This blog post is slightly out of the ordinary as I am writing about two creations I have completed in as many weeks! Both of them were unbelievably easy even with the added variations. The first little ditty is my second version of the box jacket on Simplicity 1699. I have made so many items off this pattern already, it’s fabulous. My original creations can be seen here when I road tested the pattern for Sewing-online last year. The fabric is a wool blend which was a gift from one of my sewing buddies over at Sewinlove. It has been sat in my stash for quite a while until I decided a few weeks ago it was about time I did something with it – how to squeeze a jacket out of a metre(ish) of fabric.
As a variation I decided to add length to the sleeves and also a few inches in the body. The jacket is part lined, with a centre back seam, darts on the front, cute little darts on the sleeve head and last but by no means least, a TRIM (very chanelesque).
Moving swiftly on to my next creation Newlook 6107. As my jollies are fast approaching (2 weeks, 3 days to go but who’s counting), I have been contemplating my wardrobe. One thing I haven’t had for a number of years is a little denim skirt, I have seen so many on the high street this year and pondered a purchase, that was until I decided to bob into Abakhan fabrics in Manchester and hey presto bring on the denim.
As with my jacket this was also incredibly easy to make, in fact I didn’t even get the instructions out (check me out).
The construction comprises of side seams, concealed zipper, back seam, waistband and hem. The main variation on this make was the flat felled seams; I knew of them of course but had never contemplated them before. I had lots of advice from my twitter friends and decided to take the plunge. I did them on the outside of the garment to create the look AND sewed them with contrasting thread no less (so all my topstitching is clearly on show for all to see!).
Flat felled seam
What can I say? Easy peasy lemon squeezy, I think they both look the part and compliment each other quite well. The biggest difference about these two creations was the absence of my unpicker, I definitely felt there was something missing, I’m sure it will make another appearance on my next creation!
It seams ever so long ago since I last updated you all. I have been doing a spot of multitasking in recent weeks, a little red top here and a shift dress there, it’s all go. Anyway back to the matter at hand, this is another post for the Calico Laine Blogger Network and it is the “Amazing Fit” dress. This pattern was suggested by the lovely Kim from Sewing-online (after our successful team work with Vogue 1316), it is Simplicity 1458. I decided to to make it out of White Crepe from Calico Laine (I’d previously made a little cerise number and fell in love with the fabric). In my usual unique way I had to make a little change on the garment, this one being the lining.
The pattern does what it says on the tin (so to speak) in that it enables the seamstress to make the perfect fit. It comprises of 3 different designs and 3 different shapes. With a little added detail if one so desires (we will get to that shortly).
Firstly I had to match my measurements with one of the styles, slim, average or curvy (I will leave you to guess which one I landed on). Each of the panels is sewn at 1″ rather than the usual 5/8th, this is for better adjustment if necessary. As suggested in the pattern instructions I made a toile first just to make sure all was well. The construction is fairly straightforward, sewing the panels together with one or two princess seams here and there, but as I mentioned earlier, there is the extra detail I chose to pop in. Oh yes indeedy ladies and gentlemen lets have a round of applause for the piping. I haven’t attempted to make my own piping before so had to use my very good friend google to check it out. Basically the piping cord is surrounded by bias tape, which is ironed flat and sewn quite close to the cord to encase it (so far so good). A length of piping is then attached to the edge of the panels, without squishing the piping itself (screwdriver at the ready an adjustable zipper foot was in order).
Each parallel panel is then attached, you will notice when looking at the front of the dress there is significant curvature going on up top. Well the piping was determined to pull the rest of the dress in the opposite direction, so much so that Mrs Perfectionist insisted that it be taken out and reinserted many many time (did I mention I do love a challenge?) It’s all part of the fun and the immense satisfaction when it is finally beaten into submission.
Whilst all this was going on I constructed the lining, once again sewing the panels together. I decided to attach the lining around the neck and armholes which requires the side seams and back to be left open. Oh dear, by this point the zip was already in and the side seams on both lining and dress were already done. So my faithful friend the unpicker was to hand once more. There is always great fear when I have to unpick so much in case I really won’t be able to redeem myself and put it all back together again. All was not lost and I could finally begin to see everything taking shape. The dress is a dream to wear, so comfortable, the crepe drapes beautifully and the lining has a slight stretch which compliments it perfectly. There we have it, my first made to measure a-line dress. It was such a lovely sunny day yesterday I went a little further a field to take my photographs and realised an even bigger bonus after getting out of the car – there wasn’t a single crease on me…….amazing!