Tag Archives: Folkwear

Unexpected compliments!

27 Sep

I was in Spotlight yesterday. I know, what a surprise eh? Buying up big on some sagey green cotton lycra sateen. Lovely fabric. Destined (so I think at the moment, I reserve the right to change this at any time) to be a skirt with a bit of a circular ruffle at the hem.

The lovely lady behind the counter asked me how I was going to use it. I explained, and she exclaimed in delight. “You have to come in and show us when it is done. I love seeing the things all made up!”

I realised then that I was wearing these trousers, blogged here,

So I gestured to my trousers and told her I’d made them. “From that ribstop cotton you guys have had for ages that keeps ringing up at $2 per metre.”

At which the woman in the queue behind me said “WOW.” As the sales assistant was looking very impressed.

I said “AND I got the pattern from an op-shop for 20 cents. It’s the same vintage as me. 1976!” All the while thinking “The crotch is a bit funky. I know how to fix it but I haven’t gotten round to it. But I’m definitely not going to point it out, and I hope they don’t notice.” *

They certainly didn’t seem to notice anything untoward about the trousers at all. Hey, I tell you, they were both looking pretty impressed by then. And I felt extremely well complimented about my sewing (and thrifting) skills.

Thanks guys! You totally made my day! And made me feel great about myself 🙂

(It occurred to me on the way home the crotch seam looked fine, it’s just been feeling a bit odd since I started with pilates and built up plenty of muscle tone in my legs. It just needed taking out a bit. Which, of course, I did the moment I got home!)

*This determination not to point out my (or my clothes, or more usually my birds nest hair’s) perceived flaws comes from my mum. When I was a teenager complaining about what I was sure was a huge zit in my face that the entire world must be staring at, mum would say vaguely “Oh, do you have a zit? I hadn’t noticed till you pointed it out.”

Did wonders for my self esteem. I’m planning on doing to my darling little girl when she is old enough to get zits.

 

 

 

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Tropical dreams inspired by Folkwear’s Beautiful Dreamer nightgown

26 Sep

Nightie from McCalls 8108

McCalls 8108 1 hour dresses

  • Fabric/trims/notions used
Fabric is a quite finely woven cotton from Lincraft in Brisbane over a decade ago. Thus proving that yes indeed I do use almost all the fabric in my stash … eventually.
1 inch wide white cotton batiste and embroidery lace, and a turquoise trim (polyester) from Spotlight
  • Inspiration
I’ve been in love with Folkwear’s Beautiful Dreamer for ages, (Of which I have the adult version of the children’s one pictured below) but the whole thing is just too heavy and hot for tropical nights. So I got my TNT McCalls 1 hour (in their dreams, more like 4-5 hr) pattern, and went to town with pintucks, lace and woven trim.
Here’s a close-up of some of the detailing
  • Useful info
I did the pintucks the traditional (?) way of folding over the fabric where I wanted the pintuck and sewing in a millimetre or two from the edge. I lost count of how many pintucks I did. In addition to the ones pictured on the front and sleeve, I did ones on the back, and around the bottom ruffle as well. I was driven completely barmy by them. So much so that when I next went into Spotlight and saw some soft white cotton voile with pintucks already sewn into it, I bought 3m on the spot. My slightly crazed justification was “So I’ll never have to sew another pintuck!!!”
  • Construction notes

I cut the fabric into two big pieces, one for the front, one for the back. I then measured carefully where I wanted the pintucks to sit across my shoulders, and how deep I wanted them to go. I did the same for the back, but since they were in the centre it was a lot easier to work out what do to with them.

Next I did the pintucks on each piece, ironing the fold first on the ironing board where it was easier to measure them all up accurately, then stitching them. Then I cut the pattern out from the big pieces. With the side seam I just pushed all the extra fullness from the pintucks into the centre fold, so I was essentially cutting the same pattern, but just wider by the amount I’d used in the pintucks. Because the pattern is so simple it worked really well.

I also kept the side bust dart in the pattern, mainly because I am noticeably fuller in the front than back. A combination of a c-cup front and a very flat, short back means that I do need proper shaping in the front. Otherwise the fabric pulls up and sits out at the front, looking awful and feeling uncomfortable. I know it is a nightie and all, but I wanted one that looked pretty and felt pretty, not one that was a compromise.

