Friday, 23 February 2018

The Rumana Coat; Sew My Style

Well this was an epic effort and not one I really enjoyed.  In the main this was due to the fabric, it is Lux melton from Fabworks and when it arrived I thought it was going to be great, but I just don't think I like melton.  It just has a feel like felted carboard, and I think you can see in the photos that it just has a peculiar look.  Plus I found when I was trying out my fusing that it really easily pilled.  So I felt put off by it, but I had bought 3 metres and I so I carried on.  This is the By Hand Rumana Coat and it was the Sew My Style challenge which I had decided to join in.

Given how much work there was I'm not sure it was worth the effort.   First there was printing and sticking the PDF then I had to make changes, raising the waistline by 1", reducing the shoulder width and taking first 4 3/4" from the length and then later another 2".  Given the number of pieces and that there were no lengthen/shorten lines that took considerable time.

The instructions weren't always clear; the diagram for step 4 is actually incorrect, the collar took a little figuring out and I had a nightmare with the lining.  At certain points there was so much thickness that I thought my machine might struggle, particularly sewing the facing/collar, thank goodness my trusty Pfaff coped.  The sleeves were difficult to ease in and I have seen some others found this.    I bought a gorgeous button from Akahban, but it was 1 1/4" inches wide and my button-hole foot didn't make button holes that big, so I went for a  bound button-hole.  I thought the wool would be too thick for this so made the lips from some silk.  Not sure that has really worked and from the photos it also looks a little high.  I added shoulder pads to fill out my rather narrow shoulders.

Sorry there is a lot of whinging here.  As you can see I didn't really enjoy this make  (and because I was trying to finish it for Sew My Style I did it in a week).  I'm not really pleased with the result, mainly because of the fabric ... but .... I may try it again.  I do think this coat has potential.  I love the shape, love the easy welt pockets, look the topstitching and in the right fabric could be great.   Also there is a sewalong currently happening, which will clarify any difficulties.   There are changes I would make:  the sleeves seem a little big, narrow slightly, lower the button hole, perhaps put an inch back on the length, and length the lining to avoid pulling and the welts would benefit from light interfacing  By the way I love this lining!

Monday, 5 February 2018

#burdachallenge2018 the drape top

Firstly welcome new readers and I am very excited to now have over 400 followers on Bloglovin and I will shortly be having a give-away. 

I'm a little late posting my latest make which is part of the Burda Style Challenge organized by Hila.  I posted on my dressform in time on Instagram but didn't get any photos of me wearing it ... so here it is!  The drape top from the January 2018 issue.

This is a sort of hit/miss make.  I do like a garment where the front is quite plain and the drama is in the back, but in this case I'm just not sure how wearable it is.  You wouldn't wear it to exercise in as the drape would flop about!  It was much more complicated to make than it looks.  I used some lovely bamboo jersey from Ray Stitch, which is lovely though expensive at £15 a metre.  But I'm really not sure what is the right fabric for this top because the weight of the drape means it is pulling at the back.  I cut a size 40 and thought it might be a little tight so added a tiny bit at the fold, and in retrospect that was a mistake as it had added a bit too much fabric around the waist.  I shortened the sleeves because I didn't want the thumb holes.

Making the key-hole and drape was a bit of a nightmare.  Burda have you make the drape as a closed-ended piece and there is just no reason for this as it adds an extra 2 layers of thickness at the side seam (which makes 6 layers), so I just cut that seam off.  You can probably imagine the weight at the bottom here (and the bamboo is quite weighty).

On the left hand piece here there are multiple thicknesses to cope with and there was a problem with the size of the facings and key-hole,which may have been my mistake or the pattern.  Also the bit of interfacing at the bottom of the key-hole still shows which I don't like.  Here are the insides.

You can see the problem I had below  .... definitely a dog's dinner.  So not an entire success, but I can still wear it, though in retrospect there were better choices to have made from January's issue.

