My Sewing and KnittAntics

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

Sunday, April 22, 2007

More Knit Tops, and Work progress

No crafting at all in the last few days.I have managed however to turn the above pile into one lined jacket , and two skirts.Have a couple of coordinating prints pulled out that I may quickly rustle up before changing colour scheme, re-prep overlocker and sewing machines.
I am itching to get cracking on my blue/blue tone pile ASAP.

New magazines to keep me on focus, The Fiesta edition of Patrones mid week , then Vogue Knitting magazine S/S 07, Sew Stylish , and Rowan Kasbah Collection.

Project Details
Pattern: Self drafted skirt
Fabric: Matte Viscose Jersey, Lined with skintone tricot
Just took a couple of measurements,cut into the fabrics directly after charting the outlines ,used a contour elastic treatment.

"Cut and Sew" is a term probably familiar to tailors/ dressmakers from African & Asia.
This entails pattern drafting directly onto fabric with chalk and tapemeasure or onto brown paper for more complex designs.It involves understanding and application of drafting rules , and takes a few years to master.They can recreate just about any designs just from looking at magazine pictures
Unfortunately I didnt develop the skills/expertise and therefore a minion to paper patterns

Project Details
Pattern: Simplicity 4020 View C
Fabric: Viscose Lycra knit.
Okay top, easy enough to make , guess it will be great to peek through a boring severe suit.
The shoulder tuck/pleats are a bit weird even on the pattern envelope and I will not advise pivoting and transfer of side darts there
I may make a plain version?My plain knits tend to be the more expensive from my sources and therefore get used for really basic designs.

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Friday, April 20, 2007

FO: Vogue # 1332 Geoffrey Beene Jacket

Project Details
Pattern:Vogue # 1332 Geoffrey Beene OOP
Fabrics: Novelty Linen, Black Linen as contrast
Lining: Mill end logo'ed black Ambiance
Very OOP copyright date 1994
Loose fitting lined below hip jacket has back neckband extending slightly to front, shoulder pads, right welt , pocket, side slits , shaped front hemline, back seam detail and long sleeves.
Great pattern with only three major pattern pieces

FBA done by making an L slash , pivot and slide.The dart created needed to be transferred and since there is no side seam , the dart ended up in the front lower armhole area.

Made a major major major blopper .Despite a few practice welts, annotated pattern instructions, I managed to sew two instead of the single welt pocket.YIKES.
I guess that is a small price for sewing in the middle of the night.
I usually get a substantial portion of my sewing done in the wee hours when on call, as attending from home.Once up and awake , best way to cope with the insomnia and waiting around.
Usually though I try not to get into major or fiddly construction parts like collars, welts , etc.

Collar/Jacket Front Insert.
Side Jacket view , no side seams.
There's loads of wobbly topstitching( bad bad sewer eh) .The nature of the base fabric meant that any of the other colours( grey, white, winter white ) just didnt work .Guess I should have also used different distances between the edge and topstitching.
Me . I am not an overthinking overprocessing purist, and can live with minor or even major sewing faux pas. Guess the sewing and messing things up is the best way for me to improve my skills Better luck or choices next time.
However this jacket has already been worn this week and I am loving it.

I would love to make it again in a plain winter weight fabric/ colour .But I have a dozen or so other Geoffrey Beenes OOP and scazillion other Vogue designer patterns on the wishlist.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

FO SS 2007 Knits Part 1

Pattern: Burda WOF December 2006 #118
Fabric: Viscose lycra knit
Used Burda WOF May 2006 #127 ( last two in picture collage) to extend the wrap overlay, extending to close to side seam.
Tank peeking is Burda WOF January #123, sleeveless tank with bust darts.Armholes and neckline finished with cream/blue picot elastic
Project Details
Pattern: Burda WOF April 2007 #107 ( first picture third row)
Fabric: Cotton lycra Knit
Edging: Cream frilled elastic, ruffle dipped pink.
Omitted the picot trim on the sleeve and body hems

Project Details
Pattern :OOP Vogue # 2555
Fabric: Silk, viscose , nylon lycra matelase knit.
The fabric was quite expensive and was only able to swing one metre
Pattern is a sadly discontinued Oft used short sleeve tee pattern that works.
Easy Peasy construction with neckline finished by overlock , turn down and stitch as per original pattern instructions.

