SWAP2017 Pt 6: By Hand London Anna Dress in Frida Kahlo

Last year I was working full steam on a SWAP2017 wardrobe. You can read some of the previous SWAP2017 posts here <link here>.

This is the fifth garment that I made for the SWAP2017 capsule – an endeavour which started in 2016! I did finish this in time for the April 2017 deadline but for some reason its taken its time to get to the blog.

The capsule plan was to have one statement-y dress.

My SWAP2017 “Vision Board”

There was a limit on how many patterns you could use – the max was 8 patterns for 11 garments. I used the Anna dress because it could be easily modified.

The trick was to find a fabric that I loved but that could go with all the other pieces. After much searching, I eventually landed on the Frida y Catarina fabric in a blue background on EBay. To say I fell for this fabric is an understatement. I freaking love this fabric and consequently the dress.

I have made the Anna dress three times before. I have not made it using a medium weight quilting cotton like this Alexander Henry fabric. Ruth’s Core Couture tutorial was a godsend. She shows with well-detailed instruction and rationale how to prevent neckline gaping that can be an issue with wide V necklines. You can check out the tutorial here – a must-read for anyone who has ever been exasperated with a neckline that won’t lay flat.

Stay tape in the neckline of the BHL Anna Dress

The results more than speak for themselves. I have since used that same approach on many more projects with great results.

 

When we went to the US last year for my FIL’s 70th birthday celebrations I took it along. Its one of what I like to call “The Magnificent 3” dresses. Whenever I wear any of those 3, I get a lot of compliments. I will probably write up a post about them and why I think they get so many compliments – advance spoiler – it is not about the dress per se. Anyway, I digress pictures.

BHL Anna Dress on location in Central Park, New York – hence the walking sandals 🙂
BHL Anna Dress

The fabric is a border print and I was not keen to cut into the print. I cut the bodice on the cross grain so that the Frida print was only at the hem. The skirt pieces are rectangles with darts added. The darts matched up with the bodice darts. That created the A line shape of the skirt. I contemplated adding pockets but decided that the design lines were more important. My problem is that I do actually use my pockets heavily and there are some styles that look and feel odd to me when the pocket is in use.

The hem is exactly at the selvedge edge. I wanted the maximum length I could get. It used 3 meters of fabric with very little scraps. The benefit of quilting cottons like the Alexander Henry ones is that they do wash and keep the colours well. I imagine that in time, with more washes, the fabric will get softer. The thought brings a smile to my face as I hope to be wearing this dress for decades.

Picture was taken in May this year – with my frohawk and post SticthRoom Sewcial so my eyebrows were neat 🙂
I love the vibrant orange flowers on the fabric.  BHL Anna Dress
Power pose….LIKE A BOSS!!! BHL Anna Dress
BHL Anna Dress

Last week on Saturday I went to see the Frida Kahlo exhibit in London – I believe that’s what prompted me to finally write about this dress on the blog. I am still processing my thoughts on the experience and will be writing a post about it soon.

Back to the SWAP2017 – I still have more of the garments to write about and those posts should be ready…..soonish :-).

In the meantime, I do have a video on my YouTube channel if you’d like to see this dress in motion.

Thanks for stopping by this corner of the interwebs.

Peace and love,

Hila

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SWAP2017 Pt 5: Ansterick Holsten Sweater and an Experiment in pre washing yarn

Last year I was working full steam on a SWAP2017 wardrobe. You can read some of the previous SWAP2017 posts here <link here>:

For one of my uppers – I opted for a  knitted item. The inspiration was based on a Bella Freud 1970 Jumper . This jumper retails at ÂŁ300.

The pattern I used was the Holsten jumper by Anstrick. 

Once I had selected the pattern the next challenge was finding the bright red yarn colour. Someone on Ravelry recommended Cascade Ultra Pima Cotton DK yarn. The yarn has a lovely lustre to it and it had a lipstick red shade that looked promising. I ordered several balls of different reds from various brands but this was the one that nailed it. Luckily they also had the black and white of the same yarn.

