Tuesday, November 11, 2014

BurdaStyle 08/2014 - 120/121 T Shirt with shoulder pleat

It wasn't so long ago I would have thought making a white t shirt instead of buying one to be bonkers, but increasingly I find they are either made from poor quality see through material or they are expensive.  So when I found some decent white jersey at a great price I picked some up.

Still I couldn't make myself make a plain white t and wanted something with a bit of interesting detail - enter BurdaStyle 08/2014 - 120 / 121.  I made a mix of the 2 views, the curved hem from 120 with the short sleeves from 121.

I really enjoyed making this, the drape detail and back shoulder seams are great details.  However wearing it, the extra fabric in the drape tends to distort the neckline as you can see below and even on the dressform now I look at these pictures, which is a shame.  (Or perhaps I stretched it out while sewing?)  Maybe this is one t shirt that would benefit from a more lightweight fabric.  Oh well, it's a white t shirt, it will get worn!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Burda Style 05/2013 - 103 twist top

Generally when I see fabric I have a vague idea what I want to do with it, even if it's only the type of garment.  However I also have a bit of a magpie tendency and will pick something up simply because it is pretty or unusual.  The places I shop for fabric here are cheap enough that taking a bit of a risk is not going to break the bank.  (Incidentally next time I go fabric shopping in the best place in HK - Sham Shui Po, I will document my favourite shops and do a post on it.  I'm also more than happy to meet and shop with anyone visiting, please just drop me a note!).

Anyway that was the case with this thin burnout jersey, once I got it home I wasn't sure how to use it, there is a lot of transparency and underlining would be tricky because it is so drapy.  Finally I decided to try this Burda top which is designed to be worn layered.  I will grow out of twist tops one of these days....

This is a very simple top to put together especially if you have made a twist style before.  I think it is a good use of this fabric but I must admit I am tempted to fuss with this top a lot when I am wearing it.  It's a very deep neckline which shifts around and the lower wrap layer has a tendency to hang down.  The best solution would be to add retainer straps at the shoulder seam to wrap around the straps of the camisole under layer to deal with the first problem and to just get used to the second!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Catch Up and Blog Hop

Well I've had an awful few weeks, can you believe my other cat, Barney, got sick and also had to be put to sleep.  We estimate he was around 18 years old which is great going for a cat, but the timing is terrible and I have been incredibly upset about it.

Barney in his younger and fatter days, RIP my friend x
I've just returned from a fitness retreat weekend in Koh Samui, Thailand (thank goodness for all the workout gear I managed to make recently!) which proved to be a good tonic and I hope I can move on now.  All in all 2014 has not been a great year and this has definitely showed in my blogging and sewing output and quality - while doing something I love should provide comfort it seems that I need to be in a place where I can properly focus and enjoy the process.

There are worse places to do a workout!

Fabric shopping in Hong Kong (where I live in case you don't know!) is another matter though so I am all set to welcome the return of my sewing mojo.  On that note "couture a la mode" asked where my print workout fabric came from - this is not helpful I'm sure, but it was from the fabric stalls on Ki Lung St in Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong.  It's total pot luck what you will find and tends to be mill ends so you have to get it while you can, that one has already gone I'm afraid.

Before I get on and post the things I have made this seems a good time to respond to the meme that is going round (or gone by now!) on blog writing and reflect on the process a bit.  I was nominated by two bloggers I follow - Tia Dia at Mezzocouture and Elle from He Cooks She Sews.

What am I working on now?

Right now I am just finishing up more Fehr Trade workout gear and have traced a dress - Burda 10/2014-101 and pulled fabrics for a bunch of cardigans.  The weather here is starting to cool down so I am thinking about garments for fall, but with a summer holiday planned over New Year I want to make some resort wear too.  Be warned my blog will be all over the place in the next few months!

How does my work differ from others in the genre?

I'm not sure it does really, I'm certainly not trying to be different, teach, or to monetise my blog.  I focus on the finished product with a few details here and there if I think it might be useful. I mainly use Burda magazine patterns with a sprinkling of Vogue designer patterns.

Why do I write what I do?

I remember when I first discovered Pattern Review years ago, 10?, I loved seeing other interpretations of patterns.  From there I found sewing blogs which I loved even more because you could get to know the personality and style of the sewer behind the blog a bit.  After a few years lurking around I decided I wanted to give a bit back to the community and my little blog was born and I started commenting ang getting involved on a small scale.  Through this and despite living a long way from most of the bloggers I follow, over the years I have been lucky enough to meet many fellow sewers which has been fantastic.  On a more practical level, thinking about the blog post is in the back of my mind while I sew which I think helps me when I am problem solving or find something particularly brilliant - or stupid!

