Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Wearing the teal pants and jacket

Here I am wearing the Teal wool jacket with the Teal wide leg pants and a simple ivory RTW tee.

Friday, 29 June 2007

Some other Wardrobe pics

These are the ones I sent to Julie for the site

Monday, 18 June 2007

Wearing my SWAP pieces

I have been wearing a lot of my SWAP pieces recently, particularly the pants and tops although the heavy wool jacket is too hot now.

Today I am wearing the wide leg brown pants and the purchased top with a cream camisole and wedge leather sandals.
And last week I wore the teal wide leg pants with one of the tops.

Saturday, 5 May 2007

Pattern Review Wardrobe Contest May 1st to July 31st 2007

Pattern Review Wardrobe Contest May 1st to July 31st 2007
has now started and there is a new blog for this at

SWAP Winners

All of the completed SWAPs and the 5 winners are listed over on
Well done to the winners and everyone who completed the SWAP.

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

SWAP Outfit 5 - Spring Morning

Here the teal gored skirt is teamed with the burnt orange top accessorised with a slim belt and silk scarf at the neck.
The team and orange are the most challenging to mix as far as I am concerned and this outfit makes a strong statement.
Something to wear on a bright Spring day or even better on a slightly dull one to cheer things up.

Saturday, 14 April 2007

SWAP Outfit 4 - Saturday errands

Here's the print knit top with scoop neck and 3/4 sleeves, and a silk scarf as a belt shown with the reversible skirt indigo side out and sequin flat slip on shoes.
A great outfit for running errands on a Saturday morning - comfortable but still quite pulled together.

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

SWAP Outfit 3 - evening at the theatre

Another outfit where the picture has not been submitted to Julie.
This one has the SWAP dark teal Loes Hinse gore skirt worn with the teal burn out velvet Jalie Wrap top (the two patterns I bought from Julie to qualify) accessorised with a gold necklace, gold sandals and a dinky gold clutch bag.
This says evening at the theatre!

More outfits to come as I think of ways to combine stuff.

SWAP Outfit 2 - Smart Casual

Don't worry this picture is not one I've sent to Julie so it should not spoil the suprise for anyone.
This is the SWAP brown pants and purchased top, with a teal pashina, brown kitten heel suedette boots and a bead necklace I made myself (turquoise seed beads with brown irregular beads).

This outfit is one of those smart casual combos useful in so many situations.

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

SWAP Outfit 1 - cafe terrace

Here's the brown pants with the brown print top, dressed up with a pashmina, sandals, belt and necklace.
In this outfit I'm sipping a cold drink on a cafe terrace.
(edited to add this picture was also NOT sent to Julie and so is not spoiling anything!)
My photos are not great I know, but I loved the versatility of the outfits I could create with the SWAP pieces. The same fun as dressing a paper doll and chosing the accessories only I get to wear the outfits!!

Monday, 9 April 2007

The jacket

Here's the finished jacket. The planned hook and eye closure pulled so instead I used cord loops and covered buttons. I am pleased with the final look, it fits me beautifully.

SWAP 2007 Complete

Top Row (L->R):-
New Look 6315, View B, blouse in burnt orange slubbed home dec fabric.
Butterick 5487, View E, top in white/brown tropical flower polyester print.
Butterick 3344, View C, top in teal/brown 4 way stretch viscose print.
Purchased top from Wallis
Middle Row:-
Jalie 2449, View C, cross over top in teal 4 way stretch polyester burnout velvet
Burda 3064, View C, jacket in teal weave wool with petrel polyester lining,
Butterick 6768, Views A/C, wrapover blouse in teal/brown polyester print fabric.
Bottom Row:-
New Look 6054, View C, pants in dark teal polyester/viscose drapey woven.
Simplicity 4375, View B, pants in black/brown cotton/linen mix.
Loes Hinse 5007, View D, 6 gore skirt in black/teal polyester/viscose drapey woven.
Butterick 3972, View B, skirt in brown/indigo denim - reversible.

