EuroCup 2016: Team Portual Bomber Jacket

Back in the fall of 2015, I participated in the 2015 PR Sewing Bee.  The last challenge was making an Olympic team uniform, and this was part of my submission.  I thought it would be fun to blog it now that Portugal is playing in the EuroCup semi-finals today.

I made the skirt, trousers and top as blogged in my previous post.  This is the first bomber jacket I’ve made, and I thought it would be fun to pull out all the red silk and linen scraps in my stash to make up this John Richmond bomber-style top from Burda September 2013.  And it is not the most simple with a gazillion pieces, but it worked perfectly with all my little pieces of red.

Burda 09-2013-130I used red linen from my jumpsuit for the front bands and collar; a cotton-silk voile for the lower jacket, upper front and sleeves; and a rayon plisse (a double-layered fabric where the pleated fabric is loosely attached to a flat back) for shoulder and side constrast sections. The centre back panel and elasticated sleeve and bottom bands are made from silk taffeta.  Here’s the front. You can see the contrasting fabrics with the piping.  The single welt pockets are silk taffeta, too.

Burda 09-2013-130 piped

Here’s the back view.

Burda 09-2013-130 back

The sleeves have a pleating detail, which is just beautiful.  I made the lining for the sleeves separately instead of pleating all layers together as one.

Burda 09-2013-130 sleeves

I did a double row of piping around each section using gold and green silk shantung.  Labourious, tedious, and quite satisfying, for sure, once it was done.  This is a close-up of the back shoulder (from L, clockwise:  silk taffeta, rayon plisse, silk-cotton voile).

Burda 09-2013-130 piping

I’m not a big bomber jacket fan, but this is so luxurious to wear, and doesn’t advertise it’s patriotism too loudly, which suits me.  Back view, waving my flag.

Burda 09-2013-130 and 02-2006-137

Here’s the interior. I fully lined the jacket.  The body and sleeve linings were sewn as separate pieces.  I put the sleeve lining/fashion fabrics together, added the sleeve elasticated cuffs, and then stitched the sleeves to the jacket body.  The armscyes are bound with gold and green silk shantung.  The facings are linen.

Burda 09-2013-130 interior

Here’s a side view.

Burda 09-2013-130 side

If Portugal wins this round, we’ll be downtown at my MIL’s in Little Portugal on July 10th, cheering frantically for them to win.  If they don’t, I have some pieces to wear when I feel a bit Portuguese.  🙂

Bandage Bodice Gown

Here are the promised pictures of the finished bandage bodice dress.  dress 3

Here’s a close up of the layered elastic forming the bodice.

prom dress 2

And another one almost showing the full length skirt.  It did hang rather nicely despite the unusual combination of heavy polyester jersey lining and thin polyester crepe fashion fabric.

prom dress 1

I cannot tell you how glad I am this unusual request (experiment) turned out so well.  I must say, it suited the client to a ‘T’.  She was pleased, and I’m sure will get a lot of wear from it once I hem it to be worn with flats.

Stay tuned for the next graduation commission in yellows and pinks.

It’s WDS Day!

Happy World Down Syndrome Day, everyone! Down Syndrome (also called Trisomy 21) is caused by a third 21st chromosome, so we celebrate it on March 21st.

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Excitement in my sewing room

Imagine!My serger gave up it’s ghost last week, and I am in the throes of costume making.  The last big PR Sewing Bee project was made with just my regular sewing machine, zigzagging all the seams instead of serging them.  But today, I just felt desperate at the thought of zigzagging all those costume seams when what I really would like is properly serged seams.So I took my faithful old White Superlock into Joe, who has been keeping my machines healthy for the last 25 years.  He has gently suggested trading in my old serger for a new one every time I’ve seen him for the last five or six years.  Well, look what came home with me today!

new sergerAnd now I can happily get going on this little gem for DD2.  Can you guess what it’s going to be?costume

Drop Dead Buttonholes

These make-me-drool buttonholes arrived in my mailbox this morning from the blog Made by Hand. They made my jaw drop.

Purging

So I finally got around to purging my closet the other day.  It’s been gnawing at the back of my mind for a few months, mostly… well, because I’ve expanded slightly, and things that should be wearable, aren’t.  It felt good to sort through everything and make some decisions.  Ruthless decisions, I might add.  Garments were sorted into “doesn’t-fit-and-I don’t-care” for giving away; “doesn’t-fit-but-it-may-before-I-die-so-I’ll-keep-it-because-I-really-like-it”; and “alterations required”.

This is my “keep” pile.keepI confess to never wearing two of the three silk blouses in this pile.  But I like them, and maybe they’ll be wanted someday.  Most of what’s in this pile has been blogged in the previous couple of years.  But it doesn’t fit either my lifestyle or me these days, so it’s going into storage.  I just can’t part with garments that I’m proud of from a construction point of view.  Perhaps they’ll be used again in future….

This is the “alteration” pile.  Only six garments made it into this lot.

alter pileI can’t part with Liberty fabrics, so I’ll be changing up the ‘Bea’ dress on the left.  It’s got about 2 yards of fabric in the skirt, so I’m sure to remake it into something useful.  The ‘Hurren’ dress still fits, surprisingly.  I didn’t wear this at all last year, but, again, it’s Liberty, and I just can’t bear to part with it!  I’ll probably shorten it by 3 inches and change up the sash/belt.  The batik dress… I’m so in love with the fabric that I must find a way to use it again, albeit a small amount (about 1 yard total).  And on the right is the McCardell dress. I intend to remake the skirt, which has about 2 yards of fabric in it, again. The dirndl look isn’t flattering anymore. And two silk blouses that need a remake or slight tweaking.  Again, it’s the fabric that’s calling to me….

