Sunday, 28 June 2015

A Bouquet of Belcarras

I've made a few Belcarras recently, but hey why not when they are easy to make and the fit is great? So here's another! There's not much to say, so I'm going to let the photos do the talking. A picture paints a thousand words so they say...

This is my bouquet of Belcarras made in June...

I think this must have been the worst of the lot to make, but knowing the pattern made it a whole lot easier, but yes, I was swearing sometimes!

This fine polyester something came from Fabric-a-Brac sometime ago, I think, although it might have been a WSBN swap. I'm sure I bought it because I loved the pattern, I can't imagine I'd have bought it for the fabric! :-) Cutting out was a pain, I tried both using scissors and my rotary cutter. I'm still on the fence as to which was the best.

Lots of pins, use lots of pins with fabric as fine as this. Don't leave anything to chance. It was really odd sewing with see-through fabric too!

All the seams on this one are finished using French seams. Yes it means you can see the seams on the raglan sleeves, but with this fabric it was better.

The cuffs took a while, I inadvertently cut one the wrong length then wondered why it was too big! I finished the underside of the cuff using my overlocker.

The bias binding around the neck had to be pieced adding to the difficulty of adding to the blouse, but I'm pretty happy with the result.

The details
Fabric: Fine polyester something from Fabric-a-Brac, I think, unless it was from a WSBN swap, which is equally likely! It was in my stash! :-)
Notions: Thread.
Pattern: Sewaholic Belcarra, view A, size 12. 
Changes made: None
First worn: The middle of June for the LIANZA Children's Book Awards. Worn here for photos in Carrara Park, Newtown with a Sewaholic Gabriola made a year ago.

Another one/recommendations: Need I go on? How many times have I said how great the pattern is? Yeah OK, broken record time. I'll just shut up ;-)


I've now made three Belcarras for Indie Pattern Month, that'll be One Pattern, Three Takes then!

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Ninacarralindy the 2nd

This is the second version of the outfit I put together a couple of weeks ago, the Ninacarralindy, aka the StyleArc Nina cardigan, Sewaholic Belcarra and Itch to Stitch Lindy Petal skirt.

This is now my third Nina cardigan, the first made in May. And if that doesn't say anything about how good the pattern is, I don't know what does! I honestly don't know what to say that's different! I cut it out one afternoon and made it up the next!

This version drapes really well. This third one I made from some black merino, and the drape is so much better than the other two versions. It's also so easy to wear. I've lost count of how many times I've worn it since making it!

The details
Fabric: Black merino, from Levana, May 2015.
Notions: Thread and some tape to stabilise the shoulder seams and back of the neck.
Pattern: Style Arc Nina Cardigan, size 12
Changes made: None
First worn: Middle of June at some point for work. These photos taken at Truby King Gardens in Wellington
Another one/Recommendations: I've made three in the space of around six weeks, surely that says something? Not enough of a hint? OK, this pattern is fab. Quick and easy to make up and so easy to wear. I'm sure this is not my last, although I might have a break for a bit and make something different up!

The Belcarra top, another great pattern. This is my third one of these and I think actually my favourite. Number four has been made and no doubt another will find it's way into my wardrobe.

I thought I would ring the changes slightly with this version. I made up view B, which has the tucks on the shoulders. I'm really pleased how these turned out. I don't have one of those fancy edging feet for my machine, so I actually put drafting tape on my machine and line the fabric up against that. It works a treat and is so much cheaper than a machine foot!

The fabric is a really soft fine cotton which I got from Spotlight. It's one of those rare treats that you find if you look carefully! I like it! It's also the perfect fabric for this top.

The details
Fabric: Pale blue cotton lawn from Spotlight, Kaiwharawhara, Wellington, April 2015.
Notions: Thread.
Pattern: Sewaholic Belcarra, view B, size 12.
Changes made: None
First worn: About the middle of June.
Another one/recommendations: Yep, this is recommended. The pattern is easy to make up and the fit is great. I really like this version, but it's been too chilly to wear it recently :-( Never mind, the shortest day has now gone and we can look forward to the summer! I know we've still got some grotty weather months to come... Back to the matter in hand - yes, this pattern is great, quick to make and easy to wear dressed up or dressed own.

Finally, it's time for Lindy Petal skirt number 2. I made the first one of these at the end of May, I knew another one was needed and I went on the hunt for some fabric. The WSBN went out for high tea with a bit of fabric shopping included and I found this great black with a kind of texture to one side. I'm not sure it shows up in the photos though.

I lengthened the skirt by about an inch this time, but I still like the length and it's certainly not indecent!

The details
Fabric: Black double knit with a texture on one side from the Fabric Warehouse, May 2015. Sorry, the fabric won't photograph well for a close up!
Notions: Thread and knitted elastic for the waistband. 
Changes made: Lengthened by about an inch.
First worn: I couldn't resist wearing as soon as it was made. I think I finished it the day before these photos at Truby King gardens here in Wellington.
Another one/Recommendations: Do I really need to say how fab the pattern is? It's a fantastic pattern, so easy to put together, clear instructions. The finished skirt is so easy to wear and has had so much wear already.

