This is the Life!

Whoop, I’m on a roll with the sewing stuff!  😀  I love it, nothing better than spending hours all day with the music on and the sewing machine whirring.  So what am I up to now..  well, now that you ask.

I have these:

New projects…

In a clockwise direction starting top left, duck-egg blue fine whale corduroy, a Christmas present from a good friend a few years ago.  I still hadn’t decided what to make with it, but I have a feeling that it will make a very cosy jacket.  Remember I made a pattern that had a darted sleeve head?  That was a year ago!!!  Well, I think this is the fabric for that pattern!  Two for One is finally going to live up to its name.

Next, the blue silk.  I’ve had that a good number of years now too!  I recently held a Pattern Magic workshop over a weekend, and one of the patterns we tried out was the Different Facings.  I love the idea that from the same bodice front pattern you can get different tops just by altering the shape of the facing.  So I am keep to make a top with this fabric using one of these patterns.

Different Facing, Different Looks, Pattern Magic 2

And lastly.  The grey herringbone twill.  That I got at Sewing for Pleasure earlier this year, and it will be the jacket in the photograph opposite.  Daughter no1 fancies it very much, but I will not be using the pattern directly from the Burda magazine.  I am going to have to pattern cut it because I am not in the mood to use precious time adjusting a pattern a million times!  Daughter no1 is petite, very slender, but needs a FBA in every pattern.

Sewing With A Plan!  At last…  😀

Enjoy your weekend, whatever you are doing, and where ever in the world you are.

Autumn Leaves Jacket

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.

Jacket idea no. 1

As you can see I have copious notes!

Jacket Idea no2 (with alterations)

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:

“Final” design

Sleeve…  I’m hankering after the Crater Sleeve from Pattern Magic 1.  But full length, or 3/4 with a turn-back cuff?

Crater Sleeve from Pattern Magic 1

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:

Autumn Leaf Jacket design sketches

So what do we think??  Here’s another picture of the fabric.

Leaf print for jacket

And here I thought the pattern was ready, and I could cut out this weekend!  Now I’m not so sure.  :s

Just like a Stole – Tea for Two

just like a stole
Just Like a Stole

So, another Pattern Magic pattern done, and I like this one!  The name comes from the fabric print, ladies who shop, and ladies who do tea!  I like the neckline, might just need to get used to it, it feels like the shoulders drop back a bit.  It might need a couple of hand stitches just in the front a little to hold it together, but we’ll see.

back
View from the back

I used French Seams throughout with this lightweight cotton.  The buttons were rescued from one of husband’s worn out Red Herring tops, and I used a coral-red thread for sewing them on.  The pattern in the book has the dart into the front seam, not practical for me.  I changed the pattern to have the centre front button opening and moved the darts to their normal position in the front.  But I wanted something interesting there.  I converted the one BIG waist dart into 3 smaller cluster darts.

dart pattern
Front pattern showing dart clusters

Ok, so it’s really messy, but this is the working pattern.  Initially I had the darts narrower, but on the toile I didn’t like it, so made them wider, and then wider again.  When I am finally happy with a pattern, I trace it out so there are no scrappy bits of paper, there’s no magic tape, and only one set of pencil lines!  This is the rest of the front working pattern:

front
Like a Stole adaptation - front

I don’t wear high rounded necklines, unless I really want to give the impression of having a mono-boob, so I made a v-neckline, but it is rounded a bit to make it softer.  I also cut a facing to support the front, buttonholes and the neckline.  As the pattern is so opened up the top part of the bodice sits on the bias, which will stretch in a second if you look at it sideways.  I stitched about 5cm along the valley fold line from the end of the neck dart to stop the stretch there.

Admiring my dart clusters..

“So what’s next?” you ask…  weeeeellllll.  I still want to do the flip-turn, the twisted tops, the drape with twist…  You get the picture!  But.  I have been making husband some pattern blocks so I guess the next thing just might be a shirt for him.  Maybe.  😀

Happy with my new Pattern Magic top!

 

 

 

 

Sewing is Therapy

Ok, moving on, rapidly!  So now that I have sewed myself into feeling better with the Renfrew tees and a little vintage number for Daughter no 2 I feel ready to tackle another pattern from Pattern Magic.  I still wanted to play with the “Just Like a Stole” style.

Image

So out came the paper and rolls of Magic Tape (I still need to get shares in Scotch-tape).  The book has a high neckline which will never work on me, so I have adjusted it to be a sort of rounded v.  I also have a front button fastening, and sleeves.  Not too fancy this time, just pleated 3/4 length.  The dart has been moved, and elaborated!  See the sketches..  Again, the trickiest thing with the pattern is making a Winnie block do what another writer needs. It works though!  Although I’d love to share the photos of the pattern and toile with you, dearest husband has filched the camera.

Instead you get these…

Fashion sketch

The difference between fashion illustration sketches, and reality!  This is a sketch of the blouse I am making, the sketch on the left is done using a template from this book from Morplan, and the next one was done over a photo of moi.  What a difference proportions make!

