Still sewing Wilder gowns

This last week I’ve been reminded again of the restorative power of sewing. My father is in the late stages of terminal cancer.

A few moments here and there working on this project among all the busy-ness of end of life care has been a tonic.

Is there anything better that having lovely fabric between your fingers and running through your machine? Especially with a pattern you love?

I might be a bit obsessed with this pattern.

The Fabric Store’s recent online sale on premium merino didn’t help my obsession.

Felicity loved the lilac colour and wanted a Wilder gown so who was I to stand in the way? Even though I was pretty sure it would look like a Victorian era nightgown. After all, this was isolation fashion so a nightgown seemed like a good idea.

It does look like a nightgown. Especially with creasing that makes it look like she slept in it. For the record she says she didn’t. But she did wear it two or perhaps three days running after I stitched the last stitch. I’m taking that as a compliment.

Looking less like a nightgown with a denim shirt knotted at the waist. Also accessorised with sparkly unicorn socks and a mug (and several rolls of tracing paper and interfacing on the side – there’s a sewist in this house!)

It has pockets.

This was a sort off size M (inattentive printing, see earlier posts) but with 2 cm added to the bodice length as a nod to an FBA. The gathered skirt sections were cut out according to the size M dimension for width and not as an XL and then a bit more depending on whatever the fabric width was. Which was what I did for my other Wilders.

Which meant the skirt sections for this one are less full. But as a bonus, there was enough leftover lilac merino knit for a t shirt for me.

The neck details of this gown are cute, and I’m loving the perfectly imperfect bow tying

I added one of KATM’s labels to the side seam and I love this little detail too.

Love this pattern.

Love The Fabric Store’s premium merino.

Love this girl!

Posted in Sewing | 14 Comments

Sewing competitions: another Wilder gown

I have just cut out and sewn fabric from Tessuti’s 2019 competition whilst the 2020 one is still open.

What does this say about me? Slow? Large stash? Not enough sewing time? Indecisive? All of the above?

Its not that I don’t love this year’s competition fabric – I have several pieces waiting for me. Just not feeling it. Perhaps its too autumnal now to be sewing a summery fabric? Not that that has stopped me before. But. I digress.

A cooler weather Wilder gown was demanding to be made to fill a gap in my working from home / Zoom/Teams/Skype meeting wardrobe.

This fabric is a delightfully drapey synthetic in the indigo colourway from Tessuti Fabrics 2019 sewing competition.

Again I’m sewn a sort of size M ( I printed the pdf smaller than I should have by mistake and I haven’t got around to reprinting it at 100%).

This time I added long sleeves – I cut them 12 cms longer than the longest sleeve provided. That wasn’t long enough. I cut out a rectangle the width of the sleeve and 7 cm long and sewed that on and turned it up because I wanted to add an elastic casing to draw the sleeves back in. Which would mean I added about an extra 2.5 cm after all the seaming and turn backs. None of this will help anyone else of course since I printed the pattern smaller than I should have.

Also pockets. Pockets are always a good idea. Of course I remembered to add pockets after I’d sewn and overlocked the side seams, so the middle tier is about 2cm’s less full than drafted.

I was going to unpick and resew but this fabric really shows the needle holes. And this was me using a Microtex needle!

Left is the unpicked seam showing every single stitch like a ghost. Right is before unpicking

So I unpicked and cut the overlocked edge off and then sewed 5 mm inside the original seam line.

But totally worth it to have pockets!

Love this pattern! And love this version!

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Klimt the Kiss meets Tessuti Bella Dress

One of my favourite artists is Gustav Klimt and one of my favourite paintings of his is “The Kiss”.

I’m not an orphan in liking this painting, nor of items made from copies of it.

A quick web search revealed an umbrella available from the National Gallery of Art, Washington,

 Gustav Klimt: The Kiss, Umbrella

a hoodie from Cacofonia Milano,

a tote bag from Plumeria Museum,

Tote Bag Canvas, Klimt, The Kiss Gold

mugs from McIntosh shop,

and, best of all, a tram, launched in Austria on Valentine’s Day last year

Image source

(these are not affiliate links and I cannot vouch for the quality or authenticity of items for sale at these links!)

So you can probably understand that when EmmaOneSock had fabric printed with Klimt the Kiss, there was absolutely no way to resist!

No affiliate links here either 🙂

I can attest to how fabulous this fabric is, though. This cotton lycra knit is an absolute delight to sew and wear.

But then I had an agonising decision. What was I going to make from it?

Thank you, Covid-19, for helping me realise that no fabric is too precious.

#sewtheprecious.

And also thank you, Covid-19, for helping me accept that what I’ve done with this fabric didn’t have to be perfect.

This is Tessuti’s Bella dress, chosen for its minimal seaming and easy to wear trapeze shape.

That trapeze shape didn’t quite fit on the panel. So there’s a bit of fabric piecing action on one side seam.

