Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Red Jacket

I still needed something to wear with my red shoes so went in search of red fabric in the stash. I don't have a lot of red...well actually just this one piece - a wool double knit purchased from Lincraft so long ago I don't remember. It may have been before children which would be.....16 + years. So you are probably not surprised to hear that it had acquired some mysterious holes?! Oh dear, well into the washing machine (it didn't matter much if it recked it) and out to dry. It came up ok, however the holes were still there.......

I decided to use Simplicity 4182 as I had used it before with success and wanted this "holy" jacket for tomorrow to go visit mum. I did manage to cut around the holes (I hope anyway) and came up with this:

As you can see, I haven't done a button hole. I plan on using snaps to keep it closed but I don't have any at the moment. So for tomorrow the trusty safety pin will be put to use! I also need a long sleeve t-shirt to wear underneath...........

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Where did you get that T-Shirt

As mentioned yesterday, I have the Marcy Tilton video book "Where Did You Get That T-Shirt". This is a new acquisition - I didn't really need it as I have made tops and t-shirts before with pretty good success. But you know, that is no reason not to get something, now is it? I used

Kwik Sew 3338. This is a good pattern to use as it has a longer back shoulder armscye to the front and the shoulder dot on the sleeve is that little bit more forward to match that. It also has a bust "dart" of sorts - that is the front is a bit longer than the back and you ease the difference at bust level giving you that little bit more fabric in the bust area. More than enough for moi! These are things that Marcy suggests you need for a better fit.

This pattern has negative ease which is not a recommendation by Marcy, but I like my t-shirts to be fitted.

The video book has:

8 videos that cover tissue fitting, cutting out, stabilising, binding, sleeves etc.

Text pages that give the same information as the videos

Pages of inspirational t-shirts (her website has even more)

The good thing is you don't need an overlocker/serger/coverstitch machine - and the results are pretty darn good! One thing you need to do which can make a really big impact on the final look is to pin fit the t-shirt before you stitch the side and sleeve seams. You get a really good feel for how the t-shirt is going to look before it is TOO LATE! You can tailor the fit with this one step to see how you want the t-shirt to look.

I stitch my knit tops with a very small zig zag - length 2mm and width 1.5mm. This gives enough stretch. I then do a second row on seams with more stress. I could overlock, but that would require me to set up another it really is not necessary. Marcy has a spray glue method of setting the hems before stitching. I didn't try this as I left my hem raw. I will let you know how this goes on my next one!

As promised, here is a picture of me last night with the latest t-shirt and the 10 minute skirt. For the skirt I just sewed up the rectangle of left over fabric and added lingerie elastic to the waist. I used the selvage of the fabric for the hem.

For Aussie readers - it looks a bit "Motto" doesn't it? Definitely unintentional!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Sewing again

Thank you all again for the hugs and kind wishes. It is much appreciated!!:)

About a month ago I purchased the Marcy Tilton DVD/book Where Did you get That T-Shirt. This week I sat down in front of the computer and watched the demonstrations and read the text. I think it is fantastic that you can make something so unique from a basic pattern. Yesterday I went through the stash and boy do I have a lot of is about time I made a few of them up!! Lots of teals and lots of pinks, and quite a few browns. But as I couldn't decide which ones to use (I wanted to use more than one, a al Marcy Tilton) I didn't do anything!

Come Saturday I went straight for something completely different - this interesting fabric I got from Frou Frou in Glen Waverly as a remnant - maybe 1.5 metres? It is a brown and orange mesh with flowers, sequins, rouching etc. I draped in on Eames with other fabrics that I thought may match - a brown mesh and a coral mesh. I ditched the coral as it looked too pink with the orange. I decided the brown looked good and I would use that as the sleeves.

I cut a row of the shirring as binding for the neckline and the sleeve hems. I cut the body of the top with a row of shirring at the bottom (to be the hem), but alas it just made the mesh poof out - not a good look on the hips, so I cut the the shirring off. It made the top shorter but the effect overall was much better. I have left the bottom unhemed.

