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.

mardi 19 juin 2018

A winter top

Finally temperatures have cooled down a little and it's time for long-ish sleeved garments! I made a top out of organic cotton fabric from Spotlight, I thought the print was super cute with its pinpoint trees and I love the navy background:

The pattern is from one of the first Japanese sewing books I bought 10 years ago, it has lots of different designs and the patterns are not printed but they give you drawings with the dimensions for the different sizes for you to trace:

There are several length options and I chose the shortest one for my top, I actually shortened it a bit more, I also did a simple round back, forward shoulder and narrow thorax (lol what?) adjustment. I wish I had lengthened the sleeves because they tend to hike up my arms but apart from that it is still one of my favourite tops to wear :)

dimanche 6 mai 2018

An update on my doll's clothes

I haven't posted about the garments I make for my doll Marie in a long time so here are a few things that were recently added to her wardrobe. First we have two Japanese style robes made out of chirimen crepe fat quarters from Daiso:

Then I made two dresses with a simple, kimono-sleeved, high-waisted bodice and a gathered skirt:

The first fabric is a remnant from some old apple printed quilting cotton that I used to make the exact same dress but for me^^ and for the second one I used a double gauze fat quarter from Daiso again: it's hard to see on the photo but there are adorable tiny rabbits and flowers on it and I lined the dress because it was a bit see-through. Last but not least I made her a playsuit with toucan fabric (the same as my mum's birthday dress) and a hippie chic bag with black linen, fringe trim and plastic gems:

I'm not sure if anyone would be interested in this but I've put the patterns for the playsuit and the dresses and for the bag, since they're quite simple to draw I used small-squared paper for the dimensions. They fit a 32 cm doll and the seam allowances are 1/2 cm. 

mercredi 25 avril 2018

Random makes

Today I have two very different creations to document: the first one is a top I made per my mum's request, she brought some beautiful watermelon print cotton from a trip and wanted me to turn it into a garment asap^^

She chose a raglan sleeve peasant blouse pattern from a French sewing magazine I bought recently:

I cut a size L, shortened the length of the bodice, didn't gather the sleeves at the hem and omitted the little bow at the neckline and here's the final result:

I'm always amazed at how stylish she is, she picked the perfect pattern to go with this fabric :)
Now for something completely different I made myself a makeup pouch out of a scrap of white twill and I embroidered one of my favourite anime characters, Baku from Yokai Watch to decorate it using a page from a colouring book I own (don't judge!):

Even though my embroidery skills are not exactly breathtaking I'm happy that I was able to make this because every time I see this fun little creature my mood improves^^ I didn't take a picture of the inside but it's lined with a scrap of fabric from my Auntie skirt project.

jeudi 29 mars 2018

The gorgeous fabric top

When I found this amazing light pink double gauze back in 2016 1) I squealed 2) I squealed a little more 3) I envisioned a big ruffled top to mirror the busy print. Indeed you can spot apples, pears, strawberries and bananas as well as birds, stars and dots on it, all of these in a variety of pastel and gold tones:

For the pattern I used a TNT top from an old Ottobre magazine and added gathered bands of fabric at the sleeves and hem for the ruffles:

My only concern is about my visible stitching which is extremely wonky because my machine is getting old and double gauze has a tendency to shift a little. So next time I'll work with this type of fabric I won't choose a contrasting thread to limit the damage !

samedi 17 février 2018

Two makes

I've recently completed two projects I had planned for an upcoming trip, the first one is a sweater because I'm always cold in airports and planes and the other one is a tote bag because I like to have something new on holidays :)
The sweater is from an old Female magazine pattern, I was hesitating between a big V neckline and a cowl one and I ended adding a big loose collar from another pattern :

I also added the bands at the wrists and bottom hem from this pattern and I wonder why I didn't just use the whole pattern instead of adding changes to the other one! I used a leopard print knit I bought in Tokyo a few years ago, it's very soft and quite warm and even though it stretches I had to gather the wrists and bottom hem before attaching the bands because there was too much difference in the lenghts. This has resulted in a blousy design that I really like:

For the bag I copied a basic plastic Daiso bag that I've dragged everywhere, it's made of two 21cm squares with a 12cm wide band running along three sides:

The fabric is a remnant of brown linen, I embroidered a cat face with green eyes, a pink nose and black whiskers and brows. The handles are brown webbing and the inside is lined with Japanese cotton printed with extra cute kitties, mice and cherries:

I LOVE this bag, it makes me smile every time I see it and it's big enough to carry my stuff without being overwhelming IMO.

samedi 6 janvier 2018

Japanese kitties top

Well well what do we have here? A kimono sleeved tie top in a crazy cute animal print? How unexpected :)

Here's the latest version of top number 6 from my beloved 2017 sewing book, this time I didn't put breast pockets but I finished the sleeves with folded bands. I used white thread for the topstitching at the front and neon yellow bias tape for the neckline.
Now can we please talk about that print?? It's my absolute favorite out of all the fabrics I've bought in my life, the colours are so vibrant, there are beautiful golden flowers and those kitties!

Either the designer who created this can read my mind or they can see inside my house because look:

I've already talked about Dora, my black treasure of a cat but I haven't introduced my tortoise kitty/resident clown Miwa yet! We've had her since October 2016, they couldn't be any more different because she's super easy going, funny and always in a good mood whereas Do rules us all with an iron/velvet paw but I guess that's why they get on well :)