Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Colette Phoebe and McCalls 6649

I'm sure there will be lots of Colette Phoebes hitting the blogasphere soon, as Colette is currently running a sewalong.  Unfortunately I had already nearly finished mine before I knew the sewalong was coming.

I picked this pattern because I rather liked the Colette version

.... and I think mine looks pretty similar.  Hopefully it doesn't look too much like a school uniform.  As you can see I chose to only have 8 buttons rather than 10.    Because I really don't like high necks which feel a little restrictive I dropped the neckline by 3/8" front and back, which gives a little extra room.  I also raised the waist by 5/8" (I usually raise by 1" as I have a high waist).

I particularly like the fit in the back.

The fabric is a most gorgeous  teal coloured stretch velveteen with 5% spandex.  It's £14.90 per metre and I managed to squeeze it out of 1.5 metres.  The stretch meant that although it is quite fitted, it's still very comfortable.  I bought the fabric because of the colour and the stretch, however, I hadn't really thought that it might actually be quite similar to velvet to sew!  This meant that you have to cut everything in the same direction, you have to be very careful with pins, and pin in the seam allowances and if you unpick it is going to show.  I also realised you can only iron on the wrong side and I also did this on top of a towel to try and prevent the nap getting squashed on the right side.

I cut a size 10, but actually the front piece doesn't quite line up with the princess seam, so I could have done with a little more room in the bust.  I graded to a size 8 at the waist and skirt, but then tooke another 1/5" extra off all the seams to make the fit a bit snugger.

Looking at the pattern I think I expected this to be a really easy sew but it was a bit more challenging than I expected.  You are dealing with a lot of layers at the front waist (5 where there is the overlap) and with this quite thick material lining up took patience and I don't really like the finish at the inside waist.  I'm also not used to sleeveless lined bodices where you have to be careful to get the lining absolutely right.  In retrospect I wish I had lined the whole dress, because at the hem the velvet tends to stick to your tights.

I chose to do an invisible zip which looks great on the right side but I just couldn't work out how to make a really nice job on the inside, but it's OK.  In summary though I like this dress and I will wear it to work.  The pattern instructions are clear and easy to follow.  (The lining is teal not green but the lack of light has changed the colour).

I'm wearing my phoebe with a McCalls 6649 in Atelier Brunette Hirondelle, which is lovely fabric to sew and wear.  I really like this pattern and this is my third version.

I think Colette patterns are probably my most used indie patterns, and I am on a bit of a Colette roll ...coming up the Wren!  Have you sewn any Colette patterns?

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Sydney Jacket and Liberty jasper sweater

Two casual makes today.  First up  the Tessuti Fabrics Sydney Jacket, which I purchased in pdf form.

Described as "an oversized, draped jacket which features a relaxed collar, back yoke, extended cropped raglan sleeves" and this is what you get.  I cut the extra small size which is for bust 34" (I measure around 38") because the pattern looked roomy.  I think I could have gone even a little smaller as it is still very roomy and after completion I cut off 1 1/2" from each of the front edges.  I missed out the pockets because I felt that with the thicker boiled wool they might look rather bulky.

You need to use a fabric which doesn't fray as the edges are left untreated.  I made mine in a high quality boiled wool, which has a lot of body and it has worked out quite well.  You can see how the seams appear neatly on the right side.

This is the wrong side and you can see the seams look neat here too.  They are all overlapped and then trimmed.  One thing I would do differently is not to cut the dart as a V, but to make an ordinary dart.  I found that it was difficult to completely close the opening at the dart point and it looks slightly compromised in terms of strength.

Overall this is an relatively easy sew and well designed pattern.  I haven't worn it yet though, because with the rather short sleeves it is just to cold to wear at the moment.  More of a light spring jacket.

Next up is Paprika Patterns Jasper Sweater.

