Wednesday, August 25, 2010

First hurdle taken

This jacket is not a quick project by any means. It has a lot of technical details that I don’t do often: welt pockets (with flaps!), bound buttonholes, special rounded band on the edges. On the other hand a jacket is never a quick project.

After spending a lot of time cutting, I interfaced all pattern pieces with fusible interfacing (pro weft fustible interfacing from Sew exciting). The fabric alone was difficult to keep straight while cutting and not stable enough in my opinion. This just gave it the little extra it needed.

From that point I used the pattern pieces as if they were fabric only, and interfaced the front completely with a bit more sturdy interfacing and made a shoulder stay. I’ll be making the inside of the jacket in the same way as the jacket I made in May. You can find the pictures here.

After interfacing and careful marking of the location of the pockets, the first sewing was done: the welt pockets. I made some samples with the 7/8 gros grain ribbon I bought especially for the technique described by Kenneth King. I adapted the instructions to work with the sewing foot I have (he used a quilt foot that I don’t have, but it’s only for correct positioning of the needle, it took me two samples to find out what the combination with my foot/needle should be). After making those samples the actual sewing in the jacket was not very difficult. Time consuming, precise work, but not difficult any more. I love that method.

For the pocket flap I used the great instructions of Kay Y. The lining is just a bit smaller than the outer flap, which makes sure the lining doesn’t show on the outside.

I’m still not sure about the bound buttonholes in the band. I’ve considered making a buttonholde in the seam between band and main body, but on my muslin this made the band turn upwards. If I make the buttonholes in the band, they will have to be positioned a little different, to make sure the button doe’sn’t go over the edge. I’ve still some work to do on this jacket before I have to finally decide on that.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Karin from Sweden commented that she saw the Norwegian crown princess in the same dress I made in April in a magazine in yellow. I couldn’t resist to google “norwegian crown princess yellow dress” and quickly found a few pictures of it.
I can’t easily find out from which year/month the pictures are, but it’s definitely the same style.  The pictures come from a site “”, but think copyright is elsewhere. Is the picture on the left a runway picture? If yes, anyone any ideas who the designer is?
ETA: Palma, thank you for the link. Guess who published the runway picture before? Carolyn (sewing fanatic diary). Now I had a clue, further searching shows the image in the rtw fall 2009 collection from Valentino. Here you can see it on Nice to know I made a copy of a Valentino dress without knowing I did. It is fun to find something like this.
image image
And this was my dress from a Knip Mode pattern, quite similar.

Friday, August 20, 2010


During the week there was no time for sewing, I did buy the new Knip Mode September issue and the Patrones no. 295. Knip mode has been reviewed in the meantime by Melissa with a lot of pictures already.

Patrones has a mix of fall patterns and summer/festive dresses.


As I already mentioned, no plus-size patterns in this issue, a special plus-size magazine is announced at the last page.

I love the jackets in the issue, there are a lot of them and some nice pants patterns too. Of course I will not get to make them all (if any) but one can dream. The most special one is this one, with the special darts and welts/bound buttonholes at the center.

Two others with nice lines.


The dresses are absolutely not for me: mostly bare shoulders, too much summer, not my style. But nice for others.



To conclude: houndstooth is a big hit again. Both Knip Mode and Patrones show a coat with it.


When I was at Macy’s in New York (how crazy that sounds now) I saw a coat in about the same weave as the fabric I bought in Paris last year. Guess what is on my list to sew this fall.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fitting session

Here are the pictures of the session at Kenneth Kings studio while he was fitting my jacket.

I traced a size 42, tapering to 44 at hip height. After tracing I already thought that it would be short for me above the waist. The pocket would be very high and I added 3.5 cm above the waist.

Further I noticed that the dart under the collar is visible, and you can see that in the magazine picture too, where they show the plain version. KK changed the position of this dart, changed the collar and it will be laying a bit more to my neck and less flat.

The most important change was in the back, he made separate pattern pieces for left and right, to accomodate a not symmetrical shape at hip height. Robin already said it too, it was impressive to see how fast he works. If you click on the second picture, you’ll see a front with a bow that he made, testing a pattern from a Japanese pattern book.



Some pictures from the morning, also showing Robin while Kenneth shows us a fur jacket he made. It was such a special event, he is such a great designer and it was such a pleasure to look around and see some of the garments he made up close.



Apart from designing and making fabulous clothes, Kenneth King also shares his knowledge in his Threads articles and his books, in which he shows technique with a lot of clear pictures and often new approach to doing things. Below a test weltpocket for my jacket, made by the method in his book Cool Couture. It will get a flap in the jacket, but I don’t want to spill too much fabric on samples before cutting the jacket. The fabric is from Sew It up, and I forgot to note the contents, but it’s not all wool.


