Friday 26 September 2008

Patrones Issue 272, 12 Hallhuber Jacket Progress

Ok, finally over the jetlag (it seems to take longer the older I get) and back into sewing.

I decided to make a muslin of this jacket in some quite heavy green cotton (an Ikea curtain in it's previous life - I like sewing these heavy fabrics, it makes my stash look much smaller!);

Although it's a bit more of a boxy shape than I normally wear I really liked the sleeve and back design. It was easy to put together, the only problem I had was that the jacket had no neck facing pieces or lining and I really thought I had done something wrong. Thanks to help from Marji, Melissa and Tany, I discovered it wasn't me going crazy. Thank you ladies! Tany kindly read the instructions and apparently the jacket is supposed to be lined, and has no neck facing. It's not at all obvious from the fabric layout and I have learnt not to get too hung up about trying to do these patterns exactly as specified in future, but to just do my own thing.

The muslin was looking quite good, and there were no fit issues so I decided to finish the insides so that I could potentially wear this jacket. I still have to decide whether to just do a neck facing or lining or both and sew on the cover button and then it's done. Here is the jacket so far...

Tuesday 16 September 2008

Patrones, blogs and jetlag - great combination

I'm back from my trip to the UK - I must say I do not miss English weather, it was cold and damp until I finally caved in and bought a new jacket which of course made the sun come out. But it was lovely as always to catch up with my family and friends. not least of all my super Spanish sister in law who brought me these!!

I have tons of blog entries to catch up on and I can't wait to get to all of those and see what everyone has been up to. Like many bloggers my small taste of cooler weather has me wanting to get started on some fall clothes, but it is still hot here so I'm really not sure what I will make next.

I just wanted to thank you all for your visiting my blog while I was away and for your comments - it's good to know that even an internet dummy like me can figure out how to post entries in advance of the publishing dates. I see that blogger has started a new follower thingy which I guess is like google reader so I will check that out too. Lucky I'm having trouble sleeping and have extra hours to spend on the web - sometimes jetlag can be a good thing!

Saturday 13 September 2008

New Look 6729 "Missoni" silk jersey version

The last of my 4 recent pieces is my favourite. I made another version of New Look 6729 wrap tunic in this gorgeous Missoni (allegedly) silk jersey.  

This is the first time I have used silk jersey and I had concerns that it would be slippery to sew with, have a tendency to get chewed up by my sewing machine and also that it would be too flimsy. I was wrong on all three counts. This fabric was a joy to work with and the finished top feels so luxurious and comfortable. I love it and will definitely get some more silk jersey when I next feel a fabric purchasing spree coming on. I've made and reviewed this pattern before so lets go straight to photos!

Tuesday 9 September 2008

Hot Patterns Artful Dodger Bustle Back Skirts

Man these HP pattern names are long! This one is now out of print I'm afraid, here is a picture of the pattern envelope.

This was another experimental piece, made from some denim that I bought a lot of with the intention of making the perfect pair of jeans. I'll get to attempting that one of these days. I definitely need to wash the fabric about 50 more times before then though, despite 2 prewashings the colour bleeds like crazy, my hands were bright blue and I had to paint my fingernails just to cover it up because while the colour comes off the fabric easily, getting it off your fingernails is another story.

Honestly, when I had assembled the back of this skirt I thought about binning the project. for someone with, ahem, generous hips, I wondered what on earth I was thinking making this skirt. However, almost all the work is in the back of the skirt (more on that later) so I figured I may as well at least baste it together and try it on. And you know what, it's not too bad! Of course I will get blue legs whenever I wear it and I will have to remember not to sit on any friend's white sofas, but with boots and a jacket this will be a nice addition to my fall wardrobe.

The only tricky part to this skirt is the back, the reviews on Pattern Review really helped me from tearing all my hair out. Basically in addition to the usual back waist facing, the upper back also has a facing, similar to a hem facing which is then attached to the lower part of the skirt. This is probably quite obvious from the pattern pieces if you make the a-line version with the zig zag facing. The back hem ( the real one) also has a facing so thats 3 altogether. Mark your pattern pieces carefully! Apart from this the skirt construction is very straightforward. Here's some photos to try and illustrate the tricky part;

Apply upper back facing to hem of upper back
Understitch, turn, press and topstitch if desired
Attach lower back to bottom of upper back facing
Fold upper back over lower back and topstitch in place, you end up with a lip as shown below

Saturday 6 September 2008

Patrones Issue 257, 67 Lasserre Skirt

So far I haven't been very adventurous with my Patrones patterns. Baby steps! Here is another easy skirt, 2 pattern pieces, (front/back & waistband/yoke) and a rectangle of fabric for the ruffle. You could make a similar skirt starting with any pencil skirt pattern.

This is a stretch cotton sateen purchased from Spotlight fairly recently, with it's brown, black and white print this is a great fabric to make a skirt out of, I'll be able to wear this with lots of different tops and jackets. There's really not much to say about the construction it was that simple. Unpicking the gathering stitches from the ruffle after it was in place was the worst bit! I simply finished the top and bottom edge of the ruffle with the serger because I thought that would balance out the "girly ruffliness" of it a bit.

Wednesday 3 September 2008

Hot Patterns Riviera 1,2,3 Times a T-shirt

Amazingly I have managed to make 4 new items in the last couple of weeks. I am off to the UK tomorrow for a couple of weeks to visit my family and friends so I am going to try out the new blogger feature that enables you to publish posts in the future. If it doesn't work then there will be a bumper crop of posts when I get back.

First up is this t shirt pattern which includes 3 options all based on designer t shirts although they all have the same basic body shape.

I decided to make the pieced version first, from some very soft red jersey. I have lots of this so was happy to use it as a wearable muslin. Ideally you would use a coverstitch machine to make this, but if you don't have one, HP suggests using a serger with wrong sides of the fabric together to make the seam and them pressing to one side and stitching it down. I tried a few samples of this, but my very soft jersey just didn't want to sew up in a nice straight line so I chickened out and just did regular seams instead. I could have added topstitching instead, but chose not to. So basically I could have saved myself a ton of time and made up the non pieced t shirt, but never mind!

I really wasn't too sure about this pattern while I was making it and feared it would be very boxy and shapeless. However, the wide slashed neckline an drapy sleeves balance out the boxiness of the t shirt and although it's still a different style for me, I like it and will definitely try out the other versions. I may even try this version again with the proper seam treatment in some heavier jersey.