Sunday, July 17, 2011

Blogger probs ongoing .

Well for a brief litle window of time (last week)  I could leave messages on other peoples blogs . Now I am back to not being able to sign in after writing a comment . I havent done anything different so it must be blogger ????? This all happened after their so called upgrade . Havent they heard about leaving something that anit broke alone ???

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Blogger probs

I dont know if anyone else is having these problems but I cant comment on anyone else blog at the moment and my followers have dissapperared . Any hints out there people . I am getting pretty fed up with this at the moment.

Monday, June 20, 2011

vogue 8522

I decided to make something for myself as the weather here in Melbourne is VERY cold at the moment and I was feeling pretty "old hat" This jacket is very simple to make and uses only 1.5 meters of 1540 wide fabric. I had a lovely peach tweed in my stash and I bought the green tweed at The Fabric Store in Brunswick street Fitzroy . They were both expensive but as the jacket is so economical on fabric I feel fine about that!! I made View B and lengthened it by 7 cm as I am very long waisted. I did this by following the curve around the fron and adding on to thewbottom. This worked very well and was very simple . I followed the pattern directions except that because I made thes jackets in a loose weave and I wanted them to feel more like sweaters than a tailored jacket, I elected to support the shell fabric( which I thought might bag with wear) by quilting it to the lining  in the Chanel manner . This worked very well and allows the fabric to mould nicely around the body below the bust. To do this I made up the shell and the lining , attached the collar to the shell and then bagged on the lining . I left a gap in the bottom back to turn it right way out . When it was right way out I hand stitched the sleeve edges to the lining edges and closed up the turning opening . I then matched the side and centre back seams of the lining and the shell . I stiched them together" in the ditch"  using a walking foot so as to avoid slippage between the two layers .The stitching started about 2.5 cm from the neckline and stopped the same distance from the hem . I then repeated this proces five times across the back and 3 times on each front with a 6 cm gap between each row of stitching. On th outside these rows of stitching disappear into the weave of the tweed. The closure for each jacket is a lining covered snap .The T shirt undere the green jacket is my personal pattern made by copying a well fitting RTW one . It is made in a fine Merino wool jersey

Pleather Biker Jacket Kwik Sew

Oh boy , I really didnt know what I was getting into when signing up to sew this jacket . Its the Kwik Sew Biker jacketkwik Sew 3764 . Making it in wool would have been a piece of cake but in pleather with a fake fiur facing and collar not quite so easy. The jacket pattern  isnt lined and I have decided that it needs a lining.
The biggest issues with pleather are that it cant be pinned except in the seam allowance and that sewing with anything other than a walking foot is impossible .I found out later in the process that a teflon foot is also good and solved the problem of inserting zippers which a biker jacket has in profusion ! The other issue is that for all intents and purposes it cant be ironed.
All the zipper openings for the pockets and sleeve vents are faced with lining fabric and then the zips are placed inside the box shoped openings . Because ironing isnt an option I needed to control these facings with understitching which isnt alluded to in the pattern. I sewed the zip tapes onto the facing using my teflon foot and then used strips of Tear Away stabilizer under my zipper foot to top stitch the zips in place from the outside using my zipper foot. . This worked quite well but.I later decided that I wasnt happy with this and actually used strips of pleather bought by the meter to cover up this stitching and top stitched again using the teflon foot and was able to actually do this the width of the foot away from the zipper opening . This meant that my stitching was much better quality.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Peter's Dressing Gown.

My dear brother is having a special birthday and this is my 3rd attempt to make him a dressing gown!!!
The first attempt got hijacked by DH who needed a warm gown desperately , The 2nd was way too short in the arms and looked absolutely hilarious on him when I presented it to him at Christmas time !! The third attempt is made of a fine wool suiting , is lined in black polyester duchess satin and trimmed with a black and white polyester brocade . The fabrics are a mixture of stash and the brocade was found especially for the purpose as I wanted  to achieve a masculine but luxurious look. I used a polyester lining as it needs to be strong . Nobody in that house hold will be able to repair it should things wear . I figured that polyester was going to wear better than silk . It was horrible to sew though . I felt I was battling it rather than sewing it. I made the dressing gown fully lined with the bagging out method , turning the gown to the right side through a gap in the sleeve lining. The hem  and sleeve  hems are  suspended by the lining. I haven't done this before so it was an interesting exercise.

