Friday, 30 August 2013

Lil' Black Jacket

I'm back! Sorry for being away from the blogosphere for so long - a few weeks I think - we've had a long run of colds and flus in the family, combined with busy times at work and school, so I fell into a habit of late night sloth.  Sloth is certainly enjoyable, but you don't get much done ;)/

Anyway, I'm back, and I have stuff to show. Like this little black jacket, completed shortly after the 'out of darkness' dress and before the slough of sloth.

It's kind of boxy and imperfect, but kind of cute despite the flaws:

Its shoulders are ginormous (mine aren't really up to the job of supporting them):

But the tapering - YES; the curves - YES:


I'll save the worst view to the end of the post :) 

So, the pattern, you ask? It's an old Vogue Donna Karan pattern, a gem I picked up second hand last year and that's been on my "to sew" list ever since. Seeing so many cute By Hand London jackets lately pushed this to the top of the queue:

And the fabric? Well, the fabric was supposed to be a seat cover; how boring (don't tell Mr UpSewLate).  I bought it at The Fabric Shop during the first Sydney Social Sewists meetup of this year, and at the time, Maria said she thought the fabric would make a great little jacket - all the inducement I needed.

Let's talk about the making now, shall we?

First off: sizing... I'd normally make a 12 in a Vogue jacket, but this jacket is designed to be loose fitting, and it's from the era of super-baggy clothes, so I figured that made me a 10. The shoulders are still too wide - crazy wide, but my mum reminded me that back in the 80s shoulder pads were intended to sit partially off the shoulder, and I've used authentic 80s shoulder pads of the excessive size specified in the pattern, so I guess crazy wide was the intended look.

And what about fitting? I sewed the outer as is, in a 10, and then I tried it on. The shoulder pads were so large that I found it hard to tell what the jacket was going to look like with them sewn in, but I thought the sleeves would look better at 3/4 length -  I removed 3 inches in sleeve length. The waist was pretty snug but it was too late to adjust and I'm pretty keen on the sharp angle you get from oversized shoulders and a too tight waist...

And any other changes? Well I thought this jacket was a perfect candidate for a machine sewn bagged lining, which is not what the instructions were telling me to do. I sewed the lining to the facings (per the instructions), then sewed lining to jacket hem on the machine most of the way around, leaving gaps at the lower corners of the lapels.

I removed 4 inches from the length of the sleeves in the lining fabric so as not to get that nasty lining-sticking-out look on the sleeve, and then poked the sleeves through the hemline gaps and sewed sleeve linings to sleeve outers by machine - which takes some topological care or you're liable to get a twist between the sleeve and lining.

With the sleeves popped back out, I closed the gaps with hand stitching - and added a few strategic hand stitching to keep the facings in place.

Any stuffups? Yes, of course! The sleeves - so poorly set in, as I'm sure you've already noticed and been polite enough not to mention. I gathered the sleeve caps carefully before setting them in, but heavy linen just doesn't cooperate with easing in the way wool does - so I should've taken more time with this step. I know I could go back and fix this - and I could bring the shoulder line in an inch - but I just cannot bring myself to do it.

Next up I've got a cape in progress for the Great Kiwi Cape Caper (of course that's not what it's really called), and a completed Princess dress. Which was kid sewing, so probably not so interesting to most of you but maybe I can make it more interesting by having a giveaway or something...

Time for bed - see you later!

Gabrielle x

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Out of Darkness: A Dress

It seems I've got a new black dress to show you:

Or do I... 

        Half a black dress?

Wah-hey, it's BLUE!

 Hallelujah, my colour vows* are SAFE!

*: not really vows as such, more an observation at the end of MMM13 that I should wear colours more :-/


Do you recognise the pattern??

Hey don't worry, this is not pattern trivia; I wouldn't expect any of you to recognise it, but it's Vogue 1193, an OOP DKNY dress pattern.

My previous version (2 years ago! Wow!) was red ponte - so different!

I sewed this up as a size 12 in the upper bodice / shoulders / sleeves, and a 14 from the waist down, as usual - and it feels like a really good fit. There's a little extra room at the waist and at the shoulders, but I'm not too fussed about it.

And in any case - even though I'm kind of ecstatic about the way the dress looks to fit from behind - for me this dress is all about the fabric. I bought this amazing stuff 6 months ago at Tessuti Fabrics on a whim, and I was absolutely busting to make a wiggly, fitted dress with it, but I was scared I'd mess it up and waste the fabric. 

You can see in the photos below what my fabric looked like as I dried it in the sun, back in January. A dark floral border print starts along one selvedge and extends to about the centre of the width - and the fabric is really wide:

The fabric is a stretch cotton (+ ?), with the stretch running from blue edge to black edge. The print reminded me of the OTT D&G fruit print dresses from not so long ago... dream, dream...

My "vision" was to have the flowers growing up one side of the dress, trellis style, and for the fabric to wrap around me without obvious breaks in the side seams and without any big flowers in the wrong places. Obviously I didn't go so far as redrafting the pattern to remove side seams (!!) but I did spend a few happy hours moving pattern pieces in different permutations on the fabric and working out how the flowers on the angled (due to side pleats) front skirt could be made to look like they were running up the same line as those in the non-angled bodice.


With the centre back seam very stark, I moved the invisible zip to a side seam. I have to show it to you because I think it's my best invisible zipper ever - YAY!

I had so much fun making this dress. And I know it's going to be so much fun wearing it! 


See you soon

- Gabrielle xx
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...