The next challenge was how to prevent bleeding. From the many posts that I read where people had knitted with red and white or black and white – there was a bleeding issue when the garment was washed. After ruminating on the issue for a while I thought that maybe I could try pre-washing the yarn before knitting to reduce any bleeding potential in the same way we prewash fabric for sewing.

Luckily the yarn comes in skeins. My first attempt was a bit of a travesty because I didnt do anything to prevent the yarn from tangling. On my second attempt, I loosely tied the skein at 4 different points so that I could easily reconstitute the skein.

The prewashing process involved filling the sink with hot water and soaking for about an hour, gently wringing the water out and repeating until the water ran clear. For the red this took approximately 4 soakings, the black took 6 soakings to run clear. I also did the white twice because I needed it to have a similar texture to the black and red.

After drying out the skeins I then had to wind them into yarn balls. There were a lot of online tutorials to help. I used a kitchen roll tube and spent several hours balling up the skein. It was tedious but I think it was worth it in the end. 

Dryng the prewashed yarn

Pre washed and un washed side by side
Prewashed on left. Has a ‘fuller’ look and feel. Unwashed on right.

 

I swatched with 3.75, then 3,5 but it was 3,25 that got the correct stitch gauge. I should have done some mods since the pattern calls for fingering 4 ply but my yarn was DK. However, I still do not understand these things so I went on ahead with the proviso that I would be trying it along the way to see what I need to change. On the whole this worked, I think I managed to get away with it :-).

This pattern knits up quite quick since it all stokinette stitch. It was also a great opportunity for me improve my Portuguese knitting skills. I think the fit is quite good. Yarn feels comfy against my skin.

The prewashing seems to have worked. When I washed this there was no bleeding.

And here I am wearing it last year.

The pattern instructions were very clear and well written. I learnt some new techniques like the saddle stitch for the raglan sleeve. It may not be the best but I had a great time knitting this. I’d have liked to do add in a HILA motif on the white section but my skills are not yet there. I am still very happy with this jumper.

Finally, I used just under 5 skeins of red and less than 1 skein each of black and white. The total cost of the yarn was ÂŁ50.48. Not bad considering the inspiration retails at ÂŁ300. Win!

Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the internets. Until next time, happy knitting!

Peace and love,

Hila

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for stopping by this corner of the interwebs.

Peace and love,

Hila

SWAP2017 Pt 4: Sewaholic Hollyburn & Granville Shirt

Hi guys!

Last year I was working full steam on a SWAP2017 wardrobe. You can read some of the previous SWAP2017 posts here <link here>:

For my lower, I had the Hollyburn skirt which was to be made in an orange bright orange fabric.

I bought the fabric from Fabworks. It’s a cotton twill weave which also has a geometric pattern. It has spandex it with some (about 3% stretch on the cross grain).

Instead of a facing, I used Petersham ribbon on the waistband. Pink satin bias binding on outside

Sewaholic Granville modified –

The fabric is linen dyed a navy blue using Dylon washing machine dye. This was one of the few successful results from my experiments with dyeing fabric.

The embroidery is from Kate N Rose patterns which I had bought over 3 years ago but hadnt ever bothered with it. It’s called Faraway Garden. When Kate was helping me with inspiration pictures I remembered that I had it somewhere in my digital files. Unfortunately marking dark fabric was challenging. Chalk faded away easily and my Frixion pens were not very easily visible. Patience is not one of my strong virtues and eventually, I reached a point which I just wasn’t bothered. But that’s ok – I realised that I am not yet at the beautiful intricate embroidery stage. That’s okay.

I eliminated the center front button placket. The front is sewn together with a flap for snaps of some sort (am yet to do this). I made it sleeveless by raising the armscye by 1/2″ and narrowing the shoulder by 3/4″. This makes it have a closer fit around the armhole. I bias bound the armholes using same linen fabric.

The idea was to have further embroidery on the front and back but seriously, it’s not my thing. I should have got appliques and in future, this is what I will do. As far as embroidery goes – I need to walk before I can run :-).

I am very happy with these 2 garments, more so because they are 2 of my most beloved patterns that I have made more than a dozen of collectively. Pictures….be warned the orange is really bright :-). Pictures were taken in May 2017.

