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Colette Fall Palette Challenge Wrap

3 Jan

With the end of the year also came my self-imposed deadline for the Colette Patterns Fall Palette Challenge and whilst I barely completed half of the original plan, I still consider it a big success.

It all kicked off with the collection of inspiration images on a pinterest board. These formed the basis for a fall colour palette. I loved the changing leaves against smokey blue skies.

The colours were quite a departure from my previous wardrobe which was dominated by blues and greys and other muted shades. I was only able to bring 20 kgs of luggage to the UK so it was a fresh start to my wardrobe. You can see the change below – the photos on the left are from Self-Stitched September 2010 and on the right is everything I made in 2011.

In terms of garments I started with a very limited wardrobe so it was expanding on the basics.

It was fun to start experimenting with croquis, which have now developed into my own mini-me version.

Here are the successfully completed garments:

The Seasonally Inappropriate Sorbetto // The Colour-blocked Blouse // Double-knit Jenny Skirt // Linen Rooibos Dress // White Lace Tee

And the items that didn’t get made:

The Pants: I’m part way through the fitting process with both the Colette Clovers and the Wide-Leg Pants but as anyone who’s attempted pants knows – it’s a long and frustrating process. So right now, we are on a break.

The knit top: I found it was cheaper and easier to just buy one – I’m not trying to re-invent the wheel ;)

The blazer: This is about 80% done – it just wasn’t inspiring me.

The dresses: Are still on the cards at some point this year but they’re cross seasonal so it doesn’t matter if I put them off.

The biggest thing I realised is that I need to feel motivated in order to sew. I steadfastly refuse to let it become a chore or something I have to force myself into. The result is that the less exciting items got pushed to the back of the list. It’s something I need to think on how to remedy.

Still, the palette worked well which is why I still consider the challenge a success. Most of the garments I sewed that weren’t part of the original plan were still consistent with the palette.

The Toast Tunic // The Christmas Macaroon // The Burda Blouse // The Brumby-blue Dress

I’ll definitely take part in the Spring Challenge when it rolls around.

My new colourful wardrobe.

Fall Palette Challenge: Double-knit Pencil Skirt, Two Ways

9 Dec

Just a quick post today which is very appropriate given these skirts can be easily whipped up in an evening.

There really isn’t a lot to add as I’ve already sung the joys of both double-knit (Bonus Christmas Dress, Amazing Fit Dress, Gertie Dress) and Burdastyle’s Jenny Skirt pattern (here, here, here, and more).

I found the fabric during this trip to Walthamstow market for £2.20/metre from Classic Textiles which is a stupidly good price.

I bought a metre and a half, just planning on making this classic version (only alterations were addition of a back vent and halving the waistband height) but there was enough left over make the mini version(ok so this counts as mini for me) below.

For the second skirt I used the jenny pattern and all the length of the fabric left over. From the scraps I cut a strip the length of my waist measurement and about 3in wide. I used an invisible zip on both skirts and this double knit has enough stretch that I was able to use it to make a standard waistband. Then on a whim I added little patch pockets to the front.

This is probably the most realistic picture of what I wear most days. It was just a whim to make this version but I swear it has become one of the most worn thing in my wardrobe.

4 hours, £3, 2 skirts, 1 very happy camper.

Ps. Yup, I’m still working on the Colette Pattern Fall Palette Challenge. You can see the details and progress so far by clicking the ‘Fall Wardrobe‘ link at the top of the page.

Fall Challenge: The Seasonally Inappropriate Sorbetto

11 Nov

I love this fabric but it is entirely unsuited to the season. A super light weight silk cotton, I purchased it in June with the intent of making a light and floaty summer top. When you see the fabric up-close you can tell the cotton thread is the warp and is a more maroony red than the silk which runs across the weft and is more a burnt orange so it’s nice and breathable with a saturated colour.

The shop I bought it from was my local fabric store in Onehunga and is an Auckland legend. Antique Fabric and Lace have the self-proclaimed “largest range of Beaded Sequin Motifs in the world”. Like a museum they only display a small proportion of their collection at a time and still check out the walls.

I can’t even explain the mix of things you can find here, just look closely at the pictures and you’ll get the idea.

But back to the top…

It’s the trusty Colette Sorbetto pattern, of course, with some alterations.

I split the front and back pieces in half horizontally then slashed the bottom piece in four places from the hem to the stitching line and spread them each an inch apart. The fabric has a nice balance of drape and body so I wanted almost a circle skirt effect. The gaps were filled with tissue and seam allowance added to the midriff top and bottom.

I only had 1.5m of the fabric but it’s quite sheer so I was very lucky to eck out an extra layer for the top of the bodice, the rest is finished with bias strips.

Unfortunately when I tried it on it felt too shapeless and it was too late to add more darts. Instead, I added two black ribbon ties under the bust where a waistline dart would form and when they’re tied they produce  just the right shape.

