Sunday, March 27, 2011

Drape Drape 2 No. 4 top Version 2

It's not often I make a pattern multiple times but this Japanese pattern has been one. It's so simple to make, it's also easy and flattering to wear.

This time I made it out of a pink and white stripe with a slight seersucker effect it in one of the stripes from my favourite fabric store. It was a 2 way stretch but a heavier weight than I previously has used and this did alter the final effect (notably the softness of the drapes).
This top also gave me the opportunity of trying to improve my technique using self bias. I also used this handy gadget to help make the self bias. This was a 12mm size but there are others. Simply cut the bias to size (across the fabric grain), push the fabric through the device (having a point of the fabric and a pair of tweezers to pull through the first part of the fabric helped me) and then  iron into bias binding.

As this fabric was not so soft a stretch as the previous version,  I eased out the side seam and made sure the bottom hem was well stretched while sewing.
Front view (in soft focus:) )

back view
The stripe may or may not have worked but I'm still happy to wear the final result.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Window screens

Here's part of what I've been doing for the last few days - not pretty but very practical - window shades for our boat. The boat has large windows around the boat which gives terrific visibility and great light down below but can be hot in summer (see the red outline which is how the screens will be fitted). There is one set of windows on each side of the boat.

As we're planning a trip to the tropics, we thought window shades would be a good idea. So I bought some vinyl black (not blue as it appears in the photo) mesh fabric from Sailrite called Phifertex, which has a number of outdoor uses and provides 70% sunshade but still gives a good view.

I wanted to make them in 2 pieces only, one for each side of the boat, to make them easy to take off and on. So I made a paper pattern and sewed 3 pieces together so it could accommodate the curve of the windows towards the front of the boat. Plus the window sizing wasn't uniform which didn't help.

I ran some black vinyl tape around the edges for strength and finished the edges with black marine grade bias binding. Black snaps were added which will be attached to adhesive sockets on the boat (which means no drilling - hooray).
Front snap

Rear snap
It doesn't look too lovely right now but it will definitely do the job and I'll post a photo once they have been fitted.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Pattern obsessions

Ok I'm going to admit it - I think I'm quickly developing a obsession for vintage patterns. Collecting them that is, I'm not quite game enough to grade and make an authentic vintage pattern yet but it's in the planning.

What I particularly love are 1950s and early 60s dresses. Many of them look so pretty and elegant. The sixties remind me of what my mother use to wear as I was growing up. I have fond memories of her dressed up to go to a cocktail part or dinner looking absolutely gorgeous.

I've started collecting some great designer patterns to sew which I'll share with you soon. Others I'll have to give up - I love them but they either don't suit my body shape or I won't get around to making them. But I bought them anyway....

Here's one of the one's I love but may not be the best on my hourglass shape! So it's now on Etsy. 
It has a rounded bloused top which is gently shirred with a full or pencil skirt (McCall's 4475) - divine. Suggested fabrics are crepe, jersey, printed silk or cotton, tissue faille, wool, soft silks or synthetics (that's pretty much a broad range of fabrics). A cotton lawn would be lovely - what about this Liberty cotton?

Liberty Margaret Annie
If you're interested in this pattern or anything else at Sew Indigo on Esty, I'm offering a 20% discount until Monday on my blog only. Just use the Coupon code: SEWINDIGOBLOG1.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Colour Inspiration - Lake Twilight

Here's some colour (and pattern!) inspiration. Lovely autumn colours inspired by a photo one Friday evening drinks at the yacht club. I've selected a pretty cotton print from Tessuti and teamed it with a 1950s empire line party dress.

When I was reviewing the post, I noticed the palette coincidentally had some resemblance to the Pantone 2011 Autumn Colours in my previous post.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My new walking foot

I think this could be my new best sewing friend - my walking foot. I bought this recently after making my boat cushions and feeling like I was fighting the canvas when I was machine stitching. I'm also hoping it will help with slippery and other other hard to manage fabrics.

I've only used it briefly on some canvas I'm sewing for the boat lee cloths (more about these later) and have already found it fantastic. It shows in the top stitching....without the walking foot, the length of stitches are irregular and the line of stitching is not too straight. All this is because I'm trying to manage the long length and heavy weight of the fabric while trying to sew straight. Challenging.
Before walking foot - irregular stitches
With walking foot - stitches more regular & straighter
With the walking foot, the stitch lengths and straightness have improved. I also don't feel like I'm fighting the canvas like I was before.

Yes, it's bulkier than a regular foot but I haven't found this a problem and the control more than compensates for this.

I'll report further when I try it on other fabrics. Does anyone else have any tips on this they can share? Are there any other presser feet you can recommend to make sewing easier?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Autumn colours for 2011

For those of you that love colour like me, Pantone released their Colour report for autumn 2011 at New York Fashion week in February 2011.

Aren't the colours delicious for autumn. It will be interesting to see if these colours are reflected in the autumn winter fashions and fabrics this year. Honeysuckle is Pantone's colour of the year and I think is a wonderful summer and winter colour. 

I'll certainly be inspired by this lovely palette, I hope you are too. 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Winner - Giveaway 1

Thank you to those who participated. I've enjoyed reading your comments. The winner has been randomly selected and is Evelyn. Congratulations!

Evelyn, if you'd like to drop me an email with your mailing address, I'll get this to you in the mail early next week.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Mini project - stretching fabric as wall art

I rediscovered a beautiful piece of embroidery my sister bought back for me from Turkey. Cotton with wool embroidery - a similar type of fabric as my give away 1.

I finally decided to bite the bullet and attempt making a frame and stretching the fabric to hang it on the wall. Well, my wonderful other half actually made the timber frame, then I stretched and stapled the fabric using some simple guidelines I found on the internet.

I must it came together pretty well and looks perfect in the bedroom.
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