Since I’m asked all the time what I’m working on, I thought it would be good for me and you if I let you know every now and then. Plus its always fun to see a garment go from inspiration to pattern to fabric to construction to finish. As per my post this past Monday, I was inspired by that Garnet Hill dress to create something similar. The dress in and of itself is really not anything to write home about, but I have to say that I’m diggin the effortless simplicity of it. I actually had a perfect candidate for a dress to create a pattern from and one that had a similar feeling of the Garnet Hill inspiration with a few welcome additions like pockets too. (Visit my rub-off post for more info on how I create a paper pattern from an existing garment. Or here too, if this is a topic that interests you!)
This is my original dress. It was on the sale rack at Target last year and after trying it on and loving it, I thought why not. I wore it a bunch during the summer and it was uber comfortable and easy to pair with shoes and accessories. I don’t know about you, but in the last year I’ve realized that not everything in my wardrobe needs to be handmade (nor do I have time for it to be). There’s a consignment shop that I frequent and a couple of thrift stores that I live near that I also make it to every once in awhile. I also purchase items on sale. I purchase only those things that I love, that already fit and I know would mix and match well. I used to purchase things that I thought I would refashion and after realizing that, for me, these types of things only end up in my UFO pile, I decided to change my direction with thrifted items. I love seeing awesome refashions, but have to say that I just don’t ever really do them. So I made rules that I abide by when I thrift or buy things on sale. Do you do this? Do you refashion a lot of things or do they end up in a UFO pile for you too?
Back to the issue at hand, I’ve wanted to recreate this dress for some time and after seeing the Garnet Hill catalog, I thought I was long overdue for a little easy dress. I picked this dove grey rayon/silk blend – the same fabric as my pink walrus jacket – and I thought I would add in some black linen here and there to create some break up of the grey. I’m envisioning adding a lining, adding a little more length to the bottom of the dress (its a tad on the short side) and adding yoke pieces and a hem band in the black. Simple, sure, but it will most definitely get worn and that’s important.
What’s on your sewing table today?
PS ~ Thank you for your fabulous thoughts on Monday’s post about fabric and pattern pairings. You’ve given me lots of ideas to address and I most definitely will, coming right up!
The other day I received the latest Garnet Hill catalogue in the mail. It’s one of those that I didn’t actually sign up for, have never purchased anything from but have become a regular receiver of. And oddly, its one that I like. As I was flipping through its pages, something struck me and I thought it would be an excellent topic of discussion. The thing that stood out the most for me in this latest issue of Garnet Hill was the happy marriage of pattern/design and fabric type. I’ve noticed things like this before, but it didn’t actually really truly hit home until I saw a dress that I really liked and went to my stash so that I could possibly come up with a sewing substitute.
What I was looking at the most was the shape and the way the dress falls on the body. It’s this dress above and I liked the drapey quality of the rayon that was used in conjunction with the style/design it was paired with. I consider fabric and pattern pairings all the time when I’m in the heat of working out the next project I want to tackle. This time I felt it was a more conscious choice of what would work the absolute best so as to give me the exact look that I saw and wanted.
I remembered a Thread’s article that was published not too long ago (but can’t seem to find) on how one of the biggest failings in personal sewing is pairing the wrong fabric with a specific pattern. These days I have to admit that it seems like you can’t go wrong when you choose a pattern and slap a fabric with it. I mean, as I was looking at the Garnet Hill catalogue, I noticed lovely things like silk crepe de chine shorts and even a jacket. To me this was an interesting pairing and one I probably wouldn’t come up with on my own and one that I would still consider but possibly choose something stronger like a 4-ply silk for a jacket and short combo. Still, I’m curious and want to try a crepe de chine short – now those would be sublime!
Now when it comes to it, I’ll admit that many of my sewing flops could be attributed to poor fabric choice. Because of poor fabric choice, it’s also interesting to note that things like fit and style didn’t fall into place either thereby making it a flop. Yet, when I think of it, I was only concerned with fit and thought that it must have been only a fitting error. An interesting confession, I think. What do you say? Can you attribute some of your flops to poor fabric choice? Were you going for one thing and ended up with something that was a flop because the fabric didn’t lay right for the pattern you chose?
I plan to do a couple of follow up posts on this subject to give you some ideas of good fabric and pattern pairings that I’ve been thinking about, some examples of bad fabric and pattern pairings and how to make unusual fabric pairings work.
