Work in Progress Wednesday 1/23

And sew it begins! My first acutal project of the year was a pair of jeans for myself, but I haven’t got any photos of those to show you yet, so we’ll start the blogging year with something that’s on the cutting table. I really should have made this jacket last year, but things got busy, and there was’t a massive rush anyway. I will be making a 70s jacket for Daughter No 2 in the next week or so. It’s moved to the top of my pile and I have told myself to finish it before I can make anything more for myself. The pattern is Simplicity 5918, dated 1973, which has been in my vintage pattern collection for some time. I’ve always liked this little jacket on this pattern, so when Daughter No 2 said she was keen on a 70’s jacket, this was the first one I thought of.

Simplicity 5918 jacket toile

I toiled the jacket in some old curtain lining without any alterations to see exactly where and what I’d need to do, rather than what I thought I’d have to do. We had a fitting back in October (see how long ago I should have been sewing this?) and made some notes. These are the adjustments that are needed to make this little jacket into what she wants. It’s a lot more loose and boxy in real life!

  • First up, take it in at the side seams and darts, a total of 1cm at the waist on each one. It’s just too loose fitting for her.
  • Second, what’s with the tiny pockets?? They’re going to be made a tad more useful.
  • Third, although a 70s looking collar and rever are relatively cool, they’re just a bit too wide. So the rever and collar are being narrowed. Thankfully that’s just a style line.
  • Fourth, I need a forward shoulder adjustment of around 1-1.5cm.
  • The sleeves are also being lengthened by 5cm. I’m glad the body didn’t need to be lengthened too, it finishes at just the right point.
Alterations on the toile

I’m using a gorgeous chocolate brown needlecord from the stash and a champagne coloured lining, leftover from a previous project. The hope is to get it finished pretty quickly so that she can still have use of it in the cooler weather – especially as it should have been done months ago! I’m not planning to make it too structured, the pattern is for an unlined jacket, so just adding lining will change the way it sits. I’ll try not to over tailor it, just supporting interfacing where it needs it. I am still in two minds about shoulder pads though, they really do make the difference in how a jacket looks. Perhaps I’ll just get small ones – we’ll have to see!!

So – how are your sewing plans? Or is it just way too early into the New Year to ask that question?

Work in Progress Wednesday 2/2022

Well, what do you know!  A progress report on a Wednesday – and only the second of the year…  Oh dear!  Nevermind, progress is progress.  Today’s project is one that I cut out about a month ago, thinking that at least with it already cut, I might get on with it quickly….  Yeah.  It’s another Olya Shirt from Paper Theory, this time in black and white squiggle print cotton voile bought from Croft Mill in August.

Continuous bias strip for the sleeve placket

I’ve cut the 14 again, like I did for the first three.  I went down a size for the linen version but I actually prefer the bigger one, it feels better in the length especially in the arms.  The fabric is just lovely, so soft and light!  It was possibly something I should have got on with in August, it’s more of a summer weight than an Autumn/Winter weight!!

Back pleat

I’m changing the sleeve placket detail, just keeping it simple this time with a basic bias strip instead of a tower placket.  I’ve added some reinforcing stitching the the back pleat, something different.  Today I’ve got the majority of the work done, it look like a shirt!  Tomorrow is buttonstand, collar and cuffs, the hem, and buttonholes and buttons.  I hope I have suitable buttons in the stash.

It looks like a shirt!

I do love this pattern, and I have another black and white cotton print waiting to be made into another Olya!I don’t think you have have too many black and white shirts, can you?  Just like classic plain white ones, they’re always useful!

Work in Progress Wednesday 5/21

I haven’t intended to have so few Work in Progress posts this year, it’s not as if I haven’t been sewing – just not thinking of taking photos while I work and getting round to posting anything!  Today I’ve made a start on a new jacket.  I’d realised that I had no black jacket for the winter – time to put that right.  As I said in a previous post, the Burda patterns haven’t exactly been inspiring lately, but there were two in the August magazine that caught my eye.  I’ve already made the trousers, this is the other pattern.

