Monday, September 23, 2013

A taste of Nougat

Excuse the cheesy title - couldn't resist.  Anyway, I started salivating over the Nougat pattern as soon as I saw it.  I seldom get excited over patterns produced by hobbyists because they are usually pitched way below my skill level and interest, and so frequently something I could draft myself very easily.  AnaJan may not be a "professional" patternmaker, but she is trained, and boy did she produce a cracker!

Enter the frustrations!  Firstly I had to wait a day to get the pattern because after you purchase on Etsy AnaJan sends you an invoice, you pay it, then she makes the pattern available to download. She warns that this can take up to a couple of days, and given her location in Serbia and mine in New Zealand, I expected a delay.  In fact from purchase to download was less than 24 hours, which I thought was pretty good! (I have no complaints about the purchase process, I'm just totally crap at waiting for anything).  That was Monday.  I had the pattern first thing Tuesday. Since my home printer is running low on ink and the pattern is 60 pages I figured I'd pop along to Warehouse Stationery and print it there.  At which point Isabella threw up.  And the poor thing had a not-very-violent, but very dragged out tummy bug.  She was off school for the rest of the week, at which point Nicholas got it, and was off for most of the following week.  Since you can't take sick kids anywhere, that meant I had to wait till the weekend to get out and print!

You know that bit where they tell you to print out the test square first? Yeah, you should totally do that!  I didn't, and when I finally got time to check the pattern I realised it hadn't printed to scale! I wondered how far off it would be if I just went down a size, and with nothing to lose I gave that a shot.  This is a size 34 printed slightly larger than it should have.  (The 10cm square came out more like 11cm) It isn't terrible, and I toyed with the idea of just working with this and making it work.

But grading doesn't increase evenly in all directions, so it was going to take work to make this fit properly, and there are all those lovely swirly lines to contend with, and I figured I'd be nuts to waste all that time!  As I was moaning by text to a friend, she kindly offered to do the re-print for me (I owe her a HUGE favour now)  And this is how a correctly scaled size 36 looks.  So much better! (She suggested putting the test square on page 1. I'd forgotten to tell her where it was and it took her a while to find it)

Just a note, there are no seam allowances on the neckline, armhole or waistline edges. I find with a fitting toile that it is easier to visualise the finished garment if you have the finished dimensions.

So, all the kids are over their bugs and back at school, giving me time and space to get started.  I'm very happy with the fit of my second toile, so I'm going to go ahead and work from that.  I may lower the waistline a little bit, but everything else is fine.

I spoke too soon. Literally just as I finished typing the above the phone rang. Oliver has been vomiting at school.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Swearing on my clothes

Not that you can see it of course, which is the point, but here is my Alabama Chanin poetry tank, with added f-word.


I love the fit, the colours, everything about this.  I'm keen to have a crack at making the dress version of this pattern.  I can't see myself ever getting bored with this technique.  The possibilities are endless!

Next up I'm going to make the Nougat dress, by Stepalica patterns.  Once my children all get over their tummy bugs....

Oh, and Georgia bids me tell everyone that I nicked her jeans again. She still hasn't realised I've been wearing her pink ones for weeks. Well, she's reading over my shoulder, so now she does!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Make it in every colour

I love this style of shrug. This is the third one I've made for myself, and it won't be the last. It's McCalls 5398, which is OOP. There is enough coverage at the back and around the back of my neck to be cosy enough even in winter (given the number of layers I typically wear!) but being open in the front means that my tops or dresses (which are usually my more interesting garments. Not today obviously) are visible.

Back. See what I mean about the coverage? Nice and cosy.

Flat.  It is essentially a folded rectangle with sleeves and a band, but those diagonal seams are shoulder seams, so it has a nicer shape than a simple rectangle.

The hat I'm wearing (conveniently hiding my post-run not-fit-to-be-seen hair)  is what I managed to eke out of the scraps after eking the shrug out of a 0.9m remnant of merino/nylon/polyester/lycra which I picked up for a bargain $7 at the Fabric Store! (formerly Global Fabrics, for locals)  This stuff is smooth and silky feeling on the outside with a really soft loopy interior. Incredibly lovely to wear.

And my jeans? I nicked them from my daughter. My 13 year old daughter. (She'd gone off them and hasn't noticed I've been wearing them since I had a pair the same colour but bigger!). Yep, I'm becoming that Mum. The one who wears her daughter's clothes. Oh dear.