Colette Jasmine – LOVING IT

YAY I’VE JUST FINISHED MY JASMINE BY COLETTE PATTERNS

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The Jasmine pattern is a loose fitting blouse-y top with a faux tie collar. I thought this top was a tad costume-y when I first saw it and wondered if it would be easy to wear on a day to day basis. FEARS AVERTED. What was I worrying about? Now that I’ve finished this top now I think it’s casual and feminine.

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I found the sleeves on the on the Jasmine to be quite a lot of work. They’re made from three pieces (sleeve, cuff and the cuff facing) which all need to be trimmed and pressed after being sewn together. But the look created is highly satisfying so it was worth it!

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Will not apologise for the crinkles on the back. Yes I have been wearing this top all day because I love it.

I made this top out of a silk cotton, which in case, like me, you hadn’t previously heard of this, it is a blend of silk and cotton. It is a very lightweight fabric that is actually see though when held up to the light. I was a tad worried that this top would be translucent but that fear appears to be unfounded.

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Will I be making this pattern again? Hells yes! This version is a size 4 straight of the envelope. I think if when I do I’ll add about an inch or two to the length. I think it looks alright in these pictures but when I sit down it finishes just above my jean’s waistband. I may shorten the sleeves a touch and perhaps make the view A sleeves (gathered at the shoulder) instead but keep the view b collar.

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This is the first Colette pattern that I’ve sewn. I’m looking forward to making the next one!

Sewing Class: Week Three

Monday was my thrid week my sewing class where I’m making this dress. During the week I had already finished putting the darts in, joining the facings together at the sides and over-casting the lower edge of the facings by hand. (Here’s how to do it)

My (not very neat) version of an overcast stitch:

Attaching the facings using my Grasshopper

So when I got to class I carried on making the sleeves:

I sewed 5/8″ edge down

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Trimed the excess:

 Matched the front and back shoulder seams and machine sewed them together following the folded down edge as a guide. The facings sat nicely together so I then I hand sewed the facings together. 

 

Here is the finished sleeve – voila!

How’s your sewing project going?

Sewing Class: Week Two

On Monday I went to my second week of Sew, Sew, Sew! I got there early and got cracking with sewing my velvet to the lining as I had finished cutting, pinned at home on Sunday evening (aren’t I good!) Remember this pattern…?

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The instructions wanted me to baste the lining straight onto the velvet shell. My tutor was a bit dubious about this approach but thought it best to go along with what the instructions said. I took a guess and thought that a half inch seam allowance would suffice.

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I then stitched the shape of the side darts, front darts and back darts right through the velvet and the lining as the instructions asked me to. This seemed somewhat unusual aswell (tutor also agreed) but who am I to argue with the pattern?

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The tutor and I also thought that having four parallel darts in the front as well as four more in the back could look be a bit bulky with the velvet. Soooo I have only put in the larger of the darts (closer to the middle) on the front and the back and will see how that looks. I put the side darts in like normal.

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Also here are some more pics of the lovely bouquet my sister bought me for graduation… just cos I felt like it…

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Sewing Class: Week One

A few months ago I was talking with a colleague of mine about sewing. I mentioned that whilst I enjoy sewing I don’t have much in the ‘skills’ department. Not for lack of trying… I just don’t have a neighbour I can ask, or mother or sister who sews, or really anyone who I can ask for sewing advise.

Her advice: Join a class. She’s so wise.

So yesterday was my first class of Sew, Sew, Sew! (Great name, right?) It’s a night class held at the local high school. We all brought along our own patterns and fabric etc and the tutor went around the class helping us.

I brought this pattern with me:

McCalls 6564, circa 1960: Dress consists of three main pieces plus facings, has long darts at back and front. Neckline is rounded at front, dips to low V at back. Center back zipper and vent in seam. I’m going to make the shorter version

I’m going to make it out of the navy velvet I bought in Wellington a little while ago.

I didn’t get very far in the class, as I find that laying out and cutting the pattern is the most time consuming part of sewing for me. Also, as this pattern is a size 14 I had to add a 1/4 inch to the bust pattern pieces and 1/2 inch to the waist and hip pattern pieces. I just added these to the side seams of pieces as the adjustments were only small.

Things I learnt:
Vintage patterns come in one size – you will always need to alter the pattern pieces (unless you have a oddly perfect body)
Fold the right sides of the fabric together when cutting the pattern. This is so the markings are on the wrong side of the fabric which you look at whilst sewing. (Logical, right?)
 

Simplicity 3426

I just bought this pattern online! I can’t wait for it to arrive in the mail. It is a 14 so it will require a bit of alteration (outwards) but overall I’m very pleased with this pattern.

 

It is c1960, hence the black and white photo. Its a bit hard to see in the photo but the inset shows that there are three choices for the back of the dress – V. 1 has a V back neckline and a contrasting band and bow at neck edge. V. 2 has a low square back neckline with bow trim. V. 3 has a low round neckline in back and contrasting rick-rack trim (what does that mean?)

I think I’d probably go with the low square back as I have a dress I wear all the time like that.

I was also just having a quick look at some Natalie Chan dresses online and found this beauty (which I love):

I love the full skirt and the subtle pattern on the fabric. I think I’ll use this dress as my inspiration for my pattern. So now I’m thinking of perhaps adding a contrasting belt instead of a self fabric belt.

What are your thoughts?

 Also, does anyone have any thoughts on sewing with vintage patterns? I’ve just starting cutting (a different) vintage pattern and it seems there are rather a lot less instructions…

And I promise – I won’t make this in navy!

New Material

Recently I’ve bought a lot of new material. Some from Etsy, some from Global Fabrics and some from Nick’s Fabrics.

Here is the Etsy fabric that arrived today! All the way from the Nutley, New Jersey right to my door in little ole New Zealand.

This is a beautiful navy, turquoise and gold brocade fabric with birds, leaves and flowers embroidered on to it. I was thinking of making a cropped jacket or a fitted sleeveless dress in this fabric.

These are the other fabrics:

Tiny black and white houndstooth; sheer navy blue and cream; and navy velveteen. One day I’ll by something that isn’t navy I swear!

My plans for these fabrics are coming soon!

McCalls 6201 – Navy

This was the first dress that I made this year. I made a couple of dresses years ago (including a disasterous attempt at making my older sister’s 6th form ball dress) and have decided to take it up again.

I thought this pattern looked easy and like something I’d actually wear:

I made view E (the one the model is wearing)

I decided to make it in Navy blue because I thought any mistakes that I made would be less obvious with darker material (and I really like navy!)

Here it is:

 
I made it in a 10 but it was a bit tight across my hips. I think next time I’ll have a go at combining sizes and keep the 10 for the top half and a 12 at the waist/ hips. Need to work out how to do that first though! Any tips welcome.
 
Here are some detail shots:
 
I love the pleated shoulder seams on this dress.
 
I like a scooped neckline, they are flattering on anyone.
 
All in all I was very pleased with my first piece of sewing this year!
Credits: Thank you Charlotte for taking the photos!