Monday, 27 February 2017

Not a Christmas Jumper

As a maker of garments, I like to make things for specific occasions.
It's nice to have that deadline in mind in order to get things finished, otherwise I end up with multiple projects on the go, in various stages of completion (and/or disarray).

So when I was invited to Sweden for a week in the winter, I was certain that I needed to make a winter appropriate jumper to photograph in the snow.

Snow is not something we get in London, and oh boy was I excited to see it!!

 So when I came across this Fair isle jumper pattern, for Susan Crawford's Perfect Christmas Jumper, I had to make it.

Oh the joy of naivety!
Were I a better knitter, I would have known that this was a bit of a tricky project, but ignorance is bliss, and so I began.

I didn't realise it would take so long, 2 months, of all my free time, which I have never committed to one project before.
Or that knitting with 2 colours required so much of my concentration to make everything flat.(It was all puckered at first so I had to rip it back and start again)

But somehow, I managed it in the end!
And it is pretty cute, if I do say so myself!

And so, even though it is meant to be the perfect Christmas Jumper, to me it will always be my perfect swedish jumper, that I wore for a long walk, in a frozen wonderland, with my swedish friend.

Isn't it nice that garments absorb memories of the places we wore them, and who we were with, or is that just me?

X O X O 


Friday, 10 February 2017

#twirlywintercoatcollab with Butterick 5824

It was seriously time that I made myself a proper winter coat! 

The vintage one I have had for a while now, is so riddled with holes in the lining, that at this point, there are more holes than there is lining. (not one word of a lie!)

I realise that re-lining my coat seems simpler than making a whole new coat, but that may just be the most boring sewing task on earth, so it just won't get done! 

A brand new project is always better at keeping my attention!!

Naturally, with the option of making a coat, a dramatic swing style in an equally dramatic colour combo was inevitable!

I used Butterick 5824 , which is an oldie, but goodie. It is of course a Gertie pattern, oh how I love Gertie, she designs the best retro patterns!

Such a lovely, classic shape!

With dolman sleeves, a shawl collar and twirly skirt, this coat is a real show stopper!

Of course a collaboration isn't complete without a collaborator.
 So let me introduce Bianca from Vintage on tap which is one of my all time favourite sewing blogs!
She is the most fabulously dressed, sassy stitcher, who makes the most wonderful sewing videos of her makes.

Bianca has used a classic plaid fabric to make her coat much more of a wearable, everyday piece. With the classic shape which dramaticly swishes when you walk.

I spy some fab pattern matching going on here! I do love a pattern matched seam!
High five on that one Bianca!

Ooh, the lining of her coat is such a glorious pop of colour! I most definitely have a weakness for a snazzy lining!

If you like a vintage inspired make, her blog is a must.
Pop over to her blog HERE to check out the details of her beautiful twirly coat!

I knew immediately when I saw this Butterick pattern, that I wanted to make it a red coat. But when I thought up the leopard accents I was in two minds whether to go ahead.
Leopard and red are a classic, neutral combo to me though, so I had to do it! 

When I made the toile practice version of the collar, it just didn't sit right, so on my wool collar, I did do a bit of fancy stitch work. 
Half way through the hand stitching I did think it was a hideous waste of my time(it takes a lot of time) but it does hold the collars shape well and gives a lovely roll to it too. So it was worth the effort after all! 

A shawl collar really is very lovely in the back! 

And bound button holes, I always think they look super fancy!

I had to do a matching cuff in the leopard print, just to tie the whole look together!
Though the cuffs weren't included in the pattern, they are really just rectangles of fabric so weren't hard to add. 

I really do like those cuffs, they are such a chic finishing touch!

Pockets are one of those things that you really miss if you don't have them, especially in a coat. 
It does take a bit of extra time, but was worth every minute!

Lining is a make or break element to me. I like a slippery lining to make it easier to slip your arms into the coat when you put it on. And it just looks so put together and professional with a full satin lining.

How gorgeous a coat looks, really does become irrelevant though, if it isn't warm.
So to really insulate the body, I interlined the lining of the bodice and sleeves in lambswool/domette. 

It is now super duper toasty! Which is such a pleasure to wear on a cold day!

Personally I don't like an open lining, I like everything to be neat and tidy. So I went off-piste with the instructions and did a bagged out lining. I think it looks much nicer all enclosed with the little bias cotton facing.

This coat really is all about the skirt!
It is made for twirling and brings out you inner child who will prance and twirl in this coat with every step! (or maybe that's just me)

It is very full and will easily accommodate a circle of gathered skirt with a full petticoat underneath.

I'm super excited to have made this coat as it has allowed me to practice some new techniques as well as being able to swan about town in my red coat!

After all, every girl needs a red coat!

And sewing along with a fellow stitcher is such a support. You can scheme and plan your ideas with someone else, and have that backup for when things aren't working out as well as you had hoped. 

Thank you all for reading my post today, and thank you Bianca for such a fun project!