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Knip mode dress–October 2017

There is a reason my jacket is not finished yet. I’m too easily distracted sometimes. I’ve been sewing dresses. One of them is a dress from the Knip Mode October issue. A relatively easy dress to sew. The back darts of the line drawing are not in the pattern. My full review is on Patternreview.In different light the colour looks almost purple on my screen. It’s a warm, dark red in real life.
In these pictures you see that the pleats of the skirt are done first, then the bodice is attached and the pleats of the bodice partially cover the waist seam.

Shoulder shield

In the comments on my previous post I was asked to write more about the shoulder shield. There is not so much to tell about it apart from the fact it gives more structure and a little firmness to that area of a jacket.Browsing through my blog photos I found quite a few photos of shoulder shield I installed in jackets. The floating one is a technique I’ve use only in the past two years, I think I found the instructions for this in Alison Smith’s Craftsy class. A good introduction to the inner construction of jacket can be found in aThreads magazine article on an Armani jacket. A good reference book, I’ve recommended it before is Tailoring, two editions have different covers: or I have quite a collection of sewing books and books on tailoring are a special category in those. From all books I’ve learned something, but this book is quite often the first one to take from the book shelves when I want to check upon something on the subject of interfacing. I don’t remember when I first start…

Slow progress

I was quite busy and my head hasn’t been with writing blog posts in the past two weeks. Also not a lot was done to the coat. I intended to take it to my annual 5-day “weekend” with my sewing friends and complete it there, but changed my plans into sewing easy knit dresses for both me and my daughter and a pants sloper. The event was this past weekend and it was such good fun. Lots of sewing and knitting done by all of us, talked about all subjects you talk about between girls and just had a very good time together. Another thing that is keeping my mind busy is that I might start giving sewing lessons/workshops next year. An opportunity came across and I’ve been thinking a lot about how to do it, what courses to offer etc. It will be something I will do next to my regular work, though it’s been on my mind for a long time to do this and share and meet with creative people. So much to think about….Back to the coat. I’ve a few pictures to share of the inside of the front.Floating shoulder…

Short coat–Lekala 4625 back

It took me some time to find a pattern I wanted and could sew with the fabric I had. As this fabric was bought with the intention of sewing a Chanel style jacket I had only about two meters of fabric. Think it was a remnant piece as there were strange cut offs on both sides, probably for samples.
Having two meters to sew a coat is not much, to say the least. My choice of patterns was very limited and I settled for this Lekala pattern.

I will try to find an accent fabric for the belt/closing and if I can’t find it, I might skip that detail and sew buttonholes. I’m also thinking of adding pockets. A coat without pockets isn’t very good, don’t you think?
After roughly cutting the fabric pieces I block-fused them with a thin fusible interfacing. This I bought at the English couture company in the UK. (I used to buy most of my interfacing at Fashion Sewing supply from Pam Erny, but as they don’t ship internationally anymore I had to find another resource and this is certainly a good one. …

A drafting experiment

The dress I made was cut on the bias and as a result I had a bit of fabric left. It inspired me to sew this top as experiment for rotating darts out to the neckline and create tucks. It’s a style I don’t use as in commercial patterns there is usually so much ease around the bust added that I I feel it makes me look huge. Still I wanted to try this. The result is better than I hoped because no extra ease is added at bust height. Not the very best style on me but wearable. I made the shoulder seam with the instructions from Sara Alm’s Craftsy class Facings and linings. Very neat method. Definitely a good alternative to the way I used before. For those interested the pattern drafting phases. The shoulder, armhole and bust dart are rotated out, creating space at the new tuck lines.In the end I did not sew the waist dart. To conclude a first picture of my next project. Pattern pieces cut and block-fused. It’s a souvenir fabric I bought a few years ago in New York. At the time I thought I w…

A self-drafted dress

This week I started and finished the dress I drafted. I made a few changes to the pattern, based on the muslin and comments and am quite happy with the result. Let’s start with some pictures of the dress as is and some of how I’ll wear this.My intention from the start was to wear it with a belt.A combination for the coming season. The weather here is not for sleeveless dresses.And finally some pictures from the inside. I used a lining fabric with some stretch. It’s basically my sloper pattern with a straigh skirt. The facing for the back is a separate layer over the lining fabric, a method I use often. The construction of the dress is the same as I showed last year for a sleeveless top. In this dress I added a zipper in the left side seam, to make it easier to get it over my head.

Rotating darts out, creating a smooth curve

For the skirt of my dress I wanted an A-line. This means that the dart is rotated so that  the side seam will be wider. The picture below shows the bottom part of my sloper. When the dart is cut and the dotted line below you can fold the dart lines together, creating the A-line shape. There is one disadvantage though when you have a large difference in your hip/waist measurements. The dart on the sloper is wide, which makes for a rather steep angle when you fold the dart out. Making it to a nice curve will shorten the waistline quite a bit.
The solution is using two darts. On top is the original sloper as above, below the same part of the sloper, but the darts are changed in two smaller darts.After the darts are rotated out, the curve of the one with two darts is much smoother. Below I’ve added a red line indicating the one-dart version.Removing or adding darts is always a design decision and (for me at least) there’s no right or wrong. There will be other ways to do it but this is ho…

Dress muslin

The muslin of the upper part of the dress was easily made. I only cut seam allowances to the shoulder, side and center back seam. Then I marked with carbon tracing paper and stitched it together.
The result was definitely in the right direction, but a few changes were necessary.
I cut this on the bias, as I intend to do on with the fashion fabric too.

The back: I did not sew  the back darts and therefor took some extra space from center back and removed a bit of the side seam. It’s too wide and the back armhole is gaping a bit.

The back with a bit more taken from the side seam and just a little bit taken from the armhole, tapering to nothing in the back neck.

The front doesn’t look bad, no gaping at the armhole, cowl depth is fine. It could be a little less wide at the side seams too.
I haven’t made a dress from this sloper with a waist seam. Seeing these pictures and the line marking the waist, I think my waistline is too low. I’d like to hear your opion on that.

This is the fro…

I’m in dress mode

When I bought the navy/black fabric I made the Burda dress from, I bought some other fabric too. This is a woven and a bit more expensive. I was not sure about what style I wanted to make with it. It’s just enough for a sleeveless dress that I can wear as it is or with a cardigan or jacket. I contemplated making a simple dress with a cowl neck and draped the fabric on my dressform and yes, that’s what I want to make. I drafted a cowl neck top from my sloper some time ago and the result was a rather deep cowl neck. This time I wanted it higher. As I don’t have any fabric to play with, I decided on making a muslin first to prevent disappointment. Like last year I’ll write a few posts about the process, not exactly knowing where it will end (do I have enough fabric for example?)This is my starting point, my sloper for front and back.For the muslin I used only the top part. Unlike last time I did this, I did not rotate the waist dart out to make sure my cowl is not too deep. I took 1/4 in…