Tuesday 29 September 2015

A knit boucle cardigan

Nine times out of ten my sewing plans start with a pattern. Once in a while I buy fabric without a plan, and only too often it will stay in the dark corners of the stash forever with little hope of being promoted to the sewing queue. But not this time!

When this knit boucle caught my eye I knew I had to have it and after a quick prewash I was spending the next evening in my sewing room, cutting while trying desperately not to exhale. Or sneeze. Nevertheless I ended up with curly stuff from floor to ceiling. And not just in my sewing room either.
It was totally worth it. The fabric is very soft, feels luxurious and was a dream to sew.

For a brief moment I had been contemplating a remake of this jacket, but working with a zipper combined with this fluffiness? Not the smartest plan. I went back and bought buttons, stretch lining and some black ponte for facings. On my way home I looked around and got some new ideas.

These RTW cardigans all had trim along the center front that was part of the facing. Clever and quick! I made a pattern that was a mix of my jungle January jacket and the sleeves of McCall's 6708. The colour of the lining fabric, although black, looked a bit off next to the facings so I left it out (the red cardigan above was unlined too). I took my facing pattern pieces and added 2x1 cm + seam allowance to the front to create a 1 cm wide trim. The facing was stitched to center front, right sides together, then flipped inside, folded one centimeter from the stitching line. Stitched in the ditch and voila, all that was left to do was finish the neckline with a separate band and hand stitch the hems.

In this close up you can see the taupe and copper yarns that add some shine to the fabric, hard to catch in the pictures. I mentioned buttons, but when I added them I didn't like the look. Iiieee! Bavarian hunter jacket vibes!
Maybe snaps? So far I prefer to wear it open.

As there is not much more to tell about this project I tried to experiment a bit with my camera settings. I'm following Gillians's Better Pictures Project and wanted to try Heather B's tip to shoot in Portrait Mode. Although the general idea was that my garments would be in focus and my backdrop would be softer, I have a feeling it's the other way round here. Back to the books!

As part of the Better Picture Project I may as well show the outtakes:

When you check the settings, make sure to be back in position in time!

How many times do I have to say that's the remote. Not a doggy snack.

Me and my furry shadow doing our simultaneous catwalk act. 

Sooo. The pictures need more practice but the good news is that less than two days after I first spotted my fabric-without-a-plan I had finished my first autumn sewing project and a comfy cardigan was packed in my suitcase for a weekend trip!

Edit: by special request now with crappy iPhone pic from the trip. At the Song Dong exposition, Groninger Museum. 

Wednesday 16 September 2015

Review Knipmode October 2015

Bamm! While I'm in still in the middle of sewing up two patterns from the September issue of Knipmode the new October magazine arrived. Another 25 patterns and six DIY projects. This trial subscription is a killing me, as patterns land in my sewing room at a much higher pace than I will ever be able to sew them up! Ahh, what's new.

As I described in last month's review over at the Curvy Sewing Collection all patterns come in European sizes 34-54 now, that's 83-131 cm bust, 67-113 cm waist and 92-138 cm hip. So far the patterns I've worked with are looking very good. More on that next week I hope.
Over to the October issue.

source: Knipmode

Happy hippie. Okay, been there, done that, so...Never mind famous fashion rules. I need that bootcut jeans she's hiding behind that bag, even though the technical drawing makes it look like it was designed for Rowdy Yates. Yeehaw! Fringe, boho, seventies vibes and some poncho's in the DIY section make this collection spot on trend.

The inspiration for the next set of patterns comes from Mondriaan, Miro and Andy Warhol. Really?

source: Knipmode

I'm not impressed by the (ab)use of big names for pretty basic patterns. Picking bright prints for random patterns doesn't exactly make this an 'Art work collection' but the individual patterns look okay if you're into the style.

Source: Knipmode

Nature and animal prints, theme of the next collection. Here the photography and styling really helps to make the patterns stand out. I think the pattern designers succeeded in making a collection where all ages, all body types and sizes can find something that works. The timeless faux wrap dress is on my to-sew list, as well as my favourite pattern from this issue, a jacket with interesting seam lines:

Or how about a jacket inspired by Dior's New Look?

