I realise that all of the posts in the last few years have been completed projects. I used to photograph as I sewed, I even posted as I worked, with the finished project at the end, nicely modelled on the daughter for whom it was made. So I thought, I might start that again! I’ve been working on a jacket for daughter no 1 using a 1m length of Linton Tweed. I like mixing things up a little, so I suggested we make a biker style jacket with the fabric, rather than something more predictable. That got the thumbs up!
I’m using the same Burda pattern as I did last year when I worked on the Refashioners project. This time, however, I’m not changing the pattern, because I don’t have to! 😀 So how far have I got? Well, I’m almost done… I cut and interfaced yesterday, block fusing so if there was any shrinkage it wouldn’t affect the pieces too much.
Today I did most of the construction, I thought I wouldn’t get as far as I did because I had ordered the zips online from Jaycotts and wasn’t sure when they’d arrive. Luckily, they came today! I used a black piece of wool for contrast and bulk reduction in certain areas, the welt for the pocket, facings, inner cuffs, waistband pieces & inner collar.
I think it’s worked rather well! I needed the bulk reduction, this tweed is chunky! I’m actually using the wrong side here, we decided it was less busy, and more likely to be worn this way around.
This is what it looks like tonight, with just the lining, waistband, cuffs & snaps to go. Now my eyes are tired and it’s time for bed!
I’d marked this particular jacket in the August 2016 issue of Burdastyle when it first came out, but wasn’t sure I had the fabric, or who to make it for! It’s got a lovely 50s-60s look to it. In the photo in the magazine, it looks loose, big and comfy, but the sleeves look too long. That worried me, so I left it – for two years!
This year I decided it would look fabulous on Daughter No 1, sent her a photo of it and remarked that I’d shorten the sleeve as it looks a little hinky there. The reply was instant – yes please! I traced the 36, the smallest size and toiled in a piece of mystery content fabric I’d bought years and years ago. It was used as toile because every winter when I brought it out of the stash, I got wrinkled up noses and doubt. So it was obviously not going to be useful otherwise. I’d also tried to dye it blue-er, which didn’t work because it isn’t a natural fibre… this I found out when I tried dyeing!
Long story short, I toiled quickly using scraps of previous projects for the pocket linings and the flaps, red thread so I could see where I’d sewn if I needed to adjust or unpick. When she came home for a long weekend, she tried it on, and pronounced it perfect – almost. The sleeves were definitely too long, but we fixed that by turning up 8cm instead of the 4 for the hem, and then turned back another 4, essentially making a fold back cuff. The lower section of the sleeve is straight on the sides, so it’s easy to turn back more, and to make a cuff, no faffing with angles. She also decided she really liked the toile, and could she wear that please…?
I should have known. How often has this happened to me? I use a piece of fabric that’s otherwise ugly, or they haven’t noticed before, make a toile – and suddenly it’s the best thing since dairy free cheese! There was no attempt at matching the stripes, placing the pockets and tabs in the right place to line things up, just a toile, right!? I huffed a little – there’s no point in making out that this is easy too often, they might get the wrong idea! 😉 I found a suitable piece of lining in the stash, ended up unpicking the original pocket flaps with their red linings, as well as the pocket pieces themselves. Then I recut the flaps and pocket linings, resewed them in and finished off the jacket. One thing I did not do was interface. I was in no mood to go fiddling around with already trimmed and sewed bits to do that, it will just have to do!
I have to admit it looks good. I just wish we’d all had a better idea of that fabric before I’d started that particular job! 🙂 Never mind, at least the fabric has been put to a good use, and it wasn’t wasted. Things to note from the toile:
Make the sleeves shorter, 8cm hem, 4cm turn back for cuff – optional as with the 8cm hem, the sleeve is now a good length.
Recut the shawl collar/facing pattern pieces with 3mm added to the outer edge to allow for turn of cloth.
Recut pocket outer flap pattern pieces and all outer (top) belt pieces with 3mm added to edge to allow for turn of cloth.
Consider interfacing shoulder areas to reduce chance of stretch on the bias over the shoulder
The pattern lay in the magazine doesn’t show any interfacing apart from the facing pieces, and this doesn’t want to be an overly structured garment, but I felt it needed a bit more support in certain areas. So I interfaced a 2cm strip on the back shoulders, the front, front and back facings and the undercollar. I also added a 5cm wide bias cut strip to the hemline areas on the jacket, and a deeper bias strip to the sleeve, giving support to the area that would be turned up as the cuff, if she wanted to.
