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Tag Archives: tessuti

Mandy, you’re a fine girl

19 Apr

Many months ago, it was a toss up between Tessuti’s Mandy and Grainline’s Hemlock. I can’t remember why now, but for some (maybe rational) reason I went with Mandy. However, I think my fabric selection was a subliminal ode to Hemlock now I look at it!

ZoSews Mandy Tee

I LOVE this top, and I want to wear it ALL THE TIME!! I have to remember to circulate it 🙂

ZoSews Mandy Tee

As much as I LOVE THIS TOP, my sewing machine HATES KNIT FABRIC. Hence the ugly neck stitching.

ZoSews Mandy Tee

I constructed Mandy with my overlocker, but had to turn and stitch the neck. It’s icky. I’ve tried everything, wooly nylon, tension changes etc etc etc, my machine hates all the knits. 😦 In fact, it hates the knits so much that a pair of Anita pants I was working on yesterday are puckered all the way down the side seams and the machine struggled to sew five stitches without cracking the sh*ts. Put a woven in though, and the biatch was perfect – groan. I may blog these pants, but for now they’re pretty much relegated to wearing on long haul flights lol.

Because my machine hates all the knits so much I didn’t finish Mandy’s hem or sleeves, I reckon she looks fine though.

ZoSews Mandy Tee

The fabric is a cheap as chips poly blend (?) from Rathdowne Fabrics.

Those of you who are super smarty pants’ will notice that my hair is long in these pics, yep, they’re some months old Sherlock 🙂

ZoSews Mandy Tee

Conclusion: If you want a comfortable, easy to wear, easy to sew top – getchoself a Mandy. She’s a free pattern – how could one refuse?

Z xo

PS: Happy Easter to those who celebrate. We’re enjoying a four day weekend here in Aus. Yee hah.

 

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Flora, Flora, Flora

9 Mar

Hola sewing folkaroos! It’s been a while. Life’s been crazy. Bought house, moved house, got dog, mini-breaks, christmas, new year, work blah blah I won’t bore you with my day to day life!

However, in amongst the mayhem I found some sneaky time to pattern test By Hand London‘s newest pattern, Flora! Have you seen her yet? I was delighted with the invite to test the pattern, and found the deadline very motivating to actually complete a garment in amongst everything else.

I went with Variation 1 – faux wrap bodice with pleated dipped hem circle skirt (otherwise known as a mullet skirt). I had next-door-to-zilch time to create this baby, so I lived live on the edge and proceeded without a muslin. The lovely Colette from Tessuti kindly donated the lovely floral viscose linen blend that I made Flora up in too.

ZoSews - Flora dress

I chose my skirt size based on waist measurements because hip didn’t really matter so much due to the voluminous nature of the beast, and bodice on bust size. I made size 10/14. I should have gone down at least a size because I would have preferred a tighter fit – she’s a bit loose. However because I was in such a mad rush and also decided to give you guys the best idea of the pattern fit out of the box by not making any changes, it is what it is. And I still loves ‘er.

ZoSews - Flora dress

The pattern says you need 160cm wide fabric. It’s not a lie let me tell you! I was working with 135cm and had to pinch out a whole lot of volume from the both front and back of the skirt – shown in photo below.

Cutting Flora Dress Skirt

See the sections pinched out?

I also tried to make her up with the longest size hem – I don’t like short thingys 🙂 – but it didn’t work for some reason, so I chopped all the excess back off and went back ‘on pattern’. Which means she’ll probably be more of a winter rather than summer number for me – teamed with tights and boots of course.

ZoSews - Flora dress

So what else can I tells ya?

  • Hemmed by hand – still can’t handle machine hemming – and it’s quite cathartic in front of the TV anyway.
  • Bodice is lined with a white cotton batiste.
  • I love invisible zips.
  • Next time I’ll go down a size and lengthen the waist.
  • I’d like to try the non-mullet version, and I’d also like to frankenpattern the bodice with a pencil skirt
  • From what I’ve been reading, many other testers were smarter than me and thought to french seam the skirt because you can see the inside of the mullet from the front – I wasn’t that tricksy and have simply overlocked to finish. I don’t think it looks terrible though.

ZoSews - Flora dress

Oh man I need a haircut… that fringe, gah…

ZoSews - Flora dress

So that’s Flora, give her a go!

And what’s a post mentioning a new fur-baby without a pic ‘ey? Meet George, my newest obsession 🙂 Don’t let those eyes fool you, he’s a savage monster ;p

George

Z xx

It’s gridlock out there…

26 Mar

So, Tessuti decided to run a competition, with 50% off the fabric and a pretty loose brief. And most importantly, no size specs! I could hardly refuse…

Gridlock Gertalex

I am so in love with my first Elisalex, that I decided to run her up again – of course with some changes 😉 PS – this is the first time I have EVER made a garment twice, so hats off to you By Hand London, you’ve hooked me.

