I’ve got a wedding rapidly approaching, and for once in my life, I actually bought a dress instead of sewing it (ok, technically James bought it for me when we were in France!). But I couldn’t let this occasion go by without sewing something so I decided I wanted a little cropped jacket to go along with it. Luckily there are a lot of colours in the dress to pick out, and a good friend gifted me this green, ex-Karen Millen piqué specifically for this purpose!
I sifted through my pattern magazine archive (made easier since I’ve got each issue overview online) and decided on a sharp little cropped blazer pattern from the September 2013 Manequim magazine (curiously I’d overlooked it when I reviewed the issue!).
I love that this jacket is short in the body so it won’t interrupt the full skirt on my dress, has got 3/4 length sleeves which are so nice for summer evenings, and best of all – a shawl collar with little tuxedo styling at the bottom. There’s no front closure, either, so it’s a nice one to just slip on over the dress and not have it look like it should be buttoned or something.
Many of you ask how I deal with Manequim patterns that aren’t in my size – the short answer is, I don’t. I’ve got so freaking many issues and patterns to choose from that most of the ones I want to sew either either in a 44 or 42 (this one’s a 44), or if they are significantly smaller, I just graft the interesting features onto an existing base pattern that fits me.read more >>
You heard all about the electronic components earlier this week, but the sewing of the jacket itself was in no straightforward, either! If you missed the video of the LEDs in action, have another look:
You might think, that, as a pattern designer for exercise wear, I might view other exercise patterns as competition. On the contrary – when I first saw the StyleArc Steffi jacket, my first thought was “Brilliant! Now I don’t have to draft it myself!”. I’ve got enough ideas in my head for patterns already, so I’d rather refer folks to other good patterns if I can rather than constantly reinvent the wheel.
This pattern was a birthday gift from my inlaws, and I was initially concerned because they’d bought me a size 10 instead of the 12 I’d asked for, but as it turned out this fits me really well anyway. It’s a smidge too tight in the chest for me to run in (my trainer has me focus on pulling my shoulder blades back to open up my chest for better breathing), but is utterly perfect as a warm-up, cool-down jacket, so hurrah for happy accidents!
I chose to do my colourblocking like it’s shown in the technical drawing – I used a grey/black sportshell as the main body, then I used the black reverse of this black/grey “budget” sportshell as the contrast panels. The main sportshell is really nice – a soft, technical jersey with a thin layer of fleece bonded to the inside – it feels really RTW and high quality. The budget one, well, lived up to its name. The grey side looks a bit naff, there’s no fleece, and the black side is just smooth like the other fabric’s grey exterior. So it was fine for my purposes here, but I wouldn’t recommend skimping if you want a similar jacket – go for the more expensive option and you won’t regret it.read more >>
This is an epic jacket, and something I’ve been wanting to do for, ooh, 6-7 years at least. You see, I really liked the idea of wearable electronics, and clothes that do something and interact with their environment, so I started buying LilyPad components many years ago with the hopes of making something.
Then I realised that I know nothing about circuits and electronics, and it all seemed really confusing every time I tried to sit down and learn about it. Finally, I decided that I’d bring my suitcase of tricks (no really, I have a little yellow plastic “suitcase” with all my beginning circuitry stuff in it!) along to France on holiday and I’d sit down and teach myself how to do it then. And I actually did!
LilyPad is the sewable line of Arduino products, made especially for folks like us. They’re easy to attach onto clothes, and (apart from the batteries) are machine washable, too. For this jacket I used a LilyPad battery pack (I started with the Coin Cell one but it wasn’t quite enough power), a Lily Twinkle controller, a bunch of LEDs, and a spool of conductive thread.
