Tuesday, 17 February 2015

My first garment for my Vintage Pattern Sewing Pledge- a nightshirt

Hi everyone, I did say yesterday I'd be blogging about my Vintage Pattern Sewing Pledge 'make' very soon and here it is! I decided I would only things I know I need and will wear (disasters aside) and a vintage nightshirt in eye-watering Paisley fabric fits the bill for me! You will be seeing lots of other PJs coming up though the next few months as they all seem to have gone kaput at the same time.

Anyway, fabric comes with a warning for those of a nervous disposition as it is a big, bold pattern. OK, you've been warned! So where did I get the vintage pattern from? Well, I've now developed a serious Ebay and Etsy stalking, lurking and buying addiction. Wow, I seriously love some of those patterns! Here's the pattern I chose which is from 1976-

I cut out view 1 and shortened it by 5" as I like to wear a nightshirt (and trousers) instead of a normal RTW PJ jacket which is usually too short for my height. This pattern has a long button opening in the front with a pleat detail from the bottom of the button band to the hem. There's a front pocket, grand-dad collar, long sleeves and a curved hem.

This is a unisex pattern and I never thought anything about it until I was sewing the buttons on at the end, but the buttoning is on the wrong side for me, it's for a man. However, I'm so lazy I won't be undoing any buttons as this is so roomy I can pull it on.

Now, are you ready for the fabric? It's a 100% cotton paisley print that I bought in John Lewis sale at half price. I know there's a contrasting fabric used in the pattern for the sleeve hems, pocket top and collar but I just couldn't have anything in competition with The Paisley!

When I started hemming I thought it was still too long so I cut another 5" off the length but I feel I've made it a little bit short, especially when I look at the photos, but that's fine. Here are some atmospheric evening shots of the nightshirt in its natural habitat and under normal lighting conditions!

I've decided to wear the collar turned down as it's quite high at the back and I never do the buttons all the way up. Here's a photo showing what I mean-

And here's the pocket, if you squint at it you might be able to make out a pocket shape, it's kind of in 'Paisley camouflage'!

And of course, some photos of yours truly wearing the finished nightshirt -

I added this last photo just because I like it and I'm laughing...probably at the thought of the next project I've started which is another vintage pattern. I think it's nervous laughter as it's a project with a capital P!

Monday, 16 February 2015

A very satisfying sew

Have you ever spent hours figuring out how to get the best out of a small piece of fabric, moving the pattern pieces slightly and then staring at the results for ages? Well, this is how this top was for me. I couldn't resist the pattern on the fabric when those lovely ladies in the John Lewis fabric department in Edinburgh opened the plastic wrapping of the £5 remnant just so I could feel the fabric and see what the heck that pattern was! I remembered to take a photo of the fabric before any cutting out-

It's a lovely, fine, satin-y fabric with lots of lovely drape to it but look at that pattern! The challenge is to get the pattern placement right.

Ah, yes, and it's a remnant. I haven't told you that there was just a metre of it, 150cm wide mind you so that was great.

The fabric is lying square and flat in the photo, there are no straight lines in this either. So now you realise the challenge! I used a really simple pattern for a cap sleeved top, View A Burda 7079.

I found it difficult getting the pattern placement right and the front and back are great but I did have to sacrifice the pattern not matching by about 1-1.5" but hey ho, you win some, you lose some! I'm still really pleased with how the top turned out and I've already worn it and washed it.

Here are photos of the front and back views not that there's much difference between them, really but at least you can see the pattern placement!

Just in case you're wondering, the photo on the left is the front view.

What I have decided to do in the future is to cut the back on the fold as it's easy to get in and out of the top without the bother of having a back opening. I hate sewing button sloops and don't make a good job of them. This is no exception! I just love this top and I can see me wearing it lots. Anyone got a good deal recently or been really pleased with how something has turned out? On another subject, I finished my first Vintage Pattern Pledge yesterday so keep in touch, I'll be blogging about that really soon!

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Kind of a strange pattern...nothing new there!

This is another of my half-price-in-the-sale purchases from John Lewis. It's a lovely viscose/rayon fabric so has a lot of drape to it. It looks a bit olive in this photo, it's darker and more 'green' in real life if you know what I mean.

I bought a couple of new patterns for tops the other week just to make the selection a bit bigger so I decided to have a go at a raglan sleeved pull on top, New Look 6225. By the way, New Look patterns are half price at the moment, for a limited time only, but good to know!

There are no fastenings but some bust darts give some shaping to the body. I made View B, added 2" to the body length and made the sleeves longer. It was a fairly simple stitch together and didn't take too much time. Then I tried it on before sewing the side seams and the bias binding around the neckline. What I didn't do (or forgot to do?), was stay stitch the neck edges so, of course when I tried it on I got the shock of my life as the neckline rested on the edge of my shoulders. Yikes! So, when I started to attach the bias binding to the neck, hey ho, the binding wasn't long enough. It took a while but eventually I got it all to fit and sewed it on. It's fine now but what a schoolboy error! Next time, remember the stay-stitching...

There's not much more to add about this top except that I definitely will make it again as it's a good addition to my wardrobe and I love raglan sleeves! Just a bit too late for Jungle January, but maybe next year...

Monday, 2 February 2015

A wee touch of tartan

Yes, it's a very practical sew! A black skirt. Not much more to say or to get excited about but this one has a hidden secret because...on the outside it's a mild, mannered skirt but on the inside it's hiding red lining and tartan.

The black fabric is a 97% wool and 3% lycra that I saw in Edinburgh Fabrics a few weeks ago. I think it was about £25 a metre but it's just a lovely of fabric to work with and fits my aim to use better quality fabrics. I pre-washed the fabric but not the lining.

You can see a sliver of the red lining at the back split. I know you're supposed to sew the corner of the lining loosely to the skirt itself but I quite like the little bit of red showing.

Where's the we bit of tartan? Me eyes fell upon some tartan bias binding, which as a bit of red in it so I thought, perfect, I'll use that to stitch the skirt hem. Looks good!

So everything is lovely and neat and I really like this skirt. I'm pleased how it's turned out and despite it being boring black, the colourful innards kept my interest as I was sewing it. I used my tried and tested Simplicity 1559 pencil skirt pattern that I've made before. All in all, it was a breeze to sew and fit and it's added another basic piece to my wardrobe.

Anyone else added some hidden gems or secrets to their sewing?