Jacket 111 Burda August 2021

Jacket 111 is slightly boxy, hip length, double breasted with collar and interesting sleeves.  It was the sleeves that made me stop and look again, they’re cut in three, with horizintal seams.  Volume has been added in each piece, creating a cocoon shape which is emphasised in the magazine’s version with piping.  Initially I wanted to use up the remains of the cotton jaquard from my Mother’s Day coat, and add plain navy.  But it wasn’t to be, there just wasn’t enough of the jaquard.  But I had something else…

I traced the 44 and toiled in some old curtain fabric, waiting to see what I’d need in the way of an FBA.  I didn’t need any width, there’s plenty of ease in this jacket!  But I needed the shoulders to be narrower, they hung over too far, even for a loose, casual fitting jacket.  I altered the line of the armhole to take into account 1cm of shorter shoulder seam, and it’s worked.  For the bust, I decided on moving the bust dart down 2cm and then adding depth in the front.  I added 2cm of depth, and took in the excess at the side seam in the dart.

A second toile of the front (I took the seam ripper to the first front pieces and took them off) revealed the adjustments worked.  I left the length of the jacket and sleeves alone, they’re all fine.  I had thought to make welt pockets in the front, instead of the inseam pockets the pattern has, but got lazy and just left the existing pockets!

Interfacing and support

I chose not to add all the structure I’d usually use to this jacket.  I have the standard interfacing, weft insertion fusible on the t-front, back yoke and supporting the underarms, sleeve head, collars and a lighter weight fusible on the facings.  I’ve also added 5cm deep bias cut interfacing to the hem area to support the fold.  I’ve also kept the cotton fusible tape along the front edge to stop it stretching out of shape and just make that area all nice and crisp.  What I’ve left out is the canvas chest piece that always goes into one of my jackets.  But I have decided shoulder pads are a must.  The pattern doesn’t call for shoulder pads, but it just didn’t look right like that, I much prefer it with the pads in.

Sleeve details, no piping this time, just topstiched seams

I thought I’d share my method of sewing inseam pockets in this post.  This method gives you a really nice neat finish, I never use the Burda method!  Well, not any more, anyway!  So here goes.  First thing  to do is to consider whether or not the fabrics you’re using need support.  If you’re like me, your pockets are going to be well used!  Another thing to look at is the weight of your fabric – mine is bulky so I’ve chosen to cut the pockets from the lining fabric but I don’t want to see lining fabric when I open the pocket.  So I’ve cut a 5cm wide pocket facing that will be attached to the back pocket piece.

pocket bag with facing

Start with placing the front pocket pieces right sides together with the front pieces and sew along the seam line between the markings.  Start and stop exactly on the markings.  Then snip, at a slight angle from the edge of the fabric to the markings/end of stitching.  Go slow here, you can always snip a little more, but once you’ve gone too far you’ll have to start again.  Then press the pocket bag seam with the seams under the pocket bag and understitch from mark to mark again.  Turn that under and press well.

Stitch pocket to front between markings

Snip to end of stitching

Understitch pocket bag

Press packet bag to the inside and topstitch if you want to

If you’re facing the pocket, sew it onto the pocket bag now.  Then place the pocket bag ontop of the front pocket bag and sew around the bag, neatening the edges afterwards.  I like to double stitch pockets in jackets, if I get a hole, I have another line of defense!  And overlocking, or zigzag stitching helps the edges not to fray while bouncing around between your jacket fabric and the lining.

I stitch a double row around the pocket bag and overlock the edges

Finished pocket, topstitched

And it’s big enough to stash all sorts of things in!

Jazzy lining and a complete pocket

This method of sewing your inseam pockets results in a nice neat finish, the Burda instructions will give you a pocket, but it won’t be as nice as these!

So, pockets, shoulder seams, collar, side seams, sleeves – shell done.  Tomorrow I’ll sew up the lining and attach it to the facings, turn up the hems and tidy the last tailor’s tacks.  But I need to decide on snaps, it’ll all depend on whether the local shop has black snaps in a suitable size.  If they only have silver ones, I’ll probably cover them with black lining fabric.  I don’t want shiny silver snaps!  Hopefully they have something I can use, otherwise I’ll have to order something online and the completion will be delayed.  Not that I don’t have anything else to be getting on with in the mean time!

