T-Shirt take 2

After making the grey version of the Kristina Shin t-shirt I was pretty happy with the fit but knew there were a few minor changes I wanted to make. This week I made the alterations to the pattern and made this version in a snake print viscose jersey from stash. You may recognise it from this dress (heavens, my hair has changed).

New pattern - front view dodgy selfie!

New pattern – front view dodgy selfie!

New pattern - side view

New pattern – side view

For this version I changed the neckline shape and I am much happier. I don’t feel I look very good in a close fit ‘jewel’ neckline. I also made a very small FBA , I did not stitch what could have been a dart but eased it between markers I made on the pattern. That gives a much nicer finish when you wear it – after all, with few exceptions you don’t tend to see darts in t-shirts. I did add a little width to the front but not enough to make the front stand away from my body which was one of my main complaints about RTW. This version is also about an inch longer. Not much I admit but I think it looks better, and I am less likely to expose my waist (what waist!) if I reach up.

I am now very happy with this pattern and it has been put in a packet and filed away under winner. I will no doubt use it to make more incarnations as I really wear t-shirts a lot.

In addition to this for me, and client work which is going pretty well at the moment, I decided I really needed to finish off some of the organisation that I had started. Years ago I started to copy the pages in Burda which showed the tech drawings of the patterns for that month so that I could search without having to get all the magazines out (though that can be fun!). Whilst I can rarely use a Burda pattern straight from the sheets I do occasionally use the instruction booklet to see what the shape of the pattern pieces is so that I have some help with pattern cutting from my own blocks. I don’t subscribe to Burda anymore so it was a finite task, and one that I knew wouldn’t take too long.

BUrda magazines and tech drawing folder.

BUrda magazines and tech drawing folder.

Result! All of the magazines are now collected into one box and the necessary pictures are in a folder . Picture me on the sofa with my Burda folder for inspiration, and the stash folder (which I really must get on with again, not finished yet) to check to see if I have something to make the desired garment in. Sounds pretty organised – I wonder if it will actually work.

 

I have another project planned now and will get back as soon as I have something to show you.

 

Advertisements

Burda 11/13 and Patrones 329 Review

WARNING – This post is picture heavy!

After a weekend catching up on odd jobs (you know, the sort you really try to avoid by doing anything else), and collecting hedgerow fruit for jelly, I felt I deserved time on the sofa to do a proper review of these two magazines.

Patrones 329 Cover

Patrones 329 Contents Right

Patrones 329 Contents Right

Patrones 329 Contents Left

Patrones 329 Contents Left

Patrones is given to me by my wonderful friends on their return from Spain – but I don’t get every copy so it feels like a treat every time. This issue has a number of garments I would love to make though i suspect I will have to be selective.

I really likes the top and jeans that are on the cover – but why is the detail on the front hidden by the models hair. So frustrating! I turned the page and discovered that the blue top (Model 9) was also really nice, I probably prefer this one, but the trousers wouldn’t be so good for me.

Great top, not so sure about the trousers

Great top, not so sure about the trousers

 

Easy to change the balance on this skirt

Easy to change the balance on this skirt

There are a number of really nice garments, all pretty current, that would be good to make but I really liked the skirt shown with the pink top. I wouldn’t make it exactly as it is but since this is just a full circle skirt with the waist hole offset it will be easy to move the balance so that it is longer in the front. The top is nice too, but I think I would prefer to wear this with something that was a little more fitted. Since this is so simple I will almost certainly be making this sometime soon. I think it could be made in something ‘casual’ and work really well with boots for the winter.

Great plus-size dress

Great plus-size dress

The last garment in the magazine is a great (subtle) colour blocked dress. It is in the section marked ‘Tallas Grandes’ so I will have to grade the pattern down a little if I make this. It is a really useful shape, and all of the seaming (though curved) gives lots of opportunities to alter to fit. I don’t speak, or read, Spanish so I have no idea what their model was made in but I could see this in a wool crepe or even a ponte jersey. Fabulously flattering, and probably likely to stay in your wardrobe for years. This may also be a make – but it has competition in the Burda magazine.

 

Burda 11.2013  Contents leftBurda 11.2013 Contents Right

 

I haven’t included the cover picture – there are going to be lots here – but the contents pictures are here for you to enjoy.

