corecouture

Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane


11 Comments

Back to Black

My goodness! Thank you all so much for all the very constructive, knowledgeable and well thought out responses as to the “what length of dress” question. I have read every one and will follow the majority – I shall henceforth shorten the Park Lane. What I did like from your suggestions was that I should make this dress again in a solid colour and try the longer length. Mrs Mole (God bless ‘er) suggested that I not only shorten the dress but rip out the side seams and re-create the entire thing! Maybe…..all good ideas are not out the question, only my time and inclination to do them.

Anyway, back to other stuff. The black and white/ivory combination has got me on a roll.

I never wear solid black close to my face – it makes me look half dead – so I normally drape a coloured scarf or something around my neck to break up the mono-colour. I’ve recently taken to sewing tops in black/white and every shade of grey in between. This is in reaction to colour and encouraged when I bought a pair of black RTW trousers……

This was also an opportunity to catch up with those Interweb favourites – Fave Top, Grainline Hemlock T plus a few others. Quick easy sewing and easy comfy wearing.

Ink splattered jersey from MyFabrics made into Hemlock T.

I made the Katherine Tilton trousers V8837 (OOP) for a remotely located friend whose measurements I didn’t have and surprise, surprise, they didn’t fit her, so she returned them. I nipped in the centre back seam and now I have a pair of lounging pants, however still baggy that need a little bit more tweaking but they’re perfect for the sofa and watching box sets.

I had enough Jackson Pollock ink splattered fabric left over for a M&M Bantam – part of the Merchant and Mills Workbook– love this top.

And, would you believe it?  The shawl below is merely the shape of the leftover’s leftover. Just trimmed, hemmed and worn as is. Bonus!

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Then another Fave Top in a multi sized polka dots patchworky  jersey from Fabworks.

And then enough left over for an Ogden Cami. And it doesn’t matter how straight your seams are with this fabric……but STAY STITCH the neck line.

Now on to a more intricate but not difficult top: Bootstrap halter-neck top in a chiffon-like poly decorated with large brush strokes bought from an eBay shop ages ago. Just in case you don’t know this – Bootstrap take your measurements and produce a PDF pattern to fit – no alterations or tweaking needed.

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So, lots of things to wear with plain black or white trousers and I’m absolutely sure will also service red, blue, chartreuse, green, grey, along with the eternal jeans.

Nothing too difficult or complicated about any of these tops which makes them speedy sewing projects and (hopefully) impressive coordinates that add to my wardrobe and versatility.

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22 Comments

Batteries not included…

My little big world of sewing blogs is gradually shrinking: and I am wholly admitting my contribution in that reduction. I cannot deny it…. I have been sewing but not photographing, posing nor posting. Life, life, stuff, more stuff, technical stuff and ………….whatever……

Some of my blog-feed sewing posts are from people who have been blogging for 10 (this is totally admirable) and more years but the posting rate is slowing/sporadic/stopped.  I mean, here I am only six years in and feeling that I’ve had enough. I love the clothes I make (mostly). I love the clothes you all make (always), otherwise I wouldn’t do it: do I need assurance and confirmation in the comments section of my blog? Simple answer is – No.

However, I really do appreciate your honest feedback, comments, encouragement and engagement.

Genuinely, thank you all for years and years of reading this sh*t*, supporting and pushing me to go further, try new things, test new skills, designs, fabrics, patterns and techniques.

Would I be the sewer I am now without your contribution? Absolutely and categorically – NO!  

How can I ever repay that? I am constantly reading and keeping up to date with your sewing exploits and although I may not comment, this only means I don’t have the wit and repartie readily available to do so. It most certainly does not mean I don’t appreciate or learn from your experiences.

So, just to show you that I have been busy sewing and not just wasting my time being a mother, wife, teacher, friend, daughter, sister, aunt, examiner, exam marker, blog reader, sewer …..

