Saturday, 11 January 2020

Tilly And The Buttons Rosa Dress - Make Nine 2019 #8

This is number eight on my 2019 Make Nine, and I finished it on Boxing Day (number nine is also done, but there was drama - it's for another post).  Anyway, this is the Tilly And The Buttons Rosa Dress, which is a pattern I've have for a few years now but never made.

I ended up drafting the pattern myself because I knew I'd have too many fitting issues, but I've kept to the orginal pattern as much as possible.



I made two changes, the first to the back yoke which I cut straight instead of a V shape.

The second was to the sleeves.  I used my self-drafted three-quarter length sleeves with button cuffs, but instead of using a bias cut strip of fabric to face the placket, I used the placket facing from the Rosa pattern long sleeve and cuff.

I haven't seen this type of placket facing before and thought it was a great idea, so I drafted the pattern piece, and then followed the pattern instructions to sew it.

Another thing I love is the the button placket.  I'd normally cut a placket as one with the garment front, interface it and then press it under; but this placket is cut separately.  In one of the examples on the pattern, the placket and inside collar stand are cut from another fabric, and it looks lovely.


The pattern instructions were great for the faux flat-felled seams and also the top stitching, and I love how they turned out.  For the top stitching I used my 1/4" foot, and, as you can see in the photo below, it has a little guide on the right which I lined up with the seam.  I was then able to move the needle to the width I wanted, and used the guide to keep the stitching line straight.

And finally, I absolutely love this chambray fabric.  It's from lovely Becs at Oh Sew! and it's called Planets Chambray.  And I've just noticed that she lists the Rosa dress as pattern idea for it.  Great minds think alike!


Saturday, 28 December 2019

Lady McElroy Vincent Sketch Christmas dress

This is an unusal make for me in that from idea to finish was a week and three days: normally a project rattles around my head for ages before I make it.

Here's what happened - I was idly browsing Instagram on Friday 6th December (probably in work...) when I saw the dress below on the Coco Fennell feed.  I love a look at their website, their dresses are beautiful, there's loads of inspiration and this one is a corker!

I thought it would be lovely with the shirring on the cuffs from this dress, which is also from Coco Fennell.

Then later on that evening, I was browsing Instagram again, and lovely local sewist Becs from Oh Sew! had posted about some new fabrics in her shop.  Amongst them was this gorgeous Lady McElroy viscose called Vincent Sketch, and I couldn't order it fast enough!!

I got 2.5 metres, and it's even more beautiful in real life.  It's a medium weight viscose, and isn't as shifty as some, so was easy to cut out and work with.  I couldn't decide between green or brown for the bias tape trim, and ended up going with green.  This is 19mm wide poly/satin bias tape from ebay.

The pattern is all self-drafted, and I drafted and toiled it while I was waiting for the fabric to be delivered.  For the bodice front, I rotated the waist dart into the shoulder dart, and then cut out the yoke at the level of the under bust.  The dart was then rotated back to the under bust, and was then sewn as a gather.

For the neckline I didn't do the split, but sort of wish I had even done a little split.  I used the bias tape as facing by sewing the right side of the tape to the wrong side of the bodice and flipping it over to the front.  Then it was top-stitched down.  With hindsight, this wasn't one of my better ideas.  I'd have been better off doing a separate facing, and then top-stitching the bias tape to the whole thing, but it's grand!  

For the bodice back I drew in the yoke, and closed up the dart across it; then sewed the remaining dart on the upper back.  Also, I used a dress zip as I thought an invisible zip would be tricky with the bias tape.

The yoke is trimed with bias tape under the bust and above the waist.  The skirt is a half circle, and it's trimed with the bias tape above the hem.

The sleeves are my favourite bit, and they turned out how they looked in my head.  They are bishops sleeves with a gather at the sleeve head and shirring at the cuffs.  I drafted them  from a pattern drafting book called "Metric Pattern Cutting For Women's Wear" by Winifred Aldrich.

I marked 7 cm below the elbow on my sleeve block then slashed and spread the sleeve head as above, and added 6 cm in.  Then I slashed and spread the bottom of the sleeve as below, and made it 60 cm wide including the seam allowance.


Here's what the pattern piece looks like.

The cuffs are gathered with shirring, which was very easy to do after watching this great video from The Stitch Sisters, and I love how they turned out.

I'm loving my dress, which I wore on Christmas Day,and I hope Santa was good to everybody.


Have a great weekend,


Monday, 9 December 2019

Self-drafted tartan dress

This dress had been rattling around my head for a while; 

and it was inspired by this dress I saw on Pinterest.


