Not quite a roaring success for me – but wearable for someone smaller – maybe my daughter. I confess this is entirely my mistake as I didn’t check the ‘stretchability’ of the fabric before I cut it out. I think in a stretchier fabric this may be just fine. With one caveat.
The length. Oh dear. I did add 5cm to the pattern (before it was resized as directed in the book) but clearly with this fabric that is insufficient. It might need to be longer in any fabric. Perhaps even people who are 5’4″(petite in European sizing) would be ‘tall’ in the Pattern Magic measurements.
Anyway, I loved this pattern. Easy to make the pattern from the instructions given in the book, simple to have it resized by someone with a photocopier as clever as a room full of owls, and a breeze to sew together. This took me just over an hour to sew, including the time needed to switch the threads on the overlocker and coverstitcher. I used 4 thread overlocker for the seams, and 3 thread coverstitching round the hem and sleeves.I worked the neckline using the same method as for the draped t-shirt rather than the simple turn and sew from the book as I think that it looks better. Just personal choice. Shame it doesn’t fit!
I have had huge problems trying to upload the pictures and have given up. Find the pictures here. I will edit this post eventually to put them in but I really haven’t got the brainpower to work out whats wrong. (Ruth – have you sorted your problem. Maybe I have the same one?)
I’m not sure that The Management is impressed with this top. It was some of his comments that made me laugh while he was taking the photographs – sorry. Despite that I will be trying again in a more stretchy fabric which I hope will fit. I will be adding about 4″ to the bottom to ensure I don’t have to hold the front hem down in normal wear.
That is the two garments I had planned to make in February – completed well within time and at least one of them fits. I discovered that by pulling the hem on the draped t-shirt down to hip level it can be worn as a tunic with a belt and looks great (sorry, no photo). Also, we are almost at the end of the month and I can confirm that I have not broken my RTW fast.
I need to plan what I am going to make in March now. My daffodils have started to show flower buds, so they think spring is on the way even if I have doubts. Stash diving needed to find something appropriate.
So today the picture feature seems to be working so here we go….
As you can see the finished garment looks weird (and is a monster to fold) but that is what gives you the wonderful drape.
The instructions were to bind the neckline but I went with the easy option of a 4cm strip, folded in half, and sewn at a slight tension round the opening before anchoring with another row of stitching. Easy, fast, fine.
The front view of the top doesn’t quite give the impression of how low this neckline goes as it is leaning to the back. Next version will have the neck raised by the recommended 10cm (Thanks Melissa!). The back view shows the amount of cloth in this garment – it is huge! The left sleeve is a pretty normal kimono type sleeve but the right is just a hole in the seam at the top of the fold. I like the idea but I think that my pattern needs some attention to fitting.
I also need to find a photographer who will mention that the back is folded up before they take the photos and clear off back to their newspaper!
I will probably wear this as I love the fabric – but I really need to try again in a different size, with a raised neckline, to see if that is better. A reasonable first draft.
I have finished the one piece draped t-shirt from Drape Drape 2 detailed in my last post – and I like it. I just don’t love it. I made the pattern in the size indicated by my body measurements but I think it might have been better a little smaller. I know that Melissa commented in this post that she made this up in the largest pattern provided (despite her also thinking she needed a larger size) and it was fine.
At the moment I can’t get the pictures to work on this post but I will update as soon as I can. The one major comment I would make is that the neckline on this is low. Like really low. Just in case you were about to cut out. Check it. Twice.
Hopefully there will be more to show tomorrow if I can get the photos to work. The peas are waiting – I hope that doesn’t suffer the same size issues. (Maybe I am just making things to grow into?)
I have enjoyed my time making the patterns for the two Japanese tops I am making as my February Garment(s) of the Month – and they really weren’t difficult.
The Drape Drape 2 book comes with the patterns included – but not in my size. In order to be able to have these enlarged at my local copy shop I did a ‘Burda’ on them and traced all three pieces on one sheet for enlargement. They were easy to trace off into one big pattern piece after that, and it is now cut out. The fabric is a piece of 4 way stretch jersey that I bought at Birmingham Rag Market. Who knows what the composition is – but I would guess at polyester rather than rayon by touch. As you can see it is another of my shy, retiring pieces. The piece was about 150cm square and the piece took almost all of the fabric.
The top from Pattern Magic Stretch Fabrics, the Two Peas in a Pod, needed to be drawn out from the instructions in the book but that was an easy task. As I said in my last post I had graded the blocks up to my size so I knew this was going to fit. I still needed to take it to the copy shop as it is finished by increasing the size of the back piece, and decreasing the front. Again you end up with very strange looking pattern pieces but after the Morley Courses I wasn’t too put off by that.
This fabric isn’t so stretchy – only across the grain – and is 100% Polyester jersey. It isn’t what I wanted to use but the other piece I chose wasn’t big enough. This took 130cm as that was how long the larger pattern piece is. The small piece could be cut from the remainder at the side after the back was cut out. I did add a little to the length of the original pieces as I may be a bit taller than the pattern was intended for (despite being only 5’4″). I can always shorten it again if this version is a bit long.
I really don’t think these will take too long to sew together once I get the right machines threaded ready to go. I do have other deadlines that I must meet before I start these but I hope to finish them before the end of the week.
Well, I managed to complete the garment for January in good time so I feel fairly chuffed. In addition to that I succeeded in staying out of the stores and didn’t but any RTW clothing at all in January – not even tights or other small sundries – so I am very happy. The Minoru jacket I made was almost entirely completed from stash fabric. The only purchases made for that project were the Thinsulate interlining, the NIKWAX wash in waterproofing, and some seam sealing tape. Very satisfying.
