Saturday, September 29, 2007

At long last, it is over!

After many months of pain, torture and internal (and some external) dialogue of "why am I doing this?" I present to you:

My helper Sofie is all relaxed on her new recovered couch. This is the three seater. The two seater is in the next photo and you can see the wall hanging that we made in the background.
Yes, they are not perfect, BUT THEY ARE DONE!!! BTW, the threads you can see are actually on the carpet which had not be vacuumed before the photos.

I have to say I learned quite a few things with this project:

  • How to dismantle couches and cover from scratch
  • How to make square cushions and fill with fibre
  • How to keep going when you just want to throw them over the balcony
  • How Sofie is such a great helper - she helped put the fabric on, off, on, off the couches for fitting. She unpicked when necessary and generally was a cheerleader from the other side of the sewing machine.
  • How I never want to do this again!

So my advice to others thinking about undertaking such a project....don't! Life is too short to cover couches!

And just a reminder of how it used to look with a before and after shot:

We still could do with curtains - but hey summer is coming and we don't want to cover the view now do we ?;) And the green cupboards (actual chalk board paint) needs to be replaced in due course.

If you want to see all the posts on this (including my earlier enthusiasm) refer to the label "The Good Room"

The thought of a structured Tailor jacket now seems easy peasy after this project!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Burda 08-2005-102 on me!

I wore my skirt to work today and I really loved the way it felt so feminine and swishy. I liked it so much I think I will have to make another which fabric?

To keep warm in the chilly office I wore my RTW Ojay jacket. This grey jacket gets worn a lot as it goes with so many skirts that I have. I think it will need a helper! I think the shorter length looks better on me too.

And a close up (but not very good) shot of my Fendi shoes and bag. Purchased from a market in Hong Kong for about $10 each - of course they are genuine?!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Burda 08-2005-102

2 things inspired me to make this skirt.

The first was I had the yellow top I had purchased awhile ago and I wanted a skirt to go with it that wasn't black. And I had a new necklace that I hadn't worn yet either.

The second inspirations was Summerset's refashioned plaid skirt. It reminded me that I have a Burda pattern that I had made before (so no tracing, fitting, etc) that had a similar look. And I had the perfect fabric - grey check with a gold tread.

The fabric is a cheapy from Spotlight off their $2 table. The lining is a viscose. I added lace to make it pretty.

I did my usual of eliminating the waistband and the facings. I have a set on Flickr that goes through these steps and also has photos of my original skirt.
Tomorrow I will get a photo of me wearing it.

Rocking Blogger Girl 2

I have been avoiding posting (in part), so that I don't have to nominate 5 bloggers for the honour of being a Rockin' Blogger Girl. I mean...who should I choose? Too many wonderful blogs! And most (maybe all) of my favourites have already been nominated. So I am going to nominate some that I am pretty sure have not been nominated and to encourage them to post some more.....

Cherie leaves us lovely comments and I want to encourage her to post a bit more often.

Ann is recently new to blogdom but is an oldie over at PatternReview.

Katherine is not a heavy poster but she is currently living in Hong Kong. I wish I could get over there again....sigh...

Theresa is another new blogger and she lives just down the road in Geelong - 'carn the Cats!!!!

Kasmira has one of the best blogs just showcasing her amazing wardrobe. She is a good girl and posts almost everyday! Now all you Aussies - don't you think she is the spitting image of Brianna who has just been booted off Idol?

On the sewing front I have been ordered back to the recovering of the couches by Sofie. Will it never end??

But I have managed to fit in a new skirt. I am almost done and hope to wear it to work tomorrow.

Yesterday I wore a brown wool cashmere suit I had made in Hong Kong with a simple KS3338 top I made a while ago.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Rockin' Girl Blogger

Summerset has nominated me as a Rockin' Girl Blogger! Thankyou Summerset, it is a real honour to be nominated by you!

Today's post is a family one where I get to "skite" about my girls. The week was the Visual Arts week for my girls' school. The best work done by students was on display and some were up for awards. Sofie had her boxer shorts and matching hand sewn ball on display. Well done Sofie !!! She is also holding another item she made in her textiles class.
Ellen had her short film nominated for an award...and ta da...she won first prize. I am so proud. I had better start on our Oscar frocks!
I have embedded the film but please don't feel obliged to view. When I first saw it I thought, boy she is not going to get good marks for this....but what would I know ? - she got full marks! The criteria the students were given was to show how you can't always judge a book by its cover. So she made the film about monsters being kind and caring.