So there it is, and I think I may be in denial about the cold weather. Still, with a cardigan I think it will still get some wear… silk is warm right?

(Braving the cold)

Fall Palette Challenge: White Lace Tee

19 Oct

Number three on my Fall Palette Challenge wardrobe may be my most favourite item this year.

It’s a simple white lace kimono sleeved tee, based off Colette’s free Sorbetto tank pattern. I raised the neck front and back then used this tutorial from Analog Me  to draft the kimono sleeve.

The lace is a cotton found on Goldhawke Road which the proprieter swore had also been purchased by buyers from top shop (hmmm, take that with a grain of salt) however at only £4 a meter it was a good deal. The underlining is a slinky synthetic twill that feels really soft and would be a nightmare to sew if it weren’t together with the cotton lace.

I cut the lace out first then squared the edges of the lining on the cutting board securing with pins. With the lace on top I used more pins to hold it in place before hand-basting around the edges and along the dart legs. Once the basting was in place, cutting the slinky fabric was easy and the rest of the top was sewn as one layer.

What I really like about it is that the simplicity of the pattern meant I could spend more time on things like this and french seams and hand-tacked binding. The details combined with the silkiness and weight of the fabric means that this feels like a quality garment even if it only cost £7. It’s something about the heaviness of the fabric that reminds me of trying on expensive clothes, I think.

This may be my favourite Sorbetto yet.

Liberty Tee: Colette Sorbetto

6 Oct

So you know that word game, fortunately/unfortunately?

Well it’s quite fitting for this project, so here goes.

I needed to make a muslin for the white lace tee in my fall challenge wardrobe.

Fortunately, I am using Colette’s Sorbetto Pattern which I’ve made previously so the muslin is just to check the fit of the sleeves.

Unfortunately, I strongly dislike making muslins that will be thrown away at the end of a project.

Fortunately, I was reading g r a i n l i ne and saw Jen’s cute new Scout Woven Tee Pattern which she’d made in a Liberty of London fabric.

image source: g r a i n l i n e studio

Unfortunately, the pattern would have to be graded up 4 sizes to fit me.

Fortunately, it reminded me I had a scant metre of tana lawn from the Liberty remnants bin. (Yes, I made a muslin from Liberty fabric).

Unfortunately, it really was scant so I couldn’t add any length to the Sorbetto bodice and I had to have the patterns going opposite directions on the front and back.

Fortunately, I managed to squeeze it out of the fabric.

Unfortunately, I cut it the wrong way and wound up with two left sleeves (which is so much worse than two left feet when it comes to sewing).

Fortunately, they still set in okay.

Unfortunately, I attached the bias binding for one sleeve to the wrong side and had to unpick it.

Fortunately, I distracted myself from the tedium of un-picking with my pretend husband Jon Stewart and the Daily Show (seriously he’s the only person who has me laughing in a room by myself. Wit and intelligence is hot!).

Unfortunately, I was so distracted guffawing that I went and sewed the binding on backwards again.

Fortunately, third times a charm and I really liked the finish.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough bias binding to finish the hem the same way to preserve as much length as possible.

Fortunately, Allison C. posted this tip for baby hems last week and it worked a treat.

Phew, done! And I love it.

 

Fall Palette Challenge: Colour-blocked Blouse

29 Sep

Second item of my fall challenge wardrobe done!

This blouse is perfect for the change of season. It’s nice and loose for the freak scorching day like today but can easily pair with cardigan and trousers too.

Man! I always remember lipstick after the fact!

The Pattern: A Colette mash up of the Sorbetto tank top and Macaron sleeves.

Size: 16 with 2 in full bust adjustment.

Fabric: Swiss-dot synthetic. I learnt the hard way that it wasn’t cotton by melting a hole in one sleeve. Luckily there was enough to re-cut. The blue contrast is a crepe-polyester lining fabric. I like that the colours are similar but still contrasting.

Alterations: So I went a bit off the beaten path from the original Sorbetto pattern. After making my peter-pan sorbetto I thought it would be nice to make a button-down version. It turned out to be quite straight forward although it takes a little time thinking it through.

Here you can see all the pieces I cut from the original form. The sleeves came straight from the Macaron pattern as planned.

Thankfully they set-in perfectly due, I guess, to being cut off the same Colette block.  The joy of these sleeves is the pretty scallop edge which I piped with the contrast to show the detail.

You can see it better in this pic, I think.For the back, I cut two of the yoke and used the fancy rolling trick from making my Rooibos Dress to ensure the edges were finished top and bottom. The back has a pleat  for ease.

On the front, the button-hole placket has piped edges and large matching buttons although the damn button-holes were a nightmare so lets not look too closely at those.

All things considered, this was a lot of fun to make and I’m sure it’ll get plenty of wear.

( P.s. Anyone else refusing to let the summer of the Sorbetto die?)

