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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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
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 buttonholes and attach buttons.
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!
Today, I’ve been making trousers. When the November issue of the Burda magazine finally landed in my sticky little paws, I wasn’t exactly inspired – not as much as I have been with previous issues. But one or two patterns did look appealing. I rather liked the trousers 117. I just happened to have a length of russet coloured stretch denim a friend sent me from the States… It was meant to be!
The pattern requires fabric with stretch, but doesn’t say what percentage. However, as one of the views was made in jersey, I figure it needs a fair bit. My denim had that fair bit, so I decided to wing it and see what happened. I’ll not go into fitting and toiling details here, I cut the 44 and shortened the leg length by 4cm.
The trousers in the magazine have a decorative ribbon down the outside leg seam and piping in the waistband, the jersey version has piping on the waistband. Initially I thought this was just a sewn on detail, but the outer waistbands are actually in two pieces, an upper and lower. So now you have somewhere to stick that piping! I wasn’t going to bother, I figured I’d just use the inner waistband pieces and cut two of each, but… I had piping in the stash, so might as well use some of it up in a practical manner.
I didn’t follow the order of work in the instructions. By the way, has anyone else noticed there is no longer a cutting layout? It was there in the October magazine, but “poof” no more! I started with the fronts, overlocked the edges and made up the hip yoke pockets. I used a left over piece of Liberty poplin for the inner pocket bag to reduce bulk. I’ve used that left over piece quite a bit now, I wonder if it will ever get finished! The pocket bag is understitched along the opening edge to keep the cotton from rolling out. Once the pockets were done, I sewed the centre front seam from the top edge to just above where the crotch curve starts.
Then it was the back pieces. Darts first, then pocket. I realised, when tracing out the pieces, that the welt on the back was faux, just for show! Now I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to all the trouble of interfacing and cutting my trousers to insert a welt, I want a pocket to go with it!! So that’s what I did. I like to put my phone in my back pocket, that’s where it basically lives. So I measured it and cut two rectangles from the poplin the width of the pocket welt and the depth of the phone plus a few centimetres. Basically 14×18. Then I cut two welt pieces, one to use for the actual welt, and one to sew to the top of one of the rectangles as a facing. I made the welt pocket up as standard. I’m quite chuffed with it, it’s the perfect size for my phone, but if you want to use it for anything else, you’d better make yours a little wider, add a cm each side of the opening and all pieces.
Once that was done I sewed the centre back seam as I had done the front, then moved on to the waistband pieces. The piping was added to the upper seamline of the lower waistband, then the upper waistband was sewn on top. I graded the seams to reduce bulk and clipped to allow the curve to lie flat. When I clip a curved seam, I always do it on the bias, the theory is that the fabric won’t fray or rip on the bias. If you cut with the grain, it might rip through your stitching. Not that I’ve had that happen in the past, but just in case, right? I made up the front and back waistbands and then attached them to their trouser legs. Then I inserted the invisible zip in the left side seam. It needed a little fiddling to make sure the piping and waistband edge lined up, because of the bulk it wanted to move down when I sewed, so I ended up unpicking a couple of times, and using loads of pins!
After that it was all downhill, the remainder of the leg seams were stitched and pressed, the inner wiastband pieces interfaced with a lightweight fusible and sewn to the top of the outer pieces. I understitched the waistband and trimmed the lower edge before folding the remaining seam allowance under and stitching in the ditch from the outside. Then it was just the hems and voila!! One new pair of trousers! I do like that piping detail, it’s just a pity no-one will really see it. I don’t tuck my tops in, so the only people to see that detail will be you guys now, and me later!
I’ll be sure to get photos asap, along with pictures of my new tees! Yesterday I ran up two stripey 3/4 sleeve Lark tees, the perfect colours to go with these new pants. I am really looking forward to having these pants in my wardrobe, just like the paprika linen pants I made in the summer! It’s nice to have that splash of colour to play with in amongst the blues, back and greys.
P.S. I have finished both coats for the girls, and I hope to have photos of those, modelled by the girls themselves (instead of on Betty the dummy) in a week or two. In the mean time, I now have all I need to get cracking with the coat I’ve been promising to make for Mr W for over a year. Tomorrow, I start cutting out!!! Wish me luck…
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.
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.
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…
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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!
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??!
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!
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”.
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.
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!!
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!