Thursday, 28 November 2013

Introducing: dumb projects for autumn!

Let's move straight to the point. I made a jacket.

The facts: Nani Iro Melody Sketch double gauze. Size 34 Burda

This is a dumb jacket. I love it.

So, why is it a dumb jacket?

The one MUST HAVE this cold season is definitely an unlined, dotty gauze blazer. You simply MUST try your first ever jacket/blazer using a burda pattern and instructions. Under no circumstances are you making a muslin (mockup/test/rehearsal garment). Minimalism is in, don't skip on omitting the interfacing. ABOVE ALL ELSE make sure you're cutting it from an obviously inadequate amount of fabric. 

It clearly has the makings of a smooth project.

Next, you need to discover that you've duplicate cut one piece instead of two different sides.

Then realise there clearly aren't enough scraps to recut the piece as one whole. Why not try piecing it with the sraps you do have? Great idea! Then use the fabric brand from the selvedge to cover up the evidence! Who cares if it's radically altered the shape of the arm hole and you can't remember which pieces have which different seam allowances!

The real kicker? Make sure that the blazer doesn't go with anything in your wardrobe except for your PJs (your Moomin PJs, obviously). Bam. New hipster housecoat.


Thread Theory Newcastle

Once again, another delayed project for you guys but this project really needed a bit of time to settle.

Yes, it's still shorts weather apparently...

The sleeve heads are also actually totally smooth

Thread Theory is a young independent pattern label that specialises in menswear patterns....they've been doing the rounds on the internet over the summer and have come up with some absolutely gorgeous patterns and projects.

The Newcastle is a shawl collar cardigan, which I was super-curious to see, having made something similar as a Christmas gift last year. Oh how I wish this pattern had been available last Christmas! It would have looked so beautiful! 

You know...instead of this...

Anyway...back to the Newcastle...

As a menswear pattern, it's quite rectangular and it's a nice change not to have to deal with darts and precise waistlines etc. There are a lot of good opportunities for detail variation in the cardigan: pockets, yokes, topstitching, closures, embellishments. but this has been a great tester to get a feel for the pattern before actual guy versions. 

This is an XS unmodified and I think the only actual adjustment it might have needed is to narrow the shoulders. I did start to freestyle and went a little overboard with the topstitching but it doesn't look like it has been an issue. 

FYI, the main fabric is from La Petite Emelienne in Strasbourg. The owner is lovely and that woman knows her stuff! I couldn't remember the fabric yardage (metrage?) at all and she advised 1m20. Look how perfectly that fit!

With Christmas coming up, I'm tempted to branch into some Strathcona Henleys for people. Anyone want one?
Guys, what are your thoughts on people making stuff for you?

Friday, 15 November 2013

Babel13: a spot of advice for sewist traveling in Strasbourg

Salut tout le monde! Aujourd'hui c'est la journée de blogging polyglotte, donc on va faire un petit cours de français. Bien que ce blog ne soit pas un blog bilingue, je vois plein des bloggeuses de couture qui viennent d'un peu partout et c'est toujours intéressant de les suivre! (et très utile quand les traductions des patrons ne sont pas très claires!). De plus, et la langue c'est une grande partie de notre culture personnelle, non ? Donc, voila...pour célébrer aujourd'hui : un peu de couture, un peu de culture!
Hi everyone! Today is the International Day of Mutlilingual blogging, so we're going to have a quick French lesson. Okay, so this isn't strictly a bilingual blog, but there are so many sewing bloggers who come from all over the place and I always find them interesting to follow (and useful when pattern translations are less than clear). I guess, also, language is a huge part of our personal culture. So to celebrate today, a bit of culture and a bit of sewing.

Je vais vous donner quelques bonnes adresses dans une ville près de mon coeur: Strasbourg. Au centre de l'Europe, avec plein d'institutions européennes et culturelles, il y a aussi dans la région use histoire riche de textiles. Si vous allez à Strasbourg (et je vous conseille de le faire) et vous aimez être créatif, voici un petit plan de la ville qui pourrait t'intéresser.
I'm going to give you a few good places to visit in a city close to my heart: Strasbourg. At the centre of Europe, there are loads of EU institutions and cultural landmarks, there's also a very rich textiles tradition in the region. So if you go to Strasbourg (and I recommend you do), here's a couple of quick maps that you could find very useful.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013


I'm a big subscriber to the idea of enjoying the learning process. With sewing, this means relishing in some horrendous failures before slicing them up and arriving at a much better solution. This has applied recently (loose definition of recently) to my sewing of summer shorts.

Let's take a look at the first pair:
Uuuuh, I guess they look okay...

Wait, what?


After a previous post about deliberate pattern cutting, I totally messed up these shorts. The check is a very solid Alsatian Kelsch (linen) and the blue is the spongy linen from the Boomerang Dress. Bad cutting plan and with a lot of messing up. But's a new pattern and it looks like it fits. Surely that's good...

From this abomination, I immediately restarted the project, cut new fabric (actually leftovers from the Pinch Me Bag) and arrived at these:
Full length
Rolled up with cuffs
 Big hooray, the shorts feature an invisible zip in the side seam and flat felled seams throughout. I don't think I used an iron at all to press out seams, the fabric reacted really well to just being pressed out by hand. Definitely a surprise! But what's the bit I really love about these shorts?

 Pockets! Actual welt pockets!

You know that odd feeling of victory where you've tried out a new skill or technique successfully? That's pretty amazing, but when it happens at 1.30am immediately after a failed project and many hours going loopy in front of the machine...well it has the potential to lead to a full-on meltdown. Trust me, when I finished these pockets and tried them out for the first time, I lost my mind. It looked a bit like this:

Just for proof's sake, you can see the pocket bags and facing. The Kelsch is a great facing because it doesn't stretch or give too much. Hopefully there's enough to be used as other facings!

If you're wondering why I'm even posting this now when we're well into November, it's largely because these shorts have been a gateway into a whole host of other projects since. They have have been a nice little milestone in the learning journey. Hopefully more to follow soon, I have bags of cool stuff to show you!