Thursday, 22 September 2016

Vogue 1493 and New Look K6483


This is one of those times where the pictures don't do the garment justice.  I love this kimono.  I oringially bought the fabric which is a heavy viscose to make a Bettine, but as soon as I saw it it had to be a kimono.  The weight of the fabric is perfect, I think you need a bit of weight for this pattern.

Image result for vogue 1493

The pattern is Vogue 1493 and it is described as Advanced, so not one for beginner sewers, unlike most kimonos.  I loved this pattern as soon as I saw it on the McCalls Youtube vlog, and I would love to copy the version on the cover in the future.

I cut my usual size medium and didn't make any changes other than taking the length up at the waist by 2".

So what makes it an advanced sew?  Mostly the sleeves, which are definitely fiddly at both of the points (top and bottom of the cuff), but this is the detail which I love.  I would recommend starting sewing at the top of the cuff so that you get the neatest part where it shows.  For some reason my sleeve seemed a little big for the cuff so I would check that another time.

I made the sleeve cuffs and front facing from contrasting heavy crepe de chine.  I cut the facing from one piece rather than two and only interfaced half, because the crepe de chine is heavy and I wanted to reduce the thickness a little.

The seams are hong-kong bound.  My bias was a little cheap and nasty and I would definitely try and find a better quality another time.

Another of the difficult elements was binding the side slits around the corners.  I didn't bind the arm holes because I thought it would be a little thick.

When I bought the black silk I was given an extra half metre because of sellotape marks and manged to squeeze a New Look 6483 to match.  I got this pattern free with Sew Magazine and I think it is a great basic pattern.  The fit is great with a nice shape.  I cut a size 14, raised the waist by 1", narrowed the shoulders to a size 12, reduced the length by 1/4" because of fabric constraints.  I used a bias facing on the neck and arms rather than full facings, this works better with a weighty silk and because of the weight I didn't use French seams.

This is a great staple, and there will be more.  Free pattern, free fabric, what could be better?

So two successful sews, just sorry that I don't think the weather will be good enough for much longer to enjoy them, as its time for Autumn sewing now.

Monday, 5 September 2016

The Melilot shirt and Pattern Runway scalloped shorts

A pair of summer separates as the end of summer sewing draws regretfully nigh.  The shirt is Deer and Doe Melilot, a casual shirt with dropped shoulders. 

I like Deer and Doe patterns, I believe that they design for a C cup which means no fba!  This is a roomy top so I cut a size 40 (36 1/4" bust, 28 1/2" waist and 38 1/2" hip) and as you can see it there is plenty of room.  I think you need a really drapey fabric to get the best out of this pattern.  This is a fine silk crepe and if I could remember where I got it from I would get some more.  It feels great and was easier to sew than silk.

 I made view B with a collar, and the hidden placket.    I left off the pocket and also the sleeve cuffs because I thought the unstructured sleeve would look better without.

I struggled to follow the instructions for the hidden placket and ended up facing and folding the wrong bit which meant the inside isn't quite as smart as it should be.  The instructions would have been clearer with photos or more illustrations.  I also still can't work out how you are supposed to do the top button hole if you leave it until the placket is finished, another time I would do the button holes before adding the collar.  I ended up with the lower placket peaking out and you can just see this below.  I loved the deep curved hems, but try as I might I could not get this to lie nicely and I ended up having to take out at least 1 1/2" from the depth of curve and making a really tiny hem.

So here is the shirt with a pair of shorts.  If you are of a nervous disposition look away now to avoid my (still) white legs!

These are Pattern Runway scalloped hem shorts. 

Now I haven't bought shorts for over 15 years, as I can never get them to fit, so I'm reasonably pleased with these as they are definitely wearable.  They are a size Medium, but overall a little large (and definitely less pert than the pattern photos!), so another time I would probably reduce to a Small.

For a pair of shorts there was plenty of challenge.  For a start there are the scallops at the front and a faced hem curving down a little at the back;

There are welt pockets at the back.  Even with the Pattern Runway tutorial as well as the instructions I find their instructions pretty undecipherable and pretty much ended up winging it!

I cut the stripe on the vertical here which I really like, and I wish that I had done the waist facing with the stripes going in the same direction.  Although the welts worked quite well you might just be able to see that the back dart went longer than the pocket opening and I have ended up cutting through it.  Another time I would make sure the dart stops before the pocket starts.
The front pockets are nice, but it did make the zip harder to fit.  Can you see that a zip would go lower than the bottom of the pocket making it difficult and bulky.  I cut some off my zip and found that actually a 6" zip (with this size) would be long enough.

The insides are quite neat and I used bremsilk for the pocket linings.   The fabric is a fine denim (Chambray?), slate grey stripe from Unique Image in Ulverstone; a metre was plenty.   I like the pattern.  I would say it is at least an intermediate and if you were a beginner I would probably advise leaving all the pockets out.

Just to prove I do wear my clothes.  Here is the shirt worn on Dan's 25th birthday at Go Ape in Grizedale forest.  High up in the trees selfies (love my boy)

Gemma wasn't always this relaxed.

Yes, the shirt is coping with the harness (not so much my legs on this tortuous crossing which involved almost an ariel split.

For Dan its all easy!

... but we did it and had a great time.