Le Bellatrix Blazer français

Le Bellatrix Blazer français
Le Bellatrix Blazer français

Well, it’s done!  I am a little slow in posting this project here – trying to make some progress with other projects too!  I had all the pieces for this “proper” Bellatrix Blazer, bar the lining, cut & marked on Sunday afternoon, & interfaced just before Sherlock started on Sunday evening.  That’s what you saw in the previous post.  So around 10:30am-ish on Monday morning, I got stuck in.  A stray thought went through my head:  “I wonder if I can finish this whole thing today, so Daughter No2 can wear it to school tomorrow…?”  Nothing like a little challenge!  🙂

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In the cutting out process I cut the facing fronts, which form the upper collar, 3mm wider along that front edge.  I wanted to use a tailoring technique that helps to ensure the seam stays underneath.  I did the same on the lower edges of the “peplum” pieces & the front edge.  It really did help, as well as a lot of steam & flattening with my clapper!  I also lengthened the shoulder seam by 2cm & the sleeve is 6cm longer.  I cut the back lining piece with a 2cm pleat in the centre, this to enable movement, but otherwise kept everything else as standard.  I even stayed with the bagged lining instruction!

DSC06967This really is an easy pattern to make.  The pockets are in-seam & the instructions are so plain & simple, a novice should be able to follow them with no problem!  I found no problems, apart from the front sleevehead:armhole ratio.  There is more armhole than sleeve!  I must alter this on my traced pattern, but for now I managed to ease it all in & it doesn’t look like there was a problem.

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I need a bit more pressing on that front edge!

We are on the lookout for a buckle or something for the front closure, we sort of decided we’d like an edge to edge closure, rather than a button.  For now though, she’s happy to wear it as it is, & her friends have been suitably impressed with it!  It got its first outing to school on Tuesday morning & in double French the teacher was most impressed with the fabric choice!  I’ve shown the pattern & a suitable piece of fabric to Daughter No1 too, fingers crossed she likes the combination & I can make another!

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In Jungle news, I spent many fruitless hours searching for my bodice block & toiles from last year, finally located them, only to realise I’d eaten too much over Christmas (and any other time in between) & needed to re-draft anyway!  Grrr.  So that’s what I did yesterday, & I’m intending to move along with adding the style lines & creating my puuuurfect jungle blouse.

A very pleased youngster with 2 new jackets in 3 days!
A very pleased youngster with 2 new jackets in 3 days!

How are your jungle plans?  And have you taken advantage of the special offer at Raquel Gonzalez‘ Etsy store?  You only have until this Monday to get 15%off a purchase over $50, and free shipping, so get cracking!  Use the code:  NewYearNewPurse when you check out.

Making Progress

Thanks for all the great replies to my previous post!  It’s not the first time I’ve used a soft furnishing fabric for a jacket, but it is the first time I hadn’t intended for it to be seen by the general public!  Now I did say I wouldn’t be making another Bellatrix until I’d sorted my Jungle January stuff.  Yeah, I got distracted!  Daughter No2 & I got digging in the stash & identified 3 pieces of fabric that could be used for the next one, & the winner was…

Paris print cotton canvas for Bellatrix take two
Paris print cotton canvas for Bellatrix take two

It’s a cotton canvas with a French print, writing & Eiffel towers all over.  I cut it out yesterday & raided the stash lining box again.  There was enough of a silver/grey/lilac that I’d used for a vintage jacket.  Again, praise for the small pattern pieces!  I have added a movement pleat in the back lining piece.  This cotton canvas had a degree of movement in it & I don’t want to be fixing ripped armhole seams in the lining after a couple of wears.  I managed to interface the fabric in the 30 minutes before Sherlock started last night, so today I’m ready to hit the ground running!  YAY!

I was asked by a local store to make them some bunting (who else wants winter over now already?), so I again resorted to the stash.  Funny how many pieces of left-over fabrics there are in my cupboard!  Anyhow, I yanked out a pile of pretty stuff, a lot of which are Liberty lawn, so this is going to be high-class bunting!!

