Monday, 27 March 2017

Prima Magazine cold shoulder shift dress

This wasn't a dress on my plan.  I turned up at my sewing workshop without some crucial pattern pieces and one of my friends had made me a lovely tracing of this pattern.  That meant more fabric and spending the day (and a couple more) making this cold shoulder dress from Prima December edition. (sorry the photos are a bit dark!)

Generally I do like it.  But there were quite a lot of tweaks to make.  Originally I cut out a 14 although from the bust measure I should have been a 16!  When I did a basted fitting, it was far too big and I ended up taking in 1/2" on all the side seams, so a reduction of 2" in total.

I also found the top of the sleeves stuck out quite a lot, so brought them in 5/8" on both sides.  Even now the dress would look better with the sleeve top a bit tighter, but my arms might feel a little restrictive.  The fabric is an 80% wool mix, with a bit of stretch, without that stretch I think the dress wouldn't have been as comfortable.

The fit on the back is quite nice.  (Took in the back at the top by nearly an inch on each side).  So a lot of fiddling and it's still not right.  I think its really helpful to have actually worn a garment a few times before blogging about it and this time I have.  For some reason the bust seems to ride up and I have to pull it down.  Possibly needed an fba for a little more room there.  This also mean that the neck rises higher and as I've got older I find I can't stand necklines resting on my neck!  Even with all this I do rather like the shape of this dress!  Another time I would; lower the neck line, do a 1" fba (but then might need to take out more at the sides).  Despite all this I think its a nice shape and I do love a dress which looks really sensible under my jacket and has a little more to say when I take the jacket off!

This has now crept into my SWAP (sewing with a plan), bit of a cheat really as I stood in the shop for 5 minutes planning it would go with the other items.  So here it is with my cashmere jacket (you can see here what I meant about the neckline).

Though I'm far more likely to wear it with my Vogue 7975 Linton Tweed jacket.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Burda 6901, a cashmere jacket

After 3 easy makes last week, this is a rather more complicated one.

This is Burda 6901, " Peplum jackets gently envelope the hips and emphasize the waist".  I loved the version made by Julie Starr.  I made a muslin and only made  minimal changes, reducing the shoulder and adding a sliver to the front side piece and about 1mm to the front edge, which I'm not sure was needed.  The main difference I made was to redraft the neckline, because I didn't want a high neck, I just wanted a simple collarless version.  This was partially successful, but there is a little gape on the left hand side, and I ended up with a bit of a point rather than a gentle curve.  I'm about to make another version and this time I want a shawl collar, so I will be having a go at drafting that.

I cut a size 14, and I think the fit is pretty good and it can be worn with different shaped skirts, though I think a pencil skirt would probably be the best shape.

The sleeve is well drafted and despite the fabric being thick the insertion went well.  I also liked that the sleeve is a two piece sleeve, where I think you get a better fit.

It looks OK unbuttoned.  I definitely made life difficult  by picking a fabric which is probably too thick and more suited to a coat.  It is fabulous though; a camel wool coating with 5% cashmere from Croft Mill, not cheap at £26.75 a metre but the quality is gorgeous and 2 metres made a jacket with enough left for a skirt.

I love the lining, which is a gorgeous paisley also from Croft Mill and great value at £5 a metre (I bought 2 colours).

Adding 1 mm to the front edge ended up making a few problems as I didn't add any to the inner edge of the facing and so the lining was too stretched.  I had to put in an extra piece which you can see below.

The photo below shows how crucial the pleat in a lining is as you can see how it has opened up for comfort.



To give a better shoulder shape, rather than using a shoulder pad I used a cigarette, with a softer fabric, this fills the shoulder but with a softer line.  I used a piece of fabric 9" x 6", rolled them and stitched closed.

You then fit these to the shoulders, so they slightly hang over.


The jacket has 2 bound buttonholes (quite difficult because of the thickness).

I've had a bit of an obsession recently with top-stitching and thick fabric definitely needs it.  I top-stitched all the seams except for the sleeves. 

I almost love this jacket, but not quite!  I do love the pattern, Burda patterns have such style.  The instructions weren't too bad, though I still would recommend this for beginners.  This is only the second of my SWAP makes, and it isn't looking likely that I will complete.  I keep picking difficult makes and also getting distracted by other makes which don't fit!  Never mind, it's more important I am enjoying myself.  I have almost finished a dress in two days to wear with this.