Thursday, January 30, 2014

Deer and Doe - Plantain Top

Today I present to you the Plantain Top by Deer and Doe.  It is possibly one of the most comfortable t-shirts I've ever worn - just fitted enough where it's important, and loose enough to be comfy.  Perfect.  It's also a cinch to sew whether you own a sewing machine or serger - I used both!

I'd found Deer and Doe after seeing a few dresses made from their patterns by other sewing blogsters.  Then I ordered the Chataigne Shorts and  Belladone Dress - do look them up they are gorgeous!  They arrived in a very timely manner despite being sent all the way from Paris, so don't let being on the other side of the world stop you from ordering if you want to.

Luckily this delightful Plantain pattern is available for free as a PDF printable from the Deer and Doe website if you'd like to try before you buy. (If you're a really quick sewer you might just have time to make one to enter into the Plantain Challenge before it finishes at midnight on the 31st January).

Back to my version.  I'm very proud of it as it happens!  Not only is it comfortable, it is eco-friendly!  I'd bought a dress a while back from an op shop for my daughter, but she didn't like it, so I stashed it and hoped to make it into something later.  In the end I made this top from the skirt of the dress - the neck and arm bindings are made from the dress waist tie and trimmings, and the little buttons came off the front of the dress to grace my top!

I changed the original by making it into a sleeveless top, added a coloured band to the bottom instead of hemming and sewed on a 'tab' to the front neckline just so that I could use those divine little buttons :)  Size wise, I traced the pattern using the size 42 for the bust grading down to size 40 for the hips, and it fits perfectly (that's what I love about knits, the ease of fitting).  I also made the arm bindings quite a bit shorter than the armholes so that when it stretched as I was serging it elasticated the armholes just a little, which I think made it fit better.  You can hardly tell it's slightly gathered when it's on. 

I cut out 5 tops in all, mainly using knits from my stash, so there is some colour blocking going on too.  I will also be trying out the short sleeve and 3/4 sleeve versions.  Stay tuned for more pics ..

So, most of my pics have been taken with Dolly wearing the tee - does it look ok when I'm wearing it?  See for yourself ...


I think it looks fairly good, non?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Disappointed ... but not daunted ...

Wowzers - it has been super hot for the past few days.  Another nearly 40 degree day today.  I think I'm getting more used to the temperatures after having lived in Perth for nearly 10 years, but I still don't like the heat.  I seem to move even more slowly, like I'm caught in some kind of slow motion film of my life.  Yuck.  I wonder if anyone does actually like the extreme heat?

waiting ...
Now ... my disappointment.  It's to do with that dress that I mentioned in my last post.  Pleasingly too big now since I last fitted it, pre-running phase.  Good that I've also learned the lesson that one should really still fit as one goes when producing a garment.  Rather too late in this case.  What to do?

Well, I've decided to put the dress on hold.  It hangs from my bedroom door and haunts me everyday!  I had thought of attaching some of the patterned fabric in interesting shapes to the front green panel.  As this post has been written over the past 3 or 4 days (told you the hot weather slows me down) I have had a few more inspired ideas.  I was flicking through a magazine today and saw a similarly panelled dress which used highlights of the panelled fabric throughout the dress with features such as binding edges and applique.  I may well do the same.  I'll leave the dress for a few more days to mull it over.

go slow ...
In the meantime I've been taking creativity real slow - hand sewing hexagon flowers and cutting out some fabric to make  pair of shorts which are perfect for this summer and a tee shirt being made out of an old dress.  To be shared soon.

How do you like to spend your 'slow' creative days?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

I'm in love ... with Florence

Isn't she a beauty?  According to the serial number she was made at the Singer factory in Scotland in 1912!  Florence is a 28K model.  And that's about the sum total of my knowledge.

I found this little hand crank beauty online on Gumtree and was smitten straightaway.  Like an intrepid explorer I negotiated the highways of Perth to find her.  And it was love at first sight.  I think we'll have a long time together so I can discover more about her and show her some TLC, which is needed in bucketfuls I believe, but I'm up for the challenge.  I really hope to get her into working order one day.

On a blog I found yesterday (sorry no link at present!) the author stated it was only right to name our machines.  When I told Big B what I had called her, he said "so you've called her Florence the Machine".  Of course!  I'd been listening to my fave Florence AND the Machine on the drive to pick her up, so it only seemed fitting; plus one of my heroes when I was at primary school was Florence Nightingale - she also marked my first foray into painting a mural, as we had to paint the scenery for the assembly in which we had to talk about Florence.  I'm pretty sure I painted her in a pink dress ...

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

First sewing project of 2014

I've just come back from a walk with Charlie Dog - it's lovely and cool after a hot and sticky summer day.  So I sat down and decided to make the effort to blog even though it's late and I'm tired, because I can't keep using that as an excuse not to blog - look what happened last year!

Lining side ...
Here are a couple of teasers about my first project of 2014.  I'm working on the Chantilly dress by Colette patterns.  In fact I've been working at it on and off since March 2013!!!  I fitted myself with a muslin version, then promptly stopped and made other things.  Must get out of that habit too - one project at a time! 

Then came the pleasant shock of finding that the dress doesn't quite fit as well as the muslin did - in fact the dress is now slightly too large around the waist!  Yay - all that running must be doing me good.  I'm going to fashion a tie belt to help pull the dress in.

It's nearly finished - as you can see from this pic, I've started to unpick the top-stitching and am finishing off by hand because in my opinion it looks a lot better.  I wouldn't be happy knowing that the lining was a mess; sometimes it's a pain being a perfectionist, but at least it will be a project I'll be proud of, and after 10 months of waiting, what's another week or two of hand sewing?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

... hello 2014!

Happy New Year everyone!

This is me starting as I mean to go on - my second post in as many days :)  I looked at my dire total of blogposts for 2012 of 66 - which equates to just over 2 months of blogging which means I spent an astounding 10 months not blogging!  Oh the shame ... I would love to be posting much more than that in 2014.  And I have plans ... many plans ... for how I'm going to achieve this.  And I will share them as and when I am able :)

I don't want to do one of those posts full of hopeful resolutions, because I know I'll have disappointed myself by the end of the first week!  I have one intention, and that is not to have any UFO's lurking in my closet.  Oh and I've remembered another one, from a discussion with my dad tonight who probably didn't realize how wise he was sounding - I'm not going to waste time!  Get on with those goals and dreams girl!!!

Thanks dad xxx

Oh and UFO's means Un-Finished Objects in this instance just in case anyone was wondering.  No interplanetary visitors here as far as I'm aware.