I asked Tony what I should sew next and he picked blazer so that’s what I did! I used the same Simplicity 2446 pattern as I did for my Chocolate Wool Blazer, this time I was inspired by view B and picked up a 1/4 yard of black velvet for the contrast collar and pocket flaps.
I felt like my last blazer was a bit too long waisted ( I did add 1.5″ to just as standard practice) so this time around I removed the extensions and went back to the original pattern length. I did however keep the arm length adjustment from before. Unfortunately this blazer was not as enjoyable to sew, both the plaid and velvet were a fraying nightmare. Mostly I just wanted to be done with it….now that it is done I love it!
I remembered to snap a picture of the insides this time before I turned it right side out. In an effort to not make another trip to Joann’s I made my own shoulder-pads this time out of batting and some remnant material. Also in the shot is the fleece that is used as the sleeve heading which gives the shoulder a nice roll.
Even though the velvet in the collar is interface bottom and top it not as crips as I would like. I did a line of invisible hand stitching in the seams where the collar attaches to the blazer to keep it from looking baggy.
For the front I sewed button holes in but I don’t think I will be buttoning this so I didn’t cut them open. For the front leather buttons I used small black buttons to secure them on the back side to make it look clean and professional.
For as much of a struggle as this was to make i’m still pretty pleased with the results…but I have decided to put off any more jacket/coat sewing for awhile. I just want to make a satisfying girly dress next.
I have purchased all the fabric to make the complete outfit on Simplicity 1070 ( Skirt, crop top, and jacket) but I thought I would try out the skirt first to see how it goes.
I cut and sewed up this skirt on one afternoon and then wore it on a business trip the next day. On its first outing I realized that the knit interfacing I used was not going to work so its been sitting in my closet for a few weeks for me to think of what to do. I finally just removed the facing and cut a new facing this time using just a woven interfacing instead.
Its weird that the pattern very specifically says “Knits Only” but the skirt has a back zip and I think would actually work better in a woven because you wouldn’t have that stretching out on the waistband throughout the day.
The woven interfacing certainly help it fit a little more snugly but I am still having issues with the facing rolling over to the outside despite under stitching. I will have to go back to the drawing board and think of a way to resolve this before I set out making the complete outfit. One thought I had was to do an encased thick elastic waist band that you fold over to the inside so that you still have that same smooth line on the outside and no zipper. The only issue with that is this is supposed to sit 2″ above the waist and I have a feeling that elastic would slide down and sit at the natural waist.
After sewing a cushion for uzzi out of the wool remnants from my blazer I figured I had just enough left to make a vest. With no pattern that I liked I decided to try and copy a RTW vest from my closet. For my first copycat it didn’t go too poorly though I did make it a wee bit too small. Guess its time to lay off the cookies 🙂
I also had enough of the original red lining to do the whole vest so other then the buttons this was a complete stash buster!
The insides have a wool facing along the front center and the rest is bemburg
I think it looks really great with the blazer, though I need to make some higher waisted pants (I’ve got my eye on you Ginger Jeans!).
I didn’t think I was going to have any more time for sewing this year but I did manage to eke out one more dress on Tuesday before my clients came to Denver for the “Ingredients Gala” . The Gala was the kick-off event for what will be my all consuming job for the next 6 weeks.
I used the last of my fabric from the Denver Sewing Guild sale to make Simplicity 8086
I made quite a few changes to the pattern to suit my needs. When I first picked this pattern up I assumed like most people it was separates ( a dress and and and over shirt). Well a quick perusal of the directions reveled that the over shirt is in fact attached along the neck and armholes. So the first modification was to break them apart. I had 4yds of fabric and I was able to do the over-shirt, entire bodice and bodice lining in fashion fabric as well as the longer skirt from View A. I love the rich tones of this fabric and I think the style lines of the dress work well with fabric pattern.
I thought I would share a little mini tutorial on the order of assembly on the dress in case anyone wanted to make them separates like I did. When doing this a sewed some on Monday night and then I couldn’t sleep because I was thinking spatially how to solve the problem and then when I woke up on Tuesday and ripped most of it apart and tried it this way.
- Sew the front bodice to the midriff (repeat for lining).
- Attach the upper back pieces at the shoulder seam (repeat for lining)
- Lay the out side and lining with right sides together and sew along the neck and armholes. Turn and press
- Sandwich the upper back between the lower back outside and lining with the outsides right sides together and the linings right side together.Press down
- Finally, open out the bodice and stitch to attach the side seams in one continuous line.
Now the bodice should be complete with all the seams hidden accept the center back where the zipper will go and along the bottom where the skirt is attached.
When I got the bodice to this point I tried it on the dress form. There was a lot of excess fabric in the arm hole and it stuck out weirdly. My guess is because it only had 1 dart coming from the waist and nothing in the side seam. To solve this I cheated a dart coming from the armpit to the bust apex to help it lay a bit better.
