More Christmas Presents!

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Burda #134 03/2004

I decided it would be a bit of an overload if I included these projects in the previous post of pyjama gifts.  Sometimes less is more.  This time I’m showing a couple of tops I’ve made for my Mum.  The pattern is one that has been used so very many times, I honestly can say I have lost count of how many versions of this top have been made for her.  It’s #134 from the March 2004 issue of Burda magazine.

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The magazine version is made with raw edges on neckline, sleeves and hem.  They’ve also got bias cut strips sewn diagonally across the front.  Now, mum is even less interested in “fluff” on her clothes than I am, so these bias strips have never seen the light of day on one of her tops.  She’s also not into raw edges.  So I’ve added 1.5cm hems to the sleeves and hem which are double turned and topstitched to keep everything nice and neat.

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There are only three main pattern pieces, front, back and sleeves.  It’s cut on the bias, but even so you don’t need an awful lot of fabric for this garment, just 1.2m of 150cm wide fabric will do the trick.  For finishing off  the neckline I add a 4cm wide bias strip, sewn with a 1cm allowance.  Sometimes it’s double folded and turned to the inside, sometimes it’s folded up and exposed, as you would a jersey neckband.  All depends on how I feel doing it at the time!  French seams have been used throughout, it makes for such a neat finish.  I’ve also straightened the point at the neck to make it more of an angle than a curve.

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The fabrics for these two tops came from Truro Fabrics in September.  The red is a cotton voile, that I only realised had flaws after I’d cut out the pieces.  Unfortunately they were placed on the fabric so that I wouldn’t have had a chance of avoiding them even if I had noticed them in time.  They aren’t obvious and shouldn’t be too weak, but just incase, I reinforced the back of those areas with some fine sheer polyester fusible interfacing.

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The blue shell fabric is a lovely crisp cotton lawn, I love the dramatic colour contrast and I hope Mum will too!  These will make a good adition to her summer wardrobe, the blue shell top might even make it to winter, to be worn under a cardi or light jumper.  It never really gets that cold on the coast where they live.  Not like the snow and -7C temperatures we’ve had here in the last few days!  But I’m not complaining, I love snow!

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For Dad I chose to crochet a throw/lap blanket.  Before my local wool shop and haberdashery closes forever on Chrismas eve, I grapped a load of wool on the cheap and proceeded to get busy with the crochet hook.  The blanket is about 1m wide and 1.2m long, so big enough as a cover while watching the telly in the winter.  I chose dark grey, teal, oatmeal and a lime for a bit of pop and make a few versions of a couple of different granny squares, trying to make the colours as varied as possible.  Some of the squares I used can be found on this list.

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Crochet throw/lap blanket

It’s lovely to give handmade items as Christmas gifts, but you do have to plan in advance, because if you wait for the beginning of December to wake up, you’ll have to make really quick and easy projects!  I might just do this again next year, starting my making in October seems to be about right.

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Sewing PJs for Christmas

A confession – I don’t sew things that often for Christmas.  In fact, it’s really rare for me to give sewn goodies for Christmas!  But this year I thought a change was due.  This was mostly brought on by the purchase (in October!!) of a superking size brushed cotton duvet set from my local Aldi.  The minute I saw it I knew it would be fabulous for some Christmas pjs.

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It seems I was infected with a pj making bug for a while.  Using Closet Case Patterns Carolyn pjs, I traced the 8 and the 10 and made 3 pairs of pants in those sizes, one each for my girls and one for a friend.  Each pair has a different trim detail on the cuffs and different topstitching.  I can only show you Daughter No2’s set, the others were packed up and sent off!  Then Daughter No1 asked nicely if I could make a pair of men’s pj pants for her partner, and a full set of pjs for his nephew.  I must have been feeling generous, because I said yes!

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A little trim on the cuffs instead of traditional piping. Each pair is different.
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I used different topstitching details on each pair of pj pants too. Just because they’re from the same fabric, doesn’t mean they all have to look exactly the same!

