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Topics - datcat23

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In the wardrobe / Knot front tunic
« on: February 11, 2020, 21:58:20 PM »
Morning all.  January was a bit of a bust for me, in the sewing department.  I do so much prior to xmas, that I get a bit burnt out over xmas.  So I focussed on other things, and gave myself a break.

Aside from some little things, this was my first foray back into sewing for the year. 

KwikSew 3707 - XL with modifications - in poplin and a self stripe cotton.

I made this tunic quite a few years ago, and it was a comical thing.  It hung off me like a sack, and looked appalling.  I thrifted the finished top, and stuffed the pattern back into the file.  This year, I decided to give it another go, because I like the cross over aspect, and wanted some crisp looking tunics for work.  I assume my previous failure was because I need to make petite alterations to the pattern. 

The first version was basically my toile, in a cotton poplin.  For this one, I took 1inch off the shoulders (shortening the bodice), and shortened the front skirt and back by 2inches at the lengthen/shorten line.  On the dress form, it looks fine, but on me, you can see that the bodice doesn't sit well, and the neckline is bobbly. 

Kwiksew tunic by Dani, on Flickr

Kwiksew tunic by Dani, on Flickr

So, for the next version, I did an FBA.  Its not so much for the width, as the bodice was wide enough, but just a structure choice, to encourage the bodice to wrap around the bust, and under the arms. The dart encourages the bodice to turn at the bust apex, rather than pulling the point of the bust flat.  We think that fabric is flexible, but in reality, sometimes we need structural features to make it behave better. 

Kwiksew tunic by Dani, on Flickr

Kwiksew tunic by Dani, on Flickr

D'oh (forehead slapping moment) .... I did however, forget to take the 2inches off the length, so its too long.  That is easily fixed though. 

BigGirl decided to throw her timing, thankfully after I had finished the top, so she has gone to sewing machine hospital for a service.  So I won't be able to finish shortening the top, or make any more for while, but oh well, we will get there. 

Dolls and Toys / 18in boy doll clothes
« on: October 01, 2019, 08:19:04 AM »
My sister told me that my nephew is crazy about dolls at the moment, so I decided to get him an "american girl" style 18inch doll, but a boy doll. 

But, the doll comes nekkid   ;)  So I will need to make him some clothes.

I would love it if anyone can point me to some simple boy clothing patterns, that I can use for this doll. 

Sewing Spaces and Furniture / Sewing room reorganisation
« on: August 18, 2019, 06:00:27 AM »
A massive day today.  Next weekend we will be heading off to the wedding, and hubby's mother is coming back with us and will be staying for at least 3 weeks, maybe more.  The normal situation is to put visitors downstairs in the spare room, however she is in her 70's, the room is a cold one, and I am worried about her getting up and down polished wood stairs.

So, we needed to reorganise.  Partially stripped out my sewing room.  I don't want to give up sewing for the whole time she is here, so I shifted out the cutting table to the living room (off the kitchen).  The small lounges will just need to be moved slightly, to give me access to the table if I want to cut.

Sewing room reorganised by Dani, on Flickr

Took advantage of the table being gone, to give the carpet and edges a really good vacuum. 

Sewing room reorganised by Dani, on Flickr

And shifted in the convertible couch from downstairs, with a king single mattress on top (couch is too low on its own for an oldie to sleep on).   I have already fallen prey to flat surface syndrome and its only been in there a little while. 

Sewing room reorganised by Dani, on Flickr

I will probably have to move my dress form out of the room when she is visiting, as I imagine having a headless woman loom over you would be just a bit disturbing.   :devil:

Patterns Discussion / Coat - comfy or elegant? or flashy?
« on: July 29, 2019, 13:11:48 PM »
Hey everyone, welcome to my inner thoughts.  Its messy, and indecisive. 

I have this beautiful fabric:  its been in the stash for ages, and I have quite forgotten what its made from.  Its a slightly fluffy texture on the outside, faintly check in the pattern, a mix of blues and pinks.  Very me.  But it may be a wool, or a synthetic copy ..... its snuggly and soft.  I know that much.
2019-07-29_09-57-05 by Dani, on Flickr

And my choices:   ETA - apologies everyone, I should have said.  The three designs below are all Bootstrap Patterns.

comfy:  I like this one for the comfy, but not overhwelming collar, the knee length, and the slight emphasis on the waistline.

elegant:  This one seems more "work friendly".  The dotted line I think is a hidden placket, I like the two part sleeves, and those beautiful darts. 

flashy:  this has raglan sleeves, and I think would suit the softness of the fabric.  Not keen on the two piece collar (laziness mind, not lack of skill), and I have nowhere near that trim a waist, but the flare of the skirt is appealing.