I used a mix of the regular LilyPad LEDs and the Micro LEDs because that’s what I had – the micro green ones were much brighter than the bigger purple ones, but you can really only get about four loops of thread around each terminal of the micro ones, so if you need to connect it to more than two lines, go for a bigger one. The Twinkle controller is really just a tiny board with four connection spots for LEDs and makes them fade in and out randomly (though you can connect more than one LED to each spot & they’ll twinkle in unison). I wanted to make things easy for myself this time around so I left out any input sensors, though I do have an accelerometer in my stash…
I’d thought to bring along this “Fashioning Technology” book and between that and this Lilypad Twinkle tutorial, I pretty much taught myself how to make a simple circuit to do what I wanted. When I go to do my next project, I’ll need to read a few different chapters and watch some more tutorials, I’m sure!read more >>
Last week I mentioned a few projects I’d been working on, including a little satin jacket to wear with both my purple Matthew Willamson birthday dress and my swirl sheath dress. Well, the Welsh wedding was over the weekend and we managed to squeeze in some photos in the hotel room before the big bash so you all can see how it coordinates with the Matthew Williamson sheath!
I didn’t have enough of either satin to make the entire jacket in one colour so I decided to colourblock it. Since there weren’t many seams in the jacket itself, I just drew some extra seamlines onto the pattern pieces for my colourblocking.read more >>
Right – where were we? I mean, I know I’ve been away so my brain is fuzzy and perhaps a little jet-lagged… Right! Easter weekend sewing! I had a four day weekend and most of it was spent in my sewing cave, so I’ve got an awful lot to show you, starting with my Stye Arc Marie jacket, which I made in that gorgeous black and silver heavy jersey from Minerva. It’s hard to tell from the description, but this is a little heavier than a ponte, with good stretch and recovery, and a slight rib to it. The exterior have little silver lurex threads running through it, and the reverse is a simple grey and black stripe (and, as you recall, Minerva kindly sent this to me as a gift).
I was really surprised with the shape of the pattern pieces when I opened it up – it’s not obvious from the tech drawings but this has a shawl collar and the centre fronts also double as the facing pieces, meaning you get a lovely turn on that cowl neckline, too, but the shoulder is kept nice and fitted. Genius drafting from Style Arc again!
I took the opportunity to use some different locations for photoshoots while we were away, so these were taken at my cousin’s house in Baltimore. Down there, it’s really popular to build a deck over the roof of your house, but it does mean you get the wind as well as the views!
I wasn’t really in a wind tunnel, but it certainly felt like it that evening!
I really like that this is a perfect spring-weight, unlined knit jacket which can be worn open or closed. With this fabric, I wore it over jeans during the day, and then again over dresses at night, too. The only downside to this pattern is that there are no pockets (nor really anywhere to add your own), which I really kinda need in a jacket.read more >>
I (silently) set myself the challenge to sew one garment from each issue of Burda magazine (aka BurdaStyle) in 2012, and I’m proud to say I completed it! I’m not the sort of person to make New Year’s resolutions, or proclaim lofty goals to everyone who’ll listen – I’m more the sort to quietly commit myself to something, and see if anyone notices what I’m up to before the completion… I do know that Kristy has also been keeping up with the Burda challenge this year, and it’s been fun to see which patterns she’s chosen from the same issues (and on occasion we selected the same pattern!).
There were some roaring successes, a few fails (both my fault and not), and some that I changed my mind on only after months of wear. So I thought it was worthwhile to have a look through all the projects from this year, and my thoughts on each looking back from now…
Link to original post: Great Basic – Grey Flannel Trousers
At the time I said: There’s nothing particularly earth-shattering about this design, but I just thought it looked nicely versatile, and something I could wear to business meetings as well as just team with a teeshirt if I fancied it.
My thoughts now: I don’t think these look as nice in the photoshoot as they do in real life. I genuinely love and adore these, and have worn them pretty much nonstop, at least once a week to work, since I made them a year ago. I wouldn’t change a single thing about this pattern, and the silk pocket linings fill me with glee everything I slip my hands inside. I really do need to make some more of these!
Link to original post: The Blue and Black Burda February sheath dress
At the time I said: But really, I just love this dress! It’s so comfortable, and I’ve gotten so many compliments even in just the two occasions I’ve worn it in the past week. I also like it because it reminds me both of my beloved September dress pattern but also of traditional cheongsam dresses…
My thoughts now: I think the pattern is fabulous, but the fabric I chose was too thin, and the upper chest is a bit lumpy where Burda tried to tell me to have a facing when it should’ve just been sewn closed. I wore this a few times a month over the summer, but the short sleeves keep it from being in all-year rotation. I’d really like to sew this pattern again in a ponti jersey, like my other favourite dresses.read more >>
A lot of sewers like to “Sew with a Plan” (SWAP), but I prefer to call this a “Shortlist” rather than a “Plan”, so I’m free to still change my mind and add/remove items as I go along! My main goal here isn’t so much to create a capsule wardrobe that can be worn together, but more to use up fabrics and/or that have been in my stash for a while that I’d really like to just wear.
