Cosmic Love

My love for my latest make for me is pretty much this:  Cosmic!  I’ve been after a pair of tapered, slightly cropped jeans or trousers for a while, but never quite got around to making any because of all the pretty stuff I keep doing for the girls.  So I got a deadline – husband was attending the Mercedes Benz Club’s annual SL day at the Wedgwood Visitor Centre at the beginning of August.  I was determined to have something ready for that day, come hell or high water!

Wedgwood visitors
Wedgwood visitors

The pattern is a self-drafted one, one I’ve had for ages & made loads of trousers with.  I tapered the leg from hip to knee & then again from knee to ankle because the original pattern was more of a straight leg style.  But they fit so well at the body I saw no reason in re-drafting from scratch!  I also shortened the original pattern, maybe could have taken it up a little more, but at least now I can turn up my hems & show off the pretty binding!

Josiah & me!
Josiah & me!

It was a pretty wet, overcast, miserable day to be posing, so these photos were taken in a brief dry spell!  I really like wearing these trousers, but when I look at the photos, I realise I probably suit a straight or wide-leg style better than this tapered look.  Ah well, at least I got to finally use up this stretch denim!  I got it from one of those mail-order swatch companies about 4 years ago!  It was fabulous to work with, has the most amazing deep blue colour & feels like £1 000 000!

So, the inside….

DSC04449As you can see, I bound the hem & the lower edge of the inner waistband with a bias strip of dark navy gingham for a bit of fun.  The remainder of the seams were overlocked & I used a chartruse green cotton thread for the topstitching.

DSC04518-1We had a great time, despite the weather.  I highly recommend popping into the Wedgwood Visitor Centre, they have fabulous workshops on where you can throw a pot, paint clay flowers & indulge in creativity while enjoying great food in their onsite restaurant.  There is also a brilliant shop, outlet store & amazing museum filled with superb examples of the factory’s work over the years.

Husband & Daughter No2 with some of the SLs in the background
Husband & Daughter No2 with some of the newer SLs in the background

And here are some pics of some of the beautiful cars on show that day, despite the rain.

Pagodas
Pagodas
These have to be my favourites - ever!
These 300SLs & the gulwings have to be my favourites – ever!
Husband loved this ponton, I was taken with one of the ornaments on the radiator cover..
Husband loved this ponton, I was taken with one of the ornaments on the radiator cover..
It was obviously important to show your patriotism in the 50s!
It was obviously important to show your patriotism in the 50s!

So that’s about it for my new jeans.  I must confess I’ve worn them loads over the last few weeks.  They go straight from the ironing back on, so that’s a great testament to the fit & the fabric.

DSC04560-1I don’t seem to have a single photo of them with the hem turned down!  So it’s back to the sewing machine for me now, no rest for the wicked with a massive stash to use up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Make a Wiggle Skirt – Veronica

Here it is then, a tutorial to make your own Veronica wiggle skirt.  Now bear in mind that this is just the way I did my pattern.  Every patterncutter has their own methods.  This one works for me.  There will be some re-working required, all depending on exactly what you want to end up with, so be prepared to change measurements, angles & distances – and making more than one toile!

Firstly, trace off your skirt block.  If you don’t have one yet, here are some instructions. The length will be up to you, but should be a decent length to “wiggle” in!  I made Veronica 68cm long, from the waist.  Daughter No2 is pretty tall though, so go for a length that hits you just below the knee for a good look.

Your traced skirt block should look something like this:

Your traced skirt block, fitted and altered to your figure.
Your traced skirt block, fitted and altered to your figure.

Step 1:

The first thing I did was to change the shape of the skirt.  I took 2.5cm off the hem line on each side seam and about 1cm at the hip line.  I joined the hem point to the hip point and then up tot he original line at the waist.  This gives an overall tighter fit as you are removing some of the ease over the hip.  I also moved the back seam in 1cm.  This came to a point approximately 10-12cm below the hip line.  Made sure when you are doing this that your lines flow easily & there are no jerky joins to original seam lines.  Also, may I remind you at this point there are no seam allowances on this pattern.  All the lines you are drawing are going to be your stitching lines – seam allowances will be added at the end.

