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Showing posts from 2015

I made a coat!

I know I haven't posted for about 4 months now - I have loads of posts in drafts, just never quite ended up clicking publish - but I guess I'm coming back with a bang.

Cue coat.

This coat took about 6 weeks to make, although I originally started planning for it sometime in March. I also took tailoring classes to figure things out, and then I prepared all summer. The pictures I have of this are a bit hit and miss, but I have some good angles all around, so I think that will be good enough.

The fabric is this metallic silk brocade, and I have enough of it for another coat and a dress I think. I might have gone a bit overboard on that one. The pattern is Burda  08/2012 #101A, and it was pretty easy to work with. I deliberately wanted an oversized coat (it's almost cocoon-looking on me when closed), which is more of a fashion accessory than anything else. I think what I came up with pretty much fits the bill.

Construction went easily, except I am kicking myself over messing up…

Another Sheath Dress

I'm now on my third sheath dress that's finished, but the one in this post is the very first one I made! Presented here with gorgeous Vienna backdrop, and unfortunately with no back picture since, well - sightseeing!

This is a sheath dress I made from my now TnT pattern that Beth helped me fit (thank you Beth!). It was the very first version I made after the fitting, and it was intended as a wearable muslin more than anything else. However, having worn both this version, and the more fitted one I already posted about, I think this one is the clear winner, since it looks good and it's way more comfortable.  In fact, while I was on holiday last week, I altered that dress to be more like this one - I released the shoulder seam which I had previously raised.

Like all sheath dresses, this one is pretty simple as well - it is made in a cotton poplin I bought at John Lewis before I moved to Switzerland, so it's been in my stash for about 2 years. Being made in poplin, I simpl…

Vogue 1350: fitting and adjustments

I had another post prepared, but I thought I'd write this up now, even without pictures - before I forget what I did. :) I recently made Vogue 1350, if you follow me on instagram (@auxetically) you will have seen construction photos. This is a Rachel Comey pattern - I really like these patterns, they all turn out very well for me! Here is the line drawing for reference:

Despite the line drawing, this pattern is supposed to have a raised waist. I was very pleasantly surprised to see petite lines on the pattern sheet (yay). Here's my finished dress on the dress form:

I made a muslin of the bodice only, in size 14 - my measurements take me between 14 and 16 on a Vogue, but I had the pattern version with the 12-14, so 14 it was. Measurement wise, this dress was spot on - I had to make extra adjustments where I would have needed the bigger pattern size.

The petite line removed 1" out of the bodice, and 1" out of the skirt. I sewed the bodice muslin with the petite marking…

Notches and stay stitching

I made a quick remark in my previous post  about stuff I learnt from Beth when I was studying with her in May. It seems I have always done stay stitching incorrectly. Being self taught from the internet and from patterns, this is not unexpected. :) Regardless, today's post is about matching notches and using stay stitching as a guide to matching seam lines.

The long and short of it is:
a. stay stitch the seam line unless otherwise directed
b. when putting together two pieces of fabric the correct order is: match notches, match beginning and ending of seams, match in between, clipping the seam allowance if required. Clipping is particularly important if matching curves that do not look the same

Here are some pictures as an example. Here I am using the bodice of Vogue 1350, which I am currently making finished making since writing this. I start off with stay stitching everything:

This was a muslin, so I did the stitching again in that corner without removing the wrong lines.

Match n…

Sheath dresses, everywhere

I'm taking a break from my planned sewing to sew shift cotton dresses. Yes, you heard me. I took some sewing lessons with Beth from Sunny Gal Studio last time I was in California (already 6 weeks ago !). We spent almost all the time covering tailoring for a coat I'll be making throughout the summer - nope, still haven't started on it, 6 weeks later - but we also looked at sheath dresses, very quickly before we were done..

I left the lessons with an initial muslin, which had a bunch of things altered, and promised I'd transfer everything and try again on my own. Which I did, although it's much harder to perfect fit on your own.

This is the second version of the dress, and fitting wise it's getting closer. The first version hasn't been photographed yet.

The front looks decent, or almost decent.

There's still some gaping in the neckline, I have to take out maybe 6/8" out of it. I also want to move the shoulders in a bit. But otherwise it's fine.


