Sunday, 28 June 2015

Croc denim & furniture spray

At least five years ago I bought this croc-resin stretch woven denim locally with a zipper jacket in mind. And here it is.
Whoops. 
Before I show you the fabric, let me show you my sewing tools of choice. 
I used lots of furniture spray, a teflon foot, a denim needle and wonderclips to sew the fabric.
You can see the teflon foot and wonder clips used on the collar.
You can't smell the 'Mr Sheen' used to help the fabric flow and be sewn easily.
My fingers ached trying to pin this fabric together, so wonderclips made sewing easier.
McCalls 4596 jacket. I first made this pattern up in 2008.
Here's a close up view of the collar and lining. The fabric has some stretch which was both good and bad. The slight fabric stretch is basically good once it's made up and you wear it.
However I did use pins to get the sleeve in so the puckers at the shoulder line look like small even pleats. I trimmed the seam allowances everywhere I could for better shaping.
I used the denim fabric on the pocket at the jacket seam.
Here's the side view so you can see the final close up.

The back shaping is nothing to look at on the hanger. When I saw this photo I realised the lining in the right sleeve was too short, so I unpicked it and handsewed the sleeve lining in place, and the sleeve now hangs 'naturally'.

Why did I make this jacket now?

I wanted a wild-looking jacket to go with my highland inspired dress but it was so cold on the day, I ended up wearing a coat instead.
The back shoulder width gives me room to move and it's a good layering piece.
I can safely say this jacket is great for travel.
This was my go-to jacket in Canberra this weekend for CBR Frocktails. Fab weekend ladies!

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Plaid fad

You can guess why I like plaid fabrics and as it's cold I've made this little red number.
Here's how I styled this new plaid skirt for work. The plaid is a dark red and it has taupe and green in it. I used my basic skirt pattern McCalls 9356 for the shaping.
This is a post construction pic to show the centre waistband lines matching across the centre back zipper and across the side seams.
This shows the other side seam match across the width and along the inverted pleat.
My guess is this fabric is poly and I bought 3 metres of it on ebay two years ago. The weave is fairly loose so I've reinforced the pleats at the top. I've matched the green stripe on the inside of these pleats. 
Because the front inverted pleats let me walk, I didn't bother with a pleat at the back. I've fully lined this skirt so it doesn't pill on the inside.
Now I'm tossing up to use the rest of this fabric on a Vivienne Westwood plaid jacket. It's just an idea for now but it will certainly need a lot of thought and the jacket would need a bit of shaping at the waist.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Bronze biker jacket

Pauline's quart coat can be made into a biker jacket as she's shown here. So Sylvia at Pitt Trading was happy to provide what I needed to make a 'glossy' biker jacket and skirt.
Pauline's biker jacket version is cut 4"/10cm below the waistline. I initially through 8"/20cm would work and then I rejigged the jacket body pieces to 6"/15cm. It's Winter and I wanted a bit of hip coverage but I decided to go with the shorter version instead.

Susan of measuretwicecutonce chose the lining colour.

The pocket pieces were adjusted so there's a 2.5cm band of the fashion fabric used at the jacket seam and then the lining for the rest of the pocket bag.

No shoulder epaulets or back waist epaulet this time. 


Sleeve seam prep front
Close up, this fabric has a repeat that this took a bit of time to make sure I cut each piece out so the fabric repeat remained fluid across the jacket.
Sleeve seam reinforcement for the zipper
After working on my brother's RTW formal jacket sleeve, I have no guilt using iron-on interfacings or hemming tape. That's what's used within the industry.
Close up of the metal zipper in the sleeve seam line.
Pitt Trading got bags of these great metal zippers in recently so I was able to pick up these matching metal zippers with black teeth and lovely zipper pulls. They're still sorting these zippers out and they have them in a few colours.

During the construction process I got really annoyed with the time this jacket was taking me to make. Not a real 'dummy spit' but close. 
You see, by the time I sewed in the collar, sleeves and zipper, I just wanted to wear the jacket 'pronto'. Ok, that sounds like a dummy spit but I'm glad I put the effort into getting the dimensions right.
So after a night's rest, in the morning I did a bunch of steam pressing, waxed threads for hand sewing, relaxed and got back into it. Did I say that I sew during the week before and after work? I'm a morning person:)
I've used bias binding on the coat hook and on the hems so the metallic threads didn't unravel during wear.
A close up of the exposed zipper on the front of the skirt.
The fabric is a modern brocade and it's easy to match up. I've used McCalls 9356 for the skirt.
Thanks Pauline again for the Quart coat pattern. Your biker jacket tute was easy to follow.

