Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Vogue 8754 and Vogue vintage hybrid Car Coat

I hardly ever enter competitions.

Because, dear Reader - Hello by the way - I am useless at it. I have figured out that deadline driven pursuits tend to take the fun out of sewing for me as I rarely finish in time and that is because I rarely start on time! I enjoy thinking about what I'm going to make and waiting for inspiration to strike, usually later than it strikes everyone else! Having said that, a few days ago I felt inspired by a contest at Pattern Review called Bargainista Fashionista. The idea is to knock off a RTW item and make it up then figure out how much money you've saved.

I decided to knock off a RTW jacket but when it took me two days to make a frankenpattern from two muslins and another day to perfect the fit and start cutting out, I realized I had no chance to make a tailored garment within the time frame (tomorrow!) so ..I'll take my time!

Do go over to PR and vote, there are some wonderful entries, silk skirts, evening dresses, biker jackets made for a fraction of the comparative RTW price and who doesn't like saving on RTW prices?

This is the garment I am knocking off the inspiration piece.

It is from the Australian label Country Road. I tried it on and loved it but none of the sizes fitted me properly. I liked the slightly oversized look, sort of boyfriend-jackety.  Just imagine the model 25cm shorter...

I had some black and white flecked wool in the stash, and a pattern with a low lapel.
I ended up combining these two patterns.

Originally I was just going to go with Vogue 9140, on the right, trimmed down but when I made up a muslin..oh my. I gave up on trying to modify the cocoon shape. Look at that shoulder!

The back's even worse.

Lunatic asylum chic. What I did love though is the collar and how it sits through the neck and shoulder. I could use that. I rifled through my pattern stash for a simple body to meld it to and remembered V8754, which I reviewed on PR here

I spent quite a while combining the shell of V8754 and widened the shoulders a bit to keep the idea of the original, and modifying the sleeves and the front.

The muslin from my new pattern looks like this.

Ouch, pins!

Photographed in the stages of pinning, unpicking, more pinning. When I was happy with my modified and re-modified pattern I could start cutting.

Edit:  The muslins are from old curtain lining (cream) or recycled unloved stash material (cheap scratchy chambray). The coat material, lining and much of the interlining is from the stash. I did buy interfacing for the collar, back facing and front facing. I am still stash busting, trying not to buy more than I can sew.  My aim is ONE tub of fabric in the 'to do' queue and to only buy good quality material.

I will have to stabilize everything. The fabric, while being soft and lovely, is a shape shifter if left to it's own devices.

BTW I am going to put wide slanted welt pockets in the fronts and make a black lining.

In the middle of all this mental pattern wrangling I got distracted and downloaded the Grainline Archer shirt pattern that has been a hit for a few years. I told you I take inspiration long after everyone else but ..oh well, it's not as if I don't have clothes!

Further edit:  I should have used recycled paper that I actually have but forgot about. It's softer and grey, easier to fold and store than the hard bright shiny stuff. Next time!

Happy Sewing,

Monday, 21 April 2014

The winner of the April Give away is...

Hello Ladies,

Another month has sped by. I am doing the pattern give away all year and enjoying it but it seems that as soon as I get one month's package posted off I am announcing the next. It all goes zoom zoom. I don't know how people who blog a (insert topic here) of the day do it.

Anyway the winner for April is the stunning Angela The Creative Diva.
Send me an email, it's under my profile.

The patterns will soon be flying to their new home.


Sunday, 20 April 2014

Butterick Mock Wrap Dress B5873

Firstly Happy Easter to all,

In the midst of all the things that Easter entails, I have been sewing. Just before Easter I made Butterick B5873, a 'See and Sew' mock wrap with a little collar and belt. The collar is not my style so I left it off and straightened the neck edges where they extend to accommodate the collar at the front. This ended up lowering the neck at the front a little and made the neck floppy so I compromised by finishing off the entire neck edge with a self strip 4cm wide folded over lengthwise and serged on to make a casing for elastic. I put 1 cm wide elastic through just to hold it firm. Figure out how long to make the casing and also the elastic by measuring the finished neckline length from the pattern pieces. Then allow an extra inch to poke out when you start off the seam. It ends up hardly gathered at all but it makes the neckline sit exactly how I want. The ends are trimmed, the elastic stay stitched then the side seams sewn up as instructed.

The material is a slinky viscose from Pitt Trading  at Ramsgate. The shop is on the other side of the city from me so I don't get there often and I tend to forget what a beautiful selection of fabrics they have. It is an independent store in the old style featuring quality over quantity and genuine service. I couldn't help noticing that they have fabrics in a fair few of this season's colours. Pantone Site

I looked at fuschia velvet  hmmm but I was there to buy black viscose to make more Style Arc Elle pants for my DD, which I did. They've have already been made and gratefully recieved. Did I manage to get photos of her in them? No...