So lets hear some opinions.  To give you an idea, I work in a school office, and its likely this coat would most be worn over work clothes on the way to work.  I would love to know which design you think might suit me and the fabric. 

Current Projects / Christmas Craft 2019
« on: July 01, 2019, 08:11:48 AM »
Schedule, plan, prepare  ...... and craft.

Its another year, and its time to start prepping for xmas.  (I know I freaked people out with starting in June last year, so I held off until the second half of the year ......  well technically).  Its a long way from xmas I know.  For me in Australia its freezing cold, and for those in the Northern Hemisphere, you are feeling the unfamiliar experience of a summer heatwave. 

This year I have decided that I will be implementing a policy of "mindful spending". Rather than banning myself from buying things, I will look at how and when I spend. So my first step, is to continue a habit I have had for quite a few years, and that is planning crafty gifts for a large portion of my xmas gift list. But, in order to be successful at a crafty xmas, you need to plan well ahead, and start sewing early.

So for recording sake, I have decided on my gifts for work friends this year. They will be getting a cafe quality drill apron, with embroidery on the bib, or a matched set of embroidered potholder and tea towels. I recently invested in some xmas napkin embroideries, so maybe a few sets of table napkins too.  I will probably do more thread lace bauble covers, as they were popular. I am also planning a new angel (embroidered thread lace and organza) for the tree, and depending on how complex that is, I may do one for my MIL. I think a silky nightie and robe for my daughter and niece, and perhaps satin boxer shorts for hubby, my boy and the nephews. Its my brother's turn for a quilt, and I really need to get my own quilt done. Well, thats probably enough.

I have also decided to make simple gift bags this year, using fabric I already have, to cut back the amount of rubbish I create. 

I have opened up this topic, to inspire and records.  Feel free to contribute, not just sewing, but any craft you use to gift to others (or yourself).

Access All Accessories / Shoulder bag in a favourite fabric
« on: June 27, 2019, 22:49:52 PM »
One of my downfalls, is that I will set myself a list of projects to complete, and then get sidetracked, and make something else completely different. This happened last weekend, when I was sick with a cold, and really should have just been lying in bed recovering.

Hubby and I were heading out somewhere, and I grabbed one of my "weekend handbags". I realised these were getting quite tatty, and didn't look very good. So I dug out an old pattern, and set about making myself a handbag, using some canvas type fabric I had in the stash. Pattern is Simplicity 3828 (probably out of print). I added an extra internal pocket, and the tabs and corners are a vegan leather from Spotlight.

The handle ended up a bit shorter than I expected, but the bag tucks under the arm quite well.  Its a bit bigger than I expected, and I think it could really do with more than the magnetic clasp.  But, for quick trips to the shops, it will do just fine.  The fabric is a course cotton, sort of like canvas in texture.  Internal fabric is quilting cotton.  I did break my rule about dark internal liners on bags, but still, I think it looks pretty. 

Handbag by Dani, on Flickr

Handbag by Dani, on Flickr

Handbag by Dani, on Flickr

Yep, 1 jelly roll (+yardage) and 5 quilts.

I had one jelly roll, purchased many many moons ago, somewhere.  The range was called Summertime, and it was a sea of pastels.  Thankfully, a friend had the matching yardage, so I purchased a selection from her, and started the process of putting together two baby quilts.  I started (because its always good to start) with using the jellyroll into a jelly roll race quilt top.  From there, I cut that top, into columns 8.5in wide. 

I then split a couple of the columns into blocks of 4 rows. These I backed with matching yardage (different colours), which I then used my embroidery machine to quilt a design for me.  I then joined them together using a QAYG method.   

Completed baby quilt by Dani, on Flickr

The back.

Back by Dani, on Flickr

Quilt two:  Left with yet more columns, I used these on their sides, and with a matching yardage for sashing, I constructed rows of vertical strips.  This was quilted normally, using wavy lines. 

Brad's quilt by Dani, on Flickr

Brad's quilt by Dani, on Flickr

...... to be continued.

