Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Refashion: A purple Velvet Jacket for the Holidays

As the weather gets colder, I'm more and more inclined to sew/refashion winter holiday wear. I thrifted this Purple Cotton jacket from my local thrift store a couple of years ago. I love the colour but it's a tad too big for me. I thought I should fiddle with it and wear it for the coming X'mas/New year.

First I shortened the sleeves by 3cm. The back is also too big so I pinned up the back to see how much I need to take out from the centre back seam.

I separate the back lining from the fashion fabric at the hem and sewed a new centre back seam to make it fit my back more closely.

Then I thought I could embellish it a bit to make it look more 'tuxedo-esque'. I looked through my stash of trim to see what would work. I decided on some black satin binding and bounded the edge of the collar with it. I also changed the plain plastic purple button to a black satin button.

It doesn't look drastically different but I think it looks a bit more glam and fitted than before. I hope I'll not lose too much weight before the holiday season (yes I'm trying to eat better and exercise more to be more healthy). Otherwise I'll have to alter the fit again.  I can wear this long jacket with a short black dress to office parties, etc. It should look dressy enough without being overdone.

I find this deep purple and black very difficult to photograph well. It's easier to see the changes/embellishments in person than in a photograph. Too bad I only get to do these projects and take photos at night after the kiddies have gone to bed.

So have you started sewing for the holidays yet?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Refashion: Silk Tweed Chanel-esque skirt suit - Part 2

After doing the simple refashioning of the thrifted Silk Tweed jacket of the silk tweed skirt and the jacket suit, I tackled the skirt part. The skirt was fine except too long on my short body.

Since the skirt has inverted box pleats at the bottom, I couldn't just shorten the hem. Instead, I shortened the skirt just above the box pleats by 6cm. Of course I had to shorten the lining by 6cm as well.

I was going to embellish the skirt with the same navy velvet ribbon. However, I decided against it because I thought it would be too fussy and might draw attention to that seam where I shortened the skirt.

Here is how the whole suit look with the refashioned jacket and skirt. You can kinda see the seam line where I had shortened the skirt. I hope that if I don't point it out then no one would notice.

I don't intend to wear them together often because it's still a bit too formal and matronly on me. But for the office it may be necessary on some occasions. Otherwise I would much rather wear the jacket with jeans and the skirt with sweaters, cardis or a jean jacket.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

MAGAM Oct Project Completed! Vogue 9574 Jacket

This 'ambitious' Fall/Winter jacket is done! I have made lots of changes to this pattern with the fit and the style. I was inspired by the current RTW trends of motocycle jacket styles, quilted jackets and contrast sleeves jackets.

Regarding the fit - It says 'Loose fitting' but I cut a size 14 anyways. I'm usually a size 14 for Vogue patterns. This is an OOP Very Easy Very Vogue pattern that I thrifted from my local thrift store months ago. It seems that the problems with the Very Easy Very Vogue patterns may be that their objective seems to concentrate solely on reducing the total number of pattern pieces. In doing so, they seem to be willing to sacrifice the fit and things like having proper pattern pieces for facings and linings. This jacket turned out to have a very loose fitting back - to the point that it looked ridiculous on me even though I have a broad back and broad shoulders. I didn't make a muslin (should have done so) and had to add a curved centre back seam to the jacket to minimize the width. I also did my usual short-waist adjustment and shortened the sleeves to suit me. Somehow the top front of the jacket doesn't sit flat on my chest when the jacket is zipped all the way up. The top front gapes and looks silly. I think the skewed front neckline resulted from the reduced width of the back neck piece. So I'll have to wear the jacket half-zipped.

(Note to self: need to snip those loose threads!)
Regarding the design changes - I eliminated the collar, added facings and lining pattern pieces. I also quilted the top front and back bodice, although it's not very visible due to the colour of the grey wool fabric. I used the remnant black stretch denim for the sleeves (there was only just enough fabrics for the sleeves). I read somewhere (sorry can't remember where) that the garment industry interfaced almost the whole jacket body routinely. So I interfaced the whole jacket front and the top back piece. Perhaps that's why there is even more gaping in the top front?

It looks okay to me (if half-zipped) and it is a jacket roomy enough for me to wear sweater and layers underneath. I'll test-wear it a few times and see how I feel about it. If I were to use this pattern again, I'll definitely do a muslin to fix the front gaping and other problems first.

I have also reviewed this pattern on

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

MAGAM Oct Project Plan - A Jacket

The weather has become much colder this month. My kids are wearing their winter coats already! I decided to make a Fall/Winter jacket using my stashes: Fabric (including remnants that is too small for a single garment) and an existing Pattern that I thrifted from my local thrift store. I have been inspired by a few RTW trends this season: Moto style zipped jackets, Quilted jackets and Jackets with contrast sleeves.

So I will be incorporating multiple trends and multiple sewing objectives into this 1 jacket. Not too ambitious at all!