Desideratum Deer & Doe Datura Disaster

About halfway through making my Cotton Candy Culottes I realised that I didn’t have a top to wear with them! So I hatched a plan to make up something quick that would suit them but that could also fit in with my normal wardrobe.

I consulted with Fashionable Younger Sister who was in the middle of cutting out her own culottes. We talked about styles and colours and I mentioned I was thinking of trying mustard. I’ve never worn mustard before because I’m not sure if it suits my complexion. I thought maybe I could get away with it if I combined it with another colour like white or a lighter yellow or perhaps grey.

FYS sent me some awesome inspiration images:

And I realsied that I had the perfect pattern in my stash, Deer & Doe’s Datura:

Fast forward to a sneaky lunchtime fabric shop trip with my trusty accomplice, Nikki.

We went to The Fabric Store and I did a couple of laps looking for the perfect fabric. Unfortunately I didn’t find any mustard I liked, everything was too sunshine yellow, but I did spot a pretty lilac and white cotton with a homespun-like weave:

I thought it was nice enough and since it was not very expensive I grabbed some.

Annoyingly the yardage chart on the pattern envelope does not include separate fabric allowances for making this blouse in two tones. I found that a bit strange (and disappointing) given that all the examples on the pattern page are sewn in two colours. I grabbed a meter of each colour even though I knew it would be too much.

I chose to make the view A with the triangle cutouts and they were really easy to construct.

On the cutting layout the bias is laid out and cut in four lengths that you join which I guess saves some fabric but you end up with all those joins. It is neat that they give you a template that you can trace onto card and use to fold your bias.

Since I had extra fabric I was able to cut my bias as one long length. I own 3 different sized Clover bias tape makers that I use to make bias tape. They aren’t that expensive and once you get the hang of them are worth owning.

There didn’t seem to be any mention of joining the bias tape ends together in the instructions. I joined mine at the centre back, unfolding to stitch the ends together, before trimming and refolding…

…like so…

Pretty!

And then my Datura was almost finished. Except that it wasn’t, ahhh, unfortunately my fabric was too stiff for this pattern. I tried to save it with some extra darts but it just didn’t work.

The bust darts are also too high on me so the fabric tents out from my ladies and is quite unflattering over the tum.

All is not lost however because even though this fabric was the wrong choice I do think this pattern has potential. You don’t need a lot of fabric (hello silk off-cuts in my stash!) and it’s a pretty quick make so there will be another version soon.

THE DEETS:

Pattern - Deer & Doe Datura, size 42, version A

Next time I will use a more lightweight drapey fabric, lower the bust darts and probably sew the buttons straight on (no button holes as they are purely decorative)

Fabric – 100% Cotton from The Fabric Warehouse, $8.00/m, Feb 2014

Other notions – 3 x buttons from stash

This photo is of me testing to see if I could reach the buttons. I took in the side seams a little to see if I could improve the fit. I wanted to make sure I could get the top on and off in case my alterations meant the buttons actually had to function.

Electric Blueberry Coppélia

It’s been a while since Kat and I unleashed the Papercut Fangirl Twinsies ;)

So we decided it was time for a pair of Coppélias.

You might notice that our versions look a little different from each other.

When we decide on a twinsies pattern we don’t really discuss how we are each going to interpret it. We might share a sneak peek of our fabric choice but generally we sew them separately to suit our individual tastes and then see what happens when we meet up for photos!

It’s more fun that way.

So you get to see Kat’s striped version with short sleeves and my solid coloured version with lengthened ties and bodice.

The Coppélia stitched up quickly on my 4-threads-of-awesomeness overlocker and I hardly needed to look at the instructions (I mostly just glanced at the diagrams) because this is super easy to make.

Then it sat for a while in the corner because I wasn’t really sure if I liked it.

I just couldn’t get it to sit nice when I tried it on and the back felt really big on me. When I tied it up my side seams came forward and I had a lot of bunching at the back.