I love the Peter Pan collar, the princess seams going up to the shoulders, and the three-quarter length cuffed sleeves.

My fabric is some tartan viscose from the lovely Claire and Laura at The Dab Hand, but I got the end of the roll.  It was a bit shifty, so I stablised it with some spray starch.

Cutting out was a bit of a nightmare as I wanted to match up the lines on the tartan, so I cut it out on a single layer.  I have another tartan dress that I want to make, so I'll try and take some photos when I'm cutting it out.

As the fabric wrinkles a bit, I underlined the bodice with some viscose voile I got ages ago from The Textile Centre.

The pattern is self-drafted, and I think the princess seams to the shoulders work well with the tartan.  

The sleeves are a shorter version of the sleeves on this self-drafted shirt, and the cuffs are ordinary cuffs instead of the French cuffs on the shirt.  I cut the cuffs on the bias because trying to match the lines was making my head hurt...

The skirt is a gathered rectangles with side seam pockets, but I managed to mess it up when I sewed the right back skirt upside down, and had to unpick it!

Also, the tartan doesn't match completely at the bodice centre back, but I can live with it because the waist and neckline seams lined up perfectly, and I won't see it when I'm wearing it!



Have a great week!


Wednesday, 13 November 2019

McCall's M7938 / M7989 - Yaya Han Coat, View A

If you follow me on Instagram, then you will have been spammed by loads progress photos
of this coat.  It was an epic make, I have a lot to say about it and there are loads of photos.


The pattern is McCall's M7938, which is a Yaya Han costume pattern, but I laugh in the face of costume and will be wearing this all winter!  Also, I have to thank Sian from Kittenish Behaviour for tipping me off about this pattern.

There are two views, and the photo below is View B from the pattern envelope.  This is on M7938, which is sizes 6 - 22.

This photo is View A, and this from McCall's M7989 which is sizes 18W - 32W.

Here are the line drawings from both patterns.

Fabric and Interfacing

Before I get into the gory details, here are the fabrics and interfacings I used.  The main fabric is 100% wool from My Fabrics.  It's called Fulled Loden, and the colour is auburgine.   The lining is also from My Fabrics, and is called Diamonds Jacquard Lining Fabric.

The interfacing is all from Tailor Mouse.  I used Medium Weight Woven Canvas Fusible for the coat fronts, under collar and hems.  I used Lightweight Woven Fusible Cotton for the front and back facings, upper collar, pocket flaps and martingale.  The buttons are from Totally Buttons.

I bought all of these (and the pattern) myself, and just wanted to link them in case anybody is interested.


As it is me, obviously there are some modifications...  

Firstly, I shortened the body by 4.5 cm.  To work this out, I already knew the length of the back neck to waist on the other coats I've made, so shortened the back to that length.  Then I shortened the other bodice pieces to match.  I also lengthened the skirt by 1 inch.

The collar stand extends past the end of the collar on one side, and you can see this in the line drawing above.  I made it on my toile, but didn't think it really worked with the lapels on View A, so I didn't put it on my coat.  I also didn't do the cuffs on View A as I didn't love them on my toile.

On the line drawing you can also see that the shoulder seam is dropped down onto the bodice back.  I didn't love this either, as I thought it would make it difficult to stablise the shoulder seam, so I moved it up to the shoulder.

The biggest modification I made was to the the skirt.  There isn't a side seam on the skirt, instead it attaches to the skirt back piece, then goes right around as one piece and joins the coat front.  Below is the coat front, skirt and skirt back as on the pattern.

As you can see, this isn't far off a full circle skirt.  I made it as is on my toile, and as much as I absolutely loved it, I didn't think it was for me.  I'm pretty small, and felt that it would swamp me a bit.  Also, I thought that it would be quite heavy in the wool fabric.  

So I drafted a quarter circle skirt, and you can see this with the coat front and skirt back below.  This is what I've used on my coat.

I cut out one quarter circle skirt and sewed it to my toile, and here are a few photos below.

The original skirt pattern is on the side without a sleeve, and you can see how fabulous it is!  It looks amazing in the lighter weight fabrics used on the pattern envelope photos.  My quarter circle skirt is on the side with the sleeve.

Skirt as on the pattern above, and quarter circle skirt below.

I also made a lot of alterations to the insides.


As on some of my other coates, I drafted the interfacing pieces using some of the classes on Bluprint - I've bought these classes myself, and am mentioning them in case they are helpful.  

