Sleek Silhouette

April 24, 2014
by Katy
9 Comments

Recre-Kate planning: A leather and broderie anglaise dress

Bit of an odd mix? Yeah, I think so too, which is why I love it! Yet again this make is inspired by something I saw on Kendi Everyday’s website (The girl has style, what can I say?).  This one is quite old, but I love the different fabrics used and the interesting patterns that have been made on the bodice.

The little white dress--eyelet lace and details

 

Here’s a close up on that gorgeous bodice:

The little white dress--eyelet lace and details

Pretty huh?

Thing is I am not talented enough to work out how to design a bodice like this without a mannequin, and I know I want it fitted! Solution? I’m going to split my version up along the princess seams, using the pattern I’ve already created. This will create a bit of a different , but still interesting bodice!

I’m hoping it should look something like this:
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You’ll have to ignore my poor drawing skills – I’ve no idea how to do this on a computer!

Another change is that I’m not going to make this dress in white, or with eyelet fabric! (The post title might have given it away). I already have some black broderie anglaise which I have planned on making into a little summer dress for a long time, and I still have loads of that stretch leather I used on my Lola dress and floral jacket! Plus I like little black dresses in the summer, it looks good against a tan ;) An odd combination I’ll grant you, but I’m really excited to put these two materials together into a dress! I think they’ll compliment each other quite nicely – it’s playing with hard and soft again…

I’ve already made my pattern, I’ve bought the slinky lining, and I’m positively chomping at the bit to sew it together and try out my new OVERLOCKER!!! Woooooo!

April 21, 2014
by Katy
11 Comments

Elaine’s floral jacket

This evening I am very excited to show you one of my reader’s makes. I am so excited as it really is quite stunning. I’m pretty chuffed to say that my floral jacket inspired Elaine to make her own version,  and I love it. I think it’s so successful! Enough from me, here’s what Elaine says about her beautiful jacket!

“I do not blog nor at the age of 61 am I likely to start but I certainly do love to follow others in their journey. I have been sewing for over 50 years but only learning how to fit my own body in the last 15 years. It is a journey………..learning to love your body.

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This fabric was also a journey. Since turning 61 last year I decided only stash fabric would be sewn for 1 full year. I have a daughter in law who will send my fabric to a charity shop when she puts me in a nursing home! Wink! I best use it up!!!! So when looking for a floral I had very few choices as I do not wear or buy floral. This fabric is a very lightweight and sheer cotton voile. The background was pure white! What was I thinking when I bought it! I boiled up 35 tea bags on the stove and threw in the fabric. Turned out pretty good! Then dug out my really good tricot knit interfacing and just ironed my fabric to it to give it some body. A really good make with no costs as everything was in stash. The weather in western Canada has been……well …….slow to get to spring! I am really trying to look warm and spring like. The jacket just makes me smile!

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The pattern is the My Image magazine. 2013 spring. http://www.imagewearpatterns.com/images/flippingbook/myimage_2013s/myimage_2013s_big_23.jpg I used the largest size 46. I put in a center back seam so I could do my stooped upper and mid back adjustment. I did a 3/8 inch broad back adjustment as well. And I also did a slash and spread adjustment on the sleeves to give a bit of extra room at the upper arm. I did not add the zippers in the sleeve. I also did a 1″ lengthen at the waist. And added 1″ at the bottom hem line. I am 5’8″ tall and long waisted.

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Now that I have the pattern fitting so well I am going to make another in wool gabardine! And maybe another in leather! No sense in doing all of the adjustments and then not reusing the pattern. No one but a sewist will ever know. Happy Easter to you and all of your readers.”

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Thank you for showing it off Elaine, I think it’s stunning! Every make should make you smile like this. I think a wool version would be gorgeous, but (loving leather as I do) I really can’t wait to see a leather version! You’re right, it’s worth making more than one of this gorgeous jacket.

It really does make me feel warm inside that people might not only read, but are inspired by this little old blog. I’d love to hear from anyone else who has been inspired to make some gorgeous garments!

