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,

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Knit Dress from Kwik Sew 2759

There's been way more sewing than blogging around these parts this year. I've had a few experiments disasters that haven't rated a mention including a striped linen jacket that didn't quite work mismatchedwonkyfrumpy. Then there's been a lot of practical sewing, three winter tops that I haven't blogged about. I will try to get to blog one of them which is another frankenpattern that may be of interest..

Meanwhile there was one outstanding success. What a relief! My daughter asked for a clone of a favourite dress and I came up with this.

The material is a scuba knit from Lincraft.

The inspiration dress below is a little tunic/mini that DD bought last summer from Millers.

Now, I've got to tell you that in the past my efforts at cloning garments from scratch has brought mixed results and I would far rather start with an existing pattern as a base if I can find one close enough. This dress is drafted snuggly through the shoulders then goes wider under the arms. I knew I'd seen something like it in my stash somewhere and dug out all my knit top and knit dress patterns.

The one that I ended up starting with and modifying was the cardigan from the Kwik Sew 2759 twinset reviewed many times on Pattern Review here. I could not find it on the Kwik Sew/McCalls website so it may be out of print. It is one of the patterns that was expertly drafted by the late Kirstin Martensson.

Anyway I took the pattern and modified the neck, added neck binding, narrowed the shoulders to a size S, with the body at a size M, added to the sides and length continuing in the A line of the original dress.

Edit:  I noticed later when I was putting all the pattern pieces away that the front neck I drew is the same as the front neck from the tank that is part of the twin suit pattern.
The back neck was copied from the RTW dress.

It all came together well. Needless to say the drafting of KS is better than what I could mange on my own ;)

The sleeve was relatively untouched except it was widened a little at the sides while retaining the size S sleeve cap.

The result? DD has already made the dress a work staple and wants me to try a sleeveless top version with bound armholes. Well I do still have the leftover material  :)

Note. I know there are purists that will be horrified that I cut into KS patterns but I know enough to modify it back to a cardi for me if I ever choose to. Also my time and tracing material was limited!

Happy sewing,