Altering the side & back seams
Altering the side & back seams

Step 2:

Now to move the dart & change the angle of it.  I wanted the dart to angle towards the hip & to be further from the side seam to accommodate the pocket.  I moved the dart position towards the centre by 3cm and shortened it by 3cm.  The original dart was 10cm long, but I didn’t want the pocket to be that low down.  Also, the style line had to be altered, so when redrawing the dart I didn’t keep it on the same plane as the original.  The left leg of the dart runs almost parallel to the centre front.  The dart is still the same width, 2cm.

Moving the dart.
Moving the dart.

Step 3:

Drawing in the stlye line of the pocket.  I started about 5cm up from the hip line and played with various combinations of angles to get this right.  It really will be up to you as to where it all ends up, but the sketch shows where my pocket eventually ended up.  I did two toiles to get this to just the right place, so maybe you could start by drawing on a toile to get the correct placement for you.  The base of the dart will be the jumping off point for the pocket, so think about the angles between the right dart leg, the pocket opening line & the return.  the dart legs will become seams for the skirt front & the hip yoke pocket piece, eliminating the dart as such.

Adding the pocket.
Adding the pocket.

Step 4:

Trace off the pocket pieces as seperate items.  You will have a hip yoke pocket piece, a pocket bag & the skirt front & the back.  The red lines on my pattern here are the cutting lines.  Remember to add notches, grainlines and name the pattern pieces!  Also, at this point you will need to add seam allowances.  Add 1.5cm everywhere and don’t forget the hem.  For a good weight on a skirt like this add 3-4cm.

The finished pattern pieces, all ready for seams & sewing!
The finished pattern pieces for Veronica, all ready for seams & sewing!


 
If you have any queries, please comment below.  Have fun now!  🙂

***EDIT***

I am working on making this pattern available as a pdf download.  If you’d be interested, please leave a comment below.

Rock Chick Veronica

My little rock chick!
My little rock chick!

Thank you all so much for the fabulous, positive comments about Veronica!  This is one cool skirt pattern, and this is one cool skirt! So cool, we needed another.  😉

DSC04419-1

The fabric is from my stash, a John Kaldor print on stretch cotton sateen.  I’d bought it for trousers for myself about 3-4 years ago, but then Daughter no1 bagged it for something for her.  We never got round to choosing exactly what to make with it, it’s always tricky cutting into nice fabric when you’re not 100% sure of what you’re wanting.  This week I finally made her some trousers from a Burdastyle mag (which she loves!), and had enough left over for something else.  This skirt, for example!

DSC04410-1What can I say, I love this print in this skirt, & I love it even more with the black biker jacket & wedges!

A little attitude...
A little attitude…

I didn’t match any patterns, with only 1m left over there was no way of doing it, besides, I kinda like the way the pattern gets chopped up & re-assembled.  It’s a bit subversive, isn’t it?

DSC04412-1I hope you’re all getting ready for the tutorial on how to make your own version of this, and of Barbara.  I have been working on 1/4 scale versions of the pattern, hopefully next week it will all be ready to post.  I leave you with one final look at the funky pockets & buttons.

DSC04421-1In the mean time, I need to crack on with a new outfit to wear to the Mercedes Benz Club’s annual SL Day next weekend.  Typical I decide I want something new to wear with only days to spare….

Veronica – a 50’s inspired wiggle skirt

Veronica
Veronica

And so the skirt story continues…  This fabulous little number is the 2nd of the wiggle skirts to be made from the same basic pattern.  This one & Barbara share the same bones, only the pocket treatments are different.  And this one is 4cm longer.

The fantastic fabric was a purchase from Rosenberg at the Sewing Show in Birmingham earlier this year & we love the colour!  The lining is in a similar colour from Fred Winter in Stratford on Avon.  So unfortunately this doesn’t count as a stash busting project as I bought the fabric this year, but it is only the 5th project I’ve specifically bought fabric for – out of a total of 50 projects of all sorts completed so far this year, I think that’s pretty good going!  I’m not counting the fabric I need to buy for the Etsy shop items though, that would be unrealistic!

Barbara on the left & Veronica on the right.
Barbara on the left & Veronica on the right.

Veronica was “inspired” by a rather fabulous late 1940’s dress pattern I’d seen on Pinterest.  It has some really interesting style lines, but I loved the pocket treatments on the skirt.

