Tuesday, 30 September 2014

My second Sorbetto!

After the success of my first Colette Sorbetto, I decided to make the pattern up in a different type of fabric. This time I went for a cotton/silk mix in a lovely ditsy print. Although the fabric was more difficult to cut, the top came together quite well. 

I made the decision not to use bias binding made from the floral fabric as it would have moved all over the place when cutting and folding. I had a lovely roll of red gingham bias binding from a previous project that I chose to use. I love the effect! I went for a hidden binding, so you shouldn't see it when wearing it, I just get the pleasure of seeing it on the hanger! 

Because the fabric is more fluid it lends itself better to being tucked in, so looks great with a gathered skirt. I think if I were to make the top again in a similar fabric, I would decrease the size of the armholes and neck hole because I think that they stretched slightly during manufacture. 

I think i'm going to pause my Sorbetto making and try something different. I have decided to try a Tilly and the Buttons picnic blanket skirt, so watch out for that! 

Sunday, 28 September 2014

My first Sorbetto...

After my sewing table disaster, I have been sewing like a demon to complete my WIP's. With the Mathilde already finished, I set about sewing my Sorbetto by Colette. This make is so simple, I totally recommend it as a stress-free dressmaking experience. With 1 pleat, 2 darts, 2 side seams (french seams), 2 shoulder seams (french seams also) and neck and armhole binding it took shape very quickly. 

The fabric was really easy to sew and I used my new bias binding maker so that everything matched. I'm now waiting for the perfect opportunity to show off my Sorbetto - it is certainly a great summer top. I'm already planning what other fabric to use to make another one of these lovely tops. 

Saturday, 27 September 2014

My Mathilde is finished!

Ok, so I decided to buy the tiny table from Japan Home Centre... I was so excited to complete my two WIP's it seemed like a good idea. Plus, I can use it to put my Christmas tree on when my desk arrives. 

With my temporary sewing area set up, I began the task of completing my WIP's and namely my Mathilde. The written instructions included in the PDF download are absolutely fine for most stages of manufacture, although if I was a beginner I might have struggled. Thankfully when things got tough (the button stand and facing) I had Tilly's helpful photographic instructions on her website to assist. All in all, this was a thoroughly enjoyable make, I loved the variety of different stages and putting the buttonholes in was really fun! My new Bernina was super reliable and did a great job on the manual buttonhole setting. 

I had decided to do my Mathilde with short sleeves as the full sleeves that feature in the official pattern wouldn't be great in Hong Kong. I thought I would get more wear out of short sleeves. I think that the sleeves look great! They're very full, but that will help with HK weather and makes a really feminine shape. 

I recommend this pattern to anyone that wants something interesting to make. The instructions are very good, especially the photographic tutorials online. I'm certainly considering a second Mathilde to add to my rapidly increasing handmade wardrobe. 

Friday, 26 September 2014

Planning my pattern hacks!

I am now without a sewing table! My dining table has broken and sewing is a no go until my new sewing desk arrives on Tuesday (I know, Tuesday!!!). I'm considering getting a put up table to get me through the next few days, but this depends on whether i can find one. Japan Home Centre is my next stop!

My main focus at the moment is sketching out some pattern hack ideas with some of the patterns I've used recently. Variations on The Mortmain by Gather and the Sorbetto by Colette. I'm filling my tiny little sketchbook with lots of possibilities and ideas for when i have finished my current WIP's.

Still on my table is my nautical top collection. An anchor print Sorbetto and a boat print Mathilde. I can't wait to get going on them, but I suppose i'll have to make do with sketching. There are worse things...

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Colette Sorbetto - Part 1 - Toile and Alterations

Ok, so last night I started the process of making a Colette Sorbetto (click to take you to their page). It's a very simple downloadable pattern. It was a lot quicker to stick together than The Mathilde, but that's not surprising as there are only 2 pattern pieces! After a quick stick, I took some measurements and decided on the size I was going to make. I went for a 12 (american size) as it seemed like it would make a spacious summer top, which is very necessary in Hong Kong. 