Fabrics for bunting
Fabrics for bunting

I also re-measured husband for his pattern cut shirt.  Thank goodness I did!  In the 3 years since I decided to make him a handmade shirt (or 2) he’s got a teeny bit bigger!  🙂  We both have to be honest, and he’s not been that bad.  Anyhow, so that’s another thing to start, in addition to the Jungle blouse for me.

As well as rambling on about my progress this weekend, I have a special offer for the readers of this blog.  There are so many talented people plying their crafts on Etsy, but here’s one person who makes the most amazing handbags & totes.  Seriously, I have spent far too much time on her page, drooling over the colours & styles & being absolutely hopeless in my decision making.  However, as it’s the New Year & we all need a boost – and a new handbag – Raquel Gonzalez is offering you guys 15% off any purchase over $50 (that’s US Dollars), including free postage.  The discount is valid until Monday 20th January, so don’t dither too long over making a decision!

Use the code:  NewYearNewPurse when you check out.  As for me, I cannot decide between this floral tote (perfect for stashing fabric shopping in, yes??)  & this block colour turquoise one.  I wonder how much fabric one could stuff into one of these….  Then again, if I wasn’t worried about hiding fabric, I could totally have this purple crocodile number – drool!!

The Bellatrix Blazer – Take One Curtain

Yup, you read that correctly!  This jacket has been made using a curtain – let me explain.  I won the Papercut Patterns Bellatrix Blazer in Kat‘s giveaway last year.  I had a pretty good idea it would look pretty fabulous on the Daughters, and I especially liked the cropped version.

Bellatrix
Bellatrix

Thankfully I have a lightbox, because I needed it to trace the pattern!  For this first go I was going completely by the book & Daughter No2’s measurements.  With a new pattern I like to keep it simple and see where I need to alter, & I like to do the whole thing according to the instructions, so I can decided where I’d do things differently.  On the whole, the pattern went together really well.  One thing I don’t like is a bagged lining, so that’s definitely going to be changed when I make the “real thing”.  I will also be lengthening the sleeve by about 8cm (Daughter No2 has orangutang arms).

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I made the toile from a sturdy cotton jaquard curtain fabric to replicate what it may be like in a wool or maybe a thick twill.  Considering there is no interfacing in it, I think it stands up quite well.  Of course there is always a hitch…  I put it all together & then did a fitting.  Daughter No2 immediately went into raptures & wanted to wear it as is – “I like it, the colour is cool, the fabric is cool…”  Really??  It’s a CURTAIN!!  I have a serious problem – I am incapable of saying the word “No”.  So I looked doubtful instead & said, there’s no interfacing – it needs to be lined…

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But there was no dissuading her.  So I retrofitted the lining – no easy feat, I can tell you!  There is no understitching on the collar, no stay-tape & actually no fastening either, but she thinks its fab & went out in it tonight…  I guess I’d better get cracking on the proper one now, but I’ll take my time, afterall, she has a new jacket already!  🙂

DSC06939But before she gets another blazer, I need my Jungle attire!

p.s. I gave in to temptation & made this version

Breaking News…..

I have an Etsy shop!!!!  😀  YAY!!

I finally cracked.  I am going to make the vintage patterns in my boxes pay for their keep, & new additions!  Daughter No2 & I had a chat regarding all these pretty patterns, and how elegant the fashions are/were “back in then”.  It seems a shame we have lost some of that, and I love making beautiful things.  So it was decided to start making the patterns I have into clothes, making them in suitable fabrics & with the finishes they would have had if made by a seamstress when the patterns were new.

And so my shop was launched on the 28th June, with the first two items being these;

Sheath dress from vintage Butterick pattern in blue floral cotton poplin
Sheath dress from vintage Butterick pattern in blue floral cotton poplin
1950 vintage Butterick jacket in pistachio drill
1950 vintage Butterick jacket in pistachio drill

The fabric for the dress was sourced from Croft Mill, and boy do they ship quickly!  I placed the order online on the Thursday night, by Saturday lunchtime it and the order made on Friday morning from Ditto Fabrics had arrived!  This green pistachio cotton drill is fabulous!  Ditto also have it in a dusky pink, I may just have to have some!