For the ruffle pintucks I cut the ruffle the required length (For ruffles I generally use a length that is half again of the thing I’m gathering onto. So in this case, the nightie hem was 2m wide, I made the ruffle 3m wide.) I sewed the pieces together with a flat-felled seam, making sure I was creating a circle, not twisting the pieces into a figure 8! Next, I sewed the pintucks. 5 of them x 3m ruffle. O_o

  • Cost
Uh, uh… if you’ve had the fabric for so long you’ve forgotten how much it cost does that mean it is free?
Trims $6 total
Pattern: $0. This was the 6th or 7th use?
Impulse purchase of ready-pintucked cotton from Spotlight $30. (I know I know…*sheepish*)
  • Last word

This fabric gets softer and softer each wash. A very nice trait in a nightie! And I feel so romantic and delightful in my lovely nightie 🙂 It is comfortable to sleep in, and nice to waft round the house in when awake!

Rose-pink bloomers or: I go all whimsical again

30 Jun
How to wear your jammies all day long without anyone realising: make rose-pink bloomery-drawersy-thingies out of your fave jammie trouser pattern!
(I should have held the camera above my head to create a halo from the flash and look reeeeeelly silly!)
  • Pattern/company
Butterick 4406
PJ trousers from this pattern
*sigh* This photo was the right way up on my computer. Could you all just turn your heads to look at it? Eventually I will work out how to make these photos better.
Circular ruffle from this pattern:
Kwik Sew 2756
  • Fabric/trims/notions used
Cotton homespun in rose pink. 6mm elastic. Black polyester flower trim
  • Useful info
I showed mum the drawers-thingies before the black flower trim was on it. “Too much!” she cried. “Too much colour and ruffle and not enough … something…” was her, er, useful verdict.
I stuck to my plan and added the black flower trim. Voila, it worked! The trim defined the entire look, and even my mum thought it was ok. *phew*
At first I did a narrow turned hem on the circular ruffle –  turn the edge over once, edgestich it, turn that over and edgestitch it again. But the cotton was just too firm. Even after a good press it looked awful, so I braved the rolled-hem stitch on the overlocker. I’m glad I did as the rolled hem looks 10 times better than the narrow hem. However it come out so neatly when the ruffle was on the bias, which, given it was a circular ruffle, there were patches of bias, and patches of on grain hem edge. Nothing I could do about it, and I’m not sure if anything except fiddling with tension and just good old-fashioned practise will fix that for next time.
If anyone has any suggestions on this, I would love to hear!
I used the double-elastic waistband technique described for the Madeleine Mini Bloomers by Colette. Instead of using one wider width of elastic, you use two rows of narrower elastic. In the Mini Bloomers I had about 6mm between the elastic channels but for these drawers-thingies I ran the channels right next to each other and it worked just as well.
Why did I do this? Well it is more delicate than a big thick slice of elastic, but has the same holding power. A lovely and effective technique.
The original drawer-thingies in rayon cupro were very drapey, flattering even in a wide-legged elastic-waisted, no extra shaping trouser pattern. I was worried the cotton homespun would be too crisp to work well. However the ruffle and trim weighs it down so it sits flatteringly over my hips. Also I have mostly waist-defining tops, which helps. (The one in the piccie isn’t, of course, just to prove the rule!)
  • Inspiration for the garment
I first made a pair of um shorts? Drawers? bloomers? years ago. I have no picture because back then we only had one digital camera that had cost us a fortune and took crap photos. Ahhh, remember the days?
The drawers-thingies started life one cold dry season, (aka what passes for winter here) as full-length pyjama trousers from this pattern,in a delicious mushroom rayon cupro. Soft and flowing. Then the build-up came (aka the hot stinky humid season). I lopped the trousers off just above the knee and added a circular ruffle of  a leftover rayon/cotton fabric with mushroom-coloured roses that matched the cupro exactly.
It needed just a touch of added extra something, so I did a row of simple embroidery just above the ruffle (my sewing machine sadly only does simple embroidery – but I love it anyway!)
They were delicious and perfect and comfortable – after all I was wearing some jammie trousers!
I don’t think I have a photo of them, but if I ever discover on hidden away somewhere I’ll definitely blog about them.
Tragedy struck when they got some bleached spots. The mother of invention came to my rescue. I cut out some roses from the leftover fabric and appliqued them artistically over the bleached spots. and a few other places to make it look deliberate. It turned out very nicely, and saved the day. Well, saved the drawers-thingies, actually.
Ever since I’ve been very fond of this general style of garment. So easy to wear! Soft and swishy and feminine, with all the convenience (and coolness) of shorts.
I’ve made a few from the drawers from Folkwear Edwardian Underthings (click on it to go to the site). I haven’t blogged about the drawers from this pattern. Must do so! But the presumably period-style crotch is not as comfortable for this modern gal as my pyjama pattern which is a bog-standard modern crotch shape, hence I prefer using that.
  • Cost
Fabric: cotton homespun 2m @ $6pm. Half a metre left over for little girl’s dolls dresses… ;-P
Trim: 2m @ $4
Threads and elastic from my stash
Patterns – Jammie pattern – Butterick 4406: third use
Kwik-sew 2756 skirt pattern – 4 skirts already from it and I’ve lost count how many times I’ve used that ruffle pattern piece.
Total: $20
  • Last word

