All posts filed under: craft

Just another trip to the fabric store

Do you ever do that thing where you go to fabric store with the intent of buying fabric for one very specific project, then leave the fabric store with enough fabric to …. but nothing for your project. Only to come home and find the perfect fabric for your project was in your stash all along??? This is what I do. ALL the time. It’s probably why I have way too much fabric. On the flip side I am now seriously excited about the sewing I’ll be doing in the next couple of months. Here’s a run down of what I got. Navy cashmere coating. This is lovely & soft, but it is a little on the thin side for a coat in Michigan so I’m looking at ways I can add some warmth. I bought a satin backed flannel for the lining, which might help a little with wind protection, and was thinking of interlining the coat with Thinsulate material as well. This Italian wool. This wool is the opposite to the navy, it’s …

Marfy 3520: Making a Muslin

This is my first time sewing a Marfy pattern* so I thought it best to make a muslin, to see how best to put it together (and of course check fit). I’m making Marfy 3520, it’s a dress pattern that I’ve long admired. In general I was really happy with the first cut. The pattern came together like a dream – with the exception of setting in the sleeve, for some reason I found this quite tricky in this pattern. My only fitting complaint was the gaping fabric above my bust, so I made a full bust adjustment & it now feels a lot nicer. I’m not super happy with how the sleeves look though. Its more of a design issue that a fit issue really. I’m thinking I might shorten the sleeves to be elbow length and forego the flounce, but we’ll see. Otherwise I think its time to cut this one out. The fabric I’m using is a checked wool suiting my Mum gave me a couple of years ago. For the accent …

Christmas Dress 2016

As usual at the last minute (about a week before travelling from the US to Australia with a newborn) I decided that I wanted to make a new dress to wear on Christmas day. At least this year some sense of reality prevailed & I started off with a decision to make a simple dress with a nice patterned fabric. However, as is usually the case with my sewing, this project’s complexity quickly escalated as I started making alterations to the pattern design. I started off with Vogue V8723 which is now out of print. Originally I was going to make it as is from the pattern, but then I thought ‘wouldn’t it be nice if that bit of trim at the top of the dress went round the entire time & formed the straps?’, then I thought, ‘Australia is hot, maybe I’ll lower the neckline significantly & make it a summer dress for a hot day’. This resulted in an afternoon of re-drawing practically all the pattern pieces to accommodate the changes. At the end …

The Finished Vyshyvanka

The vyshyvanka that I started earlier this year has been finished! I finished it in September a few weeks before the baby arrived in October, but didn’t get a chance to post about it until now, (turns out newborns are pretty demanding). I’m quite pleased with how the shirt turned out. I basically followed the steps I outlined in my last post to make it. I completed the central section first, then the sleeve cuffs, then the collar. The most difficult part was working out an appropriate pattern for the collar & cuffs, once I’d completed the embroidery on the front of the shirt. I did a lot of trials on a scrap of linen to try to find a scaled down version of the main panel. Eventually I happened upon a design I was happy with & went with that. For this project I really didn’t want to use the overlocker (serger) because I felt it would look to ‘machine made’ so the seams are flat felled. I did run a zig-zag stitch along …

Making a Very Important Vyshyvanka

I’m pregnant with my first child, a little boy. I really wanted to make something special for him that could be worn for special occasions & then kept or passed down later in life. As my husband is Ukrainian, the obvious choice was a vyshyvanka, (an embroidered shirt worn in Ukrainian national dress). I’ve made a pinterest board of some of my favorite examples (including some more modern examples) here. I’ve never made a vyshyvanka before & had to rely on my husband explaining to me the ways he’d seen other women make them. Based on that, turns out there’s a few ways of making a vyshyvanka, with varying degrees of time & effort. The easiest way he described to me was to buy the embroidered panels & then affix them to an existing shirt. A more involved (but still relatively easy) option is to embroider the panels onto specific embroidery/needlepoint evenweave cloth & then cut out the panels & sew them onto a shirt. The most difficult method he described to me was embroidering directly onto the material …

Another New Year Dress

Last weekend was Detroit Malanka, (Malanka = Ukrainian New Years Party). I’ve really been feeling the sewing vibe again so I made a new dress. I used a metallic silk brocade that I bought in New York last March & added some ostrich feather trim. The ‘dress’ is actually a high waisted skirt & a separate top. The patterns for self-drafted from basic skirt & bodice blocks. I underlined the brocade with organza to help it sit smoothly without wrinkles & lined both the top & skirt with a silk satin. Everything came together pretty easily, so this is a pretty boring story. It only took me about 4 hours over a weekend to make it all. I think the only alteration I will make is to add some beaded trim at the base of the top, just above the feathers, it feels like it needs a little something extra there.

A New Gown for a New Year

Earlier this month my husband & I drove up to Toronto to go to Toronto Malanka. Toronto Malanka is a ball to celebrate Ukrainian New Years Eve, (or new years eve by the old calendar). The dress code is black tie & so I had to find a gown to wear. With all the craziness in the lead up to Christmas I didn’t have time to make a new gown from scratch, instead I decided modify something I’d made previously. I don’t have many evening gowns but I do have a heap of cocktail dresses that I’ve made over the years & a lot of left over fabric (one of the benefits of buying fabric just because you love it & without any real plans for it). I took a dress that I loved, which had a separate skirt & bodice, unpicked the skirt & used the leftover fabric to make a new floor length skirt. Don’t worry I didn’t waste the original skirt – I sewed it onto a waistband so I could wear …