SewAlong Ruby Slip

I have to thank SuzySewing for alerting me to this sew along – particularly as I’m in need of night wear!

PatternScissorsCloth is running the sew along and the free pattern and instructions are up, as is the first post on materials.  Maybe I’ll get myself sorted and get this done as well as my long anticipated Cinnamon.  Oh, and my Sencha of course!  I have pre washed and pressed the fabric for MkI though, so I haven’t been totally slacking?

I have to admit though that the last few days have been taken up with Christmas preparations.  The house is decorated and covered in lights, we finished the gift buying today all except some B&Q vouchers and a DVD (I must go onto Amazon and order that…) and we’re also in the process of switching our broadband and phone provider, to go live in the new year…

So, once again I have plans and good intentions.  But first I must finish the wrapping I’ve started and make one last final present and then maybe I can sew for myself…  Roll on time off over Christmas!

Beignet Plotting – Facing Fabric Found!

Do you remember the fabric and buttons I showed you earlier?  The one’s that I plan to use for my Beignet.  I was pondering what fabric to use for the facings, as I thought my moleskin would be too thick.

Fabric for the facings

Well look at this!  I found it whilst mooching on Etsy, having been distracted from lingerie patterns.  Oh, and I was looking at lingerie patterns because of A Few Threads Loose’s proposed lingerie sewalong.

Isn’t it amazing?  I count three of my palette colours in there too – the gold, teal and chocolate brown.  I think it will look fabulous against the navy moleskin and navy lining fabric.  A real blam of colour that will only be hinted at, but I’ll know.  A zing of summer in an autumn and winter skirt.  Besides, I’m not brave enough to use a print this mad as a fashion fabric, but it’ll be a fun detail.  What do you reckon?

This evening I hope to start the hem on my circle skirt.  I say start as it’ll be a multi stage event:  attaching the horse hair braid then the actual hemming its self.  Which will have to be done by hand as I don’t want it to go through to the plaid.  I don’t want to work out the circumference of the skirt at the hem.  I’m pretty sure it’ll be about 4 metres / 4.5 yards.  Of hand catch stitching.

So I’ll probably break it up and do the horse hair braid tonight, then allow myself the distraction of sewing some of my Pendrell (which was planned for yesterday but didn’t happen), then do the hand stitching on Friday evening.  At least that way if it takes me hours I don’t have to get up for work the next day!

Oh, and I have begun scheming for a giveaway at the end of November when I’m (gulp) 30.  I hope you’ll love it…

Matching Plaid

OK, for a long while I thought you said plaid so that it rhymed with fade.  Apparently it rhymes with fad!

Yesterday evening I cut out my circle skirt and I thought I’d share how I (hope I’ve) matched the plaid design on the pattern.  And I unashamedly credit the Selfish Seamstress herself in educating me in this method…

First I used my paper pattern piece to cut through one thickness of the cloth.  I then matched this cut piece over the rest of my fabric, carefully pinning so that the lines ran seamlessly across the cut and uncut piece.

Mostly uninterrupted lines between the cut and uncut fabric

I hope the above photo helps.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words?!  I used a LOT of pins around the outer curve, the waist line and each straight edge!  I tried taking an over view photo showing the whole cut piece overlaid on the fabric but it just looked like a big bit of fabric with my magnetic pin cushion plonked in the middle of it!

Even more pins!!

The Selfish Seamstress does a much more thorough explanation of this, please go and have a look if this is something you want to do.  I also checked out the tutorial on Coletterie which focused on stripes.

One thing though, I have not unpinned my two skirt pieces!  They’re staying pinned together until it’s time to do the seams as I think my head will explode if I have to match it all up again, and the fabric is very fluid and shifts quite easily.  But thinking about it, I’ve got a right side and a wrong side together so I’m going to have to!!!!  Definitely a job for another evening.  I’m not sure either that I’ll get a chevron effect on the seams as they’re parallel to the selvedges – instead the pattern just wont be interrupted?  I can’t envisage it at the moment, so I guess time will tell!

