Friday 12 July 2019

Named Stella shirt

I love Named sewing patterns and for me, they're always a winner drafting-wise. Sometimes it takes me a while to get around to buying a pattern, and the Named Stella shirt is one of those that I've been meaning to make for a long time. Finally done it!

I was drawn to the raglan sleeves and the interestingly shaped collar. What I also learnt was a super quick and easy new way to sew cuffs. I've stolen that idea and have used it again on another, to be blogged, shirt.

I'm less pleased with the fabric though. I love the design and the colours in the print. the design is lovely, but you might be able to see in the photos, the black background has washed out very quickly so the fabric surface looks a bit foggy. I bought this from Guthrie and Ghani, but I've seen it for sale on other sites too.

The buttons are from Edinburgh Fabrics when I raided their button collection for anything shirt sized. I went in last Saturday but it looks like they've reduced their button selection, which is a shame.

I made a muslin of their size 16, added a full bust adjustment, lengthened the body and didn't lengthen the sleeves. It was fine so I made up the shirt in the 'real' fabric. I need to add an inch to the sleeves, something I found out while wearing it. The dart is too low. The body is quite long but I'm swithering about shortening it by an inch. Depends if I can be bothered or if I remember when I cut out the next one!

And I almost forgot to show you the cuffs. They're brilliantly simple. There is no placket to sew, which makes this a super simple, fast cuff to sew. You sew the cuff band on to the sleeve in the same way you'd sew a jersey knit band on to a sleeve. The buttonhole is sewn through a 'pinch' that you take in the cuff, which is more difficult to describe than to actually do. The cuff then looks like a normal flapped cuff. Here's a photo showing the lack of a time-consuming placket:

Next blog post, another Names sewing pattern! Really, I should just admit defeat and buy all their patterns...what are you sewing up at the moment or has summer diverted your sewing? 

Friday 24 May 2019

Tie front top with a fair amount of alterations

So I'm continuing with the seldom worn items for Me Made May. This is a top I completed sewing in late autumn, after a slight pause while I changed tack and amended it from what the pattern intended, to something I wanted to wear. I finished the top, and then it hung in the wardrobe for months.

I used Simplicity8601 and view A. It's so long ago that I can't remember the amendments I made to it. Certainly I would have added length to the body and those lovely bell shaped sleeves. The fabric is a polyester, can't remember where I bought it but I love the colour!

Now on to the tie front. The front and back pieces have seams and the front seam is topstitched. I tried on the top with the tie front and absolutely hated it! Then it sat on the table for a few weeks until I decided to sew up the entire front seam, cut the ties off and cut a curved hem. I like it now! The only slight 'thing' about it is that I'd like it if the sleeves are slightly wider in the bicep, but it wouldn't stop me wearing it.

So, even though it's made of 100% polyester and isn't nearly as shiny looking in real life compared with these photos, I'm going to keep it!

Saturday 18 May 2019

Super Kallle go ballistic, sleevies are a huge plus!

Some of you may be thinking that the title of this blog post should be sung to the tune of that song from Mary Poppins, 'Supercalafragalisticexpialadocious'. I'm not a fan of musicals and prefer to pay homage to the sheer genius who thought up the Sun newspaper headline in 2000, 'Super Caley go ballistic, Celtic are atrocious', for the performance of Inverness Caledonian Thistle winning the Scottish Cup 3 - 1 over Celtic. Got to love an underdog! I'm not into footie but will be watching the F.A. Cup soon. Probably supporting the nicest coloured strip!

But let's get back to my Me Made May pledge and the second seldom garment I wore last week, On Sunday 12th May was my first Kalle shirt with the long sleeve expansion pack. I bought that as soon as it came out and made up this shirt using a lovely 100% viscose from Guthrie and Ghani. they are another one of my favourite online shopping places with fast delivery.

I made a few changes to this Kalle shirt. First of all, I shortened the back length. Me! Shortening something...unheard of! I cut a new pattern piece for the bottom so I can use this shorter length again. The original length is quite long even on me, and the back hem almost reaches the back of my knees. This was the first time I used the sleeve extension pack. I knew straight away I didn't want the extra wide cuff, that would just annoy me so I reduced the width of it by 1". I think I added 'the lost inch' to the sleeve length. 

However, I made a simple, stupid mistake! Anyone else make those?! Can you see it in the photo above? Yes, I put the button and buttonhole the wrong way around. It really bugs me and I think that's partly why I don't enjoy wearing this as much as I should. So, that's a pretty easy thing to sort out and I think I will do that. I still think the cuff is too wide so I'll narrow that in the future. The other reason I don't like this as much s I should is that the fabric has a lot of white in it. I'm not a fan of white on me, I'd rather have cream. There's quite a lot of white in the polka dots and in the flowers. However, the fabric feels lovely against my skin.

So, is this a hit or a miss? Well, I think it's hit and I'm going to keep it.

