Progress

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Slowly I’m doing some progress on the midnight blue dress I’m working on. This is how far I have come. The last step I did was to shape and press the neckline and catch stitch the seam allowance in place. There is no neckline facing on this dress as the lining will go all the way to the inner edge. Adding the sleeves, hand picking the back zipper and heming both sleeves and skirt is next. Hope to do that this weekend so I can start with the lining.

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I did some research on the topic and did end up balance the back darts. The bodice front darts were so deep that I could cut them open and treat the access fabric inside as two separate seam allowances.

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The pattern is McCall’s M5927 and I’m making view E, with the long sleeves.

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I feel my sewing projects are a bit unsynked with the season. Long sleeves, midnight blue in colour and wool fabric would make this more a fall or winter project than a spring one. But from what I’ve heard we will have more winter seasons to come. ;-)

Happy sewing everyone.

Dressmaking at my kitchen table

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image by Annikas76
image, a photo by Annikas76 on Flickr.

Right now I am working on a midnight blue shealth dress with long sleeves. The pattern I am using is McCall’s M5927, which I think they have discontinued by now. This dress have been on my todo list even since I started sewing 2 years ago.

The fabric is a nice wool (YSL or something like it) with a bit of sheen. I’m trying to apply the couture techniques I have picked up. As you can see I for example have an silk organza underlining which I have treated as one with the wool and tread traced the seam lines on with hand basting. Today I hand basted the darts and some of the seams together to prepare to do some work on the machine tomorrow. However, I am still pondering the benefits of balancing the darts. I haven’t tried that technique yet but is it worth the effort?

Happy sewing
/Annika

Kimono-inspired dress – Vogue V8825

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I have yet to show you my version of the Vogue V8825 dress. When I first sew this pattern I immediately fell in love with it because of the nice draping and front wrap. The Raglan sleeves gives it an interesting touch. I looked, and looked to find a fabric to go with it and then finally found a blue, white and black printed rayon knit. I also choose a contrasting solid black rayon knit for the tie and the sleeve cuffs.

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Me in a kimono in Japan 1998

The combination I think gives the dress a kimono-inspired look. as a young student I went as an exchange student to Japan. An amazing experience overall. One specific thing i got to experience there was to get dressed and done up in a traditional kimono and a geisha makeup and hair. Wow, how many layers of skirts and wraps there was to put on before the beautiful outer kimono was put on. I say “was put on” sins the layers were wrapped so taught and tied that you could not put them on yourself. Then there was the big wrap and bow around the midsection. Everything was so tight and I now understand why women in traditional japanese attire can only take tiny steps.

This dress is not as tight but it reminds me of the silhouette of a kimono. it has a quite long tie which can be tied either on the side or in the back. I prefer to tie it in the back.

VOGUE 8825

I extended front wrap a couple of centimeters in each direction on order to cover the bust more. Otherwise I kept pretty much to the pattern and instructions.

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I finished most of the seams with a French seam. I’ve said it before, but I LOVE French seams in jersey. They give a luxurious finish, stabilizes the dress slightly and strengthen the seams. It feels very good to wear.

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French seam finish

The only issue I have with the dress  is that the ties tend to be heavy in relation to the fabric. Now I used fabric two different fabrics but they were of approximately the same weight. As you can see on the picture below there is a tendency for the tie to stretch the bodice out of shape when not tied and hanging straight down. This is something I have to keep in mind while storing and putting the dress on.

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Here you can see how the ties weighs down the bodice.

I really love this dress and ended up wearing it on Christmas Eve, which I spent at my parents house. Here you can see me in the dress in two poses.

VOGUE 8825

 

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Happy Holidays!

 

Sending you all my love this holiday season. Until soon.

/Annika

Butterick B5619 – jacket, skirt and dress for summer

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I’m soooo late with this post but a promise is a promise. Here is a more thorough post on the red jacket with matching skirt and contrasting dress that I made last summer. Though it was just roughly 4 months ago…

I made the ensemble based on Butterick B5619 – a Lifestyle wardrobe patterns with five different garments to mix and match. I made three.

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I made the jacket with matching a-line skirt in a bright read cotton twill. A great choice for summer, though it wrinkles easily. The jacket had three quarter length sleeves, patch pockets, large lapels and black buttons. The lapels where 5 cm larger in the original pattern but I reduced them in order not to drown behind them.

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Here you can see the buttons and one of the patch pockets with a flap up close. I chose large black buttons to contrast the bright red.

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The jacket is unlined so I made a Hong Kong finish in contrasting black again to make it look refined also when open or not worn.

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I made the Hong Kong finish from satin bias tape. Here you can see all the covered seam allowances. I hemd the jacket by hand.

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The skirt has a slightly slanted band in the waist which improves the fit just above the hips.

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Instead of using a Hong Kong finish on the skirt I folded the raw edges of the seam allowance and saw close to the folded edge. I like this finish as it is very neat. I used the same finish inside the dress. I also hemmed the skirt and the dress by hand.

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I made the skirt out of a stretchy satin cotton lycra blend fabric. It is very comfortable to wear and doesn’t wrinkle much. It is hard to see because of the busy print but the dress has three sections on front and pack, a top, a midriff and a skirt. The midriff is sewn with self facing in double layers for some extra tummy support. ;-)

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And here is the dress with the jacket. A nice combo.

