Sailor blouse progress..

My Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing arrived in the mail the other day so I'm back on track to make this sailor blouse after some early frustrations.  I'm enjoying watching Gertie.  She's so lovely on the Creative Bug video for the making of this sailor blouse - which is just as well, as I must have watched the 'Drafting a collar' episode at least 5 or 6 times.  I'm clearly a person who needs some written instructions as well as the video as I easily loose track of what my next step is.  Anyway, the collar is now drafted (a bit nervous about this), the pieces are now cut and interfacing ironed on, so I hope to make some good progress on this over the weekend.  Who am I kidding, I'm hoping to finish the damn thing.

I'm also hoping to have a go at making the Perfect Zip Bag by Elizabeth Hartman as it won't be long before I will have to open my sweat shop up for some preschool fete making so I better get in some practise. I've been so inspired by all the lovely recent versions from Gail at Today's Agenda that I'm hoping to make a few of these for the handmade stall.

A sewing dare

Sewing Dares

Back at the beginning of the year, I watched as Gillian from Crafting a Rainbow dished out dares on twitter to anyone game.  Since then there have been so many fabulous sewing dares given and achieved.  My favourite completed dare is the Shibori Romper by Morgan. Do check it out if you haven't - it is just stunning. 
Anyway, at the time I felt I had too many things on and too muc sewing that I wanted to get finished prior to going overseas. Now I feel up for the challenge so I asked Gillian to dare me and egged on a bit by Velosewer on twitter I agreed to:
"To draft a pattern using a new to me fabric and then find an occasion to wear it "

Trust Dress grischine Claudie Pierlot

Now the dare itself doesn't seem too hard I suppose, but I have in mind to try and make this dress by Claudie Pierlot that I saw in France and commented on back then.  What am I going to do with a sweatshirt dress with sequins? Who knows!! That's part of the challenge!  Velosewer suggested perhaps a date night and yes, with the imminent re-opening in October (hopefully) of my favourite Canberra spot, Parlour Wine Room, it could get a run at that.

I think it looks straight forward enough but I'm not underestimating this.  And the fabric? Getting the right fabric will be tricky.  I'll keep you posted!
Oh and if I get cracking I could enter Erin and Ping's Copy Cat Challenge.  Anyway, lets not get ahead of myself.  For now I'll have to keep my eyes open for sequins fabric!!?!

FINISHED! Sinbad & Sailor O'Keefe skirt

The O'Keeffe Skirt Sewing Pattern by Sinbad & Sailor
This was my first foray into the world of Sinbad & Sailor patterns. All the patterns are really cute but this is their latest release, the O'keefe skirt and needing some new work skirts in my wardrobe was taken by the pleating and pocket on one side.
Sinbad & Sailor O'Keefe skirt
This is a relatively quick and easy make. Sometime ago I had printed, taped and cut the pattern pieces out. Friday night I cut the fabric and threaded the machines and then Sunday,over about 3 hours I made it up.  I found the skirt too short for the style I like to wear to work so ended up attaching a 4 inch panel at the bottom, a la the moss skirt.  Hindsight says I should have just lengthened the skirt in the first place, but the panel works ok. It's not perfect but it is ok.
Sinbad & Sailor O'Keefe skirt
I didn't line the skirt either. The fabric I bought at Tessuti is a heavy navy twill (42% cotton and 58% polyamide) from Germany. It has a slight shiny and papery (?)  feel to it and I felt like it didn't really need lining... or maybe I was just being lazy.

Despite the pleating on one side, it is reasonably fitted.  I made the size 10 right out of the packet without any adjustments (except for the length). The fit is good. The waist is a teensy bit tight, but I'm hoping to squeeze into it regardless and with the onset of Spring hope for a little bit of weight loss around that area :)
Sinbad & Sailor O'Keefe skirt 
Overall I think it will get some good wear to work during Spring and Summer and the pleated pocket on one side?  Great! It is a lovely design feature and is the perfect size for my hand.

What ever happened to.... the coloured stripey fabric?

Do you remember when I had a little giveaway of this stripey jersey knit fabric? 

Well the lucky winner, Amy from SewAmySew went pattern free and created this fabulous skirt.  I was so excited to see this fabric made up, as when I originally bought the fabric thought I might make a top, but her skirt really is the perfect use for this fabric.  I just love the little detail at the back.  Head on over to her blog and check it out. 
closeup waist down
In other sewing news, I finished my Sinbad and Sailor O'Keefe skirt on the weekend, so hope to post that soon.

Today I'm guest posting

Today, I'm guest posting over at Claire's blog I want to be a Turtle! She asked me to write on how I fit sewing into my life. Eeek, I'm no expert, but do pop over to Claire's for my thoughts ... also known as how I ignore everything else for a little bit of sewing time :)  Do check out her lovely makes while you are there.

August sewing: I hope to get busy with Gertie

After seeing Anna's sailor blouse that she whipped up using Gerties Sailor Blouse course on Creative Bug, I have been keen as, to whip up the same using the L'Estrange fabric I purchased at Tessuti
Sadly, I bought the class, printed out all the pattern pieces, washed the fabric and was ready to go,  but found it difficult to match the print outs and couldn't find the sizing chart so, in a moment of frustration and desperation  just..... ended up buying Gerties book so that I could get the pattern. I know, I know, I could have just fumbled through, but it was the principle of the matter. So now I wait for the book to arrive.
I also bought a piece of fabric from Shaukat which I'm also waiting on. I justified my purchase after finishing off in record time two projects using recent purchases.   I've got a feeling I might make a shirt dress - Amy made a great one which you should check out if you haven't already , but I think I might go with something like the one Sallie made.  I guess I'll have a better feeling for what I should make when the fabric arrives. But I wait for that too.

