Monday, 27 January 2014

Men's shirting.... finally!

I've been fabric shopping again. And this time I didn't buy anything for myself. I have finally found some fabrics to make Mr H a shirt or too. Now I know that finding shirting shouldn't be that difficult. However, Mr H doesn't really like checks. So that wipes out a huge amount of casual fabrics. There are, of course, lots of stripes but then so many of those can look quite businessy. And there's no way Mr H would wear florals and the vast majority of patterns are out as well. Which doesn't actually leave much.

So I was very pleased to find some great cotton that I think will make great shirts. Even though they are in fact stripes.

First a bit of a fancy white with black stripes.

Then white again but this time with blue and gold stripes.

And perhaps if he is feeling adventurous

These cottons are really lovely and a little bit more interesting because the stripes are all woven so they have a lovely textured look and feel.

So now I have no excuse and will need to start shirtmaking.

Oh and if you find it similarly difficult to buy for your man you can find these fabrics in my etsy store.

Do you have trouble finding suitable shirting? Or have a favourite online source?

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

January Make a Garment a Month Complete

This really should have been a much quicker make than it turned out to be. But that's ok, because I made it fit properly  pretty well and learned a few things along the way. And discovered that I actually really enjoyed the whole process.

It is McCall's M6604 view C. First up is that this pattern is really short. I added 2.5cm to both back and front and then another 5cm or so in the shaping on the front. When I make it again, which I will, I'll add at least another 2.5cm to the back.

So the first thing to go wrong was that I cut a size 20, sewed the pleats, and shoulder seams and then tried it on. It was huge but then that's no real surprise is it? As I mentioned once before, it is all very well to measure the pattern pieces and work out the ease, but I'm still learning how much ease I like and how a certain amount of ease looks. But anyway, I recut the size 18 and it's much better.

I did a 2cm forward shoulder adjustment and used Heather's fabulously easy tutorial to also adjust the sleeves. I also took 1cm off at the top of the shoulder. And then I put in the sleeves.

Looks pretty good, yeah? (Well except for the colour - this fabric photographs as a completely different colour in nearly every photo) But there is one small problem....

That is a rather large pleat in the sleeve. Talk about a generous amount of ease... I thought that a pleat might work as it would reference the front pleats. But it didn't - it just stuck out rather awkwardly.

So I looked for tutorials on how to fix this. There are a lot. However, most of them presume (quite rightly) that you want to make an adjustment to the pattern before you cut the fabric. I, of course, needed an on the fly fix for an already cut (and hemmed) sleeve. Casey's tutorial was just what I needed. I will also try to remember to check this on future garments BEFORE I cut them out.

After that it was all smooth sailing.

Well except for the weird 'smile' between my b00bs. But see it goes away when I do this

The problem is that the neckband is too long. You see I also did a straight shoulder adjustment, maybe.... Anyway I cut 1cm at the neck of both front and back shoulder seams graded out to nothing at the shoulders. But I din't even think to shorten the neckband.  No wonder it went on so easily...

I played around with lots of options to try to fix this. In the end I added a small piece of elastic inside the neckband just above the pleats. (I also tried elastic all the way around and just from the shoulder seams forward but both of those pulled it too far forward)

This is supposed to show my excellently placed shoulder seams and pretty damn good sleeves (maybe still need a small tweak at the back) but all I can see is ... b00bs. I swear they don't stick out that far in real life.

And the obligatory back view. I do sometimes wonder if I need some kind of back adjustment. But I think I can't need a sway back, because I have a flat bum but then I read somewhere the other day that that is precisely when you need a sway back adjustment. Can anyone shed any light on this for me?

But still I'm pretty pleased overall with this top. A couple of tweaks and it might even be a TNT. Which I do really need because when it is really hot you just can't beat a simple woven top.

So that turned into a really long post, didn't it? Next time I will try to do a WIP post, which is what I should have done when I spent so much time faffing about with the sleeves.

So how are your January plans going? And I would really appreciate any comments or suggestions you might have regarding achieving a better fit.

Oh and don't forget to leave a comment on my last post to win the Plus Size Pattern Pyramid.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

very late #sewgreendecember

This is just a catch up on a couple of quick, easy makes that I did finish in December but just didn't get around to blogging.

First up is a #sewgreendecember top. Sew Green December was a sewcialists theme. For more on this and their upcoming themes have a look at their blog.

It is a constantly-work-in-progress self drafted top that started life as a copy of a RTW.

