Monday, 31 December 2007

Print fabric for SWAP

Having bought my green boots, I thought of this stash fabric, and how it could bring the green and copper boots in to work with the cream / peach / burnt orange /rust / brown SWAP.

New boots

I just ordered these boots with my Christmas money, I have no real idea what I will wear with them, but I just fell in love with them with the catalogue came out in the Autumn, and now they are in the sale and I had some money to spend so ta-da!

Not quite sure what impact this will have on my SWAP if any. It does bring to mind some emerald green and copper print blouse fabric I have in the stash.
So many possibilities and only 3 short months arrrrrgh!

Thursday, 27 December 2007

PR Knock off Contest

Pattern review has a Designer Knock off contest running in January and February, so I thought I would take the pictured top from Betty Jackson and recreate it using Simplicity 4095. I have some peach coloured knit I plan to use.

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

New Look 6943 Waistcoat

The New Look 6943 Waistcoat is completed. This is a old pattern from the early 1990s but the style seems to be back in again.
I sewed a size 16, but as you can see of the shot of me wearing it, it seems to be a bit big. I think the easiest way to alter it would be to cut the side seams down a little, and I hope to get to that quite soon.
I finished this over a week ago, but with getting ready for Christmas I have not had time to photograph and review.
I've currently also mislaid the pattern envelope but when I find it I will update the entry so you can see the pattern.
I will make this again in a smaller size for the 2008 Timmel SWAP, probably in bitter chocolate or maybe coral wool.

The waistcoat is made with dark charcoal pinstripe menswear fabric - scraps from the cropped pants - and as well as being lined in silver shimmer lining, the back in made from lining too (due to lack of fabric). Although I cut tabs out of lining, I didn't like the texture once it was fused to the interfacing, and suddenly remembered the dark grey ribbon remnant, and used that instead for the back tie.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Jacket Length

When I sorted through my fabrics to see what matches what (and stuff that matches in the evening doesn't in daylight :-( ) I found some rust print home dec fabric which I think I will make into a sample longer jacket to see how it works on me.
I'm away with work 2 days this week so can't see doing a lot of actual sewing, just dreaming....

Here's the Vogue 2939 wardrobe which I am also going to make. The jacket, blouse and pants are the most useful to me I think as the skirt and dress lengths would be hard for me to wear without alteration (ie making them longer) but maybe that would mess with the whole proportions thing?

Also one or two blouses from New Look 6513, and another blouse from a vintage pattern, plus a little waistcoat and another pair of pants - I nearly have a plan!

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Simplicity 4699 for SWAP Contest

With the burnt orange cord in mind I have been through my patterns again, and came across this wardrobe pattern Simplicity 4699. It even lists pinwale corduroy as one of the recommended fabrics for the jacket, which seems like a good hint that the jacket might work OK with the fabric.

I am also trying to think more Spring, because my earlier ideas were all rather Autumn/Winter biased, and I want these clothes to be wearable for the Timmel SWAP contest which runs from Jan 2008 until April 2008.
Much as I love the long jackets for their thigh covering abilities, I am leaning towards the shorter jacket here as I think its easier to wear with both pants and skirts.

The SWAP requires - 1 jacket, 4 bottoms (pants or skirts) and 6 tops. 2 of the tops need to be more complex shirt/blouse style but the others can be simple knit tees. This year three of the garments need to be sewn from the same wardrobe pattern.
All the tops need to be able to be worn with all the tops and everything has to be OK with the jacket.

My palette is burnt orange, rust, ivory and brown.

Monday, 26 November 2007

Rag doll progress

Ok so its not really Autumn Wardrobe sewing, but I have made some progress on my first ever rag doll, a gift for my friend's baby daughter (requested).
Poor dolly has a slightly square head, presumably due to me not sewing smoothly around the curve. Fortunately she'll have hair in bunches which will cover this area, and she'll hopefully look OK.
If she comes out scary, she'll be the test dolly and a new one will be made.
She'll also look better when her legs are sewn to her body and she has eyes etc, but Rome wasn't built in a day and I reckon a dolly takes at least a week :-)

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Friday, 23 November 2007

Corduroy things I like :-)

Ideas of what to do with the cord. Cord shirt, cord shirt dress or cord jacket - various styles.

