Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Simplicity 1589 Loose Top

It's been a while since I've done any proper sewing so I decided it was time to dip my toes in the home-sewn waters again. I wanted to make something that would gently ease me back into making my own clothes again so I picked the Simplicity 1589 'Learn to Sew' pattern. There were 2 options to choose from and I opted for view B. I wear these style of loose sleeveless tops quite often, paired with skinny jeans or slim leg trousers.

Even though I have a pretty hefty fabric stash, I still didn't have anything suitable to make this top out of. I managed to pick up a metre of fabric on Ebay for £3.95. It's a polyester/rayon mix, nothing too fancy but a good fabric for this style of top and cheap enough not to worry about if I mess it up. It's quite a sheer fabric so a top worn underneath is required (unless you're feeling brave).

The pattern was clearly marked out and the instructions really easy to follow. I didn't need to make any alterations to the pattern as I found the pattern true to size, I normally wear an 8-10 on top and I cut this pattern on an 8 and it fits great. It's quite a loose fit with plenty of ease so you could easily go down a size if you wanted. 

Having read other bloggers reviews on this pattern, I didn't find it that quick to so up, It was easy and straightforward however. My fabric was a little unstable and tricky to work with and I am quite a slow sewer, having had experience of rushing things, making mistakes and then having to un-pick my stitches countless times has definitely taught me to sew with 'more haste less speed', and anyway it doesn't matter how fast you can sew it's how good the finished thing looks at the end.

Overall I'm pretty happy, not my best sewing, but not my worst either. It's holding together and resembles a top much like on the pattern sleeve so I think I did a good job!
I think I'm going to try out top A from the pattern too, but am undecided on whether I like the open back our not? I think this style will be more wearable as I can wear it loose with jeans, and shorts in the summer, or have it tucked into high waisted skirts or trousers. I may piece the pattern pieces together and cut the back as one piece without the cut-out detailing...then again I may make both versions!
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Thursday, 2 October 2014

DIY Kimono Shirt

Often when second-hand shopping it's the fabric that draws me in first, prints, colours or textures. This is how I stumbled across the shirt I used in this DIY. I loved the colour and the beautiful devoré fabric, it really reminded me of the beautiful Kimono jackets I had seen on the high street and in vintage boutiques. It was a size 14, too long in the sleeves and too big and shapeless to wear as a shirt, but I knew it had potential to be customised into a loose, flowy Kimono-style jacket.

It's not a massive transformation but the shirt has been transformed into a more wearable piece with a few additions and adjustments.
I started by snipping off the buttons, turning back and sewing the cuffs and then adding some fringing to the bottom of the shirt.

I wanted to add some ribbon to the shirt too, going down the front edges and around the neck...but it didn't quite work out. After pinning, sewing and un-picking a handful of times...I decided it wasn't to be. I just couldn't get it to sit right no matter how hard I tried or how ever many ways I tried it. The shirt fabric was to delicate and flimsy for the more rigid ribbon. Ideally a bias tape or some satin cut on the bias could have worked but I was trying to use-up what I already had.

So with that in mind, after that I simply turned the front of the shirt edges in on themselves where the buttons and buttonholes had been to bring the edges in line to the end of the collar. I'm pretty pleased with this project overall. The fabric was a but tricky to sew neatly as is was so delicate and not very stable but I think it turned out okay. It's definitely a piece I will get a lot of use out of and enjoy wearing, even in the cooler months as it can be layered up with long sleeved tops underneath.
As much as I love the challenge of completely transforming a garment into something unrecognisably different from how it was originally, a quick fix or tweak is just as satisfying. 

What's your next 'quick-fix' project?
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