April 19, 2014
by Katy
4 Comments

Giveaway winner and Me-Made-May

Hello! i hope you’re all enjoying the sun and preparing for chocolate indulgence! Just a couple of things today, first of all, thank you for the love on the skirt! I love it :)

The winner of the giveaway is: Taracat!

Congratulations Jo, I will be emailing you for your waist size so I can make your pattern!
In other news, it’s nearly May, which means it’s time for Me-Made-May! I’ve not been involved in this before, as last year I didn’t have enough me-made clothes to make it through a month! this year, I think I just might be able to do it, so:

I, Katy, of sleeksilhouette.com sign up as a participant Me Made May ’14.  I endeavour to wear at least 1 handmade garment each day for the duration of  May 2014.

Woop! looking forward to it!

 

 

April 14, 2014
by Katy
42 Comments

Suprise Recre-Kate! And a giveaway

So I was not planning to make this recre-kate at all, it wasn’t on my list (yes I have a list). But then I saw this post and saw this skirt and it kinda hit me in the face screaming ‘MAKE ME RIGHT NOW!’. So how could I refuse? Oh and lets not make a big deal about the fact it’s another floral…. I’m getting obsessed! MUST. DO. A. NON-FLORAL.POST.SOON.

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Kendi everyday

I seem to be making a few things inspired by this blog (Yep, the next one on the list is inspired by her blog too….) This girl just seems to get style right most of the time! In my humble opinion anyway…. But actually I have to completely blame Suzie for this one. This skirt is a few years old so I would never have seen it if it wasn’t for Su’s post, that gave a link to THE ACTUAL FABRIC!!! How could I NOT make this skirt now??

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I’ve seen this fabric on Truro fabrics before but didn’t have the vision for what I could make with it until I saw this totally cute skirt. But Suzie also found the fabric on fabricland for half the price! Now, I have never, ever bought from this website as it scares the bejesus outta me! But at half price I couldn’t knowingly buy it from anywhere else. So I called up and ordered the fabric. Guys, it’s soooo easy. They just took my card details and it came a day later – ONE DAY!! This is good service, and you know what? It’s actually nice to talk to a real person, I don’t feel so dead inside. haha!

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BACK TO THE SKIRT. Despite Su’s very useful suggestion of what pattern to use to make this skirt, I decided to make my own pattern. Cos you know, I like doing that, and I wanted an absolute copy for this one. It was soo easy. I basically just made a pleated skirt with pockets. I looked very closely at the photos from Kendi’s webiste and discovered that the skirt has a box pleat in the middle with knife pleats around, and small pockets at the side. Canya see them??

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SO this was my pattern (it’s very basic).
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Then I added a 3inch waist band and it was all done in a morning! I even added a lining so I can wear this badboy with tights! It may be spring but it is still chilly out there.
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I LOVE THIS SKIRT. It’s so summery. I even made one for my sister! No photos of her yet, but there will be soon as this is my first make for someone else and she has been bugging me for aaaaaages to make her something!

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Onto the giveaway! So, the only downside of speaking to a real person to order fabric was that I got flustered. I knew I really only needed a metre of fabric, but I felt I couldn’t just say that. This woman had gone to to the trouble of answering the phone I couldn’t just ask for a measly meter of fabric. So, for some reason, the words ’3 metres please’ came out of my mouth. I don’t know why, I didn’t need that much, but it happened. To be honest though – it was HALF PRICE. I still hardly paid anything for it! haha. I am soooo tempted to keep the excess as I think it could make a really cute pair of trousers (I WILL make some this year), but I think it’s better that I pass this lovely fabric on to someone else who loves it.

The deets:

I have just over 1.5 metres of this lovely fabric. It’s a stretch cotton sateen, of nice medium weight quality. It could definitely be made into trousers, a jacket, skirt etc.

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL! To go with the fabric, I am also happy to make a personalised pattern for this skirt so that whoever wins can make up their own version. You don’t have to use this fabric, but you might want to continue the skirt love? All I need is a waist measurement, it’s that simple!

So, let me know if you like the skirt and if you want to be part of the giveaway. You don’t have to do anything fancy, just put your name in the comments. Good luck guys!

