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.

Tailor's Ham

This is one of those projects one HAS to make but never finds the time. 
But finally time came. I had the sawdust (my carpenter gave me), the perfect fabric (cotton twill) and the pattern I found in the internet just googling it.
So, in a couple of sessions, I cut it (made it a little big bigger, I added seam allowances, supposing the pattern included them), stitched it in the machine, first the four darts, and then the whole thing except a mouth to feed the sawdust.
Then I put the sawdust inside. Then I pressed it down and I put some more, and more, and some more and some more yet. 
Finally, I hand sewed the mouth shut, dusted it off, and made it debut with the shirt dress I am nowadays making. I wasn't very confident during the process, but it turned out perfect! it's small, compact, nice to manage, with a wider and a smaller ends, and it proved very useful. I totally recommend this pattern, adding the seam allowance.


 

Friday, September 1, 2017

Agnes Jersey Top

  
Both the fabric and the pattern in this project are from London. I bought the fabric, an cotton-lycra jersey, in aWalthamstow shop last year. 

I got the pattern in the Village Haberdashery last April. Personally, I think these commercial patterns sold in the UK and the USA, being from the big 4 or from independent authors like this one,  by Tilly and the Buttons, are far too expensive and not worth the money. But I couldn't resist the temptation in this occasion... I had seen Agnes versions online and they looked all gorgeous, the packaging is candy for ones eyes, and I had had a very nice experience with another Tilly pattern, the Françoise dress, which proved to be a masterpiece.

I love this one too. The bust, the neckline and sleeves' cut is perfect, with just the perfect amount of negative ease for this kind of elastic jersey. Maybe it is too tight in the waist and belly areas for me, although it is perfect to wear it tucked inside your skirt. 
The ruched bust is a lovely idea, and I can't wait to make a ruched sleeve version.
The step-by-step instructions were really easy to follow and very well illustrated by pictures. I traced the pattern into a tissue paper, cut the seam allowances off, and used the tissue to cut the pieces in the fabric with 2cm seam allowance (which I prefer). I followed Tilly's instructions for the rest of the process. I loved sewing the sleeves first and then the underarm and side seams, although this method does not allow for fitting adjustments.
All in all, a beautiful presented and accurate pattern I will make again. 
And a lovey t-shirt for my wardrobe!

Knitted Spring-Fall Top

 Katia is a knitting yarn brand from Barcelona. They publish a magazine with patterns for their yarns, and this is the second project I make from the one Katia magazine I own. 

Originally, it was a dress, but I decided to shorten it into a jumper. I had to make a zillion calculations to transform it into a shorter version, with a big mistake included: the decreasings at the bottom are too close, and then I had to leave a straight bit at the waist. I realized the mistake when I reached the waist, and I decided not to undo 20 cm of circular jersey... I am not sure if  don't regret that now... The result is a weird shaping at the hips, but nothing too obvious that can't be repaired with some ironing... and not folding the top in the obvious way, which accentuates the problem...

Other than that, the jumper is gorgeous... I used a cotton degradé yarn with 4.5 circular needles. 

It has some lace work at the bottom, the top and the sleeves, one of the reasons I chose this project for.

With the lace and 3/4 sleeves, this is a jumper for spring or fall time.. which are quite long inland Catalonia where I live. I hope to wear it often!