Saturday, March 31, 2012

Knitting Progress, and Blog Stuff

Let me show you the knitting progress on my thrifted mustard tweed:

The pattern I am using is #15 Harlow Suit Jacket from Verena Knitting January 2010 - it is a rather cute peplum design with contrast collar and front bands:

I chose a plum yarn as the contrast, and even though there is no plum in the tweedy flecks it seems to work OK. This is a fairly dull colour to wear next to my face, so I thought plum would increase the flattery factor.  (If I was going to follow the tweedy flecks I would have had the option of lime green, royal blue, watermelon pink, or lemon yellow, so now you understand!)

I'm making it more fitted than the picture - using smaller needles, making it up as I go along...  I will make long sleeves - I've done half one but ripped it back today as it was too tight.  It is going to look quite 40's don't you think?

A lot of knitting was done on our holiday - it really helps to take a road trip if you want to make inroads into your knitting!

And when I came back, I discovered lots of blog awards waiting in the comments!  Thanks so much to the following bloggers for these awards:


Now, I'm going to break the rules here:
  • Instead of listing seven things about myself, I'm going to refer you to my new-ish About Me page - just click on the tab at the top! 
  • Instead of listing 15 more blogs, I'm going to send you to the side bar where there is a selection of fabulous blogs - click on the 15 that pique your interest the most, and make sure you leave some comments along the way!
  • I know I'm a terribly naughty and lazy rule-breaker for doing this, but I am trying to save time so I can get some sewing done today... cool, I knew you'd understand!

Speaking of blogs listed in my side bar - I deleted my blog roll by mistake!  I blame Husband actually - he bought home the bottle of bubbly, and poured me a glass, or two, and he should know not to do this when I am fiddling around with blog buttons that say things like 'cancel' or 'remove'...  I've added some links back today - it is such a tedious job, but eventually I will get there.

What has amazed me, is how one week without my blog list makes me feel so out of touch - I missed out on amazing things like Katherine's swimsuit, Jane's Mad Men Dress, and all your OWOPs organised by Tilly!  Kind of like a part of my life was missing - and I suppose it was!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tricks of the Trade - How to Hem an Inverted Pleat

The front pleat on my 1969 Burda Dress is an inverted pleat - where two folds turn towards each other to meet on the outside.  These can be folded from a single Front panel, or as in my case, made from separate R and L Fronts and an extra centre panel that forms the back of the pleat arrangement.  

This photo shows my inverted pleat opened out, and you can see the seams joining the three panels together:

These two seams are not pressed open, but lay flat towards each side so that they form the inner 'fold' of the pleat. This causes a slight complication at the hem as it cannot be turned up in the normal manner.

The easy way to approach this is to hem each panel separately first, then sew the seams of the pleat.  This has a disadvantage in that the seam allowance is readily seen at the hem fold.  Instead you can try the method I've used here.

Sew the panel seams.  I have marked the hem foldline with a small clip, and above this cut a V notch from the seam allowance exactly where the overlocked hem edge will fold to.  For instance, if your hem is 4cm, then the V notch will be positioned at 8cm.  Cut the V notch to within 1-2mm of your stitching line:

Press the seam within the hem allowance open:

You can trim 3mm from the lower half of the hem allowance to reduce bulk, and I removed the overlocking threads within the hem allowance too:

Then turn up and stitch the hem:

As you sew the hem and reach the V notch, take a moment to overcast the raw edges together to keep them tidy:

One last thing is to fold the inner fold of the pleat into it's finished position, then on the inside, edgestitch where the hem folds:

This helps hold that foldline in position forever, and makes it easier when pressing too!

A box pleat is the reverse of an inverted pleat, and any seams on the inner fold will lay towards the centre.  You can use this hem technique on a box pleat as well, or any other pleat designed with a seam - it gives a tidier finish, don't you think?
Happy Sewing!

Monday, March 26, 2012

1969 Burda Dress

Remember the bundle of Burda Moden's I picked up recently?  This is my version of Model 8107 from the July 1969 issue.  I chose some sky blue stash-fabric-of-mysterious-composition to cut into, which is a bit cardboardy to be honest.  This has it's advantages and disadvantages - the bow sits nicely:

...but the darts have a mind of their own!  Burda chose a pink floral for their version - maybe I should whip up another in my new sheets?!