Sunday, 8 April 2007

Almost done...

We just got back (8:30pm here) from spending the Easter weekend with DH's parents, but I took my SWAP jacket with me and finished some bits of handsewing whilst watching TV, so only needs buttons and loops and I am declaring that the SWAP is done. MIL and DH's Auntie were in awe of the whole SWAP thing which was a nice feeling when my stuff is so plain compared to lots of the gorgreous stuff out there.

I will retake my photos tomorrow against a plain white sheet and send the photos over to Julie later on in the day.
I'm then away from home with work for two days so it makes a good deadline to finish them by end of Monday.

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Overall plan

here's what the whole thing will look like when finished off

Not quite finished jacket

And this is my final SWAP piece my teal wool jacket.
This was started more than 5 years ago and has been sitting around partly completed since then. I've worked on it a little more the last 2 weeks and the end is in sight.
Here it is with the lining inserted but the pressing, hems etc undone. I thought you would like to see it though as it helps with imagining the whole SWAP together.

RTW Knit top

This is the purchased knit top I am going to include in my SWAP.
I wanted to sew another top but this one works beautifully with everything else and time is short so I'd be stupid not to.
I will take a photo of my actual top as the print is arrnaged differently and its a larger size, but this gives you a good idea.
It is a lovely knit top from Wallis.

Knit top

Here's a photo of the too wide knit top. Once the jacket is finished I will alter this down maybe two sizes. The basic top itself is fine I just cut it out too big.

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Butterick 3344

My knit top from Butterick 3344 is not going well.
Its huge and baggy. I think I basically cut too large a size - the shoulders hang off me and the body is shapeless. The whole front sits OK if I put a 1 inch pleat down the centre front. So I think I need to redo everything but the neckline(which has been redone once already). Well actually the neckband looks too wide as well.
I love the fabric but there is none spare so I have to be careful.

Maybe I will work on the jacket a bit and come back to this top another day. I will take the sleeves off, make the shoulder narrower, reattach the sleeve and trim some off the sides of the body (more from the front than the back) and see what that is like.

Sunday, 18 March 2007

sleeves on the Jalie top

Although I have worn my Jalie crossover top I have been thinking again about the sleeves.
After the SWAP is over I think I might recut the sleeves longer and wider, and replace the existing ones accordingly. I have plenty of fabric.

Sleeve width in RTW is often a problem too, so I think it is my arms rather than the pattern.

Thursday, 15 March 2007

wore the brown print top

No photos sorry but I wore the brown print top today with a previously sewn grey green wide leg pant suit and chocolate brown accessories. I liked it very much. The top was very comfortable to wear and tucked neatly into the belted pants.

I know some SWAPpers don't wear any of their SWAP clothes until the whole SWAP is complete and photographed, but I just love wearing my new things as soon as I can. I haven't worn everything yet but I am working up to it! Let's hope I don't spill anything and make a stain that won't come out.

This weekend is the last one I will have to sew as I have other committments the other weekends until the SWAP finishes. I am still finding it hard to be focused and follow everything through. Its fine when the garments go together smoothly but I am easily discoraged by poor fit or construction problems. However with 8 garments sewn I am so nearly there I just need to persevere a little more.

Then with the SWAP done I need to move on to some Vacation sewing for Arizona in late April, so time is short.....

The gore skirt for Morzel

here's a picture of the gore skirt on its own

and the pattern it uses. I sewed view D here

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Wrap top being worn

Here's the Jalie wrap top being worn with the Loes Hinse 6 gore skirt. I had my eyes shut so I cropped my head off - anyway it helps you concentrate on the clothes!

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

For the SWAP page

Here are 8 of the garments from the SWAP which I have sewn so far, there are 2 tops and a jacket to come yet:-

Top Row: Butterick 5487 - brown and white floral print batwing top
Butterick 6768 - teal and brown leaf print wrap blouse with buckle fastening
New Look 6315 - princess seams, slubbed burnt orange blouse with cord button loops
Jalie 2449 - teal velvet burnout wrap front knit top
Bottom row: New Look 6054 - Wide leg pants in chocolate/black textured cotton/linen
New Look 6054 - Wide leg pants in dark teal viscose
Butterick 3972 - reversible brown/indigo denim skirt with flat fell seams, elastic waistband casing and serged hem

Loes Hinse 5007 - Teal melange 6 gore skirt with 6 godets.

