Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Looong Black Jersey Dress

I am having serious doubts about publishing my sewing failures or not... I had one recently...
This one was a complete success though! Inspiration came from a H&M model I've been seeing around. Last summer it was long striped dresses (and I had doubt about the stripes), but when I saw this dress totally black, I completely had the need of having it! And not only having it, but having it for my holidays!
So I went to the fabric shop and found this remnant at good price. I do not even want to know about the composition of the fabric. It has cotton, but I suspect it contains poly as well. In what proportion, it is a mystery, 'cause remnants in this shop come without labelling. So for once, I left my hangup home. And in the bright side, it had a nice soft touch and a dark black shiny quality I love.
Regarding the pattern, I used an old jersey dress. I put it flat over the folded fabric and I just cut around it! It was the day before leaving.
I basted it, fit it, machine sewed it. I tried it on again to draw the neckline on me with pins. I applied a bias strip all around neckline and armsythes. Turn it around itself, leaving 1 cm visible and hand sewed it with invisible stitches. I completed the inferior seam with a machine zigzag.
In the final fitting session I realized the armsythes gaped in their inferior part. I simply sewed a minidart in the lateral seam, taking 2 cm off, and taking even the bias ruleau. The result was (snafu, I had no time!) good enough.
The dress has proved to be comfortable, nice to wear and very practical for traveling and holiday making. I even hand washed in a hotel room when it was almost talking with dirt, to be able to wear it again.
A nice one!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Animal Print Jersey T-shirt

I have just arrived from our holidays around Europe. In this picture we are about to see another Marc Marquez win in the MotoGP championship, in Germany. It is the ninth win, and we have been his fans since Moto3, so it was a glorious victory in Germany.

I am wearing another example of my "Universal T-shirt Pattern."
This time I cut a low neckline, applied a 5 cm bias strip, turned it towards the inside, leaving 1 cm visible, and handsewing it.
A very nice, wearable and practical t-shirt.

 Here I am a the wonderful Hotel Abendroth, in Mittlebach, next to the Sachsenring circuit.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Sporty Bag


This is a complement needed by my Black Raincoat, which I used in Vitoria (basque Country) some weeks ago. I realized I needed a bag to carry the jacket when there was no rain. It had to be very light, since the sporty activity for which it is needed, is going to music festivals around Europe, which means all day and most of the night out and about.

So I cut two squares of 40cm x 40cm (plus 2 cm seams all around), and a smaller rectangle for the inside pocket.

I cut the superior part of the pocket and sewed the two parts to a black zipper. I sewed it then to one of the bigger rectangles.

Next, I zig-zagged both halfs all around, made two channels in the upper part, and sew them together.
Finally I introduced two black ribbons: from the inferior corner to its corner above, all around the loop and back into the same corner, in both sides, being the ribbons oposite in their rounds. Each ribbon is 170 cm long.

The result is very good. It can be easily opened and closed, because the ribbon and the bag fabric are soft. The good part of this bag is that it is really small and can be worn in the pocket when one is wearing the jacket. Or one can use it to carry other stuff when traveling.

After using it next trip around Europe, I will report its goods and bads.

Update: Well, I cannot say how much I love this bag. It was so usefull I took it with me everyday of the trip. It has only good point: very big capacity, if you only put a few things inside, it is so small, very discreet, ellegant and chick, it can be worn in differnt ways, you can fold it and keep it in your pocket until you need it, it goes well with every style, it opens and closes soooo smoothly and easily... it is just PERFECT. I am gonna sew some for my friends!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Jeans Deconstructed!

Well, this is an "alteration project". Pity I did not get a picture of the old Levi's jeans that became too big when I lost some weight (proud here ;.). They were perfect for some kind of job to be done on them, becasue of the fabric's softness and the bellbottoms, which meant a lot of material.

Well, I had not planned the whole thing ahead. First, I cut the legs off to get a miniskirt. Which I did not like much. So I found some old inherited fabric (originally to make some men's undies), and I added that flare at the bottom.

For the top I used this sleveless shirt, which required no much fabric. I topstiched every seam with contrating brown thick thread, and used some clips to close it at the front. I did not plan to wear it alltogether, but I now see it is not bad... what do you think?

I have been sewing like mad these days previous to holiday making, but I will publish them designs when we are back, so I can photograph them in the real world. So, see you next month!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Polka Dot Copycat

Last summer, my friend showed to me this beautiful dress she had bought from the internet:

Isn't it cool?
So, I decided to copy it! (bad girl!!!) 
I've always found my inspiration in models I see around me. When I was 15, I went with my mum shopping for clothes, 'cause we had a family wedding and had to dress up. So we were watching shop windows all morning. Finally, we found this black skirt and jacket outfit with a big black and purple hat, perfect for me, but it was so expensive we could not buy it. So my mum had an idea, we went to buy a small notebook, went back to the shop window, and drew the outfit with all its details. My mum knew how to sew, but she did not know how to make patterns, so we took the drawing to a pro and paid for the patterns. She constructed the perfect copycat... and without knowing it, she also created a monster, me!
I found the perfect fabric, a dark blue polka dot jersey in the internet
As patterns, I used my own long skirt pattern, and Patrones' universal t-Shirt pattern. I also drew a waist piece to be gathered to connect both, bodice and skirt.
After trying several variations, I stick to the method my mum taught me as I think it is the most effective. I put the paper patterns (without seam allowances!) into the fabric and mark them with tailor tucks.

