Friday, October 1, 2010

Apples Top

My sister asked me to if I could make her a top similar to one she saw being sold on FaceBook... I had one look at it and had ideas on how to do it at the back of my mind.
But it's only a week ago that I was able to put it into fabric and start sewing.
I originally had 2 meters of this stretch fabric and when I started cutting I realized that I have enough to make another top since I would just be using a meter of it for this creation.

Everything went well until I came to the flounce sleeves....

I originally cut a somewhat curved arch for this. However, I am not satisfied with the drape and how the flounce looks like. So I cut another arch, trying to avoid making a circle as that would mean I would be losing a big percentage of the left over 1 meter of fabric.
Unfortunately, that second arch went to waste as well. Giving up, I drafted a circle to use for the flounce, and that filled my satisfaction as to how it would look like. The sleeves does not look as long as the original photo since I could make a much wider circle than this is.
In the end, I have an awful lot of scraps from this fabric and ended up mustering a simple singlet out of the biggest chunk of what was left over. Nevertheless, I put the scraps aside hoping to use them for some fabric flowers or embellishments for my future projects.
I have sent photos of the top to my sister and she said liked it. She's currently 5 months pregnant and based in Kuwait and hoping that after the baby, this top would still fit her.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Another JJ...

When my sister (who's based in Kuwait) first saw my creations, she instantly liked my pinstripe JJ blouse posted on BurdaStyle. And so, she asked me to make her one.

Luckily I have another pinstripe cotton fabric in my stash. I actually cut it months and months ago but kept it in my "to-do" box first. Now, after working on it for 3 weekends (on and off for a couple of hours), I already have a finish product...

This is photo of what it looks like while I'm working on it.

I used white pearl bridal buttons. I like this version more than the first one I did (obviously I've learned heaps over the years that I nailed this one better).

I hope my sister loves it as well...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Embroidered Kimono Top

This simple pattern is obviously my favorite. Not only is it simple to cut and sew, but it is also comfy to wear.

Unlike my previous one, this version is made of cotton interlock and a simple a-line lower bodice. There is a crochet peekaboo insert on the sides for a little texture (as the whole ensemble is really too plain). The lower bodice seems a little too short for my intended purpose but it is still wearable.

I also made a matching midriff singlet (not in the photo) from the left over fabric since I could definitely not wear it as is (with the plunging V-neckline and the big armhole).

After I considered it done, I reckon it was too darn plain. For 2 weeks, I contemplated on adding some simple floral embellishment on one side of the upper bodice. With the Anthropologie embellished shirts fad, I considered embroidery, bead works, self strips, iron-on print transfer or fabric flowers for the techniques. Obviously, embroidery and a bit of beading won. Embroidery and beading were done by hand.

Overall, I am quite satisfied with the look, although I can't really say whether the embellishment made the top look better or worse.

A Pleated Tee

Inspired by knits and tees from Anthropologie and manipulation techniques from the famed sewing handbook "The Art of Manipulating Fabric", I decided to make a simple yet unique tee from 1 meter of cotton interlock fabric.

The base is from a free pattern that I have of a sleeved women's top. I had the design and construction running on my mind for a few days before I started actually making it. I traced the base pattern to craft paper which I slashed at a couple of places where I want the pleats to happen.

I loved the look of its front bodice after I pinned the pleats and put it up on the dress form.

At first, the only problem I had to fix was how off-the-shoulder it was. So, I pinned the shoulders up to take it in some more. That worked well, despite the fact that the way I finished off the neckline wasn't that nicely done. Then comes the finishing of the armholes -- that's when I blew up the entire thing.

I didn't like the way I attached the bias binding (didn't had the chance to take a photo of it), so instead of picking it entirely (because I've edged it and all as if it was already finished), I cut around it. I folded the edge back and finished it with decorative stitches. When I tried it on, my whole world collapsed. The armhole was just far too deep (or big...) for my taste. I placed it back on the dress form and stared at it while pondering whether I should shelf the whole thing and call it "learning from experience" or try to salvage it by doing some work around. And since I only have a metre of this fabric, my options were limited.

In the end, I managed to salvage it and half-heartedly accepted it for what it became. The top is still in the laundry basket and I haven't gotten around to taking photos of it. But once I did, I'll post it up here too...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Getting Ready for Winter...

