The lull after Christmas

PC240019 Christmas is always something that I really look forward to.  The lights, family gatherings, food and general prettiness of all the decorations and colours make it my favourite holiday.  I try to plan ahead so that I don’t get overwhelmed by it all as the day approaches, and even though for the most part I think I am successful at avoiding last minute panic, it’s always nice to sit and enjoy the sense of laziness that occurs after the celebrations are over.  Christmas week, as I used to call it as a child, is wonderful for it’s lack of schedule and rush against the clock that is the norm for the other 358 days of the year; for the rotating meals at various family members’ houses; and the anticipation of New Year’s celebrations.012 This Christmas was a new adventure for me in the area of gift giving, as we decided as a family (well, mom and 3 DDs) to make our gifts. We only exchange with cousins, my dear SIL and my MIL. I chose to make hats for my nieces, SIL and MIL, and my DD1 decided she’d crochet everyone gifts: a scarf for her Tia and Vôvô, and fingerless gloves for the cousins.   For the girls’ hats I used the beret from V7792, and did one in a dark purple velvet, lined with lavender silk shantung shot with turquoise.  I don’t have a model picture of it, but here it is with me modelling the left hand of the pair of fingerless gloves DD1 crocheted.  She used a mauvey stretch yarn with silver metallic threads running through it. DSC04344 The second hat was a red boiled wool-rayon blend from my scrap box.  It was a bit heavy for the pattern, so the shape is more definitive.  I lined it with shot pink taffeta.  The fingerless gloves were made with the same yarn as the purple pair, but in magenta.  The girls were very pleased with the gifts.

Christmas Eve sophia gifts 2You’ve already seen the scarf DD1 made for her Tia in a previous post. I made a red hat using Vogue 8440, View A, from the same boiled wool as my niece’s.  It complemented the scarf perfectly.  V8440 I made a little knot using the instructions from the fabulous Ralph Rucci dress made by Terri, and lined it with black silk shantung. DSC04345DSC04347

The pattern was extremely simple – it consisted of two pieces, one of which was for the band interfacing.  It’s the same piece cut 4 times and stitched together.  And it looks lovely.  I’m sorry I don’t have a picture of it being worn, so you’ll just have to take my word for it!  I made one for my MIL from the black faux Persian lamb that’s been in my stash for years.  You can see a hat made for my daughters of the same fabric here.  I lined her hat with pink silk as she has been recently diagnosed with breast cancer, and started her chemo treatments 3 days prior to Christmas.  She was able to celebrate with us, which was the most wonderful gift that evening.  My DD1 made her a scarf in the same pattern as the one for Tia, only in black and shades of blue, which are my MIL’s preferred colours.

And I’m thrilled to announce we’ve a new member in our family.  I got a hedgehog for Christmas!  I’ve put one on my list for many years, and finally Santa thought maybe I was serious about such a ridiculous request, particularly coming from someone my age!  Ha!pickles

Isn’t she just so CUTE?  We’ve called her Pickles.  With a dog called Nuggett, I think we’ve a food obsession going on in this house….

Advertisements

Pattern Review: Vogue 7792

v7792 side viewWell, the coat is finished! It didn’t take that long to do, once I got started on it. As you can see from the picture, this is not the first time I’ve made this coat. I’ve made up this coat three times now. The first was in 2002 when DD1 was about 5 years old. I don’t have a picture, unfortunately. It was of a dark purple melton with a faux persian lamb collar and hat. The second version is on DD2, on the left. My DD1 chose the fabric (it was originally made for my eldest), but I didn’t purchase enough fabric, so it’s a bit shorter than I would have liked it to be. The latest version of it was necessary as DD3 had outgrown all the coats in the closet. Both coats are a Vogue size 10. You can see a picture of the pattern here.

sarah bella coatsI realize DD3’s is a bit big, but I’m hoping she’ll wear it next year, too. She’s very tall, and as she’s only 8, the coat will look perfect next year.

The beret and both coat collars are of a rayon faux persian lamb. I love this faux fur. I wish all faux furs were made of rayon, because you can steam them into shape without the fibres melting. The mystery fabric was interesting to sew. It behaved like a fleece, so required some care. I probably should have used a walking foot, but didn’t. I’ve left a 4 inch (10 cm) hem allowance on the cuffs, and pleated an extra 2 inches (5 cm) into the sleeve lining as a “growth” pleat. I’m anticipating DD3’s sprouting over the next year.

I was trying to be economical with this coat, and raided my button stash. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) I had to be satisfied with four different buttons. Some of them must be vintage, because they’re quite interesting. Hopefully you can get a closeup look at the picture. And I got stuck with the buttonholes, as you can read about in my previous post.4 different buttons

And here’s my pattern review:

Pattern Description: Children’s/Girls’ coat and hat.

Pattern Sizing: 4-6; 7-10; 12-14

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Absolutely!