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I bought some RTW black trousers way back and felt the need to make some  coordinating tops because I don’t really wear black much, so I started with monochrome ( left).  While I was Internet shopping for black/white/grey, of course I just happened to find colours and patterns and my self imposed discipline wavered and my finger slipped. I bought greens and flowers and blue and orange (centre-right).

I have silently joined and followed the Internet/Instagram bandwagon by sewing T-shirts, shirt dresses, camis and pants from popular Indie patterns. I do not have Instagram/Twitter etc etc. Should I? Am I the girl on the sidelines because I don’t have this social media stuff? Because, in reality, I can still cut and sew and wear my own clothes. I have made simple things that took 2 hrs from cut out to wear and a complicated dress that tooks 3 days.

On my bed, in front of your eyes includes – a Grainline Hemlock T (free down load), StyleArc pants, Bootstrap halter neck top, Burda peasant blouse, Vogue DKNY dress 1489 (OOP due to USA licensing regulations), downloadhacked Vogue/Atelier shirt dress, Pirate pencil skirt, Vogue culottes 9091, Ogden cami, good old Sorbetto top , Tessuti Fave Top and another T shirt hacked together from seeing a girl on the bus and whatever else I could make from leftover fabric.

 

If you ever have the chance to download a free PDF – take it! Save the virtual data and print out at your leisure. If you never print out or make the item – so what – nothing lost.

All in good time I will (hopefully) detail each of these items.

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I’m sorry for the hiatus. I’m Internet free for the next five days, no re-charging points, no Wi-Fi or 4 G which also means no electricity and no sewing machine – gasp-gasp-gasp ! Just plenty of fresh air, good company and bracing Irish coastlines.

Perhaps knitting will fill the void…………….. don’t need batteries for that!

If you have a preference for a preview – let me know and I’ll move it to the top of the list.

Since I started sewing for “summer”, we’ve had nothing but rain – C’est la vie.


30 Comments

End of Knits

Really and truly, how could I not venture into Alabama Chanin territory, what with all that jersey / knit / stretchy stuff just lying about like washed-up treasure on a beach in a spring high tide?

My fingers were itching and twitching; the hand sewing needles were singing like wind through railings; thread was twanging like guitar stings in an attic; it was calling, calling…

So, a marriage between the Tilton’s Artful T-shirt and Chanin’s plain foundation wardrobe pieces. Like all marriages (at least mine anyways) some things work out without effort and some things need a little bit of work. These items were mostly sewn on the machine and overlocker, not by hand – a compromise. …

AC basic T-shirt with contrast sleeves, neck band and uneven cuffs

AC A-line skirt. Double layer with asymmetrical top layer, tied waistband (not seen).

AC poncho: one rectangle sewn together off kilter, with contrast bands and inset piping to match the T-shirt body. This one was hand sewn with thick pink silk thread and coordinates with almost all my olive green and raspberry clothes that I have (or not) sewn for the failed SWAP ’16.

I know the poncho-thing is not to everyone’s taste and I have only worn it at home on the sofa watching House of Cards, but maybe I’ll venture out in it one day and demonstrate my 50 and Not Dead Yet styling.

The T-shirt pattern is in Studio Sewing and Design. I scooped the neckline way more than the original design. The poncho pattern is also there. The skirt is the Swing skirt from Stitch Book. Fabrics are from Fabworks for the print the solid.

There’s very little jersey fabric left now after this adventure, so I might venture back to wovens and see what happens.

Welcome to all new readers and followers and I hope you gain some nugget of experience or inspiration for your own sewing. It’s lovely to have you along for the journey. Thank you.

 


17 Comments

The Artist, Her mate and a Pink Lady

More T-shirts this week ….but I do have loads of knit/jersey to sew through first,so please bear with me. I am beginning to regard these as tunics, not T-shirts because of the length and flare. Personally I like the length and flare but a T-shirt to me is relatively fitted and hip-length. Slide1

The Artist is not for me but for someone else who is an artist and needs some artistic clothes. Five fabrics this time with gold trim and matching infinity scarf because what else are you going to do with little left-overs? The hem is asymmetrical and I added godets at the side seams for extra flare. One sleeves is black lace and the other is patterned mesh. A good mixture of scuba, viscose, cotton, lace and mesh – oh my!