I wore them to my pilates class the other day. The teacher’s reaction was “Oh are we having a fashion show today? They are so beautiful!” Always nice to get random compliments on clothes you’ve sewn! For the record, they work just fine for a pilates class. No binding or catching.

Wandering round in jammie trousers is a very comfortable way of spending the day. Highly recommended!

Wardrobe clearout and a possible new project.

9 Jun

I went through my wardrobe with a harsh eye this afternoon. I don’t mind stuff in there that I love but rarely get to wear. But things I am not wearing because they don’t work for some reason? They have to go!

Even if I do love them…

I remind myself it makes way for things I love AND work well.

One of the things that went is this skirt.

Another RTW skirt copy” src=”https://tropicalthreads.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/glassonsgreyskirtfront2.jpg?w=225″ alt=”” width=”225″ height=”300″ />

I commented in the original post that the fabric seemed too light for the style, and to be honest, I think that is why I rarely wear it. I feel a bit scruffy and under-groomed in it. I have quite a bit of the original fabric left over, so I will keep the skirt and see if I can create a new garment entirely, from both.

Another that went is a grey dress I found in an op-shop a while back. It was tight around the arms back then, but now, after a year’s worth of pilates, it pulls badly across the entire shoulder area 😦 It is a gorgeous dress, in very good condition. I am sure some other person will absolutely LOVE it.

A few of my own creations will simply be put away. I love them too much to send them off to the big wide world of op-shops.

This was made from Folkwear Edwardian Underthings pattern. (Notice I like blue roses?) I simplified the waist, and found the most awesome trim for it at Spotlight! But, though I have worn it a lot before, I have just kinda “gone off” it. Also I don’t have a top that does it justice, and am not sure what would. Time to put it away.

 

 

The awesome trim:

 

 

Another old favourite. The colour faded to an odd, and sadly unappealing neutraly colour. I was enchanted by the whole pixie movement in the UK, wanting to my own pixie top, tropical-style. This is what I came up with. I love it – so much so I wore it to colour-death 😦 I would dye it but the fabric is getting old. And I am not sure I would like the outcome of the trim being dyed either, whether it was dyed too, or stayed the same colour. RIP pixie top. You will be missed.

 

And now, for my next project…

I was cruising Ravelry the other day (as you do!) and saw some gorgeous crocheted boleros. I have been using this cardigan in our recent cold snap.

 

It is the perfect weight for the colder weather here. But … it’s too big! I knitted it when I was in my early 20’s, living in Auckland. I didn’t think I was that much bigger then, but I must have been! I have to roll the sleeves up a couple of turns, and it is huge round the torso.

I’d be more comfortable in one that fits! Maybe in crochet with a lacy look to it, as the looseness of this cardigan is probably why it isn’t too hot. I could soooo happily use some of those beautiful bamboo yarns. Mmmm!!!! I doubt I finish it this dry season, but I have realised it would also be the perfect weight for travelling when down south, as this cardigan is too.

And then in my inbox this afternoon I found this from Spotlight …

 

Methinks it may be Fate…

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