After we had some time apart I picked it up out of the naughty corner and added two long vertical darts in the back and that helped a little but the arms were still quite big at the top and very long.

I gave up and decided I would just see what Kat (and photographer Nikki) would have to say.

They both agreed that the problem was quite simple, I cut it too big…and once said out aloud everything clicked! It was even more obvious when tried on Kat’s XS (I cut an S) and it fitted perfectly…after Kat helped me dress…haven’t quite gotten the knack of it yet.

So, all is good and I will make another, soon, because it was so quick and didn’t need much fabric…plus I love speeding on my overlocker, it makes NH nervous ;)

Also this happened:

Photobombed!

These photos were taken in front of the Executive Wing of New Zealand Parliament Building…or Beehive to the locals. It’s a beautiful spot on a sunny day to have lunch and take long overdue sewing photos.

There are also lots of huge Pohutukawa trees…so we did some tree climbing, in heels, because, yeah… :)

Check out Kat’s Strawberry Shortcake Coppélia here.

THE DEETS:

Pattern - Papercut Coppélia, size S, lengthened 10cms, lengthened ties.

Next time I will cut an XS, lengthen another 5cms (15cm in total) and possibly shorten the sleeves.

Fabric – 1.30m of 154cm wide mystery electric blue stretchy fabric from Arthur Toye, purchased November 2013 for $24.95/m – 50% discount.

Big thank you to Nikki for being our lunchtime photographer.

PS: If you feel like it, I’d love you pop over the Pattern Review a vote for my Megan Nielson Cotton Candy Culottes in the New To Me Pattern Co. Contest.

Double Bossy Twinsie Vote

You may have noticed that Kat and I have been doing a bit of regular Twinsie sewing. It’s a lot of fun sewing the same pattern and seeing how we each put our own twist on it.

We get the feeling you guys like seeing our Twinsie shoots too ;)

We have a list of patterns we both own and have been working through the ones we like but the list is so loooooong we need some help, and that’s where you guys come in!

Can you help us decide what our next Twinsie make should be?

We’ve narrowed it down to three options:

Papercut’s Midsummers’ Night Dream

Cake’s Cabarita Knit Top

and Colette’s Rooibos

So, do you feel like bossing us around? What do you want to see next?

Cotton Candy Culottes

Question: What’s better than Quadruplets?

Answer: Quintuplets!

Nikki, Emma, Kat, me & Jenna

Quintuplets Megan Nielson Tania Culottes!

Technically I can claim we were sextuplets because I also made Fashionable Younger Sister sew some Tania Culottes. FYS does not live in Wellington so she participated by Distance Sewing.

Why did I force Fashionable Younger Sister to make Tania Culottes?

Because her name is Tania.

Tania wearing Tania’s!

Last Sunday the WSBN went to the Newtown Fair with visions of culottes group selfies involving candy apples and cotton candy.

We didn’t quite manage to get the candy floss photos but we did eat roti and fudge and hot dogs and spent far too much money on pretties like these:

We did remember to take a few photos of each other ;)

With Nikki

Kat and Jenna

Emma and Kat (with bonus Phoebe and Drake peaking around the corner)

I made my culottes from some super floaty rayon I bought at Arthur Toye in Palmerston North. I got 1.5m but forgot I wanted to lengthen the hem. To the size L I originally added 10cms but wasn’t able to fit them on my fabric. Luckily I found a 0.7m remnant in the Wellington store but I still had to reduce my added length to just 5cm.

Consequently they are shorter than I would have liked but I actually don’t mind the length that much. They are perfect for hot summer days at the beach or other informal setting…not particularity appropriate for work although I did consider putting on my steel cap boots and taking a photo for you all ;)

The main issue is the floaty rayon, which feels so nice to wear, sewed beautifully and drapes amazingly…but is far too light for Wellington’s breezy reputation. I think before I wear this particular pair again I will make up some cropped leggings to wear underneath to prevent any accidental flashing…there may have been a bit of that last Sunday but thankfully no photographic evidence ;)

Hemming these took forever. I think I was at it about an hour, maybe longer, because it’s like hemming TWO circle skirts. As much as I enjoyed sewing with this fabric it didn’t like pins very much. Every time I tried them on pins would rain down everywhere which didn’t help!