For Nephew’s pjs, I dug through my collection of vintage, retro and oop patterns, eventually finding an 80s Burda kids pj pattern, 4222.  I made the 10 year old size, pants and top.  It came together really quickly, buttons, coloured threads and elastic all from the stash.  I love the round Peter Pan collar and grey buttons, I used a mustard thread for sewing on the buttons, and for some of the topstitching.  It just adds a little bit of something different.  Those grey buttons came off the suit I took apart for The Refashioners project, reused and recycled!

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Burda Kid’s pjs

I added cuffs at the sleeves and on the trouser hems, because we all know how quickly boys can grow!  I’m quite chuffed with how these turned out, and I bet I’m going to be asked for more next Christmas!

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A little mustard thread on the buttons

The men’s pj pattern is 143 from Burda 12/2010, available as a download here.  I added inseam pockets to this pair, I think pockets are a must, even in pj pants.  I used orange thread for contrast on this pair, the fly and hem are nice and bright!  It’s a quick and easy pattern to run up, even with the addition of hidden inseam pockets.  They have already had the thumbs up, both this pair and Daughter No1’s have been approved as being comfy and cosy, so job done!  Anyone else have matching pjs?

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Men’s pj pants, Burda #134 12/2010

I have to confess to having to buy a second duvet set, turns out that even though there’s a lot of fabric in a superking size duvet, there’s not enough length for all the pjs I had to make!  However, Daughter No2’s boyfriend recently moved house and required new goodies all round, so I was able to resize the second duvet set to a double cover and give it to him, with the remaining pillow cases.  I even used the little drawstring bags the duvet sets originally came in, they made good pj bags!

 

Coat Progress – Sewing Menswear

I’ve been promising Mr W something handmade for years.  It’s usually met with a look of doubt, those shifty eyes that say “yeah, right!”  The first thing I thought I’d make was some shirts, found lovely ex-Paul Smith fabric at some of the sewing shows.  Then he got fussy – “make sure the stripes follow exactly, make sure they join at the cuffs and collar, make sure it doesn’t look homemade….  Well, that last one did it!!  HOMEMADE!?!?!?!

Needless to say, that lovely Paul Smith shirting found its way to making shirts and blouses for myself and the girls instead and he got nothing!  But for a while now I’ve wanted to make him a nice coat, something smart but comfy.  He’s massively allergic to spending money on himself, so wouldn’t ever think of dropping £100 or more on a single item of clothing that only gets worn in one season a year.

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Patternmaking for Menswear by Injoo Kim and Myoungok Kim

I originally thought I’d make a peacoat, but after trying out the Thread Theory Goldstream, we realised the shape didn’t suit him.  So I resorted to drafting one.  I have a couple of menswear drafting books, but the only one that had a good enough looking block and resulting patterns was this one, Patternmaking for Menswear – Classic to Contemporary by Injoo Kim and Myoungok Kim.  I bought it about 2-3 years ago from Foyles at their Charing Cross Store.  (amazon link)  We’d had a day in London, finishing at the book store while we waited for our train home and ended up with quite a pile of lovely books!

Anyway, I’ve looked through it loads of times, but never found the time (or inclination) to use it, until now!  Having made exclusively for females, this book helped to make sure I was measuring all the right places with good photos of where to measure for a man.  The only thing I had a problem with – and it was a major problem, was the unit of measure.  As it’s a US book, it’s all in inches!!  I tried to work that way, but got myself completely muddled.  My ruler might have inches on it, but trying to find 6.3225 inches on my ruler just wasn’t happening!!!  So I threw out that draft, which looked so wrong it wasn’t funny, and converted everything to metric.  I have a chart in my notebook now with all the little bits of inches converted into nice and tidy millimetres.

