FINISHED! Undercover Marthe

I have been working on some more culottes but I needed a break from them so decided to sew up the other piece of Liberty of London Linford Fleece I had in my stash.  It takes up quite a bit of room and I thought I might be able to make up another garment to take overseas.  I'm also off to Melbourne on Wednesday for the day and I have every intention of adding to my stash there!  This Rachel de Thame fleece came from Tessuti. I bought it off an instagram photo and was so over joyed when it arrived because, to be honest I wasn't exactly sure what fabric I was buying at the time and I have been really wanting this one.
Fabric story: Liberty of London's AW13 Five Senses collection contains a capsule pertaining to Taste. Rachel de Thame was designed by Central Saint Martins’ student Morgan Levy. The leaves are taken from blackberries, which can be used to create natural dyes. Rachel de Thame, a judge of the 2011 Central St. Martin collaboration, selected this design. 
When I made up the Republic du Chiffon Marthe blouse recently I always had in mind that I might use this pattern to sew up the fleece.  This year I have been obsessed with this silhouette and while I like the Marthe as you know I was a bit disappointed with the size of the neck. That, I should say hasn't stopped me wearing it constantly on the weekends. It really is a great weekend blouse. Anyway, I also had in mind that I wanted to add a hood to the pattern to make it a really snuggly make. 

Well, snuggly it is. Instead of the Marthe pattern, I returned to the Papercut Patterns undercover hood pattern, which I've made up here and here.  I raised the neck ever so slightly on the pattern and used the hood piece. The hood piece is heavy as it is two pieces of fleece, but I really like it.  I cut a piece the width of the fabric for the peplum and gathered to fit.   The Marthe curves this seam a bit but I cut just it straight, similar to my wildflowers make. 
Where I could, I top stitched the seams, including at the raglan sleeves, the neck and the gathered 'skirt'. I had a bit of a brain lapse and didn't overlock the sleeves, but hopefully they won't fray.  The wrists and hem are turned under then stitched with a twin needle. I keep reaching for a kangaroo pocket in this top, but I think that might have been just a bit too much.  

While it is probably a predictable make for me, I love it and can't wait for the temperature to drop!

FINISHED! Snuggly Saxby Dress

I bought 1.5 m of Saxby (colourway B) Liberty Linford Fleece from the Workroom back in the middle of winter here and because it took a little while to come all the way from Canada, once it arrived, I had moved onto Spring sewing.  Funnily enough with temperatures in the mid to late 30's on Friday, I became 'winter inspired' again and decided my next project was going to be to cut into my precious fleece.  It's not all madness as we are off to France for 6 weeks in December, so my mind has turned momentarily to what I should make/pack for the trip and today the temperature plummeted so it was perfect weather to sew up a cosy outfit. 

This is my first ever piece of Liberty Linford Fleece and it feels so snuggly. Oh so cosy! The print is Saxby and is from the Liberty Art Fabrics Collection AW 14.  The design was inspired by the decorative bird life at Mount Stuart in Scotland, in particular the parrots in the drawing room. To design the print, the birds were painted onto canvas in a loose, free style, and then merged to create a rich feather texture.
When I bought this piece I really didn't know what I was going to do with it. I don't really sew that much in fleece (although I also have another piece of Liberty Linford Fleece so watch this space!), but inspiration struck and I've sewn up a dress. I probably could have just sewn it up as a Coco, but instead I pulled out my hacked Kanerva I used to make my frocktails dress and used that as the base.  It is a medium/heavyweight with no significant stretch so I sewed it up with the darts and everything. 
I added navy ribbing to the neck and wrists, to make it even more snuggly. I worried that maybe it made it too sporty? but I kind of like it. There isn't really anything else to say about the construction, other than I added vilene bias tape to the hem for stability which worked a treat and then I double stitched it. I haven't top stitched the neck down but I'll see if it needs it.
Will it get packed in my suitcase for France? It might. It's snuggly, warm and comfortable and goes with my boots!