Done with knits for now , whilst I concentrate on wovens, cut and in progress.Will however update the rest of tees sharpish.

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

FO:OOP Vogue Donna Karan #1961 reworked

Whilst the camel coat was in limbo pending the buttonholes , spent the last couple of weeks cranking out some knits.
With the latest batch of Vogue patterns , noticed the KVD Akker # 2971 amongst others and recognised the top line drawings were very similar to an OOP Donna Karan pattern #1961
As the new patterns are not available in the UK yet and needing the distraction pulled out the DK pattern and attempt to morph the changes.I intend to acquire the KVD Akker pattern anyway and will make the top whenever I get it .

Vogue Pattern # 1961
Copyright date 1987
Description:Mock front wrap top, shoulder pads, tucked front extends into single layer tie ends(wrong side may show) and back neck zipper.
I have had the pattern from 1997 and have made this view B four times, one still in the winter closet , the other on sabbatical( aka too small to wear currently but unwilling to part with it)
Used an OOP Butterick pattern # 3584 a basic close fitting crew neck tee top to cobble the changes .
Aligned the waistlines on the two patterns , the bust points and nape of neck postions were identical ( Same base sloper).The back was altered by eliminating height and width tolerances for the shoulder pads and the slightly lower armholes.Similar fix to front except I had to do some hocus pocus to get the right amount of swing because I wanted to approximate the KVDA top.
As I used the armholes from Butterick #3584 , the painless thing was to use its corresponding sleeve pattern piece.
Original length on # 1961 was 46.5 cm and the KVDA was approx 56 cm on the size 14.
Used some cotton linen knit which had been purchased for making trial knit garments(rarely)
FBA was required and the method I used is difficult to describe, may be able to pull out the pattern pieces and take pictures. The alterations required a modified L shaped slash.
One could create a smidge of room for a small FBA by moving the position of the FRONT stitching line.
I have to lower stitching which incidentally creates the front tuck by 2.5cm to correspond to my bust height
Final Garment:
Dusky lilac ( the camera and monitor not true colour) microfiber knit.
Crappy neckline, stretched out before i stitched the wretched thing.
This version is probably too long , as it creates pooling of fabric in the high hip area .See below for explanation.

If the KVDA top is anything like the morph.
The tie ends may need to be made had needed to extend the ties on the #1961 and I have a relatively small waist for size.
Watch out for dog eared tie ends( I should know)
The very scoop / boat neckline may not crew neckline probably balances the elements the best.
Striped fabric , if in the genre of the prison suit ( #1736 bustle back jacket or #2056 origami top) would be stunning.
The finished length on the morph ( same as VKD Akker) is too long for a sleek feel the top works best if length just skims past the waist as longer creates wads of fabric and bulk in the high hip area.
On my tops I made them 49cm ( 19 inches) just so they sat just below my waistline.
I will update to blog any observations once I have the # 2971 in my hot little hands

Overview of the knits made in the last couple of weeks.
Will put up details in the next couple of days.
Today the weather feels more like Lagos or Laos than London ,off to enjoy the unseasonal warm weather

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

FO:Burda WOF Coat 9/2005 #102

Project Details
Pattern: Burda WOF September 2005 # 102
Fabric:"British Plaid " Wool coating
Lining: Rayon/Cotton heavy satin
Buttons: Horn

Pattern Bio:Soft A-line figure flattering seams , menswear tabs, buttonhole pockets with flaps , wide notched collar and two rows of horn buttons.

Coat has multiple front seams which would make fudging a bit of width easy need width and depth and double breasted coats should normally be a no no.
Made a full sized test garment in a bogus heavy weight silk tweed.
Fitted the test garment over a complete suit ensemble.Much easier to check fit and ease with resorting to optimistic pattern hacking.
The coat was boxy but I needed some extra room in the hip area.Kept the silhouette pretty much the same as over fitting would have resulted in a matronly look.
Omitted the flap pockets , too much going on in the mid section, and used the inseam option on view #101
Construction Tips
Soft tailoring using satin weave( coat fusible) as the base interfacing, modified from the Burda WOF layout.
Straight and off grain tapes used on front edge and to crack at the lapel roll line.
Back interfacing was a cotton muslin ( woven.
Armhole reinforcement tape applied
Sleeve wraps and chest plastron ala TFox method.
The interfacings , tapes and tailoring video/ DVD available from English Couture company.(NAVY)
Bias hair canvas used for hem interfacing.
Buttonholes: What a kerfuffle.Bound buttonholes were not working, better to use snaps than ruin some uber expensive cloth.After a gazillion trials settled for corded buttonholes.
Used Clover silk thread with Gutermann top stitching thread as the cord filler .Used A46 buttonhole style , designed for heavy weight fabrics on the Viking-Husqvarna Orchidea .This is a nifty buttonhole design , without pilling on too much thread in the bars.
Due to a lot of she handling and over pressing( over processing) I have sent the coat to a specialist dry cleaner to revitalise and give a final press.

