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Monthly Archives: June 2014

I’m finally back in Australia. This trip really has been the trip of a lifetime. I ended up just posting holiday snaps to my instagram, because I accidentally deleted my travel tumblr (doh!)

Just to show I really mean to continue with this ‘1 project per week’ sewing challenge. I have already cut out (and overlocked) my next project. Here’s is a sneak peek…

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I think you can guess what I’m making (something I can wear in cold and warm weather). Not  that I EVER need ANY more clothes (please tell me it’s not time for a new hobby! or perhaps unselfish sewing?).

Shopping in Malaysia was insanely good! I tell you folks, this really was my idea of a dream holiday! Relaxing on resorts with cocktails and then the rest of the trip mostly consisted of lots of eating and shopping (two of my most favorite things!), But I’m sure what you really want to hear about is the fabric shopping…

I only found one good spot to buy fabric, but it really was one hell of a fabric shop. While I was in Penang we stayed with my boyfriends uncle and his family, his wife Grace remembered the fabric shop I loved so she took me back to it (isan’t she the best?!)! She said she had never seen anyone so excited about anything in her whole life. What can I say, I LOVE fabric…and when its around 5 Australian dollars per meter, just try and stop me from freaking out! haha

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The amazing fabric shop was called’ Kamdar’ in Penang. I did look for fabric stores in Kuala Lumpur, but I did not have much luck. China town (Kuala Lumpur) did have some fabric shops, but none of the ones I found were any good (all polyester fabrics and one shop filed with just gold 90’s style buttons I dislike).

Anyway here is what I scored from the shop ‘Kamdar’ in Penang:

myfabricfromkamdar

So many dreamy fabrics! I only had 25 minutes to choose these, I was running around like a mad woman, but I’m really happy with my choices. The first fabric is polyester, but the rest are cottons. I am so happy for every single one! Doesn’t the second pink floral remind you of a liberty fabric? its even a lawn!

I also bought some mock batik ones earlier at the airport that I kind of regret…

airportfabric

We were at the airport for hours and I hadn’t done any shopping yet. They are pretty thin and flimsy, but perhaps I will find a use for them.

I have fallen hard for Malaysian food (especially Nasi Lemak and Malaysian Indian/Thai dishes) and now that I am back in Australia I’m ready to work hard, so that perhaps I can go back again someday!

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So right at the start of this “1 project per week” pledge suddenly my boyfriend asked me to go on a trip with him.

Unfortunately the only time to do this (that is going work out for the both of us) is very soon…like in a few days! I feel like I am letting the team down, but I can’t NOT go, that’d would be pretty crazy and I can’t see myself taking the sewing machine.

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So the plan is to resume the “1 project per week” challenge when I get back and of course I am still going to follow along with all the lovely ladies who are taking part :). If you are on a roll, keep on going, if not a little hiatus is totally acceptable….

I’m sorry gals!  Am I terrible and fickle? Please forgive me! 😦

I hate how it feels like I am copping out, this is not my intention at all! I just didn’t expect to be going on this trip so soon.

But it’s Malaysia…. I can escape the winter for a while and eat delicious food all time time. Yay!

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I really look forward to going back again! So excited!!

When I come back it’s straight back on the #1ppw “1 project per week” horse again!

If you are interested in following my travels I’m pretty certain I will be posting the pictures…Accidentally deleted my tumblr travel blog but ill post the url soon 😦

xo Kath

 

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pontedress

My bad sewing-with-knits experience happened a couple of years ago… I was attempting a dress in a rather thin knit (wanted to make a dress from the built by wendy ‘home stretch’ book), but I made one mistake and to my horror after unpicking the minor stitching boo boo I was left with giant holes in my fabric, landing the project in the bin!

Sewing with this (striped) ponte or ponti (which name is correct?!) for the first time was much more pleasant! For those of you who have yet to try it: Ponte is a durable, less stretchy knit fabric with much more body than regular knit fabrics tend to have. I was intimated, but when I googled “sewing with ponte” all the advice seemed to suggest treating it just like a woven. No fancy stitches or equipment needed (using a regular size 70 needle) SWEET!

I used the pattern McCalls 6460. A pattern for a rather sweet raglan number.

As is often the case: I wasn’t digging the look of the pattern envelope at all (I’m just not a sequins and satin type of girl!), but the design drawing showed potetial.

A fitted dress with raglan sleeves? Sign me up! If you have been reading my blog for any amount of time, you know how I feel abut raglan sleeves: they are just so easy to sew, and super flattering on my rather broader shoulders! 😉

I made 4 really good decisions when putting this dress together:

Firstly I decided to add the sleeves by ‘sewing flat’, meaning that I attached the bodice and side backs to the sleeves BEFORE sewing the side seams/sleeves together,  Now that I’m re-reading this post, I don’t think there actually any other way to attach the sleeves anyway! But here’s what it looks like:

flatconstruction

The second good decision was to hem the sleeves and the skirt by using a machine-made blind hem (using my blind hemming foot). I highly recommend this for ponti/ponte. It gives the hem some movement, but also looks really pretty and hides the stitches well! Just as well, because I was not prepared to venture into using twin needles and all that scary stuff just yet! Yeah! If you have a blind hem foot, try it when sewing with ponte, its great!

