Sunday, 29 June 2014

Yep, I'm a Sewaholic fan!

The final week of The Monthly Stitch Indie Pattern Month and I'm quite amazed with how much I've managed to make. I think it's time to admit that yes, I'm a bit of a Sewaholic fan!

This is the Gabriola skirt with an Alma blouse. I've actually now made up both patterns twice, the blouse I made about a year ago in white cotton with self-drafted puffed sleeves and the skirt as part of my Gabrianna dress from about two weeks ago.

The Alma blouse
It's made from a pale grey poly-cotton and I made up the neckline from view A with the sleeves from view B. I tried to self-draft some pleated sleeves, but they ended up so big... How big? :-)

They were unpicked and fortunately I had plenty of fabric left to cut out the elbow length sleeves from view B. Even so, I must have short arms, I cut about 5cm off the length of them! I originally cut the blouse in a size 14, but although I used the darts from the 14, I'd do better next time to cut a 12, the 14 is just way too big!

Sorry, a nice bit of squint in the sun there!

It's an easy blouse to put together. The notch in the neckline went better this time and lays a whole lot flatter. The blouse also has a side zip, which I put in the wrong side, so it's on the right side not the left, but after three goes of trying to put in the invisible zip and it finally being successful, I was not unpicking it to put it in the left (correct?) side. Really, are you going to notice? No I thought not.

I'm perfectly happy with the blouse, but having made it up, am not completely convinced the colour is really me. Time will tell I guess. It's winter and I've not been well this week, so I'm paler than I might be anyway.

The Gabriola skirt
The only time I've actually made up this pattern was as part of my Gabrianna dress, so to make it up as a skirt officially really was a must. This is a purple poly-lycra fabric which I picked up from Fabric-a-Brac in April. Yep, I was brave and decided to use a stretch fabric for a pattern made for wovens. Dear me, this use of stretchy fabrics, I must be going a bit soft in the head! But hey, just look here, it works! Just check out the yoke detail.

The fabric just has a one way stretch, so it wasn't impossible to deal with, but I certainly had to be careful so that one layer of fabric didn't stretch more than the other while sewing. I can lower the feed dogs on my machine, but I can't change the pressure of the foot, so I had to be very careful.

What is great though, is the weight. This fabric has quite a bit of weight in it and so the skirt hangs so well. It doesn't crease either :-) I certainly let this one hang before I hemmed it. With the stretch in the fabric it would have been completely daft not to. I did initially sew the hem with my double needle, but that was a stupid idea, the hem was completely all over the place. So I unpicked it and stitched it using a straight stitch on the machine. Yep, you heard it right here, I hemmed something on my machine!!

I tried to add a pocket in the side seam... Not my best idea, I put it in too low and it also hasn't pressed as flat as I'd like.

I put in a centred zip. I had to put this in twice too, since the first time the fabric puckered and stretched. I'd probably have been better to handpick the zip... I also used a hook and bar instead of a button. Judging by the white gap, I've a sinking feeling I haven't aligned it properly. :-(

Bother, it's only since taking the photos I've noticed that!

The details
Fabric:  Pale grey polycotton with a very subtle pattern from the Fabric Warehouse, Wellington, January 2013 (stashbusting!) It cost about $10 for 2m and I've used about 1.5m if you count two lots of sleeves! 


Purple poly-lycra mix with a flower pattern from Fabric-a-Brac, Wellington, April 2014. I think I had 2.5m which cost about $4. I think there's about .75m left of that. It had a kind of sheen to it which means it really shows up the grainlines in the skirt pattern.

Notions:   Thread, white and pale grey for the blouse and black and purple for the skirt. (I use white and black for seams for most of my sewing.) The colours are for top stitching only. Also an invisible zip for the blouse, a dress zip for the skirt, interfacing for both and a hook and bar for the skirt.
Patterns:  Sewaholic Anna blouse and Sewaholic Gabriola skirt  I think that makes me a fan :-) You can vote for me to win the last contest here.

First worn:  I actually wore the skirt for the first time to work on Friday, but the combination was worn for these photos today :-) I took these in the local playground. It's just gone mid-winter which means it's now Matariki (Maori new year) and today the weather was amazing, wall to wall sunshine and about 15 degrees in the shade, ie a lot warmer in the sun! I was positively hot today! Not winter-like at all.

Changes made:  For the blouse - none, unless you count using darts for a different size to the finished size?  For the skirt - I attempted to put in an in-seam pocket, which ended up too low. I also shortened the length considerably, I think about 20 cm. It's still quite long, so I think even the full length would be too long for me and I'm about 5'6".
Recommend?  Oh yes! OK, I may be biased, but Sewaholic patterns are so nice to put together. They are well drafted and fit me really well with little or no changes. The instructions are also really clear and easy to follow.

Nikki no mates, it was just me and my camera in the park :-(

This skirt is great, the weight of the fabric gives it a great flow and I can swish in it too :-)

And swish!


  1. Ha! I have your blouse fabric, but in white! I'm loving the plum on you, but I'm not sol on the grey (sorry!)... hope you're feeling better now?

  2. Yep, picking up thanks. I wasn't sure about the grey, I've a feeling it makes me go grey :-)