Category Archives: Uncategorized

Burdastyle 3/2013 #103: The Brexit Coat Part III: Some Leadership!

Well, what can I say? I sure didn’t think that the connection between sewing and political life was quite so direct. But in view of the event of the day I decided that some leadership was needed and put a collar on the Brexit Coat.

Yes, I know I asked for your vote on no collar or Peter Pan collar. But what can I say – listening to experts is not what should be done on a Brexit Coat.

But let’s look at the poll first:

Clearly, no collar won over Peter Pan collar – and a notched collar was nowhere on the ballott sheet. But that’s what you are getting, suck it up, you lost! (Well, you didn’t loose, but I’m not sure that matters)

I other news it seems that the outward looking option of a snazzy lining seems to be ahead in the voting process rather than the make do and mend option of the plain lining. However, I considered my stash and realised that there might be another option hiding in there. Which one that is I’m not going to reveal at this stage as I like to keep my options close to my chest.

What I really enjoyed is the addition of “Other” – the almost Goove-ian subversiveness of this addition becomes the whole project, I think.

Now, when I started on the notched collar I realised that it is a lot more complicated than I was expecting! Somehow, I cut the facing piece too short and only realised what the problem was after I was missing what I should have had. This will forever go down in history as the Welsh Farmer move.

So I had to add another little piece to the facing to make up for the subsid — ahh, piece that I had cut off.

So I almost wonder if no coat might be better than a bad coat?

But I took heart from Nigel Farage (and no, I never thought I would say that), thinking that if the Brexit Coat didn’t work out I could simply go and buy myself a RTW coat – of course not without making ALL OF YOU have to wear the coat that I botched up,  mwahaha.

So while I ponder that thought, I wll give you the cold sholder and think of my sewing programme.

Burdastyle 9/2013 #103: The Brexit Coat Part II: A Plea For Help

The Brexit Coat has come on in leaps and bounds from its inception as a distraction from other things that should have been more important.

Remember when in my last post I confessed that I had started without a plan to such a degree that I didn’t even own the Burda magazine that the coat came from anymore and so didn’t have the option to trace the skirt pieces that I needed to make the Brexit coat a success?

Well, miracles do happen! Anne, the Compulsive Seamstress, came to me in my hour of need and offered to trace the missing part for me (she has a comprehensive Burda collection and clearly doesn’t do things as short sighted as throwing out old magazines just because she thinks a little tidying should be done). And she didn’t only offer and then retract her participation as is customary for the Brexit process. On no, she followed through:- only  a few days later the beautifully traced pattern pieces arrived in the post, making this the perfect Easter present! Thank you so much, Anne!

So this is where I am now: Bodice and skirt completed.

I rather like the sleeve construction where the raglan sleeves form a front and back yoke:

And look, this Brexit Coat has pockets – if that doesn’t send a message to the politicians I don’t know what will (although I do admit I have no idea what that message is, but I have a feeling that doesn’t matter in all things Brexit):

 

But now I’ve stalled again, and like last time when Anne gave me a helping hand I hope you, my dear readers, will now. Because I have more Brexit decisions to make and I don’t quite know what I want. Collar or no collar? Do I want a hard border between my coat and my neck?

On the left there is the Brexit Coat’s older, but little sister (and if you think that is a contradiction you’d better not believe anything that’s written on the side of a bus!). Do you think I should use that Peter Pan type collar again? Or maybe leave it collarless?

And how about buttons? Self-covered buttons like on the Little Sister Jacket? Or should I try and find something exciting?

And the the lining: Should I go with a plain white or light blue lining to match the colours of the fabric? Or use something snazzy? The biannual fabric market comes to town next Saturday, so I could find something there. On the other hand I have white lining in my stash and surely any Brexit Coat should be about self-sufficiency? Especially given that most vendors on the fabric market are in fact foreign?

I realise that my little blog doesn’t have many readers, much like the EU commission’s sadly under-appreciated 2004 leaflet “How to avoid mass immigration from Eastern Europe if you feel it’s not the right thing for your country at the present time”. But I’m still hoping for at least 27 votes on all the important issues for the Brexit Coat. Anybody can vote – you can add your own options and you don’t even have to have a dubitable human rights record in order to share your values with me.

In order to appeal to my British readers I have created a little referendum for you. I appreciate it’s a little more complicated than you are used to, because it has many options. But on the other hand you can click as many as you like and it will be my job to glean from your choices the Will of the People (TM) in order to deliver for you a blue white and blue Brexit Coat.

