Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Finished - Alma Blouse

This was my first Sewaholic pattern and I have say, I really love it!  I'm pretty late to the Alma party and have been seeing lovely versions popping up all over the blogosphere - in particular Karen's and Jane's.

For this version I totally stalked Marie's lovely peter pan collar version - I really liked the way she used the print for the body with a plain collar as it really makes the collar stand out.

I picked up the fabric for the body in the John Lewis sale - It's a cute cotton floral print.  The lady behind me in the queue nabbed the rest to make a shirt dress for her daughter and I think it would make a great
shirt dress!  The blue cotton for the collar was a remnant from my stash.

The instructions are really clear (thanks Tasia!) and the fit was great straight out of the envelope (apart from my usual length adjustments which are easy enough by now).  The only thing I am less keen on is the slightly odd sleeve length - I am still toying with shortening them after seeing Jane's version.

I do love how versatile this pattern is - I have a sheer chiffony print to make the long sleeved version, I think with the scoop neck and I am toying with a cap sleeved version from a beautiful cotton silk remnant I recently bought (but I think that may need underlining so I am nervous!).

I've worn it loads already so I am calling it a definite win!

Friday, 16 November 2012

The Brave Peony

So I definitely have to work on hubby's photo-taking-for-sewing-blog skills.  In the approx. 2 minutes he will spend taking pics before work (resulting in about 10 pics and 1 usable one) the clothes always look awful!  This dress does actually look better on and fits better than these pictures would suggest!

Anyway here is the Brave Peony.  So-called because my daughter thinks it makes me look like Merida rather than because there is actually any real bravery going on (invisible zip insertion does not count).

It is made from teal suiting, which I largely chose because I liked the colour rather than the actual fabric.  I think this was possibly a mistake.

As I had made a wearable muslin already, I knew what adjustments I wanted to make.  I had already done a lot of lengthening -2.5" to the bodice and 3" to the skirt, and added a bit to the skirt waist too. 

I did a wide shoulder adjustment which I learned in my Anise Jacket works well for me.  However I do think I need to do some changes to the armscye as a result, but I'm not sure what.  You can see it pulls slightly at the armhole seam, although the shoulder is in the right place.  Can anyone advise on this?

I also moved the waist darts out about 1" as per Lladybird's post during the Sewalong.  Although the finished dress doesn't actually look as nipple-y as these pics suggest (but it was pretty cold out that day!), I think I messed up when trying to reshape the darts for a better fit under the bust as per Gertie's post and needed to shorten them a bit more.  After having resewn them a couple of times I decided to quit while ahead!  Anyway, I think this is a classic example of overfitting on my part - the original pattern would probably have been fine!  But I often feel that I have extra fabric under the bust with Colette patterns, perhaps as they are drafted for a C-cup and I'm a B.  I do love Sarai's designs though so I will probably persist in trying to get the bust darts right for me!

I also lowered the neckline 1" after reading Rochelle's post as I do feel the neckline is a bit choking on this pattern.

I will probably make another one now I have got closer to the right fit (damn you, waist darts!) but I think I prefer the short sleeved version - the long sleeved is a bit "classic" for me (although I did get lots of compliments on this dress when I wore it for the first time!).  Maybe a sleeveless one for the summer as I do love it in a cotton print!  And with the leftover fabric (I thought I had bought the right amount but I always seem to have loads left over when I make a Colette pattern, even with the extra length I have to add) the small person wants a Brave dress for herself!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Finished - Anise Jacket

I actually finished this weeks ago but visiting relatives/ school holidays/ dark evening and rushed mornings have conspired against getting photos of it until now!
It was a lot of work, but totally worth it as I learnt such a lot - bound buttonholes, welt pockets, lining a jacket, loads of handsewing.
I absolutely love the colour - it cheers me up every day!  (Not that you'd know it from my face in this pic - WTF is that all about?).  As with all Colette patterns, the instructions are really clear and the jacket went together just as instructed.  I bought the Anise Companion too, most of which was used in the online details in the sewalong, and it was great to have such clear pictures in front of me to study as I was working on it.
The fit is great - it's really comfortable with no pulling or tightness thanks to the wide shoulder adjustment.  The collar is the perfect size and shape and sits really well.  I do wish I had underlined the arms though, maybe with a lighter interfacing or calico (now that I have found out this is what Amercians and pattern instructions mean by muslin, rather than the thin open weave stuff we call muslin in the UK!) as I think the fabric is pretty soft and wrinkles a bit too much.  But It's a minor niggle.  (See, I am totally not mentioning the one wonky buttonhole and the fact that the inside of one of the welt pockets is on backwards).  I am really happy witht he buttons as I agonosied over them for ages before picking these silvery ones from John Lewis.

And another pic just for the terrible faces I was pulling this morning.  I hate weird face days...

I will leave you with the comment received from my sister-in-law - "it's definitely as good as you would get in Primark" (for the benefit of non-UK readers, Primark is a cheap as chips clothing shop where jackets probably cost a maximum of £40).  I think I'll give up now.  Funny thing is, I think she meant it as a compliment!