Thursday, December 13, 2018

New Holiday Patterns from Simplicity for 2018

Simplicity thinks The Puffy Shirt has returned . . . 

To which I say . . . "But I don't wanna be a pirate!"

Other than that interesting design choice, there really are not many new patterns that interest me.  Which, to be honest, does not surprise me.  There were way too many vintage beauties in the last couple of catalogs for the trend to continue.  

Last release, I mentioned the inordinate amount of apron patterns that this company produces.  Well, we have yet another.  Personally, I like to wear my dresses in dress form, however, this is a cute idea.  I am not sure about that model pic, though . . . are you supposed to remove all of your clothes when wearing such an apron?

I was going to look right past this wardrobe pattern, but I have learned that can be a mistake.

Take a look at the line drawing for the dress and skirt.  This is pretty cute!  Love those oversized pockets!!

That is about all that caught my attention, although I do eagerly await the next round of vintage reproductions.  

How to you feel about the new designs?

[Click on image for source]

Monday, December 10, 2018

Adding the Lining

Back in December of last year, I made up my first version of Simplicity 8509.  It was really a test run for this wool swing coat.  The successful wearable muslin just confirmed that I should move forward with the wool.

I started blogging about the process of making a second coat with this crazy thick wool coating fabric back in March of this year, and somewhere along the way, I lost steam.  It probably had something to do with the weather getting warm, and the thought of this heavy wool was too much to take!  But anyway . . . where I left the project here on the blog was with a finished outer shell.

I added a strip of seam binding to the bottom edge of of the facing where it joins the lining.  In ready-to-wear coats, this bit is often left unfinished or serged.  I am not a huge fan of the serged look, and there was no way I was going to leave this "fray as soon as you look at it" coating raw for an inch along the bottom of the coat.  Once again, my Hug Snug saved the day!

The most challenging part of this process was certainly dragging this heavy thing back and forth from sewing table to sewing machine.

I stabilized the front edge with some twill tape.

And then pressed . . .

and pressed . . .

and went to town with the clapper.

And, of course, there were plenty of seam allowances to be trimmed and graded.

Because of the thickness of the coat, and the weight, I needed to stabilize the turn of cloth (the collar is shown below).  I love silk thread for basting because it is so easy to remove.  I probably could have used a color with a little more contrast, but this was the first spool I grabbed.

Once that collar was pressed into submission, I catch-stitched the collar facing and collar together using the seam allowances.

Which should keep that collar in place nicely.

No facing visible from the front!

And then I did the same with front opening edges.

And I once again pressed the heck out of this portion of the coat.

Next up was the hemline.  I used seam binding on the raw edges.

The hemline was catch-stitched in place.

This is becoming my favorite hemming method!

In this particular case, the stitches will be covered by a lining, but the seam binding is much easier to work with than the loosely woven wool.

And then there was more pressing.

The raw edge of the lining hem was folded up and pressed.

It was then hand stitched to the coat.

The sleeve lining was also stitched in place.

And then it was time to remove the visible basting stitches.

Which means the coat is finished!

This lady is heavy duty!

So I am all ready for the cold weather!

Well, not really . . . I hate the cold (not that we have real cold weather in the Bay Area, but I am a baby about it anyway), but this coat will make the temperatures slightly more bearable.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

New Butterick Patterns for Winter 2018

We have a new pattern collection from Butterick for Winter 2018, and I am somewhat underwhelmed with the options.

I do like the corselette from Gertie, and will probably pick this one up during the next pattern sale (although my local JoAnns has been horrible about stocking current releases so who knows when that will be).  It will be interesting to see what kind of directions are included with this design.

The other new Gertie release is this fringed dress.  Other than the sweet-heart neckline and the princess seamed bodice, adding fringe to the very popular Butterick 6453 would give you a very similar look.  It is a cute dress, though.  I was hoping for a sleeved retro look for Winter, though.
Here is the standard knock-off of one of the latest royal wedding dresses we have come to expect from Butterick.  I had some issues with the original bridal gown (mostly to do with the fit of the bodice on the bride), however, there are some interesting style lines which could be fun to play with.  I love the knee length version.  The pattern is underlined and boned, so it sounds like there is a good foundation to be had by using the pattern as drafted.  And actually, this bodice might have been useful in making my latest off-the-shoulder dress. I sure do love off-the-shoulder looks!
Here is a super basic knit dress design, but since I don't have a lot of those, I am tempted by this See & Sew design.  Does anyone else use the See & Sew patterns and have any comments?  Then again, I haven't touched my serger since making this polka dotted gown, so perhaps knits are never going to be my favorite textiles and I should focus on the wovens.

