Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Notch Collar Jacket in Scuba Jersey

Be warned: This will be a picture heavy post.

Pattern: This is the simple sew notch collar jacket. The pattern was part of the Love Sewing magazine issue 21.

Fabric: Scuba jersey - I only bought it because of the big purple flowers. I was/am not convinced by the feel of this fabric and I'm still not sure I would like to wear it on my skin. I bought it last summer in Walthamstow market, London. I can't remember the exact price but I don't think it was more than £3.50/meter.

The friend who was with me when I bought it explained I could make every pattern from it. However, being at home all by myself, I was not that sure anymore and thus the fabric has been sitting in my stash ever since. When the notch collar jacket pattern came along I just knew the jacket would look lovely in that fabric. (it might have helped that the jacket on the magazine cover is also made from a flower fabric, haha)

I was not that sure about the sewing practicalities, as in general jerseys do not press that well and this jacket involves loads of pressing as it has a full facing and a notch collar. But, I had nothing to loose and just plunged in.

Alterations: I did all the alterations I mentioned in my wearable muslin post, so have a look there if you are interested.

Sewing: The jacket was mostly sewn on my overlocker. I only attached the facing and sewed the sleeve hems with my sewing machine. Again, I understitched the facing wherever possible and graded the seams to encourage the facing to fold towards the inside of the jacket. Loads of pressing and steaming was involved as well.

Despite my efforts the facing didn't want to stay inside thus I slip stitched it by hand all the way around. I'm really happy with how it turned out. Despite the scuba jersey being on the bulky side, the outline of the jacket looks neat and sharp, yeah.

Have I worn it yet? Yes, a couple of times. It is the most comfiest jacket ever thanks to the scuba jersey! Freedom of movement! There is only one problem. I don't have clothes to wear the jacket with. Again. The moment I had finished the jacket, I run to my wardrobe and started to pull clothes out only to find that none of them really go with the jacket. The best fit is actually my polka dot Coco.

Seeing these photographs, it looks like the notches of the collar are different heights. I just had another look at the jacket and they aren't, phew.

How about you? Have you sewn with scuba jersey or are you planning to do so? Please share :)

Monday, 15 February 2016

Bettine in Jersey

Pattern: Bettine Dress by Tilly and the Buttons.

Fabric: This time I made it in jersey as suggested by Tilly. It is a really thin jersey and I got it for £3/m from Walthamstow market, London. I bought it because I was lured in by the color and the flowers, but was not sure what to make with it. But I think Bettine is the perfect match, because the drapy qualities of the fabric suit Bettine well.

Alterations: This is already my third version (see V1 and V2). My last two versions were made from woven fabric and I had problems with the underarms ripping when bending forwards. So the jersey fabric was kind of a cheat to avoid this! (But don't fret, I'm still determined to solve that problem!)

The original pattern comes with a facing, Tilly however, has a tutorial on her blog about how to add the neckband instead of the facing. It is super easy to follow and my neckband turned out great first time. The only thing I'm not 100% happy with, is the hem. I had to iron it for these photos because it is all wonky. The twin needle and thin jerseys are not really good friends in my hand. And I was to lazy to stabilise the hem with fusible interfacing...next time.

Will I make it again? Can I hear you groaning, hehe? I really love this pattern. It is very easy and fast to sew. Even I can manage to make it in one day and that usually never happens! So I will definitively be tempted to make it again come summer *I'm daydreaming here. Warm days, hmmm*

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Simple Sew: Notch Collar Jacket

Last year I was struggling to find sewing inspiration. Even all the beautiful makes I saw on other blogs couldn't inspire me. That changed in December when I got hold of the December issue 21 of "Love Sewing" magazine

On the cover was a beautiful notch collar jacket. It might have helped that there were flowers on the fabric *cough*. And I have a scuba jersey with similar flowers on it. Perfect. The jacket does not have any fastenings, no lining and no complicated collar. So as the pattern says, it should be simple to sew!

However, before cutting into my precious scuba jersey, I made a wearable muslin and that's what I'm showing you today. So bear that in mind when spotting the imperfections. If you wonder why I show you this muslin, let me tell you: I love it despite it's imperfections.

Size: I cut a size 8 at the bust, 10 at the waist and 12 at the hips. 

Fabric: Left-over denim that I bought 6 years ago in Cloth House in Soho, London. Hm, writing this, makes me wonder if I ever washed it, gulp.

Alterations: Before cutting out the pattern, I made some flat pattern alterations. 1) 5/8" forward shoulder adjustment: I added 5/8" to the back shoulder seam and removed the same amount from the front shoulder seam. 2) To accommodate my broad shoulders, I lengthened the shoulder seam line by 1" (ending at size 16 for the shoulder length). Then I redrew the armhole seam line so that it connected with the size 8 seam line at the arm pits. I did that for front and back bodice. 

3) Now the question was, which sleeve size do I need? Thus I measured the length of the armhole seam line of the front and back bodice. I also measured the length of the sleeve cap and to my surprise found that the size 8 sleeve cap had only 1/2" ease and would thus nicely fit into my armhole. As I had done a forward shoulder adjustment on my bodice, I also moved the shoulder point on the sleeve cap 5/8" forward. I used this tutorial by Phat Chick Designs for the forward sleeve adjustment - one of the best ones I've found so far.

4) I also moved the bust dart down by 1" which seems to be one of my standard alterations with every pattern I'm sewing.

I then cut the jacket and as you might notice from the photographs had more adjustments to do! The problem was that the front bodice was not hanging straight but tilted towards the back. So basically the side seams where running towards the back at the bottom. I managed to solve that problem by pinching out some fabric at the neckline - so these are the darts that you can see on the photographs. 

I know they are not the prettiest, but I don't care. They are doing their job and I was able to pinch out the same amount from the paper pattern. I also had to change the facing. As I had the facing already cut, I had to pinch out a dart there as well. Hence the slightly ugliness.

Construction: Sewing was straightforward and I finished all seams with my overlocker. The instructions didn't say, but I understitched the facing. I also hand-stitched most of it to the main fabric because it just didn't want to stay inside the jacket. I also attached the pockets, although I have to admit I prefer the jacket without. 

Have I worn it yet? I have worn the jacket once and have to admit it is not the comfiest one. My arm movements are quite restricted towards the front. It might be because the jacket is made from denim. Or because I have to add some more fabric to the back in the shoulder area. Or both :)

Nonetheless, I really like the jacket, because it goes with so many of my clothes. I'm sure it will get loads of wear as soon as temperatures are rising. I especially like how this jacket looks with my McCalls Shirt Dress that I made 2 years ago - yep it is still alive. So how about you? Would you wear a wearable muslin or a not so perfect garment in public?

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