Guest post on Grosgrain

Oh! It’s up, it’s up! I am so honored  to be guest posting on Grosgrain today with my tutorial on making this Sunny Resort Blouse. Do check it out and you can create your own version. Use more fabric and you can make a dress out of the same method!

I have always been in awe of the stunning outfits Kathleen from Grosgrain has made, her ingenuity and creativity as well as all the love she spread with her giveaways!

The Grosgrain blog is a must visit for me on a daily basis. Besides being an avid reader of the blog, I have also participated in her Frock By Friday sewalongs and learnt many great tips from her tutorials and refashioning posts.

I adore the photographs and styling too and know I have so much to learn in those areas.

I can’t wait for her sewing patterns to be up on site! I can foresee myself sewing up quite a few of her designs and am looking forward to learning about grading from her tutorial! Oh and if you are a sewing mama, like us, you absolutely have to check out all the breathtaking costumes she has made her girls!

It’s gonna be a fantastic month of free patterns! Oh gosh! Mum, I’m on Grosgrain!

Grosgrain’s Free Pattern Month

Who doesn’t love a free pattern? And as a lead up to some exciting changes on Grosgrain, the amazing Kathleen has lined up an entire month of free patterns from guest bloggers and I feel so honored to be chosen to start the month! I was surprised when I received a really sweet email from Kathleen. Afterall Grosgrain was the first blog I’ve followed even before I started taking an interest in sewing. It has ALWAYS been a fabulous source of inspiration. I’m even more honored to be part of the lineup which includes some of my favourite blogs in the world! Mena from The Sew Weekly, Gertie from Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing, Casey from Casey’s Elegant Musings and Novita from Very Purple Person will all be sharing a free pattern! Here’s the tentative schedule. I will definitely be following the entire month!

Yes, this was the secret project I was working on and hoping to finish before the easter break. So, do stay tuned to the free pattern month starting next Monday, 25 April on Grosgrain.

Blessed Easter my sewing comrades!

Holiday Wardrobe Completed with ‘Take Manhattan Tunic’

It’s a little past the deadline but I have finally completed my Holiday Wardrobe Project. My target was to finished these five pieces by the end of September but, with these many distractions (here, herehere and here), I am glad it actually got done 😛

Here’s my take on Twinkle Sews‘ Take Manhattan’ from the same titled book by fashion designer Wenlan Chia. I love the original in grey so I used the same color.

This design called for a viscose fabric but I used a heavier, stretchier cotton jersey from my stash as I find jersey great for travelling.

I am a size 4 according to Chia’s designs and one great thing about the pdf files is every size comes with its individual file so there is absolute no confusion of converging lines here. I printed the sewing pattern on letter sized paper and when I stuck them together, many of the edges didn’t meet. So, I focused on getting the pattern lines to meet instead and thank God that worked! I have been warned that Twinkle Sews pattern were designed whole instead of half. Usually, we print half a shirt front and cut on fold but for this book, you print the full shirt front and cut one. I tried to print only half a shirt to save trees but being inexperienced with this book’s sewing pattern layout made it tough to execute. Sorry trees 😦 …

My favourite part of this tunic has to be the crowl neckline. It’s the first time I tried such a neckline and I adore it. I also thought this tunic looks somewhat similar to a garment I would expect to find in a Japanese sewing book. With Chia being originally from Taiwan, there must be strong Japanese influence in her designs.

This pattern was rated Easy by Chia and rightly so. However, her instructions are pretty brief which subjects us to our own creative interpretation. Not necessarily a bad thing for more experienced seamstresses but a beginner might be left with lots of questions. For anyone who is not sure about getting Twinkle Sews, I would recommend trying out these free patterns which are also found in the book. Here are the links to a summer dress pattern which is rated intermediate in the book on Craftstylish and an A-line skirt pattern listed on burdastyle.

Once again buttonholes came to good use in this outfit with the crowl neck drawstrings being inserted through two buttonholes and a casing.

