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!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Black Printed Cotton Summer Dress

This is the first of my London fabrics I have made into a garment. Gorgeous Swiss cotton with a very nice print.
I chose a pattern from the "Patrones" magazine, because I wanted a shirt dress not cut at the waist. I also liked the darting and the neckline, which goes slightly up the neck. I had doubts about the sleeves, and I still have, haha!

Well, nothing fancy in the construction process... only the self-enclosed seams at the sides, and the interfaced and faced neck line. I made the buttonholes with the machine, and I stitched the buttons with a zigzag stitch with 0 length. I love sewing buttons with the machine, you save a lot of time, and the result is even better that when we hand-sew them.
All in all, it is a nice dress... but I am  not convinced about the rufled sleeves, about the neckline, which has a tendency to gap, and in general, about the fabric-pattern combination. In this sense, the fabric lacks some body for a pattern like this. On the positive side, the not-cut waist, the front and back darts and the shaping of side seams are really fattering to my figure and comfortable to wear.
For a possible future version, I make a note here to change the sleeves and use a fabric with more body.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Vietnam Silk Robe

My daddy and his wife Rosa went to Vietnam last year and brought me this piece of silk. I've been thinking what to make with it for a long time, but finally it was obvious I needed a new summer robe to stay indoors.
I used the same pattern I'd used for my winder robe (which will have to be renovated soon as well). It's by Burda. 
I self-enclosed all the seams, applied some facing for the collar and centre front, and made some bartacks and a belt. I did not use interfacing, the silk has body enough for a summer robe.
My daddy is now in Thailand, maybe we will have more silk soon... ;-)

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Blue Silk Classic Dress

 I love this dress! It's not the more modern thing I've ever sewn, but the fabric-pattern combination produce a retro air I love, with all that gathering and hand sewing show-off. Maybe it won't be valued by anybody but me, but hey! that is more than enough! I am currently enjoying Feud, and wearing this dress takes me straight to 50s Hollywood, haha!!!
I bought this silk to TMOS last year. It was really cheap and the fabric is gorgeous, a very good purchase. But it was difficult to find a good project for it, until I saw this pattern i a Burda magazine and felt in love.

 I love Burda patterns! I did not have to modify anything in it, and they do not have seams included, as I like it. Our library-bus has Burda magazines to let, so it was a free-pattern. I copied it in paper and now it is mine. For nothing. Great!
I used the standard procedure I always follow with woven fabric and serious pieces: mark the pattern with tailor tucks in the fabric, baste it, try in on (everything in just perfect), remove tailor tucks, and stitch it with the machine. I used thermofusible interlinning in the waist, shoulder pieces and in the neck. I covered these pieces with others in the wrong side, hand sewing them to cover all the gathered seam allowances. 
The bottom seam is also hand sewn, as the neck's facing. I put and invisible zip in the back.
Now, this is silk and cannot be washed, so careful when wearing it. 
It's a classic!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

London Shopping II

This is my second fabric hunt in London, and it was so worth it!!
Last year I was in Soho mostly, and in Walthamstow Market. Last April, my patient love and yours sincerely spent four days in the UK capital, fabric shopping in the mornings and attending the fantastic Desert Fest during the afternoons/evenings.

Well, first day was a Friday and I decided to hit Goldhawk Street. WOW. Amazing. There are so many fabric shops, I could only enter half of them! We stopped for lunch at a Thai restaurant, and after lunch we got back to our hood, Candem town, where we had our rented room and the festival.
I bought silk and stretch cotton at Classical Textiles, linen and gorgeous Japanese cottons in another nearby shop, and then we entered Unique Textiles: everything was silk, in every possible from and colour (twill, organza, crepe, velvet, etc etc... they also had wool, Kashmir, it was amazing! and the prices were quite reasonable too! I bought a gorgeous red wool-Kashmir, some viscose lining and a gorgeous black cotton shirting. I was in love with that shop and its two kind, knowledgeable attendants. I bough some Liberty cotton lawn at Misan..
Next morning we went to MaCulloch &Wallis. I imagined it bigger, haha!! I knew all their products by memory, and I had a list. I bought a gorgeous red napa skin, some good thermofusible interlining, some lining for my red coat...

We went to The Village Haberdashery next and there I bought a bunch of C. Pauli organic jerseys and interlocks. Those are expensive, but gorgeous.
All in all I spend around 300 Euros. Pounds are quite all right reference to the Euro. I was specially happy to have found Goldhawk road. Let's pray they don't close those shops down, they are like AliBaba's cave!
We had such a GREAT time with my super boyfriend. He was so charming and patient, giving me advice about fabric, carrying my heavy backpack, and keeping me good company. This is LOVE!

