Sunday, September 29, 2013

Early Fall Sewing #5: Shirtdress, Fall for Cotton

As soon as i read about the Fall for Cotton sew-along, I knew that this dress would be my entry. I was still planning it at the time, but everything fell togheter too well not to do it. I wanted a classic shirtdress with a full skirt, a very 50s silhouette but in a modern way, which is the style I try to develop. Feminine and classic, with pretty details but not fussy and with a silhouette that emphasize my waist. 

So a cotton shirtdress was made! I had this pretty cotton poplin I had bought in the beginning of the summer, and added a hem band in contrasting beige cotton. I finished all the seams by binding them with beige bias binding, as a little extra. I love knowing that the insides of my garments are just as pretty as the outside...  Working with cotton is such a joy. It doesn't shift, it presses wonderfully and this poplin has a great crispness to it, which gives a nice structure to the bodice. 
The pattern is McCall's 4769, with the 3/4 lenght sleeves and the cute little winged cuffs. I switched the skirt for a full dindrl, but kept the button band on the skirt. I made a straight size 10, and I'm very happy with the fit. I still haven't really understood how the collar gets sewn up... My collar turned out great, but I'm not quite sure how that happened as I had no idea what I was doing, other than blindly following the instructions. Oh well... I just feel there has to be easier ways to sew a notched collar? The instructions has you reinforce corners and clip into them, which is always scary.

 I leave you with a few more pictures. They were taken yesterday, which I fear was the last day of summer... I have my project #6 (a floral Cambie) finished and waiting for pictures and appropriate fabric for project #7 (a black and cream Chardon), so I am quite on track with my fall sewing plans. Project #8 is a circle skirt, but I can't decide on what fabric to use. A light black polyester that will twirl wonderfully, provided I have enough of it, or a grey/silver wool that is really more of a winter project? While I make up my mind, I cut into some navy batiste for another shirtdress, a Cami this time!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Earlly Fall Sewing #4: Anise

Just in time for the first chilly mornings, I completed the fourth item of my fall wardrobe. The Anise is the one Colette pattern I bought the second it was released. The clean lines, the peter pan collar and the little tailored details, such as the welt pockets, appealed to me. But then it sat in my pattern box, waiting for the perfect fabric.

When I was planning my fall wardrobe, I really wanted to include a jacket. Partly for the challenge of sewing a jacket, partly because I wanted a new jacket. I can't be bothered to go shopping for a specific item anymore... The Anise was given, and then I thought about the linen herringbone fabric I had bought in Paris with just a jacket in mind. I immediately envisioned this jacket, and I am pleased to report it turned out exactly as I imagined it. This Anise is probably the garment I am the most proud of so far. Good it's a jacket, so I get to wear it everyday!

I didn't do any changes to the pattern, apart from modifications to make it fit. I made a muslin (I was not going to gamble this one), and ended up taking it quite a lot in the princess seams in the back. I also remembered to shorten the sleeves. Now I keep thinking the sleeves are too short, when they actually are the right lenght, because I am so used to sleeves that are too long. Eh. The fit is really nice through the shoulders, and the lenght is perfect to wear with a dress. No long-ish cardigans, though. I like it's not too fitted, but not boxy either. As all double-breasted jackets, it looks much better when buttoned.

I changed the order of construction, and made the welt pockets first, so that the facings would not be in the way when making them. I also waited to have the facing attached before making the small windows for the bound buttonholes, so that they end up in exactly the right place. I made all eight bound buttonholes, but only opened windows in the facing for the four that are in use. I didn't see the point of slashing into my garment for a buttonhole that would be sewn close anyways. The buttons are leather, and utterly perfect. Worth every penny.

The fabric is a soft linen herringbone in blue and cream tones. From afar it reads grey, somehow, but it has a lovely texture. The weave is quite loose, but the fabric behaved quite well anyways. I was afrait the fabric was a bit on the flimsy side, so I underlined with a heavy cotton, which worked wonders. I underlined even the sleeves, even it was not called for in the pattern, which I'm glad I did. I regret not underlining the upper collar, as it is a bit shifty. The undercollar is fused, so it works anyways as it has a stable layer. Underlining was quite a revelation. It was fascinating to see how the fabric behaves completely different when attached to another, heavier fabric.

As I said, this is probably my best garment so far. It is one of the most technically advanced projects I have made, and it is of much superior quality than the other jackets I've made in the past. I'm really proud of what I have accomplished with this garment, and I think it really shows how far I have come in my sewing in the past year. So to celebrate that, here comes way too many pictures...

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