Friday 28 January 2011

Hot Patterns Razor Sharp Pants - Finished

Cue unexciting hanger shot....

Well having gushed about how fantastic the muslin for these pants was I can tell you that making the real ones was not plain sailing! For the muslin I obviously did not do the fly front and when it came to making them, this part completely threw me. I spent quite a bit of time pinning, sewing, unpicking before I finally got it and I don't know if in the process I stretched out the fronts a bit, but it required some alteration to get the front to fit better.

While I am happy with the back and side views, I'm still unsure about the front and think I do prefer a bootleg rather than a straight cut on me. I may be overanalysing things though so I think it's best to take a break from these and try them on again (and publish the results!) when the tops are done. I think in my head I am trying to get an unattainable fit (and body!) like this;

whereas reality is more like this - (real life = wrinkles, right?)

(images from Nordstrom)

I am finding myself analysing the crotch on all pants photos so need to stop now before I start doing this in real life and get into all sorts of trouble! In any case more work is needed before I can declare I have a pants TNT pattern.

I usually use Sandra Betzina's method when making fly front pants but I didn't know how to modify it for faced pants so I forged ahead with the Hot Patterns instructions. If you make these you need to know there are 2 errors:

At least in my version of this pattern, the waistband facing is marked incorrectly. The shorter front facing is actually the right front facing, the left front facing is the longer one. This is obvious once you have interfaced the wrong side of these pieces (assuming of course that the printed side up of the pattern is the right side).

There is also a typo in the first line of the fly front instructions so get a pen and correct that before you go any further. The second sentence of step 5 should read "Join the short front edge of the RIGHT front facing..", not the left. Of course you could swap everything around and have the fly overlapping in the opposite direction but that makes all the rest of the instructions truly mindblowing so I preferred to make these two amendments, then you can follow the instructions and they make sense.

Finally, a finished faced fly!

Or if you prefer Kay has helpfully provided a step by step photo guide to this type of fly front here

There were some great ideas for the tops in the comments from my last post so thank you for those, they have got me thinking so we will see soon what I end up with...

Friday 21 January 2011

Grey Mini Collection Details

Apart from getting a bit derailed by the fur coat I am mostly managing to stick to the plan I posted here. I am adding in one extra piece so that I can make a mini collection of 2 tops, a skirt and pants.

The skirt you have seen in my previous post. The other pieces in this collection are;

Pants - Hot Patterns Razor Sharp Pants in a darker grey wool. These are well on the way although let me tell you the faced fly front took me an age to figure out. I am going to write a separate post with instructions and step by step photos so I never have to figure them out again.

Top 1 - McCalls 5977 in a grey, pink poly print. This is also partly completed although I hit a problem with the sleeves. The pattern piece for the sleeves on View D are essentially an oval ring doughnut shape and they just don't hang very well in my fabric. So I have purchased a yard of grey chiffon and will do some kind of draped sleeve / neck embellishment. Still figuring that out, I think I will do some web research for inspiration. You can see the original, stiff sleeve basted on below and the grey fabric just thrown on top for now.

Top 2 - This was not in my original plan but I really want to use this textured pale pink chiffon for a top, the fabric is just draped on my dressform here. Not sure of a pattern yet but it will be something very simple with few pattern pieces.

Thursday 20 January 2011

Patrones Issue 272, 48 Versace Skirt

Here is a reminder of the pattern.

Melissa wisely commented...

"ooh I can't wait to see the Versace skirt in real life - I have that issue but the model photo really frightens me, like it'd show every little ounce of belly. That you're so enthusiastic totally intrigues me."

...which is interesting and got me thinking that it is very rare for me to select a pattern based on magazine photos these days, I really just look at the line drawings.

In this case I think the model is just doing one of those model-ly poses and trying to look curvier than she is, or something! At the end of the day this is a pretty simple, slightly high waisted pencil skirt. I like it because;

1) Its based on a Versace design and I am a total sucker for that kind of thing.
2) The section seams are placed further out to the side seams which suits my shape better.
3) The cut is slim, yet there is no need for a back vent - admittedly I haven't tried climbing on a bus in this yet though.
4) For Christmas my husband got me a years subscription to Patrones so I wanted to get a bit of practice in and get comfortable with the sizing.

If you already have a pencil skirt pattern that you like then there is certainly no need to try and track down this old Patrones or the February Burda mag looks like it has 2 decent pencil skirts in it. The second one is very similar to my skirt - the back looks the same and the front has darts instead of seams to shape the front.

Anyway enough waffle, here is the finished skirt, like most pencil skirts, it's versatile, classic and quick to make too. This is going to be part of a mini grey collection (details to follow....) so I will show photos when all the pieces are done.

Thursday 13 January 2011

Faux Fur Coat Finished - Burda Style 10/2008 - 101

Here is the finished coat, this was such a fun project and both working with fur and this coat pattern were much easier than I had anticipated. It's true that it doesn't really get very cold here in Hong Kong - we get warnings when it gets to 10C (50F), but after 10 years of living here I am a complete wimp in the cold so it will definitely get some wear over the winter.

