Once you choose hope, anything is possible.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Burgundy faux leather trousers

I had some burgundy faux leather - dark red vinyl front with a black woven fabric back which I thought could be fun as trousers.
I'm fairly flat on the front, but very curved at the back, so used darts to bring the back in. It doesn't look great on the hanger as it needs a curved derriere to fill it out.
I used Burda Feb 2010 Plus Section #135 B but ommited the front dart and pockets for a simpler sew.
Having worn them for one evening indoors I found them very warm, so think they would be cooler to wear and more current if I shortened them to culotte length, I also want to look at some other options for the hem as it got slightly twisted. The rest of the construction worked out OK though.

Fun video on sewing faux leather

Monday, 15 October 2018

Burgundy Autumn Collection Top 5

As I planned I have made the wrap top from Threadcount 1502 which came with a sewing magazine (I think 'Love Sewing') but also looks a lot like McCall's 7249 (I think a rebrand of the pattern).
The wrap makes it a bit more dressy than the plainer styles, but I do like it and can imagine wearing it for a smart event with nice jewellery.
The pattern piece for the drapes has the grainline running across the body and I think this is what is causing the lower front to seem gathered underneath it. I think the pattern needs a fabric with a lot of stretch in both directions to avoid that.
Here's the Burgundy Autumn Collection with the latest piece added, just needs some bottoms!

Sunday, 14 October 2018

SWAKOP thoughts

I am keeping the SWAKOP rules in mind, though I find them quite complex.
The full rules are here but I've simplified them below.

1. Your collection should be a total of 10 garments.
2. You are allowed to include 1 RTW garment and 2 previously made garments (or, if you're like me and have hardly any RTW garments, 3 previously made garments).
3.  You should make 3 groups of 3 garments and one wild card.
- if you make trousers/skirts that will be worn with t-shirts/blouses/tunics, the bottom is an 'under' and the top is an 'over'

Group 1: 2 overs and 1 under
Group 2:2 overs and 1 under
Group 3:2 overs and 1 under - they must coordinate with either group 1 OR 2

Wild Card:Either an over or an under that coordinates with group 1 AND 2

Finish by October 31st. Submission posts need to be up by November 5th.
I had been trying to expand my charcoal collection to be the SWAKOP but I was finding it all a bit samey and rather dreary being mostly grey.
I thought about combining it with the Burgundy but that wasn't working either.
I'm probably going to have more luck expanding my Burgundy Autumn Collection with some new bottoms. I should be able to get that completed by 31st October.

There is also an 'extension' to SWAKOP which runs through to December 10th, so I could revisit the Charcoal collection, inject a LOT more teal and try to be finished for then. It could work!

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Burgundy Autumn - so far

I've added in to the collection an Autumn Winter jacket I made in late August.
This cardigan was made with a short remnant of wool mix sweater knit in charcoal grey and burgundy red, which I used for the body and front band (matching the print as best I could).

There was not enough fabric for sleeves and I didn't want a waistcoat, so the sleeves are cut from black ponte and faux leather.

I have been wearing the pieces with purchased bottoms, mostly in black -  classic dress trousers, black jeans and black yoga pants, though I suppose for it to be a proper sewn collection I should have some sewn bottoms. And I might yet come up with something.

Friday, 12 October 2018

Burgundy Autumn Collection - Top 5 (plans)

For my fifth top I wanted to use a rich burgundy fabric from the stash. I thought it would be too plain in the patterns I used for the earlier tops and I have plenty of the fabric, so hunted through the pattern stash looking for something with a bit more interest.
Threadcount 1502 came with a sewing magazine (I think 'Love Sewing') but also looks a lot like McCall's 7249. I'm planning on making the long sleeved top. I've compared the measurements to New look 6735 and have sized up overall and shortened the sleeves slightly. I can always take it in a bit if it comes out too large.
I'll share when complete. I hope it works well and doesn't waste the fabric!

Note to self, some useful pointers on the McCall's 7249 here

Thursday, 11 October 2018

October Fabric Purchases from Economy Fabrics

I managed to donate 4 bags of fabric and one large box of patterns via a local contact who distributes them to a school and various voluntary groups in the area. I will know now for next time!