So, in addition to sewing Burdastyle patterns for the girls, and pattern cutting goodies for all of us, trying to find time to fulfill my Sewlutions commitment (still have to find it, to be honest!) & sell our house, I am now making gorgeous dresses, jackets, etc for selling on Etsy!  I think I’m a happy bunny!  😀

I do have some projects to add here, but they can wait for another post…..  Other good news is that no-one coming to view our house has been injured due to a fabric avalanche accident.  Yet.

Oh – aaannnddd      –      the dream house that was snatched from under our noses is back on the market!  The buyers pulled out at the last minute, so now all we need is to sell this one!  Anyone for a 3 bedroom townhouse in a rural market town in Warwickshire????

Chasing my Tail

Well I certainly didn’t expect a whole month to go by before I got back here!  And what a month it has been.  I had a trip to hospital (won’t go into details), we found our dream home, we put our current home on the market in order to get said dream home, only to have it snatched from underneath our feet days after putting our house out there.  So now my days are filled with making sure everything is neat and clean and tidy and there is no sewing lying around.  It’s not exactly conducive to being creative.

I have managed to sew up two dresses from a vintage Vogue (unprinted) pattern for daughter no 2’s 6th form wardrobe.

Vintage Vogue 9971
Vintage Vogue 9971 isn’t it just devine??

I have to say I am really happy with the results, she looks amazing in these dresses!

Vogue 9971 in black cotton
Vogue 9971 in black cotton

The fabric is a black cotton I bought about 5 years ago, intending to make a skirt.  The organza ribbon flowers run parallel to the selvage edge.  It was fun cutting this out, to make sure the repeat of the flowers was correct, being sure there was enough for the bodice, as I’d only bought just over a metre!

I just didn't get it right on this side with the flowers.
I just didn’t get it right on this side with the flowers.

She liked the fit so much we made another….

Vogue 9971 in cotton batik
Vogue 9971 in cotton batik

This is no stash fabric…  I bought it from Fred Winter’s in Stratford at Easter time, funnily enough, with this dress in mind!  After digging through the stash at the beginning of the year I had earmarked the black embroidered fabric for this pattern, and before I’d made that up I found this batik, perfect!  So it was just as well Daughter No2 liked the pattern enough to have two!  Phew.

Vogue 9971 - the back
Vogue 9971 – the back

I have managed to use up another stash piece.  I had bought this particular linen easily 5 years ago, if not more.

Kohn Kaldor print linen
Kohn Kaldor print linen

I loved the colours, and again thought I’d end up with a skirt.  But I never got round to it, and now I know not to bother with skirts, so what to do?  I couldn’t part with it.  In April Kat & the Curious Kiwi came up with a Burda Sew-along idea.

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I figured I’d join in, it’s not like I’m short on Burdas, afterall.  I decided to use this linen to make Blouse 107 from Burdastyle  January 2011. It’s a pattern I’ve used 3 times before so I know it works, and it suits me.  I have suffered from lack of ooomphf on this project, not helped at all by the whole house thing.  And the weather.  Spring started, then it went away again, what’s with that?

All cut out & ready to sew
All cut out & ready to sew – apologies for the grainy quality, phone photo.

I was doing well until I put the collar together.  In my blissfully un-concentrating state I did the collar the “normal” way for a shirt, completely forgetting that this one does not go together like that. grrrr.  It took 2 days for me to go back to it and cut another.  Then it came together quite quickly.  I had wanted pretty buttons but the shop only had 2 of the ones I liked, so I raided the button box & found enough Jasper Conran ones that came off one of Husband’s discards.  Win win..

I like the fabric, and I like the pattern, but did I do the right thing by putting th two together??
I like the fabric, and I like the pattern, but did I do the right thing by putting the two together??

I’m in two minds.  It feels right when it’s on, but I am not sure I was in the right place when I married this fabric with this pattern.  Is it too busy?

I love the sleeves on this pattern.
I love the sleeves on this pattern.

Excuse the wrinkly bits, I’d been wearing this all day waiting to take photos!  In addition to the sleeves, I love the darts.  There are 4 across the back, and another 4 on the front.  The pattern calls for them to be sewn on the outside which makes for an interesting textural contrast, and means you get to play with a contrasting or matching thread.  Of the 4 blouses I’ve made, 3 have the darts on the outside.  There is also this cool pleat down the centre back, stitched in at the waistline.  This means there is still shape at the waist, but extra movement for flingin’ your arms around & reachin’ for stuff.