It's funny that fake fur coats seems to be popping up on blogs everywhere all of a sudden and I certainly had not planned on buying fur when I went fabric shopping last week - must be something in the air.

Anyway - pictures!

I decided to stick with the full length sleeves.

I added a fun printed satin lining from the stash.

I found this similar look online so decided to try it belted for a different look, I think this would be more successful with a thinner fur (or a thinner body!).
Bottega Veneta faux fur coat, A/W 2010

Tuesday 11 January 2011

Faux Fur Coat on the Way

What a strange sewing week - I've gone from a bikini to a fur coat in the space of a few days!

This is the faux fur coat I am working on, from Burda 10/2008 - 101.

The main coat pieces are put together and I have already assembled the lining so this project is coming together really fast (for me). This is partly because the pattern was designed for fur and as such has a very simple shape, but the main reason is that the fur just makes such a mess I want to get it assembled as quickly as possible. After I had cut it out it looked like there had been a black snow blizzard in my sewing room! I am still finding bits of turquoise silk around my apartment from the dress I made in November so I think I will be finding tufts of fur for years!

Here is the coat so far. I cut the full length sleeves from view 102 which are meant to be gathered at the wrists so I am finding these ones way too long and also possibly too wide so I may change them back to the 3/4 length or alter them. I still have hems, lining and fastenings to do, but I hope to have this finished in the next couple of days.

After the Christmas green eyelashes I am sure you are all waiting with bated breath for my next cosmetics post so let me share my latest manicure with you - China Glaze holographic polish, I can't stop looking at it!

Friday 7 January 2011

The Best Laid Plans...

I finished the bikini top, think I have figured out how to put the bottoms together and decided that was enough to reward myself with some fabric shopping, so off I went to the Sham Shui Po fabric market. You never know what is going to catch your eye when you're there and suffice to say the pipeline of my previous post now has some additions!

Fake fur
I bought two lots of this, one for winter cushions to cosy up my living room and some gorgeous black fur to make a simple winter coat. It's short pile and textured - like Persian lamb. I think this may have to jump near the front of the queue as our winters are so short. My cats love the beige/blue cushion fur so it may well turn into a blanket as the only time I can access it is when the black cat gets too hot in the sun!

Black faux textured fur

Blue faux fur with beige tips

Big pile of fur!

This wasn't on my shopping list either but I adore the colours and it will work really well with the grey pencil skirt and HP razor pants.

Hey that's two jackets right there, maybe I should join the 12 jackets in a year club?!

Sensible wool purchases
This is what I actually went to buy, I got 3 pieces, grey, black and a brown pinstripe for some combination of pencil skirt, pants and the Vogue dress with the big collar.

Other stuff
This is a bone coloured poly but it feels really nice, like washed silk or microfibre. It may turn into this Rachel Comey dress, without the peplum, or perhaps one of the new Vogues - I have my eye on the Donna Karan shirtdress.

I also found this adorable semi sheer cotton to save for warmer months, I'm thinking I will line it in a nude colour and make a dress. Plenty of time to think about that one.

I'm all fired up to sew this weekend now!

Thursday 6 January 2011

In the Pipeline

Happy New Year everyone!

My machines are currently threaded up for a project I am working on for a friend (copying a bikini - stupid, stupid me for opening my big mouth and saying I could do a better job than the copy she had done in China!). To get me through it I have been planning what I am going to make next for me, so coming up in posts in the hopefully not too distant future are:-

1) Versace pencil skirt from Patrones 272, pattern # 48. I made a muslin (I know - new year, new me??) and loved the fit, this could be a TNT skirt, not that I look anything like the model below. This has been cut out in grey wool ready to sew.

2) Co-ordinating (also somewhat unusual for me) top - McCall's 5977, the green view below, but without the neck ruffles, partly sewn before I started feeling guilty about the bikini project. This is in the print bit left over from the Vogue 1120 border print dress I made here. (Incidentally this dress made it onto Vogue's Facebook page back in December - its worth a look as there are lots of great examples of Vogue's patterns there, someone must be very busy trawling through the internet, what a fun job to have!).

3) Hot Patterns razor sharp pants. This has been in my stash ever since people raved about the right angle back crotch curve and I have only just got around to trying a muslin (yes, that's two in a week, a record). No kidding, I whizzed up a size 12 and it fit perfectly - that never, ever happens with pants. I was hoping to make these in the same grey wool as the skirt above but I'm a bit short on fabric so I will have to find another use for the leftover yardage and go shopping for a new piece for these, can't wait to make them up!

4) Vogue 1207 by Cynthia Steffe in this spotted, butterfly print chiffon, haven't got any further than choosing fabric so far. The sneak preview of the fabulous new Vogue patterns that Adrienne recently posted make me want to try and use up some of my last lot of Vogue patterns before I buy more, as I inevitably will come the next sale.

5) A wool winter dress from Vogue 8408, love the dramatic collar on this one. I need to go fabric shopping for this too, I may do that tomorrow if I make some good bikini progress tonight, it will be a good incentive!