Jalie Wrap top done

The Jalie wrap top in teal velvet burnout is pretty much done. It only has serged hems on the sleeves and body at the moment, and I may do a 'proper' hem once I work out what works best on this fabric.
It looks better on a real body and doesn't droop or anything.
As you can see I cut the back neckline lower and did a continuous band which was a nice easy finish.
I am very happy with this addition to the SWAP.

Monday, 12 March 2007

Blouse frustrations

The blouse pattern is obviously expecting lots of bust so ideal for all you FBA girls out there, plus easy to alter if it still doesn't give the room.
However since I am only a B cup but on a plus size body its a very badly fitting blouse right now.
I don't love it at the moment, and I think we may have to have a break from each other whilst I sew something quicker and less irritating.

On that note I have finally used the other pattern I bought from Timmels to cut out the Jalie Wrap top in a teal velvet burnout - polyester but still quite nice for all that.
Isn't velvet messy to cut out? I have little hairs of teal velvet all over my cutting area.
I had been procrastinating on the Jalie top becuase I would have to trace the pattern off which I have some deep objection to which I can't rationalise, so I bit the bullet and went for it.

I'm hoping this will be easy to sew given all the good reviews on Patternreview.com. I cut the second largest sleeve size and went between sizes W and X on the body, lengthened by 2 inches on the body and a teeny bit on the sleeve, cut the back neck down so the band can go all the way around and cut a long band all in one piece for the entire neckline. I have no idea what it'll be like but since I was told the fit was snug I thought it wise to err slightly on the large size and then cut down if required.

Wednesday, 7 March 2007

cut out Butterick 4659 View B

Tonight I cut out Butterick 4659 View B. This is a 3/4 sleeve blouse with princess seams and one piece facing and collar. I've used a stretch shirting with a white background and chocolate and turquoise stripes. I think it will work really well and be a very wearbale piece, especially for work. I love this type of shirt but the purchased ones don't fit very well. This pattern is new to me but I hope to do some tweaking to make the fit quite good.

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

And with the SWAP extras

And here are all the garments I have sewn so far for the SWAP (including the extra pieces on the bottom row).
They have been taken at different times and I can see now that some of the colours are off. For instance the brown pants and skirt on the bottom row are sewn in the same fabric as the wide leg pants at the far left of the middle row. Also the teal pants on the middle row and the gauchos on the bottom row are also in the same fabric as each other.
Seeing it all laid out like this feels more of an achievement than when they are stuffed in the wardrobe with everything else.
Tops are on my list with a shirting stripe blouse next and then two knit tops and the jacket.

SWAP Wardrobe Picture - sewn so far

Here's a merge of the pictures I have already taken of the SWAP items. Hopefully you can see how they would work together. The burnt orange blouse is my one query so far! I ask myself would I really wear an orange blouse with a teal green skirt and a lighter teal green jacket?

The details are
Top row from left to right:-
Top Butterick 5487 - brown and white floral print batwing top
Blouse Butterick 6768 - Teal and brown leaf print wrap blouse with buckle fastening.
Blouse New Look 6315 - Princess seamed, slubbed burnt orange blouse with cord button loops.
Bottom row left to right:-
Pants New Look 6054 - Wide leg pants with faced waist and side zip in chocolate/black textured cotton/linen fabric.
Pants New Look 6054 - Wide leg pants with faced waist and side zip in dark teal viscose fabric.
Skirt Butterick 3972
Reversible brown/indigo denim skirt with flat fell seams, elastic waistband casing and serged hem. (Indigo side showing)
Skirt Loes Hinse 5007 - Teal melange 6 gore skirt with 6 godets, very full and swishy!

