A Giraffe’s Tail – The Long & the Short of it.

So suave in her new jacket
So suave in her new jacket

I need to warn you all, this is a photo heavy post!

Phew, I have had such a blast sewing this month!  Jungle January has been a real hit, with sewing bloggers all around the world taking part.  Thank you Anne @ Pretty Grievances, this was a fantastic idea!

So when last I posted, I had received the samples from Ditto, and was drooling quite nicely over my pretty bits of fabric, sewing up all sorts of plans in my head.  I had drafted the flat overgarment block from Winnie Aldrich, just needed to toile and get on with the playing.  The block toile was fine, baggy, but about what I had expected with the size and (non)shape of the pattern pieces.  Moving on to fiddling and playing with paper, and the toile of the working pattern…

DSC01155

The first toile, and the baggy, ugly sleeve
The first toile, and the baggy, ugly sleeve & armhole

So, I used this block because I figured there was no point in going for a tailored jacket block and all it’s shaping etc.  The flat overgarment block is for fleeces.  Baggy, shapeless, ugly clothes.  I know that now…  The sleeve on the right in the photo above is the original.  I took out the left sleeve and reduced the ease in the head to try to get it to look better.  I also narrowed the sleeve, considerably. It didn’t work.  The back is too baggy, the armhole massive, and we hated it on sight.  So it went into the fabric recycling bin and I started with the tailored jacket block instead!

The sleeve in the 2nd toile, developed from the tailored jacket block
The sleeve in the 2nd toile, developed from the tailored jacket block

So how much better is that!  And the back…

Back of 2nd toile.
Back of 2nd toile.

The relief was palpable!  Daughter no2 was happy with this one, the length, the width at the hem, and particularly, the sleeves!  Then I ran into the next hiccough.  I didn’t want to order the fabric until I had done the toiles and worked out how much I’d need.  Unfortunately for me, Ditto only had about 1m of the giraffe print left! Nooooo!  We did get the dot fabric though…  That’s another project, and one that daughter no2 is going to tackle herself.

After a quick hunt on tinternet I found the same print at ukfabricsonline, and for £1/m less than Ditto, and cheaper post too.  I ordered my 2m and set out to find a suitable lining and contrast fabric.  Lining was pretty easy actually.  I got a superb satin finish lining in raspberry from Fred Winter in Stratford on Avon, but had no luck with a contrast to do the binding on all the edges and to cover the buttons.  Running out of time, we decided to forgo the contrast this time.  Oh yes, I’m making this again!

I love the contrast of the lining when the sleeves are turned back!
I love the contrast of the lining when the sleeves are turned back!

I was hoping for an emerald or turquoise lining for the jacket, thinking fucshia may be, ahem, “slutty”, but this raspberry is the bomb! 😀

FR0064

FR0054I should say that these photos are all taken on my phone camera.  Husband is working on a new project at work, so has nicked my camera for “research” purposes.

Twins??
Twins??

ACan you tell how much daughter no2 likes her new jacket?

09Not too keen on me calling the shots with all the photos though!

If there was ever a reason for doing another it is this:  Parent’s evening at her school was last night.  Her art teacher took one look and wanted to know where she’d got it, wanted to pat it, and warned that if it ever came into the art studio, she wasn’t to be suprised if she couldn’t find it at the end of the lesson.

Once again, thank you soooooooooooo much, Anne, for starting us all on this Jungle madness. It’s been fabulous to read the round-ups of all the projects, and I have found some new blogs to follow too!

Now, what’s on the cards for February??

Giraffe in the Jungle!

Whoop!  The postie really suprised me this afternoon by delivering not only the lavender I ordered last weekend and a letter excusing me from jury service, but the long awaited fabric samples from Ditto Fabrics as well!  😀  Yes, samples – plural….

Sample swatches from Ditto Fabrics
Sample swatches from Ditto Fabrics

Did you really think I’d only ask for the giraffe print??  There’s a oh-so-pretty spotty twill that’s perfect for a pair of 60’s capri pants for Daughter No2 to wear with the giraffe print jacket, a grey wool that would make a fab pair of trousers for me, and a zebra print cotton that was the fall-back should the giraffe print not be up to scratch.  And the stripe cotton…  that’s for me too.  No idea what to make from it, but I’m having some! So the issue with the giraffe fabric when I saw the picture on Ditto’s site was, will it be too fluffy..

Giraffe print - slightly fluffy, but just enough.
Giraffe print – slightly fluffy, but just enough.

Answer – nope!  It’s just right.  There is a very short pile that works very well, so we are going ahead, full steam!  Look out for us in the jungle pretty soon!  😀  Here’s a reminder of the jacket:

Sketch for 60's style swing jacket with contrast binding and bound buttonholes
Sketch for 60’s style swing jacket with contrast binding and bound buttonholes
Jacket in the giraffe and capri pants in the spot
Jacket in the giraffe and capri pants in the spots

And boy am I glad I don’t have to do jury service for the next two weeks!  Apparently there were too many people who filled in their forms and returned them to the summoning officer, so they had too many.  It’s quite nice to know there are plenty of civic minded people out there.

