Saturday, August 28, 2010

Post Script to Butterick top 2596 for Lisa's Wedding

Just thought I would let anyone know that was interested in the "no-name" fabric that I bought from Spotlight that I mentioned in my earlier post that it was properly labelled after all (sorry Spotlight). It is a silky satin made from 100% non-stretch polyester called Tribal Safari. Below is a photo to remind you what it looks like. If you want to buy some, it should still be in the store as I only bought it a couple of weeks ago. One of the few fabrics to not experience a long time waiting in the stash! I hope to do a little more work on it this weekend and should have some more photos of my progress for you soon.

Kick Pleat Basting Madness and Purple Coat Butterick 5254

As we battle through the cold of the last remaining weeks of winter and early Spring here in Australia, I thought I would mention the kick pleat basting stitches that I have seen so many people leave in their RTW coats this winter. I think it reflects how few people have sewing skills as the dedicated home sewer would never leave the basting stitches in as we all know they are to preserve the pleat while you are making the garment. The RTW industry leaves these few stitches in so that their garments reach the wearer in good condition. I would really like to hear from anyone else who has noticed people wearing their RTW coats with the basting stitches still in. Anyway, how is a person meant to kick up their heels properly with these temporary basting stitches left in?

Having got my "rant" out of the way, I thought that I would show you the coat I am planning on making. First up is my "old faithful" of 10 or more years. I spent a lot of money on this coat, and it was truly worth it. Sadly, it is showing signs of old age with the fabric pilling in some areas and I am really sick of the grey colour. It is still as warm as toast to wear, so I am going to have to try hard with my new coat to make it as warm. Inter-lining with cotton flannel is an idea.

Old Faithful
Here is a photo of the wool mix fabric I got from Spotlight. As I have not made a coat before, I have not spent a lot of money on the fabric in case it all goes wrong. I have also included the lining I plan to use, but I might change it for some really bright printed or plain satin fabric if I can find one substantial enough. I don't like winter much, so I thought a bright lining might cheer me up.

And here is the pattern, Butterick 5254:

I am going to make the long version with long sleeves. My wonderful book by Connie Long about linings tells me that I can use fabrics usually reserved for making dresses and shirts as a lining. It is a fantastic book, and well worth adding to your collection. The pictures (and there are plenty) and the diagrams are really clear. There are chapters on lining trousers, making a pattern for a coat or jacket lining when you don't have one, lining skirts and how to line sheer fabrics and jumpers (sweaters).

I have a winter jacket to make before I embark on this coat and probably another summer top or two, but I really need to get it done before winter 2012. Here's hoping!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Lure of the Sale!

A sale at your favourite fabric store is like the call of the Siren. When it is a private sale for holders of the store card, it is hard to resist. The 4 day sale (ending tomorrow) at Spotlight offers the card holder the privilege of buying $100 of goods in one transaction, and receiving $40 off. I....must....resist...! I am having my own GFC with the amount of fabric that has come in to my possession, without the corresponding output of finished garments and craft projects.

Already having had a mini splurge at the New Look pattern sale, my appetite is satisfied for the moment. These are the ones I bought for $5 each:

I like the princess seams on the jacket of this one: 

Finally, here is a look at my current project which is Simplicity 2596 which is in some kind of silky slippery fabric. They are not consistent with how they name their fabrics at Spotlight, and usually give them dreamy lovely names that have little to do with what kind of fabric it actually is. They always tell you what the fabric content is though, which does help. I had to buy a Microtex Sharp needle to sew it with as it moves around on the sewing machine like crazy and puckers a bit. As you can see from the photo, the overlocking has curled up at the edges slightly. The ladies at my friendly craft shop suggested using the Microtex needle in the overlocker. My overlocker book suggests loosening the differential feed. I am making this top to wear to a friend's wedding in October, so I have to have it finished then; I am a very slow sewer! I will probably put the elastic in the sleeves but not the hem.

I have to do the gathers at the front again because the fabric moved around so much, they are off centre. You would probably never know as there is a lot going on with this fabric, but it would annoy me to know it was not right.
Close up of fabric design

I had to be extra careful cutting it out so that the horizontal bands of designs matched on the sides. Luckily I bought extra fabric, so I was able to cut it out comfortably. I will show you my progress in later posts.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Day One - Introducing Me

I have been an avid reader (lurker?) of some wonderful blogs for a long time now and have decided to declare my presence and do my own. I will hopefully be blogging about dressmaking, making cloth dolls, my art work and anything else that is arty and crafty and takes my fancy.

I thought I would start with a bit of a 'show and tell' of what I have been doing, starting with my cloth doll that I made called Autumn. I will do a more detailed post about her at a later date, and I hope this will be of interest to other doll makers.


Here is a close up view of her face which I did using artist quality marking pens and pencils (they are light sensitive which means there is less of a chance of them fading). I also used some glitter which I glued on with acid free glue. There is also a bit of 'needle sculpting' on her face.

Next are some summer tops that I made from Butterick 4685. That pattern has been in their catalogue since 2005, so I guess it is their version of a 'tried and true' pattern. They are cool when made up in a lightweight cotton and perfect for a 40+ degree day in Australia.

Now, here are my two versions of that pattern:

Here is a close up of the lovely flowery embroidered design on the fabric:

And here is the other version without the elastic on the sleeves and below the bust:

Finally, I just wanted to finish with a couple of pictures of a Peggy Nesbit ballerina doll called Nanette that I picked up for a song at a doll show recently. I got her as a set of three, and will do a post on these dolls at a later date. She was very grubby and I had to remove as much grime as I could with a cotton bud dipped in gentle detergent without wetting her dress. Hasn't she got a great set of legs!

Hope you will come back later for a look at more sewing, dolls, and the odd UFO. Oh, and I promise to model some of my creations myself.

Lizzie x x

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