For the overlay I didn’t quite have enough fabric to line it so I pulled out some teal linen for it. For extra credit I made it reversible as well!
My favorite part of this dress is the back. I think the shape is unique and I like how it is wide set so when you have the overlay on it looks as if there are no straps at all.
There is not much to say about the insides. I had stitched the lining over the waist seem for a very clean look. Also I accidentally bought a 22″ zipper instead of a 16″ so the zipper goes way further down then it should.
I am quite happy that I decided to make this into separates because it gives me so many more options when wearing it. On Thursday I paired it with a fortuitous Goodwill find deep teal cashmere cardigan that looks like it was made for this dress. It helped me keep a little warmer and totally changes the look of the silhouette.
My only complaint is that I wished I had lengthened the midriff another inch or so. It sits a little high on me and I think it would look better if more was showing under the overlay.
I had originally earmarked this fabric for another cozy fall shirt but at the last minute I changed my mind and decided to do another McCall’s 7351 since I wear my denim one so much.
I didn’t have quite enough fabric but I persevered. I made extra sure to match the horizontal lines across the bodice unfortunately the placket doesn’t line up on the skirt. I also tried to match the vertical lines from the bodice onto the skirt in the center front and back. Considering I had less fabric then the pattern called for I consider it a success that I was able to pattern match at all! I put the pockets and the yolk on the bias to help save on fabric.
I like the style lines of this pattern and the curve of the hem. It gives a slightly different look then my other shirtwaist standby McCalls 6696. It could stand to be just a tad longer but if I wear it with tights it should be fine.
I had every intention of going full steam ahead on the blue taffeta dress. Then I didn’t. I couldn’t deny the draw of an easy skirt pattern and I already had the fabric for it!
I combined the curved waistband of view B with the oversized pockets on view A. Also on the model and directions they have you sew straight to the top of the waistband but if you look closely in the original 1950s drawings you can see a line of topstitching that goes around the waistband curve and connects to the center front stitching. I decided I liked how that looked better.
The fabric is a yard dyed cotton flannel with a grey and black herringbone pattern. I like the weight of the fabric but if I were to do it again I would chose something thinner for the waistband facing as this has way too much bulk around the center front and zipper.
This was my first time doing a lapped zipper. I’m not sure i’m sold on it. I may rip it out and do a centered or hand picked application. Again there was way to much bulk around the waistband and it doesn’t want to lay flat.
My favorite part is the pockets. Rather then being in the seam its a separate pieces topstitched on to the skirt. I really love how they turned out. I took some pictures with my hands in my pockets and its not the most flattering but who cares!
Unfortunately I didn’t think to take a picture until after wearing it for a few hours so its a little wrinkly. The length is longer then the dresses I have been sewing but its nice and warm for the cooler months especially with a petticoat underneath.
All in all this was a fairly easy project depending on how much I wear it this winter I may make a version in a cotton for warmer weather. I would also love to make the bolero that comes with this pattern but I think that would be a little less wearable so its going to have to wait.
I decided to take a week off from the blue formal dress and fortify myself for the next step in the underpinnings. Simplicity 1018 looked simple enough. Though not a retro pattern I can’t help but get 80’s vibes from this dress. Think Keri Russell in the Americans.
Despite having 3 yards of 60″ wide knit fabric I still didn’t have enough for view B (The midi length). I compromised and cut it 7 inches longer the then short skirt which turned out to be plenty long enough. I had to do a lot of fit adjustments (a lot more than I normally do) but since it is a princess seam it is easy enough. I placed the dress on my form inside out and just hand basted in contrast thread along all 6 seams where it needed to be taken in.
I am quite happy with how the neckline is finished. I can see using this finishing if I was ever to make a knit shirt as it looks very professional.
The finished dress is kind of a dud. Tony said it made me look like a fundamentalist which is definitely a look I am not going for. The sleeves are a little baggy and loose around the cuff and the color washes me out. The overall silhouette ends up very boxy and unflattering. I may wear it around the house but it’s not going out. Good thing I only spent a day on it or I would be more upset.
Simplicity just released their fall collection this morning and I was able to snap up the one pattern I wanted on the last day of a $0.99 sale at hobby lobby. So that makes it a good day!
I have a grey brushed cotton herringbone fabric in my collection that I was thinking about making another blazer out of but now I think it wants to be this skirt. I do like the mustard of the bolero in the cover art so I am wavering on whether I should just copy that as well or go with an evergreen colour.
It looks like I might start back up on some work here shortly. I have two trips planned before thanksgiving. It has been scaraly easy to fill my days, I don’t know how I had time to do anything when I was gainfully employed.