Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Anyway, being the procrastinator that I am, I only got around to setting the domes today while the twins were napping. I don't think they'd have liked the hammering.
The jacket fabric is a nice thick textured corduroy with a heavy cotton lining. It'll be warm enough for most of our outings, since I wrap snug blankets over the twins in their buggy when it's really cold. The pattern is from the Burda Baby Boutique magazine from autumn/winter 1992. (Given that I had my first child in 1993 I think I must have got it either when I was first pregnant or as an old issue from somewhere!) I'm not sure exactly when this magazine stopped being published, but I think it was mid nineties.) It's design #320, and came in sizes 68-80-92. This one is a size 68 (Nicholas isn't very big). Over the years I've also graded it to a 62 and a 104, and it's been much commented upon when my boys have worn them. So, like my old Topkids magazines, I will likewise never get rid of my old Burda Baby Boutique magazines.
It's great to reduce the "to do" pile. So of course I immediately added another item to it - I cut a jersey for Isabella from the same fabric as Nicholas' one from yesterday. It's a totally different style, but I'm still mulling over how to girlify it and really distinguish it from his. I don't like them to look like they match. And there are two pairs of corduroy jeans on the pile too. Isabella's need one more line of topstitching around the hems and waist. (I ran out, but wanted to get one line of each done to see how it'd look.) Nicholas' are cut out, but I need to buy topstitching thread before I can start. I'm off to the Multiple Birth Club play group tomorrow, so I can whip into Anne's before I go. (HA! - who am I kidding - nobody with small twins just "whips into" anywhere!)
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
I did the applique very simply. First I basted a scrap piece of cotton velour onto the front of the jersey.
Then I satin stitched over the outline.
Then I pulled out the press'n'seal and very carefully cut away the excess velour. I wanted the slightly fuzzy outline, so this method suited. For a clean satin stitched edge I'd have done a wider zigzag, pulled out the plastic and cut off the excess, then done a closer spaced zig zag.
If you click on the picture you get a bigger image, which shows the details a little better.
I knew from my tissue fit that this would fit me pretty well, but this is one of those patterns you NEED to either carefully tissue fit, or try as a muslin first. If the angle of the shoulder line does not match you, it'll be nearly impossible to rectify, as there is very little wiggle room in the design for tweaks after you cut it out.
The sleeves are fairly narrow on this. Again, I knew from my tissue fit that they'd be ok on me. I won't be able to wear anything too bulky under it, but I wasn't planning to anyway. I added length to them before cutting, as I have fairly long arms and it's a whole lot easier to cut off excess than figure out a way to make them longer!
Construction wise, this is pretty straightforward. The instructions are clear, and apart from one or two very minor changes of order I have followed them so far. In my opinion, this isn't terribly complicated to construct.
AMEW did appear a bit. I began by ignoring the instructions and sewing the fronts so that I could do the welt pockets first before the coat got too bulky. (That's one of my changes of order - the instructions have you do them way further on.) Then I read the instructions and discovered that instead of being pressed open, the seam was supposed to be sewn in one pass with the undersleeve, and topstitched to one side. Oops. They were also supposed to be single welt pockets, and I just blithely went and made double welt pockets! Oops again! I decided against trying to do the topstitching after the fact - there's no way I could make it look nice at the pocket edges. The one thing I am annoyed with myself for is pocket placement. The pattern is for a jacket. I made it into a coat. At what point do you think it occurred to me that the pockets should have been placed about 10-15cm lower - coat height rather than jacket height? Yep - after I'd made them and held the coat front up to myself. DOH! Having them at this height throws off the visual balance a bit to my eye, but there's not a lot I can do about it. I am not making more pockets lower down!
Next up, I'll be making the collar and attaching it. The instructions have you fold the edge and zig zag, but I don't fancy that, so I'll double fold and straight stitch.
Hopefully I can get more fabric for the front facings either tomorrow or Thursday. And some buttons. The shop I got the fabric at (Anne's Fabrics in Dunedin) has very cool buttons, so I'm hoping I can get something there.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
And here's what it looks like after I tore out the press'n'seal. I like how it looks. It'll pep up a solid coloured coat, but it's fairly subtle.
Then I decided that instead of the interlining I'd originally planned, I should have underlined. I know there's debate about the difference between those terms, but I've always gone with what I was taught at University. Underlining is a separate layer of fabric attached to each piece of a garment before construction, the unit thereafter treated as a single layer. Interlining is a separate layer between fashion fabric and lining - like batting in a quilt. There was No Way I was going to start that embroidery again, so I joined the underlining part way, and then joined it to each piece of the front, like this:
Next up were the welt pockets in the fronts. I hate the way patterns have you do welt pockets, so I always use a method I think I first saw in an article in Threads written possibly by the fabulous Ann Steeves . My very humble apologies if I'm wrong about that. Anyway, you create a faced opening, and sew the welts behind it.