I’m going to have to think about the seam finishes too as the fabric seems to fray quite easily.  I’d decided not to line the skirt, but due to the fluidity of it I’m wondering whether a lining might save it from being pulled out of shape when I sit in it.  Last thing I want is a saggy bit of circle skirt over the derrier!

Lonsdale and a Sew Along!

OK, I’m getting a little over excited over here!  The Lonsdale pattern is being shipped imminently and I can’t wait to get my paws on it!  It’s got to make it to me here in the UK from Canada, but it’ll soon be on its way – Hurrah!

And what’s even better is that there’s going to be a sewalong for the dress.  Starting the 1st of August by the sounds of it.  I haven’t actually participated in one of Tasia’s sewalongs but have read the posts for the Pendrell blouse and followed along with the crescent skirt sewalong.  Both have had all sorts of tips and tricks and techniques in them, so I’m looking forward to this as a learning experience as well as having a lovely dress by the end of it.

I'm planning view B

I’m planning on doing the maxi length, so according to the pattern envelope I’ll need 5 1/4 yards of 44″ fabric or 4 1/2 yards of 59″ fabric.

This is the one I think I’m going to go for:

Fabric for a Maxi Dress

It’s an ivory back ground with blue water colour style roses all over it.  Each rose is a little larger than a 5 pence piece, or about 6/8″ across, so a small-ish print.  It’s a poly-cotton so should be reasonably easy care.  It’s 44″ wide so I’ll need 4.8m of it but as I’ll need to grade the bodice pattern I’ll order 6m so I’ve got spare fabric should I need it.

Speaking of grading I’m working on grading the Pendrell blouse pattern up and will share my progress with you soon…  I’ve done the maths side of things, I now need to trace the pattern, slash and spread and then re-trace the sized pattern before making a muslin…  I’ll take photos as I go so you can see what I did.  Wish me luck!

Two Finished Objects

Well, I’ve finished two items of clothing now!  My Ginger skirt and the free Colette pattern Sorbeto.

Sorbetto & Ginger

So, Sorbeto first:

The Facts

Fabric: white cotton lawn printed with pink rosebuds found on eBay
Pattern: Colette Sorbeto (2011) with pleat inverted
Notions: Thread and self bias tape
Time to complete: 2hrs including making the bias tape
First worn: 5 June 2011
Wear Again: Yes
Total cost: £6.50

Things I like
It’s a really pretty top and it fits with no adjustment over my ridiculous chest.  It was also very simple to make and uses less fabric than Colette lists.

Things I’d change 
Not a lot really!  I’d sew the pleat down for 2″ rather than the 4″ I did on this version, and I’d also flip all the bias to the right side at the neck rather than the 1/2 width I did – I was finishing it late at night and I misread the instructions!  My fault entirely and not Colette’s instructions which, as ever, are very clear!

And now, Ginger:

The Facts

Fabric: dusky rose, white polka dot 100% cotton, with dusky rose lining
Pattern: Colette Ginger (2011) view A
Notions: 9″ invisible zipper, thread, fusible interfacing
Time to complete: I have no idea as it was done in bits and pieces all over the place!  No more than 4 hours though.
First worn: 11 June 2011
Wear Again: Jury’s out
Total cost: £20

the facing and lining of my Ginger

Things I like
I love the colour and print of the fabric, and that I mad the effort to line it.  I’m also really pleased with the zip insertion and the french seams on the lining.  Also the neatness of the facing and lining inside.

Things I’d change
In all honesty, nothing about the pattern.  Next time I’ll sew the lining to the waistband facing and hand stitch the lining to the zipper tape.  I also need to come up with a better way of hemming the lining, because this one is very rough and ready!

Ginger Progress

I made a revised muslin, adding only 5/8″ to each piece and that one worked a lot better! Thank goodness. So I’ve now made up my skirt, complete with lining and it just needs hemming.