The other design element which propelled me to work on this project was the sportswear inspired pocket which should come to good use for keeping my hands warm. The photo below gives a better view of the pockets and I wore the tunic here without layers, the way I would back in Singapore.

I did a Holiday Wardrobe Project collage as a summary of the items completed. My first coat, first cardi and first jeans!

I did a check last night and the weather in Shanghai is expected to be between 22 to 14 degrees celsius while we are visiting so my holiday wardrobe should come to good use. I hope this can be a made-me holiday with me wearing at least one made-me item a day for nine days. I’ll update on whether this actually happens after the trip 🙂 I am pretty excited myself as I have never wore a self-made garment during my overseas trip.

Before I end this post, if you are interested to know a little bit more about dear old me, do check out my little Q&A with burdastyle. I am also incredibly honored that my Sunny Day Dress is in the slideshow for the Burdastyle’s Best of September (It’s #17). There are some superb creations in there, my personal favorite being #11 Pattern Magic Bow Dress by veryprairie. It’s GORGEOUS and she even dyed the fabric herself! I love that lime green!

 

A frock, a romper & a giveaway!

This is the project I have been working on for a number of days last week and the reason behind my first muslin. Remember the gorgeous retro inspired dresses with full skirt by Louis Vuitton I blogged about earlier? Well, this is my take on it. In fact, corset tops and dresses by Dolce & Gabbana and Louis Vuitton are on almost every fashion magazine here and I have been drooling all over them.

It is no surprised that I want to create my own version. Meet my Time Travel Frock. So named as I could very well travel to the 1950s and back in it without feeling out of place just by adding on a pair of pretty gloves. For this dress I opted for a 50s inspired drop waist skirt instead of a waistband.

I used the US$2 Margarete top pattern from burdastyle and modified it to create this look. The result is quite different from the original as I have widened the shoulder straps, inserted boning and padding to the bust piece and added a skirt to create this dress. Instead of piping, I used silver ric rac at the top of the dress.

The cotton fabrics are all from ikea. The camel fabric for the top is lighter than the home decor leaves fabric I used for the skirt. I simply love using home decor fabric for long skirts. This is the second time I doing so. The first was for the 50s Inspired Sabrina dress. It’s magical how they sway!

The dress is featured as burdastyle’s Project of the Week and you can create it too by following my tutorial here.This is the first time I created such a lengthy tutorial and I hope you have no problem understanding it 🙂 If you have any queries, please feel free to leave a comment or email me. I’ll try my best to respond. It should be suitable for an intermediate sewing enthusiast. You will need a dose of patience because there is quite a bit of fitting involved but you will be rewarded with a flattering corset dress. I will also encourage creating a muslin like I did for the top because you might need to adjust the cup size for a better fit by adjusting the bottom seam allowance of pattern piece number 2.

My now wearable muslin has a new invisible zipper too and is also ready to face the world! It might be the perfect alternative for my friends living in warmer climate or in the Southern hemisphere! Its called the Summer Lovin’ Romper. It’s terribly cute 🙂

Other potential variations I imagined include the bodice combined with Kasia skirt in nautical print fabric or with the Sean skirt for something more flirty!

To motivate you. my sewing comrades to create the bodice with or without straps for yourselves and play around with the bottom variations, I am having a Margarete kit giveaway. To participate, leave me a comment and tell me where in the world you are from. There will be one winner chosen by the random number generator (random.org) but you will need to indicate which of the two fabrics below you prefer. The grey leaves fabric from ikea or the retro red polka dot fabric from Japan. The 1 yard of fabric will be mailed with sewable plastic boning and foam padding anywhere in the world, to the winner.

If you subscribe to my blog via wordpress, you are automatically given another chance in this giveaway. If you subscribe via other RSS services, please leave me a comment telling me for example that you have subscribe via blogger/google/bloglovin etc, so you get another chance. You can also get a third chance if you blog about any of the two outfits above. The giveaway will end Monday 27 September 2010. I hope you enjoy participating in this giveaway and happy sewing everyone!

