FINISHED! Isle of Wight Archer

Just in the nick of time, I finish my Archer for Archer Appreciation month.
I made it up in new season (Spring Summer 14) Liberty of London, Isle of Wight C bought from Tessuti.  Here's some information on the print.

Isle of Wight C Tana Lawn from the Gallery of Prints collection by Liberty Art Fabrics.

Created in-house, using washes of ink and Rotring pen, the Isle of Wight fabric design was inspired by the vintage-style memorabilia found in the fourth floor’s RE concession room. 

The Fourth Floor fabric story celebrates Liberty’s interior decoration floor. Each design pays homage to a different area or department, taking on the intrinsic mood of each individual space. 

Despite being a lover of print (understatement :)) and really loving this print ( it has been the one that stuck me first out of all the new season fabrics) I was a bit worried about how 'full on' it would look. I love it though. I think the Archer is the perfect pattern for it, taking it out of the too cutesy realm that it could have easily fallen into with a different pattern.  On the other hand I don't really consider myself a button down shirt kind of gal but it feels so me in this fabric. I'm also happy for the camouflage that the fabric provided to some dodgy stitching in places.
I originally did a quick and dirty muslin of a size 4 but wanted it to be slightly more tailored than the 4, so decided to just cut the 2.  I think it might still be a bit big across the shoulders but only marginally.  I also took an inch off the length and off the sleeves.  Very simple adjustments have rendered the fit pretty great.

I barely looked at the paper pattern, but rather followed along with the Jen's sewalong. It was great and helpful and kept me going. If you remember I had a plan for this shirt. Yes, it felt like a bit of a marathon, but the sewalong helped enormously.
The most annoying thing I did was cut the collar upside down so now the little swimmers are upside down.  I didn't fix it because it's not such a big deal but urrgh.
I like it all buttoned up and neat - it seems more me - in an uptight way (by the way it is all even at the bottom but clearly I don't stand evenly and the shirt is a little wrinkled).

I think this shirt will be a real work horse. I tried it on yesterday all tucked into my work skirt and it looks great.
This is my third 'shirt' for 2013, the drop waist and Cami before it.  I still struggled a bit with the collar, but this one was better, although after I had inserted AND top stitched I decided that it wasn't neat enough so tried to reinsert... with barely a 1/8" seam allowance in there.  Not smart and of course I didn't make it any neater!  I'm confident I'm going to nail my next effort. And there will be.

Thanks Jen for the pattern and all the help in the sewalong. You deserve all the love out there for Archer Appreciation month.

Modern Love - Bendigo Art Gallery

I'm on the final stages (just the hem and the buttons) of my Archer shirt so I should be back soon with a finished make just in time to make Archer Appreciation month. Phew, it's been an epic make - but despite little glitches, I think it's going to turn out to be a wardrobe favourite.  But enough of that for now, I thought I'd pop in and show some photos from the Modern Love exhibtion at Bendigo Art Gallery, which is showcasing fashion objects from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.

We were staying just an hour away from Bendigo in Shepparton for Christmas so I managed to convince Ben and the boys and my sister and her family to drive there on Christmas eve to see the exhibition.

This is a little write up from the Modern Love website:

Modern Love focuses on approximately 60 works from the post-punk period from the 1980s to the present day from this one unique collection.  It reflects fashion in our contemporary lives with works ranging from haute couture designs such as a museum commissioned gown by Alexander McQueen through to t-shirts and Adidas high top runners.
Designers include Thom Browne, Chanel, Comme des Garçons, Dior, Ferragamo, Tom Ford, Jean Paul Gaultier, Carolina Herrera, Betsey Johnson, Patrick Kelly, Helmut Lang, Monique Lhuillier, Louboutin, Alexander McQueen, Issey Miyake, Moschino, Thierry Mugler, Hiroaki Ohya, Zac Posen, Prada, Christian Francis Roth, Ralph Rucci, Valentino, Versace, Vivienne Westwood, YSL and more.
A lot of sewers have already been and there are great write-ups from, among others CarolynMaria and especially TJ who was able to preview a number of the dresses.

