Thursday, 25 February 2010

something new, something old, something blue, something blah....

I've come to the conclusion that work is a hazard to my health. Not only has it taken nearly two weeks to recover from a little cold and sore throat, on Tuesday I found myself eating a chocolate bar out of a vending machine because the 3pm low hit me and it was there. Lucky I'm only there three days a week.......

The things I sewed for my friends have been well received - I had a lovely lunch with my friend whose husband I sewed the viking outfits for and she gave me an awesome reprinted 1950s book by Christian Dior on the A-Z of Fashion. And the friend who I sewed the little shirt for has promised to take some photos of Anna for me in exchange (she's a professional photographer) so both were worth all the frustrations in the end!

In the last two days I've finished not one, but two things for myself. First up I made a boatneck top from BWOF 2/09 pattern 108 from a white textured knit that I had in my stash because I wanted to test out how my newly repaired overlocker works. It turns out the overlocker works fine now, but my skills in sewing knit fabrics are still woeful! I used clear elastic along the neckline instead of just turning it under and sewing as suggested by BWOF, but still it is a bit ripply. Same for the hems, even though I used a twin stretch needle to topstitch it is still a bit wavy. But it looks ok for a test garment, and I have worn it so I guess it passes muster. I shortened the sleeves a bit but didn't make any other changes to the pattern.


I also made the skirt I'm wearing in the above photo too. Only it was meant to be a dress! It's a UFO from about 4 years ago, abandoned for the good reason that I tried to morph together two seperate patterns and it just didn't work out. Mainly because as usual I was impatient to get started and didn't make any effort to trace the patterns and make adjustments so the bodice and skirt would join together. Noooo, I just sort of creased the patterns a little and hoped for the best. And to make matters worse instead of doing a muslin (which would have been wise!) I just cut straight into the fabric which is a beautiful linen bought from Tessuti's York St store.

Anyway, I couldn't get the bodice and the skirt to fit together at all, mainly because both skirt and bodice had too many panels and the linen has no ease at all. I didn't want to give up on the fabric because it's a gorgeous natural coloured background with duck egg blue and grey spots. The only problem I have now is what to wear with it, I might have to make another top now especially for it!

The skirt is an inverted pleat skirt from Style 3643, which is a vintage pattern picked up from an op shop some time ago. I've used this pattern once before which ironically was also a UFO for quite some time too! And it is indeed "sew "simple to sew - I bet someone in the Style creative department thought they were pretty clever putting that on the front of the pattern. The skirt is very long, way longer than the pattern illustration suggests (again beware patterns with only illustrations on the envelope) so I've had to shorten it quite dramatically to sit above my knee. It's also a little high waisted, which isn't really my style, but is only really noticeable if I wear the skirt with something tucked in like this:


But I doubt I will wear it like that! I also left out the rear inverted pleat because I find that just gets creased and looks bad after wearing it for a while, and the front pleat is enough for walking ease anyway. And speaking of the back of the skirt, I put in an invisible zip so the join of the spots wouldn't be interrupted, but look at what I did with matching the spots (excuse the creases, this was taken after I'd been wearing it a while):

Sooo annoying, especially since I didn't have any extra fabric at all to recut it. So all in all I'm glad I finished this UFO and the beautiful fabric is out of the box and into my wardrobe. I wore it out today and am happy with it, but I think it's a bit blah though. I just need to find a perfect colour match for a top to go with it. I wonder what my chances are in finding something in the stash!?!

23 comments:

  1. That is a gorgeous skirt. It was great hearing from you. Thanks so much for visiting.

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  2. As a recent returnee to working away from home, I understand 3 o'clock syndrome. I keep fruit in the fridge and some almonds.
    I really love the skirt, pity about the not matching the dots, but anyone who notices is looking at your bum too much!

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  3. A very cute, well put together look!

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  4. Your skirt looks great! And don't be so hard on yourself about the lining up the spots in the back. If anyone gets close enough to the spots to have an opinion, you have permission to slap them for being fresh!

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  5. Your skirt looks really flattering on you and the fabric is lovely. Good job finishing out another UO. It seems you've made an "orphan" as I like to call them, something I find myself doing quite often.