Gridlock Gertalex

The fabric that everyone had to use for the competition, called ‘gridlock’, was nice and structured like my dotty Elisalex fabric, so I had a good feeling she’d come together well. The one key change being that I substituted the delightful oversized tulip skirt, for Gertie’s pencil skirt – the same pattern I teamed up with Sewaholic’s Lonsdale bodice – this time however I remembered to add in the skirt vent.

Gridlock Gertalex

I thought that with the pencil skirt the dress would be a bit more wearable and closer to the ‘daywear’ brief set by Tessuti. Further, I thought the clean lines of this ‘Gertalex’ would work and not compete with the strong fabric pattern. Oh, and instead of the skirt front darts, I created pretty little tucks that lined up with the princess seams on the bodice.

Gridlock Gertalex

Sooo, the rest of the details –

    • Lined in a cream cotton from Spotlight to play up the creamy background of the gridlock fabric
    • Navy blue grosgrain ribbon waist stay included to help control any zipper spreadage and maintain a clean shape
    • Hand picked zipper: Instead of focusing on neat, straight stitches, I focussed on invisible stitches, blending my stitches in with the blue pattern in the fabric
    • Blind hemmed by hand the sleeve and skirt hems

Gridlock Gertalex

  • A delicate little cream scalloped lace trim was added to the lining hem, it’s very sweet and just peeks out
  • The outer fabric hem was finished with a navy satin binding
  • Instead of sandwiching the zipper between the lining and fashion fabric, it’s attached to lining, ensuring it won’t show through to the outside. And there’s a hand sewn hook and eye at the top just to finish off.
  • Three navy and gold buttons were hand sewn to each sleeve. Just a little bit of shjooz to break up the pattern, without competing with it.

Gridlock Gertalex

Gridlock Gertalex

The team at Tessuti are simply going to pick their favourite garment as the winner, but I’m sure a few flash mobs/emails/smoke signals/telegrams telling them to pick the gertalex wouldn’t hurt 😉 Just kidding, good luck to everyone entering, can’t wait to see what y’all come up with, it’s been great so far!! You can check out all the entries on Tessuti’s Pinterest.

Zxx

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

Happy homemade shirred tunic

29 Jul

I was absolutely delighted last Christmas to receive a Japanese pattern book from my lovely friend Lulu. What added to it is that Lulu’s not even a sewer, but she was all over the Japanese pattern books – loved it!

The particular book that I was kindly gifted was happy homemade vol. 1 treasured collection, by Yoshiko Tsukiori – in English, oh yes! (My Japanese is certainly not what it used to be, and given that it was never much chop to start with… you see where I’m going here.)

Happy Homemade vol. 1 treasured collection

The first pattern I made, and unfortunately the only one I’ve made so far, is G – Shirred dress – using a Japanese cotton from Spotlight teamed with a cute cotton trim from Tessuti.

G - shirred dress

This is me, wearing my ‘dress’ (that I’ve actually decided is a tunic – way too short for me as a dress!). I did think about adding extra length to make it more of a dress length, but I like wearing tunic length tops so left it as it was.

ZoSews shirred dress

Don’t mind the creases!

shirred dress side

Here’s a close up of the trim and shirring. It was the first time I’d shirred anything, it wasn’t hard – I’d recommend you give it a go, if you haven’t already of course! The pattern called for four rows of shirring, but I added an extra one (total of five rows) at the top to stop any gaping/flapping at the neckline.

close up of shirring and trim
I was lazy and didn’t baste the trim first which made it a bit of a &^%$ to sew on, but by the time I’d hit the trouble spots (namely, the corners) I’d gone too far and was way past stopping so I ploughed on- you know how it is. That, and the fact the print on the fabric hides a multitude of sins – like ugly stitching 🙂

sleeve with tessuti trim

One other ‘moment’ I had – I stupidly cut out the sleeves together without ‘good sides together’ so I ended up with two sleeves shaped the same. Luckily there was only a slight difference between the front and back of the sleeve in this pattern, so I just altered the seam allowance a little on one to make it work.

A couple of other notes:

  • I redrafted the facings to make them wider, and separate pieces, rather than one long, thin piece of about 1.5 cm width. One, because it was easier to sew that way, and two, because the wider facings would sit better while being worn.
  • These patterns keep you on your toes – there’s many different seam allowances used and I decided to follow the instructions on this. You need to make sure you’re all the ball and using the correct allowance size on the correct seam.

So that’s my first foray in to the world of Japanese patterns – and I like it! Have you sewn any garments out of any of the Japanese pattern books? What did you think?

Z xx

PS – Are you watching the Olympics? I’m hooked 🙂

 

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.