We all have different favourites so it really is worth checking out their posts, or even better just get down to Bendigo Art Gallery and see it.  Bendigo is the exclusive venue for the exhibition in Australia and it's on until the 2 February so if you can get there do.  The exhibition is perfectly put together with a fantastic toe tapping sound track jam packed of plenty of 80s and 90s hits.  The huge projector which shows excerpts of the runway shows for each item was mesmorising and I could have lounged on those big round poufs/ottomans for hours. Afterwards I had to go back and re look at the items after seeing them on the catwalk (especially the Chanel jacket!!).

Photography is allowed, no flash, so the quality of the photos isn't perfect and I haven't included all my favourites just a couple.

I really loved the whole exhibition and just felt so lucky to have got down there.  Here are just a couple of my favourites:

1. Chloe. Evening ensemble Spring/Summer 1983

 2. Caroline Herrera 2003

3. Alexander McQueen 

 4 Valentino 2000 Spring/Summer.

Top 5 of 2013: The MISSES

As part of Gillians Top 5 of 2013 series, I bring you the MISSES. You can go back here for the happier times of 2013 with the Hits or head on over to Gillians blog to see who else is participating and read up on their reflections. So, without further ado... the Misses.
  1. The Laurel
I was just too keen to make this dress. I bought the fabric at La Droguerie in Strasbourg and after being on holidays for 6 weeks was keen to get on with a sewing project. Perhaps too keen?  I rushed it so inserted the bib pretty poorly. And those bust darts were drafted so high so that even though I adjusted them with the original make,  after the first and only wear I adjusted them again. Sadly on ironing my now perfectly positioned bust darts I burnt the fabric. Fail!

2. Tania Culottes
These are really cute, but they aren’t my style. I wore them a few times, but I think if I added another few inches onto the length I’d wear them more. This was the same corduroy from France as the Laurel - it wasn’t a successful purchase was it?!

3. Invisible Zips
I had some problems with invisible zips this year. I installed a lot so I suppose I shouldn’t be too hard on myself but I was pretty disappointed with the insertion on this O’keefe skirt (though I still wear it - the fabric is too good not to wear) and just last weekend the invisible zip on my Colette Iris shorts broke. As these shorts  are in constant rotation and I was madly flapping around in a pre Christmas rush, I tookthem to one of those alteration places for them to fix in the hour. They did... but they machine stitched the waist band on and across in the most messy way that I ended up having to unpick and hand sew the waist band back in place as per the rest of the band. Should have just done it myself.

4. The Rigel Bomber
This year I only abandoned one project. This one. I really want to make this. I mean really really. But I just didn’t get the pockets right and for neatness I think it needs to lined... and I’m not a good enough sewer to work that out by myself.. so I’ll just wait around until I make up the Ninot jacket with lining or until there is a R ... bomber sewalong..

5. Attempt 1 of the top for my sewing dare

The top: Poorly executed, wrong pattern, not my style. Fail! This top does not ever get worn.
My final version I adore and love the whole outfit so all was not lost.  And I really love the skirt.

My Bel Rowley skirt just missed out on making the top 5. I had a massive screw up with the lining. I still wear it but a big lesson on inserting lining.

Top 5 of 2013: the HITS

Top 5 of 2013 - An Annual Blog Series
By now you will have seen this logo around the sewing blogs. Yes, Gillian is again hosting this annual reflection series. Do head on over to her blog, pick up a logo and join in.

I participated last year and really enjoyed reflecting back on the year and to look ahead to 2013 that I was happy that we were going to do it all again this year.  To check out all my makes from this year head on over here and then click through to clothes, gifts or miscellaneous makes.

Today, the HITS in no particular order.  But they all have one thing in common - pattern!

