Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Wyld Chic Boutique

I had my baby and he's three months old today! I'm so in love with him. He is so good-he hardly ever cries except when he's really hungry or very tired. He sleeps like an angel and is no trouble at all. I must confess that I was anxious when I first became pregnant with him as my first two were so close, but he has made me so happy! I'm gushing but I am just so rapt with him!

There are many things happening in the Wyld Lane. I started a little business venture a week before my darling bubba arrived! I decided to take the plunge and finally start selling my creations online. I started selling handmade maternity/nursing clothes as well as children's clothes and created a website (something that I've wanted to do for years!)

Please visit Wyld Chic Boutique to see my new website. I will be posting tutorials and sewing patterns on there so please add me to your newsfeed to get updates! I'm currently working on a series of pattern tutorials on how to make my signature nursing tops which you can see in my website. I will be launching them soon so make sure you get in on the introductory price!

From now on sewing related posts can be found on Wyld Chic Boutique. But I'll still update this blog occasionally. :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Denim Jersey Burdastyle 131 Maternity Top

I loved how my red Burda maternity top turned out so much that I raided my stash and found something suitable to make another. I picked it up at Spotlight eons ago and meant to use it for the maternity panels in skirts. I did use up a tiny bit, but there was at least 1.4 metres of the stuff left. I'm not sure what it's made of, but it's a denim-look knit of medium weight.

Construction was very similar to the red Burda top, and I finished it in one day, despite massive amounts of handsewing.

The only real difference is the belt-I folded it so that it sort of looks like a cummerbund. Also, my nursing access is larger and neater, the latter because I sewed around the nursing area, then turned it inside out and ironed it, so that when you're looking at it from the inside, there are no raw edges.

However, my hem is a little twisted-I fused it with knit interfacing, ironed the hem fold, and topstitched very carefully, but it always ends up twisted, stretched and off grain. Anyone have any tips on how to avoid this?

I really, really like this top-it looks slightly dressy, despite the denim look. But I'll wear the heck out of it these coming weeks as the due date looms and belly blooms bigger!

The pattern for this top is definitely a winner. I would love to make a dress next-just need to draft a skirt for it. I'll also be making a post-birth pattern based on this. I love the way it fits, and the sleeves are perfect too! I've been wanting to draft a pattern for stretchy knits for ages, but fitting the sleeves always discouraged me. I'll use this pattern to develop other styles-maternity and non-maternity.

Till the next post!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Red Burdastyle Maternity Top 131 June 2010 Tutorial

So. I'm pregnant again. And I'm less than 7 weeks away till bubba 3 pops out. I've been busy with my two toddlers. Monkey will be 3 soon, and Hippo will be 18 months in Dec. Things have been going really well I reckon. And I decided that it's been too long since I posted and I've been itching to sew something. I haven't sewn anything in ages, persuading myself that with two toddlers it would be next to impossible. But last week I suddenly felt my sewing mojo coming back, buckled down and picked out a Burda maternity pattern, decided that I was going to take my sweet time, and finished a top in 3 days. It helps when the little creatures have a good routine.

I had some red 4 way stretch jersey in my stash. I can't remember where I picked it up. But it was really soft and stretchy. I had used up quite a lot for an All Saints Day costume night, and I didn't think I'd have enough to make a top. But surprise, surprise! I needed only around 1 metre.

This post will be a tutorial on how I put this top together, as well as how to convert it to a nursing top with hidden access as well.

The Burda maternity top is from the June 2010 issue, number 131.

The sizing I chose was based on my high bust measurement (around the top of your ribcage rather than around the bustline). I cut out size 38, but had to shorten the length a total of 4cm, as it was drafted for a person much taller.

In the above, you can see where I slashed the pieces horizontally to reduce length at several different places, to distribute the adjustments more evenly.  Also, I anticipated a gaping neckline, a problem I had before with a Burda top.

I cut out my pieces with a rotary cutter. Love that tool! Cutting out isn't a chore anymore. At this point I also decided to make this a nursing top, and I added a nursing panel.

I didn't make a pattern for it, just based it on the crossover piece. I cut on folded lengthwise and width wise, with the latter fold on the centre front line of the crossover piece. The side seam was angled to match the side of the crossover piece once the dart was taken in.

