Fitted blouse contest on PR

PR is running a fitted blouse contest that I’m managing from 1 – 31 March.

Contest Theme: Cut, sew, model and review a fitted blouse to showcase fitting skills.”

Pattern magic collar on Butterick 5538

So while there are some key elements your blouse needs to meet to qualify for this contest, if you already have a fitted blouse pattern in your stash that needs tweaking, consider making it in March.

Here’s a link to the fitting workshop I attended last year to get this blouse fitted right.

Pattern magic collar on Butterick 5538

As this contest runs from March 1 – 31, there’s more time to sew up your blouse than you would have had in February.

McCalls 5433 after tweaking it for size

There are 5 weekends in March to get your fitted blouse made.

Butterick 5328

These are a few of my fitted blouses that I prepared earlier. Does that sound cheesy enough?

Butterick 4985

Butterick 4985
Butterick 5328
One of the contest criteria is to provide a photo with you wearing the blouse to showcase your fitting skills, so my pictures showing the blouse on a dressmakers dummy would not qualify. As a manager I don’t qualify either but I do enjoy helping others sewers share their knowledge and extend their skills.

Convinced yet to sew a fitted blouse?

Fearless – 1960s shift

This a typical 60’s style and the instructions are for a short women with a small bust. But this is pattern making from scratch and I haven’t done this before – fearless.

So my aim was to ‘make this work’ for me. I can work in cms or inches so I worked in inches and that was ok. I do have a copy of a metric pattern making book but I’ll use that another time. When it comes to research, I do just enough research to get me into and through a project.
So you saw these fabrics that I intended to use. Then I spied a second-hand cafe curtain remnant that I bought from St Vinnies that was more Enid (60’s) appropriate. The only pattern matching I tried was from the waist line to the hem. I love the front bust dart that goes to the hem and the effect it had on the lacework.
Front view
Back v-neck view

The large lace design is prominent at centre front but is minimised along the dart that goes from the bust to the hem.

Fitting changes:
The dress was at least 2″ too wide – fixed.
The front bust dart was 2″ too low – fixed.
More fitting changes:
On the pattern, the side bust darts need a bit more (2cm) taken out. The shoulder seam also needs to be shortened because the dress looks like it has a cap sleeve, which I don’t mind but wasn’t in Enid’s original pattern.
I’ll have to wear this dress at Love Vintage in March to get some styling feedback. There are sure to be some people there who are taking part in 1940’s Sew for victory.
Thanks again TJ for passing Enid over to me.

Wrapped up

This is my contribution to the local hospital that our local sewing group does each year. We usually do smaller items like walker bags and chemo caps but this year I made two men’s bathrobes because I’d made one for DH last year.

DH’s Christmas gift last year.

The challenge here is sewing for an unknown person so the best assumptions I could make by discussing this with some local nurses were:

  • Make the body roomy. The patient will probably have an attachment to their body.
  • Make the sleeves roomy and end the sleeve above the elbow. The patient may need to have their blood taken regularly.
  • Ensure it is long enough to overcome any hospital draughts.  
  • Use external pockets because the patient will need pockets for their valuables.
  • Use fabric that feels soft. The patient may have wounds that are sensitive.
  • Secure the belt to the back. Belts often get lost in an industrial washroom. 
  • Use a dark fabric or a fabric that doesn’t show stains.
Front view – I know this is sloppy looking but it’s soft, smooth and comfortable.

With all that in mind I’ve reused Butterick 6837 and made two bathrobes in the largest size.

  • I’ve lengthened the body length by 8cm
  • Overlocked the seams and hems
  • Added interfacing on the collar pieces
  • Sewn the tie to the back of the bathrobe
  • And let’s face it, made the largest size to cover any patient’s needs.
There’s no external opening, unlike hospital gowns.
This print hides any markings, stains and creases.

PS: A note to Tigergirl, TJ and SarahLizSewStyle, the Enid shift dress with lace is being tweaked for fit and the ‘reveal’ – Squeal!

Giveaway winner

The first week of February was busy with Deb’s Sew Grateful week.

The giveaway patterns are now on their way by carrier pidgeon to jpluo. Congratulations.

What you can see above are the makings on the Enid shift dress. My attempt at making the pattern from scratch is in the background and I used the seam allowance guide to cut out the lining and the lace overlay.