I am much happier with my progress on making leggings though using Vogue 1517.  I have had a Marks and Spencer pair and have worn them to death, and they don't seem to make them anymore, so I am desperate to be able to whip up replacements. My first version was above my ankles and unwearable.  This is the second and almost there, if I can just sort out the lines at the crotch (any ideas?), but I'm pretty pleased and wouldn't wear them with tops tucked in.  When I make my next pair I'll give more details.  Just to say they come up big, I'm usually a size 14 in Vogue, these ended up around a 12- and there is still a little more to take out.    These are made in Croft Mill ponte roma at only £7 a metre and its lovely, really soft, though for leggings something less soft (and thus showing lumps and bumps) is probably better. 

Monday, 22 January 2018

Sew Over It bonanza

I've had a quite productive sewing time since Christmas and it starts with a bit of a splurge on Sew Over It patterns.

First, and my favourite,  the Sew Over It Joan dress.  This is a pattern for wovens, but I though it would be more comfortable in knit and this is in some lovely wool jersey from my stash (from Fabrics Galore Nov 2016 - great fabric).

I had to make a lot of changes.  Cutting a size 12 didn't work and I had to make all the side seams and back 7/8" to get the fit.  I also took 1/2" from the shoulder width and moved the darts in by 1" (they also need lowering by 3/8").  I normally need to take the wait up by 1", but didn't for this dress and as you can see it is sitting a bit above my natural waist, so that might be an issue for those with a longer body.

Construction was quite easy.  I didn't need the zip.  The kickpleat wouldn't work as per the pattern as there were too many layers of thick fabric, so I just made a 6" slit and then topstitched.  I accidentally sewed the neck on the wrong side and so had to take 4" of one side, but I think this looks good.  The only problem I have had is that the neckband is slipstiched in place and on a stretch fabric, this does pop.  I love this dress and have already got lots of wear, it is lovely and cosy.  I will definitely make another.

Next the Sew Over It Cowl dress.  This is a pretty easy pattern.  Only 4 pieces and with a belt it is quite stylish.  The cowl is just a wider unfaced bit with a narrow hem that flops, and I'm not sure if it feels finished enough for me.

Nothing much more to say.  I love this fabric which came from Stoff and Still, but was again from my stash.  I would use the fabric again (the colour is a sort of marled dusky rose), but probably won't make the pattern again as I prefer a more significant cowl.

Finally the Vintage shirt dress made from Liberty Cord (bought for £4.50 a metre).  I'm still deciding on this one.  Perfectly wearable, but I think possibly my style has changed and I definitely prefer the Joan dress on me (60s rather than 50s, who would have thought). 

I cut a 12 grading to a 10 at the waist, and even with another 2/5" off at the side seams it is still a bit roomy.  I would cut a 10 grading to 8 another time.  I took 1/2" from the shoulders and because I don't like gathered sleeves I changed the sleeve cap to a smoothly fitted one, and this seemed to work.

It was fairly straight forward to make.  Though as I don't want to fasten right up, you can see the lapels are sticking out a bit, so more pressing needed.  The bodice fits quite well at the bust.  It's quite nice and I know lots love this pattern, I can see why ... and lovely for a swish!

So I've made a good start to 2018.  I don't really make resolutions and don't want to have too many enforced plans, however, I am going to take part in selected Sew My Style challenges.  I also want to try some new techniques;  a Sophie swimsuit, a bra and finally get trousers beaten!  I have been trying to make progress with my too large stash, however, what I have realized is that generally it is full of summer-type fabrics, so that means I don't feel too guilty about buying winter fabrics .... any excuse! 

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Vogue 1532: The Vogue Cocktail hour

Well this seems like a suitable dress to post on a Christmas-time blog.    This is a rather belated sew for the Vogue Cocktail hour (#sipandsew).