Anyway, I reasoned that hot pink velvet even made up as the jacket I envisaged would just sit in my wardrobe so I bought this multi colour jungly print for myself. It was near the door and leapt into my hands. Wearing a lot of colours at once is more 'me' than selecting just one.

 skinny pre Easter festivities shot ...
not so svelte today ;)

The pattern is fairly easy but working with the slippery viscose itself was hard. Thank goodness for my serger, and for the walking foot. 

I like this pattern for the raglan sleeves, the ease of construction, the gathers on the inside ends of the sleeves. The dress is not going to flop open when one sits down. I dare say it would make up better in a less slippery material like the matte jersey or cotton knits recommended. One of these days I will take heed of the back of the pattern envelope when choosing material day.

p.s Yes I went mad and cut off all my hair. Should have done it in summer. 

Stay well,


Thursday, 10 April 2014

How to access Burdastyle magazine archives

Dear Sewists,

I have Burdastyle magazines dating back to 2002 which is when I first started buying them and they were known as Burda world of fashion. I don't keep all the magazines, just favourtie ones and even now I rarely subscribe but just buy the odd one here and there. However the ones I do keep have favourite styles that I like to revisit. Basic lines can be updated with contemporary details. In fact some whole issues feel like deja vu. But when they get it right, they get it right..the perfect pencil skirt, a really good T shirt, a classic coat are all among my Burda favourites.

How to access line drawings and original photos of old issues online? I have found a way! The Burdastyle Russian site is one of the best out there because it is hugely popular in Russia. Now, this is an open secret in the sewing community but navigating the site is tricky unless you are fluent in written Russian.

Enter Google Translate. I found a way to get pages translated when I was looking for archival line drawings from 2006.

Google burdastyle ru link and the first site that comes up is the Russian burdastyle website
Clink on the 'translate this page' part within that link and you end up here
Click on the 'archive' button which is situated at the top and it brings you here

The archives at this time go back to 2004. Click on the appropriate year and search for your garment pattern number and right click your image and save to desktop. Note:  You can only get the line drawings of the individual patterns featured at the bottom of each issue's page. Link the image to your blog from blogger when writing a post by clicking the  'photos' icon then choosing 'desktop' from your menu that comes up, then on the individual photo. Because they are from the site they are already resized for the web.

Unfortunately, it is not every model from every issue, only the ones featured when you scroll down to the bottom of the issue's page.

For example this is the line drawings and one of the photos for January 2006 skirt pattern 114 and shirt 112

My daughter asked me to make a simplified pull on version of the skirt for work out of black viscose, above knee length, without pockets and a wide elastic waistband.

Photos lightened to show seam detail

Burdastyle 1-2006-114

The only option at the moment for pre-2004 issues is to take photographs yourself then upload them, but for the others it's nice to be able to get the originals.

I hope this is helpful,


Sunday, 6 April 2014

Hollywood, Bollywood and Jodhpurs - It's the April Give away!

Hello Dahlings,

Once again I have trawled the bulging pattern stash and come up with three patterns to share with you, lucky reader.

The first is Vogue Vintage 2561, a reproduction of a 1952 design original. It is in sizes 12,14,16 a full skirted sundress and darted peplum over-blouse with a little collar. The pattern is one of my charity shop finds...I loved the illustration. The pattern is complete but the pieces for the dress have been cut out to size 16. The blouse is intact.

Very Audrey Hepburn on a vespa...

The second is Butterick B4915, a cocktail dress with a crossover front and back bodice and very gathered skirt. Uncut, unused, size 14-16-18-20

Go wild with the fabric and bollywood it!

The next pattern is also untouched and from the long defunct New Look pattern house, 6459 Jodhpur style trousers, size 8- 18. Every now and then these type of pants have a fashion style moment. Great for if you ride horses. Seriously though, they have an interesting curved panel on the inner leg, pockets, pleats. They would look good on the right person that could make them look retro-ironic.

Tally Ho chums!

If you want to be in the draw mention it in your comment. All three patterns will go to the one person. The winner will be announced on April 21st.


Saturday, 5 April 2014

Rosie Take 2

Hello People,

A little update on Style Arc Rosie. I did make it again in rayon crepe. I had to re-instate the back seam because crepe of any sort has more give than cotton. I lowered curve of the front horizontal seam a bit more and narrowed the sides of the mid front panel a bit. You know it occurred to me that what I am doing is a reverse sway back adjustment, lowering the front instead of raising the back. Anyhow it worked. Here's a busy day sunset shot.

I was on the hunt for silk crepe but only found this rayon. This top really needs something better. It is going in my maybe file because right now I have other things to do including the April giveaway. Coming soon!

Happy Sunday,