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Finished: v8774

6 Nov

So these jeans have been finished a while now, I just haven’t had the desire to blog about them. Don’t get me wrong, I like them, but they don’t fit quite right now thanks to me dropping a few kgs. So, I fell a bit out of love with them. Anyway, here’s the last piece to their story.

There was so much frankenpatterning on this garment I ended up like a crazy, multiple personalitied person…

So we left off here, with pattern traced, slashed and spread.

Then there was a calico created, and a calico adjusted. UnsurprisinglyΒ there was waaaaaaaay too much room in the leg of these pants – even with the wide legged look I was going for. This was rectified with some quick cutting. The photo below shows what was cut off and then transferred back to the pattern. Like my floral ‘calico’? I got a bolt for equivalent $2 p/m at Spotlight – bargain! πŸ˜‰

v8774 - leg changes

There’s also a whole lot of drafting that’s gone on up top.

Pockets

The back of the pockets (side pieces) were re-drafted in to two pieces to avoid uncomfortable bulk in the pocket bag. So now, they’re denim up top and cotton down below. You might recognise the pretty floral cotton from my Happy homemade shirred tunic. Also, the shape of pockets was changed – bringing the entrance up higher – clearly a very technical description πŸ™‚

v8774 pocketsPocket facings

These have also been re-drafted. You can see below shown with pink dotted lines how the pocket was reshaped, and also the whole pocket facing changed. The facing will now join up to centre front, this should help to keep the pocket back in place and not scrunching up. The front pocket bag is shown with the blue dotted line too.

v8774 pattern redrafting

Enough about that – let me now introduce the finished product:

Some notes:

  • Belt loops: If you’re going to go down the path of v8774 watch the belt loops. If I had my time again I’d make them thinner. Just personal preference.
  • Belt loops: Also, for some unknown reason the pattern has you put the side back belt loops joining to the top of the waistband down to the bottom yolk seam… weird. I blindly followed the instructions without thinking and then had to cut them out of the yolk and reposition the bottom of the loop to the bottom of the waistband. What. the.
  • Fly: I had never made a fly before. I didn’t really have any dramas which was nice! Only change I made was instead of bias binding it, I just overlocked the edge.
  • Buttonhole: The worst bit of these was the freaking buttonhole!!! It would just not do what it was told!!! Fabric wasn’t feeding properly, stitches were all over the place, I had to unpick the thing something like four times! What was more frustrating is that on two layers of interfaced denim, testing the buttonhole, it worked perfectly, every goddam time!!! GAH! Oh well, the buttonhole eventually got there and the jeans have a keyhole shaped buttonhole now.
  • Pin tucks: Those pretty lines on all the pockets are just super tiny pin tucks. Length was measured and drawn straight on with tailors chalk. Taken from my inspiration jeans.

So that’s it. My new jeans. What do you think? Have you made a garment and straight away filed it under ‘meh’?

Hope everyone in Melbourne had a great Melbourne Cup Day too πŸ™‚

Z xx

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Jeans update – pattern fidgeting commences

4 Jun

So, I have started drafting, getting creative with, or whatever you want to call it, the pattern for my upcoming jeans.

As mentioned, I had already traced off V8774 (both A and B versions), so on Saturday it was down to getting busy with scissors, masking tape, measuring tape and rulers.

I decided to hack up version B, the boot leg, rather than the straight – for purely lazy reasons – I might want to make a straight leg in the future and I don’t see a boot leg in my future. So I have saved the tracing of version A (straight leg) for, who knows when really?!

Here’s a picture of the back as it stands right now –

v8774 pattern back

I usually have to lengthen in both leg and crotch, so I’ve already made those adjustments to test with the toile, and I’ve attached the yoke making it all one piece (TBC whether this will continue this way yet – seemed like a good idea at the time, but I think I’ll add it back in as a separate piece). You’ll also see obviously that the leg was slashed up the middle. I spread it 5cm, pivoting out from the top and then straightened down to the hem to give me the more wide leg look I’m going for here.

And here’s the front –

v8774 pattern front

I still need to edit the pocket area, but you get the picture πŸ™‚ You’ll also see that the curve down the inside leg has been kept.

These pieces very scribbly, but trust me, I know what the lines mean (well I did at the time, I hope I remember!).

So, hopefully (fingers crossed!!) I get to have a crack at these this coming weekend and see what happens. Note to self –Β  must alter waistband to match too.