Peekaboo Sleeve Tara

The Sew Convert is not exactly a fan of Sex And The City. In fact, I have never watched the series nor the movies. But, I was browsing through the newspaper some time ago when I saw the movie advertisement and on it was this dress with its sleeves. I was captivated. Immediately, I took my iphone and snapped a photo.

This was the inspiration behind Peekaboo Sleeve Tara. The sleeves are far from being identical off course, the one on Tara has more of a batwing sleeve look and is less sleek than the sleeves on the designer dress.

I used cotton voile from Anna Maria Horner’s Little Folks. It is a super lightweight cotton and slightly sheer. I love the drape the fabric creates compared to the heavier cotton I used before.   

The dress looks romantic. I don’t think I have made anything in that category before. And I even like the way it looks from the back.

My deviation from the Tara sewing pattern:

I added 9″ in length to the sleeve’s curve (except the attachment portion). I was able to do so partly because the cotton voile was 54″ rather than 44″.  Cutting each sleeve piece apart in the middle, I sewed hems all around. I rejoined them at the centre top and bottom. I tried the top on to adjust the sleeves quite a number of times to get what I wanted so I actually spent more time than I expected on this Tara.

Tomorrow is already Friday and I can’t sew on weekends. It looks like I need to start cutting fabric 3 for the Tara Experiment Week tonight and start sewing tomorrow morning!

Oh! I was too busy to visit burdastyle these couple of days due to my Tara experiments, so I was shocked to learn that my Cloud Nine Plaid Blouse is on Burdastyle’s Best of May! The feeling is just amazing. I’m feeling blessed!

Featured Project on Burdastyle

The Sew Convert has a habit of browsing through and checking out new projects listed on burdastyle.com. This evening, as the homepage became fully loaded, there it was.  My Cloud Nine Plaid Blouse was starring back at me. OMG!!! The blouse is a ‘Featured Project’ on Burdastyle! Can you sense that I’m hyperventilating as I type???

Cloud Nine Plaid Blouse

I have to be supernaturally blessed! Last week, the retro reversible dress I made for my princess was featured in Grosgrain’s Flickr Favs. This week, my scallop hem floral mini dress was featured! The Sew Convert is officially on cloud nine!

Still brimming with excitement, I made a blouse today.

Made of a Japanese plaid fabric, this blouse has a slanted v-neck. I decided to make the neckline different from the norm as the eggplant fabric has a very clean and simple design.

I drew the neckline I wanted straight onto the fabric while using a blouse pattern as guide for the dart lines.  By extending the shoulder to create sleeves, I didn’t have to stitch them on:). While attaching the blouse’s sides, I also ensured that the plaid lines matched.

A button at the back keeps the blouse in place. I used a wooden button and a pink and white polka dot bias tape. Ta da, my Cloud Nine Plaid Blouse.

Good Start to the Weekend!

OMG OMG! What an amazing start to the weekend! My creation, the retro reversible dress was featured on the Grosgrain blog as a Flickr Fav! I love Grosgrain’s creations and to have the photo there made The Sew Convert absolutely out of this world happy!!!!!!!!!!!

Today also ended up being a Made Me Saturday. I didn’t plan it but my princess and I were both dressed in my handmade clothes! Finally, I managed to take some clearer photos of the Little Folks Blouse using a camera (other than the low resolution ones from my Macbook Camera:P)

I know I have said this but this blouse is SO comfortable  and I love the fit and the colour! This photo allows you to see the details of this beautiful voile. I must tell you that since making this blouse I’ve ordered more voile cos they make amazing tops. These are on the way.

Thought this pink voile will look great as a tunic blouse like this, while the citrus a blouse with bow collar, like version 2 on Burdastyle’s Ute Blouse pattern. I’m also inspired by Crochetie‘s version.

Oops! See how I can get distracted easily!  Here’s my princess in her retro dress turned top. She has grown so tall that she has to wear it over jeans.

Have a blessed weekend everyone!