Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Heirloom Baby Girl's Dress

One of customers created this stunning little dress and bonnet for her new granddaughter.  She chose out 2 different stunning Mokuba laces which we have in-store and created this masterpiece with a beautiful tulle overlay on silk.  The photos speak for themselves. I had to share it with you - enjoy!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

25 min lace vest!

I know I know, its another vest but what started this one is a customer came in recently and was looking at all the gorgeous new stretch lace and asked how hard it was to sew it?  I had no idea, so to solve the mystery, I decided to make something at 4pm one afternoon in the shop!

I call it my 25 minute vest, did not involve a pattern and just decided to try and use simple logic to create a vest with minimum fuss!  And this is the result!  Big question - is it easy to sew?  Absolutely!  If you like sewing stretchy fabrics.

Now I'm not sure if anyone will be able to follow this entirely but I've provided photos to give you an idea of how I got away with not using a pattern (and made it up as I went along!).

This fabric is called Mulatto Lace.  It is 123cm wide with a really nice frilly selvage edge.  Its a rayon/nylon/spandex blend and super stretchy and gorgeously drapy.

First step was to cut fabric to allow for length of vest and approx. 5 cm for seam allowances/hem etc.

I laid it out folded in half across so selvage edges were lined up.  Right or wrong sides didnt matter during the cutting out process.

I then folded one edge back on itself and beyond the original fold and left approx 18cm - 20cm folded as you can see in the pic.

I then pinched and picked up the new top fold each end and let it hang to fold the bottom edge back in line with the new top fold.  Does that make sense?  

Basically I folded the other piece under to match what I had folded back already on top.  So selvage edges were together again on the left but there was an additional fold inside the fold.  That hidden fold is what I imagined to be the back panel of vest.  Next step is to cut arm holes.

  I chopped from the top end (or one end) and did a guess-amite of the shape and size of an armhole.  I did have a basic t-shirt pattern armhole to guide me as a backup.  I also cut about 9 cm off at a slight angle for the shoulder seams.

Then next step was to undo that hidden fold of fabric so its all back to the original fold in half.  You can see the arm holes now and the fold on the right, shoulder seams cut out.  Last step was to cut a mini back neck line out near the fold.
 Pattern cutting was complete.  Next step is to join the shoulder seams.  This stage is where I needed to work out what would be the right side and wrong side of fabric.  With right sides together I found the shoulder angled parts and sewed them together.
Then the rest was simply folding over the edges inwards and sewing a straight stitch to hem/edge everything that needed it.  The neck line around to the start of the frilly selvage which I left as is.  The arm holes and around the bottom.

This type of fabric is very forgiving for fit as its busy, stretchy and drapey.  Worth a go!

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Daffodils are blooming!

We spotted our first daffodil blooming in our garden over the weekend and its so good to see Spring approaching!

Andrea, one of our Ruche staff tried out the knitted linen called "Daffodil Saki".  This is available in 8 colours.  Black, navy, daffodil yellow, tangerine orange, dark spearmint, natural/stone, light grey and off white. And here is what she had to say about it ..

It was a fabric I’d been eyeing off ever since I first saw it, and with gold/mustard being such an ‘in’ colour, this season, I just had to try it.  I used to have a grey swinging vest I brought years ago, and virtually wore it to death.  Because I loved the style, I cut it up and used it as a pattern.  –probably breached every copyright law there is!  The linen knit was beautiful to sew, and has ironed up really nicely.  My only problem is with the armholes – they’re a bit to big and gape, so now I’m armed (excuse the pun!) with that piece of knowledge, I can fix it on the next one I make.  This fabric falls beautifully, and is so well suited to anything that requires ‘draping’.  I love this vest (apart from the extra large armholes), and it adds a bit of brightness to the winter greys and blacks.  I’ve even been wearing it with other colours too- looks great with purple and cobalt blue believe it or not!..  My next project is to try this fabric, perhaps in a different colour to make a cowl scarf.  Because it’s such soft fabric, I believe it will behave perfectly.  It’s nice to have something thick and woolly in the scarf line for winter, but for spring, I think this linen knit would be just the right type of fabric to have a scarf made of…