Sewaholic Patterns Hollyburn Skirt and Granville Shirt

Guess the song from the dance pose 🙂

 

Thanks for stopping by this corner of the interwebs.

Peace and love,

Hila

SWAP2017: An Over and a Lower

My SWAP has 4 overs which are :

  1. Fitted shirt in shocking pink.
  2. Embroidered fitted top
  3. Knitted red and white jumper
  4. White tie back top
  5. A ‘rogue’ dress

For this post I am looking at the pink fitted shirt and the yellow maxi skirt.

Fitted Shirt

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Sewaholic Granville and I got back a long way. See here <link>. Its a tried and true patterns that I love.

I had already seen the shocking pink fabric at the Shuttle in Shipley before deciding on the SWAP colours. Once my colours were settled, I was forced to go back to The Shuttle (I want to be clear on this – I did NOT want to go to a fabric shop but in the spirit of SWAP I had to – I was a reluctant  fabric shopper – those other fabrics followed me home – I was reluctant but I am so proud of myself for my restraint). Luckily it was still there when I went back and I bought 3 meters of it. Its  a stretch cotton sateen that was interesting to work with.

I cant say its been my best sewing experience ever. I found that the sateen had a strong needle memory and I couldn’t unpick the fabric without creating a visual disturbance. I quickly caught on though and started using wonder clips instead of pins where necessary. I also needed to use a walking foot to prevent it stretching out as I sewed. It also why I opted not to topsticth the button placket.

Because of the stretch nature of the fabric it is very comfortable. Pictures do not do this fabric justice. Its is very bright pink. As in incredibly in your face unapologetic pink. It makes me happy.

Yellow Maxi Skirtyellow20maxi20skirt

For the maxi skirt I used the skirt portion of the Anna dress. I love this pattern and have made it several times already. The fabric was hard to come by. I wanted a really bright sunshine yellow. I did something I haven’t done before – ordering loads of swatches. I must say that made me feel very grown up indeed. I eventually found the right colour and weight from an Ebay shop called (apologies in advance to any brexiters reading this) EuroFabrics. Its a very beautiful high quality stretchy crepe with viscose fabric that has a micro texture. It has a bit of give on the cross grain which makes for a very comfortable wear.

I sewed up the skirt but while checking fit I realised that I wanted pockets. I try to add pockets where I can in a way that doesn’t interfere too much with the design lines. Because this skirt is close fitting at the hip, in seam pockets would not have worked. So I decided to draft quasi-patch pockets that attach at the princess seams. I felt like this was the most sympathetic addition of pockets.

I still have the option of cutting out the thigh slit but as yet am undecided. I quite like it as is for now. Initially the plan was to add a narrow waistband but I didnt like after the initial basting – it made it even  more high waisted that I was envisioning. So it was Petersham ribbon to the rescue!!!  The only fly in the ointment , however is that I did think it needed lining but when I wore it for pictures – I could see my panty lines – as I grow older I get less keen on VPLs on my own self. I have since bought some lining to add which is an easy fix. I will only line the upper third of the skirt. The other option is to go commando when in this skirt and……. mmm……..again as I get older I am less keen on the whole going commando thing 🙂

Pictures…..

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SWAP2017 Granville Shirt and Anna Maxi skirt

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So here we are reader, the first 2 of my 11 SWAP2017 blogged. Whats next? The orange skirt I think….undecided

Thanks so much for stopping my little corner of the interwebs. Until next time,

Happy sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

Sewaholic Renfrew Pt. 4, 5 & 6

I can’t believe I only made my first Renfrew top early this year around February time. Now I have 6 versions – with still more to make.

Renfrew Pt 4

Made in polka dot poly jersey that’s been a stasher for yonks (since stash began actually) and it makes for a drapey lightweight top. I made this for the SewDots challenge, but I didn’t submit it because I decided I wasn’t particularly keen on the prizes.

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Polka dots Renfrew – makes me feel jazzy!
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Cowl neck detail

Renfrew Pt 6.

Made from some John Kaldor fabric left over from another project. I just manged to squeeze in the scoop neck version with three-quarter length sleeves. Not bad for about 3/4meters of fabric. I am happy with this. I really quite love the dramatic floral print.