I’m curious about your chosen inseam pocket method, do you have one method you always use?  Or do you follow the instructions that come with the particular pattern you’re using?

Work in Progress Wednesday 4/21

Three minutes left of Wednesday – where did the time go!?  I thought I’d show you all my latest sewing project, as I seem to have been sewing in secret lately, and only showing off finished items.  Today, I’ve been making the Olya Shirt, pattern by Paper Theory.  I bought the pattern in October/November last year but only managed to get it toiled last week!

My measurements suggested I make the 16, but the finished measurements indicated a lot more ease than I’d usually be comfortable with.  Yes, I do know this is ssupposed to be an oversized shirt, but there’s baggy and there’s tent.  At frst, I thougth I’d toile the 12, but hedged my bets and went with the 14 as a middle ground instead.  Perfect choice!  I decided it needed no adjustments, sleeves are the right length, cuffs not tight, shirt length fine and just enough “oversize” in the circumference measurements.

My fabric is from Rainbow Fabrics, viscose morrocaine (sadly now sold out).  It has a lovely, crepe-like texture, and the dark dark navy and ecru irregular, zebra-ish stripe is right up my street.  It is light and drapey, but has good weight and doesn’t slip around like ordinary viscose does.  Cuffs, collar pieces and front band are interfaced with a fine sheer polyester interfacing, not adding bulk.

The construction of the shirt is different to your usual shirt, because of the style lines.  The front yoke and sleeve are one piece,and the shoulder seam and insertion of the sleeve head happens in the same seam!  It looks like it’s going to be clunky, but it’s anything but.  Tara’s instructions are clear, unambiguous and direct.  Some indie designers get so into the instructions that they get confusing and I ignore them entirely!

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Top and middle, plackets on the sleeves. Understitching the back yoke. Right, box pleat, back yoke and stay-stitched neckline

One thing I did differently, right at the beginning, was to change the way the sleeve plackets are sewn.  I sewed the tower placket piece as described, but the binding I sewed to the right side.  This is because I don’t like seeing stitching on binding, and if I’d done it the original way, I’d have to stitch on the front.  This way I handstiched the binding on the wrongside and topstitched the placket on the right.  Small changes.  I also staystitched the neck edges as soon as they were ready.  You don’t put the collar on until quite late in the game, and I didn’t want any stretching.

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I pick my sewing up in a bundle to prevent pieces hanging and stretching out while handling.

Talking about stretching out, be careful with handling the fabric pieces, the sleeve and shoulders can start to stretch before you get to sew them, so don’t let the pieces hang.  I pick up my sewing in a bundle so nothing hangs and drapes and potentially stretches out before I get to sew it up.

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Shoulder/sleeve seam, pivoting and snipping at the end of the shouder point, going into the sleeve head seam.

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The instructions really do give a good result – don’t ignore them! (this is as much a note to me as it is to you!)

So far I’m really happy with my shirt, it’s all going together really nicely and at the end of the day I have the buttonbands, collar, cuff and hem to do.  And I need to find buttons.  What’s the bet that, even with a drawer full of buttons, I won’t have the “right” buttons?

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So far, so good!!

Work in Progress Wednesday 3/21

Sewing plans for March!  Having managed to get the coat finished in time has given me a bit of a boost, and I’ve decided on three new projects for the month, providing all goes well!  I have some yummy fabric to use up, and I fancy some new, spring/summer appropriate trousers.  Two are new patterns and one is a pattern I’ve used in the past, but haven’t made up in the last 5 years, so…  Toile time!!

