Sunday, 24 April 2016

A holiday dress; the Eliana

As you know I have a passion for mustard, and when Pauline Alice's version of her Eliana dress I decided to make a copy!!!

I made the dress to take on holiday to Rome (where I had a fantastic time - more next week and the fabulous fabric  bought there), but unfortunately  didn't get any photos of the dress there -  also please excuse the still pasty legs!

The Eliana is described as a semi-fitted dress with gathered neckline and waist with long raglan sleeves or sleeveless.

I cut the size 42 grading down a bit at the waist, however, I think it is a little big as there is such a lot of fabric under the arms and this makes it just a little less comfortable than a dress like this should be.  If I were to make it again, I would go down a size.

I raised the waist by 1", my usual adjustment. and added a couple of inches to the length.

The only other adjustment I made was that I didn't like the way that pattern made the cuffs with a binding, as they were loose and droopy, so I inserted elastic at the wrist in a casing and I think this looks much better.

The fabric is a gorgeous viscose which has a lovely hand and drape, presses and sews beautifully.  Like Pauline I bought it from France from Henry and Henriette.  They don't seem to have it any more, although there are some other gorgeous viscose fabrics!  Jess liked it very much, and perhaps it is more a ginger colour than mustard!

The pattern is fairly easy, except for the bias binding particularly round the key-hole, which I find very fiddly.  I think another time I would make it just a touch wider.  I hand stitched it all down because I would never have managed to machine stitch this width with any accuracy.

The sleeve is a raglan, which I like as it avoids my usual problem of having narrow shoulders.  There is a dart, but it doesn't stand out in any way.

The waist, has a one inch elastic casing, a little fiddly, and I secured a few points around it to stop the gathering becoming too uneven.

Overall I think this is a nice pattern; a comfortable dress which should suit most figures, with a jacket it will still be smart enough for work.  I may make another one (perhaps next year).   I'm clearly on to the spring/summer sewing now and we have even had some sun.

On a less successful front I have loved all the gorgeous versions of the Inari Tee dress, but my first version is a failure, mainly because it seemed very wide and even with two mall pleats at the neck the sleeves still feel in the wrong place and thus uncomfortable.  If I go down a size then I'm a little worried the bust may be tight.  This one will go straight to the charity shop, but I would love to crack this pattern.  Has anyone else had this problem - any ideas?

Monday, 11 April 2016

Vogue 7975: the Linton Tweed Chanel-style Jacket

Last time we had the skirt and top, this time the jacket.  

This is my second version of Vogue 7975.  I really like this pattern.  It's pretty straightforward, and because I made version C, the edge to edge jacket I didn't have to worry about doing a full-bust adjustment (I am a C cup and Vogue is designed for a B cup).  I cut my usual size 14 with a 5/8" narrow adjustment to the shoulders and raised the waist by 1", but these are the only changes I needed.

I love the fabric, which is Linton Tweed (yes the original Chanel fabric).  Unfortunately this particular design appears to be sold out, but they have many, many other great choices.  Linton Tweed is based in Carlisle, only 1 hour from where I live, and I bought this on a visit to their shop with my sewing buddy Gary.  This fabric goes beautifully with black, taupe, duck-egg blue and dusky pink. 

Most Linton Tweeds are have a rather loose weave which means I interlined all the pieced with polycotton, but because I wanted a fairly soft look, I only interfaced the facings.  It is a little challenging getting the seams overlocked before they fray too much.

I am exceptionally pleased with the pattern matching.  I took a long time cutting out (and single layers) and then did a bit of unpicking to try and get the best possible effect.

The only tiny slip up was on the neck edge, where you can just see a little difference at the front neck edge.

Stripes continuing into the sleeves. I love the two piece sleeves, much more comfortable, though a challenge to match stripes!

 The lining is a sort of bremsilk, which feels lovely, but was a bit thinner than I would have liked, so you can see the jacket seams through it.   I catch-stitched all the seams to the polycotton to make sure the seams stay nice and flat.

I would definitely recommend this pattern.  It gives a nice easy to wear jacket, and the lack of collar and button-holes make it a good choice for a first jacket.  I would also recommend some Linton tweed for the fabric.  In fact Gary and I went to the factory shop again this weekend and this time I bought some black to make myself a little black Chanel jacket (this time with buttons and I will be following tailoring techniques). 

This weekend I am off to Rome with Dan and Gemma, so hopefully my next post will have a few nice Italian fabrics to show!