Image result for jasper sweater patternI'd seen so many lovely versions of this, including the pattern illustrations,  that I had high hopes.  I had an idea of using some Liberty fleece with plain fleece.  When you are making a garment there is a moment when you have either basted or pinned or sewed enough to try on and get an idea of what your garment will look like.  There are two results 1) you think hey this doesn't look bad I think it is actually going to work or 2) ..... just not sure you are going to like it and then it is a bit of an effort to carry on. This was one of the latter garments.  It didn't look as I had imagined.  I still feel that way.  It's warm and cosy, but I think I find the bright liberty a bit much and it is much firmer than the navy fleece.  I cut a size 4, but think that is could do with being a little smaller, you can see there is a lot of fabric in the side panels and the princess seams could be a touch further in.

It's a pretty easy pattern, although the neck is fiddly and I didn't get a nice crisp V (which is very obvious with the contrasting fabrics), rather a soft of curve.  Overall I am disappointed and I'm not sure whether I will make it again, but it is wearable.  The Liberty fleece is Alice's Garden.
Which as you can see is pretty busy.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Simplicity 1202 and Jalie 2921 Scarf Collar top

An outfit this time; skirt and top.  I need to apologise in advance for the lack of decent photos, these were taken during my cold and it shows!
The skirt pattern was free with Sew Magazine and it is one of those useful capsule patterns.

Misses' and Miss Petite Sportswear

I started with the fabric, some gorgeous Swedish wool, which has a slightly silky sheen and is a little more chartreuse than it looks here.  I thought it would make a cute skirt and overall I'm pretty pleased.  I cut a size 12 wanting it to fit on my natural waist rather than below, and I could still have taken some more out as it is a little loose.

What I have decided is that I just don't like faced waists and much prefer a waistband.  I would make the change, but it would make the skirt shorter and I think this is as short as I feel comfortable (even though the older I get the shorter my skirts seem to be getting!).

The other reason I'm not keen on the facing is you can just see it - it is a deep one.

I do like the deep pleats, they start at a flattering depth, giving you a nice flat line but with some interest.  Pattern matching .... not bad and I was pleased with the invisible zip insertion (sorry lack of detailed photos, I will improve .... promise!).

The blouse is the Jalie 2921 Scarf tie top.  This is my third version, number two is here.  I love this pattern, so easy to wear and pretty quick to make.  The tie construction is amazing, you fold the whole blouse into the tie collar to make a really neat join.  I made it the same as my last one, though the end result is definitely looser (even though it's the same fabric), but this time made the tie a few inches longer to make the tie better.  This fabric is silk jersey from Mood fabrics in the USA.  I can't recommend it enough, it's gorgeous and easier to work with than silk and so comfortable.  Just look at the colour selection.  I want more!!!  Unfortunately it is rather expensive here in the UK with the delivery and the customs (another £18) which means I probably can't succumb again.  But if you live in the US, it's a great buy.  I had 2 metres and that was plenty for the blouse with quite a bit left over to make some pants!

I am sure I will be making both of these patterns again.  I would like another skirt but with a waistband.  You will also see this fabric again.  I am going to buy some more to make a winter weight Colette Laurel with added welt pockets.
I've enjoyed another film, this time The Danish Girl
Image result for the danish girl
Thought provoking and very beautiful and I really coverted this kimono.  Perhaps one for the future ... so much to sew!

Sunday, 10 January 2016

McCall's 7257: the Birthday Coat

Happy New Year to you all, even though we are already on the 7th!    The post Christmas holiday wasn't the best as I had a pretty miserable cold (and you can see this in the photos!).  The 29th was my birthday and I had planned to make a faux fur coat to wear.    I splashed out on some very good quality faux fur.  Just to be absolutely clear I am very opposed to real fur, so hopefully this is faux enough not to be mistaken.

