Sunday, 19 October 2014

this that and the other: blog hop, lisette 2245 & giveaway

this blog hop has been hoping and hoping – it seems like quite some time ago i read an early post and its still going.  thanks to leith from sew brunswick for nominating me.  i love her style and envy her alteration skills – she always gets a fantastic fit. she's also loads of fun, recently we met up in sydney and had a great afternoon of sewing chat while our 4 boys (2,3,4&5!) played at the park.  perhaps i did a bit of play too.

why do you blog?
1. contribute to the online sewing community, as i find pattern review blog posts invaluable when sewing a new to me pattern.
2. meet people who share the same hobby as me.

this is the first dress i made after i started reading pattern and then blogs around 2 years ago - simplicity lisette 2245.  i wore it to a grand final party in 2012 for sydney swans v hawks and this is me wearing it again a few weeks ago at this years swans v hawks grand final.

after reading more and more blogs i decided i wanted to become a blogger - then it only took me about a year longer to start one.

what are you working on?
i have just finished a linen camber dress, but it doesn't actually look much like a camber.  in the past i was a bit less persistent with my sewing and would throw something that wasn’t working in the ufo pile.  now i try to get a wearable outcome so i will often change things in patterns as i sew.

how does your blog differ from others of the same genre?
my blog is a pattern review type blog, in that i try to give key info about a pattern for a sewer who is after some info before sewing it.  having said that i find it pretty exciting that a bunch of people have decided to follow my blog too!

the main difference is probably that my blog does not look nearly as slick, fun and inviting as so many others as i am very low-fi on the tech front. i hope this improves one day!

what is your writing process?
i take some photos, upload them, order them and then write a couple of paragraphs between each photo.  i would like to say that the focus is on a reasonable photo of the garment and not me like lara – but that would be a lie. i try to provide key info eg, pattern, where i got the fabric, the size i cut, construction info and alterations.

where does your blog name come from? (i added this question after seeing it on funkbunny!)
when i started my blog i turned to google for name inspiration.  i googled ‘singer sewing machine’ as my first sewing machine was a singer and came across ernest flagg, an architect who worked for the singer sewing corporation in the early 1900’s. he worked in the real estate part of the corporation and according to wikipedia was responsible for some of the first planning zoning and height controls for manhattan.  my day job is an urban planner so i was sold as soon as i read about him.  i also like that my blog name is masculine, but sewing is mainly a female hobby.  i don’t think i will ever tire of getting introduced as ‘ernest’ either!

back to a bit more sewing here’s 2 other lisette 2245’s i made quite quickly after the first red one.

i quite like the black one made from sateen and with short sleeves - it has had quite a bit of wear.  the colourful one is made from liberty but unfortunatey I find it pretty blah and don’t wear it much.  the bummer about the dress design is that it is made from smaller irregular shaped pieces so i am yet to work out how i could cut it up and sew it into something else.  its my first and only liberty piece to date and it’s a bit of a thumbs down for me.

as i said above i am genuinely chuffed that a bunch of people out there on the www have decided to follow my blog and recently i reached 100 followers on blog lovin’.  to celebrate i am having a giveaway, open to anyone and i will post the loot anywhere.

i have a tessuti remnant of about 1m (cotton voile?), a butterick jacket pattern and if you or someone you know happens to be pregnant a kwiksew maternity dress pattern up for grabs.  both patterns are unused.  all you need to do is leave a comment and say which one/s you would like.  the giveaway will close on sunday 2nd november 2014 and i'll announce the winners soon after - should more than one person want the same item the lucky recipient will be selected randomly.

thanks for reading! lastly i would like to nominate renee from nearest the pin for the blog hop. i was lucky enough to meet her recently, always love her fabric choices and would love to hear more about her.


Saturday, 11 October 2014

spring time in sydney - simplicity 4047

can i say first up that i love the design of the fabric i used for this skirt, but it was a shocker to sew.  as soon as i finished my last simplicity 4047 i wanted to start one in this fabric, a recent the fabric store purchase.  i imagined such a great looking skirt but unfortunately the whole process was a bit blah.

yes i'm standing on a sloping driveway in these pics which is why everything looks a bit lopsided.

being polyester and really stable i thought it would be a quick easy sew - mistake 1.  i went with the same size as my previous S4047 and things started ok with the 4 waist darts going in fine.

i then i went to overlock the back centre seam ready for the zip and my overlocker didn't like the fabric one bit.  i spent a good few hours playing with the tension and thinking my new second hand overlocker was a dud.  i turned to IG for help and thankfully leith, lara and susan came to the rescue and i pushed ahead and then went back to the sewing machine to do the zip and side seams.  my machine didn't like the fabric one bit either, it laboured, making irregular stitches and sounds that are more likely heard at a zoo.

