Friday 30 January 2009

BWOF 10/2008 - 123 Waistcoat & Kreativ Blog award

It's finally finished.  I apologise for the crummy photos of me - I don't know if it's my camera, bad lighting, the fact I have to use the self timer or whether I just have those unphotogenic genes, but these photos were the best I could do today!  I hope you can get a good idea of the waistcoat from the dressform pictures anyway.  The fabric does look a lot like leather in some of the photos but it's not, just a textured slightly metallic man made unidentifiable fabric.  The magazine version uses quilted imitation leather and I agree it would be awesome in leather.

This pattern has those little details that BWOF is known for but this pattern is very easy to put together and perfect for those in-between weather days.  I know most of you are having either freezing cold or boiling hot weather right now but it's got to change soon!

I was excited to see that I had been nominated for the Kreativ blog award doing the rounds at the moment by Robin, Christina and Meg.  Check out their great blogs ;

These awards are a fantastic way of discovering new blogs and my blog reader list has grown dramatically in the last couple of weeks.  So instead of nominating anyone in particular, I promise to start updating my blogroll to catch up with my blog reader.  Do click through when you have time and see if you spot any new blogs you haven't seen before.  (edited to say that I have in fact now just managed to delete everything that was already there so this is a work in progress!)

Finally I picked up my February BWOF today and think it's a great issue although impossible to see what's going on in some of the photos, I might just make something from it for my next random item....

Friday 23 January 2009

BWOF 10/2008 - 123 Waistcoat (nearly)

I still have the lining to put in, but here is a preview.  Carolyn asked if this was one of my new fabrics - it's not but it does look similar in the photos - this is a textured, slightly metallic, green fabric I picked up locally with this pattern in mind.  The pattern goes together really well, I just lose momentum a bit when I get to boring bits like hems and lining, but it's Chinese New Year so we have a holiday from Monday to Wednesday and I should find time to get it done and model it.

For Janine and any other Aussies, Vicki tells me the outlet store we visited in Melbourne was called Clear It and the address is 296 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy.  It sells clothes downstairs and fabrics upstairs from Alannah Hill.  When I was there they mostly had gorgeous silks and chiffons, some beaded and embroidered - like all these places, it's a matter of pot luck what you will find there.  Happy shopping!

And to everyone else Kung Hei Fat Choy!  Happy New Year of the Ox.

Sunday 18 January 2009

Melbourne fabric spree and my next project

Thanks for the comments on the butterfly tops - it seems that the pattern is still available through McCalls by the way.

While I was in Melbourne over the New Year, I met up with Hong Kong Shopper Vicki and she took me to a great outlet store that also sold fabric which I would never have found on my own so thank you Vicki!  I was feeling less thankful when trying to close my suitcase, but my Christmas weight came in handy for sitting on it to get the darn thing shut!  It was worth it though!  Here we are with our goodies, my pile is quite a bit bigger than Vicki's but I actually only bought 3 pieces, 2 unusual fabrics and one real bargain one.

Bargain burnout velvet fabric

Pre tucked, sequinned fabric with chiffon gores already inserted.  Vicki promised not to let on if I claimed to have done these myself, but there's probably no fooling you guys!  It will be a quick skirt or dress to make with this!

No idea what this is, black/coppery embroidered tucked fabric, it almost has a leather look, this will be a jacket or coat.

I've started working on my next project which is in the current continuing vein of completely random and new patterns.  It's this sporty waistcoat from BWOF 10/2008 - 123.  It's coming along quite well - look, I even put in real functioning pockets!  Not that you can fit much in them, but as someone known for lazy sewing, I'm pretty proud of myself none the less.

Friday 16 January 2009

Hot Patterns No Sweat Easy Sew Butterfly Tops

I've had this pattern in my stash for a while and a recent newsletter from Hot Patterns prompted me to dig through the selection of Hot Patterns that I already own.  This is from the range that was also sold through McCalls and is I think now out of print.  
I made the cowl neck version in a very drapy lightweight poly knit that I bought from Spotlight - I loved the print but I really wasn't sure what to do with it - too light for a dress, too thin for a fitted top.  It turned out to be perfect for this top and I really like the end result.  The print and the sleeves make it feel sort of Japanese.  It's ideal for turning a pair of jeans into a going out outfit and great for travel - I can even roll it up and stuff it in my handbag if I'm going out straight from the office!  

The only negative thing is the sizing, I don't know if that is McCalls influence or not, but this pattern runs very large.  I started with a 10 and took in the side and underarm seams so that it ended up closer to a 6.  However it's easy to adjust this smaller and I think part of the concept of this pattern line was to minimise fit issues.  For comparison in a knit I'd normally make a Big 4 size 10 and a BWOF size 38.

I liked the top so much I thought I'd be brave and try the tie neck version in some gorgeous butterfly print silk jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics.  It seemed kind of appropriate for a pattern called a butterfly top and the fabric has the same drapy quality that this pattern needs.  This version has an attached cape and I was a little unsure about it to be honest, but I absolutely love how it turned out.  I went straight to a size 6 this time (this is the smallest size in the envelope which is just ridiculous frankly!) and this was just right for me.  The fabric was a dream to work with, sews and presses like cotton, drapes and feels like silk (which it is!).

You can see the attached cape detail in these pictures;

Tuesday 13 January 2009

BWOF 10/2005 - 114 Top

After my recent knit fabric binge, I went through my back issues of BWOF looking for new patterns to try, and I discovered a couple of winners.  One was the wrap sweatshirt I previously posted about and another was this cowl neck long sleeved top.

My fabric was a lightweight cotton jersey and I found it was a bit too flimsy for the collar piece, it just didn't drape well at all.  So I cut two collar pieces, stitched them right sides together along the outer edge and then treated them as a single piece and continued making the top.  

This is such an easy top to make, the fit is good, I didn't make any alterations from my usual size 38.  I managed to get the stripes matching up on the front, but it's a different story at the back!  I don't think it matters too much though, especially for a $1, 2 hour top (probably 1 hour for normal sewers!).  

Here I am wearing it (of course it would have been better if I had pulled it on over my bust properly and not worn underwear that shows with the camera flash, but we're all friends here and hopefully you get the general idea! You just don't notice these things on the camera display!).

Saturday 10 January 2009

Finally - the black peacock suit

Happy New Year everyone!  I've been back from Melbourne almost a week now, but wanted to finish the jacket before I posted.  I was lucky enough to be able to meet up with Vicki (Hong Kong Shopper) again while I was there - we chatted, we had coffee and yes we bought fabric  - more on that later.

So here at last is the finished outfit.  
Things I learned while making this;
 - It's better not to start a time consuming project in party season
 - It's definitely worth keeping those back issues of BWOF, at least 5 years if you have the space
 - Fabric shrinks when you quilt it
 - I'm not completely crazy about dropped shoulders
 - If I ever need to pick up any lint or white cat hair I need only wave this jacket nearby

I'm really happy with how it turned out though - the canvas and the topstitching around the hem of the jacket, although subtle really give it a nice weight and structure and the brocade details make this easy to dress up with the matching skirt, but it also works as a more casual piece with jeans.  These are not the greatest photos but you can see the details and colours more clearly in these dressform shots.

You can see in the end I decided not to use the patent zipper I bought recently.  Lindsay T and Trena were right, it begs to be left exposed and it was just too much for this particular jacket since I already had the brocade detail - the zip got kind of lost.  Interestingly the Project Rungay boys posted about zippers recently and included this Michael Kors jacket which has a similar zipper so I may make something inspired by this.  

But not yet, much as I love jackets I need a break before I make a new one.