Once you open it up, you can see that it matched the crossover piece at the side seams.

First step is to join the shoulder seams of the crossover pieces to the back piece. I wasn't very careful and stretched the jersey a bit here. In hindsight I would have used a walkingfoot on the sewing machine with long basting stitches, or handstiched it with backstitches at every inch interval.

I also used the 1 inch strips, folded over and overlocked it to the neckline, binding on top. Then turn over and iron flat.

However, I made the mistake of stretching the binding as I sewed, which means that the neckline shrank too much. I had to compensate by using a decorative stretch stitch to even out the neck binding, stretching the neckline as I sewed.

The darts are then basted temporarily.

With the nursing panel,  I overlocked around 3 inches of the bottom under the bust points. These areas will hang free, the other remaining areas will be sewn onto the crossover and bottom front ruched piece.

The ruched piece had to be gathered to produce the darts. I did this by handbasting and backstitching, adjusting it to fit the back pattern piece. The backstitching again helps to reduce stretching the fabric during overlocking.

Here I've attached the bottom front ruched piece to the crossover, as well as the nursing panel. But I hand basted the side seams first to try on the fit. It was too large, so I took in about 1 1/2 inches from both side seams. Also, I noticed that the underbust seam was stretched out, which made it look bunched up. There were 4 layers of fabric going under the overlocker and it shifted and stretched like crazy. At this point I decided to add a little belt under the bustline to hide the weird look going on there.

To make the belt, I just cut out a double layer of fabric, a little shorter in width to the underbust line, about 4 inches wide. Foldover (so that there is now 4 layers instead of just two), and overlock, then turn inside out. I chose to use 4 layers instead of 2 because I wanted it to maintain it's shape. I felt that having less layers would probably mean the belt will bunch up and fold onto itself, and lose definition.

I inserted the ends of the belt to the side seams, making sure that it was positioned to hide the ugly underbust seam.

I tried the fit and had to redo the side seams several times to get a really good fit. Basting is so important! It is easier to do by hand, because it is easier to rip out than machine stitching. Also, with handstitching, you control the stretch-machine stitching is liable to stretch the fabric out of shape.

At this point I basted the sleeves and decided that I wanted cap sleeves instead of the original t-shirt sleeves I'd cut out. So I cut away the excess as per below.

Because the side seams of the main bodice had reduced substantially, I had to remove the under sleeve seam area too to match the new sleeve hole.

To make the sleeve, I folded the 1 inch strips over, and overlocked it to the sleeve, binding side up. Then iron flat.

Depending on the look you want, you can either stretch the binding as you sew, or not. If you stretch it out, the cap sleeve will look gathered. I decided not to. Here is what the sleeve looks like attached to the bodice.

To finish the hem, I cut out 1 inch bias strips of knit fusible interfacing, fused it to the hem, overlocked it, then foldover, and topstitch with twin needles.

And iron every seam.


I'm very pleased with how this turned out. The little belt helps hide the major flaw in this top (due to my carelessness). I like how the cap sleeves turned out, and I'm very happy with the fit. The fabric is super comfy and very nice on the skin.

I hope to wear this after the birth-hopefully the bottom ruched bit won't sag too much! The nursing access would be really handy to have. Tops like these got for $70-80 at maternity boutiques, and around $30 at Target. So I've saved heaps!

I hope this tutorial was useful to you! If it was, please leave a comment! I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I Won!!!

A few weeks ago PatternReview.com held a giveaway of Gwynhug's Fabric Reference Cards. There were to be 2 winners from the US, and two international winners. I entered my comment and they picked me as one of the winners! See here for the winner announcement.

Yay! Finally I actually won something that I want and need. I've never had much luck with competitions before. 

When I first read about the cards, I really really wanted to get a set, but never got around to it. They are great because if you're like me, collecting pretty fabric can become an expensive habit, and is compounded by the fact that I never really know how much fabric I'm going to need and for what. I always estimate but err on the generous side so I end up spending more money than I need to, since I don't shop with a pattern in mind. I'm taking these with me next time I go to Spotlight. And I'll flash my cool cards around shamelessly. 