So, depending on what works easier for you, you might like to convert everything before you start, or maybe you know where to find 6.335 inches on a ruler that shows only 1/8.  The draft, once the measurements were converted, looked much better!  You start with a torso block – I chose the slim fit as we wanted a more fitted garment.  Then that block is converted to a slim fit coat block.  You do the same if you’re wanting a jacket, start with the torso block and convert to a jacket block.  The sleeve blocks are drawn for the correct block.

The original block had a pretty good fit, the sleeves were too long (not sure how I measured that much!) and they needed a bit more room in the bicep area, but otherwise all was good!  The only thing that threw me a little was when you’re told to extend or move a line out 1/4 to 1/2 an inch, or 1/2 to 3/4.  Doesn’t sound like much, but converted to millimetres that’s 3-6mm or 12-19!  That’s a lot of mms!  So I opted for safety and chose the middle.

Drafting the style lines and making the working pattern was next.  We chose the Chesterfield style as the base for this coat, drafting the main body of the coat was straightforward and the instructions pretty clear.  When you get to the lapels, collar and facings though, you start jumping around the book.  The collar and lapels are in the jacket section of the book, facings in the shirt section and pockets are back in the coats!  I have a fair few bits of paper sticking out the top of the book to keep my places!

The first working pattern toile went together really well, I was pleased to note all the pieces went back together properly and all the notches lined up well.  Pretty chuffed with the two piece sleeve too, the head is nice and smooth.  “Client issues” were as follows:

  • Coat too long!
  • Sleeves still too long (how??)
  • Break point just a bit too low
  • Collar fall a little too short
  • lapels just too narrow

So these are my adjustments:

  • Shortened the coat by 32cm so now it’s just above mid-thigh
  • Moved the back vent up so it works properly with the new length.
  • Shortened the sleeve by 3cm, 1.5 above the elbow line and 1.5 below.
  • Lifted the break point by 3cm.
  • Redrafted the lapels 7.5mm wider and the collar 1cm deeper in the fall.

I made these adjustments to the pattern on Saturday and toiled again, adding the pockets, yesterday.  I was lucky enough that Mr W came home before I went to bed and so I was able to get him to try it on again and check.  It all works!  I got the thumbs up!!  The fit is great, he thinks it may be too long still, but any shorter and it’ll be a jacket….  A coat needs to at least keep your bum warm!!

My next task is to draft the facings and lining pieces.  He wants two internal pockets and I know they’ll need to be reinforced, judging by what he does to his jacket pockets.  I want to find him a jazzy, different sort of lining and he’s asked for extra trims on the inside.  So I might dig out my silk box and make reams of bias strips to sandwich into the seam between the facings and lining.

We had a devil of a time finding a suitable fabric that didn’t break my bank, I had thought this fabric from Fabric Godmother would be different enough, but he turned up his nose at the sample.  Evidently it’s “too different”.  Eventually in desperation I got some Melton samples from Fabworks and made him agree that the Classic Onyx Melton would do just fine for his first handmade coat.  If the inside is interesting enough..  (insert eye-roll here)

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Top, Onyx Melton from Fabworks, bottom, Navy Melton from the same, and left, blue and black wool from Fabric Godmother

That’s only part of my coat making adventure that was supposed to take place in September.  If you follow on Instagram, you’ll have see I’ve already finished one coat, and as soon as the person for whom it was made comes to put it on, I’ll to show it all off!  There’s another in progress, only at toile stage at the moment, but hopefully I’ll be able to move it forward this weekend after a fitting.  That’s everyone else’s coats, I haven’t even started on mine!

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Sneek peek of Burda coat 101 05/2017 in grey windowpane wool for Daughter No 1

Anyone else making coats this month??

Hopping on the Bandwagon

So, last year, or it could have been earlier this year, my Instagram feed was chocca block with sewists singing the praises of the Toaster Sweater and the Saunio Cardigan.  It seemed every second person was sewing either one or both of these patterns.  I didn’t get it, and made a Talvikki instead!  However, I’m here to set things right.  The Toaster pattern eventually made its way into my pattern collection and now that I’ve finally made it up, I know what all the fuss was about!

