Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Peony or hibiscus

When we last spoke, I had tested this dress in the lining fabric. Then the lining was going to be used to line the first test dress of Spring. So do you think this Peony suggests "take me to Hawaii" or not? It's the hibiscus print right?
I hope it does because I keep dropping hints. If I wear this Peony on weekends, do you think DH will buckle?
The fit is much better. I only had a really short piece of fabric to play with so the front print doesn't match the back. Thankfully the lining is slightly thicker than the fashion fabric:)
I've moved the skirt dart in towards the centre front by 7cm and the side pocket will be raised to the side notch so that it suits my arm length. While the neckline looks high, I did drop it by 5 cm.
The bodice back billows a bit but that will work on hot and sticky summer days!
Now I'll make the black/white eyelet fabric and the white lining again.
Happy Halloween!

Monday, 29 October 2012

m5525 - hip pockets

Do you add welts to pockets on your hips if you really don't want to draw attention to your hips. Common sense dictates that you wouldn't but I have. My boss often says common sense isn't that common. I know he was talking to me:)
Issue 1
On this pattern, the pocket placement sits on my thighs. Who does such a thing? They now sit at my tummy level.

Issue 2
I got confused by the pattern instructions. The pattern picture shows the pocket welts pointing to the centre front. The instructions show them pointing to the side seams. There's also a button on the pocket welt. The decisions when you're doing detailing while you sew takes time. I pondered over this issue for at least 3 days before ripping them out.
Issue 3
Sharon reminded me that the reason you do a toile is to test out the pattern. Head slap moment in a series of head slap moments. I've tucked the welt into the pocket for a sleeker look.

Issue 4
I used red lining for both sides of the pocket bag. The red peeked through quiet a bit so I've now used the fashion fabric for the back pocket bag that you'd normally see.

I have renewed my friendship with my seam ripper.

The beauty of changing the pocket on this coat is they are built into the seam, so I didn't cut into the trench coat fabric like I would have with a traditional welt pocket on a coat. Phew!

Sharon's trench progress
Sharon's trench journey is just starting. I did say that this trench sewalong has no time limit so please don't think that you need to start or even make a trench unless you want to. Sharon has chosen this Burda pattern.

When you go to her blog, you'll see her fabric choices and learn that there are lots of detailing options to make - or not make. That's your choice.

From the years that we've known each other, Sharon is very detailed and a dedicated sewer so you'll learn lots from her posts. Among her decisions/tasks, she has to decide to use this double breasted option or adjust it as single-breasted.

When I converted my McCalls 5525 trench from double to single-breasted I folded out the excess from the centre front piece, front facing and then recheck the collar and collar band.
These are the trenchcoat posts:
Trenchcoat sewing
Jalie 2680: city coat trench
McCalls 5525: single breast trench
McCalls 5525: a hood in the collar
McCalls 5525: pockets
McCalls 5525: shoulder detailing
McCalls 5525: bound buttonholes
McCalls 5525: belt carriers
McCalls 5525: finished

Friday, 26 October 2012

Peony Pt1 - Spring test

I like using indie patterns and sewing their styles during a sewalong is part of the fun. Sewing is fun - most of the time. Just don't say 'bound buttonholes' too loudly at the moment. Just taking a moment away from the trench journey. Just for a moment and to relieve your boredom.
My first Colette pattern was the Macaron so the Peony was next on the list.

This week I got the invite to Diner de blanc - Sydney but missed out on registering on the day, and this Peony was supposed to be all white. If we did get in, I would then have had to scrounge around for DH's white outfit. Anyway, there's no need. DH was thrilled to miss out. I - was quietly relieved.
I did what I thought would be a quick check of the front bodice darts with the tissue and then made the dart changes. I tested the bodice changes with the lining to confirm the fit.
Then I tested the skirt to the bodice and found I actually did need the full bodice darts and I've split them into 2 darts. I still don't acknowledge my body shape changes that I've gone through over the last 18 months. How utterly normal is that?
You can also see the extra back bodice width that will be adjusted on the fashion fabric.
Lots of previous reviews commented on the skirt fullness and as I'm short, I decided to slim down the skirt fullness, by 2". After testing the skirt, I kept the waist width and made the gathers into darts and slimmed the hem fullness. I will raise the skirt centre front seam by 1cm so it doesn't have a sway back tilt. I've already made the sway back adjustment on the back bodice at the waist.
The dress is going to be fully lined because of my eyelet fabric choice and I'll add black piping to the neckline and sleeves.
The first test dress is next, using the test lining and there are two fabric earmarked.

The main reason I chose the eyelet fabric is because I made an eyelet shirt a couple of years ago and I'm adjusting the side seams so I can wear the shirt this summer.

