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Where to from here? Project planning.

1 Oct

So I finished v8774 on the weekend. Hoorah! No photos as yet I’m sorry. Hopefully this weekend 🙂

Meanwhile, I need to choose where to go next – keeping in mind summer is on its way here in Oz. I’m stuck, and feel that I’ve lost my sewing mojo, so I’d love some help from you guys in choosing my next project.

Here are my options (some good stashbusting is planned you’ll see – and sorry about the dodgy photos):

1. Sewaholic Cambie view A in a silvery blue cotton Sateen from Spotlight

Something I’d wear to the office.

2. Colette’s Ceylon in a Japanese cotton from Tessuti

Another one I think I’d wear to the office, but also out and about.


3. Wiksten Tova in Liberty cotton lawn from Tessuti

I think I would wear this flat out! I heart tunics – as you would have read in my Happy Homemade Shirred Tunic post 🙂

4. M6083 view B in a vintage reproduction cotton poplin from Spotlight

This would be great to get about in during the warmer months, and I think it could be dressed up or down. Do you think this fabric is too much? P.S: View B is the white one in the middle.

5. v8804 in Lisa Ho mustard wool and Scanlan and Theodore silk lining from The Fabric Store

I lurve this wool. Who am I kidding, I love the lining too. The photo doesn’t do either justice. I can see this as a cropped jacket. I actually found a picture of the ‘the’ Lisa Ho jacket that used this fabric, and surprise surprise it’s fabulous so I would really like to attempt an homage. You can see ‘the’ jacket on my Pinterest.


So they’re my options. Please help me choose!

 

Thanks for helping me find my mojo! Zxx

And the obligatory Austin Powers pic 🙂

 

Click image for source

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Shopping: I went

22 Jul

I hit The Fabric Store‘s sale this weekend and got me some fun new things to play with – I thought I’d share my haul with y’all.

1. Papercut Patterns Undercover Hood

This looks like it’s going to be a really quick make (yay!). And, could this packaging be any more fabulous?

 

I was a good girl and traced it off and washed my fabric yesterday. Like my fancy pattern weight?

I’m going to make the Undercover Hood in a delightful pink and grey striped Marc Jacobs knit, also from The Fabric Store. Here it is  drying on the line. And, drum roll, I’m not making a toile – yep, this is me, rebelling.

 

2. Green and white silk

I’m planning to use this as lining for a Sewaholic Minoru 🙂 Don’t hold your breath on that turning up though!

3. Black wool

And this is the planned outer fabric for the aforementioned Minoru – inspired by the black wool Minoru from Sew Brunswick!

4. Black and white silk

Last one, don’t know what this will end up as but I was attached so bought it anyway. Don’t judge – we’ve all been there 😉 Let me know if you have any ideas!

I think The Fabric Store is my favourite fabric retailer in Melbourne – great range, I always seem to find things I like there, and finally the staff are really helpful, and lovely! My mustard jacket was made with fabric from there too 🙂 (v8146 – nearly there and Presenting v8146)

What have you guys purchased lately?

Z xx

Jeans ahoy!

27 May

I’ve wanted to try out making some jeans for a little while now, but after seeing Poppykettle’s delightful Turquoise Terror Jeans, I knew they had to be moved up the list of ‘to do’ projects.

My inspiration lies with Sass and Bide‘s Rabbit Boy jeans – I had a pair quite some years ago now, and I LOVED them and wore them to death! Literally. To. Death. They were stitched up a few times, but eventually they left this world. You can see a good pic of the Rabbit Boy style on missea, about halfway down the page.

I’m basing my pattern on V8774 (pic below) which I traced off today. Step one, ‘tracing’, complete.

V8774

I’m using the below denim from Darn Cheap Fabrics – eventually (sorry about the dodgy photo). I wouldn’t hold your breath on these ones though folks. I still have to finalize that darn Beignet, then I imagine there’ll be a bit of drafting and testing before I even get to cut these bad girls out.

My Rabbit Boy denim

I’ve also started pondering a Ceylon. What do you think about this Blue Fitzgerald Liberty Tana Lawn for it? Like?

Fitzgerald 03632155D

Or how about this Japanese Cotton from Tessuti?

Green Hanataba

So that’s what’s going to be coming up and across my sewing table in the near future (well hopefully it’ll be near!).

On a different note, I spent the weekend back at my mum’s place, and got to have some serious play time with the gorgeous puppies (family too lol). Check them out.

