Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Simplicity 2154 Pussy Bow Blouse

I really like the Pussy Bow Blouse look. Strangely I've only made one bow blouse before - Gertie's bow tie blouse. I wear that blouse a bit but can sometimes find it restrictive around my neck so I liked the idea of trying out a pattern with a lower neckline. I bought Simplicity 2154 in a spotty sale, sold on the idea of getting a cardigan and a skirt in the same pattern envelope.

I cut the pattern in a size 12 from a stunning Black cotton voile from The Cloth Shop which has a pattern woven through it. I love the fabric, it's interesting while still being a solid colour. I really need more solid colour tops to wear with patterned skirts.

The instructions were reasonably easy to follow, but there were quite a few more steps than I expected and it ended up taking a couple of afternoons to sew up. The facings are bias tape which is sewn over, and under, the collar. The thickness around the neck does make the collar and bow sit a bit chunkily, despite trimming and clipping into the neck seam.

I used a normal, non-lapped invisible zip purely because I'm more comfortable with this style. I do aim to to sew some lapped zipper this year, though.

The instructions state to add a button and thread loop but no detail is provided on how to make the loop. I used a tutorial Tessuti recently posted to make the button loop; the video is fantastic! I will definitely be making more button loops in the future. Tiny hook and eyes at the back neckline can some times be a nuisance to open and close, and I often need a hand from Tim. 

Note that the bow is not a self-tie bow. It is gathered at the centre and then sewn on. I found it very difficult to gather up the bow and ended up doing this with a hand needle and thread. The thickness around the bow and neckline can be tricky to handle. 

The fit is slightly off, but not enough to bother me. There's room to go down a size all over next time, but I do like the comfort of the larger fit. I think the top looks good untucked with pants too.

This pattern has been made up a lot in the sewing blog world, and I'm not surprised. It's a fun, no-fuss blouse to wear. I will get heaps of wear out of this one and may make another in the future in a different colour. Perhaps white. I wore it work on Monday with my pocketless cord V1247. I would also like to make a few more of these skirts for myself before winter as they are great with tights.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Bluegingerdoll Alicia Shorts

I pattern tested the Bluegingerdoll Alicia Shorts which were recently released as part of the "A team" collection. I really like shorts, in particular high waisted shorts that flare out at the leg and finish mid thigh. Based off the line drawings I adore these shorts.

I made up a size 12 in some slightly stretchy blue and white striped twill fabric from GJ's. I love how the fabric looks on this pattern. Very summery (speaking of Summer, please come back!)

The instructions are clear and the shorts came together incredibly quickly as there are no tricky closures (just an invisible zip) or any pockets or belt loops to construct. I think belt loops would be a sweet addition however so you can keep a belt secure around the waist.

The fit around the waist and hips is spot on and I love the look of my shorts on the hanger. Unfortunately, I don't love the way they fit around the crotch. There seems to be excessive fabric around the front region which is being pulled every which way and bunches up as I walk around. The crotch curve seems like it fits well but I wonder if I dropped the crotch lower it could help the fabric sit better at the front.

Above and below is how the shorts sit after walking around for a few seconds. They really bunch up and the resulting look is very different to how they look when smoothed down.

Overall, I love the style of the shorts, the fabric and the fit around the waist but, sadly, I'm a little disappointed about the front fit on me. 

I received the Alicia Shorts pattern for free, in exchange for pattern testing. 

Friday, 6 February 2015

Nat's Miette Skirt

I've just given my sister a Tilly and the buttons Miette Skirt after saying I would make it about 2 months ago. Thankfully there is still some summer left to wear it.

first made the made up a miette skirt in 2013. It was one of my very first sewn garments. I remember it taking a while to sew but coming out lovely and giving me a huge confidence boost. I wore it a lot for about 6 months. I made up another skirt for myself and one for Nat in black drill with green contrast ties around the same time. Over 12 months later, I found myself making another version for Nat in a gorgeous denim chambray from the Cloth Shop, and finding it to be one of the fastest and simplest garments I've sewn in months.

Sewing Nat's Miette took no more than an afternoon, plus a tv show to hand sew down the waistband facing. On my first attempts at this skirt I followed the detailed online tutorials exactly. This time I glanced at the 1 page checklist and, if I'm honest, I could have easily sewn the skirt without it. I'm not trying to toot my own horn, I'm just quite shocked to find something I found tricky to now seem ridiculously easy.

I don't wear my Miette's much anymore, as they're a bit faded and ratty, but I suddenly feel the need for another one just like this. Nat wear's her miette's around her hips so I cut her the same size that I would wear around my waist and it fits us both perfectly. But, of course, a wrap skirt is a lot more forgiving to size differences. Below is the same skirt but tied around the waist. Hmmm, yes, I may need a matching one!

There are plenty of similar vintage patterns out there for a nice A-line wrap skirt but for a beginner I absolutely recommend this pattern purely for the instructions alone.