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Peasant Dress

Well we are off for a very short break to the tropics to temporarily escape the cold winter and so last week I decided to make our 13 year old daughter a peasant dress from the Japanese Pattern Book called "Dress Style Book".  So good to sew something with a splash of colour while we are all rugged up in our dark wear for winter!
Needless to say I discovered how much fabric goes into a gathered, tiered dress!  We decided on light cotton fabric (almost a voile).  First job is to find and trace the correct pattern pieces from the pattern sheet in the back of the book.  They are quite easy to identify and you simply trace them.  I did find with this pattern that the facing wasn't included as a pattern piece.  But it was easy to create the facing pieces.  Simply trace the neckline profile and follow pattern piece down each side about 5-8cm and then cut it that wide and you have your facing, as shown in pics below.  Sorry that isn't explained well.

The neckline was to be gathered up so I figured the easiest way was to insert narrow elastic.  One I have joined and sewn on the facing around the neckline, I lay the elastic up inside near the join, or like on the sleeves, just fold over the hem edge and lay the elastic inside fold.  Stitch it across at the beginning, within the seam allowance so it won't be seen after seams sewn.  Don't cut the elastic to length.  Just lay it flat and sew as if creating the channel, or sewing down the hem edge, as shown.  Then draw the elastic out and let it gather up the fabric to the desired tightness, snip and stitch across, like the beginning.  This saves having to insert and thread elastic through the slow and tedious way after doing the channel or hem edge.
All finished!  Couldn't get the light in the shop to behave for this photo, so hope you can see it sufficiently.  The intended recipient wouldn't pose for me this time around so the trusty coat hanger did the job!  A tip with the pattern.  I actually narrowed the top bodice section pattern by about 8-10cm but it could do with more, as its quite full.  A couple of ties for sides or front and back will help this pinch in better when worn.  All the same, the pattern worked out beautifully and Ebony loves it!

Monday, 11 June 2012

5 Black Threads - Wool blend denim

I couldn't resist the beautiful soft texture of this black Italian wool demin fabric "5 Black Threads".

A classic knee length A-line skirt with the "wrong" side for the main body and simply left enough fabric on the bottom, cut to profile so I could simply turn it up and show the right side of the fabric as a feature along the bottom.

Silver buttons and black Mokuba ribbon with white regular specks and its done.  Zip on the side of course and darts back and front.  The beauty of A-line skirts is with enough flare, you don't need a split.  And to be honest, I didn't use a pattern.  Sometimes, all it takes is to visualise and think it out a little and with the help of a tape measure and tailors chalk, a pattern is born.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Nothing but the "vest"!

I saw a gorgeous vest like layer top the other day and wondered how a heavier knit would look in a similar style.B

Using a basic t-shirt pattern for the shape I made the back standard and flaps at the front to create the fold over look.

Finished it off with a doubled side loose turtle neck and a button to complete the look and wallah ..

I love getting inspiration from what others are wearing.

This sleeveless top is made from a wool blend knit called "Berry Weave".

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Pattern Review - Simplicity 2741

With my trusty Bernina 717 sewing machine (its an oldie!) set up in the shop at 108 George Street, Launceston, I am having a marvelous time trialling various patterns with all the fabulous fabric available.

A pattern I have had for some time but have now finally tried out is a Simplicity Pattern No. 2741 which is an "Easy-to-sew" pattern offering mens/women's shirts - with and without collar, vest and boxer shorts.  I have made the collared shirt and it has come out beautifully.  Really happy with the pattern and the fit. Have made the shirt M (medium) size for my husband Andrew who normally wears a shirt size of 40" give or take.

This shirt is made out of Italian cotton shirting.  We have had this fabric for a couple of years, originally bought from Tessuti Fabrics in Sydney.  We have some gorgeous cotton shirting fabrics from Italy in store now.

We used a fine Maltese fusing for collar, neck band and cuffs and it works beautifully.

A customer made this little boys shirt below from current fabric stock.  How gorgeous!

Till next time .. Trish