Sunday, 25 January 2015

Lace Camas Blouse

Presenting the Camas blouse from Thread Theory, which is described as "the unrestricted comfort of a t-shirt and the put together elegance of a blouse". 

This isn't really the kind of blouse I would usually choose, because I prefer a more fitted look.  But what attracted me was the opportunity to use some stretch lace in my stash on the shoulders and yoke.

The pattern is a pdf (yes another one, even though I really do hate all the extra work!).  The yoke was easy to fit and it gives a nice neat finish inside.  I used the black jersey in the inside yoke and lace on the outside.  Because I was using un-lined lace I didn't follow the instructions to hide the shoulder seams in the yoke, because they would have shown through the lace .

I cut a size 12, but found it just too baggy, so I took another 5/8" in at the waist for a more fitted look.  The other major change I made was to raise the neckline by 1" as the original would have been too low for me.

This was a fairly straightforward sew, although the placket is fiddly to fit, being so narrow!  You need to use lots of pins to ease around the curved neck (I used stretch fusible interfacing, which I don't think was necessary, non-stretch would have done the job and been cheaper).

I didn't manage to get a neat finish at the hem edge of the placket, you can see how it has sort of bowed rather unattractively.  It's difficult not to get stretch when you are adding a placket to a stretch fabric. 

Rather than top stitching the placket as per the instructions I stitched in the ditch as I thought the placket was rather narrow to top-stitch (plus I'm not sure how neat I could have got the topstitching on jersey).  I didn't make button-holes, choosing to sew the buttons through both plackets as the blouse easily pulls over my head.

I like the blouse out with jeans.  It can be worn tucked in, but if I'm going to wear it like this then I'll have to remove the two bottom buttons because they are too bumpy tucked in (you can just see this in the first photo).  But here it is to give you an idea.


I don't think I'll make another Camas, but I love the contrast lace trim and so I will be looking for another pattern which offers this option.  The other thing I loved was the cotton jersey fabric.  It is a really good weight, warm and buttery.  It's lovely quality at £9.75 and I used 1.25m.  The fabric comes from The Cloth House, which is fast becoming one of my favourite on-line shops (for quality fabrics as its not cheap).  They send really good size samples which cost £3.50 for 5, and when you order the fabric you get a tag with washing instructions.  I'll be getting more of this jersey in the cream and the grey.

I've had a hard week at work, so I've really appreciated my sewing down time.  I'm in the middle of a Robson coat and a wool jacket, so slower more challenging projects. 

We have had a little snowfall, though it didn't last, beautiful on the hills though, and I leave you with a little Cumbrian scenery.


If you watched Wolf Hall last week, you may have thought you spotted Rosie!  Couldn't find a photo but the dog in Anne Boleyn  entourage bore more than a passing resemblance (although a neater hair cut).  Have a wonderful week.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Lady Skater Seagull dress

This is my second Lady Skater dress from Kitchy Coo.  Its a very straightforward pattern.  I cut a size 4 which is pretty much identical to my measurements, and this is pretty much straight out of the packet.

The fit is pretty good, although it's only when I see the photos that I think the style makes me look pretty busty!

I got the fabric from the Village Haberdashery, who have some funky knits (though this one is sold out now).  When I bought it I did think it was more of a duck egg colour, and it isn't a true grey.  What I don't like about it is that when stretched the white backing shows through.  You can probably see this from the neckband in the photo, where it is clearly lighter in colour.  It also isn't as stretchy as the other pontes I have used and the neckband could have done with being a little longer.

I also think I should have been a little more careful about seagull placement!!  I didn't really intend to have a flock placed just on my left-boob!

I made the short sleeve version because I wanted to wear it with a cardie in winter and I thought the short sleeves would be more comfortable, and this is indeed a comfy dress.  I would definitely recommend this as an easy to make, easy to wear pattern.

I've got lots of sewing planned; another tailored Gertie Jacket, another McCall's shirtwaister, a Camas jersey blouse, a crepe colour-blocked dress, a Deer and Doe Sureau dress, Ginger Jeans, to list a few.  I have all this fabric waiting and so I am desperately trying not to buy any more fabric or patterns until I've made at least 12 garments from my fabric/pattern stash!

What I also want to do is to try some new skills in 2015;

a lapped zip
more tailoring including pad stitching and using horsehair
welt pockets
making covered buttons
flat felled seams
attaching belt loops
adding horsehair braid to a hem
inserting a double ended zip
lining a skirt vent
making a waist stay
sewing a bias-cut garment
get more confident sewing with silk
Make a pair of jeans
Make a bra and pants
Make some really well-fitting trousers

I really want to improve the fit of my garments.  There are too many in my wardrobe where the fit isn't great, especially too tight in the bust.  I have got to crack the full-bust adjustment rather than just trying to put a little more fabric in the seam.

So I'm joining in The Little Tailoress' Fun with Fit series.  We are going to make a sloper using Butterick 5627, so I'm hoping I'll learn a lot!     Do you have any crafting plans?

Friday, 2 January 2015

The Oslo Christmas Cardigan

I expected to see more Oslo  cardies around the blogasphere.  The pattern is from the new Colette Seamwork e-magazine. The magazine is free, but you can pay extra ($6)  for patterns.  The three patterns this month are the Oslo cardigan, a bag and clutch.   The patterns are advertised as being a 2 hour maximum make.  I think that is possible, it took me a bit longer because I sew using the machine and then overlock after.  I'm not confident that the stitch line is strong enough just on the overlocker (maybe I've not got the tension right?)  The overlocker also decided not to co-operate and it took me about an hour of fiddling to get it working again!  So I think in total I spent about 3 1/2 hours sewing and it was a really enjoyable project.   There are also discount codes (15% off dragonfly fabrics at the moment).

So to the cardigan.  I really wanted a cosy, comfy warm cardie to wear over Christmas.  I really wanted a plain grey boucle knit but there was very little choice in the UK.    In the end I went for this rather pricey striped fabric, but it is absolutely lovely.  The effect is just what I wanted.  It can be casual wrapped around, or with a belt a bit smarter to wear with a skirt.  I didn't bother with a self-belt or the buttons.

Did I mention it's snuggly!

I wore this on Christmas Eve at Dan and Gemma's where we celebrated Christmas early with presents, dinner and a film (The Book Thief).  The dogs were given Santa hats!

Don't worry these were only worn for a few moments! They've both had a hair cut since then!   On Christmas Day Dan was working so I didn't see him for the first time in 23 years!  Rather sad, but had a nice dinner round at my friends and I saw in the New Year at the local pub.

Paula Quinn's photo.

Mostly I've just enjoyed the rest.  Lots of sewing though not all successful.  I tried to make a Colette Zinnia to wear on Christmas day, and I really, really didn't like it.  It was most unflattering, even worse than it looks on the dummy.  Not even good enough to go to a charity shop, and I won't be making another of these.  As you can see it is version 3, with a  chiffon overskirt and satin underskirt.  The idea was good, but it just didn't work.  Oh well, you can't win them all.  Another flop turns out to be the Francoise dress I blogged about last week.  I wore it to work and just couldn't stand the neckline which really irritated me around the neck.  I need to remember I just don't like high necklines.

I had a really nice birthday on the 29th, spending the day with Dan, Gemma arriving after work and watching Dallas Buyers Club (good film) in the evening.

Jess seems a bit happier in the hat (though Dan is holding it on!)

 There has been a lot of rain here in Cumbria, but we have managed a couple of lovely sunny, frosty walks.


So that's Christmas 2014.  Hope you all have a really good year, with lots of happy sewing and knitting!