Archive for the ‘sewing’ Category

recent sewing projects

I’ve been doing a lot of sewing over the last few months, not all at once, but when I have some spare time between this is how I have been spending it. Why not more knitting – knitting for me? Well because if I am working all the time on knitting samples, pattern writing, editing knitting patterns, sometimes I want to be creative in other avenues. I also don’t have much spare time, and I can finish sewing projects relatively quickly, even with the amount of hand-finishing that I like to do. And there is the rather large stash of fabric to choose from, many fine wools and things I have been hoarding for quite some time now, and it is time to turn it into clothes. And I can’t forget about the fine items I get to keep when I am finished: I can make things of far better quality fabric than I can afford to buy in ready-to-wear. I have made a lot of skirts lately because they are quick to finish an I wear them a lot. I love making dresses, but I don’t wear them as much in the winter.

photo by Anthony Biancardi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I made this skirt from a length of Avoca Tweed that my Mom brought me back from Ireland. Wow, it was a long time ago now, this has been stashed for quite some time, but I am glad I waited until my skills were such that I could do a good enough job for this fine piece of fabric. The fabric is like butter, it’s absolutely gorgeous and soft and has such a pretty little herringbone pattern in orange and blue on the beige background. It is lined with rayon bemberg and I handstitched the zipper. The pattern is Burda 7531.

photo by me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next up, a pleated wool skirt:

photo by Anthony Biancardi

It is Burda 7147 made in a vintage grey wool fabric in small plaid pattern with flecks of orange. I appropriated the leather fastener from another skirt.

photo by me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More grey wool! A solid grey this time, with a little bit of a felted finish. This is also lined in rayon bemberg. The pattern is Burda 7132. I love the shape of this skirt! It’s so comfortable to wear and the pleats were super fun to make.

photo by Anthony Biancardi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I made this one out of a silk tweed and lined it in a silk printed with gingko-shaped flowers. It’s really short, it is for wearing over leggings. It’s an out-of-print Burda pattern. The kilt straps are from my stash of vintage findings. I used to be a “vintage picker” and I would also pick stuff for the notions or buttons if the garment itself was not in good shape.

photo by Anthony Biancardi

photo by me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly, a bit of fun:

photo by Anthony Biancardi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A froufy tiered purple crinoline made of rayon bemberg and netting, just because I felt like it. Yes I am aware that “froufy” is not a word. However, I use it frequently to describe garments of this sort.

photo by me

I actually get pretty dressed up for someone who works at home. I don’t feel the temptation to while away the day wearing a Slanket, even though no one would know and I could totally get away with it. Getting dressed for work is one of the things I miss the most about working outside the house.

New Jacket!

I have recently finished a jacket, Burda 7304, and it turned out really well.Burda 7304 I took the time and effort to do everything the way it was meant to be done. I had my first attempt at bound buttonholes, though I did a practice buttonhole first to make sure I wasn’t going to screw it up. I wasn’t sure if I could pull these off, but gave it a go anyway, not because I am a huge keener (that is debatable) but because my old beast of a machine does not make particularly elegant buttonholes and I didn’t want the final step on the lovely jacket to be Fubar Buttonholes, thereby ruining the whole thing.

So, here is the jacket:

 

jacket front

jacket front

jacket back

jacket back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fabric is vintage yardage that I scored in a thrift shop, black and grey almost-houndstooth-weave wool (I’m fairly certain it’s 100% wool). I lined it with grey rayon Bemberg lining. I used a heavy sew-in interfacing on the lapels and collar, which I hand-stitched allover to the fabric with long catching stitches (invisible from right side). I made the buttonholes before that piece was sewn to anything else. Luckily I had enough extra fabric to cut another piece if I messed that one up (I didn’t though). I cut little patches of fabric on the bias and machine basted them to the right front piece. (The patches are on the right side.)

buttonhole facings

On the wrong side, I stitched them about 3/16″ on each side from the center buttonhole cutting line, securing the ends of stitching (starting and stopping exactly where marked). Then I cut open the buttonholes through both layers with a punch (it’s like a chisel, don’t use scissors), poked the patches through to the wrong side, and folded them so that they make the bindings, and basted everything in place. I basted the buttonholes all shut until the jacket was finished.

bound buttonholes basted closed

bound buttonholes basted closed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

buttonholes seen from facing side

buttonholes seen from facing side


 

 

 

Once the jacket was further assembled, I made the matching buttonholes on the facing, but used pieces of lining fabric to bind the edges.

 

 

pleated shoulder

pleated shoulder

 

 
One thing I love about this jacket is the shoulder detail. It is so awesomely vintage-looking.
These were some crazy-looking pattern pieces for the sleeves, it was actually really cool when they get all folded and basted up and then presto! it turns into this amazing shape. That piece in the foreground is a part of the sleeve.
I’ve been sewing a lot lately, I have a ton a fabric in my stash that I am trying to use. I made some nice skirts as well, I’ll show those next.

sleeve piece

sleeve piece

a Bit of Sewing

All the knitting is work knitting, at the moment (in perpetuity, seems like). I have been doing some sewing in what little spare time there is, as it’s faster to finish and wear things if I don’t actually have to make the cloth myself.

First up, Vogue V8470, I love the Easy Options patterns – more bang for your buck. I actually made most of this back in February, didn’t get around to hemming it until, idk, May? (it was a circle skirt, they take forever to hem – skirt and lining, and I did it all by hand. That’s my excuse.). The fabric is Birch from Habitat by Jay McCarroll for Free Spirit. I lined it in China silk (yardage bought for a pittance at a second-hand shop) which I dyed black. I also put a layer of fine netting between the lining and the fabric. It really didn’t matter that it took me so long to finish it, because it’s sleeveless and I couldn’t have worn it in February anyhow.

Bodice assembled!Bodice

 

Here is the lining being attached, after I sewed in the zipper by hand with a prick stitch. I don’t mind a bit of hand-sewing, I get so much practice on the knits, and once everything has been machine assembled, it really doesn’t take that long. I also used to repair vintage dresses when I worked at I miss you, so I have a lot of experience hand-sewing and I have worked on more dresses than you imagine. I think a dress zipper looks nice sewn in by hand. But the hem, she was tedious.sewing in lining

 

 

 

 

See how nice the zipper looks! (this is the inside, the bodice is self-lined).zipper

I did make the sash, but have no photo of it.

 

 

 

 

 

Then I made Vogue V1220, a Donna Karan pattern, out of some khaki-brown cotton with a one-way stretch. It turned out very well also, though I didn’t do as much hand finishing, so I feel a bit lazy.

V1220

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brutus helps
Brutus helped with the pattern piece layout. As in, he laid out on the pattern pieces. He excels at this. He is in fact teaching a course on Craftsy about it.

There are more sewing projects to write about shortly, as soon as I can get around to posing for photos.