Thursday, April 10, 2014

....and here's my first ever jacket. OOP Vogue V1021

I cannot believe it's been more than a year since my last post!! And what a year it has been. One job change, home buying, moving, pregnancy and childbirth experience later, I've found a few minutes today to come visit with my sewing blog.

I may have been away from blogosphere for a while but I certainly have been sewing these past months. The Rebecca Taylor V1152 dress I mentioned in my fabrics blog ended up having major fit issues. Never ever am I adding ease wily nily without doing tissue or muslin fittings. I somehow thought I had it right. Then there was the Pendrell blouse that I made in a completely wrong fabric! Without any drape, those sleeves look awful.

This is total redemption however!

My first attempt at a jacket and I couldn't be happier (and yes, prouder)!! The pattern is an out-of-print Vogue pattern I bought off of Etsy.

I picked a printed cotton (must be bottomweight, I can't seem to recall) from JoAnn's and decided to make the jacket unlined as I plan to use it mostly as a summer jacket. 

Here are the changes that were required to make this an unlined jacket.

1. I used french seams for all seams on the main body of the jacket except the two princess seams on the front. I ironed the seam allowance of the princess seams away from center front and hand stitched the front facing such that it would cover the seam allowance.

2. Added a facing to the back neck so the jacket would look better on the hangar. No wrong side of fabric showing this way.

3. Added cuffs to the sleeves. 

The most challenging part of making this jacket was lining up the print on the fabric to match for adjoining pieces. After spending an entire weekend cutting the jacket . The front alone had eight pieces that needed to be perfectly aligned. Overall I am happy with how well the rows are aligned.

I modified the sleeve to be 3/4th length and  created a simple cuff for it.

I absolutely love the way the pockets are designed. If and when I make this jacket again, I will use contrasting fabric for the two pieces that make up the pocket, so the shape shows off well. Thanks to my amazing print matching skills you can hardly tell the jacket has pockets on the front bottom. :P

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The perfect weeknight project

I was on Etsy looking for some Alexander Henry fabric that I am in love with right now, when I found a few buttercup handbags made in the same fabric. The handbags looked so cute, I had to have the pattern. Lucky for me it was a downloadable pattern over at Rae's. Thanks Rae!!

Stepped out immediately to buy some fabric. I thought it best to use a thick fabric to ensure the bag had some body and wasn't too floppy. The home decor section at Joann worked out perfectly. Got back home at 8:00 PM and was done making the bag by 11:15 PM. Now that's instant gratification! (in the world of sewing :) )

I used pink ambiance I had at hand for the lining, complete with a pocket and magnetic snap to hold the bag closed.

I used topstitching thread in a green. It pops perfectly against the blue.

 This was my first attempt at making a handbag of any kind and I am pleasantly surprised by how fast and well the project went. Thanks again Rae. I am sure I will be making more of these over the years.

Friday, March 15, 2013

I have discovered online fabric shopping...

...somebody take away my credit cards please.

Jokes apart, this has been such a fun discovery. Up until now, I have been a 'buy the fabric required for the current project' kinda gal. Only exception being the fabrics I bought in Montmartre during our Paris trip. But I think I am sewing often enough now to start building a stash. And here are my picks so far,

The five pieces above are from Fabric Mart. The blue rayon challis has been made into a pretty Rebecca Taylor V1152 dress. Hopefully, I can take some pictures in daylight this weekend and post those soon.

The abstract chiffon will probably turn into DKNY V1160. I can hold off on this for a little while, I guess. We are past leggings weather here in California.

The only goal for the polka dot cotton lawn is to make it not look like Julia Roberts' Pretty Woman dress. Brown polka dots seem stuck with that image. :)

The next batch was bought from Mood,

Lot of ponte knits there, bought for color blocked tops. I haven't decided a pattern for this yet. I am leaning towards drafting a pattern myself.

The only one I am not happy about, a black tafetta purchase. But my fault entirely. I should have realized I have no use for such a crisp and shiny fabric. But I fell for how pretty it looks! I wonder if online fabric stores allow return.

