Monday, November 22, 2010

Celebration Blouse

Last Friday I handed in the first draft of my thesis. Sixty pages on early Soviet Constructivist architecture, communal housing and socialist utopianism, in case you were wondering.

To celebrate my freedom from the prison that is MS Word, I started flipping through the Stylish Dress Book to service my need for some decompression sewing. Using style J as a guide, this baby sort of just came together. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon, if you ask me.
Not much to say, so I'll just show you:

The fabric was not especially fun to work with. A synthetic chiffon I used for my (vegan) sister's performance dress, it was quite prone to fraying, and difficult to mark and press for pintucks. Let's just stay there was much basting and stay-stitching involved.

But, man, was all that extra prep worth it. I am in love with this top.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Wool Winter Coat

Despite what a hefty project this is, and how busy I've been, I'm surprised this came together so quickly. And it did so mostly out of necessity. I got rid of a lot of stuff this Fall, including some old jackets and coats. Now that the temperatures have started to dip below freezing, it occurred to me that I should probably procure some kind of replacement. So this coat was born.

First of all, I should say that, with the exception of restocking my interfacing supply, I did not buy any new materials to make this. I've had the wool for a while with the intention of making a coat. But the rest of the notions, including the heavy-duty zipper were already stashed. So in that regard, I'm pretty proud of myself.

About the pattern: I heavily modified BurdaStyle's Talea coat pattern (free!). I left out a lot of the design details, like the tabs at the shoulders, sleeve hems, and back waist. I drafted my own collar for something a little less dramatic, and I completely redrafted the center front facing to accommodate a zip-closure. There were some fit issues to compensate for as well, some of which weren't resolved as well I had hoped.

This project also marks my first foray into hardcore tailoring. I took a lot of inspiration from Gertie's Lady Grey Sew-Along which was winding up as I was making my coat. The collar is fully pad-stitched, and I paid special attention to setting in the sleeves (sidenote: do NOT underestimate the power of shoulder pads. Amazing.).

Regrets: This is always an issue for me, but I probably should have given myself a little more room in the bust. I think I didn't take enough out of the waist, and I drafted out too much ease through the hips.
In all likeliness, I will probably redo the placket covering the zipper (it could use some sturdier interfacing) and I may add some loop and toggle closures to help it lay flatter across the bust.

Overall, I am incredibly happy with the final product. I probably would not use the pattern again for how much I changed it. But now I have a nice, comfy, cute coat to keep me warm, which was the objective.