Friday, July 19, 2013

Simplicity 1590 - Retro Blouse - View A

Shantung Shirt

View B (with collar and bow) is here

Here is the other version of the retro blouse, this time in some white shantung polyester.  View A was much quicker to make than View B.  It doesn't have the fiddly collar or bow, making it a much simpler garment.

I was worried that the fabric wouldn't hold a crease properly but it all worked out and the darts turned out OK.

The next bit is exactly the same as View B - shoulder seams, side seams and peplum.
  The main difference between View B and View A is the scoop neckline and the facings.  Here are the facings all ready for sewing.

And here they are! 
 Next we need to hem the extremely long, curved peplum.  As the polyester was fairly slippery, I overlocked the bottom (stitch width around 6 mm) and then used the stitching as the first fold on my double hem.

 And this is how it turned out.

Simplicity 1590 - Retro Blouse - View B

Retro Blouse

I saw this pattern on sale a few weeks back and knew I had to have a copy.  I love the peplum and the fitted look of the waist.  Hopefully I will be able to do the pattern justice!

So here we have our pattern layout.  I just managed to get all of the pieces on to the 1.5 metres of fabric required by the pattern.  There were very few scraps left over.

The fabric I used is 100% cotton shirting with a rose/ribbon pattern.  Not my usual taste but I thought it would suit the retro style of the blouse.

This was my first time sewing darts and they turned out rather well.  In my enthusiasm, I sewed the front vertical darts as well.  They are supposed to be done later but it was probably a good thing that I sewed them first - I'll explain later on.

First up, the shoulder seams and then the side seams.  I overlocked the raw edges on each side before sewing the side seams.  Looking good so far...

Next, we attach the peplum.  The curve of the peplum gave me a bit of trouble but everything ended up where it was supposed to be...whew!  I needed to unpick about 2-3 cm from the bottom of the front dart that I accidentally sewed earlier.

Next, the waist ties.  I will now introduce my secret weapon for making ties - cooking chopsticks!
Chopsticks are great for turning things inside-out and pushing out corners - they are tapered enough to do the job and blunt enough not to rip a hole in your fabric.  These ties were really long and skinny so my supersized cooking chopsticks (approx. 30 cm long) did the job admirably.  They also cook a mean stir-fry.

So now for the tricky part.  The pattern says you need to do three things at once - sew the front dart, attach the ties and sew the side of the peplum to the front panel.  As I had already done the dart, I only needed to worry about two of these things.  I inserted the tie in the 'grotto' created by my pre-sewn dart and then pinned and sewed the seam , following the line of the dart down to the bottom.

Now for the collar.  This bit was confusing.  I have sewn a collar with facings before with the collar sandwiching the facing.  With this one, the collar is sandwiched between the facing and the blouse.
As you can see below (basted and ready to sew), the collar is peeking out from between the facing and the body of the blouse.

And there we have it - a very tasty looking collar sandwich!

Now comes the ironing bit.  *sigh*  The peplum needs an enormous, curved double fold hem.  Thank goodness for my ironing guide.  I would have gone potty without it.

Next we add the finishing touches - buttonholes, buttons and the ribbon at the neck.  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the finished product!

I also made View A (scoop neck) with some polyester shantung.  You can find the photos here: Simplicity 1590 - Retro Blouse - View A.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Vogue 7937 - Skirt

Sewing My First Skirt

 This is the first time I have ever sewed clothing for myself so bear with me!

Vogue Patterns had a sale on a few weeks ago and I just had to have some of their gorgeous patterns.  As I am new to making adult clothes, I thought I would start out with something simple like a skirt - Vogue 7937.  This one has lots of variations and I chose view B with the button tabs.  The fabric (stretch cotton/linen blend) was on sale at my favourite crafty emporium - Yuzawa-ya - so this is my 500 yen skirt!

So we begin with the cutting.  I chose a size 10 as it seemed closest to my measurements. 

There are the skirt panels...

and the skirt back and facings.

 The sewing bit starts off with the tabs.  Quick and easy.


Then we sew the front panels together with the tabs attached. The instructions didn't say anything about overlocking the pieces but I did because the fabric had started to fray.


 Next, we sew the back panels together with a nice vent at the back.
At this point, I sewed the side seams and tried it on - only to find that the skirt was at least one size too big.  I took another centimetre off each side and it fit perfectly.  I think I will cut out the size 8 next time.

And here it first-ever zip!  I ended up with some lumps and bumps but not bad for a first attempt.  Thank you, fusible webbing!

Next, the facings need to be attached.

There was a lot of hand stitching necessary to finish this skirt - hemming the bottom, attaching the facings to the zip and attaching the buttons.

And here it is - the finished product!  First from the front...

...and the back.

And the obligatory close-up!

 Thank you, Vogue Patterns.  I'll definitely be making this one again - with some more expensive fabric this time!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Simplicity 2459 - Dress and Bodysuit - Part 2


Part 1 - The Dress - is here.
Finally, we come to the bodysuit.
I'm still a beginner when it comes to knit fabrics so I wasn't really sure if this one would work out.  Thankfully, it was fairly simple and quick to make.

Knit fabrics require a different sewing machine set-up to woven fabrics.  I use a ballpoint needle and a roller foot - it's just like a little roller skate for sewing machines!

I also use a stretch nylon thread called Resilon.  It's wonderful stuff but a little bit temperamental at times.  It is very slippery so it tangles easily and unravels at every opportunity.

After sewing the back seam, we attach the sleeves and then sew up the side seams.

It's looking more like a bodysuit now...

Next comes the collar.  The pattern has a Peter Pan collar but I just couldn't make it work.  The fabric went all wavy and it just didn't look right.

I decided to ad lib with some more georgette and a piece of binding made from the knit fabric.  I cut a strip of georgette, made a rolled hem on both sides and folded it over so that the top ruffle was about 2 cm shorter than the bottom.  I then put the fold through the overlocker to create some ruffles.

The ruffles are attached to the body with a strip of binding and voila - a very frilly neckline!

 Next, we add the leg bindings and the snaps at the bottom.  I had a bit of trouble attaching the snap tape to the bodysuit because it was so fiddly.  To solve the problem, I tacked the tape by hand and then sewed it with the machine.

And there we have it - a lovely frilly bodysuit!
The pattern requires a button and loop at the back and this tutorial from Ysolda really came in handy.

Our resident teddy fashionista, Taro, insisted on trying on the whole ensemble.