sewing

{ ON THE CUTTING TABLE } Anna…

Guys, Ive finally gotten Anna on the cutting table….{ FINALLY }.

Now, you guys know Im not one for muslin-ing BUT after the near crash that was the Datura I decided all new brands deserved at minimum a quick fit – just to be sure. So, having not sewn a By Hand London garment as yet, I decided it was prudent to start with a little mockup…

Boy am I glad I did.

This betty’s bewbs dont fit!!! { WAAAAAAAAH }

Its far too tight, the side seams are under some serious strain & the back – well, theres absolutely no chance of getting a zip in there.

As frustrating as it is, Im soooooooooo pleased I decided to muslin, even though I hate it so much!! I cant say I wasnt tempted to just chop into my silk coz damn, I was revving to go.

Moral of the story – Always listen to your inner monkey.

Anna_muslin_frontAnna_muslin_back Back to the chopping board for me….

x

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pattern review · sewing

{ FRUSTRATION FUNDAY } Shifting to a wadder…

Ive been wondering why its the simple patterns that have me in a fit sometimes….Why is it that I feel Im so competent in details like the pea coat or my wildest dreams dress but when it comes to some piss-willy basic shift dress, I lose all ability to make it work. Is it me or the freakin’ pattern ?

Not so long ago I was praising New Look patterns. { HA } Big fat HA. I failed to recall I had in fact tried to sew the 6862 shift dress before – in the same fabric too! I mean honestly, WTF was I thinking?! Perhaps I thought because I had tried this pattern back in 2005 & assuming my skill had improved since then (which it absolutely has), why was the second attempt as nasty as the first?  It just looks like a sack!!NewLook_6862_front1

The fabric is so sweet with the borders & the beautiful soft colours. The print is so tight that you can hardly see the seams making it so perfect for this little shift. But Im just not loving it at all & I can already hear the choir singing the muslin song…!!!? But quiet down…if sewing is a religion then no judging please 🙂

My issues with this pattern stem mostly from the fact that it is indeed not a pattern for women with curves. If you have booty, you WILL be screwed by this pattern because without darts to the “skirt” you will have all sorts of nasty everything going on around the middle parts. Which brings me to the suggestion that more pattern companies jump the bandwagon suggesting ,as Vogue calls it “Figure Flattery”, ie. the inverted triangle, the triangle, the rectangle & the hourglass. { GENIUS }. All of those symbols are pretty self explanatory!!

Anyway, Ive started tackling the middles with darts giving the sack some shape & pinned out the top of the border to make the lines cleaner & its beginning to summon up some affection, if only somewhat.

NewLook_6862_front2NewLook_6862_side

I fear that it dont matter what I do to this dress, I will probably never feel comfortable in it so Im playing with the idea of pulling it all apart & using the “scraps” for something else along the line…somewhere!

Frustration doesnt even begin to explain, but what really hurts is the fact that looking at the pattern, it should be an easy sew.

I’ll be letting this stew for a few days…somethings gotta give!!

pattern review · review · sewing

{ VOGUE 8550 } Red Pea Coat, this girl is on fire…

For those of you that have been following my blogging journey for a bit, you’ve probably seen me talk about the red Vogue 8550 pea coat that has been haunting me since I started way back when in late 2010. Im not proud to say I started so long ago, the truth hurts. I had terrible trouble with the sizing (of which Vogue referred to as ‘ease’) &  lost interest which so happened to (thankfully) co-incide with our relocation out of Holland so the sad pieces were boxed up. This box did not make the “cut” to our move to the UKso it stayed at home & waited patiently while we completed our work on the island. I should have known the pattern would give me nothing but trouble, the moment it arrived I noticed page 3 of the instructions  missing. It took a few weeks for it to be sent on. Was it a sign of things to come ??….

Anyway, fast forward 2 & some years  –  January I mentioned the red coat had been retrieved from its box & lovingly pressed, ready to tackle once & for all. I trimmed, re-measured & marked but then all the other sewing got in the way & I quickly realised this coat was going to have to be nursed, slowly & calmly…inch by inch…

Im proud to say, its { DONE } & Im so proud of myself for buckling up & getting it finished. (Ok ok, its missing its buttons…but more on that later).Vogue8550_front

Buckle up – a kinda long review but here are the details & more info on the process :

{ DESCRIPTION } Vogue Divine Details – fitted, lined coat with front & back tucks, standing collar, princess seams, full length sleeves and shoulder pads. Above mid-knee length, button closure and belt.

Vogue8550_back

{ FABRIC USED } A medium weight red wool found at Schröder Stoffen in Rotterdam, Holland. It was quite expensive but I loved this particular shade of red. I had been looking for a red wool to make another coat (using the V8438 pattern I had sewn before) but after seeing the V8550 in red, I was sold.

At first I was quite tempted to use a “WOW” lining, something wild & unexpected, but once I finished constructing the outer, I realised the red is { WOW } enough & my SIL had gifted me with this black fabric & I thought would be perfect for the lining so I went ahead & used it. I did however use the red thread to stitch the lining up which adds a very subtle accent to the black & ties the two together.Vogue8550_lining_front

{ SIZING } This was my biggest headache & I have left my original Pattern Review WIP as it was so it can still be read. I very rarely do muslins because I find they sap me of the excitement of making the real thing. Ive been sewing for long enough to know which measurements are important for me & I thought I had gotten quite comfortable with the Big 4 sizing that cutting my usual size would be ok. I was kinda wrong. This was grossly { HUGE }. I immediately thought I had farked up with my cutting so I double checked all the pieces had been cut the right size before contacting some other sewers/bloggers who I thought may have sewn this coat to enquire if they had similar problems. Unfortunately, no-one had sewn this so I had no sewcialist assistance . I then contacted Vogue directly. They came back saying the pattern had a “fair amount of ease on a FITTED coat but that they did not think there was anything wrong with the sizing”. So I got on with chopping, trimming & wasting expensive fabric to fit. Its not the ease that annoys me, its the fact that the pattern does not mention the ease at all. Anyway, moving swiftly on…

{ INSTRUCTIONS } Overall the instructions are not bad however some steps were not as clear as I thought they could be. Nearing the end, I battled to make sense of how the lining fits to the wool at the front seams. I gave up & constructed the way that I thought made sense.