I’m definitely ready for fall sewing, today here it looks like fall already: dark clouds, raining and temperatures around 20 celcius (below 70 fahrenheit). I’ve many plans (and too little time), a lot of inspiration online and in the new Knip Mode and Patrones magazines. September Burda is promising to have some great patterns for me again. I received the Patrones today, and if you like jackets, wow, there are a lot of them, some of which I like a lot. Though if you are plus-sized: there are no plus size patterns in it this time, it looks like they are publishing a separate plus size magazine soon, like Burda does.

More on the magazines another time.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A rant and some sewing done

Early June I published about the great index Peacock chic had made of the Burda (BWOF) magazines. Just before I left for vacation, I got an e-mail from Ann-Marie (who pointed this wonderful resource to me) that the flickr album is no longer available. I understand that Burda sent a legal notice to remove the pictures! I am so sorry to hear that, it was such a wonderful resource.
Though I somehow can see Burda’s point not wanting this, I would suggest them to make an accessible, user friendly site themselves. Then they wouldn’t have to bother so much about this (my personal opinion of course) and get positive attention for their own site. And I do sincerely hope that it was not my post that gave it so much attention that Peacock chic had to remove the album.
Back to my sewing. Jetlag did last longer than I expected and I didn’t work on the jacket apart from preparing fabric, interfacings and finding all that I need for it. But I longed to sew again, so thought it was good to finish a bra that had only a few little things to be done and sew the accompanying panties. I first showed a picture of the bra on April 2, when it was almost done. Well, it was an UFO till yesterday. I almost messed up the panties (must be the jetlag), but it was ok in the end.
I used red elastic as extra accent at the shoulder straps. The picture shows right and wrong side.

Side of the bra, the back has a ‘downward hike’, which for me helps that the back remains low and doesn’t creep up.

Center front, made as described in this tutorial.

The side/back panel was made stronger by using powernet as interfacing. The cups have a more thin interfacing (non stretch).

Friday, August 13, 2010

What I bought in NY

I didn't really plan to buy fabrics in New York. Fabrics are heavy and I didn't want to pay extra for overweight luggage. But when weighing my suitcase on departure, I was quite a few kilo's off the maximum weight allowed, so ... I did buy a few fabrics and special notions.

Notions: ribbon for making welts as described in Kenneth Kings book 'cool couture' and rattail cord for piping (also in his book). I already loved this book and have written often about using it. It was so nice to meet the author in person and hear some background stories


I bought zippers too. 1.50$ for 5 good quality pants zippers, which is about half of the price of what I have to pay here for 1 quality zipper!

And very special: a long riri-zipper on which I had a special pull attached. I've read about these zippers and Nancy used them on a jacket last year. I can agree that they look and feel very special.

Here it is on one of the fabrics I bought. Don't know whether this will be the combination I'll use.


Small houndstooth fabric for a pair of pants.

Black wool, as always very difficult to photograph black, it is a very soft textured wool.

Silks, probably both will be used as lining, though I could use the plain one as a blouse too.

There was so much to choose from. Next time (whenever that will be) I must make a more detailed shopping list and plans for specific projects and what I need for them.

A new tool:  I didn't buy this, it's a lovely gift from Nancy. I tried it already and it's so helpful. Thanks again!

Now I have to decide what I will sew first. It will be no surprise after seeing above fabrics that the main colors of my fall/winter sewing are black and white.

Don’t know if I’m up to the jacket this weekend (still a bit of a jetlag feeling). It is the Burda jacket I wrote about earlier.

And thinking about using this bouclĂ©, together with plain black edges.  Any thoughts on this combination?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Grande finale

Most of you will have seen the posts of NancyK and Robin and our meeting in New York. Last Monday to me was the ‘grande finale’ of my holiday in the US, meeting Robin, Nancy and Lindsay T. Unfortunately Carolyn was not able to join for lunch as work appointments got in the way.

These pictures are from Nancy and Robin, as I just forgot to make many pictures.

This picture is one of the few of my own, Nancy’s hair is really very stylish on her and compliments her face perfectly. Robin, I forgot to tell you how much I liked your necklace.

As if meeting up with these great ladies wasn't enough on its own, Robin had made a fitting appointment with Kenneth King at his studio in New York and invited me to join her. What a wonderful opportunity! Here is a picture of him fitting Robin's coat. I had made a muslin of a Burda jacket, and he changed something in the back to fit me that was an eyeopener to me. More on my project later.

After the fitting session we met Nancy and Lindsay for lunch, and of course went shopping. I bought a few fine fabrics and notions and was completely exhausted at the end of the day. THANK YOU so much Nancy, Robin and Lindsay, to make my trip to NY so very, very special.