Sunday, 11 August 2013

Jumpsuit - Part 2

My jumpsuit is complete!  I think it's the most flattering thing I have made so far and I am excited to wear it.

The pattern was time consuming to make with the construction itself only taking a couple of weeks.  This is the second invisible zip I have inserted and a tricky yet important one to get level, given the different fabric choices.  I am pleased that it appears entirely invisible.

More for my own benefit, should I attempt to make this again, here are the stages of construction:  
  1. Draw, alter and finalise pattern using a sample of chosen material;
  2. Cut pattern pieces;
  3. Sew darts.  Press;
  4. Sew side and inside leg seams.  Press;
  5. Sew front seam up to zip opening.  Press;
  6. Repeat steps 2 - 5 for the lining which is cut to finish at the knee;
  7. Tack lining to pants, wrong side to wrong side;
  8. Construct top in accordance with manufacturers instructions;
  9. Sew top (keeping lining free) to pants, right side to right side;
  10. Press seam up into top;
  11. Slip stitch top lining to pants lining so that it encloses the seam;
  12. Insert invisible zip;
  13. Add hook and eye.  Slip stitch zip seam to lining;
  14. Machine hem each leg - turn up 1 cm and press, then turn up 1.5cm.  Tack and machine stitch in place;
  15. Finish with some swing tacks (See post 'Liberty print jacket - Part 4'), to secure the pants lining to the side seams of the pants. 

Despite buying extra fabric for a working sample and to line the pants, albeit only to the knee, my jumpsuit is the cheapest thing I've made so far:

Navy lightweight fabric 4m at £2.95 per metre £11.80
14'' invizible zip £0.60 from Discount Haberdashery  £0.60
Thread  2 x £1.55 per spool £3.10
Satin and matching lining Already had from Duchess dress £0
TOTAL £15.50

Monday, 27 May 2013

Here's one I made earlier...

Quite literally, this is a dress I made on a day's annual leave from work.  Although I didn't quite manage to finish it in one day, I have finally got round to completing it (it was beginning to gather dust)!

It is the same dress as English Rose from May 2012, that is McCall's M6027, except this is view D.

So having made it before I didn't find it too challenging, although the cap sleeves were a little tricky to get right.  I think it will make a nice addition to the work wardrobe for winter as it is made from a navy lightweight wool.

Jumpsuit - Part 1

Back at the end of 2012 I tried on this jumpsuit in Ted Baker:

Being 5'' 2', and Ted Baker thinking women are all 6'', it drowned me.  So I got out my pen and tape measure and drew a little sketch before handing back the garment with its £120 price tag. 

At the start of this year I began to contemplate how I could make a similar outfit myself.  Unfortunately, the jumpsuit patterns I could find by the leading manufacturers did not match the look I was after.  Most of them had a low elasticated waist rather than the high fitted waist I wanted to create.

So I went about it by taking a wide leg trouser pattern and a pencil skirt pattern from April 2012 Burda.  I placed the skirt pattern underneath the trouser one and heightened the waist on the trousers.  

I then used the pattern to make up a trial pair of pants.  Alterations were made which I marked with a running stitch.  I then unpicked the pants and transferred the running stitch markers onto my paper pattern. 
125 Trousers
118 Skirt

The pattern paper I am using is by Burda.  As you will see below, it is not very resilient to pins or needles; in fact it rips very easily.  Also pencil marks do not show up well.  I have recently ordered some Swedish Tissue Paper, since seeing it used on The Great British Sewing Bee, from Gloriarty at When it arrives I think I will transfer my patten onto it so that it can be used again. 

Front with marked alterations
Back with marked alterations

Back patten piece

Front pattern piece
I then used the altered pattern to make the pants using a navy lightweight fabric.  I opted to add a lining which ends at the knee.  

I am giving the jumpsuit a smart casual feel by using an emerald satin on the top half.  When I made my Duchess dress in June 2012 (McCall's M6508) I cut the bodice on folded fabric so that I had 2 of each piece which were mirror images of each other.  I used one set to make the Duchess dress and made the other bodice up at a later date.  I am using the spare bodice as the top half of this jumpsuit.  It is the same as the image below, except that it does not have the ruffle:

I am up to the stage where I attach top and bottom halves.  Maybe time to get sewing again...

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Liberty print jacket - part 5

A good iron and steam later, here is the finished piece!

