Tuesday, February 26, 2019

McCalls 6172 Wool blazer version 2 in Shetland wool from Britex in SF

This jacket shows why I like to make a pattern more than once. When you find a good pattern and get all the fit adjustments worked out, then why not make it multiple times? After all, our wardrobes consist of a lot of basics, be it button front shirts, or a pencil skirt, a fit and flare dress, a knit t-shirt. It's the fabric that makes things look completely different, and also the small details like stitching, pockets or even length that change up the look a lot. I find myself less interested in buying new patterns, particularly for items when the patterns are often so similar. But fabric, I have a lot of restraint but I could find endless pieces to add to my stockpile.
Fortunately my friend and muse Heather usually knows exactly what she is looking for, and when we make a trip to Britex we always find it. How could you not?  their selection is amazing. I grant that you don't go there for bargains or bulk buys. Last time we went shopping we selected this wool as well as 3 silks for coordinating tops. (I say we, because she lets me have a veto which I do exercise against really tricky plaids and stripes).

H blazer front view2

We took these photos early on a Sunday morning when we were both free. She was on her way to her office to get in some quite-time work undisturbed by clients or her employees. So it was a jeans and t-shirt day but perhaps that shows the versatility of a nice blazer jacket - you can toss it on over just about anything and look put together.

I have a lot of photos of the construction on this jacket - far too many to post but as I was constructing this jacket I took pictures and video which I uploaded to my Instagram Story and saved to a Highlight.

Wool jacket highlight info

A lot of people have viewed as I've posted this over the past months and I appreciate all the comments and direct messages 😊. The whole series is there and I'll leave it up so it will be a reference.
But for those of you who like to see the insides of garments - here is a sampling of what I included in the Highlight.

H blazer inside interfacing lapel

Jacket front. I do my own thing when it comes to interfacing, and it all depends on the weight and structure of the fabric. Let's get a round of applause for this pattern which has the collar and lapel roll lines marked on the pattern. You can see that I mark the angles on corners which makes stitching so much more accurate and it goes faster as well. Also I always want to make sure the two jacket fronts are exactly the same so more markings help with that.

H blazer inside under collar

Above, collar attached and now clipping, trimming and grading seam as needed, prior to catch-stitching it down with silk thread.

H blazer lapel corners

H blazer front pocket view

Somebody is liking their pockets!
Since I did a fair amount of fit adjustments to the front pattern pieces I had to decide where to place the pockets and I'm very happy with how they turned out. Here's a look at them in progress. Again the color of this fabric is so different in every picture.

H blazer pocket details

By the way - as I mentioned above this is the second time I've made this pattern, both for Heather. The first one was a solid navy blue that was really a test version - here's the blog post on that one which has a lot of the info on making fit adjustments on this pattern as well as some other info.

H blazer back view

H blazer on form

H blazer full lining

Lining sewn in by hand, and a small pleat at the bottom edge so that the lining has space to move and not tug on the bottom edge of the jacket when worn.

H blazer side view

Side view and you can see how a two-piece sleeve curves nicely to follow the shape of the arm. Also in the background is a jacket I've sewn for myself, another version of the Pauline Alice Saler jacket in wool with a velvet collar. I started Heather's jacket the week after Christmas and since I had already made one version I just needed her to come by for a final fit check on this one. But she had the bug that was going around so it ended up being postponed for several weeks - but I was still in wool jacket making mood so I decided to do that one. And have already worn it a couple of times. It goes so nicely with a couple of silk shirts - a blog post on those items next.
Also in view is my sewing room table, which is not the most beautiful worktable you can see on the web but it is really functional. I got a few questions on that so in my next Random Threads post I'll show some details and tips on how I made it.

H blazer sleeve buttons

I love this picture! It really shows how well the lining color and the buttons complement this. Which should be credited to the lovely salespeople at Britex who know what they have in stock.

