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Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Rebecca Page Betty Skirt and Riviera Blouse

 The Betty Skirt was my October sew and the Riviera was my November sew.  The Betty is a full circle skirt done in panels (with pockets) and a straight waistband; the Riviera is a very fitted sleeveless blouse with several options.  I chose the basic model, no frills and no bias panels, mainly due to needing to drop the bust dart which wouldn't have been so easy with the panels.  The lack of ruffles is because ruffles on me look awful!

Full disclosure, I received both patterns free of charge as part of my Rebecca Page Ambassador role.  I'll give you photos next, then I'll give my review for each pattern, including the changes I made this time and the changes I'll make when I have another go at them.  The links are affiliate links and I will get a small reward if you use them.

Nothing more fun than swinging in a full skirt with a floofy petticoat!

It was the beginning of a very hot day, and no, I did not slide down the slide!

I love this little collar on a stand

And now down to the details.  The fabric is actually a poly cotton sheet that  was in my Gran's stash when she moved into a retirement village, since she didn't need it I got it.  There were 3 total and I still have 1 left.  Not sure how old, but probably almost as old as I am!  I used Gigli medium weight interfacing for the shirt and the heavy one for the skirt waistband.  

I made no changes to the skirt and sewed it in my waist size, if I made it again I'd halve the height of the waistband as I find narrow waistbands sit better; since it's wide I can't tuck my shirt in without the sitting badly problem being too obvious.  It's not a problem with the pattern, all patterns with the wide waistband do this on my post-menopausal figure.

The Riviera blouse had a couple of issues on me, I think this is because I do have fluff.  I sewed it in size L bust graded to XL waist and hips (my normal sizing in this pattern range) and if I did it again I'd go up a size for each section; when they call it close fitting they're not kidding!  For me at least there wasn't enough wearing ease; would probably be fine on someone who isn't carrying the extra fluff though.  I also found the armhole a little too high which was uncomfortable, so I'd drop this by 1/2" or so in future versions.  As well as the grading I also dropped the bust point by quite a bit; my bust isn't tethered at the average height on my chest and gravity has also taken a toll.  I got it in the right spot though, so I'm happy about that.  I do love the style and in a slightly larger size this would be perfect.  If you're considering sewing this, I'd recommend doing a toile in your normal size to see if it works for you or if you need to size up; seam allowances are 1/2" and all seams are either done on the overlocker or by french seam, so adjusting it afterwards isn't easy.  For the front fastenings I chose to go with KAM snaps and I think that's worked well on this.

In the end I love the overall look and apparently so do other people, someone pulled in beside me as I was walking home to say they loved my dress!

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Rebecca Page Classic Blouse

 Yay, the Classic Blouse has been released by Rebecca Page, best stand collar I've ever sewn. Mine was made using an old sheet and some quilting fabric I had left over and I've worn it several times since wearing it. Best part, it comes with 2 different fits, I chose the boyfriend fit to cover the surmeno tummy, but there's also a fitted version that I'm aiming to be able to wear later!

I put ribbon on the back of the placket to reinforce it, and cos I like hidden prettiness
This patter reminds me of a blouse I made when I was several decades younger and a little smaller too; this has a neater fit, but I can still see myself wearing it to the point of it disintegrating and being disappointed when I finally have to retire it.

#rebeccapage #rpclassicblouse #rebeccapageba #sponsored

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Rebecca Page Sewing Patterns Ambassador

 A couple of months ago I signed up for the Rebecca Page ambassador programme, never expecting to actually get picked.  I did however get picked and now I've been sewing for them for two months.  Month one is still a secret, however month two is this month and I've sewn a dress that's already been released but which needed more photos as well as a dress that isn't part of my obligations but is now my absolute favourite t-shirt/dress pattern ever!  It fits well, no armpit/boob wrinkles and was super easy to sew and best of all it lets the fabric be the star of the show, and this fabric is definitely the star!

Full disclosure, any links to Rebecca Page are part of the ShareaSale programme and I do get a small reward if you purchase using my link.