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Sewaholic Renfrew
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Scoop neck detail

Renfrew Pt 5

Made in a ponte weight fabric bought in early days. I only had  one meter but I was determined to make this a cowl neck version. After much messing about – I got it to fit but had to sacrifice the cuffs and have a narrower hem band. In lieu of same colour cuffs I colour blocked with a lovely contrasting grey. I wear this a lot as layer under stuff. Rarely on its own though.

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Neutral Renfrew – love the drape of this cowl – so much body to it.
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Cowl neck detail

 

 

That will do as far as Renfrews go for this year. Will I make more Renfrews in 2017? We will have to see………Have you made 6 of one pattern this year too? 

Thanks for stopping by, until next time, Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

Penultimate Summer Sewing aka Another Sewaholic Hollyburn Skirt…this time in linen

Hello again,

Let me start by saying that this is my last Hollyburn for a while (I promise 🙂). As the seventh one it doesnt need a lot of ceremony so here it is in linen…..

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Sewaholic Hollyburn Skirt

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Side View : Hollyburn SKirt
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Inner waistband detail
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Hem
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Centered zip
insides
Lining
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Gratuitous twirl shot
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Sewaholic Hollyburn Skirt
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Hollyburn Skirt the 7th

Again I am more than pleased with this skirt and I still have an appetite for another Hollyburn…….

Thank you for stopping by and until next time Happy Sewing 🙂

Peace and love,

Hila

Alterations to pattern: changed from straight waistband to a contoured waistband using tutorial from A Fashionable Stitch (I did this alteration on my third Holyburn and haven’t looked back since).

 

Another Denim Sewaholic Hollyburn Skirt

Hello chums,

I have only gone and made another of my favourite skirt sewing pattern. Since giving away my denim Holyburn back in April (it was a bit big ), I needed another one.

A true TNT pattern it took me just under 4 hours to make from start to finish including cutting.I normally expect a Holyburn to take me less than 3 hours but the addition of an exposed zipper complicated things somewhat.

Alterations to pattern: changed from straight waistband to a contoured waistband using tutorial from A Fashionable Stitch (I did this alteration on my third Holyburn and haven’t looked back since).

Construction Notes:

Medium weight indigo denim fabric.  I used a hammer a few times to flatten seams. The waistband lining is Cupro left over from my tailored jacket V8601. I used grey bias binding on the hem. Old shirt for pockets.  An exposed zip using Lladybird’s tutorial. I wasn’t planning on an exposed zip but when Lauren posted her tutorial it bolstered my confidence to give it a go.

I should also mention that I started this skirt for the OutfitAlong OAL2016  challenge of which the counterpart is a Chuck sweater that I started knitting and still haven’t finished….yet. Anyhow pictures 🙂

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Sewaholic Holyburn Skirt
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Sewaholic Holyburn Skirt
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Sewaholic Holyburn Skirt
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Pocket lining
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Obligatory twirl shot. Sewaholic Holyburn Skirt
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Bias binding on hem
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Sewaholic Holyburn Skirt
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Sewaholic Holyburn Skirt
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Sewaholic Holyburn Skirt
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Sewaholic Holyburn Skirt
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Exposed zip
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Insides back
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insides front
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Sewaholic Holyburn Skirt

I love this skirt! I am so grateful to the friend who insisted on wanting the old Holyburn. If she had never asked (and persisted), I would not have had the chance to make a much better fitting and better sewn skirt. This giving away my me mades malarkey may yet have some benefits 🙂

 Thanks for stopping by. I guess the denim skirt can count as the beginning of autumn sewing? 🙂

Have you started on your autumn sewing yet ? I will be back soon with my autumn mood board.

Peace and love,

hila

 

 

10 Fashionable Ways to style a Sewaholic Granville Shirt #OWOP16

Hello everyone,

I decided to join the One Week One Pattern (OWOP) challenge when CinderEllis announced it on her blog. The premise of OWOP  is that you select one pattern that you have made and you pledge to include that garment in your daily outfit for the week. It tends to be a lot easier if you select a pattern you have made more than once.

