Monday, 22 September 2014

Men's vest

This is a project I took on at the request of my son, who was looking for something less formal than a sportcoat and dressier than shirtsleeves for going out with friends.  At six-one and extremely slim of build, he was having difficulty finding anything in RTW that fit both his frame and his budget.    We decided on Burda 7799, View A (notched collar and no breast pocket) in a nice black/white herringbone tweed, with a burgundy brocade as a lining.  

I made a muslin, but it required no alterations as far as we could determine, so I cut the pieces and began construction. 

We did debate whether or not to use bound buttonholes, but the fabric was just a hair too spongy for an application requiring such precision (that, and my precision sewing skills are a little rusty).

I had a bit of difficulty with the single-welt pocket, but it still turned out half-decent. 

It took a few tries to get the lapels attached and lined up correctly, but I'd say the effort was worth it.

Because I was distracted by the challenges of the lapels, I had to bind the armholes instead of attaching the lining to the armholes from the inside.

Here is the final result after it was worn almost daily on a road trip to from Vancouver to Sacramento and back.  I don't have any close-up photos of the buttonholes, but they were stitched in burgundy thread to match the lining.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Torn project: girl's nightgown

I was feeling the need of a quick, easy-to-finish project, so I had my daughter pick out a length of cotton flannelette for a quick nightgown.
Except for the neckline, this was entirely a torn project, with almost no waste.  Yoke, body, sleeves, and cuffs used up 1.5m of fabric, three buttons from my stash, and a short length of bias tape to finish the neckline.

Since I wanted to make sure that there was room to grow, I didn't do much in the way of tailoring, except to make sure that she wouldn't step in the hem.

The end result was a cute, old-fashioned warm nightie.  Now her elder sister wants one, too.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Steampunk/Victorian Inspiration

Or why I rediscovered the joys of sewing

Back in the spring, the Mister and I were planning to attend Vancouver Fan Expo, a celebration of all things geek.  Having been a fan of steampunk style since I first heard the term about three years ago, I decided that I wanted to attend in costume.  

Thus inspired, I headed out to my local Fabricland and started scouring pattern catalogs.  There, I found this lovely three-piece outfit (Simplicity 2207) and some suitable fabric (creamy-beige shantung and blue-green slub suiting) in the discount bin.
I had to alter the jacket to fit (notably a full-bust adjustment to add another 5"), but the only adjustment I made to the skirt was to eliminate the frill at the top of the flounce and take the excess fabric up in a hem.  I actually think this allowed the whole thing to hang better.  

The bustle/apron piece is a lovely bit of patchwork. Because I was working with leftover fabric from the other pieces, I eliminated the centre back seam and backed the shantung with a layer of pieced-together scraps from the skirt.  This actually made the fabric too bulky to gather as per the pattern instructions, so I made some soft pleats instead as I eased the doubled fabric to the correct length to attach the centre-back ruffle, and to attack the tie waistband.

When I make the jacket again, I believe that I will adjust the armscye and add maybe a half-inch of extra width to the sleeves.  Both are a smidge on the tight side.