Yoyo-ing around

Playing around with a pattern can give you many looks.

I’m preparing for my Minerva make so these two stash fabrics finally got used, for a good purpose. I’ve chosen a John Kaldor print that will be fully lined and have pockets.

Here’s my February project choice. Now to figure out the best use of this pattern.

Version 1 is the medium size using what I thought was a slub viscose fabric from The Fabric Store. I later found out it is silk. I love how this fabric feels especially in this heat.

Close up the fabric has white in the weave and that really caught my eye. The pattern has no pockets but I decided to add them on the next version to see if they worked.

I took out 5cm from the skirt length at the front and back.

This is the actual skirt length of the pattern.

I was happy with the back fit.

Here’s number two with the shorter skirt hem.

I bought this cotton remnant from Pitt Trading so the challenge here was matching the stripes.


Can you see that I also added pockets from Deer and Doe’s Belladone dress?

Maybe now you can see the pockets.

Onto the black and white version.
Follow

Checking belladone

Belladone is a classic dress from Deer and Doe patterns. I’ve been admiring it for some time and this month I’ve tested it out for next month’s Minerva Crafts project.

No tanning spray was used – winter is here.

The design of this dress is retro and I love how you can add piping to it.

When I went through my plaid/check fabric stage, I bought this green check fabric so I used this to text out Belladone.

I found the perfect pre-made bias binding that I’ve used to pipe this dress as practice for next month’s dress.

Having a big stash does have its advantages. I tend to buy notions and fabrics in similar colours so when I eventually get to a project, I have everything I need. Having to shop for a specific project can be tiring and disappointing so this way I’m constantly happy.

On this test dress I made these adjustments

  • forward shoulder adjustment
  • shortened the bust points on the front bodice
  • shortened the skirt length to 19″.
When I tried on the test dress I wasn’t happy with where the waistband sat. However I wore the dress the next day and decided the waistband placement works well on me.
If I lengthen the bodice, it might throw off the waistband position too much.
Prym zipperI added a gorgeous external lace zipper from Prym on the test dress. It blended into the dress and it looks really pretty to me. The pattern suggests an invisible zipper but I really love this girlie lace zipper.

The benefit of added an exposed zipper on this check fabric is you don’t have to match them across the seams.

The skirt pattern has a hem facing. I didn’t use this facing as a 2.5cm hem was easy enough to machine stitch.

I wore this over the weekend before the Arctic blast hit Sydney.

Yes there are still some fine tuning to do based on the pull marks on this dress. This fabric has no ease so in the next version, the fabric has more ease so I’ll include a FBA when I make this again out of non-stretch fabric.

More soon.Follow(function(d, s, id) {var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if (d.getElementById(id)) return;js = d.createElement(s);js.id = id;js.src = “https://www.bloglovin.com/widget/js/loader.js?v=1”;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, “script”, “bloglovin-sdk”))

Puffer jacket

My puffer jacket fabric is from Elliot Berman Textiles, bought at least 2 years since my last NYC visit. I was freezing this week so I decided I needed to make this jacket pronto.

Eugenia and her staff at Elliott Berman Textiles were really accommodating when I visited their store. I visited their store twice that week as I had to think about their fabrics and choose pieces I can’t buy locally. This is one of a few of their fabrics in my stash.

The key notion I needed was the zipper and thankfully Pitt Trading had a range of metal zippers for coats available last year. Pitt Trading has an amazing range of notions off loaded from local designers. 

I did a bit of research while I made this jacket this week and realised very few puffer jackets have a defined waist hence I had to choose a jacket pattern that I could slightly shape. 

I used Butterick 6062 as the basic jacket shape. The darts weren’t sewn. I have a habit of using this pattern for longline coats to keep me warm.

The pocket is the same as the pocket in Butterick 6062 but it’s 2.5cm wider along the seams.

I used the scissor magnet to cut the pocket to size.

The collar is 12cm wide shaped from folded piece of the quilted fabric. No collar pattern was used.

A few months ago I ducked into EM Greenfields and bought a reel of navy bias binding 25mm wide for the jacket edging. I’ve got plenty left although I did used plenty on this jacket.

While I love the metal zipper, I felt it needed a zipper shield so I made one ‘on the go’.

The fabric wasn’t going through my sewing machine properly so I lowered the zipper foot to ‘level 3’ and it then sewed through the machine perfectly.

The initial WIP jacket showed me the pockets were too high for a coat. Uhm, the front was too short as well.

You can see on the finished jacket a new ‘design feature ‘at the base of the coat.

I had a similar gold bias trim in my stash so I used this for the coat hook and also to finish the front panel seams.

And that’s it really. Bias bound seams and bias bound edges and this puffer jacket is done!

Now to rug up and get rid of my head cold before it turns nasty.

Follow(function(d, s, id) {var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if (d.getElementById(id)) return;js = d.createElement(s);js.id = id;js.src = “https://www.bloglovin.com/widget/js/loader.js?v=1”;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, “script”, “bloglovin-sdk”))

Bronze biker jacket

Pauline’s quart coat can be made into a biker jacket as she’s shown here. So Sylvia at Pitt Trading was happy to provide what I needed to make a ‘glossy’ biker jacket and skirt.

Pauline’s biker jacket version is cut 4″/10cm below the waistline. I initially through 8″/20cm would work and then I rejigged the jacket body pieces to 6″/15cm. It’s Winter and I wanted a bit of hip coverage but I decided to go with the shorter version instead.

Susan of measuretwicecutonce chose the lining colour.

The pocket pieces were adjusted so there’s a 2.5cm band of the fashion fabric used at the jacket seam and then the lining for the rest of the pocket bag.

No shoulder epaulets or back waist epaulet this time. 

