Thursday, 10 April 2014

More muslin stuff.

So, powering on with the play suit!

I know muslins are not the most interesting of topics, but at least for my own sake I like to have some place to think out loud and maybe get some input on the fit of things.
So here it goes :

This is size 16 right out of the packet. Overall it is ok-ish, but on the right hand side of this photo there is some fabric pooling under the arm. I think maybe I should add a small dart to the side there. I am not wearing the "era appropriate" undergarments, so I will try that before I make the alteration. I don't know if adding that dart will change the fit/movement  of the sleeve though...

I feel the fit around the arm is ok, not restricted in any way, but I do wonder if I should add a small inch to the shoulder as the sleevehead sits too far in (if that makes sense). If you look at the top photo, the side without the sleeve attached, shows that the seam should go where the fabric ends.

There is some pulling from the collar towards the armscye and I think adding a bit to the shoulder would help with that. The front facing has fusible interfacing added to the whole piece, so it is a bit stiff with the muslin fabric so I struggle with getting the collar to lie nicely at the collarbone area (the "flappy" collar itself is not interfaced). I am hoping it will be better with a softer cotton. Or maybe I should go for a lightweight linen? Any suggestions?

I am happy with the back. The shirt isn't supposed to be super fitted, but I really think a small dart in front sides will give it a better shape. I also shortened the sleeves about 1.5". This is summer wear after all :)
I might add a little bit to the length of the bodice, as I feel that, for instance getting in and out of a car will have the shirt untucked. Constantly stuffing your shirt back into your shorts is not a ladylike activity....

Speaking of un-ladylike behaviour, I've turned into a snot factory. Yes. I've gotten the flu, people.
Sewing, running and knitting has ground to a halt. I really hope it passes quick, I don't have time sitting around, producing mucous....

Have a bug free week, y'all!

Monday, 7 April 2014

Playsuit progress

Hello all!
Most of the weekend was spent doing test runs on the pattern for the SewForVictory sew-along.
And fondling the lobsters...

Ever since I decided on the Wearing History  Sailor Girl pattern, I was actually having some doubts as to whether or not it was such a good idea. I mean, I LOVE the high waisted look on every single one I see wearing it, but I DO remember how I felt with regards to my WWII Overalls. I am really not sure it is very flattering on flat bottoms and narrow hips, like those I am blessed with :)

So, I decided to make a (proper) muslin of the shorts to test for fit (which I didn't bother to with the overall), and if I felt awful, those lobsters would not be turned into something that would be stuffed in some Pile of Shame! They deserve to be worn, and if not playsuit, than definitely DRESS :)

Anyways, here's the result:

Please PLEASE disregard the fabric; my mother will no doubt recognize them as her faded bedroom curtains from the early 90s (Thanks, Mom!). And no, I will not be wearing this item of clothing. But nevertheless, they have filled an important purpose, and will pass over to my "there-will-be-a-quilt-pile".

And you know, I don't think they look that bad. Fit wise. They sort of look like a little skirt, and are very comfortable. The pattern was great, and this is straight out of the envelope, no alterations! I even feel it gives me some shape (whereas the overalls just made me look like a board)! Mr P even approved slightly, and he HATES high waisted styles, so I think I will go for it. I really like the side buttoning on both sides, it gives a lovely close fit and some nice detailing.

If anyone thinks these should not be, speak now, or forever keep your mouth shut hold your peace :)
(No, seriously; tell me what you think!)

Friday, 4 April 2014

Victory lobsters are in da house!!

Phew! That was quick!

I ordered this lobster print for the Sew for Victory 2.0 just last Friday, and yesterday they were here!
Although  I had sworn to stay away from Ebay, it was the only option I could find that had it in Europe. Sure there were other lobsters around, but you know how it is when you want THOSE ones...

I was also sure I had made a giant mistake when I (after ordering) went to check the sellers feedback. There were lots of issues with items not turning up, and people getting the wrong fabric. And it was recent too. Over 30 cases in March alone. The seller seemed ok to me and answered promptly to my requests, so I had my fingers crossed that it would be ok.

And here they are!!!!!

I was a bit surprised the fabric was this light. You can see it is a bit sheer even, as the print shows through. I find fabric descriptions difficult, because I don't really know what is which. The ad just stated 100% cotton, and to be honest any more info would probably just confuse me. I really need a fabric encyclopedia/ dictionary! But anyways, this fabric is a bit light for shorts. I probably should have gotten twill or canvas, or heavier cotton, but there were no options for different types of cotton fabric. I wonder if I can underline it with plain white cotton? Has anyone got any tips?
I'd really appreciate your input :)

Light or not, I am still in love with the little guys, and I hope I will not ruin the fabric by sewing the wrong garment. It is awesome sun dress material, but that's not what I am making, sadly... (maybe I should get some more...?!?)

