Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Love Boat Hat

Hello there!
I bought this kit from Wool and The Gang one year ago. It was a sale I took advantage of, because with shipping costs and pounds, WATG products are expensive to me.

 I wanted to test their jumbo wool and patterns and this seemed a small project to test the brand. Plus, the hat looked gorgeous on pictures.

Finally I decided to insert this make along another (two cushions I've just finished now) during my Christmas Holidays, because I did not want another winter gone by. 

But this takes only a couple of days to knit! Glory Alleluiah for jumbo wool!!! If I had known, I had done it before.

As I explain in my Ravelry Project page, I love the wool (I will repeat), but the pattern was all wrong, in terms of sizing. So I will buy WATG wool again, but I don't trust their patterns, sadly. On the other hand, I wrote to them to ask for care instructions and they never answered. Bad attention to client. Me don't like it.
But the hat is just gorgeous. And so nice to wear!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Red Wool Coat

 I bought this wonderful cashmere and silk fabric at Unique Fabrics, in Goldhawk Rd., London. I confess the salesman totally sold it to me, he observed and chatted with me while I was drooling over their silks (OMG!!!!), and he showed this beauty to me, I couldn't resist, a red coat came to mind and nothing could stop me, not even the 200Eur I paid for the motherfucker! Totally good value for money!

Two weeks before Christmas I decided I absolutely needed it for then, so I started sewing in another of my typical stupid deadline frenzy madness (as if I did not have a coat to put on my back!).

I wanted a coat with an imperial waist and I found this cute pattern at a Burda magazine (from the library), which patterns I totally and absolutely trust.
I followed my usual method:

First, I traced the pattern in white sheer paper (these patterns do not include seam allowances, as I prefer).

Second, I true the pattern over my dress form. It seemed OK, so I proceeded to (third) arrange the pieces over the folded fabric, secure them with pins and cut them.

Fourth, I marked all my fabric pieces with tailor tucks, including marks, and everything. 

This seems the reincarnation of boredom, but it is totally worth it, since you have your pieces exactly marked, and you can made slight or important variations (provided you leave generous seam allowances in dangerous places like waist, hips, bust, length).

Fifth, I started minor items constructions, since it is better to do them with the pieces not attached together. I made the buttonholes (following Shaeffer's steps) and pockets.

Sixth, a applied thermofusible interfacing to the whole bodice and sleeves (a thinner one for them).
Seventh, I basted all the beast together and ready myself for the crucial moment of the first fitting. I always sew faster and faster as the moment approaches, and hand-basting is thus more bearable with anticipation. In this case I saw it was too big and the waist, and sleeves were also to big oven the shoulders, but I decided to machine stitch it and press it before making it definitely smaller at those places.

I also finished the neck piece and the frontal facing before trying it on again and confirming I had to take one cm off each side and also at the side back panel seams, at the waist. I also reduced the sleeves over the shoulders, and it was then almost perfect.

I carefully pressed on the wrong side with a cotton cloth over it. I played The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (gosh, what wonderful dresses!!!!), and pressed and pressed, since it was crucial to make it patiently and well.

I cut the lining and put it together with pins. I machine-stitched it and pressed it well too. I made the buttonhole openings and pressed them too.

Then, I secured by hand all the seams well open, and hand-sewed the bottom and sleeve hems.
I put the coat on the dress from, on the wrong side, put the finished and pressed lining over it, secure it with pins and hand-stitched it to the coat.

Finally, the night before I applied the buttons and done!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Coco Stripped Top

This is one of those simple, fast makes, necessary and very wearable in everyday life.

Wonderful organic cotton from The Village Haberdashery and my own pattern, inspired in Tilly's Coco. The perfect combination. Done in a couple of afternoon sewings.
I totally recommend organic cotton. My skin is so happy wearing it!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Borgen Suit (Three Pieces Insipired by great TV)

 Often I am inspired by television. Serials are good in constructing characters, they grown into you, and you end up wanting to dress like them. Betty Draper, Alicia Florick have had that effect on me, and now it is Birgitte Nyborg, from the wonderful Danish serial Borgen.

She and Katrine wear a very similar type of suit jacket in the first episodes, and it was love at first sight. I love suit jackets, but pencil skirts are not for me, so I think this a more modern and flattering to the figure alternative. 

 I made the jacket first. I worked in a hurry for one week, because I was going to a wedding and I thought it was a totally necessary complement for my red jersey dress

Then it was the hottest night EVER and I did not wear it that day.But I've been wearing it quite a lot in the last year.
I bought the black cotton twill in Lisboa. It is just gorgeous, thick but soft and sweet to the touch, easy to sew. I bought it with Birgitte in my mind, haha! I also bought the white shirting there, in the same shop. The trip to Lisboa is worth it just for fabric. And food.

I used my "Chanel Jacket" pattern again. This is the fourth time I used it. Totally worth the effort of making it, because it fits me like a glove. I followed Alsdrich's book to alter the front panel and add a lapel. The result is perfect, modest opinion.

