Thursday, September 26, 2013

My favourite make: my Watson jacket. And a give-away!

Last november I tried something completely different decided I would make my own winter coat. I had only been sewing for a couple of months, but I figured I would make it work with the help from Gertie's book and Sew-along for the Lady Grey coat.
 I fell in love with the Watson jacket from Papercut Patterns the moment I first laid eyes on it. I wanted to make it out of red wool, since I don't often wear red and I wanted my jacket to be a statement piece. I spent a couple of hours in the fabric store in Rotterdam trying to decide if I should go with a solid or print lining. The ladies in the store wore rooting for a lining with print, but in the end I decided to stick with my gut feeling and choose a solid black lining. Which I'm soo glad I did!
I felt that there were a lot of pattern pieces to trace and cut out. Now, with a little bit more experience, I don't think it's that bad, but last november it felt like a massive task. 

I decided to try some couture techniques on my jacket. So I used horsehair to give the collar and the jacket front lapels a bit more structure. 
I followed Gertie's advice and let my horsehair soak in water for 24 hours first. It does smell very weird in your kitchen afterwards, like a sweaty horse or something.. Then I used pad stitching to attach the horsehair to my jacket front. A lot of handstitching, but soo worth it!

The horsehair gives it a nice firm shape
For the collar you have to determine the rolling point and then steam and attach it to a form, so that it will keep it's shape nicely, (details found here). I'm glad I took this photo since it was pre-blogging for me. In the end I wish I had cut the top collar part a little bit bigger, so that the seamline would roll towards the undercollar. Now you see the seamline quite well, which I'm not completely happy with. 
A work in progress..

The result
I also wanted to make bound buttonholes (another first) and tried them out on a scrap first. After my first attempt I was really happy and started on my jacket piece right away. This was a bit scary, because they have to line up horizontally and vertically. And they all have to look nice offcourse! I even made bound buttonholes for the buttonholes where I sewed the button on, so you don't really see them, but I know they're there :) 
Only one side is functional
 The lining went in smoothly, I silpstitched the lining to the shell by hand at the sleeve.  
Overall the instructions are great and even if you're a beginner, this pattern is do-able if you follow the instructions and look some terms up every now and then! I had Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing close by at all times. And the Sew-along was super helpful aswell.
What happens in our house while Jonathan is taking pictures
I wore my jacket to Lladybirds meetup in NYC last march and Lisette from What Would Nancy Drew Wear was super sweet and let me borrow her picture from the meetup!

Photo taken by Lisette
Now for the super exciting part....
To celebrate my 100th Bloglovin follower I wanted to host a give-away. And Katie from Papercut Patterns has suuper generously offered me a Watson jacket to give-away to one of you guys! 

Just leave me a comment and I would love to know what kind of fabric you would like to use for your version of this amazing jacket! She ships internationally so anyone can enter! Just make sure that I can contact you when you win (blog or email). 
The give-away will be open until October 4th and then I will randomly pick a winner! Yay!
Update: Thanks for all the comments! The give-away is now closed, I will announce the winner tomorrow!
Lazy doggies

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Drape Drape dress

When I received my Drape Drape book I got super excited! The projects all look amazing, even though some are not really my style (wide dresses and harem pants). I immediately wanted to make dress nr. 5. I thought the red dress looked super nice, so I went and got some red knit fabric..

Tracing the pieces was a little difficult because there are soo many lines on the pattern sheet! It’s like a maze.. I wanted to show you guys but I’ve loaned my book to a fellow sewer, so no pictures..
All the pleats..
I traced size L, but the dress ended up a bit too big. It hangs a little bit too low and also it is a bit too wide around my bust/waist. So next time I’ll make a size M, see how that size fits me.
A little bit too wide..
My fabric was a tiny bit to narrow, so I had to cut the back pieces just a little bit shorter. No problem at all and I don’t think it affects the way this dress looks. Amy from Sew Well had the same problem, so I guess it’s not just me.. Her version is beautiful by the way, I really love the way this dress looks in a print fabric!
Center front seam, which is normally hidden in the pleats
Gathers at the bustline
I had to think a bit about the pleating directions, but once I got the hang of if everything went smoothly. It has gathers at the top of the bustline and then the top skirt part is pleated. I really like the midriff piece, which you interface, so it is nice and sturdy. I didn’t hem the bottom, but since it’s a knit fabric there’s no unravelling. Perfect for me, since hemming is one of my least favourite things to do! (together with tracing patterns..)
You can see the unfinished hem, but that's not a problem to me..
Overall I’m really happy with this dress, even though it is a bit too big. I really like the effect you get from the pleats. I was afraid it would make me look big around the hips, but I don’t think this is really an issue.
Having fun with Jonathan, my photographer
I'm also trying to improve my knitting speed, since I've got so many knitting project on my wish list.. I've been trying to learn the Continental method, but so far I've found it hard to keep the tension right with my left hand. I'm super curious which kind of knitting method you use?
Knitting in progress
I can’t wait to get started on my shirt from Drape Drape, which I’ve already got a black knit fabric for. Just have to get my book back first..

Next up, my other red finished garment and a give-away related to that garment, since I just reached a 100 followers on Bloglovin! Thank you guys!