From the top down, in no particular order:
- KnipMode 12-2005 #10 – I’ve got some non-stretch denim aging in my stash from a few years ago, and I love KnipMode’s style lines for these. My wardrobe is in desperate need of more jeans, hence why there are two pairs in this Shortlist!
- Altered Burda 06-2012 #129 – Now that my stretch satin from Gorgeous Fabrics is in hand, I can finally make the final version of this dress after completing the drafting and muslins back in July. read more >>
- The lapel-less shawl collar construction
- The asymmetric drape
- The three part, bell shaped sleeve
- The two-tone, piped lining
- The folded and seamed facing on the draped side
- Pretty much everything about the skirt
- It has no collar
- It has extended sleeve bands instead of the awful dropped sleeves
- It’s cropped at the hips
I don’t often sew for James (preferring to fill my own wardrobe instead!), but every now and then he either sees something online that he’ll take inspiration from, or have a fully formed idea in mind that he’d like me to bring into reality. So this one is another fantasy jacket, this time modeled heavily on Betabrand’s reversible smoking jacket.
When we were in Paris in March, he bought a wonderful wonderful wool/poly blend corduroy at the Tissues Dreyfuss Coupons shop for €10 total (a complete bargain!) as well as some red chinese brocade to use for the other side.
I started sewing this when we were in drydock in April/May, then I stalled at the bound buttonhole stage since my little red machine isn’t great for precision jobs (no speed control!). Then the pressure was off during summer, but the cooler weather meant I really did want to finish it for him!
Even better – James surprised me buy buying Betabrand’s “open source” disco fabric, so now the jacket changed slightly in that the reverse will be PURE DISCONIUM!
What I’ve made here is the ultimate day-to-night jacket!
I started with his last fantasy jacket as the pattern base (which, in turn, started life as Burda 10/2008 #134) since it fit him really well, then James had a bunch of style changes to make to this one:read more >>
This coat originally appeared on my Fall 2011 sewing plans, so it feels good to finally finish it just as the weather’s starting to defrost (I hope anyway!). I’ve been wearing my muted turquoise coat for most of the winter, but I’m hoping to wear this to transition into Spring!
I’ve used “coat” in the title, but is it really a coat? Is it a jacket? Where’s the line drawn, anyway? It’s short like a jacket, but wool and warm like a coat, so I’m not quite sure what to call this.
This pattern appeared in the Winter 2011 MyImage magazine (along with that awesome cowl top!) and it’s still available to buy if you fancy it (and holy crap, it’s on sale right now for €1.95/US$2.63, too)!.
You can see some in-progress photos of this coat here and here. The nice thing about working on a project for a while is that you get to see a lot of the “guts” as I work! The downside, of course, is that I have the attention span of a gnat and I get bored when projects stretch over the fortnight mark…
The first thing you notice about this coat is that Big! Collar!! It’s a “whole lotta look”, but I totally dig it. Your mileage may vary! I’ve worn it out twice over the weekend already and the collar is great – it’s substational enough and close enough to the neck that I don’t need a scarf!read more >>
If you recall, it’s a two-part suit, with a draped, collar-less jacket and a pleated pencil skirt:
I’ve been sewing both of the pieces in parallel, so I’ve finished them at the same time. I like a lot of aspects of this suit, but to be perfectly honest, I’m not totally in love with the overall resulting look.
The jacket and skirt together!
Things I really like:
The drape makes for a rather elegant side view, too:
Things I don’t like:read more >>
There’s been only slow and steady progress on my draped suit (Burda September 2011 #126 and 127) this week as there’s been little time to sew, but I did get a few hours of “me time” in on Sunday evening after my insulation work was done for the day.
