Friday, 9 June 2017

My First Knit Garment - Deer and Doe Ondee

Hey everyone! I feel like I say this a lot, but it has been busy. Let's be honest, I like it that way... I've been working, going to some theatre and some movies, and trying to make friends. I think I'm starting to get there (anyone else feel like making friends as an adult is hard?).

One of my biggest sewing goals this year, given I knew I was getting a new sewing machine, was to learn how to sew with knits. My old machine back in Australia struggled with knits: meaning, I could not get it to work no matter what I tried! So when I went to the Knitting and Stitching Show and bought my new machine, I also went to a talk by Lauren Guthrie of Guthrie and Ghani on sewing with knits. I returned to her stall afterwards, picked up a kit with hints for sewing with knits, some gorgeous sweatshirt knit in a navy blue fleck, and a copy of the Deer and Doe Ondee pattern.

I thought that this pattern would be a good fit for my wardrobe, given how much I wear high waisted dresses and skirts, and I was right. You would be right too, if you noticed that this top isn't navy blue. It's not! After making the navy blue one and wearing it a bunch for about a week, I ordered a length of the same fabric in grey, also from Lauren. And this one is almost more versatile than the blue - it goes with blue, and purple and green as well!

This jumper was so easy to make - I followed the tips from Lauren's talk and her tips for sewing with knits, read my machine manual, and even practised on several fabrics before starting. I used clear elastic on the shoulder seams, and the size (size 3, down a size from my previous Deer and Doe size due to losing weight) fit perfectly without any adjustments! Any drag lines you see are purely from my posing.

These photos were taken in one of our cool local spots - a footpath underpass, which always has some person graffiti-ing in it. The walls change practically every day, and there's always something cool to look at!

Now I'm inspired to make more using knits - I even have knit fabrics I've been hoarding for years I can finally use! I'm hoping to make a few different styles of dress in a range of colours. Here's hoping I'll have some sewing time soon!

Sunday, 7 May 2017

A Long Time Coming - Walthamstow S2444

Hello again, all! I'm still here, I promise, just working more and not having quite as much time for sewing. I have here for you a dress that was a long, long time coming... with one of my TnT patterns, Simplicity 2444.

This fabric... I'm not really sure what it is. I got it from TMOS in Walthamstow in February of 2016 (so yeah, ages ago), and it's literally travelled around the world since then. We were in London in early February 2016 for a family wedding, and I took a free day while there to go out to Walthamstow and do some fabric shopping. It wasn't the busiest (it was a weekday) but I walked away with a few pieces of fabric I really loved, this one included.

The design is stitched on rather than printed or embossed, and it has a slight stretch (although I sewed it up with a straight stitch), and it has a little bounce to it which gives the hem a lovely bit of shape to it when worn. I lined the bodice with ust simple white cotton

This is my modified S2444 block, with the back darts removed and the neckline slightly lowered. I love this pattern so much, but as I now have 3 in the cupboard, I'll be moving on to other patterns soon. Now that we've had all our stuff delivered from Australia, I have my stash of both patterns and fabric back! I'm excited especially to get into sewing some knit dresses - my old machine couldn't cope with sewing knits, but I already have 2 Deer and Doe Ondee jumpers in rotation (to be blogged soon!), and I can't wait to try out the Lady Skater pattern!

So yeah, there's not too much to say about this dress other than I love it and it turned out perfectly. Also I love this coat, found in an op shop for 10 pounds! It's even mostly wool (total bonus for the London climate) and other than minor mending was in perfect condition. Such a score.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Christmas Presents - Super Belated Edition

Hey guys! It's been another rather long break, unfortunately. I should really have typed up a post about the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show! In short, I loved it, I bought fabric and a pattern from Lauren of Guthrie & Ghani (she was super lovely, despite my slight fangirling), I bought a new sewing machine (and I LOVE IT!), and the Husband and I decided to sponsor a cat. Apparently Cat Protection is at almost every show and exhibition.

Anyway, since getting my new machine I've already finished one garment, despite the crazy time I've been having at work. I'm super excited to start the project I bought from Lauren and make my first ever knit garment!

But this post is not about that. This is further back, from Christmas and other presents which I gifted my family late last year. I didn't do as many handmade gifts as 2015 (I knitted 6 scarves that year), but I did make a few, also taking advantage of a new obsession of mine - knitting socks.

I took the plunge on sock knitting after knitting a cardigan (which takes a long time) and many scarves (which are not so interesting). I like the changeability of sock knitting in that you're never doing anything for too long, and the portability of them - perfect for trains!

