Sunday, 28 June 2015

The Five month Dior-style jacket and the 5 hour Jaile scarf-collar top plus giveaway

I started this jacket way back in Feburary and have been plugging away steadily at my sewing class since then, hence why I am posting something which is very unseasonable at the moment.  This is my second version of Gertie's New Look jacket from her Book for Better Sewing

I love the fit and the shape of this jacket.  It really extenuates the waist.  Here it is worn with a fuller skirt (again from Gertie's book).

I am probably more likely to wear it for work with a slimmer skirt (yes, a very sensible look because I have a rather sensible job!).  Here it is with my adapted Mabel skirt

You can probably see the detail better here.  There is a big shawl collar, which is only at the front, there is no collar at the back at all which is rather unusual.  You can see the waist shaping here.  This is achieved by darting and an under-peplum.

The fabric is melton wool from the Cloth House.  I wouldn't use it again because it is just too firm and so difficult to work with plus at the moment it feels stiff to wear, on the other hand it has taken the shaping really well. I will definitely make this jacket again (and possibly in black) but perhaps use a good quality wool crepe.

The back view.  You can see there is actually quite a bit of fabric in the back, it isn't a close fit, but this does make it more comfortable to wear.

Here is a photo of the guts.  I used fusible heavy interfacing.

You can see the inner-peplum here.  Lots of darts to give extra structure.

I made bound button holes, they are rather too thick, so I will work on that in future.

I lined the jacket with satin.

I'm wearing the jacket with my new blouse.  This is Jalie 2921 scarf-collar top.  I love this pattern.  I made it previously in a thicker jersey, but this is gorgeous silk jersey and I absolutely love it.  It feels great to wear and was reasonably easy to cut and sew with care.  Now this is where I am jealous of you guys in the USA.  I couldn't find silk jersey anywhere in the UK under £100, and so I'm afraid I bought it from Mood.  It wasn't cheap but worth the cost and you could probably squeeze this top out of a generous metre.  What was even dearer are the shipping costs and then you have to add the £19 inport duty!  It's a good job I like it.  I also bought 1 1/2 metres of black.  I would love more of the colours but it's just too extravagant to repeat!  So lucky you in the USA.    The fabric has just the right stretch and feels really luxurious.

As I said I love this pattern.  It took me just under 5 hours to make and that included all the seams being French seamed (including the sleeve insertion).  I think the collar is very clever (the first time it took me a while to work out).  You roll up the back and front pieces into the collar.

You then sew the collar together, with the rest of the blouse inside, and pull it all out through a 1" gap!  I know amazing and it gives the inside such a clean look.

Inside of collar.
I'm going to make another one from the black silk jersey.  If I want to try an actual bow I will need to make the tie longer as it is a bit bunched at the moment.

On a non-sewing front Dan, Gemma and I went to see Elton John who was appearing in Kendal!  Direct from Las Vegas to Kendal.  It was a great show, though being outside pretty cold.

One of the more unusual opportunities I have at work is to see lots of lovely wild animals and this little family of ducklings won the award for cuteness this week.

Image result for great british sewing bee book 2015Finally, I'm incredibly pleased to have more than 100 followers on Bloglovin, thanks so much and to celebrate I'm having 3 give-aways over the next 3 posts.  The first is a copy of the new Great British Sewing Bee book, because of postage I'm afraid I'm only offering this one to UK followers (but the next 2 pattern packages will be for everyone).  So if you would like to win this just leave a comment below (it's a long story how I ended up with more than one copy myself).  I'll close this draw on Monday 6th July.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Butterick 5880 a bit of '51 retro

I absolutely love this dress.  It's one of the favourite things I have ever made.  The pattern is Butterick 5880 which is one of their retro reproductions.  I loved Oona's version and despite her description of how time consuming it was,  couldn't wait to have a go myself.

The pattern illustrations are pretty gorgeous too.  Can you spot my deliberate mistake?  Yes I cut the overskirt the wrong way up and had to put the frill (would you call it a frill?) on the wrong side.    I don't think it really matters and in some ways its easier to have the gathers away from the zip.  Speaking of zips this was the hardest zip insertion I have ever had (which included fitting one side 3 times).  Do you think this is because the fabric, though woven is stretchy?  Should I have used some fusible interfacing to stabilize it?

I think its challenging a bit of my inner-bombshell (if I have one).  What you can see from this photo is that the fabric has a the ability to stretch quite a bit, which means that it is really comfortable.  It also meant that I ended up taking about 2 inches from the width of the skirt, but because the top is lined with non-stretch fabric I didn't reduce the width of the top.  That gave me a bit of a challenge in fitting the skirt to the bodice, but with some stretching as I sewed it made it work.  Other changes were my usual inch taken from the bodice length, 1/2 taken from the neck edge both at the front and the back and moving the notches in correspondingly.  I cut my usual size 14.  You can't see from the photos but there are two parallel bust darts which are interesting.