How does my writing process work?

Ah, I started answering that above! In addition, I might take photos mid construction, otherwise it's usually all about the finished garment.  While I don't use a template, my finished garment posts tend to all have the same basic structure - I am not a creative writer at all so this helps me get off the starting blocks.  The post title is always the pattern name or number, there is always a picture and link of the pattern and photos both on the dress form and on me.  My photography skills are down there with my writing skills so this last step is what always holds my posts up, but I think it is invaluable to show most garments on a body, I certainly appreciate it in other blogs.  Then I slot the words in around that, sometimes I will have jotted down some notes while I was sewing, other times I refer to the mid construction and detail photos to remind me of key points I want to get across.  

In summary it's just "I made this and here it is, I do/ don't like it"!  Thank you all for reading it and making me feel a part of this great internet community.

Friday, October 10, 2014

BurdaStyle 07/2014 - 114 Top & Fehr Trade Duathlon Capris /VNA Top

Not the snappiest of titles, but I like to go for descriptive!

Immediately after writing my last post stating that I was back and had lots to post, events conspired against me.  Firstly my camera had to go in for repair which took a week and the repair centre also happened to be located right in an area where huge numbers of pro democracy protesters had gathered causing several major roads in HK to be closed.  They are still closed, but the number of protesters is dramatically lower and it is possible to get around, just takes an age.  Then would you believe soon after I had picked up the camera, Google decided to disable my account due to suspicious activity.  I never found out what happened, but today I was able to reset my password so finally finally I can get going.

First I'm going to knock out 4 garments in one post, they are 2 workout sets, although they don't have to be worn as sets necessarily.

This is the Fehr Trade VNA top and Duathlon capris, both of which I have made before and reviewed in more detail here.  The fabric is a panel print so I wanted to utilise both parts - the crazy coloured bit and the black and cream section.  It's a slightly thinner fabric than I like to wear at the gym (TMI, but I sweat a lot and the wet t shirt look is not good on me!) so I underlined the whole thing with some powernet.  I thought it might be too hot, but I've worn it a couple of times and it works well.  Maria bought the same fabric when she visited recently so it will be interesting to see what she does with it.  I still have some left so I can copy her anyway!

I lengthened the VNA top following the instructions included in the pattern.  The shaping and point at the back means that you can't just add onto the hem so I appreciated that the method was included.

For the second set I started with another pair of Duathlon capris, I ended up taking in the pair above enough at the side seams that I decided to cut a size small for these.   

The top is BurdaStyle 07/2014 114 and although not specifically a gym top the magazine showed it in a sporty section and I liked the colourblocking so decided to give it a try.  

I made my usual Burda size 38 and it went together really easily.  The drafting is excellent and even the instructions are pretty good so you get a nice finish on the v neckline.  But.....

I think you can immediately see the problem I had with this pattern!  Now I really don't care if a bit of my sports bra shows when I am working out, but this was ridiculous!  I often have this issue when others don't so I think I have a short upper chest, but it's something to watch out for if you make this pattern.  I was really happy with the rest of the top though so I just stitched on a kind of modestly panel at the neckline.  

Here is the inside view of the modesty panel, you can see I did a rather slapdash job, but I cut a scrap of fabric, hemmed the top edge, pinned it in place before topstitching the whole neckline and then trimmed away the excess.

I wasn't going to post photos of me wearing this stuff, but I always find it invaluable on other blogs and reviews so here you go.  Bear in mind I decided to do this on Friday evening 15 minutes before I'm supposed to be leaving the house so this was a real rush job, probably the best way in retrospect, don't think about it, just do it!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Normal Service Can Resume

Well that last month did not go as planned.

I had a two week trip to Turkey booked and as usual planned to make some new clothes to take and get some more exotic photo backdrops than my front door.  I went on a shopping spree and got as far as picking out patterns, I even cut out a few things.

Then one of my 2 cats who has been treated for cancer for the last year, rapidly deteriorated and we had to have her put to sleep.  Even though she was quite old and with her illness we knew it was coming, it still hit me hard and I just had no motivation to sew.  It was undoubtedly the right thing to do, but I still miss the crazy old thing.

On to cheerier stuff, despite my old wardrobe and cat blues we had a wonderful time in Turkey, visiting Istanbul, Cappadocia, Ephesus and finishing with a relaxing few days on the coast.

On to cheery sewing stuff, I have a bunch of things lined up and ready to go, some plans may change, but it's still hot and summery here so hopefully I can still get some use out of the stuff I have traced or cut before fall arrives.  More coming soon!