1. The Mathildes
Richard and Lyla Mathilde
Tilly launched the Mathilde pattern early this year and it was instant love. I just adore it.  I feel like it is a pattern that is so perfectly me. As someone who loves to sew with Liberty of London fabric, I have had to restrain myself from sewing up many many more of these. As I think it is the perfect marriage of fabric and a pattern.  I have made two and have the fabric for a third ready to go, which I keep delaying thinking that maybe I already have too many of these in the cupboard. I should proably go down a size for the fit across the neck.. but I don't even care.  I love everything about this pattern - the sleeves, the buttons.. aaah, it all.
Archipelago Mathilde
2. Tessuti patterns: New York Cape & Tokyo Jacket
I had some great success sewing up some of the downloadable patterns available from Tessuti this year. These patterns are stylish and well drafted with very clear instructions. 

I made up the New York Cape with fabric from Addicted to Fabric and I wore this all through autumn and winter. While I could have done a slightly better job on parts of the wool binding, it was a big winner. In my opinion, the perfect match of fabric, pattern and personal style. 
In Spring  made up the Tokyo jacket in a stretch cotton which was against the fabric suggestions on the packet - but  I just love this jacket. It is such a great casual spring time jacket that makes me feel great everytime I wear it.. and I wear it ALOT!  
Tessuti Tokyo Flower Show Jacket

3. Gathered Spring Gathered Skirt with a hint of fluro
This is just a fun skirt to wear.  I love the fabric, the colours are so great. The skirt is simple, but it was self drafted skirt with an invisible zip, pockets and a fab aqua lining. I wear this skirt at least once a week at the moment to work and always makes me smile.
4. Pauline Alice patterns: Cami & Malvorosa
And to think I wasn't going to make up the Cami after I did the muslinPauline Alice is a new name in Independent patternmaking but she has a great style and already I am a loyal follower.  I love both the dresses I made from her patterns this year and I really need to get the Ninot jacket next.

Cami in Joy and Sorrow
Malvorosa in Ranga
It wouldn't be a top 5 without mentioning this dress which I finished in June.  I wore this through winter and now I'm wearing it in Summer with bare legs. I adore the print and the drop waist dress was a real trend for me this year. 

I'm going to sneak in some honourable mentions now..

The Valentino silk scout
It felt like a real privilege to sew with Valentino Silk and I'm so glad I managed to sew it without stuffing it up!
I am currently wearing these ALL the time on weekends. They go with every single top I own. I didn't do the best sewing ever on the waistband or zip so I could have put them in the fail list, but the fabric and pattern are a great combo for me so they get an honourable mention in the Hits!

I'm just heading off to buy the Ninot jacket pattern... see you with the FAILS next.

Sew Liberty No 3

I received the best Christmas present today.
I am featured in the 3rd Issue of Liberty of London online magazine, Sew Liberty!
Read Sew Liberty
You all know my absolute love for and the inspiration I get from sewing with Liberty of London fabrics so it really is the biggest honour to be in the magazine. 
I'm in there amongst some amazing people, including Sania Pell, Charlotte Smith and Christine Leech.  Go and have a read!

2013 Christmas Tree decoration (and another Vogue Visor ..)

Last year I made some little trees out of Liberty scraps as Christmas decorations based on a tutorial by Noodlehead.  I also made some see through ones with little pompons.  This year, sticking with using up some tiny scraps I used a template from the Purl Bee and made up some little birds.
I still have sooooo much of this gold "pleather" in the stash so again teamed it with the Liberty.  I think they turned out pretty cute.  I sewed the gold and the liberty together for each side of the bird and each wing and then joined the bird together only at the head.  I used a bit of paper glue to keep them together as I sewed and then trimmed the Liberty.. I found it a bit easier the way.
This weekend, I also managed to find some chambray for another Vogue 7600 visor.  This one is fabulous because it matches perfectly my Iris Shorts so goes with everything! And given I wear my Iris Shorts all the time, this is great.  This pattern has now been put away. Promise.  
Last visor I promise but this one goes with everything :) #vogue7600

Archer Appreciation Month - A plan!

