Friday, 30 May 2014

Me Made May '14 - Week Three

Getting a bit behind on the blogging, but I did manage to take pictures at the time...

Named Patterns Dakota dress
I'm still not convinced about this one, although it is comfy to wear as its jersey.  I think it's because I was so puzzled about the shawl collar and I'm still not convinced I did it right.  For some inexplicable reason, as well as adding my usual inch to the bodice length I also lengthened the sleeves and now they're seriously too long. Other than that, I love the skirt shape.  You can't really see it in this photo, but it dips down at the front/back and up at the sides.  At some point I'll make a skirt from the pattern, one day.

Simplicity 2451 skirt
Again.... this week it's not raining and you can see the shaped waistband and pleats.  No idea why I'm looking down again.

Tilly's Miette skirt
New make, just finished! I bought this fabric last year in Goldhawk Road and wasn't really sure what I'd use it for, but it's perfect as a summer wrap around skirt! This counts twice for this week, it's so happy I had to! More details in a later post (if I get around to it).... Oh and I forgot to say, I actually really like this length, and this photo - I don't know how but my legs look skinny!

Grainline Moss skirt
Another new make - cheap grey chord and kick ass turquoise top-stitching. I managed to completely muck up the fitting though and had to take in loads of the back seam. Ho hum. I might post more details on this later...

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Me Made May '14 - Week Two

OK, now we're into week two and it was a bit more challenging this week as I was down at my parents for a few days (hence the not great photos).  I've also realised now that I haven't actually blogged any of these makes so I might add a few more words to this post rather than create other posts....

Sewaholic Renfrew top
I love this top and I wear it loads, in fact we did a  last minute week in Majorca last autumn and I basically wore it all week.  This is the cowl neck version with 3/4 length sleeves, and I have another version in white (bad choice of colour) that has full length sleeves but a short bodice.  I wore this version a couple of times during the week.

Tilly's Mathilde blouse
I love how sophisticated this top looks (sorry, naff picture).  It's from a lightweight ivory fabric - I guess poly cotton mix as it washes well but it was a nightmare to sew as it kept moving around.  It does have red buttons down the back though. Which rock!

Deer & Doe Datura blouse
I had scraps of both of these fabrics left over from other projects and just about managed to scrape enough to make the top although the facing yoke pieces are from the patterned cotton rather than the plain linen (as it is in the instructions).  I also complete mucked up attaching the bias binding around the neck and ended up with too much fabric between the cutout points so I folded and hand tacked the excess.  I made the bias tape too narrow as well (as there wasn't much linen left) so didn't want to undo the stitching and reattach it.  As a wearable muslin I'm really happy with it, but as well as doing the neckline properly, next time I will drop the darts, reshape the armholes and take in some of the width on the hem line.

Simplicity 2451 skirt
Sorry, it was pouring with rain! This is my first ever fitted skirt, the fit isn't great but it's comfortable and I wear it loads.  I've got second one with better fit which will be along later in MMM!!

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Me Made May '14 - Week One

Wiksten Tova top  - my first ever make, the fit isn't perfect (bit tight on the arms) and the finish isn't up to my usual standard (no french seams) but not bad for a first attempt.

Kwik Sew 3764 jacket - my latest make.  I am ridiculously proud.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Friday I'm in Love

This is Hazel's fault.  She posted up her beautiful version of the Kwik Sew 3674 jacket and I was instantly smitten.

I had many plans in quick succession and finally decided on some Navy wool mix from eBay and pink polka dot cotton poplin for the lining from Minerva Crafts (next plan involves Harris tweed, next winter).

Topstitching rocks.....

I was determined not to rush to finish this, take my time, not cut corners and if it's wrong or I'm not happy with the finish, to unpick it and go again.

To that end, I overlocked the edges of all the wool front and back pieces before starting the construction (it's all in the prep- but the delay was killing me!)

I topstitched (2.6mm stitch length mostly, 2.8mm on the waistband), with topstitch thread on needle and normal thread on bobbin.  I'm not sure if that's right, but you don't get much topstitch thread on a reel and I wanted to make it last!  My machine managed with this as long as I took it slowly, especially where I was sewing through +4 layers of wool. I used my Janome red needles which I usually use for quilting and have a bit more strength than the blue ones.  I did have a few breakages - needles and heavy metal zips don't interface too well!! My machine was sounding quite unhappy about that one....

The pattern doesn't include a lining, although there is interfacing on the front crossed over lapel panels and a back yoke. I made the lining for the jacket by basically just making another jacket out of lining material apart from the front lapel pieces, used the wool for these. Also yoke piece was attached to the back lining by just laying it over the top and sewing around the neck line.

Who wouldn't be happy with pink spotty sleeve gusset?

I attached the outer and lining by sewing all the way around the lapels and neck as per the instructions.  When it came to the bottom, I basted the two together and then attached the waistband as instructed.  For the sleeves I attached the facing and gusset to the zip/outer, then for the lining I cut another facing, made the opening 1/4'' bigger and turned them 1/2'' shorter then ironed it and hand sewed all the way round.

Sunshine, dark wool, pale lining, photographer malfunction

Snaps were surprisingly easy to go in... the epaulette ones are fully functional.  And you'll notice they are the correct way around, sewn in at the shoulder with the snap at the collar - unlike the instructions...

I started sewing up the bottom and waist band and then changed my mind about the inside lapel.  Originally I was just going to put in a button and buttonhole to hold the lapel in place when I do the jacket up, but then decided I'll probably end up wearing it with the jacket half open and the lapels folded out most of the time so it would look much better with a snap on the left lapel.  And I didn't want the back of the snap showing on the outside of the right lapel so this had to be only attached to the lining/facing (hence the unpicking, contorted snap hammering, and the sewing back up of the waistband!)

I love this jacket.  I'm going to wear it all the time!!!

My reasons for sewing are pretty much as a creative hobby (which is why most of my quilts are given away), and the fact that I have something to show for it at the end is a bonus, along with the fact that (when I have more idea about what I'm doing) they might actually fit better.  But a couple of people have asked me how long it took to make my jacket and I have no idea, as it tends to be a half hour here and there, so I'm going to try to start making a note.

And for interest the total cost for this jacket was about £50 which includes the pattern, wool, lining, thread (inc posh top stitching thread!), three metal zips, and a big pack of snaps and the fitting tools (so I now need to make more clothes with snaps....).