Friday, February 21, 2014

Portfolio Dress in Nani Iro Muji

A big, big thanks to the lovely Justine of Just Me Jay who was kind enough to lend me her copy of this Lisette/Simplicity Portfolio Dress pattern. Given that it's out of print, we both felt that we were not ripping anyone off by sharing. And oh, I've wanted to make this for so long!

I made the size 14, which is the largest size in the first of the oddly-split two-size-range way they published the pattern. Or is that just how all Simplicity patterns go?

I made a muslin and it was a wee bit firm around the hips, so added about a 1/2 inch on either side there. Otherwise, completely as per pattern. Oh, except I bound the hem to maintain length.

This Nani Iro 'Muji' double gauze is a slightly heavier weight than the usual double gauze; a touch looser in weave and heavier in thread. The print has the potential to look like you've spilt something nasty on yourself. However I thought with the interesting panelling of this pattern, it would obviously be a fabric print rather than an unfortunate accident.

I think it worked, I super-love it and think it should layer up well for colder weather, too.

Next time I make this pattern I would probably skip the interfacing in the sleeve bands, since they fold back on themselves and end up with heaps of fabric layers that probably don't need interfacing to add to the bulk.

This pattern been out of print for some time now, and one might think the folks at Simplicity would have considered a reprint by now due to this pattern's immense popularity. But sadly, it appears that's not the way Simplicity works. The good news is that I believe Liesl Gibson, the pattern's designer (of Oliver + S fame), is working on a pattern tweak that will get around copyright issues and allow the world access to this style once again! Although it may only be in pdf format, if it's in the Liesl & Co line, but I guess that's better than nothing.

In the meantime, I am very lucky to be in touch with lovely bloggy friends like Justine (you can see a beautiful Portfolio she's made here) who love to share the sewing love. (And Justine, I promise your pattern will be on its way back to you veryverysoon!)

- Jane x

Sunday, February 16, 2014

jinjs four 20c

I felt like I had a very unproductive day today. The weather lately has been sizzlingly hot, followed by rainy and oppressively humid. (Do not get me started about climate change and our government's environmental crimes and ignorance, grr.)

Today was the first day in ages that would have been nice to get out and do something outdoorsy. And it was Sunday, and Andy left tonight for a week interstate for work. And what did I do? Slept in, mooched about, had a nap on the couch.

Should have:
- gone blackberry picking
- gone for a walk
- cleaned out the shed for hard rubbish
- done some work in the garden
- done some washing
- tried to fix the printer
- made pencil cases with the boys
- oh, you know, stuff.

However, I did help make the scene above happen. We baked and I helped set up the stall. 'Gingers for 20c' (gingerbreads). He made almost $6 and was very chuffed.

And, I suppose that's enough. For today.

- Jane x

Friday, February 7, 2014

Move over, Spidey Skirt

In the spirit of 'blog it today or it will never happen' I present some hastily taken, rumpled-looking photos of the proper Grainline Moss Skirt that Spidey was a test-run for.

Not much really to say about a skirt that has been loved-up around the blog-o-sphere so much already. It has filled a glaring gap in my wardrobe where jeans fit in during the colder weather. It's in a lovely cotton/hemp dark denim that has jeans-like sturdiness but sews like buttah. Might have to move heaven and earth to source more when we run out of it at the shop. I topstitched in all the likely places with the same navy cotton thread I used for construction.

I put kitties in the pockets (leftover from my pyjamas).

I decided against the optional band at the bottom of the skirt, but added 2 inches to the length of the front and back panels for decency's sake and then turned up a minimal hem, bound with bias for a bit more 'secret detail'. (Scraps of Sarah Watson's 'Indian Summer - Forest Trail' that Charlie chose for pj shorts.)
The zip fly - having done it twice, I can say I am no longer afraid of it, but not exactly leaping at opportunities to make them everywhere. I am happy with the result but it was quite fiddly, and I am curious to investigate any other methods. I didn't find out until after I'd finished that there's a step-by-step guide on the Grainline blog. Oops. If anyone has a preferred method of zip fly construction I'd love to hear.

I found the pattern instructions to be fine, but with a fair amount of assumed knowledge (e.g. terms like baste, grade, understitch used without any explanation). 'Insert your buttonhole according to placement on pattern' - I couldn't find it - maybe small un-labelled notch? - so just winged it. I don't want to come across all whingey because it's a fabulous pattern but (in my opinion) it wouldn't take much to make it a lot more friendly to sewists with only a bit of experience.

I followed Lara's tip of stabilising the pocket openings (prone to stretch since they're on the bias), which I did with some light twill tape I had on hand, sewn into the seam.

Anyway, I love it. Hello, new skirt. Prepare to be thrashed to death.

And completely unrelated, this is Clem asleep tonight. He was not wearing that Miffy hat when I put him to bed. It's terribly hot and I'm a bit afraid he'll overheat but do I want to ruin the cuteness? Hmm.
- Jane x

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

My spidey senses are tingling

I sense a crime... against aesthetic sensibilities everywhere... LOOK OUT!
 Here comes the Spiderman.
Ooh, and he's looking around the corner at you. BOO!
Relax. It's only a muslin. But to my total amusement, this muslin (Grainline Moss Skirt, in case the hideous fabric had blinded you from that detail) fits perfectly. Like, could not be better. Like, is so comfy and just the right height at the back and the exact fit at low waist (or lack thereof) and hips, like ... like ... unprecedented perfect fit.


Does that mean I should find some crapulous occasion to wear it? Look, Spidey is peeking out of my crotch. Hellooo!
Do you have fun with icky fabrics that have happened into your posession, when making muslins? It certainly takes some of the drudgery out of the task.

- Jane x

PS real version in plain dark denim (phew) almost finished.
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