Tuesday 26 January 2010

Vogue 1129 Donna Karan jacket

Inspired by the latest batch of Vogue designer patterns, I thought I really ought to use up some of the older ones I have already bought and not yet used. So before spring comes around again I decided to make this Donna Karan jacket / coat.

I need some practice arranging the scarf drapy bit

Like the last Donna Karan inspired cozy, I had to cut this out on the floor, the fronts need to be cut as a single layer and the scarf drape piece is very long.

I used a very chunky boucle from my stash - when I say chunky I mean that if just one thread came unravelled then I would lose half my seam allowance so I serged all the edges as soon as I removed the pattern pieces. Otherwise I found sewing with boucle very satisfying, stitches just disappear in it!

The only change I made to this pattern was to add a lining. It's an unusual pattern in that there are no facings and no interfacing - there isn't supposed to be a lining either but I thought it would be much nicer to wear with a lining and I rummaged through the stash and found this luscious raspberry silk.

Actually it's kind of a cross between lining and interlining. When the main jacket body pieces were sewn together everywhere except the shoulder seams I attached a lining at the edges. the shoulders were then stitched as normal and the boucle seam allowances stitched down. The sleeve linings were attached by hand. In complete contrast to my last couple of lazy projects, I also hand sewed all the hems for a completely invisible finish.

Look, real pockets!

I like the unusual style of this jacket - it's fitted but still drapy. Vogue rates this pattern as easy to sew, and while I agree the sewing is straightforward the pattern is slightly unusual and it is important to transfer all the pattern markings. The instructions are good though and easy to follow. It is pretty close fitting, especially in the sleeves, I certainly wouldn't be able to wear a thick sweater underneath it, fine for me and my climate but something to watch out for.

I know it's totally impossible to see anything other than the silhouette in these pictures of me wearing it, but they will have to do for now!

Sunday 17 January 2010

Simplicity 2603 - knit top and cardi-wrap

Thank you for the comments on my flat - to answer some questions;

Meli88a - no there were no pictures of the sewing room/guest bedroom which we sewing types might find interesting but I expect 99.99% of the magazines readers wouldn't. I did post my own (inferior) pictures here though.

Peacock Chic - yes there are water fountains behind each budda statue, the water flows down a stainless steel panel.

Gail - the painting in the living room is by a Vietnamese artist called Do Duy Tuan, lots of info comes up if you google his name. If I only had more wall space I would get more of his art, I love it all.

Now back to sewing.....

I finally got around to making the DKNY cozy knock off pattern, along with the matching tank.

It was super quick and easy to make, apart from cutting out the cardi-wrap - the front pieces are so big I had to cut on the floor which is no fun (for me anyway, my cats found it highly entertaining).

The fabric is a very soft grey knit, another bargain buy from a market in Hong Kong, it will be perfect for travel. My seam finishes are getting skimpier - after the serged edge on my last sweater this one has no seam finish at all, I just left the edges raw. I can't help feeling that this is just not right, but the thought of finishing the 17 mile long hem persuaded me that it would be just fine to leave the edges raw.

Here is the tank, it doesn't really feature on the pattern envelope but is actually a great basic.

The cardi-wrap is very long when worn like this, but gives you more wrapping options so I resisted the urge to chop it shorter.

A couple of variations.

Tuesday 12 January 2010

Not Sewing: Home Interiors Magazine Article

You may remember that last month a magazine came to photograph our renovated apartment. Some of you asked to see the article when it was published so for those who are interested here it is, just click on the images to enlarge.

Friday 8 January 2010

BWOF 10/2005 - 114 Pullover

Continuing on my quick-to-make-non-dress sewing kick I made another version of this popular BWOF pattern.

I bought this brown/white sweater knit fabric at the textile market in Sham Shui Po, it was the last piece and I think cost the grand sum of HK$20 (about US$2.50).

This was super quick and easy to make, I did it all on my serger, apart from the topstitched seam at the collar, even the hem edges are just serged. A more modern finish or pure laziness on my part? The only other change I made to the pattern was to lengthen it by around 6 inches.

(I am wearing the black skirt from my previous post in these pictures, not that you can see much of it.)

Close up of neckline

Close up of fabric and serged hem finish

Should have brushed hair after pulling the sweater on....

BWOF 01/09-112 The Girdle Skirt

Before I start on the skirt, while I remember Dei asked for some more info on how I adapted the blue knit top I made recently so I have edited the original post here. Hope that helps.

This very high waisted skirt is probably not the best choice of pattern to make after lots of Christmas overindulgence! I have believe it or not needed a plain black pencil skirt in my wardrobe for some time, had a remnant in my stash and wanted to try a new pattern.

I know I still have 4 of my 7 planned dresses still to make, but I'm a little dressed out for the moment you know. This was a super easy pattern to put together, the only odd thing is that the yoke pieces are interfaced but the skirt is unlined. I don't like interfacing showing on the inside so I lined the yoke section.

Now it may be my peculiar figure but this really is a high waisted skirt, it finishes a good 4 inches above my natural waist. I left off the belt loops because it is unlikely I will wear this with a tucked in top and it certainly isn't going to slip down my hips! However I am really pleased with the end result, a skirt with built in spanx effect! Just don't wear it for big dinners out!

Sorry the pictures are not massively useful, black is so difficult to show properly.

Lining added to yoke section

Close up of yoke and topstitching

On my dressform so you can get an idea of how high that waist is

Thursday 7 January 2010

Birthday Dress #2

This is the second dress I made for my friend, a self drafted pattern inspired by a top that she already owned.

The fabric is a silver grey to black ombre silk purchased in Li Yuen Street in Central HK with a bit of New Year bling handsewn on the straps and around the empire line seam. The bling came from Sham Shui Po in HK where there are about a million notions stores. I went into about 999,999 of them until my eyes were aching from looking at diamante trim and I found a double strand of slightly blue tinted stones which matched the fabric perfectly.

The dress is lined in the same fabric and has a side invisible zipper.

The bodice was constructed first and then the overlay was draped on in 3 separate sections. This was the most difficult part and I redid it several times trying to get the right balance between it looking random but not messy.

I wore the green Cynthia Rowley dress I made recently. My friend doesn't usually wear a tiara, that was a bit of birthday fun!

Wednesday 6 January 2010

Birthday Dress #1

Happy New Year! This is where I spent mine, in blissful Bali.

Sigh, OK back to reality.....

So this is the dress for my friend that I finished on Christmas morning! It was her birthday on 30 Dec and we had a dinner planned for that evening and then a party on New Years Eve so earlier in the year I offered to make 2 dresses for her, one for each occasion. How crazy am I? How much does my time management suck? Would I put myself through it again - of course!

The birthday dinner dress started life as BWOF 03/2008-112A and after several failed attempts at building some support into the dress, on Christmas Eve (yes really!) we decided to add wide straps that would hide underwear.
The fabric is a silk / lycra blend from Hong Kong's Western market, apparently made for Chloe, expensive but absolutely gorgeous to sew.

And here is my friend modelling it, I felt so happy seeing it on her which is of course why I would be daft enough to do it again.