He Cooks [pork pies]… She Sews [a BurdaStyle shirt 04/2013 #138]

For all the cooking He Who Cooks does and She who Sews eats, you’d think she’d return the favour and does some sewing for him, wouldn’t you? The odd pair of boxers and an apron now and then just doesn’t cut it.

This is another way of saying I finally made Chris a shirt.

I don’t think he really enjoyed being on the other side of the camera!

I used a cotton from Spotlight and BurdaStyle 04/2013 #138

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I compared the pattern to his RTW shirts to find his size and traced off a 98. Burda’s size charts would have put him several sizes bigger. I didn’t check the sleeve length against his RTW shirts. And you’ll find out below why that was a mistake.

I was very pleased with how the sleeve tower placket came out

I got him to try the shirt on before I added the cuffs. The sleeves seemed too long. Rashly I chopped off 8 cm, and lost lots of those lovely tower plackets. The sleeves are now a bit short. Perfect for me though. Just saying.  This pattern also has narrow cuffs and a slim collar. Also perfect for me. Not that I’ve been wearing it. Much.

What about those Pork Pies?

Chris’s were based on a recipe for Raised Pork Pies from Valerie Barrett published in  BBC’s Good Food, July 2013.

The filling

Pastry top being added

Crimped edge and a hole to add the aspic through after baking

Egg wash (and 21 because it was for a 21st birthday picnic for a talented pastry chef @lyndarella47)

Just out of the oven

And then calamity struck.

Those pies came out of the tins very reluctantly. In fact one didn’t come out at all, as a pie. The other sort of came out in one piece, albeit looking much more rustic than intended. Yes that is a bobbin case in the background.

All’s well that ends well though. Only one pie was really needed for the picnic and the filling from the other one was absolutely delicious in a salad!

 

 

 

 

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Maxi dress: BurdaStyle 04/2013 #125

Another addition to Felicity’s black and ivory summer mini wardrobe: a maxi dress based on BurdaStyle 04/2013 #125

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It’s sewn in rayon from Spotlight. Unfortunately I didn’t buy a generous amount: I had 2.9 metres and the pattern called for 3.6 metres. This meant the bodice wasn’t lined and there was no belt, no button loops down the front and no gathered trim around the neck and armscyes.

It’s cut out as a size 42 with a 2cm FBA and the front neckline raised by 2 cm. I didn’t add in the vertical dart from the FBA. Instead I angled the side seams in a bit to compensate.

I stabilised the neck with cotton tape.

Then I finished the neckline and armscyes with bias binding from deep stash. The bias binding is stiff and I think it is cotton. It’s also not prewashed. Could be a recipe for disaster…

Both the front and the back bodice have a central seam so getting a nice neat V in the middle is easy: you just sew it in after you’ve finished and faced everything.

The shirring was done with what I think is hat elastic (also deep stash), or could just be elastic thread, in the bobbin. This is a trick my mum taught me. I thought it broke all sorts of sewing rules until I googled and found several tutorials describing the exact same thing. So its a totally legit method.Much more fun when I thought mum had shown me something clever but a bit dodgy!

It’s a bit weird to have elastic in your bobbin. But it really works!

The front and back bodices were shirred individually after the centre back and centre front seams were sewn. This meant the shirring went across the centre back and centre front seams

I tied off the ends and then sewed over them before joining the side seams together. Hope it all holds together.

The skirt is gathered and then sewn into the shirred bodice. You have to stretch the shirring out. If I make this again I’ll do the shirring after attaching the skirt.

I know the pattern placement is not ideal or evenly spaced through the shirring. But not having enough fabric will do that to you.

Pockets were added because pockets are always a good idea. Even when you have no fabric for them. I always seem to find something suitable in my remnants stash for pockets! This time it seems to be a very thin black silk. I can’t even remember what I made from it. Clearly this is also deep stash.

Back view without hair so we can see the V back.

After these photos were taken the hem went up by 5 cm to make it less like a gown.

Lovely pattern. Lovely daughter!

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Christmas/New Year sewing

I love the easy days between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Perfect for sewing! And this year my dear friend M joined me.

What’s better than a sewing day on Boxing Day? A sewing day on Boxing Day with a sewing friend! The catering by He who Cooks was pretty good too.

This Christmas/New Year sewing was all about Felicity. I’m working on a mini wardrobe in black and ivory and the first two garments were shorts and a shirt.

Sailor shorts

These are Burdastyle 06/2014 #122 in a size 40 and made up in a stretch cotton with about 25% stretch lengthwise and at right angles to the stripes. I cut them out so that the stretch went around the body. They are stretchy enough that a double needle hem was the best choice. So a knit in the form of a woven. What’s not to love?

I faced the waistband and upper fronts with a black poly cotton from the stash, and interfaced the poly cotton to give it some body.

I also made the conscious decision to not change my overlocker thread from white. Yes really. It matches the pinstripes. Ahem.

My reasoning for different facing fabric was that the stripes are ridged and might be uncomfortable against the skin. Also, all that stretch needed to be brought under some control.

I cut the waistband on the non stretchy direction to help with this too. Also I like the change in stripe direction!

Aren’t those buttons darling? They were from the stash, I had exactly the number I needed and they seemed the perfect buttons for sailor front shorts. It was meant to be.

I didn’t read the instructions well enough so the underlayer at the front was cut the same length as the upper layer. This was a bit of an issue at the bottom of the zip (there’s a zip under the button front) but I managed to get both the upper and under layer back together with some snipping.

This mistake did have the advantage of making pseudo pockets – I caught the underlayer into the hem and this meant everything was enclosed apart from the buttoned top and a tiny bit through the inner thigh. I think they’ll function as pockets ok. So all’s well that ends well.

