Vogue 8600

Vogue 8600 side front

Here’s my latest matelassé project, Marcy Tilton’s jacket.  It’s got a large, oversized collar and deep pleats at the waist for shaping.  The pattern photos must be made with a thin taffeta fabric, because the jacket looks super crisp.  Mine doesn’t because of the bulky fabric I chose to make. Mine also seems to have more shape, because the body inside it has waaay more shape than the model’s, which seem to sit perfectly straight from shoulder to hemline.

The matelassé was bulky and had a mind of its own, so each seam and box pleat is catch-stitched down in order to ‘press’ the seams.  Pressing a scrap of the matelassé completely flattened it. Not good.  I tried ‘pressing’ the pleat edges through the hem bands in the front as the line drawing indicates so that they’d be crisp, but the fabric moves a lot on its own, and the edges/corners would not lay flat.  So I left them alone as a nod at a peplum look.

Vogue 8600 side front 2

The cuffs are very deep – about 8 inches (20cm) – and are designed to be folded back, if desired.  I’ve been wearing them not quite doubled back in half as they seem too short exactly in half, and too long not folded up at all.  And the back pleats release at the bottom of the shoulder blades.  I made a sway back adjustment, and shortened the waist on this version, but you can see how it balloons out in the back while being worn.  I’m sure most of this is due to my fabric choice.

Vogue 8600 back

As mentioned in my previous post, the front facings, undercollar and hem facings were all cut from a crinkle polyester taffeta from deep stash.  The lining is rayon bemberg in a tone-on-tone match with the crinkle taffeta.  No one’s going to see it, because this jacket looks pretty weird unbuttoned.  Here’s the underside of the collar.

Vogue 8600 under collar

See how large this thing is?  It looks fabulous as a dramatic collar, but it’s not quite big enough to keep one’s head warm.

Vogue 8600 collar

My final thoughts on this:  It’s an interesting fabric in an interesting jacket pattern.  I think if I had made it out of a crisp taffeta (suggested fabric, btw), it would have looked like a box with a big collar on me. It has an extraordinary amount of ease – no FBA required! I have long wanted to make up this pattern, just for the collar, and I’m happy I did.

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Croc Matelassé Jacket

Matelassé Jacket

I can’t remember when I purchased this roll end from EOS, but I have finally pulled this gorgeous piece of matelassé from my stash to meet the PR Sewing Bee Round 3 challenge:  a lined jacket.  The pattern is Burda 08/2008 #127, an issue which Burda 08-2008-127 drawingI purchased for a different jacket a couple of years ago, and was pleasantly surprised to find this simple jacket pattern would – with some playing around – accommodate my limited matelassé yardage.  I put the project into queue and forgot about it until now.

The jacket is designed as unlined, but I lined it.  I did not have enough fabric for proper facings.  As it was, I had to piece together the front edge facing and forego the extension into the shoulder as well as the back neck facing.  The sleeves are lined to the cuff edge.

front facing and cuff details

I have never worked with matelassé before, so this was a new adventure.  My fabric made it a troublesome adventure because it was like sewing with two completely different fabrics.  The matte part of the design was stable and behaved solidly like a quilted fabric – much like I expected matelassé to behave.  However, the metallic portion was designed to be difficult, comprised of fluffy loose polyester fibres sandwiched between copper lurex threads and rather unstable black polyester threads.  The lurex was incredibly flimsy, so I underlined it with pre-shrunk cotton/poly broadcloth.

underlining

Then I realized topstitching by machine was not going to look so great, so everything was done by hand:  understitching, edgestitching and topstitching.

front edge pickstitch

The hand work was relaxing, and I liked how it didn’t interfere with the fabric and finished the edges nicely.  I balked at doing the buttonholes by hand, but they disappear into the fabric.

detail

I was pleasantly surprised at how warm this jacket is, even with only a rayon bemberg lining.