There are a lot of pieces, which means it needs a little more fabric than it would if, for instance there was no separate hem band and double folded cuffs.  But it still only just needs 1.5m (all depending on how good you are at pattern piece tetris).  And it’s quick to make.  I start by pinning everything together that I can, the cuff seams, hem band side seam, back seam in the neck band and all the raglan shoulder seams, and feed them through the overlocker in a single long line.  After that it’s quick to turn things the right way out, fold along foldlines and pin in place.  It probably takes 2 hours, from starting to cut to the last finished stitch, quicker if you don’t topstitch the seams!

The reason why I reached for this pattern was a little post by Lesley (@sew_sleep_deprived) on Instagram.  She’d just purchased two fleece throws from Asda, and was going to make Toaster sweaters with them.  Good idea thinks me, quickly looking at Asda’s online offering of fleece throws.  They have Christmas fleece throws – CHRISTMAS JUMPERS!!  It took all of 2 seconds for me to decide I was going to follow her excellent example and get me some Christmas fleece throws!  Daughter No1 is addicted to anything Christmassy and the iconic Christmas jumper is right up her street!

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Sew House Seven Toaster Sweater

After hustling myself to the nearest Asda, I came away with a pack of two throws, one red with white dear and one plain cream.  After ripping out all of the coverstitch hemming all round the red throw I started looking at the off grain pattern and wonky cut edges.  Nothing lined up!  I decided to sacrifice the pattern being straight for the straight grain and proceeded to lay out my pieces.  It just all fits on, and that was the smallest size!

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All seams are topstitched with a twin needle

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But it’s so cute!  And warm!  It must be said that these fleece throws are 100% polyester and should be kept well away from open flames, Christmas candles etc!  Of course when Daughter No2 saw the finished result, she wanted one too.  She was happy to have the plain cream fleece, not being quite as wacky a dresser as her older sister!

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dsc_0006-01495468675.jpegAgain, the grain and the edges of the throw did not line up, but it wasn’t as bad as the red one so it was easier to get everything on and cut out.  She’s really happy with her new sweater, and I didn’t even need to lengthen the sleeves, a first, let me tell you!  She has asked me to make it slightly less baggy in the back for the next time, it might just be the fabric though.

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Only the cuffs, hem band and neck band were stitched on this version

So now it seems I have another TNT pattern, and have made another for Daughter No2 using a quilted navy jersey!  It was run up on Sunday at my sewing group.  This time, to make it less baggy I took in the side seams and made a very slight sway back adjustment.  We’ll have to see if it worked.  I love the fabric, again it’s 100% polyester though, but good colour!  I just hope it doesn’t pill.  I had hoped to cut two from the 2m length, but it wasn’t to be, so there’s enough for something else.  Maybe the padded neckline sweater from the previous post…

I love finding patterns I like the finished look of, and like to make!  It makes things quicker and I can almost picture my fabric in the pattern because I’ve used it so often!  I have a few TNT patterns, from trousers to jackets to tops, and if this post and the previous one are anything to go by, the Talvikki, Toaster and that padded neckline Burda top have joined the list!  I imagine it won’t be too long before she’s visiting from uni to collect the next instalment of additions to her winter wardrobe, there’s a coat toile waiting to be fitted…

 

A Plethora of Sweaters

I undertook a major sweater-making endeavour in October.  I’d ordered 2m each of black fleece lined sweatshirting and pale grey ponte from Fabworks Online for myself at the beginning of the month and decided not to let them enter my stash.  This was the start of a whole heap of sweaters!

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Named Talvikki Sweater in black sweatshirting

I started with the black sweatshirt fabric, having decided it would make a very nice new Talvikki.  Following the first one I made back in the beginning of the year, I knew I needed to widen the neck.  It’s always been a “little” snug getting on over my head!  And I didn’t think I had a big head…  So I made the darts in the front neckline narrower and widened the facing accordingly, making it 1.5cm wider overall.  What a difference it made!  Easy peasy to get on now.  The only other adjustment I made was to shorten the length of the slit on the sides, lengthening the seams themselves by 5cm.