I’m a little behind , as the show and tell party started yesterday, but it’ll be done by Sunday – I promise!

Hemming:   Sunni mentioned her little gadget for marking the hem, as well as an alternative method in her hemming sewalong post last week.  She linked to her original post about it and I had a little read. Then got a case of vintage-notion-want-it-isis.  So I had a mooch on eBay, both here in the UK and the US, but no joy. I wanted a pin marker, and not chalk. There were no pin markers in the UK and the ones in the US weren’t really what I was looking for. Plus there were loads of them so if necessary I could go back.

So I thought I’d put “Singer pin marker” into Google. Not a lot of joy so I trundled onto page two of the results and came across a link to an online retailer of collectables in the US who had one. So for $14.99 and $22.89 for the shipping or £23.63 total I will be the proud owner of a Singer Skirt Marker.

It’s going to come in the original box which has the instructions on the back and has the pin cushion. It’s described as having a worn box but the marker is in excellent, new like condition. Yay!

This one only goes up to 20”, unlike Sunni’s that goes to 28” but I figure I could always get another yard rule and use it with the base to mark a higher hem if I need to. And let’s be honest, my hems aren’t going to go above my knee which is (having just measured my lower leg) about 17” from the floor in ballet pumps. There is/was a mini-max version on Etsy but the pin cushion base looked well abused, and it was the same price, so I’ve gone for this one.  Only problem is that it will take a couple of weeks to get to me, so way too late to Ginger mk1.

So tonight I’ll use the rule-on-the-wall method Sunni posted. I hope to pin the hem before I go to see Spirit of the Dance at the Theatre Royal in Norwich!

Muslin is Actually Calico

This was something new I learnt today.  In the UK, the fabric that seems to be called muslin in the US is Calico over here.  Muslin here is more of a mesh like fabric, as anyone who makes jam or has seen baby muslins will know.  Something I should know considering there is at least 30 baby muslins in the house, it just never occurred to me that what I actually needed was calico.

So,tonight I made a muslin / test garment from my slashed and spread pattern.  If you remember I mentioned yesterday that my waist was 10″ bigger than that on the pattern size chart, so I’d added 10″ to the pattern by adding 2 1/2″ to each piece as there were four of them. 4 x 2.5 = 10.

Anyway I made the muslin…

Hmm, just a smidge too big...

As you can see (from a slightly out of focus and dark photo – I’m trying to photograph myself in a mirror, not easy!) it is WAY too big, so I’ve ripped it and will do another one tomorrow.  That one will be the straight 18 from the pattern with no adjustments, but big seam alowances in case I need to let it out.  I am so, so pleased I made a muslin of this.  I very nearly didn’t but the thought of having wrecked my beautiful polka dots for the sake of a couple of evenings work is not worth thinking about.  It’d have involved tears and quite possibly a temper tantrum.  Two big positives from this, other than realising my sizing is way off somewhere down the line, cutting the hem at size 0 gave me the length I want, and is one of only two things that went as planned on the muslin.

My First EVER Zip!

The other was the zip!  Hurrah!  First ever zip in the history of the world by me, it’s an  invisible one and it ain’t bad if I do say so myself!  I followed this tutorial from Colette as it was straight forward and I got it, Sunni’s method didn’t suit me, but it may suit you?  I also used my special invisible zipper foot which made the whole job a pleasure rather than the common source of frustration that it seems to be.  It’s invisible and the waistband seams line up beautifully.  I hope I can repeat this level of finish as I am really rather pleased with myself on this little achievement.

So the three very important sewing related things that I’ve learnt today are:

Muslin is Calico
Making up a muslin of a pattern is a VERY good idea
Zips aren’t half as bad as I thought they’d be

I’ve also bought a darker invisible zipper for the final skirt as Sunni’s examples yesterday made a very clear point, so I’ve taken her advice.  And her posts today about sewing on the bias and inserting a zip in a bias garment were really interesting and will come in handy should I decide to tackle version 3.