Sunday, 19 February 2017

Making vintage

I've loved taking part in the vintage pattern pledge the last couple of years and last year I was particularly prolific with my vintage makes. I made 6 patterns from the 1970s, 1 from the 1960s and 1 from the 1980s.

The challenge isn't running this year and I thought about making my own pledge anyway, however, apart from 'make vintage patterns because you love them', I couldn't think of a specific pledge.  So this vague, 'make vintage' mission statement is going to be my pledge for this year.

 A few weeks ago I pulled this selection of patterns from my stash as some of the patterns I'd like to have a go at this year.  However, I'm clearly fickle and almost as soon as I'd put the selection together, I remembered this pattern and decided to have a go at it, instead of one of this carefully curated collection!
This pattern is from 1989, so despite not being as old as I am it still counts as vintage-I'm not sure I can cope with this concept if I think about it for too long, so moving swiftly on...  Despite being Vintage, this style of top feels pretty on trend as its one that I see everywhere at the moment.

It's a pretty simple design and construction was so easy.  Although, basically its constructed like a woven, including no instructions for a knit interfacing.  While the pattern is meant for stable knits, I do find this a bit confusing, particularly as the pattern is really not that old.

Apparently I'm incapable of standing like a normal person, my flatmate yelled at me to stop my feet being at crazy angles and there isn't a single photo where my shoulders are level.  Damn! That's my career as a model down the tube then.

I used a ponte that I'd bought from classic textiles on Goldhawk road, and while they have some lovely fabrics, this was not one of them.  Once I finished making it, I ironed it and actually managed to melt a bit of it and while I love the polka dots, the fabric doesn't have the cosy feel I'd like from a sweater. While it's fitting a gap in my wardrobe at the moment, this may end up being a wearable muslin.
The sleeves feel pretty big and I'm trying to decide whether to trim them down a bit.  I feel a bit like I could fly with the way that they are at the moment but a) I'm lazy and b) I've had lots of complements on the top as it is.  Anyway, I'm off to ponder that and make a start on my next project.  Have a good week everyone.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Francine jacket and class

So today I have what I think is a pretty epic make but has been a seriously long time in the finishing! Back, last summer, I signed up to take the Sew Over It, Francine jacket class and it's taken me until now to finally finish up the jacket and blog about it!  Plus you get some bonus pictures from my recent trip to Paris.
 Classic tourist shot!

I've taken a couple of classes at Sew Over It, both with Julie as the teacher and while they're not cheap,  definitely think they're worth it.  The fitting advice that Julie provides is invaluable and I love that they have toiles of all the makes so you can get an idea of fit and size, without having to make up your own toile, which I'm always too lazy to do.

I made my jacket from this cream wool which came from my mum's stash and is actually older than I am.  Before the class, I went shopping for a suitable fabric on Goldhawk road and from a red herringbone.  As I have zero will power, I also bought a bunch of other fabrics at the same time.  When I got home, I was a good sewist and stuck my purchases in the washing machine to prewash.  About half way through the cycle, I realised that I'd put the wool in with the other fabrics-mega oops!  The fabric had shrunk in size and was completely unusable for the jacket.  Luckily my mum could come to my rescue (and actually I like this wool better than the original).  The lining is made from a really gorgeous mint silk that I got from simply fabrics in Brixton. I'm really kicking myself that I didn't buy more. I would love a top made from this, although since I'm still in my (eternal) search for a top pattern that I like/works for me, I wouldn't actually have been able to make it up yet. It was a slippery bugger though, and since I'd love to have some more silk items in my wardrobe, I should brush up on my silk techniques because it really does deserve skill and attention.

While the class was great, it was pretty intense and knackering learning all the new tailoring techniques.  Plus there is a lot of hand sewing/tacking involved in making a jacket which is really not my favourite thing to do when making clothes (although weirdly I like it at other times). It was also held over 3 of the warmest weeks in London and none of us in the class wanted to be trying on our jackets during the classes as we were already melting.  August is obviously the logical time to be making a wool jacket!
One of the reasons, I took quite so long to finish this jacket was that Julie told us about the amazing service provided by DM buttons in Soho and I wanted to go and have my buttonholes professionally done.  As they are only open 7-3 on weekdays, and I work 9-5 in a totally different area of London, this was tricky to achieve.  However, I finally made it and was able to finish off the jacket with these vintage black and gold buttons from my stash.

I'm really pleased that I finally got round to finishing the jacket and can now wear it for the rest of our miserable winter.  It kept me nice and toasty for a wander around Paris and little trip to Marche St Pierre.  My long suffering sister took blog photos and then entertained herself by taking pictures of me touching all the fabric!

Personally I think I was fairly restrained, I came away with these 4 fabrics; a couple of gorgeous jerseys, a giraffe quilting cotton for a baby quilt that I'm making and a length of silk to try some of these careful silk techniques that I was talking about.

Anyway, I'm off to dream about what to make with them, while simultaneously trying to write my thesis!  Have a lovely week all!