September 05, 2014

Sewing the Wedding Suit: Vest, Trousers & Tie

For the past year or so I have enjoyed making garments for my man, so when it came to our wedding, I couldn't resist making my 'husband to be's' suit! I nearly accomplished my goal of sewing the entire suit, but ended up one article short. I made the trousers, vest and tie... but ran out of time with the shirt. Overall I am super happy with the fit and tailoring of the trousers and vest.
Here I will share this "creating a suit" process with you all AND encourage you to sew for your man!

Step 1 : Choosing your patterns and if required, an accompanying book
Firstly I scoured the internet for patterns. I had made the Jochen Burdastyle trouser previously (my orange version posted here), though I knew that I wanted to alter it for a slimmer fit, so I invested in the tailoring Classic Tailoring Techniques: A Construction Guide to Menswear book. The reviews seem to indicate that this is the best tailoring book out there. I was not THAT impressed, but in saying that I did not make a jacket, so perhaps the jacket section is strong? 

For the vest I chose the Burdastyle Jason pattern as I like the pockets and neckline of the vest. 

Step 2 : Create the Muslin version and make alterations
I created a muslin for both the vest and trouser and made the following alterations and transferred it to the pattern pieces. 

* Trouser alterations - 1.5 inches off through the centre trouser with some small alterations to the back seam
*Vest alterations -I took in about an inch on the side seams and altered the shape of the back to follow the contour of his back.

Step 4 : Choosing fabric
We were planning to purchase sustainable fabrics, BUT we ran out of time so we made our way to the markets to find this charcoal, pin striped wool blend. We also chose to use a brown satin for the back section. 

Step 5 : Cutting and Sewing the Vest
The instructions for the vest were pretty easy to follow. I had to look up the welted pocket on youtube to make sure that I inserted it correctly. The buckle for the vest was difficult to identify in the sewing store, so I needed to ask the shop owner. All in all it was pretty easy to assemble. 

Step 6: Cutting and Sewing the Trousers
The trousers were also pretty simple to sew. The most challenging parts were the welted pockets and fly, but I encountered  no real dramas.

Step 7: Constructing the Tie and adding a personal touch
I used a silk bamboo in combination with the fabric from my own dress to create the tie:)

There we have it! I created (nearly) everything just in the nick of time. I was super happy with the fit and he looked superb on the day:)
.......AND at the moment I am continuing to sew for him with some Thread Theory patterns. Jedediah pants and Comox Trunks are on the to-do list!

Next weeks Post: The making of my wedding dress!

August 13, 2014

DIY Handmade Wedding - The Flowers!

For the forth installment of my DIY Handmade Wedding posts/tips, I am talking flowers!

When searching for flowers we decided to shop local and for local flowers, so we chose to go with Australian natives! Luckily a friend of my mums knew about a wholesale flower store who sold to the public. Everbloom in Leederville had a large range of native flowers. 

We ordered the flowers and I picked them up the day before. They kept well in the laundry in buckets overnight. I suppose it was probably a good idea to get Australian natives for a DIY Australian summer wedding.

Having the Australian theme meant that I had to have Banksia's and Kangaroo paws. Mum made a lovely flower arrangement in an old vintage wooden box (You can see it in the first image). 

 For the table settings we chose the New South Wales Christmas bush.

For the bouquet we ran out of time to practice before the day, so we were arranging 2 hours before the ceremony (as you can see from the image below, I am still in my pajamas at like 13:00!)..... I probably should have sorted this before, HOWEVER! I loved our bouquets. Some how, mother and daughters got it done just in time. The mixture of eucalyptus, misty blue and pale pink flowers, I just LOVED it. Super proud of our last minute, inexperienced efforts.   

Our flower concept really worked well for our theme. So overall I was SUPER happy! and ready JUST in time for dad to walk me down the isle.

Posts still to come..... making the grooms suit, making the wedding dress, making the cake toppers, how to do a backyard wedding AND MORE!

July 28, 2014

DIY Wedding - Creative Name Places with a sewing twist

I wanted to inject as much of our personalities into our wedding as possible and the name places expressed my love of sewing! I found an image on pinterest which had made use of the spools for the name places so I borrowed the idea.

I purchased the spools on Etsy from Crafty Wool Felt. You can buy different quantities of the spools and they also have the plain wooden cake toppers to paint.

We varnished the spools by dipping them in the varnish and leaving them to dry. Thanks mum for your help!

