Saturday, 25 July 2015

B5958 Zippered Jacket

Hello all,

Do you know what I would tell my beginner sewing self if I could go back in time? Stick with your original plan for a garment. I almost always start out with a mental image of the finished garment in my head. If I can do this - actually visualise it - then it almost always turns out. If I start overthinking and dithering and use my material for something else I usually end up regretting it. At least this time I dithered about with other patterns with different materials before coming back to my original idea with this black wool. I needed a black zippered jacket and I have finally made one, from my tried and true B5958, which I reviewed about this time last year reviewed here

Unlike my previous version I did not put pockets in the body of the garment, to give it (and me!) a smoother line. I used a spongy pure wool bought during a sale at Pitt Trading (serendipity!) and a contrasting silver separating zipper. I lined it with black sunsilky, which is like bemberg lining but slightly gutsier.  I did put a secret zippered pouch pocket on the inside left front.

Edit:  I forgot to add that I interfaced the fronts, the backs, the collar and the right front facing with black armoweft interfacing, hand basted in because of the nature of the material. Very wide corners were clipped out to prevent bulk. I did not interface the curved side pieces or the sleeves.

I also topstitched the finished garment by hand with doubled up quilting thread on all edges 1.5cm from the edge.The wool hides the fact that my stitching is not perfect, but everything stays in place.

My other modification is a CB seam and sway back adjustment extending almost to the side seams.

There was a lot of unpicking involved as the textured wool wanted to creep out of alignment during sewing misbehaving like velvet does, but I developed a technique of placing a row of pins right at the edges and another row of pins to the left of where the foot goes during sewing and this ultimately worked better than hand basting.

I did not follow the order of construction, preferring to attach the sleeves to the body and to the lining before assembly instead of after. Apart from that the instructions a good. Just a warning about the zipper placement. The placement of the two zipper halves looks wrong but it is not, because of how the fronts overlap.

The zipper half on the front (pattern piece no7) looks like it is too low but it isn't. It makes sense when you do the finished garment up. Yes, I had to redo half the zipper.

The other thing I would tell my sewing beginner self is never sew in a hurry  ;)
Don't turn out your photographs in a hurry ;) and
Put on some make up for the photos!

Well I did mange some lipstick.
Have a good time sewing,


Saturday, 27 June 2015

V8991 Claire Shaeffer Jacket

When I first saw Claire Shaeffer's Custom Couture Collection jacket by Vogue I fell in love with it
 V8991  and bought it then put it in the 'someday' pile. Meanwhile, I'd bought some pure wool from Emma One Sock to make a zippered jacket but the Vogue kept coming to mind because the weave of the wool was a much looser than I expected. I could not make up my mind so I decided to make a 'quick' muslin of V8991.  'Quick'? Yes, I'd laugh at me too.

Spring weight wearable muslin, with the sleeves back.

Sleeves turned down, but I forgot to button the jacket

The collar sits snugly against the back neck

Oh my Goodness 105 steps of instructions

V8991 is a beautiful pattern, classic, Chanel inspired, expertly drafted Clare Sheaffer jacket. Why had it not been reviewed? A search of the internet turned up a lot of people talking about it and pinning it but only one entry that I could find of someone who had actually made it, beautifully, but even that was a modified version. Have a look at all the 'V8991' posts on cloning couture I was awed by her technique.

I carefully read the pattern instructions and found out, Oh my, they are not half hearted about the 'couture' part either. To make this jacket as instructed is very labor intensive. Ignoring my slightly overawed feeling I decided to make a trial run.

I used a stretch woven from the stash because I could visualise it made up as a spring jacket. I know I should have used wool for a muslin but I was not willing to outlay the cost for something that might not work. Anyway, I applied knit interfacing to all the pieces to stabilise them then started assembling, tweaking the fit as I went. I found the fit to be good. The seams on this garment are beautiful. The armhole is high-ish but not constricting, the collar sits nicely. I did not do the darts in the back, preferring to tweak the fit through the side panel seams.

I simplified the sleeves and made them without the curved vent. I omitted all the hand and machine quilting and hem chain and braid. I left the pockets till almost last. I suspected under boob pockets would do me no favours so I moved them down.

My main adjustment was to the sleeve caps. A certain amount of easing in of the caps goes with this style of sleeve but I still found it too much and they did not sit right until I cut down the sleeve caps from notch to notch by one size. Then they sat correctly on me. I suspect this is a quirk of my shoulder structure because I do this with almost every pattern company except Burda.

I found the sleeves overly long and shortened them by an inch, simply doing a deeper hem. Also, for some reason I had always avoided doing buttonholes across the grain for jackets but I did them that way this time as part of my experimentations and it works well, not to mention being easier to do, avoiding the bulky edge.

The conclusion? Even though I changed the mood of this jacket with my material choice - stretch woven, knit interfacing, stretch satin lining - all from the stash, I am impressed with this offering from Vogue. Would I make it again? Properly? Yes definitely.

Should I make the real deal from my lovely basket weave black pure wool or would I look too 'where's the funeral'? Opinions please! The alternative is maybe a simple jacket along the lines of veste michelle

BTW the fabric recommendations for the Vogue jacket are Wool Tweed, Wool Crepe, Boiled Wool..there's a theme going on there. It does cry out for a material that is expensive and delicious and a silk lining to make all the work worthwhile.

I'll be doing a Pattern Review soon.
See you,

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

V8597 Top

When I was a kid TV was a luxury and not everyone had one. I can still remember when dad bought ours. The TV itself was a big box with a small screen that took a while to warm up, then we could see the black and white picture. We all loved Star Trek. It was sooo futuristic. Imagine going to other planets! My gran loved Spock and as for me I wanted to marry Captain Kirk, when I grew up of course and I thought Captain Uhura was so cool..

The costumes were like nothing else around at the time. People did not live in spandex (yet).

Last month I went to Pitt Trading at Ramsgate and bought a lovely black and purple double knit. It was on the remnant table. It was heavy and drapey and shrank a lot when I washed it but I was left with something special. I knew that if I made it into a skirt - the obvious option - it would likely hang in the closet unused as I don't wear skirts much in winter.

I made up a top from  V8597, previous makes and had just enough to make view C with a stand up 'Star Trek' collar. It's heavy and I use it as a second layer like a sweater. It's become a favourite.

'What! They're remaking Star Trek as a new mini series?'

I'm ready for my audition!

The role is for a communications officer with a Russian Accent? Get my voice coach! What! Daniel Craig's signed up as the Captain of the rebel forces? AWESOME!

Of course I'm up for it!

Get my personal trainer and acting coach! I'm packing my bags now!

Ah, isn't fantasy a wonderful thing,

Happy Sewing,