I am in any case making a mock up of the shorts for fit in some other fabric, and make a final decision about it later.

I have already sewn most of the shirt up now, the Wearing History Sailor girl play suit pattern is lovely so far.
This is looking to be a fun project, and I can't wait to see it take shape!

How is YOUR victory sewing coming along?

Thursday, 3 April 2014

The Hidden Gem dress (Vogue 1371)


While waiting for my lobsters to arrive for the Sew for Victory sew-along, I made a dress!
A while back I came across a gorgeous dress posted on the Willow homestead blog, and wanted to make it. I ordered the pattern the instant I finished reading said post, but didn't get around to sew it until spring arrived (last week). Norwegian winter doesn't call for much dress sewing, but now was a great time to do it.

Vogue 1371, designed by Tracy Reese.

The worst thing about this pattern must be it's envelope. All the wonderful pleating on the bodice is COMPLETELY lost in the fabric print, and I know I have seen this pattern before. Just never SEEN it. And it is a shame. So I decided to make it in a solid color to show off the details.
I chose a grey, inexpensive polyester fabric with good drape, just to try out the pattern for fit. Maybe not the wisest choice because the construction calls for vast amounts of pressing, and that's really hard with a fabric that melts. So I needed to use a press cloth and a lotta steam, and even then it just bounced back when I lifted the cloth. But it was doable, it just took time and effort.

A tiny bit of bling in the neck closing :)
A hidden gem!

The pattern went together nicely. However, I did make some small changes. First of all; I omitted the ginormous shoulder pads. The instructions tell you to gather under the bust and also on the back, but I wanted to just continue the pleats all the way down. The dress is described as a loose fitting garment so there was no issue with the bodice getting too tight with this alteration .Skirt and bodice are completed separately, and joined together last. I then figured out I didn't like the rather shapeless fit, and took it in about 2" in the sides. The bodice was then too wide for the skirt and there was some fiddling with the pleats again to make it match. The pleats furthest to the sides ended up wider at the bottom than on top, so not the best result. Not very noticeable, and an elegant save. I just call it artistic freedom.....heh.


I also got the wrong zipper, not the invisible kind. Insertion went kind of perfect (for once!!) if I must say so myself, but I didn't like how the puller was showing. So I covered it with another bow. It works :)

If I were to make this again (and I will!) I will lengthen the bodice a bit, because it is short. In the end I had to use 1/5 of an inch for seam allowance, and had I been busty it simply wouldn't fit. So if someone else wants to make this, that's my top tip. I also think this dress would look better with a larger/wider hem. Of course, I could be less lazy and just measure the pattern pieces before cutting, but you all know I am not that diligent.
At least I tried to be accurate and really take my time with the construction, so I am happy with that.
I also liked the finishing. It is unlined, but has french seams just about everywhere, and bias binding on neck and arm openings, so not a raw edge in sight!

Because of the low split in the back bodice, it was hard finding undergarments that wouldn't show. The pattern suggest a hook and eye to close it but I like the open slit effect. I guess I will need to get a low backed bra of some sort. Or just go without. I don't have much to throw around anyway!

All in all, very happy with my first go at this pattern. It is an easy, wearable and flattering style, and I think it is a pattern that can easily be altered and customized to one's liking. It can also be dressy or more casual with the right fabric choices, in silk and maybe with a bolero for evening, or a cotton version with a light cardigan for a more relaxed style. Endless possibilities!

So, have you got your spring sewing going? I see lots of dresses in the near future!

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Victorious planning!

Hello all!

Since my last post I have been hard at work with my Sew for Victory preparations.
In an older post I mentioned briefly wanting to make a 40s cropped lumber  jacket to go with my pleated corduroy skirt (amongst other things).

Last year Tasha made this lovely jacket for the Victory-challenge, and ever since I have been looking for a nice pattern for a similar jacket. Original patterns seems hard to come by in a "normal" bust size, so when I found a downloadable copy version I thought it would be ok.

The offending pattern..

When my printer started spitting out the pages, I immediately felt a tad turned off by it's wonky hand drawn lines and inaccurate markings. Taping the sheets together took most of last Saturday evening, and a considerable amount of foul language. When I finally had the thing taped up to the best of my ability, I found a gauge square in the sewing instructions, and instead of being 10x10cm it was 9,3x9,3cm. So it meant the jacket was NOT my size after all. I was in no mood to grade up the whole thing and draft the pattern from scratch. Instead I clawed down a note to the Etsy seller, and tossed the pattern in my "angry pile".

