Monday 24 February 2014

Sew Grateful Week -- GIVEAWAY!

Happy Sew Grateful Week, my lovely readers! 

Today is the GIVEAWAY day, and I've got a little vintage number for you!

It's an early 1960s pattern, in size 12/Bust 32. If you are participating in either the Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge or Mad Men Challenge 3, or like me, both, then this could come in handy for you! 

I will run this giveaway till midnight (GMT) of this Sunday (2nd March) and will be happy to post to you worldwide! All you need to do is leave a comment below, and a winner will be chosen out of a hat, and announced on Monday!   

Good luck! xx

Sunday 23 February 2014

Ready for spring jacket

Hello all! Hope you are having a nice weekend. 

I've finally completed my first jacket! I was initially going to make this ready for autumn, but then autumn came and went, so now it's ready in time for spring! 

I used the New Look 6035 pattern, view A. You might remember Lauren's version last year from the Sewing Bee! I used this pattern as the jacket is unlined -- I thought I'd ease my way into the wonderful world of jackets! 

I'm happy to report back that it wasn't that hard to make! I don't know what I was expecting, but as it turned out, the construction of this jacket wasn't all that different from a princess lined top. The lapel was a bit of a challenge, but nothing out of the ordinary. If I were to make this pattern again, though, I would look to make the lapel a bit more narrow, but it doesn't bother me too much the way it is. 

I don't actually know what the fabric is...I want to say it's somewhere between a twill, viscose and a poly blend. It has a very soft hand, and is comfortable to wear. I really liked the dark red/wine colour and how soft it is, so had to have it!  

Very weirdly, the only alteration that I had to make was to let the bottom half of the sleeves out a bit. Now I had no idea that I had disproportionately massive forearms, but New Look has shown me just how blissfully unaware I was... The rest of the jacket fitted fine, if not a little on the loose side for my liking (you might have noticed that the button is a little off centre to pull the jacket in), but I ended up letting out each sleeve by just under 2cm in the forearm area!! Without the alteration I could just about get my (massive) forearms through the sleeves, but bending my elbow was a chore. I certainly wouldn't be doing what the lady is doing on the envelope! After the alterations I could just about roll up the sleeves. 

Overall, though, I was pretty pleased with how it's turned out. It's certainly wearable, and I have not been put off making more jackets in the future. Now we just need spring to arrive, as I'm ready for it! 

How about you? Are you ready for spring yet? 

Thursday 20 February 2014

Mad Men challenge 3 - I'm in!

Yippee! It's finally that time of the year again! What else, it's the Mad Men challenge organised by the wonderfully talented Julia Bobbin

You might remember that I participated last year (see my entry here), and let me tell you, it was soooo much fun! If you have the time, and are a fan of Mad Men (who isn't?), then it's time to join in! 

Do you also remember this summery little number? That was also Mad Men inspired! 

So for the challenge, I currently have my eyes on a couple of outfits from Season 6 (admittedly the style has moved on quite a bit by Season 6, but there are still some gems here and there): 

Image from AMC of course but copied from Instyle

It was lovely to see Betty all fresh and summery, and also slim and confident again. I like her "traditional" sense of style -- she is more of a 50s lady.

Again AMC image but linked from Instyle (you can also read about comments on Mad Men fashion by the show's costume designer!)

And I just love Joan's purple two-piece, despite mistakenly thinking that it was a dress. The neckline is lovely, and I adore the cute bow details. 

I can't wait to get started! I think my vintage pattern Simplicity 3092 view 2 will be a lovely base pattern for Betty's top (with a few tweaks, mainly for the neckline). At this rate, I'll be flying through my Vintage pattern sewing pledge ;) I'm still looking for a pattern for the shorts, but think I may just attempt it too, if I have the time. 

Update -- I have already tracked down 2 versions of Betty's lovely top in the sewing blogsphere! Here's Jane's version, and here's Ami's version. Aren't they both adorable?

So, are you participating this year? I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone's planning on making, and of course the finished projects! 

Sunday 16 February 2014

Cheap as chips top

It's my second Alma top! (See my first version here). This time I made View A, with a small piece of broderie anglaise which I picked up from a remnant bin for a mere £1! The whole project including the invisible zip came to no more than £2, and hence the name. 

I love a good bargain -- look how pleased i am with myself!

Back view

Second time round, this pattern just keeps on giving! It's such a breeze to make -- as I've said before, the pattern is so well drafted and without needing any alterations for me, plus the instructions are incredibly clear to follow. What's not to like? Hats off to you again, Tasia, for creating such a great pattern! The sleeve construction is different for all views -- I particularly love how the armhole binding is created after the cap sleeves are sewn on. If you don't know what I'm talking about, perhaps it's time to see it for yourself by trying out this pattern ;)

The last step in the pattern called for thread belt loops, and I thought I would share that I used the wonderful tutorial here. It worked a treat!   

You might be able to tell in this photo just how delicate the fabric is -- it is super soft and with all the stitching and holes on it, I think I shall resort to hand washing this top as I really want this to last! I used a thin machine needle for this project, and have also reinforced the side seams with silk organza selvage before the zip is inserted. 

And finally with the belt. I actually think I like the top both with and without the belt. What do you think?

So here we are, my second Alma top, and I have a feeling that it isn't going to be my last! 

Thursday 13 February 2014

My sewing blackboard and vintage sewing pattern pledge

Hello! Anybody out there?! Yes, it's been a while since my last (non-sewing related) post, but what better way to come back to the blog than with a pledge? Marie at A Stitching Odyssey has initiated the vintage sewing pattern pledge, so I'm in: 

"In 2014, I, Alice Wang, will sew up at least three of my vintage sewing patterns". 

That's all well and good, but where on earth have you been? I hear you ask. Well, I'm pleased to say that a lot are changing in my life, for the better, of course. For starters, I'm starting a new job, and we are moving house for it! Selling up and trying to tie up loose ends have been stressful, and that's why I've taken a bit of a break from sewing and blogging, but I'm sure it will all be worth it in the end. 

Anyway, back to sewing. Here's what's on my sewing blackboard, and the 3 vintage patterns that I'm planning on sewing this year (but if you've read the T&Cs you will see that I reserve my rights to change which patterns that I will use):
Compared to the last time I shared the blackboard with you, there were only 3 projects that I haven't yet finished. Not bad going, right?

I'm excited! I just LOVE vintage patterns. Yes, they are harder to fit, but they feel so special to work with. I can't wait to start. And to ease myself in, I'm pleased to say that I've already made myself a simple unlined jacket to introduce myself to the world of handmade jackets ("tailoring" to others). Once it's pressed and photographed, I will be sure to be back to share it with you. Until then, hope you are staying safe whatever the weather is where you are.  
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