It’s over midnight here now so this has to be all for now

Sweet sewing dreams

Annika

Thread tracing

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I’m a bit off schedule with the french jacket due to traveling. However, before starting on that journey I’m beginning to work on a raincoat. I really NEED a raincoat and since I’m still not buying any clothes I’m about to make on for myself.

Today I am tread tracing the muslin.

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Making a muslin is a good idea both for testing and improving fit and for getting to know the pattern better. Especially if the pattern is more complicated than average. I’m making a raincoat based on Vogue 1097 which looks like this.

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Vogue 1097, OOP but still available on the Vogue Patterns website.

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I’ll make the raincoat in a length in between A and B. To decide the exact length it is great to make a muslin.

The raincoat will be purple. This is the fabric. Hope I have enough.

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Sewalong: The Little French Jacket

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I love the elegance of french style and I adore Chanel. Therefor I got very exited when I saw that The Challanging Sew and Thewallinna are hosting a sewalong for “the little French jacket”, or the Chanel-jacket as it might also be refered to.

Here are the links to the introduction posts for the sewalong:

I have decided to join the sewalong which officially starts October 6 with the first sheduled sewing post. But to prepare I have looked at some patterns and fabrics and made some choices.

For the pattern I have chosen Vogue 7975 which is one of the recommended patterns. I like to make a jacket that meet in the front but do not overlap. I’m thinking of hook and eye fastenings in the front. For fabric I went to the Linton Tweeds website. Linton Tweeds being a British fabric mill with long traditions, among other things being a supplier of boucle fabrics to Chanel for their tweed jackets. So perfect! From Linton Tweeds I ordered 3 yards of a metallic gray wool boucle. I hope that will be enough for both a jacket and a skirt. I was looking for a fabric that would go well both with black and with blue without being neither black or blue. The metallic gray here stood out for me.

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Once I’ve gotten the fabric I will look at silk charmeuse fabrics for the lining and at trims.

Is anyone else going to do this sewalong?

Happy sewing!

/Annika

Vogue V8766 – Blue and black lace cocktail dress (aka the Ann Rowley dress)

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Vogue V8766

The dress

I made this dress to wear on a formal dinner party. It is inspired by the dress Ann Rowley, winner of the BBC show the Great British Sewing Bee, made in the final challenge of the show. Actually, it is as good as a copy as I used the same pattern as her and a similar combination of blue underlining and black lace. Here is a link to Ann’s version. When I saw the dress on the show I just loved it and wanted to give it a try. Blue is my absolute favorite color. I want to give all credit of the design ideas of this dress to Ann.

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Vogue V8766 (image from: http://www.voguepatterns.mccall.com/)

I started my making a muslin and making some smaller adjustments, though not many were needed. I used size 14 in version E for which I shortened the sleeves to just above the elbow. I also took in the side seams a couple of cm here and there. I also made some adjustment for my sway back.

For fabric I used a gorgeous royal blue polyester pearl satin for the underlining and a black lace in a rayon and nylon blend. For lining I used a black rayon lining fabric. These fabrics make the dress easy to wear as they have a good drape and doesn’t wrinkle easily. As stated in the instructions I sewed the underlining fabric and lace fabric as one.

The lace had a nice edge which I used as the finish on both the skirt and the sleeves. I let the lace hang lower than the underlining a couple of cm and didn’t underline the sleeves. Here are the results on the skirt and the sleeves:

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The hem

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The sleeves

In the instructions the bodice of the dress is not lined. However I added a lining also for the top part which changed the finish on the neckline some. For the zipper in the back I used the instructions given by Susan Khalje in the Couture Dress class at Craftsy.com of how to install a zipper by hand. I love the hand sewing bits and found it both satisfying and fun to do. I’m pleased with the results. However, while wearing the dress I was a bit concerned about the zipper falling apart, even though I don’t think it was ever any risk. Hand sewing is quite sturdy but psychologically it feels less reliable than something made my machine. Wander why? 

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The zipper

I found that the most challenging part of the dress was sewing all the darts. All in all the dress contains 26 darts (four in the skirt, six in the bodice + the same in the lining + six in the sleeves).

As a final touch I added bra strap holders at the shoulders – you know those thread chain straps with a small snap closure - also using the techniques presented by Susan Khalje. I love those bra strap holders as they are very practical and discrete. Because who want’s there bra straps to glide into sight in the neckline or at the shoulders when you move? I think adding those tread chains at the shoulder make a dress, blouse or top go to the next level of quality. It’s giving it that extra touch

I like the dress very much as I feel elegant in it and hope to wear it soon again. Unfortunately, I don’t have many images of me wearing the dress at the formal dinner. Just this one taken with my iPhone with bad lighting  of me sitting and having a bad posture.

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Me at the dinner party

That is all for this project. Happy sewing everyone!

/Annika

I lost my blogging mojo…but I kept on sewing

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I seem to have lost my blogging mojo. No post for a month and before that a long gap. I feel ashamed.  But I miss you guys and want to be more active.

However, meanwhile my sewing mojo has been going strong. I have finished five garments, three dresses plus a skirt and jacket for the summer wardrobe. I took some time to document them on my lady valet today, so here they are.

ImageAlso I’m working on three other projects of which at least two should be finished this week.

Hopefully you can expect more detailed individual posts on all these projects over the next couple of days and weeks.

Happy sewing everyone

/Annika

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