Here are the 3 silks we also found that day which will be tops to go with this jacket. Not sure which fabric will be used for what top pattern I just got Vogue 1412 so that will be for at lease one of these.


H blazer showing lining

Someone really likes that fancy lining :)

H blazer front view

So that's a wrap on this wool jacket. Is it spring yet?  Although last week I traced a couple of distinctly wintery patterns from the recent Burda mags so I will have to get to those quickly.

Update on classes at Hello Stitch Studio:  Classes are filling up quickly - so if you want to register I suggest not waiting. I do have a fitting class on a weekday coming up, on Thurs. March 14. After that we still have some spots open in the Wrap dress class (Sat. Mar 23) and in April we have a Lander pants class (always fills up fast) and the Bondi dress class. Tessuti patterns has come out with a really nice new dress pattern, the Coni dress so if the sleeveless Bondi dress is not for you perhaps the alternate one will be just the thing.

Jacket making is in the air - have you seen the sneak peeks of the new Closet Case pattern? which will probably be available to order when you read this. I'm starting to plan for a Jacket Making weekend workshop in October, as I've had a few people from out of town ask me if we are doing that this fall. Since we have a bit of time I'm open to suggestions and questions. It will definitely be a Sat. and Sunday class, but possibly we could add a shopping day and a dinner together. All kinds of possibilities. Message or email me if you want to make a suggestion or with questions. By the way - tentative date, the weekend of October 19.

Happy Sewing, Beth

today's garden photo, this camellia which has big sticky blooms that the bees and hummingbirds love, but if you look closely at the photo above you can see that they fall in a messy heap creating an unintentional red carpet. That red/yellow combo though, so striking.

red camelia

Monday, February 18, 2019

BurdaStyle 12/2018 # 107 Wrap look dress

The sun is shining today here after a stretch of gloomy weather, so I plan to get outside and do a bit of garden cleanup. It was in the 30's℉ last night but I think winter will swiftly depart so any winter sewing needs to be accomplished soon. (Hurrah - summer sewing ahead!)  I saw this dress in the December Burda magazine and perhaps it was the color in their version that appealed to me, also the fact that it looks like a wrap dress but it's actually not. Which makes it easier to wear and fit.

So I traced it out, sewed it up and while I like the dress I probably won't wear it much. Or ever. I think I'll end up taking off the sleeves, or giving it to a friend. The thing about thin jersey long sleeved dresses is that they just don't work all that well for me. I'm always cold so they are just not warm enough and then once our winter is over they are useless to me. But I do like the color and the shape is reminiscent of some of my favorite knit tops. I think it will go in the magic closet for a while.

Burda jersey dress 5

I bought this fabric the week after Christmas at Joann's when they had a super sale. I went in there for a few things but ended up buying a bunch of different fabrics for bargain prices. This was maybe $ 4 per yard after coupons etc. I still have a good 1.5 yards left so it will probably be a summer knit top.

teal jersey dress front view

Here's the Burda magazine photo from their website. The pattern is also available as a PDF download here.  Before I subscribed I used some of these PDF single purchase patterns and sometimes when I'm tracing I'm actually tempted to do it again :) Actually practice makes it easier - once you have traced a few you get the hang of it and know to look for the notches, grainlines, etc.

Burda jersey dress compositie
In their version I think they have used a thicker knit which I don't like as much, the waist drape part looks a little bulky to me.

Here's the technical drawing. Which is really all I look at when deciding on a pattern. This knit dress has bust darts which make for nice shaping and in a stable knit are probably quite necessary.

Burdastyle jersey dress tech drawing

Sewing details: I omitted the center back zipper as my fabric was quite stretchy so I could get it over my head and shoulders without it. I think sewing the zipper in that gathered section at the center back would not be fun! but to get it to fit around the waist it does need to fit rather snugly. It also had some gathering at the top of the center back neck part which I skipped as well.

