Monday, October 20, 2014

Viva Las Vegas top - Simplicity 3790

Years ago, I spent a few memorable days in Las Vegas with the girls. Of course, outlet mall shopping was on the agenda, but unuse to the pace and heat, I started to wilt after a couple of hours. The solution was to change out of jeans into a newly purchased bright and breezy sundress. However, a new problem soon developed - as the fabric was super stretchy, the shoestring straps kept on stretching to the point of indecency! By the end of the day the straps were a tangled mess of knots tied in an effort to prevent a complete wardrobe malfunction.
Back in New Zealand, the straps unpicked from the dress, a piece of blue lycra from the scrap bag found to make new ones, it was all tied together ........ and became a UFO for several years.

Enter my wardrobe gap of work-appropriate tops. Looking at the fabric again, I decided I would get more wear out of it if it was a top. Choosing Simplicity 3790 (view F, sleeves view E) from my recent St Vinnies haul, I laid it out to cut, then realised the pattern doesn't have a back yoke, only one in the front. Because the yoke would be in the contrasting blue lycra, I wanted it to continue around the body, so whipped up my own back yoke pattern. I also cut contrasting strips of blue for the sleeve hems, and left as much of the original sundress length as possible.

The result is a lovely floaty tunic, casual yet smart enough for work, which has now been worn more times than when it was a sundress!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Art nouveau water lily top - New Look 6754

The warming weather (and dodgy aircon at work) lead me to discover a major gap in my wardrobe—I have a lack of nice, work-appropriate tops. Knowing summer tops use very little fabric, and before heading off to the shops to buy more, I decided to have a ferret around in my scrap bag (aka dump its entire contents on the floor). The first fabric I spied was a piece of cotton printed with art nouveau inspired water lilies, left over from a sunfrock made many years ago. At some stage I'd tied a similarly coloured scrap of plain cotton to it because there wasn't quite enough to make a top by itself (my navel-exposing days are long gone!).

A few days later, I stopped by the Petone St Vinnies and bought three patterns for 60¢ (paid them $3—they're a charity, after all). I decided on New Look 6754 for a top in this fabric, view D with sleeves from view C.

Because there wasn't quite enough water lily fabric for the length of the top, I made a contrast band of the plain fabric at the hem, then also used it for the neck binding and lastly, as visual balance, bound the sleeve hems as well.

Very happy with the results, and it looks awesome with my camel riding shorts.
And if I'd known about Scraptember ... oh well, maybe next year!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Another Tara - Vintage Vogue 1103 in burgundy

Previously, I've mentioned buying vintage patterns via TradeMe from Tara and her mother. Vogue 1103 was the very first. The instance I saw the jacket I fell in love and hit "Buy Now", knowing there was a piece of fabric in the stash that would be perfect for it.

Because I wasn't sure what to use for closures, it remained unmade for nearly six months. Eventually, I spying the large hook and bars in The Fabric Warehouse, which is also where the wool/cashmere fabric and rayon lining had come from sometime earlier.
Once cut, it took only an afternoon to sew together, even those eight slashed-pivot point seams (see image below) weren't as tricky as I thought they would be. So I felt it justified prick-stitching (or pick stitch) the facings by hand.

The finished jacket is every bit as good as I hoped it would be. I'm wearing it daily at the moment (explains the rumpled lining!). It's terrific for this time of year when the mornings and evenings are still chilly, but not so much you need a full winter's coat.
And while I was taking photos, this was happening at my feet...