I bought myself a gift a while ago, as you do, which was the most amazing Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing.
I love love love this book! The styles are beautiful and Gertie lays out the instructions clearly and nice for someone with a bit of sewing experience like me can begin to understand. I can’t say how many times I’ve flipped through the pages imagining I’m a better sewist and I’m making all the different versions I can think of.
Being time-poor and pretty new to sewing means it’s taking me a long time to get through my first project, which is the lovely and simple Portrait Blouse. I bought this book over a year ago and I’ve yet to settle on the adjustments to the blouse I’m happy with! Being large-busted means I don’t get the blouse-y effect Gertie gets in the book, instead it looks a lot more fitted. Sweetheart says this a good thing and it looks nice on me. I say I need to get out of the habit of buying baggy or stretch-y tops and embrace this fitted idea. (Posture, please.)
So! After having this fabulous book for a month and wondering when I was going to get myself into it, I found myself with a few hours to spare pondering what to wear to a party. I know! A New top!!
Trace, cut and sew a new project in a few hours with no testing to wear that night? I’ve done crazier things. Turns out, I had the top made and pretty well fitting in that time, paired it with my Back Up Christmas Skirt and off we went!
Truth be told, I just zig-zaged the neckline, armholes and hem and off we went. Such a minor detail won’t be noticed in semi-darkness, right? Well, it wasn’t noticed. ;D
The Portrait Blouse was so easy to sew, by the end I was so happy I didn’t care if it didn’t fit me I was happy enough with what I’d done I would finish it and maybe gift it to someone it did fit. But it did fit me, albeit not as blouse-y as I’d hoped and probably about an inch too short to be properly comfortable.
This has started a slew of ‘wearable’ muslins, old-bed-sheet muslins and pattern cuttings. Gertie has totally sold me on the idea of the Portrait Blouse and I am determined to perfect the pattern for my shape and make a million of them!
Get ready for on onslaught of colour.
This is silk, glorious silk, that I bought during our trip to Malaysia this year.
LOOK AT ALL THE COLOUR. So very red!
Check out that invisible zipper installation! The most perfect one I’ve ever done. Don’t look at the ends of the waistband though.
Blind hemming! A new skills to add to my bag for 2013.
Check out the innards. Not as perfect as I had initially planned but that’s what sewing a seam at three in the morning will do.
Overall I’m really happy with this skirt! Sewing with the silk wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it would be – I had made sure I had the right sized needle and tried sewing on a scrap a few times to make sure the tension was right. After that, it was all about pinning and pressing!
I always thought this pattern was feathers rather than leaves. Apparently so does my cousin who says it looks like a parrot.
When I make another silk skirt, I won’t use this pattern. I’m wondering if I had cut the pieces on the bias would that have changed anything about how it drapes. The fabric hangs quite gathered on the sides and the pockets don’t help the silhouette, so it’s bulkier around the hips than I intended. But I still love it 🙂
This is my most favourite pencil skirt so far. The fabric is a rather large remnant of stretch satin I bought from Tessuti Fabrics on a trip to Sydney – it’s a lovely fabric. Though I think I’m making it do something it shouldn’t in this project!
It doesn’t look like much on the hanger, but when wearing it hugs me nicely and tapers around my knees. Plus being stretchy, it’s comfy before and after dinner!
It’s also the most perfect waistband and invisible zipper installation I’ve ever done! 😀
Shakin’ up my trend of pencil skirts and invisible zippers, I used the alternative skirt pattern in the envelop and made this front split version!
I also used a regular zipper instead of my usual invisible ones. Having done so I wish I hadn’t on this skirt but oh well.
Look at that split!
Red wasn’t the colour for me at the Important Event, so after making my first stole from Weekend Designer I set about modifying it to be more elegant and in a colour to better suit my dress, which I’d established was going to be navy blue matte satin.
One thing I’d noticed between the pattern directions and the photograph on the Weekend Designer page was the photograph had a more elongated shape. I set about re-drawing my pattern to mimic a nicely tapered oblong and the above was the result.
I still had a problem with my dress – the one I bought was a size or two too big which I knew I could modify. But being time-poor busy me, I didn’t get up to that and then ran out of time to take to a dressmaker to get it professionally done. I was able to temporarily fix the side seams and hemline without much bother, but the bust as always caused problems.
I found the only way I could do it with out buggering up the whole dress was to safety-pin a bust dart in the neckline and cover it with me-made pretty matching flower!
The flower was a lot of fun to make, I’ve been saving all my scraps since so I can make more.
Of course, with a stole like this it’s hard to get the picture without actually having it on: fortunately I’ve taken such a long time trying to take my own that the official wedding snaps have been processed. 😀
Now it is folded away in storage until I should need a lovely cream stole again. Thanks to Missy, it now has a few thread snags from when it was hanging in the lounge room after we returned home and she decided to try climbing it.
Joke’s on her, it fell on the floor so now she believes hanging fabric is not stable for climbing. WIN!
With the remaining metres of the red satin fabric from the Red Satin Stole, I made the Red Satin Skirt!
This was from my Kwik Sew Pattern 3381, the longer version. I still love using the waistband technique from this pattern.
Unfortunately I cut the pattern to big and this sits quite low on my hips, making it to long. I could just shorten the hem and take the sides in a smidge, but I still suck terribly at rolled hems to the point in considering outsourcing them…
However with invisible zips I’m all good and happy! 😀
In Melbourne spring has certainly sprung today and while I’m sure we’ll still have a few cold winter-flashback days, summer is on its way. I woke up this morning determined to clear some creative space and bombard you with a creativity!
I collected my pile of finished and un-photographed sewing projects and headed into the garden. Ideally I wanted to have pictures of me demonstrating their use but some of these items have been waiting for their 15 minutes for over a year. I found a suitable tree and got snapping – the result is a two-month line-up of finished sewing projects!!
Without further ado, first up is the Red Satin Stole.
For months I’d known about an important upcoming event – my little brother’s wedding! I had dreams of making a not-so wonderful dress (don’t want to outshine the bride you know!) but alas it was not to be. As the day grew nearer I knew I’d have to go for a store bought dress but I still wanted to have an element of my outfit me-made.
Out came meters of red satin from my stash! Meters and meters of it! And on my computer up came the fabulous Weekend Designer’s satin stole! To work I got, and only a few small hours later I procured this wonderful garment.
I was very delighted with the results, and my first attempt at a bound button hole style. I did modify it to be a little simpler as I think I made it too narrow to get the button hole lips to sit in a charming way.
As it happened, the dress I ultimately decided to wear was navy blue, and there was no way in the world I was going to wear red and blue together in Newcastle. So I had to make another stole, and I knew just what I’d alter to make it even more fantastic…
Stay tuned for Sew 2012 #020!
Sometimes you just need to sew a skirt, stat!
So I did.
This is what elastic and 20 minutes can do for you. Please turn a blind eye to quality.
$270 – profilefashion.com
$4,755 – brownsfashion.com