Saturday, 31 May 2014

Under the weather

It is a rainy and miserable day here in Queensland today and I have to say I am feeling a bit under the weather too. The flu is doing its second round of our family and it has me well and truly in its grip. The sore throat, watery eyes and cough are bad enough but the fuzzy head is doing me in. I can not concentrate on anything and while I should be concentrating on end of semester assessments pieces and essays my head just doesn't want to go there. I have set it all aside for now, even though an essay is due in 7 days and I haven't even started it, as I was getting nowhere fast and getting a little frustrated.

I watched the 2nd part of the Hot Patterns sew along and thought as the machine was sitting on the table I may as well prep the back piece (do the gathering and sew the hem), the sleeve bands and the neck band, which I did. I then decided to pin it together at the shoulders and sides and test the fit. It is not easy putting on a garment full of pins but I didn't want to baste it together in case it needed adjusting again, I just don't have the energy for that.

The fit looked good so, instead of waiting for the next part of the sew along, I sewed the shoulder and side seams, finished the front hem, inserted the sleeves and added the sleeve bands, and added the neck band. This is basically my wearable muslin. I used a slub knit from the stash (the bright pink in a previous post) that I knew did not have the right amount of drape for the back and was a little heavy but it was good to test the fit of the front through the bust and shoulders. I have ordered some fabric that hopefully will be more suitable for the pattern and hope it arrives some time next week so I can get another one done during the sew along.

If you are intending to sew this pattern at some point I would recommend that you don't use the neck pattern piece as it is, it's just too long, I use the old measure round the neck and cut the band to about 3/4 that length (depending on stretch) and that works really well.

Friday, 30 May 2014

Bowing Out

I was going to participate in the Artisans Square Summer 6 pack but I have decided to bow out. Although it runs from May to July I know I can not possibly get patterns fitted and made in that time. If I had tnt's it would be different, but starting from scratch? Not going to happen especially when time is limited and June sees the end of semester madness of trying to get all course requirements, assessment pieces and assignments completed for Uni.

I do a lot of running around after the kids, am studying for my degree and have an auto-immune disease that means sometimes clothes need to be easy to get on and off. I don't at this point need work clothes or formal attire. I pretty much live in knit tops and denim crop pants or jeans, very casual, I rarely wear skirts or dresses. Cardi's and jackets are not something I need many of it is already the last week of Autumn here and we've had 28c all week. It gets cool in winter but most of the time a long sleeve shirt with a camisole or tank underneath is enough. I may need one or two warmer items but I already have them in my wardrobe.

I like to have tops that are comfortable but well made and different to what everyone else has so I think this will be my focus for now. I am starting with the hot patterns blouse back tee and I can see myself making a couple of these. Once I get this top done I will go through my pattern stash and see what grabs me most. I would also like a well fitting button front shirt so that is on the to do list at some point and I would also like to make the Style Arc Yoga pant and the Fay pant perhaps. I just won't get there during the next few months but I will get there eventually.

One step at a time :)

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Another go ...

I think I am making progress.

A new pattern was traced way smaller than I started with as it was overall too big but especially across the upper chest and shoulders. I have also made a forward shoulder adjustment. The original muslin while being too wide overall felt like it was also falling off my shoulders towards the back so hopefully this will fix that issue. I then added a little extra length to the front to allow for a fuller bust.

I have already sewn a muslin but I will wait for the next installment of the sew along so I don't miss anything important and get the best result possible.

Monday, 26 May 2014

I love making muslins, said no-one ever ...

It is so much different sewing for myself (tall, curvy and not the standard B or C cup) than it is sewing for my little man (tall but straight up and down with no fit issues) ...

It has been a long time since I sewed anything for myself and I am remembering the 'joy' of making muslins and adjusting patterns to fit when starting from scratch. I have made two muslins of the blouse back t from Hot Patterns and while the back is almost spot on, thank goodness for small mercies, the front is still way off.

I did a FBA and added some length to the front (the length worked well, the FBA not so much). I also went down a couple of sizes at the shoulder and across the upper chest but think I should have gone down a few sizes right through the front and made the narrow shoulder adjustment as well.

When I compare my actual measurements to the flat pattern it appears I should be using 2 or 3 sizes smaller than indicated by the size chart so that will be my new starting point. My plan of attack is to reprint the front pattern, make a vertical length adjustment to accommodate the extra space needed in front, add a bubble of extra fabric at bust level on the side (which may or may not be needed), and make a narrow shoulder adjustment.

Hopefully I will be closer to a good fit after these alterations. Third time lucky?

EDIT: Sadly no, three was not my lucky number.

Despite tracing off the front three sizes smaller than my original size it is still too big. Sigh. The length is perfect but the width is wrong. The way it sits at the moment it feels like there is about 2-3" too much fabric down the centre of the shirt with the shoulders sitting too far out. I am not sure if it is the pattern size or the fabric I am using.

I am beginning to question if my mystery knit fabric may not be the best thing to make a muslin from. I am going to fold out a tuck down the front and run a line of stitching through it to see if that helps. If it does I might cut yet another front removing the excess first and see how that goes. If it is no better it will be off to the fabric store in the next few days to see if I can find something else to make a muslin from. I have ordered some nice fabrics to make this top but I don't want to cut into those until I can get the size right.

As much as muslins do not excite me I am so glad I started this process before trying to make the garment.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Hot Patterns Blouse Back T

I bought the e-pattern the other day so I could join in the sew along.

I printed it, stuck it together and cut it out. No problems.
I had some mystery knit fabric in the stash to cut out. No problems.
I sat at the machine today and sewed it up. No problems.
I tried it on ... problems!