Wardrobe Pic

Here are 6 of the garments photographed together. I sure need to work on my photography!
Top row from left to right:-
Top Butterick 5487 - brown and white floral print batwing top
Blouse Butterick 6768 - Teal and brown leaf print wrap blouse with buckle fastening.
Blouse New Look 6315 - Princess seams, slubbed burnt orange blouse with cord button loops.
Bottom row left to right:-
Pants New Look 6054 - Wide leg pants with faced waist and side zip in chocolate/black textured cotton/linen fabric.
Pants New Look 6054 - Wide leg pants with faced waist and side zip in dark teal viscose fabric.
Skirt Butterick 3972
Reversible brown/indigo denim skirt with flat fell seams, elastic waistband casing and serged hem. (Indigo side showing)

Monday, 5 March 2007

Print top complete

I sewed up a simple shell top from Butterick 5487 adapting View E.
I used a remnant of polyester viscose fabric in a startling brown on white tropical flower print. The piece was a odd shape which limited my pattern choices. The print is large and striking so I wanted a simple style to show it to its best advantage.
I used view E which has a round neck, back closure and cut on cap sleees. I used the basic body shape but extended the sleeves to be more like batwing sleeves, omitted the back closure and cut a scoop neck at the front. I omitted the facing and just serged all the edges and turned under and stitched, the fabric is a firm enough weave to take this.

New Fabric

I went to the fabric store this weekend and they had lots of stuff at £1 and £1.50 a metre.
So I picked up a white stretch shirting with turquoise and dark brown stripes which will be fab for a blouse for the SWAP.
Also a dark brown stretch woven with self fabric stripe, a suit for another day - maybe a new SWAP another time.
And several fabrics in denim/khaki colourways to make summer pants. I added to this pile from my fabric stash as well. I want some pants for my trip in April/May to Arizona and then for casual wear through the summer here in England.
My most comfortable and well fitting pants are PJs, so I will make elastic waist pants for daytime wear. The idea is to make quite a few pairs of pants and wash and wear them all before deciding which ones will be softest and least creasing to pack for the trip.

However I need to make some SWAP tops first, so I've put the pants fabrics away for now.

Friday, 2 March 2007

The tops promise

I hearby promise that I won't sew any more bottoms until I have done the tops for the SWAP (well maybe I'll finish off the partly made brown pinstripe pants, but nothing new honest)

I think I almost have enough extra bottoms for another SWAP plan. Bottoms in the shops don't fit me which is why I love to sew them for myself. But to do the SWAP I need to make the jacket and four more tops.

My latest tops thoughts is to make one loose top in brown and print white fabric and 3 knit tops in teal, turquoise and print.
Plus finish the parly made Burda wool jacket.

I think my kitchen will finish being repainted after the SWAP has finished!!

Culottes being worn

Here are the culottes (also known as cropped pants or gauchos) in action. Worn with dark brown boots and teal sweater.

Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Print gore skirt done

The print version of the Loes Hinse gore skirt is finished. This is just the sort of fabric which is lovely for this pattern. I made the 6 gore version without the godets and its great, swishy and full at the hem so i can stride about whilst still looking ladylike, but slim over the hips - a great style.

Another SWAP extra, but goes with so many existing items in my wardrobe I don't regret it for a minute.

Sunday, 25 February 2007

Culotte pants/Gauchos/Cropped pants are completed

The culottes are finished. I have no idea the proper term for them these days, culottes, gauchos, cropped pants. Either way they are done.
They are hemmed so when worn they are 33 inches long, the same length as my best skirts.

Having made them though they either seem quite fashion forward (and I'm not sure I am really) or quite dated (like I enjoyed wearing culottes in the 80's and I'm so glad they are back in again).

Whilst its cooler I shall wear them with knee high leather boots and a sweater, and when it warms up with sandals and a tee instead.

They are however a SWAP extra, and so I haven't really moved forward in that side of things.

