Wednesday, 31 August 2016

How to Use Your Precious Fabric - Just Do It !

My latest project was totally inspired by the board on Pattern Review  discussing using our precious fabric. My coral / red / cream tweedy boucle is with no doubt my best fabric .I love the colours and  the texture and to top it off , it was my souvenir from my one and only trip to France in 2013 . 
I always thought to make a skirt using a TNT pattern but when I laid out the pattern pieces there was so much more fabric than I thought . The fabric was 150 cm wide ( I thought it was 120cm ) and the shopkeeper had been generous with the cut giving me extra ! This was good and bad news because it meant I had to rethink the whole project and make a muslin . 
I already have a handmade winter work  version of a pinafore which I wear heaps and this gave me the idea to make a warm weather one . 

 I chose this pinafore from September 2012 Burda Style ,a ripper of an  issue . So many patterns I want to make from it .  It has a deep V neck with front bust darts and inset pockets . The top part is lined .
I made only two changes . I lengthened the skirt pieces and opted to fully line the garment . 

I was very lucky and found some matching lining fabric at the opshop . It had pura seta printed on the selvedge and when I googled this found it meant silk in Italian - bonus ! 
The pinafore was very easy to sew and as the V neck is deep there is no need for a zip to get it on and off . I love the little bonus front pockets but if I make this again I would make the pockets deeper although I can  store a hanky in them. 

 This was a great project to follow up my coat which took ages to sew . I really do not know why I put off sewing my precious Parisian  fabric for so long because once I cut into it , it was really easy . So if you have any fabrics which you are saving because it is so special then I encourage you to just do it - go cut it out and sew it up.  

I will  finish with another picture of my babies - they are getting bigger .The lamb in the background with the brown head and white body ( I call her ChocTop ) is only 2 1/2 weeks older than the twins ( but twice as big ) . 
Happy Sewing Janine. 

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Vintage Style Burda Boule Coat - Finally !

My first hand sewn  coat .  I started this in May so I am more than relieved to be finished .
I seem to be on a bit of vintage kick this year and I fell heavily for the coat on the cover of Burdastyle 12/2011 .  I convinced myself that if I only make one coat why not do something totally different.
The coat is described as having a boule silhouette with 3/4 sleeves . The eye catching insert hides the snap fasteners. The sleeves are in two pieces being extensions of the upper fronts/ back . Inseam pockets are included.

I constructed the coat using all materials sourced from the op shop - from the magazine to the outer fabric , lining , interfacing , satin contrast and snaps !  Who says sewing has to be expensive ?  Admittedly I collected the stuff over many years - the outer wool blend has been waiting for 8 years and initially I was going to make a suit but this coat is far more interesting .

Surprisingly for Burda the instructions were understandable but as this was my first coat I also did some research especially about what pieces to interface , attaching the lining and the hand sewing of hems  . . Once the flouncey insert  was constructed and inserted into the front, the coat was relatively easy to sew . Last post I showed photos of how the flounce was constructed. Inserting the flounce required some care . I thread trace the corners of the coat front to allow accurate sewing and make it easier to see where you are sewing . I sew the along one edge then stop . Snip to the corner of the seam allowance but not too close and then sew along the other edge. This means you can get a really nice looking sharp corner.

I did change the edge finishing of the flounce . Burda said to top stitch along the seam allowance and then trim close to here. However I am never comfortable with unfinished seams ( even on knits that do not ravel ! ) so I did a rolled edge on my overlocker .I  left off the snap at the top of the flounce so this upper corner just flops down and  I also did not cover the snaps because you can not see them and it was the last step and I was getting impatient to finish and wear the coat . I added extra interfacing to the coat - to the front , hems , front facings and upper back and upper sleeves but apart from these changes made the coat as described.

Obligatory flashing the lining with mouth open wide shot. 

To make the coat something that is more me I used a dark navy blue  wool blend . The front insert is left over fake silk dupioni from my suede flounce skirt and not as shiny as it looks in the photos. I am ridiculously pleased with using the dupioni. It was only one metre and 112 cm wide - not enough a single garment - so really required some creative thought on how to use it . To think I was going to send it back to the op shop a few times in the past. I do not have very many lining fabrics and there was only one other choice - a navy floral silk - but I thought that might get made into an outer garment so the bright red garish silk it was ( this is actually genuine silk - a lucky find ) .

I am certainly glad to be finished - I tend to get impatient when things take longer than a few weeks to sew but I am determined to not have UFOs so just keep on .
I will leave you with some photos of  what else has been taking up my free time - my new babies .

This post is already long but I delivered the white one !  With only 20 minutes until I was meant to be at work I had my arm up the sheep trying to  bring down the second front leg so she could deliver normally . I did it ( and got to work on time ! ) . However my daughter ended up calling the vet to deliver the second black lamb who was also presenting incorrectly .  I used to deliver human babies and what I did to the mother ewe was nothing like I had done to a human - poor thing !

Our entire motley flock.

Happy Sewing Janine. 

Costings - Outer fabric $3.00, flounce fabric $0.25 , lining and interfacing $4.50 , notions - snaps and thread $0.50 and burda pattern- nothing ( costs accounted for previously. Total $8.75.