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It’s those radiating darts that make this pattern so great!

But – now I had left-over black sweatshirt fabric that had nowhere to go but into the stash.  This was not ideal.  I really didn’t want it sitting around, so had a browse through some of this year’s Burda magazines.  August’s issue came up trumps (I didn’t have to go too far back!) with a cropped square-cut top, pattern number 112.  So I traced the two smallest sizes, confirmed with daughter no 2 that she liked the idea of a black cropped sweater and went for it.  There was just enough fabric in all the right sizes and shapes for the pieces.

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Burda Cropped Top

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The padded neckline is supposed to be stuffed with wadding – which I don’t have.  So I cut a length of the sweatshirting and rolled it up instead, worked a dream!  Dead easy and very quick to make, this top is a doddle.  It does need a sturdy fabric to hold the shape nicely.  When daughter no2 finally came home she approved, big time!  Maybe her only request for the next time would be to make the sleeves a little narrower, keep the cold out!

Next up was the third version of a Burdastyle top from 2015, using the pale grey ponte.  While I love the style lines of this top, it’s actually been slightly disappointing in the execution.  It’s too square, too baggy, and the lines get lost.  But – it’s great to wear anyway and comfy too.  I was hoping this fabric would work better than the previous two, but nope. Ah well, you win some, you lose some.  I’m wearing it anyway!  But I may be calling time on this one, I don’t think I’ll be making another – for me anyway.

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I really love the seam detailing on this top

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Left: Back seam detail and square armholes with back sleeve seam; Right top: Front slit; Right bottom: Dart and seam intersecting details on the front and side.

However, once again, I have left over fabric.  I really do wish Fabworks would make it easier to buy half metres, this only having whole metres on offer unless you email and ask nicely is a pain in the wotsit.  So this time I decided to make a top for daughter no1!  Same pattern as the black top for daughter no2, but in the smallest size.  Being a thinner fabric than the sweatshirting, the finished top has a different look to the first one, but was received just as well!  By the way, daughter no1 got her sweaters first.

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So, four sweaters and 4m of fabric!  NO WASTE!  Well, what there was has gone in the rag bag for textile recycling, but nothing has gone in the stash, result!  However, while I was happily using up these fabrics, I was eyeing out more…  Daughter no2 wondered if I could make her another sweater with sweatshirting fabric.  And I was looking for coat fabric.  So I ended up back on the Fabworks website, putting 2m of racing green sweatshirt fabric and 3m of Autumn Maple lambswool into my basket.  I mean, you can’t just spend £5 on postage for only £10 of fabric! It has to be worthwhile…  And that wool is just divine!!  (coat to follow soon-ish)

I decided this time to make her a Talvikki sweater and traced the 8/10.  It was whipped up in an afternoon, but of course, it left a fair bit of fabric behind – again!  I wondered if she wanted something else with the green, another of any of the other sweaters, but nope, she didn’t want another green one.  Then daughter no1 came to visit and collect the other things I’d made (some still to be blogged).

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Named Clothing Talvikki Sweater

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Let’s just say that green Talvikki went home with her and I had to make another, likkity split!!  I had a day between daughter no1 going back to her home and daughter no2 arriving at mine for her reading week, to replace the original one.  But this time I had been warned to widen the neck, just as I’d had to do for my own.  Even daughter no1, whose head isn’t exactly large, had a problem in getting the Talvikki on over her head.   I wonder if that’s something other people have had an issue with with their Talvikki sweaters?  Have you made one and had trouble pulling it over your head,or is it just us??

I made the same adjustments for the second green sweater as I’d made for my own and it all seemed to work out fine.  I was pretty glad there was enough of the racing green sweatshirting to run up another sweater, but the girls need to make sure they discuss outfits before they meet up anywhere!