You can get a better idea of the fabric here.  It is a stretch imitation lace and I love it.  It sewed well but was difficult to press, and that's where a clapper is indispensable.  There is an over-skirt, which is makes a fan at the waist.  I am worried slightly that over time the weight of the frill might pull on the skirt in which case I could add a waist stay.

I lined the overskirt and bodice in bemsilk lining rather than using a self-lining because I think it would be too thick.  I love the neckline and managed the notches better than I thought I would.

I would definitely recommend this pattern, and if you are thinking of having a go can I also recommend this you tube tutorial which I found very useful with the difficult bits.  I'm wearing this on Wednesday night to my college's end of year show, the Adams' family, and looking forward to it.  Work has been pretty full on recently, so my sewing time and down time is particularly appreciated.  Have you made something you are particularly proud of recently?

Thursday, 28 May 2015

McCalls 6649 and Grainline Alder mash-up

The fact that I can write this title feels like some real progression in my sewing achievement, because it represents being able to imagine a garment and then alter patterns to achieve it, and this is pretty much what I imagined.

I wanted a soft-floaty blouse made of swiss dot fabric.

I used McCall's M6649 as the basic pattern.  This is a great pattern for me (if you ignore the dated envelope illustrations) because it has different cup sizes and means that a fba isn't needed.  I cut a size 14 C cup.  I took my usual 1" from the length to raise the waist line and 6/8" from the width at the shoulders.

I cut the side and back panels (shortened to the right length) from the alder dress pattern and use the blouse cut-outs on the blouse fronts and back.

I'm really pleased with how it has turned out, and the fit is pretty much what I wanted.  I did realise about half-way through that I had gone to a lot of trouble to create a look which is rather like the Bruyere!  I think the flat front panel, and the extra gathers work well though.

I'm particularly proud of the finish on the inside.  Because the fabric is somewhat transparent I French seemed everywhere and this generally went really well, even the sleeves.

The only mistake I made was in the French seaming of the inset panels at the corner.  Somehow I think I didn't do the snip at the corner correctly and, as you can see below, there is a pull, which is annoying but I can live with it.

Pretty good continuation of the dot through the yoke! (Sorry do I sound like I'm bragging, but hey I am pretty proud of this one!).  I think I should have used silk organza rather than iron-on interfacing which has made the yokes rather too "white", something for another time.

This is actually my second 6649 (forgot to blog the first one).  My first was made in Liberty fabric as a bit of an experiment.  Before you start thinking I can afford to use liberty to experiment, this was £5 a metre from Standfast and Barracks.  I'm not sure about the result, I love the fabric but it is probably a bit busy for a garment for me (and hence not worn yet).


I had imagined the swiss-dot blouse worn with the Stonecutter jumper, the contrast between a delicate blouse and rustic sweater.

I haven't knitted the sweater yet, though I've bought the pattern (think it might take some time to knit!)

I have knitted a cardigan though!  This is the Kelly cardigan, knitted from Erika Knight's Classc Knits.  I first came across this cardigan when I was admiring Anne's cardigan worn in the first series of the Great British Sewing Bee.  Anne used up different ends of wool to create her stripes.  I wanted a lazy way to get stripes and I already had this wool in my stash.  It's Drops Kid-Silk (a mohair and silk mixture).  I've already waxed lyrical about Drops wool, it is fantastic value.  It's on offer at £3 a ball at the moment and I used 7 balls for this (though it might have squeezed out of £6 without the use of two colours).  I used colour 24 petrol for the bands and 25 sea-green for the body.  You knit the whole thing with two strands of wool, which makes it really cosy, though trying to maintain clean stripes requires some thought.

This is a great basic cardigan pattern and a good beginner's knit.  Looking at the photos I do need to work on the fit of my knits.  I should have reduced the length a bit and narrowed the shoulders!

.... and there's more.  I also finished a little cowl (bit out of season, but it is still cold!)  This is the Eleanor Cowl.  This is a really enjoyable little knit.  Interesting lace pattern, but not too difficult and a quick little knit.  The wool is scrummy, Madelinetosh Tosh merino dk.  This is not cheap!! But you only need one skein!

Otherwise I'm enjoying a few days off this half-term and having a good sew (of course!).  The weather is pretty grotty, though I had one lovely walk with Dan and all the dogs!  Monty is growing.

Rosie and Tess are pretty scruffy at the moment and don't be fooled by this "we are really good dogs" trick, they are expecting a treat!  Hope you enjoyed the long weekend.