Pink Sheep Coat

Hi!

The world has changed since my last post. Or maybe I just thought it had changed a long time ago but it actually hadn´t and what we are witnessing is proof of inability to change, to learn from the past? Nevertheless, utterly saddening, frightening and exfuriating times that I as many others never believed to be happening again.

As for many others, sewing is my therapy and I am working on one or another project all the time. Just did not feel like blogging about anything for some time. Maybe I will catch up, maybe not. Maybe the time for blogs is over anyway? This just reminded me that next month it will be the 10-year anniversary of this space!

Anyway, as it happens, I made another coat. But this time a super quick one, not like the last that required batting, quilting and what not. However, the road to this super quick coat was a long one as everything started from a feverish search for a not-too-sporty and not-too-complicated coat pattern that would be suitable for softshell. I actually wanted to make a softshell coat and I still do. But I made one in boucle, apparently… after having bought some boiled wool that showed up in completely wrong color and after finally settling with a cheaper and less warm fabric but in the perfect shade of pink!

As I was in search for a perfect pattern for softshell, one of my sewing buddies showed me this gorgeous Sew La Di Da Vintage pattern, the Rock Steady Coat:

I instantly wanted to look at least somewhat as cool as this woman (on the website there is a black version of the coat too) and I ordered some faux leather and boiled wool. As I mentioned earlier, the wool arrived in a completely unexpected shade of pink that just did not work for my complexion and did not match the faux leather I already had. So a small online fabric shop Kangahaldjas helped me out and the owner specifically looked up and ordered a boucle fabric in the perfect shade that also could be left with raw edges as per this style.

And I did it again – make a coat without ever having tried the pattern brand before and just crossing fingers that it would work out, which it did! There are minor issues with the instructions – like what to do with sleeve hems – the pattern markings seem to suggest they will be turned back, but the length of the sleeves would be too short in that case and also the instructions don´t mention anything about it. So I just left them raw as the rest of the edges.

The coat is unlined and maybe this the only bugging detail. While I like the raw edges on the outside, I would prefer the inside, especially around the neck, to look a bit more professional. But still, I honestly enjoy every minute I wear it. As my other sewing buddy, who jokingly called the coat Shaun the Sheep (she was not wrong), pointed out, one of the biggest Estonian newspapers wrote that a pink coat should be prescribed by doctors this spring. I can support this idea by saying that if you wear something you feel good in, it definitely helps a ton with dealing with the world, and in my case it happens to be this pink coat!

As you may noticed, I added the belt and belt loops to my version, but it looks equally cool when worn as intended, loose. I made the smallest size S/M and I love how it fits, not oversized as most of the stuff we see these days, but relaxed at the same time.

I also wore my coat in Stockholm about two weeks ago for a conference and following my traditions, managed to squeeze in a quick hop to downtown to a fabric shop.

As their website declares, Sidencarlson should be one of the oldest fabric stores in Stockholm. The small shop has a well-curated selection of fabrics, lots of them high quality wools and silks with respective price tags, but they also offer a range of simpler things and I grabbed some blue-white bengaline for a pair of stretch jeans one day.

The conference was a success as well, our poster was awarded as the best poster of the conference! And that was the creme de la creme of Scandinavian spinal cord rehabilitation experts!

Until soon!

The Wavy Top

I have completed the first item of 2013!

It should be a few hours’ work normally, but it took me a few days because I worked very slowly, bit by bit after work and when my friend Sirli came over for the weekend, I excused myself for a moment to finish off the sleeve hems so that she could take the photos.

Burda 9-2012-123A

It is the popular Burda September 2012, model 123A top.

Burda September 2012, model 123 Burda september 2012 123A

Burda september 2012 model 123a

I remember seeing the design and the first idea was to make it with faux leather shoulder details. I was a bit surprised seeing this sewn up in many ways, but no one made it with faux leather, until one very nice version showed up on Burdastyle.com, it should be visible here.

The fabric I used is a lighter type of ponte knit, I grabbed it just a few days before leaving Athens. It was available in three colourways, blue, grey-black and red. The blue seemed to be the most popular by far, it was selling out fast and I managed to get the last 1.7 meters off the roll. I regret not getting the red version as well.

I also regret not thinking ahead and making it into a dress, using the same pattern. I cut the top a bit longer to see, if I would go with the view B of the pattern, that has gathered side seams and only then did I see the potential for a great dress, but the fabric was not enough anymore. In general, due to the stripe match-up, I spent more fabric on the top than I would normally have. Now I am debating whether to try and make a skirt that would combine the faux leather and the remnants of the fabric, so that I could wear the two separately or as a set. I am not sure, because I don’t have much of the leather left and I might want to use it for some other projects as well, so if the skirt will not be a success, I will end up with two wasted materials. We’ll see.

So, I used ponte knit and after reading some reviews, decided not to make an opening on the back. I used bias tape instead, which made the neckhole a tad less elastic than the ponte knit would have allowed, but it is exactly large enough for my head to pass through and at the same time will probably not stretch out. In order to use this technique, I had to sew through the faux leather details as well, which only gave me one shot to get it right, because if I had to rip the stitches afterwards, the details would have been spoiled.