i got the invisible zip in and side seams sewn and tried the skirt on - though unfortunately i couldn't get it on, even though i cut the exact same size as my previous wool version. i took the invisible zip out, replaced it with a longer lap zip and took out the side seams until i was able to get the skirt on and sit down.

i originally planned to line the skirt, but as it had taken up so much of my time i decided to go with a bias binding waist band.  the fabric is slippery enough that i think it should be OK.

you can see in the pic below how little my sewing machine liked sewing this fabric - i sewed the waist 3 times.  each time it started out ok, but by about 3/4 the way round sewing machine said no.   after 3 go's i decided to leave it how it is as it looks ok from the front.

now that a bit of time has passed i am not so angry about this skirt and i am happy how it looks with my  simplicity 1366 in chocolate brown ponti.  i love this new to me pattern - this top took around 2 hours to make.

the amazingly talented and fun leith of sew brunswick recently nominated me for the blog hop going round the www, i'll be back soon to answer the questions and also have a give away to celebrate 100 followers on blog login'!


Monday, 6 October 2014

a tale of 3 bloggers - cynthia rowley simplicity 1366

i love this make and i especially like that 3 bloggers from different cities made it happen.

firstly, the inspiration.  i was reading a blog post on how good is that? one day and i saw in the side bar a blog i had never read before effortless anthropologie so i clicked on the link and this was the post that appeared.  i love everything about the neoprene sweatshirt featured, the style, fabric design and how it looks dressy but that i imagine it would be very comfy.  i decided i wanted to make something similar but needed a pattern and fabric.

i thought about using a rub off pattern that i made from a rtw top, but it has long sleeves, a high low hem and a round neck.  luckily for me lily sage & co has made up simplicity 1366 - a cynthia rowley pattern recently and as soon as i saw it on her blog i knew it would be a perfect pattern to use.

lastly i needed some fabric. recently darn cheap fabrics posted a photo of some new spring neoprene fabric on IG.  both myself and lara of thornberry liked the fabric and as the fabric was not available online lara very kindly offered to pick me up some next time she went to dcf. I love how social media works!

so here's my top:

i made a straight size 8, even though my bust measurement correlates with a size 14 and my waist and hips with size 16.  i decided to go with a size 8 based on the finished measurements printed on the pattern and am happy with how it worked out - though during construction of my first 1366 i did wonder if i had gone too small!

the only alterations i made were to lengthen the front and back by 2 1/4" and shorten the sleeves by 3/4". i also used home made bias binding to finish the neckline, rather than use the pattern piece provided.

i used my sewing machine with a small zig zag for all of the construction.  the inside of this fabric looks fantastic too.

i used zig zag to hem the sleeves and bottom as i thought it suits the triangle cut outs.

yes there will be more of these tops, perfect for work and play.  have made 2 others in knit already (they are quick - like a couple of hours) and am keen to try some woven ones too.  perhaps at some time i will try a neck band, cuffs and a sloping hem like the anthropologie one too.


Thursday, 2 October 2014

cynthia rowley 2054 dress…again…but this time its sleeveless

i really do have a whole pinterest board dedicated to patterns for knit dresses, but i just seem to keep making this pattern up.  i can generally get a dress with 3/4 length sleeves out of 1m of fabric so its just too easy when in a fabric store to get a metre instead of wondering how much i should buy for a different pattern.

i got this fabric at darn cheap fabrics on a recent trip to melbourne (the trip was to see the afl grand final, but being a sydney swans fan the highlight of my trip was probably my 5 minute dcf visit).  its a polyester knit with minimal stretch that goes up and down the fabric as i have placed it.  personally i think the pattern would look a little odd if i had put the stretch cross ways.

construction is the same as my other 2054 dresses e.g. shoulder and side seams, back darts (i added these myself as the pattern does not contain them) and hems.  pretty easy.  for this dress i had to let the side seams out to almost nothing to make up for the lack of stretch.

i did cut some 3/4 sleeves the same as my jaywalk dress, but when i tried it on after stitching the side and shoulder seams i decided to go with a sleeveless dress instead.  i think this will work well for hotter weather given that the fabric is polyester and the dress is close fitting.

to go sleeveless i cut a few mm's from the armhole between the front notches and back notches.  i turned the hem under on both the neck and armholes and stitched with a twin needle.  i was a bit worried how this would go given the lack of stretch but am pretty happy with how it turned out.

now having seen the pics of the dress on me, for future makes i will take a bit more of a curve out of the front armhole.

although i am keen to try some other knit dress patterns i can see a few more of these being made for summer, particularly as they only take a few hours to knock up.