Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Simplicity 2446: Denim blazer

This is the second time I've made this pattern (first time was in a ponte) and I'm really happy with this version. I made a couple of fit changes and also made this one unlined.

The jacket looks slightly too tight in these photos. I wanted it to be very fitted as I'll most likely wear it open all the time (of course I forgot to get pics of my wearing it open, d'oh!) The sleeves are full length too, but I like them rolled up more.

There were a couple of fitting issues last time - mainly the excess near my arms/upper bust. I'm happy to say this was fixed by taking out excess length above the bust which also helped the lapels to sit smoother

I added an extra button which makes the front look more balanced.

The fabric is from Lincraft - its a thin stretch denim. I got it at the last sale and thought about making pants with it but its too thin and I'm glad I held off because its an awesome jacket material.

Original adjustments;
  • View C
  • Size 18 with a C-cup
  • 1" FBA
  • 1" upper arm adjustment

New adjustments:
  • Added 1" to sleeve cap length
  • Removed 1/2" length above bust
  • 1/2" swayback adjustment
  • Added a centre back seam
  • Added 1/2" to side seams because this fabric wasn't as stretchy as the ponte
  • Added width to the forearms so I can roll up the sleeves

I do have some bunching behind my neck so I'll be taking out a wedge next time and I've added some length to the body and sleeves.

Happy sewing!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Grainline Studios 16001: Cascade Duffle Coat

I've been obsessed with duffle coats the last couple of months, I wanted a princess seam coat pattern and couldn't find one anywhere. In the end it came down between this pattern and Colette's Albion but I liked the details more on this one.

It ended up being an expensive pattern, about $19.50AUD for the pdf. As soon as I got it I stuck it together and made a muslin in a straight sz 18....and it looked horrible on me, the shoulders were huge but the arms were way too small, the waist was huge but the bust was too tight, it was bunching all around the armscye, the sleeve cap height was too short, the upper bust length was too short, the upper back was too tight.... I nearly threw it all in after that but since I spent so much on the pattern decided to chop into it and make it work (cue Tim Gunn's voice in my head!). And to be fair, I knew I would have to make fit adjustments since I am not the body shape Grainline seems to design for.

Pattern adjustments;
  • I made View A with the hood
  • Size 14 through the shoulders graded to a sz 16 at the hips
  • Narrowed the shoulders by a further 1/2"
  • Added front princess seams from Simplicity 2446 with the equivalent of a 1.5" FBA
  • Changed the armscye  by also using S2446
  • Added to the upper sleeve width and to the sleeve cap (approx. 2" to each)
  • Wide back adjustment 1.5"
  • Added a centre back seam
  • I did leave the shoulder yokes and the hood alone.

The good;
  • I'm really happy with the fit now, seriously it the best fitting winter jacket I've ever owned/made.
  • The 2 piece sleeves are awesome.
  • I like how its cropped which suits it since its still fairly boxy
  • I like the hood, its roomy but still stays on your head
  • The toggles were a lot easier to make than I thought
  • I love the style and its surprisingly warm!

The bad:
  • I changed so much of the fit that its pretty different jacket now to the envelope version.
  • While the toggles were easy to make they were horrible to sew on - seriously,  follow the instructions and put them on before the fronts are sewn to the back and use a leather needle. I left it too late and it was a nightmare with the extra bulk and trying to sew over the pockets.
  • Speaking of pockets, I would prob do a single welt pocket next time, I found the pockets too big and they sit too high up.
  • I don't really like the lining bagging, I found my hem sags down even with tacking it up at the side/back seams (I ended up hand stitching it in place) so next time I will partially bag the lining but stitch the hems by hand so it can all be catch stitched into place.
  • My fabric was an absolute nightmare - I'd originally added 1" to the body length but even though I'd prewashed, dried and ironed it, the fabric shrunk up by 1" while pressing it so I was really glad I'd added the length.
  • My pattern matching is pretty crap, I barely had enough fabric to get everything cut out and I stuffed up when matching the sleeve pattern to the body, plus the princess seam at the front throws it all out and I'd added the back seam and didn't realise it was off until I'd trimmed it. I'm telling myself a non-sewer won't notice it....
  • I think the reason the cropped jacket is made without the hood is because the hood drags the coat backwards a bit, so it would sit better just with the collar.

Speaking of fabric - the main fabric was from Spotlight, its a double faced fabric sold as poncho material and the black on the yokes is from my stash - I think its a wool crepe. The lining is from Clear It in Melbourne. I interfaced the facings with armoweft and the fronts with whisperweft. I  interfaced the crepe with 2 layers to try and make it handle more like the thicker cotton fabric.

I made my own toggles following the directions from the sewalong - I couldn't find any premade ones anywhere but they were pretty easy to make. I bought a cheap leather jacket from the Salvos, it was half price so it only cost me $4 for a whole jacket so I still have a nice pile of leather for future projects! I really wanted black toggles but again, couldn't find any so I got wooden ones from Spotlight and spray painted them black.

I'm not happy with my stitching on the toggles, but after having to stitch the bottom ones on mostly by hand I decided to live with it! Next time I'll make sure I sew them on flat before the jacket is put together and maybe use my edge foot.