This is the Talia dress

It's a swing dress with gathering in the neckline area and is super comfy

We took these photos while on our socially distant walk during lock down

Although it's a summer design it can be worn over a merino top quite nicely
The fabric was from Levana Textiles when they still sold to the public, mask by me using the Japanese 3D Mask - a free pattern in the XL size; best mask yet!

This fabric came from Marble NZ Fabrics and feels gorgeous to wear

The pattern is Rebecca Page's T-Shirt Dress and is going to be a staple in my wardrobe from now on, it fits really well even if the substrate isn't what's considered ideal these days!

Ignore the weird face, I'm not good at having my photo taken unfortunately.  

As well as these I've also been busy sewing bags, mostly from Bag of the Month club, but one I designed based on an old army surplus bag that was disintegrating.

The new army surplus bag, I reused the hardware from the original bag and made it in canvas.

The Laney Jane bag from BOM Club.

The main fabric is from deep stash, the hardware and vinyl came from an unknown person when I won a prize on the NZ Sewing Bags Facebook group.  Surprisingly fun to sew the vinyl so some more has been added to stash to make more bags.

This is the second BOM bag, it's the Chris Satchel by Uh-Oh Creations.  The fabric for this came from even deeper stash.  Vinyl that I used for the strap on the front was from Kiwi Bagineers, as was the hardware and zips.

So that's it for my sewing at the moment.  I've now got a week or so to tidy the studio and put all my bag making supplies away somewhere (no clue where at this point) and also to work on Gran's chair some more.  Got to install the zig zag springs on the back so I can get that stuffed and the base cover on.  Once that's done I can measure and get weaving!

Wednesday, July 07, 2021

Been busy

 We've been keeping busy, working in the garden and getting ready for the repairs on the neighbour's garage which will hopefully happen this week or early next week.  In the meantime we've got the first coat of fence colour up which is looking good; photos will come after coat 2 is done.  As well as that I've been on the Xbox, spinning, knitting and sewing.  Eldest now has a couple more pairs of trousers, but still no job.

I'm still working on my health, the dizzy turns have come back, they only last a moment and don't really affect what I can do, but they do not feel good!  I'm not sure what they are, but at the moment I'm leaning towards food or supplement related.  I did get glutened at the end of May, but I also re-started my liver support formula around the same time so I've cleaned up my diet again and have stopped the liver support as of today; fingers are crossed that it clears up again.

Today I put together a flat pack, just a little one which I'm using to keep all my knitting WIPs in, really happy with how it turned out and it means I can start tidying up our wardrobe now.  Eventually I'm planning on putting in a wardrobe organiser as it's currently a bit of a mess.  It's a traditional 1980's wardrobe, so shelf on top of a lengthwise pole for hanging garments.  Very hard to organise in any meaningful way.

This is the new piece of furniture, and my basket for guild is on top.  Much nicer than hanging around the wardrobe floor!
I've also started a new spinning project, quite a few years ago I dyed some fibre and I decided it was time to spin one lot up.
99% sure this is merino, sold by what was Tai Tapu Wool Carders, very deep and moody and totally different from what I normally go for, but I'm loving it so far.

Finally, a bit about the kids.  Eldest is still not working, though he has applied for a couple of jobs last week, fingers are crossed.  He needs to be doing something aside from staying home and having money would be nice for him too.  He is still doing his deliveries while he looks for full time work though so at least he's earning a smidge of money.  Youngest is doing quite well at school, mainstream science is going well and today he got player of the day at soccer at school.  He did some floristry last week too, I was very impressed at what he brought home.
It's very well done and lasting well too, looks almost as good today as when it arrived last week.

Time to go, I need to get Lara Croft sorted on the Xbox and maybe do some knitting on Dh's jersey too.  Putting it off a bit, it might be thicker wool, but he's still not a small size so there's a lot of knitting and it's the first time I've done a jersey for him; need to get to the arm holes and put it on another lifeline to try it on him.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Almost a year, whoops!