This means I've also managed to make up something for the last week of The Monthly Stitch Indie Pattern Month, except I've done three patterns two takes :-)

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Blue Spicy Jade

Well I said I was after some easy comfy knit skirts and I found a new one to try!

This is the new Paprika Patterns Jade skirt. The pattern was suggested by Kat after she saw how the Lindy Skirts fitted me. It didn't take long for that eftpos card to open up the webpage and type in the numbers! (A take on a phrase shamelessly borrowed from Juliet!)

I've not made anything from Paprika Patterns, so this is completely new to me. I really couldn't wait to make this up. Those pleats on the front were just calling me and saying make me, make me! How could I resist such a call from a pattern ;-)

My printed pattern pieces didn't completely line up, but it didn't make any difference to the making up of the skirt. The front pattern piece is cut as a single piece and then pleated. Just check out this pattern piece!

The pleats are actually really easy to make up. The fabric I chose was a sturdy double knit and the pleats were easy to make up. I watched the free video on the website and just went for it. Each pleat is the same depth, I think it was 1.5", so out came the tape measure and I checked the pleats that way. As long as you remember to pleat from the bottom, you shouldn't have any problems at all. The pattern suggests using different coloured pins to identify each pleat. If you have pins with coloured heads, I recommend this.

The pleats are held in place by a zig-zag stitch along the length of the pleat on the underside attaching it to the lining at the same time. So you end up with a criss-cross of zig-zag lines on the back of the lining.

From here I diverted from the instructions. I didn't want to line the whole skirt, so just lined the front. I attached the back piece down the side seams, just about to the hem, then hemmed the back by hand then finished sewing the rest of the side seam. It made the side seam finish nicer.

At this point, as the pattern suggests, I tried the skirt on. Mm, I'm not sure what had happened. It was too tight around the bum and the waist enormous! So I let out the hips as much as I possibly could and also took in the waist by about an inch. This meant that the waistband was drafted incorrectly. It's quite curved and the curve is meant to be on the side seam and having taken in the side seam... The problem here is that if you follow the instructions, you would have already applied the interfacing to the end of the waistband for the zip. I had to cut off my interfaced section as the waistband was now too long.

I decided to go for the exposed zip option. One side of this took three goes. I had the correct length zip, but when I attached it to the skirt there was a big gap at the top, I'd cut the correct length in the back piece, so I had to attach a hook and eye at the top of the waistband. The zip is also attached differently to other exposed zips I've sewn. It's actually attached with right sides together like a seam and folded over. When I've sewn these before they've just been attached on the top. I personally think it would look better just attached on the outside.

I have worn this skirt a couple of times, but it's not working currently, it just keeps falling down! I have to keep hitching it up. The pattern does have an option to add elastic in the waistband. I recommend this completely. I attached my waistband down by hand, instead of stitching in the ditch. I think I will unpick my hand sewing and attach knit elastic to the waistband to see if I can get the skirt to stay up better. It is meant to sit just below the waist, but this just doesn't sit properly at all! And as soon as I walk a little way, it starts falling down.

I could probably talk for a while about issues I've had, but these are the main issues I've faced. This could just be me and the shape of my body!

The details
Fabric: Blue-grey double knit from Oamaru Silk Centre, June 2015. You do need the 1.5m of 150 wide, I've only got small pieces left.
Notions: Thread, a small amount of interfacing, a hook and eye and a trouser zip for the exposed zip.
Pattern: Paprika Patterns Jade skirt, view B. I cut a straight size 6. Although the finished waistband is way more than the 30" stated on the pattern for this size.
Changes made: I only lined the front, so hemmed the back, then attached it to the front. The side seams were pressed to the back.
First worn: This last week some point!
Another one/recommendations: Mm, I still really like the pattern, but I have reservations. I'm actually tempted by making another one, but will likely cut almost a size 5 for the waist an grade out to a 7 for the hips (I have 42" hips and 32" waist). I will also most likely leave off the exposed zipper. I suggest leaving cutting the waistband until you have made up the skirt and sewn the side seams. That way you're more likely to have the correct size waistband. I also recommend elastic in the waistband to help it keep shape and size. The whole thing was sewn on my normal machine, no overlocking in sight!

Oh and excuse any strange faces in these photos, it was raining and cold! However, I have managed to make this up in time for the New to Me week on The Monthly Stitch!

Competition Banner_New_to_Me

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Please let me introduce Ninacarralindy!

So I changed my job about four months ago and now I work at home half the time, so as much as I love to wear dresses, now it's got to the winter, all I want to wear are comfy and warm separates. Cue knit fabrics and easy to wear tops!

Enter... the StyleArc Nina cardigan, Sewaholic Belcarra and Itch to Stitch Lindy
Petal skirt, hence the title Ninacarralindy - like it?