 

April 11, 2014
by Katy
11 Comments

Jersey Love – The chevron maxi skirt

So, following the easy jersey dress earlier in the week here’s another easy, but slightly more exciting jersey make. A chevron maxi skirt.
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For this skirt you’ll need a striped jersey. In my opinion large stripes work better than thin stripes, but it’s totally up to you! (Thick stripes are easier to match at the seams) You can also totally make this skirt without the chevrons – it’s even easier if you do it that way. I’ll note the changes to the process as I go along.

This is seriously easy, but you will need a lot of fabric, not just cos a maxi dress is, well, maxi… but cos you’re also cutting it on the bias, and that uses more fabric. I reckon you’ll need around 3 meters for this skirt. I can’t remember how much I used as I had this fabric in my stash for a while.

First things first – take your waist measurement, your hip measurement, and the length you want the skirt to be. Easy so far huh? This time I would add at least an inch to your hip measurement as you don’t want the skirt to be skin tight like last time. I halved the waist and hip measurement as before drew them onto pattern paper, except I didn’t fold the pattern paper beforehand. (Just use a straight line as your centre point). This time you only want half the pattern. I just continued the line from waist to hip on to the bottom of the skirt . This will make the skirt quite flowy, like mine. If you wanted a more form-fitting skirt you could just maintain the hip measurement all the way to the bottom -that could look really awesome :) there are loads of options!
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Cut that out? Right, now the fun stuff. You want to put the grainline at a 45 degree angle to the stripes on the fabric. To be honest, you can put it at any angle you like! I think mine is more than 45 degrees as I just eyeballed it till I liked what I saw! It doesn’t really matter. This time its much easier to cut the pieces out when the fabric is folded. This way the stripes will run in the same direction on each piece, making it easier to match up your chevrons later! If you’re not making chevrons then just cut the fabric on the fold as usual.

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Remember you are cutting out 4 skirt pieces – two for the front and two for the back. If your cutting them out with the fabric folded that means you cut out the pattern piece twice. If you want chevrons at the side seams aswell as the centre front and back then angle the pattern in the same direction on the fabric both times. Then you’ll get front and backs that are exactly the same, meaning you’ll get chevrons at the sides too!
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Before cutting out try to ensure that your side seams will match up as much as possible. I.e. if theres a white stripe at the top of the front pieces, make sure there’s a white stripe at the top of your back pieces. I tried to do this with this skirt, but managed to get them matched up alternately. Looks fine, but it would have been nicer to have chevrons here too. Do as I say people, not as I do! Haha
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When it comes to sewing it together its worth spending some time matching the stripes on each of the seams. Remember, you’ll have four – side seams and one centre front and one centre back. If you don’t spend some checking this the chevrons might not meet perfectly, which doesn’t have the same effect and looks distracting. As long as the stripes match up nearly you’ll be ok – the stretch in the fabric means you can pull the fabric a little bit to make sure the stripes meet perfectly. As long as you don’t pull too much you won’t get wavy seams.
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Once all the seams are sew together then hem it using any of the techniques we discussed the other day. I then sewed in an elastic waist. This means I bought 1 inch elastic, sewed a channel for it to go in at the waist and then fed the elastic through. For more pics on this see my tutorial for jersey skirts. This is a really quick and easy way to add a waistband, it might not be the smartest but it works well with jersey!

That’s it! I’m pretty pleased with my skirt :)
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April 9, 2014
by Katy
8 Comments

Jersey Love – The simplest dress ever!

So have you guys been watching The Great British Sewing Bee? I can’t believe it finished last night? No spoilers here i case you haven’t seen it! But thoughts about who won? I was a bit surprised if I’m honest. Anyway, sorry, not the point of the post! I really enjoyed the show, but was in a bit of disbelief about the number of fabrics or techniques that the contestants were unsure about! I’ve only been sewing just over a year and so felt shocked that I often knew something that they didn’t.