Vogue 1532 doesn't seem to have been a popular choice, but I do like it.    The dress itself is a fairly traditional, close-fitting dress, and then there is a dolman sleeved pullover top to add a bit of pizazz!


I don't know if you are like me, but sometimes I choose a pattern as much because it contains a challenge I want to try, in this case boning, rather than just a pattern I love.  I also thought if I was making a cocktail dress, I would go all out and pick a posh one.  The dress is made of stretch duchess satin and the top from a sort of dotty net fabric  (from Abakhan).

I cut a size 14, but this ended up much too big in the stretch duchess and I had to take in several inches.   It could still be a little tighter to look really good, but instead it more comfortable to wear.

The pattern has very thin straps that would not cover a bra, and so I made much wider straps.  Getting the fitting right was one of the trickier challenges.

I love the sleeves, and the net edged with the satin cuff.  Also if you don't like fully exposing your arms, this pattern is ideal, a bit of coverage but still glam!

The cuff is held together with little rouleux loops (very fiddly) and these gorgeous vintage buttons.

I made a pretty good job of the dress.    The only mistake I made was to use cheap bias binding for the neck, never again, it makes the neck stand up a little.  In hindsight I should have made my own (probably from the lining material).  The inside looks great .... yes the picture below is the inside. The lining is a poly-satin.  You can see where the boning is.  There are 8 channels of boning.
I used covered plastic boning, (also from Akahban) and sewed these to the lining, so that they didn't show on the dress.  You can see below one channel on the princess seam and one on the side seam.  To minimize any seams showing through the dress I finished them with pinking shears rather than any overlocking which showed through slightly.


This is an interesting pattern and a good one to make.  It is an intermediate/advanced and probably not for the beginner, though depending on your choice of fabric, not too difficult.  I've never really had a little black dress before, just need a chance to wear it!

If you read this on the 25th, I hope you are having a wonderful day.   Otherwise I will be early in wishing you all a very happy, healthy and successful 2018 and look forward to sharing lots of sewing with you.

Friday, 1 December 2017

#OWOP17 Day 7 M6886

So I have had no difficulty wearing M6886 for the week, and here on the final day is my 5th version, finished on Wednesday evening.

I think this is a really great pattern, and from other's versions I think it suits most body-types.  I have chosen to make a fairly loose version suitable for work.  So I cut a size 14 (I'm a 37.5" bust 28 waist and 37 hip).  You could make a sexy version by making it a bit tighter, or choose a glamorous fabric.  I think it needs a firmish fabric though.

I raised the waist by 1" and added 1.5" to the length (I'm 5'4")  I narrowed the shoulders by 6/8".  I didn't turn over the neckline as advised but fitted a neck and.  I've just made a small swayback adjustment for the next time (and there will be more), you can see below there is a little too much fabric at the back.  In order to accommodate shorter jacket sleeves I made this one 3/4 length.

The dress goes together really easily and is a great project for beginners to knits.    I know a plain black ponte dress is a bit boring, but I have to be smart at work and it will be perfect with a number of my jackets, infact I'm considering wearing the outfit below for a very important work interview I have coming up.

Well that's the last for One week one pattern, and the most posts I have made in a week!  Hope it wasn't too boring.  Did you take part?

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

#OWOP17 Day 4 M6886

Day 4 and this is probably my favourite version.  (Apologies for the photos taken after work when it was dark!  ... and my eyes closed whenever the flash went off).

A simple striped ponte, lots of stripe matching slowed it down, but a very straightforward make.

I'm currently making my fifth version, not quite enough to do 7 different days so I won't bore you tomorrow, when on instagram I'll just show one of the current dresses with a jacket.

Monday, 27 November 2017

OWOP17 Day 3; McCalls 6886

My third version!  This time in a grey herringbone ponte.

It looks better in real life ... and actually its a really good dress for work with a grey jacket.  You can see I didn't quite get the neckband right, because I used too broad a band and it won't lie quite flat, but still wearable and I've already worn it quite a lot.