So for Christmas last year I picked up a few balls from my favourite self-striped yarn store, Stray Cat Socks on Etsy. The yarns are lovely, the colours vibrant, and I love watching the colours change. I used my regular pattern, which is the pattern from Stray Cat Socks Kit. This is a very straight forward pattern which I've found fits everyone I've knitted for so far! So I knitted 2 more pairs - one for my Mum, and one for my little (but bigger than me) brother. They graciously agreed to do the sock modelling and everything, although they were reluctant to show their faces. I picked Revolution for my brother (the red and grey colourway, although I found it hard to choose more 'manly' colours), and Set Adrift for Mum (her perfect colours - blues and brown!). They fit really well and get worn by both around the house a lot.

And so I shall leave you again, hopefully to be back before next month with my next post... And I'll leave you with my brother's other Christmas present. He's hoping to move out this year, and we are classic Pokemon fans, so... There's that.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

V&A Museum: Undressed

Hey all!

I said in my very last post that I would aim to post twice a month... As you can see, not so much so far. I have projects lined up, which have been photographed. I'm just waiting on my photographer (the husband) to fix and upload them for me before I can write a blog post. Hopefully soon.

Since my last post, so many things have happened though. I live in LONDON now! We stayed with friends in a small town for about 2 weeks, while we found our own place, and now we've moved in! We have a view of most of the London Eye from our flat window... It's very cool. So I'm not sewing (except to mend things by hand), due to my lack of, well, practically everything sewing. I am knitting, and I am hoping to buy a shiny newmachine at the beginning of March.

I am lining up a few nice things to do that are sewing-related, though. I have the Sewing Machine Museum on my list, as well as the Knitting and Stitching show at the beginning of March. TMOS (The Man Outside Sainsbury's) will be getting a visit once I have a machine, and I am hoping to take a class at Sew Over It in a few months!

To start with, however, I decided to head to the Victoria and Albert Museum today (I had a few hours to myself) to check out the exhibition Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear. While I have yet to sew any underwear (it's not something I'm super interested in right now, but we'll see), it was super interesting for anyone who sews. The foundation garments of any outfit are dictated by, and influence the current fashions of any era.

(cotton and whalebone corset, about 1890)

I loved to see, in particular, how corsets have changed and been affected by fashions. I own a corset (which I wear for costumes), and a few waist trainers which I wear on occasion.

(arctic padded petticoat filled with goose down)

One of the pieces which I thought was quite cool (and seasonally appropriate for London) was a padded petticoat filled with goose down for warmth! I would love one of those.

(Tuileries, Lanvin-Castillo S/S 1957)

I think my favourite piece though, was this gorgeous dress from Lanvin-Castillo's Spring/Summer 1957 collection. I constantly find myself drawn to dresses of this era, and I love the even earlier vibe of that almost bustle that it has going on. Super gorgeous.

I would recommend this exhibition to anyone interested in lingerie and it's history, or even just historical fashion. Only it finishes on the 12th of March, so you might have to be quick! You do have to pay, but it's quite reasonable, and I got in without having to book in advance, which is excellent. Would recommend.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

2016 vs. 2017

Hello again all! I feel like I say this a lot, but I'm back, and it's been a little while. This time, I was off planning a wedding, getting married, having a honeymoon, getting fully accredited at work, and dealing with the Christmas craziness of school. Oh, and the new Hubby and I are moving to London in less than a month. So that's insane.

But this is a sewing blog, so let's get to that, yeah? I just wanted to talk a little about my sewing last year (2016) and how I'm moving into 2017, with crafty resolutions and goals.

2016 for me personally was a pretty great year (YOU GUYS, I GOT MARRIED!), and that is true also about my sewing. I feel like I sewed quite a few things that were out of my comfort zone, made some items I absolutely love to wear, and I began to find myself truly a part of a sewing community (thanks Sydney Spoolettes!). In terms of actual items I've made, I haven't kept a true count, but it's definitely not reflected in my blogging. I had aimed to blog once a month last year, and I didn't achieve that at all. I blogged 8 times in 2016 (and not at all until June, oh dear): 6 dresses, 1 top and 1 skirt. 

My favourite blogged item of 2016 is probably my McCalls 6696 dress, it was such a saga to get it finished, but it represents quite a few new skills and was a perfect fit to boot!

My most worn blogged item is probably my Starry Datura top - it gets worn at least twice a week. I love the fit and it goes with everything... and it doesn't even need ironing!

And my most viewed outfit post was my Ginghamalong entry, which also got a few lovely comments. Thanks so much guys!

So, 2017. Bring it on. It's going to be a big year, with the move to London at the end of January, and it will be quite... uh, interesting, potentially, for a while. But we shall see. In preparation, I have pared down my wardrobe quite a lot, and unfortunately there were some me-mades that didn't make the cut. But my favourites are coming with me, and I'm sending some, along with my favourites from my fabric stash, on a boat to arrive a month or two after we do. But I have to buy a new sewing machine, because that's not coming with me. So I may not be sewing for a little while - hopefully not too long. I already have some money for the new machine stashed away!