One of my biggest shocks was when a few weeks ago most of them had a freak out when confronted with Jersey. Whaaaaaat? I LOVE jersey. I have made soooooo many clothes from jersey, and all of them made with a sewing machine, not an overlocker. Seriously, if you ask me every beginner should start with jersey. It’s not as scary as people think and within an hour or two you’ve got something wearable. It’s so quick! And so forgiving.

SO I’m on a mission to make you all love jersey and knit fabrics. I had a week off last week (absolute joy!) and after not having had much time to sew I took the opportunity to sew, sew, sew. I ended up making three jersey outfits! Because it’s soooo quick to sew with knits! I officially name this week ‘knit week’.

I do think that sewists are less scared by knits now, but I figured that if there are some people out there who are still scared maybe by showing you these (simple!) outfits and showing you how I made them you can feel able to give them a go yourself! Sarai has also put some fabulous tips up on the coletterie in prepration for her book release on this very subject – very exciting! Some of you might already know what to do when it comes to knit, so feel free to give me some more tips. I’m always eager to learn!

Ready to see what I made first?

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I have had this grey rose fabric (yes, floral – what’s going on!) in my (growing) stash for months…. I was going through a monochrome phase when I bought it but had no real plans for it. When it arrived I felt like the print was a bit overwhelming… So I ignored it. I tried palming it off on my sister as a skirt, but even she wasn’t keen. Then I saw this post by Geneva at A pair and a Spare. I love this little skirt.

how to make a two tone tartan skirt

While I love the tartan, and want to make something from red tartan (it seems to be everywhere!), the thing that really caught my eye was the black back of the skirt. My mind immediately went to the rose fabric. Could this be a way to calm that busy fabric down?

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Er, I think yes! I thought about making another gathered skirt or dress, but I didn’t want an overload of gathered dresses, plus the jersey is quite thin. In the end I decided to make a very simple dress with a more conservative neckline than the last one. I seem to make a lot of sleeveless/racerback dresses so I wanted to make something with more coverage round my shoulders. Inspired by the Anna dress by the By Hand girls I decided to lengthen the shoulder seam so that I had slight kimono sleeves.

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The thing I love about Jersey is how simple your pattern can be, and how forgiving the fabric is! This pattern took me maybe half an hour to draft and cut out and maybe half an hour to sew up? Seriously, this was QUICK sewing!  Wanna know how I made it?

THE PATTERN:

The pattern was merely created using my own measurements,  and transferring them to the pattern paper.  It really is as simple as that. I do this by taking these measurements:

neck

shoulders

bust

waist

high hip

low hip

and the distance between them

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When making a pattern for a knit fabric I always divide my measurements by two (halving them) and fold my pattern paper in half.  Using the fold in the paper as the centre point, measure from here out to the various measurements you took. Draw the points together and you’ll end up with half a silhouette of your body. I seem to have lost my pattern for this one, so this is just s little sketch to give you an idea!
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Depending on how tight you want the dress there is no need to add ease as knit fabrics are stretchy and will stretch to fit your body, and personally I like things tight and fitted. I’m comfortable with it being this tight, however I know that others might like some more wiggle room. I think adding an extra inch to all of the measurements would help to make it look more like a t-shirt dress, and less like a body con dress. I’m planning to make a version of this dress for my sister, and I think I might make it with some more ease added in to see what it might look like looser. 

I also don’t really add a seam allowance. Again the stretchy nature of the fabric will compensate!

So, once all the measurements are on the paper you can cut the pattern out. Then when you open it out…. You have the entire dress in one pattern piece!
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This is just my particular way of doing things because I don’t like to cut knit on the fold. If you cut knit off grain it can start to twist and pull in wierd ways so it’s important to get it right. For me, that’s easier to do if I can see the whole pattern piece on the fabric. That way you can line it all up and check it’s right. When it’s cut on the fold you have no idea if one side of the fabric has fallen off grain. I spend a lot of time on this part, just checking I’ve got it as perfect as I can – that way the stress is taken out later when you’re wearing it and it moves wierdly. You know that feeling when for some reason your top, or leggings keeps spinning to the side and you don’t know why? That’s cos it was cut off grain, and it’s soo annoying!