The pattern is McCall's 7257

I cut my usual size 14, but because I have a C cup I did a 1" full bust adjustment, which made the bottom hem wider as well.  I then cut down the width at the bottom later on by 1" from each seam (4" in total).   I also added an extra 1" to the width of the sleeves and then later took 5/8" back out.   Looking at the photos I think it still looks a little big, so I think actually I would have been better not making the adjustments.  I didn't think it would be helpful making a muslin because the fabric would behave so differently.  I also took 5/8" from the shoulder width as usual.   The sleeves look a little long and you can just see that because the lining sleeve is exactly the same pattern as the coat sleeve it is pulling a little at the sleeve.  I've just  unpicked the sleeve lining and taken the sleeve length up 1 1/2" and it has done the trick and taken the pulling out as well as looking much better. 

The lining is my current favourite a Bemberg cupro from the  Lining Company, which comes in over 100 colours.  Mine is a lovely Saxony blue and it feels really luxurious.  I added a pleat in the lining which wasn't in the pattern of approximately 1", just to ensure comfort and no pulling across the back.

The coat is fastened by 5 large fuzzy hooks and eyes  (this was a bit of a nightmare when I wore a jumper underneath which kept getting caught).  The colour here is very inaccurate.

The coat itself is quite easy to make, no darts, just three pieces and a lining, however, preparing the faux fur is a bit of a nightmare.  You have to trim all the fur from the seam allowances (this took about 2 days - and when I took the sides in a bit I had to trim them all again).  Also the fur gets everywhere.

I would recommend a little couture technique.  I used a catch stitch on all the seams to keep them nice and flat.  You can see below the sleeve on the left has been catch stitched, the one on the right hasn't.

So there we are a little bit of luxury!

Worn on my birthday to go out with Dan and Gemma for a pizza and film.  We saw Carol with Cate Blanchett which I really enjoyed (especially the great 1950 clothes - think hers is a real fur though!).

Carol (film) POSTER.jpg

I've gone into another decade now, but have decided it is just a number and nothing to do with how you feel, look or are perceived by others.  I'm not doing a proper round up of last years sewing, just to say I made

17 dresses
9 tops and blouses
3 skirts
4 jackets
2 coats and 1 pair of jeans
and knitted 2 sweaters and 2 cardigans

Not a bad total!

I made 6 McCall's patterns 4 Butterick, 1 Vogue, 2 Simplicity and 14 independent patterns.

My favourites were Deer and Doe Bruyere

and Butterick 5880

So here to another decade of sewing.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

GBSB Drapey Knit Dress and a mustard Oslo

I think this is a bit of a marmite dress, you love it or hate it .... on the whole I love it!  Not my usual style at all, and my hemlines seem to be going up as I get older.  This is The Great British Sewing Bee Fashion with Fabric Drapey Knit Dress

 I had been intrigued by lots of versions, and particularly liked Karen's version which she made in a finer knit fabric than the suggested double knit/ponte. I had seen the rather crazy fabric at Fabric Godmother, with no idea what to make from it, but loved the colours and the 60s feel, and having seen Karen's thinner version thought it might be worth a go.  In fact I think overall the thinner jersey is better.  There is a an overlap (which ends up being 4 layers including the facing) and I think that this just wouldn't lie right if you were using a ponte roma.

I love the sleeves with all their bagginess which then goes into a slim cuff.

The construction is quite strange and rather fantastic.  The one piece back showcases a large pattern.

I cut a size medium and didn't make any adjustments except to leave out the pockets which I felt might spoil the line.

Whilst I was in the mood for knits I made another Seamwork Oslo.  It's not as snuggly as my last one (which I made last Christmas), but this was fairly cheap mustard boucle knit which I bought at the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching show.

The colour is great and I've worn it several times already.

With no lining, it does only take a few hours to make.

Strangely the stretch on this was vertical and I should have cut it that way, so the cuffs are a little tight, but still wearable.

I hope you all enjoyed Christmas.  I had a lovely time with Dan and Gemma who made a lovely Christmas lunch.

Just to prove I have worn the cardigan (though here with my Coco)!

And of course, lots of stokes with the lovely Monty!

Wishing you all a wonderful 2016, now if I can just get rid of this cold!