The back with cool central pleat.
The back with cool central pleat.

We have had a little lull in the demand for viewings for the house this week, so I might just take advantage and get the pattern cutting paper out.  I really want to get cracking on some skirts for Daughter No 2, not forgetting the Sewlutions!!  I do hope Karen isn’t going to be doing a round up anytime soon, because I have no idea where the pattern I cut for Husbands shirt is.  Nor do I know where the fabric went…..  On making the house presentable all the exploded stuff had to be stuffed back into the cupboard.  Heaven help the person who yanks the doors open ’cause there’s an avalanche in there, just waiting for an opportunity to strike…

Here are some of the sketches for skirt (& shirt) ideas I’ve had for daughter no 2.

Skirt ideas
Skirt ideas

img023She has a thing for pencil skirts at the moment.  So that’s me then, I just need to get on with it!  😀

Muse Marathon

Let’s get it out in the open.  Second to my fabric obsession, I love music.  This week I have made a few new purchases from Amazon – God bless downloads!  I have christened my latest two projects with Muse song titles, partly because they fit so well,  and partly because all the 71 Musesongs iTunes says I have, have been on shuffle continuously for the last 2 days!

So without further ado, I present “Supermassive Black Hole”…  Ok, there was no way that Liberty silk was going to disappear into my fabric cupboard.  Who knows when it would have seen the light of day again?  I got the fabric washed and ironed by Monday evening, then waded through my Burdas to choose a pattern.  It wasn’t hard really, top no 138 from August 2011 was the one.  I’ve used the pattern before, and it was perfect for the silk.

Black and grey floral print Liberty Silk

Next, “Absolution”.  I beg absolution for my fabric buying sins!  I do hope that by not letting either of these peices languish in the fabric cupboard, that I have managed to obtain just a little bit.  The pattern for the trousers was another well used and loved Burda pattern, no 118 from April 2009.  If you see the pic in the magazine, you will see what the wow factor is.  The wide bootcut legs, topped off – or is that ended off, with a deep turn-up.  Devine!

And all those plaid stripes meet up – even on the pockets!
Snappy pockets, plaid lining up.

These projects with details and more pictures can be found in my Burdastyle studio.  So, I’m a happy bunny!  Just need to finish the hand stitching on the blue silk devore and that’s another project finished!  YAY!!

 

 

Cheating

I have a fabric confession to make. I need more of the stuff like I need a hole in the head, but that never seems to stop me acquiring more. On Sunday I accompanied a friend to Fred Winter‘s in Stratford on Avon to help her to choose some fabric for a couple of projects. Caroline Winter’s eyes literally lit up when she saw us. She knows us well.  Actually she knows me way too well!  😀

So going from not needing anything at all I ended up leaving with this:

2m of navy & grey plaid wool + 2% elastane

and…

1.5m Black and grey floral print Liberty silk satin

However. I still haven’t finished the blue devore blouse (not much left, only some hand stitching) and haven’t even started the jacket to be made with that great leaf-print linen. Although the pattern is finally finished, so it’s not quite as bad as it sounds.

So am I really allowed to make something new/different? Heck yeah! That’s why I am cheating. I have cut out the wool to make a pair of trousers using a Burdastyle pattern, and the silk is also cut, another Burdastyle pattern. Look for the finished articles this weekend, and on Burdastyle too!  I think I may need another category for commercial pattern use, otherwise I really will only have sporadic posting!

By the way, has anyone seen some of the fabulous wool coating, not to mention all the other fabrics that Truro Fabrics have in at the moment?  I pinned some great colours to my Pinterest boards last night.  It’s my version of online/virtual shopping – I haven’t spent anything, but I still get to see lovely fabric!  On the other hand, I may need some afterall –  Daughter no1 fancies a new coat..  hmm

Anyone for felt hearts??

A bowl of felt heart magnetism..

Yup, they have little magnets inside! How cute to decorate the fridge with these? 😀   Right, I’m off to finish all these projects today!  Talk about Sewing with a Plan!!