I then wrote the names on plain paper with a Deco inspired font and used a pin to fix the name to the spool. Sometimes the wood was too hard to stick it into the wood, so I had to place some blue tac in the middle of the spool and fix the pin that way.

All in all, I was pleased with the result. The wedding guests were impressed with this small injection of sewing love:)

July 21, 2014

Handmade Wedding: Sewing the Bridesmaid Dress

Today I will be sharing the process of making my sisters bridesmaid dress!

The bridesmaid dress was a little challenging as most of my ideas didn't end up working.  I wanted my sisters bridesmaid dress to be art nouveau inspired with a casual twist and mine to be more art deco inspired..... the nouveau never really eventuated. But one thing which saved me was a last minute fabric buy. When buying the wedding silks and chiffon's, I saw this orange flower print and couldn't resist a reckless purchase. Little did I know that this decision would save the big day!  The theme of the dress also needed to be casual garden wedding friendly.

Fabric manipulation
For the bodice, I used a basic block pattern and shaped the back piece. I started using this fabric manipulation technique that I saw Christopher Palu from Project Runway do on a number of garments. Not having a great deal of experience working with silks and chiffons I decided to use tissue paper as a stabilizer. Firstly I ruled lines 1cm apart on the paper. And layered the fabric and paper; silk, chiffon and then paper on top. Following the lines, I sewed across each pattern piece. 
I then ripped the tissue paper off (which was not a fun job) and cut between each sewed line. 

Things aren't quite going to plan:(
I was planning on continuing this technique for the skirt but had to forfeit the idea when the chiffon on chiffon skirt version ended up totally warped. No one wants a wonky skirt! Time was running short so I had to make a decision fast. When I get to this point of 'sewing despair' I sit in front of my fabric stash, waiting for the solution to bare its wonderful head. This wonderful fabric was like a beacon of light, shining amongst the other fabrics.
So the solution was to cover the peppermint fabric with the chiffon floral. It did feel sad abandoning the initial concept and cover up my hard work:( But something had to be done

Circle skirt and Hand Sewing
I cut the 1/4 Circle skirt (using the calculations in my circle skirt tutorial) and started to drape the chiffon on the dress. Hand sewing all the way. 

Sewing and the sun
During the summer months I find it hard to be inside, so I often take my sewing outside!

Kass got her hair done in a braid. I initially wanted her to wear it out, but living in one of the windiest cities in the world could potentially be a problem for long hair. I really like how it all turned out.

All in all I am happy with the dress and feel that it fit the garden theme of the wedding very well:)
Thanks sis for being such a great bridesmaid!

Still to come...... the grooms suit, my wedding dress, crocheted cake toppers. Plus much more. 

July 04, 2014

DIY Wedding - How to Design and Create you own Wedding

It is no secret that I love to make and create! So it was only natural to apply this passion to our wedding. Creating our own DIY wedding was a great experience and certainly challenging. There are a heap of advantages to having a DIY wedding 

 1. Budget - For those of us who do not want to spend our life's saving on a wedding, a DIY wedding can be super cost efficient. We saved a heap of money!
2. Unique - It gives you the opportunity to have a unique wedding with a heap of personality.
3.  Pride and Experience - It was a great experience and I am proud to have pulled it off!

So, in the coming month I will be sharing my experiences and tips! 
Today I am starting with collecting inspiration and deciding on themes

The following list/reminders helped with the decision making process throughout the DIY wedding planning and reduced headaches

- How much are you going to DIY -
I would have loved to DIY everything, but that was unrealistic for me. (e.g. I wanted to make our cake but it just was not possible, so I had it made in a local bakery, but I made the stand (stay tuned to see our cake!))

- Season - 
Consider the time of the year when planning. Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn. e.g. you don't want a long sleeved wedding dress in the summer.
(We had our ceremony under this tree in the Australian summer)

- Colour scheme - 
Choose a colour (red, pink, green, yellow etc) or a colour theme (e.g. pastels, bright colours, metallic) 
(We had pastels with peppermint green and apricot as the main colours)

- Formality - 
Formal, semi formal, informal/casual 
(Our wedding was casual, which suited the backyard theme)

 - Venue type -
Garden, Backyard, Beach, Hall, Barn, Restaurant, Country, city, tent
(We had a garden, backyard wedding)

- Add your own personality/quirks - 
Put some effort into injecting your personality into the wedding
e.g. Music, hobbys,interests  
(We took our cameras with us for the photos, I sewed our clothes, had cotton spool name tags, crocheted our cake toppers,created our playlist etc.)