The final fabric for the jacket came from the deep stash, and I think I originally got it from a charity shop. It’s wool, grey on grey houndstooth. I’d pre-shrunk it with steam, so this will have to be drycleaned. For the lining, I raided the stash again. The initial idea was to have something dramatic, rust or copper on the inside, but I couldn’t find something in the right shade and fabric in time. So I dug out a piece of gold and blue shot lining I’d bought from The Lining Company to line a camel coat – as yet still unmade. It works pretty well, is warm and still interesting when the light catches it at different angles.
The jacket didn’t take long to make. I’d cut out the pieces and interfaced one evening, started sewing the next morning and finished the shell in time to cut the linings the next evening and sew them in. All I needed to do the next day was to hand sew the linings to the hem and attach the buttons, all of which came from the stash and are vintage. So it’s a quick jacket to make, the only fiddly (time consuming) thing is the welt pocket, if you haven’t done one before. The rest is really straightforward!
Both jackets have been really well recieved. We had a full house with both girls home for a weekend, and the jackets got well and truly drooled over. The colours work brilliantly with her wardrobe of neutrals (much like mine) and they look fabulous with her strawberrry blonde hair. I know they’ll get well worn this Autumn and Winter, a real winner!
Right, I am finally ready to show you my Japanese Jacket. I had been hoping to get pictures of it on our little Cornish break, along with the cropped trousers from the last post, but it was way too hot for that!! In the end, I had to give in to the weather and just go for it. The jacket is the perfect layering piece for those typical English “summer” days, or slightly breezy days, and when Autumn finally arrives, I have no doubt that it will get a lot more wear. I visited Daughter No2 in her new flat in the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham last week, and on a little walk we found the perfect place for photographs. I love the feel of that area and I’m happy to see so much regeneration of the old workshops, warehouses and industrial spaces. The colours the Victorians and Georgians used are pretty fabulous too!
First of all, the pattern. In the Kana’s Standard II book, the sizing is in Japanese sizes up to 13. On checking the measurements for that size band I realised that if I graded up two sizes I’d be in the right ballpark, without having to redraft. Time saved! So off I went and graded the tops pattern, A. Basically there is one standard pattern with various little differences, length, sleeves, sleeve width and sleeve length. The jacket is A9, with a longer version that has pockets to make a coat, A10. There is a section of photographs of all the different versions of Top A, styling shots all featuring the author wearing the clothes from the book.
I did a quick “wearable toile” of A1, just a simple top with short sleeves, to check the fit. Width was more than enough, if not a little too much for a top. (Need to remember to take in the sides or reduce the width across the shoulder before using the pattern again) But it needed length across the bustline for a fuller bust than the books will ever cater for!
I added 3cm in length, creating a bust dart in the front side to allow for the fullness, this was then rotated to the waist and then removed in the side seam, so it’s dart-free. I also widened the sleeve by 2cm, I have fuller upper arms than the pattern allows for. In the summer this is not so bad, because of all the allotment work, digging, etc. My arms shrink in the summer, but when winter comes again, I don’t want clingy sleeves. Those were the only adjustments I decided were needed.
The pattern pieces fitted perfectly on the remaining rusty coloured linen. I thought briefly of binding the seams on the inside with bias, a Hong Kong finish, but as I really, really wanted the jacket for the Cornish trip and was up against the clock, left that and just overlocked everything instead. The pattern is quick to make, even without English instructions. The diagrams are clear, marked with numbers that indicate the order of work. Seam and hem allowances are marked in the cutting layout in the book, and it’s all metric. For some translation of the instructions, there is a handy page on this website which I used.
I am very happy with the finished garment, the colour is perfect, just as it was with the pants! For now I’m rolling the sleeves up a bit. I could probably make them more a 7/8 or 3/4 length for the summer, I’m always pushing up long sleeves, even in the winter! For the closure I used the last of the dark bronze snaps I got for Daughter No2’s orange coat last winter. Sewn on with buttonhole stitch, they’ll not be getting pulled off in a hurry.
I’m already making plans for more of these, possibly using some pinstripe wool suiting (and making a lining pattern) to make a winter version… The loose casual feel of the jacket is something I really like, although hubby would prefer me to wear something more fitted. Not in the summer!!