Fashionable Younger Sister’s culottes are also made from rayon, she cut size S but cut the hem at the XS size line. She admits they are a little too short as well but she does have the legs for them!

Here is a close up of her fabric btw, I have some in my stash too so don’t be surprised if you see this again soon:

I really enjoyed making these, they sew up really quickly (only four pattern pieces!) and the pleat at the front is a really simple but super clever detail that gives the illusion of a circle skirt.

I’m used to fabric allowances being a bit more generous so I had to buy that extra bit to get my lengthened pattern pieces all on. I suspect that even the recommended 1.5m for the un-lengthened larger sizes is cutting it fine. If you are not lengthening (but I strongly suggest you do!) I suggest you get an extra 10 or 20cm just in case, especially if you have a crazy pattern that needs some matching.

The instructions are nice and clear, lots of good diagrams and I only made a couple of changes.

On page 6 you are instructed to stay stitch the edge of the waist band at 1.5cm but I stitched at 1.0cm instead because later on when you attach the waistband using 1.5cm seam allowance you will probably end up seeing your stay stitching on the outside and then you’ll have to so some unpicking. No one likes unpicking ;)

I also didn’t clip along the edge before attaching my waistband. I’m always wary of clipping. If I don’t need to (and I didn’t in this case) then I prefer to not do it. Unnecessary clipping weakens the seam and will make it really tricky to attach the waist band and to enclose this edge later on.

I had no trouble laying my waistband onto the top of my culottes without clipping them.

Lastly I hung my culottes overnight to allow the hem to settle. I was surprised that this wasn’t mentioned in the instructions but when I trimmed my hem after hanging the long strip I cut off went from nothing right up to about 4cm and back again. That’s how much the bias section dropped while resting. If you don’t give your culottes time to relax before hemming you may find that sections drop over time and you’ll have to redo it.

Next time I will buy more fabric and lengthen a total of 10 or maybe even 15cms. I also found the crotch a little high, it’s not uncomfortable but I can tell it’s there which feels …strange because they are so floaty. Oh and I will totally copy Kat’s in-seam pockets idea. I thought about pockets after it was too late and shrugged it off but when I saw Kat’s pockets I was super jealous. At least if I had something in my pockets the added weight might have helped ;)

Hey did you notice my super cute necklace? It was made by Fashionable Younger Sister and is from her newly launched jewellery line, Fortune and Blame.

I have the Diamond Silhouette in Blue Skies and FYS is wearing The Impaler in Black and Gold. She’s adding new stuff to her online store all the time and if you want any custom colours or fills you can just email her at fortuneandblame[at]gmail.com to ask and she will post anywhere in the world :)

If you like her style please go take a look at her online store and follow her on Facebook or Instagram.

Tell me what your favourite piece is and what I should make her sew next ;)

THE DEETS:

Pattern - Megan Nielson Tania culottes, size L, lengthened 5cm

Next time I will lengthen an extra 5 or 10cms (for a total of 10-15cm extra length), drop the crotch about 2cms and add in-seam pockets.

Fabric – 1.50m + 0.7m remnant of 148cm wide Rayon from Arthur Toye, Palmerston North, purchased January 2014 for $12.50/m

Other notions – Invisible zipper

Miss Bossy Patterns: The winner

Thank you to everyone who bossed me around :)

Vogue 1317 took a big lead early before the Lekala “Shake that Tail Feather” skirt caught up quickly.

Unfortunately it was never closer than 2 votes and the Vogue dress (which has been high on my list for ages) will finally be sewn in March.