Z xx

PS – I have a long weekend coming my way. Needless to say, I’m excited πŸ™‚

PPS – That dastardly Beignet is finished!!!! My average button sewing time was 5 minutes. Photos to come.

 

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 πŸ™‚

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

New Vogue patterns coming my way!

26 Apr

Yeah yeah, another Vogue $3.99 pattern sale. They’re popping up all the time. But this one had a twist. A new pattern release twist that is! Woo hoo!

Thanks to a timely alert from Gertie I jumped at the chance to get the new patterns at a little baby price. For us folks in Aus, the best way is to buy seven patterns at a time – due to the exorbitant $25 postage charge for one envelope package (and that’s one envelope with a stamped postage charge of under $12 mind you, but no need for ranting lol). The thing is, you have to pay $25 postage for anywhere up to seven patterns, so at $3.99 you might as well get the seven. If you get more than seven it’s $50 postage! Woah! The alternative is to pay retail prices here, which can be up to $30 per pattern – woah again!

Anyway, I’m pretty excited about my order, and wanted to share what’s coming my way πŸ™‚

This is the first one I had to have, and set me off to choose another six. I’d been on the hunt for Claire Shaeffer’s previous ‘Chanel-like’ jacket that is now OOP, and when I saw this v8804, I got all ‘must buy now!!!’

v8804

v8804

Next one – v8810. I’ve been dreaming of a shirt dress recently, and this one offered so many options that of course I had to have it πŸ™‚

v8810

v8810

This is delightful (v1310), I love the skirt, not sure when I’d wear it, but I figure the top could be a winner.

V1310

V1310

Next was v1304 – just because it’s fabulous πŸ™‚

V1304

V1304

Then I filled the final three spots with v1283, v2961 and v8789 – not new, but lovely nonetheless.

v1283

v1283

V2961

V2961

V8789

V8789

That’s it! Looking forward to my package arriving πŸ™‚ And then off to the ever growing ‘to make’ queue they go.

Did you get your hands on any of these? What do you think of the new range?

Z xx

V8146 – nearly there!

22 Apr

I had some divine mustard wool/cashmere blend (I think!) from The Fabric Store sitting around that was just begging to become a coat. One night while reviewing my pattern stash I thought, “Hang on a minute! I’ll use v8146 to create my first mustard delight”. I say ‘first’ because I have another mustard coat/jacket planned – obsessed much? Anyway, the only thing that irked me about v8146 is that it wasn’t lined, but I decided mine would be anyway πŸ™‚

I jumped on the old Google to search for examples of others who had made this jacket, but I could only find the completed dress at Textisles and completed jacket at Orchids In May. Maybe there are more out there and I am just a bad searcher πŸ™‚

V8146

The details so far…

To start with…

  • I cut a size 14 pattern based on bust size.
  • After paper fitting, I added 20cm to jacket length, and 10cm to the sleeve length pattern pieces. I have a long body and before adding the length it sat much too high – more like a bolero, and I wanted more length in the body and full length sleeves – rather than the 3/4 sleeves the pattern provides for.

After toile…

After completing and trying on the toile;

  • I added another 3cm to the sleeve length, another 5cm to the jacket length (to allow for hems) and 1cm width to the underarm to allow for movement in the thicker wool fabric and to avoid the lining splitting.
  • I also drafted a lining pattern for the jacket front, but planned to use other pattern pieces as is for lining pattern.
  • Decided that I didn’t actually want the collar as per pattern, which led to drafting a neck line facing, and some edits to the lining pattern pieces.
  • The lining fabric has a gorgeous pattern on it, so it was cut to make sure the pattern was highlighted appropriately :o) This meant that I actually ran out of the patterned lining and I didn’t have enough for the full sleeves. Enter another pattern alteration. Sleeves were slashed into two pieces (upper and lower), and the patterned fabric was used for the lower pieces so that if the cuffs were rolled up your eyes are delighted with pretty patterns, and the upper sleeves that aren’t really visible were made from some newly acquired lining in a complementary colour.
  • The mustard fashion fabric doesn’t fray so I didn’t have to finish the edges – yay! However, I did bind a few particular seams that may see the light of day in a satin mustard bias binding.
  • I have giant coconut buttons to add. But buttonholes at the size required would be unsightly. So instead I’m using magnets for closures, with the buttons sewn on for looks only πŸ™‚

You would have seen a little splash of this jacket and the seam binding as a work in progress in A new winter wooly, and here’s a shot of the magnets being tacked in.

