Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Cynthia Rowley vs neoprene

The problem with sewing things out of season is that by the time the appropriate season swings around, I'm no longer enamoured with the idea of the thing I sewed. This is the story of my Tokyo jacket. I still love the neoprene but have bigger and better ideas for a winter jacket.

I was able to cut around the faux leather neckline of the original jacket to preserve most of the neoprene. I had the perfect amount left to use for my Simplicity 1366 top. I've sewn this top before in Nani Iro. I'm a little bit besotted with this Cynthia Rowley pattern right now. It's so simple but so perfectly shaped. I love those extended shoulder seams.


I'm smiling extra brightly so you don't notice that I didn't 'hang' my circle skirt before I hemmed it. Duh!
 
 
 
 

For the back of the top, I used a little bit of leftover printed corduroy (seen earlier here). I used the same corduroy for the sleeve caps. The only other change I made to the pattern was in using ribbed jersey to finish the neckline, sleeves and bottom hem.


I really love how this top turned out. The structured look of neoprene fits this pattern so well. I paired it with my much loved wool circle skirt for the photos, but I know I can also layer it for winter and wear it with jeans.

Miss Two just did her All the Single Ladies routine. I always have an audience.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Transeasonal Simplicity 1435 and a Swoon cardi

For the past few months (apart from multiple, transient costume changes each day) Miss Two has really only been wearing two dresses (here and here). Apparently they are both suitable for nightwear as well as daywear. Who am I to argue with a two year old? Day in, day out, night in, night out, we see her in the same clothes. I think it has a lot to do with comfort and a little to do with the fact that they are dresses she can slip on herself (and therefore slip off for her costume changes).
 
Hubby and I held a meeting. I was going to make those dresses disappear. Miss Two and I went shopping at Jo-Ann. She found some very pretty (polyester, ugh!) jersey and I found Simplicity 1435. I feel like I don't sew Simplicity patterns very often so I was going to treat this as a wearable muslin. I've rarely been super impressed with the fit of kid's clothes from the big pattern companies. But this could be because my older two girls are a lot longer and narrower than average.
 
Gnome killer

Miss Two (AKA Midget) is completely average in size (not temperament!). She is smack bang on the 50th centile for everything, despite being dwarfed by her giant sisters. Not surprisingly, this little dress pattern fits her perfectly. The only change I made was to lengthen the sleeves for Autumn and shave a bit of the sleeve cap. I also left the hem unfinished. I love the unfitted, drop waist look and it is clearly very comfortable. The dress has thankfully become her new favourite and the other pilled and shredded dresses have disappeared unnoticed.
 
Yes, she just murdered the gnome


I also made her a Swoon cardi to go with her new dress. A little while back, Lara from Thornberry blogged about a very pretty matchy make for her daughter. I loved the look of her Swoon cardi so I made sure I had enough fabric to make Miss Two one too.
 
I had my doubts when I was putting this pattern together. I was so tempted to redraw a few pieces to somehow turn the shawl collar into a self-facing edge but it all started to hurt my brain too much. I was having trouble seeing how it would come together in the end. But I ploughed on and did a quick hash job of serging the edges in non-matching thread because I truly didn't think this cardi would turn out as well as it did.
 
Gnome found his way upright again, but not for long.

Got him

So now I'm going to step on his head, because that's what you do to gnomes.
Miss Two put the cardi on straight away and has barely taken it off since. I even caught her wearing it scrunched up underneath a long sleeved top this morning. The fit is beautiful. The shape is pretty and the lightweight fabric worked very well for it. I will definitely give this pattern another go but with better fabric next time, and nicely hemmed edges too.
 
Sorry gnome. Let's be friends again?
 




Friday, September 19, 2014

Silk jumpsuit: a vintage pattern mash up

I originally wanted to make a dress out of the lovely silk twill you see in the photos (this exact dress and pant set in fact). Silk twill is actually very similar to CDC but ever so slightly heavier. It drapes and feels much the same, but is basically just less see-through in my opinion. And this makes it perfectly suited to a jumpsuit.


I know there are heaps of totally fabulous jumpsuits doing the rounds right now in blogland. I've also made a few myself in the past year (here and here).



 

My version is a mash up of two vintage patterns: McCall's 6429 and Style 3304. I've used Style 3304 in the past (here and here), so I took the bottom half of this pattern and connected it with the top half of McCall's 6429. The silk is Oscar de la Renta. I'm obviously partial to a bit of Oscar, since he features quite well in my stash. The top is fastened with two black glass buttons.


I also made a few other modifications:
  • I shortened the crotch in the pants
  • lengthened the bodice in the bodice portion
  • lengthened the View B sleeves but kept them wide
  • ditched the back seam and cut it on the fold instead (cheater broad back adjustment)
  • adjusted the facing pieces to accommodate the back change
  • I also added a thin waistband to create a casing for the elastic (but only because I didn't lengthen the bodice enough in the first place!) 
  • Initially, I made the jumpsuit complete with the full collar you see on the pattern packet (instagram photo here) but it just didn't look right when I tried it on. The look was too silk-pyjama-esque. I fixed this by unpicking the collar and leaving the facing intact. I  toyed with creating a V-neck but I liked the little lapels better.
Anyway, to sum it up, I'm pretty happy with this make. It was a bit random and I'm not entirely sure how hubby will take it. I think I'm just going to have to book a date night and surprise him (or ply him with spirits if I have to). Because seriously, these pants are made for dancing!