Checking the grain is right on knit fabrics is so easy as the ‘knit’ pattern runs right down the fabric, so just line up your straight edges with this and you’re good to go!
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Do you see it?? Sorry for the horrible knit, I had to find something that would show up the pattern easily in a photo.

A note on cutting out the fabric: MAKE SURE THE STRETCH IS ACROSS THE BODY!!!!! IF it’s the wrong way, nothing in the world will squeeze you into the dress! (unless you have four way stretch….)

THE SEWING:

So, another reason why knit is so cool? NO DARTS! and this dress has only 2 pattern pieces! Talk about quick sewing!

There are a couple of things I REALLY suggest you get if you’re working with jersey – a twin needle, and a walking foot. You can totally work without either of these things – I did for a while. But, having a walking foot makes everything better. The amazing thing about jersey is that it’s stretchy. But that’s also it’s frustrating bit! It can mean that when you use a normal sewing foot the bottom layer of fabric will be moved along as usual, but the top layer of fabric is more likely to stretch, as there is nothing to move this layer of fabric along as you sew.  Meaning you can end up with some crazy wavy seams and hems. It is NOT a good look. It can end up looking like this…

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The walking foot makes sure both layers of fabric move at the same time – no stretching! They are expensive though, and they are noisy and make for slower sewing. But, trust me, they are worth it! I ALWAYS use mine. In fact I usually leave it on for everything I make. I only wish I could attach a zipper foot to it,  that’s why I’ve started handpicking most of my zips on stretch fabric!

Anyway!! Once you have these wonderful accessories just sew that baby up! You do not need to use a stretch stitch or a zig zag stitch on the side seams as nothing needs to stretch there – you don’t want the dress to get longer do you? You want the stretch ACROSS the body, not down the body. Make sure to add in some twill or offcut of fabric to the shoulder seams. In case you forgot, this is stretchy fabric – and the weight of the rest of the dress is heavy and will pull on those seams. So you strengthen them with something that DOESN’T stretch. Twill is perfect! Sarai has some great tips on this too!

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When it comes to the hem, this is when you are going to want a stretch stitch – it’s gotta let you walk! There are many ways you can do this – you can use a stretch stitch, you can use a zig zag stitch, or you can use a twin needle. Or if you’re mega fancy, a Coverstitch machine. Most sewing machines will have a stretch stitch, it’s the one with three rows of straight stitch. Don’t ask me why it can stretch, I just know that it does! It’s my preferred way of hemming.
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I’ve gone off the twin needle, although that’s also a cute way of doing it. Helen has recently put up some neat instructions for using a twin needle, as has Sarai. If you don’t have either of these things a zig zag stitch is also perfect.
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Most of my makes are finished this way, and on a pure colour and on a busy print you can’t really see it. The ‘pointier’ your zig zag the more it will stretch, but, in my opinion, the uglier it will be. I would change you stitch length so you have a smaller zig zag, rather than an imposing one! Play around on a scrap before giving it a go. See how much stretch it gives you! Just fold up the raw edge once and sew it in your preferred way. If you like neat hems feel free to fold it up twice, but knit is not going to fray so you don’t have to worry too much. I never finish any of my seams when using knit fabrics!
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You can also finish your armholes and neckline in this way. Personally I don’t like to – as you’re more easily going to see these finishes. There are many ways to finish these edges. You can use a band, which can look super cute and sporty. See my old tutorial for this. You can use a facing, in the way you normally would. Or sometimes I use bias binding. I like doing this on edges that don’t need to stretch – so as long as your head can fit through the hole it’s all good. It also means that the neckline won’t stretch over time and look baggy. It’s up to you how you finish it! On this dress I went for bias binding.
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And that’s it! Wow. When I sat down to write this I didn’t expect to write so much! I did not write my latest essay for uni this quickly! haha. I guess I’ve just learnt a lot on my journey with knit fabrics. I felt a little overwhelmed when I first tackled this fabric so I hope I might have helped some of you that might have been scared to give it a go. Please do it’s the best ever! Have a play with fun prints, there are so many wonderful jerseys out there!