It looks like this from the back:
Then I sewed the basted together welts behind the opening. The extra layer of fabric gives you a much more stable edge to sew them to, and gives far fewer headaches!
All I need to do now to finish the pockets is to attach the pocket bags. I'll also catch stitch the facing to the underlining, as that will help to support the pocket.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
And I finished the embroidery on the coat last night. Sigh.....
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
This pair is based on Ottobre 04/08, #2. I "jeans-ified" them in exactly the same way as I did Nicholas' recently. The fabric for these was a remnant of denim inherited from Keely a few years ago. Again, if I hadn't made this size I wouldn't have got a bigger size out of the piece I had.And the back view. I think the rear pockets are too small. For her next pair I'll make them just a smidge bigger. The proportions look a little off to me.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Between her, and Nicholas waking a couple of times as well, sleep is not going well for me at the moment. So I should know better than to tackle anything that requires Any Mental Effort Whatsoever.
I figured this pinafore should be fine - even a half asleep zombie could make this, right? It's from Topkids 44, #9. It's a size 74, which I figured should fit Isabella pretty well. The photo in the magazine looked very short, so I compared the pattern pieces to the last dress I made her. This one was WAY shorter. This is where the mental effort comes in. I didn't allow for the fact that the pinafore has straps - DUH! I also didn't take note of how much wider it is than her existing dress, which fits her beautifully. End result: a very cute pinafore, which I really like, which will fit her till she's about three. It's not a disaster, but not what I was hoping for!
Lesson learnt - don't sew if you can't think.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
From that point I cut it out and spent ages thread marking all the dots, triangles, buttonholes and the welt pockets. I colour coded the markings so that they'll be (hopefully) clearer when I come to construct the coat. Didn't take a pic of that step. Then I did a bit of experimenting to work out how I'm going to embellish the coat. I got a rose motif from BWOF 01/09, and for my trial just traced a leaf from it onto Glad Press'n'Seal and stuck it onto a scrap of fabric and stitched through it. I love how this technique works - it stabilises the fabric really well, and is easy to do. Picking out the plastic can be a bit tedious, but the design is very accurately marked, and no hint is left on the garment afterwards. A pair of tweezers helps.
These are the two threads I tried. I wish my photos were clearer - they look fine on my computer, but lose a lot of clarity when I post them. The one on the left does actually show up fine, but I liked the bolder effect of the sample on the right. It's actually crochet cotton, split into two of the six strands. It gets fuzzy pretty quickly, so I need to use short lengths.
Isabella is easier to photograph but she's now a crawler too, so this isn't the best shot of her new pants. They're from Ottobre 04/08, #2. I traced this one from Keely and only traced a size 62. Naturally I didn't get to it as soon as I meant to, and had to make them longer. I did that by drawing a line perpendicular to the grainline at the narrowest point of the leg (they're flared pants) and adding 2cm extra length at that point. It's enough, but I added 5cm for another pair to give more growing room. They fit beautifully, so I think I'll make her a bunch more - even with the trim at the hem they're incredibly quick to make, and look very cute on their own or with a dress.
Friday, April 3, 2009
It's handy having a big sister to hold you up to show off your new dress. Isabella will smile at anyone, and is already showing a fondness for smiling for the camera. Have I created a monster?
This is where I got the fabric. Several years ago Keely and I got a couple of these dresses just for the fabric - a lovely soft, lightweight, beautifully coloured denim. They were selling them for something like $2 each - how could we resist? I made baby pants and a dress from another one at the time, and this one has been languishing in the stash till now. I should have taken a picture before I cut it up, but didn't think of it in time, so here it is after I butchered it. I saved the decorative label from the dress and sewed it on the skirt of the new dress. I'm not sure whether the leftover bits of dress are worth saving or not. What can I make from this much denim? Panelled pants or a skirt maybe?
And I made this skirt for me. It's BWOF 03/09, #105. I really liked the style of this one when I saw it in the magazine, and bought the fabric especially for it. (Nothing in the stash appealed. Imagine that!) It's a suiting fabric called "Jacqui" from Spotlight, and works really well for this design. I like the way the skirt sits. It has fullness, but because it's all done by the three very large pleats, there's no added bulk around the bum, which I seriously don't need! I wore it yesterday, and I'm really pleased with it.