Thursday, 27 September 2012

More Patterns!

I mentioned in my last post that I bought some Butterick patterns. They have arrived! So excited!!

As you can see below there are two dress patterns and a coat. Although I do love this pattern and can't wait to start it, I will need to find the perfect fabric and lining. So I am going to leave the coat aside for the next couple of months, especially since summer is approaching down here (although with Victorian weather it's always hard to tell if you going to need a coat or not!) and focus on the two dress patterns.
I have three weddings coming up in November, December and February and have grand ambitions of sewing a dress for each event. The first is already in the works and I am in the very slow process of making a (hopefully) wearable muslin.

I love this retro dress and have seen a finished version over on the Craftsy website. I am trying to decide between version A or A1. Both are super cute! Any ideas on which is better?

Red isn't my colour and I have my eye on some beautiful blue silk from Joy's. I also just bought some black fabric that is 55% silk and 45% linen that was $12 a meter at Spotlight (am VERY excited about this purchase), maybe that would look nice? The pattern recommends linen, chambray, crepe, shutung or cotton broadcloth. Still learning about the different fabrics, so maybe my linen silk blend will be perfect.

Interestingly, there are no recommendations on the type of lining you would use. I wonder if that is because the dress is not suppose to be lined. I think I would still line the skirt.

The second dress is one of Gertie's patterns (of Gertie's blog for better sewing fame) and I really like it because it's a bit different. Really unsure about the type of fabric to use on this dress and the colour as well. Any ideas on types of fabric that could work? The pattern recommends faille, crepe de chine,  taffeta, cotton damask. The underlining should be crepe de chine. It also calls for covered boning, which I have never worked with, nor have I worked with any of the recommended fabrics. Eeek.  This project may have to be for the Feb wedding as it seems a bit advanced for me! I might need to sew up quite a few dresses to get some experience and confidence before I tackle this one!

No matter when I start this project, I can see that it is going to be hard choice on the fabric and there is going have to be some serious fabric shopping expeditions needed to find the perfect match for this pattern. I can already hear my husband groaning at the thought!

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Patterns, Patterns, Patterns!

This week I have gone a little crazy on buying patterns. Firstly, I bought Gertie's coat and dress pattern from Butterick and another retro pattern pattern which I saw someone on the craftsy website had made and which I adored. These patterns were on sale and shipping wasn't very much either. Considering the difficulty of getting patterns through the chain stores in Australia I thought it would just be easier to buy off the website. I would prefer to support local businesses, but given that they only seem to stock one of everything and I end up calling four stores, I took the easier option.

My other purchase was 150 patterns off eBay. They came in the boxes below! I have had a quick sort through and there is quite a few that I will probably never use, so they may end up back on eBay.

I love the pictures they have on the front. Especially for the men's pajamas. The guy has a golf club?! Do men golf in their pajamas? Or is it just so we know for sure they are men's pjs? Lucky they added the golf club, because I did get a bit confused when I saw the second man who is in the nighty. I offered to make Trevor (husband) one and to say he wasn't overly keen is a bit of an understatement. I think his actual response was a snort and a 'yeah right'.

I saw a new brand of pattern in the box that I have never come across before (not that I know every company that ever made patterns), Weigel's. I had never heard of Weigel's and was amazed to see a made in Australia logo on it. A bit of a google research showed that Weigel's was started in the 1880's by a lady named Johanna Weigel and her husband, who used to make all of her own dresses and started a business after many of her friends had requested her patterns. I found a biography here and some more information here. Both are very interesting to read. Johanna died in the 1940's (at age 92!!), but the dresses on the left look like they might be from the 1960s or 1970s. I am not sure what period the nighty is from. Does anyone have any clues?

I will definitely be doing some more research and would love if anyone knows anything more about this company and the patterns to leave a comment or send me an email.

My other exciting bit of news was that one of my friends is starting a pattern making business and has asked if I would like to be a pattern tester. That would be a big yes!! So looking forward to sharing her patterns and my efforts at sewing them and doing justice to her creativeness (bit worried about the last bit!). If you have any tips for how to start a pattern making business, please let me know so I can pass them on!

Now all I need to do is buy some more fabric, and sit down and do some sewing. I can't wait to start :)

Thursday, 6 September 2012

The Cape/Coat - Not in time for Winter

I am not really a cape kind of girl. Mainly, its because capes don't have sleeves, which I find really weird. Enter the New Look 6007 pattern. It's still a cape but it has a belt! Most people will probably wonder what makes the belt so special? Well, its no so much the belt, but the design and how it incorporates the belt. With this design, the belt loops through the inside of the cape and back along the outside of the back, before looping into the cape again. This has the effect of creating sleeves (kind of) and a cape with sleeves is my kinda cape!

I probably still wouldn't have tried making this, but my sewing teacher had made one in a gorgeous royal purple and had it on display at class. I tried it on and loved it. So much so that I vowed to make one or steal Maree's when she wasn't looking. Obviously Maree wasn't so keen on my taking hers, so that left me with the option of making one myself. We both made view C.

During the course of the next week, I went to various fabrics stores looking for cashmere or a nice wool blend in a colour that wasn't grape, mustard, black, red or grey. I thought that it would be relatively easy to find, its not like I was being picky over the colours or anything. I had no luck. None that is, until someone suggested Rathdown Fabrics in Brunswick. So I coerced my husband to drive me there and found this beautiful royal colour that is cashmere and only $30 a meter!!! I was pretty excited about the cost as cashmere was not that cheap anywhere. I bought some blue lining as well and was very happy with my purchase.

After I got home and begun cutting and sewing up the cashmere and then the lining, I decided I didn't like the lining I bought. When I next happened to be in Joy's, I saw some beautiful blue silk. It was divine. It would look divine with my cashmere. It was only $10.80 a meter???! I thought about my other lining at home for exactly two seconds and purchased the new lining.

There were a few mishaps sewing cashmere and silk together (they do not seem to be the best of friends). There was also the issue of adding interface to the hem to stabilise it, the cashmere was a bit fluffy and the interfacing did not want to stick to it. This resulted in me accidentally stretching one of the 'wings' when I was trying to make the interfacing stick. Luckily, with a bit of careful ironing, I managed to shrink the cashmere back into its original shape, more or less.

My biggest disappointment is that although I finished it before the end of winter, its the end of winter. I am sure Melbourne will have plenty more chilly days ahead in Spring!

I need to apologise for the photos. For some reason this site keeps changing the colours, or maybe there was a patch of sun when I took the photos. I have tried to play around the colours through Instagram, but had no luck. The true colour of the coat is closer to the colour in the photos with me wearing it.

The Facts

Fabric: Cashmere $30 pm from Rathdown Fabrics, Silk Lining $10.80 pm from Joy's
Pattern: New Look 6005
Notions:  none
Time to complete: 4.5 classes (I was really slow)
First worn: not worn yet
Total Price: about $90