Tuesday, 24 January 2017

First sew of 2017 Style Arc Stella Coat

A good start to 2017 sewing I think.  This is the project I worked on (amongst a few others) over my Christmas break and just finished this morning (when there was very poor light sorry).

I wanted a long-line camel wool jacket with a trench coat feel.  I found the fabric at the Harrogate Knitting and stitching show on one of the cheaper stalls.  It was £10 a metre and the stallholder had no information about its composition but he set fire to it and from the burning hair smell it definitely has a high wool content.

I feel pretty proud of this one; I think it looks almost ready-to-wear.  The pattern is Style Arc Stella.  StyleArc is an Australian company, you can buy some patterns from Amazon and some pdfs from Etsy, but not this coat, so I had to order from Australia.  It cost £20 including postage and I got a really nice blouse pattern free as well, so not a bad price.  I really love that they include an ideal fabric sample, very helpful.

I line it with some fabulous Jacquard lining from Clothspot (no longer available).  I just want to put a word in for this website; lovely fabric, well photographed and my order came next day (even though close to Christmas) and packaged most beautifully.  I will definitely use them again.

The lining was double sided so I used both.

The fabric was a little thick for this pattern and I was a bit worried about this, so I used lots of topstitching on all the seams, and collar etc.   I think this makes the coat and makes it look much more professional.  I love the stand up collar and the yoke detail.   The thickness also meant that turning the belt was a nightmare and literally took me hours!

You may just be able to see I struggled with the topstitching over the thickest part of the collar lapel join and ended up with one skipped stitch.

The key to success with this coat was pressing and using my clapper to do this.  When I bought my clapper I thought it was expensive, but I can honestly say it is one of my most used tools and worth every penny.  You can see below how just one press completely changes the collar edges.

So overall the coat is a hit and I have already cut a spring linen version.   It is also the first part of my SWAP challenge.  At first I thought the rules were a bit complicated, but I do like a challenge and really want to be part of this.  The challenge ends 30 April 2016.  So basically I will be making the following 11 garments using a maximum of 8 patterns which need to match with each other:

1 SyleArc Stella Coat
2 x burda style jackets 6901
2 Colette Selene skirts
21SewOver it Joan dresses (but adapted for knit)
2 McCall 7249 knit tops
1 Helmi tunic dress
1 named tyni cigarette trousers
1 sewoverit pussy bow blouse (or StyleArc free blouse to be decided)

If I end up not liking any of these I will replace with other ideas.

I will be using the following fabrics (at least definitely this colour palette; dusky pink (nude), mustard, brown, taupe and duck-egg

I will also be posting my 9 patterns choice for that challenge next blog.  More plans than time I'm afraid.  I'm happily reading  and watching the plans of many others, are any of you entering the SWAP?

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Tilly and the Buttons Rosa dress and McCalls 7100

Happy New year to you all and I hope that 2017 is a better year all round.  New Year and new page design , not quite finished because I don't know how to widen the header!!! I   have had a great Christmas, but gosh that 2 weeks has zoomed past.  I'm actually blogging a couple of November makes which got missed earlier.

I rarely join a pattern rush, but did make an exception for Tilly and the Buttons Rosa dress, just because I love it.

I really enjoyed making this dress.  I love the easy shirt dress style, but with so many features.  The combination of Tilly's excellent instructions (her illustrated booklets are probably the best instructions in any patterns I have tried) with lots of interesting details makes this a perfect improver pattern to stretch your skills.

I pretty much copied the pattern version and made mine in a light-weight denim, unfortunately that means it  is  bit cold for now, so I haven't got much wear from it yet!  The princess seams in the front and back give a really nice fit.  I could possibly have fitted a little bit more, but I'm not sure you want to be too tight on this style of dress and I am happy with the finished dress.

 I love the back yoke detail, and it went together more easily than I expected.  I chose to do a single row of top stitching in a mustard colour.

I often duck out of patch pockets because it is difficult to get them looking good, but I felt this dress needed them and they did work out pretty well.

I used a little bit of liberty fabric in the undercollar for a flash of colour.  I used a metallic style buttons and I think snaps would also look good.

I made one huge mistake.  I didn't like the effect of a turned back cuff showing the seams so decided to add a false cuff, and somehow I managed to catch the sleeve in my overlocker and make a cut!  This meant that I had to move the tabs to the back of the sleeve to cover the repaired rip. They look a bit odd here, but wearable.

I also made a McCalls  7100 as part of their sewalong.  This wasn't sewalong as I know it.  It was a facebook page with some tips and hints.  This was actually a pretty tricky pattern and I could have done with more support!

The pattern is nice.  A raglan style with opportunities for colour blocking.  I rather weirdly decided I wanted a Chinese silk effect so bought this Satin Brocade from Minerva crafts at £7.99 (still in and available in other colours).  Lovely fabric but boy does it fray!  I used satin back crepe (dull side) for the sleeves.  I spent a lot of time trying to match the dragon in the centre on either side of the zip.

The collar is made from some black ribbing and this was fairly straightforward.  I've only done one other open-ended zip like this and I was quite pleased with the end result.

The bit which was really tricky was the front waist panels attached to more ribbing.

The pattern doesn't come with a lining, so I drafted my own, which I also think gives a bit more body.  Not sure if I would recommend this one.are really in and there are lots of patterns to choose from and some may both fit better and be less fiddly!  However, I think I will enjoy wearing this in the warmer weather perhaps with jeans.

I had a lovely uiet Christmas, Dan and Gemma have been here for 2 weeks and I am so enjoying that.  The dogs joined in the fun!

It was also my birthday on the 29th of December and I had a lovely day.  Lunch at Carnforth Station which is where Brief Encounter was filmed and which celebrates the 40s; one of our favourite cafes.
Brief Encounter, David Lean. Top 10 Timepieces-In-Cinema,...:

This is Dan and me by the Station clock as seen in the film (wearing McCalls 7257)

Then we went to the cinema to see  Fantastic Beasts and Wear to Find them and being the Harry Potter fans that we are we loved it.  So a lovely break and now back to work.  I'll be covering some of my future sewing plans in my next blog, so until then  ..... Happy New Year.