My eldest son is getting too big for his old dressing/winter robe; and so I decided to make him one out of this soft and cuddly coral fleece with bear prints all over. Lucky 1 meter had been enough to put in a decent length of tie and a pocket to it.

I don't exactly have a pattern for a dressing robe but I derived it from a shirt pattern that I have. Turns out really well, I presume. The insides is also finished clean with edging stitches. I made it in size 5 so that there would be room for him (armhole, sleeves & bodice) as he grows and leave at most 2 years more before I make him another one.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Danielle Top...

After much seam picking, I've finally finished making the first garment out of the stash of fabrics that I recently bought.

This is based on Danielle pattern by BurdaStyle, with a few small bits of alteration.

1. Because I used a stretch material, no zip was needed.
2. The band was elasticized.
3. I did not use the original Danielle pattern for the bottom part, instead I drafted a simple A-line skirt for it.
4. Used a self-made bias binding strip for the neckline instead of using the facing pattern.

Although this top was comfortable (because it has room to stretch) the neckline feels a bit weird and over-stretched. I am still thinking whether I should re-do that bit or not...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

3 From 1 - Printed Knit

I decided to make use of this fabric the best way I can, meaninG minimal scraps and create at least 2 items with it. And... My effort was a success.

I created 2 tops and one decorative scarf with the entire 2.5 meters of the fabric.

First is this sleeveless tank top with a rolled pleat at the front bodice. It also has an elasticized hem.

Second garment is this kimono-style tunic top which features a cross-over front detail and a circle skirt.

This top can be worn as is or cinched with a belt or a ribbon.

Lastly, the remaining fabric was turned into a decorative scarf.

The fabric has a beautiful drape and is very cool on the skin and comfortable.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Additions to my stash...

I've just been on a fabric shopping spree last week with the rare chance of "stretch" materials being on sale and a discount voucher from Spotlight. In total, I got 9.5 meters of mostly stretch fabrics.

These are cotton interlock fabrics. The red one is just half a meter while all the rest is on one meter each. I have chosen mostly plain block colors simply because I am planning to mix and match a couple of them in just one garment.

Stripe jersey fabric in two different tones of blue and one in pink.

This is a purl knit fabric in chambray. Soon, this fabric would be a comfy cardigan.

... And last but not the least, the only non-stretch fabric among them. A matte satin in floral print on a natural background. I plan to do a simple top for this as I don't have that much fabric to work on something complicated.

I have already started using the floral printed and the chocolate cotton interlock for a Danielle-inspired top. It's almost finished (I only have to put the elastic casing and the elastic on the empire waist and finishing the neckline), but I think I would be unpicking the sleeves because they look odd.

Have to wait for the weekends before I get down to work again...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I've Been Featured...

Nothing too fancy... But still a big pat on my back.

One of BurdaStyle's members - erta27 - featured my Crochet Detail Batwing Top on her blog site (trailertreasure).

Amongst many beautiful and artistic creations in BurdaStyle, she chose me to be included her Top Picks... That was just so flattering...

That just makes me more inspired to really work on, not just the comfort, but also the aesthetic aspect of the final product.

Thank you erta27 for the appreciation and commendation.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Fabric Finds in Fiji

When we went to Fiji for a holiday, I planned on scoring some fabrics that have a "taste" of Fiji in it... And these are what I found...

Although not too pure "Fijian" (because it's more of Indian, but there are Fijian Indians, anyway) I bought this chiffon sari fabric with silver embroidery border. I like the style of it and the additional texture (might be difficult to see in the photos), it's got lines of rough strips running across the width of the fabric. They only sell this fabric in pre-cut quantities (I think this is 9m), because they commonly use it as a sari to wrap around themselves in various different ways. But, of course, I wouldn't be using it "their" way. When I will finally have the courage (for novices like me, chiffon is a difficult material to cut and to sew — very complicated) to work on the material, it would be nice to have a breezy blouse or a semi-formal dress (draped, maybe) made from this fabric.

Aside from "sari" fabrics they also have various cotton voile in "pacific island" prints (you know, big floral patterns in different colours). It didn't appeal to me that much. So as a second choice of fabric, I bought this uncoated cotton in traditional print, not for a dress fabric but more of for decorating. Back then, I have the vision of using it for furnishing or cushion cases.