Colette Fall Challenge: The Patterns

28 Sep

Hey lovelies,

Thank you for all the kind comments on the sneak peak yesterday. Today I have the actually patterns and fabrics I’ve chosen. Some are already in the stash and some may prove elusive – ochre coloured double-knit anyone?

These show up pretty small but if you click on each one they’ll expand in a new window.

 

P.s. The fabulous curvy croqui I used came from Amarina at Ursa Major. She kindly offered them free on her blog so click through for the details along with some serious style. To create the rest of the images I used the free paint.net program (I could put a quick amateur how-to together is anyone is interested?).

Sneak-Peek: Fall Palette Pattern Choices

27 Sep

Pattern choices made?Hells yeah!

Colette Patterns Fall Palette Challenge

21 Sep

This autumn Sarai & Caitlin from Colette Patterns are reprising their palette challenge from Spring with the Fall Palette Challenge.

I’m really excited to participate as my feeble attempt at Self-Stitched-September has been hamstringed by my lack not just a lack of self-stitched clothing, but clothing in general. In fact, my entire wardrobe since moving to London consists of:

  • 1 pair jeans
  • 2 tee shirts
  • 1 shirt
  • 2 tops
  • 1 skirt
  • 2 dresses
  • 1 jacket
  • 1 coat
  • under garments, pjs, tights etc.

People pack more than this when they go on vacation.

I’ve had a really chilled summer and the only people I know over here are family so there hasn’t been a need for pretty new clothes but summer is fading and the time has come to start job-hunting so the challenge has appeared in perfect time.

So here goes. The challenge is low stress and spread over 8 weeks, although I’m going to run it out to the end of the year and try for a few more items.

The first step is to pick a palette for the season. Over on pinterest, I’ve been happily collecting inspiration on a fall pinboard, as have many other participants,  then I mashed some of them together and came up with this:

(Visit pinterest for the sources)

I love the intensity of the almost neon yellows and golds against the warm ashy greys of the tree trunks so that was my start point.

It was so hard to narrow down the choices though so instead of just four or five colours I picked a range of neutrals and fancy colours that will hopefully all work together and incorporates some of the RTW items I already have.

As you can see the iron oxide orange picks up on the colour of my Rooibos dress so I’m counting that one as my first item just so I can say I’m not as behind as I could be.

The next step is to plan the other items in the challenge but I’m still finalising my picks so that will have to wait till next time.

x Alana

English Summer Sorbetto

12 Jul

Fabric: Polyester print from Spotlight $8. Scraps from Pendrell Blouse for the collar.
Pattern: Colette Sorbetto, $Free, baby! Self-drafted collar.
Notions: Nada.
Time to complete: 5 hours (including pattern alterations)
First worn: July 7 2011 – birthday lunch with little sis.
Wear again? For sure.

Total Cost: ~$8

Okay, so it hasn’t rained all the time since arriving in London but it seemed like the perfect cliched photo op.

It took me two days to leave the house in the wake of flipping time on it’s head (a 12 hour time difference means midnight is now lunchtime and vice-versa) but Thursday was my 29th birthday and my little sister enticed me out of the house with promise of Wagagmama for lunch and I’m not one to turn down free noodles.

The pattern is a popular new freebie from Colette Patterns – the Sorbetto Tank. It’s an uber simple design with bust darts, and a centre box pleat but it has plenty of draw-cards besides the ‘price’. Most of all it’s ease (only two pattern pieces) and versatility – I decided to make the most of the nautical fabric and try my hand at a self drafted peter pan collar. This was pretty straight forward and mostly successful for a first attempt.

To create the collar, I traced the neck line from the front and back then drew a second line about 2 and 1/2 in width from there. At the centre front I grabbed a jar I had handy and used it to curve off the edges. After that I just built in seam allowances and that was it. For fabric I used the scraps at hand, namely the matte stain from my Pendrell Blouse as it was just the right off-white shade. I underlined this with a thick white cotton which I also used as lining to keep it stiff without having to locate interfacing from one of my packed boxes. I used patter~scissors~cloth’s technique of cutting the lining about 3mm smaller than the main piece so it would turn under nicely then stitched the two together.

After clipping the curves, I turned it out and pressed then basted the raw neck edges together. Then I sandwiched the collar right-side up on top of the right-side of the blouse and under the self-fabric bias binding (made using this tutorial

(Sorry for the lack of pictures – I did take them but somehow they dissappeared in the move)

The back collar I just made one continuous piece.

The only other adjustment I made was a 2 inch basic bodice full bust adjustment, similar to this one, which was about as simple as an fba comes.

This was one of the last projects I made before putting my machines in storage and because of the resistance of the polyester fabric I didn’t need to iron it after unceremoniously stuffing it in my suitcase. It also stood up to the bucketing rain as I played the classy tourist and took photo’s of myself with red telephone boxes and the likes.

In other exciting news – my new sewing machine arrived today and I have a few leads on where to look for fabrics in London so I see many more Sorbettos in my future.

 

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