Kalle shirt

I love Closet Case Patterns Kalle shirt pattern. And I love the Liberty lawn fabric I used for this version, even if it does have the odd name of Kevin.

It’s based on the celestial ceiling art in the hallway of a grand house in Scotland. The fabric has been in the stash for a year or two.

Gemini! Felicity’s star sign.

This Kalle shirt was made the same as all the other ones: I lengthened the crop top version by 10 cm but retained the faced hem.

The buttons for this one came from the stash too. I’m pretty certain their first life was on one of He who Cooks’s shirts.

I have enough shirt buttons in the stash to last more than a lifetime, yet I still cut them off worn out shirts. Someone will inherit a healthy button stash! I did and I love having buttons that I played with as a kid from my mum’s and nana’s button jar.

And what do these garments look like on Felicity?

Very cute.

Pseudo pockets in action.

Stealth sailor version (untucked)

Happy New Year!

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Trying to perfect a pattern

I’ve now made six dresses based on BurdaStyle 02/2014 #141. Six. Just this year. Yes, that surprised me too!

Version 5 was made in a novelty weave fabric in deep stash and originally from Gorgeous Fabrics labelled Maggy London.

The fabric lacks body and collapsed a bit under my bust so I added some vertical darts.

The sleeves are too tight in this version and I’ll probably remove them and make it sleeveless. But I haven’t got around to it yet. I think it may be more dinner date without the sleeves. With the sleeves it seems more lady who lunches or fancy office wear.

Version 6 is a lovely linen shift.

I love this dress. I purchased the fabric in a soft finishing shop in Wellington, New Zealand and would like to have a sofa covered in it too as well as curtains and dining chairs. Yes I really do love it!

It’s a heavy weight linen and the perfectly on grain print and centred symmetrical pattern make pattern matching and invisible zip insertion a dream. I should make more garments from soft furnishing fabric.

I lined this dress in white cotton batiste. It’s a delight to wear on a hot summers day.

I’ve surprised myself looking back at how many times I’ve repeated other patterns as well this year. Is this a sign I’m maturing as a sewist or just a lack of imagination?!

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White Christmas dress

I’ve been dreaming of a White Christmas…dress. Apologies to Bing Crosby and Michael Bublé.

And my dreams have materialized thanks to my fabric and pattern stash. Gotta love an extensive stash!

This pattern  is from one of Burda’s extra magazines. The website is calling it Burda Easy HW/2014 but my magazine is called Burda Special Autumn/Winter 2014. It’s Dress E without the collar and pocket flaps. Also available as a PDF download

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I made this dress in 2015 in a colour-blocked white and grey patterned lace and grizzled about a sway back issue that I didn’t manage to fix. Then, after a short period in the magic closet, I wore the dress all the time.

Three years on, it was time to make an all white version. I traced off the size up (thanks peri-menopause!) and made a trial version in a Christmas themed cotton print. With sleeves, out of curiosity.  This dress  was the supporting act in my last post.

The fit seemed okay, so I went ahead with my ivory stretch cotton jacquard.

I love this fabric. I already have a skirt made in it that I love.

I used a poly cotton for the facings.

There’s a side zip.

I used a bias cut poly cotton remnant to cover the end of the zip too.

I added a pocket, on the non zip side. Because. Pockets!

The sway back issue is still there.

I’m thinking now that it might be a short torso issue.

But, you know what? I can’t see it from the front. I predict I’m going to wear this dress. A. Lot.

Out take. White Christmas Monster.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone who celebrates.

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When Fiona met Christmas prints: Closet Case Patterns Fiona sundress

A Christmas sundress for an Aussie Christmas. How could this not be an excellent idea?

This is Closet Case Patterns Fiona sundress in a Chris quilting cotton from Spotlight.

I made it in a size 14 with a FBA and some other bodice side seam tweaks to get the fit right. I used a reasonably heavy weight interfacing and this means the top interfaced bodice band is very firm. Definitely no gaping!

The bodice is a bit overfitted by the look of those draglines. But look at her smile. I figure it’ll do.

Pockets! Side slits! Topstitching opportunities! I love this pattern. Also buttons! 17 on Felicity’s sun dress. The instructions call for even more.

I made the buttonholes horizontal to make them a bit more secure and to reduce gaping.

oh yes. I made a Christmas print frock too.

I wanted to trial a dress from the Autumn/Winter 2014 version of Easy Burda. And why use boring calico when I had more Christmas print cotton in the stash?

Kitsch yes. Fun also yes.

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What not to do with scuba: BurdaStyle 05/2011 #108B

Felicity was gifted some floral scuba and she has a church event coming up that needs a nice frock.

Both she and I have wanted to make BurdaStyle 05/2011 #108B for a long time.

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Fabric and an event and a pattern.  Seemed like an excellent coalescing of opportunities and needs.

Or was it?

I traced off a 21 and made a 2.5 cm FBA. The flat pattern measuring and the tissue fitting with the (non stretchy) pattern pieces was a perfect fit in length and width. The scuba bodice was also excellent, on its own, before that heavy skirt was attached.

I forgot that 4 way stretch in fabric with weight and a long full skirt should not be in the same garment. The stretch needed to be corralled into submission with interfacing and interlining and inter everything. I did none of this.

I unpicked, removed length and width and re-attached the bodice and the skirt three times.

Something still had to be done to rescue it.

I made a sash. Out of three small remnants.

It brings that waist back in and covers the evidence that the seaming was still a bit too low.

Now wearable. Phew.

Would have been such a shame to waste this pretty fabric.

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