Saturday, 24 January 2015

My Fancy Tiger Crafts Sailor Top!

Whilst planning my Sureau (something i'm not rushing), I decided that I needed to quench my sewing thirst with a quick project. I chose to make the Fancy Tiger Crafts Sailor Top. I have seen it being made quite a lot on the blogs that I read and thought it would be nice addition to my wardrobe. Because my prize haul of fabric has been staring at me, I opted to use one of them. I decided to use the paint printed viscose I bought from The Village Haberdashery. Not only has this fabric got nice drape, it's opaque. This makes it great for a spring top (no layering required!). 

The pattern is only made up of 5 pieces as the front and back pieces are exactly the same. There is a front and back yoke as well as  the sleeve and sleeve facing. I hadn't used a sleeve facing before, but the finish looks nice and it allows the sleeve to sit really flat. There is a deep hem also, which provides weight to the whole top. My only issue with the making process was the lack of notches - this caused a problem when gathering the front, back and sleeves to attach to the yokes. I stuck with it and ended up with even gathers. 

I had one issue with my completed top, the front yoke was gaping. After fiddling with it whilst wearing it, I decided to make a small fold at the centre front. I used two buttons to secure the fold and add a little bit of a styling detail. I'm really pleased with the finished product. The buttons are really cute and totally solve the gaping. 

Saturday, 10 January 2015

My Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt...

A hectic pre-Christmas schedule meant that I did not get chance to blog about all my makes during the month of December. You may remember the difficult decision I had to make about the sweatshirt fabric I wanted (see here). As you can see, one of my chosen ones is the ever so on trend Burgundy, plait patterned, quilted, sweatshirt jersey! (Please note that Pantone's colour of the year for 2015 is Marsala, or to you and me; Burgundy!)I also went for a soft cotton ribbing in the same colour. 

I chose to make the traditional sweatshirt version and I decided to cut all the pieces flat, without a fold in the fabric to ensure that the plaited pattern stayed straight throughout. Although this was time consuming, it was certainly worth it. My advice to others is, don't try to wash and dry 5 yards of quilted sweatshirt material in one go, it takes over your whole flat! 

So, onto the making part. Grainline patterns have brilliantly clear instructions, so I found the putting together and sewing very simple. It was a very quick make. The ribbing had just the right amount of stretch to make the cuffs and neck/waist bands fit perfectly. The only issue was the thickness of the seams when joining the ribbing, but with a little bit of pulling through my overlocker, it did work. I would say the sewing was quicker than the cutting process!

As for the finished garment, the fit is on the larger size, despite following the finished garment measurements. However for the type of sweatshirt I was looking for, it does the job. I wore it over the festive period in the UK and Austria layered over a checked shirt and it looked great! I'm pleased with the fabric, it is very warm and soft. However, I have noticed some pilling already on the under sleeves. For the price, I can't complain!  At $60HKD a yard, I think it was good value for money. 

I now need to wait until it's a little colder in Hong Kong to wear this sweatshirt. I will certainly be pulling it out when I go skiing in Japan. I recommend the Grainline Linden without question for a quick and easy sweatshirt pattern that guarantees a nice shape. I think i'm going to make the short sleeved version soon as this will probably be worn more in Hong Kong. 

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Planning my Sureau...

After reviewing my gifts, prizes and pre-Christmas purchases I have decided that one of my next projects needs to be the Deer and Doe Sureau dress. I love the casual look of it and i've not yet approached a dress with a button stand before. After my sleeve issue with my festive Mortmain, this gives me another opportunity to try a sleeved dress - a toile will be in order! 

Because the dress has a slouchy look to it, I have been thinking carefully about my fabric choices. Before Christmas I picked up some lovely samples from a shop in Sham Shui Po. I had decided to look at some viscose, polyester and rayon fabrics. The shop is Tai Wah Textile Company on Wong Chuk Street. I was drawn in by their brightly coloured prints and I wasn't surprised how easy it was to find some totally delicious fabrics. 

At the moment, my number one choice is this delightful navy duck printed fabric. It's 100% rayon and has a nice weight and drape to it - potentially perfect for the Sureau! The sample price is just $33HKD per yard, which I think is a total bargain. I know I need about 2.5 yards to make the Sureau, so buying 5 yards (minimum) shouldn't be an issue. 

                                         Other samples that I picked up at the same time are this card of fun, spotty rayons. The navy of this is also very nice and could potentially make a nice Sureau, but as I have other spotty fabrics in my stash, it might be a bit inappropriate to buy this one too. This one is only $37HKD per yard, so might be a consideration for the future.                                 

I'm going to aim to order this fabric tomorrow as I am planning a visit to Sham Shui Po this weekend (school errands!). Hopefully the delightful ducks are in stock. 

Watch this space for my Sureau progress!

Monday, 5 January 2015

My prize haul...Thank you Gather!

I've gradually been gathering up my prize haul from my festive competition win. Before the Christmas break I was sent voucher codes for The Village Haberdashery (25 GBP) and Guthrie and Ghani (30 GBP). I was eager to start shopping! Knowing that I was visiting the UK over Christmas meant that I saved a bit of money on delivery, so I got plenty for my money. I decided to buy the fabric below from The Village Haberdashery. The fabric on the left is an Alison Glass handcrafted cotton fabric (available here in graphite). The fabric on the right is a hand painted effect viscose. Both fabrics are really lovely and I made sure that I got 3 metres of each so that I can make a dress from each if I so choose. I'm sure you'll agree that they are stunning?!

From Ghani and Guthrie I decided to buy patterns (see here for their extensive range). I have coveted both the Sew over it! Betty dress - a stunning little 50's style number and the By hand Anna dress - a very versatile dress that can be made short or long for a while. I love the packaging of both and it is such a treat to have a physical pattern, instead of printing a PDF. 

After picking up my lovely fabric and patterns from the UK, I returned to Hong Kong anticipating the arrival of my other prizes. After a long, jet lagged day at work, I managed to make it to the Post Office. I was super excited to open the package and reveal these beautiful Gather patterns (thank you ladies!) and also a surprise prize, which was The secrets of sewing lingerie book! I wasn't expecting this, so I was very happy. I have never approached underwear as a me made item, but now it's certainly an option. It's a beautifully put together book, with great photographs and clear instruction. I'm looking forward to getting stuck into it!

I now have a massive 'to sew' list and can't wait to get started!

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Christmas sewing gifts!

So, the big day has been and gone and i've travelled more than 20,000km over the festive period. I'm back in Hong Kong reviewing my lovely Christmas gifts and finally getting the chance to blog. After putting in a few speculative hints, I am now the proud owner of both the Christine Haynes 'Emery' pattern and the Deer and Doe 'Sureau' pattern. These are two that I wanted to get in printed format and International delivery is never favourable. I'm very excited to make both of them! I certainly think a toile will be in order for both as they feature sleeves (a problem I came across in my festive Mortmain). I'm now on the search for some suitable, lovely fabric (I have a few ideas already - to follow). 

In addition to the patterns, I also received two smashing books! The Famous Frocks - Little Black Dress book and Gertie sews vintage casual. Both were on my amazon wish list (good job I helpfully emailed it to my husband!)and will be put to use as soon as possible. I love the style of Gertie's writing and it's great how she instructs you on how to adapt and create your patterns from the basics. The Famous Frocks book is just a classic to add to my library and will give me some super inspiration for when I start being more creative with my pattern cutting. Both books come with the pattern pieces inside, so my making list is growing at an exponential rate! 

More blogs to follow soon, featuring makes from my Christmas gifts and more! 

I hope you all had a fabulous, creative Christmas!