This is Oscar, a scatty Jack Russell…

Jack Russell Terrier

Here’s Alice, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and very cuddly and floppy (and pretty!)…

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

I also got to meet some new additions to my Godfather’s household;

Sam, a black Labradoodle pup who I’m sure is on some kind of amphetamines,

Black Labradoodle

And Sam’s little brother, Fred who likes to chew jewellery and pull hair

Chocolate Labradoodle

And while we’re talking doggies, here’s a pic of my Grandparents’ pug, Jazz, who recently passed on to the land of doggy heaven 😦

Pug

So if you didn’t already pick, I am somewhat of a ‘dog’ person, and really miss having one around the house. But it is now very exciting when I do get to play 🙂

What did you get up to this weekend? Much sewing time?

Samurai pants

9 Apr

I lurve wide legged pants, they’re so comfortable and I think flattering – maybe only because I’m relatively tall though.

Anyway, when I saw v1186, I couldn’t resist. The jacket didn’t really rock my world, but boy oh boy those pants did!

v1186 Issey Miyake

v1186 Issey Miyake from Vogue

I made these out a  mystery black fabric from Cutting Edge Fabrics, it’s some kind of blend, and it’s heavy and drapey – and lovely to wear! I lined them with purple charmeuse, from Spotlight. And they remind of pants Samurai would wear (or hakama), hence this post’s title 🙂

Here is the photo overload!

v1186

v1186

v1186

v1186

v1186

v1186

“Were there any adjustments to the pattern?”, I hear you ask. Of course there were 😉

Adjustments

  • Mock fly front – this was easy to do, I just followed Connie Amaden Crawford’s instructions from A Guide to Fashion Sewing
  • Added 7 cm in length between the waistline and crotch line

Other details

  • Naughty naughty, I didn’t add the lace around the hems. I intended to, I swear! I bought the lace, and had it ready to go, but then was too impatient. I did still hand stitch them up though 🙂
  • This was the first time I got to play with buttons and button holes. I haven’t done any since – need I say more 😉 Nah, it was ok, I’m just a little particular so it took me quite a few times to get it close to perfect. (I was going for ‘perfect’, but my impatient nature kicked in again, so ‘close to’ had to do 🙂  )
  • I didn’t do the French Tack between the lining and fashion fabric, I don’t think it’s made a difference.
  • If I were to make these again, I’d have a go at an alteration to remove the bunching fabric at my lower back.

These were the first pants I made, and I love them and wear them all the time. Win.

And in other news, I’ve extended my foray into gardening. I only have a small balcony so not much space to play with, but I started with potted herbs (coriander died and was replaced with a strawberry), and now I’ve graduated to a lime tree and lemon tree. Let’s see how long I can keep them alive!

Potted herb garden

My potted herb garden - thyme, Italian parsley, oregano, rosemary and a strawberry

Sublime lime and Meyer lemon

My lime and lemon trees

Z xx

PS – If Easter’s your thing, hope you had a good one!

My Floral Franken-dress

4 Mar

Soooo, my brother got married last weekend – pretty exciting, I know. I knew this day was coming for quite some time, so I decided to use the occasion as an excuse to make a fancy dress. And why not!

Fabric

It all started with almost 5 metres of fabulous floral Balenciaga silk chiffon I picked up at a D’Italia sale – from $90 p/m down to $10 p/m! Score, I know! I was originally going to go with a yellow silk lining, but then opted to go with a smashing watermelon silk from Darn Cheap Fabrics as it made the colours on the fashion fabric really pop. The bodice fashion fabric pieces were all underlined with the watermelon silk (hand basted), and then the bodice was lined with a red satin silk, also from Darn Cheap Fabrics. There were also a couple of layers of heavy, boned, interfacing in the middle as a foundation.

Pattern

I knew what I wanted as a final output, but it was a matter of finding it in pattern format! I spent hours trawling the Internet, but to no avail. So, a ‘franken-dress’ it would have to be. I ended up using the skirt from the now OOP v7521 and I based the bodice on the Cynthia Steffe v1174.

Alterations

This one went ‘off the plan’ from quite early on, but here are the key changes made:

  • Added ruching to the the bodice – I traced off, slashed, and reconstructed pattern pieces for the outer upper and middle bodice to create the ruching across the bust.
  • Shaped lower front bodice pieces for a closer fit in the lower bodice area.
  • Used the outer bodice pattern pieces to create the foundation rather than the foundation pattern pieces.
  • Pinched out some of the volume in the skirt pattern.

