Tuesday 26 May 2009

Q's, A's, Bits and Bobs

Thank you for all the comments on my recent reviews, it's always interesting reading them and there were a few points I thought I would post here;

Khaki Skirt 04/09-101
There were a few comments regarding the zipper placement.  Excellent suggestions to move the zip to one of the existing panel seams instead of creating a new centre back seam.  I guess the final choice depends on your own figure type, I would put the zip wherever you are least curvy - for me that's what causes problems if I try and put a skirt zipper in the side seam.  I also have a couple of skirts with side seam zips that are too big for me now and the thought of altering them is no fun at all - you practically have to take apart and remake the whole thing!

Robyn asked if this would be flattering for pear shapes.  Absolutely yes - it's neither a straight skirt or a full a line.  If you cut wide seam allowances it's easy to fit as you go on the many panel seams to get the skirt fitting closely where you need it to to flatter your figure.

Silk Top 04/09 - 122
Cindy asked if there was a lot of silk available in HK.  Yes lots of it, although the price and quality varies enormously and you do need to check that what is being sold as silk really is.  This particular green print came from a fabric market called Western Market which is generally quite expensive, but great quality.  I think they told me it was an Armani fabric at the time, but you have to take these comments with a huge pinch of salt!

Blue dress 02/09 - 124
Lindsay T came up with the great suggestion of making this with a contrast bodice which I may just do, and Sherry V wanted to see the back view.  While in our temporary apartment, I've got no dressform, no tripod and have to balance the camera on random bits of furniture so please bear with me on the photo quality for now.

And finally, I am now working on the linen jacket, also from 0409 BWOF.  The weather was foul all weekend so I made a good start on the sewing though I still have all the fiddly bits to do.....

Saturday 23 May 2009

BWOF 04/2009 - 101 Skirt Finished

Amanda was right - this is a great pattern although I can't quite put my finger on why as it's actually a very simple design.  I think it has just the right amount of flare, plus all those section seams make it easy to finetune the fit.

I made this in a khaki cotton twill and added the topstitching, but omitted the patch pockets so mine is a hybrid of views A & B.  I also added a centre back seam and moved the zip from the side to the back - just my personal preference, I think they hang better and are easier to fit.  I added the recommended hem allowance but found the skirt to be shorter than I would normally wear so ended up having a small hem, just something to watch out for if you have long legs as I definitely don't!

It should be a very simple skirt, but I found the front facing directions a bit confusing, I'm not sure if I did it right, although it looks OK.  

I ended up with the centre front panel facing being stitched down so I had to do the same with the side fronts and attach them at the panel seams.  Here are views of the inside, probably easier to show than to explain.

Tuesday 19 May 2009

BWOF 04/2009 - 122 Top Finished

A reminder of the pattern;

I thought this would make a cool floaty summer top so I made this in a silk pucci style print. The silk is very lightweight so I added a deeper hem and also some beads on the ties to give it a little bit of weight and help it hang better. 

This is not the kind of shape I usually wear, but there isn't too much fabric to gather onto the drawstring empire waist so it's OK. Unless BWOF have gone completely crazy with their necklines it is designed to be worn over another layer.  Probably not my favourite style, but it will be great for the humid summers we get here and I'm sure I will get a lot of wear out of it. I think this would make a great beach cover up too. 

My drawstring casings were very narrow because I didn't read the cutting instructions properly (well not at all actually) and had just added standard seam allowances.  Never mind, I simply used a very thin satin cording for the drawstring and added some beads at the ends to stop the cord disappearing inside the casing. The instructions have you put in two buttonholes on the front for the drawstring, I just used one at the centre.

Sunday 17 May 2009

BWOF 02/2009 - 124 dress version 2

I often say that I will make a pattern again, but then new ones come out and I never get around to it.  However this is the second time I have made this dress and I'm sure there will be more.  It's so quick and easy to sew, the pattern fits without any fussing and it's right for so many occasions.  Here it is in the cobalt blue cotton twill, this fabric wrinkles quite a bit, but was so cool and comfy that I can deal with a few wrinkles.  I have my eyes half closed in the second photo, but you can see the colour better so I will put vanity aside for a moment!

Thursday 14 May 2009

Next up...

Firstly I just want to say that if Kathy who wanted the Vogue Adri pattern I was giving away a while back is reading this, please send me your address to alchurchman at gmail dot com so I can send it to you.  

Secondly I now have a greater understanding as well as a huge amount of respect for anyone who has to share their sewing area.  Now in our temporary serviced apartment I am cutting out on the floor and constantly moving machines and computers around on the tiny dining table we have.  I don't know how much sewing I will be able to get done in the remaining 5 weeks without going crazy, but I've had a few cutting spurts so have some things in the pipeline.....

1) Another version of BWOF 02/09 124, the simple shift dress I made a couple of months ago.  This time in a cobalt blue cotton twill, I've seen a lot of this colour around lately and really love it, even though it's not the sort of colour I'd normally wear.  One great thing about dresses is that is doesn't matter if they don't match anything else in your wardrobe!  I'm hoping to wear this to a party on Saturday night and it's quick to make so I should be OK (famous last words...)

2) I've cut out top BWOF 04/09 122 in some green pucci style printed silk.  I am in two minds about whether this style will work on me, but it looks perfect for summer and you don't know till you try (though I admit it would have been sensible to try in muslin first!).

3) I've also cut out jacket BWOF 04/09 116 in a green linen, and plan to add white topstitching and buttons.
4) I've cut out the pattern for skirt BWOF 04/09 101 and have bought some khaki cotton twill to make this up as a neutral wardrobe basic.  

Getting good use out of that issue!!

More on the dress in my next post.

Saturday 9 May 2009

UK wedding pictures

I'm back from my trip to the UK for my friend's wedding.  Amazingly the weather was fabulous for the whole of my trip, and especially on the day of the wedding itself which, apart from most of the wedding party having a nasty stomach virus for the week before, went smoothly.  The kiddies dresses did fit perfectly, although making a full length dress for a bouncy 3 year old turned out to be a mistake and some emergency rehemming was needed!

Here are a few photos from the day to show the dresses being worn.

My friends husband works for the fire service so this was our transport to the wedding venue - great fun!

3 year old bridesmaid dress

I discovered it's not easy taking photos of baby clothes....

The wedding was held in the grounds of a private school (confusingly called public schools in the UK) in Sussex, the ceremony took place in the old school barn with drinks in the beautiful grounds afterwards.

Now I am back I have unpacked my meagre sewing supplies (after a HUGE panic when I couldn't find my sewing machine foot pedal which I had cleverly hidden in amongst the fabric) and am keen to get started on some summer BWOF projects.  I'm way behind on my blog reading list but have already seen lots of inspiring posts so hope to have something to show, or at least a plan very soon.