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So that covers some of the sweaters I’ve made in the last few weeks, but it’s not all of them!  Stay tuned for my first adventures with the Sew House Seven Toaster Sweater that everyone and their best friend was sewing earlier this year.

Stashbusting Trousers

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There’s a lot of sewing to catch up on, so here goes.  Two years ago I made a purchase of two pieces of grey wool (amongst other things – of course) from Croft Mill Fabrics.  One of the pieces of wool is a suiting weight blend of viscose and mohair, and really wasn’t what I’d expected when it turned up!  I pictured something thicker and warmer – snuggly…  This was fine, had a sheen and was rather fluid.  So it went into the stash until I could come up with something.

Eventually, after making this pair of Burda trousers earlier in the year, I decided to reuse the pattern and finally make up the silver grey fabric.  Go stashbusting!  I opted for the longer length view and the mini turn ups, leaving off the welt pockets at the back.  I don’t use the ones on the other trousers at all, and it’s just annoying to have to iron the darn things flat each time.

I used the same fitting alterations as the last time, but didn’t shorten the pattern at all! There is no stretch in this fabric at all, and it’s shown that I probably need to make a chunky calf adjustment.  It wasn’t a problem with the last pair because of the stretch content.  Because the fabric is so thin and fine I decided to add a little something and raided my linings bag for something suitable to line the trousers.  I picked out a green viscose lining and used it to half line the fronts.

There are no contrast fabrics anywhere else, the waistband and pockets are all in the main fabric.  I’m really happy with the result, although I can see that they may not make it all the way through winter, being so thin.  But they’re surprisingly warm(-ish).  I love the mini turn-ups, and the finished length is perfect for wearing with heels or my silver brouges.  Definitely making another sometime.  I’ve worn them once a week since I made them, which is a good sign!

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Details
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Love these little cuffs!

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More catching up to come, although it won’t be stashbusting…

 

M&S Suit Refashion

I may have mentioned that I was thinking of joining the Refashioners 2017 challenge in the last post.  I has all sorts of ideas running through my head, all dependent on what sort of suit I could find, and how much I wanted to spent.  And whether anyone would wear what I came up with in the end…  Warning this is a long and picture heavy post!

I rummaged in the local charity shops in town and came home with my wallet £30 lighter and my bag two suits fuller.  The first to be used is a size 18 ladies Marks & Spencer wool trouser suit, navy with grey windowpane check.  I sort of thought of making a pencil skirt from the trousers, and turning the jacket into something shorter and more fitted.  Of course, I started pulling it all apart before I managed to remember that a “before” picture might be required.  Thankfully I managed a photo of the jacket, sort of halfway through being unpicked.

I started with the trousers.  I really wanted a long, fitted pencil skirt, like the Pulmu in shape.  But there wasn’t enough fabric for that plan.  There was a photo from the 2018 Carolina Herrera Resort Collection on my Pinterest board that I really liked, shape, angles etc.  As I thought this refashion might be worn by daughter no 2, I showed it to her and explained what I wanted to do.  Nope.  She liked the fitted shape and wide shoulders (sorta) but didn’t like the bottom half of the top at all. (The best bit in my opinion!)  So I took ideas that would work, the centre seam, 45 degree angles, wide shoulders and fitted bodice.

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Suit trouser legs pinned together along the stripes so nothing moved while I cut the pattern pieces for the top.

Turning to the bodice block I drafted something I thought would work, only to find there just wasn’t enough fabric, the trousers are too narrow.  A compromise meant I needed to cut flanges for the extended shoulders (and honestly, they could have been wider) and insert them into princess seams in the front and back.  I still wanted the angles though, so the upper fronts are cut on the bias, after drawing on the lines of the windowpane to make sure they’d be lining up properly.  All pieces are cut like this, I wanted everything to line up.

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Most of the windowpane lines up!

