Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Completed New Look 6144

You may remember that I made this pattern up about a year ago and the whole construction was riddled with errors as well as a considerable amount of head fuck. All in all this dress took me around 3 weeks to complete.
New Look 6144

So I thought that with another years worth of sewing experience under my belt I would try again!

I had to rake through my previous posts to determine what size I made the last time however they didn't really allude to much. Matching the old pieces against the pattern tissue, I had cut a 12. This time I cut a 14 and removed 1.5 cm of length from the waist and 1 inch from the hem and here's the results.

The fabric I used was a really nice Herringbone 59 inch poly cotton which I picked up from Mandors for £5.99 / m. the pattern suggested 1.6 m but I read the yard requirements like a dufus and now have an extra 60 cm of fabric which I have no idea what to do with! Any ideas? In any case it handles really well and didn't shrink much in the wash/dry.
Close up to see the slight stripe in the fabric

To add a fun twist to the pattern I decided to use some scraps of this snowman fabric for both the front and back facing.I would have a picture, but you know - if the garment I made am having a full blown war with ever surfaces on the blog, I'll link back!

The two half of the Raglan sleeves when laid out adjacent show how deep the dart of the dahlias sleeves should have been.
One thing which became really apparent while preparing the pattern pieces was the extent of the problem in the raglan sleeve of the dahlia. The curve at the top of the sleeve is significant and would make a deep dart in the 1 piece dahlia sleeve. The sleeve problem of Dahlia is one of the reasons I decided to revisit this pattern. I remember these sleeves coming together really easily and couldn't remember how they were constructed. It seems that the sleeves do work well in two piece, I may redraft the sleeves for dahlia based on these and try that one again.

The length of this dress is better too - I don't think I removed too much from the hem length this time
One of the changes I made to the dress was to remove the kickpleat from the back skirt. I ended up removing it the last time and this time after a fewdays wear i'm still not sure that i'm missing it? I think the next time I also need to remove a further inch fron the waist but the current adjustment means the dress sits almost right this was also revealed through a day's wear.
I don't know what happened when sewing the back - it seems to be pulling down?

So all in I think this dress worked OK. I'm not so happy with the pulling at the back or beneath the pleat at the front neckline I think this might need a slight FBA? The back neckline needs brought in a little as per my usual adjustment, but I can live with the back not being perfect. In contrast this dress took me about 8-9 hours including tracing, pinning and cutting as well as using tailors tacks to mark the darts compared with the previous 3 week marathon!

I'm still recovering from a kidney infection that absolutely flored me all of last weekend and the beginning of this week so for me the weekend can't come soon enough - on that note enjoy the rest of the week and heres to a great weekend!

Jen xx

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Completed: Simplicity 2442

Finally, a finished garment made entirely in 2015! This is my take on Simplicity 2442.
Simplicity 2442 to match my shoes

We were invited by John's aunt to her 60th Birthday party in a fancy country club near Howwood, Renfrewshire. Whereas I have a few things I could have worn I reckoned that my skills were good enough now that I wanted to try and make something myself. Plus I wanted a dress to match my shoes :-)

I made this dress up in View B cutting out a size 12. Stupidly I didn't read the fabric requirements right and forgot about the lining. So instead of 2.2 m of fabric and .7 m of lining for the 45" width I only bought 3 m of 36" brocade from remnant kings. It was on sale so was about £5.20 a metre. it's similar to but not the same as this. There were a few panicked hours when I thought i may have to return to the shop to buy another half metre, but thankfully things worked out.

Making use of someone elses heating bill! We spent the afternoon in the hotel
Then there was the issue that the midriff section came in about 3 inches too narrow so extra fabric had to be added. I don't reckon that you can really notice though, and no one commented last night that there were strange seamlines on the back waist!

In terms of constrution, this dress took all week. I traced off all the pattern pieces Monday and Tuesday and eventually started sewing on Wednesday. I eventually finished up on Saturday afternoon around 2:30. We left shortly after 3!

I like the fact that simplicity patterns seem to have a narrower back than most other pattern companies so i didnt need any adjustments there. Had I had a little longer to make the dress I would have muslind first to check on any back length adjustment however as time was of the essence I didn't and I did. Fortunately when it was sitting where it should it added really nicely to the ruching on the midriff.