First things first. Today was my farewell to Project Sewn. Thank you everyone for your support and sweet comments about my makes and the competition in general. Thank you! I’m happy that I was able to participate and I was thrilled and incredibly honored to be listed among the other amazing ladies. They are still kickin it over there for the last week. Down to the final three – Rachel, Oona and Alida! I’m sure this upcoming week will be a very hard pick. All my best to the final three!
Several of y’all wanted to see the innards of my Pink Walrus jacket from last week and I’m more than happy to oblige. Far be it from me to withhold more nerdy info on one of my makes. I may as well give you the entire run down.
The jacket was fusibly tailored – meaning I used a fusible interfacing throughout. I used two different interfacings in different areas because I’ve liked the way this works in other jackets that I’ve done. I used a weft interfacing for the main body of the jacket and this absolutely marvelous pro-sheer elegance interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply for the faced areas of the jacket. Whenever I fusibly tailor a jacket, I use this method of applying the interfacing to the jacket front/lapel area. It’s pretty awesome. Also, I did tape the roll line for the lapel and I did that by machine. That, I should not have done. It just shows up too easily here, but might work better on something like a tweed or boucle where the stitches would really be hidden.
I attached the pockets using my patch pocket method. Someone asked about the flaps. Really they’re just little rectangles that are stitched in place, folded down and stitched again. The Named instructions are very adequate for those. (BTW, this is the Kaisla jacket from Named….)
The body of the jacket is made from this drapey rayon/silk blend and its was interesting, to say the least. I wanted a drapey jacket but hadn’t thought that making one from something like this would be hard. It was hard. Not only did this fabric show a lot of flaws, but it shows all the inner workings pretty well too. Or it was trying to do that, but alas, I tamed this beast into submission! The final jacket looks really good and I’m surprised at just how well it coordinates into my existing wardrobe.
The lining in the body is a silk/acetate blend hollywood lining. From what I understand, hollywood lining merely refers to the jacquard look of it. Mine has little medallions woven into it and that purpley color looks so unnervingly awesome with the pink. I also have this same lining in a tan color, just begging for another jacket lining to be made from it. Additionally, I lined the sleeves in a Liberty of London silk charmeuse. This, as you might be aware, is one of my favorite tricks. I’ve seen this type of thing in high end RTW and I love being able to use a contrasting lining in the sleeve to give the inside of a jacket a little edge. It’s fun! Additionally, it keeps the cost down on the silk front. I mean you only need a yard – if that – of silk for the sleeve and since your sleeve is the part of the jacket that will most likely touch the skin, it feels incredibly luxurious.
Someone asked about the vent in the back. All I did with the vent is not sew it in. This means that instead of a slit or vent in the center back seam, I sewed the whole thing shut. There was no other change to the pattern in the back other than that so the shape of the jacket back is built into the pattern. I do love vents on jackets, I just didn’t want to mess with it because a vent with a lining is actually not the easiest thing to sew. I really didn’t have time for fiddly stuff, so I skipped that and redrafted the lining to better meet the way I had envisioned sewing this jacket. Worked out just great.
I’m really loving this jacket style in my closet. It’s a knock out color and looks easy and fabulous with jeans and a simple tee. I love the length too. It’s a longer style jacket and that has its perks. Plus it has a little modern edge to it that I think is really nice. I love the no collar look and can even envision a cardigan style jacket made from it. Lots of possibilities here.
What did you think of this jacket in the Named line-up? Like my lining combo? It’s a must try tip. Silk in the sleeve feels like a million dollars!
Have a lovely weekend everyone!
I hope you all had a steamy lovey weekend filled with v-day celebrations. I did. I mean, I picked out some old Harlequin romances from my bookcase (yes, I have a select few) and read them and loved their trashiness. Les sigh. I was telling my mister about it and well, we giggled. They are rather fun! I mean, its really awesome when you already have the whole thing figured out from the beginning, the books always follow the same story line and they have as little depth as possible. I have to say, its wonderful when the goods are delivered. And you can definitely judge Harlequins by their cover. Ha ha!
