Work in Progress Wednesday

It seems I’ve been posting more of these “in progress” posts this month than showing the finished items!  I must get some photos this weekend, if it’s not too rainy.  So, what am I making today?  Well, I decided on the spur of the moment last night to use a piece of wool that a friend had found in a charity shop and gave me last month.  It’s navy blue suiting with a pinstripe and herringbone weave.  It was about 1.2m in length, so was never going to be a full length pair of trousers.  That made it easy to pick a pattern, I could use my favourite cropped pattern that I’ve used 5/6 times, or a newer one, used just twice so far.

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Everything cut out and tailortacked, ready to sew.

I picked 120 from July Burda 2018.  I have made it earlier this year, in the summer, using a linen and cupro blend.  Definitely time to make another.  I got pretty much all of the pieces onto the wool, except for the pocket lining piece.  I was slightly tempted to add the ruffley thingie on the pocket opening, but there just wasn’t the space to cut the bias piece.  Actually, it was just as well, it would only get in the way of my shirts and no-one would ever see it anyway.  I cut the pocket lining from a piece of scrap cotton print in the stash.

I cut the 44 but had graded it before from the hip to the waist to the 46.  The leg has been shortened by 4cm, this was a good length in the previous pair.  I started by tailortacking and then overlocking all the pieces.  In order to make my sewing time really productive, I pinned the darts, pocket linings to the openings, and pinned the lower front and back trouser pieces to the main pieces.  These were then all sewed up.

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Overlocking

Pockets were sewn and everything well pressed, then the front and back centre seams were sewn to just above the crotch curve.  The waistband needs to go on before the zip can go in, so that was interfaced and the front and back pieces attached to the trousers.  I didn’t have a dark navy invisible zip in the stash, but the brighter blue one I chose will do just fine.  The waistbands lined up rather well, usually I need to unpick at least once to make the seamlines line up better.

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All pinned so I can sew as much as possible in one go!

 

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Invisible zip time! Thankfully invisible zips are mostly hidden, so I can use a more zingy colour…

Next to do was all the side seams, making sure the perpendicular seamlines lined up nice and neatly.  On the whole, it worked out rather well!  I decided to handstitch the hems insead of machine them because I was using thread from the stash and they didn’t necessarily match the colour of the wool all that well.  I then decided I’d handstitch the waistband on the inside too.

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Seams lined up properly the first time! Not always the case…

I finished the trousers by 3pm, having started cutting out at around 9:30 and taking an hour break for lunch.  So I’m chuffed with that, I have a new pair of trousers in the cupboard and one less piece of fabric in the stash!  I’ve also used the remains of three reels of blue thread and taken another zip out of the zip box.  Eventually I’ll get all these “stashes” down to more acceptable levels!

 

Work in Progress Wednesday

 

Today I had planned a sewing day, nothing else to interrupt me…  Hmm.  Unfortunately, due to my over-running admin duties the housework had suffered a bit of neglect, so what I had hope to get done today will have to wait a bit.  Last night I picked a length of viscose from my stash and paired it with a self drafted pattern that I last (first) used in 2014.

I’d always intended to make more than just that first blouse from the pattern, but somehow there was always something else to make first/instead.  The original top had tucks on the front yoke and down the buttonband.  I decided to skip those on the viscose.  The pattern on the fabric is just too busy and the tucks would be lost.  I think on a bigger pattern they would look better.  I also decided to forgo the hidden buttonband.  I have some rather nice vintage black buttons in the button stash, and it would be a shame to cover them up!

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Stitching the bias strip that hides the seam of the collar

I’m French seaming the inside and burrito’ed the yokes.  I did have a little “what do I do here” moment, trying to remember how I’d put it all together the last time.  In the end, this was the order of work I went with:

  • Sew the darts
  • gather front and back and sew into yokes
  • sew shoulder seams on blouse and inner yokes
  • sew inner yoke to blouse
  • interface upper collar & sew to under collar
  • staystitch neckline
  • sew collar to blouse
  • trim collar seam to 5mm
  • sew 2.5cm bias strip to trimmed seam with 5mm allowance
  • fold strip over and press down, stitch through all layers
  • sew side seams
  • attach buttonbands to fronts
  • sew hems
  • edgestitch buttonbands
  • construct sleeves
  • insert sleeves
  • sew buttonholes and attach buttons.
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Edgestitching the buttonbands

I’ve just got the buttonholes and buttons to go, that I’ll do tomorrow morning, before the next batch of admin hits!  In fact, I think I’ll wait to start the computer up and check the email until the sewing is done!  I’m really looking forward to wearing this with the trousers I made last week, as well as my range of Birkin Flares.  I have more pieces of viscose in the stash that have been waiting rather patiently for me to get round to them.  I think I need to pay them attention, I do like wearing visose!