The third thing which really helped me was hemming the sleeves BEFORE sewing the sleeves together (but not hemming the skirt). This was great because, it turned out I needed to take the sleeves in quite a lot, I cut a size 6 (even though I’m a RTW size 8), but it still required fitting so I sharpened up my tailors chalk and got to work. Here’s what the dress looked like before I altered the fit:

beforefitting

Ugh ‘fitting’. Why is the part I dislike about sewing also the bit that makes the magic happen?!…Then again making a ponte dress fit you is pretty quick, especially compared to fitting a woven dress, so that’s another advantage of this ponte fabric!

And lastly I was happy I ended up removing the invisible zip. I initially I did install an invisible zip the the back of the dress (as that’s what the pattern called for), but happily I was able to remove it, because turns out there was enough stretch to pull this dress on without it. Without the zipper, the back looks so much neater!:

back

I was a little scared to bind the top of the neckline, but it turns using the usual bia-binding technique works fine!

binding

All in all sewing with this fabric (that was out of my sewing comfort zone) was a great experience. The only things to be aware of with pont/ponti are: it curls a lot, so extra pins help! It doesn’t press that well. You can press it at the neck binding enough to get by, but it ain’t like plain weave cotton! Oh and also it’s harder to mark. I got away with using tailors chalk but it is harder to mark parts in this fabric. I’m actually kind of proud of how the stripes at the front waist darts match up! 🙂

So happy I finally made something with long sleeves! I really dig the dress. Unfortunately it was 15 degrees Celsius today (ugh cold weather 😦 !), so I had to opt for pants and a woolen jumper, otherwise I would have worn this dress all day!

final

 

1ppw

After looking at my gargantuan fabric stash and kind of grieving a little over ‘me made may’s end, I have decided to set a sewing challenge called ‘1 project per week’ (#1ppw #1projectper week) the challenge is this: complete 1 sewing project per week for a month. The project can anything, big or small (re-fashions count too). 

I suggested it on instagram and some of my lovely instagram sewing buddies decided to participate too! Yay! Much more fun when it’s not just me. 🙂

If you feel like being part of this challenge let me know in the comments or on instagram. You can post your creations on your blog and/or on instagram.

It doesn’t have to be for the whole month either, you can try it out for however long you like. I realize it’s a pretty big commitment and I understand that 1 sewing project every week is a lot. I just felt like giving it a go because I have the time at the moment.

Also if you are on instagram and want to participate don’t forget tag your weekly creations as #1ppw

I count this week as my first week… I’m making a ponte dress and I am about 20-30% done. Better get back to it 😉

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Above more MMMay14 highlights. If you want to see more (learn about what I made’) check out my instagram!

Me-made-may did changed my life. Sounds like hyperbole, but I really mean it!

You probably guessed that I am quite a shy introvert and I remember  thinking earlier this year, about how nice it would be to have some friends with similar hobbies! Joining instagram and taking part in Me-made-may has made this happen!

The sewing community is just wonderful, supportive and amazing! I was inspired daily by so many ladies who also love to sew! God I love you guys! You are like the friends I always dreamed of having, only but better dressed 😉

Susan of Measure twice / cut once invited me to be part of a Sydney Spoolettes meetup, which was a total blast! As you can imagine I did not leave any fabric shop empty handed. It was just delightful to talk to all these lovely ladies about sewing!

Thanks for the inspiration and support fellow MMMayers, I think we would all do Zo proud!

Also I’m hoping to let the lessons I learnt during MMMay help guide my sewing choices so naturally I had to create a pinterest board with this in mind!

For anyone who is an android/non-iphone user who uses their phone to take photos of the things they makeI recommend this app called Camera ZOOM FX. I used it when taking my MMMay photos (note: I’m not being sponsored by them and have never been given freebies from anyone ever), but I thought it was worth recommending because you can set a timer and set it to take however many photos you need, so I found it pretty handy.

Now because I love you guys SO much here are some outtakes….. Are you ready to see what REAL actual derp looks like Natalie Jane?

 OUTTAKE TIME!

mmmayouttakes

So anybody interested in using me as a fashion model feel free to contact me on model@hotasderp.com. hahahah ahahahah ha ha

WOA. I may have to take those down. Yikes! *whispering*  ‘it’s on the internet’.

 

Hello lovely people! The making of this tutorial became a bit of an odyssey because I decided to draw the steps in illustrator, because my photos weren’t too good.

I love this technique and it can be used in any sleeveless bodice or sleeveless dress. By attaching the lining this way there is no hand sewing involved! This is also a nice way to finish a sleevelss dress if you prefer lining and/or want eliminate the need for facings or bias binding.

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Disclaimer: Lining is a difficult thing to explain, so I want to apologize in advance if I don’t cover what you need to know! Also note: This tutorial does include some assumed knowledge, so have a read before you commit to using it!

 Heres the Burda-style pattern I used note: I did make a test garment and make a few modifications to it. The main one being, lowering the back of the neckline so that it slips over the head and does not require a zip.

There may be typos, but at this point I just want to add the images…because after 3 days of working on this tutorial I have had it for now! ;). Note: I may edit this tutorial at a later date if I find ways to make it better. I hope this helps someone! Xo Kath

OK now here goes…

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step1

step2

step3

step4-6

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step8

 

Edit: I just realized that the picture for step 9. was misleading so I have removed it.

Step 9-10. Now (with wrong sides out/facing you) sew the left and right side seams of your dress together! (if you have any questions about this step please let me know).

 

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