So, I might get on with something tomorrow, I have a couple of projects which I could start, and there is also the Sewcial Bee tomorrow, but for now, I'm lethargically snuggling up with my lap blanket...  

FINISHED! The Valentino Silk Scout Tee

I bought a metre of Valentino silk ('Spot on' 100% Silk Satin Organza) from Tessuti when I was in Sydney recently. Of course, it was such a fantasy purchase - did I really think that I could make something - wearable - with it! I was batting way above my sewing weight.  It is silk, yes, so naturally tricky but also the spots on the fabric are placed so evenly (which is why I love it) but it just made sewing with it just that bit more difficult.  I spent so much time counting and checking spots to make sure I lined and matched the seams up as best as I could and that the fabric hadn't moved during cutting!  I've sewn before with silk (from Tessuti) but never with such organza and both times my hand was held.  This time I was on my own and every now and then I'd think about how much this was per metre, (I'd remind myself that a not particularly original store bought top would probably cost as much and my confidence came back and then I stopped worrying about it).
Valentino silk Grainline Scout tee
The idea was to make something simple, to counteract the fabric difficulty factor.. like a Grainline Scout tee.  It is a very stiff silk organza so I hoped that it would hang ok.  Originally I was going to make it sheer and just wear camisoles underneath, but decided instead to underline it with some silk habutai which I bought on Sunday from Addicted to Fabric.  I'm so glad I did. I had never underlined anything before and enjoyed the challenge and I love the result with the sheer sleeves and the lined bodice.
Valentino silk Grainline Scout tee  
I have made a scout tee before, in lace and the fit was good so I didn't do a muslin. BUT in the underlined silk the fit was slightly different, quite different in fact. As I drafted 3/4 sheer sleeves by just lengthening the pattern and making them as wide as the fabric would allow, it was really obvious how badly they fell on my shoulders. They didn't sit at all well and I had a problem that the neck was too wide and was a bit gapey at the front.

Valentino silk Grainline Scout tee  
Enter, my 'design feature' at the front. I just pinched about an inch from each side. It really does look much better in real life than in the photos and in fact today at work everyone was saying how lovely the top is and especially that fold in the front!! In the photos it looks a bit like it pulls but it doesn't and it does make the whole top sit better than in would have done.
Velentino silk scout tee 
The fit of the sleeves on the shoulders is still a little out but nothing to worry too much about.  I thought maybe that I had put the sleeves in wrong, but unpicked one and reset it since taking some of these photos.  

The cuffs are self drafted (just a rectangle!!), but I ummed and ahhed about whether or not I would interface or use the black silk. I did neither in the end and just folded over the fabric.  I think it worked ok. The other times I've sewn with silk I just hemmed using a rolled hem.  This time I wanted a more substantial hem so used the trick of sewing a line then turning it up, then sewing anothe line.  I then just machine hemmed it so that it would sit better.  I hand sewed binding (made from the spotted silk) on the neck and oh, yeah, all the seams are 'Frenched'. 

So there you have it. My Valentino silk scout tee with a design feature. I wish I could do a repeat outfit to work this week because this top paired with my Miette skirt would be it!
Valentino silk scout tee

FINISHED! Lyla, Richard and the Mathilde Blouse

Et voilĂ , my second Tilly and the Buttons Mathilde. 
Richard, Lyla and Mathilde
The fabric is Richard and Lyla, from the Liberty of London SS 2013 Guerilla Gardening theme.

From the Liberty of London website: Richard and Lyla, depicted in this print, met while planting tulips on a London roundabout. The design inspiration was a 1950s archive print which was then re-worked and hand painted to depict Guerrilla Gardeners bringing plants to an urban landscape, creating areas of beauty amongst the architecture. 

Richard, Lyla and Mathilde Blouse
I bought this fabric earlier in the year from Addicted to Fabric and started the top in the middle of July in an effort to reduce my projects in time for a shopping trip to Tessuti.  My attention was diverted momentarily while I made up my Boardwalk Jersey top, but I got back to it last weekend.
I was just about to photograph it on Sunday, but put the camera on the top of the wheelie bin for a 'professional' photo shoot, as you do, and it fell off and the lens broke.  Mmmm, one of those weeks.  Ben replaced the lens on Monday and shhhh don't tell him, but I put the camera back onto the wheelie bin on Tuesday to try for another photo and it fell again, but not onto the lens this time. Phew, but needless to say, I've been a bit 'selfie shy' and the photos I did take I was all blurry and the background focussed.  How do you fix that on a selfie? Does a remote help? If so I'll be off to buy one this weekend AND get a proper tripod and get rid of the monkey grip one!  Anyway, I finally got Ben to take a few photos this morning - not the best obviously because he forget to get my face in!!? 

Enough about the photos.
Richard, Lyla and Mathilde Blouse 
I raved about this top last time I made it and I still love it second time around.  It is a bit big, but I just blindly did the pattern without any adjustments given I had made it before.   You can see that it is a bit big across the shoulders, but I'm not too worried. 

Just on the fabric, it was really hard to match as the pattern ran just off horizontal at an angle of less than 10'.  I played around with the fabric for ages trying to line up selvedges.  I finally forced the pattern to align as I thought it would look strange with the 'lines' running ever so slightlyon an angle. Luckily I don't think this affects the drape and the matching is so much nicer.  
Richard, Lyla and Mathilde Blouse
I really should make this pattern in a fabric that is less busy. It is almost impossible to see the pintucks in these photos, which is such a shame as they are such a great feature.  The colours aren't my usual style and the pattern is pretty full on, so it does take a bit of getting used to but I think I'll wear it quite a bit especially as we move towards Spring.  I've worn it to work tucked into a navy pencil skirt but I think it will get just as much wear with jeans.

Is that my last Mathilde?  I don't think so somehow :)