07 April 2014

Comfy Blue Knit Jacket - Lekala 4163

Let me introduce you to my weather appropriate sweater. 

This sweater comes custom sized from Lekala. The only problem is, one must remember that seam allowances are not included when cutting the fabric. I forgot. Thus, it is slightly snugger than it needs to be, but thank goodness for knit fabric. 

This knit fabric is a royal blue with black scratch lines on it. A nice subtle pattern for a sweater jacket. It is unlined and I added bands around all the edges to make the finishings easier so I could do everything on my serger. 

The back of the sweater has princess seams. That is the reasoning behind calling it a sweater jacket. 

This was my first garment that has two-piece sleeves. I will openly admit that I didn't even look at the instructions. Lekala instructions may possibly be worse than Burdas; they are vague to say the least. So I aligned my sleeve seams to the bodice and stitched. Errr... Nope. Got it wrong. Wrong seam alignment. Step in magical seam ripper and try again. Set the sleeves in correctly the second time! 

Overall, I do love this sweater. It's fancy enough for work but is still utterly comfortable. The front draping is fun, and in this thicker knit fabric adds great shape. I think this would be a perfect sweater to remake in a plain black rayon knit. Drapier, thinner fabric would produce a garment similar to the photo, but would be an amazing staple!

I'm just realizing that my hair has gotten really long! Everybody keeps telling me this, but I had short hair the majority of my life, I still feel it's short. These photos are proving me wrong. Yay it's grown!


Pattern: Lekala 4163 - Knit Jacket
Fabric: Acrylic double knit fabric
Cost: $7

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02 April 2014

Drape Drape no.5 V-neck Drape Dress

oh Drape Drape. You are so quickly becoming my favourite patterns. you're made of knits, your shapes are unique, and flatter the figure. Simply magnificent!

This is dress no.5 from Drape Drape. With extreme V-neck in both the front and back, gathered bodice, draping at the hips and a dipped hem at centre back. Such a beautiful design. 

This dress in no way is bra-friendly. Nor is it modest. So to retain some sense of mystery, I wore a tank top underneath (I'm thinking a bandeau would be beautiful too - for next time)

Another thing to note is that I cut the XL size which again is for a 90cm bust. 14cm less than my bust size. I think it fits fine. I don't feel it pulls across the chest to the sides but the back is more exposed than in the models photo. But, it still fits me so realize the sizes are very forgiving in a knit fabric.

When I started to make this dress, I feared that those hip drapes might look horrendous on my already prominent hips. But I'm extremely pleased with the outcome, as the drapes don't make them look larger so much as showcase their shapely appearance. Which I like! 

But that draped skirt didn't come easily. This fabric is a lightweight rayon knit. Beautifully soft to the touch but freely clings to tights and leggings. I spent a long time arranging the pleats and basting them in place as I knew that anything out of place would ruin the drape and effect of the dress. Manouvering a rayon knit into pleats while trying not to stretch the fabric is no easy feat; especially when the cut edges have a tendency to curl. I had these skirt panels in needle shackles by the end; one needle every 1mm apart - ridiculous right? but oh the end result is SO worth it!

But, like the idiot I am, I forgot to add a seam stabilizer to the shoulder seams. And not having shortened the shoulder length, the straps do appear to be growing with wear. Sad. I don't want to take it apart as it's fully lined with all seams enclosed, but I may have to if they don't shrink back in the wash. 

And, as I noticed the fabric didn't have a lot of elastic to help with stretch recovery; I added fold-over elastic to the inside waist seam to help keep the waist-shaping, carry the weight of the skirt, and reduce the stress on the shoulder seams. I may have made the elastic too tight as it is making my back bulge over a little, but what I can't see I shouldn't care about right? Right!

All and all this is a wonderfully easy dress to wear with some great features! I wore it many times to the beach and around the city!


Pattern: Drape Drape no.5 V-Neck Drape Dress
Size: XL
Fabric: Rayon Knit
Required: 2.10 metres
Price: $14

  • Omitted the back zipper
  • Added fold-over elastic to the waist seam

These photos were all taken while wandering El Matador Beach in Malibu on a beautifully sunny day!
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01 April 2014

Los Angeles Fabric Haul

Where's Chrystal?
I was excited for the Los Angeles Fabric District. I read many articles about what stores to visit and the etiquette (or lack there of) in buying fabric in the district. 

The most important points before you go shopping to me are:
  • Bring cash, smaller bills required. No where but Michael Levine's takes Credit Cards
  • Carry a backpack or suitcase to carry all your fabric in - it gets heavy really fast
  • Be prepared to haggle over prices. It is expected that you counter their offer.
  • Don't wear bulky clothing or anything that restricts your movements - you'll be navigating through tiny shops with many bolts sticking out at off angles and it can get really hot.
The fab

Now lets check out my haul shall we?
So. Much. Knit!

Floral Knits:

Rayon sweatshirt knit
Rayon Knit
Tissue Rayon Knit

Tribal Knits:

Rayon Knit

Double Knit
Sweatshirt Knit
Sweatshirt Knit
Tissue Knit
Rayon Jersey
Polyester Jersey

Stripe Knits:

Cotton t-shirt material
Acrylic Sweatshirt Knit
Cotton Jersey



Silks (Mood Fabrics):

TL: Silk Charmeuse TR: Silk Jersey BL: Silk Charmeuse BR: Silk Crepe

Not shown: Green Double Knit, Green Wool

Phew. I'm so in awe of my fabric haul!!!

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