 I've been active on Facebook and to some extent on Instagram as well, but completely forgot about my poor wee blog!  I'm blaming Covid even though here in NZ it's not had as much of an impact yet.

I've still been sewing, still working on Gran's chair and still knitting too.  I've also been sidetracked by the garden and DIY; things like replacing all the internal door handles and also fixing up the rollers on the wardrobe doors; I still have a heap of them to go!  We also got a bunch of large bills, one of which was expected (the replacement fence) and the others weren't.  A new dishwasher, a large vet bill and now we've got a toilet to replace and Dh needs a CPAP which insurance doesn't cover at all.  We also need a better router but the type we need is of course in the expensive section and our printer died after about 10 years of service.  I also ordered some fabric in all that, but it was necessary for sanity.  None of it arrives for a wee while as it's all yet to be printed, but it'll be worth it!

I've finished a few items, so here are some photos to prove it; this has all been from late summer through to now.

Greenstyle Clara wrap cardigan with Greenstyle Moxi shorts.  The shorts have been modified by lengthening the under-short leg to avoid them being eaten by my thighs.  Very comfy.  Fabric for the cardigan was from deep stash, Global Fabrics from way before the earthquakes.  The shorts are stretch boardshort fabric from For Fabric Sake and some leftover Athletic knit

Greenstyle tank pattern in For Fabric Sake cotton lycra; the paisley is a custom print.

Pattern Emporium dress using a panel print from For Fabric Sake, not 100% happy with the neckline on this one.

Over halfway through the second sock for Dh now; this shows the beginning of sock 2.

Embellishment on my favourite dress ever!  The pattern is the Gemma dress from Named and it's using some really old cotton velour stretch fabric that I made baby rompers for the boys in originally.  Unfortunately it had faded on the fold lines, hence the lace appliques which all came from Ali-Express.

The latest addition to my growing stable of machines.  This Pfaff is a leather machine for making shoes, I may even use it for that but for the moment I'm cleaning her and reading her very long instruction manual (115 pages).  She's been in storage for years.

And another machine in the stable, this is a knitting machine.  She's temporarily in the hall cupboard as I don't have the brain power to learn this at the same time as the industrial sewing machine.   She didn't come with a stand, so I may have to improvise there, but my BIL picked her up for $20 so I can't complain.

And finally, my latest sew bar one.  This is Greenstyle's latest pattern which is a camisole with a built in shelf bra.  It's not quite sitting right at the top; not quite sure why not, but it is a very lightweight cotton lycra so that could be the issue.  I used bra elastic for the straps as I find that CL with elastic in the middle tends to be a little lightweight.  Other than that it's comfortable and I suspect I'll be making a few more for next summer.

My latest sew doesn't have a photograph yet, it's merino pj's.  Random bits of merino rib from my stash using a very old out of print Kwik Sew pattern.  I also have a pair of sweat pants cut out ready to sew for eldest, I'll post photos of that if he lets me once they're done.  Hopefully they'll get done this weekend as he's got an appointment they'd be handy for next week.

Saturday, June 06, 2020

My thoughts on Current Events

America is currently reacting to years of systemic abuse of people of colour and I'm glad that it's not just people of colour coming out in support of this.  The colour of your skin in any population should not be a reason for bad treatment or abuse.  I've seen lesser examples here in New Zealand, usually against people of Asian descent.  I've not seen it against people who are black, probably because there aren't that many people in New Zealand who are black.

I grew up being fed the anti-Maori lines, I was in my 20's when I changed what I believed from what I was taught and slowly those who taught me that have also changed.  I see that as a sign of hope, those who taught me had a good reason to feel that way when they learned it, but despite that they changed.  If they can then so can most. 

I am privileged, I am a white woman and although being female lessens my privilege I am aware now that I have privilege.  Growing up I had no notion of that fact at all.   I have brought up my children to be aware that people are people no matter their colour, orientation or age; treat everyone with respect except bullies; stand up to them.  If someone is bullying someone else speak up; that's one thing I've always done, even at school.  The bullies won't like it, but someone has to do it.

