Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Craft 'camp'

Let it be known that I am no camper. But 'craft camp' here, well, that's a whole different story. Not a tent in sight. And whilst my output was not nearly as prolific as some of my lovely companions, the weekend did not disappoint. I got to meet, greet, eat and sew in the fine company of some lovely, funny and very creative ladies.

The studio and surrounds provided the kind of sewing space that I dream about and I could definitely get used to leaving scraps on the floor (we did sweep them up on departure).

Good times. Thanks ladies.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Trip to Japan and China and another birthday giveaway!

Hello strangers!

Greg and I have just returned from a quick visit to Japan and China to visit some favourite mills and to establish some new and exciting contacts for the future. Here are a few (?) snapshots from the trip.

Neon Signs in Dotombori Street, Osaka....

Fabulous food of all kinds and cooked (or not) in many different ways...

Beautiful Maiko in Puntocho, Kyoto

Nanzenji Temple in Kyoto...

Classic Gion District, Kyoto...

Exquisite kimono silk brocades...

Nishiri Food Market, Kyoto...

Visiting a silk textile mill in China...

Xin Tian Di District and TMSK Restaurant, Shanghai

We're back just in time to mark the blog's 3rd birthday! I can't believe how quickly this last year has passed. Both Lisa and I have so much fun sharing posts with you and hope you enjoy them too. We've grown quite fond of our blog and look forward to seeing what next year holds.

And to celebrate this little Sew Tessuti milestone, we've got FOUR giveaways including some goodies just purchased in Japan and a couple of Italian pattern magazines from our trip in June (remember the ones I left behind?!).

Giveaway #1: the latest Pattern Magic Book 3 for Stretch Fabrics... not yet available in our stores, but it's on its way!

Giveaway #2: Liberty Cute Accessories...just the book for the crafty sewer to make the cutest bags and accessories in lovely Liberty cottons plus 2 x 20cm Black Lacey Edged zippers.

Giveaway #3: Making Men's Shirts Pattern Book by Japanese designer Ryuichiro Shimazaki. Finally... some wonderful patterns for men's shirts.

Giveaway #4: Italian Burda 8/2010 and La Mia Boutique pattern magazines.

For the giveaway, become a follower of our blog (if you're not already) and let us know your prize preference by leaving a comment. The giveaway closes 11:59pm Wednesday 1st December AEST and is open to local and international readers! Winners will be chosen randomly and announced shortly after.

Thank you and good luck everyone!

xxx Colette and Lisa

PS Is there anything you'd like to see more or less of on our blog on 2011? If there is, we'd love this feedback in your comment too!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Casual Sweet Clothes - Pattern 'L'

I love my fabric (of course) and I fell truly, madly, deeply in love with this linen - Autumn Tie Dye - when it arrived in our latest European shipment. I love my Japanese pattern books too (of course) and I fell head over heels for Casual Sweet Clothes and, more specifically, Pattern 'L'. It was the shoulder ties that got me.

This pattern review very nearly wasn't and I don't mind saying that more than a bit of perseverance was needed to get this one done. The top, cut in the smallest size, was way too wide across the front, causing the shoulder seams to sit well down past where they belong. And this was accentuated even more by the shoulder ties. My solution was to create a centre front seam which took in about 3cm of excess fabric. Crisis - thankfully - averted.

The pattern suggests an elastic casing for the sleeve cuff but I created a self-made binding instead.

The other very important thing about this pattern is that there is most definitely a right way and a wrong way to tie the shoulders. At one point in the mid-way-made-and-trying-on stage, the kid told me it looked like I had a couple of birds on my shoulders. Thanks for that. So try (and tie) again I did, and again, and again until they sat flat and behaved like nice shoulder ties should. I used a fine yellow silk/cotton to line the bodice and create a contrast for the underside of the bows.

Ah yes, I learnt quite a few valuable lessons with this pattern. Always a good thing on your sewing journey, she says with the benefit of hindsight...


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Kobe Navy Static Tunic

Yep, you can say I've become a little obsessed with the Japanese Pattern Books but I can't think of anything better to take along to make up in my weekly sewing classes. I'm happy to be ticking off the patterns to try from my very looong list. Here's this weeks project and easily a great pattern to whip up in a couple of hours (minus the *pattern tracing and cutting time of course). I've been itching to make up Japanese 100% Cotton Kobe Navy Static and I'm pretty happy with how it's turned out in this pattern.

My tunic top is as per pattern, but I did lengthen it 2"(5cm) and the back neck facing detail is different to Lisa's. I attached it to the inside and is without the keyhole opening as the neck is wide enough to pull over the head.

Think I'll attempt this pattern next.

*Thank you Margaret


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Karen's version of Pattern C - Casual Sweet Clothes

Got a picture from Karen this morning with a photo of her version of this pattern in Black Frenchy Knit. Fabulous idea to play with the direction of the stripes....as you can see in Karen's top, it adds a far more interesting effect.

Note: The only adjustment Karen did was lengthening the top by 10cm.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Fabric Feature Fabric of the Week - Navy Frenchy Knit

I'm on a sewing roll and loving it....here's my latest creation. Yes I know, it's in a stripe (again!) but as soon as Casual Sweet Clothes arrived in store, I fell in love with pattern C and had it earmarked to have made up in our Japanese 100% cotton Navy Frenchy Knit. The quality of this knit is just D.I.V.I.N.E and such a delight to sew with.

I made some minor alterations to the pattern - I raised the neckline and lengthened the top approx 2". I eliminated the bias binding around the neckline, to keep the focus on the lovely bell sleeves, and also on the armholes. The pattern suggests to hand sew the sleeve and hems, there's no need with this knit. I simply overlocked the edges and double rolled the hems, armholes and neckline.

I'm pretty happy with it and already planning another version!
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