So please: Do vote! You know your vote counts! Just please, don’t delived a 50/50 verdict!

 

Merken

Merken

The Brexit Coat, Part I: Referendum and Declaration

No no, don’t worry, this is still a sewing blog. Although, truth be told I am actually quite a political person – and in fact I used to have a political blog for a short while, but I wasn’t profitting much from it: I got worked up about things ranting and raving while my very few readers would, I suspect, quickly avert their eyes in what I can only imagine must have been exasperated embarrassment.
But given my history it is no surprise that Brexit has upset and saddened me. I personally profitted so much from Britain being a member of the EU, enabling me to study, live and work there and to make my journey into adulthood there. Living in Britain has enriched my life and while having these experiences will be still available for my children, they will still be more complicated to achieve and less within their reach.
But of course the UK has decided its independence is what counts, and so, in order to stop moaning and to get with the programme I decided to make the Brexit Coat.

  1. The Referendum

Now, really I had decided not to sew more coats. It really isn’t sensible, given that I have any number of coats, amongst them two spring/summer coats that I have rarely worn (one of them not at all in fact). So reason really dictated to stop sewing outerwear and concentrate on other things that are missing from my countr … ehem, wardrobe.

But ON THE OTHER HAND!!! Who am I to have my sewing dictated by outside influences?? Who am I to listen to experts about my wardrobe such as myself – or reason?? I just felt I needed to take back control of my sewing and so I decided I would, in fact, sew yet another coat.


Ok, I was also enabled to make that decision by a complicit shop who shoved some new and shiny boucle fabric right in front of my eyes when my resolve was weakest and I needed to be distracted from other problems. Plus it was cheaper than normal boucle fabric. I believe, the shop’s main interest wasn’t my well-being but its own bottom line. But that is as maybe, Brexit Coat it is.

2. The Declaration

Here I can show my committment to the cause and the fact that I have already learned from the Brexit process. No use in dragging things out, I bought the fabric on day 1 and declared for a coat on day 2. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Theresa May!

There was some sort of thought process going on: I think I want a coat like the one Stefanie from Sea of Teal made. Isn’t it amazing? She used this Burda pattern, which I don’t own.

Now, I  subscribed to Burda for years (though I brexited from my subscription very recently) and I feel that I should not have to pay for access to Burda in the future!

Incredibly, Burda decided to cheat me out of my rights and play tough and did not give me the pattern without payment. Quite a shocker how they continue with project Fear!
So I decided I make this at home for nothing, looked at some old Burda patterns and thought I could make it work relying on thepatterns I already have

This means I need a princess seam bodice and skirt portion. What springs to mind is the Russian General Coat which has just that.

However, I want a fold-over collar, so I might take the one of my Spring’s Around the Corner Coat.

But stop, because my fabric has a stripe, I think different stripe directions would look fun. Cue the Don’t Tell the Sewing Police Jacket: This has raglan sleeves that meet at the back to form the yoke, thus creating fun opportunities for stripe placement.

But then, the sleeves are a little pouffy here, so I might need to take a little bit off them.

So, to cut a long story short, because who needs a plan when you can have action, I started cutting the bodice this morning, before realising that none of the skirt pieces of the Russian general coat would fit, because they consist of four pattern pieces while the bodice only has three.

Tss, detail!!! The devil does lay in the detail! Who would have thought.

No problem, I thought,  I can just go back to Burda 9/2013 and trace the skirt portion that goes with another version of this coat. But hold on, I don’t have this Burda anymore, I threw it out in an ill-advised bout of Kondo-ing my sewing room a few weeks back.

So really, it turns out I have no plan and only the faintest clue of how to fake a plan with the Brexit Coat already declared and the first cut already made.
But a guy down the pub (you know, the one who downs a quick pint even at 11 o’clock in the morning and is happy to be photographed doing so) told me that while it was true he had no idea about sewing he was still sure it would be fine and I should just go ahead and do it already.

So that’s were I am today with the Brexit Coat.

Now, many sewists have stated how sewing has such a positve effect on other areas of life. Maybe this works too with the Brexit Coat? Maybe if I manage to make a success out of this coat, Brexit will be a success too? It might be worth trying, and it certainly isn’t worse than finding common values with the governments of the Philippines or Saudi Arabia, don’t you think?

So I will report on the progress of the Brexit Coat – hopefully this will happen in a lot less than two years.