Saturday 11 May 2019

The Afternoon Tea Blouse for Me Made May

Here is my second garment worn to meet my Me Made May pledge of wearing a seldom or never worn garment. I made the Oliver and S Afternoon Tea Blouse in autumn last year and I think the last time I wore it was in November. Is it a hit or a miss? For me, definitely a big hit!

As you can see, I made it in one fabric throughout because I think the seam lines need to be shown off. It's a lovely top but choosing the correct size will get you the correct shoulder fit which I think is crucial for this style of top. I made a muslin and managed to nail the shoulder fit first time around. I did a Full Bust Adjustment but can't remember if I lengthened the body. Probably, as I'm 5'9" tall, or 1.75m.

The style of blouse, for me, isn't suitable for work wear really, so that's partly why it hasn't been worn for a few months.

The fabric is a lovely maroon-chestnut colour that I absolutely love but that's difficult to photograph. It's a surprisingly heavy, drapey viscose crepe bought last year from the Clothspot. Sadly, I think it's sold out. So, even if you hang the top to dry on a hanger, you'll still have to do some intricate ironing to get rid of some stubborn creases but it's worth the effort.

My advice to anyone making up this pattern is to follow the instructions to the letter, and to mark your fabric pieces after you've cut them out as the front pieces are very similar to the back pieces. I did all this and was fine but I can see that cutting corners would be risky!

Is it a keeper? Yes! It's been washed and is just waiting for the intricate ironing before I hang it up in the wardrobe again. I'm really enjoying my challenge! It's refreshing to wear something different and rediscovering my garments as I get stuck in a rut in winter just trying to keep warm and neglect some lovely garments hanging in my wardrobe.

Monday 6 May 2019

Hit or miss?

As my Me Made May 2019 pledge, I said I'd wear at lest two items of never or seldom worn clothing and decide to keep, alter or donate. So, the first contender is this blouse:

I wore it to work on Friday 3rd May. I've made it before here and here. This version I made last year but I've hardly worn it. Why not? The problem is the collar and the upper placket of this pop-over shirt. They just don't sit right, take a look at the photo below and you'll see what the problem is. The day I wore this it was cold outside so I wore a scarf with it which hid the offending bits. I also feel the sleeves are just a wee bit too short for my liking.

The pattern is New Look 6374 and the fabric was bought from Edinburgh Fabrics. It's a black polyester print, quite nice and with green, cream and red flowers. I like the print and the fabric is also quite a 'nice' polyester. It's not a difficult shirt to sew, you just have to be really, really careful when sewing the placket. 

All in all, a great blouse pattern but one where for me, the collar just isn't 100% right. I was sewing a Kalle long sleeved shirt at the weekend and the collar just sews up without a problem. So this shirt is a miss for me, it's already washed and in the donate pile now. 

Monday 29 April 2019

My Me Made May 2019 pledge

Well, after a few years of not participating in Me Made May, I had an idea yesterday. A notable day, obviously! I wear me-made garments every day now so the challenge needs to have something in it that really challenges me now. However, like a lot of sewists out there, if you've got quite a few hand sewn things, it probably means you also have quite a few garments that rarely, or have never (!) seen the light of day. So, that's my challenge and here's my pledge: 

'I, Joyce, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May 2019. I endeavour to wear two seldom or never worn makes each week and to blog any un-blogged garments. I will also decide whether to keep them, alter or donate them, during May 2019' 

I inadvertently started off well yesterday with this challenge but it doesn't count as it's still April! I'll save that shirt for sometime in May! I've got behind in my blogging so it should also make me catch up with that too. 

Anyone else out there with a pledge for Me Made May 2019?

Monday 1 April 2019

New sleep masks

I don't know about you but I've got into the habit of using sleep masks to help get a good night's sleep. This is especially useful when the sun rises earlier and earlier in Scotland and it can be light at 4am in high summer. The ones I'd been using for years were free when we flew with Virgin Atlantic to the USA for a holiday on the west coast. But those eye masks were never intended for long term use and the elastic was really suffering from repeated washing. It's taken ages for me to get around to tracing a template from the old ones, adding a seam allowance and finding the fabric and elastic to make new masks. But here they are!

I also wanted the new sleep masks to be made from natural fibres so I dived in to my cotton scraps that I use to make pocket bags in trousers and jeans, and got to work. All in all it took me less than an hour to make one mask. Why did I wait so long to replace the old ones?!?

If you're interested, I used four layers of cotton fabric so the light wouldn't penetrate too much and so I wouldn't have to use interfacing. I pulled at the elastic a wee bit, just to relax it before sewing it into the masks. I left a gap along the top of the mask so I could turn it inside out, then did a row of edge stitching to enclose all the raw edges. I know some sleep masks encase the elastic inside a tube of fabric but I didn't like that idea. I just feel it would be too bulky to sleep on.

Hey, it's not exciting sewing but for me it's an essential! And it uses some fabric scraps and end bits of elastic that are too small to use in waistbands. Result!