Tuesday, 26 May 2015

A Trio of Colette Sorbetto's...

In a previous blog (here) I described a new version of the Colette Sorbetto that I had made for my trip to Singapore. This started a process of me making three new ones (or a trio) ready for my summer holiday. 

The first one is made from a lovely Liberty print Tana Lawn that I bought in Tokyo. I had never worked with Liberty fabric and didn't know how they felt. As soon as I saw them in the flesh and most importantly had a feel, I fell in love! They are so soft and light, absolutely perfect for summery tops. The print I went for is a kind of birdcage/candelabra/floral in blue, red, yellow and green on an off white background. I just loved the busy pattern and the colour combination.

This top features hidden binding around both the neck and armholes. It was the first version that I decided to extend by approximately 4cm to allow it to be more flattering to my figure. 

 The second Sorbetto I decided to make is again from a fabric I bought in Tokyo. This time it is a cotton lawn with panda print! I loved the chubby panda drawings and thought it would make a really cute top - I was right! 

The colour combination is black on off-white, which is something that I don't own. It fits in nicely with my summer wardrobe. With this version I decided to have a visible binding around the neck and a hidden binding around the armholes. 

The final Sorbetto in this trio is made from a checkered cotton off cut from my True Bias Southport Dress (here). I really love the colour combination, but because I'm not 100% in love with the Southport, I needed to make a different garment in this fabric. The Sorbetto seemed like a good choice. The bold colours mean that it looks like a completely different top to the others that I have already made. Plus, these colours will look great with jeans or denim shorts. 

I decided to use the same pre-made bias tape around the neck and armholes as my Southport as it would not be seen. This made the manufacture of this top incredibly quick - I would say from cut to finish, it took me 2 hours (super speedy!). I added two matching blue buttons to the centre pleat to add a feature. It breaks up the checks well. 

The Colette Sorbetto is such a great (FREE) pattern. I have been through a few versions and have tweaked the fit, the shape of the neckline and the length. It is now such a perfect top for both my figure and the summer season, it just made sense to make 3! I hope you agree. If you haven't downloaded it, you need to. You will have just enough time to fill up your summer wardrobe. 

Saturday, 23 May 2015

My first Ultimate Trousers...

After a lots and lots of dress makes, I decided to take a leap into trouser making. It has been a long time since I made trousers (my fashion degree), but have never made a pair for myself. I decided to start with a simple pair and the Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers are certainly that! There are 4 different pieces to the pattern:- Front and back legs and front and back facing. 

I decided to make them up in a lovely cotton sateen that has a little bit of stretch in it. The print is a bang on trend floral featuring carnations. Other than that, the only other thing needed is an invisible zip (for the side fastening). 

I was in between sizes, so I blended to a larger size at the hips. The making process was really easy and I had no problems at all. I found the crotch fitted perfectly first time and the top of the trousers sits in a comfortable place, this makes them really wearable! This is my first time using a Sew Over It pattern, so i was super happy that the fit went so well. 

I had a change of heart on how to finish the hem of the trousers. I originally hemmed them using the sewing machine, but the heavy black line made the trousers look cheap. I decided to unpick it and resew it by hand. I'm so much happier with finish. 

These trousers will make a great addition to my summer wardrobe and will match with a lot of the tops that I already own. This is certainly not going to be my last adventure in trouser making, so watch this space!  

Monday, 18 May 2015

New versions of some old favourites - Alder and Lilou!

I've always proclaimed my love for the Grainline Studios Alder Shirt dress. It's a great pattern that needs little tweaking to achieve a nice fit and it is incredibly satisfying to make! All those different stages and lots of lovely top-stitching (Yippee!). I had always planned to make a third one to add to my collection (1 and 2 are here), but I wasn't sure on the fabric choice. I had an idea that I wanted a blue cotton chambray, but Hong Kong wouldn't oblige and I couldn't find what I wanted. 

It wasn't until I saw this broiderie anglais fabric in a shop in Jordan that I knew I'd found my third Alder. The combination of the blue chambray - ish background and the red embroidered circles really stood out in the shop, so I just had to have it. This fabric is far more expensive than most of my HK finds at $90HKD per yard! But the shop worker was in a 'good deal' kind of mood, so actually sold it to me for $70HKD per yard (bargain!). 

I decided whilst in the shop to purchase some matching lightweight cotton to act as a trim - I figured it would be difficult to buttonhole on top of the embroidery. This was an inspired decision and I used it on the inner collar stand, the under collar and the outer button stand as well as the pockets. I chose not to interface my collar or collar stand as it would show through the fabric. This was actually a great idea. On my first wearing as part of Me Made May '15 on Saturday, the collar was soooooo comfortable. The softness makes it more slouchy and adds a level of casualness to the dress.  

The second pattern that I have a well know love for is the Tilly and the Buttons Lilou. It has been through a rigorous testing and fitting process over the last 3 i've made that makes it fit like a glove.

On my recent trip to Tokyo I picked up some beautiful Japanese wave fabric (100% cotton). I wanted something traditional that would remind me of the trip. This fabric was a bargain, although I can't remember the exact price. I realised pretty soon after returning home that I didn't want to use this over a whole dress (too many waves), so I set about finding a complimentary navy cotton. I trawled the fabric shops and markets of Hong Kong with no success. It's a very specific type of blue, so I wasn't surprised. Luckily I had booked a short break to Singapore at Easter, which meant only one thing...SPOTLIGHT! I took my sample and within moments of entering the fabric section, I had found a match - perfect planning! 