Under the window in the sewing area I have a small chest with cushions on top (for a feline friend to lounge on) where I keep the SWAP projects not yet started. I removed a some fabrics which were part 2 or otherwise not suitable, but left myself a couple of options as to which tops I am going to sew. I also had a bit of a tidy up of patterns etc so the general sewing area is looking more useable.

Extras added and priorities

The extras which I have already sewn are now at the bottom of the pics.

I got a bit bogged down not sure what to sew next, so I used one of my indecision breaking tactics and pretend I am giving someone else advice.
And my advice to my sewing self, to finish off the zip and waistfacing treatment on the two nearly finished garments, cut out and sew up the print loes hinse 6 gore skirt (without godets) and then move on to knit tops. Maybe some more pics later today.

Friday, 23 February 2007

The jacket options

Morzel asked 'Will you show photos of the jackets (at least the fabric, maybe together with these fabrics here) you are con- sidering ?! '

Here's the RTW jacket with the funny curved lapel and the partly made jacket.
the RTW jacket would need the collar altering and new non glitzy buttons, the UFO jacket needs completing.
Either would be fine with all the other SWAP pieces.

Thursday, 22 February 2007

Necklace pic for Cameron

This is a closup picture of the necklace I am wearing in the earlier picture for Cameron.
On the pendant the outer stones are marbled grey and the inner flower marbled teal with a tiny sparkling gem right in the middle. All totally fake of course and only £5 GBP from Hancock and Wood in Warrington.
I think the detailing is a little too intricate for me but I was won over by the size of the pendant (just over 2 inches across) and the colcours.
The doubled chain and chunky beads also give it heft.
Click on the picture itself to see it in even more detail.

Pic for Audrey

As requested by Audrey here is me wearing the gored skirt with the wrap blouse.

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Blouse skirt outfit pic coming

I have pressed the print wrap blouse and the gored skirt ready to wear tomorrow.
I will take a picture of the outfit and post it here for you all to see.
As my SWAP jacket is not ready I pulled out a greeny grey RTW jacket I bought on sale and never had anything to wear with it.

Teal culottes

I've been slowed down by another patch of illness (a sore throat bug thingy) and sewing progress is slow. Its probably not helping the SWAP that I am doing yet another SWAP related bottom (teal culottes) even though I have already sewn all my SWAP bottoms. I find it terribly difficult to keep focussed on the official plan. Especially when I want the item and the right colour serger thread is already threaded on LOL I HATE changing serger thread
My knit top experince is close to nil so maybe I am subconciously putting this part of the SWAP off.
I guess I just lack the discipline to stick so rigidly to a plan I first thought of in December.

The culottes are the cropped version of New Look 6054 which I used for the pants in the SWAP.
I have a jacket quandary as well, I have two options
Option 1: This is to complete the dark teal wool jacket I started several years ago. Its a burda pattern, princess seam with V neck and no collar, 2 piece sleeves. This would then be my 'previously made' piece since I at least started it prior to the SWAP
Option 2: I also have a RTW medium teal wool blazer. I don't wear it because it has a very wierd shaped lapel, an alteration to the lapels and a chnage of buttons and this could be the jacket, and be the 'purchased' item.

Sunday, 18 February 2007

Per Una Skirts

I posted about the first of these Per Una skirts on artisans square.com but wanted to show you some more I saw when I visited the store today.

The second in yellow green and cream is very springlike and only uses 3 fabrics.

The one all in pink would be easy to recreate, just machine dye a whole lot of cotton fabrics with white backgrounds with a strong colour of your choice.

The brown one has strips of crochet trim as well as uneven width panels.

I didn't bother trying any of them on as RTW bottoms almost never fit me, which is why I sew more bottoms than tops. But the inspiration is free!