This huge purple tropical rayon print was from a visit to Vanuatu. It's soft and light weight.
This rose print is light weight and either fabric will give me the chance to play with placing the prints while testing the dress. And I would still line both fabric because they have a white. Mmmm.
Sew Busy Lizzy has already made a Peony with lemon eyelet fabric and I agree with her advice when you decide to make a Peony. She used piping on her lemon Peony and had bodice adjustments.

I do appreciate the effort of Sarah, Erin and Rochelle who are hosting this dress sewalong for Sew Colette 2.0. The Oolong and Roobios in my stash for future tests.

Sew Squirrel is an excellent way to buy indie patterns in Australia. I was very well looked after when the patterns I wanted weren't in stock but they became available within a week and she kept me in the loop!

Trench coats ready to wear
Here's the back of a Burberry Prorsum on The Outnet discounted to £805.87 if you don't have sewing time or are obsessed with trench coat detailing.
Here's the D&G purple version discounted to £513.33.
Now because I'm all over the shop, I'll list the useful Trench coat entries on the right hand side for your reference and mine. I'm no expert but I'll endeavour to make sure that you can always see useful trench coat posts whenever you can fit in sewing a trench.
Janine commented that when she made a trench without the detailing it looked like a lab coat especially if it's beige. I suppose if the fabric is bright it would still be a bright coat but the detailing, including sewing time, your energy and a clear head, will help your trench evolve. My SIL's Jalie city coat easily became a trench with the shoulder epaulets and a belt. Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

m5525 - shoulder detailing

Epaulets and shoulder detailing makes a trench more trench worthy. And the options for finishing these did delay construction time.  There are no buttons on these epaulets because they don't show up under the collar.
Then there's the question - add shoulder pads? or not? Thankfully this pattern has set in sleeves so I added shoulder pads but the padding wasn't the traditional shoulder pad shape.
I thought the shape similar to a sleeve head shape would work better because it's more likely that I'll be wearing this trench coat with work jackets that have shoulder pads. I thought I might look like I was becoming a gridiron football player, with 2 sets of shoulder pads by the time I put my trench coat on.
And I'm short so I'd look like the shortest gridiron player ever.

Oh, and I did add the right front shoulder detail although lots of trench coats have front detailing on both shoulders.
Go to Peggy Sagers webcast on Trench Coats Part II - Construction and Finishing for some good details on finishing your trench. She show you industry techniques.

These are the trenchcoat posts:
Trenchcoat sewing
Jalie 2680: city coat trench
McCalls 5525: single breast trench
McCalls 5525: a hood in the collar
McCalls 5525: pockets
McCalls 5525: shoulder detailing
McCalls 5525: bound buttonholes
McCalls 5525: belt carriers
McCalls 5525: finished

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Tiger socks and giveaway winner

Would you believe my littlest niece and nephew coloured these sock? They were over for lunch and in the afternoon they remembered that I'd promised them we would colour socks 'one day'. So Sunday was the day and these are their new tiger-striped socks.

Their Dad was impressed with how much they enjoyed what they were doing and were quietly working on getting the colours right. Now I've ironed the colours in but I'll let their Mum know the colour will run if they aren't washed in salted water. She's an artistic person so she'll be cool with that.

Our water bottles for cycling were used to gather the socks so the kids could colour them to their hearts content. The paint stains will remind me of the fun they had.

Before I see them again I'll get some t-shirts and marbles so we can do flowers or circle colours. I never thought they would care to colour fabric but it may have been the novelty and their boredom that motivated them to get involved.

Pattern Pyramid winner
If you've been following Pretty Grievances blog, you'll know she's been at vacationing in the promised land - Downtown Disney. She started this particular Pattern Pyramid pack.

In her honour I used the Disney hat I bought last year to pick the lucky winner of this Pattern Pyramid.

If you haven't read her blog, go and enjoy reading her Me Made Mickey posts.

The post I enjoyed the most, and I enjoy each post, is Me Made Mickey Day 3. Adults should be allowed to have fun dressing up at Disney during Halloween. The little ones do this every day at Disney.

And the Pattern Pyramid winner is...

the material lady

Yes Kim, the Pattern Pyramid parcel is ready to head to the UK next!

All going well, customs will let this jet-setting pack of patterns through to you in a jiffy. So this parcel started in the States, has been Down Under and will head off to Brittania sometime this week. Send me an email and I'll get this through the post as soon as possible.

Trench M5525
This weekend I tackled bound buttonholes (a learning experience) so I'll post up some of the tricky stages in between other sewing projects, so you don't get trench coat bored.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

M5525 - da hood

The Minoru jacket had a hood in the collar so I've taken the hood pattern to use it on this trench. Why not read the sewalong instructions that Tasia has done? I've lined this version with red binding.
The red lining was used to prepare the welt / zip opening. Tasia has a more impressive and professional version on preparing a zipper opening on her blog.
Here's the outside collar band look, before applying it to the collar and shoulder. 
Guess what? The collar band isn't wide enough to house the hood. And the hood covers the back shoulder detailing. I don't like the hood on this trench, so the hood got the flick.
I will use this hood again, but with a wider collar band. I'm happy that I applied the hood to the collar and really happy that it's not on this trench coat. It just doesn't work with a hood but it could work for you.