Monday, September 16, 2013

The final days of summer, my second pair of Maritime shorts.

My sewing space 
After my muslin (with leather) version of the Maritime shorts turned out a bit too small (and sexy) for every day/comfortable wear I’ve made a second pair! I used some blue linnen, the same fabric as I used for my Chloe dress. So they do have a tendency to wrinkle, but I don’t really mind that.

Gorgeous view.. 

I went up from a size 1 (my actual measurements) and cut a size 4 this time.
They fit waaay better! I still took a bit out of the center back seam to avoid some gaping.  The second time I made this pattern went way quicker than my first try, also because I didn’t have to worry about plaids matching up etc. 

No plaids to match..

On another note.. I won something!! Yay! It was actually the first time I’ve won something through my blog. Inge from Ingemaakt was hosting a give-away to celebrate her blogs birthday and I won! I won the lovely Edith Pattern from MariaDenmark! 
I’m super excited to make this in a wool version perfect for winter. How beautiful is the collar?

But first I’ve got two finished garments in red that I want to show you guys, here are some sneak peaks…

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Sew Bossy Challenge reveal..

After a little bit of delay from my side (anyone else have chronic deadline problems?) Hannah from Made With Hugs and Kisses and I are finally ready for the Sew Bossy Challenge reveal!
Hannah has already posted part 1 of her challenge, and I'm super excited to see what she comes up with next, it has to be a blouse! Why? Because I told her to make one!
Bossy me
The challenge that Hannah had in mind for me was the following:
"I challenge you to experiment with the fabric I have sent you and to create a really girly, possibly even vintage style dress that really utilises both the floral and plain elements of the fabric I have sent you... oh and to try out self covered buttons (obviously only if your chosen pattern calls for buttons :D )"

The fabric I was sent was a beautiful floral print bedsheet, blogged about in this post. The pattern I used for this challenge is the Deer and Doe Bleuet dress. Since this dress needs a lot of small buttons I wasn't able to use the fabric covered ones, but I'm hoping Hannah won't mind this..

Beautiful earrings that Hannah made!
I tried to play around with the border print, I've been wanting to make something with a border print for a while now and this fabric was great for that. Maybe I should have tried to match the print a bit better, but I could hardly squeeze the dress out of the printed part of the fabric as it was, so no matching prints this time. I didn't really love the back right panel as the flower ends quite abruptly but my boyfriend liked it, he said that it accentuates the bow, so I'm leaving it like this :)

The pattern was lovely to work with, it was my first time sewing it and I traced a size 37, next time I'll trace a size 38 as it was too tight in the bust area, and with a shirtdress this really shows. Also the sleeves were a bit too tight. The construction was very straightforward and the instructions were easy to follow. I had to look twice before sewing the sleeve bands, because I wasn't sure which side was the right side.. But I figured it out and it wasn't too hard!

I had minor problems with the collar stand not matching up at the ends and therefore it wrinkles when I close the top button.
See the wrinkle under the top button? And the gaping?
The buttons are small mother of pearl buttons which I'm really happy with!

Ohh and I learned something else from Hannah: bedsheets can be an awesome fabric source! So when I was in one of our local design shops and saw Hay bedsheets on sale I didn't think twice and took them home with me. They are super soft en have a great abstract print on them. The backside is solid in colour. I've already thought about skirts or dresses that I can make from them :)

The solid colour is a yellow/green lime colour
So thanks Hannah for making me try something new fabric and pattern wise!

What do you guys think about my make? Any tips for my collar stand next time?
I'm super curious to see what Hannah has made, if you're too, check out her blog!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Sweet and simple, Victory Patterns Chloe dress

This dress is quite different from the shapes that I usually wear. I’ve got an hourglass figure and I tend to gravitate towards dresses that will accentuate my waist. But when I saw the Chloe dress from Victory Patterns I really liked its simplicity. Then when I was at Purl Soho and saw the polka dotted Japanese bias tape I knew I had to make the Chloe dress with it!

Much better fit
I bought linnen at the fabric market in Amsterdam and Chloe was born! It was a very easy make and everything came together nicely. For the bust I cut a size 6 and it fits much better then the size 4, yay!  

At first I was going to use the bias tape around the neckline but then a friend suggested to use it as a sleeve binding instead. Great idea! I think the bias tape as a sleeve binding really accentuates the form of the dress.
The zipper isn’t really invisible, but I made this dress before I got my new invisible zipper foot.. Ahh well, what can you do..
I might still add some buttons in the middle of the pockets, now they have a tendency to open when I’m sitting.  I also accidentally serged a bit of one side to the seam allowance as you can see in this picture, but I’m getting my seamripper out tonight! Problem solved!

Overall I’m really happy with this dress, even though I still have to get used to wearing a loose-fitted dress. After asking my boyfriend he said it looked really good and that the shape of the dress looks good on me. When we were on holiday and I asked him what to wear one evening, he even suggested this dress, I’ll believe him then!

A final seaside dinner drinks picture, since I'm already longing for another holiday! Which won't be until November probably..
With my dad and my boyfriend, the colours are real, no Photoshop!