Work in Progress Wednesday

I hadn’t thought I’d have a post for today, thought I’d have finished off my epic two-coat run.  But nope, I’ve been a little slow this week!  So here’s what I’ve been working on for the last 2 weeks, two versions of the coat 103 from February Burda 2017.

The fabric is a pinky-copper coloured cotton twill that I bought either from Croft Mill or Fabworks earlier in the year.  I bought 5m because I liked the colour so much, and it was only £5/m!  I figured I could dye it if certain people didn’t like it, so I was quids in.  Turns out both girls liked the colour and then they both wanted the same pattern made up with it!  I needed to do something to make them a little different from each other, but I think the chances of them wearing the coats at the same time together are pretty slim.

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I have done the usual interfacing, using Gill Arnold’s weft insertion the the t-panel, sleeve heads, upper back and under collar.  I used the polyester fine sheer fusible for the facing pieces, tabs and upper collar.  I altered the pattern pieces too.  First, the non-fitting changes.  I traced the collar to make one whole piece and added width of 2-3mm to the short sides and outer edge to accommodate turn of cloth.  The under collar had its grainline changed to the bias, but stayed the same size.  I also added 2-3mm to the revers on the facing pieces, tapering down to the original stitching line at the breakpoint.  The front piece had 2mm added to the front from the breakpoint to the bottom.  This all helps to roll the upper layer of fabric to the underside so you don’t see the seamline.

Fitting adjustments were relatively simple.  Both girls wanted it longer, so I added 4cm to the skirt length.  Daughter No1 needed a forward shoulder adjustment of 1cm, so that was pretty simple.  Her coat was made first!  Daughter No2 needed the sleeves 4cm longer, a broad shoulder adjustment of 1.5cm and the belt tabs needed to be lengthened by 1.5cm.  As this needed more cutting up, her coat was made last.

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Inside Daughter No1’s coat

This pattern wasn’t supposed to be lined, the raw edges are treated with Hong Kong finish, but we wanted something nice on the inside, so the hunt was on for nice linings.  Printed “proper” linings are expensive, so we went off-piste.  Daughter No1 has a William Morris inspired cotton poplin lining in her coat.  The large print looks great peaking out, and I know she’s going to love it!  The sleeves have a white and grey stripe “proper” liningso that her clothes aren’t bunched up in her armpit when she puts the coat on!  I still have to find/choose buttons for this coat, otherwise it would have been finished early last week!  The colour of the fabric makes it tricky to find the right stuff, and having no haberdashery shops within a 15 mile radius doesn’t help.  I raided the charity shops in town on Monday and found buttons with potential, but we’re not sure…

Daughter No2 has a viscose print for her lining.  I had originally thought of a geometric monochrome print, in pale grey or dusky blue, but she found the perfect stuff at the rag market in Birmingham for only £2/m!  The gold/beige tones in the paisley print work well with the copper tone of the shell fabric, so it works, despite the blue paisleys!  I found enough dark blue “proper” lining in my lining bag to use for the sleeves.  This coat does have buttons!

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Pink mother-of-pearl buttons from the stash

In my charity shop raid I found 3 vintage plum coloured buttons to use of the front of the coat, they go on the belt tabs and to close the coat in the front.  I had to use different buttons for the sleevetabs, and had lovely dark pink mother-of-pearl shell buttons for that.  I tried just about every type of button from the stash for these coats, and nothing worked.  What’s the point of a large, full button box if nothing is right when you need it??!

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Paisley lining for Daughter no2’s coat.

So today I need to make up the lining for the second coat and get it in, then finish off the buttons.  And maybe I’ll find something that works for the first coat too.  Fingers crossed it’s all done today, I’m really keen on making a nice snuggly Toaster Sweater for myself, and there’s a pair of trousers in this month’s Burda I fancy too!

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The best buttons so far, but are they too big? Too bland?

Work in Progress Wednesday

So much has been going on this week! I finished my coat on Sunday, I have some photos to edit and the post to finish before you can see it all, but it’s so nice and warm!  It’s just what I needed.

One of the projects I really want to finish this month is Hubby’s coat.  The main pattern pieces were drafted last November, adjustments made and pattern altered.  But we were no nearer finding the right sort of lining, so the whole thing stalled.  I think I have finally persuaded the other half to accept a plain lining, with a patterned piping strip and other internal details for this version.  I can make another coat, or even a jacket (one day) when we find and buy that elusive “perfect lining”.

