Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Pattern Review: Simplicity 4945 Jacket

It seems that most sewists had made at least one Chanel-esque jacket for themselves. I thrifted this piece of mystery tweed fabric from my local thrift store last year. So I thought I would try to make a Chanel-esque jacket for myself too. The fabric is a bit scratchy. I'm guessing that it is probably some cotton/poly mix tweed meant for home decor. I liked the colour mix regardless.

This jacket is based on Simplicity 4945. I made the short jacket but with a button front. I used a size 14 and made my usual short waist adjustment. I didn't look at the instructions because it looked straight forward enough.

The jacket only has bust darts and no front and back darts so it's quite loose-fitting and boxy. Usually this boxy style doesn't suit my stocky upper body. But with 2 young kids whom I have to 'wrestle' with all the time I thought a boxy style would work just fine. I also made a lined-to-edge lining because this mystery tweed is a bit scratchy to the skin. I made a self fabric fringe for the front opening. In hindsight I should have double up the fringe to make it look nicer/bushier. Right now the single layer fringe looks a bit sad and sparse. I put the buttonholes in the middle of the fringe and at places that would suit my shape better.

All in all I'm happy with this first try of a Chanel-esque jacket. The pattern is easy to sew but I want to tweak it a bit for my body. If I make it again, I will probably need to do an FBA for the front and reduce the ease at the back. I also want to lengthen the jacket a bit, probably about 3 cm.

I was worried that such a fabric and jacket style would make me look matronly. But with skinny pants and boots it could work. I'll wear it a few more times to see how I can 'funk' it up a bit. So do you think it's a bit too matronly for me?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Pattern Review: Simplicity 4470 dress

This is a dress that was made pre-kids. I was able to fit into it again recently. This is meant to be a Costume pattern but I liked the look of the dress (a bit mod looking) so I made it with a gun mental stretch denim to be worn as a regular dress.

I made View D in size 12 with the usual short waist adjustment. It was very simple to make and I didn't even look at the instructions. I used a wide metal zipper so that it would pop against the dark denim. I had worn this out with knee high boots many times and it's very comfortable to wear due to the stretch fabric. If I do make it again I would like to make it sleeveless. I highly recommend this pattern if you like this mod look.

Refashion: From Boring and Unloved to Wearable Top

I have a pile of turtleneck tops in different colours that I haven't worn for a few years now - ever since I realized that they didn't suit my short stocky neck. So there they had been sitting on the shelf collecting dust. In the meantime I had been wearing my 4 other scoopneck tops to death this Fall/Winter season. As I started to clean out my closet I thought perhaps I could do a simple refashion to make them wearable again.

So here is the before:

Using some remnant yellow cotton ribbed knit in my fabric stash, I made a folded narrow band and stitched down a new neckline (I stretched the yellow ribbed knit while sewing). I think the yellow trim provided an interesting contrast (The topstitching is not perfect so I may redo that part tomorrow night). Now I can't wait to wear this over and over again this winter!

New Year's resolution

Happy New Year! Can you believe it's 2013 already? Now that I have kids, time seems to go by really slowly sometimes and really quickly at other times. I can't believe I have an almost 4 year old and another who will be 2 this spring!

Last year my fashion/sewing resolution was to not buy any new fabrics and new clothing/accessories for myself and my family (except under garments and socks). I think I only slipped up a few times so I'm happy with that. This year I will be continuing with that effort and also to add one more thing: Not to buy any 2nd hand items unless I absolutely need it (e.g. kids outgrowing their clothes and I have no time to sew new clothes). I love thrifting at 2nd hand stores but my thrifted pile has been growing and I haven't had enough time to refashion/alter a lot of the items. So until my refashion pile has gone down substantially, I'm not going to buy more. Let's see how I'll do on this front.

Also, like most women I'm not wearing everything in my closet. I think I'm only wearing about 50% of my entire wardrobe. I need to go through my closet and move some unwearables to the refashion pile. I lost some weight in the last few months so perhaps I will be lucky enough to fit into some of the pre-kids garments! It will be fun to refashion garments from my own closet.