More fun facts:

  • There’s a total of six, yes six, layers of fabric in bodice!
  • The skirt was constructed using french seams for a neater finish.
  • I hand beaded the ruched area of the bodice with bronze and yellow seed beads, and also three purple teardrop shaped pearls at centre front. Not only was this pretty 🙂 , but it was a great way to keep the ruching sitting how I liked it.
  • I had a belt made at Buttonmania out of the same fabric as the bodice lining – red satin silk.
  • Sizing of the bodice was generous – at least – I cut to my size and then went down by two at toile stage.
  • Ruched pattern pieces were cut out on the cross to allow for more flexibility and a better final look.
  • The invisible zip was attached the bodice at centre back, but only attached to the lining of the skirt. This way the fashion fabric was loose over the top, so small facings were created for the open section, and a clear plastic press stud added to close the fashion fabric and cover the lower part of the zip. It was done this way so that the zip was hidden and didn’t interfere with the fashion fabric’s drape.
  • Both layers of the skirt have rolled hems.
  • Extra pieces of boning were added to the bodice for more structure.

I’m not going to lie, this was a HUGE project, and by the time I’d finished it, I never wanted to look at the dress EVER again! However, on the day, I was so happy with the result, I think it was worth all the effort 🙂

This has definitely been my biggest sewing project – what’s been your biggest?

Z xx

A sewer’s guide to Melbourne

15 Feb

I can get jealous of the vast available options for sewers overseas, especially in the US! There’s so much variety, and everything seems to be cheaper there too. ‘Down Under’ we can certainly purchase these bargains online, but the postage costs can be a killer. In fact, sometimes the postage costs more than the actual purchase!

Anyway, I find that half the fun of shopping for fabric and the like is the retail experience. I like to see the true colours, touch, rub, stretch, drape and play with fabric before I purchase it – it’s like the fabric and I are bonding!

Shopping in Melbourne

Shopping in a Melbourne laneway

Here in Melbourne, I have my tried and true favourite haunts, and every now and again I’ll come across a fabulous new ‘sewing resource’. It could be a new fabric store, or a perhaps a place that makes custom buttons and belts.

I want to share the local sewing wonderlands I know of and discover with other Melbournians (and visitors to this lovely city), so I’ve created what I’m calling the ‘Sewer’s Guide to Melbourne’. A map that shares all the local, fabulous sewing delights here in Melbourne.

You can view the guide on the My Sewing Resources page. The map is an ongoing work in progress that I plan to update whenever I find somewhere new.

Have a look and let me know what you think, and let me know of any other places I should add too! I hope you find the guide useful!

ZoSews’ top three from Tessuti’s Winter 2012 range (so far anyway)

6 Feb

So I check my email today, and what pops up? An email from Tessuti announcing their winter range has arrived! Gah! Barely able to contain myself, I jump straight on to the Tessuti online shop for a quick look.

There’s so many pretty things! But, unfortunately little miss ZoSews does not have an evergreen money tree, so purchasing must be constrained. With that in mind, I set about choosing some favourites for consideration.

So, here’s my top three from Tessuti’s new fabric range:

1. Cherry Peaks: Italian Designer 100% Wool Knit.

Div-ine! I love this Missoni look. (Is this in fact Missoni fabric? That is the question!) I’m thinking a wonderful zig zaggy maxi dress with this gem. Aren’t the warm, Autumnal colours lovely?

Cherry peaks fabric

2. Riverbed:  Italian Designer 78% Mohair 13% Wool 9% Nylon.

The colours just pop in this fabric. I’m imagining a fabulous coat, a swing coat…mmmm fabulous swing coat. There’s also a purple and black version of this fabric available – Lavender Forest.

Riverbed fabric

3. Last but not least, Black Night: Italian Designer  54% Alpaca 46% Wool Diagonal Twill Coating. Well I wouldn’t be a real Melbournian if I didn’t choose something black! I picture this as another fabulous, yet more classic or
serious coat.

Black Night fabric

So that’s it, my top three! Hopefully at least one of these makes it to my sewing room. (Did I say sewing room?  Darn wishful thinking – I meant kitchen
table! :o)

Have you looked at Tessuti’s new range? Which are your favourites?

Zxx

P.S – Pattern suggestions for these divine fabrics are very welcome 🙂

P.P.S – For those who love sewing news, I just received an email saying Kwik Sew Patterns are now part of the The McCall Pattern Company.