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The pieces of pattern that still needed to be sorted were the linings, front and back facings and pocket pieces for both the internal pocket and the welt pocket at the waist.  Somehow I’d only drawn up the pieces for the chest welt pocket.  So now everything is ready, no excuses!  Except that we still have no lining…

For now.  I have ordered samples of The Lining Company’s shot twill lining that have already arrived (one day service, I love it!).  The linings are plain as in they have no pattern, but at least with the two tone colours there’s interest.  I found some leftover silk in the silk box that would work perfectly for the contrast piping and other bits on the inside of the coat, and will work with 4 of the 5 samples I’ve ordered.   I also ordered a stripe lining sample from Fabric Godmother that’s still to arrive.  It should also work with 4 of the linings, if not all, should Hubby decide he doesn’t like the silk I’ve looked out.

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Charcoal wool, circle print silk for piping and a selection of shot linings.

I’m reluctant to cut the wool until I know I have everything I need, so while I wait for that last sample and we agree on colours and patterns, I have time to make something else!  Not one to sit on my laurels, I decided I’d run up a toile of The Assembly Line’s new pattern, the V-Neck Dress.  I liked the look of the dress the minute I saw it on IG at the launch.

I thought it would be perfect for Indie Pattern Month over on The Monthly Stitch.  It hadn’t arrived in time for me to make for Week 1, dresses, but I figured I’d be able to squeeze it in by the time Week 3 came around.  This week is  “Around the World”,which means you have to make a pattern form a designer from a different country to that in which you live.  The Assembly Line are Swedish, so that’s perfect!

The pattern is multi-sized and I decided to go with the Large, based on measurements and finished garment measurements.  Technically I should have done an FBA, on that size, but the measurements gave me enough width/ease to be comfortable.  I didn’t want it too big.  The toile went perfectly, I only did the main pieces.  I realised the skirt was a little too long, so I took 4cm out of the length.  The depth of the V bothered me a bit, I don’t usually go for something this low, but I told myself I was being a fuddy duddy – get on with it!!  And the bust seemed fine, there were no drag lines and there was definitely enough ease.  Done!!

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Dress toile

The dress is actually made now, but I’m not going to give it away just yet, I am going to enter that competition now!  See you on the other side!

Work in Progress Wednesday

 

Coat update!  Last time you saw it, it was all in pieces.  I’d done the interfacing and needed to tailortack and then get cracking!  So that was Thursday morning’s position.  By the end of the day I had assembled the hood, the back, the sleeves and the two fronts with the welt buttonholes.  I’d left the pockets to the last, because I knew it would be fiddly because of the bulk of the fabric.  Actually, they were fine, and the rest went together really well.

 

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Hood, collar pieces and facings sewn, no side seams!
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Welt pockets. On the left you can see the bits of interfacing on the fronts, and the cut down dart to reduce bulk.

On the weekend I attached the zipper to the centre front and made up the collar, attached the hood and facings.  I attached the zipper before I sewed the shoulder and side seams, figuring that it would be far easier to do with less fabric and fewer pattern pieces flapping about.  I also attached the collar and hood pieces before sewing the side seams.  If fact, I didn’t sew the side seams until I’d finished all the faffy, bulky work on the front.  It was tricky enough to do flat, I can only imagine how frustrating it would have been had the sides been attached.

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The front

Things got really tricky with the front tab and collar, there were so many layers of wool that it was tricky to get it all in under the foot of the machine.  This is one of the times when I am very happy to have a sewing machine that weighs so much!  I really don’t think I’d have been able to manage with a modern, lightweight machine.  Then adding the front fastening band made more bulk and made things worse.

I am unhappy with the position of that piece, I couldn’t get it higher as the machine pushed it down every time I forced it under the foot, even when I basted it in place.  It also seems to be too far from the centre front, and I think that’s because of the width of the zipper.  I really should have attached the band closer to the front.  Monday wasn’t a great sewing day, I had a re-occurence of my nasty headaches and attempted to work through it.  It wasn’t one of my best ideas, and I had no relief the next day either.  So now I have a pretty much finished coat, but I’m unhappy with that band and know it will be a mission to move it.  So I’m inclined to leave it.  But I know it’s not right.  Grrr

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Left, sleeve head tipped over; top right, pinning the sleeve in the seamline; bottom right, sewing the sleeve into the armhole, sleeve side up.

