Beautiful Belcarra Blouses!

Ok. This is going to be a gushy post, because I Love this pattern! Sewaholic’s Belcarra Top pattern is really such a simple looking top, but it fits so nicely without darts, and is cute and flattering. Depending on what material you use, you could dress it up with jeans, pair it with a skirt for work, tuck it into a maxi skirt… possibilities are endless…  I am in love!

White Belcarra

White Belcarra

The first one I made from a cheap semi-sheer white crepe-like material, just to check how the fit would work. Honestly, I have no idea what the material is (although it does smell like something my nanna used to wear?)- I mean, obviously I can hazard a guess of knit vs cotton vs satin vs chiffon etc, but when buying from a market where there is nothing on the selvedge and the woman you buy it off doesn’t speak English, its pretty much a guess…

I’m not sure why, but I measured myself straight after a massive dinner with a padded bra on, (and I was just thinking that I’d gotten a bit fatter…) so my measurements were just pushing me out of the sz6 range, so I made a size 8, which ended up much too big on me. Since the material was a bit sheer, I used french seams throughout, after seeing Chantal from A handmade wardrobe doing the same with a similar fabric for this top – makes the inside look so lovely, just takes a lot longer to do properly. This was only my 2nd time doing french seams, and I was so impressed with myself on how they turned out – MUCH nicer than the first time!! 🙂

photo 1-4

You can see better in this pic how it slips off the shoulders…

 

photo 4-4

French seams

French seams

Anyway, love the top, just a wee bit big, slipping off my shoulders (especially since the fabric is also a little slippery) and is a bit too roomy around the hips. If I get time (and the motivation) I think I’ll unpick the neckline and take in the shoulders a little, then it will probably be more wearable!

Comparison of size 8 (white) to size 6 (pink)

Comparison of neckline in size 8 (white) to size 6 (pink)

So second attempt, I made the size 6 in a Valori Wells cotton voile that I had – I only had a bit over a metre since I had already made a Sorbetto top with this fabric, but managed to squeeze this top out of it! I just didn’t have enough fabric for the neckline facing strip so I used a piece of pink satin bias binding – and it turned out really nicely (you can see that in the pic above!!)

IMG_2104

Valori Wells cotton voile Belcarra

photo 3

Excuse the messy wardrobe ‘selfie’, only big mirror in our place! Yes I have boots on in summer, was trialling outfits for Australia trip….

I found a lovely pink cotton/linen fabric yesterday, so think I will make another in that, with the pocket & turned up sleeve cuff. I think this could be nice in a knit fabric as well….

Speaking about knits, I found a gorgeous watermelon pink jersey knit the other day at the market (ummm yes, I have a pink fabric problem…), so I am almost finished a 3/4 sleeve Moneta dress (Colette P, perfect for my Brisbane trip next week! Today’s project is to finish that off, and hopefully get a maxi skirt out of the rest of the material! Off to the machine!! 🙂

 

Advertisements

Hello Moneta …

I got so excited about making the Moneta dress that I couldn’t wait for the Moneta sew-a-long, I just had to finish it in one night! Here is my lovely short sleeved version (View B) in a Valori Wells printed knit from Hawthorne Threads.

Trying out some of Tilly's photo tips!

Laughing at my toddler trying to ‘make’ coffee on the nespresso machine

In preparation for my first time sewing with a knit fabric, I walked all over town last Thursday (literally, all over town, lucky it was a babysitter day…) to find a Twin needle and / or walking foot. I saved pictures of both on my phone as I’ve found it hard enough to find and ask for quality machine needles, and I had no faith that my hand gestures would get me there for twin needle.  I did find a twin needle in a little sewing shop, unfortunately not ballpoint/jersey twin needles though, and no walking foot (Note to self- put on the spotlight list for trip to Australia – that list is loonnnnnngg!)

I decided to make the short sleeved dress first up – predominately because it’s summer here and over 30C most days, and I only had 2m of the Valori Wells knit fabric that I wanted to use for this dress. It noted that for a size S, I would need around 2.5m (can’t remember exactly)… but with a little juggling, I easily got it all out of 2m with quite a bit of fabric left over. I just cut the skirts out first on the fold, then re-folded the fabric with selvages touching in the middle so that I could get the bodice pieces out of the leftover amount. Unfortunately, I should have turned one of the bodice pattern pieces over, as the way I cut it out, the print is in the wrong direction on the back bodice piece, but it’s not that obvious!