McCalls 7719 afternoon frock  with interesting pockets
McCalls 7719 afternoon frock with interesting pockets

Again, I used the dart as a seamline and created the pockets from there.  The dart needed to be moved over towards the centre a bit, & angled further to create the right line.  I drew it all on the pattern in pencil to start & ran up a quick toile to check the angles, then drew all over the toile to correct the shape!  This is what the final pieces ended up looking like…  Sorry it’s all a bit fuzzy, darned mobile camera is not the best.

veronica 2
Veronica – the pattern pieces

I will definitely do a tutorial on how to make both Veronica & Barbara in the next month or so, so if you’d like to make a skirt like this for yourself, follow the instructions to draft & fit a basic skirt block so you’re ready!

So, without further ado, I give you..  Veronica!  😀

DSC04112-1DSC04122-1DSC04126-1DSC04113-1

Bound hem hand stitched in place.
Bound hem hand stitched in place.
Another succes - I think..  ;)
Another succes – I think.. 😉

 

 

 

Barbara – a 50’s inspired wiggle skirt

So after the catching up, the commercial patterns, the vintage patterns & the founding of my very own little Etsy shop (which has new goodies, btw)………  Back to something this blog was started for –   Patterncutting!!!

Ok, it’s not exactly earth-shatterning, but it’s a start.  As I said before, Daughter No2 is rather taken with the whole vintage thing, and it looks sooo good on her!  She starts 6th form in September (for those of you not in the UK, this is the last 2 years of high school) & the kids don’t need to wear school uniform anymore.  Not that they get to wear jeans & converses either – the new uniform is “Business Wear”.  Now we did this with Daughter No1, I made & bought all sorts of smart clothes, only for her to ditch the entire lot at the beginning of University, because no-one wears that sort of stuff!  Grrrr

Anyway, I digress.  Daughter No2 wanted to start with skirts.  Pencil skirts & wiggle skirts.  I posted some sketches I’d done, & she’d approved a couple of posts ago.  I have done the patterns for two of them, and made one of the skirts in between getting sidetracked & distracted by other shiny new things!

1950's inspired pencil skirts
1950’s inspired pencil skirts

So what we are after are simple pencil skirt shapes, with detail.  These two focus on the pockets.  I’d seen some patterns on Pinterest & Etsy, unfortunately either the wrong size, or already sold, and we decided to see if I could run them up!  We started with the one on the left, which Daughter No2 has called the Barbara skirt.

I used the dart (moved over towards the centre front a bit) as the starting point for the pocket, which also ended up being more curved than the initial sketch.  The skirt is pegged at the hem, I took in 2.5cm on each side seam & the same at the back.  Initially I was going to put a vent or slit at the back to enable walking, but after the toile she decided she didn’t need/want one this time.  How cool would it look with a little godet though??

The pattern pieces for Barbara
The pattern pieces for Barbara

These are the working pattern pieces for the skirt, you can see my adjustments & alterations scribbled all over them.  Once I am happy with the look, fit etc, I trace these off with the required markings so I can see what’s going on, but I always keep the working patterns to keep track of my fiddling!  The skirt sits properly on the waist, with a straight, narrow waistband.

Showing off the pockets
Showing off the pockets

The fabric is a mid-mod inspired print by John Kaldor in cotton with the teeniest amount of stretch.  I bought this aaaages ago, and made a skirt for myself, but had quite a bit leftover!  I decided a contrast pocket band would look good, but didn’t have a piece of black in a suitable weight cotton to match, so went with white.

Barbara skirtThe just-above-the-knee length works quite well.  The proper 50’s length would have definitely necessitated a walking vent, but Daughter No2 didn’t want it that long.

Barbara skirtI love how this skirt shows off her shape, without being too tight & revealing.   It’s quite grown-up!  😀

Barbara skirt with Jacket
Barbara skirt with Jacket

She even chose this skirt to wear on the induction day at the beginning of July, before jetting off to Sardinia with her best friend for 2 weeks.  I know she is looking forward to seeing what else I’ve made while she’s been gone….  I think I may have got sidetracked again & made something else!  Oops!  😀

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.

burda-sew-along

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!  😀