I’m off now to complete some more of the Burda challenge 2018 patterns on my list, July’s edition this year is a bit good, better than last month in it’s offerings!
How often do you wear matching items? Some of you might wear suits for work, I never have! In an attempt to bust a little stash fabric, and to have more items made for my Sew Seasonal Wardrobe, I originally wanted to make two pairs of trousers from a 3m piece of stretch cotton sateen from Croft Mill Fabrics that I’d bought last year. Unfortunately, there just wasn’t enough for both pairs so while I sat there looking at the laid out fabric hoping to find a way, inspiration hit. There could be enough for a jacket & trousers…
It took a little playing around, pattern piece tetris is a real thing. The left picture shows the layout I ended up with and the little pile of skinny scraps on the right is all I was left with once it was all cut out! I cut the inner waistband and both pocket pieces from different fabrics in the scrap box to save space.
The trouser pattern is 109 from Burdastyle magazine March 2010 and the jacket is my old staple, 116 from Burdastyle magazine April 2009. I think this is the fifth version now! I decided to leave the jacket unlined, and to use Hong Kong finish on all the internal raw edges. A piece of pansy print Liberty lawn was liberated from the scrap box that worked perfectly against the beige. I cannot tell you how many metres of bias I cut in the end, suffice to say it was a lot. Because the jacket was unlined, the shoulder pads were covered in the same fabric. I had thought I’d get away without them but the jacket looked all frumpy and structure-less.
So, trousers. I went for the shorter version and still chopped out 4cm. A remnant of silk was cut for the pockets, and a pocket facing was added, using the cotton sateen so you don’t just see silk at the opening. The pockets are of the in-seam variety. The inner waistband was cut from a remnant of printed cotton sateen that had made a pair of trousers and a skirt for the daughters in the past. The button closure and trouser hook & eye came from the stash. I overlocked all edges before starting to sew, that way I don’t have to stop and start and can get a pair of pants made in a day.
I really like the colour it goes with all my new handmade tee-shirts! The stretch is really comfortable, I like the stitched seam on the front pieces, it gives a sense of length, which is sorely needed.
The jacket pattern is one I have made many times now. I think this is the most crisp though. Even my linen one, lined, is softer. Just means I need to work harder to remove that darn double chin my family genes is/are so fond of…. I really wanted a light weight jacket, so no lining. That also means far less structure and interfacing than I’d normally use. Only the facings and collar pieces are interfaced, relying on the structure of the fabric to give the jacket a good shape.
The jacket was actually made fairly quickly, considering the metres and metres of bias that needed to be attached! The reason why it hasn’t seen the light of day until now (apart from no photographer) is that I couldn’t for the life of me find the right buttons. Beige buttons on a beige jacket are BORING! Metallic ones just looked too bling. White looked insipid and black too much of a contrast. So I was stuck. Help came in the shape of a friend who went through my buton stash with fresher eyes than mine. She found these interesting regtangular buttons and practically dared me to use them. Challenge accepted!
The shape and texture on the buttons makes them far more interesting than ordinary brown round ones, so I’m happy with the result. I also sort of want to wear this jacket inside out! The only time anyone will see the pretty insides is when I take it off and lay it flashily on the back of a chair. 🙂
On to the last item for the day! I’d ordered two pieces of grey viscose jersey from Croft Mill Fabrics, dark grey, & a lighter, silvery piece at the beginning of March. Can I just say, these jerseys are so soft!! They have the most amazing drape which means every bit needs to be stabilised! I chose a tee-shirt pattern I’d liked before but not got round to tracing, 138 form the March 2011 Burdastyle magazine. It’s in the plus-size section. I liked the twisted neckline treatment and the tab on the sleeves.
I made the 46 with a 6cm FBA but with this soft fabric I wonder if I could have got away with the smaller size. The armhole seams, front and back, are stabilised with Vilene bias tape, having learnt the hard way last year that this sort of fabric keeps going down…. Initially the neckline wasn’t stabilised, but as the day wore on I realised that wasn’t my brightest idea, so back to the ironing board it went. Now the neckline, while a little low, doesn’t try to migrate any further south. The neck band is simply a rectangle that isn’t folded symmetrically. Once the centre back seam is stitched, instead of folding and pressing you move the seams 3cm apart which gives a little pull on the folded edge. This creates the “twist”.