First, the patterns.  I’ve been disappointed with Burda’s offerings this last year.  If you’re not a skirt/dress person, there really isn’t much to make, unless you’re into lots of loose, floppy tops.  But, there’s a pattern in the March magazine that interests me, and I think it might look good in the cotton/linen twill I got from Fabworks last month.  The colour is even better in real life, so glad I got 3m!!  It’s a sturdy fabric, the cotton definitely plays more of a role in the feel and body of the fabric than the linen does.  Which means no flowing linen pants, but something with a bit more shape.

collage burda 107 03 2021

Pants 106 & 107 are basically the same pattern, but it’s 107 that I’ll go with.  Only one little problem – no pockets!  I’m sorry, but trousers need pockets!!  So, I’ll toile them to check fit and length and whether or not I actually like them first, and then see if I can get pockets in there somewhere.  I don’t think a patch pocket on the bum will look wrong, but I think the answer might be in-seam pockets.

collage ottobre pants

With 3m of fabric to play with, I want to make something from a new-to-me company, Ottobre.  I bought the 2020 Spring/Summer magazine and there’s a pair of trousers there I can see myself wearing – and guess what…  It has pockets!  It’s pattern #8, Utility  Pants in cotton twill, so perfect for the fabric.  These I’m definitely going to toile as I’ve never used this company before and hae zero idea of how they’ll fit.  I am crossing my fingers though, I don’t want to have wasted the £11 for the book!!

burda 102 07 2009

And on to the third pair.  This is a pattern I’ve use a fair bit, but forgotten I had until recently!  My tailoring student had a question about frog mouth pockets and, after saying “what?” I found they were a popular shape pocket in the 60s in men’s pants, and favoured by James Bond!  On seeing the photos, I remembered this pattern and hauled it out.  It’s trousers 102 from the July 2009 Burda.   It has the same pocket shape.  I had thought I could use this pattern for the twill, but I think it’s too sturdy, but I also have some teracotta linen in the stash that I bought last summer….  I’ll toile the pattern because I have unfolded the shortenings, made too many contrasting pencil notes and drawn too many lines in the past over the seam lines to accommodate changing shapes!  I’ll start with a straight 44 and see what needs to change from there.

102 07 2009 burda

I’m looking forward to making these!  The weather is set to take a spring dip for the next few days, so it’ll be indoors anyway.  Once I’ve finished my admin tasks, I’ll dig out the tracing paper and get cracking.  Nothing better than sewing up a storm while the wind and the rain batter everything outside!

What March plans do you guys have??

Work in Progress Wednesday 2/2021

In amongst all the quick fix projects and, of course, the Sewing Japanese in January, I have started work on a coat pattern.  This particular coat pattern has been in the making queue for some time, at least 5 years!  Every spring I commit to getting it made, and every autumn I put the fabric back in the cupboard, because I haven’t got round to it.  But not this year.  I have the pattern, and I have actually cut it out!!!  Mind you only the pattern – let’s not get carried away!    I’ve checked the measurements of the pattern against my measurements and have been looking at what adjustments will be needed.

So, what am I going to make?  I have a length of blue and white cotton jacquard that the girls bought me for Mother’s Day ages ago, I just fell in love with it.  Then, in 2016 I saw a coat that Stephanie from Sea of Teal had just made, and it all clicked!  That was the pattern I wanted for the fabric!  A spring/summer coat, perfect.  The pattern is Burda 6772, unfortunately it doesn’t look like you can buy it anywhere at the moment!

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Burda 6772

According to measurements, I’ll be making the 44 with a small FBA and narrowing the shoulders.  I might technically get away without an FBA, will need to toile the pattern as is before deciding.  There is a hitch though, this pattern has a sidebody.  Princess seams result in a side front, this has been attached to the side back as one piece, so you have centre back, side piece and centre front.  I’ve not done an FBA with a sidebody before, so this could be interesting….

burda 6772
Measurement comparison, in centimetres

So, according to those measurements, I’d need to add 4cm of ease across the bust, 2cm at the waist but nothing on the hip.  If I start by toiling the 44 as is, I know the bust will fit, but it will be too big across the shoulders and upper chest.  I’ll have to figure out which way will work better for me.  I guess that means it’s time to dig out the scrap fabric and start sewing.  See you on the other side, but first, I have admin to finish so the toiling will have to wait for the weekend.