Now, on to February. I have long enjoyed looking through all of the Pattern Magic books, and now the Drape Drape options which are growing on my bookshelf. I have been slightly put off making from the books because they seemed somewhat unwearable (particularly for a lady of my size and vintage!) but after spending all that money on the darn books, and doing two courses at Morley College (which I can strongly recommend by the way) I really feel it is time to make something I will actually wear. So….
For February I am proposing to make two garments. GASP! I have decided to make the strange but lovely ‘Two peas in a pod – A’ from the Pattern Magic Stretch Fabrics book (don’t ask how long I have had this!), and Model 4 ‘One piece scoop neck asymmetrical top’ from Drape Drape 2 which my sister bought me for Christmas. In fairness the bulk of the work is in the patterns with these tops – once the patterns have been drawn out the sewing should take very little time. Again there is a however. I am nowhere near the dinky little Japanese sizes. Nothing like.
Thankfully ‘The Management’ is very mathematical as I am useless and he has shown me how to work out how to work out how much I need to have the patterns included in the Drape Drape 2 book I was given for Christmas need to be enlarged. This means that I can just trace off the largest size and ask for them to be reproduced at a larger % at the copy shop. Easy. I hope.
For anyone else mathematically challenged with the same size difficulties here is the way I was shown to get the size to ask for.
Divide your actual measurement by the pattern measurement and then multiply by 100. This should give you a number greater than 100 which will be the percentage to ask for from the copy shop. For example: (Increasing 2 sizes from books largest option)
Actual measurement (98) ÷ 100 = 109%
Pattern Measurement (90)
In principal this should be easy to do, tracing off only the size you want to use. Don’t forget that any included seam allowances will also be increased by the extra percentage so it will be worth drawing in the pattern excluding seam allowances pre copying.
The Pattern Magic Stretch Fabrics isn’t quite so easy as the patterns aren’t included. The blocks included suffer from the same ‘tiny model’ problem that applies to the pattern in Drape Drape. I have spent an afternoon grading them up to my enormous size (seriously – this makes me feel like something out of Gulliver’s Travels!) and the pattern adaption is very simple once you have a block that is your size. Again this needs to be taken to someone who has a clever copier that can make the increase/decrease needed for each piece. The calculations are given in the book to enable you to do this yourself but I am more than happy to pay for this to be done. It is more likely to be somewhere close to where it should be if I don’t do it!
I haven’t done any stash diving yet but I know that there should be a few options available to try these out. Only 24 days left to do this
Especially for Rhonda who asked me to flash the Minoru lining…..
….(The Management says I look like a Vulcan bomber preparing for take off. Beast.)
So, not only finished but finished for the event I really wanted it for. How crazy is that? The weekend in Llanberis ( in Snowdonia) had been booked for some time and I knew that it would be a very casual affair – but that the Welsh weather can be very unpredictable. The Management and I planned a weekend of simple walks, a little shopping, and eating out. Just the place to test out my new Sewaholic Minoru jacket.
We arrived in Wales to weather that the NikWax could never have been expected to cope with – a deluge of mixed rain and hail. Thankfully we were luckier later in the weekend although the ‘showerproofing’ was put to the test – successfully I can report. Hurrah!
It was pretty cold all weekend so I spent most of my time outside wearing a ridiculous fur hat, the hood went unworn. The collar on the jacket is pretty tall, it looks good with the zipper left open a little way, and is good for retreating inside when you get very cold (although you do look a little like a tortoise!
I was very glad of the Thinsulate interlining which worked very well. My body was kept reasonably warm and on the climb up to Dolbadarn Castle I had to undo the zip to cool off a little.
I wore the jacket again today to do a little shopping in Bewdley and I have to say it has fulfilled all my expectations for this project. It is certainly going to be the ‘go to’ jacket for any casual occasion until it warms up too much to wear the insulated version. When that happens I think I will make another without the interlining – but I will be making some changes to the cuffs. (My only grouch about the whole jacket). Clearly this pattern deserves its great blogosphere reputation.
January’s Garment A Month completed ahead of the 31st and it’s a winner!
Confession time. I bunked off for the weekend to stay with my darling daughter in London so didn’t work on my jacket at all last weekend.
However, I can report that the Isabella Blow:Fashion Galore exhibition at Somerset House is well worth a visit. I went on Saturday morning and despite arriving at 10am I was only just finished when I had to meet the DD at 12 noon for the guided tour of Somerset House (free, but you have to pick up a ticket at the welcome desk – and also well worth doing!) . There were lots of Alexander McQueen garments as you might have expected, and Philip Treacy hats, but so much more. Really, if you get the chance go! It was £12.50 full price (only £6.25 on Mondays) and was worth every penny in my opinion. Sadly no photographs allowed to encourage you to buy the book of the exhibition – beautiful but £40 so over my budget limit for the weekend. **
That was followed by a visit to the Tower of London – but we must have been well behaved as they let us out again. (Or so bad they didn’t want to keep us).
Anyhow, the jacket has had some progress. I have finished the lining, complete with the Thinsulate for extra warmth, and it is all ready to be sewn into place once I finish the cuffs. I have shortened the sleeves a little, but the way the cuffs are done is possibly unnecessarily fiddly in my opinion. I will reserve judgement until they are complete but if I make the jacket again I may change the cuff design.
It really shouldn’t take too long to finish from here – next post with the finished garment and final report.
** I have been sent a comment to say that the Isabella Blow book is only £23 on Amazon so anyone who wants to see more (check out the innards) can look there.