Sunday, 28 September 2014

Long Gabriola

Here is my long Gabriola skirt.  When I was looking at other people's Gabriolas, this one struck me as one of the most beautiful.  I was desperate to find similar patterned fabric, drapey enough to flutter with the flowy lines of the skirt.

After hours of trawling the internet, I found this fabric at  I know, you're thinking the fabric must be crap from a place called 'cheap fabrics', but honestly, it's lovely.  Soft, swishy printed crepe. And at GBP3.99, who am I to complain?  My photos make the skirt look a lot bluer, but it's actually pre-dominantly grey.

It's also quite slippery and I stay-stitched selvedge trimmings to the top pieces meeting the waistband, which helped to prevent stretching.  The waistband is thinner too as I was using waistband interfacing.  I actually prefer it as there is a little gape at the front which perhaps could be exacerbated by a thicker waistband?

I lined the skirt to the knee with some cheap anti-static stuff.  I didn't want to pfaff around with sewing up all the pieces again for the lining so I just took the skirt before it had been sewn up the sides, and rotary cut around it.  Not ideal, but prevents the 'Diana' effect!

I wore this out and felt really rather glam!  Lovely to go out in on a not-too breezy day.  Not especially practical though! (Tip: don't take your little boy to his swimming lesson in this).

A few more pics:

swirling this way... 

and that... 

and stop.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Short Gabriola

Sewaholic's Gabriola is a gorgeous maxi skirt pattern.  It hugs the hips, then flows out gently over the legs.  I desperately wanted to try out the pattern but I didn't want to fork out for the 4 metres plus fabric.

I came across some other versions on the web, and this knee-length one caught my eye.  What a brilliant idea: shorten it, get the fitting right, then make a long one.  So this is the wearable toile.

The fabric is a remnant I found in my local shop.  It feels like cotton.  The fabric pattern is so jumbled, it wouldn't need pieces pattern-matching and any seam mis-matches wouldn't be noticeable.

I think I cut the size 8, graded down to 4, then graded down to 0 as the skirt descended to the hips.  This post was a great help in explaining how to do this.  In the end though I ended up hacking away at the waistband and bringing in the seams a number of times before I got a nice fit.  I was so bored of constantly taking in the sides that I even stitched through the waistband.  Naughty!

Definitely stay-stitch/tape the pieces that meet the waistband.  Trying to ease an elongated top edge into a waistband is probably not the look that you're after.

Also it may help to mark which is the top edge and which the bottom on the trapezium pieces - it can get confusing otherwise.

Next: the long version!

Monday, 15 September 2014

OWOP: One Week One Pattern

Last week saw the One Week One Pattern challenge.  I have a tiny collection of Colette Moneta makes - it seemed the obvious choice.

I never thought I was a dress person until I started sewing again, and I have to say, I do enjoy wearing them now.  The Moneta is an incredibly comfortable knit dress with a elegant, flattering neckline.


Short-sleeved purple Moneta

My first Moneta 'dress' made in a lightweight purple jersey.

I think I made at least half a dozen mistakes with this dress - three of which are still quite evident!
- I cut one of the skirt pieces off the fold instead of on the fold.
- I had to do and redo the clear elastic on the skirt at least three times.
- There are small gaps that need mending where the skirt meets the bodice.
- The hem is longer at the back!

And yet, the Moneta is an incredibly forgiving pattern, and despite all these errors, I still enjoy wearing this dress.  Which I think will actually become a tunic once I've sorted the hem and the gaps in the waistline!


Sleeveless Moneta

Sometimes you see a fabric and you have to grab it, even if it's on Ebay.  I didn't even bother to get a sample - it turned out to be much more turquoise than the seller's pics indicated.  But I still love the fabric and managed to eke out two more tops out of it.

This Moneta was made with the Sewalong which was invaluable in helping me rectify many of the mistakes I'd made before.  I love that the bodice is lined - everything is so tidy that way.  

With the sleeveless version, I did notice a lot of gaping around the armholes.  With the help of this tutorial from Miss Make I bumbled my way through the problem.  I find it initially irritating to have to fix fitting problems, but incredibly satisfying to muddle my way to a solution.

I added a few inches to the skirt because my knees are not really fit to be seen by the world.  Also, I wish my legs would tan like my arms!


The MonSkater: Moneta & Lady Skater mash-up

Before I made the Moneta, I already had the Lady Skater pattern in my stash.  I love the neckline of the Moneta, but gathering with clear elastic was definitely not my favourite part.  

Nervously, I decided to use the bodice of the Moneta with the skirt of the Lady Skater.  I normally like to follow patterns to the letter.  Alterations, mash-ups, doing things in a different order ... those things make me nervous.  But I gave it a go, and I'm really pleased with the result.  

The skirt was lengthened by two inches and I adapted the long sleeves of the Skater dress to the Moneta bodice.  I also bound the neckline and cuffs in the same purple knit that I'd used for the first Moneta.

I do like this dress - I love the flow of the skirt.  Plus, the Skater uses a little less fabric than the Moneta.  I ended up using a rolled hem on the skirt as I didn't want it any shorter. 


Nothing exciting here.  The sleeveless Moneta with a black blouse.  The blouse is one of my oldest items of clothing.  It was from M&S many moons ago but has managed to keep its condition very well.  They don't make them like they used to...


Moneta sweater top

When I made the Moneta dress in this fabric, I had to redraft the bodice due to the armhole gape.  I couldn't bear to discard the ill-fitting bodice, so used this pattern hack to make it into a sweater top.  I didn't bother with any special ribbing for the cuffs, neckline etc.  Just used some left over jersey.  I added the standard Moneta collar.  Won't show you the back though as the serger managed to nip out any markings for where the collar dovetails at the back.


No picture - nothing missed.  Just the purple Moneta with a belt.


TGIF!  I was rapidly running out of ideas by now.  I mean I could have worn the sweater top with a skirt but as it hadn't been washed....  So I threw on the MonSkater with a sweater which had to be taken off later due to warm weather.  

To tell the truth, I'm not really one to mess around with accessories.  I did enjoy the OWOP though.  I think I would choose a blouse / top next time!  

The First Post

Welcome to the first post of my sewing blog!

I started sewing back at school, then left it and now some 20 years later, have picked it up again.  

I sew mainly for myself, usually using the cheapest acceptable fabric I can find.  One day I'll get some Liberty cotton lawn and really treat myself.

Anyhow, hope you enjoy the makes!