dimanche 23 août 2020

Some rat-ified makes

I know, what a lame clever pun ;) I suppose that I've been obsessed with mouse themed fabric because we're in the year of the rat and I love making astrology-related stuff, especially when it's a friendly sign -I'm a monkey and my astro buddies are the dragon and the rat!

It started in January when I found this very cute fabric in Taichun:

It has china mice and golden details on a red background -the colour is darker and nicer in reality- but the gold paint has chipped off, probably because of machine washing and ironing: you can sort of see the "ghost" of the little flowers that covered the background. Fortunately the golden dots have held out better! Anyway here's a picture of the top I've made with it:

It's a pattern I've used many times but since I hadn't sewed with it for a long time I made a little mistake and had to add a patch of fabric along the shoulder seam, at the front :( A close-up of the front pleats and stand collar, the patched up area is not too obvious, phew:

For the second make, let me tell you that you're about to witness a thing of pure beauty, so try not to shout with delight if you're looking at this in public:

Yes, it is one third of Dora's body! And next to it a top made with awesome Jerry printed fabric I found at a local shop. It's my favourite top pattern, I've made it in dozens of different fabrics but this one is the cutest! I mean look at that little guy:

Aww I love this top! I used a yellow button for the back slit to match the cheese:


And finally I made an embroidered mouse brooch so that I could bring that rat vibe to other garments:

lundi 13 juillet 2020

Some new tops for the holidays

I've just finished two tops using patterns that I hadn't tried yet and I must say I'm not disappointed! Pattern 1 comes from this book:

It's a dress pattern book and I chose the gorgeous M dress for my project:

It had been a loooong time since I had last made a garment with a square neckline and I LOVE the ruffles on the sleeves so I turned the dress into this top:

Look at this amazing fabric! The print is beautiful animals in toile de Jouy style, it's cotton, it's 6€ a metre at a local shop that's 50 metres from my den and it's allowed me to live my Marie Antoinette opulent gown fantasy while still being able to walk / work / go shopping etc. since I can wear the top with jeans.

Yummy sleeves ruffles

I hemmed the top with seam binding ribbon, I'm using this technique more and more because it's easy, quick, it gives a clean finish and it's very practical when you don't have much allowance.

Now for top 2, I found the pattern in an old Pochée magazine:

It's a raglan sleeve peasant blouse with a slit in the front and a gathered neckline that's sewn in place with a ribbon that ties in the front:

I was quite sure this would turn out nice but I still added 2 cm to heighten the pattern pieces because they looked fairly small to me and I didn' t want my back and arms to be squashed in. I also cut the front in two pieces so I wouldn't have to make a slit -that's how lazy I've become- and I actually used elastic that I threaded in the piece of ribbon sewn around to gather the neckline. I sewed each end of the elastic so it wouldn't move and added mock ties. And I didn't change the sleeves' hem, except I gathered them maybe tighter than per instructions before finishing them with bias.

And yes this print is called "Ouistiti", it's so cute with those little monkeys holding on colourful palms! It's from the same local shop as the previous fabric, it's also cotton and 6€ a metre. Mine has an orange background but my mum bought some in white and I'm already envious of it, she wants me to make something with it for her but I may pretend I didn't understand and thought she wanted me to have it...;)

jeudi 19 mars 2020

Sewing update - because I have time!

Hello there, how does it feel living in my dream world ie being paid to stay at home listening to the silence, sewing, reading and playing with pets?! Sorry I know the current virus epidemic is not something funny but the unexpected consequence is that I cannot go to work until further notice and since I'm a civil servant I still get a salary. A few years back I quit my carefree lifestyle to become a state teacher because I felt the need to be financially safe but I must say that I've been utterly depressed and sad ever since and those few free days are a nice reminder of past happier times :)
Anyway let's have a look at projects I've made, worn and hadn't had time to post about, shall we? First this green acrylic fur coat that I brought to my winter trip to Taïwan - it's been five times and I LOVE this country more and more! Also the weather isn't that cold but this year temperatures were around 15 degrees celsius so I was happy I had my little coat. It's a raglan sleeve, boxy shape from a sewing magazine called "Couture actuelle" in French:

Here's my version, the "fur" is really cheap but it looks okay IMO:

Some bonus pics from my trip:

 The Confucius Temple in Taipei

 The local station in Taichung


For this trip I also made this fur sweater, crafted from hairs that I painstakingly harvested from my cat Miwa:

Lol of course I'm joking, the fur is acrylic too but I thought it looked just like her and was obsessed with making myself a garment out of it! This sweater also has raglan sleeves -it's easier to sew for me because it doesn't require any alterations for my rounded back and forward shoulders- and a little standing collar, the pattern is from some old German sewing magazine from my mum's archives and I wore this thing almost everyday, it's super comfortable and warm!
For something a little more recent I've just finished this periwinkle blue top, the fabric is light lawn and the pattern is from the February 2015 Burdastyle magazine:

I had to make a lot of alterations for the yoke to fit and ended making the front and back yokes in one piece instead of three -the pattern has two side pieces and one middle one for them- and I'm quite happy with the result, it doesn't creep up and back when I move around which is my main goal when I sew something with a top part. It looks a bit kitsch, I call it my Gospel top but it's really nice worn, it has a very 60's feel and I'll probably make a few more with some beautiful rayon fabrics I've been hoarding.

jeudi 14 novembre 2019

A few makes

Guess what ? I've been super busy with work and though I've managed to find a little time to sew I have definitely not had enough to blog about my makes. But today I've got the afternoon off so here are two garments I made a few weeks ago and that I have already worn a lot -like twice a week!
The first one is a very simple skirt with elasticated waist: it's from an old Japanese book of mine and you just trace a trapeze as below to get the pattern for the half front and back pieces + you draw a 15 on 14 cm rectangle for the pockets (seam allowances not included for everything).