I baste all the pieces together, have a first fit on me, and make all the necessary modifications. In this case, I made the bodice a little tighter at the bottom, and took some off the skirt seams, since it was too big.
The waist gathered piece was delicate. The gathers at the sides hold, but it lost its proper shape in the middle, front and back. So I decided to hand sew it to a jersey interlining piece in the wrong side, to keep it in shape. 

There is an opening in one of the raglan sleeves, closed with a couple of ruleau knot of the same fabric.


I am really happy and proud of the result, I don't have the waist of the model (in my dreams, haha!!) but still it is an elegant, cool and flattering design.
Now, don't tell the patent police!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Raincoat

I've had the idea of making myself a good raincoat for a couple of years now. In summer I go to rock festivals around the world, mostly in Europe, where it usually rains. I needed something light but really waterproof. 

I found this wonderful textile in an American website. It is a slippery, velvety, black waterproof fabric. Reeeally nice touch, drape and fall. It wears wonderfully. Good quality and a very good value for its cost.

I decided to use the Chanel Jacket pattern, self made with Aldrich's book. I just elongated the panels of the jacket to reach my knee, and added some details: a funnel neck, a hood (both form Aldrich's) hidden inside the neck by a zipper along it, some pockets in the front of the coat, a zipper and its placket, with some velcros to keep it closed and a small cape covering the shoulders front and back.

 I enclosed all the seams in themselves and made a black jersey underlining, enclosed inside the neck and hand-sewn around the bottom hem.

This has been a really exhausting project. It had so many steps and layers that I had to keep it simple, a step after the other, little by little every day. It took me a month to finish, sewing 1-2 hours a day. It was not a nice sewing, I had doubt all the way to the end, but finally I had the chance to try it in real life, under the rain in the Basque Country...

The result is wonderful. It not only kept me dry under the rain, but it looked and felt really sweet, classy and elegant. 

It has some point to be improved, though: the zipper placket shows some air bublles where it is badly sticked to the fusible interlining(I have to re-iron that), the hood moves backwards when you walk against the wind (I have to put a cord to tie it under the chin), the front cape is not perfect (maybe some buttons would help to keep it under control), and finally, I will make a bag with the remaining fabric. I will use the bag to keep it when it is not raining but still I have to carry it. I will show you the bag when I make it.


Monday, May 5, 2014

Black Leather Rock Dress

Well, I am proud of this one! I wore it yesterday for the first time, and was having serious doubts about its fit duiring the first hours, but fortunatelly, the leather behaved as it should, and made room for my boobs to fit in, jeje... and specially my midrif.

Some time ago I made this in a polileather version, which was very nice aesthetically, but impossible to wear due to its unbreathability. I was soaked in my own sweat after a concert inside it, so after studing how to properly work with real leather -Don Morin's course on Craftsy, and Sterlacci's wonderful (but lacking, the actual construction steps for the three pieces lack important imformation, like for example, how to held pices together as you machine sew them) book. I found a couple of wonderful websites from the south of Spain that sell nappa leather at a reasonable price, and the product they sent me was quite a good quality leather.

For the pattern, I took my old plastic dress apart, cutting carefully the right side of the dress without seem allowances, and drawing it in the leather wrong side with a pen. I cut it and started directly sewing pices togeter, after apllying some surgical cloth tape to prevent the pieces form stretching in the machinne. After sewing each seam, you have to glue seam allowances open with special glue for leather, and finish them seams with a rubber hammer.
I used the underlining, a black cotton/spandex replica of the dress to make the neck opening and arm holes facings, leaving the shoulders till the end of the process. The dress has bust and back skirt darts, and also a zip in the back. That was difficult to handle, but I endured!
The fitting problem came because I did not have the stretch quality of the faux leather version into the equation (argh!). Since I could not baste it to have a first fit, I could only give it 1 cm more from the seam allowances at breast level, in the sides. Fortunately, as I mentioned above, the dress gave and gave with the warmth of my body, and it really felt like a glove at the end of the evening, and not like a cage, which was my feeling at the begining. But well, leather stretches naturally, and it is breathable, nice and sweet, and at the same time tough and issolating from outer conditions. I really love leather. I'll never use faux leather agian, it is just not  for me, ooops!
This, sewing with leather, was my main aim this 2014 sewing year, and I am proud of learning it with it, but I still have a jacket in tow...