Saturday, 30 August 2014

I Sewed A Cake (or at least a cake inspired outfit)

Once again I'm squeezing my monthly challenge into the last coupled of days of the month but only because I didn't have enough blogging (as opposed to sewing) time.

The lovely ladies over at The Monthly Stitch certainly gave a food for thought challenge this month with the Let Them Sew Cake challenge to honour their website's first birthday.

Here's what I came up with

This little three piece ensemble was inspired by a purple wedding cake from Arabia Weddings was my inspiration as I just loved those little flowers cascading down the centre.

The top was Patrones No 266 number 42 (quite an old issue) chosen for it's vintage feel and made up from a cute heart patterned poly cotton purchased in Barcelona.  The bow give a bit of a nod to the forties and I even managed a cake topper in the form of a hat.  The trhrifted bag came in useful to carry my purchases which included some fabulous Marilyn Monroe fabric which I'll need to consider carefully what to make from.

Looking a bit creased here due to the fact that I used linen for this very first self drafted high waisted skirt , and this pic was taken after sitting a few hours in the car for the journey to the Retrofestival - a fantastic day out if you love all things vintage and retro.

After cutting the skirt out a panel was added to the centre front and I then sewed on the daisies randomly, liking the white picking up the heart pattern of the top.

The top was faced at the back and has a 3 vintage button opening whereas the front yoke is sewed into the back shoulders which took me a little longer to do while I worked out the details of how to attach.

I was so pleased my first self drafted pattern fitted so beautifully once made up.  A few pearls and a and some matching slingbacks, both thrifted, complete the forties look.

The perfect posing opportunity.  On Retrofestival day I substituted the satin heels for some winklepickers and also popped a brooch onto the hat.

A further view of the cake top hat which was a simple pillbox hat made from a scrap of skirt fabric and some millinary net.  I even managed a victory roll for this shot. If you wish to make your own pillbox hat there's many tutorials on the net.

I'm now looking at lots more vintage style makes and am happy to find there's loads of resources on the net for this.  All I can say is ....... this space!

Have you made anything vintage lately?  Leave me a link in a message - I'd love to see your makes.

Happy sewing.

Linda x

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

The Second Lekala 4276 - Peplum Top

I was so pleased with my Lekala 4276 sewn for the Monthly Stitch's Monosewn Challenge that I decided to use the same pattern again for a long-desired peplum top, made with some lovely grey spot fabric from Ditto in Brighton.

This Ditto fabric has a lovely feel, having a slight amount of elasticity in it but I did have to ponder a while on what to actually do with it.

First came the buttons.  This beauts were found at a little sewing emporium just over a stone's throw from my sewing room.  I just loved the zingy colour.  Secondly a lunchtime rummage in one of my "local to the office" thrift stores turned up a soft cotton poplin shirt by East.  It was the perfect colour to use with the grey spot fabric and give it a lift and, being a size 18, had a generous amount of fabric I could cut into , a bargain at £2.99.

I opted for orange on the midriff and collar which, together with the buttons, gave a good amount of fabric mix and eye popping colour to the top.

I self drafted the peplum and have recorded the tutorial here for anyone tempted to have a go.

There's not really too much to say about this make.  I omitted the back zip, opting for the button back and added a placket - 2 in fact - to go down either side of the back, which I interfaced to give more sturdiness for the buttons and buttonholes.

I'd only purchased five buttons so the bottom of the peplum splays a little but I kind of like this as opposed to being just a "straight buttoned top" as it gives a bit more detail.  I also faced the top with half version of the front and back pieces as opposed to fiddly little facings and it seemed to work well.

My previous Monochrome Lekala didn't have a collar so it was fun to play around with the collar on this make, but I did end up sewing part of the collar into the shoulder seam, hence the spot fabric showing around the front of the neck (also due to understitching), but again, I like this detail.....

Note matching accessory
This is the only Lekala pattern I've used so far but I'm really impressed with the fit and would definitely consider another one!  Hey guys - do you need a pattern tester???

The peplum had it's first outing on a shopping trip to Brighton and did dance a little on windy Brighton beach, but you can't complain with so much zing!

If you like the idea of discovering Brighton and it's wonderful vintage boardwalk you might like to take a look here and plan your visit.  ..... and think of all the fabric purchasing opportunities.

Hem does need a little restitching here
I don't think this will be the last Lekala 4276 that I make so watch this space - maybe next time I'll include the keyhole in the pattern  Whatever it is you can be sure it will be a fun design.

The basics:

Ease of sewing - 5 out of 10 but only because I constructed my own peplum.

Cost:  1.3 metres of spot fabric at £7.99 per metre, £2.99 for the thrifted top and £1.75 for the buttons.

Go on, have a go at the tutorial and show off your makes.

Happy sewing

Linda x

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Peplum Tutorial

I've been meaning to make a peplum top for some time after seeing them all over lots of blogs as they're so pretty and feminine and add a nice detail to an otherwise plain and simple top.

It's easy to make a peplum to add to your favourite dress or top pattern.  Here's the basic instructions:-
(apologies for the mix of fabric in the photos - one is a test but the instructions remain the same).

Step 1
Measure around the pattern at the part the peplum will be attached to.  If your peplum willl be a continual piece remember to take out the side seam allowances.  Remember to inlcude any allowances where your peplum has a seam, i.e. back seam.  On this pattern I am adding in a midriff panel with only one back seam and the peplum will be attached to the bottom of that so have measured around this.

Step 2
Once you have the total measurement, and in this instance it was 78 cm, divide this figure by 3.14 to find the radius of the circle that you will need to create the top of the peplum.   So for a 78 cm circumference the radius will be 24.8 cm.

Step 3
Fold a piece of paper twice so you have 4 layers of paper and use the measurements to create a cone shape, or quarter circle, the point being the centre of your circle.  One you have your quarter circle pin it to your fabric, which should also be folded twice to give four layers of fabric, and mark out the cone shape.

Step 4
Then decide how deep you want your peplum to be and mark from the edge of the quarter circle to the required depth, again in a quarter circle.  Remember to add in hem allowance here. 

Step 5
You can then cut around your cone as above and around the second marked line giving you the peplum (folded in four).

Here's your peplum folded once.....

... and here's the finished peplum ready to add to your top.  Here the peplum is just to be cut up the centre back to give the centre back seam

If you'd like a graduated peplum just measure the halfway point (after step 5) of the semi circle and decide on how deep you'd like the front (or the back) to be and grade the circle so the distances and grading are equal. Here I graded from 10 cm at the side to 6 cm at the front so the mid distance as shown here .....

... would be a depth of 8 cm.  To get the mid distance between  just fold the edge into the centre as shown.

.. and here's the graded peplum ready to be attached.

I'm currently working on my second Lekala 4276 which will be a top, hence the differing fabric in the photos and will unveil this soon.  The graded peplum is from a test fabric which is an old duvet cover thrifted for the purpose of muslining - a lot of fabric and cheap at £2.99 - another tip!!

I hope you found this useful.

Happy sewing

Linda x