Sunday, 20 January 2013

Finished - My first Tira

I've only actually made one Tiramisu dress and this is it:

'Scuse the face - it was freezing!

But I know it won't be the last!  I fact I've got some aubergine coloured ponte jersey for the next one.

For this dress I used a poly knit which is charcoal grey with a kind of mohair effect - this worked for me as I can't wear wool and I wanted something warmer than a cotton jersey.  As you can see we have snow, and this was actually warm enough (with a cardigan) to wear to work the other day.

The pattern has different pattern pieces for different high bust measurements (including cup sizes) and waist measurements whch you mix and match for the best fit.  You use the bust and waist measurements to construct the midriff panel, making a perfect fit easy to achieve, especially if you don't fit a standard size.  It's also really easy to use a basted fitting to tweak the size during contruction (and even afterwards).

I used the 35 size bodice in a b-cup.  I had to take 1" off the bottom of the bodice after a basted fitting of the top.  I was getting a lot of gape at the front, so I shifted the centre front of each piece but 3/4" so there was more of a crossover, which fixed that easily enough.I wanted to avoid an empire line look as it really doesn't suit me, so I lengthened the midriff piece by 2".  I cut a 30" waist skirt with a 40" length (but I think I trimmed off too much in hemming and would leave it longer the next time.  The binding goes on flat really neatly.

It's such a good pattern and I'mlooking forward to seeing her other designs - I have preordered Pavlova and she's recently announced her new designs Lammington and Hummingbird.

Steph has run a really great 30 minutes a day sewalong, and i was surprised to find this really worked well for me.  It definitely got me sewing on days when I normally wouldn't have bothered as I didn't think I had enough time.  I think I also took more time with each section as I wasn't rushing to get it done - the topstitching on this is some of the neatest I have done, just because I slowed down a bit!  She put in so much work with all the posts and guidance on getting a great fit and advice on sewing with knits.

Sod this, it's too cold!

This one's definitely a keeper and I completely recommend it to beginners to garment sewing or people new to sewing with knits.  I think Steph is going to leave up the sewalong posts for future reference.  As is her usual style, she's going to be posting way to hack the pattern and change it up, which will be great - I definitely need to try a long sleeved version.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

All about the knitting

As I mentioned in a previous post, I started knitting for the first time in ages to have a portable project to take away over Christmas.  It seems that I can't just sit still with nothing to do any more!

Kerry Kestrel put me on to Kate Davies designs after seeing her lovely Manu Very Scottish Cardigan and I totally fell in love with the Deco cardigan.

I love the texture of the pattern and the way the design shapes towards the waist is so flattering (you can see it better here)!

Although I have been knitting since I was about 7, and have made loads of toys, doll's clothes, baby/ child clothes and blankets, I don't think I have ever sewn an adult garment!  So I plunged into the world of tension squares (another first!).  After trying out a heavy 4 ply, I came to the conclusion that I needed a heavier wool to compensate for my tight knitting, and chose:

Rowan Felted tweed DK in Maritime.  I actually chose it to go with some buttons I bought from the market in Brighton.  I always find it so hard to choose buttons at the end of a project, so this way I know the buttons will work!

The pattern is for 3mm needles but I am using 3 1/4 mm to get the right guage.

I'm learning loads with this pattern - there's not nearly so much shaping in kids' garments!  More about that in a future post. 

But trying to get on with this and the Tira sewalong is proving tough.  Maybe I'll hold on the knitting for a week.  I had plans to take the knitting on the train with me, which was great when it was tiny, but with a cardigan knitted all in one piece, it becomes a bit bulky when you are half way down the sleeve!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Getting my sewjo back!

Happy new year everyone!

It's been a while since I posted, but things have been pretty quiet on the sewing front.

I have a secret squirrel project that I'm working on with a friend and it's been taking up lots of evening sewing/ lunch hour blogging time.  And of course there was the festive gift making which I should have heeded Karen's advice to avoid!

I'm seeing lots of reflective posts on 2013 and looking forward to 2013 so I thought I'd jump on that particular bandwagon!

First of all, my top 5 makes from 2012 (I only really started sewing for myself in about Feb or March):

1.  My Anise jacket - I love this and can't wait for it to get warmer so I can wear it again.  Jackets are great in terms of cost/ effort per wear too!

2.  My spotty Peony - although this was supposed to be a  wearable toile, I like it much better than the final version - a definite case of overfitting!

3.  Maria Denmark Kimono tees - I totally stalked Winnie's version of these.  Although I haven't blogged them, I have made 3 - a grey marl, a navy and white strip and a white one with a sort of textured stripe - and I wear them all the time!

4. Hazel dress - I wore this loads in the summer.  It fits really well and I feel great in it!

5.  Alma blouse - I wear this a lot.  I need to work on my interfacing application as the collar is definitely wrinkly but I have another version planned.

And of course I have a sewing queue.  My priority in 2013 is going to be the things I already have fabric for and I'm going to try not to let other things jump the queue!

1.  Tiramisu dress.

 I have a cute charcoal knit for this and I think it will make a great work dress.  I love the way Steph has drafted the pattern as it looks like it will really minimise fitting time.  I'm going to be doing the sewalong which starts next week so that should keep me on schedule.  I'm looking forward to trying out Tilly's sewing in short bursts plan as I think Steph is using this for the sewalong.  So we'll see how it works for me - I think I might not like it but I'll give it a go.

2.  Juniper trousers. 

I bought the pattern when it came out and got really excited, but the fear of trouser fitting stalled me on this one.  I have a lovely soft suiting (i think it's a poly but I can't really wear wool without lining it anyway) in a charcoal grey for these and I am looking forward to having a well-fitting (and long enough) pair of trousers soon!

3.  Gertie pencil skirt. 

I got held up on this as I struggled to get hold of reasonably priced silk organza for the underlining.  Not sure what else I can use.  Any suggestions?  I have a fairly soft crepy suiting in a lovely aubergine colour so I think it does need some structure to it to make a pencil skirt.

4.  Another Alma blouse. 

I bought a great printed chiffon as it was the last on the bolt without much of an idea of what to do with it.  I think it needs to be an Alma but am undecided on which version.  The chiffon is too floppy for a collar so think it might be the scoop neck belted version (although I'm not sure if I have enough fabric for the long sleeves).

5.  Gertie portrait blouse. 

I have a teal satin for this but i'm unsure if it will be too shiny for me to actually wear once it is finished.  Maybe I should have got this done in time to wear at Christmas!  The satin was fairly cheap so I guess I can treat it as a toile if it looks too shiny.  I do love the style and relaxed shape of it.  Gertie looks beautiful in the picture from the book too!

Over Christmas I have been mainly knitting as we've been away.  I'll post soon with a sneak peek of that too!