I think I'd wear a jacket the most and would want a fairly fitted style but that doesn't cut the pretty fabric into too many pieces.

Thursday, 22 November 2007


As a fabric, corduroy is considered a durable cloth. Socially, the clothes made from corduroy are considered casual, and are usually favored in colder climates during seasonal periods. Corduroy is most commonly found in the construction of pants or trousers. The material is also used in the construction of (sport) jackets and shirts. The width of the cord is commonly referred to as “wale”; the size of the wale. The width of the “wale” makes some uses more common than others. Wide “wale” is more commonly found on pants; medium, narrow and fine “wale” fabrics are usually found in garments used above the waist.

My Timmel Parcel Arrived today

Hey I know its Thanksgiving for the folks in the US, but here in the UK its just a normal day for most people.
Not for me though. DH pointed out I had a parcel when I cam home from work and hurrah! it was my order from Timmel fabrics.
I bought 2 metres of this lovely burnt orange sequinned baby cord, and a package of 1/4" Steam-A-Seam2 to try on knit necklines.

The cord is absolutely gorgeous, exactly the colour in the picture and very soft. I have no real idea what I am going to do with it!!!!
I need to use it in my wardrobe for the Timmel 2008 SWAP Contest which starts in January and has a chocolate, orange, cream theme

SWAP lack of progress :-)

I've not progressed with my SWAP at all. My worry is that if I sew something now it'll be too big and a waste of time. I have lost 20lbs at this point and I'm already having great trouble finding things to wear for work, and I plan to lose another 20lbs by about the end of SWAP in the Spring.

Trying to analyse it a bit more the problems is really with bottoms - pants and skirts fall off the waist and rest on the hips if they are too big. So I suppose I can sew pants and skirts as long as I choose ones with waist facings and centre back zips and construct them so they are easy to alter at the sides going forward.
Tops seem to be restrained by the fact that my shoulders and back are almost as wide as before just more defined, and I need more waist shaping.
So I could make tops which fit OK now and just need the waist area shaping a little bit later.

And of course this needs to fit with the wardrobe pattern too. I am currently looking at Vogue 2939 which would be OK if I put the zips in the centre back.

Monday, 12 November 2007

The doll for baby P

My dear friend asked me to sew a rag doll for her baby P, I have been a bit slow off the mark but finally started this evening, here's the basic body of the doll.

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Dark green 'Tiny Happy' Shoulder Bag

Cute shoulder bag made from the instructions at 'Tiny Happy'

Dark green chenille outer, leaf print cotton inner, vintage button.

Pattern Description:
Soft lined Shoulder Bag
Pattern Sizing:
One size, came out approx 14" by 7" but could be resized fairly easily.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, pretty much
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, the hardest part was making my own pattern from Tiny Happy's drawing, after that the steps were well diagrammed.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Easy to sew, nice result and uses smallish scraps of fabric to good result.
Fabric Used:
Dark green chenille upholstery fabric, with ivory leaf print cotton lining.
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
This version I made as per her instructions, but I am already considering making a bigger bag.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, I want to sew it again, maybe for myself or even for gifts. Imagine it stuffed with tissue paper and wrapped toiletries for a girlfriend.
Thanks Muffet for her review which spurred me to look at the 'Tiny Happy' blog and to 'Tiny Happy' for the instructions.
Muffet's review
Tiny Happy Instructions

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

SWAP 2008 - the 4 pattern plan

My plans are stabilising now, and look like using 4 patterns for the whole SWAP.

Butterick B4295 for the jacket, skirt and pants, plus a morph of the skirt in lace.
NewLook 6943 OOP for the vest (waistcoat) and high waisted pants.
Butterick 3344 for knit tops in mock wrap, scoop and V neck styles
New Look 6513 blouse one view plain, one view with frills.

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Berry Tones - ideas?

As you can see from the last post I picked up the wool mix fabric to try to come up with some coordinating ideas for the other fabrics shown with it.

