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!