Friday, 27 February 2015

Fancy Pants in Abu Dhabi

Ok so these aren't that fancy, but they are finished, and I am in Abu Dhabi! 

I made these using the Craftsy class  Pant Fitting Techniques with Sandra Betzina which come with vogue pattern 2948.
I have written a full review of this pattern for the Curvy Sewing Collective which is up on their site now. In brief, this pattern is great for apple shaped figures with princess seam details which with added top stitching can really lengthen the legs and are useful for a flat seat adjustment. They are also useful for a simple flat seat adjustment.
The class has lots of useful information except for on measuring the crotch, you are directed to measure a pair of well fitting trousers that you already own, a problem for many people who struggle to buy well fitting trousers. She offers no alternative method and only demonstrates minimal crotch adjustments which is a shame because the rest of the class is very good.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Textile Adventures in Jewellery

A few years ago I did some experimenting with textile jewellery.

I even thought about opening an Etsy shop but family life got in the way and next time I had some time for crafts I decided to turn my attention to garment sewing. I still have a lot of these pieces, most of them have been packed up in my mother-in-laws loft in Ireland, but one or two made it with us to sunny Saudi. Craftsy are running a competition for handmade accessories so I thought I would pull them out and photograph them. I love this necklace, textile necklaces can be quite stiff, this was an experiment in creating movement. I used groups of four felt balls, three orange one black sewn together, then threaded the cord through the middle. The balls can move around and the necklace has nice drape.

This second necklace I wore on my wedding day. I love that when working with felt you can match colours to any fabrics or texture.
My dress was a greeny silver chiffon and the silk in these beads reflected that texture and the colours complemented perfectly.
These beads were part of explorations of texture that included using silk to imitate pearls and fun ways of using them in designs. These are the more sensible designs I made which I would wear often. Next time I'm in Ireland I'll photograph the rest, some of them are quite experimental and I've more ideas that one day I'll get back to. 

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Finished Vintage Day Dress, Burda 01/15 126

My first vintage pattern. This was reproduced in last months Burda Style, but unfortunately didn't make it to their website. Here it is in the magazine:
The recommended fabrics are silk chiffon and pongee for lining. I used cotton voile for lining and polyester chiffon like fabric for the shell which are both a bit heavier but I think it worked equally well. Here is the line art:
The skirt is a full circle skirt and as drafted came to my ankles so if shortened before cutting this could be made in a lot less than the 3.1-3.2 metres suggested.
I did an FBA which was tricky as I didn't want to add a side dart as there was already a lot shaping the seam attaching the front yoke to the front. I did it in two stages, first adding width:
I cut as shown,

then moved the right side section along, overlapping the left so it laid flat. I redrew the dart, but should have left it to the end as I did it again then any way. Then I attempted to add some length. I spread the pattern in half horizontally keeping the side seam intact.

I needed to keep the centre front straight so I slashed up through the dart again and moved the bottom right piece up and in. My dart is now taking up all the excess. A bit improvisational but it worked! I laid the back over the front to check the side seams. Although I didn't alter the side seam the back was longer so I added to the bottom of the front to match.

There is a lot of nice neck shaping in this pattern but I couldn't get it to fit me nicely, it needs to be a really close fit in the back of the neck to work as it is supposed to hug the back of the neck. Perhaps it is just the shape of my neck and shoulders but I had to cut it much straighter as the fabric was drooping down not sitting on my neck as intended.

The instructions were hard to follow, no diagrams at all. I'm not sure if they were reproduced exactly from the original from the 50's, if not they certainly didn't add much. One tricky point was when stitching the front yokes to the front the front is supposed to extend past the edge of the yoke but there is no direction for how far. This is to create a small underarm seam. I copied the shape on the back piece and used that as a point to start stitching.
Easy Peasy!