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Showing posts from April, 2013

The Legolas Cape

It's finally done.

I pretty much balked out of the second row of closures. I still have 3 clasps I can add on but the one I did put on was so frustrating I decided to cool off first. The cape is closed with snaps on the inside. I need to redo one of them I think, the second set pulls a bit:

The top clasp - which gives this cape it's name of The Legolas Cape - I got from MacCulloch and Wallis.

All in all, I really like it. It took forever to finish, but it's remarkably easy to wear. It also has a "novelty" feel to it.

I think this will get a lot of wear, especially if the weather in London remains the way it was this weekend.

The amount of time and effort I put into it has certainly paid off!

Sneak peak

It occurs to me I have made a Legolas cape. Full blog post to follow tonight

This cape is going to be finished... soon

I got about 20 minutes of sewing done yesterday while Mr T was preparing dinner. These are phone photos, but I just wanted to show them before I forget.

The new lining is in, and there are no weird drag lines in the back (it does need some pressing though):

All I need to do now is to hand sew the collar facing back on, and to hem. I decided to add what I'm calling a "collar facing" to enforce the collar part:

I still need to hand stitch the center back on, and to add a hanger hook.

This is what the front looks like. I'm really quite excited about finishing this. It only took 3 months (it's also too warm for a cape now, sigh)!

Next time I'll do a post on closures. I chose an interesting method for them.

How to correctly baste fashion fabric to underlining

So I've been at this cape since February. Last week I managed to sew the lining in wrong and I had to unpick everything (luckily I had hand stitched the lining so it was easy to unpick).

I'm hoping to get back to it today and finish it, but in the meantime here's a video I made when I was basting the fashion-fabric and the silk organza layers together.

The correct way to (hand) baste is as follows:

1. silk organza is traced & cut first, from pattern pieces
2. silk organza is placed on the fashion fabric and pinned in the seam allowances
3. cut the fashion fabric
4. baste the two layers together on the straight: this means the two layers have to sit on a table/ironing board etc and you sew without distorting the fabric more than shown in the video:

Made 2013: plain gray skirt

I made this in January (pictures taken at the Mountain View Google campus in late Jan), but never got around to posting because my card reader stopped working.

This is my TnT skirt pattern, in an Italian wool with a sort-of-a-herringbone through it.

It's lined in some navy lining picked up at John Lewis. Some form of polyester no doubt. I like the gray + purple option, but maybe this outfit is too matchy-matchy.

I have worn this quite a lot lately, but it is a bit wider than the previous version. I guess that's because I did modify the pattern before I cut it (see what I did here).

Here's a final picture of me next to a cute Android statue:

Tutorial: how to mark stitching lines on patterns

This is an easy one, and it is the first thing to do before fitting a pattern. I use this method for all patterns (see my previous mini-rant on stitching lines not existing in any modern patterns)

Tools needed:

patternrulerfrench curve (optional)pen of a easily-identifiable color
Seam allowances: Most modern patterns have a 5/8" (1.5cm) seam allowance. However, make sure you check the correct seam allowance every time. 
Steps: The idea is very simple: mark the seam allowance length from the cutting line. The marked line will give you the stitching line.
Step 1: Find the 1.5cm (5/8"in) measurement on your ruler. Mine is shown on this picture:

    Short tip: the width of a tape measure is usually 5/8". Now, I own two tape measures: a plain one and a fancy one. The fancy one is slightly bigger than it should be, but the plain one is the expected 5/8".
Step 2: Identify the cutting line for your size. I'm cutting a size 2, so I have the dotted line in the picture abo…


Non-sewing related, but I found this on the internet today. It's stunning!

Me made May

Most simply:

 I, Laura of auxetically, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '13. I endeavour to wear a self-made garment at least  3 times a week for the duration of May 2013.

What's on my sewing table

I am attaching the lining for my cape - lots and lots of fell-stitching! I have gotten quite good at making the stitches even!

I was almost going to finish today but bailed out at the last line of stitching. I did fell stitches for 4 hours straight - it was time to stop. I think I'll only be able to pick this up on Wednesday though. Tomorrow is DnD day.

I also have my next two projects decided already:
   * Laurel blouse (initial pattern modifications done)
   * burgundy skirt made from my TNT pattern (already cut, but thinking of adding welt pockets so I need to figure out how that's done)
What's on your sewing table?
P.S. The Blogger Android App is so frustrating sometimes. I wrote this 6 hours ago and it failed to publish! Syncing draft posts is also a bit of a mystery to me.

Seam treatment musings

One couture finish (especially for garments which are lined) is to catch stitch the seam allowances to the underlining.  If the garment is unlined, I would use a slip stitch. I am not sure how couture this is - I just wouldn't want the considerable amount of thread used in catch stitching on display (even if on the inside!), so I think a slip stitch would be a good alternative.

But - what happens when the garment is not underlined? Catch stitching to the fashion fabric would work depending on the fabric - for example some fabrics would be too soft for that sort of treatment. For unlined garments, catch stitching is not an option at all, and slip stitching would not yield the desired result.

I have been thinking about this in the past few days for my Laurel blouse. I have a very soft fabric that I'm not sure I want to underline. I think I can solve this problem by using strips of woven interfacing, attached to the seam allowances. I guess both sew-in and fusible would work, but…

Colette Laurel Pattern: first impressions

I got the Laurel almost as soon as it appeared. Not necessarily for the dress part, but for the blouse.

Some more blouses are useful and I figured this would be a good pattern for most days.

With my "couture" dress almost done, I printed the pattern this Monday and am planning to do a full series on what works for me and what doesn't. It probably will take a while, but after all this is the whole point of a series. I'm going to be making version 4, the blouse.

First impressions

As with most modern patterns, this pattern does not mark stitching lines. I do wish pattern companies  added these lines on the pattern as well! It's one of the things I loved about couture sewing and I think I will incorporate in all my future project (the jury is still out on underlining), because I like to be flexible with how big the seam allowance is.

The second thing I noticed as I was taping the pattern together was that there are no waist markers. I found this a bit disappointing, a…