Thanks again to Pitt Trading for the fabric, lining, zippers and Rasant thread. Rasant thread is new to me so I was really pleased with how this thread held during machine and hand sewing.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

#outlander fangirl pic

Graham McTavish from #Outlander #nicebloke
I still can't believe I got a pic taken with Graham McTavish (he plays Dougal McKenzie in Outlander) today. 
- Tall guy. 
- Lovely bloke. 
- Happy to retake the pic. 
- I'm still smiling.

The 'black watch' tartan underneath the pic is a new Winter skirt. More about that soon.
I decided to wear my Gathering inspired dress. For now, it's a cold, rainy Sunday and I'm still grinning from ear to ear.

Supernova had lots of Superstar guests, even 3 of the Brady kids (Peter, Bobby and Cindy).

#happyfangirl - The End -

Sunday, 14 June 2015

It worked:) #phew

Creating clothes is what I do. Altering RTW is not, especially if it's a formal mens jacket. But I've done it #phew.

As the eternal pushover, I said yes to extending the sleeves on a formal jacket for my 'little brother'. I could not have completed this alteration without the style and sewing advice of those very able sewing men: Joost of make my pattern and Thomas sewingdude. Thank you both for all your advice last week. 

First attempt: moved the top button down.
On the left is the original sleeve. The right is the first attempt at adjusting the sleeve. 

Joost advised me to move the top button down after lengthening the sleeve. When I took this pic, I then decided to move another button down so the button placement matched/was closer to the new sleeve length.

What I discovered

The buttonholes are sewn and not cut, making moving the buttons easy. 
Here's the original insides showing the buttons stitching.
This jacket had a layer of armoweft under the buttonhole stitching.
A piece of fusing is used to keep the lining and sleeve seams together.


Here's the stitching for the entry point on the sleeve lining. The lining pocket inside the jacket is really cute.
Both sleeve linings had an entry point. The stitching was in a contrast colour and easy to undo. So I was able to unpick the sleeve without affecting the sleeve seams.

The sleeve corner had a row of handstitching so I made sure I did a row of hand stitching to keep the sleeve looking RTW.

Reattaching the lining to the jacket sleeve

Stash benefit

I didn't have exactly the same fabric at home, but I did have a similar dark grey piece to use on the inside of the sleeve. There is a 1/2cm fold on the inside where I joined the stash fabric to the jacket fabric. 
Finished sleeves; to be professionally pressed.
The verdict
My little brother wore his jacket last night to a formal event. He was really pleased the sleeves were at the right length for him. He didn't feel at all self conscious wearing his re-engineered jacket and had a great night with the 'missus' while we babysat the kids. They both beat us at Xbox and 'Game of life' in a big way.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Jacket fav: Vogue 8931

Finally. I found a jacket style I like and a pattern I have already fitted (Vogue 8931) for this month's Minerva Crafts project. This French crepe and buttons worked together well. The fabric is soft, resilient and was a confidence builder. 
These buttons in two different sizes take this jacket from ordinary to being 'just a bit different'. My idea was to take 'ordinary' navy to a more interesting look.
My wardrobe plan is to have a work jacket for this dress too.
The purple jacket gets worn regularly in the office and the shape has held up really well. I've worn this jacket for over a year so I know the fit works. This time I've made the 3-button version with the buttons 'on show' and adding 'real' pockets. I went for a riding jacket style.

The jacket

So here's the new jacket with my highland inspired dress looking 'highland-like'. Ok, I'll stop smiling now.
Here's how the new jacket looks up close and I've blued up the colour so you can see the contrasts.
I still can't believe my piping worked. It really did.
I always get my jackets and coats professionally pressed once they're made.

Here are the main areas where a deep breath and a calm atmosphere helped me along the way.

Pockets

I used the pocket pieces from Vogue 8732, because that's what I had available to me. The welts were made thinner.
I've used a contrasting thread to guide my sewing.

 Here's the underside that I have to contend with.


Below is the corner pocket stitching that keeps the pocket square.
I call these two happy smiling pockets.

Facing detailing

This is something I enjoy doing as my signature detailing.
 I also felt I needed to use the navy ribbon I had order for the highland dress but didn't use.

Collar notches

Now this isn't the collar technique I used. I followed the instructions and below is my checking to make sure they matched.

Sleeves

I don't usually handstitch along the sleeve stitching line but this time I did to make sure the sleeve was puckerless. This crepe is beautiful and very pliable.

Buttonholes

These are the markings I made to make sure the buttonholes all started and finished in the same place.

I love these buttons.
So you could say I love this jacket style and it goes with a few pieces I already have in my wardrobe. I could use this jacket as a riding jacket, and I'll show you what I mean in July.

Thanks again to Minerva Crafts for supplying everything to make this riding jacket.
Now this jacket is a work staple.

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