Black Interlock Universal Dress

 This was the Absolutely-Necessary-Dress-to-Go-to-London Project. I realized it was totally impossible to travel to London without THIS dress. It was April, a music festival, so I needed something spring-timy, black and comfortable and versatile.
I still had some "false" cotton I bought in my last trip to London in Walthamstow, perfect for this. It is interlock-thick, so I decided to use my "universal pattern" because it has raglan sleeves. I added a little bit of flare to the very short skirt, but not so much as to my coco pattern.
I applied some facing to the neck, folded to the inside and slip-stitched it to the dress. I committed the mistake of cutting wedges around the seam allowance, which made it to appear not round. In the cut places, it produces some picks. Never again.
The rest, so problem at all. Seam allowances are just cut 1cm wide and pressed open. Bottom dress and sleeves' hems are machine-stitched with the twin needle.
I love it! It's comfortable, elegant and cool! In these pics I am in Candemtown, just out of the festival, waiting for our table t Woody's.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Tartan Dress

 I bought this gorgeous tartan cotton in Stone Fabrics, online. The design is mine, and I used this book to get the shirt pattern: 

The idea of the book is great. It presents a bunch of bodice patterns, another of skirt patterns, some necks and sleeves, and the possibility to combine them all to get a huge number of possibilities. 
This was the first time I tried a pattern from this book and it proved sadly wrong.
I took the shirt pattern and  combined it with a sleeve and a collar with a stand.
Bodice Pattern
The sleeve had a good match to the bodice, but the neck cut was too deep for a shirt collar, and the stand was far too long for the collar. I don't like the result at all. I will wear it, because all in all, it is a very nice and comfortable dress, but the shirt collar is not beautiful.
I also had to arrange the seams at the sides, they were too curved for my taste and figure, but that was an easy change to make. When I realized the collar was all wrong, it was too late, and nothing could be done to repair it. What a pity. I'll try another pattern, because the book is full of good designs and ideas, but I have to remember to bevery careful and true the paper pattern on the dress form before cutting anything.
Apart form that small flaw, the dress is cute, the fabric pattern gorgeous. It does not wrinkle too much for being cotton, and it is very comfortable to wear. 
I now realize there should be more gathering in the skirt. I have some more fabric left, and I can repair it easily, adding another seam, which would be unconspicious in this fabric. But I am lazy to undo and redo things, so maybe I'll leave it for next season!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Black Leather Tote Bag

I had almost 1 skin and a half left from the 4 lamb skins I got for my leather jacket.I wanted to make myself a bag but I did not have any idea about the pattern. I though I'd figure something out... 
Then I saw this colleague wearing a fake red leather bag, and it was an illumination. The pattern was perfect for its simplicity and perfect size and concept. I got some gauze and took the pattern by the rub-off method again! I totally recommend you to read this book, and you'll be able to copy any piece you can put your hands on, hehe! I am a copier, so kill me baby!!

I also had ordered some extra lining, and it proved perfect. I made a pocket for my phone and another for pen and keys, which have to be handy. Nothing else. 
I am sorry to say my Bernina can only sew up to 3 layers of 0.8mm thick leather, so again I had to borrow my neighbour's industrial machine for leather, which is a monster that can sew everything. It's awesome.
I put another piece of leather, glued to bottom to reinforce it. This particular leather is super soft.
Well, as for the handles, I applied some interlining (as to the whole thing, of course), put some glue, folded them individually and finally attach them together by their wrong sides in a machine topstich. 
I applied an 8 cm band to the lining, when this was completely finished, with the exception of a 10cm hole in the bottom seam. Then I applied it to the bag by the right sides, stitching it and folding it over towards the inside with the handles on. A topstitch next to the top rim, some magnet fastener, and sewing the bottom opening in the lining by hand. 
A wonderful pattern. Will use it again. In brown, in red, in white... it has future! :-)

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Black Leather Rocker Jacket!

This is one summit-climax kind of project, haha! I have the feeling of having conquered the seamstress top of the pops! And I also finally have the rocker jacket I've always wanted to have. Pity I am a bit old now, but this has required quite a bit of learning!

One of the reasons I am proud is the method I got this pattern. I used an old red leather jacket of mine that was just perfect. Following the rub-off method, I copied all the pieces of the jacket.

I did a toile with felt to check the sleeve, becouse having measured the armscye and seeing they were just the same, I used the sleeve of my Chanel Jacket Pattern.

 I proceeded then to draw the pieces in the wrong side of the skins, and cutting it with an exact 2cm seam allowance all around, since I'd be using it as a sewing reference all along. That is why I used a marker to cut them as accurately as possible.

After applying jersey fusible interfacing all along the bottom, the front panels and the front facings, I started by assembling the back. I sewed some seams following this technique I saw online, specially the curved ones, and some others, like the straight center back seam, I stitched with the right sides together, hammered the allowances first open, and then to the side, and topstitching them with the machine. I was very pleased with the result of the double stitching.

After attaching both sides of the zip, I proceeded with the pocket openings, zips, and bags.

I used textile glue, double sided tape and paper tape, to hold allowances open, and putting pieces together.

This is the completed torso. I tried the thing on at every step, and I was feeling more confident with the pattern and with my technique to sew leather. It looked so nice!!


I made the collar, ensembled it to the bodice, and stitched and topstitched the front facings. For the zip side, I practiced using tape with a bit of leather, and it turned out OK!

I put the lining pieces together, sewed it to the bottom first (which I turned, glued, and topstitched afterwads), and to the front facing pieces after. I put it on the mannequin, and used double sided tape to hold it in place over the facings before machine-sewing it.

Then I made the sleeves, with their zips and lining.  I applied interfacing to the bottoms as well.

I put the sleeve caps around the armscyes, using small metal claps to hold it together before machine stitching it. 

For the bottom and armscyes' topstitching, I accepted my neighbour Delfina's offering to use her industrial machine for leather, because my Bernina (in a little disappointing note) is not reliable with more than 4 layers.

I polished all the threads, passing them to the wrong side, knotting and burning them together.

I stitched the bodice and the sleeves lining at the armscyes by hand.

After finishing it, I sprayed it with a product to make it less porous. The next day, I applied some animal grease onto it as well.

The jacket is amazing, good looking and very comfortable to wear.