A is the wool mix. It is more purple one side and more burgundy the other side. I bought 2 metres of 150cm wide.
B is a wool jacket fabric - only 1 m
C is same wool in different colour - just under 1m
D is a stretch wool mix suiting again only just over 1m
E - is a mixed fabric, I think some sort of upholstery fabric which I initially planned on making into a coat, but not sure anymore.

The problem with B, C and D is that there is not enough of any of it to make pants or a jacket.
C and D are beautiful together colourwise. B and C could sew up into the same garment as its the same fabric.
A has tones of all but does it work with them?

Latest thoughts are
Jacket in A, Skirt in B, Waistcoat (Vest) in C and cropped pants in D. C and D would be quite fashion forward for me but I reckon I could pull it off.

Fabric Organisation

I nipped into my local fabric store on Saturday morning on the way to the post office and picked up some fabric which I thought I'd post here.
A - Wool mix in purples (2m)
B - burnt orange mystery fabric (5m)
C - rust cotton knit (1m)
D - khaki wool suiting (5m) plan to make tailored pants for work first

Well I decided that I could organise my fabric stash a whole lot better if the spare room closet contained only fabric, and was on shelves and not in huge moving boxes.
To this end I measured up the closet, decided on what I needed and went off to Ikea on Saturday evening.
Usual problem at Ikea when you want to buy stuff together is that you can't get all the bits in one trip.
So I bought the upright and the small shelves but will have to go back for the big shelves and the back braces. I'm using the Ivar system from Ikea - and basically building a free-standing shelving unit which will sit in the closet but will not be fixed.
There's a small gap on one side where I will store the few rolls I have.
DH is fab at assembling Ikea units and has offered to assemble them for me as things I assemble have been known to fall down!

I also picked up a clip on lamp at Ikea which I am hoping will free up table space (I currently have a lovely based Anglepoise but it takes up a lot of room.)

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Pattern Company jacket Muslin V2

Which is better?
Left (without hemlime trim) or Right (with hemline trim?)

I retraced the pattern as a 42, and whilst I kept the back and sleeves as is, I altered everything else.
First I recut the side fronts so they are straighter, I think they need to come around further and I will alter that in the next version.
Second I redrafted the hood and front panels piece so that it is a collar cut on the fold and not a hood at the back, the whole thing is narrower across the shoulders and down the front and straighter.
It now does not go around the bottom which is instead a narrower applied piece (not sure about this). Left is without, Right is with - which is better?
I replaced the deep fluted cuffs with smaller less curved ones which I do prefer.
I left the seam open on the cuffs, which again I'm not sure about.

I do much prefer this version to my first attempt, although I wonder if its a bad length now, finishing at my widest part. s the left better for this?

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Sequin Cord in Burnt Orange ordered

Sequin Cord in Burnt Orange ordered, so anyone who likes it can put their order in now!!!

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Fabric from Timmels

I think I will buy 2 metres of this gorgeous fabric from Timmel fabrics.
It's described as Sequin Cord in Burnt Orange - yummy!

Monday, 15 October 2007

Chocolate Orange Autumn Wardrobe Plan

Here's my Chocolate Orange Autumn Wardrobe Plan, which depending on how it works out may well morph into the Timmel SWAP in January.
Chocolate brown is my favourite neutral colour, so the wardrobe is all based around a chocolate stretch suiting I bought which has orange, cream and gold stripes running through it. This will hopefully form a 5 piece suit (jacket, pants, skirt, culottes and waistcoat (vest)) with other chocolate brown bottoms and cream, gold and orange plain and print tops.
As you can see there are a lot of pieces and I have more fabrics in the same colourways which I love to wear already, so this is basically my sewing for the next 6 or 7 months!
I'm an Autumn colouring and love to wear this all year round, which given the English summer weather means I'll be able to wear these clothes for about 10 months of the year!

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Lightened pic of Stoff & Stil jacket

Lightened pic of Stoff & Stil jacket

Stoff & Stil Jacket 800951

This jacket from Stoff & Stil has a similar rolled collar but less flouncing which I think I might prefer.