Simons Coat

I have been following Sherry's blog  with great interest . Sherry is teaching us how to make a quality ready to wear style coat using only machine sewing in the way a manufacturer would . If you haven't been to this blog I urge you to go , its one of the best on the net.
I started making Simon's Coat a few weeks before Sherry started her coat sew along so I didn't follow her direction exactly . Simon was very keen to get his coat ASAP as the weather is cooling rapidly here in Melbourne.

I used Burda 8275 an out of print (just) overcoat pattern in 2 lengths. I made the coat out of a Cashmere Wool from Davisha Textiles in Richmond Melbourne , The lining is a bemberg acetate stripe also from Davisha.
This is a really good pattern with clear instructions and really good drafting . I also used the Singer Book of Tailoring to assist me with things that the pattern didn't cover.
I fused the entire front , upper sleeve,hems and around the vent and at the sleeve hemline. I used a lighter interfacing on the facing and collar pieces. The photo above shows the pocket stay  I made out of silk organza and used to support the welt and flap pocket by suspending it from the armscye .

 The pockets are made of lining on the inside so they are nice and silky to the touch but are encased in tough linen to enable them to take the stress of big teenage hands, mobile phones and whatever else will end up in these pockets.
I made a few practise pockets before launching into the coat ones . I made them using different methods I had learnt using bias fabric for the welts but in the end came back to using the method described in the pattern as it worked best with the rally thick wool coating I was working with .These welts are quite wide and cut on the straight grain. I lined the pocket flap with lining but I think would fuse it with more than one layer of interfacing next time as it isnt as heavy as I would like and sort of disappears inside the pocket a bit.
Lastly to add a bit of fun I piped the lining coat seam with bright blue satin and added a bright blue welted inside pocket . Simon is very happy with his coat and has ordered a pin stripe suit!!!!!!  I think that may be project for the very distant future
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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Back again !

Well I have actaully been sewing alot but just havent got myself organized to edit and post about it.I am making an overcoat for DS Simon and using Sherrie's  fantastic tutorial help at "Pattern Sissors Cloth" to help me . I am also making some cloths for me as its getting cooler and I need some practical easy to wear clothes which let me do my job as a physiotherapsit without too much constraint but also look ok.
Glamour Puss Dress is fully fitted and ready to roll and will be the next thing to sew after I have made my brother a dressing gown for his significant birthday in late May. This will be my 3 rd attempt over 3 years ( a story in itself) and so has to be done !! I am having a nice break over Easter and the week after so will have a lovely time doing some sewing.Keep a watch out for a rush of productivity when it comes to posts.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I have been reading with interest the posts here and there about irons . I have always had reasonable irons which cost over $ 100.00 but never seen the need to spend more until the 4 th iron in about 6 years bit the dust. I found myself marching into Harvey Norman and then found myself at home with a TEFAL iron which has a separate boiler . WOW what a difference . The burst of steam under pressure is FANTASTIC for fusing and just for pressing . I doubt I will ever go back to a "normal" iron.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Glamour Puss Dress 3