This is dress is the basis for my second fearless project this month.

Thank you Melinda for the iphone suggestion on Melissa’s blog. I saw some ‘wetsuit’ fabric recently so I’ll give this armband a go. Melissa has lots of projects that she’s worked out and shared on her blog.

A funny thing happened to me before I went to the gym

Long story short – I needed a workout top with a zip and I sewed a zip in a RTW cycling top at 5am in the morning.

4 weeks earlier: When I train, I like to keep track of the energy I use ie KCals, and I track what I eat. Most of this I manage with DailyBurn

DH bought me the Wahoo gym/run pack and I decided to use it for the 6am commando class.

2 days earlier: Kristen at Wahoo (now a dear friend of the family) helped me get the Wahoo gadgets to work through my iPhone. What doesn’t an iPhone do? Sew.

Monday morning 5:00am: I was dressing for the gym and I realised for the Wahoo to work I have to have the phone on me because we run all over the grounds like lunatics and holding a car tyre above our heads. 

5:05am: I rustled through my cycling tops to find one with a back zipper pocket. There were none with a zippered pocket but they all have back pockets.

5:10am: I grabbed one of my well-used cycling tops to sew in a zip so that I could leave home by 5:45am. Who would do such a thing?? It had to be a well-used top because I always come home with grass and dirt stains.

I grabbed a short black zip from the stash and sewed one side of the zip on the pocket edge. Wrong. I unpicked it and sewed the zip on the body first then the pocket edge. It worked.

 5:45am: Jumped in the car and headed to the gym – on time and not flustered.

6:00am: The trainer smiled – he knew why my iphone was in my back pocket. My ‘Wahoo’ app worked as did my upgraded cycling top. I’m proud of the car tyre marks on my cycling top, LOL.

This zip is exposed because it runs across 2 pockets.

Ok. The same thing happened this morning (see the blue top) but during the week I only need 2 tops with zips for commando class to track my training. This time I’ve used an exposed zip and my job here is done.

Trench by TJ

She’s a great researcher and knows how to ‘downsize’ patterns to fit.
She also has a great collection of tights.
Who could this be?

TJ of ThePerfectNose that’s who.

Here she is wearing her uber cool trench. This is the test version and it’s a gorgeous colour using stash pieces from a previous project. A real life stash buster. She’s used Marella mini-trench # 10 Patrones 264 and her skirt is mini-skirt 102, Burda 10/2011.

Now there are a couple more trenches in progress that I know of and once they’re done, I showcase their work here. But until then, stay fearless this month and try something new.

*All images remain the property of the owners

Sydney sewer meet up

We had lots of familiar sewing bloggers meet together on Saturday. I think fabric shopping was like background entertainment for us because it was so much fun meeting and chatting too everyone in real life.

While we got a helpful discount from Tessutis, I weakened with The Fabric Store’s 50% off sale.

This picture is from Little Betty blog, courtesy of Wendy. PS Wendy was glowing.

So while I don’t need more fabric, I weakened and purchased some silk pieces.

Pic left to right: Janelle, Rebecca and moi hunting fabrics. I wore my jungle print Yalta top. We hunted Janelle to find her perfect couture dress fabrics – successfully.

And Gabrielle was able to make it this time. I’ve been wanting to meet Gabrielle since Made-Me-May 2012.

Pic left to right: Yana, Lena, moi and Janelle.
Lena Merrin was there and gave us her industry-based fabric buying advice. Did anyone notice Lena’s skirt? Yana has been making some great maternity wear, as you can plainly see. All the best Yana!

So silks were on my shopping list, especially for the price. Did I mention that I’m easily swayed by a bargain.

Thanks to Kristy for arranging our meet up. I like Kristy’s idea of having the next meet up at a cafe because I had no ‘beans left in the can’ by the time it was time to go for drinks. Keep and eye on her blog for the next meet up.

I missed seeing Kristy, Jodie and Anne:((

BTW: Here’s an interesting fact. The Fabric Store has just ordered in rolls of the jungle print I was wearing. Now I bought this fabric at Pitt Trading (a Charlie Brown remnant) early last year. You know, that remnant bin with my name on it – LOL. So if you like this print, keep an eye out for it next time you’re in the store.
Small world!