I drafted back, side back and side front stays from a class called "Classic Tailoring: The Blazer".  In the photo below, the pieces at the top are the back, side back and side front pieces; and the pieces at the bottom are the corresponding stay pieces.

And here are the stays attached to the bodice pieces, I used a medium weight cotton for this, and I have stablised the shoulder seams with twill tape.

I drafted the interfacing for the coat fronts from a class called "Essential Guide To Tailoring - Structure And Shape".  On the left in the below photo is the coat front.  On the right are the interfacing pieces for the front and lapel, and in the centre the pieces for the front shoulder.

Below is the interfacing pieces attached to the coat fronts.

 You can see the shoulder support attached, the taped roll line and taped edges.

Lining and Facings

The lining on the pattern is the same as the bodice pieces, so I re-drafted it using the brilliant tutorial on the Grainline Studios blog.  

The pattern doesn't have a face neck facing, and the front facing is the same as the coat front, which I thought might be a bit bulky in my heavy fabric.  Below left is the re-drafted front facing, centre is the coat front, upper left is the back neck facing and lower left is the coat back. 

 Below is the re-drafted lining pieces.

Here's the coat inside out, so you can see the lining and facings. 

And I've added a pleat to the centre back of the lining to give the lining a bit more movement when the coat is being put on/taken off.



There are three functioning buttonholes on this coat, and I made them as bound buttonholes.  


The buttonholes on the lapels are machined decorative buttonholes and I haven't cut them open, just sewed the buttons on.

Coat Skirt and Pockets

I felt that the skirt waist needed stablised to help support the weight of the fabric.  I found some Christian Dior ribbon when I was looking for something else, (I completely forgot I had it and think it was on some perfume I got last Christmas), and had to use it.  The bodice waist is stablised with seam binding.

The pockets are attached at the top of the big skirt pieces, and there is a pocket flap on the right side.  It wasn't the easiest thing to sew, but I got there in the end.  Here's what it looks like from the inside.


Here's the pocket flap once it's finished, I used the lining fabric on the underneath of the flap to reduce bulk.

Collar and Facing

Because I had added a back neck facing, I ended up doing my own thing with attaching the collar.   Here's what it looks like.  The "Me Made" label is from Kylie And The Machine, and the "Contains Cat Hair" label is from Pink Coat Club.

I forgot to take any photos of sewing the collar pieces together, but below is the under collar attached to the coat.

And below is the upper collar attached to the facing.

Again, I forgot to take any photos of attaching the coat and facings together, but here's what it looked like once it was done.

The front and back seams within the collar still needed attached, and I'm now hoping that all of this is going to make sense!   I wanted to attach together the two seams between the collar and stands, and also attach the seams between the facing and the coat back together.

This is the collar to stand seams being sewn together,

and this is the facing to coat back being sewn together.  I used a herringbone stitch for this, and I really hope that all makes sense!     



Next were the sleeves, and I used my tried and tested bias strip method.  Here is a great tutorial video from Gretchen Hirsch.  You cut a 2" wide strip of the main fabric on the bias, and cut it about 18" long.

Pin the centre to the top of the sleeve head, where the mark is to join the shoulder seam.

Sew it using a 1/2 inch seam allowance and 5.0 stitch length.  As you sew, you stretch out the bias strip - which is very hard to photograph with one hand!

And this magically gathers up the sleevehead as in the photo below!  It then gets pressed over the end of a sleeve board.

Pin and sew the sleeve in as normal, and it looks like the photo below.  I'm holding one long edge of the bias strip, the edge in the middle is the other long edge, and the wavy edge is the sleeve head.

Next, I pinned the two long edges of the bias strip together and hand sewed them to the sleeve head. 

This helps to pad out the top of the sleeve head, so it looks like this.  And after that I added the shoulder pads.

Also, I drafted a Martingale for the back, because it turns out I love the look of them.  I say drafted - it's a rectangle 2" deep, and the length of the back waist seam plus about 5 cm then add a seam allowance.  I interfaced it, and the back is the lining fabric.  

After that, everything is fairly straight-forward.  I hemmed the sleeves and coat, sewed together the lining, and attached it to the coat.  Then the lining got hemmed separately to the coat, and attached at the seam joins using thread chains.  I find this works better on a wide hem, rather than attaching it directly to the coat hem.

Phew!!  That is a lot of waffling, and if you made this far - well done!  Here are lots of photos of the finished coat.

I think it goes without saying that I love this coat, and thank you for reading!