Vogue 1440

It seems I have not posted anything in 2 months! I did a bunch of sewing in the meanwhile, including sewing classes (yay).

I wanted to follow up on the Vogue 1440 blouse, and I think I have plenty of pictures so I might do a 2-part post. I'll do finished pictures here.

First off, a picture from the front. It is fitted through the bust, with a hidden button placket (4 buttons) and a full collar.

The fun part comes in the back:

The V at the racer back looks awesome, but it needs some faffing around with the bra, normal stuff does not work, you need one that crosses, or a strapless, or something to not show the straps. I wear it with a long sleeved body underneath, this is maybe not the best way to do this though. I'm still considering options.

The fabric is an Oscar de la Renta silk twill from Mood. It was all right to work with, and Mood's description of this fabric is accurate - the drape is more like a crepe de chine, which is why it worked for this blouse:

I managed to s…

Vogue 1440 - muslin / marking

I got Vogue 1440 (a Donna Karan design) for the blouse.

Last weekend I set out to do a muslin. You may remember I had some questions about the lack of an FBA on my previous project - I figured it out in the meanwhile.

Vogue must have updated the pages that handle sizing on their website recently, since now they are a lot more detailed. In particular, the How to Choose Pattern Size page now specifically says always choose blouse patterns based on high bust, and adjust pattern as necessary, unless you are a B-cup or below. B-cup, by their standards, happens when the delta between high bust and bust is less than 2inches.

For me, either choice will do - but in practice choosing based on high bust seems like a better overall fit for me so far.

This particular blouse is semi-fitted through bust, giving you 4 to 5 inches of ease (5 in this case). Based on the picture above, I think this just about works without an FBA - the grain line is not perfectly straight, however when I cut it up, all …

Rebecca Taylor in flowery crepe

I'm starting to be at a loss about what to call these posts you know... after hinting at this shirt for the last two posts, here it finally is.

Pretty windy the day we took pictures!

Later edit: oy, I was just looking at these pics and it seems I was wearing the blouse inside out when I took pictures since the shoulder seam is really a French seam? Oh well. S&%t happens.

I am btw massively happy with my new sewing resolution of taking things slowly. I could have rushed to finish this before a work trip last month but instead I decided to wait and do it properly when I was back, which in the end paid off. Of course, the point of failure of all resolutions (all my resolutions at least) is sustained performance, so we will see how I fare at this over the next few months, right?

But back on track, let's talk about the sewing! This is Vogue 1387, a Rebecca Taylor pattern which features two blouses:

This pattern really is a 2-in-1: there are no common pattern pieces between vers…

Sewing plans!

I did a bit of sightseeing last week, and sightseeing is a lot like sewing... much me-time to plan and ponder and think about life, the universe and everything. Brings things into focus, but also allows for more frivolous pursuit, such as thinking about, and planning for, sewing... lots and lots of sewing.

Before any sewing plans... Check out my handmade wardrobe! The trenchcoat has been great, and my latest Belacarra as well.

I was recently traveling for work, and some fabrics made it back to Switzerland. They're mostly from Mood, and most of them are intended for very specific purposes, with some wild cards.

I'll start with summer sewing, where I have three clear projects, at least one of which I hope to tackle in the following month.

First up, I have great plans for this silk-cotton rose embroidered fabric, to make it into another V1357.

Despite not underlining and managing to stretch out the waist for my previous, winter, version, I am very happy with the waist width incre…

On trend midi skirt

I think I talked about making one of these back in December, and lo and behold I did finish it before the winter was over. Actually I finished it in early February, wore it to an evening work event, it was fairly appropriate attire. I just didn't take pictures until now.

This was the inspiration: this year midi skirts are back, and neutral / camel was a good winter color. The summer trend seems to be soft pastels, so I'm actually making this again in this cotton from Mood for summer.

This is Vogue 1357, now out of print, which I previously made in red lace. I didn't really change much about the pattern, other than increasing the waist a bit, since I was never very happy with the previous version - it was too tight. Now, though, this one feels a bit loose, so I might take in the side seams again for the next version.

This is truly a winter skirt - I don't own one pair of shoes other than boots that work with it, although I guess some smart flat shoes would work. Except …