The other dress that I would consider is Butterick 6640.  It's difficult to see with the busy fabric, but this is another take on the classic shirt dress which is included in a wardrobe pattern, so there are lots of options available.  If I was more tempted by the other views, I might grab this one, but as it is, I probably have something very similar stashed away.

The only other pattern that caught my eye was the Connie Crawford jacket.  The collar separation in the front is not my favorite detail, but I do like the waist seam paired with the double breasted silhouette.  The Anne Klein design from Vogue Patterns a few seasons back definitely has a similar flavor, so I might just stick with that one.
Overall, I am not all that impressed with anything.  Which is fine, because I need to catch up on the 2.4 million other patterns that I have waiting for me at home (only exaggerating slightly!).

Do you have any new favorites?

[Click on image for source]

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Rick Rack Revelry

Since I still have not made it thought the pictures of my most recent project, and you have seen a bunch of construction mumbo jumbo lately, I thought I would share a finished project.

And while I have been wearing the skirt until fairly recently, the weather has definitely turned, and my summer garments made of cotton are taking a siesta in the closet for the time being.

I tossed this project aside last year after the zipper pull came right out of the zipper.  This, of course, happened after the lining and waistband was attached and seam allowances and corners nicely trimmed.

Normally, I would be very pig-headed about these sorts of things and stick with it until I became extremely frustrated and did something rash that might just make more of a mess of the project.

Instead, I let it sit . . . for over a year.

The fix is not perfect, but it means I can use the zipper without replacing it, which is a huge win, in my opinion.

And I have added two more separates to the collection.

The skirt, especially, has proved to be a great wardrobe builder.  And I suspect it will be on rotation quite a bit once the warm weather returns.  

For now, I am trying to suitable fabric for a coat pattern which inconveniently requires a massive amount of yardage.  Why did I only get four yards of that periwinkle wool coating last year?!?

Blouse:  Made by me, McCall 7563
Skirt:  Made by me, self-drafted
Earrings:  Vintage
Shoes:  Banana Republic

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Finishing Touches to the Upholstery

Continuing on with the saga of the upholstery fabric . . .  once the boning channels were in, I decided it would be nice not to have to wear a strapless bra with this dress.  So out came the bra cups.  However, like many other dress projects, the cups do not extend far enough to reach a seam allowance, making it impossible to invisibly attach them to the dress.

I have attached cups to the lining of a dress before, but I just don't think it works quite as well.  So I extend the cups themselves with a scrap of fabric.  This allows me to stitch them to the underarm seam.  The excess fabric can then be trimmed away.

The cups also get stitched to the dart to keep them from rotating.

It's not the prettiest fix in the world, but it works.  And the lining takes care of covering the mess!

For this project, I decided to use a piece of bias fabric to finish the neck edge.  I thought it would be easier than fighting with the lining after the capelet was attached.  Did I mention how heavy this thing is?!?

This is not my usual construction technique, but it did the job.

And, of course, I added a waist stay.  A piece of petersham and a couple of hook & eyes makes all the difference.

After doing quite a few of these, I have learned that offsetting the closure on the waist stay from the zipper is much more comfortable when wearing.

It means things are off center, but I think it's worth it!

And, of course, a strapless dress needs hanger loops so it won't fall of a hanger.

I like to add thread loops to front and back bodice so that the neckline does not gape open while on the hanger.

Just thread the ribbon through the thread loops at the front and back bodice, and they hold everything together nicely.

I just love it when I have matching ribbons stashed away!

She's all ready for a nice nap in the closet!

A lapped zipper application usually needs to be held flat, especially if it is fitted at the waist.  It's hard to see in the photo, but across from the hook is a thread bar (it's right below the bright blue pen dot).  With a textured fabric like this, it blends in nicely!

Finally, I added one of my new woven labels from The Dutch Label Shop - this is actually the first garment to get one.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I finished a dress!