so many plans – so many patterns

It is also technically still winter  (Met Eireann/our weather board class December January and February as winter in Ireland) so I also see it as a time of semi-hibernation and taking it easy – January is definitely my tiredest month, probably because if also feels like the darkest one.

So rather than try and make a tonne of stuff (as if) I figured it would be a lot more productive to get all my favourite patterns that I actually own (as opposed to covet on etsy) and make a top ten to sew for the year from comfort of the sofa. So gathered em up, and then whittled down to a few that I have clothes that could be remade this year. (I do also have plans for a few self drafted ones too).

And the top picks werevogue 1

I am not too sure if I will get a make with this one. I love this era of Vogue illustration, and had been thinking of a high neck blouse as an alternative to polo necks. I also have a flimsy chiffon ‘play suit’ which may work if I try a sleeveless version of this? otherwise I am sure there a few other contenders I can try.

hollywood

The hollywood pattern I have a long time. I was full sure I was going to make it straight away when I got it, but no….it has languished. The main attraction was that the top uses little fabric, and I have some of my ‘precious’ silks that can get used here.

vogue 2The Vogue blouse I got before  Christmas. I was also given this stripe skirt by a friend, I am not too sure if I will make the sleeved version from the stripes, so I am also thinking of maybe a plain colour ……..vogue sybi

Sybil Connolly blouse, I have wanted to make a Sybil Connolly pattern sometime. I am a bit fascinated by her (especially after seeing her tweed patchwork full length 1950s skirt) so I am trying this blouse as I have an odd polka dot dress which I have not got a clue what to do with.

coats and jkt

Style Arc – Katherine Daze made this coat, and when I saw her coat I thought the ‘Jimmy Hourihan’ coat I had waiting could be used. I really have not a clue if it will work as I took the coat apart ages ago and its folded away…..

Vogue Moto Jacket – I thought some wool mens jackets could be upcycled with this one.

Simplicity Coat Pattern – I have a navy wool coat which is waiting a long time, and it has similar lines.

blaire

Style Arc Shirt – I only picked up this pattern to save on some postage when I bought the other. I have some cream silk shirts to re-cut, and thought to use them here, and a chance to use up more of the squirreled away silks

vogue 3

I hope to try this vogue pattern with a taffeta bridesmaid dress I was given

advance

I also have a charity shop wedding silk suit…….Its amazing the amount of flouncy-fancy-only worn-once-pieces that are in the charity shops, and I thought this Advance pattern could work here.

simp

The one I am working on (slowly) at the moment is this cute top- The pattern was a gifted trace that I have been meaning to make up for ages. I got this raw silk bridesmaid skirt (I assume) last month. I adored the colour and was rather impressed with the amount of bias in the fish-tail skirt, perfect for the collar.

I have a few more self drafted patterns to test out and share….but for the moment, I am in no rush!

It has been a good way of getting a plan going for the year, as I got to tidy away the pieces and patterns I won’t be working on and have the ones I will work on to the fore….

And I also got to fold my stash of charity shop buys….(a good start is half the job)

sew cupboard

 

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2 skirts and a red raglan sweater.

Funny how sometimes when you change jobs, your wardrobe seems to alter a bit – maybe it isn’t that unusual but I was still surprised when I started working in my new job, that I started favouring wearing dresses and skirts more instead of trousers as in my last job. (Although, this is due to change this week as the temperatures have dropped to freezing so I will be in wool trews tomorrow morning for sure).

In November I made 2 new skirts. Both were made from discarded pieces in the Community Sew room discard box.

The Brown tweed skirt was made from a short piece – approx 75cm length It has a black line and some orange and yellow flecks so was fine to wear with a black polo.  I used the reliable vogue pattern – and it pretty much sewed itself. The pattern also uses petersham instead of a waistband so useful when there is little fabric.

 The Black skirt was a half made something and it was all black, it may have been a dress cut in half. It would not be my usual choice of fabric, and it also had some strange laundry instructions (ie do not wash) so I tossed it to the machine before I cut and it seemed to survive.  I recut a basic a-line skirt. I put a seam on the front to the side, so I could embroider some detail, originally it was to have a mock pleat, but in the end I just sewed it as a seam. I was going to embroider a geometric pattern in shades of pink and red but could not find a suitable motif so used this ‘spring’ one.

