Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Brown + Hot Pink Double-Breasted Jacket

The only thing good about cold weather is cute outerwear.

I say this every year because I really don't like winter but I really do like coats. They make it bearable, and I have a number of them. You can never have too much outerwear IMO. Yes I live in south Texas. Having a nice wardrobe means being prepared for any occasion and that includes weather.

The pattern is Vogue 1467, an Anne Klein designer pattern that came out last year. The McCall's blog did a sew along for it last year, and I totally meant to participate, but something must have come up. I just love this design, especially the standing collar. I picked a long time stash resident for the body fabric - a brown wool blend (I think!) with hot pink pin dots. I think I bought it locally. I loved it so much that I saved it and saved it for just the right project.

I used a knit interfacing for the fronts and side fronts, and a woven interfacing for the facings, belt, outer collar stand and upper collar. The topstitching was done with my triple stitch setting and regular thread. The buttons I purchased locally.

I cut out the muslin last year, and for some reason I cut the size 10 and I cannot remember why. I'm always a 12 for fitted woven patterns. When I stitched it up, the front fit just fine but the back was really tight. To solve this I added 1/2 inch to each center back. I had to add two small darts to the back neckline in order to cinch it up to meet the collar. They pretty much disappear into the fabric.

I really like the inset V at the top of the back and the half belt. I used the same style brown buttons in a smaller size for it. I cut the fabric out in a single layer to insure that my dots were on grain, and by the time I got to the under sleeves I was on fabric fumes. Those I cut on the cross grain, but you can't tell on the finished jacket. Whew!

I really love the fit of this design. It's big enough to layer over other clothing but not too boxy to obliterate my shape. The key to making this pattern successfully is the fabric choice. Because it's on the fitted side, you need a light to medium weight coating. The fabric suggestions on the envelope are wool flannel, crepe or gabardine. Anything thicker will give you a stuffed sausage look. 

Because of fabric shortage, I had to use a different fabric for the under collar. I went to the store and scoured the shelves for a matching brown and this is as close as I could find. It's some sort of home-dec fabric that was thin and somewhat stiff. I left off the interfacing in order to reduce bulk in this area. My one big fear while making this was that the collar wouldn't lay nicely like the envelope example. 

I stitched in one large snap on the under layer instead of the buttons called for. Snaps are easier for me to do up and I have a thing for these really big ones. The functioning buttons I sewed on with thread shanks.

Here you can just see the angled darts I added to the neckline to bring it in after adding an inch to the back seam. That back V is such a cute detail. 

The pattern has a half lining and back seams covered with bias binding. I substituted a full lining instead, and used a hot pink silk charmeuse from Mood that I had in my stash. How fun is it to have a pop of color on the inside of a lined garment?!

Dress form pictures (overexposed to see details):

I decided to move all the buttons up from the the pattern's placement in order to use my pockets without interference. It's hard to sew on that last functioning button and not catch the pocket at the same time.

It's been about two years since I've made a fitted jacket, but they are always so rewarding. My favorite part is when the lining is being sewn to the body. It looks like a mess until all the seams are trimmed and it's turned to the outside and it suddenly becomes a beautiful garment. The process reminds me of a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

McCall's 7194 - Borderprint Sweaterknit Top w/ Asymmetrical Hemline

The temperatures outside have dropped dramatically. Time to break out the wool sweater knits! This fabric fades from dark gray to marbled red and back again, and I knew I wanted something simple to showcase it. I chose McCall's 7194, which I'd seen several awesome versions of last winter.

I made view D with the bottom band of view C and cut a size M. This pattern is drafted to be very fitted and my fabric doesn't have a ton of stretch. The fit is perfect at the top, but I had to add some darts in the back to give it the semi-fitted silhouette I was after.

I used the solid gray portions for the bottom band and neckline. The middle of the top I lined up with the middle of the red marbled section so that the shoulders, lower arms and lower bit of the longer side were fading out to gray as well. I used a twin needle to finish off the sleeve hems and overlocked the inside edges. The neckband I overlocked and topstitched down.

This fabric is from Mood Fabrics and I used two panels with some left over. There's a bit of it left but as of this writing is is "almost sold out". It is fairly soft and doesn't irritate my skin in the least, although it definitely feels like a wool. 

This was a really quick garment to make. I don't think I'll be using this view again but I'll definitely be revisiting the pattern, maybe in a thinner knit with the flouncy ruffle. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Early Spring McCall's Pattern Release

I don't do posts that showcase pattern releases very much anymore but I just had to this time around because McCall's hit it out of the park for me. There are SO MANY DESIGNS that I like. I need new patterns like I need a hole in my head so I try to only buy a choice few from each collection. This time I've paired in down to 8. And that's using some restraint, people.

This first one is McCall's 7537. I adore the shape of this and the use of three different prints. I may make it shorter... This view isn't shown on a body so I'm not sure where the hemline falls.

McCall's 7534 looks like a super cute day dress to throw on and go. I'm really loving these types of dresses lately - unfitted but still with some shape. The neckline is pretty too, and that wrap detail goes all the way to the side seam.

Okay, so this silhouette doesn't scream my name. Those flare sleeves aren't comfortable to me. They get in the way of my day-to-day and I like a sleeve that stays put. However, I'll be buying this pattern just to have the neckline. How cute is that lacing with a contrasting lace underneath?! I'm all about these kinds of details. This is 7532 BTW.

This is McCall's 7539, of which one of the fabrics listed scuba knit. I have several cuts of this type of fabric in my stash and haven't been able to come up with a pattern I love to pair them with. Also, high necklines make the bust look bigger and I'm always trying to even out my proportions.

I think McCall's 7541 is adorable for spring. Some cape-inspired clothing is difficult for me to pull off. I need my arms free to carry children and most capes just won't work for that. But this top looks like there'd be plenty of movement and mobility. It's simple with some interest.

This is McCall's 7545. What I like on this design is the mixing of two fabric together and the front tie made from tassels. I'd probably need to run a strip of elastic along the bottom of the sleeve. Although these don't look that wide so maybe I'd be able to pull it off.

This top looks uber trendy and of-the-moment. I'd pinned one that somebody made from the Hotpatterns pattern and was thinking about buying it, but now I think I'll get McCall's 7543 instead.

I remember wearing overalls in college in the 90's so this pattern really wouldn't have done much for me BUT, I really loved some of the inspiration photos on the video McCall's did for it. I'm still on the fence. I do love the shape - especially the view with the tapered legs - and the fact that it has a waistband. This is McCall's 7547.

Those are my picks! There are a number more that I'd like to have but I'm seriously running out of room for patterns. I think it may be time for a stash-busting session. What did you find from this release that you just have to have?

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Updated Pinterest Boards!

If you're interested in seeing what I'm pinning for sewing inspiration, you can now check out my boards on Pinterest. Originally I started out with only a few boards, one of which was "Sewing Inspiration". However, it got so full of pictures that I had to scroll forever to find the one that I wanted. Or I forgot about things I intended to copy. Now it's been completely overhauled into various categories and is MUCH easier for me to find what I'm looking for or interested in.

Also, I've set up a neat board devoted to all the garments I've posted in the past 8 years that are still in my closet. I'm pretty ruthless when it comes to cleaning out my wardrobe. If it doesn't get worn in a year or is uncomfortable/faded/fabric didn't hold up to expectations/etc., it gets donated. This was fun and pretty eye-opening. Anyway, take a look if you're curious. The picture at the top is linked or you can always click through with the social media icons on my right sidebar.

Have a great weekend!