The fabric makes something like this almost invisible.

I eliminated the centre back seam and centred the design of the second panel on the centre back, left to right. Getting the centre of the pattern from top to bottom wasn’t an option due to the aforementioned trapeze shape of the pattern piece and fabric restrictions! But, the bonus of this is that I almost have wings.

As much as I love this painting I don’t really love the olive background pattern of the fabric nor does this colour love my complexion. So I had the idea to add a neckband in a colour that would build a bridge between the dress and my skin.

I’m not convinced it’s a good feature. But I’ve left it on at this point.

I stabilised the neck edge with a special stabilising fusible bias tape whose name I’ve forgotten but might be Vilene. I then sewed the neckband on, wrong side to right side. That why there are pins in the image below – the special tape was already fused but the neckband needed to be secured. Once it was on I clipped and edged stitched, flipped to the right side, turned the edges under and top stitched.

#ithaspockets!

I stabilised the pocket openings too, with a woven ribbon. This made the edge very neat and firm.

I used up most of the scraps too but I give major side eye to this pandemic accessory. Despite its well centred pattern.

Flawed execution of this fabulous fabric? Yes.

Do I love it? Yes!!

Have I worn it two days running whilst working from home? Also yes.

With that other pandemic accessory – the headset.

Yes, some of my work videocalls are that exciting!

How I imagine I look most of the time is second left bottom row, but apparently I don’t…

Keep safe and sane everyone.

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Virtual Venice travel jacket: Closet Case Sienna Makers Jacket

I am so lucky that the only casualty to COVID-19 for me is garments I intended to make for a holiday. So far, that is, and long may it last. And for your family and friends too, dear readers. Keep safe everyone!

I do feel a bit weird to be posting about sewing when there are many more important issues.

I’m guessing you will forgive me. If you follow this blog, you probably won’t mind a bit of sewing trivia against a backdrop of uncertainty, working from home and self isolation.

I made a Sienna Makers Jacket out of gorgeous cotton twill from The Fabric Store.

It was intended to be my hero piece for a trip to Venice at Easter to celebrate a wedding anniversary.

Perhaps next Easter?

This pattern has lots of lovely details already built in and plenty of opportunities to add your own.

I added bias binding to finish the edge of the facings and the hems and did a sort of double flat felled seam down the centre back.

I love the apple green background of this fabric. It’s almost reversible.

My slit for the belt was not well executed. And I’m okay with it. Perfectly imperfect.

The D rings for the belt went in wrong too. Another perfectly imperfect detail!

I had some diamanté D rings in the stash and. after some agonising, decided they’d be okay. And then installed them with the ‘jewels’ to the wrong side anyway. *eyeroll*

This pattern has so many pockets, including an internal one that I think will be just right for my passport.

Perfect for traveling. Some time in the future I hope to test that statement!

I made this in a straight size 12 and exactly as per the instructions, except for the breast pocket- I use 5/8 inch ‘seams’ ( ‘turn-unders’) instead of 1/2 inch because I didn’t read the instructions.

I love it. Great pattern. Great fabric, Gorgeous colours.

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Fruit tingles top: Vogue 8805

I went to my local fabric store for thread and came out with thread and fabric.

The fabric is pretty cute. An oatmeal coloured marle cotton knit with rainbow freckles sprinkled throughout. Practically a neutral.

While I should have just bought the thread and left the fabric behind, I thought Felicity would like the fabric and that it would work as a top to wear with her cat skirt.

Right on both counts.

What pattern to use? After a long search through all my large BurdaStyle magazine collection, my smaller stash of PDF and paper patterns and some online exploration (long enough to have already sewn something!) we settled on shortening a simple shift dress pattern, Vogue 8805, into a top.

The fabric is a knit with some stretch but only in one direction, so I acted as if it was a delicate woven that needed stabilising – I used a straight stitch for all construction and added a woven ribbon to the shoulder seams.

Rather than finish the neck with bias binding, I trimmed to 1 cm by overlocking the edges, folded in on the stitching line and stitched the overlocked seam allowance down. This seems to have held up just fine.

This is size 12 with a D cup. I removed the excess fabric in the dart before sewing it and then overlocked close to the stitching.

This makes the dart look like a seam.

Such fun fabric. Goes with the cat skirt as planned but also look great with denim.

Now I want one too!

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What not to do on Valentine’s Day, and Vogue 8921 to the rescue

I love Joy the Baker’s blog. She suggested a recipe that couples could cook together on Valentine’s Day. I thought yes, brilliant idea! Who wouldn’t want to prepare shrimp etouffee risotto (spicy Cajun stew with prawns and risotto) together and then eat it?

He who Cooks was much less enthusiastic. He was right that the recipe was more winter than summer. He was right that we’d need to go shopping for ingredients – and how romantic is grocery shopping?! He was right that it was Friday night and this didn’t sound relaxing.