These fabric reference cards are the result of hundreds of hours of research into fabric yardage tables on patterns, and divided into a) women's, (b) women's plus sizes, (c) men's, (d) baby & toddler, and (e) children's garments. I chose set A of course. The cards come in either imperial or metric measurements.

I'm really happy I'm getting these!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Floral Smock Top

I made a top!!!! Spotlight had a fabric sale ages ago and they had this really pretty floral print in rayon.

I fell utterly in love with the print, but especially the feel of the rayon fabric. I always thought that rayon was a man-made fibre, but I was wrong-it's actually made of cellulose, a natural fibre from plants, and created as a cheaper alternative to silk. It is so light and breezy, breathes really well, very comfortable,and feels like a lightweight, really drapey silky cotton. When I first saw this fabric I persuaded myself that I did not need it. But I came back and got it after seeing it on the bolt a few times. I knew exactly what I would make with it, but after buying my 1.2 metres of it, I never got around to making anything for months and months (hint: I bought it last summer and this summer is almost at it's end!)

I wanted something really simple, no closures, minimal darts, no facings. I wanted it to be comfy, yet easy to wear and very feminine. So, I dug out my self-drafted maternity smock pattern. Even though it was drafted with a baby bump allowance, it is great as a loose smock top. And I love the version with the circular drape sleeves. This will be top number 4 that I've made with this pattern. See the other three in the link above.

Wyld Man was away for 5 days in Melbourne a couple of weekends ago, so I decided against feeling lonely and neglected (which I was for a couple of days-after the babies go to bed at 7pm, there's no one to talk to!) and sat down and cut and sewed everything in one night.

I used my brand new rotary cutter and self-healing mat to cut out. It is so quick! I don't think I'll be going back to scissors!

Make all the appropriate markings for darts and notches.

 I sewed the back darts first.

Then I decided to use a french seam for this top-my overlocker has been acting up and wasn't available, and I wanted a neat finish inside. This is the first time I've use a french seam. I feel so chic! It looks really neat as it encloses all the raw edges. I prefer it to overlocking the edges-but I wouldn't use it on a thicker fabric.

To sew a flat-fell seam, put wrong sides of fabric together and sew 3/8 inches from the edge. I used this seam finish on the back centre seam, side seams and the shoulder seams.

Now press the seam open and flat, then press to one side, turn it over so that right sides are together and stitch 1/4 inch from the edge. Make sure the raw edge has been neatly trimmed and you don't catch any threads. So because my seam allowance was 5/8 inch, sewing the first seam at 3/8inch and the second seam at 1/4 inch makes 5/8 inch! I didn't figure that out till recently-duh! Press the seam to one side.

I'll show you the french seam later.

Now to hem the sleeves and the bottom of the main garment. For this fabric, which is terribly ravelly, I zig zag the edge, turn and zig zag again, then turn under again, and finally topstitch for a neat finish.

Now for the neckline. First we join the bias strips, making sure it is longer than the neckline. Then press it in half, stretching the bias as you press. It doesn't hurt to shape the bias binding in a curve too.

See the pretty little french seam? So neat! Now we stitch 5/8 inch all around the neckline-staystitching it to prevent the neckline stretching. This is because the neckline is cut curved which means it is off grain and on the bias and handling it will stretch the fabric, distorting the neckline.

Sew the middle of the bias binding but stop 1 inch from either side of the centre front dot. Press the bias binding so that the folded edge is pointing north.

Woohoo! Done.

I love the sleeves. And because it's actually cut for a maternity top, it's very breezy and light to wear. But I do wonder if it's a little too shapeless. What do you think?

I used the same pattern to make another top within a few days after I finished this. Stay tuned for more!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Baby Sleep and Sleeping Bags

Dear readers,

I'm back! Finally, after having my second baby, dealing with some sleep and feeding issues, almost eight months later I'm back to post something. Been itching to sew for months, but my little Hippo (that's the Little Wyld One #2) has kept me busy! We call him the little Hungry Hippo because when he was born he ate and grew a lot. Now he's the Hefty Hippo. He's almost as big and heavy as the Little Wyld One, whom I'm gonna call Monkey from now on. Well, Monkey is almost 2-next week in fact. Sigh, have to get busy planning something. 