Work in Progress Wednesday 1/2021

Welcome to another year of Work in Progress Wednesdays!  Now, this will not be a regular, every Wednesday occurance!  Sometimes you’ll get a few in a row, then there’ll be nothing for a month or so, all depends on what I’m working on, and whether I remember to take photos as I sew!!

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The book title translates to “Basically 7 Dresses”, written by Aoi Koda

Anyway, I’m working on my next Sewing Japanese in January project, so thought I’d show it from the beginning.  I have decided to make a version of the cover dress from the book, Basically 7 Dresses, by Aoi Koda.  There are 7 basic patterns in the book, each having different variations, she calls them lessons.  I loved the cover dress from the beginning, it’s lesson number 4.  But, not really being a dress person, figured I’d make one of the variations and turn it into a blouse/top and keep the simple look with the collar.  I’m also not gathering the peplum, it’ll be as if the skirt was chopped short, no gathers for me!

collage 7 dresses
Line drawings and info for the dress, with picture of the peplum top variation and more line drawings

This book does not have seam allowances included, except for the largest size, which, as it happens, is the size I traced!  The 15, which translates to bust 98cm, waist 70cm and hip 105cm is the closest to me, I’ll just need a FBA.  But – toile first because there’s usually a lot of ease in these patterns and I might get away with not needing much extra.  The finished width at the bust on this one is 112cm, which on a 98cm bust would be roomy, and less so on me! 112cm gives me 6cm of ease, so I’ll check whether that looks right, and feels right in the toile before I continue.  ps, I seriously recommend downloading Google Translate onto your phone for using Japanese patterns, just aim your camera at the text and voila!  Translated instructions!

collage translated

With the first, “straight out of the envelope” – as it were – toile, things aren’t going to be as easy as expected.  The fronts just meet, I need more depth in the armhole, and finished length needs to be about 5cm below the current level (which included the hem).  Ok, so the remaining ease wasn’t going to be anywhere near enough!  Shoulders and side seams are all ok, neck feels right, so it’s all in the front.  Time for that FBA.  Now, if you’re after how do to one with a French dart, Maven Patterns have one on their website for their French Dart dress.  It works in the same way as an underarm dart, just in a different place!   So I calculated I’d need 6cm across the front, meaning a 3cm FBA.  Once done in paper, I toiled it…  The result was a pointy, unenthusiastic dart that didn’t point to the right place.

collage 7 dresses 2
Toile of size 15 without any alterations. That dart was already raising my eyebrows!

So I traced another front and rotated the dart to the underarm position, then did the same FBA and rotated the dart back to where it was supposed to be again.  With fingers crossed, I unpicked that unsuccessful front, cut another two and stitched them onto the back.  Much better this time!  I’m happy with the ease, the reach across the bust, etc.

collage 7 dresses 3
Just the bodice fronts and back, to check the dart before going any further

Back to the paper and I added 1cm of depth across both front and back from the centre armhole, altered the front peplum piece to accommodate the FBA width and lengthened both peplums by 8cm.

collage 7 dresses 6
Pattern alterations, smoothing out the armhole after the fba, the large dart created by the fba and the extra 1cm depth added across front and back.

I quickly cut those out of the toile fabric and added them to the bodice, and I’m happy!  The length, once the hem is turned up will be fine, the bodice fits nicely over the bust and the shape is good.

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Checking out all the angles

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I like position of the join between upper and lower bodice, the flare on the lower half is ok too.

Now I have to find fabric… Shopping the stash for this one, no fabric purchases allowed this month!

Work in Progress Wednesday 3/20

Here we are again!  I’m still working on my coat, taking to heart the idea of sewing slower this year!  I cut it all out on the weekend and spent considerable hours fusing all the interfacing onto the relevant areas and tailor tacking the pattern markings so I was ready to sew.  Tuesday was to be a sewing day!  In the end, I only started just before lunchtime, but as I kept going until 8pm, I recon I still managed to get a full day of sewing in!

When I tailor tack pattern pieces, I also pin pieces together and pin darts to make a pile of stuff that can go straight to the sewing machine, so I had front and back bodice darts, sleeve tabs and hood pieces all pinned together ready to start.  The darts were cut up the centre and pressed open, with the flappy bits stitched down with herringbone stitch to stop them flapping about!