“Distractions”, or “The best laid plans…”

So, Jungle January.  See how quickly the “plan” I had laid down last year in late November has derailed.  I was going to make the spotty silk, then the duck egg corduroy, then the grey herringbone for Daughter no1.   Plans!  HA!!  Then Anne at Pretty Grievances lured me away with jungly antics.  Focus..  “squirrel!”

I will make the grey herringbone – I have to!  Daughter No1 is only at home until Sunday, then she’s back off to uni, and apparently won’t be visiting half as much this term as she did in the Autumn.  So I have to do this.  But I’m getting distracted by animal prints, 60’s swing coats and thoughts of bright jewel-like sparkly linings.

While I wait for the giraffe print to arrive from Ditto I had a browse through my vintage patterns.  This make is going to have to be quick if it’s going to be made in January, as I only have next week to myself, then I have two weeks of jury duty looming.  TWO WEEKS!!  😮

None of these fit the bill,

A selection of 60's patterns
A selection of 60’s patterns

Just my luck, I had no swing jackets.  So I will pattern cut it.  I used these to give me an idea for details for the giraffe jacket.  Maybe it won’t be done in January afterall…

Sketch for 60's style swing jacket with contrast binding and bound buttonholes
Sketch for 60’s style swing jacket with contrast binding and bound buttonholes – maybe!

It has daughter No2’s approval, provided I don’t make the pleat in the back too big.  So now I have work to do!

I also gave myself a bit of a challenge.  Today Karen at Did you make that? threw down the New Year’s Resolution gauntlet.  She has challenged us to put our money where our mouths are by committing to one resolution.  No going back, no hiding, no getting away from it.  Like she says, she has a long memory, and a jar!  Head over to her blog to read more about it, and join in if you dare! (But make it quick, you have limited time left!)

My resolution is to actually get something done for husband.  Long suffering, much ignored (sewing wise) husband.  Last year I started to do some pattern cutting for him, but more interesting and pretty things distracted me.  Sound familiar?  So this year I am committing to pattern cut him some shirts – that he will be prepared to wear!  I will stick my neck out a bit (ok, quite far) and say that I’d really like to make him a tailored suit too, but that’s not going on my definite list!!

Will I do it??  Keep checking to see…  ;p

Jungle January!!!

Well here it is, January 2013.  Some said we wouldn’t make it to Christmas, but what did the Mayans know??  Happy New Year everybody!  I guess I should be listing my “new” resolutions, going over the good and bad makes of the past year, but that will have to wait until later.  The news of the day is definitely Pretty Grievances‘ Jungle January.

Dangerously Stylish!
Dangerously Stylish!

The idea is simply to make something ravishing with an animal print fabric.  Now generally I don’t do animal print, and almost certainly not fur, the stuff gets everywhere!  I wanted to join in, but wasn’t sure what to do exactly.  Cue a browse on Ditto Fabrics‘ website.  I found this:

Giraffe print!
Giraffe print!

Now I can see a sort of 60’s style cropped swing-coat for Daughter no 2 here, think turquoise lining, or emerald, or even fucshia pink!  I have ordered a sample, which should arrive pretty pronto, knowing the service from Ditto.  I really hope it’s not too fluffy, because I think this could really work!  😀

Look out January, the animals are on the loose!

Sneak Pyjama Peek

I am on the finishing straight for the Pyjama Party!  Only 2 tops still to make….  I thought I’d let you in on a sneak peek to see how it’s going so far.  I have been able to resist popping into the shops so far on this project, all the fabric has come out of my stash, as has the elastic and all the trimmings.

Aren't friends great? This is a fab selection of vintage lace my best buddy sent me from the States for my birthday. Some of these will find their way onto the pyjamas.

This is what I had in mind for Daughters 1&2:

Pyjama Party sketches

Daughter no 2 is having these:

Blue and white print cotton shorts with lace trim

I’m keeping the top secret for now, but here is a peek of the shorts for Daughter no 1:

Red & black print cotton shorts with black lace trim

I haven’t put lace or anything on my pj’s, so they will wait for tomorrow’s reveal!  True to the ethos of this blog, I have pattern cut all the pyjama patterns, but as I am running out of time, I am going to cheat with the top for my pj’s and use a commercial pattern.  Today I need to finish the top for Daughter no 1 and for me, then I’m all done!  How is everyone else getting on?

ME-Made-May 2012

Looking for trouble again, I have barely started the Pyjama Party challenge, and here I am again, signing up for another!  It is time to get more of my own creations out of the cupboard and out in the open.  Also time to get more made, but that’s another story all together.

I, Anne W, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’12.  I will endeavour to wear as many handmade items (barring underwear and shoes!) each day as proves feasible on the day, for the duration of May 2012.

So, what exactly does that entail??  Well…  I cannot guarantee that everything I will wear will be made by me.  I do love my jeans, so there is no way I can remeve them from my wardrobe for a whole month, but apart from that, as long as the weather plays ball, I should have enough to last a month without substituting shop-bought stuff.  This challenge will hopefully make me think about how I wear things, what I combine and how I accessorise.  I might even figure out my “style”, something we all have problems with, as mentioned by Karen.

With only a week and a bit to go until May, who else has signed up?