For those who think that the sewing or knitting communities don't have problems with racism, you're wrong.  There's overt racism, there's the hidden version with snarky comments passed as "just joking" and there's the head in the sand version.  If you don't stand up when these things happen you are enabling the racism and you are a part of the problem.

Stand up, if you have friends who are directly affected by this ask them how you can help.  Unfortunately I don't so I can't do this, however I can still stand up in the virtual world and say I support Black Lives Matter and I believe we can change things for the better to make all people equal in treatment.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Well, it looks like I've sewn a wee bit during lockdown.

Quite a bit actually.  I also did some knitting and a lot of Xbox and some work on Gran's chair which I then reversed and am now contemplating the next step.  I'm also working on my hormonal balance since surgical menopause means my body lacks those important hormones.  I've been on the lowest dose for a couple of years, but that's not enough to support bone health and I was getting muscle pain too.  Now up on .75mcg and still in the settling phase; will ask for bloods after a couple more weeks.  Have been getting a little abdominal discomfort but that may well be related to the strawberry jam rather than the hormones; at least that's what I'm hoping!   Anyway I know that's not what you're here for, you want to see my sewing so here it is.

Socks for youngest, this was the first pattern for Sock Madness this year and proved my elbows aren't healed yet

Ghost hat to use up leftovers from a jersey

Baa-ble hat using handspun and more leftovers (the black was leftovers, the rest handspun)

Greenstyle Stride athletic tights.  I do like these, but the Tempos will be my go-to I think.

A Kwik Sew dress, would have looked better without the Strides underneath but it'll be a good one for round the house.  Used up very old stash and a collar I ordered from Ali-Express before C-19

Still trying and failing to recreate my favourite capri pants; these ones are a Jalie pattern and I have camel toe which isn't flattering at all.  They're the closest I've come to the right leg shaping, but I'm really thinking I need to take a pattern off the original pants instead.

The Twig and Tale mask pattern, I love the fabric and the pattern is good enough, but I have one more pattern I want to try that uses darts for shaping rather than a front seam.

Named clothing Kielo dress in merino.  Yes it clings to my fluff, but it's comfy and stylish.  I wish my photographer had let me know to pull it down so the wrinkles on the top weren't there, but that's life.

The back of the Kielo

A pair of Jaywalkers in a lovey yarn gifted to me by Valerie of Wandering Cat Yarns

Another red dress, this is the Gemma by Named Clothing.  It was a wearable toile in cotton french terry; the next one will be in stretch velour

Horrible nighttime photo of the Staple Tank by Greenstyle, this was another wearable toile; I'll be making more in merino for winter warmth

It used 3 fabrics, leftover from eldest's t-shirt (the navy), leftovers from youngest's shark t-shirt (binding) and some butterfly fabric that was gifted me by Valerie from Wandering Cat after she received it and realised it wasn't quilting cotton, but a cotton lycra.

A BUN hat which is charity knitting for the guild and will probably go to the local homeless shelter.  It's wool with a polyester effect thread.  I'm knitting another charity hat at the moment in pure wool.

Pace Skirt from Greenstyle using a cotton lycra sateen and cotton lycra undershorts that are actually from the Moxi pattern since I'd already adapted them to be long enough to stay put.  Legs are red from the bath.

Greenstyle's Evergreen Tee for Dh, he now wants a long sleeved one too.  That'll be tomato red.

Greenstyle Brassie pants in How to Train Your Dragon french terry from For Fabric Sake.

I think I've found a pattern company that works for me, so far all the patterns I've tried from Greenstyle have worked well.  I've got fabric ready to cut out the Whistler Jacket next and of course there will be a few of the tank top and at least one t-shirt for Dh.  I now need to stash dive for the merino and to find the stretch velour I know I have too.  May even make Dh two t-shirts.  I think the boys are both ok for clothes for the moment, except possibly for singlets for youngest; luckily I have some white merino for that too.

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