You can get similar sketches from Fashionary, free downloadable templates, or buy the sketchbooks.

How tempting is it just to keep the template sketch and dump the “real” one?  Very!!  😀

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

reality sketch
Reality check!

So the toile is in a soft linen (linen sheets from the charity shop!!) to replicate the cotton I will use later.  No fabric purchase necessary, I have dug out a piece from my stash, yay!  Also, there are just about enough buttons from the button box to finish it off.  I cannot profess to be completely good this week though.  When visiting the charity shop looking for toile fabric and some vintage buttons, my eye was caught by a pile of grey houndstooth on a shelf.  Upon closer inspection it turned out to be 2m of a lovely soft wool, for £12!  Needless to say I gave in – no way that was staying in the shop for someone else to have!  So now there is another piece to make up..  😀

Can you tell what it is yet?

Can you tell what it is yet??

What it is is a lot of paper, magic tape and head scratching!  I have been mucking about with paper and Pattern Magic again, this time working on the “dress with draped design” pattern.  I guess I had a little more working through to do because I am not using the block that comes from the book.  As I am a million miles for the average Japanese woman in size and shape, there is pretty much no point in going there!  So I have my trusty Winnifred Aldrich bodice block to fiddle with instead.  It isn’t a hard pattern to make, just fiddly.

In the beginning

So this is how the front started off, bust dart moved to armhole, and lots of lines to cut up.  The waistline is moved 7cm up (on the back too) and neckline drawn in with a slight dip.  Then the fun started!!  I needed an extra hand and an automatic tape dispenser..  😀

The back was not that tricky and took about 5 – 10 minutes to adapt.  Then there is the sleeve to consider.  I like interesting sleeves, in case you hadn’t noticed by now.  I just wasn’t sure how much fabric I had to play with, same old story!!

Print georgette and crepe de chine

The fabric was sent to my by a very good friend who has relocated to Chicago.  I recon if I make her feel guilty enough about leaving me she’ll send me plenty of care packages with fabric in…  ;p  Anyway, the fabric is a polyester georgette with a fabulous print on it.  The colours are great and I really hope this dress turns out the way I see it in my head because I want to wear it to death in the summer.  The plain crepe de chine is for lining the skirt section.  I didn’t want the linings to be attached, so I am basically going to make a slip with the crepe and make a little cami with some turquoise silk satin I had left over from a previous project.

Testing the pattern lay

So before I got too carried away I placed the pattern pieces I had finished onto the fabric to see just how little I’d be left with…  Not an awful lot to be honest.  So out the window went ideas for a cowl drape elbow length sleeve and in came a shorter, plain sleeve.  The twisted draped front will just have to do!

So the front and back are stitched, French seams throughout on this fabric, and all that is left to do are the sleeves and hem.  And the cami.  And the slip.  In the meantime daughter no 2 needs a pattern for a prom dress she has designed, so I had better get my skates on!

By the way, I have to thank Burdastyle for making my Rise Above This jacket their featured member project of the week!!  I was pretty amazed!  😀

 

 

 

Graphic dress

I have found something to use that wonderful silk in, thanks to Kim and Immi for their suggestions.  Mooching on Pinterest today, my eye was caught by this pretty blue number…  I had thought to change the collar though.  I really like the “Just like a stole” detail from Pattern Magic 2, so I thought I’d give that a go, and change the sleeves a little.  As summer is pretty much over here in the UK, I will want something to take me into the autumn, so I think a 3/4 sleeve will do.

Just like a Stole - Pattern Magic 2

I can’t make up my mind whether to have a plain but fitted sleeve or something with a bit of oomphf, like a sleeve with a cowl drape at the head??  I always liked this dress from Burda Style‘s December 2010 magazine.  It’s style no 102 for those who want to dig it out..

Dress with drape sleeve - BurdaStyle magazine 12/2010

I guess I had better get cracking with the paper and scissors then..  ;D

Sweet Disposition

Liberty Knot Dress

Here we go, the Knot Dress has a new image!  Imagine the difference there would be if this were made in a plain linen…  Perhaps that’s the next job.  So, here it is – made up in the Liberty Tana Lawn I bought yesterday at Fred Winter in Stratford.  What do we think??

Happy Customer

I used French seams throughout, there is an invisible zip in the centre back seam and I bound the neck and armhole edges with self-bias.   I turned in 5mm on the hem before turning up 3cm, and machine stitched.  It was actually easier making this version than the toile, simply because the fabric was so much less bulky. I like the little tucks in the back. There are two 5cm long tucks to catch in the bulk of the fabric and stop it from being too tent-like.  I am glad I removed the extra fullness in the centre front, it definitely wasn’t needed.

Bow and Knot Detail

I encourage you to give it a go if you are so inclined, the pattern wasn’t hard to draft.  There are lots of little things to do on it, so just keep focus otherwise you will lose your place!  Overall, I am really pleased, as is daughter no 2!

Knot Dress