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Slide2

Her Mate is for me and not quite as artistic but uses the same fabrics and style: here you can see the extra triangle in pink polka dots.

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The Pink Lady is literally what’s still left over and can be put to reasonable use.

All tunics are view D from Vogue 9057 and inspired by the Craftsy class Artful T-Shirt by the Tilton sisters. A good stash buster for panels, godets, sleeve bands and cuffs etc but bear in mind that you do need a decent 1m of fabric for the main body of the tunic and get as wide as you can.

The knits/jerseys are at last diminishing, just a little bit left to go  – normal sewing shall resume shortly.

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I have bought more patterns in the recent Vogue sale, a Japanese pattern book and I’m slowly coming to the very sad conclusion that I do not have enough cash to buy the fab fabrics I want; not enough time to sew everything I want to sew; not enough social occasions to wear all the clothes to! Any suggestions?

 

 

 

 


58 Comments

The Metro, The Cosmos and An Old Lady

The knit stash is just a wee bit reduced, having cut some of it up into T-shirt pattern pieces and sewing them together. The pattern is Vogue 9057, a Marcy Tilton T-shirt / tunic top and came along with the Craftsy class on the Artful T-shirt.

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I started gently and as my confidence grew so did the number of fabrics used. Each shirt is named after the fabric used. The Metro is an American nostalgia theme print with street and city signs, dollars, stamps and a rather creepy image of JFK. The Cosmos is a single jersey printed in a Nebula/universe design. The Old Lady is flowers in lilacs and lace. Here’s the week’s work –

1. One fabric – Vest with neck and armholes bound in coordinating fabric. Pattern view C

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2. Two fabrics – The Metro: asymmetrical T-shirt/tunic with plain fabric sleeve, cuffs and neckband. Pattern view B.

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3. 1 & 2 together – Vest on top and vest below. Pattern views B & C

4. Three fabrics – The Cosmos: asymmetrical T-shirt/tunic with coordinating sleeves in plain and stripes with contrasting cuffs and neckband. Pattern view B

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5. Four fabrics – The Old Lady – Draped hem T-shirt/tunic with lace sleeve, double neckband, contrasting cuffs , sleeve bands and additional hem band. Pattern view D

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Some design details:

Each sleeve has a large cuff like a facing on the inside (apart from the Old Lady where it’s on the outside). This means when I turn the cuff back, as I am apt to do,  there is a contrast fabric.

I secured the facing cuff with an extra contrast fabric band.

The Old Lady has a double neck band – one made with the selvedge of the black lace and the second with the cotton print. There is also an additional 3″ band around the hem.

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Once you choose which fabrics to use and where they will go, the sewing up of the shirt is simple, straightforward and quick – about 1 – 1.5hrs. It’s a good go-to-sleep ritual to consider the fabrics for each shirt so that the next day you’re all ready to go. I straight stitched each seam then finished off on the overlocker. The best thing about T-shirts is that you don’t need an armoury of notions – no buttons, zips, interfacing, hooks or eyes.

Not only did I try to combine colour and pattern but I mixed materials: there is stretch lace with scuba, poly jersey with cotton knit, Lycra and viscose in a one-way stretch and two-way stretch. I experienced no predominantly prohibitive problems with this method of sewing, so I’m continuing with this method on future shirts.

To avoid looking like an old lady myself when wearing the Old Lady, adopt a badass attitude, a scowl, bed-head hair and a plethora of black and silver jewellery.

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But you know that’s not really me so here I am smiling as usual but still trying not to look like an old lady…..so paired with grey skinny jeans and calf length purple boots

 

 

There’s still a small  country’s GDP worth of jersey knits to sew through, so watch this space.

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