Tuesday, 28 April 2015

My first skirt in ages and it's a Nautical chic Grainline Studios Moss!

So, this weekend I made this little number! After a week of making a complete fail garment (the less said about it the better!), I decided to go for something that has some challenges in the manufacture; namely the fly zip, but should be less challenging in the fit - it has got to be easy to fit a mini skirt! 
I read last week that Jen @ Grainline Studios had revamped her Moss Skirt pattern and released it on PDF, so it was a no-brainer to purchase and download it right away. I hadn't intended to make it this weekend, but the knot print fabric was calling out to me. Vigilant readers out there will remember this from my most recent shopping blog - it was an absolute steal from Sham Shui Po. I actually found this in a cardboard box outside one of the wholesalers on Yu Chau Street and for a princely sum of $25 HKD! Because they come bundled up, I couldn't make out how much fabric I was buying, but I loved the print, so took a risk. The fabric once unrolled was in two long strips. The strips were selvage to selvage and measured approximately 60cm each - plenty for a lovely mini skirt. The fabric itself is cotton twill with a little bit of stretch, so pretty much perfect! 

I decided to make the shorter version of the skirt, which meant less pieces to cut out, however when I was cutting I decided to add on 4cm to the length-just in case I preferred it slightly longer. The fly zip was certainly a challenge. I've not done one of these since my university days, so I certainly needed to read the instructions carefully. I didn't need to look at the photo instructions though, so I was pretty pleased with myself. I used a little metal zip that i've had floating around for a while - it worked out pretty well as you can see. 

I actually chopped off the extra hem that I added as I much preferred this as a short mini skirt. I even managed to do a 3cm hem, which added to the weight at the bottom. The skirt now hangs really well. 

Unfortunately I didn't manage to pattern match the front (not enough fabric), but the craziness of the print means that this wasn't that important. 

Overall, a really satisfying make. I really enjoyed the different processes, such as the pockets and the fly zip and it was awesome to have a garment completed in an afternoon. I think this will be getting some wear this summer and definitely in me-made-may '15! 

Monday, 20 April 2015

Planning my summer makes...

With the summery weather starting in Hong Kong, I've been thinking a lot about the garments I would like to add to my wardrobe. I have already added some summer garments in anticipation of my Bangkok and Singapore holidays. My most recent Lilou (here) will be perfect and both of my Alders were made for this purpose too. In addition to those, I have made a 4th and much improved Sorbetto.

 You can see the neckline of it here and a little view of the fabric (sorry, no time for modelled shots). On my recent trip to Tokyo for a school trip, I decided to sneak to a fabric store in Shinjuku (Called Okadaya and it's amazing!) I picked up this stunning little Liberty print lawn fabric that is actually made in Japan. It was approximately $160 HKD for a metre and a half (what a bargain!) I added more than an inch to the length of the Sorbetto as my previous ones weren't quite long enough to look good with shorts. The making of this top is so simple, although attaching that much binding does get tedious. 

What to make next is the big question. I certainly need some knitted dresses. I've had the Colette Moneta pattern taped together for a while, but never quite settled on a fabric. I'm still on the look out. I've been looking online, but with some steep delivery charges to Hong Kong, I'm a bit reluctant to order. So if anyone knows a good website for knits, I would appreciate the knowledge! 

In addition to my 'kinda' planned Moneta, I hope to add a further Lilou (I also bought fabric for this in Japan) and another Anna dress from the rose print fabric I picked up in Sham Shui Po over Easter. I've also got another Sorbetto planned with my new improved pattern (You're going to love the fabric for this little number!) 

The last addition that I definitely want to make to my wardrobe is some sleeveless shirts. I love making my Alder's so much that I can't wait to make more shirts. However, my desire to only wear skirts/dresses with leggings underneath means that more Alder's does not make for totally comfortable summer attire. I've seen some stunning ones in Gap (super thin cottons) that would be great, so i'm now on the look out for suitable fabric. I've downloaded the Grainline Studios Archer (simple choice) as my pattern, so i'm ready to make! 

Photographs of my makes to follow soon - time for sewing and modelling needed!   

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Shopping trip to Sham Shui Po...

After a barrage of Public Holidays (including today) and some selfish sewing (yet to blog about), I needed to add to my stash. I decided to risk a visit, even though SSP is well known for being closed when you want it most! 

Above is my fabric haul. I'm pretty please with the variety I managed to gather in less than an hour. The floral on the left is soft and flowing fabric. (Maybe great for a Lilou or even a Sureau) I'm yet to test it, but it could be viscose or it could be a cotton/silk mix. The middle fabric, with the uber cool lasso/know design is a cotton sateen (maybe a skirt is a good garment for this) The checked fabric on the right is a straight cotton and will make a nice alternative fabric for the summer. It's certainly a lighter plaid than ones commonly seen in Winter. I'm considering whether a summer top or dress would be best. 

With all fabrics coming in under $20 per yard, It was all a total bargain!

Below is my button selection. I always visit the same shop on Yu Chau Street (sorry, I never notice the name!). I plumped for some more wooden buttons; my stash was diminished by my recent Alder's. Also, some super shiny (in a good way), plastic buttons in red and blue. 

I'm now ready for my next making journeys. Hopefully i'll get some time in the new school term. I certainly have garments in mind that I would like to add to my wardrobe - watch this space...

What fabrics have you gathered recently?

Friday, 3 April 2015

Two Alders for the price of one...

After a few busy weeks at work, which included a 9 day school trip to Japan; I have finally found time to blog! I've managed to do some selfish sewing during this time and these are the outcomes! 

After making my husband a shirt for Christmas day, i've been looking for another opportunity to make a shirt. The process and and the amount of different steps makes them really enjoyable to make. I started to shop around for a pattern I liked way back in February. I eventually settled on the Grainline Studios Alder. This shirtdress is much blogged about, so I sought lots of advice and opinions before setting off on my Alder journey. 

whilst doing my frequent browsing on fabric websites, I stumbled upon these beauties from modes4u.com. I loved the japanese origami pattern of the fabric above and the birds below really stood out. Both are lovely and summery prints on a lightweight quilting cotton, so I just had to order them! 

Tracing the pattern off and sticking together the 51 pages of this pattern were very long processes and meant that the manufacturing of my Alder's was very drawn out and done in many different sessions. I've only ever made one Grainline Studios pattern before, which was the Linden sweatshirt, so I had to check sizes carefully. I pretty much fit into the measurements provided, so I just cut a straight '12'. 

The sewing of my first Alder (the origami one) was very satisfying and mostly done in one session. I left the buttonholes, armholes and hem for another occasion. I stuck to all the details of the pattern and was pleased with the outcome. I made some small fitting adjustments to the waist as it was quite baggy, but other than that the fit is pretty good. The loose style means that it's going to be lovely to wear in the sticky Hong Kong summer. 

No sooner had I finished my first Alder, I knew I wanted to make a second. I just love doing all the different stages and I absolutely love doing topstitching (strange maybe?!) I made some changes to the pattern, including the shape of the collar stand (more rounded to allow for larger buttons) and the collar (rounded shape instead of the original points). I took approximately 2cm off the waist seam in order to match up with the fitting that I did on the original. 

As you can see, the birds really are stunning! The exaggerated grain of the fabric is also a nice addition. 

As with the original, this Alder went together like a dream. I'm so pleased that I decided to make this pattern up, because it's awesome! The outcomes will certainly be a staple of my summer wardrobe and will probably be in my suitcase for my upcoming trip to Singapore. 

I wonder how long I need to wait before making a third one?