I haven't been able to sew for a few months. But when Hippo wasn't sleeping well without being wrapped, I made some baby sleeping bags on the fly. I liked the ones where the bags don't have armholes in them, but they are very expensive to buy, and I'd need several. Hippo does not sleep well with his arms free, but he was getting too big to be wrapped anymore. So being quite desperate I drafted my own pattern and made 4 sleeping bags at once. 

Sorry, I don't have a tutorial-I was in a rush and just wanted to get one done. I used soft cotton knits from my stash, and long vintage zips from opshops. 

One of these days, I'll make a PDF pattern and post it here if anybody is interested. 

Speaking of PDF patterns, a friend asked that I make a PDF of my maternity skirt pattern to sell. I never thought of doing it before, and I wonder if there would be a market for it. I have no idea where to start or what sizes to offer or how much to sell it for. But if anybody has any thoughts about it, please leave a comment!

I'll leave you with a pic of my Little Wyld Men.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

New Baby and Old Furs

So my last post was about maternity skirts. Well, I wore them everyday till I had my baby. They made the last month of pregnancy easier to bear because I could throw any top on and have a comfy, stylish skirt to go with it-one less headache for a very pregnant woman!

Anyway, I had my baby on the 17th of June and we named him Edmund. My due date was actually the 16th, so the little one was almost spot on! He was born about 12:25 am, so was only 25 minutes late! With my first, I was about a week early, and my mum had all four of hers a week early, so I thought it would be the same with this one. My doctor told me a week earlier than the head had engaged and I was ready to go anytime soon, so a week before the due date, I was literally sitting down all week at home, waiting for contractions to come. I got a bit tired of it after a week, so I decided to just go out and do everything I normally did again, pregnant or not!

On the night of the 15th, I had contractions that were around 10 minutes apart, so decided to go the hospital-but then they went further and further apart and then fizzled out completely. The next day, the contractions came again, but only came close if I kept moving-the minute I sat down, they started to space out further again. Took all day, still the contractions wouldn't come close. I was admitted to the labour ward  at 8pm, and had my waters broken at 10pm. After much huffing and puffing and blowing the house down, Edmund was born 2 1/2 hours later.

So the last few weeks were about adjusting to this new human being. I had mum here for three weeks, which was great. William got to meet his 'Po Po' and get to know her and had someone to go to if I was busy with Edmund.

Well, now we've got two and let me tell you, mum's who have several little ones-hats off to you! You're amazing! It's a juggling act to meet the demands of a toddler and breastfeed a newborn. On top of that, you still have to keep house and look after hubby and yourself. It's quite draining. I had no sleep the first 5 days, so I was grateful for my mum's help.

But things are settling in. It feels like a real family now that we've got two little ones. With just one, there's still a sort of singlehood to it. One baby is pretty portable. Two-you're grounded. But in a nice way. It's lovely to be a family and it's all worth it.

What else have I been up to? I bought myself a couple of furs! A little treat to myself for my upcoming birthday. I found the fur jackets online on Gumtree. The lady had only put up pictures of one which I really liked, but also said she had more. I met her and tried on a second fur she had and fell in love with it as well, so ended up with two.

This first fur is a light brown and white rabbit. It has a shawl collar, two front pockets and a snazzy red lining. $40. Size 10.

This second fur is a grey rabbit, maybe a chinchilla. It has a stand up collar and two front pockets. Also $40. Size 10.

The seller reckons they are probably 30 years old-but they smell really clean and are in pristine condition for their age. The furs are beautifully soft and very luxurious. The hairs are tight and doesn't shed. A great vintage find! Can't wait to wear it out somewhere!

And a couple of weeks ago I found a skirt marker at Vinnies for $5. They sell for around $30 at Spotlight, so I'm pretty happy with my find. For those not in the know, it's for marking the hems of a skirt . It sit on the floor. You adjust the marker to rest at your hem length, and you sqeeze the little pump, which will blow chalk powder unto the skirt, marking the hem. You're wearing the skirt of course, and you squeeze the pump at intervals while you slowly turn full circle. Voila! Evenly marked hems.