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  6. Beautiful skirt! Your knit top looks nice, too!

    One thing I found for doing knit hems is to cut 1/2"- 1" wide strips of tricot interfacing (fusible), cut on the stretch, fuse it to the hem and then overlock, turn it up, and hem. That prevents the wavy thing from happening.

    I enjoy your blog!

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  7. I actually love the CB seam! You matched up the circles (which is waaaay more than I'd ever do), and the half and half ones are cute.

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  8. Both pieces look great! I love the skirt! I actually like the mismatch of colors on the back... I think it adds character to the skirt.

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  9. I love the whole outfit. Maybe a pop of color with a beautiful cardigan, since the palette is so neutral, would be the pizazz you are looking for.

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  10. Wearing a white top witht the skirt looks great! If you could find a grey to match, it would look maybe a bit more corporate... but otherwise it looks fine! And to be honest since you matched up the back dots... only someone that does sewing would notice that the colors aren't supposed to be mix and match. It looks fine!

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  11. It looks lovely! I didn't notice the dots till you pointed it out. (And Kristy - they really adore children in India. If you take Anna, chances are, people will be cooing all over her, leaving you enough time to buy fabric.)

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  12. The skirt looks great! Pretty fabric, how satisfying to be able to finally wear it.

    I also sandwich hem webbing in the turn up of my hem and then fuse it in place before twin needling my hems on stretch fabrics. If they have been fused in place and can't move then they don't wave out. I tried a few other things as well, using a walking foot and easing off the pressure on the presser foot and I got fewer waves but there was still some stretching going on.

    Using fusible hem web works on most fabrics as it fuses at quite a low temperature.

    I learned that tip from the helpful sewing gurus on Pattern Review and how gratifying that it worked.

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  13. It took me a while to see the problem in the skirt matching...so it is not so noticable really. As for the knit - have you tried using heming webb before twin needle stitching? Stops the ripples.

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  14. I love this fabric and the style looks great on you. You could add a bright colour like cerise or lime in the form of shoes or a cardigan as Mushywear mentioned. I tarted up a plain black and white outfit with hot pink shoes and necklace yesterday.

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  15. I love your skirt, it is beautiful! I might match it with a top that is the color of the outlining around the circles (looks like brown), or some bright blue that is in the family of the blue circles. It is a great shape, and looks very good on you.

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  16. Your skirt is wonderful and only a sewer would notice the spots and in the same breath admire your matching skills.

    The top will go with so much. You are not the only one who has to work on their sewing knit skills, give me a woven any time.

    Oh that 3pm low, a jar of almonds on my desk is my solution.

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  17. I agree with the comments here. I think the skirt looks great. Wear it!

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  18. Kirsty, I love your skirt. If you think it is a bit blah (which I don't at all) how about appliqueing a bright colour circle over a few of the ones on the skirt? It would only need a few random red (or colour of your choice) circles to make a huge difference.

    Love the style too - and persevere with the overlocker and knit garments :-)

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  19. Very nice. The fabric is amazing. Love it.

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  20. You are GIFTED when it comes to saving UFO's! I'm loving the look!

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  21. God but wavy neck and hemlines on knits have driven me bananas.....until now! I found a FABULOUS tip about this and have used it on any sewn seams & hems that go across the grain on knit fabrics. Works a charm - no more waves.
    Try soluble embroidery stabiliser instead of fusible web. It completely stabilises the area to be sewn and washes away so you have all the normal fabric stretch back when you wear it.
    You have to melt it to the fabric, which I do by laying the stabiliser onto the fabric at the hem, fold the hem allowance over it, dab the fabric where the stabiliser is with a wet cloth and iron 'till dry. Then you can sew, tug, whatever and it all dissolves in the wash. Magic. Here's the blog & entry - check it out http://off-the-cuff-style.blogspot.com/search/label/More%20Sewing%20Tutorials. The woman is a marvel.

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  22. Wow, I just noticed that your skirt matches your blog background (well, at least it does on my monitor) Good job!

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  23. I love the skirt. That inverted cute is so cute. I have a passion for pleats. Definitely you should wear it!

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