My Sewing and KnittAntics

Frenzied Sewing and Hand Knitting Antics jazzed along by Machine Knitting.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Burberry Lace Trenchcoat :TDF

I dont usually do the high fashion , repro the look( Okay so I am telling porkies) What I mean is that after a sewing hiatus it is difficult to get back to my sewing speed.
The only item that has me tongue tied and gagged( speechless) this season is the above Burberry Lace Trenchcoat.

Specifications:courtsey net-a-porter
UK Price 2465 GBPounds( $4000 odd US)
Pearl ( also comes in black) double breasted trenchcoat with signature bone buttons
Scalloped hem , cuffs and front fastening, a pocket on each hip and visible silk jersey lining.Trench has button fastening cuffs and scalloped vent across shoulder and falls to knee
Fabric: Antique look lace. 60% cotton 20% rayon 20% polyamide
This trenchcoat comes from the Burberry Prosrum "Icons" collection .
Described as a beautiful classic that exudes femininity.
I see it worn as a dress ( reminiscent of a vintage Donna Karan Vogue pattern)
May have to go into town to try and get a closer look if not sold out.

Wonder if any sewists online will take on the challenge of making it?
Would make for an epic winter project.The closest would have to be the awe inspiring Chanel trenchcoat interpretation made by cyber sewing guru (permission granted , thanks fzxdoc)

Design details( seen only from pictures).
Antique Lace fabric
Raglan styling
Double breasted
Side seams
Diagonal welt pockets
Fabric belt with covered buckle
Scalloped edging along front , hem collar and cuffs
Advertorial version has a narrow black studded belt

Pattern Leads
Patrones #240 January 2006 has an original Burberry Prosrum trenchcoat that will be closest.
Will try and locate big 3/4 and Burda WOF possibilities.

Wish some sewist is planning to interpret the look

Labels: ,

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Snoop Shopping Armani Collezioni

Virtual Snoop shopping online is great , but better still is doing in the flesh.
A couple of Sundays ago we went to town to celebrate a fellow sewist birthday , and some shopping treat as a present ( sorry not for me ) landed us in Armani Collezioni.
Quiet shop , malleable sales rep and a bunch of sewists made for inspirational heaven.
One may ask so what? or what is the big deal?
For me , it is validated the ability to sew. With the right combination of skills, research and attention to detail some of the jackets etc are so reproducible.
This is the high end RTW collection not the Couture Line Armani Prive.
Makes it laughable for so many sewists who parody themselves about not wanting to imitate RTW , opting for haute couture( aka dodgy home made crap) .Dream on.......................................

Impeccable tailoring.
Exceptional fit.
Scrumptious fabrics.

Muted neutrals, Ecru, Cream
Black, Browns , Charcoal Grey
Red, Blush

Wool/acetate/silk /polyester
Silks satins , charmeuse
Chenille ,Velvets
Viscose Lycra for tees
Cotton Poplin

Shapes and Fabrics that caught my eyes:
Structured embossed , and chevron wool jersey jackets
Sweater knit type jackets( made of a luxury blend not acrylic)
Diagonal twills
Watercolour prints
Jacquards, Brocades
Abstract floral chenille fabrication
Men suiting pin stripes

Design details
Waist darts , nipped in waists often with flared hems
Wrap dolman cropped jackets
Subtle piping details on peplum designs.
Square necklines, portrait collars
Fitted jackets with corsage effect single button closures.
Chenille jackets with pleated contrast trim on collar and sleeve hems
Asymmetric fronts on jackets.
Soft ruffled jackets
Knit tops with tucked or ruched details ( viscose Lycra , velvets)

Without pulling apart the clothes( lest we got thrown out) we were able try on a lot of the clothes .Great fit on a variety of figure types except for lengths which would be individualised . The jackets lined with twill lining( viscose acetate blend) silk satin or charmeuse.
Linings were hand finished.
Unlined jackets had the darts graded and finished on each leg with fine overlocking.
Seams graded down and finished with overlocking.
Jersey suits had facings in silk satin, sleeves hem was also in silk satin and finished with blind hems.

Didnt spent too much time on the trousers ( dont wear them sorry) Okay so they are always left unfinished to allow for personalised adjustments.Straight legs , flat fronts, fly front zippers.Note I don't recall seeing any ultra skinny trousers.

How to recreate the looks.
The essence of the collection is the key.Get the fabrics spot on( this is not the time for bargain basement yucky mucky fabrics)
Get your tailoring skills up to par.
Threads Magazine had a great series on Armani jackets.
VPM often have patterns that emulate current look
Vogue 8302 is one in the books
Burda WOF in my opinion has the best selection of patterns that will give the closest interpretation can pull out a dozen jacket patterns that could be the starting point for many a style.
The brocade skirt featured above is a close cousin to a gold taffeta BWOF one.Not forgetting direct repros from issues past.
Be inspired.
Will I be making any jackets? Don't know and it wont even matter.