Trench coat inspiration
TJ of The Perfect Nose is always way ahead when it comes to researching most things in life like trench coat styles. When I was stuck in a glove rut, she sent me a gloves Thread article right when I needed a nudge along. Well she's done it again for anyone who's contemplating trench styles that aren't from the big 4 sewing pattern companies.

We tweeted last week about McCalls 5525 being too big for her. That's where the big 4 sewing patterns let some of us down who are busting to sew, but need a pattern that generally fits with a few adjustments.  TJ has listed Patrone, Burda and Knipmode versions you'll drool over.

Renata is in the middle of making a Burda trench but she's rethinking a few construction issues.

That's why I've been trawling to other trench options and finishing. And I have a habit of checking out what's available online, again for detailing ideas.
Now that I've been making a trench, I've enjoyed doing more research into indie pattern coats.

Roobeedoo has an addiction to Deer and Doe patterns and they have a lovely transeasonal jacket. The Poppy jacket. This is very tempting because of the fit and design lines.

This pattern is rated intermediate however, the style is so feminine it's very tempting to want to try. I can't read French so I love using Google translate on their website.

I do like the Lady Grey too by Colette patterns.

These are the trenchcoat posts:
Trenchcoat sewing
Jalie 2680: city coat trench
McCalls 5525: single breast trench
McCalls 5525: a hood in the collar
McCalls 5525: pockets
McCalls 5525: shoulder detailing
McCalls 5525: bound buttonholes
McCalls 5525: belt carriers
McCalls 5525: finished

Thank you award

Thank youse for commenting!

The simple purpose of this new blog award is simply to thank the lovely people who take the time to comment on your blog, which is nice since who doesn't love and utterly adore to receive supportive comments? Carolyn - this so cool. Thanks for this cute award.
There is no requirement to do anything like list stuff about yourself, just to pass it on to the last nine bloggers to comment on your this award goes to the first nine on my previous post. It's cute.

Faye Lewis
The Perfect Nose

Thank you for taking the time to follow and chat along the way. I'm always blown away to see that you're interested in what I'm sewing.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Single breasted trench - M5525

This pattern has all the bells and whistles for a trench coat, but I really wanted a single breasted version. I'm making View E and it will have lots of detailing, even though I'm probably a touch too short to carry it off.
So I folded out the excess from the centre front on the centre front piece and the collar. 
I've also used this purple fabric because it's a fabulous colour and I've used red trim, so that means red top stitching - is that too much? Most of the trench will remain purple. I'll leave the leftover cream snakeskin trim for another time. Mmmm.
DH gave me the obligatory nod to use red lining. I think he's getting used to the decision making side of sewing. Or is he just being polite. Maybe both :)

What I will need is the patience for making each trench bit, so this trench might take a while to complete.

I do have a couple of knit dresses in the wings as a distraction, or to keep me motivated.
Note to self: do not rush this coat!

I did cut out a light interfacing for each piece of this coat. It's a fairly soft fabric and I'd like to make sure this trench keeps its shape over time. Is that being pedantic?
Why is it when you're working on a project, you see it everywhere. I've seen a yellow trench used here at Cardigan empire from a post about when to spend and when to splurge.

These are the trenchcoat posts:
Trenchcoat sewing
Jalie 2680: city coat trench
McCalls 5525: single breast trench
McCalls 5525: a hood in the collar
McCalls 5525: pockets
McCalls 5525: shoulder detailing
McCalls 5525: bound buttonholes
McCalls 5525: belt carriers
McCalls 5525: finished

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Pattern Pyramid giveaway

Pretty grievances ran a Pattern Pyramid and my name was drawn out of the hat. Thank you for running this giveaway Ann. From the stash below, the bottom 4 patterns are definitely ones that I love and I'm thinking of keeping 2 Butterick 5532 and Simplicity 1473 and adding in 3. Prue Acton is the Butterick 5178 designer. What a blast from the past! Prue will stay in the pile for another wild ride with Australia Post.