I am not likely to run Max Mara or any other designers out of town any time soon am so done with coats for now.
Back to cranking out simple tee tops.

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

FO: Burda WOF 3/2004 Jacket

Pattern: Burda WOF 3/2004 Style # 101
Fabric: Garigue Wool, Cotton, Rayon Tweed
Lining: White Silk Satin
Shell: Black Rayon Lycra Vogue # 2555 OOP
Skirt: Black HBoss Wool twill Butterick # 4602 OOP

Mods/Construction Details:
Straightforward project.The only things worthy of mention are related to the fabric's quirky characteristics.
The jacket fabric is a very loosely woven one consisting of white n black wool roving woven onto a mesh consisting of white cotton cords and thinner rayon cotton threads.Made for a very unstable loosey goosey hand

Entire jacket underlined with Light Silky touch couture interfacing( described as the closest thing to fusible organza)
Weft insertion interfacing then applied to specific areas.Armhole reinforcement tape used , sleeve wrap and shoulder pads .
Front foldline which is the "grown on" variety was stabilised with selvedge strips of silk organza.The neck line also stabilised using bias strips of same organza.
Prick stitches used to hold the facings in place
Two shades of silk threads were used the one for jacket internal construction was a couple of shades off ( two shades off), this was done as pulling of preumed stray white threads may have resulted in yanking out the white rayon threads and creating huge gaps in base fabric.Same colour winter white thredas used for all the external hand work

Pockets were hand applied using the double stitching method.

Closure were hammer on snaps as indicated in the Burda WOF instructions
Ensemble completed with plain black knit tee and a nifty princess seamed straight skirt that required only 80 cm of fabric.

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Monday, April 02, 2007

Back in Time for Tea

Had a fabulous time at the Sewing for Pleasure Expo at the NEC last saturday.
Arrived in Birmingham pronto and made a quick dash to Giesse Scampoli at the St Andrews Retail Park.Notions, interfacings and buttons, made small talk in Italian and 50 minutes later worked my way to the NEC.
Loved the Knitted Garden complete with a tea party in progress.
Met the knitters from the Guild and Liberty Knitting Group and learnt to properly finger knit.Very cool , will be able to teach my lilnneens.
This particular show is probably the best of the current UK ones for dressmaker.Well worth attending.
Some of the highlights were
Sewing Today ( Vogue , Butterick, McCall's Patterns) Workshops
Sewing World Magazine dressmaking forums.
I attended two workshops( welt pockets, all in one dress facings) lecture on fit/fabrics.
Pattern fitting clinic .
The main British sewing educators including Gill Arnold , Lorna Knight ,Janet Moville, Alison Smith, Michelle Pye.
Update on the Terry Fox method speed tailoring.
Great Fashion show .
Fabrics : loads ( none for me though) Spent time chatting with Mrs Duffy and team on the Linton Tweed stand, Geoff at M Rosenberg & son, Danny at Giesse Scampoli.
Great yarn deals at Black Sheep , Riverside Spinning, Web of Wool .
Knitting Clinic by Rowan/Patons from Coats.
Sewing machines purring , Embellishers galore with very competitive show discounts.None for me at least on this side of the pond.
Did I make any purchase??? No big tag items
Nifty hoestmass, a self retaining tape measure from Germany
Presser feet from Husqvarna Viking Studio
Lingerie findings
Tailoring stuff( interfacing , and assortment of shaping tapes) from English Couture Stand
FABRICS ?????? *************
Didn't get sucked into some dodgy magazine subscription laced with useless gifts.
Goody bags with great notions , samples ,brochures catalogues and

I am back to the usual , trying to play catch up with a very hectic schedule.

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