Great top with shoulder wrap

Great top with shoulder wrap

By the time you get to this t-shirt/top you have already passed a number of very wearable garments – but I was just picking out the ones I hoped to make at some point. This top appealed as it has princess seams which make it very easy to adjust for people with non-standard pattern sized busts. It is shown made in stretch crepe satin but I reckon it would work just fine in any jersey. The shoulder wrap is made separately so you could wear this with or without to give a different appearance. Nice!

Lots of seams on this one!

Lots of seams on this one!

Only one page further on was this dress. Made in a stretch wool twill, it has about a gazillion seams. Seriously, take a look at the tech drawing on the page. Again, this is great if you have to adjust the dress anywhere (have you ever tried to fit a dress from the ‘fast and easy’ department that has few seams and probably no darts? What are we – paper dolls?). I am slightly doubtful that the seam down the centre front of the skirt is necessary and will check to see if it is cut on the straight grain before making a decision, but if it isn’t contributing to the shaping I will probably cut without a seam. This is a strong contender for this winter. However.

Great dress in the plus size section.

Great dress in the plus size section.

This dress is available in the plus size section and starts in my size. It is also shown (in black) with a cute collar but the photograph was ‘faded’ over a section which made me wonder what it was hiding. The model is striding out in the picture I chose – but is that a bit of pooling over the stomach? The darts all point to the mid point on the waist and I wonder if that may be a problem for someone (like me) who has a tum. I really like this so I may just have to try it in something not too expensive to see how it works. Sadly, time is always at a premium and there are two other possibles here.

Slim jersey trousers

Slim jersey trousers

Something that is almost certain is that I will be trying these slim trousers which are made up in jersey. I already have the jersey in my stash (with a reasonable amount of lycra included so I shouldn’t get a soggy butt) so I will trace this pattern very soon. And probably pair them with the Patrones top.

I have missed loads of other great garments from these magazines – both were really good and had loads of extremely wearable (and wantable!) garments this time which is not always the case. All I need now is the time to make them up!

I have decided that I am going to try to be more organised but also kinder to myself. If I don’t get todays  ‘to do’ list finished that isn’t a reason to beat myself up (as so many of us do). It is a reason to celebrate how many of the things on the list we did manage.

Bye for now, and be kind to yourself too 🙂

 

 


Happy November!

But where did October go? Honestly, I have been working – it’s that time of year when my customers all seem to find that everything in their wardrobe for cold weather needs attention, or replace them with new garments. That need attention. I have been reading recently in magazines and online about how it would be nice to lose the ‘busy’ label and be more relaxed and realistic about our abilities. I think it is truly time for me to take this on board.

As a result of client work I haven’t done much for me but I did make time to have another play with the coverstitcher. Because I bought a binder attachment. Yes, I know I really need to get to grips with the plain machine, but I knew that this would be used major amounts once I had it sussed. So, lets get sussing!

Lots of time taken on this mess

Lots of time taken on this mess

I spent a good couple of hours just fiddling with the buttons and stitching flat fabric, and then decided to put the binder onto the machine. That took a little longer than I expected (it would have taken less if I had not wasted an age looking for a ‘part’ which turned out to be permanently on the machine. Doh!) but once on I was able to start making a mess pretty quickly. It was largely trial and error (mainly error) as the instructions printed on the inside of the packaging are sketchy at best. Help was at hand on You Tube, but in all honesty I just fiddled and saw what happened. I started with the gingham (woven and not too likely to move too much) which worked pretty well. Then the viscose jersey which is very stretchy.

This is more likely to be the sort of fabric I would use so I really wanted this to work. It would have been useful to have been able to buy an extra hand to enable me to hold/manipulate the strip of binding as well as moving the ‘garment’ piece. I think it is always going to be worth doing a sample before I use this on a garment. Despite being short of a hand I thought it worked pretty well so I went on to the garment I was making.

Old Faithful, Burda 2/13 127

Old Faithful, Burda 2/13 127

I used the Burda pattern from February that I knew fitted, only using long sleeves this time. When I say long sleeves I mean  long – check the pattern before you cut these out because I chopped off 7cm. I cut the binding strips a little wider than the binder instructions (pffft! what instructions) because I knew that when under tension the jersey gets narrower. This worked well and I was pleased with the way the neckline finished. It even looks good on the inside. I did take a picture but it was blurry so I haven’t included it.

Coverstitch binding a neckline. Looks fine!

Coverstitch binding a neckline. Looks fine!