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Pattern Company Jacket Muslin

Pattern Company Jacket Muslin - obviously needs a LOT of work before it would be wearable.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Butterick 4295 Skirt started

I cut out and started to sew up the skirt from the Wardrobe pattern I like the most right now. Butterick B4295 which I bought when it was featured a couple of years ago in the magazine.

I reckon it can either become one of the SWAP advance pieces or just an 'extra' if I find I want to include other things as the advance pieces instead.

Changes so far:-
Cutting it 3 inches shorter than the long length skirt, adding a waist facing instead of their ribbon treatment and having three slim darts in the back instead of one large one.

The plan is to construct it as per the threads article on sewing for losing weight, so I can take the side seams in as I get slimmer.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Pattern Company Jacket

Here's a version of the Pattern Company jacket 04-265 made up by the owner of STOFF Atelier in Kiel and displayed in the store.
She had made lots of variations which we all loved.

I bought the chocolate brown boiled wool to make up this design, the most I have every spent on a single length of fabric, so there are going to be some muslins before I cut into it!

Pattern Company Website

Also available at Tipp Tapp Stoffe

or Kreativ Stoffe

Fabrics from PR weekend (Europe)

Here are my fabrics from the European PR weekend - see a common theme?

Top row (l-> r): Chocolate boiled wool with mother of pearl giant button, burnt orange satin, chocolate lace, orange fleece
Bottom row (l->r): Orange with woven check/spirals and wool for rag doll hair, chocolate flock fabric, orange crinkle fabric, black cotton with lurex dot with orange beads for necklace.

Monday, 8 October 2007

Current Wardrobe Pattern Thoughts

My latest idea with the Wardrobe Pattern is Butterick B4295 but keeping all my Chocolate/orange/cream colour ways from before.
I am not massively in love with the jacket, but all 3 pieces have the seams where advised in the Threads article to make altering for weight loss easier (centre back zips in the skirt and pants, shoulder princess seams in the jacket). My thoughts are to shorten the jacket slightly to make it more wearable with a long skirt and maybe remove or reshape the shawl collar (soft lines are not good near the face for me).
If I left the collar as is I could try to make a removable faux-fur over collar - its a good shape for that, and maybe I can copy an RTW item which has that feature.

I have just got back from the PR European Weekend and had a lovely time there (Hamburg/Kiel in Germany). Most of the fabrics I bought there were also in Chocolate and Orange colour ways. I have enough fabric now to sew 2 SWAPs at least..... so I think I will buy patterns from Julie for my entry!

Sunday, 30 September 2007

Simplicity 4971 - garments

So I plan to make the short jacket, the pants and the shell top from this pattern.
as I am actively losing weight with Weight Watchers over the period of the contest another reason why I like this pattern is the alterability.

The jacket can be taken in on the princess seams, the pants have a back zip and facing and can be taken in at the side seams.
The simple shell top can be taken in on the side seams or the centre back seam, or is so quick to sew that I would just sew it again in a smaller size!

In addition to this I need to sew 3 more bottoms (skirts/pants) and 5 tops where at least 2 are blouse style not simple tees.

Simplicity 4971

The Timmel SWAP (starting in Jan) has a twist each year, and Julie has just published the one for this year.

6. 2008 Twist – Three garments must be made from one "wardrobe" pattern.
You must make three uniquely different garments from that pattern; making one type of garment three times will not qualify.
These patterns are available from all the major pattern companies and they usually include a jacket, dress and/or skirt, pants, blouse or top. For our purposes, any pattern with at least three different garments that work together will be counted as a "wardrobe" pattern.
The patterns labelled "wardrobe patterns" often have 4 or 5 garments in them; but as long as the pattern has three different garments, it will qualify. The purpose of this year's rule is to encourage making the best use of a pattern; in other words, work it for what it is worth. The other 8 garments can come from any other pattern or patterns or be self-drafted.

I had a good look through my patterns and decided that Simplicity 4971 has the most wearable items in a package together, a lot of the others I only liked one or two items in the envelope.