More contenders to make it to the sewing table chez Foxgloves:

A simple yet stylish coat and a knit dress with lots of fitting opportunities.

All patterns marked with a red @ are available as downloads in the Knipmode pattern store. When I asked the editorial staff why there's only a selection available as pdf they replied it is a cost issue. Only patterns that add something extra to the available pdf-collection make the cut. So far the online shop is merely aimed at the home market, which I suppose isn't very big. The price of a pdf is 2/3 of the price of a magazine. When in doubt, we buy the magazine. Exploring new markets might result in new business plans for pdf's, don't you think?

Another promising Knipmode issue, I say. Now if you don't mind, I hurry back to my sewing room and my growing to-sew list!

Friday 11 September 2015

The muslin that travelled the continent

Peaceful, quiet setting for a photo shoot, right? Not exactly. The minute I brought out the tripod all hell broke loose in paradise. Here I'm standing under a walnut tree with a noisy squirrel above my head, and an over excited dog in hunting mode running in circles around me. The squirrel was firing nuts like canon balls, the dog pumped up the barking volume to deafening heights. My options were either accessorize the outfit with a helmet and hearing protection or call it a day. Guess what. The outfit wasn't that special to begin with!

The shirt is a Deer and Doe Plantain, my first short sleeved version. I recently bought a piece of digital printed fabric with a print with a large repeat. Before cutting it I wanted to make sure the pattern placement would work, with a nice line of flowers around the hem, the best colours near my face and a smaller print at the sleeves.

Did you ever pick up a piece of fabric from the leftover bin to do some tests and unexpectly ended up with what became your most worn garment of the season? Although my test garment needed some tweaks before cutting the pansies, it was a wearable muslin. What's more, it was in my suitcase all summer when I was travelling around Europe!

Here it is in Scotland, perfectly matching the floral decor. I'm not sure what special effect makes it look like a rodent had a go at my neckband?  Errr, rodents becoming a theme in this post ;)
Speaking of the neckband, I shortened it a little compared to my previous Plantain. Bad move, cause I don't like the U-shape, and it's even pulling the shoulders inwards.
In Scotland the shirt was used a layering piece, worked fine with a black cardigan.

Later this summer we went on a roadtrip to Prague and Slovakia. Sadly, or not, there are no pictures available of me cycling through the Slovakian countryside on days with temperatures rising as high as 38 Celsius, but I did and I wore this shirt.

More proof of the cosmopolitan allure of this shirt: the German edition, with Schnitzel und Bier!

As this was my last of summer sewing, the pansies will have to wait. I cleared out my sewing room, went on a autumn fabric shopping spree and am so ready for the new season!

I'll end with some pictures of Slovakia, a beautiful country well worth a visit!

Devin castle

An der schonen blauen Donau

I hope you all had a good summer (or winter) and are full of brand new sewing plans for the upcoming season. Happy sewing!

Friday 4 September 2015

Knipmode pattern review plans

KM1509-24 and KM1509-25

Following a restyling Dutch pattern magazine Knipmode now offers all patterns in eleven sizes, from European size 34 up to European size 54 (131 cm / 51.5″ bust, 113 cm / 44.5″ waist and 138 cm / 54.3″ hip). Most of the patterns are also available as PDF downloads. If you're interested you can read my full review at the Curvy Sewing Collective

I''ve been asked to write a follow up post for the CSC once I've tested some of the patterns. That'll be fun! There are more than a few patterns in the September issue that caught my eye, but for the sake of curvy science I narrowed my options down to the form fitting top and skirt pictured above. 

It may be interesting to compare the skirt pattern to that of Vogue 1465, a Donna Karan pattern that was in my mail yesterday.

Vogue 1465

I don't expect the Knipmode patterns to fit differently compared to earlier offerings, so for those of you having a hard time imagining what the patterns will look like when you're not a size zero model, here's a quick round up of 'Knip-on-curves' . The dresses were made before I owned a tripod and remote control. (Not much use in this context, but they happen to be my favourite patterns and I needed six pictures for the collage ;) 

Clockwise: jacket, top, skirt, dress, blouse, dress, all made recently from Knipmode patterns

The weather forecast for this weekend is pretty bad, perfect for tracing and testing.

Happy sewing!