Tuesday 28 February 2017

Finished faux collar

Recently my oldest daughter told me she was looking for a faux collar, or half shirt, dickey, hoaxer or whatever you'd like to call it. She sent me an inspiration picture of these cute collars, made by the Dutch brand Idiot du Village.

 Knipmode December 2016 happened to have a mix & match blouse pattern, one of the views being this gem:

DD1 is living 1,5 hours away from me and has a very busy schedule so fitting sessions can be hard to arrange. For this pattern I didn't foresee any issues so I just guessed her size and added 3 cm to the length as she's 1.82 cm / 6' tall. I knew she wanted to wear the collar under a slim fit rayon top (not the one pictured above) so I chose a cotton batiste. The bodice is self lined for a clean finish. To keep it light and soft I used silk organza as interfacing for the collar, collar stand and button band.

If I'd make this again I would probably change the separate button bands for a cut on facing for an even smoother effect.

I think next time I could go down a size to 36. I would also add a few centimeters to the the shoulder width now that I've seen it in action while worn with a chunky sweater with a wider v-neck. Check the little gap on the right:

It was a fun project to make and the pattern went together well.
KnipmodeChallenge2017: 2 down, 10 to go!

To continue this selfless sewing story: back in January I posted a picture on Instagram of a silk organza pressing cloth I made for myself to replace the one I had accidentally cut up. To prevent further klutz action I serged it with hot pink thread for easy identification. Much to my surprise I saw a message from my daughter in the comments, hinting that she would love to get a similar one as a birthday present. She doesn't have a dedicated sewing space so I made a little zipper bag to store it near her ironing board.

It was my very first time using a rotary cutter and I was trying so hard not to hurt myself in the process that I completely forgot to take pictures. (I'm not sold on the scary tool)

Luckily thanks to daughter's boyfriend we have the birthday pictures and a few very artistic shots of the project!

Don't you love the matching tulips?

Wednesday 15 February 2017

Review Knipmode March 2017

Spring is in the air! I've always had a soft spot for March issues of Knipmode and this one is no exception. Nothing beats the first peek at those spring fabric collections!

Patternwise this issue has a lot to offer: 25 sewing patterns, 1 knitting pattern and 11 bonus patterns in a special.

This month's mix & match pattern is for jackets. The basic pattern has bust darts, a shaped seam at centre back and two piece sleeves. The pattern comes with different necklines (collar, bowtie, round), straight and bell sleeves, five different pocket options and three lengths.

The menswear pattern on the other hand comes in a single view only:

A missed opportunity. How hard could it be to add an extra view with a regular collar? If I remember correctly the previous pattern for a button down shirt was released in 2014, it's not like men are spoilt for choice.

Looking at the overview I see a lot of useful basic patterns. Nothing I wouldn't wear (except for dress #19, been there, done that in the 70s).

From left to right: dress 22, cardigan 18, top 10, skirt 9

Robe manteau 3, top 10, skirt 5 and dress 1


 On the left blouse 7 and pants 11, on the right blouse 8 and trousers 4

I really like these outfits. I'm tempted to make both blouses, two views of basically the same pattern. One muslin, one FBA for two very different looking garments.

Speaking of FBA's: starting this month Knipmode features a fitting topic. The first fitting issue addressed is adjusting for larger cup sizes. Sadly a rather peculiar FBA technique is demonstrated. A one dart bodice is slashed from top to bottom, leaving a hinge at the shoulder, instead of going up to the bust point and then sideways towards the armscye. Not a method I would recommend. Well, whatever, it's a first!
All Knipmode patterns from size 34 till size 54 are drafted for a B-cup. 
Never before did Knipmode suggest to pick a size based on high bust measurements for those with a larger cup size. A major breakthrough. And not only that, they even added a corresponding size chart. 

Something else that's new is that all patterns are now available as pdf, not just a selection. While I was browsing the shop I even noticed a bundle for all patterns of the February issue. I follow Knipmode on all social media platforms but I can't recall this being brought up. Was it a trial balloon? No sign of a March bundle so far.

Some changes seem to silently come and go. We just got used to having a page where all garments were shown from both front and back, and now it's disappeared again. Very annoying. Take for instance the line drawing of dress #24, you'll notice an interesting back detail. The dress is shown no less than six times in the magazine, in six different fabrics. Non of these pictures shows the back. Please, editors. Fashion shoot style photography is fine, but in a sewing pattern magazine we need more information. Details matter!

Disclaimer: this review contains no affiliate links. I paid for my copy and all opinions are my own.

Tuesday 7 February 2017

Finished winter coat!

Hi all! Can you tell I'm pretty pleased with my new winter coat?

In my previous posts about fabric, pattern and design choices and inner structure I've discussed about everything worth mentioning about this project so this post will be rather picture heavy, ending with a round up of the changes I've made to the pattern (Knipmode 10/2016-104)

After sewing on the buttons, anchored by small buttons on the inside, I pulled a satin tape through the buttons that matches the satin used for the piping and bound buttonholes.

The inserts on the back are purely decorative, on the front they are hiding pockets that are deep enough to carry my phone, keys, coins, dog treats and other miscellanous stuff that mysteriously ends up in there.

A peek of the insides, right before the final press. This coat is very easy to accessorize!
I added extra length to make it more versatile. Can be worn with both pants and dresses.

Soft and cosy on the outside, a warm layer in between and a shiny satin lining. Coat love!

Things I've changed to the design
- Omitted the zipper
- Added overlap and underlap at centre front
- Redrafted the collar
- Four bound buttonholes
- Added flat piping to the design lines at front and back
- Added flat piping (green satin) between facings and lining
- Added a hanging chain

Construction changes
- Added underlining
- Added chest plates and shoulder pieces
- Added a back stay
- Reinforced the insert corners
- Added silk organza to the collar

Fit changes
- Added 12 cm to the bodice
- Added 3 cm to the sleeves

Final thoughts: I really enjoyed sewing this coat. The fabric looks prettier in real life, the colours are much deeper. My camera had a hard time focusing on the dazzle print and some pictures are over exposed to show the details. A lovely print to work with on dull and grey winter days!

I was after a coat with a relaxed fit, without being oversized. One of my other winter coats is very fitted in the shoulders. Although I love that look, it's impossible to wear a jacket underneath. My new coat fits well over chunky sweaters and structured jackets, without having dropped shoulders or raglan sleeves. Win!

The only changes I've made regarding the fit were length adjustments. I like my sleeves slightly longer to keep my wrists warm while cycling. I'll do some test runs, maybe I'll end up shortening them by 1 cm.

So, that's one down for the #KnipmodeChallenge2017!