Monday, September 25, 2006

Knitting Bag progress and more fabby mail

With some time off this week I was able to catch the postman early this morning.
Patrones # 247 September 2006 arrived.Thank you very much Marita ( also responsible for most of Patrones treasure trove)
Some stunning clothes feature in this issue , especially the jackets which are loaded with designer details .If you happen to be a chaff there are loads of designer names to feast on.
Still unable to make a full review of Patrones,I know that the skirts work for me , but the jackets yet untested except one jacket muslin.
Wearable muslins dont feature in my vocabulary.What is required to to trace a basic Patrones jacket pattern comparable to one from Burda WOF, overlay on top of my personalised BWOF sloper and make a few disposible muslins.
When???? sooooooooooooon.

Less than a week on , I have made some progress with the Debbie Abrahams bag.Intarsia and beaded section done , the back with two colour garter stripe in progress.
The bag is knitted in one piece, the sides will picked and knitted.Just a trazillion ends to finish and, handles in moss stitch and the lining to sew.

Ene scarf still whining , waiting to be blocked.


Thursday, September 21, 2006

Suprise in the Mail and new project.

I do love suprises.
A small brown envelope landed on the doormat, and out popped Simplicity pattern 4020
Delighted I was, thank you very much Sue.
I guess I missed that one( not really cuz I dont pay Simplicity patterns a lot of attention , except that they are actually much better and catching the trends quickly).
Tricot mesh/rayon lycra or wool knits????I need to get to the stash.

Rowan Yarns have a fabby Members only promo on until 22nd September 2006 on Debbie Abrahams kits for cushions and bags.
My little selection arrived two days ago and I started the Shaded square bag in the Coffee and Cream colourway.

Intermediate Knitting project using Cotton glace yarn with beading and decorative button panel
Making significant progress on my first proper Intarsia Kit.

To come
Snoop Shopping Armani Collezioni........................


Monday, September 18, 2006

Too busy to stop?

Have been too busy to stop.Ene's scarf is done.Just the little matter of blocking to deal with.
Whilst I'm unable to get down to some real sewing(jackets, suits ) the stash continues to grow

Thanks to Marita,Sue & Tini for new sewing magazines and suprises , Material World for yet more fabrics , and JLewis and Liberty knitting books and yarn.

Need to do some catch up posts

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Project : Phildar #429 16-25 Tendances Cardi

Whilst I get on with planning autumn sewing and knitting projects( aka doing SFA) I will continue to upload knitting and sewing FOs

Project Details
Phildar #429 16-25 Tendances Printemps/Ete 2005
Original Yarn: Coton Ete 100% Cotton
Sub Yarn: Gedifra Wellness 50% Cotton 50% Acrylic
Needles: Addi Circular Needles
Mods: Knitted about 5 cm longer

The jacket is knit in one piece, stitches put on hold for shaping and front opening.

Sleeves with mesh lace then ribbing all the way.
Great little project , a slightly grown up version of the shrug or coverall.
I love knits with interesting construction and details.
Truthfully there is only so much bland boring stocking stitch designs one can knit.Me I relegate those to my knitting slaves.


MK Project:Blissful Jacket Interweave Knits Fall 2005

Project Details
Pattern: Blissful Jacket Interweave Knits Fall 2005
Designer: Debbie Bliss
Yarn: Specified Debbie Bliss Aran Tweed, contrast is Debbie Bliss Merino Aran
MachineKnit: KH260 Brother Chunky 9mm machine
Design Specs/Mods:
The jacket was knit on the chunky/bulky knitting machine.
Provisional cast and the garter stitch hem was hand knitted at the end.
The jacket had full fashioned internal dart shaping on the back body piece only.Process required wholesale transfer of stitches every few rows with the risk of dropping stitches( not too bad on the chunky knitting machine).A chunky garter bar would have been very useful but very expensive and difficult to find.I tried the standard gauge garter bar but didnt work.
The garter button bands was part of the front pieces, I didnt want to have to seam handknitted garter strips at the end , so I cast on with the ribber in place.I was then able to transfer the small number of stitches every row from front to back bed and vice versa.
Sounds tedious but beats hand knitting by saving a few weeks.

The lapel and collar was the only part of design that was a bit naff.The edges look unfinshed and unruly.What would I do the next time?Not sure but probably borrow a tip or two from Phildar.

Contrast yarn threaded through once garment finished.The back has dart shaping and the instructions wasn't helpful, so I just winged it.

The jacket took a couple of evenings to knit on KM , then almost four weeks to seam and embellish.
Great looking garment,the yarn is too scratchy and rustic for me and is best used as outer wear not next to skin.

Will I make again?Possibly but without the embellishments.The shoulder needs refining and the front would also benefit from inernal dart shaping.
For use of stash yarn and ease of construction/knitting it was well worth my time.
However Phildar has much nice Chanelesque jackets.