For the neck binding, after cutting it about 5cms shorter than the neck edge and dividing it into quarters, I just zig zagged the binding onto the neck edge. Very easy and the effect is pretty good, if I do say so myself! With the sleeve hems I sewed the binding on before attaching the sleeves to the body.

I am not 100% happy with the final result as there is a bit of pouching in the bust area - not sure if it is because the pattern is too long between shoulder and underarm or if it is just the fabric. I used Kwik Sew 3338 ( I will post more on that tomorrow) size XS. The fabric does have a lot of now for the unveiling (on Eames).......

I had heaps of fabric over, so I quickly whipped up a one seam skirt to match! The top and skirt are about to go out for Chinese, so I will get a photo of me in it to post tomorrow.

I can feel a few more T-Shirts in my future......

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Thank you!

Thank you to those who sent me cyber hugs. It was much appreciated!

I have sad dad passed away only a few hours after my last post. Unfortunately we did not get to see him again, but I am happy that I spent the prior weekend with him. It was quick and peaceful in the end.

My mum is still very unwell and will probably require a fair amount of my time. She is in hospital under the care of the mental health unit. There is really nothing I can do to reduce her anxiety and distress, other than to pray. It really is so difficult when someone suffers from mental problems as no amount of logical conversation can make a difference. Hopefully her new medication can bring some relief and we can bring her to Melbourne to be closer to us.

On a more positive note, my sister is back from her cruise around the Caribbean for the cricket world cup. She stopped into New York on her way back and bought me some trims...

I am not sure how much sewing I will get done...still trying to catch up on the washing, shopping, blog reading (a lot can happen in blog land in a week and a bit) and off to work tomorrow.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Away for a few days

Last night after my last post I tucked out vertical strips from shoulder to hem on both the front and back and that helped enormously. I now need to undo from waist down on the side seam as I will need more room there. The problem is basically the size is too big for my narrow upper chest and back. ( I bought the smallest size). The style is very fitted so this compounds the problems. But it is all a learning experience and after re reading FFRP, I am ready to tackle it again. In fact I would feel enthusiastic if it wasn't for my dad. He is nearing the end and I need to go urgently to Shepparton to help mum (who also is unfortunately unwell).

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Today I have spent the day working on a muslin for this jacket. As expected I needed to do a forward shoulder adjustment and sway back. I also adjusted the shoulder seam to take out the need for shoulder pads. This may have been a mistake as the pattern does not call for "stuffing" (the Marfy term for shoulder There was still too much fabric in the yoke section, so I took out 2 cms in the armscye area (and in the sleeve to match).

This photo shows the back before any adjustments. You can see that it there is too much fabric in the back. I adjusted for the length in the yoke and the sway back. I did not adjust for width as the shoulder width seem about right.

After adjustments I got Ellen to take a couple of photos of the muslin on me. Not a pretty sight! Looking at the back it does seem I have too much fabric in the width. My left armhole has had the seam allowance removed and it appears to be in the right place. But the right looks like it has too much fabric and the set in sleeve has dropped.

I may need to lengthen I cm above the bust (but below the yoke) to move bust down a tad. Also another 1cm below the bust to then bring waist back down to where it should be. This will bring back in the 2 cms that I took out in the yoke section

Please if you have any suggestions comment me. I would love to hear your opinions. In the meantime, I will go back and re read Fit for Real People, from front to back.

And Belinda when you asked "tears or tantrums" the other day when a project is giving you grief? Well I now know it is tears....and even more than tears...depression! Yep, I get depressed and that flows onto everything else and I just want to eat icecream.....mmm, cookies and cream........

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Marfy 1245

Marfy 1245 is my next project. I have had this pattern for a little while and have been a bit scared to touch it. But I have decided to just jump in!

I have cut out a muslin and am in the process of sewing that up. I did not make any changes yet to the pattern. I am expecting it to need a forward shoulder adjustment and sway back adjustment - my usual changes. I have a size 42 and the measurements equal my waist and hip exactly. My bust is 2cm larger (with my bra on) but as my shoulders and upper chest are pretty narrow I may find it too big in that area. We will see.