How to finish a knit neckline: A quick tutorial

Now, probably have been finishing knit necklines like this forever – in this case, simply chuckle sagely.
But if, like me, you’ve always been struggling a little with how to make a knit neckline look good, may be this is of interest for you.

  1. Start off with a 4cm/ 1 3/4 in strip of self fabric. I mostly cut along the grain, but you can cut perpendicular to the grain too. In a knit it is not necessary (and in fact more difficult) to cut a bias strip.
    Here, I need to finish only the back neck, so I don’t need to sew the strip into a circle. But of course, if you want to finish the neckline all the way round, sew the strip together along the short sides and then press.

 

2. Sew the strip to the neckline, lining of the edge of the foot with both strip and neckline.
I use my serger, which results in the flattest finish, but  sewing with a stretch stitch on the sewing machine works too.

3. What you see is what you get. You can see that the strip is a little shorter than the neckline, thus resulting in little puckers. They will disappear later.

4. Fold the strip over to the right side and press. Only just cover the seam allowance with the pressed side.

5. Sew the strip into place on the right side. I use my coverstich with either a single or double line of stitching, depending on how conspicuous I want the finish to be.
You can also use a double needle or a zigzag (you probably want to experiment a little bit what size of zigzag looks best.)

6. Done!

You get a nice clean finish on the outside and on the inside with no seam allowances showing.
The puckers from step 3 will be absorbed by the ease of the knit once you wear the garment (unless you made the strip a whole lot shorter, then it doesn’t work. Your pattern will tell you what length strip to cut).

Here, you can see the finished neckline on my Hila top. I’ve used this method for loads of knit tops and it has always worked a treat.

I hope this is useful for you. If you don’t use this method, how do you finish a knit neckline?

The Hila and Teresa Tops #sewdowndewsbury

I’ve already written about how much I enjoyed #sewdowndewsbury and spending time with Ali of Thimberlina. Another thing I was particulary looking forward to was meeting Hila and Teresa, who I’d already felt a connection with via their blogs  and 2015’s antics of Jumping Into June.

Turns out that they are just as fantastic in person as they are on their blogs – and maybe on some cosmic level there is a connection between me and them, because we bought the same fabric in Fabworks. If that isn’t proof that we met in some earlier life or something then I don’t know what is!!

So I decided to call my makes after them – so may I introduce the Hila and Teresa tops.

First up the Hila.

This cowl neck top, one of the many Burda permutations is one of my favourite patterns. So far I had only made longsleeve or sleeveless versions of it, but a picture on Lucie‘s blog convinced me that actually it looks really smashing with short sleeves.

One thing I changed from the Burda pattern is the size of the cowl. I made it a little bit less pronounced by pinching out a little from the pattern and also by making the shoulder seem come closer to the neck. In that way the cowl doesn’t open quite as far as normal and bra-revealing accidents are a thing of the past.

See:

There’s your evidence. Yep, I follow the scientific method on this blog!

Next up is the Teresa blouse:

Fashioned from spotty cotton lawn/batiste (which unfortunately creases like a thing possessed, so much so that I’m inclined to group it with “creases are fashionable” linen).

I used the Barbara pattern from Maison Victor 3/4 2017

As you can see, the patter is acutally for a dress, so I just lenghtened the bodice and eyeballed a few changes to make it look right.

Do you know Maison Victor, by the way?

It’s the younger hipster’s answer to sewing magazines. I’m neither young nor a hipster, but ever since I cancelled my Burda subscription I feel I have leave to buy loads of other magazines. It has some nice boy’s and men’s patterns that come in slim sizes (those hipsters don’t seem to be very hungry…) so that’s good for my boys.

Back to the Teresa:

I love the scoop neckline – I know that choking high necklines are all the rage, but all the do for me is give me a rage (plus they look ridiculous on me, my head seems to be twice the size when I wear a very high neckline), so I was pleased about this variation. The blouse has a gathered back bodice and a yoke with I lined in a remnant because I was worried the dots of the fashion fabric might show through to the front.
I think the rick rack makes this – just breaks up the fabric enought to add a little bit of interest.

The blouse was a big hit with my students today (“Oh Miss, you look very pretty today” “Hush, don’t tell her that, tell her she looks pretty all the time” “But she looks particularly pretty today” – sometimes you just gotta love teaching 🙂 ), so I am pleased to have scored in a young person’s world. Maybe there’s a hipster in me yet?

So, Hila and Teresa: it was lovely to meet you in Dewsbury and I’ll think of you every time I wear these tops!

