Thursday, January 30, 2014

Knit Wiksten Tank Dress

fabric - off white, navy stripe merino knit, the fabric store (brisbane)
This is my summer uniform. Hello stripes! I love the Wiksten tank dress & because the pattern is so simple & has no dart I knew a knit fabric would make it even more perfect. I just used a smaller size to account for the fabric stretch. Easy! I love the shape of the hem, and the slight difference in front & back lengths. 
This fabric is so lovely. We have a hot summer here in Queensland & merino wool is renowned for its cool-in-summer & warm-in-winter properties. This fabric doesn't disappoint! I've worn this dress on some our hottest days so far & it's very comfortable, moreso than a woven because you don't need to worry about it crushing. I have a bit left & can't wait to make a 3/4 autumn top out of it (a hemlock tee maybe?).
A few constuction notes
  • needles: ball point needles, and twin ballpoint needle to finish hem, arm holes & neckline. Also ballpoint needles in the serger (not sure is this really necessary, but didn't want to risk this lovely fabric).
  • Used a walking foot.
  • Cut the smallest size (XS) to account for fabric stretch (at least one size smaller than i would cut for a woven). Took out 2cm from CB at neckline, grading to nothing at hem.
  • Serged side seams instead of french seams.
  • Serged hem then foled up 1/4inch & sewed with twin needle.
  • neck & arms finished with self bias (cut on grain, not bias). For the neck I made a feature out of the bias. For the arms I just turned it all in. I used some elastic to stablise the shoulder seams, although I don't think i really needed to. Better to be safe than sorry, right?
I wear it mostly with a belt but even without it's a great little dress.

hem - serged then turned up & sewed with a double needle.

One final (rushed) pic as I head out the door. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Chevron Grainline Portside Duffle

fabric outer: upholstery weight black cotton canvas, chevron cotton duckcloth, leather zipper pull. 
strap: cotton twill tape (double layer, sewed together).
fabric lining: cotton linen, (upcycled pillowcases!)
notions: metal zip, thread, interfacing.
This duffle has just spent a week beach-side with me, so I can definitely say it's the perfect travel bag. I am such a sucker for bags & luggage & knew this pattern would join my stash when it was released. This duffle is a great size, its bigger than I thought it would be, big enough for a week away. (I am such a bad packer, this really does fit all my junk in). 
I took a while finding the right outer fabric. When I saw this chevron I knew it was a winner. I wanted a black base & handles to hide the dirt. (I've seen some lovely white handled bags but I just know I'll get it too dirty). 
I also wanted a light-coloured lining so I could find things in the bag easily. I had some pillowcases that had been de-comissioned in a lovely natural linen that I thought would match the caramel in the contrasting print. I'm happy I could use up something instead of throwing it out. I also had a pewter (pleather) shoulder strap from another bag that I'm using for the moment - I thought it would match but I think I will go ahead and make a black cotton version too.
I've noticed a few bloggers buying the hardware & strapping online (like Etsy) but I was happy to cut my d-rings off an old bag. I used a double layer of cotton twill tape, sewing it together before sewing in on the bag. This gives a nice weight & strength & I could easily & cheaply buy it locally.
I used a demin-weight needle in my machine for the canvas and it sewed like a dream, even when topstitching the bottom (through maybe 4 layers of stiff canvas?).
A decorative/stretch stitch on my machine gives the leather pull a bit of a leaf vein look - I love that little detail.
This pattern sewed up very easily - thanks of course to the clear instructions. It's a lovely end result, perfect for your 2014 adventures to come & would even make a lovely present for someone (I'm imagining some monogramming would be so lovely on a pocket or on the lining to make a more personalised gift!).

(Construction shot, getting ready to slipstitch lining into bag)

a new blog, everyday notions

Hi there! Thanks for stopping by! I'm Rebecca & you could say I'm in the middle of #thegreatsewingbinge. Seriously, I can't stop sewing.

It's all for fun & I fit in with my job- looking after a little one at home. Like a lot of others, I'm really hoping in 2014 I can spend some time on the basics, filling & replacing my wardrobe with me-makes that work- in the area of fit, quality & look.

Sleeveless Grainline Archer

And like all sewing bloggers I guess it all starts with having somewhere to record the makes, the good the bad the magnificent. I love seeing what others have done & hope my little voice can join in the ravelry & fun that is the online community of making! 

Find me on Kollabora here& Instagram & twitter @bechem .

P.s. I'll be spending a few days posting some previous makes (from the last month or so) just so I've got all the recent stuff documented).