On the back of that success, I decided it would be OK to buy a few metres of new fabric, so purchased these from Economy Fabrics.

Top left
Grey stretch woven, boring but great for comfortable but smart work suiting.

Bottom left
Dark teal blue stretch woven, again for work suiting.

Top right
Brown linen for next summer, probably trousers for those really hot days.

Bottom right
Denim blue knit for a top or cardigan.

Given I donated many times the yardage I bought I'm not going to add these to my stash shrinker spreadsheet, but I didn't add the donations either so I think that works.

Looking at these I am not really getting any wow factor, but plain fabrics like these actually turn out to be the backbone of a wardrobe, and stretch wovens in particular are really useful to have. I'm not sure they are actually 'bengaline', but they should work well for the Burda and Style Arc patterns which specify stretch wovens.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Burgundy Autumn Collection: Top 4

Here's the fourth top in my Burgundy Autumn Collection.
I bought the fabric at Feira Dos Tecidos on holiday in Madeira in Feb 2017.
Its a white jersey with a burgundy print of leaves. I love it so much I bought the soft green version also.
The garment photo is more accurate than the photo of the fabrics.
I've used New Look 6735 again, though lenthened the sleeves here to full length.
I am planning a 5th top, but have other committments for a few days, so it may be a little while before that pops up on the blog.
In the meantime I leave you with the four tops and the coatigan.


I am now up to 110m sewn this year. I'm just going to keep going.

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Burgundy Autumn Collection: Top 3

I bought these fabrics in May this year on holiday in Madeira from Tecidos Zarco.
I've not sewn up any of the others yet, but managed to get a New Look 6735 knit top with 3/4 sleeves out of the burgundy snake skin print (top right).
The print also includes a little touch of brown, but is mostly burgundy on white. I had a smallish remnant and have pieced the neckband at both shoulder seams.

Monday, 8 October 2018

Burgundy Autumn Collection: Top 2

Here's the second top in my Burgundy Autumn Collection.
I bought the fabric at Feira Dos Tecidos on holiday in Madeira in Feb 2017.
It is a beautifully soft viscose jersey knit in dark red and eggplant. The base fabric is dark red with the eggplant floral pattern then printed onto that.
The garment photo (top) is a more accurate colour than the original fabric photo (above).
I've used the pattern I made from a favourie RTW top, though I've raised the neckline slightly and lengthened the sleeves to be full length rather than 3/4.
Due to the print this top reads as more casual, so I probably won't wear it with the coatigan for work.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Burgundy Autumn Collection: Top 1

I decided to build on the Burgundy coatigan and sew a small burgundy based collection for the Autumn.
I started with this abstract plaid check print in dark red, black and white. (I first used this fabric in June 2010 when I made a dress with black bands, it never quite worked and is long gone).
There was some fabric left which I had kept so I sewed it up as a top. I chose not to do contrast bands this time although I have both solid black and dark red which could have been used.
I think I might use this as my entry into the TSP Plaid contest. The photo doesn't show it, but the print does align across the centre back seam and side seams. I think this will work well for work with black trousers and a burgundy jacket (I have RTW as well as self sewn).
I have used the top from New look 6735, though I've added a little at the sides to reflect the looser fit in knit tops since this pattern came out.
I have some more fabrics to sew up in my Autumn collection though the others are not quite so bold!

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Autumn Sewing plans

I had all sorts of complicated plans for Autumn Sewing.
One involved sewing the Sewing Place SWAKOP, the sewing place tartan contest and the mate-your-orphan contest. Then maybe some burgundy pieves and a few other assorted items.
Another involved challenges by numbers of garments.
And a third assigning 'points' to each garment based on complexity. And having a points challenge.
I have not decided yet, and may well just stick to the 100 m challenge for the year!

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Kinder Coatigan

Here's the Kinder cardigan pattern from Wendy Ward's 'Sewing with Knits' book, made up in a mystery woven fabric with no stretch. This garment comes in 5 sizes I made the 4th size.