The instructions provided for this make were a little shoddy to say the least! So if you do make this dress beware leave extra 'comprehension' time! I'm not sure I followed all exactly as stated but the outside turned out ok! The instructions also leave it a little messy around the zip insertion so if I were to ever make this up again I would change that.
The Elliot Dress

Finally, after making up teh full dress it was apparent that it was VERY low cut! This is why I have a lace detailing in the front to give a little extra coverage. I quite like the lace and think it actually adds to the finished dress.

So hope everyone had a great weekend we got some sad news that one of John's school friends sadly passed away on Saturday night after a long battle with cancer. So in a small act of rememberance I named this dress in his memoryadn wil be donating a small sum to the people who helped in his final months.

Rest in Peace Calum Elliot 1988 - 2015

Jen x

Monday, 12 January 2015

Sewing Plans 2015

So its January the 12th and my sewing machine is still sitting neglected on the table. I have cut out a full pattern though so i'm hoping i'll get to relax tonight with a bit of sewing and have a brand new garment for Saturday night. We're off to a 60th so what better excuse to make a new dress? I'm going down a slightly different route from normal so i'll let you all know how it turns out. Over the weekend I dug up the rest of our new year photos and found some good ones! This is one of my favourites:

Needless to say I felt like a princess in this! I found myself with serious wardrobe envy and managed to borrow steal the most awesome Arabian handmade dress ever for an impromptu photo shoot. I also got a great one of the two of us:

I also found the evidence of our bobsleding:

But suffice to say you didn't come here to read about my holiday right? So after a very productive 2014 in which I learned a whole bunch of new skills and tackled a whole host of garments including 3 jackets - what are my plans for 2015?

1. A new jacket for spring!
After tackling the Robson for my mum last year I am going to take learned skills and make a second for myself. I have bought the fabric already, I just need to trace off the larger size and check on any other alterations.

2. My birthday dress! No idea of the style yet, but we got free tickets to the football. So a warm one which will be pub appropriate before afterwards :-D Is the end of March too late in the year for a sweater dress? Can one have too many tartan dresses? This will be a Scotland friendly and the ideas are needing seriously narrowed!

3. We might be having some friends over in May. What better way to dress the guest room than with a handmade quilt? I'm not sure yet if I'll just make the air bed guest happy or if I will tackle our king sized bed!

4. Festival gear. We are off to a Rory Gallacher tribute festival (also in May).
Click image for source
I got the concert tee in the perfect pattern parcel last year so this could come in handy :-). I will wait a while before buying fabric though, hopefully some lighter jersey fabrics will be in the stores by then!

5. A swimsuit :-D (Potentially also festival gear :-p)

 I assembled the bombshell pattern at some point last year but then somehow it got shunted off the top of the pile. I can't imagine that anyone has ever had this problem. ahem.

6. My final target, trousers!


I bought the Thurlows in the PDF sale before Christmas. They have been partially cut out. This will be my first fly fastening as well as first trouser experiment. I'm expecting a number of muslins for this.

So there we go. I don't think this is too ambitious, and purposefully only set a few targets however only time will tell!

I love reading posts with peoples plans - please leave a link in the comments if you have written such a post

Jen x

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Happy New Year!

Hello all! I hope the new year has been good to you! We had a fantastic new year in Latvia which i would not change for the world! We rung in the bells on one of the bridges over the Daugava and had a fabulous time sharing traditions both familiar and new to us. This is about the best of the photos!!

 Resulting from my travels, my sewing machine has not stitched a stitch since Christmas eve! I have a number of projects I'm excited to finish, and am slowly learning the art of prioritising!

So through lack of any new sharable projects, heres a quick round up of my favourite makes of 2014:

My first Bronte top. 
This was one of my few me mades to have made it to Latvia. (We flew ryan air and didn't want to pay to take 2 cases so we shared 1 and squished in a thermal wardrobe :-p.) The fabric is so warm and it layered really well with my winter wardrobe!

No. 4
My Christmas Cambery
The fabric faded a little with washing however this dress got so much wear over Christmas and the fit was pretty good. i love everything about this dress and hopefully it will still fit next Christmas!

My first pieced quilt.
By no means perfect but I love it and don't have to justify why :-p. It's  so damn snuggly :-)

No. 2
My first Chataigne shorts
 Along with my Bronte above these also made it to Latvia. Because they are wool they are really warm and went really well with my top for my Hogmanay outfit. The zip is beginning to come loose however a little TLC and these will be right as reign in no time.

Finally my No. 1 favourite:
my Minoru Jacket!
In it's limited existance this jacket has had so much wear and is steadying up to be a true wardrobe staple!

So thats it from me today, I hope everyone had a great new year and all the best for 2015 :-)

JCS xx

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