I have a linen blend blue fabric (with shades of brown flowers) that goes really well with denim. I thought some denim for the contrast would be great. Then I had a bit of a look through the stash and came up with this brown striped stretch denim. Mmm, that will go nice particularly if I top stitch with brown thread. I have enough of this fabric (hopefully) to make a pair of pants to match. I also have brown jeans and blue jeans that will both go really well with the proposed jacket.

So far I have laid the pattern out so that it resembles how it will look - ie match up the letters. Then I have cut the muslin and put the pieces into groups - front, back and sleeve. I have started to sew them together and so far so good.

I haven't forgotten the Chanel jacket but I wanted something that I could make now and wear within two weeks. This burst of motivation has come from a visit to Shepparton last Friday. I am popping up there (about 2 hour drive north of Melbourne) pretty often as both my parents are in hospital there. I was stopped mid sentence by three different nurses at three different meetings about the jacket I was wearing. All commented how gorgeous it was and were even more impressed when I said I made it myself! Don't you just love it when that happens? And the jacket just happens to be made from a pink version of the blue fabric above. I bought both when I couldn't decide which one I liked most. Here is a photo:

The fabric has a lovely sheen to it, which makes it just that bit extra special. So of course, I am hoping to get the Marfy done by the next time I go up to Shepparton. There is no way I will get the Chanel done by then!

Saturday, May 5, 2007


Today I went to check out the grand re-opening of the Box Hill (in Melbourne) Spotlight store. Spotlight stores are the large craft/home ware/sewing stores in Australia and New Zealand.

I often go to this store or the extra humongous Bayswater store. I went to snap up a bargain and the pins, threads and a pattern for my Chanel jacket.

And in the words of Jane Austin (slightly misquoted)..."there was an appalling lack of fabric!"

This is all that is left of the fabric selection. One small tenth (at a guess) of the store. And no I didn't buy any. I did rather think a bolt of viscose spandex brown/teal knit may look nice on me, however there was not a mirror to be found to check the effect on me. Next to find some silk thread - no not to be found! But I did get some topstitching and other thread for my next Marfy project. So not all was lost

Later in the day I took youngest DD to Knox shopping centre to see Dean Geyer (an Australian Idol finalist)at a CD signing. While there I popped into Lincraft (another large fabric store turned into a craft shop with a bit of sewing bits and pieces) and I was very pleasantly surprised to find the silk thread in exactly the colour I was after.

So Melbourne girls, skip Box Hill Spotlight in favour of Bayswater and good old Lincraft at Knox is still worth a pop in for notions.

Oh, and which jacket pattern did I get for my Chanel jacket - well this one of course....

I won't have the centre front buttons or the collar. I am hoping Claire's instructions will be helpful along with those in her book:

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Chanel Suit

I am starting a winter long project - a Chanel suit. Marji has inspired me to have a go at this . Her jackets are just beautiful and I do have the perfect fabric!

I bought the wool tweed (Black, pink and burgandy) at a market in Hong Kong. Believe it or not, this is a picture of the market!

Just the lower tent like area is the market- all under tarps. It looks a bit scary, and it was but my sister & I ventured on and actually went in! I can't remember what I paid for it - probably about $40 HK for a metre - so about $6 Aussie dollars or about $7 US (on our fab exchange rate at the moment :). This was the only fabric I purchased from there.

The silk lining was purchased from a stall at the Western Market. The picture at the left is the building that this more upmarket market is situated. The trim was purchased at a shop in the garment district of HK - in the same area as the first market. I am not sure if I will have enough trim as I only have 2 metres. It should be enough for the edges, pockets and vents.

And I don't know what pattern I will use yet. A couple of years ago I did make this jacket in the style - but without the quilting and the "Chanelisms". I used a Burda WOF pattern. It does not have princess seams, or a three piece sleeve, so I think I will go in search of another pattern. I was also wondering - do you use shoulder pads in Chanel jackets? This pattern uses shoulder pads.

By the way, this jacket was made from a silk tweed from the Western Market and lined with a poly fabric (big mistake - too hot). I fused whisperweft to all the fabric before cutting. I also made the trim. In fact I think I will wear it today when off to parent/teacher interviews at DDs' school - with brown jeans, brown boots and a coral tshirt.