Thursday, November 22, 2012

Auckland.....who's in the know?

We will be lucky enough to be staying with the inlaws in Auckland this summer, and while I have been to the city a number of times now, there has never been any time for fabric or opshopping. This time though, I am determined to sneak away (I will have the luxury of two sisters in law and a mother in law for child wrangling!)and do some selfish shopping!

So, does anyone out there have any good tips for where to go? I will have a car, so getting around won't be a problem, but will have limited time so I need to plan ahead.

I would love to pick up some merino jersey while I am there, as it is so ridiculously expensive over here and I am always on the lookout for vintage sewing bits and pieces so visiting some op shops would be great as well.

Thoughts? Tips? Don't be afraid to tell me where to go!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Burdastyle pants


Finally a pair of pants to wear that aren’t denim!

These were from my mini wardrobe plan, and I have had them finished for ages but just haven’t had time to get the photos.

And Miss C is getting significantly better at the photography sessions so here we go!

The pattern is from the Burdastyle July 2011 issue and they are a breeze to sew up, but for what is essentially a pair of elastic waist pants I had to do a surprising amount of surgery on the pattern to get them to fit.

This is what Burda reckon they should look like.
Images from Burdastyle


These are mine.
Fabric: stretch cotton poplin and cotton elastane waistband.

To be fair to Burda I probably should have made a smaller size as I had to reduce the width of the waistband by 4 inches and the height by 2 inches. I also took the waist in at the side seams and centre back seam of the pant, shortened them and added a turned up cuff.

Waist detail, in which I grow a pair of arms out of my left leg!


So I probably did quite a bit more mucking around with these than I expected but I am glad that I did as I now have a great pair of casual, everyday pants for summer. I have some more great prints in the stash so this pattern will probably get quite a workout this season.

Ack! Where's Mums head gone!

Note: The instructions for these pants are very ambiguous, there are the regular instructions in the mag as well as a special ‘sewing lesson’ section that shows pictures as well as step by step instructions. It took me quite a bit of cross checking to figure out how to cut the waistband. The pattern piece looks like it is cut on the fold, but when I checked the sewing lesson it stated to cut one piece from a single layer of fabric. And to complicate things further, Burda include seam allowance in the waistband, but not the pant pattern aaaargh Burda!!!!

And I would really like to upload these to the Burdastyle site but keep getting page errors aaaargh Burda!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Super duper Japanese pattern book giveaway

No, not mine. I am way too selfish for that!

But there is a great giveaway going on over at Fashion Incubator where you can win for your sewing pleasure, not one, not two but five Japanese pattern books including Drape Drape 1 and 2!

And seeing that I already have two out of the five I am going to sit and watch unselfishly from the sidelines to see who is the winner!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Drape Drape 2 No 4 Top

I was lucky enough to pick up copies of Drape Drape 1 and 2 on Ebay recently. Both books were in pristine condition and ended up costing less than half the retail price of one of them. Yay me!

I have pined after these books for a while now. While I like the Japanese aesthetic (all those lovely Liberty, loose floaty dresses and smocks!), I have been a bit leery of buying any of the books as loose, boxy shapes generally look awful on me, and while I am about average height, I would be on the end of the Large size and was a bit worried if anything would actually fit! But the Drape Drape styles are mostly in jersey so I figured that fit wouldn’t be as much of an issue.

I picked one of the easy ones to start with. This top with a side drape.


Kathleen Fasanella wrote a useful review of the book here, and also shows a mock up of this style.

Here is mine.



I used a vintage cotton jersey with a wide navy and white stripe. I didn’t have quite enough fabric so I cut the pattern on the cross grain which means the stripe runs diagonally across the body, which was a bit of a win as it gives the top a bit of a seventies vibe.

A few points:

Seam allowances are included in the pattern, so watch out for that if you are used to Burda!

The pattern is actually 3 separate pieces that you trace and then join. Took me a while to figure that out! And when the instructions say that you need 1.2 metres, then you need 1.2 metres! I usually ignore yardage information on commercial patterns as they are generally so wasteful, but this is just one pattern piece so you do need that full length (unless of course you shorten it).


Despite being in Japanese, the tracing was so much easier then Burda. Less lines on the paper and a slightly heavier paper stock, and this pattern was only two sizes so very easy to find the right line to trace.

Patternreview is here.

I love this top! I was in desperate need of some basic tops for everyday, and I have already worn this 3 times. It is a perfect fit, I didn’t need to muck about with too many changes, quick and easy to sew and looks casual and dressy at the same time. Now I just need to find some time to whip up some more!

Note: apologies for lack of decent photos. As my tripod has gone walkabout, the resident 5 year old is now in charge of photography. Using my phone. So this is probably the best it is ever going to get!