I’ve got a couple of other outfits I made that I’ll share will you this week and show you how to make. I hope you like it!

Seeing as that was so easy, perhaps Ishould do something a little more creative next time. Perhaps something more like this?

This one might be a bit too adventurous, but I’m interested to see if I could make something similar work:

More ideas to add to the ever growing list!

April 3, 2014
by Katy
18 Comments

The Floral Flora

What is with me at the moment? This blog has got far too many florals going on recently for my liking! Oh well, it is spring I suppose – I’m feeling inspired!

When I saw the new pattern by the wonderful By Hand girls I nearly spat out my drink. I needed that pattern! Isn’t it cute? I bought it staright away and made it up almost as soon as it arrived.
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I love the crossover version, but I’m a little scared that I’d look far too booby in it! I plan on wearing this dress to my friends wedding, and I have already had an unfortunate experience at a friends wedding in the bombshell dress I made  that I do not intend to repeat! So the high neck version it has to be! Although it is slightly annoying that I can’t wear a strapped bra with it, it’s peskily peaking out… (and why am I wearing a black bra with a light dress? I’m a muppet!)
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The skirt is also darling! I am still really digging the dipped hem look, so that pretty much hooked me from the get-go. It was a no-brainer. I needed to make this dress.
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And I already had the perfect fabric! I had originally bought this for my asymmetrical jacket, but as soon as I saw this pattern I knew I had to change my plans. I think it fits the pattern perfectly! It’s another stretch cotton sateen, my new fave fabric, which means it kinda moulds to my shape. This is great as the finished sizes are only half an inch bigger than the actual measurements! Now I can eat without feeling restricted! Bonus. The fabric has also got some body to it so it holds the drapes in the skirt well. Seeing as some people were commenting on how lovely the fabric is (it is, it really is) I thought I’d add a link to it :)

Let’s talk about the pattern and construction. I think others have said this is a quick sew, and I’d have to agree. I did it all in less than a day/afternoon and I really wasn’t stressing over it. The ease of the pattern meant I was able to concentrate on making it perfectly. I think it’s a pretty flawless make as a result!
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I added my usual inch to lengthen the bodice which was necessary, and cut between a 14 on the bust and a 10 on the waist, I could have gone even smaller on the waist but this is fine. I had to take about two inches out across the shoulders and neck as the 14 really was way too big. I really should start doing proper FBA’s rather than cutting between sizes, but they seem so scary! I also used the style lines for the largest size when cutting out the length of the skirt. I know I’m tall so need all the extra length I can get. Sadly I was restricted by the width of my fabric and so couldn’t go as long as I would have liked. Which is a shame as I think this dress has ended up being a tad too short for me. I’m not a fan of my legs anyway so it’s a shame that there’s a lot on show. I wonder if this skirt comes up short on anyone else? I added a lot of length to it and I shudder to think how short it would have been had I left it!
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That being said it’s still a super cute dress that I plan on wearing to death this summer.

Since we’re talking about the By Hand girls, have you all supported their kickstarter pledge? I’m SOOOOO excited about the prospect of designing my own fabric, aren’t you? I think this is one of the best ideas anyone in the sewing community has had in a while and if I’m honest, I’m a bit jealous they got there first! I really hope everyone backs them so we all can start wearing garments that are totally our own design!!

 

 

March 31, 2014
by Katy
47 Comments

Recre-Kate: The Floral Asymmetric Jacket!

Sorry for not having posted for a couple of weeks – things got CRAZY round here! I moved flat….AGAIN, I’ve been battling with a uni assignment, and finishing at my current work placement, ahhh! BUT, I have also found time to sew! And the first thing on my list was my floral jacket! Whaddya think?

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I gotta say I’m pretty chuffed that I made this jacket! But I am in two minds… I mean, it’s a STATEMENT! I feel so odd about it – I totally love it, but I’m scared to wear it! It’s all down to my fabric choice, I’m so unsure about it for so many reasons! Firstly the colours, which I liked to begin with, don’t feel very modern now. It feels quite old.  I guess it just doesn’t feel as stylish as the inspiration jacket?

imageThe pattern calls for a ponte knit fabric. Instead I bought a stretch cotton stateen – which I now think might be my favourite fabric! It’s like the best of both worlds – easy sewing with the cotton, and wonderful forgiving stretch. Amazing.