I suggested for her year 12 film she could film the creative process of purchasing fabric and the journey to the end product - the garment. I haven't convinced her of that yet!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Vogue 2984 - 3

Photos after a day at work. Well I think the skirt looks a bit frumpy and it did not pass the wearability factor - my shirt kept coming out all day. I think I will take in the side seams to bring it up higher on my waist. The best thing was it felt very luxurious knowing how nicely I had finished the inside. Also the fabric has a really smart crisp feel to it and went really well with the HK jacket.

So I was really the Hong Kong Shopper with this outfit! Suit jacket - made for me in HK, shirt also made to measure in HK, skirt fabric from HK and accessories also from HK! Here is a close up of the shoes. They are actually Italian but purchased in HK - very international! The shoes are leather with the trim and bow in suede - nice~

Finally, thank you for your feedback on the seams and how you go about sewing and neatening (previous post). They all sound good and I will give each a try depending on what I am doing.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Vogue 2984 - 2

I have finished the Vogue 2984 skirt and am wearing it today. The photos taken this morning are a bit dodgy so will re shoot when I get home. (I am posting at the office after work as we have exceeded out broadband for the month and it is on go slow).

I thought I would share my Hong Kong finish on my hem. I am sure a lot of you are familiar with this technique, but it maybe useful to someone. First, cut some bias strips from your lining fabric and sew them to the bottom of your skirt - right sides together. Press

Then turn the bias strip over and stitch in the ditch. Press again
Turn up the hem to length wanted. Baste close to the bottom edge (I just used pins for this). Hand catch stitch the hem. If you are careful with the stitching it will be invisible from both the outside and inside. When doing your final press make sure you only press the bottom edge and not go over the top edge of the hem. This will prevent any ridges showing.
Now doesn't this look good?
And here is the finished skirt front and back.

Now a question if I do you finish your seams when you have to clip them for a curve? Do you serge after the seam is sewn, clipped and pressed? Or do you serge before construction and then just clip through the serging? And if you were going to bind the seam, how does that work with a curve? With this skirt I serged after sewing and clipping the seams. But I am not a fan of serging afterwards as it can pull the seam a bit. Love to hear from you!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Vogue 8409 2 and new shoes no 4

I finished the dress last night and wore it to work today. I decided to go bias on the band and stabilised it with interfacing (thanks Summerset!). As the checks are not squares, I needed to make a centre seam at the front to ensure the checks looked balanced. One think I did not do but I recommend others do is to stay stitch the bodice front side seams. They grew! To fix this I just ease stitched them before attaching to the bodice back.
I did not follow the patterns method of construction. Vogue has you make the bodice and then attach to the skirt. I prefer to make the whole front and the back and do the full side seams at the end. This makes it much easier to make that final fitting. And also any weight changes can be more easily altered for.
I need some more work on invisible zips!! This zip is not so invisible! This was my first go at inserting the zip with the seam already sewn, a la the Sewing Divas. Well I am not a diva yet! I will practice to get it even closer and go back and resew the zip closer. I should be able to do this without taking it out. Previous zips have been with the seam open and I have had better results. But with this I was also conscious of making sure the checks matched up.

Loved the way the lining is sewn to the zip tape! This is also a first for me and I am pretty happy how that turned out. Thank you Marji :) And of course the shoes...........

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Vogue 8409

Work has started on Vogue 8409. I have only gotten as far as the bodice section so far as the cutting out took much longer than I expected.

The fabric is very light and the checks are a pain!

First I had to decide where to put the sway back adjustment. I decided to split it up and put a bit on the bodice and some more on the skirt.

Next, I cut out the fabric in one layer. I cut out one piece and then lay it over the fabric to make sure the other side matched up perfectly. I haven't cut out the band in the middle yet as I am not sure whether to cut it out on the grain or on the bias. I won't be able to match it with either the bodice (on the bias but with pleats) or the skirt (on the grain but with darts). I think the back will be more interesting with the band on the bias (the back bodice and skirt are both on the grain) but the front may be better on the grain. Can I cut the back one way and the front another? Oh decisions, decisions......

I decided to eliminate facings and line the dress to the edge as described by Marji over at Pattern Review. I stabilised the neck and armhole edges by sewing on some selvage to the seams. I am using a designer lining I bought from Artextile on Friday. It has a logo and the word Preview on it. I didn't find anything helpful while googling. Has anyone heard of this designer or has seen this before? I would really like to get this finished today, but it is Father's day here in Australia, so maybe it might be pushing it!