The sleeves with tabs are easy to sew, if using a soft fabric like this though, I suggest you iron on a bit on knit interfacing where the tab goes to stop the fabric stretching as you do the topstitching. Unfortunately, this fabric doesn’t work folded up. It’s too soft! I don’t really mind, the sleeves are a good length and I like the detail left with the buttons and stitched squares. The only other adjustment I made was to remove length. I took 5cm off the bottom and still turned up a 4cm hem. I get that some people prefer longer tops to hide things, but on me I’d look very, very short and definitely feel like I was wearing a tent!
All said, I am happy with my new outfit, not 100% sure if I will actually wear the matching jacket and pants together, but I have that option. All items are in my suitcase for the holiday as with colours like this you can wear anything! Score more for busting some stash & scraps, making a matching outfit and using freshly bought fabric before it found the stash!
Well now, would you look at this. I have actually made two of the items I had planned to do lately.. This from someone who doesn’t plan! I finished this jacket on Tuesday, but the weather was not playing ball for photos. With a breather in the clouds and rain today, Daughter No1 & I decided some fresh air and photos was in order. I still had cards to deliver too!
This is the pattern I made back in November – last year! I had been toying with the darted sleeve head idea and ran up a toile, but realised with the extended shoulders that the rever and collar were going to need adjustment. No problem, but I couldn’t make up my mind on the fabric. I eventually used the original collar and rever and made a different sleeve, which resulted in this jacket.
I finally chose a fabric to use for the darted sleeve version, a duck-egg blue fine wale corduroy from Ditto Fabrics that a friend had given me for a Christmas present. But I had no lining or buttons so it languished in the cupboard for a while. More than a while, actually! If you check out the other jacket photos you will see the difference in the collar and revers. I actually prefer the width of these ones, I think the previous revers were too narrow for that jacket too!
I did lengthen the front of this jacket, something I noticed after wearing the other one was that it could have done with being about 2-3cm longer in the front. I also added welt pockets. I realised at the first fitting that the jacket was looking a little plain and boring, so I quickly got cracking with the welts! Note to self – decide on pockets before making up fronts and attaching to backs… The pocket bags use some left-over silk from my Pattern Magic blouse. I know you’re supposed to use some of the shell fabric so the lining fabric isn’t seen, but this is way too pretty to hide!
The extended sleeves have some fusible wadding sew into the sleeve head seam to add support, and I moved the shoulder pads over slightly too, nothing worse than a collapsing sleeve head! The lining was a bargain from the Fancy Silk store in Birmingham, Jaeger cupro for just £3.99/m! Buttons are metal from Fred Winter’s in Stratford. I would have prefered to have a matching set, but so few places sell the same styles in different sizes. So I have horses on my sleeve vents and pretty ones down the front.
I love this jacket. I love the colour, love the fit and love, love, love the sleeves! What is it with me and sleeves? :s Anyhow, I now need to move onto the herringbone twill for Daughter No1’s biker-ish jacket from the Burda mag, but I will be pattern cutting it to her measurements. Maybe I will wait a couple of days first, something tells me there is an important date approaching sometime next week. ;p
So, Happy Christmas to everyone, I hope you all get loads of what you’ve asked for (fabric & some new books in my case…). Enjoy spending time with your families and friends. 😀
After a flurry of finished projects, and some tidying up of my “fix-it” pile, I’m ready to get going with my leaf print jacket. Maybe. I had these two sketches in my sketchbook, either would work for the jacket, but neither was 100% right.
As you can see I have copious notes!
Ok, so what I’m really thinking of is a bit of peplum detail, but not a wavy, fluffy one. I like structure, so I like the pleats in version 2. I also am definitely having the neckline detail in version 1.
So here’s a version with the bits I like together:
Sleeve… I’m hankering after the Crater Sleeve from Pattern Magic 1. But full length, or 3/4 with a turn-back cuff?
I really love that sleeve, and I think with the neckline from the first design it will look fabulous! I just need to decide on the length… Also, I need to decide if the style lines actually work on my body, rather than the skinny-minny croquis from my sketch book. So I put together these:
So what do we think?? Here’s another picture of the fabric.
And here I thought the pattern was ready, and I could cut out this weekend! Now I’m not so sure. :s