Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Ultimate Summer Trousers

Hello friends, 

Have you seen my latest Blogging network make? A colourful pair of capri trousers. I love dresses and skirts as they suit my long legs but I find myself always reaching my favourite pair of skinnies. 

A pattern Re run?  Yes!!! Sew Over it, Ultimate trousers. My second pair, of a few more planned as I'm got a feeling it will be perfect pattern for "one pattern one week". This time, I haven't lengthen it.

I should be making a denim version as I already have two flower power print. 

Trousers have a terrible reputation of being hard to fit. I disagree. I feel bodices offer a lot more fitting variations: bust, shoulder, neck, arm cycle, shoulders etc…Trousers troubles are crotch high and general size ( too tight/ too loose).  Fear of the unknown... 

To get it right, make sure you measure yourself properly and check against the pattern pieces. Make a muslin, use the darts to adjust the fit between waist and hip ratio....

I understitched the facing in place. I would love to try to make the facings into waistband.

 Supper happy with this cotton satin, with 3 % stretch fabric from Minerva Craft.

I find this perfect for making summer trousers. If your fabric has too much stretch you may get soggy bottom (opps couldn't resist the punt) 

And as you can see, I can move freely…. 

So comfortable. The internet has amazing resources on making trousers, Sunny  has compile a very helpful list. Go on, join me on trouser making revolution. 

Housekeeping: The winner of Capital Chic Pattern was Danka from the peppermint store.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Pixelated wiksten dress

Pattern deeds: Wiksten Tank dress. A simple shape tank top, curved hem and tiny pocket. All sewn in french seams, finished with self made bias binding. Perfect for summer.

It's been a while since I shared a muslin shoot. I don't make many muslins these days (I prefer flat pattern alteration) since I was about to teach some lovely ladies how to sew this top, I wanted to test it. When a pattern is too simple, like no darts, it often offer fitting problems, specially on me. 

Ready for very unflattering shoots! Why 'muslin' always look like hospital gowns?

Clearly too big. Low armholes drives me crazy! Wrong size. I recut the pattern size S on the front and xs on the back, lowered the neckline, adjusted for slopped shoulders and kept the size M length. 

Tah Dah!

Before you think I was at risk of flashing, I'm wearing a nice pair of white shorts underneath. If it cover my summer shorts surely the length is appropriated for a summer dress cover up. 

When I make 'shorter' outfits, it is really clear to see my body proportions... My legs are a lot longer than my torso! 

Fit is fantastic! I love how relaxed this feel but still sits nicely on the shoulders.

Instead of a narrow hem, I did a rolled hem on the overlocker with a contrasting thread. I had only a metre of this fabric from Classic textile. The pocket is tiny pokadots quilting cotton from Brazil. 

This was perfect outfit to be worn  during July heatwave when I taught at FQR. Yes, I'm so late on my makes. Instagram followers have seen a peak on my feed and from my students. 

It's that too OTT matching my nails to fabric?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Ask me...

Got a burning question about my handmade wardrobe, a sewing technique, posing ideas, creative process, inspiration, what I eat for breakfast, what is my biggest fear, last book I read.. go ahead! 

I often get emails and messages asking a few things about me and I wanted to open the conversation here... you know... get to know each other better. Would be fun, right? I will be answering on a Vlog.

Surprise me! Most creative question gets a little surprise from my stash! 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Handmade summer lace shawl

Hello friends,

This beautiful summer shawl and gloves was knitted by my talented MIL as a birthday gift. You probably remember last christmas we shared the cost of the wool for a sweater which I helped to pick the pattern. Those were a total surprise. Aren't these stunning?

She took so much care and you see that!
Both patterns were from 'Let's Knit' magazine. The scarf pattern: 'Sweet Jasmine' is designed by Helen Ardley.
The scarf was knitted on 3mm needles and mittens on 4.5mm and 3.25mm needles.
The Touché Mittens pattern is from 'Sublime Extra Fine Merino Lace Accessories Book'.
She used 3 x 25g balls of Sublime Extra Fine Merino Lace yarn to do the scarf and mittens.
I asked my MIL to share her experience and inspiration.

