Villanelle, tres belle!

Hi!

Does it seem like a good idea to try out a new-to-you pattern brand with a coat pattern involving single welt pockets that you have never made before and quilting with Thinsulate for the first time? A sound advice would be “no!” but I did all that and ended up with my third coat and finally one that can actually be worn in our climate too. You know, these classy wool coats are nice but only as long as you live someplace warmer, not here in Estonia.

So yes, taking all of the abovementioned risks, I tried out Vikisews patterns and their Villanelle coat and it was absolutely worth it!

I had been wanting to make some serious outerwear for a long time but it always seemed too complicated and honestly there aren´t so many patterns out there that involve padding etc. But thanks to Instagram I stumbled upon Vikisews patterns and was encouraged by several sewists who mentioned that their instructions are really thorough. So, after finding the right fabric ( I got so lucky at our local store, the fabric is water repellent which is a must in Estonian winter, in my beloved color of khaki green and cost less that 5 euros/m!) and Thinsulate 150 for insulation, I just dove in right before Christmas. By the way, I hope I will not have a chance to test it, but Thinsulate 150 is claimed to keep you warm in up to minus 30C*!! The truth is that no wind gets through it and if I am dressed like you see in the photos- long shaft boots and the coat with a scarf and gloves, it is super toasty!

If you remember my last post, I mentioned that the dress there was just a side project of a bigger one. At some point I did feel overwhelmed, it is true. The instructions are about 30 pages long complete with photos but because of the quilting, there are so many extra steps that you just need to keep it cool and keep going. But the Insta-sewists were not lying, the instructions really do take you through every step very carefully, with only some minor inaccuracies regarding the photo content.

I made the coat in size 40 after a long debate and I got a bit worried at some point that it might be too big, but eventually I love the slightly oversized look of it. The sleeves were really wide though, so I narrowed them by 4 cm!

If you noticed, the quilting does not match on the side seams because the pieces are quilted separately and then sewn together. I had imagined that the quilting would run smoothly on the sides too and was a bit turned off when I realized this wasn´t the case. But then I eyeballed everyone in the supermarket wearing quilted coats and didn´t see a single one without that issue and calmed down. I do think that there shuld be a clever way of achieving a smooth look though!

Interestingly the fabric looks so dull when photographed indoors, but here are some close-ups:

It was my first time making single welt pockets (or any welt pockets) and I was extra careful and looked up extra information on the process as this was a step were the photo material of the instructions was a bit confusing. The pockets are not perfect, but considering these are my first and sewn with insulation, I am ok with them. The pocket flaps seem to be too narrow, at least I did not take the risk of sewing them on and just cut new and slightly wider ones.

If you decide to try this pattern, I really recommend not leaving the snaps off. Since I hurried to wear my coat last weekend already, I did so before I attached them. You can wear the coat without any problems, but the look is more fitted when the snaps are closed and it is much better.

With the completion of this coat I fulfilled a long time dream of being able to wear me-mades regardless of the weather. And although it was a big project and took many hours of work, it kind of opened up a new horizon and I have been eyeing some other padded coat/jacket options for the future. Honestly, you just have to try it to understand the satisfaction of a real self made warm winter coat!

Until soon!

These Boots Are Made For Walkin´…

Hi!

If you have been here before you might know already that one of the “neutral” colors for me is khaki green and that I am hopelessly drawn to it. In today´s post I will show my first make of 2022, but it is actually just a side project from making a coat! And it was easy to have this as a side project since I didn´t have to change the threads, so you already know one major fact about the coat-to-be!

But this here is the Ginnie tunic from Style Arc. A pattern that I bought a while ago and at some point looked at it with a sigh and thought that I don´t really see myself making it . But then, a magical moment at a fabric shop a few weeks ago and I knew it was it.

I made a few changes to the pattern: firstly added 10 cm to the skirt piece to make it dress length instead of tunic; used eyelets for the cord openings instead of buttonholes (I had to wait for nearly a week until the eyelets in suitable color and size arrived); and the biggest surprise of all – I had to cut new sleeves as the original ones were so tight that I could hardly put the dress on, not to mention roll the sleeves up to attach with the tabs! I was lucky to have enough fabric but really, this has never happened to me so if you plan to make this pattern then make sure to check the sleeves first. I cut my normal size 10 from Style Arc and the rest of the dress fits just fine.

And lastly, I lined the skirt because the fabric is polyester twill and I was afraid it might get clingy when rubbing against the tights. I don´t know if the lining helped, but the skirt does not cling and the dress is generally very comfortable to wear despite the polyester. The fabric looks a bit velvety in photos because it has a slightly brushed effect. For those in Estonia and interested in buying, I bought it from Kangadzungel outlet in Tallinn. The fabric was 5 EUR/m, while the eyelets that I ordered from Abakhan and only used two of the package of 24, cost 10 euros!

