Thursday, December 25, 2014

Reversible V1419 Ralph Rucci for Vogue Coat

This has been a long laborious project with a happy ending.

The story started with the Sewalong proposed by Meg, at the McCall Pattern Company and Lladybird in September.

The pattern was beautiful and appropriate for my double-sided wool I had bough in Lleida last winter, because it has raglan sleeves and the seams are easy enough for the double sided technique, explained to me by the seamstress who sold me the fabric, Herminia.
So, I bought the pattern. I don't like the "seams included" method (and sewing with pins only), at all, so first I had to draw the real pattern subtracting 1.5 cm all around. Fortunately, the pattern included wonderful indications at critical spots, so I had no problems doing this. I transferred the pattern to the muslin, which proved too big for me in the first fitting trial.

 I thank the sewalongers and hosts who helped me see that the problem was simply one size too big. They were totally right, but I could no see it on my own (I am not too good at fitting solutions).

 So, the second muslin proved to be just perfect for me. I proceeded to put the pattern pieces over the wool, pinning them down and cutting the wool.

Next step is tailor tucks all around the coat pieces. That was easy and fast compared to the arduous work of splitting the two sides open around all the pieces, for 2 cm. The two sides are tied together by small threads that one has to cut little by little. 

It took me ages! I had to be careful not to remove the loose stitches, but no problem there.
Then, I started with the basting, which I consider indispensable before machine sewing anything. 

In this picture we can only see the staystitching I did (previously to basting the pieces together), following the instructions in the pattern. With this double-sided wool, one cannot use any foundation, so any holding the structure technique was welcome. 

I decided to sew the clear grey side. Then, remove the basting thread and iron the seams open, until I assembled the whole thing.

After that, I cut the seam allowance of the darker wool side to 1 cm and basted all before I started to hand sew it close with and invisible stitch.

I enjoyed this part so much, because the fabric was wonderful to the touch, and I could dominate it so sweetly, closing all the seams and making them disappear. 
I also hand sewed the coat and sleeves hem, removing the basting thread as I was sewing.

I was thinking over the buttons and buttonholes possibilities for weeks. I made several trials, and finally decided to use metallic claps, which are invisible outside the coat. In the clear grey side, I sewed some flat metallic buttons and left the dark side with nothing visible at the centre. It works perfectly right for me. the buttonholes proposed in the sewalong are gorgeous, but they only have one good side, so they were not an option for me.
I am totally happy with my two new coats in one. The fabric is really pricey and I've worked many hours, but the result is stunning, comfortable and outstanding.
What do you think??

I thank Lauren and Meg for their help and guidance, and my colleague sewers for their opinions, advice and inspiration. It was a wonderful experience, and it is a wonderful pattern.

Watch the rest of the sewalongers coats, they are gorgeous!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Tilly's Françoise Dress!

Phhewww! I've been sewing like crazy this last week. My husband is missing me (that is a positive thing, haha!). But I am soooooo satisfieeeeeeed!

I had in mind a dress in wool with a "Chanel Jacket" to go with it, and when I saw Tilly's pattern I though it was perfect to be made of wool: the 60s style, the raglan 3/4 sleeves, the little neck on a contrast fabric... besides, she was setting a contest and a deadline, and I don't know why but I am always into crazy sewing deadlines (for example, now I have to sew the jacket in 9 days, 'cause I want to wear it at the School Christmas Festival with the dress, kill me!).
So, I bought some wonderful fabric at Linton's, and believe me, their fame is justified. The fabric is just awsome, and their service top.
So, come on, come on, I downloaded the pattern last saturday, cut it, ensambled it, made some adjustments (my bust size is bigger than waist and hips), and copied it into a muslim. I was so madly working than I forgot to take pics of most of the process, but I'll explain...
The muslim was almost perfect, I only had to take some fabric off the centre back. Easy thing.
Since I did no t have the fabric yet (it was flying towards me), I started to do the lining. I used some wonderful black silk I had in my stash, bought from China. I ADORE natural fibers, kill me!
Then, at perfect timing (thanks Linton), my fabric arrived on monday evening. So, I passed the muslim pieces into the fabric itself (which required no pretreatment) and marked it with tailor stitches. This is the method my mum taught me, and it is perfect for me.
After marking, basting the pieces togehter and machine sewing it. I did not use any interfacing, I had no time to get silk organza, and I could not find nothing suiting the purpose... so I decided to baste the sleeves seams tight until I put the silk lining and sew them to it to prevent them from giving (bias cut).
At first trial, I had to make some adjustments which I had not seen in the muslim, but it was easy, I only took some fabric off the side seams, specially under the arms. 
There is lots of hand sewing done here. The seam allowances, the zipper, the lining, the sleeve seams, etc etc... I've been sewing some hours everyday after work, and all the weekend.
But it was totally worth it. Today I wore the dress to a big event, and it was so beautiful, special, and confortable, I felt like a queen, hehe... One of my students told me the dress was so pretty (he had seen the swatches from Linton and recognized the fabric inmediately, he is 7)
The pattern is really nice, and I will use it again for sure.
So, here goes a proud woman to watch some TV and do nothing for a while, hehe (tomorrow I start the jacket!)

Tilly, I hope to have done a good rendition of your wonderful pattern! And I hope you all like it ;-)!
PS: I did not even pass the first selection. That is my last sewing contest ever!