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It didn’t turn out too badly, to be honest!  Not all of the windowpane lines line up exactly, but with the angles going on I’m still happy with the result.  I had in mind that it would be more of a waistcoat-type top than a top-type top, and thought I’d use a separating zip in the centre front.  But instead we have an invisible zip in the left side seam – client requirement.. 😉  The armhole and neck edges are bound with navy bias tape from the stash, so all I had to purchase to complete the project was the zip.

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dsc_0036-011439274080.jpegThe top has a shaped hem, dipping lower into a slight curve in the front, and being higher in the back with a “v” notch in the centre back, reminiscent of a waistcoat.  I like the shape of  the top, it looks really good with high waisted trousers!  Unfortunately I don’t have pictures of it on a person, Betty the dummy will have to do.  That’s Part One of the project!

Part Two took a little longer…  I really wanted to turn the square, only slightly fitted jacket into something much more interesting.  I had thought of using the Bellatrix pattern, but it would never have fitted onto all the bits of jacket fabric remaining.  So I thought of a biker jacket…  I also wanted to reuse the jetted pockets – no point remaking something that’s perfectly good already.  But biker jackets don’t have pockets in the position that these were in, so they needed to change orientation.  More angles!!  Also, this is when I remembered the September 2017 issue of Burda magazine had a pretty sweet biker style jacket in it that might be useful.  I liked the shoulder yoke shape and knew I could do something with it and the existing parts of the jacket I wanted to save.  I traced daughter no2’s jacket block and set to work!  This project is part pattern cutting and part draping!

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I used the stylelines of the Burda jacket to get the proportions right, and pinned and draped onto Betty (my vintage dressmaker’s dummy).  There were bits of paper and fabric all over my sewing room while this went on, a real mess.  There was just enough fabric in the existing sleeves to recut sleeves to fit, the cuffs for the sleeves were made from what was left over from the trousers.  I reused the sleeve head pads, they give a lovely sharp shape to the top of the sleeve.

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Working out how much I need for the contrast on the front, and getting the angles right!
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Changing the angle of the pockets makes them useful again

I managed to reuse the waistband from the trousers to form the hem band on the jacket, which was brilliant!  I did have a small meltdown moment when I realised the whole jacket wasn’t going to come from the fabric I’d managed to harvest.  That’s where suit number two came in very, very handy.  It was a men’s 3-piece wool suit in grey.  I’d deliberately chosen it to be able to combine with the ladies suit fabric if that’s what I’d needed.

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I cut up the waistcoat to make the shoulder yokes and the contrast “V” on the front.  This makes the jacket much less formal, gives it a sporty vibe that contrasts quite nicely with the suit fabric.  The original lining was a dull, unfriendly colour, and not enough in the right shapes and sizes to reuse, so I dived into the stash and found a yummy raspberry satin lining left over from a coat I’d made years ago for daughter no1.  I love these two colours together!

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All the angles coming together

 

bj6The only thing I wish I’d taken more time over is the zip.  I should have waited to be able to buy a longer length, but as I couldn’t get what I needed locally I opted for “this will do”, which is ok, but actually never does “do”.  A longer zip would nave finished at the neckline instead of a couple of centimetres short.  At least the snaps work!  I got 6 large, dark bronze sew on snaps for the hem band, cuffs and neck.  They’re sewn on using buttonhole stitch, they aren’t budging for a long time!

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That raspberry satin lining is gorgeous

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I really love the finished project, I’m glad I took the time to pin all those check intersections on the fabric, and drew all the lines onto the pattern pieces to ensure I’d have a better time pattern matching when it came to the sewing.  Patience makes so much difference!  I wish I’d had enough time to refashion the second suit for the challenge, but other things had to be done too.  I will refashion it and show you what I managed to do, but it won’t be soon.  I have in mind a pair of culottes and a long line blazer, but it might not work!  The thing with refashions is to be prepared to change your mind, go with the flow and adapt to what you have to hand.  It’s certainly taught me something!

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Click on the individual images below to see them in detail.