Matelassé Jacket

The roll end fabric repeat was a big problem.  I’m not very skilled at good fabric design placement in garments (yet), and my roll end began and ended in the middle of one repeat.  After going back and forth and shading in the line drawing several ways, I settled on the metallic gradation dripping down from the shoulders, and the clean stark line of it giving the illusion of deep cuffs.

 Matelassé Jacket

Just a note on the pattern.  It’s a plus-sized pattern (44-52), and I’m so pleased with the fit of it.  I made a very small (for me) 2cm (3/4″) FBA; cut the back and side back pieces as one to conserve fabric (incorporating the curved side back seams as a dart) and shortened the back waist by about 5cm (2″) by simply moved the centre/widest part of the dart up to where my waist sits.  I did a 1.5cm (5/8″) forward shoulder adjustment and decided I’d put in 1cm (1/2″) thick shoulder pads rather than do a sloped shoulder adjustment.  I felt the lurex matelassé could use the extra help through the shoulders.

croc metallic jacketYou can see more pictures of this project in my Flickr album, and read my PR review here.

Burda 02/2014 #128: Painted Moto Jacket

I have been furiously working on a project that was not in my plans, queue, remote thought, or imaginary nighttime sewing.  I was pleasantly surprised to make it through to the Second Round of the PR 2015 Sewing Bee, but the challenge we were given was out of my experience and comfort zone.  I quote from the rules:

1 – You must start with an existing piece of fabric. That fabric can be either woven or knit, from stash or new.

2- You must alter or embellish the fabric with a method such as one of the following techniques: stamping, dyeing, free motion embroidery, sashiko, piecing, applique, reverse applique, screen printing, stenciling, painting, embossing, quilting, beading or smocking.

3 – You must use that fabric to create a garment. The garment you create must be a garment wearable by a person, such as a dress, top, trousers, skirt, jacket or jumpsuit. Accessories do not qualify. You may use any pattern you wish (commercial, self-drafted, draped, etc.). Note: you may also reverse the order of rule 2 and 3, modifying the garment after construction, if that works better for your selected technique.

So, what to do?  I immediately started to panic, then gave myself a stern talking to and settled down to think what I should do.  I wanted to use what materials I had at hand without having to purchase anything, therefore I was left with four options:  dyeing, embroidery/beading, smocking or other fabric manipulation, or painting.  A couple of fabrics that have been mouldering in my stash popped into mind:  a yellow-ish embroidered linen whose colour I had grown to loathe over the years, some golden yellow cotton piqué, or the remnants of peach linen from Vogue 1175.  I did dye more than one (for back up purposes, should the first project be an utter fail), but I thought I may as well use the remnant of peach mid-weight linen, since it mattered the least to me.

linen before

Now, I have no idea what I’m doing with fabric paints or dyes.  So I just jumped in.  I had brown, red, purple, pink and white/opalescent fabric paints that I chose to use after finding an inspiration fabric.

textile paints

I had no method and no plan.  I just went to work.  First I splattered with brown.  When I was done, I realized I didn’t have enough brown paint and should have watered it down… a lot.  *shrug*  Nothing I could do, so I forged ahead with the red.  I took care to splatter it differently, but ended up using a scrub brush to give large brush strokes to the fabric.  Ghastly, thought I.  Let’s see what the purple will do.  I mixed some of the pink with the purple to create a lighter shade and dry brushed it in places.  The texture of the patio stones (yes, I did this outside) rubbed through the purple… kinda cool.  Then I splattered with opalescent/white.

It was the most horribly ugly anything I could have possibly created.  Ugh.  What to do?  Find the empty paint pots, add a lot of water to each, and splatter the fabric with the diluted mixture again.  Seemed a bit better….  But I was still horrified at the result.

I let it dry for about 2 hours (not the recommended 24 hours), and rolled it all into a ball and put it into the dryer on high for 40 minutes to set the paint.  When I took it out, I hated it.  I had a tub of avocade green dye sitting unused after dying the yellow embroidered linen (a much happier result for a different project) earlier that day, so I cut off a piece of the peach linen and stuck it into the dye along with some lightweight RPL that I was planning to make into a cardigan.

