Friday 27 June 2008

Next project - BWOF 04/2008-107 safari jacket

Thank you everyone for the comments on my recent group of projects. I am lucky enough to be going on a short trip to Phuket , Thailand in a few hours and escaping the rain and typhoons of Hong Kong. Packing for this 5 day trip has been so easy - with my mini wardrobe, recent skirt and blouse and selection of black tops I'm practically done. I'm really glad I focussed on some summer projects early enough in the year to be able to actually wear them. The great thing about summer clothes is that generally they are quick and easy to make, but I feel ready for something a bit more challenging now. So I present the plans for my next project;

BWOF 04/2008 safari style jacket in burnt orange.

I have traced the pattern and bought some fabric (glad I didn't officially enter the stash reduction contest on PR, I have more coming in than going out at the moment!). It's actually a petite pattern so I may need to make some adjustments to the length, not that I am particularly tall. I really like the sleeve details on this one. The burnt orange colour will coordinate with my zebra skirt, brown pants and of course jeans, but I am getting into sewing outfits now so I may also pick up a matching print for a dress or skirt (just an excuse to go fabric shopping really!).

Check out these great versions of this jacket made by C.Dishmey and Pinkhibiscus. Interestingly neither of them added the belt, I plan to.

So thats it from me for at least 5 days - happy sewing everyone!

Wednesday 25 June 2008

BWOF 2008/06 - 105 Blouse

We had a number 8 typhoon warning up here this morning which means that all places of work are officially closed. While this is no doubt extremely inconvenient for some, for me it meant a lie in and a bonus few hours to finish up this blouse!

This is the sewing course pattern from June 08 BWOF, and is pretty easy to sew as long as you are comfortable sewing a collar and stand. I had to fuss with mine a bit to get it looking how I wanted, but got there in the end. Of course afterwards I remembered the tutorial site that Sigrid has created which has 2 excellent and different methods for attaching this type of collar.

My serger was not co-operating when I started this project so I finished all the seams by either flat felling or turning under and topstitching. The end result is unexpectedly interesting - it has the formality of a menwear shirt, feminine stylelines and sporty snaps as fasteners.

I did an FBA in this blouse as I normally do for BWOF woven tops and rotated the dart into the side gathers. However I think the gathers on the top yoke would probably have been sufficient and I don't really need an FBA - it sure feels like there is some excess fabric there but that is partly the design.

Overall I am pretty happy with how it turned out and will probably make another one in a print, it's a great summer shirt pattern. I've now completed 2 items from June's magazine before the month is over which must be some kind of record!

Tuesday 24 June 2008

BWOF 2008/06 - 121A Skirt

I finally finished the zebra print silk skirt.  Actually this fabric was the end of the bolt and was so cheap it must be a poly.  But who cares, it feels great!

This is a very simple pattern, 2 pieces plus a bias strip to finish the back waistband and make the ties.  The pattern recommends lightweight flowing skirt fabrics and the short version in the magazine is made from chiffon.  Personally I think with the pleats in the front you don't want to use something too floaty and lightweight unless you have an extremely flat stomach!  I wouldn't go any lighter than this "silk" and even then I put quite a deep hem on it to help it hang better.

Otherwise the only change I made from the pattern was to leave off the eyelets - instead I cut the tie into two pieces and sewed them to the underside of the front pleat.  I didn't have any eyelets or the tool to attach them and was a bit reluctant to make holes in my fabric after making the skirt, even if it is just a poly!  Pleat detail;

The skirt has a side zipper and I used an invisible zip.  for some reason it really bent outwards so I had to leave the partially completed skirt under a pile of books for a few days to straighten it out.  Not very technical, but it worked!

The print is actually cream and brown so I probably won't wear it with a black top but it was sunny before I left for work this morning so I threw on the skirt and grabbed a few photos. 

Saturday 21 June 2008

I've got a TNT Pattern!

These pants are made from the same pattern as the black pants from my mini wardrobe - BWOF 08/2003-105.  They were so quick and easy to make second time around. (the top is also a TNT - Butterick 4985, see here) I think I will make a pair in navy and in charcoal and I'm all set!  The pattern is so basic I have nothing more to say about it, but for fun I used a remnant of the zebra print fabric for the waist facing.  This also has the added advantage of making the cream serger thread look intentional rather than plain lazy!

Basic wardrobe pieces like these don't make for interesting blogging, however I was really happy to find these filled a gap in my wardrobe perfectly and rescued this RTW jacket from the wardrobe orphanage.  Let me stress I did not make this jacket (nor did I buy it from a Chloe store - ah the wonders of factory shops!), but I wanted to show you some interesting details from it - I love it and think I might knock one off myself, the shape works well with these pants I think and this pattern from BWOF 12/2007 - 115 has similar lines.
So the RTW jacket details; it is made from a cotton eyelet and interlined with black cotton, you could use the stitch and flip method very successfully here.  Since the eyelet holes are pretty small it doesn't look obviously black and I can get away with mixing this jacket with brown as I did here.  But it would be fun to use a really interesting colour behind the eyelet.    

I know you all want to see the zebra print skirt so I'll get back to that now, trying to get a straight hem on a silk pleated skirt is giving me fits!!

Thursday 19 June 2008

Still here, just older

Sorry for the long pause between posts.  It was my birthday last Wednesday which somehow meant that I celebrated over 2 weekends and didn't have much time for sewing.  Or blogging.

Here is a sneak preview of what I have managed to do, more detail to follow at the weekend. The pants are finished, the other two pieces are in progress but nearly there.