The back, for the record:

I'd rather the skirt was a bit longer, the unhemmed length felt perfect.  The skirt is rather weird actually - shaped only with darts, two at front and one at back.  Well my side isn't flat, and my abdomen doesn't need two darts!  Now I look back at the magazine image, I wonder if the skirt isn't meant to be a slight bell shape,and I'm filling it out to it's capacity!  I cut the size 38/40 - and I'm really a size bigger in the waist and hips.

Can you see those instructions - just a few lines!  I didn't really use them, but I did search for ages through the pile of magazines trying to locate the just the right issue to check how they made the belt, and it said: "Make belt. Make bow and sew on" - helpful!  I decided to make my belt fasten edge-to-edge with a couple of hooks and eyes, and the bow loop slides across to conceal them.  It's quite nifty!

I'm planning on letting the hem down to it's max and giving it a false hem - but I need to find something suitable first.  And I took some photos when I was hemming the pleat area - so expect another tutorial soon.  
Happy Sewing!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Holiday Pics (and Purchases!)

Last weekend we visited family in the South Island, so I thought I'd share a few pics - plus my op-shop finds!

Early morning fog over Middlemarch, Otago.
We drove right up that valley to Ranfurly and Naseby, then up over the Pigroot to the coast.

On to Hyde, with it's old hotel - if you ever cycle the Otago Central Rail Trail, you'll probably want a refreshment break here!

The next stop was Ranfurly, which has some lovely Art Deco architecture.  The railway refreshment rooms are being refurbished at the moment, but there was an awesome Art Deco exhibition on - I really wanted to take some photos of the gorgeous clothes and accessories to share with you, but photography wasn't allowed :(

At Naseby, a lot of the old historic buildings have been renovated - isn't this watchmakers cute?
That's me wearing my Juliette Dress!

Next door is the drapers, where you'd by your fabrics and haberdashery in the 1880's...

It would have been nice to quench our thirst in this historic hotel, but we still had miles to travel... 

We did find time to walk up the beach to the Moeraki Boulders...

I managed to sneak into three op-shops enroute - a five minute dash through each one yielded these:

From the Salvation Army Store in Oamaru, I found an old tablecloth and some sheets that I might turn into a dress - the cat obviously approves!

Plus, a couple of patterns - I remember the skirt from the old Simplicity Sewing Book, and the dress is very familiar too - I am sure my Mum owned that pattern in it's day.

I found this belt kit in The Old Curiosity Shoppe in Ranfurly - it was 50c, the original cover price!

From the Salvation Army Family Store in Mosgiel, I found an old handknit in a pretty colour, destined for unravelling....

and a coral and grey souvenir scarf , that I hope will brighten up some grey outfits that I never wear because they look blah.
I also spent time in my parents garage - although it is not exactly an op-shop, it is looking rather close as Mum is planning a garage sale!

These fur pieces were destined to be turned into teddy bears by my mother, they are now destined for  more exciting things - like sitting in my stash, lol! 

There were some fabrics that needed a new home too - sage silk organza, plum and brown embroidered organza, blue velvet, and a kitschy sunset print.  
The three organza's, the leopard and cheetah were originally mine - in fact the embroidered organza was part of my first advertising campaign way back in 1997!

That seems so long ago now...

Right - time to get stuck into some sewing, I have a blue dress to finish!  What are you making at the moment?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Bundle of Burdas

I recently placed a bid on a bundle of ten Burda magazines from 1968 - and won!

The sellers were moving overseas and kindly gifted me the other lots that didn't sell, so I ended up with several more from 1967, 1969 and 1970.  There is also one from 1980 thrown in too - it looks scarily familiar, I am sure I actually made some of those designs!

Anyway - here's a sneak peek:

Of course there is plenty more - and every time I pick up a magazine and browse through it I discover something new!  I will try and make the kimono sleeve coat this winter, just deciding what colour.....

Do you have any favourites?