I decided to use the plain navy on the top and the waves on the skirt. It does mean that I have some wave left for another make :) The make itself was very simple, however I decided to substitute the normal gathered skirt for a box pleated one - I wanted to show off the waves. Overall, it turned out pretty well, although the navy fabric does show off deodorant marks really easily, but I guess that's something I can't do anything about.  

I'm still a massive fan of both these patterns and see more on the horizon when a fabric takes my fancy. 

Which patterns are you obsessed with?

Sunday, 17 May 2015

My first Deer and Doe Sureau and my first True Bias Southport...

After my blogging drought, I decided to blog a 2 for 1. The first new me make is my Deer and Doe Sureau. I had planned to make one of these a long time ago in a lovely duck print, but I met so many problems with the fabric that I decided to put it on hold. A new opportunity arose is this blue and white seersucker cotton. I bought this very cheaply from the Lanes in Central, Hong Kong for $20HKD a yard, so it was great for a trial fabric. 

The whole making process was really easy. I actually cut this dress out and sewed it in one session (go me!). The fastening (underarm invisible zip) was a piece of cake to install (i'm a bit of a zip expert) and everything went smoothly. I used a white bias binding around the armholes, which again went in easily. 

I went for a size 44, which fits in most places. I don't like how the neckline is gaping slightly, so this is something to look at in the future. I also didn't pattern match brilliantly on this and the centre panel is totally off, which makes in unwearable in my book, but it has worked as a fantastic toile. I plan to take a 1cm wedge out of the neckline and also to raise the armhole (my bra does sneak out) and lose a little from the shoulder. I have a lovely little indigo linen in my stash that is probably going to be my next Sureau, so watch out for that! 

In my search of a summery, casual addition to my suitcase for my summer holiday, I also decided to test run the True Bias Southport. This is a brand new pattern and there are not too many examples of this in the blogging world. I liked the casual style and the real button stand down the front. I did have a few questions over whether the style would suit me before I made it. 

I chose to use up some red and blue checked cotton that I bought in Sham Shui Po (again for $20HKD a yard). Again, this make was super easy. I enjoyed the process of making the fastening and adding the binding to both the neckline and armholes. The fit is actually quite good around those areas. I've done a pretty good job on the pattern matching here, as the checks do match up across the front. I chose to make my own cord for the drawstring, which was a satisfying job.

Overall, i'm not 100% sold on the style of this dress. I feel that the neckline is cut too low for me and I might feel self conscious wearing it in Hong Kong for sure. It may be able to solve a beachwear problem though because it's so easy to wear. I have planned to make an adjusted version of this dress in my previous post, so i'll see if I get round to that.  

Have you tried any of these patterns? What did you think of them after the first fit?

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Being rubbish at blogging!

So, it has been a while... The frequency of my blogging as taken a nose dive! This unfortunately is not due to a lack of seeing. I'm still working my way through an ever increasing 'to make' list and just haven't gotten around to the photography part. Apologies, I'm rubbish! I have so many lovely makes to blog about, so watch this space. 

I have also been taking part in Me Made May '15, but have been so unorganized in my photography of outfits. My pledge was to wear at least 1 handmade item during the week and at least 1 at the weekend. I've actually been sticking to it. My Alder's make such a lovely work or casual outfit choice, they've seen a lot of wear. I've also worn my rose printed chambray Emery to work. 

I'm also trying to make some of my me-mades more wearable. I have quite a few dresses in particular that just aren't 100% right, so I'm not wearing them. My Emery was part of that group, because the lining at the front was sewn in too tight making the front bodice bag in the middle. It was a really quick fix of unpicking the front lining and resewing it. Other garments that need my attention are my 50's Mortmain (it's too big around the waistband), I made adjustments to my festive one, so this should be quick and easy. Also, my two (yes two! One is unblogged at the moment) Anna dresses that just need a bit of facing attention. This may or may not be a pressing issue. I hope to sort these issues out before the end of May.

My current 'to make' list is as follows:- 

  1. Adapt a trial Colette Moneta that i've made to allow it to be wearable. (It currently has a peach top and stripey bottom that looks terrible together). I need to remove the skirt and attempt either a different style skirt (maybe circular) or a different fabric (plain to avoid dodgy looking stripes). 
  2. Cut out the pattern and fabric for my first pair of Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers. I have already stuck the print out together and washed the fabric, so i'm all ready to start making. I'm going to risk using a nice fabric because they look quite easy to fit if incorrect. (You will love the fabric!)
  3. Make a 2nd True Bias Southport Dress (I know you've not even seen the 1st one). I liked the first one, but there are some changes I would like to make to the pattern in order to make the second one different and suit my figure a bit better. I've chosen some lovely linen fabric, so i'm looking forward to the outcome. 
  4. Something in a stunning little pineapple fabric I found on Etsy(Check it out here - however I bought a black on natural version - Kinda wish I'd bought the vermilion too!). Suggestions of pattern would be gratefully received.

So, all in all, I apologize for my rubbish blogging skills and endeavor to be better and more frequent. This weekend is my aim to photograph some of my unblogged garments.   

See you soon!