In contrast, the sleeves went in so easily!  If you’re making a jacket or coat, run a line of long gathering stitches 2cm from the edge of the fabric, just one line, and pull that up slightly, to give you the shape of the sleeve head.  Then pin it into the armhole with the armhole folded back, and the sleeve over it.  Next, pin on the stitching line, parallel to the stitching line, easing the fullness into the sleeve head.  It’s fiddly and the pins bite, but it gives a great finish.  Then you sew the seam from the inside, the sleeve side up, picking out the pins as you get to them and using both hands and almost all your fingers to smooth out the fulness and avoid puckering.  Once you’re happy with it and the hang is good, sew in the sleeve padding.  This can be purpose made wadding or you could cut bias strips of your fabric and fold in half longways.  Stitch just before the original sleeve seam and fold it over and into the sleeve head.  Some jackets need this step, some don’t, it all depends on the look you’re after.

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Looking up at the shoulder pad on the left, into the armhole with the interfacing and padding showing.

The lining is in, and the hem handstitched in place.   The lining is from The Lining Company.  It’s an acetate/viscose twill, and it’s shot, so you get a lovely shade of colour, depending on the direction in which you view it, and which side you use!  I chose  the Light Blue Fawn colour, which looks fabulous with the colour of the wool.  I’m using the blue-er side but have decided to use the other side which has more of a gold tone to cover the snaps for the front.  I was hoping to find a brass/bronze colour snap in the time I had, but I couldn’t.  So simple silver snaps are now covered with the lining.

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Lining details

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I had originally intended to finish the coat to wear to the Knitting and Stitching Show in London tomorrow, but the weather is not showing me I’ll be needing it, and I haven’t got the fastening band buttonholes done yet either.  I guess that although my headaches have finally passed, I’m not in quite the right place to finish today.  I’ll get it done over the weekend, and hopefully some proper photos will follow soon!  In the meantime, I’m looking forward to my first visit to a big London sewing show!

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From the back

I’ll show you what I buy over the weekend, all the fabric I bought at the NEC earlier this year has now been made up, so I’m kinda justified in getting a bit more! 😉  And I would love to find the perfect fabric to make up another dress, The Assembly Line’s V-Neck Dress.

 

Work in Progress Wednesday

I’m making a coat!  Oh yes, I made a decision and I’m running with it, running pretty quickly, because I want it finished to wear to London next Thursday!  I traced the hoodie coat from the October 2018 Burda magazine yesterday and made a toile to check for fit.  I knew I’d need an FBA, I just needed to know how big – & I suspected I’d need a bicep adjustment too.

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The toile of coat 110, Burda 10/18

I needed to move the bust dart down 2cm as well as doing a 3cm FBA, and I widened the upper arm area, the bicep adjustment, by 4cm.  Other adjustments I’ve made to the pattern pieces are to add width and depth to the outer standing collar, the facing edge of the hood, the outer sleeve tabs and back belt piece, as well as the pocket flap.

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Weft insertion fusible interfacing on the sleeve heads

The starting point of the coat is always the interfacing.  I’m using Gill Arnold‘s weft insertion on the yokes, front and back, under the arm on the side body piece and in the sleeve head.  I’ve also cut 5cm wide bias strips to interface the hem area of both the sleeves and the jacket body.  I’ll also interface the centre front, about 7-8cm wide, and the outer standing collar piece with the same.  I’ll use the fine sheer interfacing on the inner collar, the front and back facings, the front fastening band and the hood facing piece.

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A nice big pile of cut out pattern pieces.

My fabric is a gorgeous camel-beige coloured wool and cashmere melton that I bought at the NEC about 4-5 years ago from the Rosenberg and Sons stand.  It was a fabulous price, only £10/m!  So I was fully justified in nabbing 2m, even though I had no idea of what I’d make back then, and it’s languished in the stash until the right thing arrived.  I used to have the right lining too – but I used that in the grey houndstooth jacket I made Daughter No1 back in August!  I’ve managed to cut the front facing, hood pieces and back yoke from the left over pieces of that lining and have ordered another metre of the same colour from the Lining Company.  It will hopefully arrive by the end of the week!

The opening zipper for the front and the front band buttons have come out of the stash.  It’s not normal for me to have such a long open ended zipper in the zip box, but I’d bought it years ago to mend the zipper on something else and then changed my mind and got someone else to do it for me! (lazy…)  The buttons are vintage minitary buttons in the most beautiful weathered brass.  Unfortunately I did not have enough to use ont he back belt as well, but I did find a pair of leather buttons in teh button box that will do the job just beautifully.

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Left back, interfaced pieces needing no tailor tacks, Middle, un-interfaced pieces needing tailor tacks, right, the lining pieces, and bottom left, the interfaced pieces, needing tailor tacks.

Now that all the pieces are interfaced, I’m left with the job of tailor tacking everything and getting started with the fun part – putting it all together!