So, I'm a little bit late to the party, but I'm in for Archer Appreciation month hosted by Lucky Lucille and Miss Crayola Creepy! After purchasing this pattern within seconds of it being released back in February, I'm finally getting around to making it up.
Grainline Studio | Archer Appreciation Month
Spurred on partly by the release of some new season Liberty at Tessuti and one in particular that I hope will make a very cute Archer (I'll know for sure when it arrives next week) and second, well, right now I feel like I need the discipline of a sewalong to get me out of a rut and to keep me calmly sewing through the Christmas season instead of panic sewing.  Oh there will be plenty of panic present preparation and a little bit of panic Christmas sewing, but I feel like I need this to keep me sane.
Unlike Amy, who managed to sew her fourth (!!!) Archer up in a day (eeek??!!)  I'm just planning on having this done by 31 December (ok - I'll probably try and rush it earlier but let's start out with a realistic date given I'll be away from the 23 - 27 December) just in time to make the Archer Appreciation deadline.

I've set out steps in line with Jen's sewalong that she did earlier in the year.
  1. Assemble Pattern Completed Friday 13th! 
  2. Cut Muslin
  3. Sew Muslin
  4. Make changes 
  5. Prepare fabric
  6. Cut fabric
  7. Interfacing
  8. Make button bands
  9. Pockets
  10. Assemble Back 
  11. Attach yoke (method 1 or method 2)
  12. Sleeve plackets
  13. Sleeves and side seams
  14. Collar
  15. Cuffs and hem
  16. Buttons
Mmm, 16 steps by 31 December 2013 in amongst Christmas mania?  Do-able I think.

Are you managing to sew for yourself while also prepare for Christmas? 

Btw, does anyone know how to watch the Liberty of London 4 part TV show in Australia?

FINISHED! Vogue 7600 Archipelago Visor

I've had Vogue 7600 in my pattern wish list for some time but it was only over the weekend that, feeling a bit lowly towards sewing and needing a quick - yet different project, that I decided to give it a go.  I love a visor and used to have a Helen Kaminski rafia visor that I wore all the time until I lost it somewhere..  so of all the patterns it of course view C has always jumped out at me.
Vogue 7600 Visor
I would have liked to make this up in a chambray but I didn't have any.. so the next best thing, some Liberty leftovers.  You may recognise this as Archipelago (from the Spring Summer 2013 Tresco collection), which I used to make my first Mathilde.
Vogue 7600 Visor
The pattern was straightforward and easy and now that I've worked out how to install my quilting foot on my machine top stitching was a pleasure. I made one tiny mistake.. sewing the visor with a 1.5cm seam allowance instead of a 1cm seam but as I made up the small the slight difference in the visor size is not too noticeable.
 Vogue 7600 Visor
I've tied it a bit messy at the back which suits me more than the way it is on the envelope with the large flap 'hanging out'. I do need to practise this a bit though.

I like this hat and hope I get lots of wear out of it. I think there is definitely a chambray version in my future.
Vogue 7600 Visor

The 2013 Family Photo Book..

Gosh, an annual family photo book sure does take a long time. What with weeding through hundreds of photos and then organising them into order - it isn't far off the time required to sew something really great. Alas, no sewing around these parts while this annual chore has been taking place, but... I can happily report that it is now done and ordered.  One for us, one for my Mum and one each for Ben's Mum and Dad.
I first started creating photo books when I put all of my Dad's slides into a photo book.  I then made up a book for our trip to France in 2011.  I followed up again last year. It's lovely to think that even as all the digital photos seem to become lost in the cyber ether we have a book on the shelf ready to flip through.

While making this I came across an ad for turning blog posts into a book. Not a bad idea for the future. But for now... I need to get back into sewing after my dismal effort with the spotty bomber.  I have a few things in mind so stay tuned.

Do you do an annual photo book?