Those few hours were enough for me to finish the entire shell of the jacket and skirt, but I needed a clear surface to cut out the lining fabric, so that was delayed until last evening (since my running group was cancelled). Since the wool suiting has stretch, I didn’t want to negate the benefits of that with a non-stretch lining, so I pulled out one of the few stretch wovens in my stash – a blisteringly hot pink stretch satin I’d bought from Fabric.com last year (and came across in my mom’s suitcase before the wedding). Despite it being polyester, it actually feels wonderful and it was worth the price to be such a high quality lining.read more >>
Last weekend I cut out all the pieces for my upcoming draped suit, Burda September 2011 #126 and 127, in the beautiful grey stretch wool suiting I’d bought specifically for it.
Since then, though, progress has been slow. I’ve got an evening class for work every Monday night, I’ve found a wonderful, brilliant amazing running club I go to on Tuesdays, and our weekends are still chock full of boat DIY work as we scramble to get the last outside work done AND the insulation up before the weather turns. Which leaves exactly three evenings left for all of our social activities, and any sewing left to squeeze in. This week I’ve got something on all three of those evenings, too.
So this really leaves progress to be made in very small segments. I’m very good at finding spare ten minute pieces of time here and there, but lately even these have been thin on the ground. Over the past week, I only managed to work on this jacket twice – on Wednesday night I fused all the necessary pieces with Pam’s weft-insertion interfacing and vilene bias tape, and then Sunday afternoon I actually managed to get a few hours of sewing done once I’d done 3 hours of insulation work and the dust settled enough in the hold for me to get out my ironing board.
Beyond that, while we were working on the construction part of the boat, something happened to the 24v cabling and so the lights in the bedroom, sewing room, and one other area no longer work. So my sewing room is very dark now, even when it’s light outside! Please accept my double apologies for the quality of these photos – I had to light the area with a headtorch while taking these on my (soon to be upgraded, yayyy!) old iPhone 3G camera.read more >>
I’m so pleased to finally show you the first piece from my Fall 2011 sewing aspirations – the trench jacket!
As you recall, I was restricted in my pattern choice since I bought the last 2.5 yards of this waterproof gabardine from Mood when we were in NYC last Fall, but in the end I settled on Burda 02-2009-112. The gabardine feels great – it’s not coated with anything and it doesn’t feel plasticky – it’s just that the weave is so tight that water beads on it! Perfect for London!
This is a Burda Petite pattern, but the only change I needed to make to the muslin was to lengthen the sleeves! I’ve been busy sewing this in tiny increments over the past few weeks because I’ve been so busy, and you can see that we had to squeeze in this photoshoot after work, too!
I really love the overall shape of this totally curvy jacket, but I especially love the pleated back vent, which was surprisingly very easy to sew! I cut the same pieces in the lining, and I cleverly waited to sew the diagonal topstitching to keep the folds in place until after the lining was in so the two layers stay together nicely.read more >>
I am on fire for Fall sewing right now, and the latest object of my desire is my beautiful little trench jacket. I’d bought some waterproof gabardine from Mood when we were in NYC last Fall, but it was the end of the roll so I only had 2.5 yards to play with while selecting a pattern.
With several years of various pattern magazines to choose from, I was in no short supply of trench coat patterns. However, many of the traditional, double-breasted, longer length trench coats require at least 3 yards/metres of fabric, so my fabric shortage helped me narrow down the possibilities immensely. In the end, it was down to Burda 02-2009-119 and Burda 08-2007-111, and I figured I’d get more years of wear from a stylish jacket than I would a cape.
So the curvy, feminine, petite pattern won out!
I did make a muslin of this (I’d be mad not to for a petite pattern), but surprisingly, the only alterations needed were to lengthen the sleeves. Despite being 5’8”, I tend to find that Burda’s Petite patterns fit me waaaay better than Burda’s Tall patterns (which seem to be grotesquely oversized whenever I try them).read more >>
Remember back in November when I made a muslin for the Burda Armani knockoff coat and found it to be absolutely, unforgivably awful? Well, even at the time, I could see that my main problems with the coat weren’t necessarily likely to be problems with the shorter, jacket version of the same pattern (Burda 09/2010 #117).