I am still unsure if I will muster the courage to work with the pattern for the sew-along, so I ordered the Sailor girl playsuit pattern from Wearing History as a back up. Since last summer I have wanted to make a playsuit and after dabbling with it in my mind, I feel maybe this is the time to make it.

Although I absolutely adore the traditional nautical version of white and navy, I think I will do it with a twist.
The pattern consists of three separate pieces (shirt, shorts and skirt), so it perfect for mix and match in your wardrobe. Lets just say that the inspiration from the sea is still very much present......!

Aren't they awesome??!!?

Yes yes, I know they are "whimsy overload", but hey; there's been enough seriousness to last me the rest of the year! Beside; spring is here!!!!! Look!

Yeeeeessss! NO snow!

Right! Time for a run :D

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Getting back on the horse...! And not.


Yes yes, I have been quite absent lately. But surely, there are plenty of blogs around to keep you guys occupied, so I am not feeling too bad :)

There have been some major changes over here the last couple of months or so. Some good, and some abit sad but nothing that is not life. Let's just get the sad part over with. I do no longer own a horse. My dear Slim is grazing in the heavens now, after a rather sudden passing. It is always sad to say farewell to faithful friends, but as I said; it is part of life. We had lots of fun, and I cherish all the good memories. He was a good little horse, and I'll miss him.

Goodbye boy..

After this rather big change in my life, I found myself with lots of extra time on my hands, and lacking an outdoor hobby. So I decided to take up running! I have always liked being physically active, but with work and stable chores, house chores and everything, I let myself go and didn't take particularly good care of my own health. Over the winter I was feeling depressed and, well... sick. Went to the doctor, and got full blood-work done. I was just Vitamin D deficient, luckily, so I knew it was time to realize that an effort was in order to get into better shape. Now I have been running for two months, and have even entered in a 5k race in May. (There's lots of motivational drive in trying to avoid public ridicule...)

I feel fantastic already and have lots of energy, and I really recommend getting sweaty if you're feeling tired and down (but see your GP first, to make sure you're generally healthy).

Right!! Onto what's really IMPORTANT! Sewing!
There has not been any. I have knitted some though. But I have plans to change all that:)
Entering......: (insert drumroll)

I suppose most of you have already heard, but if not, lovely  Rochelle is repeating last years success of a truly fabulous 40s sew-along, and has just launched Sew For Victory 2.0 ! YAY!! Just what I needed now (and you too!). Time to dig out the best 40s patterns from the stash and get cracking :)
To see all details and general rules of the happening, click here.

I'll be back real shortly with my sewing plans for the sew-along! 

Monday, 10 February 2014

Wearing History Smooth Aviator blouse!

Hello all!
Some time ago, I ordered some cotton fabric from Spoonflower. It is designed by Charlotte over at Tuppence Ha'penny . Long time ago I saw her blouse and wanted one!! I just had to find the right pattern for it.

The Smooth sailing blouse pattern from Wearing History is one that I really like. I used it for my birdcage blouse, and got to thinking it would be awesome with spitfire planes too!
When I found this adorable RAF sweetheart propeller pin on Etsy, the deal was sealed. I had to sew a blouse for it!

Isn't it just lovely??

I wanted the blouse to have a touch of 'uniform', something suited for a lady of the RAF. So the giant puffed sleeves originally in the pattern had to go. I trimmed off  3/4" of the sleeve heads, and made shoulder pleats to get an outward puff instead. I had to play around with it, but I think it looks rather smart. I also added a little buttoned down shoulder tab, for added 'masculinity'. I drafted my own chest pocket, which also was meant to have a tab, but I decided to just keep it plain.

Pleated shoulder and tabs.

The fabric is the cheapest option on Spoonflower, I didn't have any experience with them, so I just ordered this to try out. It is computer printed for you when you order, so there's a 2" edge all around your fabric piece that is NOT printed, just plain white. The fabric itself was rather narrow to begin with (110cm) so one should really take this into account when ordering. It felt  a bit stiff at first, and didn't soften much in the wash, but it didn't bleed much, so I am hoping the color keep up with wear. It creases easily, and get pin marks like nothing else, not to mention if you have to rip a seam. So I tried to keep errors at a minimum.
If I order again, I will try a better fabric :)

(Do your buttons, tart!)

When I came in from my photo session, I noticed I have one button undone on all the pictures. Oopsie.
It was getting dark, so these are the photos you get :) Also, if I was to change anything about the blouse, I think the pocket should be placed a bit down, and more to the side. Oh well.

All in all, VERY happy with this blouse! It turned out just how I wanted it to. Also it was much quicker to sew up second time around, and that helps a lot (and keeps the cursing and swearing to a tolerable level). I must be improving! I have this fabric in green too, so there will be more Spitfires!