Monday, 7 March 2016

Sewing Catch-Up - February Makes

Ok, so I have been in part "a bit slack" and in part "a bit exhausted" to write a blog post (let alone sew for that matter!) since returning to work 3 weeks ago and working 5 days again for the first time in 8 years too!

But I thought I would quickly share a couple of projects I have recently finished and have been very much enjoying wearing or using!

Project #1 - Noodlehead Runaround Bag

The first is the above Noodlehead Runaround Bag, made with Cotton & Steel fabric. I purchased this kit from Craftsy. The kit comes with the Noodlehead pattern and the Cotton & Steel fabric. I had to purchase the bias tape, zip, thread and magnetic closure.

Not only did I really enjoy making this bag, but it is a great bag to use as well. I find the length of the handle just perfect.

This was the first zipper I have installed too and it was a lot of fun to install. Although the pattern said to purchase an 8" zipper, but you only cut an 7" opening? I luckily had a 7" zip in my stash and it happened to be the perfect colour.

This was my first time working with Cotton & Steel fabric and it won't be my last! It is really a quality fabric and the colours are sensational.

I did all the options on this bag and inserted a magnetic closure (which if omitted makes the bag reversible) and I did a zip pocket and a standard interior pocket but sewn into two pockets as the patterns suggests also.

I have had a lot of comments about this bag, including enquiries as to if I would make and sell bags, so I think this bag qualifies as a success! I know I love it and will be careful not to leave the lids off any pens in it as I would be devastated if it was ruined! I think there will be more of this bag in my future :)

Project #2 - Simplicity 1884 Blouse

Another favourite completed project in February was a colourful sleeveless blouse I made with Simplicity 1884 pattern. I chose not to attach the sash/tie at the neckline, as I thought with the fabric I chose it might be a bit too busy.

The fabric is a rayon fabric purchased from Spotlight, it was perfect for this project. I have really enjoyed wearing it, it is light and works great under a cardigan in the office. Plus it frames nicely a simple necklace. I wear it either tucked in or belted with a skirt. I would prefer it were a couple of inches longer to wear untucked with pants.

It was a simple project to make, but I am not sure I would have been as confident in making it if I had not made previous projects with detailed instructions.

I have bookmarked more of my fabric stash for this pattern and I want to make the kimono jacket for this Simplicity pattern too.

Project #3 - Make it Perfect Coastal Breeze (with painted fabric)

I think I first came across this pattern on pinterest and I was thrilled to see it was made by an Aussie designer Make it Perfect. The Coastal Breeze dress is described as the dress that feels like a t-shirt…. I am not sure it does feel like a t-shirt but I am in love with this dress…... 

I bought the "Army Green" fabric online with this sewing pattern in mind, but wasn't feeling that inspired upon receiving the fabric in the mail.

But then I saw the "Printing Polka Dots on Knits" article in a back issue of Seamwork magazine and I got inspired……

 I couldn't find the screen printing paint the article recommended but I did manage to find some fabric paint online that would do the job. I bought a few colour to play with: gold, black, white and buttermilk. I ended up just using the black for this project.

I played around with a few patterns before abandoning the polka dot idea in favour of a stencil I purchased on impulse when buying the fabric paint.

The stencil worked beautifully and created a lovely even finish, so even you couldn't pick where the stencil had to be overlaid.

The Coastal Breeze instructions suggest using a contrasting fabric for the waistband and I was otherwise thinking of using black, but I think the painted finish worked even better. After painting the waistband and testing it with an iron I decided to add a more detail to the neckband and painted that too….It had nothing to do with the fact that I really enjoyed painting the fabric ;)

In regard to the construction of the  garment I really love the waistband. It is such a great way to create interest but also attach a skirt to a bodice and an alternative to elastic. 

The Coastal Breeze is designed to have pleats at the front and back. I did this as instructed, but having googled some images I see that other have just used gathers. I found the pleats very "tummy friendly" at the font, in combination with the empire waistline, but they don't look as great on me at the "rear". So I think I will try a combination of pleats (front) and gathers (back) next time.
I also find the length a little shorter than I'd like so I have been wearing it with leggings underneath. I think I will aim for a below/on the knee next time. I would also like to experiment with a possible alternate bodice, just to mix things up.

In regard to the fabric painting….I'm sold. If the right project comes up again I would definitely consider painting a plain fabric with some decorative detail again. I have worn and washed my dress a couple of times already and it still looks like it did when freshly painted (see pic above).

Well I have a few more sewing projects planned for March which I look forward to sharing soon!

Thanks for reading,