So while I’ve been contemplating my Fall sewing options, going through my stash, and tidying up my tiny sewing room, I decided it was time to alter it to evaluate the jacket.
The main differences from the coat are:
Believe it or not, I still had the muslin tucked away from last year’s coat FAIL and I came across it again when I was tidying up my sewing room. In about 15 minutes I had adapted the earlier muslin to be the jacket – and most of that time was spent pressing 10 months of wrinkles out of it!read more >>
Following on from last week when I showed you the shirt I made for my nephew, I also wanted to share the super-belated Christmas garment I sewed for his cousin, my niece.
When I saw the cute boleros in the February Burda magazine, I just knew I had to make one for Megan. Bolero #142 seemed to be the most wearable version for Spring and Summer, and I had just enough of this incredibly soft, pink zebra print minkee I’d bought for her at Fabric.com!
Honestly, how great a model is this girl??read more >>
It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was first laying out my initial plans for this mini wardrobe, but now I’ve had some time to step back and have a look over what I managed to accomplish last month. I made this wardrobe mostly for myself, to use some luscious fabrics from my stash in combination with patterns that really appealed to me, but I also kept one eye on the contest requirements running over at PaternReview.com to make sure I remained within their rules, too. Here’s my entry into their contest, or you can just read on below…
I started with a blue viscose, draped knit top that I’d bought from ASOS and really liked, but I wanted to wear with both casual and dressy bottoms.
To coordinate, I sewed:
1. Jalie jeans – I’d made a muslin but the waistband was horrible so I had my work cut out for me on this pair using great quality stretch denim from Mood in NYC, plus some London streetsign fabric for the waistband facings and pockets. I used my vintage hand crank Singer machine for all the topstitching, plus I got to use my vintage buttonholer attachment and high quality rivets for the first time! I fixed all the waistband issues in this pair and these are now my favourite jeans. Read more…read more >>
Ever since I saw the first previews online of the MyImage Summer 2011 issue, I knew that this cropped, pieced jacket (M1107) was going on my Must Sew list! I just didn’t know quite how quickly fate would throw us together!
Even though MyImage are a new pattern company, other sewers have reported that the sizing was pretty consistent, so I just threw caution to the wind here, made a size 42, and cut into my fabric!
And yes, it goes really well with the jeans I’d just made, too!read more >>
I’ve been calling this James’s “fantasy jacket” because he’s asked me to recreate a beloved unlined, simple, waterproof jacket that was stolen from a pub on the night he met me all those years ago.
He recalled it from memory while I attempted to create an accurate tech drawing, and then once that was agreed, I compared this against my vast pattern magazine archive (made much easier since I started tagging my At a Glance scans online, so I just had to shuffle through those issues tagged “menswear”!).
I decided that BWOF 10/08 #134 was a pretty good starting point for what James wanted, and I went from there. The muslin went well, so around Thanksgiving I started on the final jacket, made from a very cool laminated linen from Mood in NYC, with bias binding made from some dark red and black tie silk bought in Dublin three years ago.read more >>
It may be FREEZING in London, but the heat is on for me to sew James’s fantasy jacket in time for his birthday on Saturday!
I’m calling it his “fantasy jacket” because he’s asked me to recreated a beloved unlined, simple, waterproof jacket that was stolen from a pub on the night he met me. So he recalled it from memory while I attempted to create an accurate tech drawing. Then I compared this against my vast pattern magazine archive and decided that BWOF 10/08 #134 minus all the bells and whistles plus a few different whistles and bells was the best starting point. The muslin went well, so this weekend I started on the final jacket, made from a very cool laminated linen from Mood in NYC, with bias binding made from some dark red and black tie silk bought in Dublin three years ago.
The rubberised coating on the fabric means any and all pin holes show, so I needed to treat it like leather – pattern weights and rotary cutter for the pieces, and since it’s unlined, I also needed to create metres upon metres of bias binding for the exposed edges. I used a continuous bias binding method for the first time ever and it was very quick, though not very intuitive.
(I wrapped the binding around a sunglasses case to avoid creases. And because it was handy. Let’s face it – I’m not going to be needing the sunglasses any time soon!)
