Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Double Sewing Double:Two dresses & two tops

So I've joined the Monthly Stitch and this month's challenge is Sewing Double. And I just so happen to have finished a second version of V8805.

You can read more about that here.

And this is my first version which was made in November.

You can read more about that here.

But that's not all folks... I have also made a blouse and tunic version of this very versatile pattern.

And I'm not finished with it either. I have several more ideas buzzing around, especially for blouses. Oh and maybe dresses too...

What about you? Have you been sewing double? Do tell...

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Sunday, 13 April 2014

Happy New Year

or Sawadee Pee Mai as we say here. Yes, it really is new year or Songkran  as we call it here. It is several days (depending on your stamina) of mayhem, madness and fun. It involves lots of water, and food and drink.

Besides the traditional water throwing there are usually lots of other social gatherings as many Thais who live in other places come home to celebrate. So I decided I wanted something a-little-bit-but-not-too-much Thai to wear.


I used V8805 (again) but with only one lower bodice piece. I also used some of my gorgeous mudmee (ikat) fabric, which is handwoven here in Lampang. You can buy some here.

French seams

Since I had made this pattern before, it came together really quickly and easily. Unfortunately this fabric frays when you look at it so I tried to be really careful and staystitched everything immediately. I also used french seams throughout.

me made bias binding

And made my own bias binding. Not an easy task in this fabric but well worth the effort, I think.

Not much more to say really. I wore it out on Friday night and it was everything I hoped it would be: cool and comfortable.

Mudmee V8805
This shows the colours most accurately.

So that was a relatively quick and very satisfying make, which I'm sure will get lots of wear. I also just realised that it also fits the Monthly Stitch Sewing Double challenge and the Sewcialists  #pinkapril too. Now that's a winning combination.

Are you doing any double sewing? or pink sewing? or both?

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Thursday, 10 April 2014

Two for him and one for me

I have been busy sewing but as per usual it is always the photos which are the hold up so I have decided to just go with what I have.

So I've been making everyday basics for me and H. First up was a pair of shorts for H. I used this pattern from Modern Sewing Patterns. This was one of those spur of the moment decisions - to make the shorts I mean - and so I didn't have a pattern. Nor did I have the time to wait for one to arrive. Nor was I terribly keen to spend too much on a pattern since I had my doubts about whether I'd ever use it more than once. You see H is blessed in that he can buy just about anything straight off the rack and it fits. All the time. So I really wasn't sure that it would be worth the effort to make much for him.

Boy was I wrong on that. He absolutely loves his shorts, which is why I have made two pairs in quick succession. This was helped mightily by the fact that they fit straight off the pattern. The only change was to use a 2cm side seam (not 1cm per pattern).

Warning the following photos are overexposed in an attempt to make something visible on black and navy fabric.

So here are both pairs of shorts.

Some details on the navy pair

Check out the fly

I used this excellent tutorial  from Grainline Studio and had no problems at all.

This is my faux flat felled pocket. Next time I will French seam them.

The only change I made to the pattern was to use patch pockets instead of welt, at H's request. I copied them from a RTW pair.

Again apologies for the photos but these have been washed twice since being finished last week. I only got the black pair off him and into the wash by making the navy pair. They have been worn to the pub, to a friend's house to watch rugby and to play golf (twice). So obviously they are a success!

In between the two pairs of shorts, I made myself a denim skirt. I used this  pattern from Lekala. You need to look at the technical drawing - it looks very meh in the main image.

 I have to say I was really impressed with the fit. The only change I made was to increase the seam allowance everywhere but the centre back but this was only because I used stretch denim. I'm sure that in non-stretch fabric it would fit straight off the pattern.

Because I used denim I didn't use flat felled seams as they would have been really bulky so they are zigzagged and then faux flat felled.

And yes, photobombed by the kitten. As you can see the pocket back (for want of a better term) continues up to the waist. This really helps the pockets sit flat and also helps prevent bagging from wear.

I French seamed the bottom of the pocket bags - the sides join the front seams so no need to finish them separately.

I used grosgrain ribbon to finish the waist as I do not like waistbands. They always crunch up and I don't find them very comfortable.

The back view. I have no idea why there is a crease on the right. Although the fact that I'd worn this several times before taking the photos might have something to do with it.

The vent in the back.

In the interests of full disclosure, the side view. This also kind of shows why I think this fits so well. The pattern actually has a slight curve on the two front seams so that it dips back in slightly below my belly. Which I really like because I don't like skirts to hang straight down as then they are too wide (due to my belly). Sorry bad description/explanation I know.

Don't know why I look so unimpressed. I love this skirt.

So if you are looking for a basic skirt pattern (made to your measurements) I can't recommend this enough. I will be making more of these. The front panel lends itself well to colour blocking or a bright print without going overboard. And think of the fun you could have with piping.

So that's me with a TNT for shorts/trousers for H and a TNT skirt for me. Doesn't get any better than that.

Have you tried Lekala patterns? Was it successful?

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Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Make a Garment a Month April Plans

A couple of weeks ago I was very fortunate to receive these in the post.

Sew and Sew by the Sea Sea had accidentally found herself in possession of two copies of these and so very generously offered to send them to someone who could use them. And I was the lucky one!

Since then I have been toing and froing over which to make first and from which fabric. I couldn't quite settle on a decision. Then I got this sudden yearning for a navy and mint summer dress. Not sure why. I'm almost sure I have never owned or worn anything mint before......

Then quite serendipitously my local fabric shop got in a huge range of solid textured cottons. And they were on sale for Songkran (New Year) which we'll be celebrating shortly. (more on that in another post coming soon) So I am making Butterick 6033 view B. As well as the contrast yoke I am also going to make the front and back centre panels in mint with the rest in navy.

You can see the texture of the cotton better in this picture below.

Although the mint isn't the true colour. I don't think. I'm not sure because I'm writing this on the back balcony (and laptop monitors and outside don't always work so well) because it is 41 degrees celcius here today and at least there is a breeze on the balcony. I'm telling myself it's a breeze - to be honest it is kind of a hot wind.

So now I just need to contemplate how much (if any) contrast topstitching to use.

Don't forget to check out the very generous Sew and Sew by the Sea Sea.

Well, I'm off in search of a beer. Have to keep your fluids up in the heat you know.

Hope your plans are coming together for April and if you have any thoughts re where and how much contrast topstitiching I'd love to hear them.

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