"I hadn't tried knitting with lace yarn before so thought I would give it a go. It was a bit tricky but after 3 false starts and having to start again from the beginning - I cracked it at the 4th attempt using a 'lifeline' after each CORRECT pattern repeat! I was determined not to give up because they are so pretty and feminine and I was hoping you'd love them! I shall have a go at some more lace projects in the future."-Mil

Awwwww, I do love it!How about you?

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Designer spotlight: An interview with Sally, Capital Chic sewing patterns.

Don't you love when you see someone from the sewing community make the scary step towards their dreams? I feel is so important to celebrate and support those achievements. 

I had the pleasure to met Sally at the London Spring meet up (the first one I organised) and we have been sharing some cocktails ever since. oh And that is fitting! 

I will have one too, please! Grab yours and I hope you enjoy the interview.

Hop: Can you tell me a little more about the design process?

CC: Inspiration for the designs usually comes from a combination of high fashion and what is being worn on the red carpet, and my own desire for a professional wardrobe. I think about what I’d like to wear and what gaps are in my wardrobe, as well as what kind of designs people will be able to customise to make their own style.

Once I come up with an idea, I make some sketches and start to think about how the pattern would go together. I usually draw out a paper pattern and make some toiles at this stage to get a feel for whether it would work or not.

I draft everything in a standard size on the computer. Pencil drawing and scanning is not fun, it’s time consuming and inaccurate, so I prefer to do it straight onto the computer where I can work to a fraction of a millimetre. Once it’s drafted, I’ll print it out and compare it to my toiles to check there were no mistakes.

Grading is another important step, and again this is done on the computer.

Probably the most time consuming part of developing a pattern is writing the instructions! After I’ve figured out the most efficient order of construction, I draw all the illustrations individually myself, which can take many hours. Writing the wording and proof reading it can be tough, too.

When the instructions are complete, I test the pattern myself and I also send it to testers in the blogging community for feedback to help iron out any final errors.

With the corrections made, we photograph the sample garments for the website. I like to do a combination of studio shots and on-location ‘fashion’ photography so this can take some time to complete.

Finally, the pattern is ready for launch, and the promotion and customer support of each design begins.

Hop: What is like being part of the sewing community designer industry?

CC: So far, it’s been very hard work, but also, great fun. There is a lot of innovation going on in independent pattern companies around the world, which I find very inspiring. Everyone has been very supportive of my venture; it’s a great industry to be in.

I have really loved seeing people’s finished garments made from my patterns as well. It’s mind-blowing to think that someone is wearing something designed by me. I still get a kick out of that and I’m sure that won’t wear off any time soon!

Hop:What’s your secret (or not-so secret) sewing bad habit?

CC: I have loads! I hardly ever change my sewing machine needle, unless I’m sewing something special like leather. I do leave edges unfinished, especially if they can’t be seen. 

Probably my worst habit is the mess – I’m lucky enough to have a dedicated sewing space at home but it’s a constant battle with fabric scraps, thread ends and new additions to the stash threatening to take over.

Hop:What is next for Capital Chic?

CC: In the short term, I’ll be running a sewalong for the Bellini blouse over the summer, and continuing to discuss my first collection on my new blog there will be more about the inspiration behind the designs, pattern hacks and I’ll be studying some of the techniques in more detail.

Depending on the demand, I’m thinking about whether to expand the size range that the patterns come in. Currently the range is quite limited, and I’d like to be able to cater for a wider range of sizes in the future.

In the longer term, I’m planning to launch a second collection towards the end of the year. I’m hoping it will be a good mix of separates and dresses, and even some outerwear this time, so stay tuned!

Thank you Sally!

I hope you have enjoyed reading about Capital Chic. For the full collection you can check here. Check my version of the White Russian. I have extended the  Capital chic pattern giveaway deadline and you can comment here too!

Disclaimer: I do not get paid for designer spotlight features. I enjoy reading more about designers and their inspiration.