Well glamour puss is developing . I have made the corset which needs to be fitted to T agin just to make sure it fits perfectly.
This dress has 4 layers in the bodice , an inside lining which sits aginst the body , the foundation or corset and then the silk outer layer and lastly the beading which will be mounted on the silk.
The lining includes a mid riff section while the  boned foundation doesnt but does extend all the way to the waist. In the pattern the outer layer is made up of a pleated bodice and a contrasting midriff . I am making it without the pleated outer and replacing this with the beading. I have decided to use the lining pattern as both lining and outer layer and then to mount the beaded lace on the bias  onto the outer shell . Doing this will, I think ,mean that I dont have to cut the lace up except at the side seams.Bill has told me to make the lace side seams very wide (at least2 ") and the to use a hammer to shatter the beads and crystals in the seam allownce so that I can sew through it !!!!! This means that I dont run the risk of the beading thread unravelling on the back of the lace  as it might if I unpicked the beading I would never have thought of attacking this beautiful fabric with a hammer !!
Here she is with tulip skirt attached and the outer shell layer ( really the lining pattern) . Now I have to catch T and try it on her to deal with her sway back and scoliosis . I hope that we dont have change too much of it.

Glamour Puss Dress 2

The above pic shows the bodice after I fitted it to T and found that she is short waisted and also has a mild scoliosis .I had to remove about 1 3/4 inches out of the  bodice length and alter the centre back seam in order to keep it in the centre back and accomodate her scoliosis.
After making the adjustment to the pattern pieces and truing up the sides of each piece I made another corset . The muslin was backed with Shapewell interfacing which was sewn into each seam and then trimmed back to reduce bulk each seam .
My teacher Bill, uses ridgeline as apposed to boning in pockets . Since I am his student for the next few weeks I will do it his way .He wraps the end of each of the ridgeline piece in mulin to stop any discomfort  before sewing it onto each side of the open seam allowance with Zig Zag stitch and a strong jeans machine needle.

Glamour puss and T shirts .

Well the the sewing has been happening in Brunswick and I have produced a stripey T shirt  from a poly cotten I purchsed at The Fabric Store when they first opened . I used my cutomized pattern but did a different neckline as I didnt like the join in the binding which I got when sewing the shoulder and binding as one .This method used a crossing over of the neck binding which was cut on the cross.I think I quite like the V sitting inside a round neckand will use it again. I decided to trim the neck with some little buttons a friend had given me .Over all Iam quite happy with this T shirt . I must do battle with my cover stitch machine however and try to work out how to use it to the full

Monday, February 14, 2011

Glamour Puss Gown

I am rather excited as I have a deluxe project to start on and complete over the next 2 months. A friend of mine is having a VERY special event coming up and asked me to make her a suitable dress. This was very fortunate as I have signed up to do a course in Couture Sewing at the CAE here in Melbourne and needed a couture type project to work on . I elected to learn how to build a boned bodice . I have made them before and probably could do it without the class but the thought of doing this every Saturday for 6 weeks and with the help of an expert was just too good to pass up. I am going to use Vogue  Pattern 1154 by Badgley Mischka. http// 
This consists of a jacket and strapless dress. The dress I will be making will be made out of Green dupioni shot with pink . Instead of the pleated bodice there will be a plain bodice covered in beaded fabric which will be mounted over the green silk. Should be lots of fun to make . This week I am going to cut out all the pattern pieces in muslin , stitch in all the stitching lines etc in black cotton  and then make up the muslin and fit it with the boning inserted,get the necessary pattern alterations done and then wait to go to my first class.

The T shirt Quest.

I have decided that I need to perfect a T shirt pattern so I can make consistently good T shirts . I have realized that the fit of a T shirt is VERY heavily influenced by the drape and elasticity of the fabric used . I have start with a viscose knit which has allot of stretch but not as much as slinky knit.
I used an old T shirt which fits me well and decided to copy it by laying it on a sheet of pattern paper placed over a blanket . I then used a  needle to punch the outline of the pattern pieces onto the paper . Next I transferred all the measurements from the Tshirt to my pattern and then copied that pattern and added seam allowances etc. I made up a toile in a similar viscose rubbishy knit and the found that the shoulders were too wide , the sleeves were too wide and that the body was a little too wide .  I also decided that I wanted to raise the back neck by about 7 cm as I find that having a high back neck is MUCH more flattering my body which has more than average sloping shoulders ..
 I made these alterations and then transferred these changes to the paper pattern. It seems to me that I will have several different T shirt patterns made up to suit the different types of knits which I will want to use .Knits like wool jersey which are very stable may well need darts whereas the viscose knits don't .