It didn’t sound like a great premise to me at first because well, why would I want to wear the same thing for 7 days when I have so many handmade things in my closet? Well, the beauty of this challenge, as I discovered, is that it really pushes you (at least it did for me) to find ways of overcoming wardrobe ennui. When wardrobe ennui starts to set in, the best way to beat it is with clever styling tricks. So I’d say that OWOP is more of a styling challenge rather than a wardrobe wearout challenge which inevitably happens with something like MeMadeMay.

I selected my beloved Granville shirt because for me the Granville is a fun style staple. Of course, I was also swayed by the fact that I have made 5 of them :-). Click here for all my Granville shirts makes.

Can I just say that I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of having to style them everyday for a week. So much that by the time the 7 days were up, I still had an appetite for more. Big thanks to Hannah for taking the time to host this challenge. I was so inspired by the many people who participated and again my fabric and pattern wish list has grown!

So here are my ways of wearing the Granville shirt. Enjoy 🙂 Picture quality is not the best – some days there was better light than others.

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Keeping with light hues for a relaxed smart casual look.
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Sleek silhouette with a pencil skirt.
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Paired with a voluminous skirt. Need I say more?
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Paired with Butterick B5895 and a skinny bright belt for a pop of colour.
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My sleeveless chambray Granville with a vintage 80s skirt creates a simple look with light hues.  I chose the wider belt to match the shoes.
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Simply pairing with jeans and a slim belt works a treat.
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Tis the season for layers. The sleeveless Granville is ideal to fit under a blazer.
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Double Sewaholic pairing – my denim Hollyburn goes perfectly with the chambray Granville (quite possibly my favourite because of the blue on blue action 🙂
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Another double Sewaholic day here, decidedly autumnal. I got a lot of compliments when I was wearing this outfit
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 Another favourite combo. Can you guess why? 🙂 Skinny silver belt and silver brogues complete the look.

I reckon I did OK with my sartorial choices but next time I would like to be bolder in my styling :-). I learnt that button-down shirts like the Granville can be dressed up or down and can be styled in countless creative ways.

Are you the proud owner of a Sewaholic Granville (or any) button-down shirt? How do you prefer to style yours? I’d love to hear!

Thanks for stopping by.

Mwah!

hila

Sewaholic Oakridges

Hello chums,

I took a rather unexpected break from blogging. Actually it was forced upon me…its summer holidays and the kids have been wanting to play a new PC game they got as a present. Wrestling for control of the computer when you are a significantly outnumbered as I am means that I have no access to write up my blog posts :-(. I need a laptop <sigh>.

Still I have managed to bribe them with extra morning PC time in exchange for 30 mins to write up this post. Please forgive any typos and remember that Done is better than Perfect :-). I am running behind on posting my finished items and these were finished over a month ago actually. OK here goes…

I bought the Oakridge pattern a  long time ago but never got round to sewing it up . I even started it but never finished it off. In a flurry of productivity I decided to tackle some of my UFOs after getting back from holiday in early May and these 2 were in the pile.May bank holiday weekend 480 Continue reading

Sewaholic Renfrew Pt. 3

Hello everyone,

Another day another Renfrew top. This one a simple scoop neck version. Fabric is from Fabsworks in Dewsbury. I squeezed this out of leftovers from making a Lady Skater dress (post coming soon).

I love it! Now if only I could find a solid colour fabric in my stash. It turns out that I am not a fan of solid colours so much. My only issue with this is that I cut the cuffs on the wrong grain so they don’t stretch as much as I’d like. As a person who rolls up her sleeves a lot, this is a tad annoying.

I really cant stop gushing over how much I love these tops (see my love letter here and here) . But I shall spare you and just move on to the pictures :-).

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Sewaholic Renfrew paired with Birkin Flares

Continue reading

Sewaholic Granville No. 5

Hello everyone,

 

It seems I cannot go 6 months without making another Granville shirt. So I present to you my 5th rendition. Made in a medium weight cotton fabric. I liked the green and fuschia floral print.

There is nothing new to add about this shirt except that I experimented with using snaps. I believed that it would be faster and easier than buttons and buttonholes – how wrong I was -_-.

Pictures ahoy……….

Sewaholic Granville

Continue reading