Saturday, 30 October 2010

Simplicity 2648 version 2

I'm sewing this 2648 pattern again, this time though I'm making view A with the sleeves, but without the belt.  I'm also going to line it so that I can wear it to work over winter.  The material is a polyester fabric that's really smooth and silky.  This is the pattern up close:

And the dress so far:

Yes, all just a bit matronly really, not good.  The neckline is much higher than I thought it would be, so before I progress anymore I've got to figure out how I can make the scoop bigger and then make new facing pattern pieces to match.   Stay tuned.....

Monday, 18 October 2010

Simplicity 2440 - Part 1 - The thought

I'm going to make myself a Christmas party dress.  I haven't actually got a party to go to yet, but I'm sure it'll happen! 

I was watching x-factor last weekend (don't we all?) and the lovely Dannii wore one of her own designs from Project D - jingle dress - it was just amazing. 

I'm thinking I could make this with Simplicity's 2440, view D, with some adaptations to get the ruffles on the skirt, what do you think?

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Jalie 3024

I'd never heard of Jalie patterns before coming across them in Pattern Review.  I checked out their website and found this dress pattern:

I like that necklace as well...

This will be the first time I've made something in a knit fabric.  The pattern's suggested fabric was a 40% stretch across the grain AND lengthwise.  Yes, the pattern actually put the word 'and' in capitals.  So it must be important right?  I set off searching all my fav online fabric stores, but none of them had this type of stretch description - not a good start.  Gorgeous Fabrics website had some great knit prints though, so I emailed and asked their advice; within 5 minutes I had a reply (very impressed) that went:
"I don't know why Jalie puts 4 way on all their patterns. You need 4 way stretch for leggings and leotards, but not for that dress. You only need stretch in the cross-wise direction to go around the body."
Not that important after all then!

Buying from GF unfortunately didn't work for me with the expensive postage costs from the US, but I found some lovely fabric on The Remnant House website, and on sale too.  We all love a bargain! 

This fabric is a single knit medium weight jersey.  Laying it out and cutting it was really difficult - it probably was not a good idea to use a print for my first foray into knits, but after a while of fiddling and trying to match up the print repeats down the fabric, I was happy enough to lay the pattern pieces on.  I also put sheets of newspaper underneath and pinned that in as well to try and stop the jersey moving when cutting.  That seemed to work pretty well.

This was a really easy pattern to put together taking about 4 hours all up.  Beware though - there is no ease at all.  Mine only just fits! 

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Knitting & Stitching Show London 2010

Today I went to the knitting and stitching show held in London's Alexandra Palace.  It was a big day, really tiring, but enjoyable.  It was predominately knitting and craft related stands, but there was quite a few stands dedicated to dress materials and notions too.    But I can't believe I didn't buy anything!!

There was a lot of space dedicated to displays of all things wool and fabric related.  I loved the hand knitting area, this stuff is really impressive:

I also did a 2 hour workshop to learn a technique for pattern making.  It's based on building the pattern on the dress form so as to be creative with seam placement and design.  The technique consists of wrapping tape around paper on the form, then drawing the design onto it.  Once the paper is cut off the form, it's flattened out in order to trace it out to make a pattern piece. 

I think my design needs a little (well okay, a lot!) of work, but this really is a great concept and it would be brilliant to actually use it and make something by it one day.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

McCall's M5759

This McCall's coat should help to see me through the chilly autumn weather.  I've made it in a wool mix, so it may even see through some of the winter...
No major dramas with making this jacket.  The instructions where quite good and the pictures helped out when the words got a bit brief in sections.  I made a size 12, which was probably one size too big.  The shoulders were also a really wide fit and I had to bring in each one an inch.

I really like the funky button hole placement on this pattern - they sit within the seams so it looks clean.  However the bottom front of this jacket is too high for my liking - the cross over sits around belly button height, so it can really only be worn with high waisted skirts.  If I made it again, I would take some of the curve out which should bring it down.  I also left the pockets off as they just didn't sit right.

M5759 front

M5759 back


Bring on the chill!