Friday, 16 February 2007

Butterick 6768 review

Pattern Description:
Butterick Decription:
Semi-fitted, wrap top has collar/sleeve/length variations, tie ends and narrow hem. A,B: tucks, side slits. B: above-elbow sleeves. A,C: collar, long sleeves. D: below-elbow sleeves. A,C,D: button cuffs. Purchased bottom.
My description
Wrap blouse with sleeve, collar and wrap options
Pattern Sizing:
(6 8 10) (12 14 16) (18 20 22)
I had the 12 to 16 and used the 16 which was quite snug, I probably needed the next size.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Reasonably given how much I deviated!
Were the instructions easy to follow?
The instructions show the different options side by side which is useful if you have chosen a different combination from one of their views but is a little hard to follow if you are doing one view.
I did not like their back neck method for the collared blouses and repalced it with a clean serged seam.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love wrap over styles. I have a rectangular upper body with wide shoulder, smallish bust and a bit of a tummy.Wrap tops can be really flattering for this shape as the wrappy bits hide the tum, the crossover makes the most of the bust and the diagonal lines add more curves than are there.
Fabric Used:
A high quality print polyester blouse/dress fabric. I don't usually go for polyester but the print is lovely and the fabric has a lovely mottled finish with a sheen.
It was tough to iron on the interfacing though and quite a challenge to press. I also used twice as many pins as usual when sewing it as the lower layer crept a lot and the edges went to one side. The upside of this is I won't ever look crumpled and I think it will turn out to be very hardwearing.
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
I chose a combination of elements which is not on any of the views and this caused me some trouble!
I wanted the collar, 3/4 length sleeves, longer wrapped front and the wide ties. It took me a long time to find a working pattern layout on the fabric as I was not following any of their views. And then when sewing I reapplied the wide tie 3+ times to the front as I had to work out my own pleating and placing instructions. I also found the longer tie is not long enough with the other views fronts as they are not as wide (maybe this was worse as it was a snug fit). The longer tie which wraps all around the back therefore became the buckle strap instead and I then threaded the shorter tie through the buckle. This give a flattering look which I am happy about.
I found the non buckle side of the wrap gaped slightly so I added a couple of hidden tucks and shortened the facing accordingly. The other side was less critical as you can pull any excess into the buckle to get a snug fit.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Even the slightly longer version is shorter than I would like, so I will sew it again but I will lengthen the body. I think wrap over blouses work on lots of bodyshapes amd give a nice feminine look. There are no buttons and no zips just the tie so could be good for a beginner wanting a slightly more complex project.
This is part of my Timmel 2007 SWAP and also co-ordinates with loads of other stuff in my wardrobe. I plan to make a simple matching skirt so I can also have a dress look as well woo hoo.

Thursday, 15 February 2007

Wrap blouse completed

The print wrap blouse using Butterick 6768 is complete.
I have modified this quite a lot but I am pleased with the outcome.

Saturday, 10 February 2007

Sidetrack again

Complete sidetrack today as I bought 5 New Look patterns (they are on sale at £2.95 each at the moment in the UK) from the Widnes Sewing Centre, plus 2 metres of print stretch knit in turquoise/green/brown/gold which might well work with my SWAP.
And onto Borders at Speke where I got the current Burda Magazine (they had Threads and Sew Today as well but I wasn't thrilled by them).
The patterns Dress 6674, Skirts/Pants/Culottes 6626, Top and Skirt 6546, Dress 6429 and Skirt 6177.

Friday, 9 February 2007

Starting sewing the wrap blouse

I have cut out the wrap front leaf print blouse and started sewing it up.
I found I still have 4 metres left. This print tones with so many plain things already in my wardrobe it is really surprising.

I am wondering what the best use would be for the rest of this fabric, I'm thinking a fairly simple skirt (to wear with the blouse to give a dress look), then maybe culottes or a shell top and a scarf. I'm avoiding a dress as I have not got a woven dress which I like only 2 knit ones.

Are print culottes which look like a skirt 'in' or just plain ones in pants fabrics?

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

no progress

This pic is of the print fabric (right side) taken yesterday.
No progress today as I stayed late at work, watched TV with DH and went to the supermarket (what exciting lives we sewists lead).
Tomorrow I am babysitting and then going on to my church mid week group, so next time of progress will be Thursday when I hope to finish cutting out the blouse.