Monday, 18 April 2016

Men's Vest, Second Edition

A couple of years ago, I made this vest for my son.  As there was plenty of the brocade used for the lining left over, we opted to make another, this time a dressier version, with the brocade forming the outside this time.  The lining and back were made of black Bemberg rayon, which is a terrible nuisance to work with, being so slippery, but which has a wonderful silky hand to wear.

To reinforce and support the Bemberg (and to make it easier to work with), I interlined the entire thing with pieces cut from a poly-cotton bed sheet too ugly to see the light of day, but which was stable enough to help the entire project move forward more smoothly.

Once again I used Burda 7799, this time without the pockets, lapels, or back half-belt.  I used buttons that coordinated with the silver-white in the brocade.

As you can see, it turned out quite well. The next version will probably have either bound or hand-worked buttons as I work to improve my skills and expand my sewing lexicon.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Polka-dot Portrait Blouse

With spring in the air, it was time to start thinking about spring/summer clothes, especially tops, of which I never seem to have enough.  I spotted a gorgeous polka-dot polyester crêpe de chine with a navy ground and dots in off-white and a blue that reminded me of Delft porcelain, and, what's more, it was heavily discounted ($4.20/metre, instead of $14).  This fabric didn't speak to me.  It sang like the Vienna Boys' Choir, speaking of interviews and summer barbecues and Audrey Hepburn elegance.

What to make from such a versatile fabric?  Nothing but an equally versatile blouse would do, namely, The Portrait Blouse from Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing.

It whipped up really easily, even having to do my usual full bust adjustment and sewing the side zipper, hem, and armholes by hand.  I used a lightweight sew-in interfacing on the neck facing, sewing it to the outer edge of the facing wrong-sides together and turning it right-side out to enclose the raw edges of a fabric that had a tendency to fray a bit.  All in all, it turned out quite well, and I definitely will make it again, maybe a whole collection of them for summer in a variety of lightweight drape-y fabrics.

As you can see from the photos, it goes really well with the pencil skirt I made last month, but I can see it going just as well with jeans or trousers, too, peeking out from under a blazer.