After what seems like a lot of complaining, I am really happy with the finished jacket and I will make one again. Most of the issues I had with this pattern were somewhat my own fault - I knew it was a boxy coat with lots of ease and it was my own choice to make it more fitted. I also should have read the instructions better, the troubles I had with the toggles could have been avoided. But I will make it again, I have a nice teal suiting sitting in my stash that would look awesome...

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Pattern Testing: SBCC 329 - Pinot Pants

I'm really enjoying SBCC patterns at the moment - the whole style seems to suit what I wear and how I live. I mean I love jackets and beautiful dresses but I mostly live in pull-on pants or jeans and t-shirts!

These are a basic pull-on pant with an elastic waist. They have a straightish leg. My TNT pattern for a pull on pant is my Style arc Palazzo pants. These have a straighter leg and fit closer through the thigh.

Pattern details:
Size 1XL
Added 3" to length
Scooped out front and back crotch by 1/2"
Dropped front rise 1"

Fabric its a poly ponte from Lincraft

I found the fit really good straight out of the pattern, my ponte was pretty stretchy so I made a 1XL instead of the 2XL I am in the measurement chart.
The pattern has you stretch the inner leg seams to fit, I had to press mine a lot to get rid of the ripples, the ponte I used was the cheap stuff from Lincraft though so I tend to think it was the fabric causing me issues not the pattern.

These are now my favourite work pants and once I find some nicer ponte I'll be making more.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

McCalls 6754: knit dress

Time to battle my arch nemesis again - raglan sleeves! I've had this dress sitting on my wadder shelf for a few months, I had this idea that I could make a knit pattern out of sateen and I just couldn't get the fit right (no big surprises there...). A lot of the fit problems disappeared once I made it in a knit......

Pattern details:
I made view D, the full skirted dress with sleeves.
1" FBA
1.5" added to the sleeve cap length
Added 3" to the skirt length
Added 2" to sleeve length
Added 3" wide waistband
Added inseam pockets

I need to the some length out the back next time, looking at these photos I have some excess there.

The fabric is a medium weight cotton knit, its pretty stiff but is surprisingly nice in a dress. I added the neckline binding instead of turning and topstitching.

So raglan sleeves, I have come to the conclusion that raglan sleeves will have draglines but there is a difference between normal lines and uncomfortable lumps of fabric. Happily for me, adding the sleeve cap length gets rid of a lot of the excess fabric and makes them a lot more comfortable plus gives me more movement so I can live with a few lines.

I haven't been able to find any real advice in adding to a raglan sleeve cap length and have just been adding height across the arm pattern piece and dropping the underarm seam to allow for the extra sleeve cap height, if anyone can refer me to a book/source or give me some information it would be great!

I found the skirt really short, I've added 3" to the length and I still had to add the waistband to drop it lower. I'm glad I added the waistband though, I really like the look with this dress and I'll be doing it again!

I actually like this more than the lady skater dress, a princess seam bodice is always going to fit better on me and I like that the skirt is full without being a circle skirt (its roughly about a 3/4 circle skirt). Plus with the added length to the skirt and arms I can wear it to work and what's not good about wearing what is essentially pyjamas to work all day!

Friday, February 13, 2015

McCalls 6953: Knit and Voile maxi dress


I've been a bit obsessed with mixed fabric dresses lately, I love a knit bodice and a woven skirt, seems the best of both worlds!

Pattern detailsn (same as last time I made this dress);
  • sz20 with d cup
  • 1" fba
  • 1" wedge from back neck alongside of the zipper
  • 2" petite bodice
  • 1" wedge out of bustline length
  • lowered neckline
  • added waistband
  • added pockets from Simplicity 2588
There were a couple added adjustments since the bodice is a knit;
  • Took in the sides by a total of 4"
  • Took out length in the bodice of about 2"
  • Cut the back on the fold
  • Gathered the skirt instead of pleating it so I could make the dress a pull-on.
  • Bound the neckline instead of lining the dress.
  • Added a 4" facing to the hem to help weigh it down
I do need to take some length out of the upper chest as its buckling slightly. It looks like the princess seams are ripply too but in real life they sit flat.

Cotton spandex knit for the bodice from Spotlight and a cotton voile for the skirt that was left over from my Cambie dress

I'm happy with how it turned out and I'll be making more mixed fabric dresses soon!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

BurdaStyle 01/2013 #113: Layered jacket

I'm really not sure about this jacket. I loved the technical drawings and it on the model in the magazine but I'm not sure on me. Its quite a boxy jacket and the under layer is deceptively long, I cut it a lot shorter (probably a bit too short looking at these photos).

The chiffon under layer means the jacket slides around a lot so you are constantly pulling it back to sit at the front.
The instructions are atrocious as Burdas normally are, I winged it a fair bit on the construction and it all came together and looks pretty close to the drawing. I didn't add the back under layer because I didn't want to waste my chiffon!

Pattern Details:
Sz 44
1" FBA
Shortened the underlayer by about 5"
1" added to bicep width
Burdastyle Layer jacket

The main fabric is leftover spandex knit from my yoga pants and the underlayer is a scrap of silk chiffon from Spotlight. I'm really glad I used a scrap because the fabric is a lot more beautiful than I first thought and I have enough left to make a dress.

All in all, I wouldn't sew this again, if I wanted a style similar to it I reckon I'd make a simple cardigan style jacket more fitted with princess seams and then just sew in a scarf around the neck to get a similar look but would fit a lot better.