Sunday, July 26, 2009

Chanel Post #2

Madly sewing this week-end - this jacket is very time consuming... I went looking for information on how to make Chanel jackets - out of my books I found this book had some great information on pages 182 to 185. It is very similar to how we are constructing our jackets in this class.
I am using fringing as part of the embellishment of this jacket. The selvedge does not have a great fringe, but the other way can be fringed and comes up lovely. Basically - cut a straight edge, fray the fabric to the desired depth, then zigzag the edge to stop it fraying any further. Cut the strip off...

Closeup of the zig-zagged fringe...

This is my faux welt pocket with trim that I have attached to the jacket (hand sewn - my finger tips are really sore - I should have used a thimble!)

I was planning two pockets on each side but was not happy with the embellishment of the 2nd pocket so decided to go with just the one.

Next was to sew the seams and keep the lining out of the way....

The seam is pressed open and then the lining is trimmed and hand sewn closed...

Tip to help with this - quilt up to the seam allowance x 2. You need to keep the seam allowance clear plus enough space to open the jacket seam before closing the lining seam. Leave long threads on your quilting and adjust as you go. I ended up taking the jacket in a bit on the sides so you need to be able to adjust the quilting. (hope that makes sense) .

This is the jacket so far, does not look like much yet but there is still plenty more to come...

Just a note for anyone who has been following my other blog - 'Fit and forty *mumble*' I have made this blog private for the moment as I am having trouble finding time or energy to post to it. Maybe I will get back to one day... not today...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Chanel Post #1

I have attended two classes for my Chanel Jacket class and had a hoot of a time! Don't you just love hanging with people who understand your need to sew....
I think I have shown a similar photo before but this is the fabric I am using. It doesn't photo true to its colour - it is quite spring/lime green in real life and has lots of threads woven in of many different colours - cream, brown, pink, yellow, etc - you cannot pick it up in the photo.
Here are the back pieces lined in white silk and hand-quilted to the main fabric pieces. We have chosen to hand quilt in this class as we are all using fabrics that are loosely woven and suit hand quilting best.
We had lesson two today and spent the time working out what pockets where, what trim and how? Heaps of fun. Lucky the class is located behind a brilliant little quilting shop that carries heaps of great trims. These jackets are going to be Chanel all the way in terms of trim...

And my parting shot is to show you my new best friend... Diana - my size, stands still to try sewing on but not much of a conversationalist...

Diana is wearing my jacket to hide her modesty... and it fits ... amazing!

(Trivial note -- two staples of my life in the photo - gym bag and my slippers!)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

One last post about the HP shirt

You probably thought I had finished showing you the Hot Patterns shirt....wrong.. your comments have encouraged me to show you!
I thank everyone who left comments either here or on my review (or the Great White Shirt sewalong board on Pattern Review). it was lovely to have your feedback... got to love this on-line sewing community.
As it did generate quite a few comments, I thought I might show you some close-up shots - particularly for those who are interested in trying this shirt themselves. I couldn't get these photos with my little point & shoot camera as the fabric is so difficult to photograph, but this week-end I enlisted the help of my camera-club hubby.
First detail - this is the cut-in shoulder and inverted box pleat in the sleeve top. Hopefully you can also see that I have flat-felled the armhole seam.
This is a photo of the placket and cuff finished. The pattern advocates a bias band to finish the placket area - however as I had recently learnt how to do this on a course, I chose to do a 'proper' placket. I have folded back the cuff and just put one button to hold it under the fold. I have a RTW shirt that has a cuff like this. It is supposed to be a french cuff but I don't think that would work with this style of placket.

This is the front button band. I didn't put any buttons above where I would button this shirt (mainly because I didn't have enough!) I don't think it matters too much on this shirt. What do you think? Notice the gathers are not at the bust line but under it.

Here is a close-up of the button to try and show you the colours.

And lastly, the back yoke with pleat and back seaming detail.

OK, I promise to get onto other things next time. I have started another shirt Burda wof 04-2009-105 in a chambray. I am attempting pin-tucking on that one to jazz it up a bit... not sure how that is going to go. I am having trouble marking and visualising the pintuck details so I have dived in and ordered a Diana dressmaker's dummy so that I can put the shirt on that while I work it out. So that shirt may stall for a bit until that arrives.
I also did my first lesson to make a Chanel -style jacket - had heaps of fun!. So I should get off this computer now to do my 'homework' for that class!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Fit to be Tied Shirt - Photos

Finally finished. Hot Patterns Classic Nouveau Fit to be Tied Shirt. Construction pointers can be found in this post. It has taken me a long time to finish this top as I only get a few hours on the week-end and it took me quite a while - lots of unpicking! So anyway without, more ado.. the photos....
...casual with pants...
.and with my bwof skirt...

Well I wasn't sure I would like it but when I saw it 'dressed up' I do like it. The shirt is a strong colour and has distinctive design lines so I think that was why I was a bit worried while I was making it. BTW, I hadn't really pressed it well before this photo session as I decided to try it on and then thought I may as well photograph it straight away. That probably shows how happy I am with it.