Here's a look at the inside back. The shaping is achieved by a base layer inside which you sew the gathered overlay to, and then you attach the skirt and upper part to that. I sewed the whole front and whole back (as is my habit) and then I stitched up the side seams last, and took it in about 1/4" on each side to get a snug fit at the waist.

teal jersey dress inside back view

I used a knit for the inside, but it is less stretchy than the jersey, so it was good for the base layer. And note - I never use a serger on knits - I really don't care how the inside seam allowances look and they don't unravel so not a concern. I did take in the center back upper bodice a good bit as well, I cut a size 38 in the upper bodice which is mostly fine but typically I take everything in from waist to neckline at the center back (also have to do the same on Vogue, Mccalls etc).

teal  jersey dress inside front view

There's the inside front, you can see I took in the side seams about 1/4" more after the first try-on. Also the center front bodice was a bit long, and kind of sagged at the waist, so detached it about 6" across the center front and pulled the wrap portions down a bit and restitched, taking out about 1/2" there in length. Any dress or top with a wrap neckline is likely to need some adjustment and there are a few things you can do even after cutting it out. I wrote a blog post on this topic on the old Craftsy sewing blog - they have migrated those old blogposts to the Blueprint site and the links I have on my own blog still work. Here's the one about Adjusting a Wrap Dress Neckline. 

teal jersey dress closeup neckline

If you look closely you can see the center front seam of the waist rises up slightly on the dress form but I think when worn it settles in the right place. This is also an accurate version of the color of this fabric. My biggest difficulty lately with blogging and photography is getting the photos to show the fabric color correctly. Of course taking pictures at all times of day and night plus sunny or cloudy weather means I have a multitude of shades of each fabric. Kind of annoying.

This dress started out about 4 inches longer which for me just feels dowdy. So I cut off 4 inches and it's ok now. I didn't hem the skirt, and I think I'm going to leave it that way. You can't see that it's not sewn and since it won't unravel I will leave it as I like the length now

teal jersey dress back view

Burda teal jersey print dress1

Burda jersey teal dress 4

teal jersey dress side view form

I'm including this picture because I laughed a bit when I looked closely at it. I decided to take photos of this dress, the light was just right outside. In the 5 minutes it took to put it on and go out there the sky opened up and it was pouring hail, plus thunder and lightening. Which rarely happens here!

Burda teal jersey dress2

I wanted to see how this coat looked with the dress, since the color match is so good. I bought this coat ages ago in Italy and I actually don't wear it often, maybe I haven't worn it for 2-3 years. The other day I was thinking I might cut it off and make it into a jacket, then I might get more use from it. The leather is really nice quality but it's a thin coat so not really suitable as a coat - more of a fashion item.

So that's the latest on my Burda Magazine sewing. I just traced a shirt pattern from the January issue (this one)  and it is easy-peasy to sew. I have started stitching it up in a mystery fabric I got for free at a swap which might be a wool challis. Anyway it is a different color palette for me but so far I like it.

Yesterday Heather came by to pick up her wool blazer, so I have a ton of photos to edit and upload for that blog post which I will start on this week. I loved making that - you know tailored jackets are my favorite thing to sew and combine that with gorgeous wool from Britex, ❤️💜❤️. I made version one of this jacket for her back in December, and here's the blog post on all the details for that, which is McCalls 6172, a pattern I highly recommend. Also I posted a lot of in-progress pictures in my Instagram stories and then saved it to a Highlight titled "wool blazer" so you can see sewing details there. But a blog post soon.

Here's a little sneak peek.

wool blazer pocket and buttons

So that's some of the latest sewing. I finished a silk charmeuse shirt for myself, and then while waiting for Heather to come by for a final fitting (she caught that respiratory bug that hit so many people) I sewed up another version of the Pauline Alice Saler Jacket for myself. I tell ya, jacket sewing I can't resist. So lots of things to blog.

Burda jersey teal dress 3

Happy winter sewing, 

today's garden photo, yes we have daffodils. And tulips on the way.