Friday, September 08, 2006

New Knitting project: Ene Shawl from Scarf Style book

Started a new knitting small project on Monday ( as in will take a long time to complete)
Ene Shawl Pattern by Nancy Bush
Source:Scarf Style by Interweave Press
Yarn: Coned 2/20 fine lace weight Cashmere ,Mohair and Nylon blend.
Killer wispy filifine yarn that doesnt lend to frogging.
Despite casting on 375 stitches , have made progress in only 5 days.

The BWOF 8/2006 Crochet bag is moving slowly.Done with the body piece ,the shell band still to crochet.Have sourced some Ultrasuede for handles and tabs.Still waiting for pesky D rings.
Off to plan a fiberfest weekend


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

August Sewing Projects Overview

These are my August 2006 sewing projects.
I will be posting on individual projects as soon as time permits.
Blogger is a real pain in the putatie with lost posts, pictures not uploading


Project: Louis Vuitton skirt Patrones 241

Project Details
Pattern: Patrones 241 # 53 skirt pattern
Design Details:Linen with lycra cut on the bias .Full lining with tulle attached .
Fabric Used: Black linen with elastane.Lining was black bemberg cut on the bias.
Tulle was a soft lingerie weight. Used two layers to add oomph.Didnt want any scratchy type fairy / ballerina nylon tulle.The mesh tulle is self embroidered with roses.

Pattern Mods/Commentary.
Centre front and back seams with CB invisible zipper.
Spanish pattern instructions.Terse and terse and terse............... No frills no thrills NADA
Only modification was that I didnt lay my stretch fabric on the bias because it counterbalanced the elasticity.
The skirt draft and sloper measurements are just perfect for my figure type( small waist for hips and hourglass type figure.)
Sepia effect on above pic just because I liked it.
Hem detail.Sorry I have had to mess up the pictures to enable any details to show up.
Embroidered tulle
I have worn the skirt quite a bit since making it.I may make a winter version in wool with printed tricot mesh knit instead of tulle.

Patrones are great for high fashion kicky designs.I am not so swayed by the designer names as much as the design elements as seen in RTW garments .
Their skirt sloper is a better draft than BWOF for me , and I have since made a few other skirts.If only Blogger will let me upload more pictures per post

The instructions leave a lot to be desired ,with no garment measurements , no notion lists
You will need Bletchley type decoding skills to work out where linings and interfacings are required.OR just ditch the whole instructions malarky and freewheel away.
I was able to treanslate most with little external help( latin/italian lessons were not a waste Dad).
The drafting may have errors( allegedly) so onw would ideally walk the pattern pieces.Ask me how I know,of course by making a wadder we are not even going to talk about.


Friday, September 01, 2006

Review: Sewing Machine sites

Not one I made earlier.

Sewing machines come in all shapes sizes and specifications.Some can practically sing and dance whilst others like my babe above was once the fairest of them all , but no more.But she help me churn out great togs with a bit of TLC

Seriously how often do you visit the sewing machine official sites? Except for updates, search for manuals or when something has gone horribly wrong with the SM.
I am not endorsing any brands or websites but I have found over the last few years jewels hidden amongst the many adverts latest gizmos updates , even recalls.
The bag above is made( not by me) with a general middle of the road machine with no embroidery modules.The bag download as an example includes templates for pattern and clear instructions possible on most non specialist sewing machines.

Lets dig beyond the front page
Viking Husqvarna
Sewing Room:Great animated lessons for beginner , also refresher for veterans
Sewing Projects:Great projects for clothes , bags ( such as the one above) home dec items , toys .Alot of the projects although for VH can be used by other makes
Monthly Free Projects: Instructions and downloads for different projects themed with a free machine embroidery design.Great nifty ideas.Recently made a needle case for keeping hand sewing needles.
Accessories Catalogue and Search: lists them with pictures. Demo videos and help brochures to view and download
Other language sites apart from English also available

Bernina Global Site
Bernina USA
Need to register to download designs , free registration.Access to all areas including forums
Sewing Studio: Portal to other sites
Basic Training: Primer on sewing with threads, basic stitches ,essential sewing guide
Claire Shaeffer Feet Project: Great find , the series has twelve lessons so far.Using the speciality feet Claire Shaeffer has written projects for sewing clothes ( including Vogue patterns)mainly.Excellent set of topics with tips and ideas on using speciality feet.The series is worth downloading as the contents will be useful for machine other than Bernina.( i dont own a bernina but great for some of my speciality sewing machine feet)
Embroidery Downloads
Online Classes: Topics on sewing quilting embroidery. There is an excellent class on bindings and a great primer on Sergers/Overlockers and how to manage and troubleshoot tension problems.

Hope you will find info to help get more out the sewing machines.
More later.......