This was a really simple dress to construct, even for a novice-knit-fabric-sewer like myself! I got into a little trouble with the neckline gaping out – I think I just stretched the fabric a bit too much while sewing it (pulling it through the machine), so I unpicked the neckline double needle stitching, ironed on some hemming tape, and resewed it with a larger turnover & just with one line of stitching. It’s not very pretty inside, but it’s a big enough neck-hole that it doesn’t need to stretch over my head so I think one line of stitch should be fine.

 

 

 

IMG_2014

 

The only other hurdle was not being able to find swimwear elastic, so I just used a piece of regular elastic…. Then sewed the bodice to the skirt together with a basting stitch to check how it all fitted. I didn’t really like the way it sat with the elastic, so I unpicked the elastic, and just overlocked the skirt to the bodice. I figured its quite a firm knit and I’ll always wear a belt with it, as I think the fabric choice needs it!

I hemmed it a little shorter  than my knees. Ahhhh I’m in loveeee.

IMG_2019

Trying to get a good shot & the best one has the toddler in it. Fail!

The fabric is not that lightweight so will be a little too warm for the weather here at the moment (but PERFECT for my Brisbane visit next month!!)

IMG_2037

As you would know if you have read previous posts, something I need to work on is my photography skills! Unfortunately our apartment is ALL white walls (& renting so staying that way!). Also there aren’t many places to set up a camera for timer pics, and the only long mirror is in our walk in robe. So I got creative after reading Tilly’s post on her blog (Tillyandthebuttons) and set up my version of a tripod (see below….). Toddler could not understand for the life of him why his little chair was on his highchair. Did not like it one bit.

IMG_2033

 

 

So thats my run-down of my first Moneta. I say ‘first’ as I’ve already got a second sleeveless one cut out, and have grand plans for a Maxi Moneta inspired by Cashmerette… Oooh the love….

 

Colette Sorbetto Tank

Proud braggy moment… I made my first ever top for myself on Saturday! Since I got my sewing machine almost 2 years ago now (and it’s been in storage or travelling for about 9 months of that time!!) I have only made items for my bub or gifts for other friends’ babies… with the exception of a long dress for a black tie wedding in October last year! (Simplicity 6223 with modifications!!).

I am getting ahead of myself though – the whole reason I’m able to make tops for myself is because I bought a printer last Thursday! Super exciting people! The (sewing) world is my oyster!!

Anyway, so I was up late reading some blogs Friday night and saw the various Colette Sorbetto tops made by Navybluethreads and thought it was a super cute and simple top – what a great one to start with. Even more ahhhh-mazing was discovering the pattern was a FREE – yes – FREE download on Colette Patterns website! Thank you Colette Patterns!

So while my husband worked on Saturday, I plopped the toddler in front of the Baby TV channel (great parenting there…), made myself a coffee and spent the next couple of hours creating the first ever top for myself! He also had a super long nap that day. Awesome.

The pattern was so simple to put together. After reading comments from others that had already made this top (yeh I’m a little late to the game..), I lengthened it about an inch, and after sewing front & back together, I also took the seams in at the bottom of the top as they flicked out a little too much for my taste.

I used a Valori Wells Cotton Voile that I ordered through Hawthorne Threads – the weight of this fabric is perfect & light for the hot weather here in Tbilisi at the moment.

IMG_0538

This was a really easy top to construct, the part that took the longest for me was making the bias binding to use for the arm and neck holes. As I don’t have a bias tape maker, I got a few steam burns on my thumb while ironing the strip of bias into binding. Ow. It would definately save a massive amount of time to use pre- bought bias binding (but I haven’t found any here…).
For my next one if I can’t find a bias tape maker (which I haven’t got a lot of hope for here..) I think I would just fold over the bias strip once and use it as a facing instead of bias binding.

top without bias binding

top without bias binding

urghhh making bias binding...

urghhh making bias binding… but love my pretty ironing board cover 🙂

I will have to make a couple of modifications to my next Sorbetto as the neck hole gapes out a little bit, it may also be because I didn’t do a stay stitch along the neckline ….

Such a cute top with so many possibilities though!

Apologies for the awful pictures (yes I’m sure I’ll say this everytime) as my husband has taken our camera to work so trying to take photos of myself in our walk in robe on an iphone. eek. You can tell I don’t do it much.

 

 

IMG_0542

 

Last night I purchased, downloaded and printed out the Colette Moneta dress pattern, so this morning I have assembled the pattern and cut out all of my pieces – Stay tuned for a super duper exciting blog post about it – please wish me luck that my teether cranky toddler will go to sleep at his actual bedtime tonight, not like last night.. and I really want to sew something more exciting than mending a hole in my hubbys work coveralls. (yep. Thats how I spent my morning. Fun.)

Why hello new printer! Hello Moneta dress!

Why hello new printer! Hello Moneta dress!