Due to the nature of the collar of this jacket, the fabric is viewed from both sides. So I lined the jacket in the same fabric. It worked a charm :)

imageAnnoyingly though, as lovely as this fabric was to work with, I just feel that it just looks a bit cheap and tacky. The print  was so tricky to work with! It has such an obvious repeat and even with thoughtful pattern placement it was hard to escape. It’s particularly obvious on the back, oops!

imageAll that being said, I also think this jacket freakin’ rocks!! It’s like I have a dual personality when I think about it!? Let’s talk about all it’s awesome aspects.

I added loads of fake leather accents! I love them, but my husband is less than enamoured with them. But then, when  have I ever listen to him? haha. I used leather bias binding on all the edges, on the collar and around the zip. I also added a fake leather strip on the sleeve,  I think it adds a bit of a tougher edge – I love how that sits next to the flowers. Hard and soft all in one :)  I’m getting so much use out of that one meter of leather I bought! haha.

imageThere’s actually a lot of hand sewing in this jacket. Maybe that’s why I love it in spite of the fabric – I am proud of the construction. I sewed all the bias binding on by hand, and hand picked the zip too. That gave me a great opportunity to catch up on The Great British Sewing Bee! Are you guys watching it?

imageI really love the shape of this jacket . It’s awesome zipped up, but what do you think of it unzipped? I don’t love it as much unzipped, but it’s definitely striking! The collar takes on a life of it’s own, it’s soo big!

imageSo, I’m completely confused by this jacket. At the moment I am 100% planning to make another version cos the shape rocks! But I want a version that I can wear more regularly – this jacket is definitely a ‘special occasion’ jacket.  I’m kinda thinking about a Chanel style fabric?? With leather trim…. obviously. What can I say? I’m obsessed!

 

March 12, 2014
by Katy
23 Comments

Next Recre-Kate: Floral Asymmetrical Jacket

After the success of my last jacket I thought I’d make another jacket, but this time a lighter jacket ready for spring. I’m on a jacket-making roll! It all started with this picture:

Floral jacket - burda asymmetric jacket?

I’ve recently stumbled across this blog and like a lot of what I see. Mainly this jacket! I love the floral meets tougher asymmetric silhouette, especially with that dark piping on the seams. LOVE IT! Also, florals = spring, it’s a no brainer. I pinned it straight away!

I’ve also found a few RTW jackets along similar lines from Ted Baker: (Click the photos for links)

But obviously, I’m not going to BUY a jacket. I’m a sewist, doncha know? And I recently found the most perfect pattern for this (click the photo for the link):

I actually bought this pattern ages ago from Burdastyle and was planning to sew it up exactly as it’s styled in this pic. Not very inventive I know, but why fix something that aint broke? But then I made my Lola dress with the fabric instead, oops!

It’s very like this jacket, also from Ted Baker:

But I already have an AWESOME leather jacket (RTW), and don’t need another one. So floral it is!  I’ve already snapped up my fabric and it’s arrived. It’s on sale at myfabrics.com if you feel so inclined:

I’ve gone with a black background mainly as I couldn’t find anything with a lighter background that I liked! I chose it as I liked the warm colours and that it’s not too ‘bitty’, sometimes I feel floral fabric can be too detailed and it’s the worse for it but this fabric has a slightly blurred/graphic quality to it. Now it’s arrived I’m not 100% sure about it, but hopefully with some thoughtful pattern placement it’ll be da bomb!

Anyone else thinking of sewing up a spring jacket?

 

March 9, 2014
by Katy
28 Comments

Recre-Kate Reveal: The Minoru Parka!

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The British government should hire me next time they struggle with mother nature as I clearly have the power to stop torrential rain! I swear, the moment I switched off my machine and cut the last threads, I ceased to need a coat! Haha. Not that I’m complaining! It soo nice to see some sunshine round these previously dreary parts.