After binding most of the edges, I then set to work on the front welt pockets, which were rather tricky on a fabric that requires a press cloth (I’m paranoid that the laminating will melt!) and can only be basted where it will never be seen. So I thought I’d document the process and give you all a little welt pocket tutorial.
This is also exactly how I do bound buttonholes, but because the scale is much larger here, it’s easier to try welt pockets first to get the technique down and then just do the same thing on a smaller scale for buttons once you get the hang of it.
How to sew a double welt pocket
My pockets here are 7 inches long (6” is standard but I wanted to make sure his big man paws would fit in), and the opening is a total of 2cm wide (1cm on either side of the centre opening line). So the welts I cut out were 4cm wide (folded in half, they’re 2cm wide so straddle the stitching line nicely), and 8 inches long (so I get some overlap at the ends). You’ll need two welts per pocket. I folded each of these lengthwise and machine basted close to the cut edges to keep them together. If your fabric frays or shifts in anyway, you may want to interface the welt pieces in addition to the area around the pocket opening.
Hand baste the pocket edges and central line. When you’re basting (in general), never turn a corner with your hand stitches, but leave the tails free at the corners. Also, you should extend the short edges here two centimeters or so beyond the long lines. I haven’t here because the needle holes would show!
You saw the jacket as part of a classy suit, but how does it work with jeans?, I hear you ask.
As it turns out, even better!
I actually prefer this jacket hanging open instead of buttoned up (which is why I left off the button loop at the very top of the collar stand and the small button hidden under the collar that the pattern suggested).read more >>
Last week I finished the first half of my second Planned Partnership, so I think that makes me exactly one half finished (right, Sharon, resident maths professor?). Though I suppose if you’re counting individual garments, I’d be slightly over halfway finished…
But I digress. You remember the silver tweed fabric and my plans to make a cropped jacket that I could wear with either a matching skirt or with a nude sheath dress (yet to come)?
Well, I’m so delighted with the way both the jacket and skirt turned out that I couldn’t wait to show you! So in the tradition of that other tweed suit, you get a sneak preview!read more >>
With the first Planned Partnership done & dusted in the form of my techno skirt and sequin top, it’s been time to start concentrating on another pairing – the pale silver tweed to go with the nude stretch suiting…
I decided to go with the bottom jacket seen above, so I traced all the pieces of it and the skirt pattern, playing it very carefully and was able to fit BOTH the cropped jacket and the skirt out of the 1.5m of tweed I’d bought! Woohoo! It was by no means certain, but my powers of fabric Tetris prevailed and I’m rather proud.read more >>
I really really liked this fleece jacket, KnipMode 12/2008 #21, ever since the issue came out, and I’ve been waiting for the right time to grab some bright fleece and make it ever since.
It uses lycra edging tape (which Pennine Outdoor thoughtfully stock in addition to all the right high quality fleeces and chunky zips!) to bind the sleeve and neck edges as well as act like a sort of piping-without-the-pipe along the princess seams and that top yoke edge.read more >>
I posted a few in progress photos of this bolero last week, but I’m happy to announce now that the embellishment is complete, and so is the bolero!
The pattern is from the March 09 KnipMode, the same issue which bore the recent faux-wrap jeanskirt, and it’s just a simple cropped jacket for knits, with 3 pattern pieces (not counting the few facings I drafted).
…a silver sailing aak emerges!read more >>
Ok this is finally the last of the green sweatshirting from Pennine Outdoor! Seen previously in my Patrones haute hoodie and my nephew’s birthday sweatshirt, if you recall… And this bolero (though really it’s a cropped jacket since it closes in the centre) pattern is from the March 09 KnipMode, the same issue which bore the recent faux-wrap jeanskirt.
So here it is on my dressform, Susan, looking pretty darned complete. What’s missing, I hear you ask? Well, it’s not got the FehrTrade label yet, for one, but the only other thing that’s missing is the painted silver design I’m planning on adding to the back! I know,, I know – me in “decorative” shock!read more >>
After the success of my green Patrones hoodie I thought that I’d make something similar for my nephew Logan’s birthday using the same fabric. I liked the look of #7 from Patrones Ninos 271 (Patrones magazine is normally all womenswear patterns, but they have two special childrens issues each year).