These are the deposit patterns. The cape is just in case this pile is sent North again. Mmm.
Karen from Did you make that? started this initiative and I know this in one that maybe one or two of you might be participate in. This pattern pile started by Ann was in honour of Karen's initiative.
  1. Anyone, anywhere can enter the giveaway by posting a comment below by midnight Friday 19 October AND you must have an active blog.
  2. I will randomly select a winner.
  3. I will post this pack to the winner.
  4. Here's the difference. Like poker you can pick any number of patterns and replace them with any number of patterns. I hope you can keep it interesting for the sewing community. Each winner will then host their own giveaway. They will randomly select a winner, post the remaining patterns to that Person C. Person C will pick a pattern for themselves, host their own giveaway and post the remaining patterns to the winner, Person D. Person D will…
Karen and Ann want to help global sewing and spreading the sewing love by sharing lots of patterns and we all can make something from this common pattern pool. Ann has supplied a travel journal so please add your entry into the pile's journal. And the hanky can continue on too. Yes. They might have the sniffles en-route!

Trench update
Below is a pic from DN with her Mum wearing her new trench. As always, we chatted on the phone for at least half an hour or more and she loves the coat including the trench detailing. It's a bit roomy and the sleeves need a bit of tapering and shortening, so I'll tackle this when we catch up next week.

She loves this version with the trench detailing and we've agreed the formal version will be more classic - less trench-like, so I'm happy with that outcome. The extra room I added in the centre front will definitely go:) She does love the crinkly fabric, the belt, the epaulets, linings. See why we can talk for ages?

Janine from Interrupted Sutures asked if I'll be making one of these for me. That's a good question because I did buy 7m of the fabric for $10. I'll wait to see if this fabric suits the littlest DN because she has similar colouring and I promised to make her a coat for winter next year. You'll soon see I'm working M5525 with the blue purple fabric. The fabric I'm using is sitting behind the Vogue deposit pattern.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Trench #1 - Jalie city coat:2680

This week is SIL's b'day so even though we agreed that I'd take my time making her coat, I finished it this weekend. Why the rush? You see I started thinking about what to get her for a present. Then after a head slap moment and  I realised that I could finish the toile coat so she could test the coat.

I've been wanting to make up this coat for at least 2 years and so SIL has the collar version and this will be her formal coat version.

The fabric was from Tessutis - 7m for $10 - so I thought there was little risk of this toile not working. Famous last words.

Problem #1:
I should have read the instructions. This pattern is for slight stretch fabrics. Oh well, I've made the seam allowances 1.5cm instead of the standard 1cm seam allowance. :)

I was going to add a tiger print mesh lining but I wasn't sure what my SIL style was, so I've used a plain coffee colour. When I phoned her after choosing the lining, she agreed that while most people love wild linings, she preferred plain lining. She might change her mind when I find a suitable wild lining option.

Problem #2
Again, I didn't read there's no lining to this jacket. So I've cut out 2 back yokes in the fashion fabric; roughly drafted a front lining piece; added 2cm to the centre back seam. This should solve this problem.

Problem #3
I didn't take down her waist measurement. I took every other measurement including upper arm width and checked out her basic shape without commenting, but not the waist measurement. I figured, she has a defined waist and she wants to camouflage her tummy so I've added room in the centre front piece. But to be honest, we were too busy catching up and talking dress styles. We're just like that when we get the chance to catch up :) Here's what I mean. I called her to check on her waist measurement and 1 hour later I got off the phone. Below is the centre front adjustment.

The three of us, that's Sharon, Renata and I met us at ASG yesterday and I saw the two stylish Burda trench coat versions that Sharon and Renata are working on. You'll love them. Sharon also brought a fabulous RTW trench that she's going to use as a basis for her trench coat detailing. Her RTW trench had a hood in the collar and we've both got the Minoru hood collar patterns and instructions so you'll see this in our trenches.
The other trench options that some of you are doing are going to be great to see.  No pressure. Please feel free to keep watching what we're up to with our trench coats because if you decide to make a trench, at least you'll feel like you've already made one after reading our posts. The photo set of this coat is on my flickr account.
So on this test trench, I've used:
- Tessutis's sale fabric that doesn't iron flat
- Sunsilky lining
- Buttons from
- Epaulets, belt and belt carriers are from McCalls 5525
- A buckle from Stitches in time antiques in the States that I bought at SewExpo last year.
I took a stack of photos as I was making this test trench that you can have a closer look at.
Below is a view of the lining I added.

The Jalie coat length is the same as the pattern. Since finishing this version, I've taken 3 inches off the top sleeve length pieces so it's the right sleeve length but also to have the sleeve detailing is closer to the elbow.

DN wore the coat and started twirling in it. That might mean she likes it too. They share clothes some times but I knew this. DN owes me a photo or two...
I'll have better photos with the next version because I will be using contrasting colours so that means mini construction explanations.

Now to go for a bike ride and then start on McCalls 5525. These are the trenchcoat posts:
Trenchcoat sewing
Jalie 2680: city coat trench
McCalls 5525: single breast trench
McCalls 5525: a hood in the collar
McCalls 5525: pockets
McCalls 5525: shoulder detailing
McCalls 5525: bound buttonholes
McCalls 5525: belt carriers
McCalls 5525: finished


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