For those that aren’t aware, Britain has been suffering with the worst flooding in years. I felt like I couldn’t remember a day when it wasn’t raining cats and dogs, and I was trying to navigate the storms with no hood or umbrella! Yeah, THAT was fun (and a bit foolish). Therefore I was so excited about the HOOD of this jacket!! And it had to have a fur trim, cos that’s just the coolest thing ever, Right? I was concerned I wouldn’t know how to add the fur on but by adding a lining to the hood I was able to attach the fur trim to both the lining and the hood. It is sooo snuggly, I can almost get lost in it!
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The pattern is Sewaholic’s Minoru Jacket. The pattern was fantastic, and the sew -along was fantastic to check out any bits I wasn’t sure about. The only alteration i made, was to add an inch above the waist so it hit at the right point. You guys, I LOVE this jacket! I’m so proud of it and I’ve learnt so much! Including that coat making is not necessarily a hard process, but that it is quite a long process (especially if you unpick it quite as much as I did). Probably as a result there are a lot of photos in this post! I’m not even that sorry! Enjoy!

Lets start with the fabric: I was originally intending to use a more dark green fabric, more an oliv colour. However, after ordering it I got a phonecall telling me that they’d run out! I was pretty gutted to be honest, I ordered this similar fabric which was called ‘Platoon‘ and the description was ‘There must be an army somewhere that dresses in this colour, but who would wish for a cloth as tough and yet as soft as this is for a uniform.’, so I figured it was going to be a good parka colour! I have to admit though that when it came I was really disappointed by it. The fabric quality is wonderful, it’s thick and hardy and yet so soft! But it’s a bit browner than I was expecting. In some lights it looks completely brown :( But I’d bought it so I carried on. Now it’s made I actually really like the colour, yes it’s not the most green, but it has got that army look to it. And did i mention how soft it is??? Mmmmmmm……
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Adding to the softness is this gorgeous brushed cotton for the lining…. It’s so warm and fuzzy, oh yeah and I love how that chevron pattern makes your eyes hurt! A bit of hidden crazy. The final soft touch is my gorgeous furry hood!!! I AM SO PROUD of this hood!
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However, the furry hood meant that I couldn’t use the hidden pocket that’s usually in the collar as it was just too bulky now. Frustratingly, I didn’t realise this until I had made the collar complete with zip. I realised I had to unpick it all… (unpicking take 1). So then I thought, ‘I don’t need the collar’!  Turns out you do, or at least I think you do, or the  neckline is too low…. So more unpicking…..(unpicking take 2) and I added the collar in again. Although annoyingly I didn’t have enough fabric to cut the collar out again and it currently had a zip through it…. therefore I had to make the collar half the height.  Actually I like this alteration as it raises the neckline a bit but I don’t have the huge collar getting in the way of the hood – I ended up putting the collar inside the hood.
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Once the hood and collar debacle was sorted (that took a full week…there was a LOT of unpicking) the rest of the jacket came together quite easily. Although, it did break 4 needles on the way… This fabric is THICK. Tashia suggests medium or lightweight fabric and I can see why! In my infinite wisdom I chose heavyweight fabric and thick brushed cotton for lining – that’s a lot of layers! At some points my machine struggled, needles broke… and that’s when my impatience got the better of me and I just started putting in thinner and thinner needles in as I ran out – as you might have guessed they broke quicker and quicker!

I finally got to finishing it though (just in time for spring)! And I’m really happy with the result. The topstitching is pretty perfect if I do say so myself, and the shape of it is perfect! The elastic round the waist gives a perfect shape. I even put in some side seam pockets, I did originally forget about these so I had to unpick the seams (unpicking take 3) again to put them in. But it was worth it, as soon as I put it on it was my first instinct to put my hands in the pockets. I was planning to add some big pockets on the front, but i ran out of fabric. I’m not really that upset, i actually really like the clean lines without them.
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So, first coat making experience? Not too bad! I kinda have another couple of jackets planned… Oops?

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