The loveliest though is this silk brocade from  Fabric Mart. Believe me that picture doesn't do it any justice.

Now if only I knew the perfect pattern for it! Any suggestions?

And in other news, the sweet sister visited and came bearing gifts :)

That's it for tonight. I hope to post about my completed projects soon.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

In anticipation of Butterick B5711 blouse

For the Fearless February sew-along, I picked a button-up (or is that button-down?) blouse pattern. In the two years that I have been sewing, I haven't made a single thing that has buttons going down the center. I never thought myself capable of matching up a buttonhole to a button well enough that it doesn't pucker up at all the wrong places. The other reason for tackling this project; this is going to be my stepping stone towards making jackets.

I decided to make View A, which has the flutter sleeves. This would have looked really pretty in  Georgette or similar lighter fabric. But in my crisp cotton, this looked more like armor. I wanted to change this to puff sleeves, but didn't have enough fabric left over to cut the sleeves for View B. Solution: release tucks at the bottom of the sleeve! I copied this technique from a Jessica Howard dress I bought a couple of months back. And it all ties in so well! The blouse has release tucks in the pattern already. I am sooooooo happy I thought to do this.


Deviations from pattern:
1. Changed the self-facing to appear on top. I felt having the button placket ( if that's the right word) folded to the inside made it look more dated.
2. And the sleeves ofcourse.

New technique tried on the garment:
1. FRENCH SEAMS!! (that is happy shouting :) )
      This is my first time completing an entire garment with french seams and I am in love with the way the garment looks on the inside. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Burda Style 7293 skirt

This is my first time working with a Burda pattern and boy am I happy! Since I had heard from many sources about the amazing fit of Burda patterns, I decided to refrain from making any changes, which is also a first for me. I usually end up having to tweak at least a few things. Not with this one!

One place these instructions got the better of me was when attaching the skirt bottom to the yoke. The pattern talks about a placement line and a separate stitching line. After some fiddling around, I realized it really was as simple as placing the wrong side of the skirt bottom on top of right side of yoke with the top edge of the skirt bottom on the placement line.

Deviations from the pattern: 

1. The skirt in View B has a frayed edge along the yoke, but I'm not a fan of frayed edges and I also didn't think it would look good with this particular fabric. I decided to finish the edges of the yoke with a ribbon using Hong Kong finish. I really like how this turned out and will definitely work with this technique more often now. The only trouble spots were near the pleats where the ribbon tended to slip a bit over the multiple thickness of fabric.

2. Increased the length by an inch.

New technique tried on the garment:

1. Invisible hem using the invisible hem foot on my Brother sewing machine.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Can we call it a crazy Saturday already!

I bought this white chain stitch embroidery on white fabric to make Butterick B5711 (View A) blouse.

And as any good seamstress would, I put this in the washer to preshrink. But when has my life been this simple? Of the 8766 hours in a year, I happened to do this at the exact same hour when the water in my tap began running brown with rust because the city had just finished replacing meters on my street. Result?

I couldn't stop anguishing over the loss of  $30 fabric or repeating myself over and over again about how unbelievable this was. Really, what are the chances?!? It's mind boggling really. Okay, alright, I know, get over it already. After a little web search, I picked up Rit Color remover from Jo-Ann. And spent my Saturday stirring my brand new fabric in simmering water over the stove.

This is what it looks like now.

I am definitely surprised that the product worked. I wasn't so sure it would because Rit has a specific 'Rust remover' product that wasn't available at my local Joann's.

Anyway, I am not so sure it's back to how it looked in the store. Still considering if I should just cut my losses and buy new fabric.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Self-Drafted color block top

Of all the things I have sewed so far, this simple color-blocked top is my absolute favorite!

When I started sewing about a year and a half ago, this was the first top I attempted. I used an old t-shirt as reference for drafting the pattern. This was before I was even aware of all the techniques I have learned since, rub-offs and commercial patterns and tissue pattern fittings. I am surprised to this day how I manged to get the sleeve cap to fit the armhole without doing any complicated math. Must be beginner's luck.

The pictures were taken back in summer on a fruit picking outing.