Sunday, June 29, 2014

Polka Dot Copycat

Last summer, my friend showed to me this beautiful dress she had bought from the internet:

Isn't it cool?
So, I decided to copy it! (bad girl!!!) 
I've always found my inspiration in models I see around me. When I was 15, I went with my mum shopping for clothes, 'cause we had a family wedding and had to dress up. So we were watching shop windows all morning. Finally, we found this black skirt and jacket outfit with a big black and purple hat, perfect for me, but it was so expensive we could not buy it. So my mum had an idea, we went to buy a small notebook, went back to the shop window, and drew the outfit with all its details. My mum knew how to sew, but she did not know how to make patterns, so we took the drawing to a pro and paid for the patterns. She constructed the perfect copycat... and without knowing it, she also created a monster, me!
I found the perfect fabric, a dark blue polka dot jersey in the internet
As patterns, I used my own long skirt pattern, and Patrones' universal t-Shirt pattern. I also drew a waist piece to be gathered to connect both, bodice and skirt.
After trying several variations, I stick to the method my mum taught me as I think it is the most effective. I put the paper patterns (without seam allowances!) into the fabric and mark them with tailor tucks.

I baste all the pieces together, have a first fit on me, and make all the necessary modifications. In this case, I made the bodice a little tighter at the bottom, and took some off the skirt seams, since it was too big.
The waist gathered piece was delicate. The gathers at the sides hold, but it lost its proper shape in the middle, front and back. So I decided to hand sew it to a jersey interlining piece in the wrong side, to keep it in shape. 

There is an opening in one of the raglan sleeves, closed with a couple of ruleau knot of the same fabric.


I am really happy and proud of the result, I don't have the waist of the model (in my dreams, haha!!) but still it is an elegant, cool and flattering design.
Now, don't tell the patent police!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Raincoat

I've had the idea of making myself a good raincoat for a couple of years now. In summer I go to rock festivals around the world, mostly in Europe, where it usually rains. I needed something light but really waterproof. 

I found this wonderful textile in an American website. It is a slippery, velvety, black waterproof fabric. Reeeally nice touch, drape and fall. It wears wonderfully. Good quality and a very good value for its cost.

I decided to use the Chanel Jacket pattern, self made with Aldrich's book. I just elongated the panels of the jacket to reach my knee, and added some details: a funnel neck, a hood (both form Aldrich's) hidden inside the neck by a zipper along it, some pockets in the front of the coat, a zipper and its placket, with some velcros to keep it closed and a small cape covering the shoulders front and back.

 I enclosed all the seams in themselves and made a black jersey underlining, enclosed inside the neck and hand-sewn around the bottom hem.

This has been a really exhausting project. It had so many steps and layers that I had to keep it simple, a step after the other, little by little every day. It took me a month to finish, sewing 1-2 hours a day. It was not a nice sewing, I had doubt all the way to the end, but finally I had the chance to try it in real life, under the rain in the Basque Country...

The result is wonderful. It not only kept me dry under the rain, but it looked and felt really sweet, classy and elegant. 

It has some point to be improved, though: the zipper placket shows some air bublles where it is badly sticked to the fusible interlining(I have to re-iron that), the hood moves backwards when you walk against the wind (I have to put a cord to tie it under the chin), the front cape is not perfect (maybe some buttons would help to keep it under control), and finally, I will make a bag with the remaining fabric. I will use the bag to keep it when it is not raining but still I have to carry it. I will show you the bag when I make it.