Left to right; BWOF 06/2008-121, BWOF 08/2003-105, BWOF 06/2008-105

Monday 9 June 2008

The dress that wasn't

My most recent sewing goals were hardly the most challenging - use fabric stash, use new patterns and avoid black.  And yet here we have another version of New Look 6729, in a tan, black and gold jersey print, but at least the fabric is from my stash.   
Originally I was going to use the fabric to make this dress from BWOF 05/05, but realised I preferred to have wider straps to avoid any underwear issues.  I did try to redraft the pattern, but I wasn't happy with the results in a muslin and thought I could just use a different wrap jersey top instead which is where NL6729 came in as it has similar wrap front sections, but with covered shoulders.
However once I got going I decided I preferred to keep it as a top and I'm still not sure what to do with the skirt portion.  I think the print is a bit busy to wear head to toe now that I have abandoned the strappy bodice. This was really quick to make though and will go with a lot of things already in my wardrobe.

My June BWOF came yesterday at last and I think I am going to make these pieces next in some co-ordinating fabrics if I can manage to stick to my plans for more than 5 minutes!

Wednesday 4 June 2008

Fabric Distractions

It was a good thing I managed to finish my mini wardrobe - seriously with no deadline I would have wandered off onto other projects.

Amazingly I didn't have the black fabric for either the pants or the top in my stash so popped out during my lunchbreak to Western Market, Sheung Wan. My office is just around the corner which is very dangerous! This is an old building (in HK terms anyway) which against the odds is still standing. 
The 1st floor is full of fabric stores and I found myself at Yau Fat fabrics managed by the lovely but persuasive Rowena. This store is full of amazing fabrics and after purchasing my black fabrics I splurged on some other pieces. It is quite expensive but the quality of everything I have bought there has been excellent.

So this was what I bought (I take these designer names with a pinch of salt...)

Left to right : silk print by Marni (this matches the HP top I just made perfectly so may make a skirt from this), silk jersey by, you guessed it, Missoni for a top and brown/blue silk also by Missoni for a dress.

Now you can see the real motivation for wanting to reduce my stash a bit!!

My next project though is none of these, but a jersey summer dress - BWOF 2005/05 - 125 which I am hoping to have done by Saturday.  However, so far I have only traced the pattern so nothing to show yet - next time....

Monday 2 June 2008

Hot Patterns Weekender Sunshine Tops

There is a stash contest just starting at Pattern Review and although I won't be officially taking part I am going to try and do a bit of fabric and pattern stash reduction. This will probably make for a very eclectic collection of garments, in complete contrast to my recent disciplined mini wardrobe sewing so it will be interesting to see what comes out of this little experiment and what patterns I discover.

I have a decent collection of Hot Patterns and this is the first one I have made I'm slightly embarrassed to say. I thought I'd start with something quick and simple and this certainly was. I am surprised how much I like it, in fact I love it and I don't know why it has taken me so long to get around to making it. It feels very RTW and the scoop neck is the perfect shape and depth. The pattern comes with a few variations in lengths and sleeves and also suggests adding beading to the neckline so it begs to be made again.

But I am going to save that project for a short while and venture into new, as yet unknown territory for my next project.

Sunday 1 June 2008

Presenting the Final Mini Wardrobe

I'm happy with how the pieces do end up working together as a mini collection and not just a set of random garments which it kind of looked like in my storyboard. It was good for me to do this as part of a contest with a deadline - I have realised I have a tendency to procrastinate and would probably still be trying to come up with the perfect storyboard without the deadline. I also have renewed respect for anyone who can make a whole 10+ piece wardrobe without going crazy!

Looking at my Pattern Review bar over on the right there you can see almost everything I've made lately has been black, white or red. Time for some more colour now!

All about me me

Paula has tagged me with the latest meme (how do you say that ; me-me or to rhyme with, Boheme?). Anyway I don't normally do these things, but it has been interesting reading about everyone else so it's only fair I join in!

Gee I can hardly remember what I was doing yesterday, here's a rough idea. Working in London, living in sin with my now husband in the flat we still own there and thinking how I didn't want to turn 30 in a couple of years! I certainly had no clue I would be moving to the other side of the world.

Today is Sunday, my husband is on a business trip and I am going to have a pretty lazy day. Not every day is like this honest.
-grocery shopping
-update my blog with my PR mini wardrobe stuff
-do a bit of sewing on my HP sunshine top I cut yesterday
-just thought of this, been meaning to do it for a while - have a closet clearout
-do some kind of workout

Notice the things less likely to happen are already at the bottom of the list.

Generally I prefer savoury snacks to sweet ones, chips or popcorn are good. That said I would not turn down chocolate and cannot have it in the house.

Invest enough of it so that I didn't have to worry about income ever again (sorry the accountant in me emerging)
Quit my charity job, but donate a chunk of money instead
Purchase places to live in Hong Kong, Thailand and Australia and travel a lot
Give some to my family to make sure they are OK

Really thats about it, just accelerating what I hope to do anyway - no private jets, couture clothes etc. Easy to say that now I suppose, I will let you know if it turns out differently when the billion dollar cheque arrives.

West Sussex, UK
London, UK
Hong Kong

Shop assistant, on Saturdays while at school
Working in the kitchen of a mexican restaurant chain while at college (if you have seen me in a kitchen you would understand this was the scariest job for me, but it taught me a lot about confidence (and making nachos!).)
Accountant/auditor in a big city firm
Accountant in oil company in London
Kind of floating around for same oil company in Hong Kong for a couple of years
Financial controller for animal charity in Hong Kong

I'm usually pretty late to these parties - anyone who wants to join in go for it!

Check back later and see if I managed to cross off the "update my blog" item from todays tough schedule!