I used some red calico to line it, but I do not like the feel of it. I even made some pockets in it, but I plan to change it for some natural and slippery fabric as soon as I find one. Maybe some rayon, we will see...
I added a couple of bound buttonholes at front center, practising them first. They look great.
Now for the skirt.

Birgitte Nyborg in the first season of Borgen is again the inspiration for this skirt. 

As the series progresses, her wardrobe progresses to more well-tailored, serious office suits in dark blue, grey, black and white. Pencil skirts, white or black fitted shirts and tailored jackets. She is the PM, after all. But when the series stars and Birgitte is still an amateur politician, she fashions this flared, darted at the waist skirts with her cheap tailored jackets. 

 The stylist in the series must have loved them, because the other woman lead character, Katrine Fonsmark, is wearing the same skirt pattern in her TV program.
This is the same fabric I used for the jacket.

For the pattern I used and old Burda pattern, but instead of starting the inverted pleats at the waist as in previous projects, I used a 10 cm band at the waist, I designed myself.
The result is a formal skirt to wear at the office, but more becoming than a pencil skirt, more modern and lively. I love it!

The third piece of the ensemble is the shirt. It has passed more than a year since I made the jacket, then the skirt, and finally the shirt. I used a Burda Magazine pattern, one of those I will repeat in time, because with its princess seams and bow at the front is just perfect.

 I can wear it with the skirt and jacket, playing to be president of Denmark, or with jeans and sneakers, to play it down. It's gorgeous, becoming and comfortable. 

Perfect for president, haha!


Sunday, December 3, 2017

Green Slim Fit Jeans

 Jeans is the only thing in my wardrobe (plus panties, socks and bras) not manufactured by yours truly. I'd love to make all my jeans, but the problem is I cannot find the right fabric. Accepting they will lack the stoned-washed effect (humanity should avoid this one entirely, by the way...), I cannot find the prefect balanced denim fabric, they are all too thin, too thick, wrong shade, no elastic, etc. 

I can perfectly imagine the right shade of indigo blue, 95% cotton and 5% ellastane (no polyester, thank you), thick enough to be strong, thin enough to be sewn in multiple layers, and sweet to the skin... but that is only in my imagination...
But wait! Last October, I was enjoying the Sitges Film Festival, when I spotted a small fabric store (mostly patchwork fabrics, so popular here). They had three denim fabrics, and I bought 1.10m of this green one. It is a lovely cotton and ellastane twill. I saw I could go "slim fit" with it, and the result has been better than expected.

 After wearing my jeans all day, no bags anywhere, perfectly tight and in place, as you can see in the pictures. 

The pattern is mine. I made it years ago using Aldrich's book for woman patterns. I simply made the legs narrower, tested the fit, which has to be regulated by the particular stretch of every fabric, and done! Fantastic jeans!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Safari Dress

This is another case where I am proud of the fabric-pattern match, even if it was by chance that they both stumbled together. 
I bought the fabric online as a cotton twill to make some "Dockers" trousers for my man (I am still looking for that kind of fabric, if anyone could send me a tip...), but when it arrived I realized it was too thin for that. One of those cases when you regret buying online...
So the cotton twill ended in my small fabric stash waiting for ideas. It seemed really difficult to get into something... too thick or too thin... a weird sand colour...

And finally one day I realized I had always wanted to have a safari dress, and this was the perfect fabric for it. Besides, I had the perfect pattern, a princess-seamed dress from a Burda magazine that turned out just perfect: comfortable to wear, shapy, elegant and sporty at the same time...
So, at the end of this summer, I thought it was time for some safari sewing.
I followed my method for marking, basting, fitting the dress. I made flat-felled seams all over. It is my favourite finishing method for sporty wear.
Wrinkled version after one day at work. Not too bad!
I mad short sleeves with top-stitched rolls at the bottom. For the snaps, I ordered a bunch of them online for 10 euros, and easily and happily applied them to all the front opening and pockets. 
I am very happy with the result. I could only wear it for one day, because cold weather always arrives to spoil my last summer make (as hot weather spoils my last winter make), like a yearly tradition. But I expect to wear it a lot. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Black Linen Pants

One of the fabrics I bought in my last trip to London was 1x1.45 m of black linen. I had always wanted to have linen pants and this was of gorgeous quality and prized reasonable, as linen can be very expensive. I found it in a shop in Goldhawk Road, aka Paradise. It is impossible to see it in the pictures, or even in real life, but when you look it closely it reveals a subtle checked pattern due to the woven threads. The colour is lustrous and brilliant, the hang and touch, perfect.
 This is the first time I use this pattern, which I got from a pattern magazine. I simply lowered the waist line, making the back darts sorter and the front darts less deep. I inserted a zip and a waist band with a bit eye and hook. 

Black fabric is difficult to photograph, my boyfriend hates it and he does not a very goo job, but here they are, hehe! We were in the Sitges Fantastic Film Festival, having a great time watching films, discussing them, walking its wonderful Mediterranean streets... we've been visiting the festival for 20 years without interruption, luckily, and we plan to visit again this weekend.