Hopefully, on our next holiday (wherever that may be), I would be able to score some good fabrics or, if not, sewing bits and pieces like shell buttons or accessories.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Beaded Crochet Detail Batwing Top

One of my newest creations... the Batwing top. Created using a free pattern from the BurdaStyle website (created by pixelink).

I made a few alterations to the original style - such as adding a hip band instead of a plain hem, opting for a wide rounded neck instead of the V-shaped neck and adding the beaded crochet detail on the neckline to give it some character.

Putting the pieces together was such a breeze. I have actually debated with myself whether I would want to go through the hassle of putting in the crochet inset or not. But I'm glad that I did as the detail gave the top an exciting look to it.

The crochet detail was done using a pattern I initially downloaded for a scarf. It was placed asymmetrically on the front bodice just under the neckline. The crochet detail has some black-pearl-like beads on it (they came from my stash as a left over from a gown I made last August 2009).

I like this top as it is comfortable and was able to hide a few unsightly areas (like a belly fat). Very chic to wear with a pair of slim-fit jeans or a pair of leggings, but I think it would also create a statement when worn with a pencil-cut skirt.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My Sewing Corner...

Just wanted to share a photo of my little sewing corner. I don't have a sewing "room", but I would love to have one at some point in the future. For now, though, this corner works well for me...

There's my trusty Singer 7422 which I got more than a year ago when it went on specials.

My sewing table with ample amount of storage area for my small tidbits and notions.

And then there is a small round glass-top fabricated steel side table that holds my magazines (Vogue - and some Madison ones) and a small vase with fake flowers (for aesthetic purposes).

And finally, my new dress form - which is a pre-birthday gift from my loving husband (we got it on 40% discount from Spotlight just a week ago).

I try to keep this area clean even if it is a working area for the simple reason that it is located just along the entrance hall from the main door. Strategically located near the master's bedroom, it's beside the lounge and a few steps away from the kitchen and the family area (plus I could over-see the kids running back and forth from their bedroom to the family room). None of the bedrooms have a tiled floor like this area here, and I think sewing and carpets don't really match.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Crochet to Kill Time

I travel by train for 30-35 minutes and 20-25 minutes on the bus - ONE WAY! My trusty iPhone is my constant buddy as it plays my music and make me think less of the time. Then I get magnetized to creating simple crochet scarf and that is what I started doing...

I found this free pattern ( Beaded Cobweb Lace Scarf ) online and set out to work on it during my travel time. I didn't put any beads to it, but I might definitely make another one with beads (that is, if this one turns out a success). I'm using black (cotton?) yarn that I have in my stash for a year now. I hope this roll would be enough to make me a longish scarf for the coming autumn months.

I'm still a long way away, but I'll get there... I just hope I would get the patience to finish this one off. And if this one succeeds, I might just do another scarf that would be perfect for winter.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sewing Affair

Around one year and 4 months ago, my husband agreed on getting me a proper sewing machine. For starters, I mostly make cushion covers and tops which are very hand-made. I can clearly remember starting a few projects which ended up in scrap bin or being worn just once then put away in a "to donate" box.

Now, I am still a novice... I still start a a project or two that gets tucked away under a pile and never finished. But I am learning. I am building up skills enough to make the garments wearable. Thanks to practice and helpful sites like BurdaStyle where I started posting my finished creations. Other people's comments and liking of my stuffs inspire me to do better and create some more. And that I would definitely do - create some more clothes — for me and hopefully for my family as well.

See most of my finished creations posted at the BurdaStyle website.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Welcome to Likha!

The word likha (lik' ha') is a Filipino term for creation (noun) or to create (verb).

Everything that you will see or read in this blog are literally created by me - my words, my photos, my craft, my inspirations.

The blog URL is named likhabysevera - where Severa is my late paternal grandmother's name - a seamstress who I look up to when it comes to sewing. She was not a fashion designer or anything of popular labels, but I learned sewing from her and adore how she lived on earnings from her humble skills. Hopefully, someday, when I am good enough in sewing and would have a chance to make a label for myself it will be that - Likha by Severa...

Hope you enjoy visiting my blog and seeing sewing and life through my eyes...