And those pockets! This is what attracted me about the pattern in the first place and this is the first time for me making this type of pockets. However, they are easier to make than they look and I love how they came out. I wasn´t sure about the elongated bodice, but it works well with these pockets and sleeve tabs and generally gives me a safari ride vibe…. which takes me to the boots! Honestly, I never wore this kind of boots before, but they seem to be popular at the moment and then I saw a pair of khaki ones on somebody… At that moment I decided I needed a pair too, and exactly in khaki! So generally this look might be too… I don´t know….safari?… but I wear these boots every day since buying them and I am still wondering about the fact every time. It is nice not to take yourself too seriously, so although they are a step to the side for me, I love them and I love that I can wear them with this dress, but I also wore them with snow pants earlier when sleighing with my kids. I know that the black background doesn´t show them so well, so here is a better pic:

I think that khaki goes really well with (antique) brass details so while I had jeans buttons in suitable color at hand, it took some time to find matching eyelets in the size I needed. These are small details but I really think that these two eyelets add a nice touch to the dress in comparison to the buttonholes that were suggested by the pattern.

I used to be really intimidated by these hardware details and always asked my husband to attach them, but this time I just borrowed his hammer and did everything by myself! One thing that I am annoyed with myself as well as with Style Arc is that despite of knowing that cutting a neck band anything else than on bias will lead to it not laying flat, and I still followed the instructions at this point. Why is the neck band suggested to be cut straight in the first place? And what is wrong with me that I still follow this kind of suggestions? Anyway, it started annoying me too late in the process, so no going back, but it could look so much better if I had used my brain!

Generally this dress has been a nice opportunity to try something new without getting exhausted or trapped in something too complicated and this feels refreshing as I am working on that said coat at the same time.

Until soon!

Three Is Company

Happy New Year!

I have to start the new year with some old news – once again no chance to take photos until now, although I finished and wore the set below on December 21st already.

photo credit: Markus Sein

I usually make a dress for the annual Christmas celebration with colleagues, but this year I knew I was going to be short of time and I thought I would only make two super easy things – a pencil skirt and a sleeveless little top to go with it.

The top is McCall´s 7601, view A and the skirt is Burdastyle 8/2012, model 111 (I have used this pattern before). I must say that this is the one pattern that does not need any adjustments, I need to remember that when planning another pencil skirt!

I used lightweight cotton sateen for the top and I had it in my stash for some summer pants. But when I discovered how well it goes with the brocade I knew I would have to combine the two somehow. The top doesn´t look like much, but it takes surprisingly lot of fabric so basically no leftovers from the yardage I had for pants as the top ate up 1,6 m of fabric!

The front slit is very deep, I raised it by about 5 cm and could raise more but then the bust area becomes too tight. Thankfully there is the bow so it covers up the occasional view of the bra. The next time I would also raise the armscye because I had to choose the bra very carefully for it not to show from there as well.

I am hoping to wear the top in summer as well, with some casual pants and probably not tucked it. For the pencil skirt, I think the tucked in look is better.

Then the idea of a jacket came along while I was making the former two items and I still tried to keep it simple – the pattern is originally without lining. I even decided I would only serge the seam allowances to save time, but couldn´t help it in the end and just two days before the party, cut and sew the lining as well. It is just so much more comfortable and looks fully finished this way, I am super happy I took the time to do it!

The pattern is Simplicity 1421, view A.

As you can see, I omitted the pockets since I think they are a sporty detail and I wanted a more classy look. I think this pattern is great! It sews up really fast (the fabric worked extremely well, too) and is flattering. I might use this one again soon for maybe a more relaxed look.

Overall, I am very satisfied with the outcome as instead of one dress I now have three separates that can be combined with other items I have.

The brocade fabric is simply wonderful, I ordered 6 meters from Italy and if anyone is interested, I have over 3 m of it left and would happily sell it! The composition is 50%PL, 29%VI, 13%MD, 8%CO. The width of the fabric is 144 cm and weight 320g/m. I paid EUR 34/m for it, but I am willing to sell at EUR 30/m! Let me know if you are interested!

Hopefully you have had a great start of the year 2019!

The Ludovico Dress

Hi!

Some of you might recall that I am quite a fan of Ludovico Einaudi and that I have been to his concert in Kopenhagen a few years back.

I was totally impressed so when my friends told me that he will perform on May 6th as close as in Helsinki, I got the tickets within a few minutes already back in December. I also knew that I would make a dress for the occasion, but due to work and school, I was so delayed in my planning that I actually stayed up until 4 AM the previous night to finish it and then just an hour before the concert I still had to hand stitch a few things! However, I finished it!

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The pattern is model 130 from Burdastyle 9/2014.

The pattern is actually very simple, if you have ever sewn a boned bodice then it goes together really fast, especially since the skirt part is just two rectangular pieces gathere at the waist. The sizing of this pattern is also very precise, I only needed to take in slightly at the waistline.

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The lace details were a little more cumbersome as I didn´t use any binding, I just cut the seam allowance really narrow, turned it over and used a double needle to sew the armholes. This did not work for the neckline so the neckline is hand stitched.

The pattern calls for a button on one shoulder, but I didn´t see it necessary, so I omitted it. Also, contrary to my initial plan, I did not line the skirt, just the bodice. The seam allowances of the skirt are bias binded.

The fabric is from a trip to Stockholm and I am really glad that I got the opportunity to finally use it, since it simply had to become a fancy dress! The difficult part was to find matching lace, I was sure that I would have to end up either with a golden or purple one, but to my great surprise, there was a rather good match in khaki at the local shop!

The concert itself was as amazing as expected, however Kulttuuritalo in Helsinki cannot compete with Musikhuset of Copenhagen, the latter just adds so much to the whole experience with its remarkable modern architecture. But my friends who saw Ludovico Einaudi perform live for the first time commented that they would definitely go and see him again, so it still was a great evening!

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