Sunday, 18 November 2018

The Lacy Dress

I would have never believed I would sew this kind of dress. On the other hand, I bought the white eyelet in stock, so I must have had an idea for it, back then.

It is true that I got out of my comfort zone here and that I am not particularly sure I will have a lot of opportunities to wear this dress, but let's see.

The idea came out of a sudden, I was just browsing Burda's website in search of another dress when I saw 117-06/2017 and actually liked the idea. It is rather different from my usual go-to dress pattern and I have to admit the styling was quite cute.

I am not sure I completely understood all steps in the construction of this dress, but at some point of time I was no longer reading the instructions and was just doing what I wanted. There was a lot of shirring to do, and fortunately the eyelet was quite forgiving on the hem finishing - I just did a little zigzag, turned inside and topstitched. In this fabric, the topstitching is rather invisible so yay for a quick finish.

Of course, eyelet fabric means lining. I used a small piece of white silk on the dress body, leaving the sleeves as is. It adds a piece of luxury to this dress because is sooo soft on the inside.

And I do not think I have much to add to this, the dress was really simple and quick to make and just perfect for this year's extremely long indian summer(long gone now :o)

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Ponte - My New Love

Ok, this might seem obvious for many sewers, but I only discovered the beauty of sewing with ponte this year and honestly, I am in love!

I sewed most of the tango outfits for my sister with ponte, then made 2 Nettie dresses for myself and just thinking about what I could make again. I bought another meter of so of antracite ponte, thinking I would definitely find a nice structured pattern to make and, worst case scenario, I can still sew another Nettie :o) And you know, grey is such a great neutral I will always wear.

It is funny I am saying that: for years I did not own a single grey item because I learned I was an "autumn type" and thought grey was not for myself. Later on, I saw some great pics of red-headed models in grey clothing and just loved the contrast and I figured out it is all about the right shade of grey, so today I am a big fan; I can even make it the whole week wearing grey to work.

After some research, I re-discovered the NewLook 6000 which I sewed a few years back in a non-stretch wool suiting (never made to the blog because I did not line the dress and the fabric was too fine and showed basically all the bumps, so well, I never really wore that dress).
But in ponte, that was another story: I adjusted the pattern to make up for the stretch of the ponte (basically did a cross between the NewLook and the Nettie) and then whipped up the dress in no time.

The dress is less hip-hugging than my netties, so more work-friendly, it is extremely comfy, kind of a secret pyjama and still looks great with jackets. It is a wardrobe basic with a little twist (or pleats) so a big winner because i know I will wear such a dress a lot.

Sunday, 4 November 2018

My First Coat

Ok I must admit that 2018 has been a year of new sewing skills' learning. A lot! Shirt dress: check, jersey: check, more jersey: check, new jackets: check. And nooooow: A COAT!

Yes, it is true, I have sewed a coat for myself and it did not even hurt. I started thinking about coat sewing last year when I made my cape which made me realize that coat wools are actually a great pleasure to sew and that a coat might probably not be such a hurdle. I bought some black thick wool which I am still squirrelling for a new winter coat, but I also found this aubergine wool blend last year during the 50% off days at Marché St. Pierre. The main reason this coupon was there is that there was only 1.5m of fabric, so probably not enough for most people. Not me though: I figured that could work if I go for some simple pattern and I was totally right.

In addition, I have this old blue coat bought years ago at Mango, mostly polyester, the wrong colour and way too large for me which I was keeping for one simple reason, I did not have anything to replace it. Now, I am soo happy that now I can donate it because I have just created a great the replacement.

My main inspiration were these two coats worn by Kate Middleton.

In particular, the bordeaux one ;o) Of course, it does not make much sense for me to have a coat as adjusted as Kate, contrary to her, I may wear thick sweaters or jackets under it and also, I do not have her slim figure either. But I loved the simplicity and the collar, oh yes, the collar!

I could not find any pattern which would be an exact copy, but quite liked Burda 109-09/2016, so I fugerd out I could just extend the collar, sew a muslin and just go for it. And it worked perfectly.

The sewing itself took some time for several reasons:
- I took time to interface all the pieces, including the sleeves; I also made sleeve heads and inserted the shoulder pads and I certainly do not regret this effort
- I was totally stressed by the one-side welt pockets, as I did not have any fabric left once everything was cut out, so no space for errors. Once again, teh sewing community came to the rescue, I read like 4 different tutos, sewed one practice welt pocket to make sure I understood everything, then just took a deep breath and sewed both pockets at once. Nailed it!

- originally I wanted to use some black silk as lining, but once I saw how good the coat looked, I wanted to make the effort and have something different. So the coat waited for a week till I had time to go fabric shopping and bought this lining.

- since the welt pockets were a success, I decided I wanted all the details which were not planned initially: piping between the shell and the lining and an etiquette embroidered with my name in Japanese; something most people will never see but I just love them

Anyhow, this is becoming a rather long story, so for a short summary, the coat cost me around 45 euros and 18 hours of work.
I love the result and the fun I had sewing it. Had I not have an order for a special x-mas present, I would probably be sewing a second one already.