Friday, 26 February 2016

CWA in the paper

A few of you who know me in the real world, may have seen recently that I was in last Wednesday's edition of my local paper, the Cessnock Advertiser.

Read the full write up here

It seems fitting that I was caught sewing, but believe me, it was unintentional! I had simply brought along some hand sewing to put my time to good use while we waited for everyone to arrive, and the other ladies insisted on having it in the photo. It was the finishing touch on the neckline of a dress that I hope to have up on the blog soon.

I have been a member of my local CWA now for about 3 years I think, initially joining when their cooking competition was mentioned in the same paper. I am very happy to announce that this is my 3rd year competing, and while in the past 2 years I have made it through my branch level to the group level, this year I won my section at Group level, and so will be baking and competing at State Level!

To be honest the only reason I've gotten so far is because I've chosen the section that changes every 2 years, so most of the ladies haven't had a chance to perfect their baking over decades! The macarons have certainly been challenging to bake, and I really didn't think I had done very well this time around, as I had a very hard time getting the macarons to set as it was a very humid hot day. I had to take my trays into the air-conditioned lounge room to set them before baking!

So that's all the update I have for you at the moment. I still have a few projects on the run that I will blog about once complete, as well as some knitting I have picked back up after starting last September and then neglecting.


Monday, 15 February 2016

A Glimpse in my Vintage Pattern stash

Seeing as I have not been able to post as frequently as I would like to, I thought I might share a bit of eye candy from my Vintage Pattern stash. I have been working on a few projects that I will be sharing with you at a later date, and a few things for Elsie George that I cannot share.

To start off with, here are 3 patterns from an Enid Gilchrist book full of Self-Draft Patterns for Women and Teenagers. While these are the draft at home yourself type pattern, and are only listed in one size, they are fairly simple, should you wish to grade them up or down to other sizes.

As many of you will be aware by now, I love Vintage Australian Home Journals. Here are a couple of the earliest ones from my stash

And here are some assorted patterns in envelopes, including a few home journal patterns, which would have been ordered separately and not come free in one of the magazines. I have again tried to focus on some of the earlier patterns in my stash, mostly being late 40's early 50's

While I certainly don't have a huge vintage pattern stash like some, I have a fairly reasonable size stash. I would say this is about 1/4 of my pre 70's patterns, but of course I have plenty of newer and reproduction patterns as well. Vintage patterns have the added challenge of needing to be graded up, so sometimes it's easy for me to overlook them when deciding on a pattern to sew up, but I will be trying very hard to use more of them this year.

Do you have a favourite from the above patterns? Is there anything you think I should make as part of my vintage pattern pledge?


Monday, 8 February 2016

New Jammies! Burda 7109

On my last trip to Spotlight I spotted this adorable pattern in the Burda Catalogue and decided I needed to have it. I still have quite a lot of fabric left from when I bought the drapey black polyester stuff with a print of white cats and hearts for my Valentines day dress last year, and I planned to use some of it to make some cute little pyjamas, but I hadn't got around to doing it, until now.

Luckily, the pattern goes all the way up to a size 24! So I didn't need to grade out the bloomers for my big derrière! Checking the size chart (which unfortunately is not on the envelope, but on the pattern paper) my hip measurement was spot on for the 24, and I chose not to size down like I usually would, as I figured it would be good to have a bit of ease in the shorts. I cut out and sewed up the shorts first and wore them to bed with a singlet top and found them to very comfy. Unlike store bought pyjama shorts, these ones didn't leave my butt cheeks hanging out, and the waistband didn't keep trying to ride up to my naturally high waistline, or twisting around when I rolled over in bed. I really think I need to make a few more!

Finished Bloomers

Gratuitous Crotch Shot

For the top I chose to sew up a size 18 in the sleeveless, top length version with a white lace ruffle on the neckline. It took me a few days to get around to cutting out and sewing the top, as I was not feeling very well, but I got there in the end. When it came to choosing the lace for the neckline, I found 2 suitable options in my lace box, and pinned them both on and asked on facebook for opinions. While a majority of people seemed to like the wider option, a few thought it would be impractical, and even clownish. I really liked the over the top look of the wider lace, but I did end up trimming approx 1 inch from the gathered edge, then I gathered and attached it to the neckline, sewing bias on over the top. I figured cutting off the original binding from the lace would reduce bulk in the long run.

Fabric Close up

Top laid out

Dart and armhole binding detail shot

Neckline detail shot

I doubt you'll be getting any modelled shots of these, so here are a couple of selfies, one at night before going to bed and the other one when I woke up in the morning.

Just before bed

First thing in the morning
All in all I am super pleased with how these pyjamas turned out. They are very comfy to wear and sleep in, and cute to boot!

While out running errands today, I scored a whole heap of assorted lace for only $5 from one of my local op shops, so I'm well and truly stocked up for any more pyjamas or nighties I might make!

Anyone else been doing some practical sewing lately? Or found any good op shop finds?


Tuesday, 2 February 2016

2016 Vintage Pattern Pledge

So after only pledging to make 4 last year, and finishing up with 6 (not including any made from reproduction patterns or fabric which hadn't come from my stash) I have decided to go a little more ambitious this year and I have pledged to make up 10 of my Vintage patterns. I bought and was gifted quite a few vintage patterns and Australian Home Journals, So I have plenty of Vintage Patterns to choose from.

Perhaps I'll finally make up the cute collared shirt from this Australian Home Journal? I have been getting much more practice with buttonholes, and I do need more seperates, so this will be a strong contender to get sewn this year. I previously used this Home Journal to sew the dress in the center for the Kurri Kurri Nostalgia Festival

I received this great simplicity pattern from one of my Secret Santa's this Christmas just past, and think it will make a perfect winter work dress if made up in a nice heavier weight fabric

Speaking of Work attire, I still really want to make this pattern up for myself. I made it up for the lovely Rachel who owns Elsie George Boutique, and graded the pattern up to fit me, but my cats got on my cutting table and shredded up my graded pattern (not the original thank goodness) so I lost the motivation to work on this project, but hopefully I will get back to it this year and have a spiffy new suit to wear to work.

I picked up this Pattern sometime in 2015 (from Ebay I think) that is almost my size, so will require very little grading, with the intention of making some easy to throw on sensible workwear. I am seeing a bit of a pattern here, I obviously need more suitable work wear. even though my boss doesn't mind me wearing my brightly coloured, full skirted dresses in the office, sometimes I think it would be good to have some slightly more appropriate Vintagey options to wear (like my 2 versions of Butterick B6094)

I am in the process of grading this pattern into a multi-size pattern, and will be testing it out in my size very soon, so this will probably my first Vintage Pledge for 2016. I had a bit of trouble deciding how to grade the front bodice piece, so I will be definitely be testing it before scanning and sharing the pattern.

I know from last Me-Made-May I still need more separates, office wear, outerwear and pyjamas to make my me-made wardrobe more functional, so I will endeavour to fill those wardrobe gaps with some of my Vintage pledge makes 

Who else has signed up?