 

Burdastyle Wide Leg Trousers: Feel Free to Laugh Out Loud

Actually, the trousers are fine – no need to laugh at the trousers (though if you feel you want to laugh at them, go right ahead, I won’t be offended).

But I had to laugh at myself and my embarrassing attempts at posing. You see, I while back I promised I was going to get the lack-of-photography situation on this blog under control. To this avail I bought a new camera – nothing fancy, still a point and shoot, the Sony Cybershot RX100 III. But it can be remotely activated via the mobile, so I am able do do my own photoshoots and don’t have to rely on my long suffering husband who enjoys photoshoots as much as I do a visit to the dental hygienist.

But boy, this posing lark is a learning curve!! I’m fully accepting of the fact that I won’t look any prettier on photos than in real life – but I would be really pleased if I didn’t look a whole lot worse. So I read up on “how to shoot good blog pictures”.

All the technical side is still a bit above my head, so I decided I might have to work with what I’ve got.

Making long lines is what I’ve read one should make – judge for yourself in the picture at the top.

 

Or may be “creating angles” is where it’s at?

 

or alternatively no nonsense what you see is what you get?

I’m really working this, girlfriend, don’t you think?

On a slightly more serious side note, can you see how my cowl doesn’t gape?! More about the Hila top in another post!

I even arranged a photo”studio” in a corner of my sewing room: (and oh my god, I just discovered how to do these fancy circles!!!)

And on a by-note, may I introduce this top from Fashion Style 5/2015 which I suppose is not going to make it onto a separate blog entry. Win some, loose some, ey?

 

So there, you may stop laughing now!

How do you cope with posing? Is is something you enjoy? Find as awkward as I do? Do you have any tips? Mind you, beginner’s tips will suffice…

 

Merken

Burdastyle 3/2014 #103 : The Spring’s Around the Corner Coat

I’m in love – again! If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ll know that I am fickle and fall in love very easily. And it’s happened again, this time with this ivory wool coat.

Ever since #sewdowndewsbury I’ve fallen for the Style Arc Stella Coat that Karen wore to the meetup and I was determined to make it from this ivory wool felt in my stash. However, it turned out I didn’t have enough fabric, so I thought this trench style coat #103 from Burda 3/2014 was the next best thing.

Like the Style Arc Coat it has princess seams front and back and it’s also got no closure, although it doesn’t have a wrap that is as pronounced as the Style Arc one (which was the reason it would fit onto my fabric).

It can be worn belted as well as open and I like both ways equally. In fact I fell incredibly glamorous swishing past in my white wool coat with the belt trailing in my wake:

And there she comes back again:

 

As you know, I like to show the functionality of my clothes and I’ve outdone myself again: it fully allows me to walk up and down 😉

I left the coat unlined, which is another thing I’ve always wanted, an unlined cream coat. The edges were finished with black bias tape. At first I wasn’t sure about it, I thought it might look  a bit like a condolence card. But given that I rarely display the inside of my coat is if I wanted to sell contraband out of it, I guess nobody will notice much.

If you are into details, here are a few dress form pictures:

The  wool felt was a dream to work with: holds its shape, no confusing stretch, but can be shaped into submission with lots and lots of steam (although it does smell as if  one is surrounded by wet long haired dogs 😉 ), doesn’t fray. I top-stitched all seams using Gutermann topstitching thread, otherwise there was no way the seam allowances would lie flat.

I’ve worn the coat all week, whether it was warm enough for an unlined coat or not and I just love it. Ever since #sewdowndewsbury I’ve been on such a sewing high – the trousers and top in the pictures are new as well, so I hope I’ll get around to blogging them soon.

Merken

LOTILDA

stricken & nähen | slowfashion blog

The Monthly Stitch

Come sew with us...

Sewchet

Sewing, crochet, crafts, accessories, baking, tutorials,

Love, Lucie

Where hands and minds are rarely still

Apricot Mylo

a dressmaking journey

Handmade by Hannah

Day to day life, one crafting adventure at a time.

Stitched up by Jenna

"Sewing mends the soul"

thecraftycreek

Making and creating

nelnanandnora

Faith, family and creativity

thesewingmiserablist

where stitchery gets to meet mediocrity, face-to-face, and firmly shakes it's hand

wakeymakes

Returning sewist, crafter and runner

saturday night stitch

A UK Sewing and Style blog by a Mum of 5 with a fervent passion for all sorts of dressmaking.