and needed both the sewing machine and immediately afterwards the overlocker to finish each seam. However it has pressed nicely and works well in this soft cardigan style jacket.
The pattern in the short jacket from New Look 6082.

Spring Black Trousers Sew Along - Pattern

I have decided I am going to use a Burda pattern I have used before for my black trousers.
It is from Burda February 2010 and is a wide legged trouser with slant front pockets and an invisible zip.

I have an ivory cardigan I want to sew first though, so will be another week when I can get to this.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Ivory Stripe Shell blouse

This Ivory woven top is another round necked top from the dartless tee blouse block. It has long sleeves, a bias bound neckline and a la centre back seam to accommodate my forward head, rounded back and sway back.
The stripes are woven bands in the fabric, and the wider sections in between are slightly crinkled. The bands have no give whatsoever so I went for a skimming fit, which looks quite nice on the body but appears rather short and wide when laid out on the carpet and photographed.
There will eventually be pictures of me wearing it, sometime in May!

As ever with simple pieces like this, I hope it will become a staple in the wardrobe as the simple style should work with lots of other things.

This is the seventh item in the verdigris SWAP 2014.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Spring Black Trousers (Pants) Sew Along (March/April 2014)

Hiya everyone, both YorkshireLass and I have plain black trousers in our SWAP plans, but were not finding the impetus to somehow get it done. Plain black is kinda boring.
So we thought we'd have a sew along between ourselves.

If you want to join us you would be welcome.

The timescales are something like this.

March 1st to 14th -  think about joining, find fabric and pattern, make muslins etc
March 15th/16th - start some point over this weekend
carry on working away at your trousers and aim to finish by end of April.

The trousers (pants) can be any style, size and for anyone (though we are making for ourselves) and need to be made of any plain black fabric.

Post pictures of your finished trousers on Stitchers Guild for all to see, any time in March or April.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Ivory sweater knit finished

I've had a lovely evening sewing, and am really pleased to be able to share this little sweater knit top, made out of a very small and strangely shaped remnant. The leftover pieces after cutting out were really tiny!
Given how nicely it pressed, I think its a cotton and polyester mix, but who knows!
This is a great little top and I would absolutely have bought it if I had seen it in a store for sale. It will work really well under lots of work suit jackets as well as go with 3/4s of my wardrobe. Yay!!

Now then.... can you see what's happened here?
The needles are actually piercing something metal....
the hem gauge!

I had finished cover hemming the seam detail on the front and had brought the hem gauge through to pull the threads to the back, when my foot slipped back onto the pedal and the machine sewed into the hem gague and jammed.
After a short pause I managed to tap it firmly to dislodge and then finish the manoeuver as planned. The hem gauge does now have two holes in it and is a bit bent but the machine still sewed OK, though the thread did break once later on.

Anyway I was determined not to be thwarted and carried on and finished the top anyway. Phew.