Even though it’s modelled on a girl here, it’s definitely a unisex style, and I thought the dark green sweatshirting was definitely more of a boy colour anyway, and this was much nicer than the other styles for boys his age in this issue. So I sewed this up on my overlocker in a few hours, and now it’s off to the post office in time for the big day! Unfortunately my would-be model neighbour girl has gone away for the past few days so I’m limited to a flat photo until Logan wears it himself…read more >>
Finally – the sun was shining, the coats came off and the Pimm’s very nearly came out! This weekend was strangely summer in October here in London, and we finally got plenty of sunshine to showcase my green Patrones sweatshirt. As you recall, my impatience kept me from finishing this sooner, but the Halhuber jacket from Patrones 272 finally came to be:
AllisonC made a beautiful traditional interpretation of this jacket if you’re interested to see it more in keeping with the original design. I opted to go a different route entirely (as you can see!) though I made surprisingly few alterations to the pattern. I lengthened the sleeve cuffs by a few inches as the sleeves came up pretty short, and I cut these and the waist band in ribbing on the fold to nicely finish the edges. And apart from adding the hood and pockets, that’s pretty much it!
It’s funny how fabric choices can make two creations with similar “bones” look so different!read more >>
You’ve heard of the Bluebird of Happiness, right? Well, this is my Sweatshirt of Impatience. It’s not the sweatshirt’s fault that I got a bit over-eager and impatient to finish it and wear it out, and everything can be fixed, but seriously, this would’ve been properly finished sooner if I hadn’t been so impatient.
I’ll save the construction details and pattern changes for the full, finished roundup, but let’s take a little time now to go through the lessons I’ve learned here.read more >>
Despite having an incredibly busy week with something on every night, I’ve still managed to make some good progress on my “couture sweatshirt” interpretation of the Patrones Halhuber jacket…
I’ve really only got to do the hood, which involves interfacing and attaching the eyelets for the drawstring, making the drawstring, sewing the hood edge with a twin needle, and attaching it. All that sounds like way more work than it actually is, and will probably only take an hour or so. And then I’ve just got to attach the zipper to the centre front panels…
But then I decided that I really like front pockets on sweatshirts (and I’ve always got tools, keys, my mobile, and/or tissues in them!), so I’ve drawn up some suitably angular ones to add on.read more >>
Almost a year ago I saw and instantly fell in love with this Trina Turk capelet:
Around the same time, the lovely ladies at Go Patterns sent me their new capelet pattern, #2002 after I was so impressed with their little black dress pattern. Really, how nice of them!
Looking at the two together, I instantly saw the possibilities, but didn’t quite get around to finding the right fabric or the time last winter, but this year it all came together to form this sweet little capelet…read more >>
My tweed and satin three piece suit is finally finished! One day for the construction, and a week to get around to do the hand sewing! Here’s a taste…
More on the individual components this week…
Read more about…
SCENE: Last Sunday night on the boat…
James: So for Simon’s stag night on Saturday we’re going to dress him up like Dick Whittington. I thought he could wear my pirate coat and we’ll get him a tricorn hat and he can carry Bagpuss as his cat…
Me: If anything happens to that coat, I will murder you. I would sooner make a whole new coat than see anything happen to it after I slaved for two years making it.
James: Oh really? You’d make another coat? Would you?
And so begins the tale of how I made a pirate coat in less than a week.read more >>
I’ve just spent nearly all of my four day weekend (double bank holiday, woo!) behind my sewing machine and ironing board, and I couldn’t be happier! For the last few years I’ve made myself something nice and new to wear on my birthday, so today I’m wearing my new clothes! It dulls the pain of turning 29, you see… ;)read more >>
If you’ve been following along, you’ll remember that my grandmother visited the Pendleton woollen mill in the 1960s and bought two 2 yard remnants of 100% wool navy blue suiting fabric for $6 each (so $12 total). In August, she gave these to me, saying she’d never got around to sewing up anything with them and she thought I’d make better use of it.