I am happy with the way this turned out, and I am looking forward to making more use of the machine. The problems were all with me. All ‘more haste, less speed’.I have unreasonable expectations of being able to just ‘sit down and do it’ with no practice which never works. Given time (and lots more experience) I can see this becoming a real time saver and very useful machine. Just not yet.

When I haven’t been sewing, and all the sundry other things we ladies have to do, I have finished another pair of socks. These are the ones for my mum and have been knitted almost exactly from the pattern. I say almost as if you had knitted both the same you would not have got a mirror image of the lace pattern on opposite socks. I puzzled for longer than was necessary to get the effect I wanted before realising all I needed to do was start the second sock pattern on row 11 rather than row 1. Sometimes the answers are simple.

Mums Lacery socks.

Mums Lacery socks.

In my last post (so long ago) I did mention a new Patrones magazine that I would review. I haven’t forgotten, and it has now been joined by the new Burda and Threads magazines, so I will make a point of doing that this weekend. Sorry for the delay!


Burda top made on the Janome Coverstitch machine

I am so happy. Make that so very happy. I have spent most of today playing with my new coverstitch machine in the way I like best – actually making something.

I started by cutting out the Burda top from the Februrary issue  yesterday afternoon. Actually I started by spilling all my pins on the floor and having to enlist The Management to clear them up as I can’t crouch/kneel down at the moment. In fairness he made a much better job of getting them all up than I would have done! Because of my current knee problem this was cut out on the kitchen table, which I am finding a great height to work on (it is 90cm off the floor) so I now know I would like  new cutting table at this height – I really couldn’t consider using the kitchen table as a permanent work space. The fabric is a single knit, viscose jersey which I had left from the stock I had for sale. I am no longer selling fabric mail order so will be clearing some fabric on e-bay or Etsy at some point in the future.

Janome & Juki - a wonderful pair

Janome & Juki – a wonderful pair

My plan was to use only my overlocker and coverstitch machines – but I did cheat a little and did a quick line of stitches to gather the sleeves on my sewing machine. Has anyone else had doubts over how accurate the stitching guides on the overlocker are compared with sewing machines? I decided to check.

Doubting Kim had to check the seams actually are 1.5cm

Doubting Kim had to check the seams actually are 1.5cm

I used some scrap and the pattern cutting square to mark a 1.5cm line on the fabric with a marker pen (purple – you can just see it). I watched the fabric edge at the marker on the overlocker as I sewed – not the marked line – and was amazed to see how close the inside stitching line is to the marked line. I had more faith that this would actually fit after this test and will be much happier to use the overlocker for making whole garments in future.

Clipping at hem turn to reduce bulk.

Clipping at hem turn to reduce bulk.

 

I think I used all the features!

I think I used all the features!

I sewed the sleeve seams first, and then attached the neck binding using the chain stitch feature from the coverstitch machine.  I still felt I needed to stretch the neckline a little to prevent the thread breaking, but I suspect that wasn’t really necessary and I will stop when I have confidence in the machine. I re-threaded to use the narrow coverstitch feature around the neck to hold the binding down. Ideally I would have liked to have been closer to the edge of the binding but as the foot on the machine is metal I couldn’t really see well enough. Note to self – buy a transparent foot.

I continued to use the narrow coverstitch on the sleeve hems, but adjusted again to use the wide version around the bottom hem. I really didn’t need to change but wanted to try everything I could.

The whole garment didn’t take very long to make, despite spending a fair time making samples before going into the garment with every change of function. I also spent a while trying to work out why it had stopped sewing properly before finding that I had somehow ‘unthreaded’ the looper. All good experience. I was very pleased with how things were going during my sampling, and was feeling very smug – until I pulled a ‘loose thread’ and completely undid my work. Ooops! Now I understood the importance of tying those ends off – I am very glad I paid attention to my Craftsy course with Angela Wolf!

I tried the top on so that I could get The Management to take a picture (Bailey he isn’t – I must get someone to teach me how to get good pictures of myself) and found it so comfortable I have kept it on. A success – and I am really looking forward to doing more on the new Coverstitch machine.

A success!

A success!


A(nother) new addition! A Janome Coverstitcher

Bev made me do it. That’s my excuse and I am sticking to it!

My little sanctuary

My little sanctuary

Having left my own little sanctuary in Penzance last Saturday I was feeling a bit sorry for myself. I had admired these coverstitch machines from afar and swapped  comments with Bev who was using her own Janome to very good effect. There was a little surplus in the coffers after all the work done recently so I decided to treat myself to it! Hurrah!