Front darts pressed open and stitched down

Once darts were sewn, the yokes were attached and the topstitching done.  Then I made the sleeve tabs, sewed the inner and outer hood and made up the front band.  After that, I couldn’t put off the pockets and their new opening detail any longer!

Welt pockets with a twist

New detail??  Well, I’m not overly keen on zip-opening pockets.  I know they’re very practical, and they add a “sporty” touch to a garment, but zips are sharp and scratchy and my hands don’t like them very much.  So I decided I’d use a detail from the pocket of my Seasalt raincoat.  The pocket shape is actually very similar.  They have two welts, one narrower than the other, and they overlap.  The detail is suposed to mean water doesn’t get into your pocket, and having had worn the coat in the wet, I can say that’s true.  So I copied that detail.  I’ll do a seperate tutorial on the pocket in another post.

Pockets basted, then topstitched into place

I tacked and basted a lot with the pocket, if you don’t want things moving, and pins aren’t helpful, basting is the only way to go!  Gathering the curved corners of the pockets wasn’t tricky, and makes for a nice smooth curve.  I chose to use ordinary thread for the topstitching, possibly next time I’d use something a little thicker, I’m thinking that Denim thread though, rather than the proper topstitching stuff that my machine doesn’t like.  I’m not unhappy with the finish, but it does disappear into the fabric a bit.

Front interfacing with chest piece

I thought I’d show you the insides where I put the interfacing.  I use Gill Arnold’s weft interfacing on the outer pieces for structure.  I fused the yokes fully and cut a funny shaped piece for the back that continued the line and scooped under the armhole to support it.  The front got similar treatment, except that  instead of just going into the yoke interfacing line, the interfacing scoops up and over the bust area and down the front to support and reinforce that area.  I extended that line of interfacing down the front skirt.  Sleeve heads get interface too, I measure approx 10 cm down from the top point in the sleeve head and draw a curve into the lower part of the armhole from there, always better not to have straight lines here.

Sleeve interfacing

All the hems are supported too.  As this coat has 4cm hems, I cut 6cm wide bias strips of the weft insertion and fused onto the hemline, 3cm from the edge of the fabric.  This means that when the hem is turned up, 1cm of the inner hem has interfacing on it, supporting the fold, the rest extends up the outer fabric and protrudes 1cm above the hem edge.  This is what I will stitch into when I hand stitch the hem in place, not the fabric.

The facings and sleeve tabs, front band, inner hood front edge, and the opening for the pockets were fused with Gill’s fine sheer interfacing.  Those edges still need support, but not as much as the outer fabric, and to cut down on bulk it’s better to use a finer, lighter interfacing.

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Bias cut chest piece

For the fronts, I add a canvas chest piece that helps to minimise the appearance of the hollow in the chest below the shoulders.  It’s a curved piece of non-fusible canvas, cut on the bias, fused to a piece of weft insertion interfacing, also cut on the bias.  I remembered I have photos and a post showing this same step, but with white interfacing, from 2012!!  On each side at the top ( shoulder edge), cut out a section 3cm down, this is to enable you to keep the canvas out of the seam area while you sew front to back

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Shoulder seam pinned, chest piece pinned out of the way

Then the shoulder seam is pressed open and the canvas allowed back, turn the coat to the right side, and, supporting the body pieces, allow the coat to hand over your hand, simulating the shoulder.  Pin the canvas in place through the back shoulder seam allowance, close to the seam.

 

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Pin close to seam

Turn to the inside and pin again through the seam and the canvas, then remove the pins on the outside and stitch the cavas to the back seam allowance close to the original shoulder seam line.

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Pin through layers on the inside

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Canvas chest piece stitched to back shoulder seam

This make such a difference to how your jacket or coat looks, with a decent felt shoulder pad.  This is as far as I’ve got for now, tomorrow I’ll get the hood on, sew the side seams and insert the sleeves.  Then it will be time to cut the lining!