I presume the tripod was less than straight - I'm fairly sure that I hadn't been drinking:)

I used this lovely green eyelet fabric that I bought as a remnant for about $6 for 2 meters.

Not the best pic since it is just an enlarged crop. But you can kind of see the scollaped hem. This made it a very quick make since it didn't even need hemming and only has two seams.

The next make was another tunic length version of V8805. I had previously made this dress  but had made a mistake in my forward shoulder adjustment. Since I plan to make at least one more of these when the weather heats up, I wanted to make sure I had it right (it is now spot on). So I whipped up this

The fabric is a Thai Cotton, available in my etsy shop. I bought this for a dress for my sister and had enough left over for this top. My sister's dress is also a V8805 so the top is like this one with the bottom band also with horizontal stripes. Sorry no pics of it.

Both of these are going to be great once the mercury starts rising.

If you are in Australia then I hope the mercury drops soon but in the meantime remember that it is important to keep your fluids up in the heat (and that G & T and beer are fluids).

Stay cool!

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Plus size pattern pyramid

As some of you know I was lucky enough to win a Plus Size Pattern Pyramid from Chris Lucas in December. I figured we all didn't need any more excitement around Christmas/New year so have waited till now to pass on the pattern pyramid. So this is what you'll get

Apologies for the less than spectacular photo. Camera....batteries.....were......slowly....dying

So these are the goodies

  • V1333 Sandra Betzina Today's Fit Blouse and Skirt
  • B5424 Butterick Reversible Jacket
  • B5750 Butterick Suzi Chin Dress
  • B5340 See & Sew Dress
  • B5342 See & Sew Dress
  • 7907 Burda Young Fashion Top & Dress
  • M6322 McCall's Semi-fitted dress
  • M6469 McCall's Tops
  • M6566 McCall's Tops

And these are the rules (copied shamelessly from Chris's blog)


  •  Anyone, anywhere can enter the giveaway by posting a comment below by midnight Thai Time January 31 2014  BUT you must have an active blog. (Reasons to become obvious.)
  • I will randomly select a winner, and post all the patterns to them.
  • The winner will pick one pattern to keep for themselves, then host their own giveaway. They will randomly select a winner, post the remaining patterns to that person. That winner will host their own giveaway, and so on…
  • All patterns are in the plus size category – ie – if the pattern comes in 2 sizing groups, then it will be the larger category. Patterns to go up to at least go up to a size 20 (many go higher). Patterns listed as “all sizes” will include plus sizes.
  • If you wish to take more than one pattern you can replenish the stock with a pattern you no longer want – but please make sure it is in plus size range
  • We are taking it on trust that all pattern pieces are there
  • If you’re a winner, I would love it if you could make a small contribution to The Brooke. This is a charity close to the heart of Catherine, who so generously provided the patterns for Karen’s original Pattern Pyramid. And Bev, who donated the original plus sized patterns for this particular Pyramid, continued this request in the spirit of the generosity of the sewing community.
  • Please engage in a timely fashion, launching your own giveaways soon after receiving a parcel.
  • You must be be happy to post patterns worldwide.

Thanks Chris (and there are more details on the beginning of this pattern pyramid on Chris's blog.)

I'll announce the winner on February 1.

Good luck!

And I nearly forgot...  Deborah at DFabrication  is also hosting a pattern pyramid (non-plus size) so there is something for everyone

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Sewists Secret Santa

Look at what my lovely Sewist Secret Santa sent me....

Fabulous thread scissors on a handmade strap, gorgeous black buttons and red ricrac and a handmade pins and needles holder stocked with great pins and needles. All of this came packaged in a handmade drawstring bag. How lucky am I? And it arrived well before Christmas (so my apologies it has taken me this long to get around to posting it)

So a very big thank you to both my Secret Santa and to the lovely Kat for organising the whole thing.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Make a Garment a Month January

I seem to have an awful lot of catching up to do. With everything, sewing, blogging, the etsy shop, really everything. So something simple for January....

I am going to make view C (the floral image) in this lovely Thai cotton with a textured self stripe which I bought at the fabulous Narin Fabric Supermarket in Chiang Mai for about $1.50/metre. This will be a test run of sizing etc on the simpler version before I eventually make the blue one (view B) in some lovely blue linen. But that will probably be for the sewcialists blue february.

And just for the record, I did finish my green pants for December. See, here they are

Not much of a picture I know. They do fit ok, they have been worn but no pics were taken. And since I need to iron them before this can happen, it may be a while....

Happy sewing