Another issue was that if the faux leather is facing towards the metallic plate of the sewing machine, the teeth of the machine ruin the material completely, as it gets stuck there. In order to avoid that, I placed some scraps of pattern paper under the leather parts and everything went smoothly!

The sleeves and lower hem was finished with a double needle stitch for stretch and more professional finish. I remember reading a review saying that the sleeves are too long and this was also the case with me. I had to shorten them approximately 4 cm, so basically I didn’t have to add any seam allowance. My regular Burda size 38 was fine this time as well, no other adjustments were necessary.

Burda September 2012 model 123A

Burda top

Burda September 2012 model 123A

Burda September  2012 model 123A

I am very satisfied with the result, I think it a versatile item that can be combined with many other things in my wardrobe and it is also very comfortable. Also, I have spoiled some striped projects in the past, but this one is lined up, even the sleeves are exactly the same!

Some close ups and a casual look:

Burda september 2012 model 123A

Burda Wavy Top

Burda Wavy Top

For those interested in the footwear, the boots are super-comfortable Gabor Rinkata, the latest addition to my beloved collection. It seems I have a thing with suede leather…

Gabor Rinkata

The blue suede shoes are Nine West Tariko, another grab from Athens just before coming to Estonia.

Nine West TarikoIn addition to the satisfaction of a new garment, I had a very nice weekend, chatting non-stop over a bottle of wine on Saturday evening and having a relaxing time at the local pool today, finishing it off with the best cakes on Earth from a tiny coffee-shop in Haapsalu. I thought to take a photo, but when the freshly made cakes were served, everything else was forgotten!

P1030652

 

Burda Stretch Pants

I remember the moment when I saw Elaine’s terrific leather-ponte combo pants. My heart stopped a beat and I decided right there that I have to have something at least remotely similar.

Well, deciding to want something is one thing, but it can be a long way to finally wear what you imagined. But I think I managed in the end.

I didn’ t trust my drafting skills enough to do it the way Selfish Seamstress did, so I had to dig around until I could find a pattern that would allow me to make something similar.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, in winter and early spring there was a long pause in my sewing and in pretty much everything due to some serious things going on in my life. I discovered the suitable pattern much later in BurdaStyle March 2012 issue and by that time had to make a special order from France to get the magazines I had missed and which, after a long time, contained some really interesting patterns.

I think the people at Burda haven’ t really made the most of this pattern (model 126, March 2012 issue) for the magazine. The photo below is the reason I always open a fresh BurdaStyle in the middle where the line drawings are.

The pattern is quite similar to the Helmut Lang pants that inspired the Selfish Seamstress. There are no side seams and each leg consists of three pieces (four, if you consider the divided front piece two).

Since I probably wouldn’ t be able to pull off the leather pants look, I decided to make mine in doubleknit, with some fake leather details. The very first plan was to cut only the front leg details of fake leather, but in the end I also cut the side yokes of the same material and I think it was a good idea.

I didn ‘t expect much of the pattern because several sewists haven’ t been exactly happy with the fit and I was sure I would have a problem as well. The pants turned out to be a little wide around the waist and hips (according to the Burda size chart, my hip measurement should be size 40 or even 42 and based on experience I always cut size 38, and these were still wide!), but that was easy to fix.

A much bigger problem was caused by the fact that I must have cut one of the three leg pieces slightly off grain. This resulted in the good old spiraling pants – the seams were twisting around my calf and it was especially obvious due to the design of the pattern.

I knew what was the reason, but still, hoping that there might be an easy way out or that the twisting might be caused by a different mistake (which hopefully would again be easier to fix), sat down and ran a little search online. Well, it had to be the grainline issue, which most probably happened when I cut out the pieces from double-layered fabric and didn’ t notice that the lower layer was slightly off.

It was rather difficult to determine, which of the three leg pieces was responsible for the twist and of course I couldn’t rule out the possibility of having more than one piece off the grain. Finally I tried my luck with the side piece. But as I had ran out of fabric, I had to go and buy some more of it, wash it, cut the relevant piece etc… a lot of trouble, but I didn’ t give up.

I think I hit the spot of the problem, because after changing the side panel, the twist was gone!

The fake leather I used is the same as for my obi-belt, it has a nice fabric backing and it is slightly elastic, which I figured would match the doubleknit well enough.

As said, I cut the size 38, slightly adjusted the hip and waist width and omitted the back welt pockets altogether. I have never made them yet and I didn’ t want to put this project at more risk.

The pants could have a better fit, but generally I am happy with the outcome, they are wearable and fun. Some could say that maybe they are a tad too short, but this is the way I liked them. I tested them with several shoes and this length seemed to be the best in my eyes.

I didn´t want to stitch through the leather while hemming the pants, so I only stitched the fabric part and used fabric glue on the leather which worked perfectly because it is fabric-backed.