Sleeve seam prep front
Close up, this fabric has a repeat that this took a bit of time to make sure I cut each piece out so the fabric repeat remained fluid across the jacket.
Sleeve seam reinforcement for the zipper

After working on my brother’s RTW formal jacket sleeve, I have no guilt using iron-on interfacings or hemming tape. That’s what’s used within the industry.

Close up of the metal zipper in the sleeve seam line.
Pitt Trading got bags of these great metal zippers in recently so I was able to pick up these matching metal zippers with black teeth and lovely zipper pulls. They’re still sorting these zippers out and they have them in a few colours.

During the construction process I got really annoyed with the time this jacket was taking me to make. Not a real ‘dummy spit’ but close. 

You see, by the time I sewed in the collar, sleeves and zipper, I just wanted to wear the jacket ‘pronto’. Ok, that sounds like a dummy spit but I’m glad I put the effort into getting the dimensions right.

So after a night’s rest, in the morning I did a bunch of steam pressing, waxed threads for hand sewing, relaxed and got back into it. Did I say that I sew during the week before and after work? I’m a morning person:)

I’ve used bias binding on the coat hook and on the hems so the metallic threads didn’t unravel during wear.

A close up of the exposed zipper on the front of the skirt.

The fabric is a modern brocade and it’s easy to match up. I’ve used McCalls 9356 for the skirt.

Thanks Pauline again for the Quart coat pattern. Your biker jacket tute was easy to follow.

Thanks again to Pitt Trading for the fabric, lining, zippers and Rasant thread. Rasant thread is new to me so I was really pleased with how this thread held during machine and hand sewing.

Jeans and heels

This very first pair (Jalie 2908) were a test and they’re certainly a weekend staple. I made these in 2011.

These jeans were made to wear with flat shoes but these jeans don’t look great with heels.
This second pair are also good to wear with my Converse shoes but not with heels.

I really wanted a pair of jeans to wear with heels. So out came Jalie 2908 for another make in 2014. 

Below is a pic of both pairs of jeans and while the roll cost $4, the denim colour has kept true to colour. You can see the new pair of jeans (WIP view) are longer. 

Adjustments:
Added 2″ at mid calf level.
Lowered the front pockets by 1.5cm
Took out 1.5cm from centre back yoke
Top stitched everything possible.
Used rivets where possible because rivets help the jeans shape hold over time.
For a $4/roll of denim from The Remnant Warehouse, it’s kept it colour really well.
This time I followed the Jalie instructions to sew in the zipper. I’d previously followed Sandra Betzina’s video but kept finding the jeans zipper hovered to the right. This time these jeans sits as designed – centre.

Zippers at your heels?
Above is a pic of how I placed the zippers at the hems (WIP).
The first spot I put the zippers were right in the middle at the back leg hem. When I checked this in the mirror, the zippers didn’t sit above my shoe heels so I moved the zippers 2.5cm across to the side seam and that’s where I decided to sew them in.
Here’s how I prepped the welt area with the quilt cotton I used for the pocket bag lining.
The pic above shows how the exposed zipper ‘bit’ is prepared – kinda like a welt pocket.

I had to check twice that the welt was just shy of the zipper length before I sewed the zipper in. 


The zipper pull will tap on my shoe heels as I walk, so you’ll know I’m approaching you when I wear these jeans.

I fused the zipper in place before I sewed these in.
Here’s how the sewn in zippers looked before I finished the hems.

And I did topstitch these zippers too.

Do you think they’re in the right spot?
Jeans and heels.
Farm visit
If you follow me on Instagram, on the weekend Mr V and I were visiting friends and their farm out at Gulgong and we visited Hill End historic site.

Paired with my favourite wool Swanndri vest, new blue knit Vogue top (more on that later), new Jalie jeans and new boots – I was a country gal for the weekend. Yee-haw.

That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. 
A blooming Golden Wattle tree is a true sign Spring is here.

PS: You do realise there’s another pair of jeans in the pipeline?
Baroque black and white stretch denim
But wait, there’s more…to come.

Alameda skirt

The Alameda skirt is very pretty and this skirt and top fabric is courtesy of Pitt Trading. The wrap top is New Look as I know this top works for me. 

It’s winter here, hence the boots.

I’ll make the Alameda crop top once our weather warms up with a peplum finish to wear on ‘date nights’. I love the versatility of Pauline’s pattern. Remember the dress?


I chose these strong colours because they’re quiet warm and striking. 


One thing that I love about this Alameda is adding piping. So I got stuck into making matching piping and below is my ‘join the bias’ sewing picture.

How could your motivation wane when you’re using such a great rich-colour fabric?  


Below is the pic of the zipper foot used to sew in the piping cord into the bias strip before sewing the piping on the edge of the skirt seam allowance. 


Pining the finished piping onto the skirt seam allowance was a bit nerve wracking but very doable. The plan to have a great finish on this skirt (and the dress earlier) worked well.

Below is how the seam looks once the piping is sewn onto the skirt seams.


You’ll also notice I’ve ironed on strips of interfacing to prepare the centre back seam for an exposed zipper. Only the metal teeth were exposed this time and not the full zipper tape.

Here’s what the external preparation was like. 

I did pin the zipper to the outside to see what version I wanted to use.

This is what I decided upon. 

The inside seams were trimmed back and pinked.


The original plan was to apply an exposed zipper on the dress. I used the skirt to test constructing the exposed zipper after making the chiffon dress.

This blue fabric is light weight but very stable for applying this zipper finish so if you want to try applying an exposed zipper to Alameda, be brave and make up the skirt first. 

Twirling for joy

If you’ve already bought Alameda, the skirt is fast to sew up.

Thanks for Pauline for this versatile pattern and Pitt Trading for these fabrics and notions. They’re both spot on.

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.