{ CHANGES } The only little change I made was to the pockets. Instead of having them lined & sitting on the inside of the coat, I sewed them into the wool layer but did not bring them through the lining….in other words, they sit between the lining & the outer. I did this because I dont like pockets flapping on the inside of my coats. The pattern called for the lining to be made with the same pieces as the outer however instead of tucked like the outer, rather just pleated in. At first I thought all this extra fabric on the inside would be quite bulky however once pressed & stitched down, it gave a good weight to the inner & supports the wool well.

The coat has no loops/guides for the belt/waist tie! WTF am I meant to do with the tie when I take the coat off? I eeeked out every last bit of red wool to make the tie so I really hope I dont lose it in an absent minded outing…I might still go back & make chain loop guides…

{ LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY } ***Although it took me so long, it was not because of the level of difficulty per se. The tucks have a fair degree of complexity, even with the markings, however apart from the tucks, this is a standard princess cut coat. It was not an easy sew, but I dont think it was an advanced sew either.

{ TIME } HAHAHAHAHAHAA really!?  I normally keep a time card for kicks …I kicked this time card into the bin!!

{ LESSONS LEARNT } Take your time. I was eventually having nightmares about the coat but I knew if I rushed it would end up being a rubbish looking garment.

{ SUM IT UP } This is a lovely coat, the tuck detail is gorgeous & Im so pleased I finished it….all 2,5kgs of it!! Initially I had my doubts about whether it would keep me warm enough in the winter but once I joined the lining & felt the weight, I knew this would be a great winter coat… & I do love the RED. I had purchased big red buttons in Holland before I started but once it came time to use them, they just looked too big & the coat felt kinda clown-ish. Im hesitating with sewing them on until Ive managed to make a trip to Komolka to see if they have something slightly smaller & more suitable. Once the holes are cut, they cut so I need to be 100% sure.

I have hemmed the coat but I have not attached the lining to the wool as yet – the reason you ask? Well, Im not 100% happy with the darn shoulder pads. I feel like they are limp & lacking in the stiff department. I think Im going to change the shoulder pads. Im sure on my next trip to Komolka, I will have luck with finding alternative buttons & shoulder pads.

I might also go ahead & move the pockets from the side seams to the princess seams. I know this sounds crazy but the side seams seem too far back for me to get to the pockets. I may also just remove them completely!!

In hindsight, the problems with the sizing was almost two-fold. I still think the pattern has way too much ease however I also think my choice of wool did not help, especially with the extended periods where the WIP sat on Poppy pleading for attention. Even though this was post-tuck production, I think the wool may have stretched slightly adding to the list of problems.

I would recommend V8550 especially if you love the tuck details however, I would urge you to make a muslin first just to make sure of the sizing. I know I know, me advising making a muslin – I must be drunk! I think this coat would look amazing done in cream, but I dont think Im gonna be the one to make it!

This image clearly explains what got me through some painful & frustrating moments { Nespresso Vanilla Infused coffee }coffee_break

& elation at finally finishing! I had made a deal with myself that I would finish this before starting on something new….Im so excited to start fresh 🙂Vogue8550_elation

{ related posts }

sewing

{ MUSLINS, TOILES } Call them what you want…they suck!

See, this is the reason I absolutely HATE doing a muslin/toile.

Every single time I muslin, I lose interest.

I muslined up the maxi dress bodice & now Ive lost the will to actually make the real-deal dress. What is with that ?

Its annoying..

Does that make me an instant gratification sewer…is there even such a thing?

Muslins, in some instances, are VITAL, especially when you fear cutting into an expensive piece of fabric.  Now Poppy is sitting pretty with a great fitting maxi bodice & Im over it. Im so over it, I feel like the maxi is done & dusted – moving on.

& I was so darn excited about my maxi.

*boohoo*

pattern review · sewing

{ BURDASTYLE } The Jenny…

BS_JennyContinuing with the catch-up of old PR reviews today while I have some time….

This Jenny skirt was made some time ago however it is one of my favourite skirts { EVER }.  I love to pair it with my V8032 black & white polka blouse & Zara peep-toes.

The deets :

{ DESCRIPTION } The Jenny skirt 6058 which is a BurdaStyle downloadable. Pencil skirt with plenty oomph.

{ FABRIC USED } A home decor fabric which was left-over after making a ginormous bed throw. The tomato red spoke volumes…

{ SIZING } Pretty accurate, as BurdaStyle sizing goes. I allowed a wee bit extra on the hips for comfort though.

{ INSTRUCTIONS } Good, but not necessary since this is a straight forward pattern.

{ ALTERATIONS } After fitting the muslin, like others, I preferred the fit of the waist band on the straight rather than the bias. I also preferred this skirt with a back vent rather than the slit which I went ahead & added without much hassle.

{ LEVER OF DIFFICULTY } * easy & highly recommended

{ SUM IT UP } A great versatile little pencil with loads of oomph. I love wearing this in fall & winter for a pop of bright colour but still stay warm & fairly well dressed. An excellent pattern for any sewist.BS_Jenny1

Original PR review here if you interested.

Thanks for stopping by x