The garment did not come out quite how I expected but I do like the final garment and hope to wear it regularly. I find fabric sometimes has a bit of a life of its own, this seemed to want to be the longer length etc.
The fabric might well be an upholstery fabric and was fairly thick where there are multiple layers (e.g. at the bottom of the band). It seemed to have a high cotton content plus something else to make it very strong. It has a sorted of ribbed texture with chunky threads which make accurate cutting of the front band very difficult.
I liked the selvedge and though it would make an attractive finish for the front band. It looked terrible, so I removed it, trimmed it down and reapplied as a smooth band which looks much neater.
The pockets are the full width of the front panels which makes for a really easy application but gaped unattaractively. I stitched the top down a couple of inches on each side, leaving a 6" opening for access which I think looks a lot neater.
It is also lined in a matching dark red polyester lining from stash. I bagged the lining, and then added the front band afterwards. The linign is not very exciting, but I already had it, the colour match was really good, and it makes the garment easier to get on and off.

I also made a belt which showcases the selvedge, I don't much like it with the coatigan so will probably leave it off. I also have a strip of the selvedge which I am imagining as some sort of felt backed brooch, though not sure it will make it into reality.

I made the knee length version of the pattern (there are three lengths this is the longest).
I would make it again, though probably in the middle length as an actual cardigan. It could also be more of a jacket style in the mid length.

Monday, 3 September 2018

Plans for Red Wine Collection

The last few years my Autumnal clothing had lots of brown and reddish orange in it. Though once I stopped colouring my hair and allowed the natural colour to show it was clear that ornage is not great for me. So this year I'm going to concentrate more on the rich reds seen in the leaves and have some of those in my wardrobe to mix in with dark brown.

I've also been inspired by Wendy Ward's 'Sewing with Knitted fabrics' book, Ottobre 05/2018 and some Style Arc pdf I bought. So I am going to try to move away from my TNTs and sew from some new patterns.
I'm currently thinking of starting with the Kinder Cardigan from Wendy Ward's book, though I plan to use a tweedy woven fabric for it rather than a knit.
In this terrible photo it is the red fabric, top left.
Hopefully I will be back in a few days!

Friday, 31 August 2018

100 metre project

I've been using the stash shrinker spreadsheet to record the fabric sewn. The wool mix cardigan got me to 99.5 metres sewn, and then I wasn't sure what direction to go for my 100th metre project.

This was resolved by my friend B asking me to make storage bags for her folding outdoor chairs. She wanted drawstring tops and a strap to carry them.

She came over and we picked something suitable from the fabric I was planning to donate, then found co-ordinating drawstrings and webbing.
I then made the bags to fit the chairs comfortably with matching thread and lots of double stritching so the handle and bag bottom was secure.

It was quite a refreshing way to sew as I did not use or make a pattern, just measured by laying a chair on the fabric and cutting it long and wide enough to go round it. I then measured the cording and webbing against the size of the pieces cut.

Construction was as follows:-
  1. overlock all the way round the piece of fabric.
  2. sew up the long side seam, leaving a small gap in the stitching for the drawstring.
  3. finger press side seam open, fold over the drawstring casing and stitch.
  4. thread cord through casing and knot.
  5. finish ends of webbing. stitch webbing at top of bag (below casing), fold over and stitch again.
  6. stitch bottom of webbing strap to the bottom of the bag
  7. turn inside out and sew up the bottom seam, encasing the end of the webbing
Sewing the bottom of the bag last enabled me to have the webbing ends encased and tidy and most of the construction was straighforward (ie not trying to sew the bottom of the strap to the outside of the bag with it closed).

For this project I used just over a metre of wide poly woven fabric which seemed strong and not prone to mustiness when damp. Let's hope they see many years of service!

Friday, 24 August 2018

Autumn Sewing Direction

I'm not quite sure where my Autumn sewing direction is heading.
At the moment I seem to be sewing lots of black or charcoal with burgundy or teal.
Maybe that's fine and I just need to keep going with these three colours for a while moving on to some actual teal or burgundy pieces once I tire of the grey.

In the conceptual works (ie I have fabric and paterrn pairing but nothing cut out)
  • teal and black striped tee
  • grey checked PJ trousers
  • grey linen striped waistcoat
  • grey jersey tee.

Not quite sure which I want to be the next project.