Monday, September 23, 2013

Roll Collar Jacket Update

A quick update on my roll collar jacket - I finished the collar and I decided I need patch pockets because I didn't like wear (oops!) where the inseam ones sat and how much bulk they added. I also added belt loops - and I'll make a belt. The hold up is that while the jacket fits nicely, it isn't a fall jacket unless I can get a sweater under it. I need to widen the armholes and since I didn't make a muslin, I'm thinking a wedge shaped piece added to the coat and lining will have to work. Oh, and then I'm adding buttons - in keeping with my Scary September Challenge

Monday, September 16, 2013

My Version of Angela Kane's Roll Collar Coat










Above are the line drawings and advertisements for Angela Kane's Roll Collar Coat. I love her website. Her patterns are basics and they come with easy to follow instructions and videos to help. This is a great teaching website. I also like that her patterns are made to size and you have your choice of sizes once you sign up for her yearly membership - which is about $25 Cdn.
 See the link at the left hand side of this post.

I decided to make this coat with four buttons as part of my Scary September Challenge. I downloaded and printed the pattern last week. I measured the amount of fabric I would need on a table top, marking off 150 cm width and assuming it would be somewhere near 3 metres. I bought 3 and a half metres even though my measuring called for 3.1 metres.

This coat pattern is made to be played with - and that is something I have done often this year....


I am adding three to four buttons to the coat. That is for sure. I may change the length and also make patch pockets. We'll see....I think what I like about sewing right now (and it changes all the time....) is the ability to customize patterns.

Faux Suede

My fabric is a faux suede I picked up on sale a few years ago. I think I paid $4 a metre for it. I remember at the time the saleslady saying that suede doesn't have a grain. But there is some sort of netting on the back and I Googled it. It appears that faux suede can be a weave so I didn't risk it. I cut on the grain. That wasn't a hardship since I am used to measuring and cutting on the grain. 


And it definitely had a nap, so I cut with all pieces facing the same direction. Measure once - take a break - go over the layout and then cut. That's what I've learned to do. And since I almost cut this wrong, I am glad I do it.

Some Great Points About Printed Patterns:

I decided to cut my fabric on a single layer because it is napped. I really don't like working with napped fabrics but I have found that working on a single layer works better for me. So I printed the pattern twice and just flipped the pattern pieces so I could arrange and cut all pieces at once. This is a nice perk of printed patterns.

I also decided, after I cut my main fabric, to cut apart the second set to use for interfacing pieces and for lining pieces. Again, a nice perk of printed patterns. (I used a winter lining from my stash in a steel grey. I would have preferred a loud, unexpected print but I am limited to my stash right now...)

The sleeves of this pattern were set-in and I haven't put in sleeves that way since high school. I decided to follow the tutorials to a "T" because they are really teaching videos and I want to learn. I forgot about the gathering used to edge in the set-in sleeve and spent some time wondering why the sleeves were gathered in the instructions but not in the diagrams. Silly me!

Here is where I am at so far...actually I am on lesson 10 (of 17) in the video tutorials!


I need to sew the facing, the sleeves, pockets and sides. I need to finish this fall jacket quickly since the fall weather is here now... Last Wednesday we had a humidex reading of 40' C and on Friday we were at 13 'C....

This jacket is fun and easy to make...I have a link to Angela Kane's patterns to the left of this post....

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

McCalls 5929 A Buttondown with Ruffles

It is very hot here today - unusually hot for September. So I am thinking long sleeve shirts and fall jackets. I'm always out of season. Seriously, the weather is supposed to be more seasonal in a day or two.

Week 2 of the Button down Shirts for the Scary September Challenge


 M5929

Here is my version in a pink cotton linen blend. I loved working with this fabric after the slippery fabric I used to make the Brenda Blouse....















I re-arranged the format of those ruffles a bit. I think the next time I make this, I will leave the position of the ruffles alone.

This is a close-up of the ruffles. I don't care for how they are sewn onto the outside of the shirt but then, I can't see another way of doing it. Maybe it is just the curve of the ruffles that exposes that more?






So...I am finished one shirt, 3/4 finished the other and heading into my third for the third weekend of September. I am thrilled that I am right on schedule. Sometimes when I fall behind on these challenges, I never catch up. Not this time! I am thrilled with this Scary September Challenge!

And I have even cut out my fabric and lining for a fall coat!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Scary September Challenge...A Button-down Shirt/Blouse Each Week



On the Road to Sew Wear has a challenge (the Scary September Challenge) that is perfect for me. First, being a teacher, the new year comes twice a year: once in January, like everyone else, and once in September, at the beginning of the school year. This is the time for me to begin a new sewing habit. So for the Scary September challenge I am going to make a button-down blouse/shirt each week. 

Here is the pattern (last month's freebie from Style Arc) 



Versatile blouse with gathering at the front
Style Arc Patterns' Brenda Blouse



And here is what I have done so far...


The fabric is slippery (a polyester rayon blend) so next time I will use tissue paper (and since next time is in the next two weeks, I will really be able to report on the difference tissue paper can make). I learned this tip from Gertie's blog.


I looked over the Style Arc instructions which were adequate. I would have no problem making this shirt with the instructions provided, even though I haven't made a button-down blouse before. The instructions were clear and the drawings were fabulous. (Maybe I'm a visual learner?) However, I was lucky enough to have read closely the tutorial series by SarahLizSewStyle  as it was posted. 
I have gone back to it to read different parts again. I am going to have to pick up New Look 6963 for this challenge...




Monday, September 2, 2013

My Saltspring Dress Variation No. 1

I love the Saltspring Dress because it just seems like the perfect basic dress pattern to play with. I followed some of the instructions and then improvised my own changes. I am completely finished one dress - made in a polyester - and am nearly finished the second dress made in the recommended rayon challis. I already have my fabric for a third version - and this time I'll make the long dress.

Also, sorry for the blurry pics. I am still getting used to a new camera. And I never read the instructions to these things. Its all trial-and-error with me. 


I fit the straps instead of tying them....

I found the length a bit short for my taste so I added a contrasting waistband (and I attempted to do a chevron waistband and it isn't perfect but I do like it). Oh! And I added a ruffle at the bottom just because I was playing...

Again, it isn't perfect but I am learning a lot and growing my confidence....

Because I added the chevron, I took out about three inches from the bodice, which is why I added the ruffle. I wanted the extra length.





Now, I am still finishing up my rayon challis version. It is a lot closer to the original pattern except for the straps, which I changed significantly. I should get that one posted by Wednesday. After that I am on to the next challenge from On Road to Sew Wear's Scary September Challenge...I'm making buttondowns (or what I call buttondowns anyway. You know those men's style shirts with the buttons down the front. ) I'm going to try to make one a week... I'll post pattern, fabric and progress later this week this weekend....

Scary September
Scary September Sewing Contest








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