I have made this pattern up in a Viscose which I bought from Tessuti some years ago . I am not sure I like the pattern on the fabric anymore but oh well . I also havent finished the hems. I have to use Dolly for my shots as invariably there is no one around to take photos of me and my slopey shoulders.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Red tunic to go under Zippy Jacket.

After much pondering on layers under Zippy Jacket I decided that I needed something with a fitted sleeve ( I never show my arms )_ and that was about 1/3 longer than the jacket and had a shaped hemline. I found New Look 6010 and thought that I could alterit to suit. The pattern was a good fit and dint need any changes to the bust or length ( unusual for me) .I altered the pattern by ignoring the collar and scooping out the neck to compliment that of the jacket. I decided to go with a self trim on the bib of this blouse using gathered strips cut on the cross in three gathered ruffles either side of the centre front.The bias cut means that the edges will not need to be finished and I get the soft romantic look that I wanted on this cotton tunic. I used very understated buttons as I didn't want the buttons fighting with the zip on the jacket.

The pattern was well cut except that there seems to be problem with the front shoulder having to be eased into the back shoulder . This isn't mentioned in the instructions and after carefully looking to see if I had made a mistake I couldn't really see what had gone wrong to make this necessary. It worked out fine but I cant see why ease in the front would be necessary as it is usually in the back shoulder to accommodate the shoulder blade . Next I want to make some T shirts to wear with this jacket .
It is very hot here in Melbourne and we are anxiously watch cyclone Jaci which is actually bigger than Katrina and is heading for the Queensland coast . Our thoughts are very much with poor Queensland as they face this new catastrophe.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Zippy Jacket

I bought this fabric  from Emma One Sock a few years ago . It is a medium weight denim with a little cross way stretch . It has an allover embroidered pattern of flowers a leaves. I felt that there was a risk of it looking a bit fussy and pretty for my taste and look so I decided it needed zippers and so I used some Burda pics and another denim jacket by MEL which  I bought years ago to inspire my design. I have a large bust and always feel annoyed by the tent like effect which can be the result of doing an FBA without doing some shaping below the bust . This was particularly true of using denim which even after washing was a bit stiff . This might have been because of the embroidery?
To deal with this I decided to use my bodice blocks to make a princess line jacket and to get some shaping in via the princess seam. I did this and then found I wanted still more shape so added in the vertical tucks which run into the waistband and release under the bust.
The back has a yoke and a centre back seam. The sleeve is a normal jacket sleeve with a zippered vent and a fold back cuff which has a flare in it. I decided that the front needed some more red so added a strip of cotton braid to the welt pockets.
I will wear this with Black cotton pants and a red cotton shirt which in the pipeline. I always find it difficult to layer garments . How layered necklines and hemlines go together is an issue I often ponder on.
Its easy to do it OK but hard to do it really well I think Any secrets I should know about out there??

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Chelos Tunic

This is my latest project . A tunic made with a self drafted pattern. I took inspiration from the design of the Swiss Voile which is from the 1960s and decided to make something which didn't cut up the design too much and was in keeping with the "look " of the era. The fabric was given to me by my friend Chelo who worked in fashion industry for many years . She had her own label and deigned and made all her own patterns as well as making up herself with the help of a small staff . In chatting with her she was telling me that she graduated from the Couture school set up by the Haute Couture Houses in Paris and that she was handed her graduation certificate by one Coco Chanel!! Chelo has now retired and has offered to teach me some of what she knows each Tuesday morning . I will be doing exercise which she will devise . I will take my trusty camera and take note so dear reader you may also benefit from this rare privilege am offered.
This is my first blog entry and I am learning how to integrate photographs so be patient