What he didn’t say was how annoying it was going to be for him to have me, the unskilled amateur, in his kitchen. Much better when I’m perched on a stool with a drink and out of the way.

I pushed on and made the risotto part of the recipe whilst telling him what to do with the prawns. Who even am I?

Here’s the risotto part way through, after he had interfered and taken the thyme leaves off the stalks. What are you doing I said? Joy doesn’t tell me to do that! At this point I’m sure he wanted me well out of the kitchen.

But he’s such a darling that he just smiled sweetly at me.

It was delicious. The risotto was gloriously creamy and the etouffee had fabulous depth of flavour. Perfect winter food. Yes he was right about that too. At least we were having a slightly cooler spell from the very hot summer weather that’s normal in February in Adelaide.

Eventually we got to relax on the front verandah. A squeeze of lime and we’re back to summer food I said. He was unconvinced.

The day after Valentine’s Day I got it right.

I sewed. I kept out of the kitchen. We went out for dinner.

This is what I sewed – a glorious digital viscose print from Emmaonesock made up as view B, Vogue 8921. This pattern seems to be OOP now – I’ve purchased it a few years ago after seeing excellent versions on other people’s sewing blogs.

Image result for Vogue 8921

I cut out a size 16 and almost entirely ignored the instructions. Have the instruction writers at Vogue patterns not heard of overlockers and stretch stitches? And why would you ever think a zip was a good idea in a light weight stretch fabric? And what about stabilising shoulders? Seriously. Someone needs to rewrite the instructions!

I used a straight stitch for the pleats and most of the rest of the construction, followed up with overlocking the seams. I stabilised the shoulder seams and side seams with a ribbon. If you buy fabric online from Tessuti Fabrics, you’ll recognise this.

I know. Not all the threads from basted the pleats have been snipped off. And probably never will now I’ve worn this!

For the neck edge I overlocked the edges and folded in the seam allowance to the inside, sandwiching a light weight iron-in strip of interfacing between the outside and inside. I fused it with the iron and then stitched it with a straight stitch. This gave a very secure and non stretchy neck line. It is drafted ‘date night low’ so I hate to think how much it might gape without this stabilisation.

I can’t believe I am posting an image of my cleavage on the web! It does show the neckline stitching as well though, especially through the lavender flower and white leaves.

the dress was a bit loose through the waist and perhaps a bit long through the back bodice. I stitched elastic the length of my waist measurement (80 cm) into the waist seam stretching as I went. Slightly wonky stitching as a result. You can also see the ribbon stabilising the side seam below.

The elastic has made the dress a bit blousy. I might take it back out.

See what I mean?

You can also see the side seam (through the large lavender flower) isn’t hanging true but is pulling towards the front. I don’t know if it’s a fitting issue or a design fault . The front drapes are stitched into the side seam and might be pulling the seam? Perhaps I should go back and stabilise this seam with ribbon too.

So the morale of the story? I need to remember that he cooks and she sews.

Posted in Cooking, Sewing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Cielo Top and a Burda pencil skirt: BurdaStyle 11/2019 #110

My new year’s resolution to sew my fabric collection (AKA stash) is still going strong.

Formerly too-precious-to-use fabric continues to break out of my fabric collection and into my wardrobe.

This gorgeous fabric comes from Mood in NYC and was purchased 5 years ago. A beautiful cotton voile with a huge pattern repeat featuring birds, flowers, botanicals and the odd old map or two.

090715_1250_VisitingNew15.jpg

It has almost been a dress several times, but I never got to the cutting out phase.

This time I broke the jinx and its now a Cielo top

I used French seams for construction and bias binding on the neck and hems. This is a size 14.

The neck and hems are an inch higher and longer than drafted because I attached the bias binding flush with the cut edges rather than in the seam allowance.

I didn’t add the seperate back yoke – there is plenty already going on with this top and one of the shoulders looks like it has a yoke anyway.

Pattern placement was a bit of a head scratcher, but I settled on the pinker and brighter section on the front and the yellower and more muted section on the back.

This top works well with my grey blue linen wide leg pants (love the yellow wall, don’t love the messy hair so much –  it was very windy)

It’s a beautiful match with a new pencil skirt.

This is BurdaStyle 11/2019 #110, at the #111 length and without the D rings, made as a size 44 with size 42 waist.

My fabric is a stretch cotton in dove grey with a lovely sueded feel to it.

I was not careful enough with cutting out so the front was a touch bigger than it should be. I added two small tucks to the front and solved the problem.

This pattern has the front pockets drafted as a single piece. It acts almost like a tummy control. And inaccuracies in cutting out this piece and the front skirt mean that extra design features such as tucks need to be added.

So, to sum up how I’m feeling.

  • Love, love, love my top. Glorious fabric and beautiful lantern sleeves.
  • Very happy with my skirt. It’s a neutral basic that I need in my wardrobe and its lovely to wear.

 

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