Because the top is so easy to make and doesn't require much fabric, I decided to make a toile. This seemed sensible because I don't have enough of my new fabrics in case anything goes wrong. I decided to use some lovely red poly-cotton that I had left over from a Red Riding Hood fancy dress outfit (i'll leave it at that...). After sewing the centre pleat, darts, side seams and shoulder seams, voila, I had a toile of my Sorbetto. I tried it on straight away as I was very excited that I had just made a top in about 30 minutes! 

There were a few simple alterations I noted straight away - The dart was sitting exactly on the bust point, which isn't the most flattering, so I decided to make it 1cm shorter on my paper pattern. In addition to this, there was a slight amount of bagging under the arm and although this should be a fairly baggy top, it just wasn't right. I knew that adding bias binding to finish the top would enhance this. I decided to measure in 0.5cm from the armhole and remove a small triangle from the pattern. Hopefully this will solve the problem. Lastly, the whole thing was just too short. I have this whole long body thing going on, so I wasn't surprised. I decided to add 6cm to the length. I went for this much just in case. I can after all just cut some off if it is too long. 

I altered my pattern and am now ready to make my first real Sorbetto. I've decided on another nautical print, but before I can get started I need to do some shopping today. 

On my list I have...

  • Red, white and matching machine thread to my fabrics. 
  • White and navy bias binding (if possible). 
  • 7 x 15mm buttons for my Mathilde.
  • Some white invisible zips.
  • A new pot of pins.
  • A Bias binding maker. 
I am going to try Pottinger Street in Central for most of these goodies, I now that I can get most of what I need there. I will then go to Tailoring and Alteration in Causeway Bay to check out their bias binding makers. 

Fingers crossed that this is a quick process and I can get home to sew!

Monday, 22 September 2014

Fabric shopping in Shenzhen

Wow, what a busy weekend! Travelling from Hong Kong to Shenzhen on a Friday evening is so busy! Fortunately by the time I got the opportunity to visit the fabric market on the 5th floor of the Luohu Commercial City building on Sunday, the busyness had subsided and I could browse without being pushed around. 

I only had 30 minutes to explore, but that ended up being plenty of time to look around. I fell lucky and found the Shun Fa Fabric Store (See details above). It was manned by a very helpful lady who showed me all the hundreds of different fabric she had. There was some really lovely quality cottons in lots of different patterns and textures. Each fabric is pre-cut into approximately 1.5m lengths. Each one of the lengths I bought was 45RMB - A total bargain!. She even threw in the last piece (the gingham) for just 30RMB even though it measures 2.5m! In total, a spend of 300RMB and I left extremely pleased with my haul. 

With so many beautiful fabrics to work with now, I'd better get sewing! I have plans to make a nice summery top from the blue floral fabric, which is a beautiful soft silk/cotton mix. I have just downloaded the free (Yes free!) Colette Sorbetto pattern after seeing it on my friend's blog (www.carolinejoynson.blogspot.co.uk) It's a nice, simple vest top that can be customised easily. I'm going to toile it tonight to check the fit before trying the real fabric (I don't want to waste it!). I also need to purchase a bias binding maker so that I can finish the edges in a matching binding - a visit to Tailoring and Alterations in Causeway Bay is necessary. With so much to sew, I barely have time for a day job! 

I'll keep you updated on my progress... 

Friday, 19 September 2014

Fabric delivery - Modes4u

I picked up this little lot from the Post Office last night. My lovely fabric delivery from www.modes4u.com It was very exciting picking it up because the package was so large! I ordered 2.5m of both the Jug or not? by Michael Miller and Red Balloon by Cloud 9 fabrics and just 2m of the Maritime Sailing by Michael Miller fabric. Ok, so this was a little bit of a fabric splurge, but with my plan to make lots of new additions to my wardrobe, it was a necessity. 

My thoughts on www.modes4u.com are that it is a brilliant website! Love their choice of designer fabrics and because they are based in Hong Kong I can get the fabrics delivered quickly. They even throw in a free gift - I received a square of pink fabric and although at the minute it has no use, i'm sure I will find something to make with it. Each of my new fabrics has a planned outcome already - watch this space for my new makes!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Mathilde - Progress...

I managed to keep to my planning and stuck together my pattern last night. It says in the instructions that this process should take 20 minutes, but I think I must be particularly slow at this because it took me more than 30! Oh well, we've all got our strengths...

