Monday, February 24, 2014

Fearless February Project #2: Three Button Blazer

I am actually working on three different garments this week. This one - finished tonight- and the Albion coat from Colette as well as Angela Kane's Authentic Jeans Pattern. All are in various stages of finish. This one, New Look 6934, is finished. I have to say, it came together easier than I thought and it fits perfectly. I'm not great at altering patterns for fit, so I am happy that this one fit with little alteration at all.

This is the line drawing to New Look 6934. I've learned to study these more than the cover pic....

The buttons are green glass and they pick up the green of the fabric. I bought the fabric ages ago and I assume it is a polyester crepe but I really don't know. I liked the boucle-like feel to it.

I added pocket, which you can see in this profile picture.

And I found some matching rayon lining fabric . I must have bought these together, the match is so close, but I don't remember.
Keyhole buttonholes - three of them. I am nervous doing buttonholes but these were quick and easy.

Here is a close-up of the green glass buttons. I picked these up for a song from a garage sale last year.
Ta Da! I am happy and relieved that this jacket in finished. It truly addressed my Fearless February Challenge.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Working with Faux Suede - Tips and Tricks

This is faux suede with a cotton-polyester plaid blend for the lining.
 I bought some faux suede to make the Colette Albion jacket following the steps of the sew-along. Actually, it is shaping up quite quickly and I would like to finish it by Friday. Usually, I leave off buying the buttons until the end so that I can spend time getting to the garment before I choose a colour, (I plan on red buttons). I sat for about 5 hours of sewing yesterday and I could have finished it all in one go but I tend to cut corners at the end and I want this jacket to really look good. 

The drape of the faux suede is tricky- especially on the arms - but other than that, I love it.

Facts about Faux Suede

Faux suede is definitely easier on the pocketbook than real suede.(Mine was $2/metre on sale)

It is generally made of polyester 

It has a nap

Despite its appearance it is easy care fabric.

A lot of spills will simply wipe-off this water-resistant fabric but it can also be laundered in the washing machine (in cold water).

That it is water resistant – which makes it a good choice for coating – and usually waterproof

It also looks good when used as piping.

Faux suede makes an ideal choice for elbow patches

Sewing Tips for Faux Suede:

Use 100% polyester thread since this fabric is also 100% polyester

Drape can be an issue – multiple washings should loosen the stiffness of the fabric but that takes time and wear.

Faux suede is usually napped, so buy extra fabric and have all the pieces of your pattern facing the same direction.

You can use pinking shears for the seam finishes because faux suede does not fray

Use weights when cutting the fabric as pin holes will show on some faux suedes (I've learned this the hard way)

Cut on a single layer because many faux suedes are heavy and cutting out doubled pieces can really be tough

Use a sharp denim – or leather - needle for this fabric

If your fabric is difficult to sew with – try using a walking foot or even a Teflon foot – or even some tissue paper between the plate and fabric

Use a cloth to protect the suede finish when pressing (or finger-press seams)
or press on the WRONG side (press into a terry cloth towel)

And remember this fabric has no stretch – so be mindful of easing facings or sleeves

Friday, February 14, 2014

My First Fearless February Jacket

This one is a hodge podge of two patterns: Vogue 2991 with some changes inspired by New Look 6000.

This jacket went together so easily, even with my changes. I am not often apt to make changes to a pattern but I just love the collar on New Look 6000 and wanted it for a vintage-inspired jacket. I am thrilled with the jacket - lined and all - although I would go down a size next time.
The cuffs have working buttonholes, which are completely unnecessary. The cuffs are wide and the buttons could have been sewn through all thicknesses but this is part of my Fearless February Challenge, so I thought I would add some working buttonholes.

The bottom hem is a bit narrow. Next time I will cut it with a longer hem in mind. I am undecided whether I will take this jacket in on the sides. I feel like I finished it, I should leave well enough alone.

Pattern Description: A coat by Sandra Betzina, who makes lovely patterns that are user friendly and include detailed instructions. This one has princess seams. I made the short version

Pattern Sizing: Sandra Betzina has her own sizing on the vogue patterns site and she makes clothes for real women who come in all sizes.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, except I made changes to the collar and I pulled the opening to one that is on the right. I wanted a more retro look than the one on the pattern

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, I love Sandra Betzina's instructions because they are clear consistently.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Nothing.

Fabric Used: I used upholstery fabric. I liked the weight and the colour. And a dark blue rayon for the lining.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I changed the collar to reflect Simplicity 6000 - a dress with a great retro collar. and I added to the front right a few inches so that the jacket would open to one side. I added cuffs too because I wanted three quarter length sleeves and altered the pattern for them and then decided I cut the sleeves too short. The pattern comes with full-length sleeves.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? This is a great pattern. I think I should have sewn a smaller size and next time I will. I want to make the long version as a winter coat.

Conclusion: This is a good coat pattern. The instructions are very detailed and the coat is quite flattering. I think any advanced beginner could make this easily.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Finished Project: Wendy Pants

These are my Wendy Pants from Style Arc Patterns. I love the pattern and the fit but not the fabric. It is a bengaline but not THAT bengaline. I found it at Fabricland in Toronto. It had a nice stretch to it and I had to cut it on the cross-grain. But I just don't love the polyester feel to the pants.

As always, the Style Arc sizing is great. I love the pattern. I did add a side zip though....

And I cut off 4 plus inches from the bottom before hemming these pants.

In keeping with my sewing goals, I am posting one project a week. I already have my other project cut and waiting. And I am doing the Albion Sew-a-Long from Colette Patterns. I am still altering the pattern. I've decided to interline that jacket and maybe line it as well...

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Fearless February Challenge: Tops, Blazers and Jackets

My Fearless February Challenge is going to be Tops, Blazers and Jackets. (Join the challenge at  Ten Thousand Hours of Sewing )

I need tops, and cardigans or blazers to put over them because it is so cold right now. So I thought I would incorporate this into my sewing plans. I also plan to make the Colette Albion coat.  (I plan to cut that fabric tonight).

I am just finishing up a shirt - I used New Look 6000 - which is a lovely dress pattern. I shortened it for a short and made it in fleece in a similar colour to the model's dress on the cover. 

Yes, it is on the floor in front of a window. Someone told me this is the darkest winter since the 1600s and I believe it.

I just turned up the sleeve and hemmed. I didn't put the cuffs on it.

New Look 6000

I am trying to use up my stash and I have 5 meters of this beautiful fleece, so I thought I would make a muslin. I love the pattern. It is a quick sew and the instructions are simple. I used the high button collar but not the shearing at the side. (I need to find a button from my stash). 

Found a button in my stash...

 I also didn't bother with the cuffs. My version is a hybrid between View E and C.

I've recently discovered New Look patterns and I have to say I am impressed. In the past, I've always passed on New Look because I had heard they were low quality. I am not the best sewist, so I need instructions that are clear. But, I've recently discovered - thanks to the $1 sale of New Look and Simplicity Patterns at Fabricland - that these patterns are really good. And most come with an assortment of garments that go together. This pattern, New Look 6000, has many variations of the dress which I like too. 

Anyway if this pattern is any indication of the quality of New Look patterns, than I have missed out. I think I prefer them to other Big Four. (Actually, is New Look even part of the Big Four? I guess so, it's a branch of Simplicity).


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