Both skirts work well with a black sweater, but I often find black a bit severe and thought ‘if I could only find a red sweater to recut….’ and sure enough, same day in the charity shop, I did! I got this ‘vintage’ one. It is a fine knit and was an XL. I had thought there was more wool content but it is 35% wool and 65%  somthing else/orlon (I was shopping without my glasses!)

I drafted a raglan knit block and recut the sweater. I had tried to figure a way to incorporate the neckline, but it did not seem feasible. It sits as a v-neck and was not that flattering. I had originally hoped to put the button placket to the back but it could not sit flat. So in the end, I had to cut it out, and sew a small seam in.

I did a wider slight funnel neck so I can wear a base layer underneath (it is not a warm sweater), and finished the neck and cuffs with a twin needle turn over hem.

I am going to do a scan of the raglan block and put it up with the patterns on craftsy as I am find these remade sweaters so useful, and a very quick sew. As well as which its a style of sweater I find difficult to get in RTW as they tend to be straight up-and-down, where as this one has a small bit of waist definition.

 

red blouse remake, and a vogue skirt

Things have been rather hectic lately.  I have finished embroidering and sewing an irish dancing costume for my niece and due to go up to bling it on next week, and while that was being sewn, the sew social group started – no photos of either yet!.  The sew social group is great, there is a brilliant mix of people and skills, and extra people coming the second week.  It is to run for 4 evenings and 2 evenings to go, and I am hoping to be shown how to knit properly there soon.

I made this blouse and skirt a few weeks ago, and have worn both a fair bit, and I am still in the middle of crocheting the sweater (if a crochet project goes on too long there is always the danger of a change of heart and I will unravel it, so I am hoping to finish it this week)
meanwhile………………

The blouse



Red is a tough colour to photograph.  The red blouse was on the euro rail.  it was a light jacket/blouse with shoulder pads (and a few stains), and its silk

upcycle blouse

I laundered it, took it apart and thought to make a blouse which would also work as a base layer for under sweaters.  I don’t normally like collars, which was just as well as I barely had enough fabric but got their in the end.  I had to peel off the fusible which was on the facing of the original blouse to use as side panels in the front – which worked out fine.

upcycle blouse

I used a 50s dress pattern as a base for the tucks at the neckline, and I was going to face the neckline but used a simple binding instead, and a zip closure at the back.

The skirt

brown tweed skirt



The day after I got the blouse, I was cutting out the denim dress (2 or 3 posts back) and ran into a spot of bother with the cut, so I went out for a stroll to think it out (rather than cut any further), and I strolled towards the charity shop.  This tweed was in with some pillowcases, and about .75 of a metre, and 2euro.  When I got home, I put it with the ‘pile’ and it looked so well with the blouse – that I figured I had an instant outfit.  I had originally planned a box pleat skirt, but there was just slightly too little fabric.

vogue 7776 skirt upcycle

I used my TNT pattern, vogue 7776, and did the version with the front slit.  I pretty much did everything as per the pattern except I did a facing for the waistband (petersham is recommended).  I left the hem at 3 inch allowance which is a lovely weight for the tweed.  Had I known it would turn out so lovely, I should have considered interlining with organza (its a couture technique I think).  Its perfect for a long-life tweed skirt as it helps any potential bagging/sagging issues at the seat, and its perfect for holding the hem.

silk lining vogue 7776

I had some habatoi mock silk lining in a fun orange shade, but I didnt realise until I went to cut how off grain it was……………. I was a bit shocked.  So I cut on grain, one piece at a time and just about fitted it in – the photo above shows it laid out and going with grain.  I cut the back on the fold and the 2 fronts just about fitted it in.

I did a top stitich on the skirt but only used sewing thread so its barely noticible, and the only other blip (besides the low quality lining) was there was a tiny hole in the weave (probably due to age) in the back panel which I didn;t notice until I was holding towards the light to inspect the dart.  I put a small darn in it, and then ironed on some vilene.

so – an outfit for about a fiver – blouse 1 euro, tweed 2 euro, zips taken from other garments, lining would have been about 2euro……