Mustard gold viscose twill lining

I ordered 2m of Mustard Gold interfacing from The Lining Company to grace the inside of my gorgeous coat yesterday, and it arrived this afternoon.  It’s beautiful, the colour like gold, so perfect for the grey!!  If I cannot find a lining “in real life” for a project, chances are pretty high that I’ll find one from The Lining Company.  They have so many different types, and the colours….  I love that they send out 5 free samples, of a decent size, all properly labelled for proper decision making.  And they’re fast…  I just use their standard first class postal service, it arrives the next day anyway!!  (no selling fee here, just my personal recommendation).

Work in Progress Wednesday 2/20

Well, here we go with all the coats and jackets!  I traced 5 jackets and coats over the weekend, so I’d have no more excuses to get started, because a toile doesn’t take long to make, given it needs no interfacing and hours of pressing.  They just need suitable fabrics, something sturdy and with a bit of body and weight – you can’t successfully toile a coat using an old cotton duvet cover!

On the cutting table are the following patterns:

I have the main fabric for all of these patterns, and lining for the two Burdas.  The Sienna Jacket and Grace coat are unlined, but I think I might be binding seams on at least one of them, just to make it interesting on the inside.  I also have lining for the Tosti, but am thinking of padding that out by quilting it to a thin layer of interlining, for warmth.  As I’m still thinking about that, I haven’t gone ahead and bought the interlining yet, nor do I have any zips or snaps or anything else to make that pattern!

waffle patterns pepernoot coat
Pepernoot Coat from Waffle Patterns

I decided to start with the Pepernoot Coat because I love the big hood, raised waistline and flared skirt, not to mention those fabulous pockets!  Now, I’m the sort who, once a pattern and fabric is decided upon, will put my head down and go, go, go, until it’s finished.  But.  I wanted to slow down this year, take a more considered approach.  Even if it does mean I’m still making coats in the Spring and possibly early summer…

So, I have the most gorgeous, soft, grey cashmere for the Pepernoot, bought 3-4 years ago from Truro Fabrics in Cornwall.  Everytime we’re in Cornwall, a stop at Truro fabrics is mandatory.  There’s always at lease one piece of fabric that has to come home with me! 😀  But, I didn’t really think much about the lining I’d chose.  So I don’t have any, and am trying to find the right colour.  I don’t want grey, black, silver or anything dull.

I figured a day in Birmingham going round the big stores would solve my problem, so I headed off yesterday to visit Daughter No2 and buy lining.  Except that I came home with no lining!  The colours were all wrong, and most of the fabric quality was not what I wanted either, I really didn’t want a polyester lining in my cashmere coat!  (snobby much?? ;))  However, in Fancy Silk stores, we spotted a very pretty jade green Chinese brocade with white and silver cherry brances and blossoms that made me think, a lovely rich green would be nice!  But not that stuff, it was silk (sigh) 90cm wide and £22/m.  Too rich for my little wallet, I’m afraid.

So I turned to The Lining Company instead and have ordered 5 samples of their lovely viscose twill linings, 3 shades of green, one gold/mustard and one copper.  Grey and mustard is lovely, but I couldn’t shake the green idea, so we’ll see what they all look like once the samples have arrived.  I did manage to get the separating zipper yesterday, so I feel I could get started with the shell in the meantime.  I didn’t buy short zips for the pockets, because I have a different idea in mind, but haven’t checked that it works yet!  That’s today’s task.

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Pepernoot Coat toile. On the left (as you’re looking at the photo) is the unaltered bodice front, on the right is the one with the FBA

Along with the pocket opening treatment, I need to finish altering the pattern after performing FBA surgery on the bodice.  My current measurements for Bust and High Bust are 101 and 95cm respectively, so I opted to trace the size 44, based on a full bust of 100.  Once toiled with some lovely old smelly curtains from the charity shop, I decided I really needed more depth in the front, and only a little more width.  So my FBA was a little contrary to the usual method, I decided the length needed and the rest followed!  In the end adding 2cm on length resulted in just over 1cm of width, which has made the front lie straight, the waist seam sit parallel to the floor, and there’s a bit more room across the chest.  I’m not sure why, but the measurement across the chest, armhole to armhole, is quite narrow on this pattern, made a little better when I insert a shoulder pad.  I’m not wide in that area, but do have an upright posture and tend to hold my shoulders back quite a bit, so this seemed a little restrictive.  The FBA has allowed more rooom, but I think I’ll be altering the armhole a little.