The first thing I noticed was that it felt like it was falling off my shoulders and was wide across the upper chest and the back. Solution: Cut the front, back and yoke a size or two smaller to remove the excess width.

The second thing I noticed was that the side seams were pulling towards the front towards the bottom of the seams, the bust was too tight, the front was sticking out away from the body at the middle down to the bottom, and the front was too short. Solution: Make a FBA to add extra room to the front and hopefully allow the back to hang straight.

I have made pattern alterations and re-cut the fabric (glad I had a fair bit of the mystery fabric in the stash) and will endeavour to sew it up tomorrow and see if the 'solutions' have helped.

If not it will be back to the drawing board ...

Saturday, 24 May 2014

On the to do pile

Some of the patterns in my to do pile are these from Hot Patterns  ...

I have not sewn with any of this make of pattern before but I really liked the back of the blouse back t, something a little different to your regular t-shirt.  I saw the sew along for this pattern and as there was a download option available (removing the need for postage)  I decided to give it a go. The pattern was purchased directly from HP and the link to the sew along is here

The pattern has been printed, taped together and cut out and I have found some pink stretch mystery fabric in the stash to make a muslin from. As I wash and dry all fabric as it enters the stash it was a matter of getting it out and it was ready to go.  The next installment of the sew along will be next week and as my fabric has been cut out as soon as I find some thread and get the machine out I will be ready to go.

The other two patterns are free downloads via I do want to try the scarf neck t and will use some of the fabric just ordered for that, but will need to see if there is anything in the stash suitable for the Gypsophelia top.

We are almost at the end of Autumn and heading into winter so there is no hurry for Summer Tops, and I should be thinking about a few warm items for Winter, but it is still around 28c at the moment so they could be worn now.

Oops I did it again ...

I found these fabrics online recently, they were sitting in my watch list but I kept being drawn back to them time and time again. I bit the bullet and ordered them today, being on sale helped make up my mind! 

These are all knits and are destined to be summer tops. I am not sure about that last one though, it is not in my usual colour palette, but I was drawn to it so I will give it a go.

I am glad I emailed the seller before I hit the commit to buy button though or postage would have cost me a whopping $58 (from Vic to Qld). They will all fit in a 5kg postal bag so it will now only cost around $15.

Friday, 16 May 2014

I couldn't help myself

I know I said in my last post that there was little to no allowance in the budget at the moment for fabric and notions but I couldn't help myself.

I saw this fabric online and it was just what I was looking for, an open weave fabric for a top (probably the Vogue I mentioned previously) and as it wasn't at all expensive I went ahead and ordered it.

It is hard to describe the colour. While it was listed as baby blue. and the image looks rather grey, in reality it is actually more of a light denim colour.

I had no set colour palette in mind for the next batch of sewing and this will be a good starting point. I imagine it with a white shirt and dark grey, navy or black pants but it will go with almost anything and will be a good medium neutral for me.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Where to next?

Artisans square have a thread entitled Summer 2014 6PAC (May-July) whereby anyone who chooses to play along should endeavour to sew 6 items within three months and the suggestions are as follows;

1 A jacket or layering piece - mid-coloured neutral
2 A skirt or shorts or trousers - in a mid-coloured neutral
3 A skirt or shorts or trousers - in a colour or neutral
4 A top - in a neutral
5 A top - in a colour
6 A top - in a print

I had a lot of fun planning and sewing SWAP for my youngest boy and I am thinking this might be good to actually motivate me to sew for myself, something I haven't done in a very long time.

I have no TNT's and do not even know what pattern alterations I need to make so I will be starting completely from scratch, but I think I will have a go. That said I do have a lot on with UNI so I don't know how far I get, but should I only get one pattern altered and fitted I will be ahead of where I am now. It is Autumn now and heading into Winter and starting to cool a little, still around 26c though, so my plan will take that into account but also that it does not get really cold and most of the year is pretty warm.

No real time has been spent thinking about this so off the top of my head it could look something like this ...

1 A lightweight sweater or top (possibly V8854) - accent colour
2 A pair of crop or 3/4 pants - dark denim perhaps
3 A pair of pants (Style Arc?) - dark grey or black
4 A t-shirt or top - plain colour
5 A t-shirt or top - patterned
6 A long sleeve shirt probably in white or a light stripe.

There is little to no allowance for fabric or notions in the budget at the moment so whatever I manage to get sewn will come from the stash, that could be interesting!

Final pics at last ...

Pack 1 -
Black sleeveless knit t-shirt
Black drill shorts
Black and white striped t-shirt

Pack 2 -
Patterned knit t-shirt
Aqua linen shorts
White bamboo knit t-shirt
Pack 3 -
Black long sleeve t-shirt
Shades of grey camouflage pants
Aqua textured knit sweatshirt

Wildcards -
Grey drill carpenter pants
White and patterned baseball style shirt

Some of the other possible combinations, there are many more as each item will work with each other item with the exception of the striped shirt with the camouflage pants.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014


Just a quick update on the final Swap.

As per the last picture uploaded my swap is done. I did not find the right fabric to make a hoodie and nor did I find a hoodie or jacket at the shops that would have worked with all the other items, so it hasn't changed from the last update.

I have taken photo's this afternoon but with fading sunlight and a little man with patience on the wane they are not ideal. Never mind, they do show the items and how they work in their own groups as well as some possible combinations. I am pleased with all the options he has from these 11 items, with all being able to be worn together except the stripe shirt with the camouflage pants.

Never did I think I could complete this challenge with everything else on my plate but I have and while I know these simple items will not be able to compete with the more complex items other swappers have made I am pretty pleased with the end result.

If you are contemplating participating in the SWAP next year please do, it is a lot of fun.