Monday, 29 June 2015

Scrappy Spotty Alice Top

In preparation for Vietnam, and while avoiding more time intensive winter sewing, I made another Alice top. There's not much to say this time round. See my frst, and the two I made for family here (1,2).

This time round I made the XS, but shortened the hem by 2" as the previous versions were long. Otherwise I didn't make any changes to the pattern or instructions.

I made this scrappy spotty version using various fabrics left over from other projects. I used white and blue cotton voile for the back skirt and front yoke; navy and white large spot silk crepe for the back bodice and sleeves and the small navy and white spot for front skirt. I used all these fabrics previously when sewing tops for my sister.  I lined the the front bodice pieces with a scrap of white cotton/silk blend and the back bodice with the Navy cotton with small white spots.

I wore this top heaps in Vietnam. The breezy lightweight fabric was perfect in the heat and it went really well with my denim Tap shorts. The Alice Top is a great pattern to use up scraps. 

Friday, 26 June 2015

A Maxi Emery Dress

Tim and I just came home from a 2 and a bit week holiday in Vietnam. It was absolutely amazing and we can't wait to start planning our next holiday. Before we left I made a couple of summer items for the trip. First up, a maxi version of the Emery Dress pattern by Christine Haynes.

I've made this pattern quite a few times  (1, 2, 3, 4).  I find the bodice really comfortable and easily paired with various skirt styles. A few of temples in Vietnam require conservative dress and my summer wear is mostly sleeveless tops and shorts so I thought a maxi dress (with a scarf over my shoulders when needed) would fill a luggage gap of conservative as well as evening wear.

I made the dress up using some $2 table Darn Cheap Fabric Viscose that you'll have seen around the blogosphere (here and here). The fabric seemed perfect for the tropical weather - bright and summery but cool and flowing.

I made an unlined sleeveless version in size 6 as usual. I took 1.5 cm off the arm holes at the shoulders grading to nothing at the underarm, scooped out the neckline a bit and took another .5cm from the centre back seam which I'd already modified in a previous iteration. Viscose has more stretch to it than other fabrics I've used for this pattern before and unfortunately I distorted the fabric at the centre back seam a little when inserted the zipper. For the skirt I used all the fabric I had left from the bodice, including selvage edges. I simple cut four rectangles and sewed them together before gathering and attaching at the waist. The width of the rectangles isn't substantial so I including leg slits to allow more room to move.

Excuse the dark photos. These were taken at the Sky Deck in Ho Chi Min City on our last evening in Vietnam. We went just before sunset and stayed to see the city lights after dark.  I also wore this dress, along with a scarf over my shoulders, to Ho Chi Min's Mausoleum in Hanoi on what was one of the hottest days of our trip. It was a great dress to have on the trip and I look forward to wearing it again once summer comes around in Australia.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Megan Nielsen Brumby Skirt

I pattern tested the Brumby Skirt for Megan Nielsen and I have nothing but positive things to say about the just released pattern. It's a gathered skirt with deep curved pockets, an exposed back zip and various length and fullness options.

I made up version A in a size M out of some gorgeous lightweight black denim from The Cloth Shop with a 7" zip and liberty offcuts for the facing and pocket lining. I love the length of version A. It's mini without being too revealing. I also like that this pattern has a curved waistband, it's absolutely necessary for such a wide waistband.

The instructions were clear and detailed. I found the instructions for the exposed back zip really interesting and thorough. I'll definitely use them again for other patterns as they made for a lovely and easily inserted zip.

I did a lot of top stitching on this skirt and it was my first time using topstitching thread. In some places the thickness of the denim and the thread threw the tension off so it's a bit bubbly on the wrong side. But, I love the way the tan thread looks against the denim.

This is a super fun pattern to make and wear and I'd really like to make a midi version despite knowing that it just wouldn't suit me. Especially as I rarely wear heels. I look forward to seeing others versions pop up all over the web to see how they wear the midi style.

I've previously made up two patterns by Megan Nielsen (Tania Culottes and the Cascade Skirt), both skirts that are just a little bit different and special. I wear them both, but the simpler design of the Brumby skirt means it fits more into my everyday lifestyle. It's a go to option on the weekend in winter (with tights) or summer. I took the pattern testing photos in summer but I've got a heap of wear from the skirt since the cooler weather hit. 

* I received the brumby skirt pattern in exchange for  pattern testing. It was my choice to blog the final garment*

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Me Made May'15: Days 23-31

My third and final Me Made May post.

Day 23, Saturday:  My navy abstract floral Emery Dress with refashioned merino Bonnie Top. This outfit took me from work in the morning, to a lovely lunch with friends to ribs and drinks in the evening. 

Day 24, Sunday: Wearing my floral Emery Skirt with RTW layers. On the way out the door for pancakes - Yum!

Day 25, Monday: Working from home with Tim means lunch out! Wore my long sleeve renfrew top with a gingham Sorbetto Top

Day 26, Tuesday: Colette Patterns Truffle Dress with Jackie Coat.

Day 27, Wednesday: Grey 1950's Prom Dress with black Coppelia Cardi.

Day 28, Thursday: First cold of the winter put on the couch in my PJ's all day, so no photo today. 

Day 29, Friday: Made it off the couch and into the shower. Popped on my floral Tessuti Patterns Gabby Dress which is very much like wearing a nightie.

Day 30, Saturday: Denim Moss Skirt with just sewn Cascade Duffle Coat, both patterns from Grainline Studio. 

Day 31, Sunday: Peppermint Magazine Wrap Dress over a Renfrew long sleeve, and Cascade Duffle Coat again.

This week I wore 12 separate garments, which makes 41 unique garments across all of May. Apart from a few basics gaps it was incredibly easy to get dressed each day. This month wasn't much different from any other, except that in a usual month I might pay my store bought dresses a little more attention. Many of the garments I wore were made last year. I really look forward assessing how many of my 2013, 2014 makes still get worn in MeMadeMay'16, and onwards! It will be interesting to see which styles and fabrics last.