I sent one very large bag out of the house with no regrets.  I’m strangely exuberant about all this sorting.  The doesn’t-fit collection has been making me miserable for a long time, knowing the garments don’t suit lifestyle or me right now, and it feels good to get them out of sight (and mind) and open up some space for new garments.  It also gives me ‘permission’ of a sort to add to my wardrobe, something with which I struggle, since I really am trying to be driven by necessity for the most part, not want, in my effort to be economically and (I like to think) globally mindful…. in my own small way.

Don’t get me wrong!  I love to dress up and “feel oh, so pretty”, but seriously…. there’s not a place to go. It brings to mind a series of billboards from about a decade ago here in my local city, for one of the larger malls.  They consisted of a young mom all dolled up perfectly in pretty dresses, makeup and stilettos, cleaning a toilet, crawling on the floor after a toddler and changing the oil in her car.   As much as I’d like to dress like the ladies who lunch all day, it’s completely impractical and unnecessary for my lifestyle.  It’s taken a long time to let go of wanting to dress up all the time.  I have always been the overdressed person at “______________” (pick a function), because I like dressing up.  And I confess to finding some kinds of materialistic excess pretty and attractive (who doesn’t like a shoe collection? the latest makeup look? another bag?) but very irresponsible, and, (finally) quite unnecessary.  I don’t need a new wardrobe every season.  I love to build clothes that will last, not wear out or be dated in 5 years.  But this means collecting if I’m going to keep sewing, and my conscience bugs me about what it calls ‘hoarding’ sometimes.closet

So…. all that to say, I’m happy with the holes in my wardrobe!  Between my rather empty closet and Me-Made-May ’15, I’d say there’s plenty of incentive to shop my stash and get sewing me-mades that fit both me and my life.

*If you’d like to join in, click on the image above.  It’s linked to the sign-up post over at SoZoWhatDoYouKnow.

Tag: You’re It!

Vogue 8656 top, yoga pants and an old sweater

Well, peeps, I’ve been tagged by the wonderfully inspiring Mrs. Mole in the current game of Blog Hop.  Thank you muchly, Mrs. Mole.  And to plunge right in….

Why do I write?

Well, I’m an introvert’s introvert, so writing is a safe way to express myself, I guess.  Saves me from all that anxiety and energy expenditure required for smiling and being social.  I can tuck myself into a corner and type and edit to my heart’s content and never once have to think about my facial expression.  And I get to write about the projects I’m happy with, or I hate, or pattern instructions that frustrate me, and I get to edit.  Editing is important, because I often want to edit what I say, but by then it’s too late.  Writing gives me the chance to really say what I mean.  If I’m motivated to, of course.  And after I edit it.

What am I working on?

A spidery lace overdress for DD1 from Burda February 2014. We haven’t decided on the t-shirt dress fabric (or if we’ll bother with it). No.  It’s not for a celebration of dead scary things this Friday, October 31st.  This is a fashion statement dress that she will wear out to dinner.123_0214_b_large

How does my blog differ from other sewing blogs?

Um, honesty maybe?  And copious amounts of ordinariness? There’s not a lot of people in my life who sew at the level I do, and this blog (and PR and BurdaStyle) is a way to get feedback from others who know when fabric is off-grain or can interpret those darned drag lines that a non-sewist would never see, even if they hit them over the head and restricted every move they wanted to make.  I love to sew. I love working with needles and thread and embroidery (don’t do enough anymore).  I love fabric.  MMM14 Day 30I almost always do waaaay more imaginary sewing than real (frustrating, but true… especially at night).  So I’ll blog my makes and dreams, and share my failures because everything I sew is not perfect, and, quite frankly, nothing is more off-putting than a blog where everything is photographed perfectly and made perfectly and there’s nary an error to be seen.  I have Vogue magazine for that kind of thing if I want it.  My sewing blog is a hobby, period.  I’m not ever going to market my blog, garner newspaper and media praise or sign up affiliates or hope to have this earmarked as a trendy fashionista-sewista blog.  This is my way of taking pictures to check fit and document what I’ve made and connect with others in the sewing community.  From the safety of my sewing room, of course.  🙂

What is my writing process?

True to my character, my process is as variable as the project.  Sometimes stream-of-consciousness – particularly if I have a proverbial bee in my bonnet about something or other and can’t get my thoughts out fast enough. Sometimes each sentence is edited within an inch of it’s punctuation because I don’t know WHAT to say about a project, and I’m hoping editing will provide inspiration.  Mostly I’ll take pictures and then hem and haw away about what to say about them, but a picture is worth 1000 words, right?IMG_2392

And now to pass on the baton:  I’d like to nominate Allison because I love seeing her makes, and often times I’ll laugh because she’ll have sewn and blogged a project that’s in my queue! And Chris from Said & Done: Handmade by Chris because …  Well, because she has an “ordinary” sewing blog like mine, and I like being allowed a glimpse or two into other not-for-profit-or-fame sewing worlds.