Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Jonah coat - BWOF - 11-2008-107 part one

You remember that bible story about Jonah? He had a mission from on high and he decided to ignore it and do his own thing. Every time he went off to do his own thing, God sabotaged his activities until he had to give up and follow the voice from on high.

Well, I had a similar experience with this coat. My intuition was to make this winter coat. I ignored that intuition for many reasons but top of the list would be the hot summer sun and high humidity that comes with it being MID-SUMMER here. But every time I tried to start a sensible project - a summery tunic or dress or skirt I'd either lose energy, or in the case of the tunic, lose a whole pattern page with 2 vital pieces on it. I decided that for some unfathomable reason, this coat just wanted to be made by me, right now.

And since Burda had yet to start their pattern naming escapades (they started that 09), I have taken the liberty of calling this "the Jonah coat."

This is the most challenging project I have sewn to date - the fit through the bust took several hours of tissue fitting and I ended up retracing the bodice piece 3 times before I could get it right. Also challenging those pleats - almost gynecological in shape - they need to fall exactly from the corner of the front bodice piece.

I got the fabric from my local Sally Army - they only wanted $5 for it - can you believe it? 3 1/2 metres of 100% wool gabardine in perfect condition. Someone obviously did a stash trash. Or died, more likely, because no-one could get pure wool out of my house except over my dead body.

Anyway, I thought I'd show you what I'm doing and where I'm at because I won't get this coat finished before my holiday down south and then I will be helping my sister sew her coat. It'll be New Year before this coat makes its blog debut.

The coat has this cute little neck band, that when you fold it up, it forms a kind of scarf around your neck.

See, all folded up, now you just have the big floppy collar:

The back pleats mimic the front. It's a whole lot of look, but hey, I really felt it was OK to take a risk on a 5 buck coat.

And if you feel like sharing, tell me, how do you decide what to sew? More importantly, how do you resolve the tension between sewing what you feel like sewing, and sewing what your wardrobe requires?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The mademoiselle dress, Burda 05-2009-122

On the dress form so you can see the detail

The balloon sleeves

On me

Don't you love the way Burda give all their patterns names? This dress is called the "madamemoiselle" dress, and it is fresh and feminine. It's not often I have to think hard about whether a style might be a little young for me, but in this case I followed my "do I feel like making it and will it be fun?" mantra and with a "oui" to both I was off!

Every time I buy a new issue of Burda I think the patterns look a little wierd, so if it was up to me to be namin' them, sometimes it would be more like the "ew" dress, the "yuk" top and the "what were they thinking" pants. But, as they say, the eye adjusts, and soon I start thinking about making the yuk top to go with the what were they thinking pants and look for the foul coat to top it off.

Anyway, madam will slip into her mademoiselle dress ready to celebrate her wedding anniversary this week, for which aforesaid frock was sewn.

Bonne anniversaire!

Costings: vintage silk $30 from a shop in Nelson, thread $3.20 recycled zipper, tissue paper $2, lining 100% acetate Charles Parson lining from Nicks $6 - read it and weep - = $41.20

a note about the lining - if you go to Nick's on Sunday the guy that does Nick's day off is in charge of handling the stock, ask him to show you the best quality lining and he'll sort you out - lining fabrics are only $2 a metre. Not only does this lining have great drape, it's also very cool and comfortable.

Co-incidently, sometimes the fabric buyers are allowed to tell you where they got their stock - sometimes they are not able to because they are obligated to protect the designer from knock-offs.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Finally, Burda 07-2009-102

Let's recap the many twists and turns on this sewing journey. We start with fabric with 30% crosswise stretch. We continue with replacement fabric with 30% crosswise stretch. We buy new fabric whose label only lists cotton and lurex as fibre content but has 10% crosswise stretch so at the very least must have some elastane. We buy replacement for the replacement of the replacement which is linen and cotton after triple checking absolutely NO crosswise stretch but on the first fitting discover that the linen is very scratchy, even though it comes from a reputable source.

Very important lesson learnt: hands are rough and poor indicator of how fabric is going to feel on tender princess-like thighs. Best indicator? The area of skin between the nose and lips is very sensitive and if you can sneak a piece of fabric to your lips and give it a light brush (you might try to find a private space for this) you'll have a pretty good indicator of how this will feel on your thighs. That is, if you really find lining things tedious like I do and want to just get something nice and comfy from the outset. There was nothing for it but to line it, and that I did, with some cotton lawn from Nick's.

I like the idea of these pants - the straight leg, the pockets, the waistband finishing on the waist with the extended flap - but I forgot that linen needs ironing and so it isn't exactly lazy friendly wash'n'wear.

Technical drawing from Burda: (NB - I added half and inch from the outer front hip to the ankle to make the leg a bit straighter as this style is too slim in the front for me)

Costings: cotton/linen from Nick's (Line 7 manufacturers liquidation sale) $10. Thread 50c for overlocking thread, outer thread used leftovers from other projects. Pattern already costed first time round. Lining $6 Interfacing $1. Total: $17

I'm not totally in love with these pants, mainly because I really don't like linen that much. It has to be said though, as the humidity rises linen really comes into its own, so we'll call it a draw.