Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Yona coat

I made a coat, an oversized boyfriend coat and I love it.

I think there is something about making coats which make you feel rather clever.  Actually this is a relatively easy coat, and probably a good choice for a first go at a coat.  The baggy style means you don't have to worry about fitting.  The pattern is Named Yona Coat.  Unfortunately I had to get it on PDF, which I absolutely hate.   It just seems to take ages, and no matter how I try never quite seems to go together absolutely perfectly.    Having printed out the pattern and spent more than an hour sticking together and tracing (which you have to do on this pattern due to overlaps) I finally decided to check the size of the box (yes, I know crazy, you are supposed to do this before you print out) and it was too small, so I had to print, stick and trace again!  That was at least 4 hours work and I would far rather pay the small premium for a paper pattern.  This pattern was only available on PDF and I do like it.  It maybe a little too baggy though, and I could have stuck with the slightly smaller first version.  I cut my usual 38" bust, grading down a little at the waist.  The pattern does look very different on the website made with a wrap and belt, but with buttons it does look different.

The fabric is boucle wool, bought through ebay and a really good value satin lining (£2.50 a metre) also from ebay.

It's a really comfy coat, though to make it warm you would need to interline, and I didn't do this.  I did do bound button holes (too dark to show on a photo).  The coat was pretty much a doddle to make.  The main difficulty was getting the collar together with the layers.  I used my new clapper to press the thicker bits much flatter.  I know a clapper is only a bit of wood but it definitely makes a difference when pressing thicker fabrics and I think it will make my jackets and wool items much better.  Definitely recommended, though it is only a bit or wood and you don't need to purchase a specific clapper to get the same effect.

Also wearing the coat in piccie 1 with my new crochet cowl.  Here's a photo before joining together.

I did get rid of that strange purple row on the right.  This is a complete copy of Gillian's lovely cowl(hope you don't mind Gillian!).  I had a lot of left over bits of baby cashmero from my blanket and this has made a really cosy warm cowl, just right for the weather now. 

I am very, very happy to be welcoming more readers on Bloglovin.  It's great to know that others are interested in my meanderings!  Happy Christmas if you are reading this on the 25th, or hope you had a great time if it is later.  Because Dan is working a 12 hour shift on Christmas day we had our celebration today and had a lovely time.  I'll leave you with a photo of my lovely boys Christmas 2000 and our much loved dog Kerry.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Francoise - a touch of the psychedelic!

Something a little different, the Francoise 60s shift.


This isn't my usual type of dress and I wasn't going to give it a go, because I do love a sew-a-long and Tilly gives such clear instructions, also I thought I had the fabric in my stash, so that was the decision made.  Unfortunately my plan to use some cheap crepe for the dress was completely squashed when it stretch horribly and seemed to have a stomach of its own, not flattering at all.  So I had to buy some more Brussel's washer linen (more Robert Kaufman) in my favourite colour, mist.  The sleeves are left over from my other shift dress.  I just love this fabric, it's so comfortable and doesn't crease.

I love the raglan sleeves, very comfortable and pretty easy to fit.

I originally cut a size 5 in the bust and graded down to a 4 at the waist.  Because of the clingy tummy when I made the linen version I graded back out so the finished dress is a straight size 5 .  Now I think it could be a little snugger in the waist.  Still it means there is plenty of room for a bit of a watusi!

I did add an extra 3" to the length, not because I don't like the mini version on others, but I think those of us who actually did wear the mini in the sixties may need a few extra inches now!  Because the linen is rather thin, I did have to line the dress and that was a little fiddly.  I lined the dress part, attaching the lining to the facing and then slip stitching the lining to the shoulders.    I machined the lining to the zip to get a nice neat finish.

The tab is a cute feature, though from the photos I think I need to check that it is quite level, it may well be the way I stand!

All in all I think though this won't be one of my favourite dresses it is a good pattern, fairly straightforward with very clear instructions (backed up by the sew-along).    Tilly has been running a competition, with great prizes, and I'm sure there will be some fabulous entries. 

Not much else to say this week, lovely lunch with Dan today.  Lots of wind and rain in Cumbria.   Very busy at work and so looking forward to the break at Christmas. Hope you all have a great week, I'm sure many of you are extremely busy with Christmas preparations.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Mabel .... mabel ... etc. etc.

Firstly welcome new followers!  Clearly the Bruyere is a popular pattern (I'll be making a liberty lawn version in spring) and I was really excited that I got a lot of new followers on Bloglovin.  I hope you like some of my other makes as well.  

Last summer I managed to find a vintage top for £5 which I really love, and this needed a navy skirt to go with it for work.  Enter the Colette Mabel.  I wanted a pencil skirt which was comfortable and easy to wear and the Mabel definitely fits the bill.  The styling on the pattern didn't really look like what I had in mind, much to short.  I wanted something high waisted and below the knee and thought version 3 could probably fit the bill.  I cut a size small because the hip size looked right (I'm 28" waist and 37" hips and the sizing is 27-28 waist and 37-38" hips).   Big mistake, much too tight (so version one went to Gemma).  I then cut a medium and graded the waist in slightly .... perfect!

I'm really pleased with the fit here.  The length is great, just what I wanted, and I like the kick-pleat at the back.  This is a really easy make, easily done in a couple of hours, and even this length only takes one metre, so it's really cheap to make.  I used Ponte Roma and this usually costs between £7-£12, so this is an £11 outfit!  (Sorry about the strange things I seem to be doing with the remote here!)

Well I liked this so much I made another five!

(The second from the left is actually a black dot - more later).  They are all made from Ponte Roma, so you might expect they would all fit pretty much to same.  Not at all.  The dot one fits well, but is very tight to pull over my hips and the cream ......!  Well see for yourself.


Here with the Bellini blouse (not blogged because its too tight on the bust and has gone to Gemma) and with the Bronte top.  Look how tight it is around the rear!  Definitely not a look I feel comfortable with (yes, Gemma got the skirt too).

So I still have 4 Mabels myself, and my favourite is probably this one (sorry its on the model)

Now all these differences in how this same pattern fits in 5 different ways even though the material is ostensibly the same, has led me to wonder if it is really worth making a muslin.  I have made muslins in the past which seem to fit well  only to find the finished garment is too tight around the bust.  Some websites suggest you make the muslin from the same fabric but that just seems so expensive, and if the slight differences in these fabrics made so much difference to the final fit, then a muslin wouldn't be really helpful!  What do you think?  Do you always make a muslin?  Anyway I would recommend this pattern as a wardrobe staple which is easy to sew and easy to wear (and really cheap!).  What more can you want?