The trousers were far more straightforward than the jacket, however, so they didn’t take nearly as much time or seam ripping to complete! I wanted to tie together the satin accents of the two pieces so I opted to add a thin stripe of navy blue satin ribbon to the outside seams of each trouser leg, which I think gives a subtle sheen as I move. The integral belt/waistband of this pattern really evokes a sort of cummerbund, too, and raises this design above just a normal trouser suit.read more >>
I’ve been working on the jacket portion of my tuxedo-inspired suit (the show piece from my F/W 07 Collection) for the better part of January now, and I finally finished it this week. I cut out the pieces for the trousers at the same time to ensure I had enough fabric for both (I do, with about a half yard left over!), but sewing both at once would’ve really just resulted in missing pieces!read more >>
I’ve now completed two pieces for my FW/07 Collection, a pair of chocolate brown trousers, and a white cropped jacket.read more >>
Wow. After nearly two years, I finally finished my boyfriend’s black velvet pirate jacket. Lined with gold satin, with functional pockets, functional buttonholes, brass buttons, tons of interior pockets for his gadgets, and hidden pocket inside the cuff for his Oyster card. There was so much handstitching on this and velvet is such an jerk of a fabric that I seriously wasn’t sure I’d ever finish it. I had problems at pretty much every step of the way, the majority of which stemmed from the fact that you can’t iron velvet. At all. Made in a different fabric, with non-functioning costume parts as indicated on the pattern, this would be a fairly straightforward project.
But since he wanted silk velvet and satin and for everything to function, plus have pockets absolutely everywhere, combined with a hem a mile long, this turned into a complete nightmare of a jacket. The handstitching alone took more manhours than I actually want to think about without bursting into tears. I did manage to make one big mistake near the end, even though I was so careful to NOT do it in my planning. It would’ve been impossible to fix without a complete deconstruction (and stitching lines remain in velvet forever), so I just left it as is. See if you can tell what it is from the photos, and I’ll reveal all below…read more >>
Remember that velvet pirate jacket I was working on, ooh, two years ago? Well, as much as I hate that thing and all of the fabric choices associated with it, I have been slogging through and doing a few things to it here and there over the past few months.read more >>
I downloaded this jacket pattern by designer Yohji Yamamoto a few years ago, but I never really got any further than that until I discovered a late-open Kinkos in central London that could large-format print the free pdf for me (because, frankly, I have better things to do with my time than print and tape together 54 sheets of A4 paper!). With the pattern in hand, it was only a matter of days before this jacket was keeping me warm.
This jacket is such an interesting design – it only has two pattern pieces, and can be worn two different ways. I’m actually not sure which way I prefer it, so I’ll let you all decide (leave a comment telling me which view you prefer!).read more >>
One of the nice things about buying tons of lush, black velvet for your boyfriend’s pirate coat is that you get to have your way with the leftover fabric! And if you’re a bit cheeky and insist that you’re going to be left out in the cold very soon because none of your other jackets fit anymore, then sometimes, sometimes, you can get away with making use of the scraps before the intended recipient of the fabric.
I made Jacket 101B from the 08/2006 issue of Burda World of Fashion magazine, which, if you’re not familiar, contains about 50 patterns in each magazine, ranging from incredibly fashion-forward to designs to some real “who in god’s name would wear THAT?” shockers. But overall, there’s at least a few things you’d make in each issue if you had enough time. August’s was a particularly good issue, but seeing as how my need for a jacket was the greatest, I tackled this first.read more >>
My boyfriend and I are currently saving up for the mortgage deposit to buy a boat (a huge barge, not a tiny narrow canal boat) to live on starting this winter. We don’t want your average housewarmi- sorry, boatwarming party, so we’ve already decided it’s going to be a full pirate fancy dress theme. And if you’re throwing a fancy dress party, you’ve got to be the best dressed ones there!
For him, I bought Simplicity 4923 and have very slowly started to make the jacket portion out of a gorgeously thick, black silk velvet I scored at Walthamstow Market for £3/mt (by rights, it should’ve been at least £20/mt). He picked out some very nice hemispherical antique brass buttons from MacCulloch & Wallis plus some dark gold braid for the accents.read more >>