I love the buttons on this shirt. Caity helped me choose them and they are the colour of the darker shades in the cotton. However I cannot get a photo of them close-up so I cannot show them to you in detail.

This shirt is not for beginners but is well drafted and has really interesting design features. I would recommend a muslin first as it would be difficult to tissue fit. Anyway I am hooked on shirts now and want to start another way straight away - a BWOF pattern and some chambray fabric with shell buttons.

Review here ...

Monday, July 6, 2009

Burda wof 01-2009-112 Skirt ... Finished & photos

As a follow-up to this post, I finally have photos...

Most of the reason I haven't worn it sooner is that I have been searching high & low for a red belt and it took me a long time to find one! My shoes are a deeper shade of red to the belt (even though they don't look red in these photos). I was also at a bit of a loss as to what top to wear with this skirt as it really needs to be tucked in and I was surprised this top worked. I also want to try it with a shirt (white with brown pinstripe).

Edited to add a link to the review.
I have fnally sewn the collar on the HP shirt - buttons, buttonholes & hem to do...phwew!

The ultimate gym shirt ... part 2

OK I have already lost my enthusiasm for this project. I cut a second version from my altered pattern, but found it didn't cover my bra straps well enough. I ended up putting in a small dart at the middle of the back neck edge and a small gather on the middle of the front neck edge to pull the shoulders in closer together.
I bound the edges in lime green using a very narrow band. However it looks a little home made IMO and I am not excited about it. I did wear it to a Step class to try out the fabric and it is comfortable to wear. Here is a picture anyway just for completeness of this journalling process.

(You can still see my bra straps a bit - I didn't manage to fix the problem entirely)

My friend Caity has a couple of patterns that she is going to loan me, so I will (eventually) get back to this project... *sigh!*

I think my mojo has stalled with the lack of excitement about this and the continual unpicking of the HP shirt. I even have got an early mark from work today and have not sewn but fluffed about doing things I probably should really be doing like paying bills, folding laundry, tidying up, etc. Anyway I did get some photos of my burda skirt so I will post them next - love that project!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The ultimate gym shirt ... part 1

OK I know, I have not posted a photo of the skirt yet, and I have not finished my HP shirt but I have been lead astray...

I had thought I might make a nice dress I have had planned for a dinner on Thursday night, but it is so cold I know I will not be wearing a dress, so as my fabric purchase from Wazoodle arrived last week, my attention turned to gym tops.
These are the yummy fruit box of fabrics - lime, tangerine & maize. I also got heaps of black.
Even with postage to Australia, this fabric cost me $7.30 per yard - I cannot even find this fabric here, so this is a bargain as I will get heaps of tops as the fabric is so wide (around 165cm).
I love racer back styles as they allow you to move freely, plus most of my sports bras are racer backs I have worked hard for this back & shoulders so I take every opportunity to shown 'em!
I looked around for a pattern, but the best racer back style I could find was from Jalie and I know I won't make the other option in the pattern, so for the price of the pattern (in Australia, on special $18 plus postage), I figure I must be able to do something myself.
I went through my pattern stash and found Hot Patterns Deco Vibe Delano twin-set which had a tank top with a 'racer back'. Even though I could see by the picture the racer back wasn't as deep as I like, I thought I would start with it as is, and then finesse it.

I cut the pattern to a size 10 and went to it - cutting the body of the top from the black and the ribbing from the orange. Well, problem 1 - after applying the ribbing to the neckline it was clear that it wasn't working to the pattern measurements for the neck rib trim. It has so much recovery that it gathered the top into the band!

Not the look I was after. I tried a longer piece (a few inches shorter than the neck edge) but it sat weirdly so tried a piece half-way between - it still gathered but no so badly as the first try.

I then sewed the side seams & tried it on - obviously you need matchsticks for arms for this pattern as the arm hole was throttling my arm! I don't have big arms or small arms but I think fairly average arms, so I think there is a problem in the drafting of this pattern.

I took the bottom of the arm hole down by about an inch & a half and decided not to add a band, but just double turned and stitched. I then sewed on the bottom band as per the pattern.

I still am not sure if it was me or the pattern, but the drafting seems off to me. From my experience with other HP patterns, the instructions are ordinary, but the drafting is usually good, so I don't know what happened here. I even double checked my tracing of the pattern.

This is the front (in the good old ... in the mirror shot).

And the back...
Well the bands don't work (I would not use the bottom band in a gym top normally but did it this time to try & be true to the pattern) and it is not racer back (in my opinion). So I have gone back to modify the pattern.

This is the front - I have taken down the arm hole (as it was so choky) and raised the neck edge (to make up for no band next time).

And the back - again I have increased the depth of the armhole, added to the neck edge (to make up for the band) and attempted a racer back (copying from a gym tee I use a lot now).

So shall see tomorrow how this one comes out... what colour...hmmm?