Friday, 23 July 2010

The Burdastyle Trench

The Burdastyle trench from 04/2010 style 123 is finished.

My little impulse coat from an unusual bargain table material has turned out just as good as I had hoped. The pleated sleeves give it a summery casual feel and the fact that the sleeves look good pushed up and crinkly also make this a good coat to wear over a nice dress to go out in.

I did not put a pleat in the back of the sleeves, but only because I am too short to wear the look.

I also made the coat a little narrower for the same reason.

I'm happy with the coat. Now if I can just stop my hair from sticking out...
I'm about to do a review on PR. I will add the link when I do. Seeya!

Monday, 19 July 2010

Clip and Swivel Hem


I've just finished the shimmery green Burda trench. When I get the chance to take some photos I'll write a post here. I am now indulging in some quick straightforward sewing - a pair of simple black pants for my daughter, on request. There was enough material to also sqeeze out a straight black skirt for her so I'm doing that too. Is she a lucky girl? Heck yes but she trully appreciates what I sew, looks good in just about anything and tells me my sewing gets better all the time. Who am I to resist?

While I was finishing the green trench I finished the hem using what I call the Clip and Swivel method that I figured out some time ago from a RTW jacket. I know this method has been reviewed elsewhere (Stitches? Threads?) but I took photos as I went along, seeing I was sewing with contrasting materials that would show up well in photos. Here is my explanation of what I did.

You know how most pattern instructions for a lined coat or jacket have this type of arrangement that leaves either a bulky turned under section or a hand sewn bit between the lining and the hem? It looks so much cleaner the way it is done on ready to wear jackets. It is a bit fiddly to achieve a continuous seam that includes the lining but here is how I do it.

Firstly, finish your coat up to sewing the lining in but do not sew all the way down, leave about three inches of lining unsewn. Figure out how deep you want your hem. There is no way to let it down after using this method. Then sew along the facing along the hem line, stopping short 5/8 (or whatever your seam allowance is) from the edge. Backstitch a couple of stitches.

Cut away the hem allowance below the stitching line as shown.

Clip the remaining hem up to the edge of the previous trimming line 5/8 inch further back from the end of the sitiching end point. Don't go past the edge yet.

Trim away the piece of hem as shown. Trim inner corner.

Fold back your lining, making sure it will generously overlap the finished hem and pin to facing.
It will lie under the hem when you stitch it.

Now clip diagonally in towards the corner that marks the end of the stitching at such an angle that the hem part has a 5/8 edge. Be careful not to clip too far.

The remaining hem allowance will be brought up to the edge of the facing. Pin it over the lining.

Pin it and have a look at the inside to see if your corner is ok.


Stitch down the facing edge, through all layers then pivot at the corner and go down the hem edge.
Check it again, turning it inside out. Trim corner. but not too close. Turn out and press.

How it looks from the other side.

What it looks like turned right way out and before pressing.

The finished product after handstitching the hem, then the lining. There's probably a way to attach the lining to the hem by machine while doing this corner at the same time but I haven't figured it out yet. Mind you I don't mind doing blind hems by hand. Maybe it brands me as old school but I enjoy the coutureness of it.
I hope you get something out of my tutorial. Let me know if you do!

Edit January 2013 I knew there was a tutorial somewhere on how to do the professional version of this hem where the lining hem is also machine sewn. This link is from Fashion Incubator Nameless Tutorial 


Monday, 12 July 2010

Burda 123/04/2010 progress notes

My green shimmery trench coat is coming along nicely but even though the pattern itself is much less invloved than the Vogue 2449 trench, I've still had a bit of trial and error with it, trying to construct the sleeves in the wrong order, unpicking them and redoing the construction of the coat in the order that the Burda instructions say to do. How's that! The instructions are not only useful but crucial.
I'm on the lining now, even though this coat doesn't include lining. How could I not line it? It's the finishing touch and I have dark blue lining from the stash. I've chosen dark blue buttons that almost look jelly like in real life. They'll give it all a bit of contrasting edge.
I ended up buying a thrift shop belt and recovering it with a bias strip of the green fabric. So much for keeping this simple but I'm happy with how it's coming along.

The coat, after I'd pinned the hem and tried it on. Off to change my serger threads.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Oops I'm doing it again

Dear Reader
After saying I would not sew another trench for a while, here I am Doing It Again
The latest issue on sale here on the newsstands is 4/2010.

I don't subscribe because I know I will never get around to sewing garments from each issue. I tend to only buy three or four per year but I caved in when I saw this one. Part of it may have been the fact that I met a friend for coffee in a large bookstore here and temptation was very firmly in my path. The garment that caught my eye was the trench 123.

The photo of the garment was also cute.

And I had the perfect stash material in a firm but lightweight material that would take the sleeve pleat.

The material looks green but it is very unusual. The warp or longwise threads are royal blue and the weft threads are yellow and the whole thing has a slight emerald shimmer effect when the material is moved. I bought it about two years ago from a bargain table - I'm a good material bargain hunter - for about two dollars per metre. I'll throw this one together instead of agonising over every step and if it doesn't work out it won't be expensive material wasted. Off to sew.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Japanese Beauty

I love the Japanese sensibility of seeing beauty in simple things. How they can take a simple idea and then build on it to make something intricate and yet somehow elegant and uncluttered.

This, by the way is a shot of the interior of the Itchiko Kubota Art Museum.
It is near Mount Fuji and looks like it would be well worth a visit if ever in Japan. *sigh*

Itchiko Kubota was a master craftsman, creating astonishing pieces like this. Each kimono was made up first out of plain silk then died, inked, knotted, steamed, embroidered and generally painted into a work of fabulous art. When he died he had sixty apprentices, so his genius lives on.
Some more photos:

As you can see he did series of kimono painted in continuous landscapes. Last year an exhibit of thirty of his kimono titled "Symphony of Light" toured America.
I'll stop now before this starts to sound like an art lecture but you've got to admit they are lovely.

What not to wear

Continuing on from my musing about what not to wear even if one can technically get away with it

I ran up another view of the Vogue 7937 skirt. Now, dear reader, this is a perfectly fine, nicely drafted pattern and I liked the flippy fishtail back on View D, but once I made it up in a winter material, in the leftover grey ponti, and tried it on me with boots and a top and a jacket I had to concede that it just did not work. I'll spare  you the pictures as I do have some vanity to speak of. It just made me look short and chunky and well, not good.
Also this flowy fishtail back needs a softly flowing woven.
so I thought aha I'll style it as a summer skirt and see if it works. This is the best I could come up with:

Pardon the crooked A$$ shot.
But there's more:
Um, not really but if you don't try you never know I guess. There was a happy outcome, when I showed the skirt to my daughter she was glad to take it and she makes it work as a winter outfit with very high heeled boots and a black jacket. If I can pin her down for five minutes I'll get a shot of it. Oh to be taller, slimmer and dare I say it - younger. Ah well back to the drawing board.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Whose shoes are whose?

As a follower of Peter Lappin's highly entertaining blog (see my blog roll) I love his cousin Cathy's adventures. Honestly, when I wasa child watching The Patty Duke show, where Patty's cousin could pass as her twin, I wanted to be Cathy, especially the bit about having travelled and lived everywhere *sigh*. So when Cathy turns up wearing shoes out of my closet I had to say something.
This picture is. of course from Peter's latest review of his creations. Note the shoes.

And this picture is my shoes, which were hiding in the bottom of my wardrobe. I think my legs are almost as good as Cathy's.
The heater is in my sewing/computer nook because we are having the coldest winter for 60 years, honestly below freezing night temperatures here in sunny Sydney. Good weather for blogging though. Bye!