FINISHED! Ciara Marthe Blouse

The new Republique du Chiffon pattern, the Marthe Blouse was released last week and it quickly sky rocketed to the top of my sewing list. I adore the lose peplum style and while it is not dissimilar to the top I made from Liberty Wildflowers a few months ago, which had turned into one of my most worn tops, I thought the raglan sleeves might add interest and I was interested in making a top that had a higher neck. I was taken in with the line drawing and the fabulous photos.
I chose a Liberty that I had in the stash, which I bought on a bit of a whim when the latest collection was released called Ciara C.  The Ciara design was originally for a scarf in 1969 and has been recently redesigned for the Classic collection.   
The pattern only comes in pdf, which is fine by me and the pattern is in French, but don't let that stop you as there are plenty of pictures and this is a very simple pattern, so I didn't always use the instructions.  Like all the RdC patterns, it is necessary to add seam allowance. 
The pattern back is cut in two pieces and the pattern calls for either an invisible zip or a button at the neck. Given the closure requirement (and the line drawing), I was expecting that the neckline would be much higher, thus requiring a button, but on trying it on I realised that the neck was wide and definitely did not require any fussing around with closures. I simply sewed up the back seam. Unfortunately while I didn't need the closure this meant that the neck was not at all what I was hoping for.  I really wanted it to be a smaller round neck which would act as a contrast to the volume. Oh well, it's not bad how it is, just not what I had wanted.   
I sewed the arm seams up a little smaller to try and take some width out of neckline. I also took an inch and a half out of the length of the bodice, bringing the skirt seam up. I really like where that sits. I took about 2 inches off the length of the sleeves but I find myself wanting to push my sleeves up even more so perhaps I should have made them just a tad shorter.  
Rather than gather the 'skirt' traditionally using 2 or threads, I used my overlocker. This worked ok, but I think I'll be going back to the gathering method next time.While I hate pulling those threads I feel as if the gathers look a bit pleated on this make. 
Have you been participating in Amanda's #bpSewvember on instagram? It has been so much fun and there is still more than half of November to go! I  The other day we had to do our #favouritefinish and Jillian said her favourite finish is a Woo Hoo finish. What a great interpretation. Sadly, while this is a fun make, the fabric is fab and  I'll wear this during summer with my Iris shorts, it isn't exactly the woo hoo finish I was hoping for. C'est la vie! 

FINISHED! A dress for race day

This was supposed to be a fun post about the dress I made and wore for Melbourne Cup day. Australians all know the Cup, but for those of you not in Australia, this horse race really does 'stop the nation'! Almost everyone watches the race.  Workplaces (that still work on this day -Victorians get the day off) usually have some form of lunch and then all crowd around a tv (or mobile phone!) to watch the race at 3pm.  I love the day. I always make a special effort for work, wear something fun, don a fascinator, have a glass of champagne and always buy too many entries in a sweep thinking that I'm going to win and never do. Unfortunately yesterday was marred after two of the horses died after this years race, so I have been torn as to whether or not to share this dress, but I have decided to share it. I'm sorry if it offends anyone.
I found this fabric for $5/m, clearly polyester, at Spotlight and immediately had in mind a Melbourne Cup dress. Seriously, it has every type of horse event on it so it was an obvious decision. I have had a bit of 'post make' regret that I didn't just make a skirt that I would be able to then don a stripey top with (my usual neutral), but that wouldn't be 'Melbourne Cup'. A dress it had to be and a pussy bow seemed appropriately costumey for the Cup.
I have been extremely busy lately and I knew the time leading up to Cup Day would be limited so I decided to go with a tried and true pattern: W from 'Les Coleurs Francaise' by Tsukiori Yoshiko.
I have used this pattern many times, hereherehere, here and here, Phew That's a lot of times! It is originally a top pattern, but this is the second time that I have lengthened it into a short dress.
I didn't quite have enough fabric to match the rows of horses up exactly so I matched up the stripes but just not the exact horse pattern. I don't mind it in fact - it provides a little bit of interest on the sides. And I love the orange collar!
The colour probably doesn't do my hair and complexion any favours but a dress for the races, should be a bit over the top and the colours I think are perfectly flashy for the races. I did wear a fascinator but it was a bit boring and rushed so I don't have any photos of me wearing it.  Next year I'll start earlier and raise the standard of my fascinator. On the day, this was a very fun dress to wear and I got a lot of comments about it .. and my orange shoes!