StyleArc Nina cardigan
I made this up for the first time in May, it's a great pattern and can be cut out and made up really quickly. I think I can now cut it out in about an hour and a half and can sew it up in about 3 hours! That's a quick made and instant gratification!

StyleArc patterns come from Australia. When you look through the images on their website, there are just line drawings, but some items on the website do have photographs of made up versions once you click through. When ordering the patterns, you just order your size. These are not multi-sized patterns. They come in a clear wallet and also include a small sample of the suggested fabric which I think is a nice touch.

The pattern pieces include seam allowances. The instructions are brief. There are certainly not lots of images to keep Nikki happy! However, this cardigan is simple enough even I can make it up without lots of images :-) The sleeves are attached, followed by the sleeve and side seams in one go. Next the bottom section is attached followed by the collar. Easy!

I made the whole cardigan on my overlocker and also finished the edges with my overlocker too. I liked this part on the pattern as the pattern pieces state BabyLock the edge, and of course I have a BabyLock overlocker. Only the best for me and Style Arc!

The details
Fabric: Navy blue cotton jersey knit from the Fabric Warehouse, January 2015.
Notions: Thread and some tape to stabilise the shoulder seams and back of the neck.
Pattern: Style Arc Nina Cardigan, size 12
Changes made: None
First worn: Beginning of June for these photos. I reckon this will get a lot of wear though. It's a bit cool for the winter but come the spring it'll be in regular wear, I know!
Another one/Recommendations: I completely recommend this pattern. I love it so much, I have now made three of these cardigans! It's easy to make up, all the notches match perfectly and the drafting is really good.

Sewaholic Belcarra
This is another really quick make. I first made this pattern around Easter from a really fine fabric. This one was a whole lot easier to make up as I used quite a stiff cotton fabric. There wasn't quite enough fabric and I toyed with the idea of adding a contrast hem and cuffs. Discussing it with members of the WSBN I left it all the same fabric and just used a plain fabric as bias binding for the hem and neck so it didn't tie me down so much with matching other separates with it.

I've made up quite a few Sewaholic patterns. I really like them, the fit is great for me. This particular pattern is quick and easy to cut and make up and can be made out of minimum fabric amounts. This fabric is quite stiff cotton, but it still works well for the top.

Sewaholic instructions are great. Clear and easy to read with lots of lovely images. This was actually the first time I've bought a Sewaholic PDF pattern, which was perfect for this, since there are not lots of pages to print and stick together! It certainly saved me from using that fine thin tissue which Sewaholic patterns use.

The details
Fabric: Flowered cotton remnant from Evans of Masterton, April 2015.
Notions: Thread and navy blue cotton from stash for bias binding.
Pattern: Sewaholic Belcarra, view A, size 12.
Changes made: it's been shortened by about an inch because I ran out of fabric.
First worn: Beginning of June for these photos! 
Another one/recommendations: More pattern love. The Belcarra is easy to make up, easy to wear and can be made dressy or casual. There are so many options for fabric matching, ie cuffs, pocket, etc. I can make these up so fast now and the fifth one is planned!

Itch to Stitch Lindy Petal Skirt
So I've surpassed myself, I've actually made up three separates! This pattern was released at the beginning of May as a free pattern. Not one to turn down freebies I went to check it out. Wow! What a great surprise. It was my perfect comfy winter skirt. I've got an old RTW knit skirt which is now beginning to lose its shape. This is the perfect replacement! 

To be honest I'd happily pay for this pattern. The instructions are not half-hearted as you might expect from something free. These instructions have all the information you need included and more. There are clear diagrams showing how to lengthen the skirt, how to grade between sizes, which machine to use to make it up, etc... The list is endless!

I actually cut this out in an hour and then made it up in about three. All done in one day! I've lengthened it by an inch and a half just to make it more work friendly, particularly with the petal front (I'm about 5'6"). The whole skirt was made up in my overlocker. I used my normal machine to attach the waistband down and to sew the double hem at the bottom. The fit is great. The waist bad has knitted elastic encased in it to give it a lovely snug fit. Even so this skirt is great if you've had a big meal! It's also really good for rolling up if I go away for work as well as being so comfy for working from home in. I honestly have no complaints at all, anywhere!

The details
Fabric: Grey double knit with a herringbone pattern from the Fabric Warehouse, May 2015. Sorry, the fabric won't photograph well for a close up!
Notions: Thread and knitted elastic for the waistband. 
Changes made: Lengthened by 1.5 inches.
First worn: As soon as I'd made it up at the end of May! I just couldn't help myself. It's certainly going to get a lot of wear. 
Another one/Recommendations: Ahem, well if you want pattern love, look no further! OK I'm gushing but do I care? Nope, not a bit! I guess not everyone would like this skirt, but if it's your kind of skirt go get it! Easy to make, easy to wear, what else can a girl want? My second one has already been made up and is in regular wear!

And all made conveniently in time for The Monthly Stitch Indie Pattern Month Separates week.

Competition Banner_Separates 

Oh and wanna see what happens when a good friend takes your photos...