I then cut it out to my size. I like that the sizes are number 1-8 and not in sizes because when is a 14 ever the same as another 14! This process was thankfully much quicker (clearly I have strengths in cutting out paper!).

Ok, so next stage is sort out the fabric. I'm going away this weekend, so no sewing for me :( I have a package of fabric from www.modes4u.com waiting at the Post Office, so hopefully i'll be able to collect it tonight and wash my fabric ready for cutting. I've chosen this particular fabric for my Mathilde... 
I just need to find the perfect buttons to accompany it. I'm anticipating that my next sewing opportunity will be on Monday at the earliest, so Mathilde will have to wait until then. 

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

New make - Mathilde by Tilly and the buttons...

After the enjoyable hours that I have spent making dresses over the past few days, I have decided to turn my attentions to a different garment for my next make. It was whilst reading blogs like Tilly's (www.tillyandthebuttons.com) that inspired me to get back to blogging. It has also help to fuel my reignited passion for dressmaking. I've ordered her new book; 'Love at first stitch' which includes some lovely patterns. I am awaiting its delivery from The Book Depository, but I thought I would try one of the downloadable PDF patterns in the mean time. 

The Mathilde is such a gorgeous blouse shape and the maker gallery on Tilly's website shows lots of different ways of interpreting the pattern.I can't wait to start making! 

I've got my 26 pages of pattern printed out, ready for when I get home and can crack out the scotch tape and get sticking! Working full time means that I might get the pattern stuck together and then my size traced off before my bed is calling. 

I'll keep you up to date with my progress and give you my thoughts on the pattern. 

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Getting Christmas ready...

What else to do on a T8 day off, but make Christmas stockings! Ok, so I had already started two stockings for the newcomers in my life, but I finally got round to finishing them. 

I chose this beautiful Red Norwegian Winter Essentials fabric by StudioE Fabrics. I bought this fabric from www.fabricrehab.co.uk, but it's available from Hong Kong based online fabric retailer www.modes4u.com. I went for wool felt for the lettering/heart shape and jumbo ric rac to bring it all together. I'm pretty pleased with the outcome. These will be winging their way across the world to the UK in time for Santa to fill them up! 

The Mortmain by Gather - The finished article!

After about 4 hours work, i've completed my stripes and spots combo dress! I really love the combination of fabrics and the waistband in the same fabric as the skirt looks great! This dress is customisable because I chose to do my box pleats this way, although the pattern suggests the opposite way. 

This pattern is so simple to make and is suitable to use with so many fabrics. I bought it from www.fabricrehab.co.uk, which is a great website if you're happy to pay international shipping. I found the price ok and it arrived quite quickly after it had been dispatched. 

I'm looking forward to showing this outfit off in Shenzhen this weekend - Bring on the karaoke!

I've styled my outfit with the Tatty Devine lollypop necklace - the perfect accompaniment! 

The Mortmain by Gather - A Review...

After spending a long time browsing the internet for a suitable dress making pattern, i happened upon this lovely specimen. On first viewing, this Gather pattern is beautifully presented. It comes with a stitch bound instruction book, that has an easy to follow step-by-step for how to make two variations of The Mortmain dress.

I've already made this pattern up in a fine checked wool fabric that will be great for work. I'm now in the process of combining red spotted cotton and blue and white striped cotton to make a new summer dress. 

Updates to follow...

New project...

This is my new project. I bought the spotty fabric for a cool 25HKD in Sham Shui Po on Saturday. I already owned the nautical-tastic stripes. I think that this combination is crying out to be a new summer dress - What do you think?

Monday, 15 September 2014

Back to blogging...

After dabbling in writing a blog a couple of years ago, i'm back! This time with a new, more personal approach. I guess i'd better introduce myself... My name is Sophie and I'm a sewing addict (sounds a bit like AA, but it's that level of obsession!) . I live in Hong Kong and I love sewing! My sewing addiction is not limited to one area, I love pattern cutting, dress making, hand embroidery, machine embroidery and I adore felt making. I guess I'm what you would call an all-rounder. I have found that i'm sewing more frequently and thinking about it constantly (not ideal when you have a job!). I thought, why not try blogging again, so here I am.

Welcome! I hope I can help, inspire and fuel other sewer's love...