Keep a look out for that skirt though, I still really want one and I’m sure it will pop up here sometime soon ;)

If you are instereted in trying a Lekala pattern I think there is still 1 or 2 days left of their sale, all patterns at $1.49 so get on over there.

Are you sewing along with us this month on The Monthly Stitch? It’s not too late to get a vote up on your own blog or ask us on the TMS Facebook page, we’d love to boss you around too!

Oh pants!

February’s challenge for The Monthly Stitch was Smarty Pants.

Pants shopping for me is pure torture.

Here is an old post where I vent after one particularly distressing pants shopping expedition, if you are interested.

In my filing cabinet I have a few pant/trouser patterns but I love a good bootleg/flared pant  - I don’t care what the “fashion” people say, bootleg/flare is always “in” in my books! Since Kat and I both have the Sewaholic Thurlow pattern we decided to make those up together for another Twinsies shoot.

Oh, yeah! We made Twinsies Pants!

We’ve both been super busy so we took these photos during lunchtime at Frank Kitts Park where we found one of Wellington’s many awesome sculptures. This one is Fruits of the Garden by Paul Dibble.

Pants are kind of hard to photograph…but it’s easier with a friend…and fun backdrop :)

Fun waistband lining? Check!

Back pockets? Check!

This was my first Sewaholic pattern from the envelope. Previously I have printed off PDFs for pattern testing only so I was really surprised at how thin the tissue paper was, probably the thinnest I have ever encountered. I am on Team: Trace All The patterns and it wasn’t the easiest to work with.

Since I had high hopes for this pattern I copied on to thicker tracing film for durability – I am hoping I can tweak this to become my “go to” solution to my pants shopping woes.

I selected some poly/viscose/spandex suiting out of my stash, bought with trousers in mind way back in March 2010. The pattern envelope stated 2.30m would be required for my width of fabric but I only had 1.60m, oops!

I am always up for a good pattern layout challenge so with Harriet’s help I did a test layout:

Harri’s face says it all, “2.30 meters? ‘sif! It totally fits!”

She loves hindering helping!

I cut all my the lining pieces from a cute quilting cotton that I picked up from one of my last trips to AT, it has teeny tiny fruits on it!

I really like the final result, they fit quite well (although a little tight at the moment since I’ve been slack in my gym attendance ;) ) and give me the professional look I was after. I can see myself making up a few more pairs and maybe even the shorts version.

The back waist band is in two pieces which lets you stitch a snugger fit, no gaping, yeah! I also like the generous back extension and the sewing order makes it easy to adjust the whole fit as you sew.

I do feel the rise is a little low so next pair I will try to correct this.

The instructions are good, I haven’t made pants in ages and I managed fine with them however I do wish the right and wrong sides of the lining pieces had been marked on the diagrams. This slowed me down a little because I wanted to make sure the printed side of my cotton ended up inside the pockets.

Imagine if I’d gotten it wrong? I wouldn’t be able to show others the awesome hiddeness of my pockets! But I worked it out eventually and marked my instructions for next time.

Welt pockets, so sexy!

The back welt pockets instructions and fly construction were really clear but I found some of the waistband diagrams a bit misleading, more notes added for next time :)

I chose not to “stitch in the ditch” to secure the inside of my waistband and hand stitched it down instead. I find that machine stitching can often look messy in this instance. It didn’t take me very long and between this and the hemming my hand stitching is really improving.

Make sure you check out Kat’s awesome denim Cat’s Meow Thurlows over on her blog too :)

THE DEETS:

Pattern - Sewaholic 1203 Thurlow trousers, straight size 8

Fabric -

  • 1.60m of 148cm wide Poly/viscose/spandex suiting from Fabulous Fabrics, Perth, purchased March 2010 for AUD$22.95
  • Quilting cotton from Arthur Toye, Wellington

Other notions – 1 button (from stash), metal pants slider thingee

Big thank you to Sandra for playing photographer, you rock :)