Friday, 28 November 2014

Jazzy Washi Dress

Hello everyone,

How's your week going? This week is my last in my current job, I've got a new job beginning on Monday! I'm a little nervous as it's a step up, and I don't know a lot about it just yet. But I'm excited to be moving onwards and upwards in my career. My outside of sewing life isn't something I talk about very often, but I'd like that to change, my fave blogs always show a little bit of themselves in their posts and I want to try and do that too.

So now I'm going to talk to you about the Washi dress. My favourite dress pattern to date, this is the dress that I get the most compliments about, and I'm already on my second version.

With shirring in the back this is ridiculously comfortable as well. Look at the fabric! I bought this at the minerva meet-up on a rainy summers day in Darwen, and went through a few plans before I landed on the washi dress. I found this pattern reading The Creative Perfectionist, who made it sound so comfortable, work wearable, and excellent weekend wear that I had to give it a go. I've found that the tunic a-line shape it creates is very flattering for me (or so I'm told) and I plan on making many more of these.

The curved cut-out needs a little work, as the points don't lie flat. However, there are hints and tips in the dress pattern for how to combat these issues. As I hadn't made the pattern before I just made it to the pattern specifications and hoped, but I'll be trying out some of these techniques in my next version. 

You can see there is a little extra fabric in the back, I'm not sure what the solution is to this as it needs that extra fabric for movement. Any thoughts? 

I'm very proud of the shirring on this, I've only ever tried shirring a couple of time before this and though not disastrous they were not exactly triumphs. I followed some of the tutorials online, and the information that came with the pattern, and I'd definitely recommend doing this. However in essence here are the three things I learned:

1. Slightly stretch the shirring elastic as you wind it on to the bobbin
2. Practise practise practise with the material you are going to use, whilst adjusting the tension until it is right
3. Pause halfway through each line and make sure your elastic isn't caught anywhere, and that the tension is correct. 

I hemmed the edge with some bias binding that I also picked up from the meet-up, I have started to pick this up whenever I see any nice bias binding as it is my favourite way to hem a dress.

So what's your latest fad? Have you got a go to Tried n True (TNT) pattern? Also, did you see my shiny shoes? (this is my new favourite phrase) they are part of my, buy awesome shoes plan. The plan has been very effective so far... well if you think, 'it takes a certain kind of person to pull off hipster shoes' as a success, which I definitely do. 

I'm off to watch another five mins of Stargate the movie before bed... Captain O'Neills hair! I'll leave you with what appears to be my favourite new pose, the who... me? shoulder pose.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Purple Raincoat

I did it! Woop! As you can tell I was pretty excited to finish this coat, it is made from a laminated fabric, so it was pretty difficult to manouvre through the machine, but it was totally worth it.

You may remember from my previous post that I made a pattern from an old coat, taking this apart and tracing around the pieces. You can see that here.

A couple of adjustments I made to this pattern were to omit the collar, and replace with a hood. The original coat had a hood attached by buttons underneath the collar. But I never took the hood off, and the collar got in the way of the hood so off it came.

This meant I had to draft the hood as I wanted one that was a little deeper, I hate when the wind picks your hood off your head in the midst of a downpour.

I used a heat activated waterproofing tape to seal the seams, it was a little difficult to get the temperature correct. Some of the tape melted, and some of it didn't attach, but I got there in the end. All I can hope is that it's still ok in there!

The pockets were attached on to the outside, I used the lining piece from New Look 6128. I lined the pocket pieces and then top-stitched them on. I rolled the lining into the centre, so you would see very little of it on the outside.

The seams have been stitched using flat felled seams, this stitches the bulk down on the inside. The triangular pieces at the back and front yoke caused a bit of a headache, but I found that if I snipped off the edge at the point of the triangle, stitched down to the point, and did the same for the other side (rather than leaving the needle in and pivoting) it all went ok.

Oooh shiny green lining. The lining was a little bit complex, I haven't lined a jacket successfully before so I didn't really know what I was doing, but I muddled through. I began by attaching the hood lining to the top of the back facing. I then stitched through the hood to the facing, to secure it in place.

I stitched the sleeve lining pieces to the end of the sleeves right sides together. I then attached the lining to the facings, inside out and stitched the sleeves to the main lining. This meant I had the raw edges of the sleeves showing where I attached it to the main body. I could have had stitched but  was feeling under a bit lazy at the time so I hand stitched bias binding to cover this seam. I then hand stitched the bottom edge of the coat together.

A mistake I made was to put the button holes on the man side of the coat, but you know you win some, you lose some. Feels very odd trying to the close them up on the wrong side though.... as my face shows here.

This definitely counts as a completed challenge, I'm so proud of the coat. It is a spring coat really, I wore it for a week but it was pretty chilly, and a little sweaty in there on a hot bus. Can't wait for the spring! Look here's a dance... do you reckon it will make the spring come early?


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