In about an hour, I checked the peachy linen and it was still very peach.  I was at least hoping for something in the brown range… y’know… pink and green together should make some sort of brownish shade.  Not this linen.  It was peach, and it was going to die peach.

Not to be beaten, I thought I could try leaving the entire mess in the dye bath overnight.  I began to wet the linen, and the paint started to smudge off.  Brilliant!!  I put it into a hot wash, then the hot dryer again and was much happier with the worn, faded look of the paint.

linen after

I was still truly horrified at the result, but my darling eldest daughter and DH insisted it didn’t look as bad as I thought it did, and both declared I should continue with the project.  DH also had very specific ideas about the jacket pattern I should choose, but I only had 1.75m to work with.  In the end, I chose this lovely little number from Burda 2/2014.

Burda 2/2014 #128

The shaped yokes and sleeve cap pieces would be useful, I thought. So I set to planning and cutting around my red paint splatters and brushstrokes, which seemed rather gory to my mind.  I had visions of blood-splattered clothing from a crime scene.  Ah well…. at least it would only cost me time.  Besides, I was starting to enjoy the challenge of working with what to my mind was an impossible piece of fabric.

Burda 02-2014-128 jacket front

So here’s the finished jacket.  About half way through the construction I almost threw it all away, but my DH and DD1 insisted that I should finish it and that it would be much better than I thought it was.  I won’t bore you with the construction details, except to say that Burda’s instructions for the reverse corners are atrocious.  Vogue would have walked the sewer through the procedure step-by-step and thoroughly.  So I went my own way, which I will share in a later post.

Burda 02-2014-128 interior finishing

It is unlined, except for the shoulder yokes and sleeve caps, which was fell-stitched into place.  I used a hong kong finish on the facings and lower armscyes.  All the seams are flat felled for a clean interior.

Burda 02-2014-128 jacket

After finishing the construction, the jacket cried out for something other than the paint, so, to emphasize the shoulders, I followed the painted patterns with beads in brown and reds.

Burda 02-2014-128 beaded shoulders

And the result?  Well, I think this is going to be something that actually gets worn, despite it’s short length.  It’s not wonderfully styled in these photos, but I was in a hurry to meet the entrance deadline for the Bee.

Burda 02-2014-128 2

If you’d like to see more pictures of this project, please check out my Flickr album.

Blackwatch Plaid Coat: Finale

blackwatch twirlWell, the skirt was fun!  As mentioned before, it’s six quarter circles, and it twirls magnificently.  Perfect for a dancer, no?  I didn’t hem it.  It’s faced with a 2 inch self-fabric facing which is stitched 1/8″ from the lower edge and catchstitched on the upper edge..  The hem edges are left raw.

blackwatch side frontIt’s above the knee in length, at her request.  She doesn’t care for long “dowdy” dress coats.  I did not match up the plaid on the skirt with the CF panels deliberately.  I thought with the ample folds of the skirt, it would be nice to not have the edges match – sort of a continuation of the broken plaid lines in the skirt. I did match all the plaid horizontally at the seams of each quarter circle.

blackwatch backBTW, I didn’t get any pictures of her wearing it with her hands out of the pockets, so the sleeves all look completely wonked in these photos.  You’ll just have to believe me when I say they are the perfect length and hang properly!blackwatch coat
Whew!  I’m so happy this project was a success and that DD1 really likes the coat.  I had to wrestle her into agreeing to have it made (stylish leather jackets look ridiculous in the middle of winter with a party dress), and I think she’s happy she did.  She’s wearing her silk & spiderweb lace LBD with it today, on her way to a school semi-formal.  Happy dancing!