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Toile with half adjusted and half not. Easy to see the wavy front on the left belongs to the half unaltered, the nice straight hanging front belongs to the half with the FBA.

Apart from that, I have no issues with the instructions, Yuki always has good illustrations if you’re a little stuck.  I’m going to have to put a marker on the sewing machine for the 1.2cm seam allowance.  I can move the needle over and keep the fabric on the 1cm line, but the tension can go funny if I do that, it’s not the machine’s favourite way to sew!

 

Work in Progress Wednesday 1/20

Jumping right in there with a work post, no hello, welcome to the new year, here’s my catch up and round up post, nothing!  🙂  I’ve been planning one of those, and just putting writing what I’m thinking my sewing will entail this year, but I just haven’t quite got round to finishing that post.  Never mind, here’s something I have finally got back to, the jacket I toiled last year for Daughter No1.

The pattern is jacket 107 from March 2019, the minute I saw it in the magazine I knew it would be good for the girls, and I had just the right fabric in the stash for Daughter No1.  In fact, it had been waiting for this sort of jacket for a rather long time – possibly getting on for 10 years now…  Slow, moi??

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Jacket 107 Burda March 2019

I traced and toiled the 36, the smallest size in October on the afternoon she was due home for a weekend visit, along with a number of other pattern, intending to do a mass fitting!  The jacket was met with great approval, most of it was fine, but there were going to be alterations due to the fact that she’s petite and should probably really have the size 34.

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The toile made in October

So, alterations:

  1. Sleeves 4cm too long
  2. No pockets…!!!
  3. Shoulder length too long, and
  4. Sleevehead not fitting where it should.

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Line indicating where the armhole should be. I know, it’s a little feint…

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We demand pocketsess!

No massive jobs there, but I found other projects that were more interesting than altering a pattern and got a bit distracted!  If you follow Stephanie at Sea Of Teal, you’ll know that she’s running #SewYourWardrobeBasics this year (more info in another post).  No fancy sews, just those things you really need in a me-made wardrobe that can get overlooked by pretty, flouncy stuff.  This month’s theme is denim, and it was the push I needed to get another pair of jeans made (post still in the works).  But as we’re only halfway through the month, I thought, what else can I make using denim?  That’s when I remembered the jacket.  It’s time.

Today’s task was to do the alterations and get started on a new toile, I want to make sure the fit is right before cutting my denim.  First was to shorten the sleeves, which was quick and easy, just remember when you do this alteration to true the seamlines afterwards.  When adjusting a pattern, I always note the original stitching line, and any ajdustments I do, ie. how far I moved a line, the direction I moved it in, and the date I did the deed.  It helps when you come back to it later.

For the shoulder adjustment, I had to cut the yoke at the shoulder line (it has a dropped front shoulder line) and then do the rest.  I made the adjustment in the centre of the shoulderline and slid the outer section in 1.5cm.  Then I trued up the armhole seamline and raised the underarm by 0.5cm.  I walked the sleeve head along the new armhole lines just to make sure it all still fitted ok, and we seem to be in business.

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Armhole and shoulder adjusted, with notes on how far I went and the date

Next up, pockets.  You do need pockets in a jacket, especially one that’s pretending to be a posh biker jacket.  I’d marked with pins on the toile where she wanted the pocket to be, and how wide the opening was, just needed to work out the pocket bag size.  Simply put, the pockets need to fit a hand (possibly with gloves on) and a phone.  She’d also decreed a welt flap at the opening would look nice, so I now have those pieces all drawn and ready to go.

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The shape and size drawn onto the pinned together front pieces. I was careful to avoid the hem stitching area!

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New pattern pieces, pocket bags and a welt.

Now I need to toile and wait until we see her again to check the fit – unless I just post it to her and we do fitting from a distance!  Thank goodness for the internet!

 

 

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