In the wardrobe / Cycling a me-made wardrobe
« on: May 12, 2019, 10:44:36 AM »
I am part of a finish-along in my local area, and we have a seasonal commitment, where we list a bunch of projects, that we want to complete, within that season.

As part of my autumn finish-along, I committed myself to make two new work skirts.  In essence, these were to replace current skirts .... a grey suiting skirt, and a wool herringbone skirt, both me-made.  Both with fitted waistbands and centre back zips, that tend to cut into my waist when sitting, and with irritating loose linings that creep up my legs.   Amazingly, I had a piece of herringbone polyester knit that is almost identical to the wool, and I was able to make it into a hidden elastic waist pencil skirt interlined with knit tricot.  Today I finished grey suiting skirt, also interlined, with a side zip and enough elastic across the back to make life comfortable. 

Now, you may be wondering what my point is?  Despite making these skirts, with a clear intention to replace current items, I am finding it difficult to let go of the old skirts, mostly because they are also me-made.  This is not an isolated incident.  With a large part of my work wardrobe being me-made,  and the quality/fit of my makes improving as my skillset also improves,  its becoming increasingly obvious that I need to move on some items, to ease the pressure on my groaning wardrobe. 

How have you tackled this issue?  Do you have defined parameters?  A checklist?  Hints and tips welcomed. 

In the wardrobe / Herringbone Knit Pencil Skirt
« on: April 27, 2019, 12:13:07 PM »
In reality, this skirt has little in common with the pattern it is based on. Basically I used the pattern for its shape. Its KwikSew 3118, the pattern being for an unlined pencil skirt with a centre back zip. My measurements came in above the largest size, so I added 10cm in total to the width.

The fabric is a vintage piece of polyester double knit, in a herringbone pattern. I interlined it with a heavyweight knit tricot, omitted the zip (can't stand the things they dig in too much), and inserted an invisible elastic waist (yep folks, that there is an elastic waist). It helps that because my waist isn't much smaller than my hips, the band sits flat. I will be trialing this in a stretch suiting next, in order to update my work skirts to something that doesn't cut me in half when i sit down.

Herringbone work skirt by Dani, on Flickr

In the wardrobe / Denim Pinny - updated with upcycled skirt version
« on: April 24, 2019, 04:59:51 AM »
I have never been all that hot on the pinafore love, but I thought I would give this one a go.

Its the York Pinafore from Helens Closet.  A small range so far, but seems to be sensibly designed.  I did find one error on the pattern printout, so i will have to email them about it. 

I used some thrifted denim, given to me by a friend, rotating the pockets by 45deg angles, because "ain't nobody got time for pattern matching stripes".  I used a 20 for the bodice grading out at the waist and hips, because I am 50 now, and the teenage waist will never be back.  I did have to straighten the side seams a bit, because I carry my weight in the front rather than on my thighs, and so the exaggerated cocoon shape just looked like empty saddlebags on me. 

York Pinafore by Dani, on Flickr

York Pinafore by Dani, on Flickr

I thought I should add a shot of me in it.  I will definitely need it to be longer, if I want to wear it alone, or with tights.  Its OK with leggins though.

York Pinafore by Dani, on Flickr

In the wardrobe / Lounge Pants
« on: April 06, 2019, 23:54:21 PM »
This pattern has been in my stash for yonks ..... more than 20 years at least.  I would regularly pick it up, flip it over to look at the size table, realise that I didn't fall into the measurement table perfectly (and throw a tantrum), and then stuff it back into the pattern drawer.  I have done plenty of pattern purges, but this one seemed to survive each one. 

Grey crinkle cotton pants by Dani, on Flickr

So last weekend I dug out some crinkle effect cotton (or maybe linen) out of the stash.  This fabric is well marinated, having been in the stash through at least 3 house moves.  I really must get into the habit of labelling my fabric. 

I decided to cut a straight size 24.  Looking at the finished hip measurement, I figured this would give me the ease that I needed, and then I could adjust the rest, as I would be treating this as a wearable muslin.   I didn't even shorten the legs, something I usually have to do.  I cut it out last weekend, and sewed it up yesterday.  Well I was pleasantly surprised.  The hips and waist fit just how I like them, the legs are as baggy as I want (I am aiming for a lagenlook without falling for the Tina Givens hype) without being too baggy.  They are long, but I like the fact that they don't ride up when I sit.  I will probably shorten the front crotch a little bit, but overall, I am very happy with the result. 