Vogue 8626: Classic Harris Tweed

Vogue 8626 pockets (523x800)I wore my new tweed coat for the first time a couple of days ago when it was -11°C.  My fingers were numb after five minutes of trying to take photos outside, but the coat kept me toasty warm. It’s a very simple coat – nothing super fancy or head-turning about it.  The coat is wonderfully comfortable, and I’m glad I interfaced the back on the bias because it gives the feeling of moving with me instead of being separate from me.  Like it’s hugging me and keeping me warm.  I’m sure I’ll get a lot of wear out of this garment.  Here’s a shot of the back pleats.  Vogue 8626 backI’m a little disappointed in the way the pleats fall during wear.  When the coat front is open, they fall perfectly.  Vogue 8626 unbuttonedWhen it’s buttoned, they spread.  The side hangs vertically in a straight line while either buttoned or not, so the pleats should hang properly during wear, but they don’t. Vogue 8626 side If you look at pictures on the web and read reviews of this pattern, you’ll see that this is a problem on all versions made of this coat.  Personally, I think it’s because I assumed the empire back and pleats would eliminate the need for a short back adjustment of 2 inches, and there’s some tweaking that needs to happen with the pattern to get the pleats to lay perfectly flat.  The side back pleats need to be much deeper and shaped over the hips, imho.  Here’s a view, buttoned, on my dress form.Vogue 8626 back pleats buttonedAt least it mimics me in shape and drape!  And now the interesting collar: View C with the very high collar.Vogue 8626 view C collarI don’t have a particularly short neck, but you can see how the collar is too high for me.  Here’s a shot of it unbuttoned and folded over at the CB, which I think is much more flattering.  However, in a gale, the high collar will definitely keep frigid winds away!Vogue 8626 vie C unbuttonedAnd here’s the last finishing details.  I finished the hem edge with bias taffeta.hem bindingI added a hanging chain loop.haning loopAnd, of course, an extra button along with the wonderful Harris Tweed label that accompanies every length purchased from one of the mills in the Hebrides.harris tweedLooks a little 70’s, don’t you think?70s style

This is how UFO’s happen

 

Mint Harris Tweed

 

Well, I’m starting another pile of Unfinished Objects.  The first is a winter coat for my DD1 from Harris tweed!  YAY!  I love Harris tweed.  I was first introduced to it when a very good friend of mine asked me to re-line his Harris jacket.  I was amazed at the fabric.  The lining was completely worn out, but the fabric looked like it was new.  I just had to make something with that famous fabric.

I ordered Mint from Harris Tweed and Knitwear, and they promptly sent it off.  Unlucky for me, but Canada Post decided to show off it’s poor customer service, and sent the package back to Scotland because they didn’t like the way the sender’s forms were filled out; and they blamed Canada Customs, of course.  However, the company very graciously sent out another package with other samples and it arrived within 5 business days!   The picture doesn’t do justice to the colour.  DD1 is very pleased with it, and after purusing my Burda Style for September, decided she liked style #101.  I traced out the pattern today, and used the London method to pre-shrink the tweed (more on this tomorrow).  Then I put it aside on my sewing table because I don’t have flannel to underline it, and I need to purchase lining.

 

Burda 09-2010-101

 

So, I turned to a project that has languished for the last 3 winters.  It’s green cashmere from The Wool House in the Fashion District.  They don’t have a website, but here’s a map in case you’re ever in Toronto.  I didn’t splurge on the amount of fabric, so I cut out a lapel-less jacket from an old OOP Vogue Pattern by Ungaro.

 

Vogue 2017

 

I stopped after cutting out the jacket, the lining and the silk organza underlining.  I cannot remember why I didn’t complete it, but I left it to gather dust for about 9 months, and then shook it off and put it away with the rest of my wool stash.  And because I couldn’t go any further with my DD1’s tweed coat, I thought I might as well work on this.  The colour’s all washed out in this picture, mainly because it’s dark outside, and the lighting in my makeshift sewing room consists of a single floor lamp that has a yellowish tinge.

 

silk organza underlining hand-basted to cashmere

 

So there you have it… I got rid of one pile of UFO’s, and now I’ve started a new one.  Do you do this, too, or are you super disciplined and complete a project prior to cutting out another one?