Magnets into v8146

And the giant coconut buttons…

Buttons for v8146

Did you know…

Now, if you ‘like’ ZoSews on Facebook, you may have seen my post yesterday – so my apologies for repeating! But, for those of you who didn’t see it,Β  did you know that an odd number of buttons is more pleasing to the eye ? It’s true! So while I do have four buttons above, I will only be using three πŸ™‚

Anyway, hopefully I’ll have this jacket finished soon!

Z xx

PS – I awoke today to see that I had won a gorgeous brooch from Ruemiraldi via a giveaway over at JuliaBobbin! Must be my lucky day – thanks team!

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 aΒ  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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ™‚
  • This was the first time I got to play with buttons and button holes. I haven’t done any since – need I say more πŸ˜‰ 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 πŸ™‚Β  )
  • 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 πŸ™‚ , 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 πŸ™‚

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

Z xx

Pear and Apple Dress

19 Feb

The first dress I made was V1102, an AKO number. I did love the look of it in black as it was on the pattern envelope, but for something a little more casual and fun, I decided to go ahead with this one in a lovely fruity Kokka fabric purchased from Amitie.

V1102 AKO dress pattern

V1102

(The model on this envelope really reminds me of someone… can’t put my finger on it though. What do you think?)

Here’s my finished product –

v1102

Alterations:

  • The bodice of this dress is lined, but rather than self-line it as per the pattern directions, I lined it with a kind of stone coloured cotton – avoiding the pear and apple pattern showing through from the wrong side.
  • I also used the lining fabric to bag out the bow at the back – rather than the edges being narrowly double hemmed. It gave a nicer finish I thought πŸ™‚
  • The straps at the back of the bodice were shortened by about 1cm – wouldn’t want my top falling down would I!?
  • A bust adjustment, going up a about a size.
  • Narrowing centre back to avoid gaping around the zip – a snug fit is much nicer πŸ™‚

v1102

Turning the bodice through a narrow shoulder strap was a patience and hand strength testing exercise – but I got there in the end!

Regarding the bow at the back, I have heard of someone who made it detachable. I think this is a great idea because if it’s slightly chilly you can’t wear the dress because you can’t wear a cardigan over the giant bow (hello hunchback). Another issue with the bow is that you need someone to ‘do you up’, or you have to do the bow up prior to putting it on and then wiggle into it. That said, the bow is one of the features I love.

I have actually sneaked this dress onto TV before too! Just in the background on the 7PM project – but still TV coverage πŸ™‚

v1102

So there you have it – my Pear and Apple Dress! I think it’s quirky and fun – what do you think?

Zx

Flower Power skirt

11 Feb

The now OOP v8560 skirt was the first garment I made using a commercial pattern.Β  I was like a deer in headlights in my local fabric/haby chain store looking at patterns, notions and fabric – but very excited! (Of course this was before I knew the joys of buying patterns online!)

Now, regarding the aforementioned chain store (that shall remain nameless), I spent ages poring over pattern books, shortlisting, and re-shortlisting – finally coming to a decision. (And that is no mean feat for me, making decisions is tough!) I approached the desk, asked for the patterns, and how many do you think they had in stock? I’ll give you a hint – none! Yes, you heard right – none! Instead, they proceeded to send me over to another store (across the other side of the city) to get the pattern there. You’ll never guess… they didn’t have want I wanted there either! I now know better than to expect service in any of these stores. But, I digress….

I ended up purchasing a lovely bright floral cotton and contrasting blue cotton from Amitie which you can see in the photo below.

Flower power skirt

I made variation A (the pink version in the pattern envelope image above). And apart from being a complete newb, I had no huge problems with this pattern.

Alterations:

  • I added in piping in between the top and bottom yoke pieces using the contrast blue, I’m not sure if you can see it in these pics though sorry!
  • I doubled the width of the contrast hem band – I don’t like to show too much leg! πŸ™‚
  • I used an invisible zip. I much prefer invisible zips.

I love that this skirt has pockets – more womenswear should have pockets! To avoid bulk, the pocket bags were made out of lining fabric, I think some kind of acetate.

Flower power skirt pocket

I love the bright print, and I have been known to wear this skirt into the office in the depths of winter, trying to imagine it’s summer.

So there you have it! My first commercial pattern. You can see more photos of my flower power skirt in finished projects.

Do you remember sewing your first commercial pattern? How did you go?