Grey crinkle cotton pants by Dani, on Flickr

I don't normally wear just a singlet and pants, but do so for the sake of an accurate photo.  These will be worn with a long tunic top, or perhaps even a dress.

Grey crinkle cotton pants by Dani, on Flickr

Grey crinkle cotton pants by Dani, on Flickr

The Show Must Go On / Medieval Dress and mens outfit
« on: March 12, 2019, 11:15:41 AM »
Hey guys, I need some help. 

Hubby and I have been invited to a themed wedding.  quote from the bride:  We r basing our dress on 12th century Saxon. My son is coming 12th century viking. We r having a handfast ceremony. Reception is a mead hall 12th century feast

So I am looking for patterns for a medieval dress (plus sized) for myself, and medieval mens outfit (regular) for hubby).

Any suggestions would be great.

In the wardrobe / Teal Fitted Bodice Dress
« on: February 28, 2019, 03:54:05 AM »
Well despite being unwell, I finished this dress. There has been a fair number of changes since the muslin.

The pattern is the Bootstrap Fashion Fitted Bodice Dress with Pleats and Pockets (nothing frothy about that name). I made a pretty rookie error with my measurements, and so had to adjust the pattern. A extra dart was inserted in the front, and the back dart widened. I could probably take the back in a bit more at the waist. I lengthened the skirt panels. Firstly, because the muslin was uncomfortably short, at least for me. And I wanted to really showcase the print; the whole point of this dress.

Teal dress by Dani, on Flickr

Despite purchasing a generous amount of fabric, that skirt sucks up fabric, and I had to finickle around to fit the bodice in. It has meant that I have ended up with a blue bird at the centre of my chest, but it could have been two of them in pastie position   :devil:  so I figure work with what you have.

Teal dress by Dani, on Flickr

I am really pleased with this one, and can see myself using it as a pseudo-block, for future dresses.

In the wardrobe / Blue and white floral dress - wearable muslin
« on: February 09, 2019, 02:47:40 AM »
I decided that I wanted a simple, straight bodice dress.  While my self drafted shirt dress is lovely, I feel that something simpler is in order.  Not wanting to go through the whole drafting process again, I decided to give Bootstrap Fashion custom patterns a go.  I have one of their knit patterns, and it is a staple for winter tunics.

I went with the V-Neck Pleated Skirt Dress With Pockets, entering my measurements to get a custom fit pattern.  I am thick through the waist, big busted (and they are a bit low slung), petite, and short waisted.  I have found out the hard way, that while can measure others properly, I obviously don't measure myself the right way.  After deciding to not "leap in" with my good fabric and doing this muslin, I discovered that the waistline on this dress was as least 2 inches too big.  (see the pinned out extra width). 

Adjusted waist by Dani, on Flickr

That being said, I actually quite liked the fit across the shoulders, bust point and the back.  I decided on putting a 1in dart between the main dart and the side seam (pretty much where I pinned out the bulk).  Went back to the sewing room, laid out the dress, and proceeded to draw up and stitch in a basic dart ..... yep, in the back.  So, tried on, decided it could do with a bit more, so also put the darts into the front.  I have transferred these changes to the pattern, putting the extra dart on the front, but just increasing the main dart on the back.  I will have to adjust the skirt panels, but they are a straight rectangle, so shouldn't be a problem.  I used a dress zip, because I didn't have an invisible, but will do it properly next time. 

Finished bodice

Floral - muslin by Dani, on Flickr

Floral - muslin by Dani, on Flickr

A bit of a 'do' / Sewing silk ..... tips and tricks needed
« on: December 21, 2018, 08:52:42 AM »
I am finally going to attempt to make this silk tunic (made from a sari).  I am absolutely terrified, as you can expect, and I of course have left it way too late.  The fabric is super soft, and stupidly mobile. 

I am considering making this tunic double layered, as its very see through fabric, and I don't have any lining fabric.  I am thinking about cutting two each of the front and back, using the inner layer in place of the facing on the neckline, but cutting the under layer longer, to feature the very wide border at the end of the sari. 

So, I am looking for hints on how to deal with this fabric.  What needles to use, whether I need to alter tension, would the walking foot help.  I am hoping to use the end borders and selvedges as hemlines, to avoid having to hem this super soft fabric.  But still, I don't want to pull or snag the fabric.

So hit me with your tips.   

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