I do have goals for my sewing and social media, which I am going to aim to achieve regardless of my sewing setup. I hope to:

  1. Post on Instagram 5 days a week.
  2. Sew 2 garments each month.
  3. Blog 2 times each month.
I feel like these are achievable goals, but I will also be branching out slightly to help me achieve these. As well as sewing, I also knit and cross stitch, and I would like to feature these more (see: at all) in my blog. Especially as I may be without a sewing machine for some time, I will instead be knitting and cross stitching to keep my hands busy. So, keep an eye out for me here, and on Instagram @notionsoffabric to keep up to date with my shenanigans!

Happy New Year all, and if you have crafty goals like me, I'd love to hear them!

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Starry Datura - Another TNT

Hey all! Hope you're having a lovely week. Despite being on holidays, I am keeping busy - between school prep, wedding prep, my TAFE course, learning to ride a motorcycle, and generally being an adult who does adult things... I have been busy! Getting a little knitting done (mostly when I'm on public transport), but not a whole lot of sewing, unfortunately. So I have dredged the photo archives for some more which were taken way back in July to show you today.

I wear this top all the time (I have 4 incarnations of this pattern), and yet it has never made it to the blog! I really need to work on that, actually. This is the Deer and Doe Datura top, and I love it. In fact, out of all the ones that I've made, this is my favourite.

I've got this pattern down to a fine art now, and can whip one out in a few hours. I make a size 44, with a slight tweaking to the side seams to decrease the flare a little. As this was my first version, the length is as per the pattern, but in future versions I have lengthened the bodice by 2 inches. It's just a teensy bit short for wearing pants, although the length as is is perfect tucked into a skirt (and that's how I most often wear them - tucked into a Chardon skirt to work).

The fabric, again, is a find from Achieve Australia. I fell in love with the star print straight away, and despite being a poly (I'm about 98% sure on that), I had to have it. I especially like the look of the triangle cutouts with the star print. The buttons are from my Nanna's old stash, which I raided when I was at my Mum's house back in July, and the black bias binding is just store bought. I was nervous about putting it in, but it's gone in perfect every time I've used it, which has been excellent.

This top rarely makes it to my drawer for more than a day before it's worn again. It's comfy, flattering, fits well and goes with everything. What's more to love? Definitely another TNT pattern for me - the love for Deer and Doe is strong with this one.

Hope everyone is having a reasonable Wednesday, and that's it's all up from here. See you soon!

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Brown Corduroy Chardon (a TNT Pattern)

Happy Monday everyone! And an especially happy Monday to my lovely friends in the ACT - lucky things, they have a public holiday today. But I don't feel that bad, because I'm on holidays anyway.

Today I have my latest version of one of my TNT patterns - Deer and Doe's Chardon skirt. I ADORE this skirt, and have made it 5 times so far (although only 1 other has made it to the blog - I need to fix that!). Find my first version in black twill here! As well as this, I have one in navy with red trim, denim (the ultimate skirt in my wardrobe), and grey cordouroy (which is in the mending pile due to a small hole). So definitely a TNT pattern then!

I made my usual size for this one (44), with no alterations except raising the hemline slightly. I love the autumnal vibe this one has, and it goes equally well with stockings or bare legs. This shade of brown is practically a neutral, right? I went for contrast with the pockets, using a dark green fat quarter from my stash and matching bias binding to make the insides more pretty. I really appreciate taking the time to do a nicer finish - it feels more professional and didn't take all that much extra time.

The fabric is another super find from Achieve Australia (also known as the Fabric Cave) in Meadowbank. I've seen many cordouroy skirts popping up in stores lately, and I decided I needed one of my own. I also picked up a length of fabric in navy blue, which I think will one day be an A-line skirt. I just love the colour - as I was making it, I worried it might be too close to my skin tone, but I think it's perfect. I love this top with it (a RTW favourite from Just Jeans), but have also worn it with green and black and it looks just as good.

The reason this pattern is a TNT for me is the shape. It is fitted at the waist, but flares out at the hip - making it stylish and comfortable (especially for my job running around with primary school kids). The style is very classic and goes with all kinds of tops. Really, I'm starting to think I should be some kind of ambassador for Deer and Doe... 3 of my most worn patterns are Chardon (1 + 3 unblogged), Datura (4 unblogged), and Belladone (1, 2 + 2 unblogged). They just seem to fit straight out of the envelope, and they look so lovely on! I wear a D&D pattern at least 4 times a week! Deer and Doe, if you're reading this, feel free to get in touch ;)

Anyway, I think that's all I have for today. Back to making - I have my post-wedding dress to finish (M6696 in Liberty lawn)! I would like to know though, what are your TNT patterns? What patterns would you recommend?