Onto other pressing matters, I guess. I’m flattered to have made it thus far in Project Sewn. Seriously. It’s been pretty intense what with the workload I already have going, but I am determined to give it my all. That said…. this week’s challenge was shoes. Here’s the thing though. I have to preface this by telling you that this outfit wasn’t actually made for the challenge. The outfit itself was actually based around these leopard heels, but I made this stuff way back in September and never blogged about them because of the hours I’ve been keeping for the last few months. And we can’t have that, now can we? I mean, I never blogged this skirt! How dare I?!! Alas, this week was one of those where my inner worker bee finally said ENOUGH! and I couldn’t bring myself to crank out anything from my sewing machine and I barely kept up at work. Taking a break has been much needed and so, it was Harlequins, Deep Space Nine and me-time as I slowly turned into a pumpkin all week.
Still, the outfit bears some pretty remarkable elements and I’m proud to say that I can finagle my way out of tight situations with finesse (thank goodness I had sense in September to feel that I needed to make this for Project Sewn). So let’s talk. You can see that I didn’t deviate from my jacket obsession. My oh my. This jacket, as you already know if you read me, is not me-made. But since I had to re-line this thing (it being my favorite jacket ever) and since re-lining a jacket isn’t exactly the easiest thing ever, I included it in this week’s challenge. I’ve done this with several jackets that I already have actually. I’m all about making a garment last as long as it possibly can and this jacket is definitely no different. This is the original jacket from challenge #1 – my green jacket there being an exact replica of this one. My love for this thing knows no bounds. It will survive!
My button-up is Simplicity 2339 (out of print, boooo!) and it’s a go-to pattern for me. Though I’m getting ready to give the famed Archer a try. I love me a good button up, especially when one can move their arms freely. You know me. I have that problem with sooooooooooooo many things. I even get tired of re-iterating the same fitting problem over and over. (Note to self: grow smaller upper back to accommodate patterns more easily). My top’s made from a Liberty of London cotton lawn. What else? This shirt, I have to say, was impeccably made. I’m singing my own praises just a little bit, but really, it’s really really good. You would never even know that I made it. I am very proud of myself on that front. I used all the tricks that I’ve gathered from everywhere and it bears some real fine workmanship.
The skirt is my own self drafted skirt. It’s made of a lace that I seriously splurged on because I’m not really a lace kind of gal and when I see one that I like, I die and like, have to have it! The lace was incredibly expensive ($80/yard – YIKES). I underlined with a 4-ply silk crepe, lined the skirt in bemberg rayon lining and finished it off with a petersham ribbon waistband. It’s pretty much gorgeous. Pretty much. This brings me to another find that I’m hesitant to tell you about because this online shop boasts some pretty remarkable fabrics and I am loathe to give up my secret sources because then it means that y’all will go out and buy all the fabric. I go there when I’m in the mood for something ….. different. Fabrics and Trimmings on Etsy has really lovely fabric. A lot of what they have is novelty apparel and I have to say, very very tasteful and well, sooooooooo cool. Oh I can’t even believe I’m telling you about them, but I have to. You’ll love the stuff you find there and you know, it’s important that we keep these little resources going. So go and shop with impunity. It’s where I found this lace that was worth every single cent. And I made sure that I went on over there before I posted this and bought up all the good stuff anyway…… You know, I tease. right? Right? (wink, wink)
And now a a pic of me and my man. I mean it was Valentine’s Day over the weekend. Mr. S told me to tell you that he got in a fight at a bar defending my honor, hence the mark on his lip that looks an awful lot like a cold sore. The blazer he’s wearing is an oldy that I altered for him (made it fit him a whole lot better) and I relined it too. Granted this was in December that I did this for him, but I instinctively knew that he would defend my honor so well that the jacket was completely justified. What can I say? We’re both hopeless romantic jacket people.
Now, enough of my silliness. Project Sewn awaits your vote!
I know, I know. It’s been a seriously long space of time since I did a tutorial. I love tutorials and at one moment in time, I felt I had a lot to give in that arena. Thing is, things have been so busy. Something you’ve heard from me for a bit. The great part is though, I’ve got help now! Oh my gosh! You guys, you’re going to start meeting some of my staff here and I’m going to coax them into writing a few bloggy blog posts. They are all so creative. Can I just say, its super fun being around creative sorts and its so much fun to see the light in their eyes when they talk sewing. Anyway, anyway today, as a finish to the week, I thought I would get back to a little tutorial writing. Today’s topic is sewing and attaching a patch pocket.
Lest you think this might be a yawn, I’m here to say that patch pockets can definitely turn a handmade project into homemade at a moment’s notice. The kind where people are like, “Hmmm…did you make that?” And in their head they’re like, “cuz it looks like it.” Oh the shame, the shame! So let me give you some of my tips, eh?
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