Liberty print jacket - Part 4

Well I've been a little quite on the blog so far this year, the reason being that my Liberty print jacket has been taking up most of my time.  If you have read my previous posts about this item, you will know that I have been adapting New Look pattern 6013 (view A), to make a lined casual jacket.  

Yesterday I finally finished the jacket, which has taken over 3 months to complete.  Before its grand unveiling, I thought I would share the new techniques I have learnt.  Most recently in my post 'Liberty print jacket - Part 3', I shared my attempts at making shoulder pads.  I then moved on to follow the pattern instructions for inserting the sleeves into the jacket, which brought me round to attaching the shoulder pads to the sleeve seam.  I did this using a small running stitch just inside the seam.  I worked the stitches from the sleeve side (i.e. the shoulder pad can't really be seen), so as to make sure I remained inside the seam allowance. 

I then used a swing tack to secure the curve of the neck edge of the shoulder pad to the shoulder seam.  If you haven't heard of a swing tack before, you will recognise it from some of your own clothes, here is an example:
This is a long swing tack on one of my dresses - it is securing the lining to the dress near the hem
Here is how to create the swing tack:
  • Use double double thread (take a very long thread and thread the loop through the eye and fold in half);
  • Secure the thread with 3 horizontal stitches on the shoulder pad, approximately 2cm from the centre of the curve of the neck edge;
  • On the 3rd stitch, catch the loop and place your thumb and index finger of your left in the loop;
  • Holding the needle with your right hand, use your left hand to go through the loop and pull the thread through the loop;
  • Now pull the thread and it will form a small chain stitch;
  • Continue until the swing tack is approximately 2cm long;
  • Secure by putting the needle and thread through the loop in your left hand;
  • Then stitch the tack to the jacket underneath the original securing stitches. 
Now onto the other techniques which have brought this jacket together...

After I inserted the shoulder pads I made rolls to insert into the top of the sleeves.  I used a lightweight piece of wadding, approximately 30cm long.  I folded it in half, and using the fold as a straight line, I drew a curve shape extending 6cm at its peak.  I cut along the curve and then along the fold, so that I had two identical pieces.  

I attached the roll to the sleeve of the jacket, so that a sandwich is created with shoulder pad on top, the seam allowance (where the jacket and sleeve are attached) in the middle, and then the roll on the underside of the sleeve.  I pinned the roll into the sleeve with the straight length of wadding to the sleeve seam, so that the curved edge goes into the sleeve itself and then I secured with a running stitch.

Next I used a herringbone stitch to secure the hem of the sleeves and the jacket.  I swing tacked the lining to the jacket at the side seams and shoulder seams before securing the lining at the hem of the sleeves and jacket by using a curtain hem.  To achieve a curtain hem, firstly trim the raw edges of the lining fabric, so that they are 1.5cm longer than the hem of the jacket and the hem of the sleeves.  The next step is to fold the lining under by 1.5cm and slip stitching the folded edge into place, 1.5cm from the raw edge of the fashion fabric.

This shows the lining slip stitched into place, as per the above diagram
And perhaps the simplest finishing touch was to secure the button using a complementary metallic thread.

And to keep a grip on costs, here is the breakdown:

Liberty Fabric       
2.75m at £5 per metre  
Lining Fabric
1.25m at £2.55 per metre
Lightweight fusible interfacing 
0.75m at £7.78 per metre  
Medium weight fusible interfacing 
1.25m at £6.46 per metre 
Medium weight sew-in interfacing
0.25m at £3.43 per metre 
£0.90 per button   

Not too costly I would say! 

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Christmas Crackers!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone!

I thought I would share a few pictures of my most recent acquisitions, which are the sewing related presents I received for Christmas.

There's the tailors dummy to begin with.  Although I haven't had much time to use it as of yet, I have adjusted it to my size and I have got the hem marker all loaded with chalk.  I'm impressed by how sturdy it is, and I already know how much I'm going to love using this to help me with my dressmaking.

I spotted these 10 inch sidebent scissors from Merchant and Mills at the Knitting and Stitching show, Harrogate, back in November 2012.  My thoughtful mum committed the brand to memory and did a sneaky bit of internet shopping after we returned!  At the show I had been a little disappointed that they didn't have a pair out on display to have a feel and look at.  However, now that I am the proud owner of a pair, I am far from disappointed.  The weight of the metal is very impressive and makes cutting fabric a joy.  I am yet to cut pattern pieces out with them, so I cannot comment on the benefits of the sidebent handle at the moment.