And you'll get this beauty:

No you won't unless you have this stunning yukata fabric from Hiroshima ; ) it's one of the most beautiful fabrics I have ever seen, deep emerald green bamboos with golden fireflies and crimson red details on an ink black background. And the cotton material is very soft and nice to wear of course!
The other project is a rayon dress, from another old Japanese book but now I more or less master the fit for my round back and forward shoulder problems and the result is really comfortable, as opposed to when the dress would ride up to my throat and choke me while I walked!

The picture is a bit dark, the background colour is actually navy blue and the fabric is from a local shop.

samedi 22 juin 2019

A very ruffled top

I haven't posted in eons because I've been super busy but I finally have a little time off from work to show you the garments I managed to make during the almost 1 year since my last post ! Having grown up in the 1980's I've always loved over the top ruffled garments but I didn't dare wear some because I didn't feel like dealing with people pointing and laughing at me, which is the local way to react to anything out of the ordinary where I live^^ But I've noticed that said big ruffles are now trending even in my godforsaken place so I made myself this pink rayon blouse using a slightly modified Japanese pattern :

It's from the second Stylish dress book, pattern K:

It has a basic round collar and set-in sleeves but the interest comes from the ruffled parts that go all around it. You must double the width of the ruffled part and fold it under for a clean finish so I chose a thin fabric to avoid bulk. The downside is that I have to wear a camisole under the top because it's quite see-through! Of course I shortened the pattern to turn it into a top, I also split the back yoke in two parts -I'm not sure why I made that actually^^- and I slimmed down the width of the sleeves because I didn't want to have to gather them at the wrist.

I wanted to show you the seam between the bodice ruffle and the sleeve ruffle because it's flawless, Japanese patterns rule:

And since I made it in a bigger size than usual I thought I wouldn't have to do my back and shoulders alterations but I was wrong and if I make it again back darts it will be! I also made another Yokai Watch themed cosmetics bag with fabric and floss remnants to replace the Baku one while I wash it:

samedi 11 août 2018

A new dress and some fitting help

I've just completed the dress I had written about in my previous post, the one with sleeve ruffles from my latest Japanese sewing book:

I LOVE it! I bought the fabric in a local shop, it's a stretchy polyester/cotton mix, it's very soft and drapes well and above all I was drawn to its silver sheen:

You can't really tell from the pictures but it's super shiny and metallic in real life, I've never had a glittery piece of clothing so that's a nice change from my usual cute animal/any shade of blue makes! Also I wasn't scared of working with this fabric because even though it's soft (ie you must press every single seam or it'll be a puckering mess) I now have a wonderful Janome sewing machine that tackles every project I give it, I feel like I can sew anything with it :) It's one of the cheapest machines of this brand (Facility 21) but it's a really good, sturdy one in comparison with those I used to have (a Brother and a few Singer).
In my last post I also wrote about fitting alterations for some specific problems of mine: as I was getting used to wearing me made clothes I started to notice that my tops and dresses would ride up, with the front neckline getting uncomfortably close to my throat and the shoulder seams ending far behind on my back. These problems come from having a lower rounded back with forward shoulders and a hollow chest, and since it gets worse as you grow older, you won't get rid of these with a few Pilates lessons^^ So, I roamed the internet and beside being relieved to learn that I wasn't particularly deformed since many people seem to have the same problems, I found a few fitting solutions. I tried them and came up with the perfect formula for me:

- I lengthen the back by 1.5 cm thanks to shoulder darts, as shown in these drawings (I cannot find the site/blog where I saw this alteration so I can't link to them but I thank them for saving my life with this technique :)

- I move the back shoulder seam forward by 1 cm at the neckpoint and by 1.5 cm at the shoulder point, removing the same amount from the front shoulder seam and I usually remove 1 to 1.5 cm from the front neckline on the fold:

Of course I also have to alter my sleeve pattern by adding 1.5 to the back and removing the same amount from the front like so:

And that's it, as I said it works perfectly for me but you may want to make a muslin if you want to try these alterations, the amounts I add/remove are quite big because my rounded back and forward shoulders are pronounced but for others even a 0.5 adjustment can make a huge difference!

jeudi 2 août 2018

My favourite type of fabric

I've realised that out of the garments I wear the most, four of them were made using a specific type of fabric that I can only find at Spotlight, their printed muslin:

It's 100% cotton and it's super airy yet I find it crispier than cotton veil, so on the one hand it makes otherwise simple designs look quite sophisticated but on the other hand it's seriously see-through and you must wear a camisole underneath!
I blogged about my swans top a few months ago, it was my first time working with muslin and the beginning of my love affair with this fabric :)
The second garment I made using muslin is a tiny bunnies top from my first Sewing magazine:

I changed the design of the sleeves to slimmer ones and lined the front and back yokes with off-white polycotton to add strength and a little opacity^^ and of course the print is super cute!
The next top made from muslin is my big bunnies Hoya blouse:

This time I had to line the two front pieces with polycotton but the result is not too stiff IMO, I couldn't use the bunnies fabric as a lining because the inside print would have shown on the outside!
Finally I've recently completed another muslin top using the most amazing print I've ever seen (not an overstatement, as usual :)

How gorgeous is that?? The corally looking flowers kill me ! I used a dress pattern from this book and simply shortened the length of the front and back pieces obviously:

I don't know if this sort of fabric can be found elsewhere but I've never seen it outside of Spotlight and certainly not in my local shops so I'll have to wait until I can travel again and fill my suitcase with it! I also plan on making the dress version of this pattern, it's so elegant :) And you may have noticed darts on the back of the tops, that's because I've been fighting to get a correct fit for my rounded back and forward shoulders, I'll post about my solutions for these problems soon.