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes. The instructions for this coat are particularly easy to follow and well-written. There are no errors.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I was initially drawn to it because of the back pleats and the length options.sarah coat backI personally love a long winter coat, and my girls are happy to have dress coats to wear. I also liked the hat pattern. It’s got a little of that jaunty Parisian air to it.v7792 beret

Fabric Used: light teal wool melton and white kasha lining for DD2’s coat. Dark teal mystery fabric, silver kasha lining for DD3’s coat. Rayon faux Persian lamb for the beret, collars and DD3’s belt.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I did not make any design changes either time. This is a lovely pattern and it’s got a lot of ease and movement to accommodate different shapes of little people. I know it’s an OOP pattern, but if you can get your hands on a copy, the resulting garment is worth it.

Beginnings of a Girl’s Winter Coat

After my disappointment about the tweed for DD3’s winter dress coat, I headed of to Fabricland to see if there was something that wouldn’t necessarily break the bank.  And they were having a BOGT sale, so I managed to find the fabric for this project at very little damage to the bank.

DSC03649

I raided my stash for the rayon faux Persian lamb.  This has shown up in many projects over the years.  I think I initially purchased it for the exact same coat pattern, but in purple melton, for DD1 back in 2002.  It was used for the same collar and  the beret. I thought I’d misplaced the beret, but found it rummaging through my queue of all the weird places.  I think it was in the line up because my SIL wanted one for herself once she saw the one I’d made for DD1.  Well, DD3 gets to wear it this winter (and hopefully next winter).

The lining is a silver kasha lining, as there wasn’t anything remotely close to the teal colour, and I know from past experience coat linings with dark or vivid colours like to rub off on whatever clothing is worn under the coat.

The fabric for this coat is a mystery fabric.  I have a very strong dislike of anything that reads “100% mixed fibres”.  What fibres, precisely?  But I bought it because the colour and the price were right.  The only downside was that it smelled old – y’know, a bit musty.  So I washed it.  I did ask the clerk what “100% mixed fibres” meant, and she said probably polyester, acrylic…. something along those lines as all “mixed fibre” fabric has some of both. She suggested cutting a 10cm square of fabric, washing in hot water and drying it to see what would happen.  Well, I thought I’d just wing it.  If she was right about the polyester and acrylic, it wouldn’t do a lot of damage to wash and dry it.  And it would definitely smell better!  So I did, and it turned out just fine.  It’s a weird fabric, though.  One side has a definite fleece look to it, and the other has a gabardine weave.  I chose the gabardine-like side as the right side of the fabric.

Pattern Review: Burda 02-2011-102B

B 02-2011-108B front

Yay!  A UFO is off my sewing table!

Pattern Description:  Jacket from the Mamma Mia! collection from the February 2011 issue of Burda Magazine.

Pattern Sizing:  36 – 44

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  Yes, it did.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  This is one of those sewing DSC03479courses that Burda has in their magazine.  To be honest, I glanced at the directions occasionally, but I did not follow them exactly.  I did find their method of attaching the notched collar and facing interesting.  First you completely put together the collar:  under collar, upper collar and collar stand so you have a complete collar without the jacket.  Then attach the front of the facings to where the collar notch begins.  Then you put in the collar proper.  It was a very different method compared to what I’m used to (that being Vogue Patterns’ method of fully assembling the lining with the upper collar and then attaching it all to the jacket as one step.)  I think I like Burda’s method, because it gave me the opportunity to deal with turn of cloth on the collar.  It was also a simpler way of getting things to line up properly.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  I liked the shaping of the jacket and the 3/4 length sleeves.

Fabric Used:  Olive green linen from my stash and cotton voile remnants for the seam finishes.  I did not do a Hong Kong finish – I bias bound all the seam edges.  B 02-2011-108B interior

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I did a complete 1-inch FBA.  This was the reason for doing an unlined version in linen that I may or may not wear.  I wanted to see if the adjustment would work with the style, on me.  If it did, bonus!  If not, then I wasn’t sure I’d bother with tweaking it more.  I’m not really crazy about how deep the darts are.  This may be due to linen’s crispness.  Wool would definitely shape better.  Perhaps gathering the front under bust dart along the

Isn’t that a problem with sewing for oneself?  It’s one thing to try on endless garments and styles in a boutique, but one never really knows if the garment you’ve cut and sewn is a) going to fit; b) flatter your figure; or c) be something that you like enough to actually wear.

The other issue I had with this is the armscye and the fit of the sleeves.  And wouldn’t you know it, but Claudine’s post and links therein were the darned answer I was looking for – down to every single minute detail.  I love sewing blog land!  Everyday I learn new things (or, as I said to DH last night, how much I don’t know).  So for the next version, I’ll be re-drafting the sleeves and the armscye.  Surely this is easier if one has a bit of pattern drafting experience (not me) or a clone to fit (I don’t), so I’ll do it the hard way:  making notes about this version and analyzing photographs!

One other note to self:  the high hip adjustment.  I neglected to add that into this version.

I only put one button on, and incorporated the buttonhole into the waist seamline.  I had intended to do bound buttonholes (for practice), but remembered that I hadn’t saved any cutting scraps.  So, only one button!

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I do intend to make this up again.  Karin’s tweed version of this is stunning (I’d love to put a link to the post here, but Google won’t let me – her blog at MakingTheSeam has been removed apparently?!?!?!?), and I’m thinking it would be a good style for some broderie anglais I have in my stash.

DSC03474