Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My hand spun yarn.

Here is the first of the blended Merino tops I bought from Feltfine, and it spun up absolutely beautifully!

Aries is a combination of dyed Merino wool tops scarlet, crimson, hot pink, ruby with extra bleached tussah silk to create a rainbow blend with a silky sheen. "

I bought 200 grams of the tops and weighed it out using digital scales to make two 100 gram bundles. I then spun two bobbins, with 100 grams on each. The wool spun beautifully with the different colours scattered throughout the bobbin. The yarn is then created by plying the two bobbins together.

Once the bobbin is full, the yarn is removed and wrapped around a wooden niddy noddy (I couldn't make that name up if I tried!) to help even out the tension.

The yarn is secured in place with four tie, is then removed from the niddy noddy, and twisted tightly to create a skein!

~ Those large white lines are the ties on the skein, not part of the actual yarn ~

200 grams of the wool gave me two and a half skeins of wool!

Isn't it beautiful? I am so pleased!!!

This is the third skein I have spun and I am already noticing an improvement in my consistency which is really encouraging. I am self taught from Youtube and bought my spinning wheel second hand on ebay. If you're a knitter and have been thinking of giving spinning a try, I say "Go for it!", it is really amazing to actually create yarn with your own two hands!

Sam xox

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Liberty Sorbetto dress.

This dress is the result of cross-inspiration. 
A Liberty fabric dress.
And Alys Fowler.

Two years ago I came across an Ilana Kohn dress made from Liberty fabric, and knew one day I would try and make one for myself. Once I set up my Pintrest account I saved the dress there too just so I wouldn't forget about it. I loved the simplicity of the dress, the bias binding and the curved hemline. I imagined it would be so perfectly comfortable to wear during our hot summer months.

This year I was also inspired by the dresses Alys Fowler wears in her BBC series The Edible Garden. Her knowledge of permaculture and indubitable love for her garden inspired me on my gardening endeavours, while her offbeat gardening attire inspired my seamstress within.

I drafted the perfect gardening dress today using Colette Pattern's Sorbetto as my starting block. I deleted the centre front pleat and lengthened the top by about 14 inches, taking into account my hip measurements and adding width to the pattern accordingly. I also lowered the front neckline about an inch. I made a wearable muslin first using the brightly coloured floral fabric I blogged about yesterday. I discovered the wearable muslin had a few mistakes. I had not removed enough of the pleat section so my darts did not reach the right position on my bust. Also, I added three pin tucks to the centre front neck line which did not look that great. The first dress will be kept for sleepwear in the summer months, because it is cute, but a little shabby and not something I would be confident to wear out in public.

For the second pattern draft I removed more from the front pleat, added half an inch to either side hips, shortened the length to sit above my knees and decided not sew the pin tucks. I sewed this draft up in the blue mock Liberty and it turned out so much nicer!

~ It was 14oC and raining for these photos - so so cold! ~

I drafted the hem line slightly curved, which I think is a nice touch. The bias binding works well with Lawn fabrics because it gives the soft fabric some structure and shape. This dress took be no more than one hour to make!

This dress is going to look so cute in a Liberty Tana Lawn! The only trouble will be deciding what fabric to sew it up in.

Any suggestions Liberty fans???

Sam xox

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Sewing plans afoot.

I have had visions of Spring sewing dancing around my head for almost two weeks now. Tasia recently launching her beautiful blouse and shorts patterns only increase my anticipation for the coming Spring. Almost two years ago I came across a dress made from Liberty fabric that looked simple enough to make. I plan on drafting one similar using the Sorbetto pattern as my starting block, then altering it to suit my vision.

Before I rushed off and ordered my Liberty fabric, I first needed to make a wearable muslin from substantially less pricey fabric, to ensure I have the fit just right. I knew that Spotlight sells imitation Liberty (Japanese lawn) for $15 per metre. Luckily for me, two of the three fabrics I ended up buying were on sale for $5 per meter, so I bought enough to make two dresses and a Sorbetto top for work. I also got some bias binding to match.

 It was interesting to see the change in this fabric when matched with various colours of bias binding.
In the end I chose the pale brown as I think it calms the fabric down.

 I paid full price for this Japanese Lawn, so this will be made into the 'proper' dress.

At $5 per meter, this will be my wearable muslin. Hopefully it won't look to gaudy when finished!

This is a style of print I don't often wear (I am a floral's girl at heart), but I think it should look good made into a Sorbetto and worn for work.

Now you know what I'll be doing tomorrow!

Sam xox

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Pattern Tester: Cambie dress.

A while ago I was lucky enough to be selected to test Tasia's Cambie dress pattern for her Sewaholic patterns range. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to pattern test for her again, as the last time I did so was with her very first pattern the Pendrell blouse.

Weeks of back to back cold weather and rain delayed me taking photos of the finished dress. Then I underwent heart surgery to fix a problem with my heart. This delayed things even further!

My Cambie dress was made following View B. I omitted the pockets as these are not something I like to have in my dresses. I sewed up a size 8, but it turned out a little too big, so I had to take it in. The fabric is a light textured cotton that I have had in my stash for over a year. I had been saving it to sew up into a dress, and when I saw this pattern I knew it fit the bill perfectly. I lined the bodice with the same fabric, but left the skirt unlined. To prevent the skirt being see through I wear it with a petticoat, which also adds a bit of volume to the skirt. I really love how Tasia has included a separate waist band piece to join the bodice to the skirt (although with my belt on this can't be seen). The finished dress reminds me a lot of the dress I made for One Pattern Seven Bloggers.

It's so nice to be blogging again! I am still recovering from my operation and am still quite sore and bruised, but I am determined to get some sewing done tomorrow.

Sam xox