Monday, July 19, 2010

Project sneak peak

Here's a sneak peak at the projects I'm working on now. Come back soon to see the finished items (along with the completed photos of my current pencil skirts (one and two).

100% wool

Grey pant teaser

What could it be?

For a hint on the last one, go and check out this blog.

Self drafted pencil skirt – grey stretch suiting

So I showed you where my self drafted pencil skirt toile was up to - now it's time to show the "real" one!

This skirt was made mostly using a stretch suiting remnant that I bought last year from Clegs. It was about 1 metre, so not a lot of room to move but just enough to squeeze out a skirt. Because it has some stretch in it, my teacher suggested using a stretch lining from Lincraft called Luxe stretch or Luxe lining and it's lovely! I chose grey to match the outside of the skirt but because they are different shades of grey it almost looks lilac in the skirt. The colours are look great together!

It has take some time to get this skirt to where it is now and even though it's still not finished - I'm in love with it!! The photos are only ok and they skirt is a bit creased from travelling to my sewing class yesterday but here it is none-the-less!

Here is a close up of the invisible zip. I found it tricky to get the seam line to match across the zip but I found it easiest to:

  • zip up the zipper and mark the zip where the line should be

  • sew over the seam first, with about 1 cm either side of the seam and then zip it up to check that it lines up properly. This way, there is less chance for moving as you sew and if it doesn't line up, there is less to unpick!

  • If it doesn't line up on first go, unpick and try again and if it does then sew the full length of the zip up.

The lining was mostly machine sewn in, except for the last 5 cms at the bottom of the zip that was slip stitched in. I enjoy hand sewing and would like to try doing this all by hand, as I've seen Gertie mention this but don't know what it is (yet!). You can also see that the facing is a contrasting colour. I ran out of fabric in the remnant and went back to clegs to see if they had more of the same or something similar. They had the same fabric but not in grey, so I went with black. I actually love the contrast on this and think it adds something unique to the garment!

As with the toile, I have added a little loop for the hook (and I still don't know what it's called!)

And finally, the unfinished vent. I've decided to go with a standard vent this time.

Chunky knit scart

I found this pattern in the Lincraft catalog awhile ago, so I purchased the 9 x 50g balls of Prism yarn by Lincraft (in case I wanted it longer) and some 25mm knitting needles (they are huge!) and started knitting.

I finished this in only a few short hours and whilst I loved the look of the scarf:

  1. 9 balls of this yarn makes a really long scarf. Even wrapped around my neck it was almost hitting the ground.

  2. This yarn sheds so much that I couldn't wear it with anything dark because the lint was awful!

Because I loved the style of the scarf but not the wool, I gave it another go but in Cheakheaton Country Wide in 0010. I bought only 6 balls after the first scarf but found that this had less stretch that the Lincraft wool and so had to go back and buy 3 more balls. The length of the scarf is great but it's just too thick. I think maybe this yarn just needs 10 stitches wide. I'm undecided if I should unravel the whole thing (not my idea of fun) or call it quits on this pattern. Has anyone else tried it and had any success?

Despite my unhappiness with the end result, my sewing assistant seems very happy with the outcome!

Self drafted pencil skirt - denim toile

The pencil skirts that I'm working on and they are all coming along nicely. I finally have some photos to share and some more info about them. I'm not a huge skirt wearer but I love this skirt! I started out with a straight skirt for when I was first learning to sew (after learning the basics and making some samples, this is the first project everyone does in the classes I take).

I explained the design idea that I had to my teacher and she helped me create a skirt block from my straight skirt pattern with a back vent and then I created a draft (I think that's what it's called?) which I added some design lines to. I altered the skirt to a pencil shape (not too narrow at the knees - I need to be able to walk!) and also added a wide yoke to the top. I also changed it from a lapped zip to an invisible zip (I love these!) Sorry for the un-pressed photos - it came straight out of my sewing bag!

Close up of the invisible zip and black poplin facing (not the best fabric choice but ok for a wearable toile)

Instead of using a standard hook and eye, I have created a little loop for the hook. I'm not sure what this is called but hopefully you see if in this picture.

The unfinished vent. not much to see here but I'm still deciding between a split (currently ironed line that) or a vent. Decisions, decisions ...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Simplicity 2860 - Amazing Fit? Yes please!

I've made up the Simplicity 2860 pants a few times with varied success but I still love the pattern. I find that the fabric I've used has varied a lot and would explain the different results. I still love these because they are like a block pattern for me and I hope to make them in a wool suiting fabric for work but that's a little while away I think.

I first made a black calico toile and did some minor alterations, including removing some of the bagging just below the derrière. Basically you take a long thin triangle out of the back pattern piece so that the leg pivots every so slightly. It's such a small change but made a big different to my fit. If I can find some photos online to show it I will add them here otherwise I can write a post if anyone's interested.

Grey pants

I've tried this in stretch fabrics but ones with a lot of stretch need to be taken in by a lot (one pair was 2 whole sizes!) but fabric with just a little or no stretch works nicely. The pictures in this post are for a grey pair with a little stretch but not much (from Darn Cheap Fabrics, ~$3.99/m).

The pattern calls for the edge of the waist band that is still visible on the inside to be covered with a bias tape which looks great but I didn't both for this pair. I will try to take photos of a pair that have this, that I'm working on now.

Last but not least, I blind hem the bottoms. I love the way this looks on pants - it's such a crisp and professional finish!