- Inspired by an era - 
Period, Deco, Nouveau, 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, modern
(The Art Deco period inspired my dress, jewellery & make up)

- Verbs - 
Choose some relevant descriptive terms:
eclectic, quirky, fancy, elegant, rustic, classic, romantic, party, rock, punk, natural, ecological, ethical, vintage, indie, local, organic 
(I chose these verbs Eclectic/romantic/ethical/local/vintage/party)

- The dreaded budget - 
Every decision needs to be made with the budget in mind! 
(Ours was low!)

- Be practical -
Think practically, try not to get carried away. The reality is that you can not achieve every fantastic thought/inspiration. You have learn to edit and have a relaxed attitude! What ever happens, happens.

-Be organised -
Create a timeline (find some basic one's on the internet), create excel spreadsheets to help you organise, assign roles/jobs for the big day

- Avoid internet saturation and be confident - 
If you are struggling to make decisions, step away from pinterest and wedding blogs. Be confident and trust you decisions

- Think about your journey -
Think about your journey together as a couple and the current stage in your life. How can you incorporate this into you wedding. 
(We had a photo wall which reflected our journey and the people in our lives. The music was also a reflection of our journey together)

- Mood board and keep on track -
Use all of this information to create a mood board and keep checking back at your theme ideas. It is easy to get carried away. Make a decision and stick with it. Or have a solid reason to change!

Posts still to come...
- How to set up your garden/backyard wedding
- Making your wedding dress
- Making the grooms suit
-  Crocheting the cake toppers
- Making the bridesmaid dress
- Creating your invites
- Choosing your flowers
- Choosing your jewellery
-Choosing a phtographer

June 06, 2014

Eco Sewing Bag: Illustrated & Screen Printed Cotton Spools

My passion for sewing resulted in this little bag!

I am in the process of creating a number of crafting bags (e.g. crocheting & knitting) .... and here is the SEWING BAG. I illustrated these adventurous cotton reels, then screen printed them onto these eco bags. All my items can be found in my FS Screen Printing Etsy store. Woo!

May 23, 2014

UPDATE: My progress with the Fickle Sense knitted shorts. I need help!

Here is the update on the Fickle Sense knitted shorts......

Short Front
I have committed the most basic of knitting crimes... I have run out of yarn. I had the idea of knitting this second pair of shorts a few years ago and since then the yarn that I bought is discontinued:( I have visited all of the yarn stores in Berlin and have searched the net..... with no luck:( I think I only need one more ball of yarn. Can anyone help?

Yarn: GGH, Big Easy. Colour: royal blue #18. 

At the moment the current solution is to start the ribbed waistband with a yarn of the same size (5-6) and similar colour, which I have found at the Berlin knitting store knit knit.  This version of shorts will have to be the Hip version. I will probably knit the high waisted version with another colour... thinking of knitting a  burgundy version.

Fingers crossed my solution works! 

Short Back

May 13, 2014

The famous 'mahaila knitted shorts' are back!

Remember my 'mahaila knitted shorts?' 

Back in 2011, as a challenge I created this pattern and knitted my sister these shorts. Since then, I have had many inquiries from fellow knitters requesting the pattern for my mahaila knitted shorts. And the good news it that I am actually getting around to knitting another pair, with the aim of writing the exact pattern down and sharing it! 

This is how Kass styled the knitted shorts in Aus.

So, I am slowly knitting the shorts and these will hopefully be ready for June! This time I have picked a 100% cotton Royal Blue yarn!

Hopefully I can reach my June deadline. I will keep you updated!

April 26, 2014

Knitting and Crocheting Bags from FS Screen Printing!

Today I finally finished my two new bags for knitters and for crocheters! I have been illustrating quite a bit lately and will have some sewer bags ready soon too. I screen print my illustrations onto ethical, organic bags. I also added some little pockets in both bags for placing needles/hooks. 

I made these for a couple of reasons. 

1. I am not the neatest person and need to contain my projects within a confined space. So these little fella's help me out in that department. 

2. I am a knitter/crocheter who likes to travel about with my projects in my bag.... you never know when you will have a spare minute to keep your hands busy

3. I like things which help define me. I am a knitter and crocheter... and sewer and proud of it!  

Both bags can be found in my etsy shop FS Screen Printing.