Janome 1000 CPX Coverstitch machine

Janome 1000 CPX Coverstitch machine

The machine arrived this afternoon and I have spent about half an hour after finishing client work testing it out. Well, fiddling to be precise. I think this may take a bit more getting used to than I had hoped but with the benefit of the overlocker course on the Craftsy site, which includes a little about coverstitch machines, I think I will get to grips with it. (Look out for desperate e-mails Bev!)

Repeat this now I can coverstitch?

Too good not to have more than one

I have some client work that I must finish during tomorrow and Friday but I think this weekend may turn into a ‘busmans  holiday’ and I will repeat the wonderful Burda top from February 2013. I loved the original version I made in black and will shop the stash to find another fabric to try it using just the overlocker and coverstitcher.

Hopefully I will have something to show you by Sunday!


If you are in a hurry….SLOW DOWN!

Great advise given to me by one of my old tutors. That has served me well over the past couple of weeks clearing my client work – not quite so well personally. Remember my relaxing knitting? It got to this size…

Perfectly knitted ....

Perfectly knitted ….

..before I started to have doubts about the yarn quantities needed. I checked the pattern, checked again, and the e-mailed the lovely people at Kim Hargreaves. It was at that point it was clear I was knitting in the wrong yarn. Wool cotton – check. Wool cotton 4 ply – Doh! See what I mean about slow down? All of this will now be pulled out and stored until I can bear to find another garment to knit it as. It seems that the devil truly is in the detail.

On a nicer note my friends G & H have been to Spain again and returned with another Patrones – this time Issue 325.

Patrones 325

Patrones 325

There are a number of pretty things in this issue – I think the cover dress would be suitable for a ‘prom’ dress for some of the young girls I have seen recently. The complete selection is below.

Patrones 325Patrones 325

I particularly like this top – I will add it to my already massive wish list. I love the front cowl – but adore the racer back that goes with it. Really sweet.Patrones 325Hard on the heels of this issue I received the new Burda Style magazine. In general I would say I preferred the syles in Patrones but this issue of Burda has some really nice things (can you see the wish list growing?).

Burda 6/2013Burda 6/2013

 I picked two dresses I really liked – and both are also shown as tops too – so if you didn’t want to commit to a dress that would be fine. The one on the left is very like a top I saw in ‘Phase Eight’ yesterday – delightfully described by the Management as a ‘crumpled t-shirt’. I’m not sure he  will be impressed if this goes on the list …. but on it goes. The grey maxi is just so easy to wear that I wish I was off on a sunshine holiday. Sadly I will just have to hope that the weather in the UK perks up enough to even contemplate wearing this – if I ever get that far down the wish list. I feel the need for some severe editing coming on.

Crumpled t-shirt or lovely dress?

Crumpled t-shirt or lovely dress?

Easy to wear maxi dress

Easy to wear maxi dress

I am still wading through lots of work for clients so even if the weather is wonderful I wont be wearing any of these in the near future. The other problem is that today I really just dont feel like working so I am clearing all sorts of odd jobs – including tidying my work area up so I can at least see what I am meant to be doing.

I hope everyone out there is feeling more productive than me.

Bye for now.

 


Another Made from Burda 2/13

In my last post I gave a little teaser picture of something I had been working on as a gift.

Boyfriend shirt 101

Boyfriend shirt 101

It was a shirt my  daughter asked for – and although that was a while ago I thought it would be nice to sneak it in with her birthday gift. I used the pattern number 101 from February’s Burda magazine. I found this one to be a very easy make.  I  worked a placket on the sleeve opening rather than just binding a split , and shortened the body and sleeves as my daughter is very petite, but made everything else as is. I’m afraid I can’t comment on the method that Burda give as I didn’t use it – I have made so many  shirts/blouses over the years I have stopped looking. The fabric is a wonderful soft baby-cord from stock (still some left!) in a gorgeous chocolate brown.

Front view on Bessie

Front view on Bessie

Back view on Bessie

Back view on Bessie

I was desperate to get this wrapped and into the post so the pictures aren’t very good – and Bessie is a little too large to be modeling this really. I hope to get a photograph from J when she gets a chance so I will update the post then.

If this fits her reasonably well there is an adaption in the magazine to make this into a jacket which I rather like. If my daughter agrees I may make that for her too.